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Full text of "British policy and opinion during the Franco-Prussian war"

STUDIES IN HISTORY 

ECONOMICS AND 

PUBLIC LAW 



EDITED BY 

THE FACULTY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE 

OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 



VOLUME ONE HUNDRED 



COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO., AGENTS 

London : P. S. King & Son, Ltd. 

1921 



^- 7 



CONTENTS 



1. Contemporary British Opinion during the Franco- 

Prussian War — Dora Neill Raymond, Ph,D i 

2 . French Contemporary Opinion of the Russian Revolu- 

tion OF 1905 — Encarnacion Alzonay Ph,D 437 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/britishpolicyopiOOraymrich 



BRITISH POLICY AND OPINION DUBING 
THE FRANCO-PEDSSIAN WAR 



STUDIES IN HISTORY, ECONOMICS AND PUBLIC LAW 

eOlTCD BY THE FACULTY OF POLITICAL tCiCNCC OF 
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 

Volume C] [Number 1 

Whole Number 227 



BRITISH POLICY AND OPINION DURING 
THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR 



BY 

DORA NEILL RAYMOND, Ph.D. 

Sometime University Fellow at the University of Texa% 

and Sehiff Fellow in Political Science 

at Colun^ia University 




COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO., AGENTS 

London : P. S. King & Son, Ltd. 

1921 



Copyright, 1921 

BY 

DORA NEILL RAYMOND 



QTa 

MY FATHER 

WHOM IT USED TO PLEASE TO SAY, " TOGETHER SOME DAY WE WILL 

WRITE A HISTORY," I DEDICATE, WITH DEEP AFFECTION, THIS 

DISSERTATION ON A SINGLE PHASE OF A GREAT WAR 

HENRY HART NEILL, B. A., LL.D. 
1848-1911 



4G4G25 



CONTENTS 

PACS 

Introduction: Great Britain, 1870 11 

CHAPTER I 
British Relations with France and Germany, 1860-1870 .... 17 

CHAPTER II 
France under Parliamentary Government 37 

CHAPTER III 
British Negotiations preceding the Declaration of War 51 

CHAPTER IV 
The Responsibility for the Declaration of War 67 

CHAPTER V 
Publication of the Draft Treaty 87 

CHAPTER VI 
Formation of the League of Neutrals 107 

CHAPTER VII 
The Downfall of the Empire 127 

CHAPTER Viri 
The Reception of the Republic 153 

CHAPTER IX 
Abortive Peace Negotiations 172 

CHAPTER X 

War a Outrance 194 

71 7 



8 CONTENTS [8 

rAGS 

CHAPTER XI 
A Moon of Treaties and an Eclipse 215 

CHAPTER XII 
A Stroke from the Bear 231 

CHAPTER XIII 
Anarchic December 256 

CHAPTER XIV 
" Peace at any Price " 284 



CHAPTER XV 
The Armistice , 310 

CHAPTER XVI 
The Negotiation of the Preliminaries 333 

CHAPTER XVII 
Lenten Meditations. 358 

CHAPTER XVIII 
The Treaty of Frankfort 383 

Bibliography 406 

Index 413 



FOREWORD 

This study is the development of a master's thesis written 
at the University of Texas under Professor Thad Weed 
Riker. The author takes this opportunity of thanking him 
for his help at that time and for his suggestion of a sub- 
ject that has afforded her sustained interest and enjoy- 
ment. She wishes to acknowledge very gratefully the as- 
sistance of Professor Charles Downer Hazen, under whose 
guidance the research was conducted for two years at 
Columbia. Through his introduction she was enabled to 
use the very excellent collection of British periodicals and 
newspapers in the Boston Athenaeum and was incidentally 
given the pleasure of working in the most delightful library 
it has been her privilege to enter. The burden of proof 
reading has fallen to Professor Carlton Hayes, whose skill- 
ful care in this particular the author much appreciates. 

Though examination has been made of the files of the 
New York and the Boston Public Libraries, the Library of 
Congress, and the Libraries of Columbia, Harvard, and 
the University of Texas, the author is aware that much in- 
teresting material on the subject remains untouched across 
the Atlantic. That valuable collection of extracts from 
the British press which is entitled Public Opinion has been 
extensively drawn upon to supply the lack of papers not 
available in this country. Biographies and memoirs of the 
period are constantly making their appearance and, barrings 
the adoption of the loose-leaf system of certain encyclo- 
paedias, it would not be possible, even in England, to make 
the work definitive. 

9] 9 



lO FOREWORD [lO 

Finally, the author wishes very sincerely to thank Pro- 
fessor William Archibald Dunning for having permitted 
her to write the dissertation under his supervision after 
Professor Hazen had been called to Strasburg. Professor 
Dunning's marginal comments and annotations have been 
so interesting, and, at times, so humorous that she regrets 
that it is not permissible to retain them with the text. The 
tmconscious criticism that has been supplied by the super- 
iority of his own work cannot be so erased and the author 
hopes she may still profit by it. 



INTRODUCTION 
England, 1870 

England, in the summer of 1870, may be described not 
inaptly by phrases which at that time might have described her 
Queen, — a lady who had attained to that age when com- 
fort is more to be esteemed than glory, and the quiet of 
Balmoral to any royal progress, even though it emulate the 
French Eugenie's joumeyings in Egypt. A lady, however, 
not to be pitied or ignored, — one who caused her physician 
small anxiety and was herself undismayed by any vaporousi 
fears of age or death. There was, too, a dignity about her 
that commanded respect, — the respect accorded to power 
which has been used greatly in times past and may again 
be used on provocation. The Queen, it was said, might 
sometimes be unmindful of the talk about her, but she was 
found to be alert always to whatever had to do with her 
brother, the Duke of Coburg; her cousin. King of Hanover; 
her uncle, Leopold of Belgium; her daughter, the Crown 
Princess of Prussia, her daughter-in-law, the erstwhile 
Princess of Denmark; and most of all, her son, who was 
to rule dominions on the Seven Seas. Victoria, then, might 
choose to ride behind plump ponies in the low-swung car- 
riage that bears her name, but diplomatists and their masters 
could not forget that the drowsy widow under the tilted 
little sunshade was a queen and that the sunshade could be 
discarded for a sceptre. 

England, be it said, was like her Queen, — plump, and 

pacific, yet powerful withal. In this summer of 1870, her 

policy was controlled by disciples of the Manchester School : 

gentlemen who preferred congresses to wars, and rejoiced 

II] II 



12 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [12 

more at the conclusion of a commercial treaty or a guaran- 
tee of free trade than the acquisition of new territory. 
The days of " bluster and blunder " were believed to be well 
passed. Palmerston had died five years before, and Russell 
was in retirement. Reduction in armament was operating 
very favorably on the budget. A cotton market gone astray 
had come to be as much a matter of concern as a stray 
Britisher, clamorous of his citizenship. That echo of the 
Government, the Times, once called the " Thunderer," had 
donned slippers and dressing jacket and become querulous 
and homiletic. 

First of her public men was Gladstone, who for two years 
had been prime minister. Very much interested in the 
difficulties of Ireland was Gladstone. One of his greatest 
qualities, the only one in which he claimed to excel his 
rivals, was concentration. When it is considered that his 
interest was already deeply engaged elsewhere and that in 
character and manner he was wholly antithetic to his French 
neighbours, it may be understood how it happens that in his 
excellent biography in the Encyclopaedia Britannica no men- 
tion is made of the war which during his premiership was 
waged beyond the " streak of silver sea," — a great war 
whose issue was of vast importance to England. 

His Foreign Secretary was the patient, and polite, and 
very pliant. Lord Granville. This Lord Granville spoke 
French like a Parisian. He could appreciate French wit 
and treasure a bon mot so carefully that it would lose noth- 
ing of its gallic sparkle when it reappeared in an after-din- 
ner speech. But the French of that radical young advocate^ 
Gambetta, left him cold. Nor can one fancy that the splen- 
did verve of the Song of Roland would have been to him a 
compensation for its gory frightfulness. He has been 
called the great pacificator of politics. Men said, in the 
winter of 1870, that he led England through the valley of 
humiliation that he might gain that title. 



J3] INTRODUCTION I3 

Perhaps the most powerful personality in the Cabinet was 
that of the Quaker, John Bright. He was in ill-health at 
this time and absented himself from most of the meetings 
but he wielded, none the less, a strong influence over his 
associates. For many years he had been consistently favor- 
able towards France, believing as he did that Napoleon's 
friendship for England was the one "fixed point in his 
otherwise erratic schemes." He rejoiced at the renewal of 
the Commercial Treaty between the two countries; wrote 
an occasional strong letter to Gladstone or Granville when 
lie feared they might swerve from neutrality; disregarded 
the critical press that urged his retirement; took his medi- 
cines regularly; and when the war was over and done with 
could boast, as did the Abbe Sieyes after a more turbulent 
epoch, that he had lived. 

Robert Lowe was Chancellor of the Exchequer. In a 
*^ Cabinet of Reform and Retrenchment " his business was to 
see that hostility to the former was balanced by gratitude 
for the latter. Reductions in the Navy had greatly assisted 
him in the preparation of a popular budget. It needed only 
peace to justify a continuation of his work. Messrs. Card- 
well and Childers were respectively War Secretary and First 
Lord of the Admiralty. At this time these positions were 
regarded as secondary and no extensive inquiry had been 
made as to these gentlemen's ability to fill them. 

Disraeli was the leader of the Opposition. He had not 
yet found himself, and was regarded as a weather cock by 
those Conservatives who could not understand how he had 
followed Bright in his desire for reduced naval armaments 
and, for the sake of office, embraced the Reform Bill of the 
Liberals. He, himself, was somewhat sceptical of the wis- 
dom of his course in those proceedings and yet reluctant to 
be completely out of gear with the well- jointed times. He 
did not wish to be classed with the brilliant Sir Henry 
Bulwer. 



14 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [14 

Good European that Sir Henry was, and servant of 
Great Britain in the days of Palmerston and Russell, it was 
believed that he did not know a hawk from a handsaw 
where commercial interests were involved. The young men 
even of his own party looked upon him as a superannuated 
diplomat. Of his pattern, too, was Sir Robert Morier 
whose finest days were yet to come. He was ripe now for 
his high destiny, but he foimd himself a charge d'affaires at 
Darmstadt while his country was served in the Continental 
capitals by men, who, though his inferiors in diplomacy, 
were regarded by the home Government as of sterling 
safety. In Paris there was that punctilious bachelor, Lord 
Lyons; in Madrid, Mr. Layard, the envoy extraordinary, 
dreamed of Babylon and Nineveh, while Prim and the 
agents of Bismarck conspired to place a Hohenzollem on 
the Spanish throne; Lord Augustus Loftus showed himself 
more alert at Berlin; but in St. Petersburg, Sir Andrew 
Buchanan could be disregarded with impunity. 

Quite outside the pale of officialdom, and yet still vividly 
associated in the memory of his contemporaries with British 
foreign poHcy, was that old attache of Stratford Canning's, 
and most picturesque of diplomats, David Urquhart. He 
was still thundering against Russia and urging the sedulous 
study of international law. Absolutely and proudly op- 
posed to the current of his time, he sought to redirect it in 
the Diplomatic Review, a periodical so scholarly and of a 
bias so vigorous and pronounced as to make it a thing unique 
of its kind. But " Urquhartism " was dying. The talents 
of the editor, reinforced by contributions from Karl Marx 
and a small group of followers, could not save the slim 
review from dropping from a monthy to a quarterly, sup- 
ported by a steadily dwindling list of survivors. Those 
who could understand its style were those most certain to 
pcx>hpooh its ideas. Urqwhart, they said, was a good sort 



1 5] INTRODUCTION Ig 

to have intrcxiuced the Turkish bath into England, but Jove, 
man, the fellow had gone to seed utierly with his eternal 
drivel against Russia and his harpings on the courtesies of 
nations. He was " touched." 

Much more intelligible, though also somewhat unBritish 
in its viewpoint, was that group of Oxford men that had 
followed the teachings of Auguste Comte. The Positi- 
vists had a disconcerting way of analysing governmental 
policies not on the basis of their effect on the industry of 
Manchester, and Leeds, and Birmingham, but of their effect 
on the populace as a whole. They were felt to be danger- 
ous. Professor Beesly, with his reputation for scholarly 
attainment, could not be denied a hearing. The eloquent 
young Frederic Harrison made an opponent even more 
alarming. The whole school showed a disconcerting tend- 
ency to affiliate with the working men, and to dignify by their 
approbation the speeches of George Odger and others whom 
the press was in the habit of deriding. It was believed that 
they might even have some ideas in common with that 
atheistical young republican, Charles Bradlaugh. 

Others there were in the cast, — ** lords, ladies, and atten- 
dants," — to say nothing of the mob, which though it be kept 
off stage ever so successfully for most of the evening has a 
way, when once it gains the boards, of diverting either 
tragedy or comedy from its own proper ending. To speak 
severally of the supernumeraries would be to name many 
who in other dramas have a higher place. But here they 
can be grouped together as having exercised no very ap- 
preciable influence on the formation of policy or opinion 
at the time we are to describe. 

Certainly, that doughty Scotchman, Thomas Carlyle, 
would cavil at seeing his name in pica. But so it deserves 
to be, if only as retribution for his own faults of classifica- 
tion. For he ranged all humankind into two columns. Man 



l6 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [i6 

was either exalted as a hero or impaled as a knave, — a 
method not so convincing as it was simple. The public tired 
of Carlylogiums on Prussia, Bismarck, and the brave and 
pious German soldier. 

Other more worthy historians, somewhat too busy writ- 
ing history to help to make it, were the gentle, humorous 
John Richard Green ; that staunch admirer of things Ger- 
man, Freeman; the stately Lord Acton; and Sir Alexander 
Malet, late Minister Plenipotenitiary at Frankfort, whose 
recently published history, had it been widely and imme- 
diately read, would have well prepared the British for what 
was to come. Ruskin philosophized on the enchained se- 
quence of events; John Stuart Mill set forth his ideas on 
the worth and durability of treaties; the poets. Browning 
and Buchanan, tested their powers at analyzing the 
character of the third Napoleon; Swinburne celebrated the 
new Republic in an ode of "a thousand lines and not a 
single idea." A host of eager young war correspondents 
sent back reports all hot from camp and field. And John 
Morley and other of the reviewers strove to boil all down to 
a potable draught of wisdom for the quarterlies. 

The shifting, multicolored mob flocked to the Alhambra 
to hear the Marseillaise; and to the wax works of Madame 
Tussaud, where Bismarck frowned in effigy ; it lit its torches 
under Nelson's monument and gathered in Hyde Park, and 
all the sainted halls of Lxmdon, to resolve and demonstrate. 
We must not linger so long in Downing Street and at the 
news stalls and print shops, that we miss the flare of torches 
through the fog, the sight of bobbing Phrygian caps and 
upflung arms, the raucous sound of voices hoarsened by 
night shouting. Nothing must be lost if we are to know 
of that public opinion, which Huxley called the chaos of 
popular prejudice. 



CHAPTER I 

British Relations with France and Prussia, 
1 860 1 870 

ANGLO-FRENCH RELATIONS FROM 1860 TO 187O 

To appreciate the viewpoint the Islanders had of the 
events of the War of 1870, it is necessary to see them 
against the background of the past relationships of Great 
Britain with the two belligerents. For past events as well 
as future have the character of contributing to the chiaros- 
curo of the present. It was no single act of the French 
Emperor, be sure, that caused the calm Poet Laureate to 
shake his long ambrosial locks and exclaim as pettishly as 
any young subaltern : ^ 

" True that we Jiave got such a faithful ally, 
That only the devil can tell what he means." 

And that made his apprehensions to be so generally shared 
by his fellows. 

Although, during the decade preceding the Franco^Prus- 
sion War, England often acted in conjunction with her old 
ally of the Crimea, her attitude toward the foreign policy of 
France was always distrustful. This was not unnatural 
when it is remembered that the period opens on the Emper- 
or's acquisition of Nice and Savoy, — an aggravating coda to 
a treaty which even the moderate friends of Italy had ad- 
judged unsatisfactory, almost treacherous. Though Napo- 
leon III had acquiesced in Lord John Russell's famous 

1 Alfred Tennyson, The Works of (Hallam edition, N, Y., 1916) ; 
Riflemen Form, p. 866. 

17] 17 



l8 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ig 

dispatch of January 17, i860, thereby giving pledge not to 
intervene in Italian affairs by force of arms nor to lengthen 
unduly the occupation of Rome by his soldiery/ dissatisfac- 
tion in England was still keen. The London Times des- 
cribed the Emperor as " universally declared to be a man 
without loyalty or good faith." ^ It cautioned the neigh- 
bors of France to extreme watchfulness. On the occasion 
of his meeting with the German rulers at Baden Baden, it 
described his arrival as the entrance of a sportsman into 
a well stocked preserve. The " bustling birds " were 
warned that he came, probably, to bag the Palatinate, which 
he desired for the "rectification" of his boundary.® His 
proposed occupation of Chablis and Faucigny, the Swiss 
districts of Savoy, was declared to be inspired not so much by 
a wish for territory as for the securing of a passageway for 
his armies into neutralized Switzerland.* Prussia was urged 
to assume leadership : to compose her internal differences, to 
put money in her purse, and to increase her army.*^ More, 
the Times suggested that that sense of security felt by France 
from her gain of two provinces separated from her by the 
highest mountains, might well dispose Prussia to attempt 
to gain two provinces separated from German territory by 
one of the widest rivers in Europe.* Small wonder that 
the Moniteur protested at the nervous shiverings of the 
neighbours of France, — among whom she included England.^ 
It was matter for rejoicing to Gladstone that the Com- 

* 3FitzmauTice, Edmon-d George Petty, Life of Lord Granville (Lxmi- 
don, 1905), vol. i, pp. 368-369. 

" The Times, London, Apr. 3, i860. 

* Ibid., June 16, i860. 
^Ibid., Apr. 17, i860. 

* Ibid., Apr. 4, 6, 13, May 5, i860. 

* Ibid., June 2, i860. 
' Ibid., June 2, i860. 



igi] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA jg 

mercial treaty, concluded with France that year, served as 
a check to *' needless alarms and fancies," to " tendencies! 
towards convulsion and confusion." ^ John Bright and 
certain other members of the House of Commons burned 
for a further application of the principles of the Manchester 
School. They urged a concert with the French Government 
for the mutual reduction of the British and French navies 
But against this the opposition of Palmerston was insur- 
mountable. 

In 1861 Great Britain associated herself with France and 
Spain in a joint invasion of Mexico for the collection of 
debts due their subjects. But in the next year she with- 
drew from the expedition and further showed her diver- 
gence from the Emperor's American policy by refusing to 
support his offer of mediation between the Federals and 
Confederates.* Her decision was justified by the future. 

Not so sound was the rejection of cooperation in the mat- 
ter of intervening in Polish affairs. In 1863, the conscrip- 
tion by the Russian viceroy of two thousand young Poles 
was believed by Napoleon III to justify the calling of a 
congress for a consideration of the entire question. The 
British government chose to content itself, and to discontent 
Russia, by giving platonic and ineffectual advice to that 
Government, the while Prussia won the Tsar by an attitude 
of cordial sympathy.* Queen Victoria's fear that Napoleon 
intended, through an alliance with Austria and the aid of 
Italian armies, to resuscitate Poland by dissecting Prussia, 
quite overwhelmed her discretion.* Not only was Russian 

*John Morley, Life of Wnu Ewart Gladstone (N. Y., 191 1), vol. i 
p. 638. 

' Annual Register, 1863, vol. cv, pp. 4, 7, 9, 125, 308-309. 

•J. A. R. Marriott, England Since Waterloo (London, 1911), p. 321; 
Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 446-447. 

* Disraeli to Mrs. Bridges Williams, W. F. Monypenny and G. E. 
Buckle, Life of Benjamin Disraeli (N. Y., 1910-1920), vol. iv, p. 34a 



20 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [20 

hostility incurred but the gcxxi understanding with France 
was diminished. It would still further have dwindled, had 
the French Emperor known that those English statesmen, 
who had dissociated themselves from his disastrous Mexican 
policy, were gloating at difficulties which they believed 
would save Belgium and the Palatinate from his rapacity. 
The Manchester group, however, still showed themselves 
friendly and arranged to cooperate with him in measures 
concerning the cotton question.^ 

In 1864 the tables were turned. The matter of the dis- 
posal of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein was a nearer 
concern of England than of France, though the latter was 
equally associated with her and the other five Powers that 
had guaranteed the King of Denmark in their possession by 
the London Protocol. Palmerston and Russell, — always 
proponents of the " strong policy," — ^were willing to go any 
lengths to preserve the strategically important duchies from 
falling under the dominance of Austria or Prussia. Napo- 
leon, still embroiled in Mexico, would resort to nothing 
more drastic than a congress, — which it was found impos- 
sible to assemble.^ The Conference, convened in London, 
after the fortune of the war was already decided, had no 
positive effect on the fate of the duchies. But the admission 
during its sessions that England was without allies and 
unable to act alone had the negative effect of lowering 
British prestige abroad and the influence of the Ministry at 
home.^ The creation by France of a friendly ally in Mexico 
for the Confederacy, thought Lord John Russell, might so 
strengthen the South as to make a Federal invasion of 

1 Sir Thos. Newton, Lord Lyons, A Record of British Diplomacy 
(N. Y., 1913), vol. i, pp. 115-116. 

' Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 450-472 ; Monypenny and Buckle, 
op. cit., vol. iv, pp. 343-345. 

* Monypenny and Buckle, op. cit., vol. iv, p. 346. 



21 ] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 21 

Canada impracticable/ But this was but a shred of com- 
fort for the loss of the strong European ally then so greatly 
needed. 

In 1866 France was allowed the empty honor of assisting 
in negotiating a truce that led to the treaty ending the war 
of Austria and Prussia, — a treaty which gave notice to the 
world that France had lost in Mexico the hegemony of 
Europe. Impotence to direct on the Continent was more 
galling than the undisguised defeat abroad. The many 
British who looked on the French Emperor as a theatrical 
manager, holding his place only through his ability to stage 
a striking success at more or less regular intervals, were a- 
tiptoe to see with what new piece his people were to be re- 
galed, and very sure that the performance would be one to 
merit censure. Belgium, Luxemburg, and Rhenish Bavaria 
were each rumored to be the intended victims of the tragedy, 
and not without reason. Some one of these, it was be- 
lieved, had surely been held out as bait to ensure French 
neutrality during the recent war. The bristling questions 
were which, and how and when France was to make the 
acquisition. Publicly, her policy was blameless. In August 
of 1866, Napoleon declared, in a letter meant not alone for 
the recipient, that the true interest of France was not the 
acquisition of territory but rather the giving of such assist- 
ance to Germany as would enable her to constitute herself 
after a fashion favorable to French and European interests.* 
The letter failed of its purpose. Disquieting rumours of 
intrigue continued, and on the last day of the year we find 
Disraeli uneasy over a proposition, said to have emanated 
from Bismarck and found favor in the French ministry, that 
France acquire Belgium as the quid pro quo of allowing 
Prussia to absorb the states of south Germany.* 

• Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 13.^. 

• Benedetti, Ma Mission en Prusse (London, 1913), p. 182. 

• Monypenny and Buckle, op. cit., vol. iv, p. 69. 



22 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [22 

England, however, kept the distrust of the French fore- 
ign policy well localized and, while keeping a crowded eye 
on her possible intrigue in Central Europe, cooperated with 
her in the East to secure Turkey's recognition of a Hohen- 
zollern prince as hereditary ruler of the new Rumania/ 
She was temperate, too, in her remonstrance at the new 
French garrison which occupied Rome after the attack of 
the Italian volunteers.^ Prussia, who was not so, would 
have laid the onus of discontent on England but Napoleon 
was not deceived and showed no ill will toward his old ally.* 

It was something of a relief to the turbid situation when 
a plan for French compensation came to the surface and could 
be ©fficially discussed. In April of 1867, the King of the 
Netherlands was found to have given a contingent consent to 
Napoleon's purchase from him of the Grand Duchy of Lux- 
emburg. His consent was qualified because the possession of 
the duchy had been guaranteed to him in 1839 ^Y ^^^ Great 
Powers and their acquiescence was necessary for its dis- 
posaj.* Russia expressed her willingness to the transfer, 
^ — bought, England believed, by the French proposal to 
hasten the dissolution of Turkey by a cession of Crete to 
Greece. '^ The matter in its entirety was displeasing to 
England. She had no wish to see Belgium become a 
French enclave nor to see Rwssia advance even indirectly to- 
ward Constantinople. Prussia also expressed emphatic 
disapproval of the proposed purchase by France of Luxem- 
burg. She made her disapproval more noteworthy by re- 

' Newton, op. cit.y vol. i, pp. 153-156. 

* Lyons to Stanley, Paris, Jan. 16, 1868, ibid., vol. i, p. 186. 

* Ibid., vol. i, pp. 183-184. 

* Stanley to Lyons, London, Apr. 4, 1867, ibid., vol. i, p. 168; Mony- 
penny and Buckle, op. cit., vol. iv, pp. 469-471 ; Newtonv op. cit., vol. i, 
p. 168. 

» Newton, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 163-170, 180, 209. 



23] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 23 

vealing at the same time the defensive miHtary treaties she 
had made with the South German States at the close of the 
late war. The matter was settled at a conference of the 
great Powers in London. France, though absolutely denied 
the acquisition of Luxemburg, seems to have left the 
Conference with greater satisfaction than either Prussia or 
England, — a, fact which would make it appear that it was 
not so much territory as a preservation of prestige and a 
guarantee against further Prussian encroachments that she 
desired. To Victoria and certain of the English diplomats 
the collective guarantee accorded the neutrality of Luxem- 
tairg seemed not so strong as circumstance might demand. 
It was believed France would be aggressive and disposed to 
V iolate international agreements and an unequivocal attitude 
of Great Britain in such a contingency was needed as a 
deterrent.^ Prussia was unhappy at being obliged to re- 
move her garrisons and at having to sign a treaty with 
France instead of against her. A solution by war might 
have proven more favorable. She was well prepared and 
she knew that her rival was not.^ It was something, how- 
ever, for Prussian satisfaction to have drawn from France 
in the early stage of the negotiations, the admission that the 
question of possessing Luxemburg involved the existence 
of the Napoleonic dynasty. The London Conference and 
its deference to French amour propre had modified the 
failure of the Emperor's project. But a state whose 
dynasty could survive a rebuff only by the assistance of a 
European congress, was temptingly vulnerable. 

England, too, was apprized of the weakness of the nation 
which she had been regarding as a bogey. The French 
Ambassador told his British confrere in Berlin that the 
reason France could not permit the formation of a German 

* Monypcnny and Buckle, op. cit., vol. iv, p. 472. 
' Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 169. 



24 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [24 

Empire was that it would make the position of the Emperor 
imtenable/ The British Ambassador in Paris was assured 
by the Foreign Minister, who spoke with even more author- 
ity, that it was not aggrandizement France wished but se- 
curity for the future.^ France, it would appear, would mis- 
ibehave only if she were frightened, and the task of England 
was either to preserve the status ^wo or to convince France 
that a united Germany would oppose no real danger to her 
freedom and prestige. The compliance of the present at- 
titude of France was encouraging. She had accepted the 
decision of the London Conference with real happiness, and 
according to the Emperor, who had been looked on as the 
chief offender in the matter, was eager to settle the Roman 
question also by conference.® 

When in the next year, 1868, France was alarmed at the 
rumour that Prussia was on the point of annexing the Grand 
Duchy of Baden, she turned again to England. She would 
have had her advise Prussia of the disfavor with which such 
a step would be regarded in Paris. The attitude of France 
was that any annexation of territory south of the Main 
would be as much an act of aggression and conquest on the 
part of Prussia as on her own part. England refused to 
give the desired advice to Prussia, but France on this special 
point received reassurance from Prince Napoleon after his 
visit to Berlin in the spring. The Prince reported that there 
was no present intention of increasing the area of the North 
German Confederacy by annexation but that the principle 
was one Prussia was prepared to maintain. He reported, 
also, that nowhere else, save in the United States, were 
foreign governments held in such indifference. Prussia, he 

*Morley, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 319. 
*Ibid., vol. ii, p. 320. 
• Newton, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 178-180. 
*Ibid., vol. i, pp. 194-196. 



25] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 25 

said, was fast carrying out her plans and war, were it to be 
made, should be declared this year or not at all/ Lord 
Lyons, however, informed his Government that he believed 
the Emperor was sincerely anxious to preserve peace. ^ His 
opinion seems to have been justified, for the critical period 
was allowed to elapse. 

With the New Year, there came a recrudescence of alarm 
in England. In January the King of Belgium, in a letter 
to Victoria, expressed a fear that France, by a customs con- 
vention or by purchase through a French company of the 
Luxemburg railway, would attempt to gain a footing in Bel- 
gium. He was at once assured by the Queen that any 
proceedings which seemed to threaten the independence or 
integrity of Belgium would bring England at once into the 
field.^ At this time the Prussian ambassador in London 
(von Bemstorff) thought it opportune to inform Gladstone 
and 'Clarendon that, though his Government was not willing 
to defend Belgium single-handed, it would willingly make 
terms with England to join in her defense.* At a later 
time Bismarck reverted to this episode and assured Claren- 
don that it was only this offer of support and the disapproval 
of a single French minister that had prevented an occupa- 
tion of Belgium from taking place.^ However real the 
danger may have been, England, it seems, did not think it 
necessary to contract the alliance. In view of the existing 
guarantee of neutrality to which France was signatory and 
the officially correct attitude of her Government, such an 
effort at reinsurance on England's part would certainly have 
been regarded as a slap in the face. Belgium was more 
affected by the Prussian warning, and passed an act to f or- 

1 Newton, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 192-193. 

* Lyons to Stanley, Paris, March 27, 1868, ibid., vol. i, p. 192. 

* Ibid., vol. i, pp. 211-213. 

* Clarendon to Lyons, Apr. 19, 1868, Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 218. 



26 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [26 

bid the granting of concessions to railroads without govern- 
mental consent.^ The act was regarded in France as hav- 
ing been instigated by Bismarck. M. de Lavalette declared 
that after this it would be impossible for the French Govern- 
ment to have any friendship for the Belgian Ministry.^ No 
hostility was shown toward the attitude of England in the 
matter, since the Queen's declaration had been merely a 
reassertion of her already avowed policy, and was made 
not to the Emperor but to the uneasy king of the neutral 
country. 

It remains to speak of another railway which was the sub- 
ject of debate in the French Chamber a month before the 
war's outbreak. This road, which the Swiss designed to 
traverse their republic and pierce the Alps by the St. Gothard 
Pass, had 'been promised subsidies by Prussia, Baden, and 
Italy, to whom it would afford communication.* The Op- 
position, led by Jules Ferry, made an attempt to discredit 
the Ministry by declaring the project a menace to France. 
The Minister of Foreign Affairs replied that the Govern- 
ment was perfectly at ease in the matter : Switzerland had 
given repeated assurance that she would maintain her 
neutrality, and by the convention of Berne foreign troops 
were barred from transport.* It was an attitude that must 
have delighted the British Ministry, — adhering as they did 
to the Manchester tenets and regarding railways from 
the standpoint rather of commerce than of strategy. The 
debate was satisfactory, also, in having given the Ministry 
an opportunity to allay any suspicion that France was medi- 
tating revenge on Prussia. M. Jules Ferry had been called 

5 Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 211. 

' Lyons to Clarendon, Paris, Feb. 16, 1869, Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 
214. 

3 Times, June 15th and i6th, 1870; Spectator, June 18, 1870. 
* Times, June 21, 1870; Manchester Guardian, June 22, 1870. 



27] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 27 

to order when he attacked the Government for having per- 
mitted Sadowa. The Due de Gramont, with the explicit 
approval of Napoleon, had embraced the opportunity to 
declare that the peace of Europe was never more assured.* 
Surely, when the leader of the constitutional majority in 
France showed himself to be pacific and received the con- 
gratulations of the Emperor for so doing, the danger of 
a coup in foreign affairs could be pronounced illusory. 

ANGLO PRUSSIAN RELATIONS FROM 1860 TO 187O 

In Strong contrast to the distrust meted out to France 
by Great Britain in i860 was the encouraging and almost 
maternal regard she showed toward the evolution of Ger- 
many. She was eager for its speedy unification. 

The belief was, as the Times phrased it, that such a un- 
ification was very much to British interest, an object of 
great and immediate importance. Germany was regarded 
as " the natural friend of all who wish to hold in peace 
what they honestly possess and prudently use .... the 
natural impediment of all who would convulse the world for 
the hope of gaining by confusion." England, said the 
Times, was in the position of a stout gentleman who knows 
that there are pickpockets near, and who sees the police 
quarrelling among themselves.^ A great Central Power 
would do much to preserve that balance in the Continental 
system which was the anxious care of Great Britain. It 
would check the aggressions of both France and Russia and 
prevent the necessity of England's doing police duty to pro- 
tect the smaller states. It was a matter of concern, of course, 
which of the Germanies should determine the character of 
the future Germany. In this regard British statesmen natur- 
ally looked to Prussia to assume the leadership. The mem- 

* Times, June 22, 1870. 
^Ibid., Apr. 13, i860. 



28 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [28 

ory of her part in the final defeat of Napoleon was still 
green. The beginning of the decade found her with a 
well filled exchequer, a military system of great potentiality 
and a government possessed, seemingly, of liberal tenden- 
cies. Baden, like Austria, had sacrificed the love of her 
people for the protection of the Ultramontane. Prussia 
had not made such a mistake and she had matched her 
tolerance in religious matters with a regard for constitutional 
forms well pleasing to the English. When, in i860, the Bund 
sought to uphold the elector of Hesse Cassel in replacing 
the liberal constitution of 1831 with a more reactionary one, 
it was Prussia that had dissented.^ Her minister declared 
that the question of the constitution of Electoral Hesse was 
the question of the constitution of Germany. Prussia, 
therefore, reserved the right to adhere to her point of view 
and pursue such a policy as her honor and power might 
demand.^ England rejoiced at this manifestation of ten- 
dencies so like her own. The Prussian state, over which 
some day would reign a British princess, promised to be a 
congenial and valuable ally for the future. Already she 
was associating herself with England to prevent French 
aggression in the neutralized districts of Savoy. 

In 1 86 1 William was crowned King of Prussia, thereby 
bringing Victoria's daughter, the wife of Prince Frederick, 
within a step of the throne. The next year Bismarck was 
called to undertake the conduct of the Prussian Government. 
The importance of the latter event far outweighed that of 
the former. The liberal Germany of which Victoria and the 
Prince Consort had dreamed and which all England had 
been eager to welcome as an ally was not soon to come into 
being. British statesmen remembered that it was Bismarck^ 

1 Times, Apr. 2nd and 3rd, i860. 
^ Ibid., Apr. 21, i860. 



29] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 29 

who at the time of the Crimean War had successfully used 
his influence in preventing Prussia from associating her- 
self with the Western Powers. He had made no secret 
of his hostility toward them nor of his wish for an alliance 
with Russia. M. de Moustier, the French Ambassador, had 
threatened that his conduct of Prussian policy would bring 
him to Jena. The retort was prompt and disconcerting. 
" Why not to Waterloo? " had said Bismarck.^ Here was a 
diplomat to be reckoned with, — ^one who played the game 
with a boldness that seemed to scorn the finesse that really 
it concealed. He had been in London shortly before the 
King called him to power and had outlined his plans to 
Disraeli : " I shall soon be compelled to undertake the con- 
duct of the Prussian Government. My first care will be to 
reorganize the army, with or without the help of the Land- 
tag .... As soon as the army shall have been brought 
into such a condition as to inspire respect, I shall seize the 
first best pretext to declare war against Austria, dissolve 
the German Diet, subdue the minor states, and give national 
unity to Germany with Prussian leadership. I have come 
here to say this to the Queen's Ministers." ' 

Only strength of power or innocence of purpose could 
justify such an orgy of candor. The British, though they 
might approve the end in view, could not have been expected 
to approve the means Bismarck detailed for its accomplish- 
ment. It appeared, then, that this Prussian quite disre- 
garded the matter of their opinion. **Take care of that 
man! " warned Disraeli, " He means what he says! " 

" The first best pretext to declare war on Austria " being 
overlong in making its appearance, Bismarck, himself, set 
about creating it by a war, which with Austria as an ally, 
should result in a peace which would make Austria an op- 

* George Hooper, The Campaign of Sedan ('London, 1914). 
' Monypenny and Buckle, op. cit., vol. iv, p. 341. 



30 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [30 

poncnt in the division of the spoils. The more or less in- 
nocent victim of the tortuous proceeding was Denmark, 
whose duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were marked 
out as the spoils. It could not be expected that the quar- 
rel would remain wholly a neighbourhood affair. Among the 
signatories that had confirmed, though not guaranteed, the 
King of Denmark in his administration of the Elbe duchieai 
were France, Russia, and Great Britain. France, as we have 
seen, was at this time too deeply embroiled in Mexico to do 
more than try to assemble a congress. Russia was exper- 
iencing difficulties with the Poles and had been fortified by 
sympathy and even offers of assistance from Prussia. It 
was from Great Britain that Denmark expected assistance, 
not only because that country was more able to give it but 
because her interests were more nearly involved. Lord 
Palmerston believed it undeniable that at the base of the 
German design was the wish for a fleet, and a harbor for 
that fleet at Kiel.^ The prospect of a naval rival in the 
Baltic, and perhaps elsewhere, was one to cause reflection. 
The Queen was interested in the matter more because it 
involved the principle of legitimacy, and because the Prin- 
cess of Wales was the daughter of the King of Denmark. 
Victoria would have had the duchies awarded to their legi- 
timate ruler and the King of Denmark compensated by a 
Swedish marriage, which, by uniting his kingdom with 
Norway and Sweden, would form a strong northern barrier 
against Russia.* 

At first Great Britain took a high tone in the matter. 
Denmark, however, showed herself as stubborn to her 
friend as to her foes. Prussia was recalcitrant. Nothing 
could be done without her, said Lord Granville, *' and she 
will never consent to anything which does not give her more 

* Marriott, op. cit,, p. 327. 

■ Memorandiim to Granville, Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. i, p. 45^. 



31 ] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 31 

preponderance than the Southern States will admit." ^ It 
became apparent that British bluster would not sufifice and 
it was not possible to bring more than that to bear. The 
warlike policy of Palmerston and Russell was not popular 
even in the Cabinet and was strongly opposed by the Queen. 
Nor were the British people eager to embark in a war with- 
out allies. But the Prime Minister had made a statement 
before Parliament that made retreat difficult. He had 
threatened that, were Denmark attacked, it would not be 
that country only with whom the aggressors would have to 
contend.^ It was hard to sink from such an octave to the 
querulous half-tone of a conference. The nation was jar- 
red with consciousness of the humiliating position into 
which she had been led by what Derby called Palmerston' si 
policy of " muddle and meddle." Only the Lords saved the 
Ministry from going under. 

A more important consequence was the distrust of Prus- 
sia caused by her secession from the London Protocol, and 
her acquisition of Lauenburg and the command of Kiel by 
the Gastein Convention. The Queen spoke for the nation 
when she informed Lord Granville of her wish that Prussia 
should at least be made aware of what she and her Govern- 
ment, and every honest man in Europe, must think of the 
unblushing violation of every assurance and pledge that 
had been given.* 

In the ensuing quarrel between victorious Prussia and 
Austria that culminated in the Seven Week's War of 1866, 
the Queen offered her mediation. Bismarck refused it 
brusquely.* He had not manufactured his " pretext " for 

* Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. i, p. 450. 

* Ibid., vol. i, p. 452. 

* General Gray to Granville, Aug. 24, 1864, Fitzmaurice, op. cit., voL 
i, p. 476. 

* Marriott, op. cit., p. 327. 



32 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [32 

the purpose of seeing it dissolved. And so another war 
was waged without benefit of England. The provisions of 
the Peace of Prague greatly augmented the Queen's chagrin. 
She saw the extinction of the kingdom of her cousin of 
Hanover, the diminution of the powers of her son-in-laW 
of Hesse, and the humiliation of her son's father-in-law of 
Denmark. For these visitations on her kin and her next 
to kin, the Queen blamed the lordly Bismarck. 

This peace, regarded imfavorably in England and with 
hostility in France, was followed by a nervous period in 
which the British watched with narrowed eyes for some coup 
on the part of Napoleon to recompense him for Prussia's 
accessions. The air was somewhat clarified, as we have 
seen, when Great Britain by the sessions of the London Con- 
ference of 1867 contrived to send France away at once 
satisfied and empty-handed. After the fiasco of the Confer- 
ence of 1864, she had been astonished at her own success. 
At Paris the feeling of gratitude to England was reported to 
be both general and strong.^ The time seemed propitious 
for efforts which might result in something more than the 
elimination of a present difficulty. No one was better fitted 
for this delicate task of mediation than Lord Clarendon. 
More often than any other diplomat, he had represented his 
country in important negotiations and ceremonies abroad. 
He was familiar with the whole field of European diplo- 
macy, and was regarded as a personal friend by the royal 
families of France, Spain, and Prussia. His devotion td 
pacific principles was sincere, but so discreet that he could 
be trusted to urge his views earnestly and even persistently 
but never fanatically nor obtrusively. He held no brief for 
either of the rival courts. Both were aware that his friend- 
ship for the one was matched by his friendship for the 
other. 

* Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 169. 



33] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 33 

The interviews of 1868 with the King and Queen of Prus- 
sia, and General Moltke, were satisfactory in the assurance 
given Clarendon that Prussia would be careful not to give 
offence and very slow to take it. Even so, however. King 
William was not sure how long peace could be maintained. 
But he promised that, should war be precipitated, Prussia 
would so act as to make it manifest that France was the un- 
provoked aggressor.^ No one could foresee when dynastic 
interests might induce Napoleon to resort to war in order 
to smother internal discontent. It was this uncertainty that 
kept the nations armed to the teeth. Napoleon listened to 
Clarendon's report of the interviews " with evident satis- 
faction." At its conclusion, he suggested a collective con- 
firmation by Europe of the treaty of Prague. This would 
assure Prussia of her gains and do much to restore public 
confidence. A diminution of armaments would be a logical 
sequence. He would have had England take the initiative 
in summoning a congress for this purpose.^ 

It was apparent that the rulers of France and Prussia 
were not like-minded as to the cause of European unrest,— 
the one believing it a consequence of the distrust engen- 
dered by the latter's gains in her war with Austria, the other 
believing it a consequence of the uncertainty of the means 
the French Emperor might take to preserve his dynasty. 
But the divergence of their analysis was not alarming if 
both were sincere in the desire they expressed for peace. 
A subsequent interview with the Prussian Crown Prince 
afforded Clarendon even more encouragement. Frederick 
William was eager to see his country's army reduced to 
something more like a peace footing. He believed that in a 
year or so his father would be forced to such a reduction 
by discontent at the burden of taxation.** 

* Lyons to Stanley, Oct. 13, 1868, ibid., vol. i, pp. 202, 203. 
' Lyons to Stanley, Oct. 20, 1868, ibid., vol. i, pp. 204-205. 

* Ibid., vol. i, pp. 208-209. 



34 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [34 

In France the need to placate the voters by disarmament 
was very strong by 1870. Three years before, Napoleon had 
told Bismarck, according to the latter's account, that there 
were but two courses open to him : war or the granting of 
more internal liberty.^ In January of 1870, Napoleon called 
Ollivier to power and from that time on the drift was 
toward a parliamentary form of government. It was a 
necessary corollary that an effort should be made toward 
disarmament. To prevent power from falling into the 
hands of the ufban socialists, the agricultural population 
had to be won over by a diminished call for recruits. Be- 
fore the expiration of the first month of its existence, the 
Ollivier Ministry, with the Emperor's consent, approached 
England in the hope of gaining through her a confidential 
agreement with Prussia on disarmament. It was necessary 
that the negotiations be conducted secretly, for France, hav- 
ing lately suffered a loss of prestige, could not brave a re- 
buff.^ 

Lord Clarendon accepted the task and in a letter laid the 
proposition informally before Bismarck. The Chancellor 
gave it no encouragement. He reminded the EngHshman of 
his country's position between the great military powers, — > 
any two of which might ally themselves against her; he 
reverted to French aggression in times past; hinted at her 
present hunger for rectifications, and the aid that an armed 
Prussia might be to England were those desires to lead to 
sins against Belgium. It would be impossible, said Bismarck, 
to modify a military system so deeply rooted in the tradi- 
tions of his country. He dared not even mention the mat- 
ter to the King, who would regard the proposal, were it 
made by France, as a ruse, and, were it made by England, as 
the act of a poor friend. He begged, also, that Clarendon 

* Loftus to 'Qarendon, Feb. 5, 1870, Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 255. 
*Ibid., vol. i, p. 245. 



35] RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AND PRUSSIA 35 

say nothing of the matter at Paris since the refusal if known 
there would make things dangerous.^ 

The negotiations, so inauspiciously begun in February, 
were continued into March, but at no time did the Chancel- 
lor swerve from his attitude of negation. His arguments 
made an unpleasant impression on the British statesmen. 
They 'believed the danger he alleged from France to be il- 
lusory. Gladstone was vexed that he so ignored the 
Ministry's reduction in the naval estimates as to point his 
finger at Great Britain as a fellow believer in large arma- 
ments.^ Clarendon thought him hypocritical in his pFC^ 
tence that the King would be seriously offended at the pro- 
posal. For he knew that the King had actually said only a 
little while since that he would disarm if other Powers would 
do so.* Lord Loftus, who was in personal communication 
with Bismarck at Berlin, advised that the negotiations be 
discontinued. Nothing more had been achieved than a 
promise that the question would be referred to Parliament 
in a year or so.* 

The decision of the French Foreign Minister to persevere 
in his plan after having been apprized that he could hope for 
nothing similar from Prussia, made Bismarck's conduct ap- 
pear yet more sinister.* Clarendon, knowing of the re- 
duction that had been planned and the disappointment that 
it must now, perforce, be limited, expressed his opinion of 
the failure of the negotiations very clearly. Some day 
that which he knew would be known by all, and then, he 

' Loftus to ClarttKion, Berlin, Fdb. 5, 1870, Newton, op. cit, toL i, 
pp. 254-256. 

' Gladstone to Qarendon, Feb. 7th and Apr. 9th, 1870, Morley, op. 
cit., vol. ii, p. 332. 

• Qarendon to Lyons, March 12, 1870, Newton, op. cit, vol. i, p. 266. 

*Ibid., vol. i, p. 275. 

•Lyons to Clarendon, Feb. 11, 1870, Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 258. 



36 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [36 

said, upon Prussia would rest the responsibility not only of 
maintaining so large a force herself, but of compelling 
Other countries reluctantly to do the same/ 

On the 26th of May, the King, in closing the German 
Parliament, announced that the military organization of 
the Confederacy was at last complete, and "of an im- 
portance in harmony with the just demands of the German 
nation." One of the British papers suggested that this 
should have been spoken to the accompaniment of the 
softly played air, " Our freebom German Rhine." ^ 

Those diplomats who had been negotiating with Bis- 
marck must have read the comment with something of 
approval. 

In the second week of June, Lord Clarendon wrote to 
the British Ambassador at Paris of a meeting of the Tsar 
and the King of Prussia at Ems. He suspected that they 
occupied themselves with a discussion of a more «omplete uni- 
fication of Germany, — beginning with the incorporation of 
Baden.' It was one of his last acts of service to the British 
Foreign Office. His death occurred in this same month, — 
a time when of all others his ministrations were most 
needed. 

It may have been only a brusque way of paying a com- 
pliment ; it may have been a real admission of the superior- 
ity of the Englishman's diplomacy to his own strategy, that 
caused Bismarck to say to Clarendon's daughter, on a later 
visit to London : " Madam, nothing ever gave me so much 
pleasure as your father's death." * 

'Clarendon to Loftus, March 9, 1870, Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 270. 

* Spectator, May 28, 1870. 

* Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 293. 

*Lord Algernon Freeman-Mitford Redcsdale, Memories (London, 
fpiS), vol. ii, pp. 525-526. 



CHAPTER II 
France under Parliamentary Government 

In addressing the assembled Diplomatic Body on New 
Year's day of 1870, Napoleon III expressed his satisfaction 
at the " good relations existing between France and for- 
eign powers," and announced his happiness at having arrived 
at that point where, like a tired traveller after a long journey, 
he could relieve himself of a portion of his burden and so 
gain fresh strength to continue his course.^ Two days later 
he officially received his new premiier, M. OUivier, who was 
to conduct France from an autocratic to a constitutional 
regime. 

The tiew Minister, it was believed in England, had been 
wisely chosen as one who would work with equal honesty to 
the people and devotion to the Empire. Vanity Fair, ac- 
cording him a place in its gallery of notables, depicted him 
as a black-garbed, pigeon-toed gentleman with an amiable 
expression, hands clasped in front of him. The serio-com'ic 
portrait ludicrously represented the British idea of his diffi- 
culties. He was to tend with equal care the business of his 
master, the Emperor, and his master, the Corps Legislatif» 
the while he kept his own hands locked ; one foot was to in- 
cline toward the imperial pathway and the other towards the 
broad highway of parliamentary responsibility. " The most 
useful and necessary qualities a politician can have," M. 
Ollivier was quoted as saying, '* is a readiness to be consid- 
ered foolish or vulgarly ambitious when that is calculated 

1 Spectator, Jan. 8, 1870. 
37] 37 



38 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [38 

to promiiote the success of a long meditated plan." The wish 
was expressed that, since the gentleman had already been 
adjudged both foolish and ambitiousi, he might now be suc- 
cessful.^ Lord Lyons, though foreseeing difficulties with 
the extremists, wrote hopefully of the outlook, and reported 
that already the Empress, who had long been antagonistic, 
professed to see great good in parliamentary government.^ 

In the first two weeks of its existence, the new Ministry 
reaped golden opinions. Almost immediately, it had dis- 
missed the extravagant but competent Baron Haussmann, 
who for seventeen years had labored at the rebuilding of 
Paris, and was a favorite with the Emperor; it had dis- 
missed, also, some twenty "devoted" prefects, and served 
warning on the others not to interfere in elections. It had 
shown its liberal tendencies by passing measures to ensure the 
greater freedom! of the press and by frankly and promptly 
answering its interpellators.' England rejoiced at the re- 
newal of the Commercial Treaty of i860,* and it might be 
hoped that Prussia felt satisfaction at the expressed wish of 
the French for a one-fourth reduction of the conscription. 

But on the very day that the Corps Legislatif had met to 
inaugurate the new Ministry, an event occurred which was 
provocative of great difficulty in the founding of a liberal 
and pacific empire. Prince Pierre Bonaparte shot to death 
the unarmed Victor Noir who brought to him a duelling 
challenge of M. Rochefort. It cannot be thought that so 
slight a thing, — ^the killing of an obscure journalist by a dis- 
inherited cousin of the Emperor, — was more than the spark 
that fired already smouldering embers. But the inciting 

* Vanity Fair, Jan. 15, 1870. The serio-comic portrait of Ollivier is 
l>y "Ape" (Pellegrini). 

' Newton, Lord Lyons, vol. i, pp. 244-245. 

* Spectator, Jan. 8th and 15th, 1870. 

*' Annual Register, 1870, vol. cxii, p. 3. 



39] FRANCE UNDER PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT 39 

brutality of the murder; the fervid eloquence of M. Roche- 
fort (which he exerted in his paper, before the Belleville 
mob, and in the House of Deputies) ; and the bungling of 
the frightened police and the judiciary, all served to provoke 
to extremity the hatred of Paris for the existing regime. 
The fifty thousand, who accompanied the funeral cortege, 
would have taken the corpse to the City had not M. Roche- 
fort, — himself alarmed at the tempest his eloquence had 
helped to raise, — dissuaded them from the attempt. On the 
arrest of M. Rochefort, the excitement was greatly height- 
ened. There was rioting for three nights in Paris : erection 
of barricades, thei proclamation of a republic, cries of 
death and destruction to the Bonapartes, — all the well known 
harbingers of a change of government in France. On this 
occasion, however, the Empire had no difficulty in main- 
taining itself. But it had glimipsed the awful hatred of 
those to whom it was extending liberty and some degree of 
power, and drew back, frightened. It had been made to 
resort to the old paraphernalia of imperialism: seizure of 
papers, arrest of their editors, the ranging of the military 
against the populace. And once the pendulum had swung 
back, there came a retarding in its next swing forward.^ 

In the latter part of February, a notable interpellation was 
introduced by Jules Favre. He claimed that the Ministry 
had not yet given due assurance that the country governed. 
It had caused bloodshed in Paris ; it had arrested four hun- 
dred and fifty citizens, who were, for the most part, in- 
offensive ; it had not reorganized the National Guard ; and, in 
short, had made no substantial change from the old system 
of personal government. Furthermore, he declared that the 
Opposition would not be satisfied until the Chamber, which 
had been elected under the old system of govemmiental inter- 

1 Annual Register, 1870, vol. cxii, pp. 128, 131 ; Redesdale, op. cit., voL 
ii, p. S27; Spectator, Jan. 15, 1870; Saturday Review, Jan. 15, 1870. 



40 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [40 

ference, had been superseded by one more honestly repre- 
sentative. He was answered by the Minister of Foreign' 
Affairs, Count Daru, in whom of all the Cabinet, the Left 
had the greatest confidence. His refutation of the leading 
charges was so convincing that the Government received a 
gratifying vote of confidence, in which it was supported by 
many of the Opposition.^ 

It was unfortunate that the accord among the Ministers, 
of which Count Daru had boasted at this time, was so soon 
shaken. The trouble came from) beyond the mountains, — 
a disagreement as to the course the French should pursue in 
view of the Ecumenical Council's desire to proclaim the doc- 
trine of papal infallibility. Count Daru's advice that 
France send an envoy to protest against such proceedings 
was opposed by the head of the Ministry. It cannot be 
doubted that this matter, the culmination of which was over- 
shadowed by the outbreak of the war, was sufficiently 
grave to have justified Count Daru's recommendation. He 
argued that the new CathoHc pretensions would give fresh 
arms to the revolutionary party and vastly weaken the Con- 
servative influence of the Church by introducing a schism 
among its members.^ 

Overruled in this, and sure that the forces of socialism 
and revolution would now receive new impetus, he showed 
no inclination to try by foreign war to turn the hootings of 
the Belleville mob into a shout of patriotism. Late in March, 
he gave out a significant interview on French foreign policy 
which was published in the leading German papers. He 
declared his policy toward Germany to be above all a policy 
of peace, and, as an earnest of his sincerity, gave news of the 
contemplated reduction of the army, and of the Ministry's 

^ Spectator, Feb. 26, 1870. The vote was 236 to 18. 
^Ibid., March 5, 1870. 



41 ] FRANCE UNDER PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT 41 

resolution never to declare war except with the consent of 
the Corps Legislatif.^ 

It is matter for regret that this astute and pacific Minister 
was destined, like Clarendon^ not to be on the political stage 
when the last efforts were made to thwart Bismarck's in- 
trigue for war. The rift, which had appeared between him- 
self and Ollivier in the conduct of French policy toward the 
question of papal infallibility, was hopelessly widened by 
his refusal to follow the Premier in upholding Napoleon's 
use of the plebiscite. M. Rouher's obstructionist tactics to- 
wards the Government's reforming bills were answered by 
the Emperor's decision to adopt at once all the reforms re- 
quired by constitutional governmfent, and, by submitting to 
the people a senatus consultum embodying them, to gain for 
France through popular support of imperial reform!, those 
benefits which the extreme Left seemed eager to bring about 
by a revolution precipitated by the socialists.^ To Count 
Daru, but lately won over to the support of the Emperor, 
this reversion to the plebiscite, — even though it were used to 
inaugurate liberal reforms, — seemed a reversion to a policy 
which he could not support. In April, the Govemmient ac- 
cepted his resignation.* 

The momentous plebiscite was submitted at a time of grejat 
industrial unrest. The ten thousand workmen at the iron 
and steel foundries and factories at Creuzot, of which M. 
Schneider, President of the Corps Legislatif, was owner, had 
abandoned work for a time in January, again in March, and 
now once more were in a state of ferment ; the iron workers 
of Fourchambualt in the Department of the Loire had stopped 
work ; and placards posted in Paris and other industrial cen- 

* News of the World, March 27, 1870. 
^Spectator, March 26, 1870. 

* Ihid., Apr. 16, 1870. 



42 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [42 

tres called for a general strike of workmen throughout the 
Empire. This intense unrest was connected in some way, 
which the authorities could not trace, with foreign agencies.^ 
In view of the fact that Bismarck, at a later time, boasted that 
he had so ordered matters in Italy that, had that country 
chosen to aid France in the coming war, she would have been 
incapacitated by the outbreak of serious disorders,^ it would 
seem that an interesting topic of investigation .miight be the 
question of Bismarck's connection with the strikes in the 
French munition plants, — strikes which not only embar- 
rassed France in her new domestic policy, but retarded the 
manufacture of implements of war, and, perhaps, played a 
part in inclining the President of the Corps Legislatif, to a 
declaration of war, which would not only be profitable to hisi 
industry but could be counted upon to still disaffection into 
a quiet concentration on the patriotic manufacture of arm3 
*' pour la patrie.'" 

However this may have been, the industrial unrest preva- 
lent at the time of the plebiscite went far towards giving 
the Emperor that great m'ajority which would enable him to 
boast of popular approval in support of his future actions. 
The peasants were alarmed by the fear of civil war or the 
enforcement on the Government of the strange doctrines 
preached by the artisans of the cities. They believed those 
who told them that to vote " yes" to the plebiscite, — ^to support 
the Emperor — was to vote for peace. The Government was 
able to press its arguments the more effectively by the dis- 
covery of a vicious plot against the Emperor's life. It had 
been concocted by one Beaury, a young deserter from the 
army, who had affiliations with some O'f the prominent agi- 
tators of Paris. The official press, (yn< the exposure of the 

* Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 280; Spectator, Apr. 16, 1870; Annual 
Register, vol. cxii, p. 134. 
' Malet to Lyons, Sept. 17, 1870, Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 321. 



43] FRANCE UNDER PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT 43 

plot, claimed that every " no " to the plebiscite meant approval 
of assassination and anarchy, and on this ground those who 
subscribed funds for agitation against it were arrested.^ 

France, therefore, when it was asked to reckon the cost 
of a Napoleon!, found that it was still not too dear to pay. 
Even though Napoleon might not be sincere in all his 
promises, he was old, and ill, and the Prince Imperial was 
very young. Neither could be expected to hinder the de- 
velopment of that constitutionalism which was to give se- 
curity for the future. The Emperor was supported by 
rather more than the expected majority. But in analysis the 
vote appeared not so reassuring as in toto. Not only Paris, 
but all of the larger cities had strikingly availed themselves 
of this opportunity to show their disaffection. More serious 
still, the army unexpectedly marred its record of loyalty by 
the returning of fifty-thousand noes.^ 

There are two distinct versions of the effect this adverse 
minority from the military had on Napoleon. The first 
comes from Lord Redesdale's report of a conversation he 
had with a Frenchman, — friend of the Emperor and his 
former Minister, but of a somewhat dubious reputation as 
to honesty. The other comes directly from another friend 
of the Emperor, and formier ambassador to France from 
England. The Due de Persigny says that Napoleon told him 
in the late spring that it was apparent that there remained 
for him but two alternatives : the sternest repression at home, 
or war abroad. Thereupon, Persigny, on the Emperor's 
suggestion, undertook to see whether it were possible to form 
a ministry on the programme of the absolute suppression of 
political agitation. Two days later, when he returned to 

^Spectator, May 7, 1870; Annual Register, vol. cxii, p. 143. 

' As Punch expressed it, " The Army turned up its noes." Vide, 
Saturday Review, June 4, 1870; Spectator, May 14, 1870; Annual Reg- 
ister, 1870, vol. cxii, p. 143. 



44 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [44 

render his report to the Emperor, he was kept waiting in the 
antechamber while Napoleon gave audience to Marshal Le- 
boeuf, and on his admittance, he says that he saved the 
Emperor embarrassment by assuming that it was useless to 
revert to the mlatter of their former conversation. Where- 
upon, he was politely dismissed with the Emperor's admis- 
sion that he had, indeed, changed his mind. In accordance 
with the new attitude, the Ministry was reformed with 
" devoted " adherents of the Emperor, so that M. Ollivier 
was left the only Liberal in his own cabinet, and the real 
direction of policy fell to the Minister of War, Marshal 
Leboeuf, and the new Foreign Secretary, the Due de 
Gramont^ 

The other report comes from the Earl of Malmiesbury, 
who had an intimate conversation with the Emperor on May 
the nineteenth, two days before the news of the formation of 
the new Ministry appeared in the British papers. To him,, 
Napoleon admitted his disappointment at the returns from 
the army, but explained that the adverse votes had been cast 
in certain special barracksi, where the officers were unpopular 
and the recruits numerous. He was gratified that the min- 
ority was overweighted by the three hundred thousand sol- 
diers, who had voted for him. The numbers surprised the 
Englishman. He told Napoleon that he had supposed the 
army to number nearer six hundred thousand. To quote 
directly : the Emperor " gave no reply, but looked suddenly 
very grave and absent. He observed later that Europe ap- 
peared to be tranquil, and it was evident to me that at that 
moment he had no idea of the coming hurricane. ... I feel 
sure that not a thought of the impending idea of a Hohen- 
zollern being a candidate for the Spanish throne had crossed 
his mind, . . . He was no longer the same nuan of sanguine 

* Redcsdale, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 528. 



^5] FRANCE UNDER PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT 45 

energy and self reliance, and had grown prematurely old 
and broken." ^ Surely, this is not the picture of a monarch 
who has but lately closeted himself with a Marshal of France 
to conspire for the making of a foreign war. 

It would seem, rather, that the Emperor intended to re- 
gain approval by gentler means. In a letter addressed to 
Marshal Canrobert, Napoleon requested him to assure the 
generals, officers, and privates under his command that the 
Emperor's confidence in them had never been shaken, and to 
congratulate General Lebrun on the admirable firmness that 
he and his troops had shown in the suppression of the riots 
following the plebiscite.^ 

As to the character and intentions of the new Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, it is true that M. de Gramont was 
reported as hostile to Prussia and overfriendly to Austria, 
at whose capital he had lately represented France. But, 
certainly, at first he showed himself inclined to continue 
the pacific policy of his predecessor. He completed the 
arrangements for the reduction of the army which were 
to be presented to the Legislative Body late in June; he 
satisfied the Ambassador of Prussia, Baron Werther, as to his 
pacific intentions toward that country ; ' and so late as the 
last day of June, it was reported in the British press that 
the Government had agreed to the sale of a number of the 
horses belonging to the French army because the drought 
had made exorbitant the cost of their upkeep.* It is prob- 
able that Bismarck's manipulations would still have been suc- 

* James Howard Harris, Third Earl of Malmesbury, Memoirs of an 
€x-Minister (London, 1884), vol. ii, pp. 414-415. 

* Annual Register, 1870, vol. cxii, p. 18. 
' Ihid., 1870, vol. cxii, p. 148. 

^Illustrated London News, June 30, 1870. A third of the French 
regular Army was absent on leave, says Thos. W. Evans, The Second 
French Empire (N. Y., 1905), p. 200. 



46 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [45 

cessful in exacting the forthcoming declaration of war from 
France had Daru continued in office. But, assuredly, he 
would have had to contend against a Minister more tactful 
and more highly regarded abroad than was de Gramont. 
And it is probable that the policy of France in the negoti- 
ations preliminary to the War's outbreak would have been 
so managed as to have won for her from the Neutrals a 
cordial sympathy rather than distrust and indifference. 

The drought, which occasioned the sale of the army 
horses, was, in June, having more serious consequences. It 
brought suffering and discontent not only to the rural popu- 
lation that saw their crops a failure, but to the cities where 
there was a great advance in the price of food. Paris, es- 
pecially, suffered. The heat intensified the ravages of the 
prevalent smallpox epidemic, and the abandonment by the 
Government of the building programme of Baron Hauss- 
mann threw great numbers of men out of work. Moreover, 
the city authorities added fuel to the flame by refusing to pay 
the sums already due the builders.^ Another disturbing 
factor was the Government's prosecution of the Interna- 
tional Society of Workmen, thirty-eight of whose members 
had been brought to trial. It was accused of fomenting 
strikes, agitating for a democratic and social republic, caus- 
ing the riots that followed the taking of the plebiscite, and 
abetting those who planned the assassination of the 
Emperor.^ 

If there was gloom in the cities and the country, there 
was gloom also at the Tuileries. Late investigations in the 
conspiracy of Beaury disclosed a widespread plot that, 
initiated in a conclave in London, had been carried further 
by seditious letters and pamphlets in Paris, and whose pur- 

^ Manchester Guardian, June 7, 1870; News of the World, June 12, 
1870. 
' Spectator, July 2, 1870. 



47] FRANCE UNDER PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT 47 

pose was fully revealed by the discovery of a great tiumber 
of explosive bombs, many of which were still ready to 
function/ An attack of rheumatic gout, from which the 
Emperor was suffering, was certainly in no manner alleviated 
by such news as this from his police. He was being con- 
tinually hectored by former political friends who were eager 
to regain their former places and scornful of the present 
Government. He was irritated, too, by the critical attitude 
of doubt with which his efforts at liberalism were discussed 
in English editorials. Lord Lyons expressed the wish that 
his countrymen would somewhat modify their tone in view 
of the recently renewed Commercial Treaty and the un- 
happy effect that constant criticism might have upon the 
Emperor.* 

It was this prickly time that the exiled princes of the 
House of Orleans selected to petition for a return to France. 
Their request presented the Government with a disagreeable 
dilemma. To accede meant to admit to discontented France 
four popular princes around each of whom there might 
centre plots against the existing Government. To refuse 
meant to acknowledge weakness, and to receive the oppro^ 
brium not only of enemies, but of those who believed in 
the new pretensions to liberalism. These new adherents of 
Napoleon would look for an act of justice from a ruler, who, 
himself long an exile, had but recently been confirmed in 
his tenure of power by a large vote of confidence. The 
Government decided to oppose the return on the ground that, 
no matter how innocent the princes might be of intrigue, 
their presence in France would breed sedition, and that the 
plebiscite had been a direct appeal to the Emperor to main- 
tain domestic peace. 

The correspondent of the Times reported that, irrespec- 

* Times, June 25, 1870; Ncvrton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 285. 

* Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 290. 



48 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [48 

tive of the Government's desire to base its refusal on the 
late vote of the people, public opinion was strongly in favor 
of permitting the return.^ The Ministry, however, was up- 
held by a large majority in the Corps Legislatif, though the 
honors of the debate went to the Opposition. M. Estancelin, 
gave them warning that their action would justify the taunt 
that if they did not dare to be just it was because they felt 
they were not strong.^ It is never a happy day for a Min- 
istry when its adversaries can launch against it an accusa- 
tion so quotable. 

This affair, which extended into July, was followed by a 
libellous attack on the Emperor by the editor of the Figaro, 
who, hitherto, had been his staunch supporter. The charge 
was that Lord Clarendon had lent to Louis Napoleon, before 
his accession to power, some twenty thousand pounds and, 
postponing the payment of interest at the time when the 
principal was returned, had later demanded, and been 
granted, the Treaty of Commerce in full payment.* The 
story showed itself false at once to those who had any 
knowledge of the character of Clar-endon or of the negotiat- 
ing of the treaty. But free trade had become unpopular, due 
more to conditions brought about by the drought and inter- 
mittent strikes than to any defect proper to itself, and many 
seized on this gossip the better to declaim against the treaty. 
The effort to punish the editor further aggravated the of- 
fense by causing him to publish, in the most widely circulated 
journal of France, a lurid description of various episodes of 
Napoleon's pre-imperial career. On the ninth of July the 
Paris correspondent of the London Graphic reported that 
editors of the Reveil, the Marseillaise, the Avenir National, 
the Rappel, the Steele, and the Parlement had also incurred 

^ Times, June 25, 1870. 

^Ibid., July 4, 1870; Illustrated London News, July 7, 1870. 

* Times, July 6, 1870; Spectator, July 9, 1870. 



49] FRANCE UNDER PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT 49 

the disfavour of the Government, and were under sentences 
of fine and imprisonment for various sins of omission and 
commission. 

It was in these early July days, made hectic, as we have 
seen, by drought, and heat, and pestilence ; the unrest of the 
cities ; and the doubt and distrust of the country ; by overt 
and covert attacks on the jaded Emperor at home; and 
intrigue and criticism abroad, — it was in these days that the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs launched his bill for the re- 
duction by ten thousand of the army contingent for 1870/ 
The bill was the outcome of that plan of Count Daru's which 
had enlisted Clarendon's efforts to obtain some similar action 
on the part of Prussia. It was the first step in a reduction 
which it was hoped could be made more drastic year by year, 
so that in the final period of the life of the third Napoleon, 
he might justify his assertion: " L'Empire c'est la paix." 

The bill was opposed by those radicals who professed 
themselves eager to do away with the whole existing army 
system, which they dubbed irksome, and costly, and provo- 
cative of war. To have followed them in their opposition 
to this reduction, on the ground that it was not sufficiently 
drastic, would have been to make an advance that France was 
no more willing than her neighbours to make. The radicals, 
themselves, had they been in power, might have been willing 
to postpone disarmamient until there was a greater degree of 
amity and understanding between nations. It was opposed, 
also, by such men as the deputy, Latour, late Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, who, during his career had represented 
France both at Vienna and Berlin, — men who saw in modern 
diplomacy reason rather for the enlargement than the aboli- 
tion of armies. He based his argumient on the growing 
military power of Prussia and the necessity that France 

* Times, July i, 1870. 



50 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [50 

maintain her position, and insist upon the observance of the 
Treaty of Prague. The Government was fortunate in the 
debate in having the support of M. Thiers, usually its 
opponent. This able statesman contended that the bill would 
give an assurance of the Government's pacific tendencies and, 
at the same time, so far maintain its strength as to dissuade 
foreign Powers from disregarding its wishes. He was con- 
tent to wish for peace, and to adopt that course which would 
manifest his desire, and help to realize it. The Premier 
went further. During the debate on the St. Gothard rail- 
way late in June, the Foreign Minister had asserted that 
the Government had no uneasiness and that peace was 
assured.^ 

M. OUivier reaffirmed this confidence in a statement that 
the grim war, declared within a fortnight, mocked to the 
echo: " The Government has no uneasiness whatever," said 
M. OUivier. "At no epoch was the peace of Europe more 
assured. Irritating questions nowhere exist." * 

* Times, June 21, 1870. 

^Manchester Guardian, July 2, 1870; Times, July i, 1870. Two days 
after the debate, the Emperor expressed to Prince Metternich his 
con'fidence that the peace of Europe was secure and that he would be 
able to transmit his crown to his son. Vide, Reginald Lucas, Lord 
Glenesk and the Morning Post (London, 1910), p. 237. 



CHAPTER III 

British Negotiations Preceding the Declaratiou 
OF War 

During the doldrums of the first week in July of 1870, it 
seemed peace brooded over all the capitals of Europe. M. 
Ollivier, as we have seen, inaugurated the month with 
a grave assurance to the French Chamber that the time was 
one of peculiar serenity, and that there was apparent no 
difficulty of disturbing imminence. Diplomatists were glad 
to make his words a summer text and gratefully close their 
portfolios and go vacationing. A calm almost sabbatical 
enwrapped the darkened embassies. In Paris, the Cham- 
bers were still sitting, but it was supposed the most im- 
portant business was well finished with the disposal of the 
St. Gothard affair and the passing of the bill to reduce con- 
scription. The Emperor was preparing to go to Vichy for 
the waters.^ Mr. Washbume, the United States'Minister to 
France, was leaving for Carlsbad with the happy reflec- 
tion that he availed himself of a time unusually propitious.* 
In Berlin Herr von Thile was left in charge, while his 
King sought recreation at Ems and the Chancellor buried 
himself on his estates. The great houses of London, in- 
cluding the French embassy, were dark, though Parliament 
was still in languid session. Lord Granville had but lately 
acceded to the office of Secretary of Foreign Affairs, left 

1 Gentleman's Annual, 1830, " The Story of the War," pp. i et seq. 
'E. B. Washbume, The Franco-German War and Insurrection •f 
the Commune (Exec. Doc. no. 24, Washington, D. C, 1878), p. i. 
51] SI 



52 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [52 

vacant by Clarendon's death. On the fifth of July, the 
veteran Under Secretary, Mr. Hammond, congratulated him 
on his having assumed his duties during the greatest lull in 
the Foreign Office he remembered.^ Tempo lente e stuwe, 
truly, but already, pianissimo, could be heard the strain that 
was to swell to the crescendo of war! 

From the time that the Bourbon, Isabella, had been forced 
to leave her castles in Spain, the provisional government 
had hawked her throne from England to Italy, and saw it 
still unoccupied. Most persistently it had been offered to 
young Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, 
brother of the new ruler of Rumania, a member of the 
reigning house of Prussia, and an officer in the Prussian 
army. He had twice declined its acceptance, but, in July, 
it became known to the French Minister at Madrid that 
Marshal Prim was in receipt of a third response that was 
favorable.^ The news was received in Paris with the dis- 
pleasure that is felt at the reopening of a disagreeable ques- 
tion that was supposed to have been settled. When rumours 
of the candidacy had reached the French Ministry a year 
before. Count Benedetti had been instructed to inform the 
Prussian Government of the dissatisfaction with which 
such a choice would be regarded in France. He had at 
that time been assured by Herr von Thile on his honour that 
the Prince was not, and could not seriously become, a can- 
didate for the Spanish crown.^ 

The recrudescence of the question persuaded the Emperor 
that it was a matter which, considering the uneasy rela- 

^ Granville to Russell, July 7, 1870, Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord Gran- 
ville, vol. ii, p. 33. 

2 Comte Maurice Fleury, Memoirs of the Empress Eugenie (N. Y., 
1920), vol. ii, chap, vii, passim. 

3 Quotation from Due de Gramont's Circular to the Diplomatic 
Agents of the Empire in a dispatch of Layard's, Madrid, July 25, 1870, 
British State Papers for 1870, Foreign Office Series, vol. Ixx, p. 42. 



53] BRITISH NEGOTIATIONS 53 

tions existing between France and Prussia since Sadowa, 
must be handled with firmness and circumspection. In the 
absence of his Ambassador from London, he commissioned 
Baron Rothschild to transmit the disquieting news of the 
candidacy to Gladstone, and to represent to him the displeas- 
ure felt in France and urge the British Government to do 
what it could to prevent its aggravation.^ 

On the next day, July the sixth, France was again re- 
presented in England, and M. de Lavalette called on Lord 
Granville to give official repetition to the informal message.* 
The British Government, until this time, professedly had 
been in ignorance of the project. Earl Granville expressed 
himself as not surprised at the unfavorable reception it had 
received in France, though he could not share the French 
estimate of its importance, and regretted that Gramont had 
spoken in strong terms to Baron Werther, the Prussian Am- 
bassador. He readily promised to use what influence he 
could, both with Spain and Prussia, to persuade them to the 
abandonment of the project.* 

The despatches which he forthwith sent to the British re- 
presentatives in Berlin and Madrid are models of diploma- 
tic correspondence. Lord Loftus is informed that the 
British Government cannot believe that an offer so secretly 
conducted can have received the sanction of King William. 
The British Ambassador to Prussia is to remind that Power 
of the present sensitiveness of opinion in France to Prus- 
sian aggrandisement and the occasion this opportunity of- 
fers to exhibit a friendliness and forbearance that would in- 

*Morley, Life of Gladstone (N. Y., 1911), vol. ii, p. 325; Hunt and 
Poole, Political History of England (N, Y., 1905-1915), vol. xii, p. 
261 ; Sir Spencer Walpole, History of Twenty-five Years (N. Y., 1904- 
1908), vol. ii, p. 482. 

' Newton, Lord Lyons, vol. i, p. 295. 

• Granville to Lyons, July 6, 1870, Brit. State Papers for 1870, For- 
eign Office, vol. Ixx, p. 2. 



54 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [54 

volve no sacrifice. He is to urge as his main argument, 
however, the interest of Spain in the matter — the difficuUies 
that she might encounter should she select a dynasty so 
hateful to the neighboring French/ The despatch sent to 
Mr. Layard at Madrid after the Spanish Minister had called 
to announce the choice of his Government, embodies a 
sigh for Lord Clarendon, who had imderstood Spain so well 
and been so highly regarded there. It makes no pretence 
to dictate to Spain her choice of king, but for " prudential 
reasons " urges that she look further.^ 

On the day that Lord Granville despatched his propitia- 
tory message to Prussia, M. de Gramont, having received no 
reply to his representations at Berlin and Madrid, complica- 
ted the task of mediation by declaring in the Corps Legislatif 
that the advancement of the Hohenzollern prince could have 
no end but war.^ The vehemence of the speech surprised the 
British Ambassador who had discussed the matter only the 
day before with M. Ollivier and found him firm but not bel- 
licose. The speech was complained of to Lord Lyons by 
the Prussian Charge d' Affaires, who was acting in Baron 
Werther's absence. Though making no defence for the 
precipitateness of Gramont's declaration, the British Ambas- 
sador, nevertheless, expressed the opinion that it had the 
entire approval of the French nation and that it was, ac- 
cordingly, the King of Prussia, rather than the Emperor, 
who could with dignity and honor put an end to the affair.* 

* Granville to Lyons, July 6, 1870, Brit. State Papers for 1870, vol. 
Ixx, p. 3. 

2 Despatches of Granville to Layard, July 7th and 8th, 1870, Brit. 
State Papers for 1870, vol. Ixx, pp. 5-10. 

8 " L'avenement du Prince de Hohenzollern c'est la guerre," Newton, 
op. cit., vol. i, p. 296; Gentleman's Annual for 1870, "Story of the 
War," pp. I et seq. 

* Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 7, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, 
pp. 7-8. 



5 5 ] BRITISH NEGOTIA TIONS 5 5 

To his chief, he wrote even more frankly of the inflamed 
state of French opinion. He believed the Ministry was no 
more than making an attempt to gain popularity by ener- 
getically voicing the feeling of the nation, but that they were 
really desirous of settling the affair by diplomacy.^ One 
must remember the lean years France had recently been 
through and the dubious position of her Emperor and his 
Ministry to understand those " faults and follies,*' which 
Gladstone with the overemphasis of oratory accused of 
being " without parallel in the history of nations." ^ 

To French insistence, Prussia opposed an attitude of 
obdurate resistance. Her Ambassador at London, Count 
BemstorflF, maintained to Lord Granville that the matter 
was not one which concerned North Germany, but that if 
France chose to make war his country was prepared to de- 
fend itself.^ The British Ambassador at St. Petersburg re- 
presented Russia's attitude to be identic in attaching no 
responsibility to Prussia for the election of a Hohenzollem 
to the Spanish throne.* It is lamentable that Gladstone's 
Cabinet was not better informed of the extent and ramifica- 
tions of the negotiations preceding the election.* Had 
Downing Street even known that the candidature had been 
the subject of discussion between the Prussian King, his 
Chancellor, and von Moltke, Lord Granville might have 

* Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 7, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixx, pp. 5-7. 
' Morley, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 327. 

* Hunt and Poole, op. cit., p. 261. 

* Sir A. Buchanan to Granville, July 9, 1870; Brit. State Papers for 
1870, vol. Ixx, p. 49. 

'On Feb. 27, 1870, Bismarck drew up a confidential report in which 
he strongly favoured the candidature. On March 15, a council was 
held to discuss the matter at which there were present Moltke. Roon, 
T'hile, Bismarck, Prince Anthony, and Leopold'. Moltke on this occa- 
sion let it be known that Prussia was in a condition to combat Napo- 
leon's disapproval Prince Leopold however, refused to become a 



56 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [56 

succeeded in puncturing the cool armor of unconcern which 
so aggravated France and so persistently repelled the con- 
ciliating efforts of the British. It would seem, too, that the 
information that Lord Lyons supplied was not so complete 
as it should have been. He was deceived by the belliger- 
ent tone of certain press articles and by the warlike attitude 
of the Parisians into thinking that there existed a burning, 
national desire for revenge on Prussia.^ At a time when 
the French Emperor was heartily wishing that the perturbed 
deputies and ministers ** would follow the sage practice of the 
American Indians and keep their mouths shut," when the 
Empress was urging Isabella to use her influence to pre- 
vent the accession of so unwelcome a successor, and Bis- 
marck was finding it necessary to keep Dr. Busch constantly 
employed in writing anonymous articles that would incite 
the French, it was believed in Downing Street that impetus 
to the quarrel came from France rather than from Prussia. 
On the tenth of the month, matters were somewhat bet- 
tered by Gramont^s interview with Lord Lyons, in which he 
gave the British a basis for mediation. The French demand 
for the withdrawal of the Prince's candidature, which 
Rothschild had earlier communicated to Gladstone as the 
sine qua non of the negotiations, remained the same, but 
it appeared now that the French advanced the demand with 
more of reason. Benedetti, — the Minister sent to ascertain 

candidate. In April, Bismarck sent agents to Spain on a secret mis- 
sion. At the end of May Leopold was won over to the project, largely 
through the efforts of the Crown Prince. The next month Salazar, at 
Bismarck's suggestion, came to Sigmaringen to negotiate with Leo- 
pold's father in order to come to a final agreement. The young 
Prince had only yielded a consent contingent on the Royal approval. 
" After a hard struggle," King William agreed to the project on June 
21. Fleury, op. cit., vol. ii, chap, vii ; Grant Robertson, Bismarck (Lon- 
don, 1918), pp. 265-267. 
* Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 297. 



^7] BRITISH NEGOTIATIONS 57 

the attitude of Prussia in the matter, — had been unable to in- 
terview Bismarck, and disliking in an affair of such gravity 
to negotiate solely with an Under Secretary, who could only 
offer to his objections the parrot-like repetition that the af- 
fair was not germane to the Government, had gone directly 
to the King at Ems. The result was, Gramont told Lyons, 
that the King had admitted having given his consent. He 
now promised to confer with Prince Leopold and give a 
definitive answer to France when he had done so. This 
admission and agreement, M. Gramont 'believed, removed 
the ambiguity of the affair, making it distinctly one between 
France and the King of Prussia. Gramont assured Lord 
Lyons that if the Prince of Hohenzollern should now, on 
the advice of the King, withdraw his acceptance, the whole 
affair would be at an end. The British Ministers decided 
to ask the Queen to write confidentially advising the Prince's 
withdrawal. France, meanwhile, deferred any ostensible 
preparations for war.^ 

On the morning of the eleventh, Gramont informed Lord 
Lyons that, as yet, no answer had been received from King 
William, but that his Government would wait another day, 
although the Corps Legislatif was restive under the delay 
and the Ministry was becoming most unpopular.^ 

At two p. m. the following day, Lord Lyons telegraphed 
that an answer had been received from the King of Prussia. 
It was a demand for time made on the surprising admission 
that that most important princeling, Leopold of Hohen- 
zollem-Sigmaringen, was not to be found.^ Later in the 
day, a more extended answer was received. In it His 

* Morley, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 327 ; Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 10, 
1870, Brit. State Papers for 1870, vol. Ixx, pp. 16-17. 

* Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 12, ibid., vol. Ixx, pp. 18-19. 

* Ernest Hartley Coleridge, Life and Correspondence of John Duke, 
Lord Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice of England (London, 1904), vol. ii, 
p. 172. The telegram does not appear in the British State Papers. 



58 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [58 

Majesty disclaimed all connection with the ofifer of the 
Spanish crown to his kinsman and declined to advise him to 
withdraw his acceptance. However, the father of the elusive 
Prince sent a copy of the telegram which he had despatched 
to Marshal Prim, declaring that his son's candidature 
was at an end.^ M. de Gramont regretted that the King had 
not only not given the definitive answer he had promised 
but had now distinctly refused to advise the Prince in the mat- 
ter and had reverted to his attitude that a distinction should 
be drawn between himself as King of Prussia and as head 
of the family of Hohenzollern. The Prince himself was of 
age and it was not known that he entertained such regard 
for his father's wishes as to induce him to prefer filial 
obedience to submission to any future prompting of the 
Prussian King or his Chancellor. 

Lord Lyons seems to have had no patience with these 
French misgivings. He believed, and said so, that the 
demand of France had been fulfilled and that it was her duty 
now to fulfil her own promise to the British Government 
and consider the matter ended. He warned France that 
insistence on a matter of form would be regarded as cul- 
pable by all of Europe, whereas Prussia, were she pushed to 
war, would gain sympathy as fighting in self-defence and 
could expect to rally all Germany to her support.^ Granville 
approved Lord Lyons' despatch, and himself used the same 
arguments to the French Ambassador. On the following 

*On the morning of July 12, when Napoleon had received news of 
Prince Anthony's telegram to Prim, he said to the Italian Ambassador, 
Count Nigra : " This dispatch . . . means peace. I have requested you 
to come here for the purpose of having you tell the news to your Gov- 
ernment. ... I know very well that public opinion is so excited that it 
would have preferred war. But this renunciation is a satisfactory solu- 
tion and disposes, at least for the present, of every pretext for hostil- 
ities." Thos. W. Evans, The Second French Empire. 

' Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 12, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, pp. 
20-21. 



59] BRITISH NEGOTIATIONS 59 

day he telegraphed that Lord Lyons should make represen- 
tations, before the French Council assembled, of the im- 
mense responsibility that the British Government would 
charge to France if she sought to enlarge the grounds of the 
quarrel by declining to accept the Prince's withdrawal.^ It 
may be that the severity of Granville's telegram was due 
not only to the exigency of the situation but to irritation be- 
cause M. de Gramont, in his speech to the Deputies on the 
eleventh, had declared that up to that time all the European 
Cabinets appeared to admit the legitimacy of French com- 
plaints,* a point that was made the subject of a despatch to 
Lord Lyons the same day' and of subsequent objections 
from Parliament.* 

Certainly this day, the thirteenth, was one of distinct 
ill omen for France. In Paris, M. de Gramont was in 
receipt of a telegram from the French Minister to Russia 
which advised him that when the Emperor Alexander had 
begged King William to order the Prince's withdrawal, the 
Prussian monarch had refused and accompanied his refusal 
with no single word of explanation.' He was also in re- 
ceipt of a most extraordinary telegram from Stuttgart 
which stated that the Wiirttemberg Government had been 
informed that Lord Granville had said France would at- 
tack Prussia immediately by sea and by land without a 
declaration of war were her demands refused. The Wiirt- 
temberg Government had received the information via 

^ Substance of telegram from Granville to Lyons, July 14, 1870, Brit. 
State Papers, vol. Ixx, p. 37. 

' Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord Granville, vol. ii, p. 35 ; Morley, op. cit., 
vol. ii, p. 328 ; Brit. State Papers for 1870, vol. Ixx, p. 26. 

' Brit. State Papers for 1870, vol. Ixx, p. 22. 

* Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, July 14th and' July i8th, 1870, pp. 
225 and 370. Russell and Horsman were the interpellators. 

• Lyons to Granville, July 13, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, p. 26. 



6o BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [60 

Berlin and, as well as Lord Lyons could remember, from the 
Prussian Government/ From Vienna, the French agent 
transmitted Count Beust's warning against pushing matters 
to extremities. The state of feeling in the South German 
states, which he believed himself peculiarly able to gage^ 
was not one of sympathy to France in the present matter.^ 
In view of these developments, France was eager for such 
a definitive termination of the affair as could come only if 
his Prussian Majesty would forbid Prince Leopold from 
altering at any future time his present decision. Gramont 
assured Lyons that if England could succeed in obtain- 
ing this agreement from the King, he would give a 
written assurance that for his Government the incident 
would be terminated.^ Lord Lyons forwarded the re- 
quest,* and reported that the impression prevailed on the 
night of the thirteenth that it was yet possible to preserve 
peace. The language of the Cabinet was more pacific. It 
was understood that the renunciation of the prince had come 
to confirm that received from his father, and the Spanish 
Government had formally declared to the Government of 
France that the candidature was at an end.'^ 

It would seem from an interview of Lord Loftus with 
Bismarck on this fateful thirteenth that the tempest clouds 
blew now from the north.^ The day before, the Prussian 
Chancellor had left Varzin to go to the King at Ems, but, 

* Lyons to Granville, July 18, 1870, ibid., loc. cit. 

' Bloomiield to Granville, Vienna, July 13, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixx, pp. 
50-51. 
•Morley, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 330. 

* Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 13, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, 
26. 

• Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 14, ibid., vol. Ixx, p. 35. 

• At a Cabinet Council, held on the 13th, the Emperor gained the 
Ministry's consent to his proposal to submit the subject of the contro- 
versy to arbitration. Evans, op. cit., p. 164. 



5i] BRITISH NEGOTIATIONS 6l 

Stopping at Berlin, he was met by telegrams from his royal 
master that so displeased him that he sent Marshal Eulen- 
burg to the King instead, and himself remained in the 
capital, half resolved to resign his post. He was disposed 
now to admit a mighty concern in a matter which, hitherto, 
he had permitted the King to deal with in the capacity of 
head of the House of Hohenzollem. When, then, the 
British Ambassador congratulated him on the solution 
which apparently was reached, Count Bismarck demurred. 
He told Lord Loftus that the " extreme moderation evinced 
by the King of Prussia under the menacing tone of the 
French Government and the courteous reception by His 
Majesty of Count Benedetti at Ems, after the severe lang- 
uage held to Prussia both officially and in the French press " 
was producing general indignation. He mentioned various 
telegrams which he had received that morning confirmative 
of such dissatisfaction. He, then, expressed a wish that the 
British Government would officially declare its satisfaction 
at the solution of the question by the " spontaneous act of 
Prince Leopold," and bear public testimony to the calm 
and moderation of the King of Prussia, and his Govern- 
ment, and the German Press. ^ May it be observed that 
this request to Great Britain was rather extraordinary in 
that it asked official commendation for an act which the 
Prussian King and his Government had repeatedly declared 
to be wholly unofficial and committed by the King only in 
his personality as head of the House of Hohenzollem? 
However, the distinction is one so subtle that, were it not 
that the offender was the clear-headed Bismarck, it is not 
surprising to find it occasioning confusion to the very 
Government that avowed it. The Count went further and 
demanded that the solution of this purely family affair 

* Loftus to Granville, Berlin, July 13, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. 
Ixx, pp. 32-33 ; Hunt and Poole, op. cit., p. 262. 



62 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [62 

should be publicly acknowledged by France to the European 
Powers and that France should promise to raise no further 
claims in the matter and disavow, or satisfactorily explain, 
the menacing language of the Due de Gramont. Under 
the existing circumstances, it was impossible, the Chancellor 
said, for him to receive the French Ambassador, and were 
the conditions he had just outlined not fulfilled, " Prussia 
would be obliged to seek explanations from France." The 
British Ambassador, who had begun the interview with con- 
gratulations, hastened off to write his chief that, were the 
French Government not induced to appease enraged Prus- 
sia, war would be inevitable. 

His despatch did not reach Granville imtil the fifteenth. 
Had it come a day earlier, Her Majesty's Government 
would have been saved from the rebuff it encountered by 
so far acceding to Gramont's request of the thirteenth as to 
ask that the dually constituted William of Hohenzollern 
would confirm the Prince's withdrawal by an expression of 
approval.^ Before the deferential British request reached 
Prussia and Count Bismarck had time to express regret at 
receiving a proposal of so impossible a nature as to preclude 
him from presenting it to King William,* an episode took 
place which totally changed the state of feeling in the 
French capital. 

On the morning of the fourteenth, the hopes of 
Ollivier were dispelled by a startling telegram from the 
Charge d'Aif aires at Berlin. It stated that an article 
had appeared in the Prussian Ministerial organ, the North 
German Gazette, to the effect that the " French Ambassador 
had requested the King to promise never to allow a Hohen- 
zollern to be a candidate for the throne of Spain, that His 

* Granville to Lyons, July 14, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, p. 28. 
2 Granville to Loftus, July 15, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixx, p. 30. 



63] BRITISH NEGOTIATIONS 63 

Majesty had, thereupon, refused to receive the Ambassador 
and sent him word by an Aide-de-Camp that he had 
nothing more to say to him." The French Government, 
alarmed at news so much more disquieting than that sent 
by Count Benedetti, himself,^ nevertheless, prevented it 
from becoming generally known and made no communica- 
tion on the subject to the Corps Legislatif and the Senate 
in their sessions of that day. Lord Lyons, however, who 
was still dutifully urging moderation and caution, expressed 
great fear that when the evening papers copied the article of 
the North German Gazette, the anger of the populace might 
precipitate the Government into declaring war.^ The solu- 
tion of this family affair had, in a way, been withdrawn from 
the competency of the Ministry and laid before the high 
tribunal of the people.* 

By evening, it was known at the Quai d'Orsay that the 
Prussian Government had given endorsement and further 
publicity to the article by telegraphing it to all its embassies 
throughout the Continent. Its communication to Baron 
Werther, the conciliatory ambassador to Paris, was ac- 
companied by instructions to leave his post at once. The 

* Lyon's report of interview with Gramont, ihid., vol. Ixx, p. 40. 

' Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 14, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixx, pp. 35-36. A 
special supplement of the Nord Deutsche Zeitung, containing the 
famous Ems telegram that had been edited by Bismarck, -was distrib- 
uted gratis on the streets of Berlin on July 13, 1870, according to a 
letter of the Berlin correspondent of the Times. 

" It can be a matter of interest more to the metaphysician or to the 
psychologist than th historian, that two or three days after the pub- 
lication of the inflammatory account of the first interview of King 
William with Benedetti, the aide-de-camp reported that his master, who 
as the Prussian King was a Dr. Jekyll, who really knew nothing of the 
nefarious Spanish business, and- as head of the House of Hohenzollern 
was a Mr. Hyde, who persisted in consenting to the project, had agreed 
at Ems to withdraw his consent " in the same sense and to the same 
extent it had been given." Granville to Loftus, July 19, 1870; ibid., 
vol. 70, p. 60. 



64 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [64 

Emperor returned from St. Cloud and held a council at the 
Tuileries. The indefatigable Lord Lyons for the first time 
found it impossible to communicate directly with the Due 
de Gramont, and could extract no comforting reassurance 
from the head of his Cabinet/ 

The next day, July the fifteenth, the reserves were called 
out and the Government, after reviewing the negotiations, de- 
clared before the Chambers that further attempts at con- 
ciliation were impossible. It laid especial emphasis on the 
fact that the King of Prussia had announced to the French 
Ambassador that he would not receive him, and that the 
Prussian Government had communicated this decision to the 
Cabinets of Europe, and instructed Baron Werther to 
demand his passports.^ These points were stressed again 
in an interview which the Due de Gramont had with Lord 
Lyons later in the day. Prussia, said the French Minister, 
had deliberately insulted France by declaring to the public 
that the King had affronted Count Benedetti. She had 
shown herself eager to take credit with the people of Ger- 
many for having acted with haughtiness and discourtesy, 
and had seen fit to telegraph the news of the affront to the 
Prussian agents throughout Europe. The matter was the 
more provocative, said the Duke, since the French Govern- 
ment was aware that its Minister had not been treated with 
such rough discourtesy as Prussia had boasted. It was the 
boast and not the episode itself which was the " gravamen 
of the offense." It constituted an insult which had made 
it impossible for France further to avail herself of the 
good offices of Great Britain. He expressed the hope that 
that Government might not be so wedded to the doctrine of 
peace as to refuse sympathy to an old ally, who was about 
to commence hostilities, and he assured Lord Lyons that, in 

* Ihid., vol. Ixx, p. 39. 

' Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 15, 1870, ihid., vol. Ixx, pp. 36-37. 



65] BRITISH NEGOTIATIONS 65 

regard to Belgium (ever "England's funny-bone"), the 
French Government had already spontaneously given it as- 
surance that its neutrality would be regarded as a funda- 
mental principle.^ 

The British Ambassador believed that no diminution of 
friendly feeling would take place but that, at the same time, 
chagrin would be felt that France had not contented herself 
with the simple withdrawal of the pretensions of Prince 
Leopold. One further effort was made by Lord Granville 
even at this eleventh hour. In identic notes to France and 
Prussia he urged those countries to avail themselves of the 
Twenty-third Protocol of the Conference of Paris of 1856.* 
Its provisions were recognized as offering a dignified man- 
ner in which aggrieved nations might submit to mediation 
those questions which, otherwise, would lead to war.* The 
Government of France declined to resort to the Protocol on 
the ground that the difficulty between herself and Prussia 
was one involving national dignity and so had been re- 
served from its provisions.* The Prussian Government 
based its refusal on the fact that since France had taken the 
initiative in the direction of war, it would be unbecoming, 
and even impossible because of the national excitement, for 
Prussia to take the initiative in negotiating for peace.' 

The appeal to the Protocol had been, indeed, but 
formal. The events of the thirteenth of July had success- 

* Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 15, 1870, ihid., vol. Ixx, pp. 39-40. 

• Granville to Lyons, July 15, 1870, ihid., vol. Ixx, p. 35. On July 17th 
Loftus, in compliance with instructions, was still urgingf the Protocol 
at Berlin. 

• Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 18, 1870, ihid., vol. Ixx, p. 64. 

* Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 19, 1870, ihid., vol. Ixx, pp. 58. 

' Bismarck to Loftus, July 18, 1870, ihid., vol. Ixx, p. 68 ; Loftus, in 
a despatch of the same date, states that addresses were pouring in from 
all parts of the country expressing loyalty to the King and a readiness 
to incur any sacrifice for the honor and protection of the country. 



66 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [66 

fully nullified any efforts at mediation. The article in the 
North German Gazette and the publicity given it by Prussia 
had convinced France that it was the intention of Bismarck 
to make the " family matter " a pretext for belligerency. 

On the nineteenth of July, the French Charge d' Affaires. 
at Berlin delivered the declaration that his Government 
was sure the Prussian Chancellor had angled for. 



CHAPTER IV 
Responsibility for the Declaration of War 

Diplomacy is somewhat like the American game of stud 
poker where one card is always held back. Even for those 
who sit in at the green table there is an element of uncer- 
tainty, but for those who watch from afar there ie evan 
greater certainty of uncertainty. It is often ludicrous to 
hear them expending their efforts at wit or wisdom in pro- 
nouncing judgments on situations which they totally misap- 
prehend. The candidature of Prince Leopold for the Span- 
ish throne, made known by Madrid despatches of July the 
third, was a complete surprise in London. Both Conservative 
and Liberal papers condemned the secrecy and the quixotic 
audacity of the Spanish negotiations that had led to his 
selection by the Cortes, and there was no thought of blam- 
ing France for her disinclination to see herself thomed on 
either side by a Hohenzollern. Berlin despatches in an- 
nouncing the Prince's acceptance of the offer, made bold 
to report the nomination as being regarded favorably 
in England.^ This the Times at once denied.* It criticized, 
however, the imperious tone with which France interposed 
in the petty intrigue of princes. It was an American-cousin 
way of demanding the mustard at the point of a revolver.* 

For the most part, even those journals that thought 
French interests would be endangered by the " Jack-in-the- 

^ Quoted in Correspondence du Nord-Est. 
" Times, July 7, 1870. 
* Ibid., July 12, 1870. 

67] 57 



eg BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [68 

Box " affair believed no war would result. " Louis Napo- 
leon," said the Daily News, discounting the " fantastic and 
passionate lucubrations " of the independent French jour- 
nals, " Louis Napoleon, no doubt, will think it best to bow 
to the fait accompli and make the best of it ^ ... . Even 
if it should cause a civil war in Spain, it will not be per- 
mitted to disturb the peace of Europe." * Said the Mati- 
chester Guardian, 

France will accept the election and Prussia will disclaim any 
hostility or disrespect. The Emperor would prefer a Hohenzol- 
lem to the Duke of Montpensier, who might be expected to aid 
Orleanist intrigue, and as for the French people, they have already 
endured, with a bad grace indeed, aggrandizements of Prussia 
upon a great scale, and they will not be very seriously embittered 
by the thought that a younger branch of the house of Hohenzol- 
lem has obtained royalty in Spain.' 

The London Graphic declared French interests in no way 
threatened, and, contenting itself with a brief mention of 
the affair, expended much space in describing the camp 
being held at Wimbledon, and discussing Disraeli's recently- 
published Lothair.*' 

When, however, the candidacy received no check from the 
clearly expressed disapproval of France, it began to be 
thought that Spain must have had some assurance of Prus- 
sian support to show herself persistent. The Times de^ 
clared the crux of the question to be the share Count Bis- 
marck had had in the nomination and noted that, though the 
Prussian papers were in tone very temperate, they forbore 
to advise their Government to extinguish the affair by dis- 

* Daily News, July 15, 1870. 

* Ibid., July 6, 1870. 

* Manchester Guardian, July 6, 1870. 
^London Graphic, July 9, 1870- 



69] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR 69 

suading Prince Leopold.^ The Telegraph, very early in the 
controversy, described him as the " nominee of the Count 
and probably his obedient servant." ^ The Globe and 
Traveller urged the Prussian Government to take immediate 
steps to procure the rejection of the Spanish offer.* And 
the Spectator avowed that since General Prim was no fool 
he must have known how his project would be regarded in 
Paris and Berlin, and been ready to resort to arms if neces- 
sary.* It was an Irish paper that most luxuriated in im- 
plicating and imprecating Prussia : " Prim and Bismarck 
have tricked, deceived, and outwitted Napoleon," says the 
Nation, " have menaced, defied, and humiliated France." * 

On July 12, a week after the affair had begun to arouse 
general comment, telegrams reached London giving news 
of an imperious ultimatum just sent by France to Prussia. 
A serious panic took place on the Stock Exchange. Some 
relief was felt when, that afternoon, news was received of 
the Prince's withdrawal. But as the reports from France 
continued to be discouraging, fresh excitement set in.' This* 
pocket-book disaster and the receipt of the circular sent out 
by Spain disclaiming any responsibility of Prussia in her 
action, induced a more nervous attitude toward the affair. 
Its base was seen to have widened and, in this, France was 
believed to be the offender. From then on the tone of the 
press became less sympathetic. The Times urged the Em- 
peror to consult the wishes of his eight million subjects be- 
fore he allowed himself to be carried away by the clamorous 

* Times, July 12, 1870. 

' Daily Telegraph, July 7, 1870. 

• Globe and Traveller, July 8, 1870. 

* Spectator, July 9, 1870. 
^Nation (Belfast), July 9, 1870. 

• Telegraph, July 12, 1870. 



70 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [70 

politicians of the boulevards.^ The Standard, heretofore 
very sensitive to the French view of the matter, suspected 
that the rumoured ultimatum concerned itself with even 
more than the immediate question.^ And the Telegraph, 
also reckoned as a partisan of France, chronicled the gossip 
as to the Prince's withdrawal on the fourteenth with the 
fear that, were it true, only a temporary suspension of the 
convulsion would be effected. Small wonder that the Steele 
took alarm at the uneasy tone of the British press and urged 
the French Government to moderation.* 

While the London papers thus expressed alarm, their 
Paris correspondents were preparing despatches that would 
have gone far to steady confidence. Rumours of the 
episode at Ems — the ** garden scene," as some one later dub- 
bed it, — followed so hot upon the news of the Prince's renun- 
ciation that, in some cases, the pacific despatches were 
never sent. In instances where they were transmitted and 
given credence by London editors, there occurred the pheno- 
menon of British papers appearing with tidings of peace 
after the French Chambers had already given their decision 
for war. It was like a rainbow seen dimly through a blind- 
ing storm. The correspondent of the London Graphic 
wrote, on the thirteenth, that in Paris funds had gone up, 
and the general opinion was in favour of peace. In the 
same envelope he enfolded another dispatch saying that 
even as he wrote thus hopefully there was taking place in the 
Kursaal that famous interview,' the report of which roused 
the Parisians to fury. The laconic telegram from Ems 
(which England was not to know for years had been 
maliciously edited by Bismarck) appeared in the North 

^ Times, July 13, 1870. 

* Standard, July 13, 1870. 

• Times, July 15, 1870 (letter from Paris Correspondent, dated July 
14). 



71 ] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR 71 

German Gazette on the morning of the fourteenth, and was 
at once sent by the Renter Agency to London. At the same 
time there came from Berlin correspondents news of the 
massed crowds that assembled in front of the palace to cheer 
their ruler and beg that he lead them to the Rhine.^ 

Editorial comment fully approved the indignation of the 
Prussians. The Times declared that it could no longer be 
doubted that it was the fault of the French that further nego- 
tiations were almost impossible, that nothing could justify 
the deliberate provocation with which the discourtesy of 
Spain had been fastened upon Prussia.^ The Daily Tele- 
graph blamed France for having spoken ** the fatal last 
word that precedes a conflict of which none can estimate 
the results." It believed that the Envoy's intrusion on the 
royal promenade had not been without malice prepense. 
However, consideration was given to the singular prompt- 
ness with which the King resented the rudeness, and the 
immediate publicity his Government had given the incident. 
Conviction that France was wholly to blame for the unfor- 
tunate termination of the quarrel was weakened by reports 
from French sources that a circular had been sent to Prus- 
sian representatives abroad, which confirmed the affront of- 
fered to M. Benedetti, and declared the King to have re- 
stored to Prince Leopold the liberty of accepting the 
Spanish crown. The issuing of such statements after M. 
Ollivier's organ, the ConstituHonnel, had recorded the accep- 
tance of the withdrawal, the Telegraph believed, made Prus- 
sia culpable with France.* The rumoured circular, however, 
received no general comment in the English press. Another 
of the papers, that, like the Telegraph, condemned France 
with manifest reluctance was the Tory Globe. For while 

1 Times, July 15, 1870. 

•/Wrf., July 15, 1870. 

• Telegraph, July 16, 1870. 



72 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [72 

admitting that, "if the accounts have not been exaggerated, 
it is impossible in the interests of truth and justice to say 
that war has not been provoked by the French Govern- 
ment," it warned its readers that Prussian conduct in times 
past had been equally precipitate and extravagant. 

The morning that chronicled the momentous breach of 
etiquette at Ems heralded a day rife with rumours of the 
mounting excitement at Paris and Berlin. The later papers 
carried the news of the French Government's declaration to 
the Chambers which practically removed all hope of peace. 
That afternoon, Disraeli, rising in a hushed and breathless 
House of Commons, inquired of the Prime Minister 
whether or not the news the members had just been so 
anxiously reading were true, whether war had been made 
inevitable. Gladstone could give no further reassurance 
than that negotiations were not yet broken off. It must 
have been an uncomfortable session for the Prime Minister. 
No one more than he enjoyed the attitude of righteous con- 
demnation and could so revel in the prolix splendour of in- 
dignation. It must have been galling to sit fettered by the 
chains of office and hear the Disraelian thunder against the 
French monarch who so wantonly disturbed the -peace of 
Europe because he believed his own armament to be in better 
condition than his neighbour's, the description of the virtu- 
ous, enlightened age, which such impious levity flouted, and 
the sonorous prophecy that this sovereign would be punished 
by a more powerful force than any military army, — " the 
outraged opinion of an enlightened world." Gladstone 
could only assume an attitude of f orebearance and give brief 
assurance that the Government had made efforts at media- 
tion and in this last extremity had appealed to the Protocol 
of 1856.' 

^ Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, 3rd) series, vol, cciii, pp. 34^-347 .* 
Morley, Life of Gladstone, vol. ii, p. 335; Hunt and Poole, Political 
History of England, p. 262. 



73] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR 73 

When the Prime Minister and his doughty opponent had 
seated themselves, the impression prevailed that both were 
of the opinion that Napoleon should be, in some way, casti- 
gated, but that, whereas the one had done no more than try 
to reason with him and finally urge that he submit his quar- 
rel to more temperate heads, the other was crtain that, had 
he been in office, something — no one knew exactly what — 
but something much more effective would have been done 
about it. In justice to France and the attitude of neutrality 
the Government had decided on, it would seem that Glad- 
stone should have given some brief account of the progress! 
of the negotiations that had been so assiduously and even 
so hopefully continued up to this time by the French and 
the British. It may have been that his extreme reticence 
was due to the impression made on him by the German ac- 
counts of the bearding of the aged King at Ems. Cer- 
tainly, his appreciation of French claims appears to have 
been dulled to extinction. Granville, in his reply to in- 
terrogations in the House of Lords on the same subject, 
was no more communicative.^ So late as the twenty-first, 
when the Government was still withholding information as 
to the negotiations, the Globe commented on its action as 
" a mystery most profound," and urged that the facts be 
laid before the public without further delay. 

But irrespective of paucity or authenticity of inform- 
ation, the Fourth Estate adjured the restraint of the Lords 
and Commons and was clamorous in its criticism of France 
and profuse in its speculations as to the causes of her in- 
iquity. It was a finer thing to read the papers than to at- 
tend the sessions. For a few days it seemed the Titnesf 
was reviving its old title of the "Thunderer." Vide the 
leader of the sixteenth : " The greatest national crime that 
we have had the pain of recording in these columns since the 

* Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciii, p. 35. 



74 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [74 

days of the First French Empire has been consummated. 
War is declared — ^an unjust but premeditated war. This 
dire calamity, which overwhelms Europe with dismay, is, 
it is now too clear, the act of one man in France. It is the 
ultimate result of personal rule." The Times itself, how- 
ever, was not so dismayed that it could not see the ultimate 
end of the war to be the conquest by France of the left bank 
of the Rhine, or the acquisition by Prussia of Alsace and 
Lorraine, and that the failure of Napoleon's dynastic ambi- 
tions would result should the latter take place. 

The Economist, immensely perturbed at the heavy fall in 
all description of securities, characterized the French decla- 
ration of war as " one of those awful events which brings 
comment to a stand," and, then, straightway disproved its 
own judgment by a lengthy description of the French greed 
for prestige and the Emperor's ambition that had directed 
Count Benedetti *' to ask for more." ^ The Spectator, 
showing the same vehement detestation of Napoleon which 
distinguished the Times, bewailed the fact that " Europe 
must pass through a year, perhaps years of misery, in order 
that one single man may secure the career and position of 
one single child." It believed it to have been the recent 
adverse vote of a minority of the soldiery that induced 
Napoleon, " by a series of insults almost without precedent 
in diplomacy," to force Germany to war.^ The Pall Mall 
Gazette and the Manchester Guardian ® both ironically con- 
gratulated Napoleon for the modus operandi with which he 
had brought Prussia to agree to a foregone decision. The 
Daily News with a sententiousness equal to the Times, de- 
clared that in the court of history the action of France would 
be rated as a crime — a crime against civilization, against 

* Economist, July 16, 1870. 
^Spectator, July 16, 1870. 

* Issues of July 16, 1870. 



75] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR y^ 

humanity, as well as against the peace and good order of 
the world. ^ The Weekly Scotsman, not to be outdone in 
indignation by its English contemporaries, but somewhat 
muddled as to the facts, delivered a scathing sermon on 
this " war for the sake of war " brought on after " the pro- 
posal of a proposal was withdrawn by those having national 
authority over the proposed to be proposed Prince." ^ 

The amount of violent abuse in both the Liberal and Con- 
servative journals of the British press, and more especially 
that in the Times, which was regarded as, in some manner, 
inspired by the Government, greatly irritated the French. 
Had they wished, they could have pointed to the fact that 
even on the sixteenth when British condemnation was at its 
hottest, the reports of correspondents writing from Paris had 
induced several papers to discount later tidings and believe 
the war cloud to have passed. The Illustrated London News 
of the sixteenth dared to rejoice, though timorously, at 
the " unexpectedly pacific tone which the affair of the week 
has happily taken." The Examiner recorded the fact that 
Prussia had thought it prudent to give way and hoped things 
would stay as they were and the King of three hundred 
legions not change his mind, nor the heir of the conqueror 
of Jena take a fancy to avenge Leipsic.^ The slow-moving 
Qiicen, on the same date, expressed belief that the resigna- 
tion of the Prince's candidature would be the means of 
averting war — "at least on the present issue;" and the 
priestly Tablet, with like reservations as to the future 
lengths to which France might be driven by her desire to 
see Prussia eat humble pie, hoped that " the danger of war, 
which overhung Europe for the last week, is for a time dis- 
pelled." 

* Daily News, July i6, 1870. 

' Weekly Scotsman and Caledonian Mercury, July 22, 1870. 

• Examiner and London Review, July 16, 1870. 



76 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [76 

Between the extremes of denunciation against France for 
having occasioned the war and these misinformed pratings 
of the difficulty's pacific solution, were those papers that, 
acknowledging war's advent, still forbore to lay its blame 
on France, and in some case showed a willingness wholly 
to exonerate her. M. de Lesseps, at this time visiting Eng- 
land on the invitation of the Liverpool merchants, may have 
found congenial reading in the Court Journal, that, basing 
its argument on Berlin accounts of the King's affront to M. 
Benedetti and the restoration to Leopold of freedom of 
action in the Spanish affair, asserted that the declaration of 
war came from the ruler of Prussia and theVoffense was his.*- 
The Northern Whig may have rejoiced the distinguished 
visitor with its appreciation of Napoleon's friendship for 
England and its doubts as to British comfort, should Europe 
fall under the domination of Bismarck-ruled Prussia.* 

But for truly soul-saitisfying endorsement M. de Lesseps 
should have shipped himself to John Bull's other island. 
Certainly nowhere could there have been found on July the 
sixteenth anyone more French than an Irishman. The 
Weekly Freeman commended the bold Minister, who looked 
facts squarely in the eye and delivered his ultimatum to a 
King, who with his Chancellor, was " privy to every step of 
the negotiations with Prim." The Nation flouted the 
British papers for their mischievous abuse of France and 
urged, with a logic that only an Irishman could follow, that 
this was preeminently a time for the *' repeal of the Union." 
Only Saunders' , a Protestant paper largely without honour 
in its own country, blamed Napoleon for this fresh proof of 
his country's enslavement to military glory and his own will- 
ingness to upset the balance of power to give ambition scope." 

* Court Journal and Fashionable Gazette, July 16, 1870. 
' Northern Whig, July 19, 1870. 

* Saunders's News-letter and Daily Advertiser, Dublin, July 16, 1870. 



77] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR yy 

The hearty approval with which the Irish press greeted the 
decision for war gathered momentum from each groan of 
censure from the Times and News. Did the British papers 
denounce M. Rouher's indiscreet avowal that Napoleon had 
occupied four waiting years in the perfecting of armament 
and the organization of his country, the Irish papers re- 
joiced that he must, then, be in excellent fighting trim. Did 
the British express amazement at M. Ollivier's announce- 
ment that he entered upon the war with a light heart, the 
Irish applauded a blithe spirit so like their own. 

As the Spectator put it, in commenting on this ebullient 
sympathy which other journals were deriding: "What with 
his Catholicism, his Celtic blood, and history, the genuine 
Irishman feels himself a younger brother of the Frenchman 
and intrinsically detests the sceptical, rigid, and unsympa- 
thetic Teuton." ^ It must be confessed that, for the most 
part, there was little demand for analysis of diplomatic 
documents or circumstantial details by the men of the sham- 
rock. But there was a sincerity and abandon about their 
sympathy that was infectious. As John Mitchel put it, 
" Everybody is taking part in the general struggle : We take 
part instantly, frankly, and zealously — for France."' 

On the evening of the nineteenth, partly as a demonstra- 
tion against the alleged false representations of British 
opinion issuing hourly from the London press, the Irish of 
Dublin, to the number of twelve or fifteen thousand, as- 
sembled in front of the French Consulate. The police were 
competent to testify that there was nothing laboured or arti- 
ficial about this demonstration. There were some ten or a 
dozen bands which alternated the Marseillaise with Irish 
melodies. There was a fight with the police over a French 

* Spectator, July 23, 1870. 

•John Mitchel, Ireland, France, and Prussia (Dublin, 1918), editorial 
from the Irish Citizen. 



yS BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [78 

tricolour that had been wreathed with strips of green and 
orange; there were speeches that recalled the glorious ex- 
ploits of the Sarsfield Brigade and the deeds of German hire- 
lings in Ireland in '98, and ended by assuring France that 
if she gave the word thousands of Irish would come to her 
aid, — each very eager to kill his Hessian. The crowds, 
then, peacefully dispersed with the pleasant confidence that 
they had heartened all of France and had displeased the 
Protestant editor of Saunders'.^ 

It made scant difference to them that in London that 
night the printers were setting up the Queen's proclamation 
of neutrality. Its publication was the signal for the Times 
dutifully to moderate its tone. The Thunderer declared 
with virtuous rectitude, that war being now inevitable and 
the primary dispute a matter of history, its editorial policy 
so far as duty allowed would be neutral. In an effort 
at retrospective justice, its editorials for the twentieth 
mentioned the existence of a plot between Bismarck and 
Prim simultaneously to attack France north and south, 
which, it hazarded, might have been the cause of Benedetti's 
insistence. A new version of the Ems episode stated that the 
envoy " happened " to meet the King in the Kursaal Gar- 
dens, and that the King, himself, began the interview by 
placing in Benedetti's hands a newspaper account of Leo- 
pold's renunciation. On another page its Paris correspon- 
dent reported that Ollivier was actually drawing up a pacific 
statement to the Chambers when he received the Prussian 
account of the famous interview. 

But an impression intensely condemnatory of France 
could not materially be modified by these tardy addenda. 
The press, for the most part, refused to wriggle into the 

•Alfred Duquet, Ireland and France (Dublin, 1916), intro., pp. xi- 
xiii; Nation, July 23, 1870; Tablet, July 23, 1870; Saunders's, July 25, 
1870. 



79] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR 79 

Strait jacket of neutrality and its tone continued to sicken 
men like George Meredith, who laid small stress on the 
princely peccadillo that initiated a struggle which was now to 
be regarded as one between two nations.^ The German 
residents of London in public meeting assembled did no 
more than an act of justice when, a day after the proclama- 
tion of neutrality, they thanked the English press for the 
almost unanimous sympathy it was affording Prussia.* It 
might be that Mr. Brooks would deliver no more sermons in 
St. James' Chapel praising King William and his nation,* 
and that the Archbishop of Canterbury had set about com- 
posing a "strictly neutral and heartily pacific" prayer;* 
but, as the Spectator frankly acknowledged, the English 
middle class was dead against the Emperor, and the only 
true neutral was the working man, who branded Napoleon a 
fiend, and William of Prussia, a fool.* It was because 
England was essentially not neutral in her feelings that 
officials made such a grandiose parade of her neutrality, with 
something of the notion, perhaps, that a double negative 
would obscure an affirmative. Chambers of Commerce in 
large cities hastened to pass resolutions commending a rig- 
orous silence as to the merits of the quarrel, and a member 
of Parliament rose in his place to warn journalists against 
making excursions outside the neutral pale.** The British 
Government consented to take over the care of French in- 

* George Meredith, Letters of (N. Y., 1912), vol. i, pp. 208-211, cor- 
respondence with his son and John Morley. 

" Times, July 21. 

* This sermon of the Rev, Stopford Brooks was criticized by Saun- 
ders's, July 25, 1870. 

* Doubt of the puissance of Prussian arms made it difficult for the 
British to use this prayer, since it asked the Almighty to inspire the 
vanquished with submission. Spectator, Aug. 13, 1870. 

* Ibid., July 23, 1870. 

* Fortnightly Review, " France and Germany," vol. xiv, pp. 36-37. 



8o BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [80 

terests in Germany and received appropriate thanks/ but the 
French were aware of the British attitude and impatient of 
it. A caricature map of Europe, very popular in Paris, 
figured England as a fussy, nervous old lady, turning her 
back on Europe in a flutter of alarm, shocked and grieved 
at her neghbours having fallen to blows. A breeze from 
across the Channel blows the poor dame's petticoats through 
her legs, and almost lifts her off her feet, while she struggles 
with her bonnet and an enormous umbrella.* 

France was desirous to attract dame England's attention 
to other difficulties than these of her own. To fill, in some 
manner, the gap occasioned by the Government's withhold- 
ing of the official documents, the Comte de Gramont sent to 
neutral England on the twenty-first a circular explanatory 
of the French course of action. The circular referred to 
assurances given a year before by the Prussian Under Secre- 
tary, von Thile, that Leopold would never seriously become 
a candidate for the Spanish throne, and to the Emperor's 
impression that, irrespective of this, negotiations to that 
end had for some time been carried on under Bismarck's 
direction. In discussing the much mooted encounter on 
the Kursaal promenade, it declared that the King was ad- 
dressed only because Bismarck had made himself inacces- 
sible. The Prussian answer to the circular evaded de- 
tails, confining itself to a dignified denial that the candidacy 
had been discussed by Prussian officials and Benedetti 
after they had become aware of the Spanish offer. 
This, as the Standard and the Morning Post pointed out, 
was in no way a refutation oif Benedetti's statement as 
to what had happened in 1869. At that time, the papers 
said, the crown had not been formally offered but assurances 

* Granville to Lyons, July 21, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, pp. 
68-69. 
' Described in Saturday Review of May 27, 1871. 



8l] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR gl 

had been given that would preclude such an eventuality. 
These had not been observed, since by the King's admission, 
the candidacy had received royal consent after consultation 
with Bismarck/ 

The circular had no very apparent influence on British 
opinion. The Kinglake Napoleon, which to most Islanders! 
was the true one, was not a man to have been outplayed in 
diplomacy by a rough Prussian, who, it was thought, knew 
little but the berserker methods of blood and iron. As the 
Globe complained,^ the press continued its onesided policy 
in regard to the war, printing much nonsense in support 
thereof. Napoleon, it was declared, like Alexander, had 
been jealous that there might appear two svms in the 
heavens.^ The fifty thousand " noes " of the army in the re- 
cent plebiscite had set him on the quest for Prussian blood, 
and with a fe, fi, f o, fum he had smelled it in this affair of 
the Hohenzollem princeling. The impression remained 
that, as the Saturday Review phrased it, Napoleon, on the 
slenderest provocation, had committed one of the greatest 
of crimes,* and that France had disgraced herself by sub- 
mitting to the will of this "wretched man." Papers 
like the Morning Advertiser and the canny Scotsman, that 
reviewed Prussia's conduct toward Denmark and Austria 
imfavorably, regretted that, were she punished for past of- 
fenses, it must be at the hands of an impious adversary.* A 
respectable minority, comprising the Standard, the Globe, 
the widely read Telegraph, the Tablet, Lloyd's Weekly, and 
News of the World, could only buffet hopelessly against the 
tide. 

* Issues of July 25, 1870. 
' Globe of July 25, 1870. 

* Illustrated London News, July 23, 1870. 

* Saturday Review, July 23, 1870. 

* Issues of July 23, 1870. 



82 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [82 

It has been said with reason that if a lie be allowed 
twenty-four hours start nothing can catch it. It is not 
surprising, then, that when the official correspondence was 
laid before Parliament, almost a fortnight after the Ems 
episode, it had scarcely more influence than the Gramont 
circular, and, indeed, by many of the journals was com- 
pletely ignored. Events of the week before last could not 
compete in interest with other very startling news, which 
we shall see was astutely laid before the public on the day 
before the documents were made available. It is doubtful, 
even, whether members of Parliament occupied themselves 
very much with despatches that ten days before would have 
had a very vivid interest. Earl Russell was certainly 
drawing his information from other sources when he laid 
himself open to the Earl of Malmesbury's correction by 
asserting that Benedetti had declined discussion with Bis- 
marck and insisted on dealing directly with the King.^ 
Lord Granville, in acknowledging that much turned on the 
misreading of the Ems incident, rigorously f orebore to in- 
timate by which side the misreading had been contrived.* 
Documents that in a court of law could not but have proven 
valuable to French interests received substantially no 
analysis by the leaders of Parliament. 

Nor was the piiblic more discriminating. It was equally 
pleased with Charles Lever, who described Napoleon as a 
second Sir Lucien O'Trigger,''' and with Mrs. Malaprop, who 
misquoted Lever and called the Emperor Sir Lucien In- 
triguer. Lord Lyons complained to Granville of a dis- 
position on the part of the public to " attribute everything 
to deep laid plots and schemes," which induced them to 

* Session of July 28, 1870, Hansard, op. cit, vol. cclii, p. 1061. 

' Session of July 28, 1870, ibid., vol. cciii, p. 1054. 

'Lever, O'Dowd Papers, Blackwood's, Sept., 1870, vol. cviii, p. 360. 



83] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR 83 

suppose the war a foregone conclusion. This, he was sure, 
was not true in the case of France. Even at the last 
moment, he claimed, she would have left the door open to the 
mediation of a congress, had it not been for the appearance 
of the momentous article in the North German Gazette.^ 
The press verdict on the Official Correspondence was that 
Granville had played a role eminently dignified but some- 
what useless. French partisans blamed his severity, when 
after the dubious withdrawal of the Prince, he had charged 
the French Government with the " tremendous respon- 
sibility of insisting on a mere point of form.'* * They 
pointed to Bismarck's unrebuked refusal to submit to the 
King, Granville's memorandum to Bemstroff, which had 
aimed at effecting a settlement injurious to the dignity of 
neither country.* 

The French Journal Oiftciel of July the thirty-^rst gave 
the close analysis of the British Blue Book that the London 
papers omitted, and urged that, should its interpretation be 
considered biased, the doubter should resort to the docu- 
ments themselves.* It cannot be believed that this advice 
caused the pages to be ruffled very considerably. Even the 
leisurely contributors to the magazines were offenders on 
the score of heedlessness. There occurs no newspaper 
article so absolutely contemptuous of the facts set forth in 
the Blue Book as a discussion appearing in Fraser's for 
August, which denied that the war was preceded by " any 
correspondence, demands, or ultimatimi,'' whatsoever.'' In 

* Lyons to Granville, July 31, 1870. 
« Daily Telegraph, July 28, 1870. 

* Pall Mall Gasette, July 28, 1870; Manchester Guardian, July 28, 1870. 

* Translation of extracts from Journal OMciel, Brit. State Papers for 
1870, vol. Ixx, pp. 59-61. 

* Eraser's New Series, vol. ii, pp. 266 et seq., "The Causes of the 
War." 



84 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [84 

Blackwood's Magazine for the next month, Charles Lever 
hits off ludicrously the persistent belief in French intrigue 
by a dialogue between Napoleon and his Foreign Minister. 

" Better than all that," whispered M. de Gramont. " There's a 
forty-ninth cousin of the King wishes to be King of Spain. Prim 
told it to a lady who knows the Prince Carlo de Bourbon, who 
told it to the Duke of Lucca, who told it to me." 

" Admirable, nothing could be better," muttered his Majesty, 
and between his teeth, went on, " honour of France, integrity of 
our Empire, inordinate ambition, and throne of Charles V! I'd 
like to see an English dispatch reply to that !" ^ 

It was not until the war was well lost by the Emperor, and 
Paris was besieged, that it began to be believed that the 
whispering and muttering might have been on the Prussian 
side. The Times, on the last day of December, speaks of 
the candidature as a pretext which had been for some time 
kept in reserve, perhaps with the malicious connivance of 
the North German Chancellor. The annual supplement to 
the Gentleman's Magazine, published also in December, 
gives a fairly comprehensive history of the affair on the 
Spanish side, mentioning Sefior Ranees' visit to Berlin in 
March of 1869 and his interview with Bismarck; the subse- 
quent assurance given by von Thile to Benedetti in the same 
month; the Diisseldorf negotiations of Sefior Salazar with 
Prince Leopold in February of 1870, and the Spaniard's dis- 
creet admission that Prussia had not interfered with the 
affair. The reviewer hazards the conjecture that, though 
history was not explicit on the spring and summer negotia- 
tions of 1870, ''hardly anything less than the consciousness 
that the army of the North German Confederation was on his 
side, could have sustained General Prim in the daring posi- 
tion he persisted in when he maintained his advocacy of 
Prince Leopold, in spite of French objections." He be- 

* O'Dowd Papers, Blackwood's, vol. cviii, p. 353. 



85] RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECLARATION OF WAR 85 

lieved that Bismarck knew both of the offer and its accep- 
tance, though the King was wilfully left in ignorance.^ 

Even to this day the affair wears still its cloak of 
mystery. Bernhardi's memoirs significantly omit the in- 
teresting chapter that should have dealt with the secret mis- 
sion he undertook to Spain at Bismarck's behest, and the 
memoirs of Bismarck, Moltke, and Roon are no more com- 
municative on the subject. Lord Acton, who, it is said, 
knew the banker through whom the transaction was effected, 
is authority for the statement that a large sum of Prussian 
bonds were transferred to Madrid while the Cortes was dis- 
cussing the question of the Spanish succession.^ 

As to the " gravamen of the offence," — the inflammatory 
version of the telegram from Ems and its immediate pub- 
lication, — Bismarck, himself, has long since admitted — 
even boasted — that by clever excisions of the King's des- 
patch he had converted, as Moltke put it, a summons to a 
parley into a fanfare, and by the personally conducted and 
widespread publicity given the edited telegram had waved a 
" red flag before the Gallic bull." But his admission was 
reserved for the nineties. Nor did the French Minister 
publish his version of the affair in time to influence British 
opinion during the conduct of the war.* 

Something of direct connivance, however, was sus- 
pected in England after Prussia's victories had proven her 
preparedness. David Urquhart and more than one of his 
followers, writing in pamphlets, and in the Diplomatic Re- 
view, and the Anglo-American Times, noted with mistrust 
the justification Bismarck gave when, on second thought, he 

' " Story of the War," Gentleman's Annual for 1870, pp. i et seq. 

'Acton, Historical Essays and Studies (London, 1907), p. 204; Lady 
John Russell, A Memoir, pp. 228-229; Marriott, England Since Water- 
loo, p. 423. 

• Comte Vincent Bcnedctti, Ma mission en Prusse, Paris, Oct, 1871. 



86 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [86 

accepted a modicum of the applause and congratulations of 
the Prussian soldiery. " Gentlemen," he said, ** I have 
done nothing to obtain the success .... but wait for a 
moment — I have done one thing. I have so acted that the 
Southern States of Germany have aided us with all their 
power." ^ Urquhart and his disciples beclouded their 
analyses and conjectures with much, ado about Russia's 
share in the negotiations. Many thought that they did but 
bespatter Prussia in their efforts to paint Russia with a 
more lavish blackness. It resulted that their revelations 
were glossed over by the British public. Only when they 
reappeared so late as March, 1871, (all too late to be of 
practical advantage to France) and were strengthened by a 
searching analysis of the Official Correspondence, did they 
receive due weight. The discussion of " Scrutator," in a 
pamphlet entitled, Who is Responsible for the War,^ aroused 
widespread attention. By the Germans, he was believed 
to have been either Gladstone, himself, or someone speaking 
for him.* British reviewers described him as a well known 
advocate of Gladstone's ecclesiastical policy.* The semi- 
official quality and the brilliance of the writer's argument 
caused credence to be given to his account of the war's con- 
triving. " The Chancellor published in his own organ," 
says " Scrutator," " and communicated to the Governments 
of Europe, an incident which never took place, but which 
had the immediate effect of precipitating war." 

* Issues respectively of Jan. 2, 1871, and Nov. 19, 1870. 

'The pamphlet was the outcome of a controversy waged between 
" Scrutator " and Prof. Max Miiller in the Times. 

* North German Correspondent, quoted in John Bull, March 25, 1871. 

* He was believed by some to have been Count Gasparin. 



CHAPTER V 
Publication of the Draft Treaty 

That much of British sympathy was diverted from 
France at the war's inception was due not to any evaluation 
of the merits of her case, nor to the connection existing be- 
tween the Prussian and English Royal families, nor to a 
revival of the traditional hatred of France nor indiscri- 
minate fear of her aggrandizement, but to a very tender 
regard for the little country of Belgium, whose great port 
of Antwerp, were it possessed by any but a neutral Power, 
would sorely menace the safety of John Bull's tight little 
island.^ It was feared that during the course of the war 
the security guaranteed Belgium by the Treaties of 1831, 
1839 would be endangered by French aggression, and 
that, in the event of Prussian defeat, it would become neces- 
sary for England to form a second line of European de- 
fence against an unscrupulous France. 

On July the fifteenth, M. de Gramont had made the 
spontaneous declaration to Belgium that, should war take 
place, the Government would continue to respect her 
neutrality.* News of this had been duly communicated to 
the British Ministry by Lord Lyons, but before it was 
received Gladstone, already, had sent enquiries to his Min- 
ister of War as to the readiness with which England could 
send twenty thousand men to Antwerp.* It was only a far 

1 Spectator, July 23, 1870. 

* British State Papers for 1870, Foreign Series, vol. Ixx, pp. 40-41. 

• Morley, Life of Gladstone, vol. ii, p. 339. Sir Robert Morier claims 
that England .went so far as to discuss with other Governments the 
feasibility of her sending troops to Antwerp. 

S7] 87 



88 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [88 

outlook, however, he told Cardwell in a later communica- 
tion, which brought into view the possibility of having to 
send such an expedition.^ Be that as it may, the French 
Ambassador became so much alarmed at rumours of these 
military considerations as to report to his Government that 
they had been the subject of discussion in the Cabinet, and 
to remark, in passing, that a British occupation of Antwerp 
would be a strange way of showing respect for Belgian 
neutrality.^ 

One can imagine, then, what discomfort was felt by 
Gladstone and Granville when, shortly after the declara- 
tion of war, the Prussian Ambassador, von Bernstorff, in- 
formed them of a treaty drafted in the handwriting of 
M. Benedetti which provided for the absorption of Belgium 
by France.^ While the British Ministers had the matter 
tmder advisement, the Ambassador entrusted the treaty to 
Baron Krause, who on the night of July the twenty- fourth 
carried it to the rooms of the editor of the Times at Ser- 
jeant's Inn.* Mr. Delane was selected by Count Bismarck 
to be the bearer of its ill-tidings not only because he con- 
trolled the most influential of London journals but because 
he was believed to have an intense dislike of the French 
Emperor. This aversion, which, the Standard claimed, 
grew out of Napoleon's refusal to aid the Times in a trade 

* Morley, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 

'Lyons to Granville, Paris, July 19, 1870, Newton, Lord Lyons, vol. 
i, pp. 301-302. 

■ Morley, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 340. 

*Cook, Delane of the Times (London, 1915), PP- 226-227; Count 
Andreas BernstorflF, Second Secretary to the Prussian Embassay, claims 
that it was he who carried the Draft Treaty to Delane at the Times 
office, The Bernstorff Papers, Dr. Karl Ringhoffer, Life of Count Al- 
hrecht von Bernstorff (London, 1908), vol. ii, pp. 275-276; in Hunt 
and Poole, op. cit., it is said that Bismarck gave the Draft Treaty to 
the Berlin correspondent of the Times, vol. ii, p. 263. 



89] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY g^ 

speculation/ had lately been intensified by the decision of 
the French that no newspaper correspondents might ac- 
company their armies,^ and by their recent arrest of one of 
the Times* men who had made a soldier drunk at Metz to 
worm from him forbidden information.^ Baron Krause 
knew that he would unfold his tale to willing ears. The 
document he had to show was undated. He supplied the 
information that its date was 1866. It was unsigned, but 
he assured the editor that the handwriting was that of the 
nefarious envoy who had conducted himself so shabbily at 
Ems. Delane read, copied, and published at once.* Not 
only did he stand sponsor for the anonymous treaty which 
had been left on his doorstep but he accepted in to to all that 
the bearer told him of its origin and history. His editorial 
of the twenty-fifth succeeded in exciting almost more of 
alarm than did the treaty itself : " We might easily deduce 
from internal evidence," says this astute editor, " if we 
were not otherwise assured of the truth, that the proposed 
Treaty was submitted to Prussia by France as a basis for 

* Standard, July 26, 1870 ; Anglo-American Times, Aug. 6, 1870. 

^ Globe and Traveller, July 28, 1870. Felix Whitehurst, when he 
attempted to gain the Emperor's permission for Dr. Russell to go to 
the front, met with a courteous but positive refusal. Napoleon re- 
marked that Gortchakoff had told him that during the war in the 
Crimea, the War Office at St. Petersburg was always perfectly au 
courant with what was going on at British headquarters through the 
brilliant communications forwarded to the Times by this same Dr. 
Russell. Life and Adventures of George Augustus Sala (N. Y., 1895), 
vol. ii, p. 154. The French refusal caused the British Government tem- 
porarily to deny permission to Capt, Hozier, another of the Time/ 
correspondents, to start for the Prussian Army, Delane, indignant at 
such careful neutrality, wrote to Dasent that the Ministry were mean- 
spirited and white-livered Dasent, lohn Delane (N. Y., 1908), vol. ii, 
pp. 266-268. 

» Tablet, July 28, 1870. 

* Tim^s, July 25, 1870. Fitrmauricc, Life of Lord Granville, vol. iir 
pp. 39-40. 



^O BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [go 

the removal of all difficulties that threatened to interrupt 
peace between them ... It was rejected, but unless we 
are misinformed, and speaking with all reserve on a sub- 
ject of such importance we are satisfied that our informa- 
tion is correct, — the Treaty has been again offered as a con- 
dition of peace. The suggestion has not been favourably 
received." 

The editorial of the accommodating Delane gave more 
€clat to the Treaty's publication in London than it enjoyed 
in its own country. It appeared in Berlin on the same day 
with no such addition of authoritative assurances. But even 
without the sauce of editorial comment, it was sure to prove 
a provoking tidbit.^ Its terms provided that the North 
German Confederation and all acquisitions by Prussia be 
recognized by the Emperor; that the King of Prussia con- 
sent to the acquisition of Luxemburg by France; that the 
Emperor agree to a more intimate union of the govern- 
ments of North and South Germany; that the King of 
Prussia consent to a French invasion of Belgium, and join 
with the Emperor in an offensive and defensive alliance, 
and in giving a reciprocal guarantee of his dominions. 

One can imagine that Paterfamilias in reading the news 
of this Monday morning saw trouble ahead and did not 
linger for a second cup of coffee before setting out for the 
City. If it so happened that he met on the way one of his 
neighbours who was a reader of the Daily Telegraph an 
interesting dialogue must have taken place. The neighbour 
would have been keen on discussing an interview that his 
paper carried between the Emperor and two Englishmen 
in Paris.^ Napoleon had spoken very frankly in his effort 
to get his case before the British. He told them he had 
been sure he could so handle the controversy as to make 

* Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, vol. cciii, col. 955. 
' Daily Telegraph, July 25, 1870. 



^l] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY 91 

peace certain, but " France had slipped out of his hand." 
He had thought that to present his position clearly as to 
the Hohenzollern candidature was the best means of avert- 
ing the war that he knew himself not prepared for. He 
reverted to the difficulties he had been facing ever since 
Bismarck, in 1866, had refused to reward his friendly 
neutrality by permitting him to acquire Luxemburg and 
certain small towns which menaced his frontier. And then 
he amazed his interviewers by saying that Bismarck had 
qualified his refusal by enquiring of M. Benedetti what 
quid pro quo would satisfy France were Prussia to annex 
Holland, — an enquiry that brought a threat of war from the 
French envoy and terminated the interview. 

If the neighbour chanced to be a person of importance 
and knew some of the secrets of the British Foreign Office, 
he may have remembered that, in 1865, the Danish Minister 
told the British Ambassador to his country that Bismarck 
had communicated to him this same wish to acquire Hol- 
land, — a country which, he said, attracted Prussia not only 
because of her coast-line but because of her colonies. France, 
Bismarck had said, could then take Belgium, — " since 
a guarantee was in these days of little value." ^ It cannot 
be supposed that Paterfamilias, whose digestion was still 
disturbed by the news in his own paper, allowed his neigh- 
bour to unburden himself of many of his fears and surmises 
before he quite astonished him by pointing out the more 
startling revelations in the Times. Napoleon had reported 
a conversation, which had admittedly been terminated. 
Prussia had communicated a treaty, which she claimed had 
been urged on her very recently with the effect of precipitat- 
ing the present war. Small wonder that, as the Scotsman 
complained, the British almost wholly disregarded the state- 
ment of Napoleon. 

* Motley, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 320. 



92 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [92 

It is our business to heed the voice of the pack, so, Hke 
Paterfamilias, we will clutch the Times closer and plunge 
down into the City. The stock market, a ready barometer 
of public opinion, was in dire confusion. Consols were 
especially unsteady. At least six members of the Exchange 
faced positive ruin. The day's parliamentary session was 
barren of relief. News came that Gladstone had said noth- 
ing to clarify the situation, — had contented himself with 
the climactic declaration that the document was of a nature 
to excite attention and e?ven astonishment,: — ^one Whosd 
character was such that it might be deemed incredible.^ 

Lord Granville, on the day following, laid before the 
Lords the official correspondence that preceded the war. 
Prussia's astutely timed publication of the Treaty made 
these documents about as interesting as the dusty papers 
of a neglected wastebasket. The Honorable Members were 
immensely more interested in the report he gave of a con- 
versation he had just had with the French Ambassador. 
M. de Lavalette admitted that the document all were dis- 
cussing had, indeed, been written by Benedetti, but claimed 
it had originated with Bismarck. So far as France was 
concerned the Treaty was only a souvenir of an incident 
long closed. He reminded Granville that his country had 
assured Belgium before the war's outbreak that her neutral- 
ity would be respected, and had communicated this decla- 
ration to Lord Lyons. ^ That Ambassador, on the day 
Lord Granville was making this report in Parliament, re- 
ceived renewed assurances from Gramont, who told him 
Bismarck had not only prepared the Treaty but had offered 
that, in case France feared the odium of occupying Belgium, 
Prussia would undertake the occupation and then retire in 
apparent deference to her remonstrances. Lord Lyonst 

^ Session of July 25, Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciii, p. 885. 
' Ibid., vol. cciii, pp. 925-926. 



93] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY 93 

was of the opinion that the Times was misinformed when 
it claimed the Treaty had been the basis of recent discus- 
sion/ 

The statement of the Foreign Secretary to ParHament 
greatly pleased the Standard, which had warned its Con- 
servative readers that very morning against giving credit 
to what seemed '* a poor squib — the work of some English- 
man unaccustomed to the employment of the French lang- 
uage " — a something its rival had published to add fuel to a 
flame already blazing and to lure England into hostilities 
against France.^ Somewhat to cool this flame it reprinted 
a series of gossipy sketches that had appeared in its columns 
in August of 1866, detailing such schemes as we heard our 
friend of the Telegraph striving to communicate to Pater- 
familias on the day the Treaty was published.^ The Mortv- 
ing Post joined the Standard in denouncing its powerful 
contemporary's attempt to damage France by such dubious 
means. It pointed out that the King of Prussia was set 
forth in the Treaty as the first contracting party, and that 
according to diplomatic usage this alone was proof of its 
Prussian origin.* But it must be admitted that the Record 
was just when it characterized the Morning Post as " not- 
oriously French." 

The Pall Mall Gazette, guileless of such favouritism, 
more nearly expressed the popular opinion when it com- 
plained that "during the entire period within which this 
proposal must have been made, England has been on terms 
of cordial friendship with the French nation. It is start- 
ling to find that all this time the French Government was 
contemplating an enterprise which England could not have 

* Newton, op. cit, vol. i, pp. 303-304. 
' Issue of July 26, 1870. 

* Issue of July 27, 1870. 

* Record, July 26, 1870. 



94 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [94 

suffered to go unopposed without sacrificing her dignity 
and putting her future independence in peril." ^ Saunders', 
trying hard to transplant this British attitude on the stub- 
bom soil of Ireland, declared that the document precluded 
any further trust in France, and, whereas the editor of 
Pall Mall had advocated armed neutrality, Saunders' im- 
proved upon his ardour by advocating " positive hostility.'* ' 

The Daily News, however, which had been as zealously 
critical of France as these two of its contemporaries, was 
not so sure that the revelation reacted solely to her dis- 
credit. It observed that a rogue does not go straight to 
an honest man and propose that he become his accomplice.* 
This was the view, too, of the Evening Mail,^ and of the 
Record, that modified the metaphor by describing the intri- 
guers as two burglars sitting down beforehand to arrange 
how a profitable robbery might be committed with impunity.* 

The Manichester Examiner, likewise, concluded that the in- 
dex fingers of two hands would be needed to point the guilty 
man. It believed Count Bismarck had done his cause no 
good by showing himself to be more versed in the wiles and 
guile of diplomacy than had been thought.* Its rival the 
Manchester Guardian pointed both fingers, too, and wagged 
its head at the British Foreign Office that had been deceived 
into confidence while Napoleon and Count Bismarck quietly 
discussed how best to make Holland, a Prussian, and Bel- 
gium, a French, province.^ It was the morning after the 
Treaty appeared that John Stuart Mill expressed his com- 

* Issue of July 25, 1870. 
' Issue of July 27, 1870. 

• Issue of July 26, 1870. 

* Issue of July 26, 1870. 

• Issue of July 27, 1870. 
« Issue of July 27, 1870. 
' Issue of July 26, 1870. 



95] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY g^ 

plete approval of a demonstration Sir Charles Dilke and 
others of the Liberals were sponsoring. He hoped they 
would take this opportunity of assuring Prussia that Great 
Britain considered her as defending her own and the liberty 
of Europe, and that she, herself, recognized her obligations 
to Belgium, and was convinced that, were France victori- 
ous, she would, in her turn, be attacked as the " fourth of 
the Great Powers that fought at Waterloo." ^ 

On the morning of the twenty-seventh, the Times pub- 
lished a letter of M. Emile OUivier's which categorically 
denied the portentous claim that any recent negotiations had 
taken place on the basis of the notorious Treaty.^ Some- 
what later, the Foreign Office published a slender sheaf of 
documents dealing with the matter.^ For scandal mongers 
in diplomacy this second Blue Book was most interesting^ 
The musty acorn of a rejected treaty had produced a whole 
forest of phantom, but very shady, negotiations for the 
parcelling out of those smaller European states that were 
Great Britain's particular care. Not to enter too deeply 
into its bosky recesses, it will suffice to say that Prussia 
and France were equally voluble and recriminatory. Each 
claimed to have valiantly withstood the assiduous tempta- 
tions of the other — Bismarck keeping the guilty secrets 
" for the sake of peace," * — even though he saw England 
beguiled by the French into proposing a disarmament which 
was intended to make possible these nefarious schemes. 
Though accommodatingly vocative, the Chancellor was not 
always consistent. For instance, after instructing his 
agent, Baron Krause, to give the Treaty's date as 1866,'' he 

* Mill to Henry Fawcett, July 26, 1870, Letters of John Stuart MilT 
(London, 1910), vol. ii, pp. 266-267. 

' Vide also, Standard, July 28, 1870. 

* Brit. State Papers of 1870, vol. Ixx, pp. 47-71. 

* Bismarck's telegram to BemstorflF, July 28, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixx, p. 40^ 
^ Supra, p. 89. 



gS BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [96 

instructed Bemstorff to give the date to Granville as 1867; ^ 
and though writing his Ambassador that Benedetti, " of his 
own accord/' amended Article 11,^ he himself told Lord 
Loftus that the amendment to this article was directly due 
to his own suggestion.' What really interested the British 
was his claim that if the publication of the Treaty had not 
taken place, France would have proposed to Prussia after 
the completion of their preparations for war that they unite 
their armies against unarmed Europe for the carrying out 
of the Benedetti programme.* The Treaty had been shown 
to Lord Loftus. It was soon to be photographed and 
published in the Graphic^ so that all who wished might 
read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. But were it only 
one of those dead drafts, — ghosts of dark plans that died 
aborning, which Morier claimed haunted the cupboards of 
all the Foreign Offices, it was not worth inspection. Only 
Count Bismarck's statement gave it interest and vitality. The 
veracity of the Prussian Minister became a matter of eager 
interest. Gramont's circular to the French agents abroad 
gave the same absolute denial to his claims that Ollivier 
had sent the Tiniest The press advanced its judgment for 

* Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, p. 41. 

' Bismarck to Bemstorff, July 29, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixx, pp. 67-69. 
' Loftus to Granville, July 30, 1870, ibid., Ixx, p. 70. 

* Bismarck to Bemstorff, July 29, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixx, p. 69. 
' Supplement to issue of Aug. 20, 1870, 

•Dated, Aug. 4, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, pp. 88-90; for Bene- 
detti's account of the affair, vide Ma mission en Prusse. The French 
instructions to Benedetti in regard to the negotiations of 1866-1867, it 
is claimedi, were discovered and acquired by the Germans in Cercay, M. 
Rouher's chateau, during the War of 1870. The collection is said to 
have included the original of the famous Draft Treaty, annotated by the 
Emperor himself. To provide against the intervention of England, 
Antwerp was to have been declared a free city. Vide George Hooper, 
Campaign of Sedan. The recent Treaty of Versailles provides that 
the papers be returned to France. 



97] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY gy 

the guidance of the public. The Daily Telegraph thought 
from the evidence in the case one might assign the role of 
Satan, with equal propriety, to either of the dark actors in 
the late drama ; ^ Once a Week saw the Treaty as the work 
of two armed pickpockets;* the Quarterly Review with 
more circumspection observed, none the less, that Bis- 
marck's past record did not exclude him from the Rogues* 
fraternity;^ while Jttdy, in biblical vein, suggested that 
these plots to gobble up the little nations reminded her of 
Aaron's rod that swallowed up all the other rods. She 
warned the author of the scheme to take care that his little 
essay in the rod business did not turn out badly for his 
own back.* The Manchester Guardian commended Bis- 
marck for having so wisely followed the advice of a lawyer 
to an inconstant lover and made most violent promises but 
communicated them only to the air.'^ The Northern Whig 
contrasted his loquacity with the reticence of the Duke of 
Marlborough on the occasion of an unworthy offer that had 
been made to him. The example of the great Duke should 
have been followed. If the proposals were so dishonorable 
as Bismarck and his Government now claimed, how came 
they for four years to be repeated ? ® The Court Journal 
believed the French version of the affair and frankly hoped 
the previous kindly feelings for Prussia would be changed 
to cynical distrust.'' 

To the Spectator,^ it seemed that, although Bismarck was 

* Issue of July 30, 1870. 

* Issue of Aug. 6, 1870. 
•Issue of Oct., 1870. 
*Aug. 3, 1870. 

* Issue of Aug. 2, 1870. 
•Issue of July 30, 1S70. 
' Issue of July 30, 1870. 

« Issue of July 30, 1870. 



gS BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [98 

blameable for secrecy, it was France that had been guilty 
of **an almost matchless perfidy." The Economist, like- 
wise ignoring French denials, believed that the rejection of 
the Treaty and not the Hohenzollern candidature was the 
true cause of the war/ Judy had proclaimed Prince Leo- 
pold the " lion of the season." He had sunk to a puppet, 
and now was only a makeshift. The London Graphic saw 
an argument for Prussian righteousness in the fact that the 
Treaty was so clearly favourable to France.^ The Telegraph 
thought the flaw of secrecy should be overlooked since 
Prussia was too weakened after the Austrian war to have 
opposed France with decision.* 

The Illustrated London News stands out with equal 
clearness from the critics of both France and Prussia. It 
took the unique position that neither had yielded to tempta- 
tion to any greater extent than would have " England or any 
other European Power in the same circumstances." It 
was the foe of excessive armaments. They produced an 
assurance of strength that induced nations to gratify their 
desires, — no matter how savage such desires might be. 
What a nation could do, it would readily find justification 
for doing.* 

Its opinion was unique not only in that it pointed to 
its own country as capable of similar dark traffickings, but 
that it raised its voice at this time against national arma- 
ments. Its contemporaries were vociferous in urging Britan- 
nia into armor. The Manchester Guardian represents John 
Bull as saying to a protesting Bismarck : " Well, Fm sure I 
don't know. Nap says he wrote that letter at your dicta- 

* Issue of July 30, 1870. 
'Issue of July 30, 1870. 

* Issue of Aug. 20, 1870. 

* Issue of Aug. 18, 1870. 



99] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY 99 

tion. ril tell you there's been queer dealings between you 
two fellows of which I don't half know yet. It seems to 
me you're two big thieving blackguards ; not a pin to choose 
between you, and that the best thing for me to do is to 
look after my own goods and chattels." ^ Punch won an 
approving smile when he turned the matter into verse : 

" Bismarck against Napoleon ! Who the odds will give or take, 
Which of the two more lightly his faith will bind or break? 
' Arcades ambo — blackguards both !' says John Bull's low'ring eye 
As he puts his trust in Providence — and keeps his powder dry." * 

Those who enjoyed the ramifications into iniquity with 
which Fraser's Magazine^ occupied itself to the disparage- 
ment of France, and the long-winded accusatory letters that 
found space in the Times, regretted that the journals briefly 
agreed to disagree on the apportionment of guilt and set 
about congratulating themselves on the unanimity of their 
agreement to force dame England to discard her coal- 
scuttle bonnet and crinolines for a suit of shining armour. 
When energy can be expended in action words become few. 
The Annual Register marvelled at the '* rapidity with which 
the story of the secret treaty was assigned to oblivion." * 

Perhaps its demise was hastened by the keen shafts of 
wit of the jokesters. Charles Lever in his O'Dowd papers 
satirizes the Billingsgate attitude of the disputants in this 
fashion : 

I'll show the Belgians what you did by them, says Bismarck ; and 
I'll show the Dutch what a pleasant destiny was to have been 
theirs, replied the Duke de Gramont. Will you have the face 
to deny that you did not mean to annex part of Piedmont and 

* Issue of Aug. 3, 1870. 
*Aug. 6, 1870. 

* Cf. The War, appearing in the Sept. issue. 

* Annual Register for 1870, vol. cxii, p. 95. 



lOO BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ iqo 

the Maritime Alps? asks Bismarck. Will you kindly furnish the 
Florentine Government with the military report from the staff 
officers of the Italian army when they were your allies? Did you, 
or did you not offer us 300,000 men in the war against Austria? ^ 

Judy provoked merriment by stating the revelations of 
the week in an amusing chronology : 

Aug., 1870. Monday — Count Bismarck publishes a draft treaty, 
in Count Benedetti's handwriting, proposing the annexation of 
Belgium by France. (N. B. Benedetti's pen wiper and pocket 
handkerchief marked with the Imperial arms, and left behind 
him, can be seen at the Berlin Foreign Office, as evidence that 
Bismarck was the lamb and Count Benedetti the wolf in this 
transaction.) 

Tuesday — Bismarck publishes another secret treaty, in which 
France proposes to annex Austria, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, 
and a few other countries, and allows Prussia to take the coast 
of Greenland as an equivalent. (Refused with virtuous indig- 
nation.) 

Wednesday — A third document published at Berlin showing a 
proposal of France to annex the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, 
and the Gulf Stream, and the Papal States; offering the Pope a 
kiosque and the privilege of selling newspapers in the Paris 
boulevards. 

Thursday — Bismarck prints another secret proposal that France 
should seize Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and Bismarck, 
Great Britain (if he could persuade the people there to let him 
have it). Rejected with dignity. 

Friday — The German Official Gazette contains a further secret 
treaty, under which the French agree to take Paris, and the Prus- 
sians to march on Berlin. (Temporized with.) 

Saturday — Further revelations. French prepared to annex the 
Eastern and Western Hemispheres, allowing Prussia to take the 
North and South Poles. (Rejected immediately.) 

Sunday — Spent by Bismarck at the Berlin Foreign Office, nmi- 
maging up a lot more revelations for next week.* 

^ Blackivood's, Sept., 1870. 

' Bismarck's Diplomatic Revelations, in issue of Aug. 31, 1870. 



lOi] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY iqi 

It is not surprising that the cotton-wool Government that 
had been conducting its retrenchments largely at the ex- 
pense of the army and navy felt themselves forced to a 
right-about-face. Gladstone had been striving for a secure 
neutrality, — one which would manifest '* unequivocal friend- 
liness " to each belligerent.^ The Draft Treaty and its rev- 
elations made it apparent that the only secure neutrality 
was an armed one, and that the attitude of the mutual 
friend had better be exchanged for that of a potential 
disciplinarian. John Bright was ill, but his brother, 
Jacob, spoke for him in opposition to the idea that 
England should arm herself for the defence of another, — 
even though that other was a nation whose neutrality she 
had guaranteed.* He, himself, wrote to Gladstone, censur- 
ing his backsliding from Manchester principles, and even 
intimating that such dereliction might induce his resigna- 
tion.' But the Quaker brothers were in a hopeless minor- 
ity. Only seven members in the House of Commons 
voted against furnishing the means for additional land 
forces. The Government was strengthened by a vote of 
credit to the amount of £ 2,000,000 for the supporting 
of British neutrality and the discharging of any obli- 
gation that might devolve on it. It cannot be claimed that 
the Government had shown any enthusiasm in the alacrity 
with which it had to respond to the popular demand. 
Mr. Gladstone was described as lukewarm, and almost hor- 
rified at the term " armed neutrality." * 

The honours of the debate went to Mr. Bemal Osborne 
and to Disraeli. The first sneered at a Foreign Office that 
had allowed "the most material event that ever happened 

^Annual Register, vol. cxii, p. 100. 

* Spectator, Aug. 13. 

•Macaulay Trevelyan, Life of John Bright (London, 1913), p. 417. 

^Annual Register, cxii, pp. 100-102. 



I02 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [102 

in the history of diplomacy " to be learned from the columns 
of the Times. He was impatient of the position of entire 
nullity which her powerful neighbours had assigned to 
England and welcomed Disraeli's advocacy of armed neu- 
trality.^ "There are vast ambitions abroad in Europe," 
Disraeli warned the uneasy Prime Minister. "This is no 
time to be weak." British neutrality should be " assured," 
— dowered with such strength that it could make itself 
respected. A cordial understanding with Russia, he be- 
lieved, would do much to strengthen England against that 
time when it might be necessary to counsel the belligerents 
and bring them to peace.* 

Disraeli's words and those of other speakers in the House 
suggested the belief that it was France who needed chiding 
and would later need counselling.^ This attitude was re- 
gretted by Sir Henry Bulwer, who counted the years of his 
friendship for France with the same tally that he counted 
the years of his life. He made no effort to exculpate her 
for having provoked the present conflict, but he expressed 
fear that she might be the victim of her own rash enterprise. 
And, reminding her critics that she had been the firm ally 
of Great Britain on the field of battle and at the great 
councils of Europe, expressed his hope that when occasion 
came for friendly mediation, they would "arrest the hor- 
rors of war in a country so eminent in the arts of peace, and 
save from the still greater horrors of tumult and revolution 
a capital that is the pride and ornament of the whole 
world."* 

1 Annual Register, vol. cxii, p. 103. 

* Ibid., vol. cxii, pp. 98-100; Weekly Freeman's Journal, Aug. 6, 1870 ; 
Daily News, Aug. 3, 1870; Buckle, Life of Benjamin Disraeli, vol. v, 
pp. 126 et seq. 

^Speeches of Messrs. Taylor, White and Beaumont, session of Aug. 
10, 1870, Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciii, col'ns 1741, 1782, 1784, respectively. 

^Ihid., vol. cciii, corns 1780-1781. 



1 03] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY 103 

In the House of Lords, the debates were not so vivid, 
partly because Lord Granville had proven more amenable 
to public opinion than had the Prime Minister. When Earl 
Russell urged that the Government should declare openly 
and explicitly the intention to be true to their treaties and 
faithful to their engagements, he was assured that nothing 
would prevent a scrupulous adherence to the Government's 
intentions whenever they had been clearly intimated.^ So 
aroused was public opinion that had the Ministry not shown 
itself determined to ensure respect for Belgium, it was be- 
lieved, it could not have lasted till the end of the session.^ 
Gladstone had given his endorsement to a new treaty of 
guarantee with much greater willingness than he had shown 
in the matter of increasing British armaments. On the 
thirtieth of July, the Cabinet met and decided to propose 
for the signature of France and Prussia identic treaties pro- 
viding that in the event of the violation of Belgian neutra- 
lity by either of the two. Great Britain would cooperate 
with the other for its defence, with the stipulation that such 
action should not involve her in the general war. The 
British Government, in proposing these engagements, 
carefully refrained from any mention of the Draft Treaty or 
of subsequent revelations, and based its proposal on the 
fact that both Emperor and King, in the assurances they 
had recently given in regard to Belgium, had made reserva- 
tions in the event of one or the other failing to respect the 
neutrality both had guaranteed. These conditional assur- 
ances, wrote Lord Granville, seemed to indicate that the 
declaration of each was incomplete. The new treaty was 
recommended as a means of removing the general anxiety 
"which at present not unnaturally disturbs the minds of 

* Annual Register, vol. cxii, p. 105. 

« St. Paul's Magazine, Sept., 1870, The English Aspect of the War, 
pp. 562 et seq.; Hunt and Poole, op. cit., vol. xii, p. 263. 



I04 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [104 

neutral Powers." ^ Prussia gave her signature on the ninth 
and that of France was obtained two days later. The latter 
acquiesced with something of reluctance. She regarded the 
request for new assurances as impugning the honesty of the 
spontaneous declaration she had given Belgium shortly 
before the declaration of war. It seemed to her at least 
a partial triumph for Bismarck.* Austria and Russia, sig- 
natories of the Treaties of 1831, and '39, declined England's 
request to sign the present one, due to an objection to its 
provision for coercive measures. They thought it would 
be impossible to embark on a war to protect Belgium that 
would not widen out into a participation in the general hos- 
♦ihties.' 

The treaty had its critics at home who made the same 
objection. Lord Cairns was one of these.* Their view 
was stated in the press by the Globe and Traveller J^ Other 
of its critics were Bemal Osiborne, who dubbed it a " child- 
ish perpetuation of diplomatic folly," and Sir Robert 
Morier, who called it a document " monstrously absurd in 
which, with an ingenuity worthy of a better cause, England 
endeavours to make each belligerent believe that she isi 
really only distrustful of the other, and in which she en- 
gages not to use her fleet, which is the only help any one 
cares about, and to employ her army only, which frightens 
Continentals about as much as an old horse pistol of the 
last century."* 

In Ireland, the jealous care of Belgium, to which the new 

* Granville to Lyons, July 30, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixx, p. 55. 
*Ibid., vol. Ixxx, pp. 56 et seq.; Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 41- 

* Ibid., vol. Ixxi, pp. 14-15. 

* Annual Register, vol. cxii, p. 107. 
' Issue of Aug. 9, 1870. 

* Memoirs and Letters of the Hon. Sir Robert Morier (London, 
1911), vol. ii, pp. 206-208. 



105] PUBLICATION OF THE DRAFT TREATY 105 

treaty bore witness, was matter for derision. The Nation 
criticized the inconsistence of a Power that enslaved Ire- 
land, but fostered Bel^um, and while guaranteeing the 
freedom of one nationality, perpetuated the subjection of 
another.^ The pictures in Fun, representing England as 
coming to the rescue of those Babes in the Woods, Holland 
and Belgium, whom the two wicked uncles were fighting 
over; or in the guise of a benevolent bull-dog that slept with 
one eye open the better to guard little dog, Belgium, while 
France and Prussia fought behind the kennel,^ gained only 
a wry smile from Patrick. 

On the whole, however, the treaty received a hearty wel- 
come. The Peers showed their content by almost imi 
mediately dropping the debate on foreign affairs. It was 
believed necessary by careful diplomatists who remembered 
the terms of the two previous arrangements for Belgian 
neutrality. The Treaty of 1839 specifically based itself on 
the first twenty-four articles of the Treaty of 1831. But 
the guarantee of the execution of the latter was contained 
in its twenty-fifth Article. Therefore the later treaty, 
which supplanted its predecessor, though containing a state- 
ment of Belgian neutrality in the Seventh Article of its 
Annex, had no specific guarantee for its execution.* The 
Spectator found cause for rejoicing, not that a faulty treaty 
had been supplanted by a more distinct pronouncement but 
because it believed the newer an engagement was the more 
forceful was it. " '39 is a long while ago," it argued, " and 
we have guaranteed many things in our history which from 
effluxion of time or change of circumstances, or modifica- 
tions in opinion, we certainly should make no effort to se- 

• The Nation, Aug. 6, 1870. 
•Issue of Aug. 13, 1870. 

* Daily News, issue of Aug. 6, 1870; Hertslet, Map of Europe by 
Treaty, vol. ii, pp. 881 et seq., 996 et seq. 



1 06 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [106 

cure."^ It was suggesting a dangerous doctrine, and one 
which was to be turned against England herself by Russia 
in only a few months. Paterfamilias had more the at- 
titude of the Daily Telegraphy and regarded the new treaty 
not as replacing engagements worn thin by time, but as reaf- 
firming them, and giving recognition to a bond which Eng- 
land's neighbours had considered she regarded but lightly.^ 
As Sir Robert Morier said, he cherished " old fashioned 
ideas about England's honour and such like fancies " ^ and 
delighted in a treaty which made them manifest to the 
world. And so John Bull was all aglow wjith virtue at 
having foiled the plots of that "crowned swindler. Napo- 
leon " and the " terrible German Chancellor " by a simple 
affirmation of his own honourable intentions, — a renewal 
of engagements Which accorded, by happy chance, so splen- 
didly with his own proper interests.* 

* Issue of Aug. 6, 1870. 
' Issue of Aug. 6, 1870. 

"Letter to Dr. Faucher, Sept. 19, 1870, Morier, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 
i8o-i8i. 

* Ten days after the new treaty of guarantee was signed, the British 
Government advised the French to permit Prussia to transport the 
wound'ed through Belgium. On Aug. 24, 1870, Borthwick, the editor 
oi the Morning Post, published an editorial in regard to this " Prus- 
sian intrigue." He claimed that his exposure of the motives behind the 
project convinced Gladstone and Granville of their error in having 
yielded to the Prussian proposals and caused them to withdraw their 
sanction immediately. The British State Papers ignore this " triumph " 
of the Post, Vide, Reginiald Lucas, Lord Glenesk and the Morning 
Post (London, 1910), pp. 239-240. 



CHAPTER VI 

Formation of the League of Neutrals 

While English tourists were scurrying home from the 
war zone, and Gladstone, in eloquent letters to his friends 
and a long speech at the Cobden Commemoration, was ex- 
ercising all that skill at mingling philosophy with denuncia- 
tion which the bonds of office had restrained in Parliament, 
those of the Tories and the old soldiers of the Crimea, who 
cherished for France such love as Bulwer had, busied 
themselves with maps, and speculations as to what course 
the war would take and what allies France might win for 
Prussia's undoing. The papers, full as they were of 
French and Prussian despatches, were, in George Meredith's 
phrasing, " mere chips of dry biscuit to the devouring ap- 
petite " of these partisans.^ The time that the sheets would 
leave the press could not be stated, but telegraphic 
news was supplied by various agencies to clubs, and 
reading rooms, and even to " private addresses ; " lectures 
on the geography of the war were given to workmen ; map3 
at sixpence each found eager buyers. London was full of 
parlour strategists. It is related that one hostess was 
greatly perturbed at having a guest who had just seated 
himself at her dinner table exclaim emphatically to his 
neighbour, " I shall fall on the right wing and the left 
flank!" "Oh," said the lady, "then you will want at 
least half a fowl!" 

1 Letter to John Morley; Meredith had' half-decided to start for 
French headquarters as a correspondent for the Post. Letters of 
George Meredith (N. Y., 1909- 1912), vol. i, p. 209. 

1073 107 



1 08 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ i og 

One of the papers said that a great Prussian squadron 
lay in the Mediterranean,^ and would act as a deterrent to 
Italy, should she wish to join an old ally who had gained 
much for her and might under pressure be induced to cap 
his work by granting her her ancient capital.^ However, 
should Count Beust swing Austria to the French side, Italy 
would think it better to fight with Austria and France than 
to stand by and watch them grow so strong from victory 
that they could punish her for her abstention. Austria, all 
knew, was smarting still under the terms of the Treaty of 
Prague, and only recently had shown the hurt in speaking 
of the " reckless selfishness " of Bismarck, and the " bad 
conscience" which his insistence on the railway across St. 
Gothard's Pass exhibited. The rumour was reported by 
Lord Lyons that Count Beust, though quite aware that 
nothing could be hoped for from South Germany, still 
trusted so much in French strength that on the day after 
War's declaration he concluded an informal alliance with 
France, promising her active aid by the middle of Sep- 
tember, or somewhat later when the advent of winter should 
make it impossible for Russia to concentrate her forces for 
active intervention.^ Some said it was stipulated that France 

* Spectator, July 9, 1870. The paper was in error as to the location 
of the fleet. In the Bernstorff Papers it is d'escritbed as having been 
on its way from Plymouth to Madeira. It was saved from capture by 
a warning from the Ambassador himself. Bernstorff Papers, vol. ii, p. 
275. When Prince Napoleon was sent to Italy in August, 1870, he, it 
is claimed', gained Victor Emmanuel's consent to ally (himself with the 
Emperor on the condition that Italy be allowed to do as she pleased 
in regard to Rome. The Emperor refused to be a party to such an 
agreement. His defeats and the withdrawal of his forces from Italy 
made it possible for that country to occupy Rome without his consent. 
Fleury, Memoirs of Empress Eugenie, vol. ii, p. 275. 

' Times, June 20, 1870, extract from Neue Freie Presse. 

3 Lyons to Granville, Dec. 31, 1872, Newton, Lord Lyons, vol. ii, pp. 
35-36. 



I09] FORMATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 109 

should have a force at that time in Baden. These plans 
materializing, the advance on Berlin would be made after 
armies marching from the south and west had made a junc- 
tion. There were others who regarded the Baltic with 
more of interest, and believed Prussia would be invaded by 
France from the north. ^ 

Four days before war was declared and when the British 
had just made their appeal to the Protocol of 1856, Lord 
Granville told the Minister of the Netherlands that in the 
event of war's outbreak. Great Britain would be neutral, 
and if she offered advice to other Powers it would be that 
they follow her example.^ Queen Sophia of the Nether-i 
lands was German by birth but strongly French in sympathy, 
and, on the day that her Minister was interviewing Granville, 
was, herself, lamenting the death of Granville's predeces- 
sor, the Lord Clarendon, whom so many believed might 
liave succeeded in preventing the war. She found it dif- 
ficult even to show herself civil to the Prussian Minister 
and his British wife.* It was not probable that a country 
ruled by a Queen so friendly to the French Court would in- 
terfere were Denmark to respond to French solicitations. 
The Duke of Cadore was at Copenhagen, urging the Danes 
to join their fleet with that of France and protect the land- 
ing of troops that might then march on Berlin from the 
north.* There was much speculation in England as to 
whether Denmark would take a step so bold. The Man- 
chester Guardian was of the opinion that, if she did, Eng- 

* Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord Granville, vol. ii, p. 42. 
"Granville to Vice Admiral Harris, July 15, 1870. 

3 Baroness de Bunsen, In Three Legations (London, 1909), pp. 335- 
336. For the untimeliness of Garendon's death, see Sir Spencer Wal- 
pole, History of Twenty-five Years, vol. ii, p. 481 ; Lucas, Lord Glenesk 
/jnd the Morning Post, p. 240; Redesdale, Memoirs, vol. ii, pp. 525-526. 

* Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 42. 



I lo BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [no 

land, at least, could not blame her : " Europe looked on 
with apathy while the spoliation of Denmark was accom- 
plished in 1864, and by a righteous retribution it is now 
involved in a conflict which would probably never have 
arisen if the neutral Powers had interfered to withstand the 
first onset of Prussian ambition. King Christian, ob- 
served the Guardian, " owes no gratitude to any of his al- 
lies." ' 

But whether assistance was to come for France from 
the north or south, none but a few of the British doubted 
that Prussia would be the country invaded. The editor of 
the Times was ready to lay his shilling upon Casquette 
against Pumpernickel,^ and the ears of von Bemstorff were 
assailed in the " most aristocratic and influential English 
clubs " by praise of the superior French valour.^ The state- 
ment of M. Rouher that credited the Elmperor with four 
years of careful preparation was accepted at par value. 
Not without cause, it was thought, M. Ollivier had said 
that he embarked on this enterprise with a ** light heart." 
A Minister of War, whose confidence was such that he 
could vouch for the last button on the last gaiter of his 
soldier's accoutrement, surely, was not to be caught nap- 
ping. Guizot, in his retirement at Val Richer, assured 
Bishop Wiiberforce that he knew the enemy's campaign 
would be to retreat and fight on the defensive. He thought 
Denmark would join France after her first victory and 
create a diversion from the north that would bring disaster 
to Prussian arms.* 

It is true that Guizot's rival, the veteran Thiers, had de- 

* Issue of Aug. 5, 1870; see also Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871. 
' Cook, Delane of the Times, p. 280. 
3 Bemstorff, Im Kampfe fin Prussens Ehre, p. 618. 
*R. G. Wil'berforce, Life of Bishop Wiiberforce (London, 1878), 
vol. iii, p. 355. 



Ill] FORMA TION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 1 1 r 

clared before casting his vote against the war, that France 
was not yet ready; and that the Emperor, even more re- 
cently, had admitted as much in the interview the Telegraph 
had published on the day of the Draft Treaty's appearance/ 
Also the Prince Napoleon, who was listened to and dis- 
regarded by everyone, had shown himself much agitated 
by his country's conduct. He was cruising in the Baltic 
when he learned of the imminence of war and determined 
at once to return " to Qiarenton [the French Bedlam] ; to 
that city of madmen which is shouting, to Berlin! and 
which is called Paris." There was the case, too, of the 
Jewish banker, who had grown rich in the French capital 
but left it for London, saying that it would be surrounded 
in a month. No one believed him. He committed suicide 
before he could forget the loss of his ducats in satisfaction 
at his foresight. Among the military, the doubters were 
General Ducrot, who had kept himself informed of what 
was going on across the Rhine, and Baron Stoffel, the 
French military attache at Berlin in 1869, who knew more, 
and had made a remarkable report of his observations the 
preceding August.* On Marshal MacMahon's authority it 
can be said that Baron Stoffel's superiors had given no 
credence to revelations that, when reprinted in '71, read 
almost as though they were a series of reflections on what 
had happened.^ 

The British were avid for reports from their own 
countrymen and newspapers were more than eager to in- 
dulge them. At first, it had seemed the French would al- 
low reporters to accompany them on their " promenade to 
Berlin," and many set out for Metz. But soon official re- 

1 Supra, chap, v, pp. 90, 91. 

• Capt. the Hon. D. Bingham, Recollections of Paris (London, 1896),, 
vol. i, p. 158. 

* Newton, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 50. 



1 1 2 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PR U SSI AN WAR [112 

cognition was denied and some fared badly, — which in na 
wise increased their sympathy for the French cause.^ 
However, by August the twelfth the Emperor so far modi- 
fied his rules as to permit the presence of those correspon- 
dents on whom he thought he could rely. Prussia, on the 
other hand, had extended a really royal welcome to the 
gentlemen of the Fourth Estate. In Berlin, Dr. Russell 
of the Times was invited to the christening of the baby 
daughter of the Crown Princess and, on being presented to 
the King by the British Ambassador, was welcomed as the 
minister of a very important power — that of public opin- 
ion.^ The continual favours showered on this famous cor- 
respondent, known to his admirers as " Billy Russell of the 
Crimea," and to those who disliked him as " Bull Run," 
provided good material for the fun makers, who claimed 
that when the gray-coated Doctor mounted his horse, it 
was customary for the gorgeously uniformed Crown Prince 
to hold his stirrup. He travelled de Itixe, with secretaries 
and couriers, as befitted the representative of a journal that 
counted for more abroad than all the British press together. 
Special facilities were afforded him for getting his re- 
ports to the Times and the Army and Navy Gazette/ The 
former paper was served, also, by Captain Hozier, who had 
ably reported the Sadowa campaign, and after delay again 
received his Government's permission to accompany the 
Prussian armies. Others of the foreign staff were Alex- 
ander Inness Shand, whose subsequent volume on the war 

* E. A. Vizetelly, My Days of Adventure (N. Y., 1914), PP- 56-57- 
'W. H. Russell, My Diary During the Last Great War (London, 

1874), p. 30. 
3 Julian Kune, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Hungarian Exile 

(Chicago, 1911), pp. 205-206; Archibald Forbes, Memories and Studies 

of War and Peace (Leipzig, 1871), pp. 225-226; Vizetelly, op. cit., pp. 

183-184. 



113] PORMA TION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 1 1 3 

became popular; Charles Austin, who wrote from Paris; 
Frank Lawley, who contributed also to the Telegraph, and 
Mr. Dallas, whom the Times shared with the News. The 
paper's motto, John Bright complained in i860, was Omnia 
pro tempore, sed nihil pro veritate — which he rendered, 
"Everything for the Times, but nothing for Truth." ^ 
These men reported events fully and accurately, but their 
chief prevented them from effecting any change in the 
paper's policy. 

It was the Daily News that plucked the highest laurels 
during the war, and is said to have doubled its circula- 
tion. The brightest star in its constellation was Henry 
Labouchere, whose ironic wit gave him a vogue surpassing 
any of his competitors. It had the only woman reporter, 
Jessie White Mario, the widow of Garibaldi's companion 
in arms in the Liberation days ; and Hilary Skinner, one of 
the few who were allowed special means of communication 
by the Prussian Staff; Crawford, who for long had written 
his newsletters at a little cafe fronting the Bourse, was 
another, as was the amusing Archibald Forbes. 

For the Standard, there was the elderly but jaunty Bower, 
whose glossy top hat and buff waistcoat were more appro- 
priate on the boulevards than in the camp, and who fortun- 
ately found matter for his pen without going afield.^ In 
Paris, also, was J. Augustus O'Shea, a good fellow of an 
Irishman, not to be confused with the gay and eccentric G. 
Augustus Sala, who was not a Bohemian and went to law 
to prove it. 

The Telegraph was popular also, — so much so that 
since it was always delivered late, newsdealers in Rus- 
sell Square complained that they lost the sale of other 

^Speeches of Right Hon. John Bright, M. P. (edited by Thorold 
Rogers, London, 1868), p. 500. 
' Vizetelly, op, cit., p. ZJ- 



1 14 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [114 

papers ibecause many preferred to wait and scramble over 
its quickly exhausted edition. It had a larger circulation 
in London than any of its competitors and proudly flaunted 
the number of its subscribers in tvtry copy. The men who 
helped to give it popularity were Felix Whitehurst, who 
saw everything through French glasses and made his diary 
speak with a Gallic accent; Beatty Kingston, *'the best man 
in the world for German news ; " ^ and Lord Adare, — later 
Earl of Dunraven, who had with him, perhaps as guard 
agains mistakes in reporting a war in which always the 
unexpected happened, the famous mystic, Douglas Home, 
Browning's model for Mr. Sludge, the Medium. 

Another titled correspondent was Sir Henry Havelock, 
whose scrupulosity in paying for what he needed did some- 
thing to dispel the peasant's belief that England was at 
war with France.^ The Morning Post was slerved by 
Thomas Gibson Bowles, whose precisely parted hair and 
trim moustache were the envy of the younger correspon- 
dents. There were, too, the three Vizetellys, father and 
sons, who reported for a number of papers; George T. 
Robinson, who got himself shut up in Metz to his advan- 
tage and that of the Manchester Guardian; Blanchard! 
Jerrold, whose knowledge of the French spy system kept 
him in terror for the indiscretions of his brethren of the 
press;' Captain Walker, former military attache at the 
British Legation in Berlin; the irresponsible Lewis Wing- 
field, a free lance, who contributed to all and sundry ; Jules 
Pilcoq, who imperturbably sketched battle scenes for the 
Illustrated; and Henry Mayhew, more fitted to write on 
economics than to follow a campaign. 

* Bismarck at times accordied him very special privileges. See Forbes> 
op. cit., p. 226. 

' Kune, op. cit., p. 205. 

• Vizetelly, op. cit., p. 57. 



115] FORMATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 1 1 5 

These were some of the many to whose omnipresence it 
was due, as Sir Robert Morier complained, that the horrors 
of war were microscopically laid out to jostle the toast and 
muffins on every British breakfast table. With a similarity 
to that jolly character of Dickens', who was always draw- 
ing skeletons, these gay gentlemen contributed no jam for 
John Bull's muffins, and Punch and Judy, lest he should sup 
full of horrors, tempered their dolour by creating a " very 
special cockalorum," who gave himself all the airs of Dr. 
Russell, and a certain Ally Sloper, who consulted the can- 
non for accurate information, and got himself into all 
sorts of escapades in his efforts to serve the British public. 
At one time he ridiculed the practice of the other papers by 
sending back instructions that Jiuiy stick up a paper outside 
the shop with scareheads chronicling the loss of his famous 
umbrella, and later his own disappearance, together with 
his belongings, "inclusive of umbrella and white hat." 
" The umbrella and hat are right as ninepence, you'll be 
pleased to hear," wrote Ally privately ; " but that don't mat- 
ter, stick it up outside the shop, and it'll have 'em beautiful. 
Contradict everything next day, and pot 'em again the day 
after." ^ 

A certain suspicion that the Power that would be found 
first ready for war was the Power that had meant war all 
along, invested with unusual interest the reports that were 
sent back as to the mobilization of the belligerents. On the 
twenty-second of July, the correspondent for Temple Bar 
wrote from Coblentz that, though France had about 1 50,000 
men at Chalons, they were not ready to take the field and 
were backed by no reserves. He estimated that it would 
require at least a fortnight or three weeks before they could 
undertake a campaign. Whereas, the Prussians, he be- 
lieved, could assemble all their forces in eleven days. John 

^Judy, Aug. 3, 1870. 



1 16 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 1^ 

Scott Russell had been assured it would be a matter of only 
ten days.^ Shand, who wrote for the Times, relates that 
Moltke lay smoking a cigar when his aide-de-camp brought 
him news of the declaration of war. " I had hardly looked 
for it for a day or two," he said without rising — ** Just have 
the goodness to open that drawer." Within an hour the 
necessary orders were flying to his subordinates in all parts! 
of Germany.^ On July the twenty-third, English reporters 
sent news that some twenty of the actors of the Passion 
Play at Ammergau had been called to the colours. Joseph 
Mair was the name of the peasant who played the part of 
Christ. He was a wood-carver, well over six feet in 
height, "gentle, modest, and deeply devoted." With the 
German regard for efficiency he was permitted to wear his 
long hair unshorn so that when he was mustered out of the 
artiliery he might resume his role, if von Moltke's calcula- 
tions went not awry and the work of battle was completed 
before the year expired.^ 

France, through the lamentable disorganization of her 
own system, could not but give her enemy an excess of 
the time required for mobilization. With what clock-like 
precision it was accomplished is apparent from the single 
statement that nineteen days after it was known war would 
be waged, Germany commenced on French soil her march 
to Paris.* It was not until several months later that the 
detailed work which had made possible such speed and surety 
ibecame knovm to the English. The Graphic, then, recounted 
the visit of General von Moltke to France in April of 1868, 

1 John Scott Russell, Into Versailles and Out, Macmillan's Mag- 
azine, Feb., 1871, pp. 310 et seq. 

'A. I. Shand, On the Trail of the War (London, 1870), pp. 87-88. 

^ Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, vol. vi, p. 176; Spectator and 
Daily Telegraph, issues of July 23, 1870. 

^Spectator, Aug. 6, 1870. 



1 1 7] FORMATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 1 17 

at which time he had visited her frontiers and had made 
notes on the condition of her defences.^ John Scott Russell 
told the readers of Macmillan's that for several years he 
had noticed the organization of the railroads throughout 
Germany into one military system. Each train, he said, 
carried two numbers and marks, — one of which gave its 
capacity in peace time and the other the use to which it was 
to be put in the event of war, and how many soldiers or 
how much ammunition it was to carry. For four yearsi 
previous to the war, he claimed, each man, and every 
weapon was exactly placed on paper for the march to 
France.^ 

The fact that the Emperor at first forbade the presence 
of correspondents with the armies served to prevent the 
British temporarily from discovering that their belief in 
French military preparedness was a delusion. However, 
the length of time elapsing between the Emperor's procla- 
mation to his people on the twenty-second of July and the 
beginning of his campaign gave the more thoughtful mat- 
ter for reflection. They wondered if the delay were not 
caused through some lack of generalship. It had been 
thought France was all eagerness to put to the test those 
two machines that Disraeli named as the cause of the war, — 
the so much discussed chassepot and the mitrailleuse.* 
Superiority of equipment would be necessary to counter- 
balance the presence of von Moltke on the Prussian side. 
That the Emperor accompanied his army was regarded aS 
rather a detriment to France. It was believed he belonged 
to that second class of rulers described by Machiavelli, 
those who were able to accomplish great things — ^by their 

' Issue of Oct. 22, 1870. 
' J. S. Russell, op. cit., pp. 310 et seq. 

'Lord Carlingford to Lear, Bath, Oct. 19, 1870. Later Letters of 
Edward Lear (edited by Lady Strachey, London, 1911). 



1 18 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ i ig 

councillors. It was remembered how fearful British states- 
men had been during the Crimea that he would seek glory 
in that campaign to the embarrassment of the allied 
generals/ ''There he goes," said Sala, when at last the 
Imperial forces got under way, " There he goes, and he has 
forgotten to get himself a return ticket." His lack of it, 
perhaps, was due not so much to want of foresight as tc» 
inability to pay its price. Before he became Emperor he 
had advised France to borrow from Germany her system 
of military organization.^ In 1867 he had formulated an 
elaborate report to aid the military commission. Only re- 
cently he had urged the abolition of exemptions, and the 
adoption of the Remington breech-loader that Metternich 
had told him was proving efficient in Austria.^ He was no 
more able as Emperor to accomplish these last innovations 
than he had been to accomplish the greater one when he was 
pretender. He was a sight to 'rouse the laughter of the gods, 
a Napoleon, feeble and old before his time, who had not the 
power to command his generals nor the ability to inspire his 
soldiers. In the vanguard of his army went the Turcos, — 
auxiliaries unfortunately accepted from the Arab chiefs. 
They were stationed in Baden, and whatever sympathy had 
been felt for France in that province rapidly disappeared. 
Of all the inconceivable follies committed by the Emperor, 
Sir Robert Morier thought this employment of African 
savages to fight the Germans was the greatest.* But 

* Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. i, p. 103. 

2 CEuvres de Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (edited by C. E. Temblaire, 
Paris, 1848), vol. iii, pp. 49 ^* seq.; chap, vi, pp. 268 et seq. 
» Wickham Hoffman, Camp, Court, and Siege, pp. 142-144. 

* Morier to his father, Aug. 3, 1870, Memoirs of Sir Robert Morier, 
vol. ii, p. 163. Cf. also London Graphic, Aug. 27, 1870; Fraser's Mag- 
azine, Oct., 1870. A Month with the Belligerents, N. S., vol. ii, pp. 
483 et seq. 



1 19] FORMATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS j 19 

Morier was overfond of superlatives. There were yet 
other follies to match this. 

On the second of August, Napoleon attacked Saarebruck, 
a town of six thousand inhabitants that the British journals 
were quick to inform their readers was unfortified.^ More- 
over, he had the misfortune to be successful, — which con- 
firmed the existing opinion of French power, — and to misuse 
his success by a needless destruction of the remains of the 
little town. The message to the regent Empress that the 
young Prince Imperial, whom he had with him, had stood 
his baptism of fire very bravely, was another blunder. The 
British would not applaud the boy's pluck nor the temerity 
of a father that made such test of it. Punch and the 
Spectator made wry faces at the whole performance, — a 
baptism of blood, and tears, and fire, they called it.^ There 
was a rumour in England, despite French protests to the 
contrary, that the fourteen-year-old boy, who was taken 
out in a special train that morning to direct the first mitrail- 
leuse fired by the Army of the Rhine, was carried back 
hopelessly shattered and afflicted with an hysterical malady 
which made it impossible any longer to exhibit him in public* 
Paterfamilias read of this strange Caesar chrism with ris- 
ing indignation, and with a sigh of relief, turned the page 
to read the simple address of the Prussian ruler to his 
soldiers. King William had told them at Saarebruck that 
he assimied command of his forces to repel attack. As for 
his people, he assured the French that they had desired, and 
still desired, to live at peace with them. As for himself, 

^Record, Aug. 8, 1870. 

*Aug. 13, 1870. 

• Chamber's Journal, March 18, 1871, A Good Correspondent, pp. 169 
et seq. Cf. Ed-ward Legge, The Empress Euginie and her Son (Loit- 
don, 1916), pp. 59-60; Augustin Filon, Le Prince Imperial (London, 
1913). 



I20 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [120 

he warred against soldiers, not against citizens, whose se- 
curity he would respect.^ What a contrast the British 
thought him to the cruel Emperor with his painted cheeks 
and trained mustachios! What a contrast was the Land- 
wehr to the barbarous Turcos ! 

On the morning of the fifth of August, six or eight hours 
before the event was known in Paris,^ the London Times' 
printed the news of the battle of Weissembourg, where 
some thousand Frenchmen with their complement of officers 
had surrendered. It was " really a great success," Charles 
Lever boasted in a letter to Blackwood, " I don't care a 
rush that the Prussians were in overwhelming numbers. 
May they always be so, and may those rascally French get 
so palpably, unmistakably licked that all their lying press 
will be unable to gloss over their disgrace." Not only were 
numbers unequal, but according to Sir Charles Dilke, who 
was at this time with the Crown Prince and as staunch an 
admirer of his forces as was the famous creator of O'Dowd, 
the battle was won really by some Poles who fought in the 
centre against the Turcos, while hardly a German or 
Frenchman was in sight. The Poles had cartridges and 
h)minbooks. The savages were almost as innocent of the 
one as the other.* 

This defeat and the twin disasters of Worth and Spich- 
eren, which occurred on the same day, foreshadowed the 
fate of the Empire. The Standard, in its editorial of the 
eighth, spoke of them as proof of the genuineness of the 
love of peace and economy that had been professed by the 
Ollivier Cabinet on its coming into power, — a testimony 

^ Times, Aug. 4, 1870. 

'Washburne to Fish, Aug. 8, 1870, Washburn»e, Correspondence of 
the Franco-German War, pp. 19-20. 

' Stephen Gwynn and Gertrud'e Tuckwell, Life of Rt. Hon. Sir 
Charles Dilke (N. Y., 1917), vol. i, p. 105. 



121 ] FORMATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 121 

that was at the same time a sort of swan song to Imperial 
prestige. It did not believe the battles presaged disaster 
to France itself. Nor did the Morning Post of that date, 
nor the Guardian, nor Spectator. But the Times was 
lugubrious, and the News croaked ** Nevermore." ^ 

In Ireland, where demonstrations at Cork, Kantuck, and 
Castlebar^ had followed the great night at Dublin, it was 
freely hinted that these British papers were in Prussian pay. 
Their evil tidings were disbelieved. There were cheers 
for General MacMahon, descendant of one of the " wild 
geese," who had contrived to elude the penal laws and 
emigrate to France. It was calculated that 600,000 Irish 
had died in the French service in the past century.* They 
promised an Irish brigade to MacMahon now if he should 
ask it.* In Limerick, 10,000 gathered at the Treaty Stone 
on the day of the battle of Worth to vaunt their sympathy 
for France. Katharine Tynan, who was a little girl at the 
time, remembered how on her way from school she saw the 
Irish school boys fighting the battles over again, and seeing 
to it that the French had the victory, in spite of all the lying 
British press. No one would take the part of the Prus- 
sians, so the boys had to combat unoccupied houses, — of 
which there were no few in Ireland, and riddle their win- 
dows with stones, the while they shouted battle cries." 
Young Quixotes tilting at windmills, perhaps. Perhaps, 
torch bearers, cherishing the fire some day to melt their 

* Issues of Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, respectively. 

^Northern Star and Ulster Observer, Spectator, Weekly Freeman*s 
Journal, issues of July 30, 1870. 

* Spectator, July 30. Estimate based on Records of French War 
Office. 

* Weefily Freeman's Journal, July 30, 1870. 

5 Katharine Tynan, Twenty-five Years' Reminiscences (London, 
I9I3)» pp. 43-44. 



122 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [122 

chains. Their mothers and sisters were busy collecting old 
linen to make charpie for the French wounded/ 

" It is always safe to predict that if one section of Irish- 
men take to asseverating that anything is white, another 
section will therefore and forthwith take to asseverating 
furiously, that it is black," said the Scotsman. True to 
tradition, across the Boyne there was a fanfare of rejoic- 
ing. For Protestant Ireland favoured the Prussians, and al- 
ready in Londonderry many had been wounded in a demon- 
stration that for an Orangeman neutrality was as much an 
anomaly as it was for his Catholic fellow.^ It was thought 
by the British that these Protestants did well to rejoice, for 
Dublin, and Cork, and Galway were cherishing the hope 
that France, that had often drawn the sword for others, 
might help her to attain nationality and the enjoyment of 
free institutions.* It was a wild hope, the Times said, but 
it was discussed, none the less, by British papers. They re- 
minded their readers that Monseigneur Dupanloup had 
encouraged Irish aspirations and accused Napoleon of hav- 
ing shown more sympathy for them than was correct for 
an ally of Great Britain.* The Evening Mail inveighed 
against the Nationalist press for seditiously hoping Eng- 
land would be embroiled in the Continental quarrel to its 
undoing.** This could not but increase the British effortsi 
to isolate the belligerents. The little Island that embraced 
the world had the weakness of its strength. It roused the 
jealousy of others, who had similar anacondic desires. 
England had need of caution. 

* C. E. Ryan, With an Ambulance during the Franco-German War 
(N. Y., 1896), p. I. 

2 Daily News, Aug. 4, 15, 1870 ; Saunders', Aug. i, 1870. 
' Times, Aug. 13, 1870. 

* Daily News, July 25, 1870. 
6 Issue of Aug. 9, 1870. 



123] FORMATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 123 

Lord Granville, in advocating the new treaty guarantee- 
ing Belgium, had been actuated not only by a desire to se- 
cure the engagements to which England was a signatory, 
but by a desire to localize the war. Thus the Government, 
though renewing an entangling alliance, believed itself still 
acting in accordance with the tenets of the Manchester 
School, — as Gladstone urged on Bright, who was im- 
patient of the sensitiveness for Belgium's safety. Indeed, 
this desire to localize the conflict seems to have been 
the guiding principle of Granville's policy. A free field 
for France and Prussia and a packed grandstand was his 
motto. France, he believed, would prove the stronger, 
and he wished to prevent any further increase of the 
odds that she might gain by assistance from the side 
lines. Not content with bolstering his own country into an 
attitude of rectilinear correctness by such means as pro- 
claiming her neutrality on the very day of the declaration 
of war; adjusting her armament to that nice point which 
would ensure respect and yet not rouse suspicion; and by 
promptly passing an act to restrain the inordinate partisan- 
ship of the Irish, he set about the formation of a league of 
neutrals. In this he was assisted by the victories of the 
sixth of August. They prepared the public for the news 
that Strasbourg was besieged, Fort Lichtenburg captured, 
that the war, in short, was to be fought on French, not 
Prussian, soil. The French fleet had blockaded the north- 
em ports of Germany, but the events of early August 
caused the prudent Danes to give support, now, to their 
Government's adoption of neutrality. They caused, too, 
the resignation of the Ollivier Ministry and the appointment 
of another, which an English paper said even flattery would 
be puzzled to salute with a tribute of admiration. 

Where Austria before had been inclined to pledge al- 
liance, the present rumour was that she would content her- 



124 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [124 

self with joining Italy in an agreement to urge a peace that 
would involve no territorial cession. A Berlin despatch, 
printed in the Times, claimed England had declined to be- 
come a third party to such a compact.^ Press comment 
says nothing of the London visit of the Italian statesman, 
Marco Minghetti, nor do the biographers of the Ministersi 
record it. But Count Beust asserts in his memoirs that it 
was this Italian,— an economist well pleasing, it may be 
supposed, to Bright and Gladstone, — whose mission resulted 
in England's decision to refrain from intervention and in- 
itiate the formation of a neutral league.^ On the tenth 
of August, the day after General Montaubon, Count de 
Palikao, was appointed premier of France, Lord Granville 
wrote Lyons that he had informed the Prussian Ambas- 
sador of " engagements " exchanged between Italy, Austria 
and his own Government, by which they bound themselves 
not to depart from neutrality "without an interchange of 
ideas and an announcement to one another of any change 
of policy." * Austria, be it noticed, before entering into thisi 
agreement had declared herself free from any conflicting 
engagements. Within the week, Granville informed the 
French Ambassador of the success of these negotiations 
and his hope to extend them,* — the outcome not of a formal 
compact of nation with nation, but a sort of "gentleman's 
agreement," formed by means of letters between Ministers. 
It was designed, he said, to take the place of a more formal 
project for combined neutrality that several Powers had 
advanced since the beginning of the war. Though the 
British proposals were received favourably, the note send- 

^ Times, Aug. 13, 1870. 

* Memoirs of Count Beust (London, 1887), vol. ii, p. 206. 

' British State Papers for 1870, Foreign Series, vol. Ixx, p. 96. 

* Granville to Lyons, Aug. 6, 1870, ihid., vol. Ixxi, pp. 11-16; Fitz- 
maurice, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 42-43. 



125] FORMATION OF THE LEAGUE OF NEUTRALS 125 

ing was not completed until the middle of the succeeding 
month/ which makes it appear that there might yet have 
lingered some chance for France to gain allies, had she been 
able to retrieve the August disasters. 

Rumours of the project created the impression in Ger- 
many, Morier reported early in September, that England 
had taken the initiative in organizing the Powers for a re- 
sistance to her exaction of territorial indemnity when the 
time of peace should come. He was reassured by Gran- 
ville,^ and Prussia made no remonstrance. But the French 
regarded this " Ligue des Neutres'' as especially inimical 
to their interests, — an effort to rob them of intended allies.' 
There were two reasons why France was justified in her 
complaints. In the first place, the fight was not to be one 
between evenly matched combatants. Lord Granville's 
estimate of the military strength of France was incorrect. 
Furthermore, it affected her more harshly than it did Prus- 
sia, since her chances for alliance were the better, not only 
in August when it was believed she might rally from defeat, 
and other nations with grievances against Prussia might 
have combined to strengthen her, but later when her weak- 
ness was discovered and the severity of Prussian demands 
wakened the wish of Neutrals to spare her from further 
humiliation, and themselves from future disasteir. The 
League resulted, too, in giving Prussia assurance that no 
concerted pressure would be used against her should she 
exact an increase of territory. The strength of a neutral 
lies in the restraining influence exerted on the belligerents 
by the uncertainty of his future policy. The communica- 
tion to France and Prussia of the perfecting of this Udssez 

* Denmark was one of the last to enter the a^eement. 
' Morier to Granville, Sept. 2, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp. 
65-66. 
' Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 43. 



126 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [126 

faire project ensured them in the indulgence of a do-as-you- 
please policy, the results of which would be dependent 
wholly on their own character. The League has a sinister 
appearance, also, in that it was concluded in secret, with- 
out debate of Parliament or the press. If it meant noth- 
ing, it was unnecessary. If it meant anything, it should 
not have been formed by Great Britain without the know- 
ledge and consent of Parliament and people. 



CHAPTER VII 

The Downfall of the Empire 

Soon after his accession Napoleon had declared, " L' Em- 
pire c'est la paix." In the middle of August, 1870, the 
French turned the mot against themselves and with a shrug 
and a gay attempt at raillery in the midst of disaster, ex- 
claimed, " Certainement ce n'est pas la guerre! " ^ With no 
single French soldier left in Germany, — except as prisoner; 
with the enemy well across the boundaries; with the reali- 
zation that General Le Boeuf was right when he had boasted 
not a button lacking from a gaiter for a single French 
soldier, — for the very good reason that not a gaiter was in 
the French equipment, nor a military map of France, nor 
many another necessary thing ;^ with their Government 
definitely apprised by the British success at league-making 
that they were to continue without allies,^ the French stub- 
bornly refrained from crying a peccaznmus. If the war had 
been furthered by Napoleon, or Gramont, or by Ollivier, or 
some black-garbed confessor of the Empress, it was conceded 
now that it had been adopted by the nation, — that it had 
attained legitimacy. Napoleon, submitting to the advice 
of his generals, the perturbed Regent, accepting an enforced 
change of ministry, were become only the sceptered puppets 
of their country. 

1 Spectator, Sept 3, 1870, Letter of Paris correspondent. 
■ Weekly Scotsman, Aug. 20, 1870. 
* Supra, chap, vi, p. 125. 

127] 127 



1 28 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 28 

In July the Council of the Workingmen's Association had 
addressed a manifesto to the Workers of the World pro- 
testing against the war as a criminal absurdity and declar- 
ing themselves to be the spokesmen in this opinion of all 
the working people of France.^ They claimed that those 
men who had perfonned the contortions of war in the 
streets of Paris were only the ''band of the loth of De- 
cember" in a masquerade of workmen's blouses, — ^thlat 
proof of this was afforded by the fact that Pietri, the 
prefect of police, thought it prudent to stop the " patriots " 
because the real workmen of the Faubourg came forward 
in such force to refute them that cries of '' Vive la guerre!" 
were drowned in cries of '' Vive la paixf' The correspon- 
dent of the Standard had written, on the sixteenth of July, 
that he was convinced there was even in Paris a strong 
minority against the war; and the representative of the 
Evening Mail went so far as to deny that it was ever popu- 
lar. On the very day that war was formally declared, the 
Times published the report that Thiers was receiving two 
hundred letters a day stating approval of his efforts to 
preserve the peace. It believed that those peasant proprie- 
tors who had supported the Emperor in the plebiscite three 
months before, had yielded their adherence because they 
thought Napoleon stood for peace.^ Guizot, in retirement 
at Val Richer, had said to Bishop Wilberforce that France 
had such misgivings as to the right of the war that the 
Government would not dare exact an increase of territory.* 
A merchant of Havre wrote to John Richard Green that 
there was not one of his trade in that city but hated the 

^ General Council of the International Working Men's Association 
on the War, a manifesto issued to the members of the International 
Working Men's Association in Europe and the United States. 

■ Times, Aug. 30, 1870. 

^ Wilberforce, Life of Bishop Wilberforce, vol. ii, p. 360. 



129] THE DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 129 

war as iniquitous; and another correspondent in northern 
France reported to Green that there it was equally con- 
demned by the workmen/ 

But the conscripts had answered the call to the colors. 
In the barracks the long proscribed Marseillaise had been 
distributed by the Government;* it was sung in all the 
theatres of Paris by women draped in the tricolour. A 
favourite tenor of the Opera Comique was forced to chant 
it from the top of an omnibus, halted in front of the 
Bourse.* Le Rhin of Alfred de Musset and the Chant du 
Depart of Queen Hortense, shared in its honors. Through 
the cities the soldiers had gone marching, marching, in 
long lines of splendid rhythm to a battle-scarred frontier 
where waited an ancient foe. The tirades of Edmond 
About and of the hot-blooded Emile Girardin were read 
and quoted on the boulevard at the hour of absinthe, and 
next morning in the provinces.* The ironic speeches of 
Thiers; the writings of Prevost Parodol that in days gone 
by had lashed the Emperor for having tolerated Sadowa; 
the tradition of the great Napoleon, cherished in every 
peasant's cottage throughout France, were bearing their 
bitter fruit. News came of the condemnation of the 
British press. The French Ambassador had asked that it 
be counteracted by some word of sympathy from the 
Queen's Ministers, but he had found Granville "cold, very 
cold.'"* News came of defeats and German exultation, 

^Letters of J. R. Green (edited by Leslie Stephens, N. Y., 1901), pp. 
257-258. 

* Manchester Guardian, July 21, 1870. 

• Mrs. George Cornwallis West, The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph 
Churchill (London, 1908), pp. 19-20. 

^ Daily Telegraph, Sept. 2, 1870; Manchester Guardian, Aug. 18, 1870. 
'Granville to Lyons, July 21, 1870, British State Papers, Foreign 
Series, vol. Ixx; Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord Granville, vol. ii, p. 39- 



1 30 BRITISH POUCY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 30 

of the smug rejoicing of the British. " Tell those travel- 
ing Englishmen who so loudly express their pleasure at 
German victories that they make the position of their 
countrymen in France most difficult," wrote an expatriate 
at Boulogne/ France felt that she was alone, misunder- 
stood, threatened with great danger. The bird of France 
is the coque de la gloire, says an old ballad, it sings in 
victory, but it sings yet more loudly in defeat. " The French 
rabble," wrote a visiting Englishman from the capital, 
"cannot endure that Albion should see them humiliated. 
They want to have it out on someone." ^ Somewhere some- 
thing had gone wrong. It remained only to fight, and that 
Vv'ith all the strength they had, to make the sun to smile 
again. The peasants whispered of Bismarck. They be- 
lieved his power supernal, and when an early winter came 
with excess of cold and sleet, they said that, too, was the 
work of the Herr Chancellor. Mothers frightened their 
children with storieig of the blond-haireid Uhlans from 
across the Rhine, and told them of the glory of France in 
ancient wars. 

The war loan of £30,ocx),ooo, asked by the Government, 
was supplied not by a few Parisian capitalists but by a 
vast number of creditors throughout the Empire, who 
showed by their eager investment a strong resolution to 
support the war to a favorable conclusion. M. Thiers was 
praised now as the man who had thrown round Paris a 
splendid girdle of barricades. After all, he had resisted 
war only because he knew his country was not ready. It 
was felt, vaguely, that fate had its hand in this, — ^that war 
had been inevitable. 

Across the Channel a strangely assorted trinity specu- 

* Letter to Times, Aug. 15, 1870. 

' Times, July 29, Aug. 31, 1870. Cf. Galbriel Honotaux, Contempo- 
rary France (N. Y., 1903-1909), vol. i, p. 9. 



131 ] THE DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 131 

lated on the chance of solving future difficulties by some 
better means than war. They were a leader of the labor 
party/ the editor of the Banker's Magazine, and a great 
lady, — ^the wife of Lord John Russell.^ Their chirpings 
seemed irrelevant. The point to be discussed was the ef- 
fect this war would have on England. Sir Robert Morier 
believed it would establish the preponderance of Germany* 
over Europe for centuries to come. He did not wish 
France to be annihilated. It could furnish an element that 
Germany could not, — "lightness, grace, form," but it 
should be induced by defeat into a more pacific temper.* 
George Eliot recognized the war as one between two 
different civilizations. She, too, beUeved the world had 
entered on that better period, which would be " marked in 
future histories and charts as the * period of German as- 
cendancy.' " * The Earl of Lytton saw the Teutons asi 
glorious, juvenescent; France, rotted by lies in every fibre 
till there remained to her nothing but native ferocity.'* 

The letter of Dr. Friedrich Strauss to M. Ernest Renan 
was much discussed in August as affording an authorita- 
tive intimation of what could be expected of the great 
nation new in its ascendancy. The writer was a German 
Liberal, — one of the Illuminati, who could fairly be heard 
on the subject. His country waged a war of ideas, he 

' Edmund Beales, Times, Aug. 29, 1870. 

2 Letter to Lady Dunfermline, Aug. 24, 1870, Lady John Russell, a 
Memoir (edited by Desmond McCarthy, N. Y., 1911), pp. 229-230; 
Banker's Magazine, Sept., 1870, Arbitration of the Sword, vol. xxx, 
pp. 57 et seq. 

■ Letters to Stockmar and Malct, Aug., 1870, Memoirs of Sir Robert 
Morier, pp. 165-177. 

* Complete Works of George Eliot (Edinburgh, 1878-1885), vol. xi 
{Life and Letters), p. 551. 

'Letter to Miss Farrar, Personal and Literary Letters of Robert, 
First Earl of Lytton (edited by Lady Betty Balfour, N. Y., 1906), voL 
i, p. 258. 



1 32 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 32 

said, — ideas that were shared by University professors, 
statesmen, generals, privates, and the populace alike. Not 
through fault of hers was Germany driven to prove her 
right to unity by ordeal of battle. Once made a united 
nation she would speedily assert and establish a well ordered 
freedom. In the course of attaining her aspirations, she 
would have to discipline France out of her love of glory, 
but would leave her free, prosperous, and contented, a pledge 
for Europe's safety. This was a gilding with philosophy 
of Bismarck's simple statement that a victorious Germany 
would stabiHze the equilibrium of Europe.^ 

Strangely enough, it was this very solicitude for the 
safety of Europe that France advised as its most stimulat- 
ing motive in the war. Its Government claimed specifically 
that it fought to preserve the balance of power. It was 
hoped that Gladstone would express some opinion of these 
rival claims instead of distributing in a thoroughly neutral 
manner equal condemnation to both sides. Saunders" re- 
marked that in the midst of the Prime Minister's statesman- 
ship, one called to mind the valiant conduct of such leaders 
as Canning and Palmerston.^ The Manchester Guardian 
warned that the time was past for an English Minister to 
exhaust his vocabulary of epithets in praise of a condition 
of neutrality.^ " What a master of rigamarole he is," said 
Green, " nobody else could make one wish Palmerston alive 
again as Gladdie is making everybody wish him just now." * 

That the wish was strong and prevalent was due not so 
much to the belief that any especial value would inhere in 

^ Times, Aug., passim; Daily News, Sept. i, 1870; Saunders', Sept. 
3, 1870. 

"Aug. 9, 1870. 

•Aug. 2, 1870. 

* Letter to E. A. Freeman, Aug., 1870, Letters of lohn Richard 
Green, p. 257. 



133] THE DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 133 

his opinion of the relative merits of the two belligerents; 
not that it was thought he could infallibly determine to which 
nation the sensitive balance of power could best be trusted, 
but because the Belgian controversy had created distrust of 
German rectitude, and because the press and public men of 
Germany were showing contempt and hostility for Eng- 
land. Palmerston, it was felt, would have rescued his 
country from the negative role Gladstone had trained her 
to. If she blundered and blustered, or meddled and mud- 
dled, as Disraeli said she had under Palmerston, she could 
be no more abused than she was now. At home, John 
Stuart Mill blamed Gladstone for not having used the navy 
as a police force to prevent the aggression of either Power. ^ 
Bismarck scolded that England had not stopped the war at 
the outset by telling Napoleon that if he broke the peace 
he would find her ranged with Germany as ally.^ He pro- 
fessed to find it mortifying that the British had so readily 
undertaken the representation of France in North Ger- 
many, and surprised Lx>rd Lyons by forthwith entrusting 
German interests in Paris to the care of the American 
Minister. These complaints, which seem to have had their 
beginning at the apex of the German state, became wide- 
spread throughout the nation when the official papers pub- 
lished news that England was exporting horses, coal, and 
munitions of war to Havre. The press contrasted the 
outspoken judgment on the "greatest crime the country 
had witnessed" with the "aside" utterances that booked 
orders from France and calculated the amount of a ten 
percent profit.* It affirmed that while England served Ger- 

* Mill to Sir Chas. Dilke, Sept. 30, 1870, Letters of John Stuart Mill. 

* Bismarck the Man and the Statesman (N. Y., 1899), vol. ii, p. 60; 
W. H. Russell, My Diary during the Last Great War (London, 1874), 
p. 494; Augustus Loftus to Granville, July 18, 1870, Fitzmaurice, op^ 
cit., vol. ii, pp. 37-3^' 

* Times, Sept. 2 ; also in issue of Aug. 30, 1870. 



1 34 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 34 

many with a syllabub of praise, the solid pudding went to 
France. Complaints of this "merchantlike conduct" of 
her subjects were sent the Queen by her daughter, by the 
Crown Prince, and even the King of Prussia, until she 
became deeply distressed. After a letter from the Duke of 
Coburg which pointed out the dangers that would threaten 
England were she deprived of German friendship, the 
Queen asked Granville if it would not be possible to make 
some public demonstration to convince the German people 
of the endeavour to preserve neutrality.^ The Crown Prin- 
cess, grieved that accusations of gross unfairness were con- 
tinually leveled against Granville, sent for Bismarck to say 
her say in his defence. He would not believe her, and said 
with a smile, " But his acts prove it." " It will be long," 
she wrote the Queen, " before people believe England means 
kindly and well by Germany."' 

In the British press, small effort was made to defend 
an international practice admittedly bad, but which England 
had certainly not inaugurated. Prussia was reminded that 
she had shown herself quite as bourgeois in the Crimean 
War when she had sold arms to Russia. It was asked why 
now she addressed no complaints to America, who was ex- 
ercising the same prerogative.* Judged by the logic of 
common sense, British conduct was wrong but by the ethics 
of jurists and statesmen, as the Economist pointed out, it 
was well within the bounds of neutrality; ^ and the author- 

* The Empress Frederick, a Memoir (London, 1918), p. 232. 

' Col. Ponsonby to Granville, Aug. 3, 1870, Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. 
ii, pp. 38-39. 
3 Crown Princess to Queen Victoria, Aug. 9, 1870, ibid., vol. ii, p. 38. 

* Annual Register for 1870, vol, cxii, p. 108. The British Ambassador 
at Washington informed Granville later that America's export of arms 
was expressly secured by a treaty with Prussia. 

» Aug. 6, 13, 1870. 



135] -^^^ DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 135 

ity of the latter certainly had precedent in international law. 
Correspondents of the Times quoted Germany's own 
jurists, Bluntschli and Heffter, to show that it was not a 
nation's duty to prohibit the export of contraband.^ The 
Spectator warned that a check of the export of coal to 
France would be a violation of treaty provisions. The 
most that could be- done, — and some such course was 
advocated by the News, the Echo, and the Economist,^ 
— would be for the Government to avail itself of the 
Customs Consolidation Act (an Act never resorted to ex- 
cept when England was on the point of becoming a belli- 
gerent) for the prohibition of export of munitions; or to 
extend the provisions of the Foreign Enlistment Act to 
"everything which sufficient authority shall decide to be 
contraband of war." It was pointed out by the Pall Mall 
Gazette that preventive action, truly to accord with neu- 
trality, should have been taken before the war's inception, 
and not now, when circumstances would make such a course 
tell heavily in Prussia's favour.^ Lx>rd Granville's cir- 
cular in answer to Bemstorff was criticised because it stres- 
sed the difficulty of preventing contraband from reaching 
the ports of belligerents, rather than the immunity of muni- 
cipal regulations from foreign interference, where no 
special treaty or generally accepted rule of conduct pro- 
vided for the contrary.* 

The tone of Count Bismarck, even more than his com- 
plaint, was considered extraordinary. " What does Count 
Bismarck think to gain," said the Spectator, 

by calling Englishmen old women and taunting us with cowardice 

* E. C. Clark, Cambridge, to Times, Nov. 4, 1870. 
' Issues of Aug. I, 6, i, respectively. 

•Aug. I, 1870. 

* Globe and Traveller, Aug. 24, 1870. 



136 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [136 

and prophesying our subjection? . . . Does he think Englishmen 
are Continentals to be driven into a duel by a few hard words? 
... or is he preparing a state of feeling in Germany which will 
enable him, when war is over, to set England at defiance? ^ 

The Pall Mall Gazette expressed misgivings, too, as to 
what the pother was about. "If it had been a popular out- 
cry in the first instance there would have been no great 
cause for surprise, but the impulse was given from above. 
It was the inspired papers that started the agitation ; and it 
was not only started with singular promptitude, but with 
exceeding energy." ^ Later in the month, with the contro- 
versy still unsettled, Pall Mall was alarmed by an article 
in the Hamburg Borsenhalle into believing that the object 
of Prussia was to convince its people that for the future 
England could be left out of the account, — that she would 
never act vigorously except when her business interests 
were concerned.* 

On the twenty-seventh of August, the announcement of 
the Count de Palikao to the French Chambers that the Im- 
perial Government had purchased forty thousand riflea 
abroad, gave fresh impetus to Prussian protests,* and 
aroused a number of leading papers to denounce a policy so 
contradictory to Lord Granville's earlier statement that 
the bystander who furnishes fresh weapons to a disarmed 
combatant should not be considered as a neutral. 

Already, in August of 1870, England was finding her 
position so prickly that the wish for war's early conclu- 
sion expressed in many of her journals cannot be thought to 
have been wholly unselfish. On the fall of the OUivier 
Ministry, which followed within a few days the defeats of 

* Spectator, Aug. 6, 1870. 
^ Pall Mall, Aug. i, 1870. 
' Ibid., Aug. 25, 1870. 

* Daily News, Aug. 30, 1870. 



137] THE DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 137- 

Worth and Forbach, many editorials expressed the hope 
that this might be the prelude to the fall of the dynasty. 
An enforced abdication, it was urged, would be considered 
by Prussia such an acknowledgment of wrong-doing, — 
such a repudiation of the system represented by Gramont 
and Benedetti, — ^that any further desire to inflict punishment 
would be extinguished. The day of Ollivier's resignation, 
it was said in the Telegraph that 

if the Imperial poHcy should be condemned and confounded be- 
fore the incensed national feeling of Germany, she, also, France, 
be it remembered, is a great and united nation, and she will abide 
when dynasties have passed away and are done with. This calam- 
ity is the Sovereign's rather than hers, ... we foresee for her a 
better fortune than the one of mere military fame and personal 
glories.^ 

The Times, adding the weight of its influence to the popu- 
larity of the Telegraph to hasten the fall of the tottering 
dynasty, advised that the Emperor return to Paris and as- 
sist his coimtry by an abdication. On August the tenth, 
with the smug assumption that its diagnosis of the disease 
of France was correct and its remedy the one that would 
be adopted, it proffered advice to England : 

There is a duty incmnbent upon us in such a contingency (a 
change of Government in France) from which, difficult as it 
would be in execution, no Ministry ought to shrink. Germany has 
never made war upon France. The Emperor threw down the 
challenge. . . . With the retirement of the challenger the battle 
ought to close. 

The editorials of succeeding days were in the same key. 
France was told that she should not expect to escape the 
consequences of the acts of her rulers, and Germany that 
she might reasonably require some indemnity " for the 

* Aug. 9, 1870. 



1 38 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 38 

expenses of a war she was challenged to fight." And the 
Morning Advertiser wailed that Napoleonism had broken 
down, and that the Emperor stayed with his army only be- 
cause he was too ill to travel and too timorous to present 
himself to the people of Paris.^ 

It is not surprising that the readiness with which the by 
no means, decisive defeats of the French were seized upon 
in a neutral country by the main organ of the Government 
and the most popular Lxmdon daily, aroused the criticism 
of their contemporaries. "On the Continent," said the 
Manchester Guardian, 

a declaration by the Times is regarded as hardly less important 
than if it were made by the Ministers of the Crown, and there is 
no saying what mischief may not already have been done by the 
reckless and scandalous suggestion that England now expects the 
downfall of the Napoleonic dynasty. ... If malcontents in 
Paris were only waiting for some one bold enough to speak of 
" abdication," an English journal should not have pronounced 
the word.^ 

The Conservative Standard expressed regret that news- 
papers " professing to speak for the party which the Gov- 
ernment represents — known to receive occasional inspira- 
tion from the Government, come forward to assure France 
that her safety lies in getting rid of her sovereign." Eng- 
land's assurance, it believed, that the only way to salvation 
led through revolution would be interpreted as a piece of 
outrageous impertinence. It congratulated Count Bems- 
torff on having won the Liberal press to such a " scandal- 
ous partisanship."^ The Sun begged that the French be 
left to their ov^oi counsels, — "to urge upon them any in- 
centive to a revolutionary outbreak is, at a moment like 

1 Issue of Aug. 10, 1870. 

^Ibid. 

^Ibid. 



139] -^^^ DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 139 

this, nothing less than criminal." ^ The organ of the 
Church of England, the Record, remonstrated that there wasi 

neither wisdom nor good feeling in seizing on the moment of the 
Emperor's calamity ... to call for his " abdication ". . . . He 
has ever been to England a loyal and steadfast ally . . . much 
more friendly, both in his avowals and his public acts, than either 
the old Bourbons or the Orleanists.^ 

" Tout pent se retablir,'* the Emperor had said after the 
defeat of Worth. But the victory that he needed to re- 
establish the confidence of his soldiers and his people and 
to refute the croakings of the Times and News, was not to 
be won. The siege of Strasburg was begun on the tenth of 
August ; on the next day the Germans captured Fort Lichten- 
burg. On the eighteenth, the French suffered another de- 
feat at Gravelotte, and the following day Strasburg was! 
under bombardment. On the twenty-ninth, Marshall Mac- 
Mahon was defeated at Beaumont, and two days later 
Bazaine failed to make his way through the forces investing 
Metz. All this to a running accompaniment of verbal shell 
fire from the Liberal press of neutral England. The Daily 
News, in joining its sonorous voice to the lo Victis, assured 
France that she was without a ruler, — that in Paris men 
screamed out their conviction that no good could be done 
until the country rid itself of the Bonapartes. Napoleon's 
mind, said the News, had lost its grip, — 

He is like an enchanter deserted by his familiar ... a pitiable 
sight striking vainly with his broken sword at his dreadful antag- 
onist. All the Liberal feeling of England and Europe regards 
the Emperor as the real cause of the disasters of France, and be- 
lieves that the very calamities which attend his fall may regen- 
erate the nation.* 

*Aug. II, 1870. 
" Aug. 10, 1870. 
• Issues of Aug. 17, 20, 1870. 



I40 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 140 

J'udy added her shrill piping to the chorus, and in thin verse 
exclaimed : 

"If vict'ry crawns his aims, then shout Hurrah! 
If conquered? then Napoleon a bas." ^ 

Throughout the cheap news and tobacco shops of London 
there were distributed in enormous quantities caricatures 
showing his Imperial Majesty hobbling on crutches, with 
a hump on his back in the fashion of Mr. Punch, and little 
Louis carried pick-a-back.^ When Napoleon's detractors 
ranged from the Lord Chief Justice, who rejoiced at the 
collapse of a "militaristic villain," to the cockney cabbies,, 
who bought these prints, those who professed still to see: 
health in his cause were hard put to it to defend him. Con- 
sidering the importance of the Times, the News, and the 
Telegraph, and the comparatively small circulation of the 
aristocratic Court Journal, this paper showed some audacity 
in naming as " small spiteful little birds " those who had 
"pounced upon the wounded eagle," and had suggested his 
abdication as a means of escape from further himiiliation. 
On behalf of the gentlemen of England it apologized for the 
language of a fraction of the English press and assured the 
world that it was "unindorsed by the best classes of 
society."* The Liverpool Albvon,^ from a lower rung in 
the social ladder, showed by its criticism of the larger dail- 
ies, that Napoleon could still count friends among other than 
the denizens of Mayfair. From beyond the English 
boundaries, the Weekly Freeman and the Irish Nation 
echoed their rebukes. The papers of Ireland thought the 

^.Judy, Aug. 17, 1870. 

^ Daily News, Aug. 18, 1870. 

• Court Journal, Aug. 20, 1870. 

* Quoted in Evening Mail, Dublin, Aug. 12, 1870. 

' The paper's policy won the commendation of the Irish Nation. 



J4l] THE DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 141 

abuse of Napoleon had been so prolonged that, were it really 
not representative of English feeling, it should receive 
public repudiation.^ 

It can hardly be supposed that discontent from a quarter 
so little influential could have done much to temper the tone 
of the British press. But some moderation was noted late 
in the month, and Judy, at least, believed the change was 
•due to Ireland. In her edition of the thirtynfirst she says : 

Circumstances have made our wise rulers aware that there is 
danger in these incitements to revolution, and the lesson sought to 
be taught to the French may be learnt nearer home — in Ireland. 
■So the word has gone forth that the revolution game must now be 
abandoned and accordingly the Ministerial papers are now en- 
deavoring to make their readers believe they have never done any- 
thing so naughty as to advise the subjects of a sovereign with 
whom we are on terms of amity to dethrone him.* 

This change for which Judy's intuition found a reason, was 
remarked on, also, by the Manchester Guardian in its issue 
of the twenty-fifth, but without speculation as to its cause. 
Perhaps it was due not so much to fear of upheavals in 
Ireland as to the reception that was given to the Times and 
the News when they attempted to garb themselves in the 
ivhite robes of peacemakers. 

On the seventeenth of the month the greatest of London 
dailies advanced the claim of England to a peculiar fitness 
to the role of mediator, and urged the Government not to 
shirk from the difficulties and responsibilities of such a posi- 
tion. M. Benedetti was in England at this time. Accord- 
ing to the Times, he left Calais two days before and visited 
Granville at Walmer Castle where Bemstorff went to meet 

* Weekly Freeman, Aug. 27, 1870; Nation, Aug. 20, 1870. 

* Judy, Aug. 31, 1870. The tendency to circle that was displayed in 
this and other instances by London's best known journal was called 
""curvature of the Times" 



142 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 142 

him. The Manchester Guardian reported that Prince 
Murat was a visitor at the Castle on the eighteenth.^ The 
day that the Times chose for its advocacy of British media- 
tion, the Birmingham Daily Post stated that already the 
Government's attempts had failed and the Queen's mes- 
sengers had returned from Berlin. The Prussian King and 
his Minister had balked proceedings by declaring that if 
Napoleon wished for peace he must ask for an armistice 
in the usual way. The accuracy of the Birmingham paper 
seems somewhat doubtful since, surely, if such a decisive 
answer had been determined on, Bemstorff would not have 
been permitted to meet Benedetti, and had it been com- 
municated to England, the Times, as Ministerial organ, 
would have been deterred from urging mediation. The 
Standard of the eighteenth denied that any foundation 
whatever existed for the story that the English Govern- 
ment had tendered its good offices. Whether the Birming- 
ham paper had really achieved a " scoop " in chronicling the 
failure of negotiations that the Governmental papers were 
not allowed to notice, and the Times had been " inspired " 
to urge mediation in an effort to frighten a nation that 
showed itself recalcitrant, rumours were so rife that, on the 
old proverb of fire and smoke, it may be hazarded that 
the Standard was overly confident in its absolute denial. 
Biographers of the English Ministers could have done much 
to clear the mystery, but they are alike silent on the mes- 
sages sent to Berlin and on what passed when the lights 
burned long in Granville's castle, overlooking the Straitsi 
of Dover. 

The papers favorable to France were those most un- 
favorable to any attempt at mediation in the midst of de- 
feats which they believed could be redeemed. The Pall Mall 
Gazette of the seventeenth thought it improbable that Napo- 

il p i i \ ^Manchester Guardian, Aug. 20, 1870. 



143] ^^^ DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 143 

leon would, at this time, find it acceptable, and doubtful, 
whether England, if she intervened, could do so only for such 
a period and for such a purpose as she might desire. From 
north of the Tweed, the Scotsman with his native caution, 
was wary of the violent efforts of the Times to share in the 
blessings of the peace maker. It remarked that its power- 
ful contemporary had systematically fallen foul of France 
from the first, — had blamed her for vaingloriously forcing 
war on an unready enemy and now that France, herself, 
was seen to have been ill prepared, had told her she was 
beaten and should sue to Germany not to punish her longer. 
It believed the present judgment of the Times might prove 
as fallible as had been her estimate of the military situation 
the month before.^ In its disparagement of the French 
chance for success the Morning Post believed the Times 
was jumping at conclusions which the German commandersi 
would be glad to arrive at, and found it "unbecoming of 
gentlemen sitting at their desks in London to put forth 
statements so unpleasant and so unfounded with regard to 
the military position of our quondam ally."^ The 
Dublin Evening Mail may be considered as largely repre- 
sentative of Irish opinion when it expressed confidence that 
the Times would not be permitted to drag England into the 
cj^arrel by precipitating an impertinent and uncalled-for in- 
tervention.* 

She was not. The mysterious interviews came to noth- 
ing. Judy might urge grandiloquently that England 

" Step forth with stern but friendly mediation 
And earn the gratitud-e of every nation !" 

* Weekly Scotsman, Aug. 20, 1870. 

* Morning Post, Aug. 18, 1870. 

* Evening Mail, Aug. 17, 1870. The opposite opinion was expressed 
in its issue of Aug. 12. 



144 BR^'^i^H POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 144 

But the painful rhyme remained unproductive. There wag 
no stepping forth, — only whispers so low and so discreet 
that at this far-off time one cannot give their import but 
only say that they existed. 

Already there was shadowed the dark reason that was to 
make mediation a thing so difficult no nation would aspire 
to press it openly, and peace a thing so dear that France 
might be expected to fight unto exhaustion. On the 
fifteenth of August, the day Benedetti set sail for Dover, 
an Irish paper commented on the proclamation of the 
Prussian King abolishing conscription in Alsace as fore- 
iboding an intention to reannex that province. On succeed- 
ing days, British papers found matter for reflection in his ap- 
pointment of Prussian governors for Alsace and Lorraine. 
It was remarked by the Telegraph on the twentieth, that 
in the King's reply to a papal offer of mediation he had 
expressed a willingness for peace at whatever time guaran- 
tees would be given him against future attack from France. 
Even those papers that had most consistently supported 
Prussia showed alarm. "A province cannot nowadays be 
transferred when its inhabitants protest against the trans- 
fer," said the Times, 

and even if we could suppose the change formally made, it would 
undo all the benefits of peace. . . . The transfer of Alsace from 
France to Germany, were it possible, would violate the essential 
principle of respect for national sovereignty now universally 
acknowledged, and would be incompatible with the permanent 
maintenance of peace. ^ 

And the News expressed fear that if Alsace were granted 
Germany, that country, whose praise she had so lustily been 
singing, might grant a sop to French jealousy and pride at 
the expense of neutral territory.^ If the principle of nation- 

^ Times, Aug. 18, 1870. 

* Daily News, Aug. 18, 1870. 



345] '^^^ DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 145 

ality launched by Napoleon was proving a boomerang for 
his undoing, the Draft Treaty, also, was showing remark- 
able dexterity in curving back to the detriment of Prussia. 
Britain speculated on devices that would provide security 
without too deeply woimding France. The Economist re- 
cords that a rumor was current at the beginning of the week 
to the effect that the Government favored the creation of 
Alsace and Lorraine into a neutral state, ^ — ^a sort of apple 
of discord to be equidistantly poised between the two com- 
petitors. Only fear was at the basis of the rumor, — fear 
of the thing even " Jupiter " named briefly and hesitatingly 
as being too dreadful for discussion. Sir Robert Morier, 
in a letter of the twenty-first, wrote that this contingency 
which was alarming England was one that he had long fore- 
seen. He proclaimed himself " heart and soul " with Ger- 
many, " but he was not blind to the danger of her taking 
over two provinces the inhabitants of which were more 
Gallic than the Gauls, because, being Germans, they could 
add a peculiarly Teutonic blatancy to their French 
character." ^ John Richard Green, though rejoicing at Prus- 
sian success as the victories of truth, right, and intelligence, 
was as vehement as Morier against any snatching at pro- 
vinces in the old style of Louis XIV. " The people of 
Alsace," he said, are French to the core. "Men are not 
cattle — even if they have the ill-luck to be Frenchmen." ' 
Another historian, W. E. H. Lecky, while dutifully chorus- 
sing pleasure at victories that would " raise the moral level 
of civilization," expressed deep compassion for France, and 
especially for the peasants in the districts under invasion. 

^Economist, Aug. 27, 1870. 

" Morier to Stockmar, Darmstadt, Aug. 21, 1870, Memoirs of Sir 
Robert Morier, vol. ii, pp. 165-166. 

^ Green to E. A. Freeman, Aug. 31, 1870, Letters of J. R. Green, pp. 
259-261. 



146 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 145 

" I doi not like Bismarck," he declared. " I think the bom- 
•bardment of Strasburg was very bad, and that of Paris 
would be much worse. I am very anxious to see whether 
the Germans will prove moderate and magnanimous in 
peace." ^ From the editorial office of the Fortnightly, John 
Morley joined his voice in protesting against '' anything- 
like revindication of territory in Alsace or elsewhere in 
consolidated France," which, he beheved, ought "to en- 
counter the most energetic protests from the entire public 
opinion of Europe." ^ 

So it was that the last of August found England watch- 
ing Prussian movements with more of interest, but some- 
thing less of sympathy than she had felt at the month's 
beginning. She could not so wholeheartedly applaud a 
war for the unification of Germany, were that war to re- 
sult, also, in a partial disintegration of France. There 
were, too, raisons de coeur for a change O'f sentiment. 
Statesmen, who had served a gay apprenticeship as care^ 
less attaches in brilliant Paris; green grocers, who had 
stolen across the Channel for one blithe holiday; women, 
who cherished bits of gauze and lace, instinct with the 
beauty that is French, had pity for the bel royaume so 
grievously invaded. Undoubtedly, there existed in Eng- 
land strong sentiment against that territorial aggrandize- 
ment which Granville, during his league making, had assured 
Prussia his Government was not concerned with. England 
knew nothing of the strictures that had been laid on her 
by that "gentlemen's agreement." Her Parliament had 
been prorogued on the eleventh without its mention, and 
the press was uninformed. 

The shift in opinion is the more creditable since it had 

* Elizabeth Lecky, Memoirs of W. H. Lecky (N. Y., 1909), p. 86. 
' Fortnightly Review, Sept. i, 1870, France and Germany, vol. xiv,. 
PP- 367-376. 



147] ^^^ DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 147 

nothing to do with the immediate value of the pound sterl- 
ing. By the second week in August, the imsteadiness fol- 
lowing the first great panic on war's declaration was well 
past. An unhealthy mania for speculation had diminished. 
Prices on the Stock Elxchange were steady. The change 
implied that French success had been more dreaded than 
Prussian by the monied interests. Trade in coal and iron 
had received a direct impetus, and that in textiles was in- 
directly benefited because of the handicap imposed on rival 
manufacturers. Before the middle of the month the Bank 
of France suspended specie payment and the Bank of Eng- 
land was relieved of the strain of competition for the pre- 
cious metals. Both France and Prussia contracted great 
war loans to British advantage.^ Only the tailors and 
certain clerks in City offices, who were suffering from an 
influx of German competitors had reasons economic for 
wishing well to France.^ 

Temporary disturbances were, of course, to be looked 
for the week before Sedan. The stock markets were in a 
state of depression pending the result of the great battle, 
which it was believed would soon be fought. The stage 
was set for the last act of the " circus manager," and Eng- 
land watched in a tense hush of expectation. Even so, the 
disaster of September the second was so complete that th^ 
expectant were astounded. The news, published in the 
papers of the next morning, was that not only had the Em- 
peror surrendered, but an entire army of almost a hundred 
thousand men had been made prisoners of war. The 
capitulation was not confirmed for some days, and in Ire- 
land the newspaper ofifices were surrounded each night at 
dusk by crowds that waited for hours to read the hateful 

^Illustrated London News, Aug. 20, 1870; Spectator and Economist, 
Aug. 13, 1870; Annual Review, 1870, vol. cxii, p. 79. 
' Daily News, Aug. 31, 1870. 



148 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 148 

bulletins and tear them down, because their news con- 
tinued stubbornly unpleasant. Windows were smashed and 
the matter was made the subject of an editorial by Sauft^ 
ders\^ 

In London, wise and prudent Englishmen were either 
sympathetic or silent on the great victory ; but in more than 
one instance, notably at the entrance to the Alhambra be- 
fore the curtain went up for the evening's performance, 
a too freely declared admiration of the Prussians led to 
something like a melee. The Queen, always slow in her 
royal progress, had had no news, on the third, of the great 
battle, but presented her readers with full-page portraits of 
the King of Prussia and his defeated rival. The former 
wore his mustache curling up, like optimistic steers' horns ; 
the latter wore his with pointed ends down-drooping as 
badge of mourning for the calamity of the day before. As 
England gazed on Napoleon's enigmatic face with its theat- 
rical hirsute adornments, she saw that it was old and very 
weary. She believed the whirligig of time would never 
bring to him revenge. The papers were filled with pseudo 
mortuary notices that were read to the accompaniment of 
German bands that blared Die Wacht am Rhein trium- 
phantly. They chronicled his life's events; praised him 
for a friendliness to England that she had sometimes dis- 
regarded; recalled his endeavours to extend French trade, 
to increase her industry, and develop her agriculture, his 
efforts to promote international goodwill. Soon the 
poets were busy with him, — first the penny-a-liners who 
wrote on order for the press, and later the greater ones, 
Browning and Buchanan, who wrote more ably and for 
longer time.^ Surely when the poets weave sonnets of a 
man's life the fates cease to find its thread of interest. 

^Sounders', Sept. 7, 1870. 

' Robert Browning, Prince Hohenstiel Schwangau, Saviour of Society, 



149] ^^^ DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 149 

Scattered through the obituaries were some that were 
not complimentary. Once a Week described the Emperor 
as retiring to his sarcophagus, undismayed by the ruin he 
had brought on France, comforted by his eternal cigarette, 
his belief in fatalism, and the possession of a large fortune 
in English funds. It quoted the witty verse now popular 
with the Parisians : 

" Les deux Napoleons les gloires sont egales, 
Quoiqu' ayant pris les chemins inegaux ; 
L'un de I'Europe pris les capitales, 
L'autre au pays a prix les capitaux." 1 

His personal wealth was denied by the Times, which did 
him the tardy justice to admit that, though for so long a 
period he had distributed the favors of the most splendid 
state in Europe, he had suffered little of her gold to cleave 
to his hands.^ The ignominious end of this Caesar who 
as Fun had said, " * cried Havoc, and let slip the dogs of 
war ' " * was an excellent theme for the moralists, — some- 
thing to rattle the bones of all the old quotations gathering 
dust in editorial closets. The News sermonized on vaulting 
ambition that o'erleaps itself and falls on the other side, and 
had a goodly following of imitators.* But the utterances 
of Polonius soon pall. If it may ibe permitted to turn the 
clock of public opinion slightly forward, more interest will 

Complete Poetical Works (N. Y., 1917), p. 907; Mrs. S. Orr, Robert 
Browning, Life and Letters (N. Y., 1891), pp. 425-426; W. Hall Griflfin 
and H. C. Minchin, Life of Robert Browning (London, 1911), p. 244; 
Robert Buchanan, Complete Poetical Works (London, 1901), vol. i, 
Political Mystics, Songs of the Terrible Year, pp. 295-347, also a drama, 
Napoleon Fallen. 

* Once a Week, Sept. 17, 1870. 

* Times, Sept 21, 1870; Economist, Oct. 22, 1870. 
' Fun, July 30, 1870. 

* Daily News, Sept. 3, 5, 1870. 



1 50 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 50 

be found in the details of Napoleon's last days as Emperor 
that reached England somewhat later. 

Green was fortunate in having an account from the 
French historian, Gabriel Monod, who was serving with a 
French Protestant Ambulance at Roncourt, near Beaumont, 
when the French soldiers came pouring in, " weary, starved, 
mutinous." They had had no rations for two days, and 
plundered the fields for potatoes, and then flung them- 
selves down to sleep as best they might. The Imperial 
Staff came clattering down the street, with Napoleon, old, 
way-worn, covered with dust, pasty-pale, his moustache 
gray-white. All night long thousands came straggling in. 
At early morning the Emperor's horse was called for, and 
Monod saw the suite appear all spick and span in the midst 
of the mob of soldiery. Napoleon was painted to the 
eyes, his hair and moustache dyed and waxed again. Only 
one or two peasants cried out a viva for him, and they were 
answered by the grim looks and the curses of the soldiers. 
Some shouted '' a has Vassassin! " On his way to his horse, 
he passed a group of officers and made a low salute, but 
none responded.^ 

Another vignette came from Archibald Forbes, who 
wrote for the Advertiser and the News. He describes 
Napoleon in front of the weaver's hut, where he had his 
interview with Bismarck and arranged for his surrender. 
A half troop of the Slesvig regiment of Life Guards formed 
a semicircle around the house, while the Heutenant and 
two of his dismounted men marched up to the cottage wall 
behind the Emperor's chair to halt and draw their swords. 
The Emperor flushed and glanced backward, as though he 
did not half like these German tactics. His barber told 
Forbes, — and the fact was confirmed by reports of the 

* Green to E. A. Freeman, Letters of I. R. Green, pp. 263 et seq. 



1 5 1 ] THE DOWNFALL OF THE EMPIRE 1 5 1 

enemy, — ^that Napoleon had conducted himself worthily 
at Sedan, had directed guns with his own hand, and kept 
continually under fire. But he had found his army honey- 
combed with socialism, and desirous of a republic. Many 
regiments would not follow their officers. It was Wimp- 
ffen, not MacMahon, who had to make the surrender, 
for the latter had been wounded in an attempt to rally 
some of the disaffected. In Paris, there had been such 
vivas for the war and for himself, that he had chosen 
to avoid the main thoroughfares on his journeyings from 
St. Cloud to the Tuileries, the day before he had set forth. 
He thought he moved in the popular direction, that he would 
lead an army well equipped, eager for glory. ^ Count Bis- 
marck reported that Napoleon told him at the weaver's cot- 
tage that he never desired the war, that he was forced into 
it by his people. Again, and again, he repeated, '' On ma 
trompe, on m'a trompe." ^ 

It is hard not to give him some dole of sympathy. Mixed 
warp and woof, Punch called him,^ and it might seem from 
his early writings that fine ideas and good intentions might 
have won for him lasting honour, had not the old Napoleonic 
legend warped them hopelessly. " No one of the ex-royal- 
ties now scattered about the country is a less deserving sub- 
ject of sympathy and regret," said Froude in Fraser's.* 
But Froude's epitaphs have a way of getting themselves re- 
written by posterity. As the Spectator said, the Emperor 
had spent two- thirds of his life in dreaming of power and 
the remainder in exercising it to such poor purpose that he 

* Archibald Forbes, My Experience of the War between France and 
Germany, vol. i, pp. 253-254. 

' Blanchard Jerrold, At Home in Paris, vol. ii, p. 13. 

* Punch, Sept. 17, 1870. 

^Fraser's Magazine, Jan., 1870, Personal History of Imperialism in 
1870. 



1 52 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 53- 

had made all the mistakes he had inveighed against be- 
fore his succession.^ Had the gods loved him and taken 
him away while he was yet Louis Napoleon, he would have 
been looked back upon as the most promising of prince pre- 
tenders. Circumstances alter personalities, and the British 
were, perhaps, saner in their judgment when they con- 
demned a system that made the fate of a nation depend on 
one man only, than when they croaked abuse of the " in- 
valid adventurer," the " Emperor of the despot brood." ^ 
and the " crowned colossal thing that crawls." ® 

The best of epitaphs was spoken across the Channel by 
one of the officers of the army that was, in the appropri- 
ately inaccurate French of King William's note to Napo- 
leon, '' si hraruement batttee sur vous ordres." * It was the 
single sentence of an old officer, who flinging his head far 
back to inhale the fine air of the morning, exclaimed grate- 
fully, "One breathes better." '^ 

^Spectator, Sept. 10, 1870. 

2 W. C. Bennett in Literary World, Sept. 16, 1870. 

• Rod'en Noel, Sedan, St. Paul's Magazine, vol. viii, p. 162. 
^Graphic, Sept 24, 1870. 

* Spectator, Sept. 10, 1870. 



CHAPTER VIII 
The Reception of the Republic 

After the great victory of September, royal headquar- 
ters were established in the old cathedral city of Rheims, 
and for a week a pause was made while men asked them- 
selves whether the war was at an end. When the German 
soldiery had learned the Emperor was caught in the mouse 
trap of Sedan, there had broken out among them the wild- 
est exhibition of delight; for they believed his capture 
would end hostilities and make possible a return to their 
homes. It was remembered that the King had proclaimed 
that he did not war with the peace-loving people of France 
but their ruler, and their own anger had been stirred not 
against France but against the odious Minister of the Em- 
peror, M. Benedetti, who had insulted their aged King. 
They believed that France, too, was eager for the war to 
end. There remained the matter of an indemnity to be 
arranged, a treaty to be signed with the Empress Regent, or 
whomever the French might appoint their representative, 
the attaching of red seals and ribbons, and a gay return to 
their homes. ^ 

The spotlight must be shifted from an army that marked 
time and waited to a capital where civilians were about to 
take into their hands the command the Emperor had let slip. 
The officer whom he had appointed Adjutant General of 

1 Archibald Forbes, My Experience of the War between France and 
Germany, vol. i, pp. 260-261 ; C. E. Ryan, With an Ambulance during 
the Franco -Prussian War, p. 362. 

153] 153 



1 54 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 54 

the Palace before setting out on his campaign, had been 
impatient for more active service. Napoleon comforted 
him with the intimation that he would, perhaps, find greater 
danger at his post in Paris than on the field of battle.^ On 
the morning of the fourth of September this General must 
have given the Emperor credit for his prescience. Sir 
Charles Dilke stood that day with Labouchere in front of 
the Grand Hotel on the Boulevard and watched the fall of 
Empire. He describes it for his grandmother. 

A battalion of fat National Guards from the centre of Paris, 
shop keepers all, marched firmly past, quietly grunting, " L' abdi- 
cation ! L' abdication !" They were soon followed by a battalion 
from the outskirts marching faster, and gaining on them to the 
cry of " Pas d ' abdication ! La decheance! La decheance!" . . . 
We stood just in front of the cavalry, that was partly composed 
of mounted Gendarmerie of the Seine . . . and kept watching 
their faces to see whether they were likely to fire or charge, but at 
last the men began, one by one, to sheathe their swords, and to 
cry, " Vive la Republique !" and the Captain in command at last 
cried " Vive la Republique !" too, and withdrew his men, letting 
the crowd swarm over the bridge. 

The Revolution was accomplished. The Englishman 
joined those who went sweeping over the bridge and sing- 
ing the Marseillaise in such a chorus as had never been 
heard before. " They halted in front of the Chambers, and 
after ten minutes parley inside, the leaders returned, and 
chalked upon one of its great columns the names of the 
representatives of Paris declared to constitute the Pro- 
visional Government .... The crowd demanded the ad- 
dition of Rochefort's name, and it was added." After that 
he followed on to the statue of Strasburg that was decor- 
ated with flowers, in recognition of the gallant defence the 
city was still making, and then to the Tuileries. A TurcO 

* Capt. the Hon. D. Bingham, Recollections of Paris, p. 164. 



155] ^^^ RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 155 

detained them at the gates by dancing in front of the crowd, 
but finally they grew impatient and insisted on entering the 
private gardens, so the gates were thrown open, and the 
crowd swept in, and up into the palace, and through each 
grand apartment. Nothing was touched, for guards had 
been stationed everywhere, and the people respected the 
power of the new Republic. It was all most satisfactory. 
" I would not have missed yesterday for the world," Sir 
Charles wrote to his grandmother.^ 

In London the news of this rose-water revolution was 
received with equanimity and in many quarters with posi- 
tive rejoicing. It had been accomplished so pacifically that 
Fun seemed only bent on making a poor joke when she 
exclaimed, " Le roi est niort. Vive le rowV It was re- 
cognized that the word, republic, had a sort of talismanic 
charm for Frenchmen, — that only imder this old-new gov- 
ernment could there be expected those prodigies of valour 
that must be performed if the Prussians were to be driven 
across the border. Whether or not the metaphysical meta- 
phor of the Observer was correct, in describing a dynasty in 
France as cut flowers that could be kept fresh only for a 
brief time by tender care, or whether, as the Tories believed, 
the change was only a transient one, men accepted it as a 
means to a welcome end. Gambetta and Jules Favre, said 
the Standard, naming two of those whose names Sir 
Charles Dilke had seen chalked up for the crowd to see, had 
heretofore done all they could to embarrass the Govern- 
ment in its moment of supreme emergency, but they had 
acceded to power under a pledge to carry out the national 
will and could be expected to accomplish all that was pos- 

» Gwynn and Tuckwell, Life of the Right Hon. Sir Chas. Dilke, vol. 
ii, pp. 109-110. Cf. Fleury, Memoirs of Empress Eugenie, vol. ii, pp. 
427-428. 

' Observer, Sept. 17, 1870. 



1 56 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 56 

sible to expel the enemy from French territory. It ac- 
cepted, therefore, a Government that even the staunchest 
ImperiaHsts supported as the best, "if only a provisional 
substitute " for the Empire. It was noted, too, by admirers 
of the exiled prince pretenders, that General Trochu, the 
President, was an Orleanist and, though patriotically em- 
bracing every means at hand to free France from her dif- 
ficulties, might be expected, in time, to revert to his former 
principles.^ The Globe, indeed, believed it impossible for 
a Republic to last in France, since the theory of equal dis- 
tribution of citizenship and distinction was impracticable 
in a country where the individual appetite for honours was 
peculiarly keen.^ In Ireland the Nation, disgruntled at the 
overthrow of Empire, denied that the de facto Government 
was representative of the wishes of the French people, 
though it could expect their support so long as it devoted 
itself to repelling invasion.* The Cosmopolitan, taking the 
unique position of denying efficacy as well as longevity to 
the new Government, prophesied that Jules Favre would 
shortly have to yield to Prussia the provinces of Alsace 
and Lorraine and a hundred millions sterling for indemnity. 
"Then," it gloated, "his little mushroom Paris Republic 
will collapse like a bubble of fetid gas, and the red ring 
of Jacobites, by which M. Favre is surrounded will 'make 
themselves air' like Macbeth's fiends and vanish into en- 
veloping night — into the contempt of history." * 

But the Times held that Favre and his fellows had sub- 
stantial claims for respect in view of their past services, and 
hoped their way might be made easy.^ The Telegraph 

* Standard, Sept. 6, 1870. 

* Globe, Sept. 9, 1870. 

8 Issue of Sept. 19, 1870. 

'Ibid. 

^ Times, Sept. 5, 1870. 



I-;] THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 157 

lauded them for ** high mental gifts, rich culture, and spot- 
less reputation," — excepting only Rochefort as a represen- 
tative of " rowdyism," and justifying even his election be- 
cause of the suffering entailed by his high courage/ 

That the members of the Government were almost all 
representatives of Paris was considered not inappropriate 
since the defence of the capital was the great military prob- 
lem they would be called to solve. The fact that they 
described themselves as a Government of National De- 
fence, rather than as a Committee of Safety, was believed 
an indication that they would use their powers moderately 
and in the interest of all France. Jules Favre, Gambetta, 
and Rochefort were a guarantee for the great towns. The 
large military command which the Emperor had, perforce, 
kept in the south to ensure its loyalty could now be directed 
against the enemy. ^ Trochu, it was said, in four days had 
been able to assemble an army from the remotest comers 
of France and place them in Paris, drilled, armed, equip- 
ped, and ready for the f ray.^ " King William has yet a 
good deal of fighting before him," observed the Globed 
Sir Edmund Blount wrote that the Garde Nationale and 
the Garde Mobile were admirable — far superior in appear- 
ance to the regular troops that had gone to meet the Prus- 
sians — ^well behaved, quiet, without drunkenness, and pos- 
sessed of that spirit of obedience the other army had utterly 
lacked.* 

But those who gave the new Government the sincerest 
welcome were those who believed its value was inherent in 
itself and not simply contingent on its efficacy in expelling 

* Daily Telegraph, Sept. 6, 1870. 

* Manchester Guardian, Sept. 7, 1870; Pall Mall Gazette, Sept 7, 1870. 

* Vanity Fair, Sept 17, 1870. 

* Globe and Traveller, Sept 5, 1870. 

* Memoirs of Sir Edmund Blount, diary entry of Sept 13, 1870. 



1 58 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 58 

the invading Prussians. They were men to whom a re- 
public, no matter by whom, or of whom constituted, was 
the symbol of a glorious freedom — ^men like Swinburne, 
who set himself the task of writing a lengthy ode in praise 
of its nativity — and that larger class to whom an abstrac- 
tion was moonshine, but who suffered under the realities 
of an imperiaHstic ''queendom" and looked across the 
waters for a beacon to guide them to a safer mooring. 
Louis Blanc had told them what great things the Republic 
of '48 had planned to accomplish. He was gone back to 
his own country now and many letters followed him to 
tell of the change of feeling taking place for France. To 
Charles Bradlaugh the new Republic was a young giant 
from whom could be expected not only the salvation of 
France but such social reforms as would benefit the world. 
With a florid fervor equalling Gambetta's he begged that 
the people of all nations stretch out the hand of fellowship 
to the "thrice-risen child of Freedom."^ Henceforth hisi 
journal, the National Reformer, that had used its lash 
against a dynastic war waged by the Empire, was pledged to 
aid the French Republic in defence of its territories. 

Much interest was felt in the first steps of a new Gov- 
ernment of which such diverse things were said. It was 
believed it might win for itself allies where the Empire 
had failed. A pronouncement was waited for on Italy. 
The men risen to present power were those who had con- 
sistently protested against the French occupation. Would 
they now repudiate the annexation of Nice and Savoy and 
promise to leave Rome in the unmolested possession of the 
Italians? M. Jules Favre and his colleagues did nothing 
to gain an alliance that the Telegraph thought was the only 
one they might secure.^ It was suggested by wide-spread- 

^ National Reformer, Sept. 11, 1870. 
2 Daily Telegraph, Sept. 16, 1870. 



159] THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 159 

ing England that the new Goverranent might signify its 
change of characer by abandoning Algiers, an extravagant 
piece of folly that France must see diverted from her as- 
sistance many soldiers that she sorely needed. But 
General Trochu and his colleagues recognized their powers 
as provisional and outside of an indiscreet flourish addressed 
to Spain about the fine things in store for the Latin race, 
were content to take account solely of the business in hand/ 
They were no innovators but the delegates of a hard-pressed 
nation. 

On the sixth of September, M. Jules Favre, in his capac- 
ity as Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a circular which 
clearly defined the war, the great pivot on which the fortune 
and future career of France must turn. It attempted to 
throw the onus of its disastrous declaration on the defunct 
Empire, and for itself utterly disavowed any intention of 
conquest. At the same time it startled England and Ger- 
many by expressing a rigid determination not to cede an 
inch of territory nor yield a stone of fortress to hasten the 
making of peace. Its vehemence in this regard was disap- 
proved by the Globe,^ which wished the Provisional Govern- 
ment rather to take the lead toward preparing France for 
sacrifices than to nerve her to firm resistance. It was con- 
demned also by the Times and News^^ that still antagonistic 
to French policies, derided this simultaneous proclamation 
of a desire for peace and a resolution not to budge a step 
to get it. They believed, as did also the Post,^ that France 
was so confident that the changed character of the war would 
bring intervention that she thought she could be careless as 
to whether or not her stubbornness might complicate the 

^ Daily Nezvs, Sept. 13, 1870. 
2 Issue of .Sept. 8, 1870. 

* Morning Post, Guardian, issues of Sept. 10, 1870. 



l6o BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ i6o 

efforts of the neutrals. In spite of the sympathy felt for 
her, such 2ine plus ultra, the Guardian believed, would deter 
France from gaining any ally, save only that of a widen 
spread, engulfing social disorder. It feared the Radical 
leaders were willing to invoke international revolution. 
Favre, himself, it acquitted of conscious complicity in 
such malicious endeavors, though it deprecated the pos- 
sible effect of his circular.^ He was believed to be, as Lord 
Lyons said, really patriotic, but too much the slave of 
sentiment to be a good diplomatist or a skilful negotiator. 
However, the Guardian's suggestion is interesting and 
worth looking into. 

On September the fifth the Central Committee of the 
Socialist Democratic Party issued a manifesto protesting 
against the annexation of Alsace Lorraine. It declared 
that "in the interest of peace and liberty, in the interest 
of Western Civilization, the German workmen would not 
patiently tolerate the annexation of these two provinces, 
but would faithfully stand by their fellow workmen in all 
countries for the common international cause of the Pro- 
letariat." ^ As a demonstration of counter opinion, large 
meetings of the most influential men of Prussia had been 
held to urge the King to exact such guarantees as would 
give security for the future conduct of France and the unity 
of the entire German people.* The Manifesto, taking note 
of these activities, said they were stage-managed to create 
the impression that the pious King was coerced by the ir- 
resistible behest of the German nation to abandon his pledge 

1 Morning Post, Guardian, issues of Sept. lo, 1870. 

' Lyons to Granville, Sept. 12, 1870, Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord Gran- 
ville, vol. ii, p. 55. 

" The General Council of the International Working Men's Associa- 
tion on the War (London, 1870), p. 96; London Graphic, Sept. 10, 1870. 

*' Manchester Guardian, Sept. i, 1870. 



l6i] THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC i6i 

to war only on the soldiers of the Empire. Bismarck well 
knew there were social and political malcontents in Ger- 
many as there were in France. His policy was to silence 
them by repression rather than coddle them by concessions. 
In Frankfort the war had not been received with enthus- 
iasm, for many of its inhabitants hated Prussia and be- 
lieved victory would make her doubly autocratic. Business 
there was at a standstill. Many great houses had failed 
and there was no work for the artisans.^ The army had 
shown an alarming willingness to cry quits at the down- 
fall of the Empire. Early in September the Volkes Zeitung 
won friends by its plea for peace. A republic in France 
had precedent for liberating and synthesizing all the dis- 
content within the boundaries of its neighbors. " What 
I most fear," it was reported Bismarck told a British 
attache, "is the effect of a republic in France upon Ger- 
many itself. That is what the King and I most fear, for 
no one knows so well as we do what has been the influence 
of American republicanism in Germany." ^ Bismarck was 
prepared to fight an enemy in front and resolved to pre- 
vent the appearance of an enemy in the rear. The men 
who had signed the Manifesto, and even those who had 
printed it, were arrested very promptly and sent to Liitzen 
in East Germany. Their detention roused no great pro- 
test in England. The Reformer had printed the appeal in 
letters half an inch thick, and this of itself had been 
enough to invest it with frightfulness in the mind of the 
average Britisher.* Of the widely read journals only the 

* Corvin, Germany under War; Temple Bar, vol. xxx, p. 277. 

2 Manchester Guardian, Sept. 26, 1870. The interview with Mr. Malet 
was reported first by the Daily News. Later Bismarck denied that he 
had mad'e the statements ascribed to him. Cf. Manchester Guardian, 
Oct. 8, 1870. 

• Cf. London Graphic, Sept 24, 1870. 



1 62 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 62 

Spectator dared to praise the German workmen for their 
advocacy of "honorable and reasonable political meas- 
ures." ^ But when in continuation of the policy of repres- 
sion, Dr. Jacoby was arrested at Konigsberg for speaking 
against the territorial annexations, the British roused them- 
selves. They protested against the imprisonment of an 
elderly "philosopher-democrat," who, it was felt, was the 
very honorable representative of opinions that, though they 
lost caste when espoused by certain of the German workmen, 
were, none the less, shared by the majority of Europe. 
Said the Telegraph, " The admission that he (Bismarck) 
fears the spirit which he has gagged in the person of Dr. 
Jacoby justitfies the warning that in trampling 00 the honor 
of France and violating the right of the conquered provin- 
ces to be consulted, he may be setting a brand upon his 
own success and making democracy strong by identifying 
it with morality, restitution, and lasting peace." ^ The 
Manchester Guardian condemned not only the deed but the 
method of its execution which it called the exercise of an 
instrument substantially equivalent to the lettres de cachet 
of the agents of divine right.* The Court Journal ren 
ported the rumour that many more were marked men on the 
Chancellor's list. For the British to advise Count Otho 
von Bismarck Schoenhausen at this time in the interest of 
free speech would have been, as was recognized, something 
like advising a Nasmyth steam-hammer while it was fall- 
ing. But when other refractory papers showed themselves 
iminfluenced by the punishment meted out to the Frank-- 
fort Journal for its protest in favor of the sturdy old 
Radical, and especially when the Cologne Gazette, influen- 
tial in its own Rhineland provinces and in Prussia and 

* Spectator, Sept. 17, 1870. 
" Telegraph, Sept. 24, 1870. 

* Manchester Guardian, Sept. 26, 1870. 



163] THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 163 

South Germany as well, offered opposition, the Chancellor 
realized that attempts to muzzle the press were impractic- 
able. His failure caused him to lose something af his ex- 
cellent sang froid, and to express strong opinions on this 
lack of support/ After a month of punishment he re- 
leased Professor Jacoby and all others accused of like 
offense, with the exception of some Socialists. The 
British hoped their criticism had influenced him in this, 
but the Globe and the Spectator believed it was due rather 
to the dissatisfaction expressed by the Liberals, especially 
in South Germany.^ Orders were given that no more 
political arrests be made and that political meetings be per- 
mitted. Bismarck had no sympathy with the German ad- 
mirers of the Government of the ''gentlemen of the 
pavement," but he believed he could afford generosity since 
the object of their praise would be short-lived. In Metz 
there was a great army under the staunch Imperialist, 
Bazaine, who had made no intimation that he had accepted a 
change of masters. The Republic had gained no allies. It 
had not even received recognition from the great monar- 
chical nations of Europe. Even in France its legality was 
dubious for it had had no popular confirmation. The ple- 
biscite, so signally demonstrating the confidence of France 
in its Emperor, remained the last recorded expression of 
public opinion. Furthermore, previoois republican govern- 
ments had been of short duration, and had occasioned such 
disturbance in Europe that they had left a legacy of dread. 
This one's defiance, certainly, had done nothing to ingratiate 
it with its enemy, and Bismarck knew it had small chance of 
making good its boast. When the time should come for a 
humiliating peace to be signed, could it be expected that 
France, France of the provinces, would tamely accept thi^ 

* Court Journal, Oct 8, 1870; Daily News, Oct. 14, 1870. 
' Issues of Oct. 27 and Oct. 29, 1870, respectively. 



1 54 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 64 

Paris-born Republic and give to it, and to its treaty, the 
ratification of a silent consent ? However helpful the Gov- 
ernment might be to Prussia, temporarily, by its repellant 
influence on the neutrals, and by the potentiaHties it might 
have of dividing France against itself, it was expedient that 
when the time for peace should come, there should be men 
at the helm of a different character from Favre and Roche- 
fort. Prussia once before, conjointly with the other 
Powers, had reimposed a dynasty on France to give security 
to a hard treaty. Bismarck now held as his prisoner an 
Emperor, who cherished great ambitions for his son. Per- 
haps this new eaglet could be taught to fly as Prussia listed 
and be tethered so strictly by strong obligations that his 
flight would be always within the zone of Prussian influ- 
ence. The father, then, was treated with Imperial honors. 
On his surrender, Count Bismarck's phrase, " Sire, I re- 
ceive you as I would my own Royal Master," was quoted, 
and not with favour, among the Prussian soldiery. He was 
assigned the magnificent castle of Wilhelmshohe as resid- 
ence, and Queen Augusta was deprived of one of her finest 
chefs that his kitchen might be under proper governance. 
A member of the North German Parliament drew atten- 
tion to the gilded captivity of the third Napoleon and com- 
plained that it foreboded his reinstatement as sovereign 
of France. He was prosecuted and sentenced to a two 
months' imprisonment.^ The Empress and the Prince Im- 
perial were fugitives in England. There began to be cir- 
culated, soion after their arrival, a penny sheet called ''La 
Situation " that strongly urged a restoration.^ It could not 

* The article was written by Dr. Hirsch, the editor of Gewerkverein, 
in which journal it appeared, Daily News, Nov. 7, 1870. Cf. Sept. 
letters of Berlin correspondent of Daily Telegraph; Manchester Guar- 
dian, Sept. 14, 1870; Newcastle Daily Chronicle, Sept. 14, 1870; Graphic, 
Sept. 17, 1870. 

2 Literary World, Sept. 30, 1870. 



165] THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 165 

be established that it drew its inspiration from Eugenie^s 
quiet residence at Chislehurst. She did not make it the 
organ of her communications to the British, and at least 
on one occasion, its statements so displeased her that she 
made use of space in the Times to refute them. The Duke 
of Cambridge, who called on her, f oimd her low and sub- 
dued — looking sixty years old. He believed it would be the 
Orleanists who would have the next turn on the throne of 
France.^ The British were lavish in her praise. They recalled 
her courtesy to English visitors to her capital, the profusion 
of her charities, her bravery in visiting the sick and dying 
during the days of the cholera. But they regarded her, 
none the less, as the butterfly ruler of a holiday France, 
now broken on the wheel of fortune,^ — not as the regent of 
a dynasty that had not yet signed away its claims, an Em- 
press regent, who might plot dangerously for the elevation 
of her son. Huxley praised her for her nobility and 
dignity. But she was no Roland, no Corday, he said, — 1 
" only a second-rate Marie Antoinette." * British journals 
might still describe the lightest bow and frailest ruffle of 
her costumes with ponderous minutiae, but it was only the 
Queen of Fashion that they meant to honor. Let King 
William shout *' Vive VEmpereur!" as much as he pleased, 
no one but Bismarck would echo the cry, said the British 
papers. No Englishman would test his accent with the 
phrase. 

That class in England most hostile to a restoration and 
the territorial cession which it was felt would surely ac- 
company it, was the same that opposed Count Bismarck^sl 

* Lord Carlingford to Lear, Oct. 19, 1870, Later Letters of Edward 
Lear, p. 126. 

^ Daily Telegraph, Sept. 12, Oct. 29, 1870; London Society, Nov., 1870. 

» Life and Letters of Thos. H. Huxley (edited by J. W. Harding, N. 
Y., 1896), vol. i, p. 361. 



l66 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ i66 

plans in Germany. The Spectator called it with courteous 
deference, "the operative class." ^ The first meeting of 
republican working men, called together after the establish- 
ment of the Provisional Government, was held in Arundel 
Hall, in the Strand, on the seventh of September. Its pur- 
pose was nonpartisan : the organization of a movement in 
favor of " reestablishing peace in the present crisis, and of 
procuring arbitration in place of war generally." But, in 
spite of remonstrances from the presiding officer, George 
Odger and others made it the occasion for declaring their 
sympathies with France.^ Two nights later, after the cir- 
cular of Jules Favre had been read and considered, a meet- 
ing at St. James's Hall, held under the same presidency, 
was permitted to pass resolutions expressing a welcome to 
the French Republic and the hope that, since the cause of 
hostilities had been removed, the German army would 
discontinue its march on Paris, and England would exert 
herself to smooth the way for peace.^ 

The resolutions and the speeches urging them were cri- 
ticized by the press as indiscreet and unnecessary. The 
News contended that wars are made between nations, not 
between their governments, — on which false assumption the 
resolutions had seemed to base themselves. On the other 
hand, it pointed out that there was not in France any power 
with which a foreign Government could safely negotiate a 
treaty.* A strange doctrine, truly, for if the power of a 
nation extends to the making of war, when the desire of war 
ceases, should it not be able to make peace, even though in 
giving expression to its desire it find it necessary to over- 
turn the existing Government ? It would seem to be a way 

* Spectator, S^t. lo, 1870. 

' Pall Mall Gazette, Sept. 8, 1870. 

* Times, Sept. 10, 1870. 

* Daily News, Sept. 12, 1870. 



167] THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 167 

of saying, "You may do what you want if you want to 
make war, and you will be held accountable for it; but if 
you want to make peace you must do what your Govern- 
ment wants, and you must bear the burden of its decision." 
The Morning Post expressed regret that the democracy of 
London seemed incapable of understanding the events that 
were passing before their eyes/ Surely, the writers of the 
leaders in London's greatest dailies did little to help them. 
On the day following the meeting in St. James's HaU 
the London Democracy held a demonstration in Hyde Park 
at which it was resolved that the address of Mr. Odger be 
sent to Jules Favre, and the British Government was urged 
to recognize the French Republic and to insist on an 
armistice for the arranging of peace by impartial arbitra- 
tion.^ Sixty thousand addresses condemning the continu- 
ance of war had been sent throughout the country to the 
centres of the working classes, and when Odger sailed from 
Dover, personally to deliver his resolutions to Favre,* sim- 
ilar resolutions were already on the way from Birmingham 
and other districts where the " operatives" aboimded. The 
succeeding meetings of September are too numerous to 
chronicle, but characteristic of all of them was sympathy 
for France; the wish that England intervene, either through 
mediation or a defensive alliance; and a grandiose desire 
to put an end to war for all time by some system of in- 
ternational arbitration. The vehemence with which the 
resolutions were proposed, and the willingness that was 
shown in many instances to plunge England into present 
war to ensure a stable peace suggest, somewhat, the amaz- 
ing antics of a child that is overjoyed with a new toy but 

* Morning Post, Sept. 12, 1870. 

« Times, Sept. 12, 1870; Spectator, Sept. 12, 1870; Illustrated London 
News, Sept. 17, 1870. 

• Times, Sept. 22, 1870; Punch, Sept. 24, 1870. 



1 68 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 68 

plays with it after the old manner — sticks its rattle in its 
mouth, so to speak. May it be observed that these meet- 
ings, even though they numbered among the audience not 
only workingmen, but Liberals and Comtists of the white- 
shirted upper class as well, were regarded as of about as 
much consequence as the above mentioned performance? 
There was, albeit, less of tolerance in England's attitude. 
The Manchester Guardian said of the Democrats that they 
were utterly without influence except in the negative sense, — ^ 
that the majority of the nation generally began to feel 
afraid it had been misled if, by chance, it found its opinion 
in any political question agreeing with that of the Demo- 
crats.^ And when the Irish Nationahsts, who shared their 
unpopularity, began to hold simultaneous demonstrations 
with them in Hyde Park, sympathy for France in some 
quarters, at least, received a considerable check. There 
crept in a fear that these meetings, where the Marseillaise 
was sung, and republicanism extolled, where international 
amity was discussed by men of many races, were un- 
English, — ^that Jules Favre, in receiving the resolutions and 
welcoming George Odger was trafficking with hostile 
forces. A great bond of friendship between nations, as 
between men, is a mutual enemy. And so, Bismarck, op- 
posing a bulwark oi blood and iron to strange new forces, 
which the RepubHc seemed to foster, appeared hallowed in a 
benevolent nimbus. It is hope-inspiring that the derisive 
press reports of the working men's meetings and the diverse 
theories bodied into resolutions did not blind many eminent 
men to the value and sincerity of their expressions of 
sympathy for France. If Mr. Bradlaugh offended by his 
abuse of the " God protected William of Prussia " there 
were Professor Beesly and Sir Henry Hoare to give the 

^Manchester Guardian, Sept. 20, 1870. 



169] 'THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 169 

meetings dignity. Best of all there was honest John Mor- 
ley to use the Fortnightly for their defense. In September 
he was writing : 

The attitude of the workingmen toward the fallen country in the 
bitter hour of expiation attests a large and compassionate human- 
ity that contrasts instructively with the crawling prudence of that 
organ of the Enghsh press, which after having played pander to 
the Empire of stock jobbers for eighteen years, at the first moment 
of reverse swiftly turns about, asks who is going to call for abdi- 
cation, and then by a crowning stroke eagerly anticipates demands 
which the German Government had not made, waits for no ulti- 
matum, prays for no moderation in the conqueror, and in the 
overflowing of its officious baseness urges France to come to terms 
with her adversary as speedily as she can, " even though these 
terms include the loss of Alsace, Metz and a strip of Lorraine." 
Once more the generosity and spirit of a nation, not inferior to 
any other in either, are hidden behind the ignoble words and 
grovelling ideas of a little clique of journalistic shadows.^ 

It was the leaven of men of known worth and ability that 
won some consideration for the many who coupled sage de- 
sires capable of present fulfillment with fantasic hopes 
doomed to long disappointment. For one thing, the work- 
men wanted official recognition of the French Republic. 
The densely crowded meeting held on the twenty-fourth in 
St. James's Great Hall had petitioned the Government for 
this.^ It was demanded next day by a more radical meet- 
ing in Hyde Park.^ On September the twenty-seventh the 
representatives of the Trade Societies of London waited on 
the Premier to address him on the matter. The Maw- 
chester Guardian thought the attitude illogical because the 
French, themselves, by deferring the conclusion of a settle- 
ment with Prussia until their position had been ratified, 

* Fortnightly Review, vol. xiv, pp. 479-488. 
' Manchester Guardian, Sept. 27, 1870. 

* Times, Sept 27, 1870. 



I JO BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 70 

acknowledged the Republic's provisional character. The de- 
facto Government already, was given practical recognition. 
Until such time as it should become formal, anyhing further 
would be inappropriate.^ John Richard Green was very 
doubtful if that day would come. If the Republic showed 
itself favorable to the alienation of French territory, it 
could not stand a day, if it did not, it made way, in his 
opinion, for the "most frightful jacquerie the world has; 
ever seen." John Stuart Mill believed a Government which 
had the obedience/ of all the country not occupied by 
foreign troops should be accorded an official recognition 
"as de facto." ^ The Daily News^ which early in the 
month had struck out boldly for a recognition that would 
make amends for England's condonation of a former 
coup d'etat, now showed repentance for its rashness.* It 
was not to be expected that the Times, regarding with 
equanimity, as it did, the possibility of a Prussian entrance 
into Paris as preferable to an excess of republicanism, 
should join in the petitions for recognition addressed to the 
Prime Minister.^ It was a matter for wonder that Glad- 
stone received the delegates of the Trades Societies at all. 
He was believed to have shown himself both gracious and 
sagacious when, after hearing them, he explained that Eng- 
land could not recognize a Government not yet officially sanc- 
tioned in France, but would lose no time in following that 
country's example when she did accept it. He went 
further. He intimated the representations the deputation 

^Manchester Guardian, Sept. 27, 1870. 

' Green to E. A. Freeman, Sept. 5, 1870, Letters of John Richard 
Green, pp. 261-262. 

^ Mill an<i Helen Taylor to Sir iChas. Dilke, Sept. 30, 1870, Letters 
of John Stuart Mill, vol. ii, p. 273. 

* Cf. editorials in News for iSept. 6 and Sept. 12, 1870, on this subject 

* Times, Sept. 27, 1870. 



171 ] THE RECEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC 171 

made in regard to the cession of Alsace and Lorraine were 
not antithetic to his own feelings in the matter.^ The work- 
men were but little better satisfied with the conduct of the 
Government after Gladstone's explanation. Their protests 
and demonstrations continued. They could not know what 
had been done already in the interest of peace. Ourselves 
live later to the advantage of our knowledge. For fifty 
years make even the walls of Chancelleries grow thin. We 
shall listen as best we may, and perhaps we shall find that 
the Government had done something more to overcome the 
difficulties of peacemaking than the orators of Trafalgar 
Square believed. And if France had to content herself 
with the mild endeavours we are about to study instead of 
the one ally of social revolution that the creation of the 
Republic made possible to her, it is fair to assimie that her 
own conduct together with Bismarck's belated wisdom in 
releasing political prisoners and restoring comparative free- 
dom to the press, and the British practice of permitting 
freedom of speech to all and sundry, prevented a precipi- 
tation of that bouleversement whose end none can foresee. 

* Morning Post, Daily News, and Manchester Examiner of Sept. 28, 
1870, endorse Gladstone's attitude; Globe of same date diescribes it as 
ambiguous. Illustrated London News is most captious toward the 
personnel and purpose of committee. 



CHAPTER IX 
Abortive Peace Negotiations 

HOME AND FOREIGN NEWS 

Thursday — Mr. Gladstone bought a pair of slippers. 

Friday — Immense slaughter of French and Germans before 
Sedan. 

Saturday — Mr. Cardwell went out shooting. 

Sunday — The Emperor of France abdicated and surrendered 
to the King of Prussia. 

Monday —The President of the Board of Trade passed a good 
night. 

Tuesday — The Empress having quitted Paris, a Republic was 
inaugurated. 

Wednesday — The Home Secretary had a tea-party, and the Prus- 
sians are still marching on Paris. ^ 

Judy's chronicle for the week epitomizes the September 
attitude toward a Manchester Ministry off on a holiday 
while the Continent flamed with war. A correspondent of 
the Times thought the matter was more reprehensible if it 
were true, as reported, that the Cabinet had made an ar- 
rangement with other Powers not to join in the struggle 
without mutual explanation.^ Was it to be expected, asked 
Pall Mall, that for the convenience O'f the upper classes, the 
whole world of nations would be good enough to fall into 
a state of suspended animation imtil the Upper Ten Thous- 
and had spent their holidays and were disposed to return 
to work?® The members of the Government were vari- 

1 Judy, "Sept 21, 1870. 

2 "Spectator" to Times, Sept. 7, 1870. 

3 Pall Mall Gazette, Sept. 7, 1870. 

172 [172 



173] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 173 

ously described as striding after grouse over the breezy 
Scottish moors and picking up shells upon the beach at 
Walmer. The Queen herself was not immune from criti- 
cism. She was at the furthest extremity of her kingdom 
so that every despatch coming to London had to travel 
an additional three days before it could gain her considera- 
tion. The Economist was for permitting the Premier to 
sign documents in the Sovereign's name whenever the flag 
was not flying over the royal residences at Windsor or Lon- 
don.^ 

But it was the activities of the Prime Minister that were 
held up for special derision. " Napoleon III," said the 
Globe, 

declares war against Prussia, and as a counter demonstration Mr. 
Gladstone commends to the amusement of the British Senate the 
astonishing capabilities of his favorite ballot toy. The cannon 
began to boom — the box began to rattle. Since then a dynasty 
has been wrecked ; the keel of a Republic laid ; a huge fast-rolling 
wave is threatening to suck into its vortex the ruins of an invaded 
capital. But the sublime equilibrium of the Premier's nature is 
not even now disturbed. . . . He brings his equable frame of 
mind to the undivided study of the Workingmen's International 
Exhibition, and discriminatingly analyzes its curious subtilties, its 
dainty refinements, its airy monuments of artistic triumph, its deli- 
cate guarantees of a continuance of industry — promoting peace, 
which of course we shall always enjoy." ' 

The English in Paris were extremely excited by the inac- 
tivity of their Government. "What is Lord Granville 
doing?" wrote Sir Edmund Blount to a friend at home. 
" Does he think that the majority of the English nation will 
ever pardon a Government which shows culpable apathy at 
such a time? " ^ The Globe believed his lordship was setting 

1 Economist, Aug. 2^, 1870. 

2 Glohe, S^pt. 9, 1870. 

" Memoirs of Sir Edmund Blount, p. 173. 



1 74 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 74 

an example in his own person of the role of neutrality and 
nullity he wished his country to adopt.^ The shades of 
Palmerston and Canning were invoked to point the way to 
action.^ The more taciturn and preoccupied the Minister 
appeared, the greater were the efforts to rouse him with 
warnings. It was urged that the downfall of the Empire 
was the psychological moment for the tendering of good 
offices. The sins oi Napoleon should not be visited on the 
young Republic, the struggle should not be allowed to be^ 
come a people's war. In all contention, said the News, 
there comes a time when events unmistakably indicate the 
road to peace. At such a time a Neutral may interpose 
with such deliberate but decided use of her moral authority 
as may prepare the way for peace. It hoped Lord Gran- 
ville might now find his opportunity.^ But the Goverfi- 
ment was admitted to be at a striking disadvantage because 
it could not give force to a remonstrance by that reserve of 
strength which in times past had heartened British courage. 
It would take more than the generous subsidy that Parlia- 
ment could be relied upon to grant to render efficient those 
defences, which the Globe thought had been criminally 
neglected in the interests of a false economy.* The great 
claims intimated before Sedan in the pourparlers carried on 
with the Bishop of Strasburg and now widely bruited in 
the Prussian press gave little hope that any mere note carry- 
ing would prove 'beneficent.'^ Morier believed from infor- 
mation gained in Germany, that, if the Neutrals opposed 
the cession of Alsace and Lorraine, Prussia was prepared to 

* Sept. 7, 1870. 

' Examiner and London Review, Sept. 3, 1870. 

^ Daily News, Sept. 10, 1870 ; Standard, Sept. 5 and 12, 1870 ; Oxford 
Graduate, Inside Paris during the Siege (London, 1871), pp. 75"76. 

* Globe, Sept. 7, 1870; Punch, Sept. 10, 1870. 

* Daily Telegraph, Sept. 27, 1870. 



173] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 175 

disregard the neutrality of Belgium and offer part of it to 
France to win her to complaisance.^ But it is nowhere 
intimated that such a possibility proved a bogey to Lord 
Granville. It was rather the absolute divergence of the 
views of the belligerents than the fear of a further unscrupu- 
lous agreement that retarded his efforts at peace-making.^ 
On September the tenth, the day after France was forced 
to surrender Laon, Tissot, who had succeeded Lavalette as; 
the French representative in London, informed Granville 
that several Powers (probably Austria, Italy and Spain) 
sympathized with the French desire for an honorable peace 
and asked that the English join with them to arrange for 
the signature of an armistice. He reiterated the determina- 
tion, already expressed in the Favre circular, to maintain 
the integrity of France even if such a resolution led to 
a war a outrance.^ Notice of the endeavours of these 
Neutrals was already on the way to Bismarck in a letter 
from his good friend and former school- fellow, John Loth- 
rop Motley, then Ambassador to England from the United 
States. The letter was a very amiable and quite ex officio^ 
communication which informed Count Bismarck that from 
frequent, confidential, and earnest conversations with those 
most interested and influential in British affairs, the writer 
was aware that great pressure was being put upon the 
Government by the other considerable Powers in favor of 
some kind of intervention, mediation, or joint expression of 
opinion as to the terms of peace. Hitherto, England had 
resisted these invitations and suggestions, but in doing soi 
she had laid herself open to the charge of being an obstruc- 

* Memoirs of Hon. Sir Robert Morier, vol. ii, pp. 179-180. 

' Morley, Life of Gladstone^ vol. ii, p. 357 ; Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord 
Granville, vol. ii, p. 48 ; Pall Mall Gazette, Sept. 12, 1870 ; Times, Sept. 
12, 1870. 

' British State Papers, Foreign Of&ce, vol. Ixxi, p. 58. 



1 76 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 76 

tive and a laggard. In view of these matters, he believed 
it his duty, as a sincere friend of Prussia, to suggest that 
the " more moderate the terms on the part of the conqueror 
at this supreme moment, the greater would be the confidence 
inspired for the future, and the more sincere the founda- 
tion of a durable peace." The Prussian Chancellor an- 
notated this ''sacredly confidential communication" with 
the words, " damn confidence," and filed it away.^ Neither 
he nor his Sovereign was perturbed at the suggestion that 
England was to be budged from her neutrality by Powers 
that were too timid themselves to take the lead. King Wil- 
liam, at the time of the confiscation of the property of the 
Queen's cousin of Hanover, had said that England had 
forgotten the days of Pitt and become the very humble 
servant of the economists of Manchester, of Gladstone, 
and of Cobden and his disciples.^ There was no reason 
to believe that she was minded to change her policies. 
Prussia, too, was resolved to continue on in her course, and 
rejoiced that the anomalous position of the French Govern- 
ment made it appear less devious. 

Von Bernstorff was instructed to inform Lord Gran- 
ville that, though Prussia held herself in readiness to meet 
every overture oif the Queen, she could not regard the pro- 
posals of the existing Government in France with such 
consideration as she would give to one that had been ac- 
cepted by the French people.® The captive Emperor was 
still to Foreign Powers the bearer of the sovereignty. 
Prussia asked what guarantee would be given for the re- 

* Motley to Bismarck, Sept. 9, 1870, Johfi Lothrop Motley and his 
Family (edited by his diaughter and H. St. John Mildmay, London, 
1910), pp. 288 et seq. 

^ King of Prussia in conversation with Comte de Boeswerk, A. 
Dumas, La Terreur Prussienne (Paris, 1872), p. 54. 

" Telegram of Bismarck to Bernstarff, Sept. 12, 1870, Brit. State 
Papers, vol. Ixxi, p. 83. 



177] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 177 

cognition of possible peace terms by the present Government 
of France, or any that might follow it. Diplomatically 
speaking, this statement was masterly. It offered in a most 
courteous way an assurance to the Provisional Government 
that it would be accorded recognition at a proper price. It 
apprized England that she would be violating the bounds 
of propriety if she too closely pressed on Prussia the soli- 
citations of a Government from which she herself withheld 
formal recognition. If England unduly urged Bismarck 
to negotiate with a de facto Government, — ^the durability 
of which he avowedly doubted, would she not, in a way, be 
undertaking to underwrite for Prussia's security the forth- 
coming treaty? The dual character of a sovereign, a 
vexatious matter that had appeared in the dispute over 
the Hohenzollem candidature, now reappeared in the prob- 
lem of the status of the captive Napoleon. He had sur- 
rendered, not abdicated. Moreover, the surrender was one 
of his person and involved neither his imperial power, 
which he had delegated to the Empress, nor his military 
command, which he had resigned to MacMahon. But the 
restoration of the Imperial family under German protection 
would be bitterly resented by public opinion in England, as 
Granville well knew. He wrote to his chief that he did not 
think the Cabinet could with propriety receive the com- 
munication of such an idea from Prussia without record- 
ing its objections.^ 

Since nothing but the realization of a contretemps had 
been gained by dispatches, the French welcomed the sug- 
gestion of the veteran diplomatist, M. Thiers, that he go to 
England and then to other countries to plead the cause of 
the last of the many Governments to which he had given 
allegiance. And so while the Conservative journals were 

* Granville to Gladstone, Sept 16, 1870, Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. ii, 
PP- 49-51 ; Fleury, Memoirs of Empress Eugenie, vol. ii, pp. 525-526. 



1 78 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 78 

urging on England mediation, even to the point of forcing 
consideration for her pacific intentions by dint of arms, and 
their Liberal opponents were representing that her part was 
rather to soothe French susceptibilities on the matter of an 
inevitable loss of territory, a new attack on the policy of 
passivity was launched from across the Channel. M. 
Thiers was preceded by an agent sent to pave the way for 
him. This precursor reported on his return that for Glad- 
stone and Granville France as a nation no longer existed. 
" They were polite," he said sadly, " but seemed to think 
we were blotted from the map of Europe." ^ He seems not 
to have been made aware that Thiers, in spite of his long 
practice in diplomacy, was, perhaps, not the most appro- 
priate man for France to send on an important mission. 
His part in doing to death a former republic certainly 
would not make him persona grata with the eager friends of 
France that met in St. James' Hall. Thirty years ago he 
had fallen from power because he could not win support for 
a policy which was on the point of precipitating his country 
into war with England. Even by those whose minds were 
not disturbed by memories, it was recognized that he was 
totally out of sympathy with the economic theories of 
Bright and Gladstone ; and that he had done what he could to 
make his opposition felt. In regard to the present war, 
he was regarded by the Evening Mail as its ultimate cause, 
— the man, who above all others, had developed " that bale- 
ful idea of French dictatorship in Europe which was at 
once the secret of the power of the Emperor Napoleon and 
the immediate occasion of his downfall."^ The Daily 
News saw a certain poetic and dramatic justice in the 
spectacle of this historian and statesman, who thirty years 
ago was meditating a sudden attack upon the British fleet in 

* Felix Whitehurst, My Private Diary (London, 1875), vol. i, p. 91. 
' Evening Mail, Oct. 7, 1870. 



179] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 179 

the Mediterranean, making a diplomatic tour in his old age 
as a suppliant for the moral intervention of the neutral 
Powers to save his country from the consequences of that 
vainglorious and aggressive spirit and policy, of which he 
had ever been the most eloquent and powerful advocate. 
He was likened now in his old age to that intrusive old 
peace-maker, Touchwood, in one of Scott's romances. 
"Don't be afraid of me," says Touchwood, 

though I come thus suddenly upon you, I acknowledge that my 
talents and experience have sometimes made me play the busy- 
body, because I find I can do things better than other people, and 
I love to see fellows stare. But after all, I am un bon diabU, 
and I have come four or five hundred miles to put all your little 
matters to rights just when you think they are most desperate.^ 

But M. Thiers had swallowed too much of criticism to be 
greatly perturbed by these bitter spoonfuls administered 
by the British press. He was encouraged, too, by the 
kindly reception and good hopes extended him by papers 
representing so many and so diverse interests as the Times, 
the Telegraph, the Record, the Examiner^ and Saunders'.'^ 
If the News refused to dignify his visit by calling it a mis- 
sion, he could take comfort that in the Standard he was 
dubbed an Ambassador Extraordinary.' 

He did not wait upon Lord Granville when he arrived in 
London until he had talked with an old friend about his 
chances of success. He spoke to him of England's duty to 
support France in the interest of the balance of power. 
But his friend broke in abruptly to tell him to put such 
notions out of his head, for England now had no interest 
in them.* Perhaps it was this warning that deterred Thiers 

* Daily News, Sept. 14, 1870. 

' Issues of Sept. 14, 16, 17 andl 15, respectively. 

* Standard, Sept. 14, 1870. 

* Robt. Wilson, Life and Times of Queen Victoria (London, 1887- 
88) , vol. ii, p. 871 ; Fortnightly Review, March, 1884, vol. xxxv, p. 418. 



l8o BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ igo 

from asking for active intervention. Perhaps it was the cold 
courtesy of the British Foreign Minister who refused to 
concede the envoy's argument that the war had been due 
entirely to the Empire, and that the downfall of Napoleon 
removed any justification of its continuance. It is doubtful 
whether the French diplomatist's endeavour to cast a sombre 
pall of responsibility over the defunct Empire was as for- 
tunate a choice of argument as would have been an effort 
to dress forth with his keen wit some quite live argimients 
for Prussian responsibility that slumbered in the record of 
the negotiations preceding war's outbreak. Instead of the 
active intervention, which Granville was certainly prepared 
to refuse, Thiers urged immediate recognition of the Re- 
public, and the exertion by England of that moral influence 
which, when supported by the Neutral Powers that only 
waited on her leadership, would surely oppose an irresist- 
ible barrier to Prussian aggression. Both were refused 
him. On the petitioner's own argument Lord Granville 
had good reason for the first denial. For Thiers had urged 
nothing more in favor of the de facto Government than its 
present expediency, — a republic represented everybody at a 
time of crisis. His second request he urged with better 
logic and far greater eloquence. Even by reading Gran- 
ville's report of the interview one can see that Thiers's 
heart was in that plea. But he found the Foreign Minister 
guided by a policy of inertia. "In other days," Thiers 
wrote Jules Favre, "England would have shuddered with 
indignation at the idea of allowing so great a revolution as 
was accomplishing itself to be fulfilled without taking the 
part in it proper to a great Power. Today, while recogniz- 
ing that Prussia is becoming formidable, she prefers to shut 
her eyes and ears rather than to see it cr bear it said .... 
The idea of a great war dismays her, and the thought of 
taking a step that might meet with a rebuflf .... dismays 



l8i] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS i8i 

her almost as much as war itself/' ^ The net result of his 
interviews in England was Granville's promise to deliver 
a message from the French Government requesting an in- 
terview with Bismarck, and to accompany it with words of 
satisfaction at thus aiding a meeting which would afford the 
best means of making each party acquainted with the 
other's demands and so arriving at an honorable peace.^ 

With this sop, M. Thiers set out on his circular visit to 
the Continental capitals, — an " old Orleanist premier," the 
Dublin Review described him, " starting on his hopeless 
cruise from court to court in search of an ally, at the bid- 
ding of two boisterous barristers, who have been suddenly 
flung from the gutter into the Louvre."^ At St. Peters- 
burg he was even less successful than in London, and Pall 
Mall published a squib about his visit there that must have 
annoyed Lord Tennyson : 

" Thiers, idle Thiers, I know not what you mean — 
Thiers, claiming pity from the ruthless bear! 
Thiers, idle Thiers, you gather in my eyes 
A fatal likeness to the autumn fields 
Where diaflf is found, but golden grain no more." * 

At Vienna he found himself at table with the Prussian his- 
torian, von Ranke, and made bold to remonstrate with him 
on the inconsistency of his country in pursuing hostilities 
when the author of the war and the Government he headed 
had become things of the past. " On whom, pray, do you 
then make war?" he ended. "On Louis XIV," was the 
grim answer.* The story was told with gusto by the 

1 Memoirs of Louis Adolphe Thiers, 1870-187 3 (London, 1915), pp. 
11-12. 
' Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 53-57. 

* Dublin Review, Oct., 1870, vol. xv, pp. 479-496. 

* Pall Mall Gazette, Oct. 7, 1870. 

* Edinburgh Review, April, 1871, The German Empire, vol. cxxxiii, 
pp. 459 et seq. 



l82 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 182 

friends of Prussia in England. Not only these men, but 
many who argued against them for the merits of the French 
case, approved the outcome of the London mission. The 
claims of the belligerents differed so widely that, as Glad- 
stone said, it could not be considered an offense that Eng- 
land did not interfere and unreservedly second pretensions 
of which she could not approve.^ Much was hoped from 
the personal interviews so soon to be arranged. The Prus- 
sian King disclaimed ambition, the Republic was intense 
in its eagerness for peace. If both were honest, peace must 
come speedily. 

Edward Malet, Second Secretary of the British Lega- 
tion in Paris, was chosen to bear the message sent from 
Granville through Lord Lyons, and the French despatch 
from Favre. Sir Edmund Blount was glad to see him go, 
for Paris was almost invested and he hoped that Prussia 
would ask moderate concessions and not insist on terms 
to which the French populace would not allow their Gov- 
ernment to accede. He believed that Malet carried des- 
patches not only from England and France, but from Rus- 
sia also. However that may have been, the courier arrived 
in due time with his weightly documents at the Prus^ 
sian outposts. The camp was in an excellent temper. Dr. 
Russell had come back only recently from a visit to London 
bringing with him " congratulations and reassuring news." * 
There was current a rumor that the defence of Paris had 
been abandoned, and though this had been contradicted, it 
was still believed. So it came about that on the morning 
of the sixth when Archibald Forbes, while riding on the 

* Gladstone to Chevalier, ,Sept., 1870, Morley, Life of Gladstone, vol. 
ii, pp. 343, 344. 

* Memoirs of Sir Edmund Blount, p. 175. 

'Journals of Field Marshal, Count von Blumenthal (translated' by 
Maj. Gillespie Addison, London, 1903), p. 122. 



183] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 183 

outskirts of the camp with a hussar officer, saw a Httle 
posse of French lancers following a civilian who bore a 
white flag, he believed the emissary had come in confirma- 
tion of the soldiers' gossip. But Mr. Malet, before leav- 
ing the next morning, told him the true reason of his visit/ 
He, perhaps, reported something more of success than 
might be implied from that day's entry in the journal of 
Field Marshal, Count Blumenthal: "An English Attache 
was with Bismarck this morning. He had brought some 
communications, regarding an armistice, but he was soon 
warned off." ^ 

Bismarck had really consented to the personal interview 
that Granville recommended. Three days later a very dif- 
ferent sort of messenger arrived in Paris. It was Captain 
Johnson with despatches that probably gave instructions to 
Lord Lyons as to the British attitude toward the negotia- 
tions. As he was driven down the Faubourg St. Honore 
in an open caleche he attracted the vociferous attention of 
French pedestrians. A postilion bestrode one of his horses, 
wearing his hair a la Catogan, and tricked out in a jacket 
with scarlet facings, a gold-banded hat, huge boots, and all 
the appurtenances that were now seen only behind the 
footlights or at a masquerade. Vizetelly, who watched his 
approach to the Embassy, was all for singing a snatch from 
a comic opera, " Oh, oh, oh, qu'il etait beau '* — ^but the 
Parisians were looking on the semi-military gentleman in 
the caleche with suspicion. By some illogic of wartime 
psychology, they believed him a Prussian spy and wanted 
to stop his carriage and march him off to prison. But Cap- 
tain Johnson flourished his cane in a very menacing man- 
ner and the German porter of the Embassy came to his 

* Archibald Forbes, My Experience of the War between France and 
Germany, vol. i, pp. 280-282. 

* Journals of Count von Blumenthal, p. 127. 



l84 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [184 

assistance, so that he finally drove in triumph into the court- 
yard that was under the protection of the Queen of Eng- 
land/ The bold captain seems to have become impatient 
of his threatrical trappings, that not only roused the sus- 
picion of the French but the laughter of his own country- 
men. *' Why," wondered FeHx Whitehurst, ''do they dress 
the Queen's messenger like King George the Third, or the 
old two penny postmen in the Windsor uniform, and stick 
V. R. in their caps? " Captain Johnson was given the re- 
fusal of a washerwoman's cart and donkey for his return 
journey, and seriously considered accepting it. 

But we must not linger over his picturesque difficulties, for 
the day of his arrival in Paris (September the nineteenth) 
Jules Favre and Count Bismarck were discussing things of 
grave importance at Ferrieres, the county-seat of Baron 
Alphonse de Rothschild. Jules Favre was eager for a peace, 
but failing that he would have welcomed an armistice for the 
convoking of a Constituent Assembly that would give to his 
Government the national approval which England had de- 
clared essential for her recognition. Count Bismarck was 
eager, also, that France ibe ruled by something more than a 
Provisional Government when the time came for treaty 
making. But he demanded that it give promise of being of a 
character to his liking. He could afford to show some indif- 
ference, since as he cynically protested, already he had two 
Governments — one at Wilhelmshohe and one at Paris. 
Bismarck demanded Strasburg, the two departments of the 
Bas and Haut Rhin, and a part of Moselle, including Metz, 
Chateau Salins, and Soissons. As a guarantee while his 
terms were under discussion, he asked the occupation of 
Strasburg, — the garrison of which should surrender, — Toul, 

* E. A. Vizetelly, My Days of Adventure, pp. 106-107; Julian Kune, 
Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Hungarian Exile, pp. 200-207. 
« Felix Whitehurst, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 151, 178. 



185] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 185 

Phalsburg, and a fortress dominating Paris/ On the 
nineteenth there was published in the Standard an interview 
that the great Chancellor had granted its correspondent in 
which he had declared that Metz and Strasburg would be de- 
manded of France to ensure Prussia from future attack. 
This much the public was allowed for guessing what might 
pass at Ferrieres. Lord Lyons wrote on this day that he 
believed a loss of territory and a French humiliation would 
be great evils and sources of danger, but he did not wish to 
aggravate difficulties by holding out hopes that British 
mediation could overcome them.^ This was a clear endorse- 
ment of the opinion Bismarck had stated in a manifesto 
on the mission of Thiers,^ and it seems to have been shared 
also by the Government in London. For no representa- 
tion on the rigorous Prussian conditions was made by the 
Ministry. The day after the interview's conclusion, it is 
true, the Queen sent a belated telegram to King William, ex- 
pressing the hope that he might be able to shape such con- 
ditions as the vanquished might accept. The King replied 
courteously but insisted that he must place in the first line 
the protection of Germany against the next attack of 
France, which he believed no generosity would be able to 
deter.* 

Jules Favre announced the results of the Ferrieres in- 
terview at the same time that he annoimced the more or 
less negative results of the mission of Thiers. He had not 
been able to accept the terms either for a peace or for a 
truce, and though he claimed that four of the members 

* Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 62 ; Times, Sept 26, 1870. 

2 Lyons to Granville, Sept. 19, 1870, Newton, Life of Lord Lyons, 
vol. i, p. 323- 
^Annual Register for 1870, vol. cxii, p. 127. 

* Fitzmaurice, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 45-47- 



l86 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [i86 

of the League of Neutrals showed a willingness to inter- 
vene directly on the ibasis of conditions he had proposed, 
two had refused the cooperation that was needed to make 
the agreement of the others available. He believed, how- 
ever, that the interview was not barren of result if it had 
had the effect of removing the misconceptions of Prus- 
sia's intentions which had prevailed among the Neutrals/ 
In the Prussian camp, there existed some fear, apparently, 
of how the news of the Ferrieres meeting might be received. 
Dr. Russell noted in his diary a slight apprehension and 
great iritation lest the European Powers should make an 
effort at intervention.^ But in the gaining of allies, surely, 
nothing succeeds like success, and, in spite of the opti- 
mistic declarations of her press, French affairs were at low* 
ebb. The surrender of Toul was imminent, Strasburg was 
in flames, Paris completely invested, and Marseilles in re- 
volt. Things being in this desperate plight, a great many 
British agreed with Mr. Lowe, the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, that it was not opportune for Ministers to sit all 
day round a table covered with green cloth, with wax tapers 
burning, perpetually receiving and sending forth telegrams. 
There were three courses open to England as a Neutral, he 
said. She might become an arbitrator at the request of 
both belligerents; she might herself assume authority and 
intervene; or she might mediate by means of good offices 
proffered in the interests of both sides. It was this last 
course she had chosen to pursue, and there was no necessity 
for expenditure of candle power to light her on her way." 
Who could help France, said the Times, when disregarding 
her own danger and the advantage of an armistice, she re- 

* Favre to Members of Government of National Defense, Sept. 21, 
1870; Brit. State Papers, Ixxi, pp. 105-110. 

' W. H. Russell, My Diary during the Last Great War, pp. 326-327. 

* Times, Sept. 22, 1870. 



187] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 187 

jected Count Bismarck's terms.^ The Guardian rejoiced 
that the Ministers refused to be hustled or dragged into un- 
welcome efforts at mediation or the greater perils of for- 
cible intervention.^ But there were other papers which 
found Mr. Lowe's exposition of the attitude of his Govern- 
ment far from satisfying. He had done no more, said the 
Globe, than say that mediation was an uncommonly perilous 
business. What the public really wished to know was at 
what point England could be expected to allow her energy 
to take a more substantial form than fear.* The Spectator 
-complained of the wish for a neutrality so punctilious that 
it feared to trench on silence, lest some clue be given which 
might encourage one of the belligerents. The Spectator 
believed it would be better that Germany should know 
clearly, and in the most authoritative way, how fast she 
was losing England's sympathy.* As for the cheese-paring 
economy secured through the light-saving of the present 
diplomacy. Pall Mall and other journals thought that the 
moderate expenditure on candles which a weekly meeting 
at the green table involved would not be held amiss. In 
Vienna, Florence, and St. Petersburg cabinets were in daily 
session.^ 

By far the strongest answer to the much discussed speech 
Mr. Lowe had made at Elgin appeared in a carefully worded 
letter to the Times from Sir Henry Bulwer. He regretted 
the absence of the Ministers from the capital, but made no 
reference to their inconsequential activities in partridge 
shooting and seashore studies. He regretted, also, that 
Parliament was not in session. " I have great confidence 

1 Times, Sept. 26, 1870. 

* Manchester Guardian, Sept. 19, 1870. 

* Globe, Sept. 19, 1870. 

* Spectator, Sept. 24, 1870. 

* Pall Mall Gazette, .Sept 19, 1870; Once a Week, Sept. 24, 1870. 



1 88 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ i gg 

in Mr. Gladstone," he said, " and great confidence in Lord 
Granville; but their fault in Foreign Affairs, if they have 
any, is not presumption." He doubted if they would have 
full confidence in themselves without being in legitimate 
communication with the nation. He believed the rights of 
Europe paramount to those of France and Prussia, and 
urged that national interests were so intermingled that in- 
tervention, if ever it could be justifiable, had now become 
so. Albeit, the letter closed with a plea only for media- 
tion.^ Its readers were rather dubious as to just what Sir 
Henry Bulwer wished. The Evening Mail thought he de- 
manded too much of England in expecting her to ascer- 
tain the least that Prussia would accept and the most that 
France could surrender. If she should fare badly in her 
self-imposed task, would she not have to re&ort to force to 
save herself from humiliation?^ The News attempted to 
dismiss Sir Henry as an ancient disciple of Talleyrand, 
who dearly loved his Paris and could not endure that " the 
capital of civilization and petit soupers'' should be de- 
sieged, but who dared not plainly state his wish for an 
armed intervention.* Saunders', though believing his sug- 
gestions unsoimd, appraised him as being rather more than 
an Epicurean follower of adhorred French diplomacy, — a 
man instead, who was " rich in experience and loaded with 
all the distinctions of a long diplomatic life." * The letter 
was described by the Scotsman as an excellent piece of 
writing but a very indefinite guide to action. Ministers! 
and people in general were called upon to do something but 
no intimation was given of just what they ought to do or 
what would happen to them if they did it.'' 

* Sept. 21, 1870. 

^Evening Mail, Sept. 23, 1870. 

* Daily Telegraph, Sept. 28, 1870. 
^Saunders's, Sept. 29, 1870. 

' Weekly Scotsman, Oct. i, 1870. 



189] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 189 

A letter printed a few days later attempted to clear away 
the alleged ambiguity of its predecessor. Sir Henry, it 
seemed, wished England to discard her neutrality, and be- 
come the '' friend of both belligerents," to substitute a more 
difficult role for one already overtaxing her. In the media- 
tion, which he urged that she attempt, he wished her neither 
to proclaim that she meant only to talk, nor to bully and 
swagger and employ a town crier to go about saying that 
she did not mean to fight. He was impatient of supinely 
waiting for a time suitable for good offices. He had never 
known a timid rider to find a good opportunity for trying 
his horse at a stiff fence, and, it was said, the more the rider 
looked at it, the less he liked it.^ The paper warfare waged 
by the advocates of the albino-like policy of the albino Min- 
ister, Mr. Lowe, and the more decided and more dangerous 
course suggested by the picturesque Sir Henry, roused the 
echoes in many journals. That the latter's eloquence did 
not win more to his ranks from his own class was due, in 
part, as the Saturday Review well pointed out, to French 
impropriety in exchanging polite communications with the 
English Republican malcontents and the Irish Fenians. They 
especially disliked the recognition accorded Mr. Odger as 
the bearer of a " semi diplomatic message from a fraction 
of the London rabble." ^ 

It was on the twenty-seventh of the month, while the 
controversy was at its height, that the public was amazed at 
the impudence of the London Trades Societies in sending a 
deputation to advise the Prime Minister on his foreign 
policy. It was on this day, too, that the English papers 
published the circular of von Thile, who, presiding at Berlin 
in Bismarck's absence, gave out the Prussian accoimt of 

' Times, Oct. i, 1870. A second letter had appeared in the issue of 
Sept. 27, 1870. 

* Saturday Review, Oct. i, 1870. 



1 90 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 1 90 

the Ferrieres interview. The circular, of course, threw the 
blame for the continuance of the war on the unreasoned 
stubbornness of the Government of National Defence. 
The Standard and the Daily Telegraph believed it would 
have no other effect than to create enthusiasm in the " beer 
houses in which stay-at-home warriors formulate the policy 
and screw up the purpose of the German armies." ^ To 
others it seemed to confirm the opinion that M. Jules Favre 
had more of heart than head, — that his lachrymal ductsi 
were in a higher state of development than his cerebrum. 

On the day the Prussian circular was first discussed in 
London, Lyons was engaged in sending to Granville a com- 
munication from this same emotional Jules Favre. France, 
he said, had been encouraged by the Foreign Powers to ad- 
dress herself directly to Count Bismarck. The result had 
been a painful humiliation. " The ambition of Prussia 
and her desire to destroy France were now patent to the 
world and entitled his country to appeal to Europe for sup- 
port. The Powers should speak to Prussia with unmis- 
takable firmness and take measures to ensure that they be 
heeded.^ Her willingness to make every reasonable sacri- 
fice exculpated France from blame for future disasters. 
It was a strong letter, and the fact that Strasburg was for- 
ced to capitulate on the day it was written did its part in 
further strengthening it. The Cabinet was summoned to 
meet on the thirtieth, — a date so unusually early that the 
News feared the public might conclude that intervention 
was contemplated.® In spite of the denial of the Liberal 
papers, many did think so, and certainly there was more 
reason for their belief than there had been at any previous 
time. M. Favre had the support of the Austrian Minister 

* Issues of Sept. 27, 1870. 

* Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, p. 99. 
^ Daily News, Oct. i, 1870. 



19 J ] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 191 

of Foreign Affairs, who had already suggested the oppor- 
tuneness of collective mediation at St. Petersburg and 
London/ In Russia there was a strong current in favor of 
France, as Sir Horace Rumbold, the secretary to the British 
embassy, noted. But it is safe to assume that she could not 
have been won to action unless the efforts of the other 
Neutrals so strengthened this current as to have swept away 
the barriers of official opposition. In England, Gladstone,, 
himself, strongly opposed the transfer of territory or inhabi- 
tants by mere force. Such a policy called for the reprobation 
of Europe, he wrote John Bright, and Europe was entitled 
to utter it, and could utter it with good effect.^ His views 
on the territorial cession had the support of the majority of 
the British press. The Standard, the Globe, and the Econ- 
omist being especially notable for their denunciation of 
the Prussian claims,* while Pall Mall, in its zeal to refute 
them, crossed the Rhine to cite argtmients from such 
authorities as Grotius and Puffendorf .* The Times looked 
on the transfer as a necessary evil." The News, alone, pre- 
tended to see justice in it, claiming France was protected by 
no favoured-nation clause that made inviolate her territory.* 
But Gladstone failed to carry his Cabinet with him in his 
wish to join with other Neutral Powers in remonstance of 
Prussia's avowed intentions. It was Lord Granville, ac- 
cording to that gentlemen's biographer, who persuaded him 

* Sir Horace Rumlbold, Recollections of a Diplomatist (London, 
1902), vol. ii, p. 292. 

" Gladstone to Bright, Sept. 30, 1870, Morley, Life of Gladstone, vol. 
ii, p. 346 ; see also ibid., pp. 346-348. 

' See especially editorials in issues of Sept. 8, 6 and 24, 1870, respec- 
tively. 

* Pall Mall Gazette, Sept 20, 1870. 

• Times, Sept. 23, 1870. For expressions of different views in the 
same paper, see the editorials of July 11, Sept. 16 an-di 21, 1870. 

• Daily News, Sept. 15, 1870. 



192 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [192 

to refrain from any official expression of his abhorrence of 
the cession of provinces against the wishes of their inhabit- 
ants.^ And so there was necessity for only a single meeting 
of the Cabinet. The Ministers separated, said the Times, 
with the conviction that the time had not yet come for the 
abandonment of their policy of ''observant neutrality."^ 
Sir Henry Bulwer and others thought differently, and the 
Times continued to give space to their ideas, but it was very 
impatient of them. They reminded its editor of the 
woman who confused her husband when his affairs were 
greatly embarrassed by repeiating with nervous energy, 
" Do something, my dear! Do something! " In its semi- 
official capacity it declared with hearty approval that Eng- 
land had discarded the so long and so meticulously guarded 
principle of the Eurc>pean balance and was resolved to 
rejoice in the free and healthy growth of her neighbors. If 
Cinderella's sisters, making heroic and bloody preparations 
for trying on the crystal slipper, had heard the Prince's 
courier extol the beauty of " free and healthy growth" they 
would, perhaps, have experienced the same feelings that 
France had when she read these tidings. England had 
elected to do nothing at all, but the Times and the News, it 
would seem, were determined that she assume a posy atti- 
tude in doing it. The reason for this vain posturing was 
that the Conservative leaders had become very active. The 
Earls of Carnarvon and Derby had gone to London to 
confer with Disraeli.^ The leaders of the Standard and 
the letters of Sir Henry Bulwer were increasingly annoying. 
There was such a swell of public sympathy for France that 
fear was felt that Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli might ride 
the tide to office. But Parliament was not in session, the 

* Fitzmaiirice, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 63. 

» Times, Oct. i, 1870. 

' A^. Y. Herald, London correspondent, Oct. 3, 1870. 



193] ABORTIVE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 193 

by elections were carefully postponed, and for the 
time being France and the British public had to be content 
with Granville's decision to offer mediation only when it 
was plainly apparent that both belligerents would welcome 
it. " The object of the Provisional Government," he wrote 
to Lyons, "appears to be that Neutral Powers should, if 
needful, support by force any representations that they 
might make to Prussia. Her Majesty's Government are 
bound to state explicitly that they themselves are not pre- 
pared to adopt any such means, or to propose it to other 
Neutral Powers."^ As for according formal recogni- 
tion to the hard-pressed Government of France, Great Brit- 
ain must postpone that until such a time as France, having 
recognized it herself by a duly elected Assembly, could 
justly urge its claims upon the Neutrals.^ Until such a 
time England would continue to date her passports the 
second of September. His country, said Sir Robert 
Morier, had become a bit of wet blotting paper amongst the 
nations, and it upset his serenity, and made him wish to be 
a Maori or a Turco, both of whom were possessed of some 
kind of individuality and self -assertions* 

' Granville to Lyons, Oct. 4, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp. 
116-117. 
'Granville to Lyons, Oct. i, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixxi, p. iii. 
• Memoirs of Sir Robert Morier, vol. ii, p. 206. 



CHAPTER X 

War a Outrange 

In October London Society reported that the war news, 
which had lately held its own against the grouse, was now 
opposing a sturdy resistance to the partridge. More people 
were in town than was usual in such an unfashionably early 
month. Mrs. Lloyd-Lindsay wrote that it was possible to 
assemble at a dinner at the German Embassy, Gladstone, 
Granville, two or three ambassadors, Delane, Hayward, 
and other notables. Except for a lack of dinner part- 
ners for these eminent guests, it was quite as though it 
had been the middle of the season.^ The city was agog 
with the war. Excitement reached its height when the 
evening papers began to appear. In the leading thorough- 
fares — east and west — nearly every man had a broad or a 
narrow sheet in his hand, perusing it on the pavement. 
There were letters to be read from special correspondents, 
"our own correspondents;" leading articles devoted to 
different branches of the war ; discussions of England's own 
military system ; financial articles, — ^very dull these, because 
uncertainty kept trade slack; lists of subscriptions in aid 
of the sick and wounded; advertisements of French refu- 
gees who wished to dispose of their jewelry or find em- 
ployment as chefs, governesses, or in "any honorable 
capacity whatever." 

1 Harriet S. Wantage, Lord Wantage, a Memoir (London, 1907), pp. 
188-189. 

194 [194 



195] ^^^ ^ OUTRANGE I95 

John Bull read them all. He knew more of the war's hap- 
penings than was known in Germany and infinitely more 
than was known in France. He was being hurried through 
mighty pages of history at express-rate speed and was 
doing his best to keep his grip on things.^ Perhaps he 
should have been devoting all his attention, these mid- 
autumn days, to the Imperial Manifesto and the Bismarck 
Circular, but he was very human and his interest was not 
always in constant attendance on the things that had most 
claim on it. The Evening Mail^ and the Weekly Free^ 
man acknowledged early in October that they were bored 
by the war. Its epic interest had expired at Sedan. At 
times Paterfamilias was wearied also. He had no mind 
to go home and change the pins in his wall map to accord 
with the latest telegrams. It was fatiguing to note the 
progress all in one way and the superabundance of the 
Prussian colours. The month was to see the defeat of the 
French at Arthenay and at Soissons, Orleans occupied, the 
surrender of Qiateaudon and Schelstadt, and at the last, 
the capitulation of Metz, with its garrison of six thousand 
officers and a hundred and sixty-seven thousand men. The 
whole thing seemed an outrage on the sporting instincts of 
our honest Englishman. 

He was tired, too, of having Herr Bismarck's face stare 
at him from the window of every printshop. On each 
account of a fresh Prussian victory the visage of the Chan- 
cellor made its reappearance and seemed, alas, to have 
gained nothing of beauty during its retirement. Some 
shops, said the News, had whole s;trings of Bismarck's, like 

* London Society, Oct., 1870, England during the War, vol. xviii, pp. 
384 et seq.; All the Year Round, Oct. 15, 1870, p. 473- 

' Evening Mail, Oct. 4, 1870. 

• Weekly Freeman's Journal, Oct. 8, 1S7: 



196 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [196 

ropes of onions.^ There were always enough others who 
were not tired and would buy them for their table albums. 
Enough others, too, to buy the patriotic songs that were 
printed in sheets and sold at a penny apiece. 

Paterfamilias was especially disgruntled at the omnipre- 
sent Marseillaise. It was rendered on barrel-organs before 
his front door in the time of a dirge, or by a clarinet af- 
flicted as with yelping spasms in the high register and 
with sudden mournful eructations in the lower notes, and 
its effect was distinctly depressing. He was glad when 
the News protested against this conversion of a splendid 
anthem into a clamorous invocation for coppers.^ Gustave 
Dore was exhibiting what purported to be an idealization 
of the song — an idealization described by the Art Journal 
as a masculine, disreputable, undressed harridan with a 
large sword and banner, and a painfully distended mouth.* 
Paterfamilias was inclined to believe it a very realistic pre- 
sentment of the Marseillaise as he knew it. At Agricul- 
tural Hall the war was illustrated by a morning panorama 
of its principal scenes, and at North Woolwich there wasi 
an al-fresco painting of Weissenbourg and a representa- 
tion of the battle with real fire and real British volunteers 
to take the part of the combatants.* At Mme. Tussaud's 
they were consantly adding new figures to the military 
contingent of the wax works.*^ 

In the comic journals the gods of battle took on a more 
fantastic turn, and the awful Bismarck and his royal 
master brought a disrespectful chuckle from some who at 

^ Daily News, Oct. 18, 1870. 
^Ibid., Oct. 17. 1870. 
' Art Journal, Oct., 1870. 

* London Society, Oct. i, 1870, England during the War, pp. 3S4 et seq. 
^ Daily Telegraph, Dec. 19, 1870; John T. Tussaud, Romance of Mme. 
Tussaud's (Londoiii, 1920), chap, xxii, passim. 



197] ^^^ ^ OUTRANGE 197 

first had accorded them only awed admiration.^ If idols 
can be kept in darkened recesses or exhibited only behind a 
cloud of incense when men's heads are lowered, a coat of 
gilding may be sufficient to cover feet of clay. But an idol 
brought to the market place to furnish forth copy for every 
paper of the United Kingdom has need to be one hundred 
percent fine gold from top to toe. When King William had 
prostrated himself in prayer and humiliation, and heralded 
his entrance into war with a pious proclamation of his 
honorable intentions, he had been exalted by many sincere 
Britishers to a position only a little lower than the angels. 
They experienced now a feeling of annoyance at the profuse 
thanks he rendered Providence for each of his various vic- 
tories. It was esteemed an unmannerly presumption that 
Prussia, having the services of Bismarck and von Moltke, 
should lay claim also to a monopoly of the Divine guardian- 
ship. 

The fact that Bazeilles was burned on the day of Sedan, 
with a horrible thoroughness which made its name soon 
known throughout the world,* encouraged the British to 
deride the king's devotion. " Providence be thanked," he 
had telegraphed to his Queen on the great day, whereupon 
Punch misquoted him in this wise : 

" Thanks be to God, 
My dear Augusta, 
WeVe had another awful bluster ; 
Ten thousand Frenchmen sent 'below, 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow !" * 

It was related that a wounded prisoner, writhing in agony, 

* The cartoons of Sir Arthur Teraiiel in Punch are especially clever. 

•C. E. Ryan, With an Ambulance in the Franco-German War, pp. 
88-89; Graphic, Sept. 10, 1870; Athenaeum, Dec. 24, 1870; Spectator, 
Sept. 17, 1870; Pall Mall Gazette, Sept. 21, 1870; Sounder^, Sept. 24, 
1870; Annual Register for 1870, vol. xvii, p. 189. 

' Punch, Sept. 3, 1870. 



IC^ BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [ 198 

called out on God to aid him : " Why do you call on God ? " 
said his next neighbor, *' Don't you know He has forsaken 
us and gone over to the Prussians?" ^ England could not 
think so. She disliked the orders to fire villages as a 
means of making peasants hunt out the franc tireurs. She 
did not like requisitions enforced by terror. A Protestant 
pastor vouched for the truth of the horrors suffered by 
the hundreds of homeless after the burning of the village of 
Cherizy.^ 

Strasburg had been bombarded in spite of the appealsi 
of its Bishop to General Werder. Its starving citizens had 
been denied the privilege of seeking a place of safety be- 
fore the guns were fired.* The Art Gallery and the Cathed- 
ral had not been able to resist the bombs of the pious King 
William. An estimate of the damage done to them was 
given in the Athenaeum.*' But the loss of the Library was 
considered irreparable. Its wonderful collection of in- 
cunabula and manuscripts of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries could never be replaced. The Alsatians, them- 
selves, claimed that it, with the Cathedral, had been mad« 
the special targets for artillery fired under General Werder's 
orders. The Bookworm inveighed against the conscious 
destruction of a priceless collection by a lieutenant of the 
"God-fearing, God-mouthed King of Prussia."'' Ruskin 
published his opinion of the Prussian commander who had 
succumbed to the tempting target which the famous build- 
ings made in the glare of the flaming city. He found no 

* The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings, March, 1871. 
^Spectator, Oct. 29, 1870; see also Times, Oct. 28, 1870, Jan. 11, 1871. 
' Manchester Guardian and Daily Telegraph of Sept. 2, 1870. 
^Athenaeum, Nov. 19, 1870, vol. xliv, p. 662. 

* Bookworm, Sept., 1870, The Burning of the Strasburg Library, pp. 
138-139; Daily Telegraph, Oct. 7, 1870. 



igg-j WAR A OUTRANGE 199 

consolation in the news that the Parisians would attempt 
to repair the losses by casting a great bronze Strasburg/ 

The Times made it an opportunity for sententiously re- 
minding the Prussians that the gratification of military 
honour should not be accompanied by the debasement of 
their moral qualities.^ Vanity Fair, in adding the portrait 
of the Crown Prince to its gallery of notables, remarked 
that the English might have wished another husband for the 
Princess Royal than the fighting heir of a despotic and ag- 
gressive monarch.* It was hoped he would not send her 
battle loot. Stories came back that showed the invaders 
found it particularly difficult to resist the acquisition of 
impedimenta. Where professional soldiers had stolen for 
self alone, the home-loving German requisitioned with a 
loving memory of wife and children that induced a more 
painstaking thoroughness.* 

The most telling expression of the changed estimate of 
the Prussian military that was taking place between July 
and October appears in the statements of two young Eng- 
lishmen who had been so fired with enthusiasm for King 
William's cause at the war's beginning that they had at- 
tached themselves to the Prussian armies. One was Sir 
Cliarles Dilke, who had hoped for fine things from future 
alliance with " our brothers in America,'* and " our kins-* 
men in Germany and Scandinavia," but became disgusted 
at the arrc^nce and aggressiveness of the Prussians after 
their first victories. There was in the Prince's suite, he 
wrote, a celebrated German Liberal, the writer and politi- 
cian, Gustav Freytag, who had the bad taste to wear the 

* Academy, Oct. i, 1870, pp. 431 et seq.; Temple Bar, Nov., 1870, vol. 
XXX, p. 548; All the Year Round, Sept. 10, 1870. 
'Oct. 18, 1870. 
' Vanity Fair, Sept. 24, 1870. 
*Pall Mall Gazette, Sept. 21, 1870. 



200 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [200 

Legion of Honour in the invaded country, and made him- 
self further obnoxious by his constant patriotic exultation. 
Dilke and Auberon Herbert, who was with him, soon de- 
serted their ambulance corps, and the former was in Paris 
in time to witness the September revolution.^ There was, 
also. Lord Edmund Fitzmaurice, who returned to England 
in October and made public acknowledgment of the shift 
of his sympathy to France. He beHeved that if German 
opinion had not been tampered with by governmental in- 
fluences, it would have shown a strong dislike for territor- 
ial spoil, but that the scheme, originated in the King' si 
Cabinet, had been advanced so cunningly that the acquisition 
of Alsace and Lorraine was now considered a national 
necessity. He testified to the Prussian demoralization in 
victory as being so great as to justify the loss of sympathy 
he, and many other Englishmen, had felt.^ 

A great deal was being said just then of French degener- 
acy, of which Lord Fitzmaurice professed himself incompe- 
tent to judge. The English proved as adept as the Gaul in 
seeking out a woman on whom to put the blame for the dis- 
aster. Lord Granville and many others named the Emp- 
ress as the cause of war, and linked with her as entrigantsi 
the names of various high dignitaries of the Roman Church, 
or that of Marshal Leboeuf, as inclination led them.* AH 
made much of the luxury Eugenie had sponsored and that 
had so conspicuously flaunted itself on the Parisian boule- 

* Gwynn and) Tuckwell, Life of Rt. Hon. Sir Chas. Dilke, vol. i, pp. 
104-108. 

'Letter to Pall Mall Gazette, Oct. 18, 1870; for criticisms of letter, 
see Lord Carlingford to Lear, Oct. 19, 1870, Later Letters of Edward 
Lear, p. 126 ; Examiner and London Review, Oct. 22, 1870. 

'Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord Granville, vol. ii, pp. 51, z^'> E^*"! o^ 
Malmesbury, G. C. B., Memoirs of an ex-Minister, vol. ii, pp. 415-416. 
Cf. Dr. Evans, Second Empire, pp. 167-168 ; see also Spencer Walpole, 
History of Twenty-five Years, vol. ii, pp. 492-493. 



20l] ^^R ^ OUTRANGE 20r 

vards/ There were those who said the loose morals that 
went unrebuked at Court were emulated by the soldiers^ 
who marched away wreathed and fettered by the garlands 
that had been flung round them by their women, who ran 
beside them, singing, to the station. A number of pro- 
fessional dancers had come over from Paris and were 
astounding London audiences by a certain set of contor- 
tions which were at first described as the French national 
dance. In October, after a good deal of editorial preach- 
ing, the magistrates were induced to revoke the licenses of 
the Alhambra and Highbury Barn, that had housed the 
chief offenders.^ But it is safe to say that these irrespon- 
sible refugees had already done not a little to strengthen 
the disapprobation of the British who crowded the stalls 
to see them. Lady Churchill wrote that a more exclusive 
audience was equally entertained and shocked by the doings 
and sayings of two pretty and lively refugees, who with 
their husbands, preferred shooting birds in England to 
•being shot at in France. They had taken a place in the 
country and the ladies astonished the sober yokels by hunt- 
ing in kilts and puffing away at little cigarettes. They were 
of a very sprightly humour and the practical jokes that they 
played in exile were not over-nice in their regard for 
British propriety.* The English marvelled at the antics of 
these exponents of a civilization that was on trial for its 
very life. There were those who pointed out that it had 
produced and applauded that frail heroine of romance, 
Mile, de Maupin.* The arch-moralist, Rossetti, was very 

* Lady John Russell, a Memoir, p. 230 ; Mrs. El. Lecky, Memoir of 
W. E. H. Lecky, p. 85. 

* Daily News, Sept 20, 1870; Examiner and London Review, Oct. 15, 
1870. 

•Mrs. George Cornwallis West, Reminiscences of Lady Randolph 
Churchill, p. 28. 

* Andrew Lang, Theophile Gautier, Dark Blue, March, 1871, pp. 2^ 
et seq. 



202 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [202 

sure that Mme Bovary^ was somehow culpable for the 
deep sorrow of poor France. The impotence of Favre's 
tears before Bismarck, the amusing spectacle of Thiers, — > 
drumming the merits of the new Republic before the rulers 
of Europe and finding little interest in his sample case, — 
were believed by many, even of those who wished it other- 
wise, to indicate that France must speedily succumb to the 
aggressive virility of her neighbour. Delane was specu- 
lating on just what day in October Paris would give the 
signal for surrender.^ 

England was abruptly startled from her melancholy 
musings by the aerial flight of Gambetta from Paris to 
Tours. There was a whistling of hostile bullets when his 
balloon cleared St. Denis, and at Creil the Prussians suc- 
ceeded in piercing it, and in grazing Gambetta's hand, but 
finally, early in the afternoon of October the seventh, it 
descended near Montdidier to catch in an oak tree and 
leave the Minister hanging head downwards with his legs 
clutched round the ropes of the car. The peasants, who 
believed him a Prussian, were reassured by the sight of the 
tricolour and the sound of a hearty Vive la Repuhlique. 
They assisted him to the ground and cheered him that even- 
ing when he was driven away to his destination. " Honour 
to the brave ! " exclaimed the London Illustrated News, 
and forthwith dubbed the new deliverer the "Minister of 
the Balloon." ® It was natural that so theatrical a descent 
of the Minister of the Interior should arouse the good- 
natured raillery of the British. Gambetta was called a 
political athlete, a winged messenger, and was congratulated 
on having experienced no more serious "reverse" on his 

* Ford Madox Huefer, Ancient Lights and Certain New Rejections 
(London, 191 1), p. 182. 

* Dasent, John Delane, vol. ii, p. 270. 
^Illustrated London News, Oct. 15, 1870. 



203] ^"^^ ^ OUTRANGE 203 

journey than the awkward episode of the inhospitable oak 
tree.' 

It was soon recognized, however, that Gambetta must be 
taken seriously, — that he had accumulated all the authority 
from Tours to Marseilles into his hands, and that his suc- 
cess in using it would determine the fate of the Republic.^ 
His proclamations began to be read and criticized as care- 
fully as those of the great Chancellor himself. They of- 
fered a striking contrast to the Chancellor's. As the Ex- 
aminer said, if Count Bismarck revelled in the inexorable, 
M. Gambetta outdistanced all competitors in the field of 
official boast. The one appealed to horror, the other to 
hope.* The Record found Bismarck's pronunciamentos 
hard, exultant, and arrogant.* The Spectator said that the 
famous iron and blood not only backed his diplomacy but 
seemed to enter into it."* In October he issued a sort of dis- 
claimer of German responsibility for the dreadful suffer- 
ing that he foresaw for Paris. She would be reduced to 
starvation, he said, and the besiegers would not be able to 
afford help to her famished populace.' Gambetta's pro- 
clamation showed another picture. Paris was, indeed, 
somewhat bored at not having its letters daily, and its fresh 
vegetables so plenteously. It missdd its rides into the 
country. But with a garrison of six hundred thousand and 
a ring of impregnable fortifications, it stood at ease and 
calmly defied its foes.*^ All of this was said in a style that 

*/«rfy, Oct. 26, 1870; sec also Chamber's Journal, March 4, 1871, pp. 
129 et seq. 

* Spectator, Oct. 22, 1870. 

* Examiner and London Review, Oct. 15, 1870. 

* Record, Sept 30, 1870. 
' Spectator, Oct. 8, 1870. 

* Illustrated London News, Oct. 15, 1870. 
^Examiner and London Revieiv, Oct. 15, 1870. 



204 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [204 

seemed to many of the English bombastic, — even " menda- 
ciously rhapsodic.'" '* If he (Gambetta) carried the 
newly published document in the car of his balloon," said 
the Telegraph, *' he could have wanted little other ballast. 
It is heavy with doom, loaded with forthcoming miseries 
and madness — ^a burden of passionate pride and national 
impenitence."^ The Court Journal, though somewhat 
sarcastic, was more tolerant. " We ought," it said, " to 
proclaim all honor to inflation, at the moment when the 
Government itself is borne through the air, and drops from 
the clouds, carpet bag in hand, laden with its own mes- 
sages, and transporting its own decrees." * And the Man- 
chester Examiner conceded that brave words and great 
deeds might sometimes go together and that for the French, 
at least, fine phrases were one of the necessaries of life.* 

Almost at the same time that the news of Gambetta' s sen- 
sational flight reached England, it was learned that Gari- 
baldi had come to France. Indeed, the Dublin Review 
needed to juggle its dates only a little to declare that the 
one had descended from his balloon to embrace the other.' 
There was practical unanimity in England in declaring* 
that the presence of the valiant old Italian was not of ad- 
vantage. By the majority, his appearance was regarded 
as distinctly unfortunate. It would deepen the tint of the 
Republic that already seemed alarmingly red to many who 
wished to be its friends. The Guardian spoke of his 

* The Interests of Europe in the Conditions of Peace (pamphlet, 
London, 1870) ; see also Quarterly Review, Oct, 1870; Terms of Peace, 
pp. 540 et seq. 

^ Daily Telegraph, Oct. 11, 1870. 

* Court Journal, Oct. 29, 1870. 

* Manchester Guardian, Oct. 12, 1870. 

2 Dublin Review, Oct. i, 1870, The Fall of the Empire, vol. xv, pp. 
479 ct seq. 



205] ^^^ ^ OUTRANGE 205 

Utter lack of political stability, and of the ease with which 
he might be used by men of extreme opinions/ The News 
believed his championship of the new government would 
cause dissension in those classes from which it needed 
financial and military support.^ His desire to secure Alsace 
and Lx>rraine for the one-time enemy, who had wrested 
from Italy Nice, and Savoy was declared by the sober- 
minded Saunders' as utterly quixotic or, what was the 
same, Garibaldian.' From the standpoint of the influential 
class in England, it would have been better had the French 
thanked the noble old chieftain for his goodwill and then 
conducted him civilly to the frontier and seen him safely 
aboard a ship bound for Caprera. He brought a great 
heart, said the Times, but what France needed was a head, 
— the ability to organize her shattered resources, the saga- 
city that would win confidence in her good intentions for 
the future, — not only among her own people but abroad.* 
The old Commander, with the magic of his fame, the mag- 
netism that reduced his followers almost to the frenzy of 
idolaters, disturbed pacific England. He was an idealist, 
and idealists could do such shocking things. 

But if the perfervid tone of Gambetta's eloquence '^ and 
the colour of the shirt that covered the brawny shouldersi 
of Garibaldi alienated some Britons who had sympathies 
with the French, they further inflamed the zeal of those 
workingmen who had already esjKxised the cause of the 
Republic. Already these were demanding that Parliament 
be assembled that it might teach the Ministry its duty in 
recognizing the new Government, and in rebuking Prussia 

^Manchester Guardian, Oct 11, Nov. 7, 1870. 

* Daily News, Oct. 14, 1870. 

* Saunders', Oct. 13, 1870. 

* Times, Oct 11, 1870. 

* His General Order was called in England " Garibaldi's Hymn *". 



2o6 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [206 

for the greed she wished to gratify in Alsace and Lor- 
raine/ The conservative Standard regretted that many of 
all classes of English society v^ere deterred from taking 
part in the agitation for mediation, because if they did take 
part they would be expected, too, to shout for the French 
Republic and do such undignified things as carry torches 
and wait on the Prime Minister with representations as to 
his foreign policy.^ The Tories, who, to some extent, had 
sympathized with France before the fall of the Imperial 
Government, had small sympathy with their new associates, 
the Comtists. They resented the attempt to identify her 
cause with republicanism, solidarity, and the brotherhood 
of man. They believed the French themselves were not 
very proud of the kinship the Leather Lane republicans 
claimed for them with their "cousins — German."* There 
was a torch-light demonstration of about six hundred of 
these Democrats in Palace Yard, a few days after Garibaldi 
had been invested with his French command. Their reso- 
lutions were more than usually ardent, and found little re- 
sponse among the absent Conservatives. Gladstone was 
to be instructed to recognize Republican France and to pro- 
test against its dismemberment; he was urged to call a 
special meeting of Parliament, so that if Germany persisted 
in her harsh demands, Great Britain could be empowered 
to take up arms in opposition.* The Economist was sure 
that, had the working class attributed any practical im- 
portance to this or the other meetings, it would have seen 
to it that the minority that opposed the resolutions would 
have been swelled to a majority. The stay-at-homes had 

^ Times, Oct. 5, 1870. 

* Standard, Oct. 13, 1870. 

*Judy, Oct. 26, 1870; Times, Oct. 24, 1870. 

^ Times, Oct. 20, 1870; Illustrated London News, Oct. 22, 1870. 



207] ^^^ ^ OUTRANGE 207 

felt assured that the middle class was, for the most part, in 
favour of caution and could be trusted to counter-balance 
the turbulent wishes of their brothers/ England possessed 
a very fine navy, but it was believed that the men whose 
taxes supported it were too practical to attempt to send it 
to the relief of Paris. 

Among the Irish, of course, it was not expected that 
considerations of common sense would prevail. The Tablet 
thundered that the new Government was composed of the 
disciples of Voltaire ; ^ but in October, Lecky wrote that Irish- 
men were still as passionately French as they had been in 
the days of the Catholic Empire. The country people, he 
said, stopped him in the road to ask for news of the war, 
and carmen and guides overwhelmed the hapless tourist 
with political discussion.* 

The Corporation of Dublin exceeded its functions by call- 
ing for Her Majesty's Government and those of the other 
Neutral Powers to intervene for peace.* A dealer in the 
Strand made much money from a caricature map which 
showed England quaking with fear and rage, and holding 
by a string Ireland, who, as a little dog, was very eager to 
get loose and fight.'' No one was surprised when in the 
middle of October, an Irish Ambulance Corps left Dublin 
to sail to Havre. The Times was fearful that these strong, 
young Irishmen had left for a more dangerous purpose than 
they avowed, and urged the Home Secretary to take meas- 
ures against the violation of the Foreign Enlistment Act.* 

^Economist, Oct. 22, 1870, The Middle and the Working Classes in 
the War, vol. xxviii, pp. 1283 et seq. 
' Nov. 26, 1870. 
» El. Lecky, Memoirs of W. E. H. Lecky, p. 87. 

* Saunders^, Oct. 25, 1870. 

* Art Journal, Oct., 1870, pp. 322-323. 
•Issues of Oct. II, IS, 1870. 



:2o8 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [208 

Von Bemstorff was still showing an amazing facility at 
pq)pe;ring the Government with remonstrances on the ex- 
portation of coal and munitions of war. According to an 
English M. P., in Havre when the contingent arrived, the 
seventy Irishmen were told that they were expected to join 
the French Army. Fifty, he said, went on to do so, and 
the rest applied to the English consulate to be sent home.^ 
The Irish Nation's account of the expedition was very dif- 
ferent. Two hundred and fifty, instead of seventy, went 
to Havre, it recorded, and since only forty could be used as 
hospital attendants, a hundred and fifty of the number de- 
cided to join the Foreign Legion. The others returned to 
Dover.^ The Compagnie Irlandaise was allowed to fight 
as a unit under its own flag, that had been quartered with 
the tricolour. It gave a good account of itself and re- 
mained to hear the last shot fired by the Foreign Legion. 
But the admonition of the Times was heeded, and the For- 
eign Enlistment Act thereafter so carefully enforced that 
no further such companies of men on mercy bent were al- 
lowed to leave the Empire.* 

The ill luck of the Irish in attaching themselves to a lost 
cause was signally emphasized by the astounding news of 
the surrender of Metz that followed hard on their arrival. 
It gave the month its climax. Marshal Bazaine, after a siege 
of only seventy days, gave up the fortress that France had 
proudly called, ''La Piicelle." It was only very gradually 
the English came to know the story that lay behind the 
Marshal's surrender. Until they did, the denunciations of 
Gambetta seemed bombastic rhodomontade to be as utterly 
discredited as the usual accusations of unfairness shrilled 

1 Letter to Times, Oct. 15, 1870. 
'^ Irish Nation, Oct. 22, 1870. 

' Duquet, Ireland and France, passim; see also Report of Irish Am- 
bulance Corps for 1870 (Dublin, 1871). 



209] ^^^ ^ OUTRANGE 209 

out by a poor loser/ It was realized that the surrender was 
most timely for the Germans. For, if the six corps of the 
army surrounding the city could have been detained some 
weeks longer, great things might have been expected of 
General Aurelles de Paradin, who had taken command of 
the Army of the Loire, — much to its advantage, — and of 
General Keratry, who was forming an army in Brittany.^' 
We must take some liberty with the sequence of disclo- 
sures, if we are to follow the sequence of the events that 
made up the ugly episode. Elarly in the month, the news- 
papers noticed as relatively unimportant the Emperor's pub- 
lication of a manifesto from Wilhelmshohe. It was an 
attempt to free himself from the charge of having precipi- 
tated the disastrous war. The English saw its chief signi- 
ficance in the fact that Bismarck had permitted its appear- 
ance.* It was a straw worth noting, especially since the 
semi-official journals were claiming that he had not wholly 
given up the Bonapartist dynasty.^ The Spectator believed 
that the superfluous discourtesy with which he had branded 
as " totally without foundation " a report made by Dr. 
Russell of the ex-Emperor's Sedan interview with the King, 
was due to an attempt to screen the Imperial captive from 
the hostile criticism to be expected from an exfK>sition of 
his ignorance of the military situation at that battle.'^ If 
these straws showed the way the wind blew, it was thought 
Prussia was eager to checkmate the Republic and reestablish 
the dynasty. 

^ Daily News, Oct. 31, 1870; see also Memoir of Edward Blount, 
diary entry for Nov. 17, 1870; Manchester Guardian, Oct. 31, 1870; 
Pall Mall Gazette, Nov. 2, 1870. 

' Saturday Review, Dec. 17, 1870. 

* Daily News, Oct. 4, 1870. 

*W. H. D. Adiams, The Franco-Prussian War (London, 1872), vol. 
ii, p. Z7' 

^ Spectator, Oct 8, 187a 



2 1 o BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [210 

Qn October the eighth, the London papers commented on 
the visit to Chislehurst of General Bourbaki, brother of 
Mme. Le Breton, the Empress' friend and attendant. They 
very naturally drew the conclusion that General Bazaine, who 
had permitted his subaltern to make the journey from Metz, 
must still consider himself to be fighting for the Regent, and 
that Bismarck, in granting passports to the visitor, showed 
that he hoped foir good things from the interview.^ A 
little later the go-between in the negotiations came in for 
much editorial comment. He was a certain M. Regnier, 
an obscure Frenchman, who baffled attempts at deciding 
whether he was a clever but inconsiderable busy-body or a 
very shrewd agent o'f the Prussian government. Whatever 
his character, he had certainly done his part in serving Prus- 
sia's purpose. On a visit to Hastings he had obtained an in- 
terview with the Empress, and by a bit of strategy, an 
autographed message from the Prince Imperial to his 
father. By means of a passport from the Prussian Em- 
bassy he carried this to Ferrieres, while Bismarck was 
negotiating with Favre. Needless to say, he greatly em- 
barrassed the attempts of the Provisional govemment by 
affording the Prussian a threat in the form of an alterna- 
tive Imperial negotiation. On the termination of the 
Ferrieres interviews, he carried his autograph to Metz as 
proof of his claim that he was a messenger from the Em- 
press, who wished to communicate with its commander. 
Bazaine forthwith sent General Bourbaki to Chislehurst, 
and M. Regnier returned to Bismarck to tell him that 
Bazaine had declared his willingness to capitulate, on con^ 
dition that he be allowed to march to France and there 
proclaim the Regency. For this he was willing to sign 
a peace ceding Alsace and Lorraine. Bourbaki, however,. 

^ Graphic; Daily Telegraph. 



2ii] WAR A OUTRANGE 211 

on his arrival before Eugenie, found that she did not ap- 
prove the intrigue and was absolutely opposed to signing 
away French territory. There was nothing for the General 
to do but return and admit to his superior that the mission 
was foimded on a deception. The Spectator believed that, 
had the Empress acceded to the terms offered through Bour- 
baki, her son would have been carried to Metz and pro- 
claimed Emperor. But though letters passed between 
Eugenie and King William, and she granted von Bemstorff 
an interview, and even availed herself of permission briefly 
to visit Napoleon at Wilhelmshohe, it must be said to her 
credit that not even the future of her son tempted her to 
become Count Bisman:k's puppet.^ 

On October the nineteenth, the editor of the Times wrote 
in a private letter that there were rumours of peace that 
the Belgians swore were well founded. No one could find 
reason for them, but the Belgian Minister went so far as to 
maintain that a treaty was practically signed.^ On this day, 
too. Lord Granville telegraphed to Lyons news of intelli- 
gence sent him from Brussels that a treaty had been signed 
between the Prussians and Marshal Bazaine. Lord Lyons 
replied that the Provisional Government had no knowledge 
of such a treaty, but that it had known for some time that 
the Marshal was communicating with the enemy and sus- 
pected that he negotiated on the basis of a Bonapartist re- 
storation. The last telegram received by them, however, in- 
dicated that Bazaine had changed his aim and was dicker- 
ing for his own establishment as dictator.^ The day that 
Lyons sent this information to his chief, the Times published 
a story by a correspondent at Wilhelmshohe, who had been 

^Spectator, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, 1870; Pall Mall Gazette, Nov. 11, 1870. 
2 Dasent, John Delane, vol. ii, pp. 271-272. 

'Lyons to Granville, Oct. 20, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp» 
168-169. , i : !jj 



212 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [212 

told by a commissioner from Alsace that the Prussians had 
offered the Marshal permission to leave Metz with his army 
and go wherever he pleased, while they held Alsace and 
Lorraine. On the twenty-second it was reported by the 
Graphic that Bazaine already had sent his aide-de-camp to 
Prussian headquarters at Versailles to negotiate directly. 
According to the Court Journal^ Bazaine's wife herself 
went with the company on the express condition that she 
be allowed an interview with the King. She was described 
as a lady with eyes " black as night " — " eyes that could 
look behind her." But the all-seeing emissary and her es- 
corts, it appears, did not arrive until after her husband had 
surrendered.^ 

Meantime, General Boyer had come to Chislehurst from 
Metz on the twenty-second, and had departed empty- 
handed, as had others before him.^ On the twenty-sixth 
the Empress authorized a statement that she was further- 
ing no intrigues for peace or for an armistice.^ Bazaine'a 
capitulation, the day after, went even further to make the 
British regard the Empress' residence as a retreat rather 
than a centre for political intrigue. 

It was found that the Marshal had surrendered without 
stipulating for any conditions favorable to the dynasty ; but 
that he had, nevertheless, worked traitorously against the 
Republic was not believed until the narrative of G. T. Rob- 

* Court Journal, Nov. 5, 1870. 

^ Daily News, Oct. 26, 1870. Revue Historique (March-April, 1918) 
prints the text of a letter which the Empress addressed to King Wil- 
liam in Oct., 1870. The reply was received on the 26th and proved 
unacceptable. See also Fleury, Memoirs of Empress Eugenie, vol. ii, 
pp. 549-560, for an account of the fruitless mission for the Em-press 
undertaken by the son of Theophile Gautier. Young Gautier arrived at 
Versailles, Oct. 2^. Bismarck refused the terms the Empress offered, 
declaring he must have Alsace and Lorraine; see also Bernstorff Papers, 
vol. iii, chap, xx; 'Dr. Evans, The Second Empire, pp. 31 et seq. 

» Daily News, Oct. 26, 1870. 



213] ^^^ ^ OUTRANGE 213 

inson appeared some time later. This correspondent of the 
Guardian, due to his presence within the fortress, had en- 
joyed exceptional advantages for observation, and his re- 
velations were not to Bazaine's credit. The Marshal's own 
report, published in England in December, was disappoint- 
ing even to those inclined to think him honest. It was 
described as eminently dry, official, and unsatisfactory,^ — • 
minus a single word that might have revealed heroism. 
The men, said Robinson, had fought splendidly in the sortie 
of August the thirty-first, and might have followed up their 
success and raised the siege under another commander.^ 
Even at later times, they could have cut their way through 
the besiegers, but they were weakened by the fear that they 
would be sold for a price, that the Empress, or her son, was 
to be brought to Metz to make peace. They knew Bour- 
baki had gone to her, and Boyer. They were told the 
Germans occupied Normandy and Picardy; that Brittany 
was in revolt for a restoration; that the Reds were murder- 
ing and plundering in all the great cities of France; that 
Italy was on the point of declaring war to recover Savoy 
and Nice. It was said, the garrison had been won to a sur- 
render, believing food was exhausted, when, in reality, 
there remained enough to provision it for months.® Robin- 
son drew a horrible picture of the French Commander 
dawdling over his late breakfasts in the villa he dared not 
leave for fear of assassination. There he took time from 
his pleasures to suppress the city's papers and replace them 
by official sheets that painted all things black. There he 

* Saturday Review, Dec. 31, 1870. 

' Cf. C. Allanson Winn, What I Saw of the War; Archilbald Forbes, 
My Experiences of the War between France and Germany, pp. 294-298. 

' Dublin University Magasine, Dec., 1870, French Defeats and French 
Victories, pp. 648 et seq.; G. T. Robinson, The Fall of Metz, pp. 380- 
453. 



214 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [2 14 

busied himself with promoting pretty men who sat their 
horses well in the Imperial Guard, utterly ignoring the 
engineers and artillerymen, who were not pretty and were 
Republicans. From the villa there went forth mysterious 
messengers charged with letters for Versailles or Chisle- 
hurst, but there never came an order for a sortie or a mes^- 
sage for the sick and wounded in the hospitals. Men re- 
fused the Marshal his title and spoke of him simply as 
M'sieu.^ He seemed a great, black spider, — stupid and 
malevolent. No one in Metz was surprised that on his way 
to Germany he was attacked by the mob and only saved by 
his Prussian escort." 

^Spectator, Nov. 5, 1S70. 



CHAPTER XI 
A Moon of Treaties and an Eclipse 

In October the Examiner imagined Mr. Moneybags or 
Sir Empty Pate as exclaiming : '' Would you have us go to 
war? or threaten to do so? or call out the militia? or re- 
call Lord Augustus Loftus from Berlin?" whereupon he 
would express his own opinion of what should be done by 
taking a pompous pinch of snuff, refilling his emptied glass, 
and otherwise ministering to his own comfort/ But those 
who wished to follow this discreet example must have had 
to do so amidst a clamour of suggestion and remonstrance 
from all sides. For the issues of the war were becoming 
daily more distinct and increasingly challenged comment. 

October was the month that completed the transference 
of the war from the guidance of the Marshals of the Em- 
pire to the new leaders of the Republic. In that month it 
became clear that France was determined to fight on, 
though with no other gain in alliance than the old Garibaldi 
and some score of irresponsible young Irishmen, — that her 
object was to preserve the integrity of her territory against 
the aggression of a nation that had seemed essentially 
moderate and pacific, but was submitting itself now to a 
leadership that was brutal and predatory. England could 
not yet determine, it is true, whether France was tinting* 
herself a Belleville red or only a constitutional pink, or 
whether the new government was to have a life long enough 
to make its particular shade a matter of importance. She 
was eager that France gain peace that she might put her 

* Examiner and London Review, Oct 7, 1870. 
215] 215 



2i6 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [216 

house in order, — a just peace that would not cause such 
destruction as would make necessary an entire rebuilding. 
France had braved the hurricane and a certain amount of 
chastening was desirable, but England was very eager for 
a just determining of the amount. Parlor strategists gave 
way to arm-chair diplomats. The movements of von 
Moltke were neglected. Treaty making became the vogue. 
The officials of the government were bombarded with paper 
pellets of suggestion, and erected a wordy system of de- 
fence behind which they could continue their amicable let- 
ter carrying. 

It was recognized that the great stumbling block to peace 
was the difficulty involving Alsace and Lorraine, and the 
British occupied themselves steadily with its solution. 
There were those who believed, with Punch, that France 
should be allowed to keep her provinces if only she would 
signify her new righteousness by restoring Nice and Savoy 
to Italy.^ Others, like the Graphic, wishing to make her 
renunciation still more retroactive, advised that she restore 
not only the Italian districts but the once German Alsace 
and Lorraine.^ Moral advice to either belligerent on the 
subject of annexations seemed to a number of Englishmen 
somewhat pharisaical on the part of a nation that had forci- 
bly annexed more territory than all the nations of Europe. 
A former colonial governor wrote the Times that his 
countrymen should remember the parable of the beam and 
the mote.* There were advocates of the Telegraph's com- 
promise plan of erecting the disputed provinces into an in- 
dependent neutralized state under a guarantee of the 
Powers.* John Stuart Mill would have had the guarantee 

* Punch, Oct 29, 1870. 
^Graphic, Oct. 15. 

» F. B. Head, ktter to Times, Oct. 26, 1870. 

* Daily Telegraph, Sept. 23, 1870. 



217] ^ MOON OF TREATIES AND AN ECLIPSE 217 

last for a definite period, — say fifty years, — after which the 
provinces should be given the power to annex themselves to 
whichever claimant they favored.^ Lloyd Lindsay, on a 
visit to Versailles, discussed the matter with Count Bismarck 
and found the Chancellor willing to approve such a plan 
with certain important stipulations. The provinces he 
would have constituted a kind of neutral colony under Ger- 
man protection with their fortresses garrisoned by German 
troops. He felt quite strong enough to insist on this and 
to reject immediately Lloyd Lindsay's alternative that the 
fortifications be razed to the ground.^ The Economist was 
impatient of the plan in any form : 

Of all things most dangerous are engagements at once important 
and indefinite, and guarantees are both par excellence. . . . Either 
they mean much, and then are important contracts which may 
bring us into trouble hereafter; or they mean nothing, and then 
no one will ask for them, and they won't be given.* 

A guaranteed Alsace-Lorraine would be a district that as- 
suredly could be expected to put the two definitions to a 
test. 

Another compromise measure which found British advo- 
cates was that of yielding Prussia only part of her des 
mand. Sir Robert Morier and a certain writer for Fraser's 
claimed to find in Alsace a friendly disposition toward the 
invading army that they believed in the event of annexation 
could be fostered into a real patriotism for the new Ger- 
many.* The News suspected that Bismarck, in asking for 
Metz, was only advancing an exorbitant demand with the 

> Mill to Sir Chas. Dilke, Sept. 30, 1870, Letters of J. S. Mill, voL ii, 
pp. 273-274- 

* Harriet S. Wantage, Lord Wantage, a Memoir, pp. 194-198. 

* Economist, Oct. 22, 1870. 

* Memoirs of Sir Robt. Morier, vol. ii, pp. 204-205; A Month with 
the Belligerents, Fraser's Magazine, Oct., 1870; pp. 483 et seq. 



2i8 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [218 

idea cf manipulating puiblic opinion to a more ready ac- 
quiescence in the real ones. A member of Parliament, 
in a pamphlet on The Interest of Europe in the Conditions. 
of Peace, was willing to deal so generously with Prussia 
as to grant a financial indemnity together with Alsace and 
as much of Lorraine as would include Metz. He oblig- 
ingly outlined four other alternatives which would still 
safeguard the interests of Europe, should his main pro- 
posals prove unacceptable.^ 

This laboured scheme of the Honorable Member, like 
many others propounded at this time, was ingenious but 
confusing. Ruskin attempted to simplify the affair by 
translating it into narrow and homely conditions. " Sup- 
pose," he said, 

that Lancashire, having absorbed Cumberland and Cheshire, and 
been much insulted and troubled by Yorkshire in consequence, 
and at last attacked, and having victoriously repulsed the attack, 
and retaining old grudges against Yorkshire, about the color of 
roses from the fifteenth century, declares that it cannot be possibly 
safe against the attacks of Yorkshire any longer until it gets the 
township of Giggleswick and Wigglesworth, and a fortress on the 
Pen-y-gent. Yorkshire replying this is totally inadmissible, and 
that it will eat its last horse and perish its last Yorkshire man, 
rather than part with a stone of Giggleswick, a crag of Pen-y-. 
gent, or a ripple of Ribble, — Lancashire with its Cumbrian and 
Cheshire contingents invades Yorkshire, and meeting with much 
Divine assistance, ravages the West Riding, and besieges York on 
Christmas day.^ 

On this analysis, he had no patience with the Prussian 
claim of a need for defence, and believed she was pressing 
her victory too far, dangerously far. He would have had 

* Daily News, Oct. 8, 1870. 
2 0/>. cit. (London, 1870), passim. 

^ John Ruskin, Complete Works (edited by Cook and Wed'derburn, 
London, 1903-1912), vol. xxvii, pp. 22-23. 



219] A MOON OF TREATIES AND AN ECLIPSE 219 

England help France, but just how he failed to say. And 
the fact that he organized an association to combat the ef- 
forts of the Anglo-French Intervention Committee makes it 
difficult to see by what means he expected to secure for 
France the integrity he so humorously defended.^ The 
Globe, disagreeing with his views, dismissed one of his let- 
ters to the Telegraph very brusquely. If, it said, Mr. 
Ruskin was ashamed to speak as an Englishman, as he pro- 
fessed, he should carry his modesty a little further and 
feel ashamed to write. A number of simple, honest people, 
it believed, would be driven by this letter to speculating as 
to whether he " was a very wise man or a — something else 
very widely different." ^ 

Ruskin's equivocal position was that of many others) 
whose determination that Prussia should not acquire French 
territory, was only equalled by their vagueness as to what 
means should be used to restrain her. The member for 
Derby won the applause of his constituents when he de^ 
clared himself certain that there would never be peace in 
Europe or peaceful relations between Prussia and France 
so long as the Prussians were in possession of French terri- 
tory.^ Another member, speaking in Greenock, declared it 
a matter of European interest that no unwilling population- 
be handed over to rulers whom they were not disposed to 
obey.* Mr. Vernon Harcourt, not only in speeches to hi^ 
constituents at Oxford, but in the much discussed letters to 
the Times which he signed " Historicus," urged the inherent 
danger of the Prussian demands. Another very able con- 
troversialist, who wrote under the name of " Scrutator," 
declared that a peace concluded on the threatened territorial 

*/Wrf., vol. xxxiv, p. 502; Daily Telegraph, Oct. 7, 1870. 
' Globe and Traveller, Oct. 10, 1870. 

' Mr. Bass at Bouverie St. meeting, Spectator, Oct. 8, 1870. 
* Austin Bruce, Spectator, Oct. i, 1870. 



220 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [220 

cession would be no more than a truce which would keep all 
Europe in a state of armed preparation for the renewal of 
the conflict/ There were times when Dasent and Delane 
let slip, somehow, the control of their great daily, and some 
under-editor, Thomas Chenery, perhaps, invested its very 
leaders with sentiments as favorable to France as those of 
Pall Mall and the Standard.^ On October the twenty-first 
there appeared a stinging rebuke to the great nation that 
seemed " bent on offering up respect for the liberty of 
others and care for its own freedom on the altar of mili- 
tary preeminence." The length of the tether that was al- 
lowed the paper when it was under its own proper guidance 
was a proposal that England join with Russia and Austria 
in advocating the destruction of the strong places of Alsace 
and Lorraine, and undertake with them to ally itself with 
either France or Germany in case one of the two should de- 
clare war without submitting its grievance to their arbitra- 
tion. The proposal won little favor in England. That 
nation was reluctant to undertake engagements for the 
future and very frank in pointing out how little her past 
performance made such engagements worth. Forcible in- 
tervention, the proposal of terms by the Neutrals, their de- 
termination by a Congress, diplomatic protest, or a simple 
facilitation of negotiations, — all were discussed and had 
their adherents. 

No suggestion aroused such a torrent of comment as an 
anonjrmous article that appeared toward the latter part of 
the month, tucked away in the last pages of the Edinburgh. 
It was very soon recognized as an unofficial utterance of 
the Prime Minister himself, and so it attracted such 
attention that the spectacle was afforded of a quarterly run- 

^ Times. Oct. 18, 1870; see also "Scrutator's" letter to Times, Oct. 
27, 1870. 
' Dasent, John Delane, vol. ii, p. 270. 



221 ] A MOON OF TREATIES AND AN ECLIPSE 22 1 

ning into a second edition. From a persual of this article, 
which was entitled Germany ^ France and England, it ap- 
pears that Gladstone's idea of the duties of neutrality was 
to administer equal doses of criticism to both belligerents, to 
appropriate much soothing syrup of self -congratulation for 
his own country, and to comfort the world with the as- 
surance that all would be well in the future when public 
right should come into its own. There was a review of 
the policy of France and Gerrn-^*-" ^^'rectly preceding the 
war, based not on the British Blue Book, but merely on 
popular opinion, — so prejudiced was it against the cause of 
France. There was criticism of the German military 
system as being unduly burdensome and founded on the 
principle of compulsion. There was a gibe at King Wil- 
liam's piety, an expression of doubt as to the beneficence of 
Germany's possession of power; and a stem condemnation 
of the declared intention of wrenching a million and a 
quarter of people from the coimtry to which they had be- 
longed for years. ^ It ended, as the Saturday Review ob- 
served, with 

one of those high-falutin descriptions of the moral greatness and 
superiority of England, and of her right to sermonize the world, 
which are so provoking to foreigners, and act so injuriously on 
ourselves.^ Safe behind its thread of silver sea, England is to 
exhort all men to do as she does, and to be like her, perfectly just, 
perfectly moderate, and perfectly impartial. We have, it seems, 
been placed by Providence in a position very like that of a clergy- 
man ; for just as he may say what he likes without fear of hissing 
or reply, so we may say what we like without fear of any one 
crossing the Channel.* 

If this principle were accepted, the reviewer could not re- 

* Germany, France and England, Edinburgh Review, Oct., 1870, vol. 
cxxxii, p. 554. 
" Saturday Review, Nov. 12, 1870. 



222 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [222 

sist Speculating on what sermons the Americans might 
preaich, with the breadth of the Atlantic between them and 
those they V were bent on improving. 

It was Gladstone's phrase of " Happy England," and the 
" streak of silver sea " which was her surety that most stuck 
in the craw of Englishmen. Jtidy, taking it for text wrote : 

" Calmly we view the riot and commotion 
Wrapp'd in our happy insularity; 
'Tis true, we once swore friendship and devotion, 
But, Heav'n be thank'd ! between us lies the ocean, 
And the protective barrier of Neutrality." ^ 

Sir Edward Sullivan, reviewing the article in a pamphlet 
which he entitled Happy England^ declared that far from 
being in a fortunate condition, England was disliked, en- 
vied, looked upon as a scold, an acid-and-water Pharisee. 
As for the happy isolation, the matter of her being without 
alHes far outweighed the beneficent Providence which had 
dowered her with a " streak of silver sea." ^ 

There was measured praise for Gladstone's performance 
in Pall Mall, the Echo, and the Spectator,^ but the general 
verdict condemned such a departure from ministerial dig- 
nity and reserve as the contribution of an anonymous and 
frankly spoken article at a time when the hope for media- 
tion should have imposed silence. Of all the indiscreet 
and injudicious actions of Mr. Gladstone, this one was 
characterized by the Record as being the most injudicious 
and indiscreet.* Certainly, to speak of the late Imperial 
Government as insane, profligate, and lying; of the Court 
as having created a close and foul atmosphere which 
tainted the conscience of the world; and to speak of Prus- 

1 Judy, Oct. 26, 1870. 

* Cf. review of Happy England, John Bull, Feb. 11, 1671. 

• Issues of Oct. 19, Nov. 7, andi Nov. 5, respectively. 
*' Record, Nov. 9, 1870. 



223] ^ MOON OF TREATIES AND AN ECLIPSE 223 

sian statesmanship as brutal and unscrupulous; and the 
scheme for annexation as pillage, was hardly a happy pre- 
lude for the urging of friendly offices. 

It is not surprising that the combination of such candour 
with a style that recalled the copy books of Eton induced 
several critics to disbelieve the rumour of Gladstone's author- 
ship. Even that great man must have been somewhat non- 
plussed at hearing the Scotsman say : 

If Mr. Gladstone could have been capable of such an indiscre- 
tion, he certainly would not, unless he had undergone some soften- 
ing of the brain since the end of the session, have executed the 
mistake weakly and clumsily. . . . It is obviously the production 
of a young man, and a very young writer, whose sins, whatever 
may happen, should not be visited upon ... a father whose 
name is so illustrious, and whose responsibilities are so solemn.^ 

Except- for the prestige of the anonymous writer the 
Edinburgh had added to its lists, it was admitted that the 
case for France was better set forth in the Qua/rterly.^ It 
expounded the righteousness of sympathy with France, but 
a sympathy that kept its hands folded. At the same time 
it seasoned its arguments with outspoken rebuke of the 
supineness of Governmental policy and the low state of 
the Kingdom's miHtary equipment. " In the course of 
the last ten years," said one of its contributors, " we have 
practised an ostentatious and verbose neutrality throughout 
three great wars and one small war. The result is that 
there is no people in Christendom which does not despise or 
detest us."* 

The great middle class in England had not been dis- 
satisfied with the policy during that time, and this class was 

^Scotsman, Nov. 7, 1870. 

• The War between France and Germany, Quarterly Review, Oct., 
1870, pp. 293 et seq. 

' The Terms of Peace^ ibid., Oct, 1870, pp. 540 et seq. 



224 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [224 

now somewhat suspicious that the Quarterly, the Opposi- 
tion's organ, was urging the extremity of France for 
the purpose of effecting a general change rather than an ex- 
ceptional deviation. They disliked the Quarterly's insis- 
tence on the necessity of increasing the army and navy. 
David Urquhart in his Diplomatic Review was arguing that 
the " desolation of Christendom " was caused by the loss 
of politeness, and that if a betterment could be effected in 
the method of rearing children, and in the forms of salu- 
tation and cleanliness, a surer basis would be established for 
religious and moral discipline.^ Not many Englishmen fol- 
lowed him in all his fine philosophizing, but they disliked 
increase of armament as much as he did. They were glad 
to believe he was guilty of a fallacy when he declared, ** In 
England both the people and the Government are engaged 
in schemes, not for the defence of the country, but for 
the increase of its nominal defenders, so that they may be- 
come worthy of butchery." 

Those Ministers who made bold to speak their opinions 
officially, unfailingly took their cue from the September 
speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that had favoured 
only a willingness for mediation, and not from the article in 
the Edinburgh. They advised that England keep its con- 
science in its breeches' pocket and preserve its tender senti- 
ments under a glass dome of neutrality so that they might 
not be subjected to the contact of a Prussian rebuff.^ 

From France there came the plan of Guizot that neutral 
nations assign the reasonable limits of Prussian claims and 
French resistance, and establish the principle of a great 
European arbitration in the duels of nations.* It was a 
call to high endeavour and many grieved that it should go 

* Diplomatic Review, Oct. 12, 1870, pp. 14 et seq. 

* Manchester Guardian, Oct. 22, 1870. 
» Times, Oct. 26, 1870. 



225] "^ MOON OF TREATIES AND AN ECLIPSE 225 

unanswered. Came also an appeal from the philanthropist 
and great silk merchant of Lyons, Aries Dufour, President 
of the International and Permanent League for Peace, who 
for forty years by precept and example had striven to knit 
close the ties of friendship between his country and Great 
Britain, and to further concord among all nations. He 
asked that England use her powerful voice to enlighten 
Europe on the character the war had latterly assumed, and 
do for France in her hour of trial those offices he would 
have urged on his own country, had her neighbour suf- 
fered disaster.^ 

While the British were thus indulging themselves in an 
orgy of unofficial treaty-making and criticism, which wasi 
having no effect on the conduct of the two belligerents, the 
Government was still laboring constantly, if half-heartedly, 
in an effort to bring the two principals themselves to evolve 
and agree upon peace terms. The British Ministers were 
aware early in October that General Bumside's volunteer 
efforts at securing an armistice had failed.^ On the six- 
teenth, Lyons wrote to Granville that the Comte de 'Chau- 
dordy * was urging that England use its influence in a direct 
manner to bring the war to an end on terms which it would 
be possible for France to accept. He pointed out the 
serious responsibility incumbent on England as the head of 
the League of Neutrals, since by its formation France had 
heen prevented from gaining possible allies.* With a con- 
sciousness of the justice of the French claims in this re- 
gard, Granville wrote to the British Ambassador at St. 

* Ibid., Oct. 19, 1870. Cf. Evening Mail, Oct. 21 ; Examiner, Oct. 22; 
Times, Oct. 25, 1870. 

* Daily Telegraph, Oct. 19, 1870. 

* Minister of Foreign Aflfairs for the Provisional Government at 
Tours. 

* Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, p. 145. 



226 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [226 

Petersburg suggesting that there was reason to beHeve 
that France would agree to the razing of the fortifications of 
Metz and Strasburg (the concession which it will be re- 
membered was being advocated by the Times) , and asking 
that Gortchakoff be consulted as to the possibility of an un- 
derstanding between England and Russia. In the event of 
a favorable answer, the Ambassador was instructed to 
inquire whether Russia believed it possible to end the siege 
of Paris, and whether, jointly with the other Neutrals, she 
would make simultaneous appeals to the two belligerent 
governments. Gortchakoff's answer was in no way en- 
couraging. He believed the demands contained in Bis- 
marck's Circular to the Foreign Powers would not be 
modified by French military success. The disapproval of 
the Neutrals unless backed by threats of armed intervention 
would be unavailing. His master was interested as to the 
English opinion of what terms might be accepted, but saw 
no hope for any good from their mutual agreement on 
the matter.^ 

Before this answer could ibe received from far-off Rus- 
sia, M. Tissot apprized Granville that he had reason to be- 
lieve that Italy was about to respond favorably to French 
solicitations for her armed assistance. He asked that Eng- 
land encourage thi$. The British Foreign Minslter ren 
plied very properly that it would be impossible for his 
country to advise another to loose hold of that neutrality 
which itself was holding to tenaciously.^ A Cabinet council 
called on the twentieth was forced to proceed without a de- 
finite knowledge of what terms would be acceptable to 
France. After the rebuff of Jules Favre and the very 
definite demands set forth by Bismarck, France thought it 
would 'be undignified to suggest anything further. She 

1 Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp. 146, 170-171. 

* Granville to Lyons, Oct. 18, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixxi, p. 155. 



227] "^ MOON OF TREATIES AND AN ECLIPSE 227 

was, however, eager that the Neutrals of themselves take 
action.^ The result of the meeting was the despatch of 
telegrams to the British Ambassadors at Tours, Berlin, 
St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Florence with the object of 
inducing the belligerents to agree to an armistice for the 
convocation of a Constituent Assembly.^ Russia surprised 
the British by withholding the desired instructions from her 
representative in Berlin and by sending, instead, a private 
letter to King William. Lord Loftus could only hope it 
contained a recommendation of his government's proposal.* 
Italy's response, and that of Austia-Hungary, was favor- 
able. But Italy was still scarce made, and as for Austria, 
as Princess Metternich remarked to Granville, what aid 
could she give? — now that she was no more than a Power 
of the third or fourth rank, — " just as was England." * 

Granville's suggestions on the armistice were so timid 
that they rather seem to justify the lady's estimation of his 
country's rank. He had abstained from definite proposals 
and contented himself with directing the attention of the 
belligerents to the horrors of a bombardment which might 
•be avoided by the convention of a Constituent x\ssembly. 
As to the terms of the armistice, he refrained from sugges- 
tion. The Manchester Guardian was quite mistaken in 
its assumption that the English proposals were coupled with 
a statement of what Europe believed would be the condi- 
tions of a fair and durable peace. It was quite right in 
saying that, were this not the case, the Ministry had simply 

* Lyons to Granville, Oct. 20, 1870, ibid., vol. Ixxi, p. 169. 

"Karl Abel, International Relations before and during the War of 
1870, vol. ii, pp. 334-336. 

' Loftus to Granville, Oct. 26, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp. 
189-190 ; Newton, Life of Lord Lyons, vol. i, p. 354. 

*Lady Betty Balfour, Personal and Literary Letters of Robt., First 
Earl of Lytton, vol. i, pp. 258-259. 



228 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [228 

exchanged "a policy oi lamentable feebleness for one of 
purposeless energy." ^ 

The representations of the Neutrals availed France noth- 
ing. The preference of Russia's for isolated action showed 
that the League, even in pursuit of a timorous policy, was 
no real unit. Once more the Government of France in- 
voked the aid of the veteran Thiers, who forthwith set out 
for Versailles, to urge the armistice. The very fact that 
negotiations were to be conducted through him and not 
through the ambassadors of the Neutral League was a 
Prussian triumph. It showed the practical isolation of 
France, no matter how true might be her claim of having 
Europe's sympathy. M. Thiers was regarded, moreover, 
as the high priest of chauvinism, who had done more than 
any man in France to create antagonism for Prussia. 
" When he sues for peace they may almost fancy," said the 
Guardian^ "that the vainglorious spirit of his country, 
which he personifies, has at last been sufficiently chastised." ^ 
He was believed to be the opponent oi that kind of republi- 
canism for which the Liberals of South Germany and the 
French followers of Gambetta and Jules Favre had a com- 
mon sympathy, — > a negotiator, then, well pleasing to the 
Chancellor. 

Thiers was very soon made to see that the favour of the 
meeting was granted to him as the emissary of France alone, 
and not of France backed by the Neutral Powers. He 
began the interview on the thirty-first, by speaking of the 
projected armistice as having been proposed by the Neutrals. 
Bismarck objected impatiently and arrogantly to considering 
any suggestion as coming from them. In speaking of Eng- 
land, he showed especial ill humour. The despatch, he 
said, to which she had rallied support, descanted at great 

^Manchester Guardian, Oct. 24, 1870. 
^Ihid., Oct. 31, 1870. 



229] ^ MOON OF TREATIES AND AN ECLIPSE 229 

length on humanity but came to no precise conclusions. To 
the French envoy, himself, Bismarck was courteous, and 
during the first half of the ^yo, days occupied in negotia- 
tions, he appeared somewhat conciliatory. He had at hand 
no M. Regnier with whom he could pretend to be negotiat- 
ing; but he did allude to the members of the late regime 
who were endeavouring to reconstitute their government 
at Cassel. Thiers showed no alarm. He declared the 
Second Empire was dead beyond the power of revival. On 
the second of November, the question was reached of the 
revictualling of Paris during the period of the armistice. 
Count Bismarck raised no fundamental objections, but 
decided to postpone further discussion until the following 
day, when he would have consulted with the staff. ^ 

The famous Dr. Russell, in a conversation before the in- 
terviews, had warned Theirs that the Prussian Military 
Cabinet would not entertain his proposal for a moment; 
Russell himself refused to "recommend" it in the Times, 
Whether or not his judgment was correct and Thiers wasi 
arguing against a foregone conclusion cannot be known; 
for before negotiations were resumed an event took place 
which may have diverted Bismarck from his intentions. 
News reached Versailles of a revolutionary insurrection in! 
Paris. Though this was quickly followed by assurancesi 
that the movement was under control, a renewal of the 
negotiations foimd Bismarck firmly opposed to the capital' si 
revictualling. After some further parley, Thiers departed.^ 

This disastrous episode of the thirty-first of October con- 
vinced Bismarck that Paris was a city divided against it- 
self, — one that could be expected speedily to capitulate. It 

* Fitrmaurice, Life of Lord Granville, vol. ii, p. 65 ; Memoirs of M, 
Thiers, 1870-1875, p. JZ- 

' Atkins, Life of Sir W. H. Russell, vol. ii, p. 224. 

• Thiers to Lyons, Nov. 10, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, p. 221. 



230 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [230 

showed him, too, that though the old Orleanist diplomat 
with whom he was negotiating might be to him persona 
grata, he was distrusted by a very effective minority of 
Parisians. It was extremely improbable that any moderate 
terms which he might sponsor would be accepted. The 
pretext for the discontent of Belleville and its leaders was 
that the Government, in accepting the offices of Thiers, had 
emibraced a policy of moderation which directly contra- 
dicted the wishes of the capital. The city had been stung to 
the quick by the surrender of Bazaine. The National 
Guard, by its loyalty and efficiency in suppressing the in- 
surrection, made it possible for the Government to sub- 
stitute an appeal to universal suffrage for the decision of 
triumphant insurgents as to whether or not its actions had 
been arbitrary. The vote, taken November the third, ap- 
proved its efforts to obtain peace; but only on the under- 
standing that it adhere to the principles originally set forth 
by Favre. However, as we have seen, the negotiations on 
which they balloted were already known by Thiers to be 
hopeless. In reporting his lack of success, he concluded by 
saying, " The time has now come for the Neutral Powers to 
judge if sufficient attention has been paid to their advice, but 
it is not us they can reproach with having disregarded it, 
and we make them judges of the conduct of both belligerent 
Powers." ^ 

The net result of the negotiations was the conviction that, 
unless the Neutrals strengthened their policy, Paris must 
either surrender or try Bismarck's alternative of " stewing 
in its own juice." 

^Annual Register for 1870, vol. cxii, pp. 205-206. Accounts of the 
uprising of Oct. 31st occur in Spectator, Nov. 5, and Manchester Ex- 
aminer, Nov. 9, 1870. 



CHAPTER XII 

A Stroke From the Bear 

" I am no worshipper of Gladstone's, and I think he has 
shown himself eminently ' parochial ' all through the war; 
but Granville has, I believe, done all that could be done with 
any safety ... I think it was we who principally egged 
him into proposing the armistice." So wrote Delane in a 
private letter of November the ninth. ^ The Turns, there- 
fore, felt it incumbent to comfort the Ministry with the 
assurance that, though the October negotiations had failed, 
their own efforts in regard to them had, at least, served to 
soothe the uneasy feelings of the British. Were any one 
to be blamed in the matter, it showed an inclination to blame 
Thiers, who was a " charming old man " and a " delightful 
cduseur/' but whose circle of ideas was no longer elastic, 
and who, above all others, had been the original cause of 
the war. The Telegraph pointed out that France had 
technically placed herself in the wrong by breaking off the 
negotiations after Bismarck's refusal to permit a revic- 
tualling of Paris. By this she had for the time being for- 
feited the right to expect Britain's good offices.* Some there 
were who professed satisfaction with the failure, believing 
that an armistice might have delayed rather than hastened 
peace. * 

1 Dasent, John Delane, vol. ii. p. 273. 

* Times, Nov. 8, 7, 3, 1870. 

* Daily Telegraph, Nov. 9, 1870. 

* J. M. Ludlow, Europe and the War, Contemporary Review, Nov., 
1870, pp. 649 et seq. 

231] aai 



232 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [23^ 

No such palliation or resignation was to be found in the 
Standard. It declared Granville had played a poor "if 
not a contemptible part," in urging the delegation at Tours 
to persuade the Paris Government to negotiate on terms 
left solely to the discretion of Bismarck/ 

The despatches of the belligerents induced little change 
in the British mind. Each imputed bad faith to the other. 
Those who took their opinions from the Times believed 
that Bismarck was justified in refusing the unsuspected 
demand for the revictualling of the capital. Those who 
quoted the Standard commended the French for insisting* 
on a demand that Bismarck had been given to understand 
would be at the very foundation of the armistice. They 
said the Chancellor had prolonged the interviews only to 
gain time to complete his siege operations.^ They believed 
that when he set himself serioiusly to negotiate it would be 
with a Bonapartist, and not the half-Orleanist, half-Repub- 
lican Thiers.^ It was remarked as significant that he had 
allowed the generals captured at iMetz to visit the Emperor 
at Wilhelmshohe. Bazaine had installed himself at Cassel, 
where there was already a nest of intriguing Imperialists.* 
General Changarnier, who alone of the exiles could have 
rallied a strong party in France, was in Brussels where he- 
was urged both by Prussia and the Imperialists to lend him- 
self to their schemes.^ Early in November there appeared 
a defence of the Emperor, written, ostensibly, by an officer 
of his staff. Not even the anonymous article by which 
Gladstone had sought to justify his foreign poHcy roused 
such a chorus of disapproval as did this. It was pro-^ 

^Standard, Nov. 2, 1870. 

^Saunder/, Nov. 8, 1870. 

' Weekly Scotsman, Nov. 5, 1870. 1 

* Saturday Review, Nov. 26, 1870. 

^Fleury, Memoirs of Empress Eugenie, vol. ii, pp. 337-361. 



233] ^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 233 

nounced by the Advertiser to be ** futile and most ineffec- 
tual," and was derided by the Spectator as a "marvellous 
admissflon of intellectual incompetence." ^ It rallied no 
support for the Emperor, but it deepened the distrust for 
Bismarck, who was believed to have permitted its publica- 
tion for his own ends. 

Lord Lyons noted as a further cause for Germany's loss 
of sympathy at this time, the increase and violence of 
Prussian press attacks on England.^ They prevented the 
Crown Prince at Versailles from being ** as jolly as usual ; " 
for he would have liked it understood in England that they 
were not at all officially encouraged.® But whether " in- 
spired " or no, Prussian criticism was to be taken account 
of when it came not only from newspaper writers but from 
her most eminent men. Von Sybel made it a ground of 
complaint that the British had presumed to condemn the 
reunion to their fatherland of two stubborn provinces that 
had grown overfond of their foster mother.* A pamphlet 
reprinted from the Prussian Annals and entitled, Wliat Do 
We Demand From France? had gone through three edi- 
tions early in November. It was by von Treitschke, and 
derived especial interest as embodying the view of the 
spokesman of German Liberalism. The demand was, of 
course, Alsace and Lorraine. Mommsen, and even Max 
Miiller, whose gentle spirit and ripe scholarship had so 
endeared him to the land of his adoption, were in favor of 
the forcible annexation by Prussia of the two disputed dis- 
tricts.* That " absolute intellectual freedom in the pre- 
sentation of thought," w^hich the Earl of Lytton found an 

* Issues of Nov. 5, 1870. 

* Newton, Lord Lyons, vol. i, p. 342. 

' W. H. Russell, My Diary during the Last Great War, vol. ii, p. 22$, 
*Sun, Nov. 3, 1870. 
^Athenaeum, Nov. 5, 1870. 



234 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [234 

especial characteristic of Germans/ forced England to see 
that what Bismarck had been urging was no more than the 
wish now of all Germany. " He moves," said Vanity Fair, 
**the King, the princes, and the people about like pawns 
upon a chess board." ^ 

Those British who had believed the beneficence of Ger- 
man administration would palliate the injustice of annexa- 
tions, were dismayed into protest by the harshness of the 
edicts with which the governance of the provinces was in- 
itiated. They doubted Carlyle's judgment when he said 
that Bismarck's gain of Alsace and Lorraine would do all 
the world, and even France itself, a great deal of good.* 
Rather, they agreed with the News in believing that the 
territorial aggrandizement of Germany meant the territorial! 
insecurity of Europe.* 

It has already been shown that the conduct of the Ger- 
man soldiery had dampened the antebellum enthusiasm for 
German justice and humanity. Certain sections of the 
regulations on which the Landsturm had been formed to 
meet a French invasion were printed in November by a 
British journal.^ They made it apparent that under pro- 
vocation Germany would have evolved a body comparable 
to the franc tireu/rs, against whom she executed such whole- 
sale reprisals. Lady Georgiana Bloomfield brought back 
to London distressing accounts of the sufferings of the sick 
soldiers in Germany. They were packed off anyhow without 
medical attention and left to find their way home, or die, 

* Balfour, Personal and Literary Letters of Roht., First Earl of 
Lytton, vol. i, p. 261. 

^ Vanity Fair, Oct. 15, 1870. 

■ Conversation of Carlyle and Lecky, Duquet, Ireland and France, 
intro., p. XX. 

* Daily News, Nov. 19, 1870; Anglo American Times, Nov. 12, 1870. 
^ Once a Week, Anglo American Times, issues of Nov. 19, 1870. 



235] "^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 235 

as best they could. Frequently they got no further than 
the railway stations/ It was all too evident that the Ger- 
man zeal for efficiency spent itself too prodigally in destruc- 
tion to take care for the salvage of the wrecks of war. 

What touched the British more nearly was the discern- 
ment of an unsuspected vastness in Prussian ambition. 
There were rumours that the great new state would exact 
a large part of the French fleet at the signing of the treaty, 
— that she intended to make the Baltic into a Prussian lake. 
The French charge d'affaires in London wrote Thiers that 
the English were indignant at the demand of the Prussian 
press for Heligoland as key of the North Sea.* Weeks be- 
fore, the Diplomatic Review had quoted Urquhart's earlier 
writings in an attempt to prove that it was Russia's design 
to erect Prussia into a maritime rival of England.* The 
Court Gazette spoke with assurance of a secret treaty be- 
tween King Wilhelm and the Tsar, which " threatened the 
liberty of every other people." Bismarck, it declared, was 
planning to join the ** Great Dumb Nation " in an expedition 
against China for the purpose of establishing a joint con- 
trol in that great Empire to the danger of British power in 
India.* Rumours such as these were disregarded. But it 
was feared that real danger did exist in the passion for 
unification that possessed the Germans. The Saturday 
Review complained they had run mad on the idea of reunit- 
ing every part of what any professor of history chose to 
say had once been theirs.* In the Pall Mall Gazette there 

* Lady Georgiana Bloomfield-, Reminiscences of Court and Diplo- 
matic Life, vol. ii, p. 342. 

' Tissot to Thiers, Nov. 12, 1870, Revue des Deux Mondes, vol. xxxiii, 
p. 774. 

* Diplomatic Review, Oct 12, 1870. 
*Nov. 5, 1870. 

* Saturday Review, Nov. 26, 1870. 



236 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [236 

was published a resume of Dr. Wagner's pamphlet claim- 
ing Holland and German Switzerland as parts of the 
Fatherland. These, and every other detached part of the 
nation, said the eminent Professor, should be made to feel 
the duty of bowing to the wishes of the whole. 

It came about that the crowds that attended the war con- 
certs at the Alhambra cheered the Marseillaise more than 
The Watch on the Rhine} They had an uneasy apprecia- 
tion of the truth of the jest that appeared in Fun: 

The where - is - the - German - Fatherland-never-sufficiently-to-be- 
impressed-on-all-nations question! So! We the-in-one-bond- 
united-of- Germany-concatenated to have that song gesungen wish. 
Hein so! . . . Where is the German Vaterland? Everyveres! 
Everyveres in-the-spirit-in-due-philosophy-of-all Teutonic aspira- 
tions born inf usion-spreading-yah ! 

In the Crystal Palace the managers had collected a great 
number of chassepots, and needle guns, and effigies of 
French and German soldiers. There were relics of the 
fields of Worth and Sedan, — ^blood-rusted saber bayonets 
and bullets beaten out of shape. There were almost twq 
hundred sketches by artists of the Illustrated London News 
and the Graphic, all hot with the newly visioned horrors of 
war.^ Men came and looked, and went again into the sun- 
light where the autvimn leaves were drifting down. And 
they were somehow puzzled as to whether it could be true, 
as Carlyle claimed, that might made right. George Eliot 
said that at this time the conscience of every man wast 
trembling after some great principle as a consolation and a 
guide.' Each strove for truth in his capacity and bodied 
his conclusions as best he could in word and deed. There 

^ Daily News, Nov. 11, 1870; Daily Telegraph, Nov. 19, 1870. 

*Art lournal, Nov., 1870. 

* Cross, George Eliofs Life as Related in her Letters, p. 553. 



237] ^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 237 

was much poor verse written and published by sympathetic 
editors on the pitiful ineptitude of war. Christina Rossetti 
was one of the more able who appealed to the armed King 
William and warned him that vengeance was only for the 
Lord/ Robert Buchanan limned a splendid picture of the 
perfect state, — the country that would let no wronged land 
lack assistance in extremity.^ Even jocund Mr. Punch be- 
came heavily poetic in his condemnation of the hate that 
defied humanity.^ 

More effective for France than poets' lines that ran to 
meet their fellows with a rhyme was the martial prose 
of others of its defenders. In the Contemporary, J. M. 
Ludlow urged on England the abandonment of her neutral- 
ity. " Neutrality," he said, **is practically only impartial 
so long as two combatants are, or appear to be, equally 
matched; from the moment that one of the two has the 
upper hand, it is simply the passive acquiescence of the 
neutral in all the evil that the stronger may wreak upon the 
weaker." * It was subversive of the interests of civilization 
that France be battered into a lesser Power. He advised 
that England act on a hint of Garibaldi's and call a Euro- 
pean congress to determine how to stop the war by united 
action. In November, also, the Fortnightly published 
Frederic Harrison's remarkable article on "'Bismarckism.'"* 
Its thesis was the necessity of preventing the destruction 
of international morality in Europe and the restoration of 
the old military standard. He would have had England 

1 €. Rossetti, Thy Brother's Blood Crieth, Graphic, Nov. 5, 1870. 

2 Buchanan, The Perfect State, Complete Poetical Works of Robt. 
Bucfuinan, p. 338. 

* Punch, Nov. 19, 1870. 

* Europe and the War, Contemporary Review, Nov., 1870, pp. 648 
et seq. 

* Fortnightly Review, Nov., 1870, vol. xiv, pp. 631 et seq. 



238 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [238 

check the progress of Prussia by diplomacy, if possible, but 
failing that, by force of arms. He thought she would 
not have to intervene alone, but could rally all the other 
Neutrals to her leadership. Perhaps she could have, had 
the laboring class controlled diplomacy. The working men 
of all of Europe, said the Anglo American Times, opposed 
the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine.^ John Morley 
pointed out that on the salient questions of the decade they 
had shown themselves to have been dowered with truer 
vision than the " privileged orders," which now denied their 
sagacity. This was because the interests of the multitude 
could never 'be anti-social.^ 

It may be considered significant of more than a realiza- 
tion of present danger when diplomats were urged to as- 
semble at a signal from Garibaldi, and when a superiority 
of political prescience was conceded to manual laborers. It 
was a time of indecision and doubt,* — a time when some ad- 
vocated experiments that only increased the alarm of their 
fellows. Uncertainty of the future had caused a veritable 
strike of capital. France was buying nothing of England, 
save the commodities that occasioned the remonstrances of 
von Bernstorff. The merchant marine of Germany had 
been almost annihilated, and that country could be reached 
only through the channel of neighboring neutrals. To be 
sure, the business of Manchester was experiencing a re- 
newed activity which was attributed to the enforced idle- 
ness of ten millions of French spindles.* But the benefits 
of a few favored industries were more than counterbalanced 
by the general unrest. Though money was tight, the large 
loan asked by France had been readily subscribed late in 

* Anglo American Times, Nov. 12, 1870. 

» Fortnightly Review, Nov., 1870, vol. xiv, pp. 581 et seq. 
' Cf. Banker's Magazine, Nov., 1870. 

* Spectator, Nov. 5, 1870. Cf. Times, Nov. 8, 1870. 



239] "^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 239 

October.^ And though the capitulation of Metz had raised 
the value of the French stock, since it seemed to foretell an 
early peace, there was yet an unselfish rejoicing when news 
came in mid-November that Aurelles de Paladin had won 
a splendid victory and recaptured Orleans.^ King William 
sent news of this reverse to his Queen in a despatch in which 
there was no mention of the Deity. From the chopfallen 
humour of the King, the British estimated his disappoint- 
ment to have been great indeed. 

" Everyone seems pleased with the French success at Or- 
leans," wrote Matthew Arnold.* Many were glad to be- 
lieve that the repulse would have a tendency to cause 
Prussia to diminish demands of which they disapproved. 
Gladstone was one of these. He wrote to Lord Lyons that 
he was to the last degree reluctant to promote compliance 
on the part of France with the change in the political status 
of the citizens of Alsace and Lorraine.* 

On the night following the reentry of the French into 
Orleans, the Lord Mayor of London held his annual banquet 
at the Guildhall. The feast was made the occasion for a 
more or less formal indication of the changed attitude of 
the British toward the two contestants. It was declared 
that the war, at the outset, had been waged by Germany for 
a purpose which had their hearty endorsement but that it 
had been continued for conquest and was no longer praise- 
worthy.* The Lord Chief Baron, in presenting the new; 
Mayor to the Baron of the Exchequer, delivered a eulogy 
on the virtues of France and a homily on the ambitions of 

* Weekly Scotsman, Nov. 5, 1870. 

* London Times, Nov. 12, 1870. 

* Letters of Matthew Arnold (edited by W. E. Russell, London, 
1896), vol. ii, p. 53. 

* Gladstone to Lyons, Nov. 7, 1870, Newton, Life of Lord Lyons, vol. 
i, pp. 334-335- 

^ Daily Telegraph, Nov. 10, 1870. 



240 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [240 

Prussia. His extravagance of praise and blame were ex- 
cused by the News on the assumption that he, like so many 
good Englishmen, was suffering from '' war on the brain." ^ 
The Minister of War in his speech made an opportunity for 
getting before the people his plan for the formation of a 
large army of reserves. The Lord Chancellor eagerly de- 
fended his country's observance of neutrality. Gladstone, 
in a manner, seconded the pleas and assertions of his col- 
leagues, and after sententious observations on the horrorsi 
of war, declared it England's duty to interpose at a proper 
time to secure a permanent peace. ^ The speech of Granville 
was a courteous intimation to the Premier that he had, per- 
haps, somewhat deviated, as men are wont to do at ban- 
quets, from the rectilinear correctness of his official attitude. 
The war was none of England's making, he said. France 
and Germany both had pronounced it to have been inevit- 
able. England had done her full share in pacific endeavour 
both before and since its inception, and, though by no means 
intending to discontinue her labours, would be quite 
happy to see peace brought about by the belligerents alone, 
or by another of the Neutral Powers.® 

Some of the papers thought that in these speeches quite 
enough had been said. Others regretted that Gladstone's 
desire for a permanent peace had not impelled a definite 
pronouncement against Germany's wish for aggrandize- 
ment. The Ministers were overacting their neutral role, 
said the Spectator, like the man who insisted on colouring 
himself all over before he would go on for Othello.* But 

^ Daily News, Nov. 11, 1870; Spectator, Nov. 12, 1870. 

* Illustrated London News, Nov. 12, 1870. 

^ Spectator, Nov. 12, 1870. At about this time Bruce made an im- 
politic speech in which he likened France to a house-breaker and as- 
serted that her destruction would make for England's future peace and 
prosperity. 

* Manchester Guardian, Nov. 12, 1870, 



241 ] A STROKE FROM THE BEAR 24I 

from that paper's own resume of the November speeches 
the members of Parliament were making in the provinces, 
the Government would have had the backing of neither the 
Liberals nor the Conservatives as parties, had it espoused 
the cause of France/ Thiers, however, was encouraged by 
the Guildhall speeches, and by a letter from the charge 
d'affaires in London urging that he take advantage of the 
increased sympathy for France. Tissot had been assured 
by Mr. Otway, an under-secretary of Granville's depart- 
ment, that the feeling against Germany would end in the 
formation of a European coalition.^ In consequence of 
these bright auguries, Thiers approached Lord Lyons with 
a project for uniting with France, Austria, Italy, Turkey, 
and Spain. This, he thought, would lead to a general con- 
gress for the settlement of peace. He was willing to as- 
sign to England the leading part in bringing these fine 
things about. Lyons wrote to Granville, on the fourteenth, 
that he had deemed it prudent to listen and say nothing, 
'* which was never difficult with Thiers." * 

Great Britain was in no mood for forming a coalition to 
oppose Prussia. Rather, she was negotiating even more 
timorously than hitherto. At about the time of the above 
statements to Granville, John Scott Russell, F. R. S., was in 
Versailles with high hopes that he might obtain a passport 
into Paris and be enabled to visit there a friend who was a 
member of the Committee of Defence. It was his plan to 
find out from this friend the terms on which Paris might 
be won to a capitulation and then, by communicating them 
to the German authorities, open the way for a resumption of 
negotiations. He claimed to have been encouraged to un- 

* Ibid., Nov. 5, 1870. 

'Tissot to Thiers, Nov. 12, 1870, Revue des Deux Mondes, vol, 
xxxiii, pp. 77^-77^- 

* Newton, op. cit., vol. i, p. 338. 



242 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [242 

dertake his mission by authority much higher than his own. 
But whatever hint he gave at Versailles of his semi-official 
character, it availed him no more than did his acquaintance 
with the King and Bismarck, and their knowledge of the 
great public works he had constructed for Prussia.^ He 
was whisked off bag and baggage, wrote the correspondent 
of the Times, and given orders not to attempt to visit Paris 
and not to show himself again at Versailles. 

It would seem that the Prussian leaders were in no happy 
humour at this time, and the rather presumptuous requests 
of Mr. Russell drew upon him greater severity than in them- 
selves they merited. The reason for the surcharged atmos- 
phere was the arrival at Versailles, on the fourteenth, of a 
Russian general with a most unwelcome letter from his 
Emperor. It was an announcement to the King of Prus- 
sia of the Russian abrogation of those articles of the Treaty 
of 1856, which had to dp with the neutralisation of the Black 
Sea. Bismarck, according to Lord Augustus Loftus, was 
enraged at the stupid impatience which precipitated an event 
which he considered would not have been timely for a good 
four weeks. ^ The date of the repudiation, October the 
twenty-ninth, showed Russia had exercised some forbear- 
ance in restraining herself for a fortnight. But Bismarck 
could not believe that any advantage was derived from 
postponing its publication from the days following the 
capture of Metz to the days following the loss of Orleans. 
The news that Russia had sent circulars announcing her 
repudiation to the European courts was given the Times 
correspondent by the Duke of Coburg on the following day. 
What will England do? Russell was asked on all sides, 
and when he kept silence the Prussians replied for him, 

1 J. S. Russell, Into Versailles and Out, Macmillan's Magazine, Feb., 
1871, vol. xxiii, pp. 319 et seq. 
'Lord Augustus Loftus, Diplomatic Reminiscences, vol. i, p. 335. 



243] "^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 243 

" Nothing." It was a humiliating moment for the famous 
reporter of the Crimea, who had spent two years of his Ufe 
on the plateau in front of Sebastopol. He feared the Prus- 
sians were right in their belief that England would sub- 
mit. '* Our old alliances are gone," he confided to his 
diary, " and our new alliances are valueless, and all we have 
left to make us remember the Crimean War is the income 
tax." ' 

In London the publication of Prince Gortchakoff's Cir- 
cular created a furore. The conviction that armed force 
would be opposed to the Russian attempt caused a panic 
comparable to the one precipitated by the French declaration 
of war. The indignation of the press was intense and 
immensely disturbing to the pacific ministry. Resentment 
was heightened because there had existed a tendency td 
deride those who had pointed to Russia with suspicion. 
" Urquhartism," the News had declared in September, " i^ 
as extinct as the faith of the Jacobites."^ It had been 
thought victorious Prussia would act, not in connivance with, 
but in opposition to those Russian designs which were anti- 
thetic to British interests. Men were eager to make so 
clamorous their indignation that no echo of their past com- 
placency could survive. Lord Granville's prompt answer 
to the Circular, declaring it impossible for his Government 
to sanction Russia's repudiation, gave only partial satis- 
faction. The Standard of the seventeenth declared the 
Circular a direct challenge and a provocation to battle. It 
prophesied the Ministry could not survive a week unless 
it put away its childish dreams of peace. It was not only in 
the Opposition press that bellicose statements continued to 
appear. The Scotsman demanded that Prussia, as a co- 
signer of the Treaty of 1856, should be required actively to 

* W. H. Russell, My Diary during the Last Great War, pp. 457*458. 
' Daily News, Sept. 12, 1870. 



244 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [244 

Oppose Russia under pain of being regarded as a party to 
her crime/ Pall Mall advised that inquiry be made of 
Prussia as to whether she would aid in enforcing the obser- 
vance of the treaty. In the event of a reply that was de- 
layed or ambiguous, Pall Mall recommended an immediate 
declaration of war. Its editor's opinion was that the re- 
sponse would be unfavorable : " The complaints of the Prus- 
sian Government against England and her exports began 
the moment the war began. They did not begin mildly, 
but boisterously, and in a surprisingly minatory way. 
They were designed to set up a grievance, to give 
grounds for a quarrel."^ The Northern Whig shared 
the opinion of Pall Mall as to the course the Government 
should take. The Telegraph and the Guardian displayed 
their ingenuity in adducing unpleasant facts to support the 
theory of a Russo-Prussian alliance. Gortchakoff was be- 
lieved to have out-Bismarcked Bismarck in calling at this 
time for a piiblic acknowledgment of that quid pro quo he 
had been promised for neutrality.® It was the conviction 
of Prussian complicity that brought anger to fever heat. 
Bismarck was thought to be behind Gortchakoff, beating 
time with his mighty arm, as in the children's game of 
Dumb Orator, to the threats that Russia voiced. It was 
seen that two great wars could not be waged on the Con- 
tinent without eventually being merged into one. Many 
believed that Russia would be as surely punished and 
England would fight for a better cause, if the Government 
chose to cooperate with France rather than make direct war 
on the eastern nation.* 

^Scotsman, Nov. 19, 1870. 

' Pall Mall Gazette, Nov. 17, 1870. 

• Issues of Nov. 17, 18, respectively. 

* Spectator, Nov. 19, 1870. 



245] "^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 245 

Ireland more than matched England in manifesting its 
indignation. The Belfast Examiner urged the ** immediate 
release of France from the fangs of Prussia" as the only 
means of saving Europe from tyranny.^ The Nation re- 
joiced that England could avert war only by an abject 
humiliation, and that if she did not do so, she might be in- 
duced to a favorable settlement of the Irish question.* 

** Never was there a time," said the Illustrated, " when 
Britain was less disposed to put up with insult, never a 
time when she was more disposed to do justice."* The 
reaction against an impassivity that had proven disastrous 
was alarmingly strong. ** The Government appears to be 
in trouble," wrote Disraeh to Lord Derby, **and probably 
will continue to be so." * Not only its pohcy, its very com- 
position was under fire. So long as Bright remained a 
member of the Cabinet, men said that Russia would dis- 
count to the minimum the apparent firmness of Lord Gran- 
ville.*^ For it was known that Bright had always opposed 
some of the clauses of the disputed treaty. Tradition had 
it that the Emperor Nicholas declared on his death-bed that 
he had been betrayed into war by his belief in the Man- 
chester School.® The Evening Mail of Dublin noted hope- 
fully a rumour that Bright would resign, were the Russian 
Circular treated as a casus belli. "^ The Standard recom- 
mended that the country generously retire him with the 
pension to which he would be entitled by a few weeks more 

* Belfast Daily Examiner, Nov. 22, 1870. 

* Irish Nation, Nov. 19, 1870. 

' Illustrated Daily News, Nov. 19, 1870. 

* Disraeli to Derby, Nov. 27, 1870, Buckle, Life of Benjamin Disraeli, 
vol. V, p. 130. 

* Nov. 30, 1870. 

* Pall Mall Gazette, Nov. 22, 1870. 
' Issues of Nov. 21, 1870. 



246 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [246 

of service/ A timorous or over-dexterous diplomacy, said 
Pall Mall, would inevitably miscarry, should the Cabinet 
continue to be discommoded by his presence.^ He was con- 
sidered the apostle of the unfailing pacifism of those traders, 
who, so long as the trade in calico thrived, were indifferent 
as to the success of their country's policy. It was not John 
Bright's nature to be disturbed by criticism. He was un- 
easy about what course the Cabinet might take, and he urged 
on Gladstone every reason that he could to permit Russia to 
have a fleet on the Black Sea and an arsenal on its coast, 
if such were her desires.* 

The Government sent Odo Russell to Versailles to inter- 
view Count Bismarck on the matter. It gave, by this, a 
practical recognition of the exigency that had occasioned 
France to send her envoy to Ems rather than to Madrid for 
the discussion of the Hohenzollem candidature. Perhaps! 
it was a realization that one should not clearly condemn an 
example one has to follow that caused Gladstone, at this 
time, to repent his published criticism of the French. He 
attempted to get the Times to intimate that he had been 
only the " inspirer " of the Edinburgh article.* Odo Rus- 
sell felt himself to be in a position even more dubious than 
that of the Prime Minister. He was uncertain as to his 
instructions, and, as he confided to Dr. Russell, somewhat 
anxious as to the sort of reception he might get from Bis- 
marck. The famous correspondent could give him but 
slight encouragement. Matters, he admitted, were very 
unsatisfactory. There was a conviction in the Prussian 
camp that England, by not having restrained France, was 

^Standard, Nov. 24, 1870. 
»Fa// Mall Gazette, Nov. 22, 1870. 
•Trevelyan, Life of John Bright, pp. 417-418. 

* Disraeli to Derby, Nov. 27, Buckle, Life of Benjamin Disraeli, vol. 
v, pp. 130-131. 



247] "^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 247 

really responsible for the war. It was said she was jeal- 
ous of Prussian success and eager to prevent German unifica- 
tion. The Crown Prince, however, was not antagonistic. 
And, even among those who were, there existed a certain 
basic sentiment that English transgressions should be toler- 
ated, since she was an '' offshoot of the Germanic race." 
Junkerdom was pleased, too, that Granville had sent an 
envoy to discuss the violent rupture of a treaty that England 
had allowed Prussia to sign only through the insistence of 
France. 

It was Bismarck, himself, who told Dr. Russell of the 
outcome of the mission: "This whole question is to be 
settled by half a dozen sensible men sitting around a table 
and talking it over quietly." An attendant brought hia 
cloak to the Chancellor while they were conversing. It 
was lined with Russiain sable, and as he put it on he added 
with a grim smile, " It is not a matter for ill blood, or for 
war, or angry language. It is quite certain that I have no 
desire to see Europe enveloped as I am." And he drew his 
fur coat about his ears — bade the correspondent goodnight, 
and drove off to the Chancellery. 

The next day, the twenty-second, the news leaked out at 
Versailles that Odo Russell's tone at his interview had not 
indicated that complaisance which had been expected from 
an envoy at the headquarters of the conquering Prussians. 
He had threatened with undiplomatic directness that unless 
Bismarck could get Russia to withdraw the Circular, Eng- 
land would be compelled to go to war, with or without al- 
lies. The correspondent of the Times, who had been grieved 
that Granville's firm reply to Gortchakoff should waver 
into submission to a Conference, recovered his high spirits. 
He believed that England had consented to Prussia's plan 
only on the understanding that Russia would be induced to 
make a preliminary renunciation of her claims. It was a 



248 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [248 

fine thing to be a Briton, wrote the old correspondent of 
the Crimea. " Instead of being a nation of sordid traders 
engaged in prolonging war, we have suddenly become a 
chivalrous people, prepared to enter upon an immense strug- 
gle solely to vindicate our honour and maintain an idea." ^ 

But Odo Russell had made his declaration only on the 
hypothesis that he could do whatever he had not been told 
not to do. His own conception of British obligations so 
differed from his chief's that he had to enter into elaborate 
explanations of his reasons for having exceeded his instruc- 
tions.^ What he had done was not repudiated, since it 
had gained Prussian permission for the convoking of a 
congress. But it was, nevertheless, disavowed by implica- 
tion when, a month later, Russia was allowed to enter the 
Conference without having revoked the Circular that had 
caused its convention. The few days gained by sending 
an envoy to Versailles had taken the edge from English 
anger. It was safe now to postpone accepting the resigna- 
tion that John Bright had tendered on the score of ill health. 
The Chancellor of the Exchequer had impressed on the 
exquisite Dorothy Nevill that she preach the only gospel, 
** peace at any price," and the pretty creature, wrote Dis- 
raeli, cynically, went about society preaching accordingly.* 
Gortchakoff's supplementary note, it was declared, im- 
plied that the despatch was meant to be only an emphatic 
expression of discontent.* Count Bismarck, though ex- 
pressing no disapproval of the objects and demands of 
Russia, had disavowed complicity in her presentation of 
the Circular. This reassurance was published.* 

* W. H. Russell, op. cit., pp. 470-473 ; Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord 
Granville, vol. ii, p. 73. 

'Morley, Life of Gladstone, vol. ii, pp. 353-354- 
' Buckle, op. cit., vol. v, p. 131. 

* Daily Telegraph, Nov. 23, 1870. 

6 Cf. W. H. Russell, op. cit., pp. 494-495 ; -Po// Mall Gazette, Nov. 
29, 1870. 



249] ^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 249 

To be sure there were rumblings from the press. The 
Standard urged, insidiously, that England refuse to submit 
to an insult that she could punish almost without effort/ 
The Manchester Examiner refused to follow its sister, the 
Guardian, into the paths of peace. ^ A correspondent of the 
News managed to get published in that pacific journal, an 
account of the alleged arrangement arrived at by Gortcha- 
koff and Bismarck at the war's outbreak. Pall Mall pointed 
out, as a strong argument for its authenticity, the news 
from Versailles that it was understood there that Russia 
would yield to friendly representations and the decisions of 
a conference.^ Such assurance of Russian intentions was 
utterly lacking in London. Bismarck's statement seemed 
more that of the partner to an agreement than that of a 
merely neutral onlooker. Fun carried clever cartoons 
showing Bismarck as a bear tamer with John Bull offering 
his charge a cannon ball to try his teeth on when he had 
done with devouring treaties. Judy showed the Chancellor 
as a laundress trying to hide from Constable Bull a devout 
King William and a very well-armed and ferocious bear. 

Before the month was out the press, for the most part, 
came to believe in a conference as the only desideratum. 
The Nation dolorously suspected that, whatever else was 
done, EnglaiKi would not fight, and Ireland would have to 
wait another opportunity to attempt to gain a repeal of the 
Union. Th<i British publicists, it said, would pretend to 
find in Gortchakoff's later language sufficient satsfaction 
for their offended dignity. The Irish Freeman was in 
agreement with the Nation^ and derided the English at- 
tempts to de:k out the scarecrow fright so that it might ap- 
pear as embodied justice and moderation. They were im- 

^ Standard, Nov. 21, 1870. 

' Cf. editorials of two papers for Nov. 21, 1870. 

• Pall Mall Gazette, Nov. 29, 1870 ; Irish Freeman, Nov. 26, 1870. 



250 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [250 

patient of the Times, which was using all its influence to hush 
the anger against Russia.^ Delane's unique opinion was 
that the Gortchakoff note was the outcome of Thiers' S 
journey to St. Petersburg, and could be easily disposed of 
by a congress.^ 

While Odo Russell was abroad, the cause of peace wasi 
favoured at home by the very diverse writings of several 
eminent men. John Stuart Mill, in private and public 
letters, advised his country to yield to Russia her den 
mands. He was frankly distrustful of British military 
strength. But he based his main plea on the fallacy of 
regarding treaties as being contracted in perpetuity. It 
should be expected, he said, that irksome obligations would 
ibe disavowed so soon as the barrier of fear was removed 
from the nation that had submitted to them. He recom- 
mended that Russia be allowed her abrogation, and that 
England save her dignity by issuing a protest reserving* 
liberty of action.* The Earl of Shaftesbury was seriously 
disturbed by a doctrine legalizing only those documents 
to which the signatories were in voluntary agreement. He 
feared that if England sanctioned its principles there would 
be difficulty in bringing wars to a conclusion. How could 
Prussia feel security in a treaty with France, if it were con- 
ceded that that country should be allowed to abrogate it 
so soon as she felt herself strong? As to what touched 
England more nearly, diplomats must have seen that the 
recognition of this arm-chair philosophy would drive a 
wedge into the foundation of the British Empire. Treaties 
of her own inclined so heavily in England's favour that 
her co-signatories might he expected to welcome the prin- 

1 Irish Freeman, Nov. 26, 1870. 

' Delane to Dasent, Nov. 27, 1870, Dasent, John Delane, vol. ii, p. 278. 
^ Mill to Times, Nov. 22, 1870 ; cf. also his letters to friends Nov. 18, 
19, 21, 1870, Letters of John Stuart Mill, vol. ii, pp. 278-283. 



251] A STROKE FROM THE BEAR 25 1 

ciple that no sanction save that of power existed to legalize 
her advantages.^ 

The letters from the historian, Froude, published at this 
time, avoided any argument as to abstract principles, but 
heartily agreed with Mill's decision that the Russian action 
should be tolerated. E. A. Freeman, too, published his 
opinion that war with Russia would be monstrous.^ And 
the very concrete proposal of Lord John Russell for im- 
mediate mobilization gave a hint to the nation of what it 
would mean to translate angry words into angry acts.^ At 
the Reform Club and the Carlton men still grumbled at the 
taxes entailed by the war of the Crimea. The horrors of 
its campaign were of contemporary memory. 

Thomas Carlyle at this time rendered service by diverting 
to his own person some of the excess emotion that had been 
venting itself in indignation at Russia. Men were enraged 
by his dogmatic asstmiptions that it was "perfectly just, 
rational, and wise that Germany should take Alsace and 
Lorraine home with her;" that France had been smitten 
into " hideous wreck and impotence, testifying to gods and 
men what extent of rottenness and hidden vileness lay in 
her ; " that " noble, patient, deep, pious, and solid Germany 
should become Queen of the Continent.'** The Glohe re- 
gretted that the sage of Chelsea had grown unjust and ill- 
ogical in his retirement.'* The Spectator marvelled that he 
advised as panacea for European ills, an enforcement of the 
law of retaliation.® The Standard was stung to the quick 

1 Glohe and Traveller, Nov. 22, 1870. 

* Evening Mail, Nov. 22, 1870. 

* Nov. letters to Times. 

* Letter to Times, Nov. 18, 1870. 
^ Glohe, Nov. 18, 1870. 
^Spectator, Nov. 19, 1870. 



252 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [25^ 

by his derision of the " cheap pity and newspaper lamenta- 
tion over fallen and afflicted France." It advised Carlyle 
that mercy would better become him than the singing of 
hosannahs to the God of Vengeance who armed the Prus^ 
sian hosts/ Even the News, which condoned passion and 
exultation as excusable on the part of a nation that was 
victorious, regretted that he had so distorted facts as to 
make Prussia appear the victorious innocent and France 
the deceitful villain of a Surrey melodrama.* 

Certain it is that the vigour of his convictions had led 
Carlyle to hymn his praise and chant his hate on a most 
inopportune occasion. The Gortchakoff Circular had 
brought home to England the danger of having France be^ 
come a Power of the second rank. Even those who be- 
lieved that Prussia had not been an accomplice in the Rus- 
sian plan, still said that no single signatory of the treaty 
would have dared its repudiation had France been able to 
join England in resistance. The press became adept at 
discovering chances for French success. "Who counsels 
submission now?" asked Pall Mall in the last week of 
November. "Who speaks today of the folly and wicked- 
ness of not giving in ? " The News, which once had admin- 
istered discouraging counsel to France, "in epigram in 
the smart manner," was now commending her for efforts 
which deserved success. Gambetta, it found, had acted with 
wonderful energy and decision. He had roused all of 
France, made generals and organized armies. He was 
about to make the Prussians feel they had made a mistake 
in marching on Paris without having reduced the prov- 
inces. The Telegraph, which Pall Mall described as having 
tearfully advised submission, while its great heart throbbed 
in agony and delighted in each throb, conceded that " the: 

* Standard, Nov. 19, 1870. 
' Daily News, Dec. 14, 1870. 



253] "^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 253 

predictions of the wise had never been so signally falsified as 
during the present war." As for the Times, it had ceased 
to warn France '' in the words of Omniscence and in the 
voice of Fate." ^ It now professed events to be so doubtful 
as to admit of some discussion as to how the 'balance ulti- 
mately would incline. Men believe largely what they wish 
to believe. In late November there was good reason to 
wish that Gambetta, who was " displaying the energy of a 
Jacobin and the self restraint of an English Cabinet Min- 
ister/' * might yet expel the Prussians, or, at least, conclude 
an honourable peace. 

Every kind of effort made now by the Provisional Gov- 
ernment received encouragement. England read sympatheti- 
cally a pamphlet by a certain M. Renouf, which it was un- 
derstood had been inspired by Thiers. She was in no 
mood to cavil at the accusations it made against Bismarck 
or the Government of the Empire.* The official protest 
against German atrocities, published by Chaudordy on the 
twenty-ninth, could not have been issued at a time more op- 
portune. Its authenticated lists of instances of violence 
would have caused horror at any time, but a present griev- 
ance against Prussia somewhat prolonged the shudder.* It 
was fitting that England should grieve over the bruises of a 
broken reed when she needed to rejoice in the strength of 
an ally. 

On the day before the Chaudordy Circular was published, 
Granville was instructing Lyons to use all his influence to 
obtain the assent of France to the proposed Conference. 
He was to point out that it was a great step for the Prc^ 
visional Government that Prussia had asked England to 

» Pall Mall Gazette, Nov. 24, 1870. 

* Spectator, Nov. 19, 1870. 

* Resume of pamphlet in Saturday Review, Nov. 26, 1870. 
*Paul Deschanel, Gambetta (N. Y., 1920), pp. 117-118. 



254 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [254 

exert her gocxi offices in this/ On the night of the thirtieth 
all London was in gloom because it was believed that Paris 
had capitulated." She had not. Her armies had even taken 
Brie and Champigny, but imperfect communication between 
the capital and Tours had caused the sortie to fail. On 
the second of Decemiber, the Parisian Army was forced to 
retreat. Its efforts had resulted disastrously and had af- 
forded, too, a pretext for Prussia to end the negotiations 
that Thiers was conducting for the Government of Tours. 

Had the sortie been successful, or had France won one 
other such victory as that of Orleans, the shift in the 
sympathy of the Times and the News might have been fol- 
lowed by a recognition of the Republic. But so quickly did 
disaster follow on the brief success of late November that 
within a fortnight Orleans was lost and the Tours Gov- 
ernment was forced to take refuge in Bordeaux. 

The Government of its enemy had never been 
stronger. British papers carried news of the opening of 
the German Parliament. King William had come before it 
with the grateful announcement that Baden and Hesse 
Darmstadt had become states of the Confederation; that 
the accession of Wiirttemberg had been definitely arrange«l, 
and that of Bavaria was soon to be expected. His state- 
ment that the war would be prosecuted until necessary 
frontiers were gained had received hearty approbation.* 
He had spoken as a conqueror. It might be expected that 
the delegate he would send in the succeeding month to 
London would come as the envoy of a conqueror. The 
energy of Gambetta and the victory of Aurelles de Paladin 
had encouraged England for a space to hope that she might 
have the support of the ally who had helped her exact from 

1 Newton, Life of Lord Lyons, vol. ii, p. 340. 

' Times, Dec. i, 1870. 

3 Daily News andi Saturday Review, Nov. 26, 1870. 



255] ^ STROKE FROM THE BEAR 255 

Russia provisions which were become a subject for discus- 
sion. It was feared now that, even were France repre- 
sented, her envoy would have no more weight than a shadow 
on the wall. " We must vail our proud tops," wrote Sir 
James Hudson. Sir Robert Morier assented. People 
asked him, he said, with a sort of pitying condescension if 
he were an Englishman.^ At Vienna Mr. Lytton inveighed 
against the " hen hearted and pin headed Cabinet " that 
made its agents ridiculous, and negatived every idea of 
carrying out a consecutive foreign policy. 

* Memoirs of Sir Robt. Morier, vol. ii, p. 210. 



CHAPTER XIII 

Anarchic December 

The delayed publication, eary in December, of Gortcha- 
koff's second note, from which the Government had osten- 
sibly derived much comfort, was a revelation to the British 
public of how easily a Manchester Ministry could be satis- 
fied/ Russia, in her reply, no more than signified a willing- 
ness to join in a deliberation having for its object the settle- 
ment of guarantees for the consolidation of peace in the East, 
making no retraction of her previous assertion that she no 
longer considered herself bound by the Black Sea clauses 
of the treaty of 1856. As excuse for her precipitate and 
irregular conduct, she mentioned the absence of a regular 
government in France, which postponed the possibility of 
the treaty's modification by a conference.^ Many believed 
with the Standard that Gortchakoff, had he wished to be 
frank, might have added that it was this lack and the as- 
sured friendliness of Prussia which had enabled him to 
take the law into his own hands.® More was suspected than 
was known, for the Foreign Office held back the fact that 
Bismarck had refused to accede to a tripartite agreement, 
guaranteeing the Treaty of 1856, the provisions of Which 

1 " In keeping back the publication of Prince Gortchakoff's reply to 
Lord Granville. The Government secured a substantial advantage. . . . 
If the tenor of the St. Petersburg despatch had been made public while 
th« issue of peace or war still seemed doubtful, it would have evoked 
an outburst of feeling which must have materially impaired any pros- 
pect of a pacific solution." Daily Telegraph, Dec. 3, 1870. 

^Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 6, 1870; Spectator, Dec. 3, 1870. 

^Standard, Dec. 6, 1870; Nation, Dec. 10, 1870. 

256 [256 



257] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 257 

would have stopped at once the irregular action of Russia.^ 
But the simple fact that the note was implicitly a reaffirma- 
tion rather than a denial of Russia's previously expressed 
intentions, went far to strengthen the suspicion of Prussian 
connivance.* 

More than ever, men were eager that France be present at 
the council board.^ The matter, it was conceded, presented 
difficulties. The French government had not won the re- 
cognition of any of the signatories of the treaty about to be 
discussed. In the society of European states she was classed 
as an illegal power that could send only an unauthorized 
representative. There was prevalent an idea, said the 
Spectator, that, though kings and emperors might be re- 
cognized offhand as persons naturally entitled to rule, re- 
publics should be officially ignored until legalized by a vote. 
Still, in a matter of extremity, it expressed the hope that 
the aristocratic Secretary who presided at No. 10, Down- 
ing Street, might not sacrifice an alliance for the sake of 
a bit of diplomatic etiquette.* When it became known that 
the Cabinet had decided to break the monotony of reading 
of French defeats by taking its holidays, men realized punc- 
tilio was still to be observed. The exodus of the Ministers 
from the capital, however, did not serve to advance any 
belief in the placid and pleasant future of a country that 
was being placidly and pleasantly governed while Europe 
was involving itself in a veritable maelstrom. Editors, 
who had no time to indulge in " the usual round of Christ- 

* Odo Russell to Granville, Dec. 18, 1870, Fitzmaurice, Life of Lord 
Granville, vol. ii, p. 74- 

^Saunders', Dec. 5, 1870; Illustrated London News, Dec. 3, 1870. 
For account of meeting of Emperor of Russia and King William at 
Ems in June, 1870, see Capt. Edward Prim, War Chronicle of 1870 
(London, 1871). 

^Standard, Dec. i, 1870; Pall Mall Gazette, Jan. 24, 1871. 

* Spectator, Dec. 3, 1870. 



258 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [258 

mas entertainments," found it more than ever pleasurable to 
criticize the Government for its impassivity. 

'' Driftwood politicians," they were called, " with no 
strong, stern, proud principles to guide them," spun round 
and round by the tempest of the war, insanely watching the 
play of a Russian nor'easter, and liking it/ Some day, 
warned the Court Gazette, the Prussian Empire would 
strike a blow to support itself by war, and ** five hundred 
Cobdens arrayed in voluminous speech" could not con- 
vince an Englishman of common sense that the dangerous 
time should not be prepared f or.^ From nowhere did they 
receive so scathing an indictment as from the dignified pages 
of the Gentleman's Magazine. That publication was most 
heartily fatigued at the '* so-called policy of peace inaugur- 
ated by Quaker platitudes at Christian tea meetings." The 
principles oif the Bright and Gladstone school were highly 
moral, — ^more, they were angelic — "based on the holiest 
and best aspirations of a virtuous people. If they had 
angels to deal with, angels for subjects, angels for neigh- 
bors, angels for allies, angels for foes — ^an angelic policy of 
liberty, love and mutual trust would be in perfect order." 
But England, it reminded its readers, was possessed of five 
hundred million square miles of territory in all parts of the 
world. It could not be governed by the principles of Mr. 
Bright's carpet warehouse, even when embellished by the 
sophistries of Lowe, and sweetened by the economics of the 
" noble Savage." The mission of England was to stand 
between the contending nations of Europe and it had shame- 
fully forsaken it, due to the pretty moral notions of " sugar 
and carpet philosophers."® 

^Imperial Federation in Contemporary Review, Dec., 1870. 
» Court Gazette, D^c. 10, 1870. 

3 Russia's Gage of Battle in Gentleman's Magazine, Dec, 1870, vol. 
vi, pp. 105 et seq. 



259] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 259 

Their own dissatisfaction induced the English to contem- 
plate with a certain degree of pleasure the difficulties that 
were being experienced in a country which they were be- 
ginning to regard with disfavour. It had been believed 
at first that a parliament had been elected in Germany 
wholly to Count Bismarck's liking. But, though Dr. Jacoby 
had been defeated because of his opposition to the an- 
nexation of Alsace and Lorraine,^ it was apparent from 
a debate on the war that the Government had still to en- 
counter open opposition. Four of the Socialist deputies 
braved the anger of their colleagues by pleading that 
moderation be shown to France. They were silenced, and 
men cried out that their bones should be broken.^ But in 
the extreme Left of the Socialist Party there were many 
to echo their denunciation of the annexation. On the tenth 
of Decemiber the question of transforming the German 
Confederation into an Empire provoked further opposition. 
Six of the party voted against the change, and refused to 
accede to the proposal to make the Prussian King an Em- 
peror. Two of these recalcitrants, Herr Liebknecht and 
Herr Bebel, were, within a few days, arrested, though their 
adverse vote was not assigned as the cause of their arrest. 
They had signed a manifesto, issued from Brunswick by 
the leaders of the party, opposing annexation, and this was 
supposed to be the basis for the charge of treason.^ A: 
popular democratic journal that questioned the right of 
their arrest was immediately seized in Berlin. " Whatever 
King William and his great Minister may be," said the 
Economist, " the last thing one would accuse them of 
being is Liberal."* The Renter News Agency, which re- 

* Spectator, Nov. 19, 1870. 

* Ibid., Dec. 3, 1870. 

^Manchester Guardian, Dec. 21, 1870, Spectator, Dec. 24, 1870; Daily 
Telegraph, Dec. 22, 1870. 

* Economist, Dec. 24, 1870. 



26o BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [260 

ceived its information from the German firm of Wolff, 
transmitted no news of these events to London. This, ac- 
cording to the Telegraph, was because the German com- 
pany, in this instance, was forbidden the right of pubhca- 
tion/ Why the offense of the deputies should have been 
described as high treason was a matter which the enterpris- 
ing correspondent of the Telegraph, who first had gotten 
the news to England, could not explain. Long afterward 
it was revealed that the severe charge had been made be- 
cause the Marxists, Bebel and Liebknecht, were found to 
have been attempting to organize a rising in Berlin, and had 
opened negotiations to that end with the Lassalle branch of 
the Socialist Party.^ Their imprisonment prevented them 
from embarking on an enterprise which would have been 
impotent, except for the advertisement it would have given 
abroad, that there existed a German party recklessly op- 
posed to the Government's aims. 

In Alsace itself the conquerors showed themselves equally 
strong and ready to crush incipient revolt. Those natives 
who expressed too loudly their discontent at being " reun- 
ited," were punished by courts martial. In retaliation the 
Alsatians, who before had spoken a patois, now spoke 
French.® Lord Lyons wrote his chief that he did not 
wonder at the increase of irritation against the Germans. 
But it was somewhat illogical that Germany should show 
herself angry at not being loved, and resolve to have it out 
on France while she was weak.* None but a German, said 
the Spectator, would chasten a people under invasion for 

^ Daily Telegraph, Dec. 23, 1870. 

^Life of H. M. Hyndman (New York, 1911), pp. 391-393- 
^Spectator, Dec. 24, 1870. 

4 Lyons to Granville, Dec. 26, 1870, Newton, Life of Lord Lyons, 
vol. ii, pp. 15-16. 



26i] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 261 

expressing their displeasure, and expect to have his hand 
kissed while he did it.^ 

Not content with pointing out her misdeeds to Germany, 
many British continued to accuse their own Government of 
being criminally negligent in taking no steps to prevent 
them. The erection of terrorism into a system was mak- 
ing it more and more apparent that European peace and 
progress were not to come from Bismarckism. Freeman and 
Carlyle might insist that military success led to German 
unity — a blessing for civilization, but in spite of such emin- 
ent opinion, the party grew that believed the outcome of 
Prussian victories meant no more than the imperial magni- 
fying of a feudal lord. 

It was Frederic Harrison's wish to crystallize this discon- 
tent into a demand for active intervention.^ Paris still held 
out,' and he hoped that by popular demand the British Par- 
liament might reconvene before she was won to a surrender. 
His article on Bismarckism in the Fortnightlly had roused 
widespread discussion. For the most part it had been com- 
mended. It was doubted, though, if its author could suc- 
ceed in his honourable endeavour to combine the foreign 
policy of Chatham with national armaments small enough 
to be carried in a carpetbag. It seemed anomalous that a 
plea for intervention should be coupled with a plea against 
the increase of the British army.* Could the balance of 
power be maintained by the protocols of a Government that 
foreign diplomats believed had turned their bullets into 
ledgers? But Mr. Harrison was loath for England to 
import the ideals of Prussia.* He condemned with fiery 

* Spectator, I>ec. 24, 1870. 

'Fred Harrison, Autobiographic Memoirs (London, 191 1), vol. ii» 
p. 3. 
" Manchester Guardian, Dec. 6, 1870. 

* Standard, Dec. 10, 1870. 



262 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [262 

eloquence the "swordsman's jargon and garrison cant'' 
that were employed to disguise the professional lust of 
her strategists. His series of letters, that began with the 
group published in Pall Mall early in December/ showed 
him to be strong-sinewed — capable of wielding a battle axe 
as ably as the " Sage of Chelsea." He had the knack, as 
the Echo said, of sending an ugly epithet at the head of an 
antagonist with the force of a brickbat ; ^ the capacity, said 
the Spectator, of good honest hating that was veritably 
Christian, because the enjoyment it produced was so great 
that one had to love the enemy who had occasioned it.^ 
For all that, he was not the man to bring public opinion to 
the point of intervention. The Conservatives were of- 
fended by his hostility to national armaments and his af- 
fection for Republicanism.* The Whigs were wearied 
by his stress on the international duties which he believed de- 
volved on England.*^ 

Proofs, however, of his charges of imperialism against 
Germany continued to appear. On December the tenth 
the Spectator recorded the petition of Bremen to the Ger- 
man ParHament that it obtain the King's consent to a de- 
mand for the cession of French Cochin China. The prospect 
that Pondicherry and Chandemagore might' also become 
Prussian was disquieting. It was not to be expected the 
new Empire would, in India, prove so easy a neighbour as 
France had been. She might attempt to invade England's 
monopoly of the growth of opium and the sale of salt. 
She might reject the principle France had adhered to of re- 
fusing aid to native Powers that dared revolt. One may 

* Fred Harrison, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 3-4- 
*Echo, Dec. 9, 1870. 

^Spectator, Dec. 10, 1870. 

* Standard, Dec. 10 ; Illustrated London News, Dec. 10, 1870. 

* Fred. Harrison, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 10-12. 



263] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 263 

presume the India House was pleased when the German 
Parliament decided to postpone dividing the bear's skin 
until the animal showed itself less lively. 

This evidence of a Prussian regard for the fitness of 
things was counterbalanced, however, when on the same 
day that the Spectator commended the decision against de- 
manding Cochin China, the Globe announced that Prussia 
had repudiated the Treaty of 1867, which guaranteed the 
neutrality of Luxemburg. Even Mr. Mill, with his ad- 
vanced ideas about the limitations of treaties, it was thought, 
might find the pace becoming over-rapid. Two days before 
this, it had been reported by Pall Mall that Bismarck was 
negotiating with the King of Holland for the duchy's 
cession.^ The announcement of the Independance Beige, 
on which the Globe based its warning, was more alarming 
and was rumoured to have been confirmed by a circular sent 
to Count von Bemstorff. Prussia, it was claimed, due to 
Luxemburg's disregard for the obligations of neutrality, 
declared herself absolved from further observation of the 
Treaty of London." The fact that the little country that 
had angered Prussia rested its safety on a guarantee which 
was collective, freed England, said the News and the Re- 
cord, from obligation the moment the treaty was denounced 
by another of its signatories.^ Nevertheless, it was ad- 
mitted that it would be dangerous to condone the repudia- 
tion by a single Power of a treaty that had been signed in 
concert.* The case against Prussia seemed darker when it 
was remembered that the treaty had been signed four years 

» Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 18, 1870. 

* Times, Dec. 14, 1870. 

• Issues of Dec. 13, 14, respectively. 

^Standard, Dec. 13; Weekly Freeman, Dec. 17, 1870; Daily Tele- 
graph, Dec. 14, 1870. 



264 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [264 

'before primarily on her solicitation. That the treaty's' 
violation invoked collective action, or none at all, was denied 
by many, who declared the opinions of Derby and Stanley 
to that effect had been no more than posterior declarations 
and could in no way retroactively invalidate the individual 
obligation. For only in one clause was the guarantee? 
spoken of as being collective. No action, however, it was 
conceded, was incumbent on a guarantor until it was re- 
quested by the King of Holland. While his representations! 
were awaited, England indulged in arguments as to how 
far she was obligated to render him assistance. 

So little was the Cabinet trusted that Pall Mall reported, 
as current, a rumour that the Prussian annexation had been 
agreed to by the Government in consideration of the aban- 
donment of designs on Lorraine.^ Amazing as such an 
agreement would have been, however, it is even more amaz- 
ing to find that this very scheme had been advocated two 
months before by a journal that now was most vociferous in 
urging Luxemburg's protection. It was the Standard that 
on October the twentieth had suggested that if Prussia could 
not content herself with increase of territory, an equivalent 
might be f otmd for Alsace and Lorraine by the annexation 
of Luxemburg. On the same day the Sun had remarked that 
" upon certain conditions the annexation of Luxemburg to 
Prussia might be a laudable and satisfactory procedure, and 
the powers might wisely wink at the setting aside of the 
treaty in order to facilitate the arrangement." 

On the fourteenth of December, the Telegraph gave out, 
for what it was worth, a statement that Luxemburg already 
had been occupied by Prussian troops. Very soon, the news 
was found to have been false. But England was uneasily 
conscious that, had it been true, it was doubtful whether her 

^Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 14, 1870. 



265] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 265 

Government would have done anything further than to split 
hairs and to resort to the '' complete letter writer " style of 
condonement of the offense. The Morning Advertiser cried 
out for on hour of Henry the Eighth, of Cromwell, or of 
Pitt.^ The country was very weary of having its pride 
pK)ulticed with p)olitely worded remonstrances. The simi- 
larity of Bismarck's denunciation of the treaty of 1867 to 
Gortchakoff's repudiation of the treaty of 1856 was 
alarmingly convincing of the disrespect with which the 
leader of the League of Neutrals had come to be regarded.^ 
England writhed at having to receive, so soon, a second les- 
son in the practices of the new militarism. Saunders' 
voiced the sentiment of practically all the press when it be- 
wailed the fact that confidence was overthrown, and the 
only security against aggression henceforth would be in 
bayonets and ordnance.* The Times ibelieved that British 
connivance at Bismarck's pretensions in regard to Luxem- 
burg would be fatal to the good faith of international agree- 
ments and result in a succession of internecine contests to 
test out the military strength of nations.* 

Sir Robert Morier named, as the more immediate effect 
of Prussia's action, the restoration of Louis Napoleon with 
the gift of the French portion of Belgium to buy him a wel- 
come. In return, he said Germany would expect what was 
left of Belgium together with Luxemburg and Holland.* 
An argument for some such plan was adduced by a few 
from the fact that Germany had made public certain des- 
patches found at St. Cloud which showed the Emperor 

* Dec. 14, 1870. 

2 Times and Daily Telegraph, Dec. 15, 1870. 
'Saunders', Dec. 19, 1870. 

* Times, Dec. 16, 1870; see also Illustrated London News, Dec. 17^ 
1870. 

^Memoirs of Sir Robert Morier, pp. 238-239. 



266 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [266 

to have received the assurance of support in the war from 
all the local authorities.^ But whether this was an attempt 
to rehabilitate the Emperor or to increase Prussian hatred 
against the French nation was, certainly, open to debate. 
The News recorded a rumour that Bismarck was conspiring* 
to use the three hundred and fifty thousand prisoners he 
held in Germany to effect an Imperial restoration. As a 
basis for suspicion it cited the publication at Cassel of a 
pamphlet which the Allgemeine Zeitung declared was in- 
tended to influence Germany to a tender regard for the 
Emperor. The British paper noted, too, that those Im- 
perial panegyrics which had been appearing in London in 
La Situation had been copied with approval into the organ 
of the Prussian Government at Versailles.^ Enough of 
gossip there was to cause " someone higher up," for whose 
reliability the Times stood sponsor, to insert in that paper a 
denial that any intrigue was being furthered by help from 
the Empress at Chislehurst.^ London Society, believing 
that if plots were abrewing, England should make her pre- 
ference known, advocated the Orleanists, and a return of 
the Comte de Paris. The Tablet, just as emphatically, 
espoused the claims of the Comte de Chambord.* Napoleon, 
with Luxemburg as lagnappe, had no backers. 

Whether the Luxemburg affair was the symptom of a de- 
sign somewhat deeper or an excrescence caused by irri- 
tation at the overlong endurance of France, it remains a 
mystery why Bismarck should have declared in his Circular 
that his Government no longer could consider itself bound 
to any consideration for the Grand Duchy's neutrality, if he 

* Saturday Review, Dec. 10, 1870. 
' Daily News, Dec. 30, 1870. 

^ Times, Dec. 26, 1870; see also Illustrated London News, Dec. 31, 
1870. 
^London Society, Dec., 1870; Tablet, Sept. 17, Oct. 22, 1870. 



267] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 267 

only meant (as he claimed later) ^ to take precautionary 
measures of defence against military injury, and had no in- 
tention of denouncing the treaty of 1867. The matter ap- 
pears more obscure when it is noted that this pleasing inter- 
pretation of a distinctly contrary declaration was not com- 
municated to Granville by Bernstorff until the second week 
of February, more than two months after the date of the 
disturbing Circular. Strangely enough, however, when 
the Circular was published by the British journals on the 
twenty-first of December, it was regarded by the public as 
much less alarming than nmiour had represented it.^ 

In spite of its distinct repudiation of any further regard 
for Luxemburg's neutrality, many of the British papers; 
viewed it as no more than a minatory declaration designed 
to frighten the little Duchy into good behavior. The News 
pretended such chagrin at its countrymen's lapse from pas- 
sivity that it expressed the hope that public opinion would 
render an apology to the falsely suspected Chancellor.* 
Officially, England had shown no agitation, and the public, 
while not going to the length advised by the News, gradually 
became less vociferous. 

While excitement over the affair was at its height, M. 
Reitlinger, the friend and private secretary of Jules Favre, 
was granted an interview by Granville and a little later by 
the Premier. Reitlinger had come from Vienna, where 
Count Beust had authorized him to say that " if England 
wished effectively to intervene with the object of obtain- 
ing honourable conditions of peace for France, England 
would not be alone, and Austria would go with her." 
Reitlinger shrewdly believed that, though the offer had 

" Graphic, Jan. 21, 1871. 

2 Manchester Guardian, Dec. 21, 1870, was the first British paper to 
carry Bismarck's dispatch. 
' Daily News, Dec. 24, 1870. 



268 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [268 

been made in good faith, it had been made in the belief that 
England would hold aloof. His interview with Granville 
showed that Beust had been safe in his assumption. There 
was praise for French " elasticity/' but a rebuke for the 
temerity the Provisional Government had shown in having 
broken off the armistice negotiations. Lord Granville gave 
a sympathetic exposition of the difficulties that confronted 
Prussia because of the lack of a de jure government in 
France. He advised several ingenious, though impractic- 
able, means of obtaining this and hinted that, were it not 
soon forthcoming, Favre and his associates might incur the 
responsibility of occasioning an Imperial restoration. In 
the matter of obtaining an armistice Granville's advice was 
that France address herself directly to Versailles, though he 
had no information as to whether or not the Prussians were 
inclined to negotiate, and would not promise England's good 
offices in the matter. 

In short, M. Reitlinger encountered in London, as he had 
elsewhere, " an unmeasured fear of being exposed and com- 
promised." Lord Granville assured him that the Cabinet's' 
cautious policy had the approval of the nation. Among the 
military, he admitted, there was a professional desire for 
war, and among the working class there were many who 
favored it; but for the rest, their ideas differed according 
to their political opinions, and there was no programme on 
which they wished to unite. The most confortable words 
the Minister permitted himself to utter was an intimation 
that, when the terms of peace came to be discussed, England 
would consider the time more favorable for intervention. 

Gladstone, when interviewed at Hawarden Castle where 
he was spending the holidays, went a little further and said 
that Englanvl would not agree to any territorial cession. 
" All he meant," said Reitlinger, *' was simply that England 
did not approve of Prussian annexation of the two pro- 



269] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 269 

vinces, but that she could do nothing to stop it." After 
this revelation the Frenchman was very eager to make his 
way back to Paris and explain away the illusions that existed 
there as to an intervention. To this end, Granville at- 
tempted to get a safe conduct for him from von Bemstorff, 
but the request was refused.^ 

Perhaps the disappointment of the French envoy led him 
to underestimate the Premier's declaration. On the tenth of 
December, Gladstone had written Granville that he regretted 
not having indicated England's opinion on the question 
of Alsace and Lorraine when the opportunity for doing so 
had been auspicious. He wished that the Cabinet might ar- 
rive at an agreement on the subject before it came up in a 
practical form. As for himself he said, "I have an appre- 
hension that this violent laceration and transfer is to lead 
us from bad to worse, and to be the beginning of a new 
series of European complications." ^ 

No hint of the Reitlinger visit appears in the press. While 
he was in Lx>ndon, the conditional promise he had won at 
Vienna was negatived by certain proposals of Bismarck's, 
which promised Austria more solid advantage.^ Lever, the 
British consul at Trieste, though he knew nothing of these 
negotiations, wrote that England, in the event of war with 
Russia, need not count on Austrian assistance. Victory 
for Austria could be bought only at the price of concessions 
to Hungary, and defeat would mean for her the loss of her 
German-speaking provinces. She could risk neither. 

The preclusion of Austrian intervention was a happy stroke 
for Prussia. For on the sixteenth of December when Gran- 

'Fred. Reitlinger, A Diplomat's Mission of 1870, passim; Granville 
-to Lyons, Dec. 14, 1870, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp. 241-242. 
' Morley, Life of Lord Granville, vol. ii, pp. 70-71. 
' Paul Deschanel, Gambetta, p. 98. 
^ Ibid., p. 117. 



270 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [270 

ville presented certain proposals of Chaudordy, looking to 
an armistice for the revictualling of Paris, Bismarck, sure of 
Russia and Austria, was enabled to refuse them with the 
greatest degree of confidence. Meetings were still held in 
London to favour the recognition of the French Republic 
and to oppose its enemy ; but the Ministers were absent from 
the capital, and the demonstrators had to content themselves 
with carrying their resolutions to the French embassy.^ 
England felt that she had been reduced to a spectator, with 
a very poor seat at that. She had to watch the successful 
conclusion of the task the North German Parliament had 
been created to perform, — ^the union of North and South 
Germany. The Confederation, it was understood, only 
waited on the King's consent to receive a higher dignity be-- 
fore transforming itself into an Empire.^ 

Across the Atlantic, the American House of Representa- 
tives had voted, by a great majority, nearly all those meas- 
ures hostile to England that had received the President's re- 
commendation.^ It was alleged that the Secretary of State 
for three months had been beset by proposals from the Rus- 
sian Minister urging a joint demonstration against England.* 
Mr. Fish, it was stated, had resisted these solicitations. 
But the fact remained that his country had chosen this time 
for most incontinently urging a settlement of the Alabama 
Claims. There existed a suspicion that Prussia, too, en- 
couraged her insistence. Mr. Washburne, who had kept his 
residence in Paris, was the intermediary between that city 
and the outside world, through a famous despatch bag 
which he was allowed to receive and send out weekly. 

^ Times, Dec. 19, 1870. 
' Saturday Review, Dec. 10, 1870. 
» Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 17, 1870. 

* Statement telegraphed from Washington to the N. Y. Tribune and 
quoted in the Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 17, 1870. 



271] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 27I 

Other diplomats, who had refused to submit to the inspec- 
tion of their papers, had been brusquely left " incommun- 
icado." The American Minister was also honoured by being 
the appointed channel of communication between the Gov- 
ernment of National Defence and the Prussian leaders at 
Versailles.^ A special favor had been granted him by Bis^ 
marck in the liberation of a hundred or so of his country- 
men who had tired of witnessing the investment. It was 
claimed, too, that Prussia intended to please America by 
demanding half of the French fleet for the reduction of 
British power on the high seas.^ All this prepared belief 
for the Standard's story that Prussian despatches had been 
captured which urged America to press the Alabama claims. 
Very soon, the news was found to be false.^' But the fact 
that it, at first, excited alarm is evidence of the suspicions 
that were tormenting England. 

At the same time that the British were annoyed by these 
rumours, alarming news came to her from across the 
Channel. The German army had completed its march to 
the coast and had occupied Havre, Dieppe, and other lead- 
ing French seaports, greatly to the disadvantage of the 
British ship owners that had been monopolizing the Havre 
floating trade. Word came that, not content with flatten- 
ing John Bull's pocket book, the German leaders were medi- 
tating an atti ck on England so soon as their affairs in France 
should leave them free for it. For the most part, the pro- 
posed invasii n was ridiculed. Would their invaders come 
by balloons, swimming belts, or a channel tunnel ? the 
British asked. Much alarm, however, was pretended by the 

* Diary of the Siege of Paris, published as supplement to Gallignani's 
Messenger, 1871 ; Capt. the Hon. D. Bingham, Recollections of Paris, 
pp. 211-212. 

' Examiner and London Review, Nov. 5, 1870. 

^Anglo-American Times, Jan. 21, 1871. 



272 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [272 

Standard,^ and jealous discussions of the Prussian military 
system were more than ever the vogue in that and other 
papers. Many urged that England introduce compulsory 
service and much space was given to pleas that the army be 
remolded on the Prussian model.^ 

A fillip to the hopes of the militarists came when, on the 
twenty-first of December, six British colliers were seized and 
sunk by Prussian orders off Duclair. The vessels had been 
sacrificed through the military necessity of forming an ob- 
struction to the activities of French gunboats that had been 
saihng up and down the Seine, to the menace of German 
operations at Rouen. On the twenty-fourth, a seventh vessel 
was seized for the same purpose. According to international 
law the raid had been executed without any violation of 
neutral rights. For the colliers, though they had docked 
and discharged their cargoes by Prussian permission, were 
subject to the exigencies of a belligerent engaged in active 
operations of war. But international law, somewhat im- 
perfectly understood at times by its own exponents, is of 
even more obscurity to the layman. 

It is not surprising that the early news of the seizure 
aroused indignation. It was reported to have been accom- 
plished over the protest of the British captains and with the 
Union Jack still flying. In France, the papers aggravated 
irritation by speculating on what the British would do to 
exact reparation for the owners and to punish the insult to 
the sailors, who had barely been allowed time to escape.^' 

^Standard, Dec. 24, 1870; see also Globe and Traveller, Dec. 13, 1870. 

*Pall Mall Gazette, D«c. 9, 17, 1870; Archibald Forbes, The Vic- 
torious Prussians in St. Paul's Magazine, Dec. 1870, vol. vii, pp. 282 
et seq. 

^ War Correspondence of the Daily News, pp. 406-409; Stowell and 
Munro, International Cases, vol. ii, p. 544; Granville's representations 
to Prussia are summarized in a despatch sent Lyons, Dec. 31, 1870, Brit. 
State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp. 2-3. 



273] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 273 

The Weekly Freeman believed that, even if Granville could 
" smcx>th away atrocities and by sweet persuasion bring Bis- 
marck to behave," he still would fail to coo the nation into 
a contemptible quiescence under insult. At first the British 
papers bristled almost equally with indignation,^ but when 
it became known that the early accounts had been exagger- 
ated, and when the moderate journals had explained the in- 
tricacies of international law, the British saw they had not 
been insulted and became less restive.^ 

However much interest was diverted during December 
by the proceedings of the German Parliament, and by the 
Luxemburg Circular, and the Duclair incident, the focal 
point of attention remained the beleaguered capital. Its fall 
was awaited as the signal for the end of war. On Sep- 
tember the seventeenth, Lord Lyons and his staff had left 
for Tours.' Mr. Wodehouse, the secretary, who had been 
left in charge of the embassy, somewhat later departed also, 
imder instructions from Lord Granville.* The military 
attache, Colonel Claremont, lingered of his own free will 
for some time,* and, in turn, went off, leaving Sir Edward 
Blount, a resident banker of Paris, as Great Britain's unoffi- 
cial representative.* From early December to late January, 
the sixteen hundred English in the capital were dependent on 
this kind expatriate and on the overworked Minister of the 

^Spectator, Dec. 31; Daily Telegraph, Dec. 28, 1870; Morning Ad- 
vertiser, Dec. 28, 1870. 

* Annual Register, 1871, vol. cxiii, p. 4, 

* Memoirs of Sir Edward Blount, p. 176; E. A. Vizetelly, My Days 
of Adventure, pp. 96-97. 

* Oxford Graduate, Inside Paris during the Siege, pp. loo-ioi ; White- 
hurst, My Private Diary during the Siege of Paris, vol. i, pp. 252-283. 

' Whitehurst, op. cit., p. 343. 

« Blount was placed in charge of the emibassy as consul on Dec. 10, 
by Col. Claremont, but he did' not receive official appointment until 
Jan. 24, 1871. Cf. Memoirs of Sir Edward Blount, pp. 187-191. 



274 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [274 

United States. The embassy remained, however, of much 
interest, because, as the wags said, the Manchester Gov- 
ernment was so fittingly represented by four fat and very 
placid sheep that browsed on the embassy lawn/ At Christ- 
mas time when the menus were more and more embellished 
by such items as Men a la Bismarck, and cotelettes d'dne 
pralinees a la fag on de notre Frits, ^ it was not only the 
British, who came to gaze at the unconscious animals that 
fattened under extra-territorial rights. 

The most famous chefs of Paris tearfully acknowledged 
their extremity. In times past, some genius of the white 
cap dressed out a salad so judiciously that his patron de- 
clared that with such sauce one could devour his very father 
with enjoyment. His recipe, alas, was unrecorded, but 
ingenuity survived. Correspondents wrote that donkey 
flesh was being so prepared as to have a poultry flavour, and 
had come to be a tempting delicacy. In the Athenaeum, it 
was stated that the proprietor of those little beasts that once 
were the delight of the damsels of Paris, who visited Robin- 
son's to dine on fete days with the students in the trees, had 
become a butcher, and regaled the Quartier Latin with the 
flesh that had been bestridden with such hilarity in daysi 
when Paris went a picnicking.^ From the Jardin des 
Plantes the elephants were led forth to pay their tribute, too. 
The Prussians should think of these things, said the Tele- 
graph. It would not do to gain the city only to find the 
cooks starved in their own kitchens, the table d'hotes cut up 
for firewood, and the stew pans melted into bullets.* The 
items of the makeshift menus were all very amusing when 

* Vizetelly, op, cit., pp. 96-97. 

' Bingham, op. cit., vol. i, passim. 

* Athenaeum, Nov. 12, 1870. 

^ Daily Telegraph, Nov. 17, 1870. ' ' 



275] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 275 

Henry Labouchere wrote of them in his witty, cynical way.^ 
But London grieved that at the Christmas season all Paris 
had become an Oliver Twist that asked for more. 

The " Agony Column " of the Times was now the peculiar 
property of French refugees. It was filled with messages 
to friends, inquiries about the health of the besieged, re- 
proofs for silence.^ But most conspicuous among them all, 
said Belgramia, " there became apparent the signs and tokensi 
of the Triumph of Baby. His birth, his progress, hisi 
health, his pronous teeth, his faites et gestes " — were all de- 
tailed to gladden the heart of his distant father. Almost 
you might see le roi Behe clapping his hands and crowing in 
that column.^ The British wondered, for a time, how the 
advertisers expected the Times to enter Paris in such quan- 
tity as to make their efforts at communication practical. 
But the faith of the refugees was rewarded. ** I doubt," said 
Wickham Hoffman of the American legation, " if you could 
so hedge in a city that the Times would not penetrate it." 
The great paper entered Paris by pigeon post. Its messages 
were photographed in microscopic characters and enclosed 
in a quill, which was fastened longitudinally to the centre 
feather of one of the " Antwerps," " Dragons," or " Blue 
Chequers " that were the aerial messengers of the besieged. 
On its arrival the film was enlarged by a magic lantern, and 
the messages copied and sent to their different addresses by 
post-office officials. One bird was said to have brought in 
no less than fifteen thousand meissages for private in- 
dividuals, besides despatches for the government. 

From late in September, when the first postal balloon had 
carried out its pigeon passengers, the birds had shared with 

* Henry Labouchere, Journal of the Besieged Resident (London, 
1871), passim. 

^Memoirs of Sir Wemyss Reid (London, 1905), p. 168. 

* Belgravia, Apr., 1871. 



2^6 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [276 

the aeronauts the burden of keeping Paris in communication 
with the world outside. Pictures of the more famous of 
them were pubUshed in British papers and some of their 
post-marked feathers were brought to London as souvenirs. 
One of these pigeons, called the " Minister," because 
of its service to Gambetta, was trained to such in- 
telligence that, it was said, when it fell victim to a Prussian 
bullet, it exhibited an appropriate spirit of patriotism and 
promptly swallowed its despatch. Even with those who 
would not credit such bird stories, the exploits of the 
feathered messengers played a part in rousing sympathy and 
admiration.^ 

They did not, however, cause any such international com- 
plication as did Mr. Washburne's despatch bag. The 
American Minister, by virtue of his having taken over the 
representation of the Prussians, possessed the privilege of 
receiving newspapers and sealed dispatches. He was in 
the habit of leaving the Times and other papers, when they 
had become somewhat stale, on his library table, and of 
allowing the curious the privilege of reading them. Certain 
correspondents, whose eagerness for news was not satisfied 
by this kindness, learned that later copies were kept by Hisi 
Excellency concealed under his mattress. It proved not dif- 
ficult to bribe the chambermaid of the imsuspecting diplo- 
mat to show them the Times now and again. Their cur- 
iosity was not unnatural, for Paris was full of wild rumours 
of monster meetings in Hyde Park, and threats to dethrone 
the Queen, and drive Gladstone from office.^ 

No harm would have come from the peccadillo had not 
Labouchere, who was at all times irrepressible, shielded the 

* The fullest accounts appeared directly after the war. Cf. The Bal- 
loon and Pigeon Post, Chamber's Journal, March 4, 1871, pp. 129 ei 
seq.; All the Year Round, March 10, 1871. 

'^Bingham, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 211-212. 



277] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 277 

abigail and slandered the Minister by writing the News that 
copies of the latest London journals were always to be found 
on Mr. Washbume's table/ Very naturally, the matter 
was made the subject of complaint by Bismarck. Von 
Moltke found it detrimental to his plans that recent papers 
should reach the besieged without having been censored by 
the Prussian authorities. The answer, sent by Mr. Wash- 
bume, showed a complete ignorance of the activities of the 
correspondents but a true estimate of the disesteem in which 
the French held British journalism. It was charged, he 
said, that the lugubrious papers were sent him by the Prus- 
sians in the hope that their bad news would discourage the 
besieged.* To avoid further complaints from the French 
and Prussians, he permitted himself to be deprived of the 
papers during the last two weeks of December, and when 
they made their reappearance in his bag he guarded them 
very strictly. 

Parisians must have had the optimism of Gambetta td 
have derived any aid and comfort from the Times. Ac- 
cording to Labouchere, they believed it was in the pay of 
Prussia, and, in official circulars, it was spoken of as the 
habitual organ of Count Bismarck's policy.* An English- 
man, writing from Paris, said that, had it been corporeal, 
it would have been mobbed and trampled on a thousand times 
for the cold sneers and taunts with which it derided the 
French. '* A bos le Times!" was a familiar cry in Paris be- 
fore the day came when all efforts were concentrated on the 
siege.* British phlegm was found harder to bear than Prus- 
sian broadsides. The service rendered the besieged by the 

* Wickham Hoffman, Camp, Court and Siege. 

'Letters of Bismarck and Washbume, Dec. 6, 12, 1870, Washhurne 
Correspondence during the Franco-German War, pp. 128-129. 

• Times, Oct. 19, 1870. 

*• All the Year Round, Sept. 17, 1870; Blanchard Jerrold, At Home 
in Paris, vol. ii, pp. 20-22. 



278 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [278 

Times' s " A'gony Column " was not sufficient to counteract 
the resentment felt at the paper's leaders. The journal of 
Printing House Square was no more discouraging than 
other of its contemporaries, but it was more irritating be- 
cause of its prestige, and for a certain puritannical twang 
with which it gave its advice/ Even the Standard, which 
in London was regarded as markedly pro-French, came in 
for censure. Certain news culled from it by the editor of 
La Verite by the aid of an American, caused the Journal 
OfficieP to denounce it, also, as "notoriously hostile to 
France." * Defeat had heightened sensibility. 

Whatever kindhness entered into the regard of the 
French for their pacific neighbours was engendered by 
gratitude for their benefactions. The great sums of money 
subscribed to the Red Cross through the efforts of Col. 
Lloyd Lindsay made possible the relief of hundreds of the 
sick and wounded.^ Within Paris itself, scores were aided 
by the generosity of Richard Wallace, to whom the fortune 
of the eccentric Lord Hertford had been bejqueathed.* 
From London money was forwarded by the French Bene- 
volent Society, the Ladies' Committee, and many organiza- 
tions that devoted themselves to the assistance of special 
groups. The journals were liberal of their space in solicit- 
ing aid for the sick and wounded, and in advertising charity 
bazaars and concerts. 

A fund receiving much publicity, was that sponsored by 
Lord Vernon to enable French agriculturists to prepare the 
next year s harvest. Its directors had the good fortune to 
secure the assistance, in their efforts, of the well beloved 
Pere Hyacinthe, who lectured for its benefit on the twen- 

» Bingham, op. cit., vol. ii, p. i47 ; Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 13, 1870. 
> Oxford Gradiuate, op. cit., pp. 1-3, 81-82. 
" Whitehurst, op. cit., p. 244. 
^Ibid., vol. ii, p. 231. 



2yg] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 279 

tieth of Decemiber in the Queen's Concert Rooms in Han- 
over Square. The News records that the pavements in 
front of the famous old Rooms were thronged for the best 
part of an hour, so that the scene resembled the entrance 
to the pit of a theatre on a first night. ^ At the stairs a 
phalanx of policemen mounted guard, and a hand-to-hand 
scramble took place between the men in blue and those in 
broadcloth. The Telegraph records that Victorian matrons 
forgot their decorum, and screamed, and plunged their stiff 
taffetas into the melee.* 

Those who won to the inside were well rewarded by the 
simple, earnest words of the excommunicated Carmelite. 
At a time when nationalism was running riot, he was able to 
speak of Germany without rancour and of France without 
undue laudation. He saw no inherent necessity for war. 
In spite of diversities of language, of temperament, of 
culture, he insisted that the essential unity of races under 
one common Father was still the natural and normal destiny. 
His own country, he believed, had offended in previous times, 
as Germany offended now, against that common sense which 
urged one to encourage, rather than resent, the strength 
and unity of neighbouring nations. As for the future of 
France, he could not believe that the mere possession of 
two provinces was so essential to her greatness that their 
loss would forfeit her high estate. Nor did he think their 
gain by Germany would be such surety against aggression 
as would derive from moderation. He had faith in the 
gratitude of nations. The two provinces, he said, should 
be left as a bond of union 'between two neighbours. They 
were the hand — almost he might say the heart — of Germany, 
reposing affectionately in the hand and heart of France.* 

^ Daily News, Dec. 21, 1870. 

* Daily Telegraph, Dec. 21, 1870. 

^Saturday Review, Dec. 24, 1870; Father Hyacinthe, Macmillan's 
Magazine, March, 1871, vol. xxiii, pp. 401 et seq.; Morning Post, Dec. 
21, 1870. 



28o BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [280 

There were some, no doubt, who went away from the 
crowded concert room to say their Christmas prayers for 
those '* in danger, necessity, and tribulation," with a truer 
sense of the cause of danger, and the necessity of prevent- 
ing it, and how best tribulation could be avoided. 

Among these, as well as among their fellows, who still 
saw darkly only into the immediate future, there was great 
fear of a bombardment. For the present, it meant hor- 
ror; for the future, still greater horror, — bred, as it would 
be, from mutual hate engendered by injustice given and re- 
ceived. " Paris' will not be besieged," the British had said, 
when the Prussians began their march to that capital. Such 
an event, said the Times, would be an anomaly in civiliza- 
tion, a catastrophe throughout Europe.^ The News de- 
clared that for Paris to offer itself to useless siege for the 
sake of a supposed point of honour would be as much an 
anachronism as for King William to bind the Emperor to 
his triumphal car.^ One of the editors of the Leed's Mer- 
cury was passionately angry that the French cut down the 
woods around the city, which might have afforded shelter td 
the enemy. He considered that they were destroying the 
property of the world from childish fear.^ When it was 
known that Paris was really invested, men comforted 
themselves that the siege would be brief.* They believed 
her walls would fall, like those of Jericho, at the first blast 
of the enemy's tnmipets. A few there were, like Edward 
Fitzgerald, who were even willing that the gay and carnival 
part of Paris should suffer, in order that the French might 
be reduced to sobriety while they rebuilt it.^ 

* Times, Aug. 26, 27, 1870; The Invasion of France, Quarterly Re- 
view, Jan., 1 87 1, pp. 122 et seq. 

^ Daily News, Aug. 25, 1870. 

' Memoirs of Sir Wemyss Reid, p. 167. 

* Economist, Sept 10, 1870. 

^Edward Fitzgerald, Letters and Literary Remains of, vol. ii, pp, 
302-303. 



28i] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 281 

When, week after week, the city still endured, they were 
reluctant in England to render her a meed of praise. 
" Paris throughout has been herself," they said, 

half drunk, half inspired, capable of any crime, of any heroism, 
no figure for the good to admire, yet always leaving the suggestion 
that in her wickedness, as in her greatness, there is a trace of a 
being who is in some mysterious way beyond or beneath the laws 
to which we mortals yield. ^ 

It was not until men knew hunger was taking toll in the city 
and that the end was not far off, that they ceased regarding 
it as the abstract of all the vices and the beauties. Then 
they took thought for the Parisians, and for the British that 
were within the gates. 

Bismarck was in a quandary — vexed at the city's obstin- 
acy and fearful to rouse indignation by resorting to a bom- 
bardment. The resistance of the provinces was daily mak- 
ing it more necessary to free for other work the two hun- 
dred thousand that invested it. According to Archibald 
Forbes, the German impression up to the middle of De- 
cember was that the siege would soon be over. Bismarck 
and von Mcltke had been decieved as to the store of pro- 
visions within the walls. They were eager to repair their 
miscalculations by a bombardment ; ^ but the Crown Prince 
and his staff, and the commander of the siege artillery, held 
to the early plan.* Their opinion, Bismarck believed, wasi 
due to a wretched regard for principles of humanity. 
" From London," he complained, " representations were 
received in our most influential circles to the effect that the 
capitulation of Paris might not be brought about by bom- 

* Spectator. 

' Archibald Forbes, My Experiences of the War between France and 
Germany, vol. ii, pp. 70-71. 

•Karl Abel, Letters on International Relations of 1870, vol. ii, pp. 
433-434- 



282 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [282 

bardment, but only by hunger." He was impatient of this) 
English " cant/' and frankly suspicious that it was a subter- 
fuge designed to rob him of the fruits of victory. Delay, 
he knew, was dangerous.^ 

The Examiner told the English that the German troops 
and people, too, were tired of war, tired of the monotony 
of the siege, tired of caring for the three hundred thousand 
prisoners that had to be provided for in German towns. 
They pitied Paris,^ but this did not prevent them from insist- 
ing that vigorous proceedings be taken against it. Even the 
University of Gottingen and other learned bodies, which 
Trinity College of Dublin appealed to, contented themselves 
with tincturing an unfavorable reply with piety. ^ They 
wanted the war to end. Bismarck wrote that he was tor- 
mented by the apprehension that Germany's interests might 
be severely injured through hesitation and delay. He was 
increasingly impatient of the " female influences," which set 
themselves against him; at the ladies of great courts, who 
glorified the English catchwords of humanity and civiliza- 
tion. He was con\'inced of the necessity of withstanding 
them, and settling with France before delay allowed the 
Neutrals to unite in an understanding on the forthcoming 
peace.* In attempting to avoid this eventually, he know he 
would have to resort to an expedient so unpopular that it 
might precipitate the very accord it was designed to pre- 
vent. It was alarmingly significant when Russell, whose 
Prussian sympathies had been well known, asked that hisi 
successor be sent out by the Times, so that he might return 
without witnessing the bombardment. He was induced to 
stay by Delane, who wrote, mysteriously, that he had been 

1 Bismarck, The Man and the Statesman, vol. ii, pp. 124-125. 
^ Examiner, Dec. 17, 1870. 

2 Spectator, Dec. 24, 1870. 

* Bismarck, The Man and the Statesman, vol. ii, pp. 113, 121. 



283] ANARCHIC DECEMBER 283 

assured from the beginning that the dreaded contingency 
would not take place. ^ 

Regard for British susceptibilities induced Bismarck to 
show himself very amenable in the affair of the colliers sunk 
off Duclair," and to delay bringing the siege guns into action 
until the flames had died away from Christmas puddings 
that decked the tables of London town. But on the twenty- 
sixth of December, the bombardment was begun of Mount 
Avron, an eminence on the east side of Paris ;^ and while 
the children in England were still clapping their hands at 
the pantomimes, their parents began to fear for the sixteen 
hundred British that were immured within the walls. Rus- 
sell, whom the King of Prussia had called the Minister of 
Public Opinion, realized that he had been tricked into con- 
tinuing to countenance the German operations through the 
deception practised on his chief. Like the good newspaper 
man that he was, he did not show himself disgruntled. But 
he was very tired of the " grand but uneasy atmosphere of 
Versailles; " tired of being pumped by Bismarck; of hearing 
his country sneered at by stripHng subalterns. More than 
ever, he was sure that when France went down, England 
would lose her only ally, — an ally whom she had much to 
forgive, and from whom she had much to endure, but who, 
after all, would have continued constant.* 

1 J. B. Atkins, Life of Sir W. H. Russell, vol. ii, p. 203. 
^Annual Register for 1871, vol. cxiii, p. 4. 

* Times, Dec. 30, 1870. 

* J. B. Atkins, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 227-228. 



CHAPTER XIV 
" Peace at Any Price " 

The British lion, in the early days of 1871, was in a 
most unenviable condition. Judy represented him as caged, 
and masked with the dolorous face of Gladstone. From 
without, he was being baited by Bismarck, who prodded him 
with the Berlin press, and by Russia, who had just flung at 
him a batch of treaties. Uncle Sam was shown waiting his 
turn to join in the torment by poking at him the Alabama 
Claims. The lion was gazing at some broken ships that lay 
in the comer of his cage. Someone had scratched from the 
wall the legend, " Dieu et mon Droit/' and substituted, 
"Shop Forever! " ^ That the lion was peacefully, if sadly, 
experiencing the safety provided by isolation, Ruskin de- 
clared was due to two bad reasons. The noble beast had not 
sense enough to determine in a great national quarrel which 
side was right, nor courage enough to defend the right, 
could he have discerned it, — " 'being on this first of Jan- 
uary, 1871, in much bodily fear; that is to say, afraid of the 
Russians, afraid of the Prussians, afraid of the Americans, 
afraid of the Hindoos, afraid of the Chinese, afraid of the 
Japanese, afraid of the New Zealanders, and afraid of the 
Caffirs." ^ 

Things having come to such a pass, the Dublin Mail could 
not confine its rebukes to Gladstone and Granville; for, 
though it viewed them as " poor, pusillanimous whipsters," 

3 Judy, Jan. 4, 1871. 

2 Ruskin, Complete Works, vol. xxvii, pp. 11-12. 

284 [284 



285 ] " PEACE A T ANY PRICE " 285 

it conceded that they did no more than show " the very age 
and body of the time." ^ The Quarterly, due to SaUsbury's 
influence, laid all the blame on the Ministry's policy of re- 
trenchment. It prophesied that, unless a change were made, 
the day would come when England would collapse as com- 
pletely as had France.^ The Court Journal accused the 
Government of having inculcated the principle of cowardice 
under the soft words of " peace at any price." ^ Even 
the Edinburgh, which had rendered much service in uphold- 
ing the Ministry's hands in times past, was giving warning 
that the destruction of French power would mean the loss of 
a large part of British influence on the Continent.* In the 
Times, passivity was rebuked by a statement that, with Paris 
actually under fire, one wise and good man of high pubHc 
character, if he spoke for a neutral nation, might yet be 
listened to by both belligerents. But nothing of this kind was 
excepted now from an Englishman. " You Englis'," said 
a well known Italian editor, '' You Englis' are so damn 
happy, you will do not'ing for nobody." ^ 

The British were very impatient that Gladstone's state- 
ment of the case for " Happy England " seemed in Europe 
to have been regarded as a national utterance. The Econ- 
omist voiced a common wish when it desired that, if the 
Government was committed to a policy of inactivity, it 
might still say something about the war that every one could 
make his own. It believed that if the public was given 
nothing more " magic and memorable," oflicially, than the 

* Dublin Evening Mail, Jan. 2, 1871. 

^Lessons of the War, Invasion of France, Quarterly Review, Jan., 
1871 ; cf. Economist, Jan. 28, 1871. 
' Court Journal, Jan. 7, 1871. 
^Edinburgh Review, Jan., 1871. 

* Letter of Versailles Correspondent, Jan. 9, 1871 ; Spectator, Jan. 17, 
1871. 



286 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [286 

phrases of Granville's despatches, the iCabinet would face 
the February sessioos with slight popular support. Itsi 
salvation lay only in the presumable weakness of the Op- 
position.^ The Spectator regretted that Gladstone did not 
yield to the popular demand by adding to his pacific Min- 
istry someone possessed of a more rugged resolution than 
was apparent among its present members. Bright' s resigna- 
tion late in Decemiber would have seemed to clear the way 
for this. But the opportunity was not approved. The 
transference to the Irish Secretaryship of Lord Harting- 
on, and the removal of Mr. Fortescue to the Board of Trade 
effected no such reformation as would ensure a strong war 
administration and a more Hberal sympathy in Foreign 
Affairs.^ England had ceased to preach sermons to France 
on the war's disasters, and was increasingly eager to apply 
its lessons to herself. But on the face of her diplomacy, 
the change was not apparent. 

On January the fourth, the bombardment of Paris was be- 
gun without notice to the besieged. The members of the 
Diplomatic Coirps within the city at once prepared a protest 
to Count Bismarck. It was observed that due notice should 
have been given of the intention to shell the city, so that 
diplomats and neutrals might have withdrawn, and the 
citizens have provided better protection for children and 
the sick. The Chancellor was asked to make some amendst 
for his precipitancy by permitting neutrals to place them- 
selves and their property in i safety.® The note went to 
Bismarck without the signature of any English official, — not 
even that of a vice-consul's under secretary, as Felix White- 
hurst put it.* Sir Edward Blount, who had been represent- 

^ Economist, Jan. 7, 1871. 
^Spectator, Jan. 7, 1871. 

' Bingham, Recollections of Paris, vol. i, pp. 299-300. 
* Whitehurst, My Private Diary during the Siege of Paris, vol. ii, p. 
231. 



287] "PEACE AT ANY PRICE" 287 

ing as best he could the many besieged EngHsh, regretted 
that he was placed in a false position by his lack of authority. 
The absence of England's signature, he said, had produced a 
painful effect/ On the twenty-third, when the Swiss Min- 
ister, acting for the Diplomatic Corps, sent a second com- 
munication to Bismarck, Sir Eld ward was still unable to 
give it England's sanction.^ Lyons had written to Gran- 
ville of his uneasiness for the English left in the place,^ but, 
no more from London than from Paris, was any representa- 
tion made on behalf of the immured British. 

Indignation over the bombardment and fear for the ex- 
patriates was heightened when news came to England that 
churches, schools, asylums, and hospitals were being made 
the particular targets of Prussian bullets. At first, Blount 
would not believe this, but soon his diary was saddened by 
notices of the damage done, — ^he came to believe inten- 
tionally, — on St. Sulpice, the Pitie Hospital, and the Par- 
thenon.* Fun, under the caption of "German Imperial 
Charity," presented a picture of bombs, which it described 
as " contributions to the hospitals, ambulance, etc, of 
Paris." * The Manchester Guardian, recalling the conduct 
of the invaders at Strasburg and Bazeilles, believed the 
slaughter of civilians in Paris was simply a further applica- 
tion of the system of terror that before had been found ef- 
ficacious.* 

On the second day of the bombardment, a meeting, large, 
and as the press described it " promiscuous " and ** miscellan- 

* Memoirs of Sir Edward Blount, p. 200. 

' Stowell and Munro, International Cases, vol. ii, pp. 112-114. 
« Newton, Lord Lyons, vol. i, pp. 356-357. 

^Memoirs of Sir Edward Blount, pp. 200-201; John Bull, Jan. 21, 
1871. 
^ Fun, Jan. 14, 1871. 

* Manchester Guardian, Jan. 16, 1871. 



288 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [288 

eous," was held in Cannon Street Hall, London, to urge 
on the Government the urgency of recognizing the French 
Repuiblic, and of giving it active support. Mr. Merriman, 
Sir Henry Hoare and others spoke, and aroused such en- 
thusiasm as to win hostile notice from the press. That 
the journals viewed the meeting askance was due to the 
belief that its organizers were animated, not so much by a 
too ardent sympathy, as by a desire to stir the working class 
to a demand for a republic in Great Britain.^ As a result, 
however, of the bellicose spirit of its resolutions, the Council 
of the Workingmen's National Peace Society issueld a 
series of questions that it advised each individual to ask 
himself before he should cast public vote in favour of war. 
John Ruskin was one of those who aided the Council in its 
endeavours.^ 

Another meeting was held on the same night at a hall in 
Old Street, and presided over by Charles Bradlaugh.^ 
Whatever British workingmen did under his leadership, 
was sure to be regarded even more suspiciously than what 
they might be induced to do by the advanced Liberals and 
the Comtists. The more active did such guidance as his 
appear to be, the more certain was it that the coming Par- 
liament would find neither party eager to give armed sup- 
port to France. There were many who were glad of this. 
John Stuart Mill was one. He regretted that the political 
leaders of the working classes had been led away by the 
Comtists and by the mere name of a republic into wishing to 
give armed support to a Government, which, he beheved, 
dreaded to face any popular representation. The peasantry, 
he thought, were being forced to fight through sheer fear of 

* Spectator, Standard, Daily Telegraph, Daily News, issues of Jan, 
7, 1871. 

"Ruskin, Complete Works, vol. xxviii, pp. 26-27. 

• Saturday Review, Jan. 7, 1871. 



289] " PEACE A T ANY PRICE " 289 

being punished by those who had elevated themselves to 
power/ 

But for France, irrespective of her Government, there was 
whole-hearted sympathy in all of England. On January the 
sixth, an artists' exhibition, held at the Suffolk Street Galler- 
ies, gave such an opportunity for a demonstration of friend- 
liness as did not exact a simultaneous confession of radical- 
ism. The art journals recorded that it was attended by 
much greater crowds than had gone to a previous exhibition 
held for the relief of destitute German orphans. The group 
of Pre-Raphaelities then prominent in England greatly 
admired the young artist, Henri Regnault, who had waived 
his exemption from service and within a fortnight was to 
keep a rendezvous with death. D'Aubigny, the friend of 
George Eliot, was in England at the time. Meissonier, the 
painter of battles; Gustave Dore; Victor Giraud, who had 
three salon prizes to his credit; the realist Courbet; Puvis 
de Chavannes, were some of those whose works enriched 
the exhibition. Even its catalogue now would prove en- 
thralling to connoisseurs. British artists very eagerly con- 
tributed their work, also, to assist France, and such collec- 
tors as the Duke of Wellington, the Marquis of Lansdowne, 
and Miss Burdett-^Coutts stripped their galleries of their 
dearest treasures to join with them. Towards the middle 
of the month, the Lord Mayor's Fund for the relief of the 
noncombatants in the environs of Paris afforded another in- 
nocuous method by which a respectable Briton could dis- 
creetly show his sympathy for France.* 

Irritation at Prussia was being augmented by certain 
verbal bombs which she let fly at England during the pro- 
gress of the seige. On January the sixth, the Times re- 

* Letters of John Stuart Mill, vol. ii, pp. 292 et seq. 

* Art, Pictorial and Industrial, Jan., 1871, pp. 152-153; Athenaeum, 
Jan. 7, 1871, p. 25; Times, Jan. 17, 1871. 



290 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [290 

ported that the Moniteur of Versailles, " a French journal 
possessed of a German spirit, and pursuing German endsi 
under a French disguise," announced that the only part left 
for England to play was that of effacing herself. In main- 
taining his contention, the writer examined critically the 
British military system and pronounced its condition quite 
hopeless. No matter how strongly the Tories of the Stand- 
ard and the Quarterly might have enunciated the same opin- 
ion, after they themselves had reviewed the mistakes of Mr. 
Cardwell, they lost their party attitude of criticism and be- 
came sputtering Britishers as soon as victorious foreigners 
sneered at their army. 

To still their resentment, the Times was informed very 
promptly that the irritating article had not possessed the 
official authority which its publication in the Moniteur had 
seemed to argue. ^ But that measurements were still being 
taken for John BulFs shroud, appeared from the fine plans 
for invasion which young officers were making at Versailles 
and Orleans.^ DisraeH, who believed it would be fatal for 
his party to adopt an anti-German policy, was fearful that 
his fellow Tories, in their zeal for repairing the country's 
defences, would be led to make a bogey of victorious Ger- 
many.^ David Urquhart, on the other hand, found a cer- 
tain satisfaction in the fact that Lord Derby busied himself 
with calculations as to the number of men von Moltke would 
need to conquer England. For a long time he had been 
preaching that Prussia was the agent with which Russia 
intended to avenge the Crimea.* The man of anomalies 
found himself at ease now that England, also, was suspicious. 

* Times, Jan. 12, 1871. 

' Daily Telegraph, Jan. 4, 1871 ; Invasion of France, Quarterly Re- 
view, Jan., 1871, pp. 122 et seq. 
^ Buckle, Life of Disraeli, vol. v. 

* Diplomatic Review, Jan., 1871. 



29 1 ] " PEACE AT ANY PRICE " 29I 

Day by day, the papers showed themselves more critical 
of Prussia's conduct. When German headquarters at 
Versailles misquoted an official French document in order to 
assert that the Provisional Government was offering a 
bounty to any imprisoned officer who would break his 
parole and escape, the Spectator branded the charge as a 
deliberate and dishonorable falsehood/ British papers re- 
printed the French offer, which specifically excepted from 
its provisions those officers who had made any sort of agree- 
ment with the Germans. When the accusation was later 
embodied in a circular and coupled with an attack on France 
for alleged breaches of the Geneva Conventions, it was again 
condemned as false by the British press, and the cited viola- 
tions against the Red Cross were discounted as being unac- 
companied by proof. Bismarck was criticised, moreover, 
for having couched his charges in insolent phrases that 
compared badly with the courteous tone of the Chaudordy 
Circular. " So far," said the Scotsman, *^ as the tone and 
tendency of Count Bismarck's dispatch can be regarded asl 
an indication of the national character of which he says so 
much, they would show the Germans incapable of any mercy 
towards those who might be under their feet." ^ 

A war correspondent of the News, while claiming that, 
as a rule, the French " religiously respected " the Geneva 
flag, admitted that there were too often grounds for their 
suspecting it when it flew from the German lines. For 
the French had found their adversaries full of tricks. One 
of these was to shelter their operations under its care. To* 
quote directly : " The chiefs of an army would not sanction 
such a use to it ; but an army is made up of units and com- 
panies .... and these units and small companies, when 
detached, will be found to possess in diverse degrees the 

^Spectator, Jan. 7, 1871. 

' Weekly Scotsman, Jan. 21, 1871. 



292 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [292 

sentiment of honour. Various detachments have been 
known to seek for success by unworthy wiles, as for ex- 
ample, by holding their muskets butt-end upwards, in sign 
of surrender, when they had no intention of surrendering 
.... and others have been known to shelter themselves 
from attack by hoisting the Red Cross on posts when they 
wished to make themselves comfortable." ^ 

C. Allanson Winn, who accompanied General von Goben's 
corps throughout the campaign and expressed in his early 
letters much admiration for the victors, wrote in January 
that the Prussian Army had greatly deteriorated, both in 
system and morale. It had come to conduct itself in a 
manner " worthy of the Imperialists of the Thirty Years 
War." Among other of his charges, he claimed that at 
Metz and other towns the Prussians had violated interna- 
tional law by compelling the civiHan inhabitants to con- 
struct rifle pits and earthworks.^ The more famous cor- 
respondent of the Times, Mr. Russell, wrote regretfully 
from Versailles of the inexplicable harshness of the German 
prefect there. M. Rameau, the mayor, who earlier in the 
war had been courteously received by Bismarck, had been 
placed in a cell in a common prison, where he was *' ill nearly 
to death." Three members of his Council had also been 
imprisoned. The charge was that they had refused to pay 
the fine imposed for their not having opened a store of 
groceries on a certain day. The supplies for the store, 
which had been bought in Germany, had not reached Ver- 
sailles, because the German authorities had refused to al- 
low them to be conveyed thither by the French railways. 
One could not make bricks without straw, observed the 
Spectator, even though ordered to do so by a German pre- 
fect.' 

^ Daily News, Jan. 16, 1871. 

» What I Saw of the War, Athenaeum, Jan. 7, 1871, pp. 11 et seq. 

'^Spectator, Jan. 7, 1871. 



293] "PEACE AT ANY PRICE" 293 

Another matter, which incurred the disfavour of the 
British, was the increasing confiscation of property (by 
" requisitions." An English doctor with the German army 
described it as a pretty way of borrowing without payment. 
The Bavarians, he said, by grace of it, swept the villages 
of everything. " They remind one always of a visitation of 
locusts. One meets them on the road to Paris with a 
couple of champagne bottles slung at each side. If one 
goes south there are more Bavarians, if one goes north, 
there they are again." ^ 

It was these accounts of the changed character of the 
German conduct that made the British very ready to 
laugh at the telegraphic news that Jicdy claimed to have in- 
tercepted for their enlightenment. Early in January, it 
published the following: 

" Today a short but violent attack of the enemy was made on 
the five hundredth division, which being reenforced by the Duke 
of Muckbigstuck with the nine hundredth division, captured the 
whole of the French Army of the Loire and other places, with the 
exception of one chasseur and a drummer boy, who have since 
entrenched themselves and now threaten our right wing. As yet 
they haven't done much. Providence with us, as usual." 

" The enemy violently attacked us yesterday in enormous force, 
but was victoriously repulsed by the two hundred and forty-ninth 
division of the Mucklehumburgers of the Guard, and pursued as 
far as the clouds, to which they had carried off their heavy artil- 
lery in balloons. A few thousand prisoners fell into our hands, 
together with three bottles of vin ordinaire and a corkscrew. Our 
losses are one spiked helmet and a coloured clay pipe. Providence 
is clearly on our side." 

But though Jicdy thus followed the policy of her con- 

* In the Field with the Prussians, Paris and the War, All the Yecfr 
Round, Jan. 14, 1871, on German reprisals. Cf. Humphrey Sandwith, 
The War and the Ambulance, Macmillan's Magazine, Nov., 1870, pp. 38 
et seq.; Archibald Forbes, My Experience of the War between France 
and Germany, p. 259 ; Temple Bar, Sept. 5, 1870 ; Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871. 



294 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [294 

temporaries, Punch and Fun^ in transferring her sympathy 
to France, and a change in the leaders of the more serious 
papers was easily noticeable, it must not be supposed that 
Germany was left without sympathizers. That country's 
defenders were many, and they were strengthened at this 
time by Bismarck's admirable attitude in the matter of the 
Duclair incident. On January the ninth, the Foreign Office 
was reassured by a communication from the Chancellor which 
admitted the claim of the British ship owners to indemnifica- 
tion, and promised to reimburse them as soon as their losses 
could be equitably estimated.^ From Versailles, Odo Rus- 
sell wrote that Bismarck had gracefully waived the question 
of the merits of the case, because he valued the friendship 
and good will of England too highly to endanger it by ac- 
cepting the exonerating decision of his law officers.^ The 
Spectator was happy to find that he had shown himself so 
reasonable in the matter and regretted that many bellicose 
British had attempted to use a petty incident to coerce the 
Government into a change of policy. The Saturday Review^ 
praised the Count's despatch for its courtesy and found its 
content perfectly satisfactory to the British claims.^ 

This display of amenity on the part of Bismarck may have 
tempered, somewhat, the reception that was accorded to 
certain efforts made at this time to regain sympathy by a 
restatement of the German case. The Fortnightly Review, 
then current, contained noteworthy articles by Professor von 
Sybel and Karl Blind, both of whom attempted to show that 
German supremacy would, truly, be an advantage to Europe. 
The News was sceptical. It saw more groimds for hope in 

* Bismarck to Berastorff, Jan. 8, 1871 ; Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxii, 
p. 5. 

*Odo Russell to Granville, Jan. 8, 1871 ; ihid., vol. Ixxi, p. 6. Cf. 
Stowell and Munro, International Cases, vol. ii, pp. 548-549- 

2 Issues of Jan. 14, 1871. 



295] "PEACE AT ANY PRICE" 295 

the French RepubHc, now battling so valiantly, than it did 
in the prospective German Empire. The first could only per- 
plex despotic monarchs with a fear of change; the second 
might be expected to sit like a nightmare on the liberal 
aspirations of the world/ 

Of more importance than the articles in magazines, was 
a pamphlet collection of letters on the war by Mommsen, 
Strauss, Max Miiller, and Carlyle.^ It was not new mater- 
ial. The letters of Carlyle already had been widely com- 
mented on, as had those written by Professor Miiller in his 
controversy with the famous " Scrutator," Coimt Gasparin. 
But their appearance within the same cover afforded a very 
valuable and succinct statement of the German case. The 
Daily Telegraph summed up their joint pleadings as falling 
under the heads of ethical, strategical, and penal arguments 
for the rightness of success. As for the ethical reason for 
the transfer of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, the Tele- 
graph declared that plain English common sense, uninspired 
by the ultra-Kantish mysticism of modem Germany, could 
not understand the sacredness, or even the logic, of the 
" obligation " which the conquerors claimed impelled them 
to annex a population so passionately French as to show a 
murderous antipathy for its self-appointed benefactors. In 
regard to the strategic argument, the Telegraph submitted 
that it had been greatly weakened by the creation of a power- 
ful Teutonic state, and urged that German strategists, in 
conjunction with neutrals, direct the Empire to a readjust- 
ment of its claims. The punitive argument was dismissed as 
representing a vindictiveness incompatible with civilization. 
Nor could her claims in this respect be salutary for herself. 
A permanent humiliation, the Telegraph believed, would be 

» Daily News, Jan. 5, 1871. 

» T. Mommsen, D. F. Strauss, F. iMax Miiller, T. Carlyle, Letters on 
the War between Germany and France (London, 1871). 



296 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [296 

a perpetual provocation to hostility, rather than a guarantee 
of peace/ 

The fact that arguments which could not be esteemed by 
the English were thus presented by Germans, from whom 
the most exalted opinions were expected, was dishearten- 
ing. George Eliot wrote that she was pained to find the 
educated voices had not a higher moral tone about national 
and international duties and prospects. But then, she ad- 
ded, no people can carry on a long war without being brutal- 
ized by it.^ Meredith, too, noted the dangerous exaltation 
of Germany's defenders. "One smells," he said, "the 
cognac of victo'ry." He admired the German at all times, 
but he admired France, too, and never more than in defeat.* 
The Fortnightly, that carried von Sybl's defence of the 
Fatherland, was enriched by a soaring ode in which Meredith 
praised the unconquerable spirit of France.* 

A fugitive, but not inaccurate, gage O'f public opinion 
during this month was afforded by the activities of Parlia- 
mentarians in the provinces. It behooved honourable mem- 
bers, even more than it did editors, to show a meticulous! 
regard for the public's sympathies. The near approach of 
the sessions was a stimulus, too', to all those ex-officio 
orators who were accustomed to speak with excessive shrill- 
ness and persistence because they knew they must remain 
without the walls. A notable meeting, held on the tenth 
at St. James's Hall, afforded an auspicious opportunity for 
speakers to outline for aJbsent Parliamentarians the course 
that they were desired to pursue. It was organized by a 
few Positivists and their political allies, without the aid of a 

* Daily Telegraph, Jan. 28, 1871. 

^George Eliot, Complete Works (Life and Letters), p. 555. 

• Meredith to Capt. Maxse, Jan. 3, 187 1, Letters of George Meredith^ 
vol. i, p. 222. 

^iMeredith, France, 1870, Fortnightly, Jan. i, 1871, vol. xv, pp. 87-94. 



297] "PEACE AT ANY PRICE" 297 

single member from either House. Professor Beesly was 
the chairman. Among the speakers were Captain Maxse 
(who served Meredith for the hero of Beauchamp's Career) , 
and Sir William Marriott — ^^both of whom were looking out 
for Radical seats; Mr. Bradlaugh, who later occupied one 
after a spirited physical and legal contest with those mem- 
bers that were unwilling to admit an atheist; Mr. Odger, 
whom the papers described as a professional agitator; and 
Mr. Frederic Harrison, whose Bismarckism, reprinted in 
pamphlet form, was having a tremendous sale. 

" The meeting," according to Harrison's Memoirs, " wag 
as hotly bellicose as could be imagined." The hall wa^ 
crowded, and the audience contested with the speakers the 
privilege of being vociferous. It was resolved that the Gov- 
ernment should be urged to ascertain from Germany the 
terms on which peace could be made ; and that, in the event 
that a cession of French territory was demanded, England 
should call on the neutral Powers to join with her in re- 
sisting it. An attempt was made by some of the more 
pacific to amend the motion by declaring against interven- 
tion. But this was shouted down. No one dared to of- 
fer for consideration the printed list of proposals that had 
been prepared by the Peace Party. Every allusion to Re- 
publicanism was cheered to the echo, and Gladstone wad 
condemned in forceful language for having failed to re- 
cognize the Government of France.^ 

The ardour of the meeting proved alarming to the Bri- 
tish press. In an attempt at comfort, the Globe maintained 
that though the hall was crowded, it still had held only " a 
minute proportion of the worldngmen of London," and that 
the " better class " of this substratum of British society had 
remained away. ^ The Spectator believed that the ambition 

^Examiner, Jan. 14, 1871 ; Times, Jan. 11, 1871 ; Frederic Harrison, 
Autobiographic Memoirs, vol. ii, p. 15. 
" Globe and Traveller, Jan. 12, 1871. 



298 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [298 

of the friends of France to influence the Government had 
o'erleaped itself to its own injury. The Economist, after an 
elaborate analysis of the condition of public opinion, de-r 
nounced the meeting as being misrepresentative of the 
wishes of the majority. " Nobody could think for a mom- 
ent," it declared, " that Professor Beesly, and Mr. Frederic 
Harrison, and Mr. Congreve are in any sense exponents 
of a large section of English society. So far as we have 
any knowledge of the middle class, we should say that these 
gentlemen's sympathies are often a very fair measure of the 
antipathies of the greater portion of that class.'' They 
were rather, thought the Economist, the exponents of the 
agitators among the trades unions, and of that political sec- 
tion of the working class which the last election had shown 
to be small. ^ 'But even those journals that depreciated the 
importance of the meeting at St. James's Hall were willing 
to make of the occasion a text for a discourse to the Min- 
istry on its unpopularity. Such meetings as this, they said, 
would have provided a valuable lesson for any premier 
capable of rising to the conception of a foreign policy. 
Gladstone was not such a one. He was a chairman of a 
vestry grown to colossal proportions, and could not change 
his qualities.^ 

A meeting of the Prime Minister's constituents, held at 
Greenwich at about the same time as the London meeting, 
gave evidence, more startling, of the discontent he had 
aroused. Resolutions were prepared and read, declaring 
that the electors had ceased to have confidence either in his 
home or his foreign policy, and demanding a restoration of 
that parliamentary trust, which in an *' unguarded and evil 
hour," had been committed to his care. Such confusion 
resulted that the resolutions could not be submitted to a vote. 

* Spectator and Economist, issues of Jan. 14, 1871. 
=»Jan. 28, 1871; Standard, Jan. 12, 1871. 



299] " PEACE A T ANY PRICE " 299 

A show of hands, however, was accepted as an indication 
that Greenwich was still willing to be represented by the 
Prime Minister, and the meeting was hastily adjourned. 
Such public evidence of dissatisfaction among the consti- 
tuency that two years before had chosen him its representa- 
tive, certainly, did nothing to fortify his waning power.^ 

The explanation given was that the meeting had been 
swayed by a local grievance, incidental to the policy of 
isolation and disarmament. Among the dockyards closed by 
the First Lord of the admiralty had been the one at Deptford, 
which had given much employment to the citizens of Green- 
wich. Discontent at the resulting hardships had been keen,^ 
and Mr. Gladstone had not chosen to allay it by following the 
example of lesser Parliamentarians, who courted their consti- 
tuents with seasonable speeches. He had disregarded, alike, 
the power of words and the influence of the pocket book. 
Not until the coming sessions could the mistake be repaired. 
Edward Bulwer, in a letter to his son, recorded that the Gov- 
ernment was " terribly out of favour with all parties, and 
Gladstone distrusted and almost despised." He believed, 
however, that when Parliament opened, a few speeches 
might bolster up the Cabinet until those dampers, the taxes, 
could moderate the growing ardour for defense and Euro- 
pean prestige.* 

Sir Charles Dilke was winning applause at Chelsea by 
scoring the Government for withholding recognition from 
the French Republic, and for doing nothing to prevent the 
loss of territory.* The Member for Bradford, Mr. For- 

^ Sounders', Jan. 11; Economist, Jan. 21, 1871. 

'Spencer Walpole, History of Twenty-five Years, vol. ii, pp. 117-118. 

' Bulwer to Owen Meredith, Jan. 29, 1871, second Earl of Lytton, 
Life, Letters, and Literary Remains of Edward Bulwer, First Lord 
Lytton (N. Y., 1883), vol. ii, p. 477. 

* Spectator, Jan. 14, 1871. 



300 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [300 

ster, was treated to a vehement manifestation of discon- 
tent when he endeavoured a defence of the Governmental 
policy.^ Sir Henry Hoare, however, on attempting to win 
in the provinces that agreement to an active French aUiance, 
which he had often heard acclaimed in London, was forced 
to acknowledge a failure.^ The critics of the Government, 
when they ranged afield, missed the support of pauperism, 
that in the capital provided a second for any motion ex- 
pressing discontent and giving promise of employment. 

Mr. Bradlaugh, and Mr. Odger, before audiences which 
the Times described as made up of the class that followed 
them, continued to protest, ad libitum, against the pro- Prus- 
sian tendency of the Government and sometimes adjourned 
their meetings with loud groans for the German Army, the 
King, and Count Bismarck.^ The Catechism for Interven- 
tion was well thumbed in the Capital, in spite of the activi-^ 
ties of the MetropoHtan Peace Party;* and those whoi 
quoted it had the satisfaction of seeing their attempts at 
oratory treated with unaccustomed respect by Tory papers.'* 
Liberals were alarmed at the widening breach between the 
Government and the Radicals.^ They were convinced that 
the alHance could last no longer than the period of tension 
which was being caused by an exceptional situation. But 
the matter was particularly regrettable because diplomats 
were expected soon to assemble for the discussion of the 
Black Sea matter. It was hoped that while their sessions 
were in progress there would occur no flagrant indication 
of the Government's unpopularity. 

* Manchester Guardian, Jan. 18, 1871 ; Spectator, Jan. 21, 1871. 

* Spectator, Jan. 14, 1871. 

* Times, Jan. 13, 1871. 

* The Mail, Jan. 13, 1871. 

^ Cf. Weekly Scotsman, Jan. 14, 1871. 

* Globe and Traveller, Jan. 5, 1871. 



30I ] " PEACE AT ANY PRICE " 3OI 

Fortunately for the Liberals, the event of the Conference 
provided such a test for the new political alliance as they 
had longed for. It had been extensively remarked that 
Conservatives' sympathy had been much strained, because 
their new aUies in the demand for a policy of increased 
armament and active intervention were even more vocifer- 
ous in their enthusiasm for republicanism. Trouble was 
foreseen when it became rumoured in London that Jules 
Favre, who more than anyone at that time was representa- 
tive of this principle, would represent France at the Con- 
ference. M. Favre, as delegate of France, would have been 
welcomed by the Tories right heartily; M. Favre, as the 
exponent of those theories with which former French Re- 
publics had alarmed their neighbors, might be expected to 
carry in his brief case the bomb of international revolution. 
The Trades Unions and the great Benefit Societies formed 
the project of welcoming him by a tremendous ovation. 
According to the Spectator, it appeared that the reception 
was to be as imposing and spectacular as a former one ten- 
dered to Garibaldi.^ The Irish were to turn out to a man. 
In every possible way the demonstrators were to ©xpressl 
their sympathy for France and their indignation that its! 
Government had not been recognized. The " Jules Favre 
Demonstration Committee " planned incessantly, and its 
work was detailed to meetings that expressed approval by 
liberal subscriptions. There was a certain flamboyance 
about the project that caused Conservatives to shake their 
heads. In the procession Mr. Odger was arranging, there 
was to be carried a Union Jack muddied with foot-prints to 
recall the insults that were supposed to have been put upon it 
at Duclair. Close by was to be carried a legend, describing 
it as *' the flag that braved a thousand years," and another, 

^Spectator, Jan. 14, 1871. 



302 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [302 

with the declaration that " Britannia rules the waves." In 
the vanguard were to march uniformed Volunteers, to show 
that it was through no want of enthusiasm in the army that 
England held aloof/ But the Government decisively vetoed 
this last plan and ignored the protests that Volunteers 
should enjoy civilians' rights except when the country was 
about to be invaded.^ 

In spite of these ffinely elaborated plans, there was no 
parade on the appointed day. The seventeenth of January 
saw diplomats from Prussia, Austria, Turkey, Italy, and 
Russia quietly make their way to the Conference, but the 
representative of France was conspicuously absent. It was 
said that though Jules Favre had accepted the commission 
of the Bordeaux Government to represent France, he found 
that, at the moment, it would be inexpedient to quit the side 
of General Trochu. Under the circumstances, the Confer- 
ence was adjourned for a week, after having declared that a 
treaty, contracted collectively, could not be abrogated ex- 
cept by the collective consent of the signatories. * Mr. 
Odger and Mr. Merriman, with a few others, met disconiol- 
ately in the French Minister's committee room and entrusted 
an address to the editor of La Liberie, which, on hisi 
return to France, he was to use to induce Favre to hasten^ 
over.* 

The public welcome to the French apostle of republican- 
ism was indefinitely postponed. But on the following day, 
the King of Prussia became German Emperor and was 
speedily felicitated on his new honour by Great Britain'^ 

^National Reformer, Jan. 15, 1871 ; Manchester Guardian, Jan. 12, 
1871 ; Judy, Jan. 18, 1871 ; Daily Telegraph, Jan. 19, 1871. 

^ Volunteer Service Gazette, Jan. 28, 1871 ; Times, Jan. 18, 1871. 

'Hertskt, Map of Europe hy Treaty, vol. iii, p. 1904; Morley, Life 
of Gladstone, vol. ii, p. 35^. 

* Times, Jan. 19, 1871. 



303] "PEACE AT ANY PRICE" 303 

Queen. It cannot be said that the haste of the Royal con- 
gratulations was in any way indicative of British opinion on 
the ceremony that took place in the Hall of Mirrors at 
Versailles. From first to last, England showed herself dis- 
gruntled. The title of Kaiser recalled to her memories of 
absolute government and aggressive war.^ " Names ex- 
press things," observed the Saturday Review, " the revived 
German Empire is the index of great changes which have 
already happened and it probably points the way to changes 
of equal magnitude to come." His title was conferred on 
the uniformed monarch by another king, also in uniform, 
and in the miidst of victorious generals. " Thou hast it 
now," chanted the News, " * King, Cawdor, Glamis, all ' — • 
King of an enlarged Prussia, President of the North Ger- 
man Confederation, Emperor of Germany .... We are 
willing to hope that a future better, if less brilliant and ad- 
venturous than her past, awaits the Prussian nation." It 
was fearful, however, that the successes of the present cam- 
paign might serve to fortify that military element in Prus- 
sia, which for centuries had outweighed the interests of 
the civilian.® 

To be sure, the new Emperor, sketched a gracious pro- 
gramme for Germany to carry out under the shadow of his 
throne. " The new German Empire," said William I, 
" will, I hope, be an empire of peace." His wish read like a 
mockery to the Guardian, that compared it with rumoured 
conditions of a peace which would be the equivalent of a 
proclamation of perpetual war with France.* The Tablet, 
too, after noticing the cause given France and Austria to 
plan for revenge, and the alarm England was beginning to 

^Manchester Guardian, Dec. 9, 1870. 

* Saturday Review, Dec. 17, 1870. 
» Daily News, Dec 8, 1870. 

* Manchester Guardian, Jan. 17, 1871. 



304 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [304 

feel over an invasion, could not see on the political horizon 
those fair visions of an abiding peace that seemed to have 
inspired his message/ The fear of the military strength of 
Prussia, prophesied the Newcastle Chronicle^ for years to 
come would arrest the: pacific development essential to 
Europe's prosperity.^ Tradition belied the Emperor's 
promiises. He was one of that house which had for its ideal 
the organization of a state into an armed camp. What his 
line had done for Prussia, it was feared, it would do now' 
for all Germany. " Prussia is by no means the noblest of 
nations," said the Globe. 

She has not a notion of what is meant by tme political life. Her 
ideal man is a soldier. The Government may trample on the 
Constitution, but what is that to the meek citizen? After all, the 
Constitution is the gift of the Crown. The state is everything 
and the individual nothing.^ 

Since the sovereign was supposed to body forth the state 
for mortal man, — since even the great Bismarck prided him- 
self on rendering him feudal fealty, the character of Wil- 
liam I was of the greatest interest to the British. Vanity Fair 
presented its readers with a startling cartoon of the man, 
who had just been proclaimed Emperor, " by the grace of 
Krupp." He was represented as seated at dinner, — a. 
gargantuan figure in a bemedalled uniform. Propped on 
the table were a huge fork and knife bearing the legend, 
"Bismarck Fab." Red wine had spilled from his glass' 
on the white table linen. A bottle of " Rhin " was at his 
right hand, and servitors bearing salvers heaped with money 
bags ascended to the table on long ladders. The sketch of 
the Emperor's career, which accompanied the picture, ex- 

1 Tablet, Jan. 21, 1871. 

'Newcastle Daily Chronicle, Jan. 14, 1871. 

' Globe and Traveller, Dec. 28, 1870. 



305] "PEACE AT ANY PRICE" 305 

ceeded in its abuse even the vehement Standard. He wasi 
described as resembling a domesticated tiger, which once 
having tasted blood, still longed for more. Scheswig- 
Holstein, Saxony, and Hesse were named as the victims he 
had devoured to create a zest for the banquet at Versailles. 
He waited greedily for the destruction of Paris, but piously, 
withal. For piety, said Vanity Fair, was one of the most 
remarkable elements in his character. He believed that 
the Almighty preferred needle guns to chassepots. Uhlans to 
Zouaves, Germans to French, Prussians to Germans, and the 
King of Prussia — as his choicest instrument — to all the 
world. ^ J tidy depicted him as catching up his imperial 
robes to run away with the plundered jewel casket of 
Alsace-Lorraine. He could do this and whatever else he 
pleased, said Judy. 

" Because, you see, 'twas understood 
He was so very, very good — 
He had no fear of Nemesis." 2 

If fierce barbarity, reckless waste of life and vandalism 
were the claims to the title of high and mighty Emperor, 
the Belfast Examiner conceded that the right of the pious 
and hypocritical William was unquestionable.^ 

More temperate estimates of the Emperor did appear, but 
sparsely. The Economist compared him very cleverly with 
Wellington, as the Iron Duke had appeared during the long 
peace : " a very efficient officer — ^not general — of Tory opin- 
ions, whose self esteem has been a good deal raised by suc- 
cess, and who judges of policy by a narrow, though honest 
code, — ^the visible and immediate interest of the country 
he governs." * But tolerance never went so far as to allow 

* Vanity Fair, Jan. 7, 1871. 
*/«rfy, Feb. 8, 1871. 

* Belfast Examiner, Jan. 23, 1871. 

* Economist, Jan. 21, 1871. V 



3o6 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [306 

a eulogy. lAt the most, it was only admitted that the future 
might modify the current distrust. 

England, having been distracted for the moment by the 
Imperial coronation, returned to her own affairs the more 
eagerly, because the distraction had 'been an unpleasant one. 
Within the interim of the meetings of the Conference, 
politicians, by their speech-making, continued to give a 
fair index of the views that were held on British policy. 
One of these was Mr. Otway, an under secretary in Gran- 
ville's Department, who had resigned his office on account 
of the strong opinions he held on the Government's paci- 
fism. His resignation, says Sir 'Charles Dilke, had fallen 
flat ^ and he went to Chatham to explain his course to his 
constituents. In his speech there, he condemned Bismarck 
for the bombardment of Paris and for a brutality of speech 
which would not be forgiven while the Seine and Rhine 
should flow. In regard to his own resignation, he intimated 
that it had been offered as a protest against the timorous 
policy of Ministers, who believed England had fallen so low 
that, even in conjunction with Italy and Austria, she would 
be held of no account.* 

At Manchester, Mr. Jacob Bright told his electors that no 
pretext should induce England to adopt a policy of inter- 
meddling. Whatever might occur, he, for one, would not 
be tempted, whether in defense of treaties or anything else, 
to depart from the course which the Cabinet was now pur- 
suing. Men might say what they would of this policy, as 
being mean and selfish, but he defied them to show that any 
benefit for the world had ever come from a contrary course. 
The Member for Leeds, Mr. Baines, confined his recommen- 
dations of pacifism more strictly to the matter in hand. 
He hoped that the Government would use all friendly meansi 

1 Gwynn and Tuckwell, Life of Sir Chas. Dilke, vol. ii, p. 121. 
* Spectator, Jan. 21, 1871. 



307] "PEACE AT ANY PRICE" 307 

of bringing the war to a close, but would, on no account, 
suffer England to be drawn into it.^ Mr. Samuel Morley, 
who had been selected to second the Address to the Throne, 
was another of those who favoured their constituents with 
soft, pacific utterance. He went so far as to commend the 
German demand for Alsace and Lorraine, on the ground 
that the annexation would be a guarantee for peace. His 
colleague for Bristol, who disagreed with this opinion, waSI 
at one with him in approving the policy of non-intervention. 
While these speeches were being made in the provinces, 
negotiations were carried on for the representation of 
France at the next meeting of the Conference. The French 
Government was insistent that the question of the war and 
the position of their country should be discussed at the 
Council Board. Granville opposed their insistence very 
firmly. He seemed more than ever fearful of offending the 
new Imperator. For whereas, in the previous month he 
had shown himself eager to secure the presence of the 
French, he gave no vigorous support to Favre's request for 
a safe conduct.' This complaisance was agreeable, indeed, 
to Bismarck. If his memoirs can be trusted, the Chan- 
cellor was fearful that a delegate from France might suc- 
ceed, after the manner of Talleyrand, in grafting extraneous 
and troublesome questions upon the official programme of 
discussions.* Undoubtedly, Bismarck's manipulations td 
prevent this were suspected in London. A leader of the 
Globe on the twenty-third had this to say : 

But one judgment can be pronounced on the refusal of Count 
Bismarck to grant the French Minister a safe conduct to England. 

1 Spectator, Jan. 21, 1871. 

^Annual Register for 1871, vol. cxii, p. 7; cf. Morley, Life of Glad- 
stone, vol. ii, p. 356. 

* Bismarck* s Souvenirs, vol. ii, p. 374; Invasion of France, Quarterly 
Review, Jan., 1871, pp. 122 et seq. 



3o8 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [308 

Anything more absurd than the argument by which Bismarck 
supports his decision could not easily be found among the eccen- 
tricities of sophistry. . ' . . If Count Bismarck holds that the 
Committee of National Defense is sufficiently empowered to sur- 
render national territory into his hands, on what principle does he 
refuse to allow the admitted representative of that body — the very 
man with whom he has previously treated — the facilities necessary 
for his appearance as the representative of France at a Conference 
where it is conceded France must be represented ? 

The men who had planned the rather spectacular recep- 
tion for Jules Favre had to content themselves with a pro- 
test meeting in Trafalgar Square the night before the recon- 
vening of the Conference. As the reporter of the Times 
saw it, a very large crowd stood for two hours in a storm of 
wind and rain, listening to bitter denunciations of the gov- 
erning class of Prussia and Great Britain. Costermongers' 
" flamers " struggled with the wet darkness, and the flags 
of fifteen nations flapped dankly against their standard poles. 
From the foot of Nelson's monument, Odger protested that, 
though the English working class had held meeting after 
meeting, and had called upon the Government time after 
time to intervene, they had been as little heeded as if they 
had inhabited the antipodes. He named again the reasons 
that appeared so potent for British interference, and, when 
he had concluded, the crowd voted resolutions of sympathy 
and indignation. The motion embodying them was pro- 
posed by an Irishman and seconded by a German.^ 

With that strange inconsistence which often appears in 
reputable journals between editorial and reportorial state- 
ments, the British public was reassured on another page of 
the Times as to the meeting's little importance. Some few 
hundred people " clustered loosely " at Nelson's monument, 
it was admitted, but only the deceptive darkness made it ap- 
pear that they were in unanimity with the speakers. '' The 

^ Times, Jan. 24, 187 1, p. 5. 



309] " PEACE AT ANY PRICE " 309 

only thing grand in the demonstration was the attitude of 
Sir Edwin Landseer's lions, in no inept representation of the 
feelings of the British lion himself towards those who were 
usurping his name and authority." ^ In the Saturday Re- 
view, the affair was described as a mob meeting, promoted 
by the organizers of half a dozen revolutionary clubs which 
occupied themselves with schemes for the overthrow of 
the monarchy and for the general division of property. 
Very frankly it acknowledged that England would have 
welcomed the loss of all the speakers at Trafalgar Square 
and nine tenths of their audience.^ 

Foreign diplomats, by these editorial utterances, were 
given to understand that there existed in England only 
sweet concord, and that any raucous shoutings which might 
have disturbed their slumber came only from such 
professional malcontents as cumber all great capitals. 
The Conference reassembled on the day following this 
mooted demonstration, and with much peace and amity re- 
cognized the King of Prussia's new title of German Em- 
peror. This service rendered, the diplomats adjourned to 
reconvene in February, when it was hoped Providence 
might so order it that an appropriate representative from 
France be added to their number.^ 

Providence, that portion of it which is German, was 
doing the very best it could in this regard. Continued 
French defeats and the discontent in the capital, which had 
broken out in a radical disturbance a day or two before, had 
so worked upon the Paris Government that the twenty- 
fourth of January fotmd Favre, not in London, but at 
Versailles. He was negotiating there for such an armistice 
as would permit the constitution of a Government whose re- 
presentatives could go forth freely in thei odor of legal 
sanctity. 

^ Ibid., Jan. 24, 1871, p. 9. 

' Saturday Review, Jan. 28, 1871. 



CHAPTER XV 
The Armistice 

While the British awaited the capitulation of Paris, they 
speculated with much anxiety on the terms that might be 
won from Bismarck. For it was recognized with distinct 
misgivings that their determination would rest, not with 
the Emperor, but with his Chancellor. In England a card 
game was in vogue called '' Benedetti," — ^the rules of which 
amusingly indicate the estimation then current of the great 
Prussian's diplomatic value. He was represented by the 
knave of clubs, and, in scoring, it Was declared '' Bismarck " 
could take any card at any time. Moreover, if the dealer had 
the good fortune to turn " Bismarck " as a trump, he was 
privileged to score himself a generous number of points.^ 

This belief that it was the Chancellor who would shape 
conditions at Versailles and influence them thereafter, 
caused the British to couple with their fear for France a 
corresponding discontent with their own inactivity. A very 
clear index of their feelings appeared in the tremendous' 
vogue of a little pamphlet called The Fight at Dame Euro- 
pa's School. It was written by William Henry Pullen, a 
Minor Canon of Salisbury, and published by him, after it 
had been rejected by several publishers. So great was its 
popularity that, late in February, its sales had totalled two 
hundred thousand copies. The reason that the Minor 
Canon was so generously reimbursed was that he had given 
expression clearly and exactly to the public feeling of the 
moment. " There is nothing,'' says Goethe, " in which 

1 Colhurn's New Monthly Magazine, Dec, 1870, vol. cxlvii, pp. 714 
et seq. 

310 [310 



3 1 1 ] THE ARMISTICE 3 1 1 

people more betray their character than in what they find 
to laugh at." The amusement that this slim pamphlet ex- 
cited appears to have been a sort of Freudian disguise for an 
inhibited pugnacity. 

Dame Europa's school is described as being made up of 
boys of every size and character. The Five Great Powers 
have been appointed by the Dame to assist her as monitors. 
Of these, two, Louis and John, appear as close friends. 
Louis had made himself a garden and a little arbour, in 
which John sometimes took his pleasure, when he had tired 
of the dirt and litter of his workshop. William, another of 
the Monitors, is jealous of their happiness, and plans to steal 
two flower-beds from the garden. He is encouraged by 
his fag, one Mark, who tells him John will not help Louis, 
because he cares only for making things to sell the other 
boys. William is a bit of a humbug who reads the Testa- 
ment and sings psalms, while he lets Mark provoke Louis 
into a quarrel. After the first bout, he writes home on a 
postcard that, aided by Providence, he has hit the little 
French boy in the eyes and is marvellously satisfied with the 
events Heaven has thus brought about. 

Billy, John's head fag, and Bobby, who keeps his ac- 
counts, persuade him into being a neutral, though he says 
he hates the word. So he contents himself with binding 
little Louis' wounds between the rounds. Dame Europa, 
when she hears the fight has been continued because John 
chose to be a neutral, is very angry. She says neutrality is 
cowardice, and that one must take sides. The other boys 
, tell her John did take sides, — ^that he " sucked up to both." 
In the end the Dame lets him keep his office, but she gives 
him a sound wigging. If Ben and Hugh had been his fags, 
she thinks the disgraceful affair would never have taken 
place. She reminds him that there was a time when he had 
only to hold up his finger to make the whole school tremble. 



3 1 2 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [312 

and regrets that he has grown a sloven and a screw. " Take 
care," she warns, " that WiUiam does not get a footing in 
the river and some fine morning take your pretty island by 
surprise." She is ashamed that John has boasted of bravery 
and power, and when the time came for exercising them, has 
whined out that he didn't exactly see how it could be done. 
Louis' wounds, for a long time, will bear witness to the 
futility of having had a neutral friend, who would do 
nothing to stay a storm of cruel, savage blows. ^ 

The brochure was not in the class of the political satires 
of Swift and Thackeray, but it hit the nail on the head with 
a good sound blow. One is not surprised that it called forth 
a host of imitators. By March the scholastic allegory seems 
to have pushed its popularity too far. Dame Europa, ac- 
cording to the Graphic, had brought forth such a multitudi- 
nous progeny that England had grown weary of them.^ 
But the initial sale of the original pamphlet gives justifica- 
tion to Frederic Harrison's claim that, could the war have 
been continued some months longer, public opinion would 
have forced Gladstone to abandon his policy of " hesitating 
impotence." * 

The Ministry was being scored for its creeping paralysis 
and dubbed a company of lotos-eaters, but its detractors 
found it difficult to change the unanimity of abuse into un- 
animous approval of any single course of action. Through- 
out January, the Times had urged intervention. But at the 
end of the month, when Favre was already at Versailles 
and England had fallen to the greatest depth of unpopularity 
with both belligerents, nothing less than forcible interven- 

^ Dame Europa' s School OLondon, 1871), passim; Once a Week, 
Feb. II, 1871; Daily News, Fdb. 4, 187 1 ; Tablet, Feb. 25, 187 1 ; Notes 
and Queries, 1871, vol. vii, p. 181. 

* Graphic, Feb. 18, 1871. 

'Harrison, Autobiographic Memoirs, vol. ii, p. 15. 



313] THE ARMISTICE 3 1 3 

tion could have given promise of success. In republican 
Paris, the English were so hated that, Felix Whitehurst 
wrote, they were advised not to appear in certain districts! 
for fear they would be insulted/ At Versadlles, where Odo 
Russell said all diplomats were treated as school boys,^ an 
especial amount of disrespect seems to have been meted out 
to England. On one occasion, Bismarck's attention was 
momentarily diverted from his interviews with Favre by 
the British request that he permit a gunboat to go up the 
Seine to carry away from Paris the English families there. 
He chose to distrust the petitioners : " They merely want to 
ascertain if we have laid down torpedoes and then let the 
French ships follow them. What swine! They are full 
cf vexation and envy because we have fought great battles 
here and won them. They cannot bear to think that little 
Prussia should prosper so." ' And when at dinner he was 
interrupted by a telegram from Queen Victoria, he re- 
marked sarcastically, " I know what that is. We alwaysi 
listen to what she says." * 

Guizot, withdrawn as he was from the centre of things, 
could not know how singularly untimely was the letter he 
was sending Gladstone to urge on him mediation. He 
would have had England, jointly with the other Neutrals, 
ascertain the Prussian terms and then represent to the 
Delegate Government the justice of convoking a National 
Assembly to speak for all of France.'' 

* Whitehurst, My Private Diary, etc., vol, ii, pp. 231-232. 

' Letter from Taine, May 23, 1871, Hanotattx, Contemporary France, 
vol. ii, p. 392. 

* The Empress Frederick, pp. 242-243. 

* Memoirs of Sir Edzvard Blount, p. 232. 

* Illustrated London News, Jan, 28, 1871 ; a previous appeal of Gui- 
zot's, addiressed to France itself, was quoted in Macmillan's Magazine, 
Jan., 1871, Provisional Government and the French Nation, vol. xxiii, 
pp. 173 et seq. 



314 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [314 

The English observed that the only objection to his two 
wishes was that they were impossible. No cooperation 
could be expected from Russia and Austria. The Italian 
Government had declared to its interpellators that it would 
not mediate, save in conjunction with the other Powers. 
A request backed simply by Great Britain and Italy would 
serve only to exhibit the breach that had been made in the 
League of Neutrals. As for the National Assembly, it could 
not 'be convened upon a wish. Such time as was necessary 
for its election and convocation would have to be bought 
by at least a tacit acceptance of the principal terms on which 
it was to deliberate. With one third of France occupied by 
German armies, that free discussion, which Guizot seemed 
to anticipate, was out of the question.^ ; 

There remained for England the choice of quietly admit- 
ting the impotence of her isolation or vigorously declaring 
herself as to the terms to be proposed. There remained, too, 
a compromise course, and Granville took it. Early in 
January, he had informed von Bemstorff that blame would 
attach to Prussia, should she allow France to become totally 
disorganized.^ On January the twentieth, he seems to have 
come to regard even this mild warning as presumptuous, for 
he wrote urging that Germany, in the full tide of her vic- 
tories, should not misconstrue his simple efforts to end the 
war.^ Bismarck, it may be conjectured, felt no need of 
the reassurance of the second note, because the dire threat 
of the first had not alarmed him. He was thinking of many 
things at this time, 'but the judgment of history does not 
appear to have been one of them. He received Favre at 
Versailles and listened to his representations in the full 

1 Weekly Scotsman, Dec. 30, 1870; Daily Telegraph, Jan. 28, 1871. 

^Annual Register for 1871, vol. cxii, p. 254. 

'Granville to Loftus, Jan. 20, 1871, Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxxi. 



315] THE ARMISTICE 3 1 5 

confidence that France had still to fight her fight alone. 
The respectful despatches of Granville seemed only to con- 
firm his power. 

Several days after the Versailles negotiations, amusing 
details of the interviews reached London in private letters. 
Lyons wrote that Favre, at one time, had explained that his 
position in Paris was very critical, whereupon Bismarck sug- 
gested the expedient of organizing a rising so as to be able 
to suppress it while the army was still at his disposal. 
That was the only right way to manage a mob, he had ex- 
plained obligingly. M. Favre was rather dazed at the ad- 
vice.^ 

On the occasion of his second visit, he took General 
Beaufort and three staff officers to bear him company and 
arrange the military details of the capitulation. Some hot 
punch was given them at the outpost, which, Odo Russell 
wrote, was generously passed from the empty stomachs of 
the poor fellows to their empty heads. In this plight they 
misunderstood one of their hosts, when he expressed the hope 
that the negotiations would lead to peace, and, taking all for 
granted, *' set to and danced the cancan." Favre had the 
wit to apologize for their ebullition as being the effect of 
Prussian punch on Parisian hunger. He dined with Bis- 
marck while his companions were being put in a condition 
to discuss affairs with less emotion. Bismarck had the 
poor taste to say that Favre, too, testified to the severity of 
Parisian hunger, by popping a beef steak into his pocket to 
take home to his wife.* 

Whatever laughter diplomatists indulged in at these 
episodes was brief and secret. In England there was a very 
sympathetic appreciation of the difficulties with which the 

1 Newton, Life of Lord Lyons, vol. 1, p. 353. 

' Lytton to Morley, Fe(b. 6, 1871, Balfour, Personal and Literary 
Letters of Robert, first Earl of Lytton. 



3i6 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [316 

French negotiators had contended. The Times of Janiiary 
the twenty-fifth alarmed its readers by asserting that Bis- 
marck, in the event that Favre proved obdurate, was pre- 
pared to show him Eugenie's acceptance of the terms and 
threaten a restoration. Three days later, — the day of the 
capitulation, — the story was denied by the Telegraph on 
Eugenie's own authority. Denial was made, also, that the 
Chancellor had ever tried to possess himself of such a 
document. 

Bismarck, however, in a subsequent account of his in- 
terviews, admitted that he, at least, used the restoration as 
a bogey for frightening the French.^ He claimed to have 
told Favre that behind the door there waited a delegate of 
Napoleon, and to have made a pretense of being about to 
open it. This was the use to which the News had said he 
would put the project. The general opinion was that he 
was too astute to intend seriously to treat for a government 
so unpopular as the French Emperor's The negotiation 
however, which had been carried on at Chislehurst, and 
Wilhelmshohe, and his avowed contempt for the " Gentle- 
men of the Pavement," induced several prominent English- 
men to believe that Bismarck's wish for a restoration was 
sincere. Of these perhaps the best informed, but not the 
least prejudiced, were Sir Robert Morier and Felix White- 
hurst. ' 

The plan was very unpopular in England, — ^more for its 
suspected ramifications than for itself. Russell wrote that 
Bismarck could not attempt to effect the Emperor's return 
without attempting to placate France by some very sub- 
stantial concession. Either Belgium or Holland, he be- 

* Loftus, Diplomatic Reminiscences ('Londbti, 1894), vol. i, pp. 324- 
326; Conversations with Prince Bismarck (edited; by Sidney Whitman, 
London, 1900), p. 44- 

^ Daily News, Jan. 26, 1871. 



317] T^HE ARMISTICE 317 

lieved, was threatened by the project. He advised England 
not to consider the danger so chimerical as to fail to provide 
against it. Morier, in a letter written late in January, 
claimed to have very good Prussian authority for the be- 
lief that the plan had long been under consideration. In 
its early phase it had proposed that the Emperor should an- 
nex Belgium in exchange for the cession of Alsace and Lor- 
raine. But the completeness of the Imperial debacle and 
the setting up of a Republic had occasioned unforeseen dif- 
ficulties. Morier believed in the accuracy of his informant's 
knowledge. It is not easy, however, to share his belief, 
when it is recalled how completely Bismarck had put Eng- 
land on her guard by publishing the Draft Treaty. It 
seems more credible that the plan was of later origin, — that 
it developed out of Bismarck's wish to supplant the Repub- 
lican Government at a time when he thought he might safely 
disregard Great Britain.^ 

Mrs. George Cornwallis West has in her possession an 
autograph letter of the Emperor's, which shows that Bis- 
marck, in January, was listening with interest to an un- 
authorized scheme for the advancement of the Prince Im- 
perial. The letter fails to show, however, whether Bel- 
gium was in any way involved in the proposals.* Nothing 
more is certain than that, thus late, attempts were still 
being made by the Imperialists at negotiation. 

An alternative scheme, that may have been considered by 
Bismarck, was the elevation to the French throne of King 
Leopold of Belgium — a project, Bismarck told Russell, that 
had been proposed by Thiers.^ This, too, was unpopular in 

* Morier to Stockmar, Jan. 27, 28, 187 1, Memoirs of Sir Robt. Morier, 
p. 240 ; see, also, Whitehurst, My Private Diary, etc., vol. tt, p. 300. 

' Napoleon III to Persigny, Jan. 7, 1871, West, Reminiscences of 
Lady Randolph Churchill, p. 27. 

' Fitzmaurice, Life of Granville, vol. ii, p. 74. 



3 1 8 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [318 

England, for it would change, perforce, the neutral status 
of Belgium, and give Antwerp into the control of a stronger 
nation. The Spectator reported that Germany herself 
would not consent to it. The Government's propaganda and 
the persistence of the French in giving battle long after they 
were considered defeated, had made Germany unwilling to 
see France placated by any acquisition whatsoever.^ " You 
don't keep men in the field for some eight months and win 
ever so many battles without making professional fighting 
animals of at least some of them," observed Archibald For- 
bes.^ The officers in command were rather willing, than 
not, that the terms offered France should breed a spirit of 
revenge. 

It is perhaps probable that neither the British nor Prus- 
sian distaste for the schemes involving Belgium influenced 
Bismarck to aibandon them. They may have been talked of 
only to alarm England, so that, when the true terms were 
made known, she would regard them with less disfavour. 
An analogy is the subterfuge of a blustering attorney who 
overestimates his client's damages that he may influence the 
jury to grant a lesser figure that is still exorbitant. France, 
too, the Chancellor may have ho|>ed, might regard his terms 
with more equanimity when she considered how nearly she 
had escaped the imposition of a disowned Emperor or a 
foreign king. 

Certain it is, that Bismarck did not appear in the least cast 
domvL when he had granted an armistice that would enable 
the French themselves to determine their future government. 
It was recorded that he even whistled the Prussian hallali,— • 
the hunter's death blast, — ^at the conclusion of the interviews. 
" Like all powerful men," said the Telegraph, musing on the 

^Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871. 

'Forbes, My Experiences of the War between France and Germany, 
vol. ii, p. 479. 



319] THE ARMISTICE 319 

gaiety of heart shown by this incident, ** he lives too near 
the speed and splendour of cosmic forces to be dull." ^ The 
Spectator received the information as to the Count's usual 
place of residence with delightful sarcasm. It supposed that 
the Telegraph meant, in plain English, that the whistling 
of the death blast at the moment of the surrender of Paris 
was a proof of the Chancellor's sympathy with the course 
and progress of history at its mightiest flood, and that one 
should marvel at the understanding of this bouyant soul, 
that had recognized the analogy between killing a boar and 
being in at the death of a great nation.^ 

On January the twenty-eighth, Paris capitulated. The next 
day the forts were occupied by German soldiers. It had been 
considered the great card with which the struggle would be 
lost or won. For those who had been infected with the 
contagion of Gambetta's hopefulness, the defeat of Bour- 
baki, occurring almost at the same time, was proof that 
even the efforts of the provinces must fail. The contest had 
lasted twenty-one weeks since the overthrow of the em- 
pire. In that time, wrote Vizetelly, the country had be- 
come very weary of the struggle. Only Faidherbe and 
Chanzy, Freycinet, and a few others shared Gambetta's wish 
further to prolong it.* " Gambetta's war is now murder," 
said von Moltke. England believed that he was right. 
She was chary of showing such sympathy as would en- 
courage the war's continuance; but she was very generous 
in showing a practical sympathy for French suffering. 

On the second day after the capitulation, the Lord 
Mayor's Committee, through Alfred Rothschild, succeeded 
in getting into Paris its first consignment of supplies. The 
next day, the British Government generously offered all the 

* Daily Telegraph, Feb., 1871. 
^Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871. 

• Vizetelly, My Days of Adventure, pp. 322-323, 



320 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [320 

Stores of the Administration for the capital's relief. No 
less than £52,000 worth of food, it is said, was sent in in the 
first despatch. In February, the English Committee took 
the distribution into its own hands to such effect that Bri- 
tishers were gratified at hearing themselves called ces bons 
Anglais in a city that recently had hated them. John Bull 
was proving himself the exception to the rule that no fat 
man is popular at the end of a siege. ^ 

The Commissioner of the Mansion House Relief Fund 
recorded in his diary that for five months there had been 
no milk nor fat to be had, save for fabulous prices. The 
very old and very young had suffered, not only from mal- 
nutrition, but from the depression caused by lack of light 
and heat. They had died in great numbers. Do what the 
British could, the Prussians had done their work so well 
that suffering continued far into February. At one of the 
warehouses kept exclusively to provision women, the Com- 
missioner watched a long queue waiting all night long 
through sleet and rain, and into the next day. " I have seen 
more tears shed by men and women," he said, " than I hope 
I shall ever see again." ^ With something of t!he old 
French flair, the Provisional Government returned the 
pheasants and other delicacies that made a little part of the 
tons of provisions sent for distribution.* It was not for 
lack of luxuries France had surrendered. 

Perhaps statistics on the contributions and a discussion 
of the means of distribution would give no clearer index of 
British sympathy than the letter of a poet to his publisher : 

I want to give something to the people in Paris, and can afford 

* Memoirs of Sir Edward Blount, pp. 218 et seq. ; Times, Feb. i, 4, 6, 
1871 ; Graphic, Feb. 18, 1871. 

' George Moore, The London Deputation in Paris, Good Words, 
Feb., 1871, pp. 402 et seq. 

* Memoirs of Sir Edward Blount, p. 219. 



32 1 ] THE ARMISTICE 32 1 

so very little just now that I am forced upon an expedient. Will 
you buy of me that poem . . . which I like better than most 
things I have done of late? . . . Would — for the love of France 
— that this were the " Song of a Wren " — then should the guineas 
equal the lines ; as it is, do what you safely may for the sake of a 
Robin — Browning.^ 

The poem was Hervi Kiel, — one of the very few that he 
ever allowed to appear in a magazine. 

While the British were busily engaged in preparing ship- 
ments for Paris, they were startled by a very extraordinary 
telegram that was pubHshed in the Times on the last day 
of January. It was the announcement, by that paper's 
Berlin correspondent, of the terms Bismarck was alleged to 
have outlined to Favre during their recent interviews. They 
provided for the annexation of both Alsace and Lorraine; 
the payment by France of an indemnity of £400,000,000; 
the cession of Pondicherry in India; and the surrender of 
twenty first-<rlass men-of-war. Had such terms appeared 
in any other paper they would have been dismissed as too 
exorbitant to merit consideration. But the Times, it was 
observed, had so often anticipated even the German press in 
publishing the Chancellor's intentions, that it could not be 
disregarded.^ 

The stock market at once registered the British imeasi- 
ness. The prospect of £400,000,000 being withdrawn to 
Germany caused the value of money to shoot upwards Hke 
a sky rocket and prices to tumble Hke its tail.* Men had be- 
lieved the capitulation was a prelude to peace. This stagger- 
ing news made them fear it was only an interim between a 
duel and a general conflict. Even if Favre had heard these 

* Browning to Mr. Smith of Cornhill Magazine, Feb. 4, 1871 ; Orr, 
Roht. Browning, Life and Letters, p. 45 ; Griffith and Minchin, Life of 
Robt. Browning, p. 243. 

* Standard, Feb. 2, 1871. 

' Illustrated London News, Feb. 4, 1871. 



322 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [322 

terms, as the correspondent claimed, Gambetta had not. It 
was believed he would not submit to them, and that Favre 
would approve him and fight on. To do so, said the 
Standard, would be to lose nothing materially and to gain 
much morally.^ France would be endowed, thought the 
Graphic, with the energy of despair.^ Both the Economist 
and the Times ^ declared the payment of the tremendous 
indemnity impossible. The demand for Lorraine was re- 
garded as equally extravagant. Metz was not only essenr 
tially and emphatically a part of France, but was necessary 
for her safety. As the Spectator phrased it, the cession of 
Metz would make France a political dependency of Ger- 
many.* 

Loud as were the protests excited by each of the articles, 
the one that provoked the greatest remonstrance was that 
concerning India. The Times, it is true, at first pretended 
to regard the cess;ion of Pondicherry as of relative unim- 
portance. Its judgment was derided by all the British 
press. The matter was regarded as one that concerned 
England very nearly. With a German garrison once en- 
sconced in Pondicherry, said the Standard, Bismarck could 
boast he had set his boot heel in a comer of the British 
Empire.^ It was recalled that France had kept her hold 
on India somewhat on sufferance. After the Napoleonic war^ 
she had accepted England's restriction on the number of her 
forces there. It could not be expected that Germany would 
acknowledge any such obligation. The Spectator and John 
Bull * believed that, by the provisions, of the Treaty of 1815^ 

* Standard, Feb. 2, 1871. 
' Graphic, Feb. 4, 1871. 

3 Issues of Feb. 4, 2, 1871, respectively. 

* Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871. 
^Standard, Feb. 2, 1871. 
•Issues of Feb. 4, 1871. 



323] ^^^ ARMISTICE 323 

Prussia was precluded not only from sending troops to 
Pondicherry but from demanding its cession. It had not 
been restored to France in fee simple. Every possible 
argument was adduced against its change of ownership, for 
it was acknowledged that in the event of a German raid into 
the interior and a partial British defeat, souMiem India 
might be roused to insurrection. England was urged forth- 
with to occupy the place herself, even at the risk of war. 

Moderate papers, like Saunders', believed that, since Great 
Britain's affairs were so trenched on by the peace terms, 
she should, at last, induce the Neutrals to intervene.^ The 
time had come, said the Standard, for the Government to de- 
termine whether it would persist to the end " in that pitiable 
affectation which by a euphemism it dubbed non-interven- 
tion." ^ The editor strove to persuade the Ministry that, if 
they would abandon its policy of no policy, other Neutrals 
would join with them so that Bismarck would be forced to 
heed their wishes. 

In the Fortnightly, Frederic Harrison was no less insis- 
tent. " It will be the knell of peace and liberty," he said, 

when the triumphant Emperor of Germany bestrides the Conti- 
nent without an equal. If he succeed in doing so, it will be the 
act of England, who stands by trading and sermonising, selling 
arms but using none . . . droning out homilies and betrajring 
every duty of a nation.' 

He begged that his countrymen abandon that course " which 
the new Emperor of the West told them with a gibe, as 
they came bowing to his court, was the only policy that re- 
mained for them — the policy of self-effacement." In Ire- 

^ Sounders', Feb. 3, 1871. 
^Standard, Feb. 3, 1871. 

• Harrison, Effacement of England, Fortnightly, Feb. i, 1871, pp. 145 
et seq. 



324 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [324 

land, the Freeman warned England that if she remained 
quiescent during the armistice, the vociferous sympathy she 
had avowed would be proved hypocrisy/ Robert Buchanan 
tried the expedient of poetic declamation on the sluggish 
British lion, in this wise : 

" England, awake ! or the tomb may cover thee ! 
Awake, awake, for the shroud is over thee! 
England, awake, if thou he not dead ! 
The seas are crying, the clouds are flying, 
Fair France is dying; — her blood flows red; 
Europe in thunder is rent asunder," etc.^ 

And then word came that the correspondent of the Times 
had been inaccurate in his report of the peace terms. As- 
surance was specially given that Prussia had no designs on 
Pondicherry. Whether Bismarck had allowed the rumour 
to stand for four days uncorrected through sheer disregard 
of British opinion, or whether he had been brought to 
moderate his intentions by the popular clamour, it is difficult 
to say.* Many did not inquire into the circumstances of 
the denial but received it thankfully, as affording escape 
from war. Others were regretful at having lost a chance to 
wreck the Governmental policy. It was recognized that 
the Ministry could not be forced to action now until Parlia- 
ment should 'be convoked. 

Prussian credit, however, remained at low ebb. Alarm 
as to the punitive character that the peace might take, had 
been heightened by a vision of disaster to England. It 
would appear that even Granville's composure had been 
shaken. His attitude on the expediency of bringing the 
situation of France before the Conference had undergone a 
change. On the fourth of February, he notified Lyons that 

^ Weekly Freeman, Feb. 4, 1871. 

' Buchanan, England Awake!, Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871. 

* Standard, Feb. 7, 1871. " 



325] T-HE ARMISTICE 325 

if the French plenipotentiary should come to London and, 
at the end of one of the sittings or at the end of the Con- 
ference, lay before that body questions of vital interest to 
France he, as chairman, would not interfere but would at- 
tend with interest whatever might be said/ It was an in- 
vitation, in diplomatic kind, for Favre to attempt the part 
Cavour had played, in 1856, at Paris. Whether the French- 
man could have argued a finer cause with equal eloquence 
is matter for conjecture. The Conference reconvened, on 
the seventh, with France still absent. 

Another reaction to the enterprise of the Berlin corres- 
pondent of the Times was an increase in the clamour for 
military preparedness. Men believed more readily that the 
influence of an entente that could have allied the French 
army with the British navy should be maintained by Eng- 
land alone through an increase of armament. Those citi- 
zens of Manchester and Leeds who had put their trust in a 
" Mill — ennium " were admonished to visit subjugated 
France. They would find that vast tracts of its richest and 
most industrious districts had been deliberately stripped and 
plunged into famine. Cities had been bombarded and 
burned, — not once but many times; women and children 
slaughtered by invaders, who had been prepared even to the 
point of a philosophy to justify their havoc. London was 
urged to gird herself with walls so that, when need arose, 
she could be defended as gallantly as had been Paris.* 

Archibald Fort)es wrote that a young Prussian guards- 
man, to the delight of his companions, had impudently an- 
nounced that before two years had gone the Queen Elizabeth 
Regiment would be besieging Windsor Castle. At the bat- 

*Deschanel, Gambetta, pp. 11 5- 116. 

a Cf. Feb. letters to Times; J. S. Russell, Into Versailles and Out, 
Macmillan's Magazine, Jan., 1871, vol. xxiii, pp. 255 et seq.; London 
Fortified, ibid., Feb., 1871. 



326 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [326 

teries and on the outposts, the men Forbes talked with longed 
for peace, but they would go where they were led, — even 
though some oif their young leaders might be so ignorant 
as to think that Windsor Castle was England's strongest for- 
tress. iQiarles Ryan, who was serving with an ambulance 
corps, was another who heard much boasting. He reported 
that stripling officers vowed they would shadow all the 
nations of Europe with the wings of the Imperial Elagle. 
England, they admitted, would come last, but time could be 
trusted to provide an opportunity even for its conquest.^ 

Other days must bring other policies. England could 
not afford to devote herself to trade when, as George Eliot 
said, barbarism had arisen from ithat historic tomb where 
it had been supposed to lie with Barbarossa. Sir Robert 
Morier, who had lived long in Germany, was fearful of the 
effect of the unparalleled success. No good, he knew, 
would come from the ascendancy of the Junkers and their 
Militar Cabinet.^ Who could foretell what they might do? 
Frederic Harrison described them as a class, knit close by 
all the ties of pride and interest, possessed of high educa- 
tion, aible to wield power alike in town and country, and yet 
so weak as to depend on the Emperor, and, above all, de- 
voted passionately to war. Was England to be content to 
watch their conquests, and in the future cry out as she did 
now, " My friends, keep clear of these wicked men ! Wicked 
men, shake hands and be friends? " * 

There existed, none the less, a small group who believed 
it illogical that a nation shotild buckle on its armour in order 

^ Forbes, My Experiences of the War between France and Germany, 
vol. ii, pp. 480-481. 

' Ryan, With an Ambulance in the Franco-German War, p. 276. 

•Morier to Stockmar, Jam 22, 1871, Memoirs of Sir Robt. Morier, 
p. 241. 

* Harrison, Effacement of England, Fortnightly, Feb. i, 1871. 



327] ^^^ ARMISTICE 327 

to woo peace. Morley and Mill^ were of these. Sir 
Wilfred Lawson was another. He advocated, however, 
such preparation as would consist in chartering a ship 
and manning it with diplomats, warlike editors, and fire- 
eating bishops under the command of Lord John Russell. 
Should this redoubtable bark fall into the hands of the 
enemy, he held himself ready to sing Te Deums for its 
loss.^ Some in the group believed that Prussia would re- 
pent of its triumphs and demand a return of the power that 
the military faction had usurped. Her youth had been 
crippled by the war, her family life afflicted, the Treasury 
burdened with a great debt. Already, they claimed, the more 
advanced of her citizens saw war's futility. The newly 
made Emperor was not immortal and, at his death, a prince 
would reign, who would strive valiantly for peace. Much 
should be looked for from him and from his wife, who was 
a British princess. Bismarck, they argued, might even 
come to help him. For the Chancellor was too practical 
to be influenced by those who preached pan-Teutonism. In 
due time, he might bend to the sense of justice that was 
popular in Germany and inaugurate that policy of peace and 
freedom which now he opyposed.* 

Not many cherished such roseate hopes for the Minister 
of blood and iron. But even among those who feared him, 
there was objection to the adoption of his methods. In- 
stead of plunging into warlike preparations and through 
alarm creating more alarm, there was a minority which hoped 
that England would do all she could to strengthen the 
moderate element in every nation. They believed that f ree- 

1 Mill to Pasquale Villari, Feb. 16, 1871, an<l to Qiffe Leslie, Letters 
of J. S. Mill, vol. ii, pp. 304, 305. 

* Graphic, Feb. 18, 1871. 

• Pall Mall Gazette, Feb. 4, 1871 ; C. E. Maurice, Count Bismarck, 
Contemporary Review, Jan., 1871. 



328 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [32S 

dom could be arrived at only through observing the restric- 
tions of international law. J. M. Ludlow advocated with 
skill and much earnestness the formation of an Imperial 
Federation which, backed by arms, should restore to the 
conventions made by nations that respect they seemed to 
have lost. He would have attempted to arrive at peace and 
justice by the establishing of a system of international 
police and by the adoption of the principle of compulsory 
arbitration.^ 

Men who talked in this wise could not get themselves 
heard. The world's acoustics are better adapted to the 
sound of artillery fire than to the voice of the peacemaker. 
But what has been said for war lingers through all ther 
halls of memory, and, when men speak for it anew, rever- 
berates to amplify their utterance. And echo plays such 
pranks with truth that splendid thoughts seem made to 
march in quick step. The Edinburgh quoted Lord Bacon : 
" Let it suffice, that no estate expects to be great, that is 
not awake upon any just occasion of arming." ^ In Mac- 
millan's, England was urged in Milton's mighty lines to 
rouse herself from slumber and renew her mighty youth.* 
Audience was given to Mr. Vernon Harcourt when he urged 
the argument of history to condemn " the new phase of 
that dark eclipse called foreign policy," and when he beg- 
ged that British patriotism demand such armament as could 
defend the Empire.* It was yielded willingly to Frederic 
Harrison when he inveighed against the effacement of 

1 J. M. Ludlow, Re constitution of Europe, Contemporary Review, 
Feb., 1871, pp. 499 et seq. 

* Military Forces of the Crown, Edinburgh Review, Jan., 1871, pp, 
207 et seq. 

• " Military Contriibtitor," England's Place among the Nations, Mac" 
mill an' s Magazine, Feb., 1871, pp. 358 et seq. 

*• Speech to his constituents at Oxford. 



329] ^^^ ARMISTICE 329 

Great Britain. But the fine philosophy of John Stuart Mill 
and the warm humanity of Morley could win no approval 
for their support of pacifism. 

The British were shamed and fearful, but they were im- 
patient of accepting anything that promised comfort for 
their distress. They seem to have derived almost a Spanish 
delight from self-inflicted flagellation. No one so vigor- 
ously applied the lash as Judy. Under the seal of the 
British Empire, John Bull was made to inform the public, 
heads of families and teachers in infant schools, that he 
had ready for exhibition on very reasonable terms his cele- 
brated British lion. The awe-inspiring and terrific roar 
of the noble animal combined with its perfect harmlessness 
were too well known, he thought, to need description. Any- 
one could with the greatest impunity, kick or spit upon it, 
or pull it by the tail, and derive much fun from ferocious 
demonstrations that portended nothing. It had been re- 
cently exhibited at all the courts of Europe and had roused 
screams of laughter.^ 

Though British opinion, during the time of the armistice, 
was very largely occupied with self -denunciation, a glossary 
of comment still had to do with France. It was used to il- 
luminate the arguments for preparedness that formed the 
text. Readers were told how long it would be before the de- 
feated country could become again a useful ally. During the 
struggle with Prussia, she had appeared unified, but the pro- 
spect of peace loosened the bond that had united factions. 
Felix Whitehurst, who had no sympathy with amateur sol- 
diers and volunteer diplomats, believed their Government 
would soon be overthrown. Dissension was already weak- 
ening the Republic.^ Gambetta was disgruntled because 

» Judy, Feb. 8, 1871. 

'Whitehurst, Year One of the Republic, Belgravia, Jan., 1871, pp. 
342 et seq. 



330 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [330 

Favre had not informed him of the details of the armistice. 
He felt chagrin that he, who had had the direction of the 
war, had been so signally slighted when the time approached 
for its conclusion. He feared the Government at Paris, in 
its eagerness for peace, might slight, also, the claims of the 
Republic.^ 

On the thirty-first of January, he gave forceful expres- 
sion to his discontent by a proclamation designed to ex- 
clude from the Asserrtbly all Bonapartists and members of 
families thaft once had ruled in France. Bismarck at once 
objected that such exclusion would violate the terms of the 
armistice, which had provided for the convocation of an As- 
sembly freely elected. His objection was regarded by 
Gambetta as an imwarranted intrusion into the internal af- 
fairs of France. The Paris Government chose to uphold it. 
The issue was clearly drawn and Gambetta resigned.^ 

It cannot be said that in England his withdrawal was» 
regarded with regret. It was believed that, had he retained 
his power, he might have won France to a continuance of the 
war. He was a man, the British said, of 1792, born out 
of his time and doomed to create only unrest in his frantic 
efforts to galvanize a past tradition. " His resignation 
takes a nightmare off the breast of France," said the Globe, 
and the rest of the press nodded approval.^ But though the 
British were in agreement as to his resignation, they made 
no effort to belittle the manifest service he had rendered 
France. A single Gambetta might only push her into civil 
war, but could he have been multiplied by six he might have 
freed her from invasion. " Of course," said the Examiner, 
"clear sighted statesmen are best; but there is something 

'^Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871. 

2 Standard, Feb. 3, 4, 16, 187 1 ; Daily Telegraph, Feb. 6, 1871. 
' Globe, Times, Record, Standard, issues of Feb. 4, 1871 ; Graphic, 
Feb. II, 1871. 



23 1 ] THE ARMISTICE 33 1 

very noble in the blind zeal of this determined man and 
something very pathetic in that view of him weeping in the 
streets of Bordeaux when the bitter news of the surrender 
of Paris gave the lie to his long cherished hopes." He 
could have the consolation of knowing, it was thought, that 
his efforts had proven to Alsace and Lorraine that they 
were, as least, not to be relinquished tamely to Germany.^ 

And Alsace and Lorraine proved graiteful. For though 
France, as a whole, gave approval to the moderate element 
in the Government of National Defense by electing such 
delegates as would approve the peace, these two provinces 
elected ultra Radicals. Paris, too, chose this way of plac- 
ing herself in the minority. The British regarded the re- 
turns with wonderment. No single member of the de facto 
Government, save Gambetta, was returned by the capital. 
In sober, orderly manner the citizens had gone to the polls 
and elected the partisans of war at any price.' Archibald 
Forbes frankly admitted that he did not know what to make 
of it. He had an inclination to pull off his hat to these 
Cadaverous men, who voted for more war, when it was 
quite apparent that what they were really in need of was 
good beef extract. ' 

The country districts, however, gave hope for peace by 
returning Conservatives. It was noticed with relief that 
they no longer supported Napoleon. The proclamation he 
had issued from Hohenldhe before the day of the election 
fell completely flat. Even his support by the Rothschilds 
was unavailing. * 

Men wondered how the Republicans of Paris would co- 
operate with the representatives of the provinces. Paris 

^Examiner, and Spectator, Feb. 11, 187 1. 

* Daily Telegraph, Feb. 14; Spectator, Feb. 18; Times, Feb. 16, 1871. 
' Forbes, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 425-427. 

* Weekly Scotsman, Feb. 18, 1871. 



332 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [332 

had played tcx) prominent a part to submit to seeing her 
delegates ignored. It was rumoured the Government 
meant to weaken their power by convoking the Assembly at 
a distance from the capital. This, the Spectator thought, 
would be tantamount to a declaration of civil war by the 
Departments. The great cities of France might be ex- 
pected to support the cause of Paris.^ 

John Richard Green hoped, but not confidently, that for 
the sake of its influence on Italy and Spain, France might be- 
come decentralized and so find freedom.* But England, 
as a whole, was not averse to having her slip back quite 
unobtrusively into the governmental grooves to which she 
had been accustomed. Capital and provinces had always had 
their differences. It had seemed many times that France 
was a monarchy with a republic for its capital, — that it held 
itself together only by a beautifully articulated system of 
wheels within wheels. Gambetta had resigned. If the 
Parisian delegates would refrain from over-emphasis, the 
abnormal might prove again the normal. 

* Spectator, March 4, 1871. 

' Green to E. A. Freeman, Feb. 6, 1871, Letters of /. R. Green^ pp. 
283-284. 



CHAPTER XVI 
The Negotiation of the Preliminaries 

" Fortunately," Disraeli once said of his native land, 
"this country is not governed by logic. It is a Parliamen- 
tary Government, and it is governed by rhetoric." 

There had been critics a plenty to point out, during the 
interim between the sessions, that the Ministry had in no 
wise subjected the country to a new experience in this re- 
gard. To be sure, the flow of eloquence had, perforce, been 
attenuated. But it was felt that Gladstone and his col- 
leagues had shown that England could be governed just as 
illogically by the Cabinet alone as by two conscientiously 
officious Houses. By awkward and obscure means, they 
had maintained a comfortable peace. It was feared that 
certain fiery Parliamentarians might, with great comfort to 
themselves, plunge the country into the discomforts of war. 

The illogic of the course was certainly alluring. Those 
" muscular peacemakers," ^ who most eagerly favored inter- 
vention, had disclosed, with the utmost candour, England's 
unpreparedness. The time had arrived when she could, at 
last, be certain of entering the lists without allies, and of re- 
viving hope in France when Gambetta himself had bowed 
his head to circumstances. There was, also, that age-old 
temptation to try to arrive at a durable peace through war. 
But there is this difference between the Briton and the Celt 

1 Pseudonym of a bellicose correspondent of the Times. Lord John 
Russell was another of those who, as Disraeli phrased it, raised 
armies by a stroke of the pen. 

333] 333 



334 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [334 

The first cautiously mixes common sense in his illogic, while 
the second prefers his in its native purity. It was most 
probable that the Government would hear its method voci- 
ferously attacked and the peaceful end it had achieved 
unanimously welcomed. 

Matthew Arnold, writing in Pcdl Mall under the pseu- 
donym of *' von Thundersten-Tronck/' was impatient of 
the forthcoming babble of the '' young metti from the 
country " to which England was about to be subjected.^ 
The Telegraph rejoiced that at least during the progress of 
the war Parliament had not been sitting. The speeches of 
individual members would have reechoed painfully abroad. 
Foreigners were stupid about understanding that in Par- 
liamentary England the menaces of representatives signified 
little unless the speakers were in office. Something, even 
at this late time, was to be feared and nothing to be ex- 
pected when, on February the eighth, the Honourable Mem- 
bers and Noble Lords resumed their sessions.^ 

Amidst general disappointment the Queen allowed her 
speech to be read by the Chancellor, while she sat with head 
bowed and toyed almost imperceptibly with her fan. 
Royalty was under attack from the Republicans and it was 
regretted that Victoria did not choose more actively to ful- 
fil her duties. However, the speech was hardly one to tempt 
a widowed Queen to break her silence. 

The Standard characterized it as bald, jejune, and vapid, — 
at once barren and unctuous. It saw in it the same crowd- 
ing of ill-fitting words into meaningless phrases that had 
disfigured the Edinburgh article on ** Happy England." ® It 
was a speech with the placidity of a May morning, but 

1 Cf. Blanchard' Jerrold, At Home in Paris, vol. ii, pp. 231-237. 
^ Daily Telegraph, Jan. 3, 1871. 
• Standard, Feb. 19, 1871. 



335] THE NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 335 

without its freshness. JoumaHsts set themselves to trick- 
ing it out with interpretations to their Hking. 

" I greatly regret," Her Majesty had said, '' that my ear- 
nest endeavours have failed to procure the presence at the 
Conference of any representative of France, which was one 
of the chief parties to the Treaty of 1856, and which must 
ever be regarded as a principal and indispensable Member of 
the great Commonwealth of Europe." 

This, according to the Spectator, was intended to mean 
that any exactions which would permanently cripple France 
or dispose of her rank as a first-class Power would en- 
counter determined resistance from Great Britain. On 
the other hand, the congratulations that the Queen ex- 
tended to Germany on the election of her Emperor, and the 
hope expressed that the forthcoming peace would comport 
with the security and honour of the countries involved, wasi 
taken to mean that Germany was to be allowed a mountain 
barrier, but must not aspire to Metz.^ John Bull wa^ 
another that was able so to read the speech as to find it 
strong and heartening. Its editor was very certain that the 
Queen had indicated a desire for a notable increase of 
armament. Such interpretations were assuredly liberal.^ 

In the Standard, Her Majesty's words were reported more 
exactly and less favourably. " The chief points," it said, 
" on which the Government seem to take credit to them- 
selves are that the sphere of war has not been extended be- 
yond the two countries originally engaged, and that they 
have ' cherished with care the cordiality of their relations 
with each belligerent.' This careful cherishing of a double 
cordiality would appear, however, to have yielded but 
small fruit .... When these cautious Neutrals did in- 

^ Spectator, Feb. 11, 1871. 
*John Bull, Feb. 11, 1871. 



336 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [336 

terf ere, they were enabled to do so with tremendous effect. 
They actually succeeded, the Speech declares, in ' placing the 
representatives of the two contracting countries in confiden- 
tial communication.' We can imagine the gentleman who 
performed this alliterative feat regarding his success as al- 
most a triumph of diplomacy. Hereafter when the history 
of the war comes to be written, let it never be forgotten that 
the Gladstone Government spared no effort to cherish the 
cordiality of their foreign' relations, and to contribute to- 
wards the communications, etc.'' ^ 

The Queen's address was listened to thus critically be- 
cause it was supposed to indicate the attitude of the Min- 
istry. If a somewhat verbose speech may be regarded as 
an intercession for silence, this one should be so considered. 
When Gladstone, who, it was presumed, had written it, 
wished to say little, he said much. When his way ap- 
peared obscure, he unfailingly saw before him "three 
courses." " The English Parliament," said the Spectator, 
" has opened with its finger in its lips. ... It is hardly a 
noble attitude, but in these days the United Kingdoms do 
not go in for nobility, but for safety." ^ 

It immediately became evident that the Government was 
not to be allowed to maintain its reticence. In the House 
of Lords, the leader of the Opposition scored the Ministry 
for having allowed the remonstrance at the Russian abroga- 
tion to " collapse into a Conference." He criticised the 
Home Secretary, Mr. Bruce, for having blatantly failed 
during the Recess to observe that cordial sympathy, which 
it was the Queen's boast had been extended to both belliger- 
ents.* He manifested lively doubt as to whether a Gov- 

^ Standard, Feb. 10, 1871. 
* Spectator, Feb. 11, 1871. 
3 Supra, chap, xii, p. 240, note. 



337] '^HE NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 337 

ernment, whose watchword had been retrenchment, could 
be trusted to strengthen adequately the national armaments.^ 

In the House, a critic even more aggressive was encount- 
ered in Disraeli. It could not be expected that, at a time so 
momentous, he would have placed himself among the silent 
Members. He spoke at length and at large. " This war," 
he said, " represents the German revolution, — a greater 
political event than the French revolution of the last century 
.... Not a single principle in the management of our 
foreign affairs, accepted by all statesmen for guidance up to 
six months ago, any longer exists. There is not a diplo- 
matic tradition which has not been swept away. You have 
a new world, new influences at work, new and unknown 
objects and dangers with which to cope, at present in- 
volved in that obscurity incident to novelty in such affairs 
.... The balance of power has been entirely destroyed 
and the country which suffers most, and feels the effects of 
the great change most, is England." 

He reviewed with discontent the Government's conduct 
from the inception of the dispute over the HohenzoUem 
candidature. He revived the claim he had made in July 
as to England's competence to threaten intervention on the 
ground of the Treaty of 181 5, which had guaranteed Prus- 
sia in the possession of the Saxon province. The treaty 
cited had already been disregarded by England when she 
accorded recognition to Napoleon III. So signally had it 
fallen into disuse that it might have served Mill admirably 
for his thesis on the instability of international engage- 
ments. 

He was more successful in criticising Odo Russell's mis- 
sion on the Russian matter. Her Majesty's Government 
had chosen, after receiving Gortschakoff's note, to consult 

* Dtike of Richmond, Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, Feb. 9, 187 1, 
vol. cciv, pp. zo et seq. 



338 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [338 

Count Bismarck, " a most eminent man, one whose opinion 
in a difficult question he believed to be most valuable — but 
a man who was the Minister of Prussia — a country whose 
conduct during the Crimean War had been ambiguous and 
equivocal." He was fearful that the Conference, which 
Bismarck had suggested with such cynical cordiality, would 
do no more than register a foregone conclusion. He was 
of the opinion, further, that the tolerance which the Gov- 
ernment had shown in agreeing to discuss the Russian abro- 
gation had induced Prussia to try their amiability by de- 
nouncing the treaty guaranteeing Luxemburg. 

Here Gladstone was able to correct him. On the last day 
of the Recess, the Government had been strengthened by a 
communication from Bernstorff. In it assurance was given 
that the dbjection Germany had taken to the proceedings of 
Luxemburg was one with respect only to military purposes 
and military necessities, and that she still gave recognition 
to the treaty of guarantee.^ 

The Departments of the Army and the Admiralty were 
treated no less cavalierly than the Foreign Office. Dis- 
raeli scoffed at the " attenuated armaments " that had made 
impossible the prestige of an " armed neutrality." He ren- 
dered sarcastic tribute to 'Mr. Cardwell and Mr. Childers. 
Those gentlemen, he said, had been entrusted with office be- 
cause it was generally understood that they were, on the 
whole, the administrators most competent to reduce the 
naval and military strength of the country; and the 
country, which was always just to public men, had unani- 
mously agreed that the right honourable gentlemen had 
entirely justified its confidence.* 

^ Annual Register, 1871, N. S., p. 269. iDiplomatic papers on Luxem- 
burg. 

'Hansard, op. cit., Feb. 9, 1871, vol. ociv, pp. 70 et seq.; Buckle, 
Life of Disraeli, vol. v, pp. 133-134; Spectator, Feb. 11, 1871 ; Graphic, 
Feb. 18, 1871 ; Illustrated London News, Feb. 18, 1871, 



339] T-HE NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 339 

On- the next day, Mr. Baillie Ccxhrane and Mr. W. M. 
Torrens urged that the Government make outspoken repre- 
sentations on the terms of peace about to be negotiated.^ 
They did not speak to an audience that was unsympathetic 
to the sorrow of France. But the Government had prc^- 
mised that in a few days the official documents would be 
laid before both Houses. Honourable Members preferred 
to consider these before indulging in further debate on the 
foreign policy. Further, it was known that within a day or 
two the Government of France would be formally consti- 
tuted. England was desirous of discovering what manner 
of state it was to which she was urged to give support. 

Outside Parliament, the sympathy for France was mani- 
festing itself in a way that hindered rather than helped itsi 
friends within. It was being increasingly merged, by those 
who gave it active expression, into agitation for a republic. 
The Address from the Throne had announced the engage- 
ment of Victoria's daughter, Louise, to the Marquis of 
Lome. On the following day the Queen requested that a 
suitable dowry be presented to the young Princess.^ She 
was very popular, and her choice of a Scottish, rather than 
a German bridegroom, had made her more so.* But, in 
spite of this, her claims on England as a princess royal were 
loudly contested. At Nottingham the grant of a settlement 
was condemned by a mass meeting, which separated with 
shouts for the English Republic. At Birmingham those 
who attempted to defend it were cried down, and the entire 
Civil List was brought to condemnation. Not a tenth of 
the meetings held to protest the matter were mentioned in 

' Spectator, Feb. 11, 1871 ; Hansard, op. cit., vol. ociv, pp. 125-129, 138- 
144, respectively. 

' Ibid., vol. cciv, p. 146. 

» Punch, Oct. 29, 1870 ; J. M. Ludlow, Europe and the War, Contem- 
porary Review, Nov., 1870, vol. xv, pp. 649 et seq.; Spectator, Jan. 28, 
1871. 



340 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [340 

the papers, said the Spectator^ but quite enough appeared to 
alarm the friends of monarchy.^ 

It was earnestly hoped that no fresh impetus to the move- 
ment would come from France. Englishmen were eager 
to see that country represented at the Conference. They felt 
that Gladstone's admission of Bismarck's quibble over 
Favre's safe-conduct was humiliating. But some among 
them were glad that a firebrand had been kept away from 
the tinder. They hoped eagerly for a government whose 
influence would not be revolutionary. The complete failure 
of the Napoleonic Manifesto to arouse any response during 
the elections had ended the fear that Bismarck might suc- 
ceed in elevating to the throne some puppet ruler of his 
own devising.^ Very shortly after this rebuff, the Berlin 
Post recorded that orders had been given for the Imperial 
prisoner to be watched more closely. The correspondent of 
the Graphic, in reporting this, added that Napoleon had re- 
ceived an intimation that he must abstain from all inter- 
ference in politics. It was evident that Bismarck's schemes 
for determining the government of France, whether they 
had been sincere or merely a method of weakening the Gov- 
ernment of National Defence, were definitely abandoned.* 

On February the thirteenth, the Assembly convened at 
Bordeaux. It contained a majority of Monarchists. But 
France had entertained so many dynasties since the Revo- 
lution that it was a majority sadly divided. Since none of 
the factions was strong enough to prevail alone, and since 
the Republicans were too strong to be openly flouted, the 
ingenious idea was evolved of electing as " head of the Ex- 

^ Spectator, Feb. 4, 11, 1871. 

^ Daily News, Times, Birmingham Daily Cassette, Dublin Evening 
Mail, issues of Feb. 13, 1871 ; for a favourable criticism, cf. Standard, 
Feb. 14, 1871. 

* Graphic, Feb. 25, 1871. 



341 ] THE NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 341 

ecutive" someone who could combine in his own proper 
person the elements of all the several parties. There wa3 
only one logical candidate for such a position. It was M. 
Thiers, and he was forthwith elected.^ 

"No living man," said the Times, "could pretend to a 
greater experience in the formation of a new Government. 
His name, either as historian or actor, was connected with 
every chapter of the great French Revolution from 1789 to 
the present day." ^ The chameleon quality of M. Thiers, 
combined, as it was, with a dignity and patriotism that were 
unquestioned, was very appealing. Each party, saving only 
the Red Republicans, thought he might be tinted with its 
color. The Orleanists, according to a Lombard telegram 
from Lyons, had confidently assigned him a place in their 
Cabinet.^ France, said the News, would soon cease to be a 
Republic and would welcome, again, the House of Orleans.* 
M. Thiers would be invaluable in bridging the way to such 
a consummation. 

But M. Thiers had recently declared he was no longer 
an Orleanist and the Legitimists were hopeful of his sincer- 
ity. To those Frenchmen who concerned themselves more 
with the establishment of peace than with the fate of a party, 
his election was equally agreeable. They were weary of the 
call to die for their country. Thiers, they thought, better 
than any other, could negotiate the ultimate treaty and 
recommend its acceptance with such dignity that it would 
be least hurtful to French vanity. If he could not revive 
France, after the manner of Gambetta, he could afford her 
un enterrement de premidre classe.^ 

' Atkins, Life of Sir W. H. Russell, vol. ii, p. 235. 

* Times, Feb. 27, 1871. 

* Tablet, Feb. 18, 1871. 

* Daily News, Feb., passim, 
*Ibid., Feb. 13, 1871. 



342 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [342 

An amazing proof of his versatility was that he was able 
to please not only his countrymen, but the invaders. Bis- 
marck was well content with the head of the Government 
with which he was about to treat. *' There is scarcely a 
trace of the diplomatist about him," he told his secretary, 
** he is far too sentimental for that trade. He is not fit to 
be a negotiator; he allows himself to be bluffed too easily; 
he betrays his feelings and allows himself to be pumped." ^ 

Garibaldi departed. Gambetta pled physical exhaustion 
and went into temporary retirement.^ No one knew which 
royal road France was about to take. But it seemed certain, 
at last, that she was safe from Red Republicanism. " And 
so," wrote the head of the Executive, concluding the happy 
story of his election, " in less than an hour after the vote 
that placed me in power, the Ambassadors of England, 
Austria, and Italy came to inform me of the official re- 
cognition of the new Government by their Cabinets." * 

In the British press his election was greeted by comments 
so divergent tliat one might almost have believed France had 
chosen as her leader a sort of Jekyll-Hyde combination 
unique in history. In the Guardian's opinion " M. Thiers 
would by foreigners, as well as by natives, be almost in- 
variably selected as the representative Frenchman of the 
age." He was praised as having kept unsullied his char- 
acter for political foresight and sagacity. He had con- 
demned the war and refused to accept responsibility for its 
continuance. But by pleading the cause of France abroad 

* Julian Kune, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Hungarian Exile, 
p. 187. 

2 J. M. Ludlow, Re constitution of England, Contemporary Review, 
Feb., 1 87 1, pp. 499 et seq. 

* Memoirs of Thiers, 1870-1873, p. 119; see also Hanotaux, Contem- 
porary France, vol. i, p. 83. 



343] ^^^ NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 343 

and by negotiating with the victors, he had given practical 
proof of his sympathy with her hard pressed Government/ 
The Mail viewed him less benignantly. " Of all French- 
men," said one of its leaders, 

he would be, in ordinary times and under different circumstances, 
the last towards whom foreign nations would feel called upon to 
evince consideration or forbearance ; for his patriotism was at all 
times selfish, jealous and aggressive, and his policy aimed singly at 
French preponderance founded on the division and degradation of 
all neighbouring nations,^ 

The Standard condemned him for being personally re- 
sponsible for the present calamities. He had voted against 
the war only because he believed it inopportune. " Whatever 
is bad in Napoleonism, whatever pernicious fruit it has 
yielded during the last twenty years, is the growth of the 
spirit first planted by M. Thiers in those wild romances 
which he calls * Histories of the Consulate and Empire.' " * 

In the Thnes, France was advised that stability was the 
first thing to be attained, stability, the second thing, stability^ 
the third, and that Thiers was the leader, above all, who 
could give it to her.* The Spectator, on the other hand, 
could, by no means, see that France had found a rock of 
Gibraltar on which to cling. 

Never was any forlorn sufferer content to find shelter under a 
more diminutive fragment of rock in a weary land than France 
under the leadership of M. Thiers, — a man with no political faith, 
hope, or charity. ... If France is to have a future, and grow 
into a firmer texture of restraint and resolve, her first necessity, 
after the exigency of the moment is satisfied, will be to put at the 
head of affairs some statesman of deeper faith and character, of 
steadier purpose, and of less twinkling intelligence than M. 
Thiers.'' 

* Manchester Guardian, Feb. 20, 1871. 
*Mail, Feb. 21, 1871. 

* Standard, Feb. 20, 187 1. 

* Times, Feb. 20, 21, 1871. 

* Spectator, Feb. 25, 1871. 



344 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [344 

Even Punchy that declared exuberant delight at the eleva- 
tion of a fellow author, showed uncertainty as to what title 
should be used in greeting him. 

Whether the new Sovereign is to be the President, Vice Consul 
or Emperor, Mr. Punch respectfully salutes him, and hastens to 
recognize the Dynasty. His Majesty has waited long for the 
Crown — but " the world is to him who knows how to wait " — and 
to work. The new sovereign's health in a bottle — aye of Bor- 
deaux ! ^ 

It was a hearty greeting, but a sure and safe one. It was, 
withal, appropriate. The new head of the Executive opened 
his career by stating that all constitutional questions mu3t 
await the peace for their solution. The words, la Repub^ 
lique, were struck out of all public acts. Foreign ambas- 
sadors were accredited simply to la France.^ 

On the day that this somewhat equivocal Government was 
inaugurated, the diplomatic correspondence, — or that por- 
tion of it which Granville considered harmless, — ^was laid 
before Parliament. The papers were those referring to the 
Black Sea matter and to the conduct of the Government to- 
ward the belligerents. 

It afforded to the Times and the Nezvs^ another oppor- 
tunity for commending the Foreign Office for its sagacity. 
Lord Granville's despatch of January the twentieth, suggest- 
ing to Germany the propriety of declaring its terms of peace, 
seemed to these papers, to show that the Government was 
possessed of boldness in a comfortably sufficient quantity. 
The Saturday Review was equally laudatory. It thought 
the British attitude contrasted very favourably with the 
illogic shown by the French and the harshness shown by the 

^ Punch, Feb. 25, 1871. 

' Manchester Guardian, Feb. 23, 1871. 

• Issues of Feb. 14, 1871. 



345] ^^^ NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 345 

Germans.^ The Government had, also, the suffrage of the 
Economist, which praised it as having done all that logically 
was possible. Statesmen, it argued, should not favour in- 
tervention, unless there was certainty that it could be effec- 
tive. The leaders of the belligerent nations had been intent 
on a quarrel, — and designedly had precipitated war by a 
*' false report of a fabricated insult." The struggle had 
been one of national jealousy, and an intrusive attempt at 
mediation would have only widened its scope and increased 
its intensity.^ 

Pall Mall, after studying the Blue Book, was able to con- 
cede only a " regretful acquiescence " to the Government's! 
policy.* The Graphic, though restraining itself from con- 
demnation, showed even less enthusiasm. England, it 
noticed, in spite of repeated urging by other Neutrals to 
agree on a joint policy in the interests of peace, had re- 
fused to do more than facilitate the meeting of the negotia- 
tors. When Bismarck had declared Germany's intention 
of annexing certain border districts, Granville had kept 
silence. In October, he had censured France for expressing 
her determination to refuse the victors a stone of fortress 
or an inch of territory. Not until January had he made the 
notable declaration that "if the war continued, if France be- 
came totally disorganized, a curse to herself and Europe, 
and Germany had no recourse but to seize and occupy vast 
territories filled with unwilling inhabitants, blame would at- 
tach to her for having refused, not the intervention, but the 
good offices of the neutral Powers." 

The Graphic doubted whether this, and later intimations 
that the treaty was a matter of legitimate European in- 
terest, had not been made too late.* 

^Saturday Review, Feb. 18, 1871. 
' Economist, Feb. 18, 1871. 
*Pall Mall Gazette, Feb. 15, 1871. 
* Graphic, Feb. 18, 1871. 



346 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [346 

A similar opinion was advanced with much more em- 
phasis by the Guardian. "What Lord Granville asked 
from Germany in the third week of January, when France 
in her despair was already resolved on negotiating without 
the aid of neutrality, might have been asked in the middle 
of last September with advantage. . . . Peace will now 
probably be arranged between France and Germany without 
England having a word to say in the matter." ^ 

The Spectator^ after its manner of saying its say boldly, 
squarely condemned Lord Granville's policy from first to 
last. His neutrality had been not frank and fearless but 
timid and ostentatious. He should have recognized the 
Government of National Defence. He should have pro- 
tested against the principle of the annexations.^ The 
Standard, though equally displeased with this phase of the 
Government's policy, reserved its strongest denunciation for 
the despatches dealing with the Black Sea matter. No Eng- 
lishman of honour, it declared, could read this correspon- 
dence without feelings of mingled shame and indignation.* 

It was not to be expected that debate on the Blue Book 
could be confined to the Fourth Estate. Early in the 
session of February the seventeenth, the Government was 
questioned as to whether it had made any efforts to dissuade 
the German authorities from the projected march of their 
army through Paris.* It was asked whether it had been ap- 
prised by its foreign representatives of a treaty between 
Russia and Prussia.^ When these questions were dexter- 
ously parried, enquiry was made of the truth of a report 
that French districts had been pillaged as a punishment for 

^Manchester Guardian, Feb. 15, 1871. 

* Spectator, Feb. 18, 1871. 

* Standard, Feb. 16, 1871. 

* Interpellator was Baillie Coohirane, Hansardi, op. cit., cciv, p. 378. 
^ Interpellator was Sir Chas. Dilke, ibid., vol. cciv, p. 379. 



347] ^^^ NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 347 

the non-payment of fines to the invaders/ But the debate 
of the day was initiated when young Auberon Herbert rose 
to call the attention of his colleagues to the papers relating 
to the Franco-German War and to move a resolution for a 
direct change in Governmental policy.^ 

This son of the third Earl of Carnarvon was regarded as 
a visionary and something of a dangerous radical in poli- 
tics. But it was admitted that he possessed whatever virtue 
there might be in sincerity. The veteran political journal- 
ist, Sir Henry Lucy, describes his honesty as having been 
equalled only by his undaunted pluck and almost womanly 
gentleness of manner. If he did not actually serve as the 
model for Mrs. Browning's hero in Aurora Leigh, the coin- 
cidence of likeness. Sir Henry thinks, was most remarkable.* 
During the early part of the war he had been attached, with 
Sir Charles Dilke, to an ambulance of the Crown Prince's 
Army.* But after the battles of Worth and Gravelotte he 
had given his sympathy to France. The speech he rose to 
deliver was a condemnation of inactive neutrality, but it 
was made without bitterness and with the hope of effecting 
a change, not of party, but of policy. It was his belief that 
the other Neutrals had been discouraged from intervention 
by the stoical attitude of England. He repeated the charge 
that she had played toward France the part of a detrimental. 
He called attention to the fact that Italy, on August the 
twenty-seventh, had for the second time expressed a desire 
to unite with her in action; that in the next month the 
French representative in London had informed the For- 
eign Minister that various Governments sympathised with 

* Intcrpellator was Mr. Goldsmid, ibid., vol. cciv, p. 379. 

* Ibid.t vol. cciv, pp. 387-396; Annual Register, 1871, vol. Ixxii, p. 29. 
•Sir Henry Lucy, Men and Manner in Parliament (London, 1919), 

pp. 247 et seq.; biographical sketch in Graphic, March 4, 1871. 

* Gwynn and- Tuckwell, Life of Sir Chas. Dilke, vol. i, p. 104. 



348 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [348 

his country's desire for an honourable peace; that Austria 
had repeatedly signified her wish for a stronger policy ; that, 
late in October, Italy had again come forward in the belief 
that the time was ripe for Neutrals to draw up terms which 
they thought should prove acceptable; that efforts to rouse 
England had been continued by her, jointly with Austria, 
through December; and that these efforts had been eagerly 
watched by France. Her Majesty's Government had con- 
tented itself with performing certain small offices for the 
belligerents. It had passed on communications verbatim. 
It had performed the office of a whispering tube. He re- 
gretted that England had not sought to exercise a moral in- 
fluence over the two nations, that she had not evoked the 
united voice of Europe for reconciliation. There was an 
international obligation, he believed, which no great Power 
could escape, and which none should try to escape. It was 
a thing wrong and inexpedient that Europe should stand 
apart in distrust and derision, and say no single word when 
a conquering nation was about to determine the fate of 
the conquered. He recommended the immediate moment 
as the latest opportunity for action. When Germany made 
known to Europe the terms of peace, it would become a 
matter of pride to her to sustain them. If the Neutrals 
were to do anything to moderate or soften the conditions, 
their efforts should be made at once. He moved, accord- 
ingly " that this House is of the opinion that it is the duty 
of Her Majesty's Government to act in concert with other 
neutral Powers to Obtain moderate terms of peace, and to 
withhold all acquiescence in terms which might impair the 
independence of France or threaten the future tranquility of 
Europe." 

The motion, and the debate which followed it, occupy 
something like one hundred and seventy columns in the 
official reports, and brought to the floor fourteen Honour- 



349] -^-^^ NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 349 

able Members. It cannot be said, however, that any new 
argument of consequence was added, nor that the original 
arguments were refuted. 

The second speech was made by another of the Liberals, 
Sir Robert Peel. Sir Robert, in phrases made pungent with 
the spice of sarcasm, denounced the Government for hav- 
ing reduced England to a policy of obliteration. His sallies 
at the Ministry's expense won laughter and applause, but 
they introduced an animus which Auberon Herbert had 
avoided. Sir Robert had recently visited in France, Ger- 
many, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium. His desire to 
range afield was not exhausted. He now made verbal ex- 
cursions into new matters, which provided subjects for fresh 
debates.^ Unfortunately, he was imitated by others, and 
the House found itself listening to a discussion of the 
Russian abrogation of the Black Sea clauses; a review of 
British policy in the affair of Schleswig-Holstein ; a com- 
parison of the diplomacy of Russell, Palmerston, Clarendon, 
Wellington, Fox, and Pitt ; and an appreciation of Cavour's 
work for Italy. Even the Alabama Claims were considered 
in some way to be germane to the motion. 

Sir Henry Hoare, and one or two others of the friendly, 
did what they could to remove the original contentions from 
the obfuscations of verbosity.^ They believed the motion 
moderate, and one that represented the wishes of the nation. 

Its opponents, — and several who professed to be in 
complete sympathy with the spirit it expressed, — urged its 
withdrawal on the ground that it was inexpedient and un- 
necessary. Germany, they said, would not demand such 
terms as would endanger France and Europe. England 

* Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciv, pp. 396-408. 

* Ibid., vol. cciv, for Hoare, pp. 429-431; for 0>rrance, pp. 437-440; 
for Tor reus, pp. 439-445. 



350 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [35Q 

should not, at this late day, and in an inadequate condition 
of armament, abandon neutrality. It was amicably sug- 
gested that if the Government make such an expression of 
their desire for a just peace, Herbert would be induced not 
to ask for a division/ 

Gladstone rose upon the hint. He answered the charges 
of Sir Robert Peel, and informed Herbert that his motion 
was inopportune, since, at that time, neither of the belliger- 
ents had expressed a desire for England's intervention. 
After referring to the hopes already expressed in Her 
Majesty's speech regarding the peace terms, he so far un- 
leashed himself from ministerial restraint as to make the 
following involved and satesmanlike declaration: 

Watchful I think we ought to be and should continue to be ; and 
it would be a great and noble distinction for this country if, with- 
out allowing her sense of humanity to betray her into proceedings 
beyond her right, she could inscribe on the roll of her great deeds 
having been able to make some contribution, should the need arise, 
towards the mitigation of conditions, necessarily heavy and severe, 
which must be imposed on the termination of the war on one of 
the noblest countries of Europe.^ 

Debate had shown that, though there was much sympathy 
for France, the motion would be lost. Auberon Herbert 
contented himself with Gladstone's declaration, and did 
not press to a division. 

Even in Liberal papers, pleasure was shown that the dis- 
cussion had not been closed before gaining from the Gov- 
ernment the admission that the terms of peace were a mat- 
ter for England's watchful concern. Next morning's! 
Times declared that the country, from motives of humanity, 
as well as from consideration for the future peace of 

* Mr. M. T. Bass, ibid., vol. cciv, pp. 445-446. 

* Ibid., vol. cciv, pp. 447-455. 



35 1 ] THE NEGOTIA TION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 35 1 

Europe, should leave no pains unspared to bring about such 
a settlement as would be permanently respected.^ 

For a long time, the British had had under discussion 
Germany's intentions toward Alsace and Lorraine. Glad- 
stone, in the last days of January, had declared unofficially 
that he favoured their military neutralization.^ Morier 
wrote that he was fearful that outright annexation would 
afford a permanent platform to the chauvinists of France.* 
Frederic Harrison pled eloquently that, in the interests of 
civilisation, France should not be dismembered by Ger- 
many.* Yet it must 'be conceded that time had somewhat 
dulled the dislike of the average Britisher for the annexation. 
The bravery and patriotism that the provinces had shown in 
the late elections for the Assembly revived somewhat of 
sympathy.* But England regarded their vote as hardly 
more than a beau geste. 

Discussion concerned itself more and more with the 
amount of the indemnity. It was the opinion of the Times 
that Germany would have done well to have regarded the 
gain of territory as so sufficient that she could be sparing of 
her demands on the French treasury.* Such temperance 
would have been welcome in England for more than altruis- 
tic reasons. Conditions in Lombard Street were unsettled, 
and would continue so until the terms were known. France 

* Cf. Standard, Daily Telegraph, Illustrated News, issues of Feb. 18 ; 
Spectator, Fefc. 25, 1871. 

« Morley, Life of Gladstone, vol. ii, pp. 357-358. 

3 Morier to Lady Derby, Jan. 5, 1871, Memoirs of Sir Robt. Morier, 
pp. 222-223. 

* Harrison, Effacetnent of England, Fortnightly Review, Feb., 1871,. 
vol. iii, pp. 145 et seq. 

' Ludlow, Re constitution of England, Contemporary Review, Feb.^ 
1871, vol. xvi, pp. 499 et seq. 

* Times, Feb. 8, 1871. 



352 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [352 

had been a heavy borrower in England during the war and 
her creditors desired that she remain solvent/ Pall Mall 
feared that the imposition of a great indemnity would not 
only diminish the security of neutral lenders, but might push 
France into revolution.^ 

Not only in the matter of the indemnity, but in the pro- 
jected march of the German troops through Paris, did the 
red spectre of revolution induce denunciation of the rum- 
oured terms. For the pleasure of a promenade, it was 
feared, Prussia might provoke such tumult and slaughter as 
would make all Europe shudder. The News, the Giuirdian, 
the Standard and the Telegraph joined voices in its denun- 
ciation.® The Spectator, alone, professed indifference. It 
saw something incongruous in, regarding the Rue de Rivoli 
as a Holy of Holies.* 

A French actor, in London at the time, has recorded in 
his diary how intense was the interest England was mani- 
festing in the matter of the peace. One heard expressionsi 
of sympathy for France on every comer, and rumour had 
it that the Ministry was about to fall because of its inaction.*^ 

The representative of the Government of Thiers arrived 
in London shortly after the debate Auberon Herbert had 
inaugurated on the foreign policy. He was the Due de 
Broglie, grandson of Mme. de Stael, better known as a lit- 
terateur than a politician, — not the sort of a man to elicit 
or enjoy the welcome of a Republican Demonstration Com- 
mittee.® Lord Granville received him cordially, and within 

^Economist, Feb. 11, 1871. 
' Pall Mall Gazette, Feb. 9, 1871. 

^ News and Guardian, Feb. 18; Standard, Feb. 20; Telegraph, Feb. 
23, 1871. 

* Spectator, Feb. 25, 1871. 

* Emest Blum, lournal d'un vaudevilliste (Pfeiris, 1894), pp. 252-253, 
« Cf. Daily News, Feb. 25, 1871. 



353] ^^^ NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 353 

the week granted him substantial proof of the Government's 
sympathy. De BrogHe informed the British Foreign Min- 
ister almost immediately that Germany was demanding an 
indemnity of £240,000,000 and that France, in despair, 
desired England to ask for a reduction, and for a prolonga- 
tion of the armistice, and a more open diplomacy in the 
manner of conducting negotiations. Granville summoned 
the Cabinet. It was decided that representations be made in 
regard to the indemnity. On the twenty-fourth of Feb- 
ruary, Berlin and Versailles were advised of Great Britain's 
opinion that in German, as well as in French interests, the 
amount demanded should be no larger than that which it 
was reasonable to suppose could be paid.^ 

M. Gavard, of the staff of the French Embassy, has 
written rather contemptuously of the aid, which, at the 
eleventh hour, the " economic conscience of Gladstone " was 
induced to render France.^ 

It was a matter, however, of much satisfaction to the 
Ministry itself that when news of the preliminary treaty 
reached London, on the twenty-fifth, it was found that the 
indemnity had been reduced by £40,000,000. Gladstone, 
the day before, had sustained with little glory a very severe 
attack of Disraeli's in regard to the Russian abrogation. 
So sorely was he pressed that he had even pretended a 
belief that Odo Russell had been quoting Bismarck when he 
reported the famous conversation in which it was declared 
England stood ready to go to war with or without allies. 
The House had been vastly amused at his strategem. When 
he insisted that the Conference had been called to register 
a protest against the manner of the abrogation rather than 
to determine whether it should take effect, his colleagues had 

* Brit. State Papers, vol. Ixxi, pp. 192 et seq. 
'Gavard, Un diplomate d, Londres (Paris, 1895), p. 3. 



354 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [354 

shown themselves dubious.^ The Government was in need 
of comfort and elected to find it in the reduction of the in- 
demnity. 

Viewed in their entirety, the Preliminaries could be ex- 
pected to please only a most amiable Cabinet. Nothing* 
better might be said for them than that they were not so 
harsh as the false terms with which the Times had created 
such a furore previously. The document which had obtained 
the signature of Favre and Thiers provided for the cession 
of all of Alsace with the exception of Belfort, and of a 
large part of Lorraine, including Metz ; the payment of an 
indemnity of £200,000,000; and as guarantee of its pay- 
ment a German occupation of the conquered territory. As 
a final buffet to French pride, Paris itself was to be occupied 
from the first of March to the ratification of the Prelimin- 
aries by the Assembly.^ 

It was impossible to believe, in considering such terms, 
that Germany had had regard for the British desire for 
moderation. In the press, it was said that Bismarck had 
offered the choice of the cup or the dagger. His demands 
were condemned as monstrous, barbaric, and diabolically 
provocative of war. England's laughter was gargantuan 
when she learned that the Emperor WilUam, " with a deeply 
moved' heart and with gratitude to the grace of God," had 
informed his Consort of their signature. He was rudely ad- 
vised to modify his thanksgiving, since the two provinces 
he annexed would not long enrich the German Empire.* 
Journals, that during the course of the war had expressed 
the most diverse opinions, agreed in regarding the Pre- 
liminaries as only marking the inception of a troubled truce. 

* Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciv, pp. 854-865 ; Buckle, Life of Disraeli, pp. 
134-136. 
' Hertslet, Map of Europe by Treaty, vol. iii. 
^ Daily News, Manchester Guardian, Feb. 28, 1871. 



355] ^^^ NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 355 

The Times, the Telegraph, John Bull, the Standard, Pall 
Mall, the Guardian and Saunders' made themselves into a 
Cassandra chorus whose prophecies have, too unhappily, 
been all fulfilled.' 

Foreseeing such disaster, it is not surprising that, even 
with midnight striking for France, there were those who 
still urged the Government to forswear its lethargy. The 
Times reminded Gladstone that twice within the fortnight 
he had declared the terms of peace to be a legitimate subject 
of interest to Neutrals. It pled that the time had come when 
British envoys should be instructed to take action.^ 

The Telegraph prophesied that the world would unite in 
protest against so unmerciful an exercise of force.* A 
famous stronghold of pacifism, the Cobden Club of Edin- 
burgh, so far modified its tenets as to declare that under 
certain circumstances intervention was, not only excusable, 
but expedient in the interests of civilization.* 

Several German papers feared that British indignation 
would be expressed so forcibly that France might be en- 
couraged to renew the war.'' The Record claimed that 
Bismarck had so dreaded intervention that he had done all 
possible to shroud the terms in uncertainty.' So far asi 
England was concerned, the Standard assured the world, 
alarm was quite unnecessary. Liberal policy had reduced 
her to such a state of impotence that she dared not make 
remonstrance. She could only try, drearily, to look into 
the future.'' 

1 Issues of last week of Feb., 1871. 
■ Times, Feb. 25, 1871. 

* Daily Telegraph, Feb. 27, 1871. 
^Manchester Guardian, Feb. 28, 1871. 

* Cross Gazette; Globe and Traveller, Feb. 27, 1871. 

* Record, Feb. 27, 1871. France also was reticent. Thiers, on in- 
structing de Broglie to ask for England's mediation, informed him only 
as to the amount of the indemnity. 

^Standard, Feb. 28, 1871. 



356 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [355 

Of those that prophesied, perhaps, Pall Mall was the 
journal that saw events most clearly. The main object of 
the French home policy, it said, would be to raise up an 
army competent to cope with Germany's; the main object 
of its foreign policy would be to secure allies which would 
help the army to do its appointed work. All thought of 
lasting peace in Europe should be dismissed until the re- 
sults of the war had been undone, or human nature had 
changed its character. Count Bismarck had said that 
France would certainly fight Germany again, and he had de- 
terminedly made the conditions of the future conflict asi 
favourable as possible for his own country. It was his 
wish that he had spoken, as surely as it was his conviction. 
For the supremacy of Prussia in Germany depended on the 
political atmosphere being kept constantly charged with 
war. He had had his will, and Europe was reduced once 
more to a condition of political anarchy. Every state would 
do what seemed to it right and would exert its utmost en- 
deavour to secure the protection that comes from strength/ 

But it is not good for a chapter to close in black despair. 
Search discloses opinion of a more hopeful tenour. The 
Examiner, which of all the London papers was the most 
constant in its praise of peace, hoped, perhaps from the very 
enormity of the peace terms, that Liberalism would be 
strengthened both in France and Germany, — that the people 
in both countries would become stronger than their rulers, 
and discover a common bond of interest. It was a very 
radical hope the Examiner indulged in. In spite of its tem- 
pered phrasing, it was a wish that the treaty be annulled by 
social revolution.^ 

But if the editor of the Examiner appears to have tinted 
his glasses to rose colour, by looking eagerly toward Red 

^ Pall Mall Gazette, Feb. 27, 1871. 
^Examiner, Feb. 25, 1871. 



357] ^^^ NEGOTIATION OF THE PRELIMINARIES 357 

revolution, no such outlook was responsible for the content 
of the " Sage of Chelsea." Carlyle rejoiced that vain and 
querulous France had come to ruinous defeat. *' No event 
has taken place in Europe," he wrote of the signing of the 
Preliminaries, " that has pleased me better, and, for my own 
part, I expect that the results, which are certain to be mani- 
fold and are much dreaded by the ignorant English, will be 
salutary and of benefit to all the world." ^ 

» Carlyle to Alex. Carlyle, Feb. 28, 1871, Alex. Carlyle, New Letters 
of Thos. Carlyle, vol. ii, p. 277, 



CHAPTER XVII 
Lenten Meditations 

On Monday, the first of March, 1871, the German army- 
entered Paris. An Englishman, who witnessed the trium- 
phal march and left a record of his impressions, has des- 
cribed it, so far as the Germans were concerned, as having 
fceen most humiliating. The soldiers, he said, were like 
animals in a Zoological Garden, to be stared and jeered at 
by a Paris mob. They were hemmed in by artificial bar- 
riers, and by armed sentries, who looked on all their move- 
ments with suspicion. Behind these guardians of the con- 
quering army, a curious crowd watched, hour by hour, from 
all the streets that opened on the Champs Elysees and the 
Place de la Concorde. But no French person of self-re- 
spect, imless he had business in that district, let himself 
be seen there. It seemed that Paris had surrounded and 
besieged the Prussians. Either the Germans, thought thisi 
Englishman, should have gone through Paris, coute qtd 
coute, or they should never have entered it. Their sober 
faces showed they took no pleasure in this semi-triumph. 
They seemed homesick for the lands beyond the Rhine. ^ 

In London, Fun represented them as marching down the 
boulevards hilariously, loaded with looted clocks and 
watches, while war correspondents followed in their wake, 
furiously scribbling; there was a caged eagle that wearily 

1 John Furley, Struggles and Experiences of a Neutral Volunteer 
(London, 1872), pp. 365-366. 

358 [358 



359] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 359 

veiled its eyes to its captors' triumph ; and in the van walked 
"Otto von Roses," leading a donkey on which the pious 
William was seated, crowned with a shiny new crown 
and carrying Metz and Strasburg in his bulging pockets.^ 

But cartoonists, like poets, must have their license. And 
while there may have been some unseemly dancing about the 
statue of Strasburg, as the News reported, ^ it seems that, 
in reality, great care was taken to make the entry as little 
humiliating to the Parisians as was possible. Apparently, 
it had been designed for a practical purpose, — to hasten the 
acceptance of the Preliminaries, rather than to gratify a 
desire of the army's. 

Viewed in this way, the affair was completely successful.* 
On the first day of the occupation, the National Assembly 
ratified the Preliminaries. Two days later their ratifica- 
tions and those of Germany were exchanged at Versailles. 
The German army had eaten its plum cake, — from which 
all the plums had been extracted — and soberly departed, 
passing out under the Arc de Triomphe with less of verve 
in all its ranks than animated the gestures of some Parig 
gamin of the gutters. Stockmar wrote to Morier that the 
whole affair was ridiculous. " I should not have had the 
courage to subject the army to such a trial," he added.* He 
had not realized the magnificent discipline of the German 
troops. 

Something less than a sixth of the delegates at Bordeaux 
failed to feel the sobering influence of the occupation and 

^ Fun, March 11, 1871. 

' This account influenced Edward Dowd«i in writing France and 
Prussia, Contemporary Review, March, 1871 ; cf. Letters of Edward 
Dozvden and his Correspondents (New York, 1914), pp. 49-50. 

' Record, March 6, 1871 ; Times, March 4, 1871. 

* Stockmar to Morier, March, 1871, Memoirs of Sir Robt. Morier, 
p. 246. 



360 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [360 

refused assent to the ratification. Victor Hugo and Louis 
Blanc were of these. The former chose to regard it as 
the execution of France/ and, it was reported, both had 
sworn to devote themselves to eternal vengeance. The 
Times recommended that eternal vengeance be indefinitely 
postponed.^ There was a very general feeling in England 
that the hour for heroics was past. Victor Hugo and 
Louis Blanc, said the Weekly Freeman, had done nothing 
better than to lend the lustre of their names to dangerous 
designs of the rabble.^ 

It was M. Thiers whom London chose to regard as the 
true hero. He had been overcome with grief when he had 
announced the terms of the Preliminaries to the Assembly, 
but he had shown the utmost determination in urging their 
ratification. It was believed that, by his energy, the im- 
possible might be made possible and the terms fulfilled.* 

In the interval of their discussion, they had not grown 
in British favour. Indeed, analysis had shown them even 
more disquieting;. " It will always bei a distinguishing 
feature in the history of this struggle," said the Graphic, 

that even peace and the exhaustion of one of the parties has 
brought no relief to men's minds, but rather deeper apprehension 
and a degree of uncertainty about the future which must seriously 
affect the welfare, not only of France, but of surrounding nations.'^ 

All Europe would suffer, warned the Anglo-American 
Times. For France would become a conspirator with a 
strong incentive to a vicious act, and Germany would be the 

^Memoirs of Victor Hugo (New York, 1899). Translated "by J. W. 
Harding. 
» Times, March i, 1871. 

• Weekly Freeman, March 4, 187 1. 

* Daily Telegraph, March 2, 1871. 
^ Issue of March 4, 1871. 



361] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 361 

slave of triumphant militarism/ Very especially was the 
demand for Metz condemned. Its possession by another, 
said the Economist, was a menace to France. Where 
Alsace would be only regretted, Metz would be feared. 
" And we hate those we fear," it added sagely.^ 

From the increasing animosity shown toward the German 
Emperor and his Chancellor in British leaders and cartoons, 
it might be argued that fear was felt in the United Kingdom 
itself. ''Vae Victis!" thought the Spectator, might very 
easily be changed to " Vae Victorihus! " * And the Sunday 
Magazine violated a sabbatical calm by exclaiming, " What 
if next New Year's day should find us as this has found 
France!"* Alarm came, not only from the terms of the 
Preliminaries, but from a telegram of the new Emperor's 
announcing their signature to his nephew, the Tsar : " We 
have thus arrived at the end of a glorious and bloody war 
which has been forced upon us by the frivolity of France. 
Prussia will never forget that she owes it to you that the 
war did not enter upon extreme dimensions. May God 
bless you for it!" The Tsar, forthwith, had assured him 
of the happiness it had afforded him to give proof of a 
friendship that he hoped would be of long duration.'' 

In the first week of March, Lord Granville was recom- 
mended by the press to take note of this interchange of 
courtesies. There was need for wary walking at the For- 
eign Office. ** It is probable," speculated the Guardian, 

that the gratitude of the Emperor William was evoked by Prince 
Gortchakoff's refusal to cooperate with Lord Granville. If, then, 

1 Issue of March 4, 1871. 
^Ihid. 

* Spectator, March 11, 1871. 

^ Sunday Magazine, March i, 1871. 

* Weekly Scotsman, March 4, 1871 ; Court lournal, March 4, 1871. 



362 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [362 

there was a secret understanding between the two great Powers 
that Russia should play this part of holding the Neutrals back, 
and that in return Germany should help her to destroy the Treaty 
of Paris, it is evident that Count Bismarck mocked us when he 
suggested a Conference for the decision of the Black Sea question.^ 

This was exactly the supposition that Disraeli had placed 
before the House. It added nothing to the prestige of the 
Government nor the comfort of the nation to find it im- 
plicitly confirmed. People were laughing somewhat un- 
easily at a cartoon in Judy that showed William with out- 
stretched hands blessing the Russian bear, — a bear that 
had already possessed himself of the Black Sea trick.^ 

In Punch, the new Emperor was everywhere. The 
Heavenly Father was represented as placing the crown atop 
the Imperial helmet, setting his pudding before him at 
dinner, lighting his pipe, shooing away the flies during hisi 
nap, shaving him, and even ofifering to make his hair grow 
again in order to make him "truly thankful." Those who 
did not believe he was a pious hypocrite thought him a sin- 
cere fanatic, capable of causing hideous mischief in his 
attempt to carry on the mission of Prussia. The sick and 
wounded in France, and the impoverished peasantry bene- 
fited from increased subscriptions made to societies organ- 
ised for their aid.' 

Politicians, looking ahead to tomorrow, urged on their 
Government an increase of armament and alarmed themselves 
over the indemnity; statesmen, whose vision extended to 
years to come, concerned themselves with plans for new and 
stronger alliances; idealists, planning for an age they did 
not hope to see, evolved projects for the abolition of war 

^Manchester Guardian, March 2, 3, 8, 1871. 

*Judy, March 8, 1871. 

* Punch, Jam., Feb., 1871, passim; Weekly Scotsman, March 11, 1871. 



363] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 363 

and the founding of an international federation. It is a 
human habit making for survival, that even in the darkest 
periods there are always men who plan for a time of in- 
effable brightness. While Lecky was wailing that the 
world had been thrown generations back and there was 
no comfort, save in the " monkey theory," ^ and while the 
Statuiard disconsolately believed that the promise of the 
Golden Year had again receded into the distance,^ the in- 
conspicuous Society of Friends was recommending, in modest 
pamphlets, the beauty and expediency of tenets that it had 
long been following.* It cannot be said that it made many 
converts. England was impatient of the principles of John 
Bright. 

In the early part of March, however, much interest was 
shown in a lecture delivered by Professor Seeley, which 
garbed somewhat the same beliefs in the phrases of poli- 
tics, and suggested means for their attainment. It was the 
belief of this Cambridge historian that the abolition of war 
was not only desirable, but feasible. He did not insist 
that war was in all cases unwarranted, as was believed by 
the Society of Friends. Under the conditions then ex- 
istent, he thought nations, at times, should resort to arms 
rather than submit to wrong. But he argued for the crea- 
tion of a system which would render war unnecessary. Such 
an international federation, as was needed for this, would 
have to be essentially different from the system by which 
European affairs were settled by congresses of the Great 
Powers. It should consist of every nation that it was ex- 
pected to benefit. It would need a complete apparatus for 
its own functioning, legislative, executive, and judicial, so 

* El. Lecky, Memoirs of W. E. H. Lecky, pp. 90-91. 

* Standard, March 2, 1871. 

* Cf. Sunday Magazine, March i, 1871, pp. 21-22. 



364 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [364 

that it might be raised above all dependence upon state 
governments. It, alone, should have the right of levying 
troops. For individual states were as feudal lords. So 
long as they were allowed to keep armed retainers, anarchy 
was to be expected.^ 

At about this time, there was published Dame Europa's 
Apology^ one of the pamphlets written in imitation of the 
more famous parable by Pullen. It was distinguished from 
its fellows by a plan for the prevention of war. The Dame 
was made to propose that her school hold a meeting and elect 
five, six, or ten representatives to form a board of arbitra- 
tion for the adjustment of future quarrels. This was to 
hear the evidence on all sides, calmly to weigh it, and give 
its decisions, from which there could be no appeal. If any 
refused to comply with its decisions, she advised that the 
school was to use all moral means to compel submission. 
These failing, the others should entirely isolate themselves; 
from the transgressor, — refuse to communicate or buy and 
sell with him, in short, send him to Coventry. It would be 
only seldom, she said, that strong measures would have to 
be used, for the fact of bringing the case before the board 
would gain time for the cooling of passions, for calmer 
thoughts to rise. Finally, she advised that they make war 
a thing of the past, to be abhorred, not praised.* 

There was a nucleus of men across the Rhine to whom 
these ideas would not have seemed pure moonshine. Vic- 
torious Germany, however, was in no mood to listen to them- 
When Dr. Jacoby published an article, condemning the 
Preliminaries as exorbitant, he was sentenced, at once, 
to two months' imprisonment.* In Berlin, there wast 
regret that the indemnity demanded had not been greater. 

* Illustrated London News, March 4, 1871. 
'Pamphlet pubHshed anonymously. 
' Manchester Guardian, March 2, 1871. 



365] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 365 

The Germans would not have been so jubilant, thought the 
Spectator, had they realized they had lost the means of con- 
trolling the Government. " How much of the indemnity 
■do they think they will get? " it questioned — " or anybody 
else, except, perhaps Herr Krupp, and other great makers of 
munitions for killing people?"^ 

The matter was still proving of great concern to the prac- 
tical politicians of the Ministry. Gladstone and Granville* 
did not believe that France would be able to bear the burden 
laid upon her. As for England, according to the Econ- 
omist, whether its financiers subscribed to the French loan 
or not, there would be a great diminution in London of bul- 
lion. Great capitalists, like the Rothschilds, might be ex- 
pected to subscribe and would remove such sums as would 
suffice to raise the rate of interest. What they re- 
moved would be retained by Germany, it was presumed, for 
military purposes. For a long time money would be tight.* 

News of a curious project for a financial alliance between 
France and Great Britain has been brought to light by the 
publication of the correspondence that took place between 
Thiers and de Broglie in the early days of March. England, 
the envoy wrote his chief, was greatly disturbed over the 
amount Germany had demanded. She was disquieted be- 
cause the capital, called in from London and other financial 
centres, would go to swell the war chests of Berlin. On the 
day after his arrival, he had been visited by a high official 
of the Government, who had laid before him a plan so 
carefully elaborated that he believed it must have emanated 
originally from a member of the Cabinet. According to its 

^Spectator, March 4, 1871. 

2 Granville to Lyons, March i, 1871, Newton, Life of Lord Lyons, 
vol. i, p. 373. 

• Economist, March 4, 1871 ; Illustrated London News, March 18, 
1871. 



366 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [366 

provisions, the British Government would itself borrow a 
part of the sum agreed on as the first payment, and would 
lend it to France on the same terms on which it had been 
borrowed. This not only would ensure to France a lower 
interest than she could expect to negotiate of herself, but 
would increase her prestige by showing that England stood 
ready to associate herself, to this extent, in her engage- 
ments. 

After the agreeable plan had been outlined, it was in-» 
timated to de Broglie that the recently selected French 
Minister of Finance, because of his ardour for protection 
and his opposition in former times to the Treaty of Com- 
merce, could not be considered an appropriate Minister for a 
State, sensible to the benefits of an alliance that might be 
founded on the basis of finance. This conversation was 
reported at once to Thiers, together with deBroglie's reasons 
for believing his visitor had been the intermediary of Glad- 
stone. But the envoy observed that Gladstone was a strong 
mixture of common sense and ardent imagination, and was 
very changeable. His desires of yesterday might not 
remain his desires for the morrow. 

I'hiers gave the plan the approval to have been expected 
from a good financier. He did not intimate, however, that 
he would replace his Minister of Finance by one more 
favourable to the creed of Cobden. He informed de Broglie 
that he had no wish to renounce the Treaty of Commerce, 
but that, with the agreement of the British Cabinet, he in- 
tended to effect a slight raise of the tariff. Whether this 
answer was not sufficiently reassuring, or whether de Bro- 
glie's visitor had really been without authority, this inter- 
esting plan was not carried out.^ Individual subscriptions 
to the French Loan were made in plenty, but England did 

* La correspondence de M. Thiers pendant la guerre de i870-i8yit 
Revue des Deux Mondes, vol. xxxiv, pp. 56 et seq. 



367] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 367 

not herself go into the market to give the French the 
benelit of her credit. 

The Government was busy, at this time, with its im- 
mediate concerns. On the third of March, Sir Robert Peel 
had a second time raised the question in the House of the 
absence of a British representative from Paris during the 
siege. ^ By limiting his attack almost exclusively to the 
" flight of Lord Lyons," which he described as unmanly 
and ungenerous, he had weakened his case against the Gov- 
ernment. For culpability lay not in the Ambassador's 
absence so much as the lack, for over a month, of a consul 
or any other accredited representative to whom the British 
might have gone for aid. Gladstone found his arguments, 
if not judicious, at least spirited and provocative of irritat- 
ing criticism from the press. The Standard reminded its 
readers that when the Diplomatic Corps in Paris had re- 
monstrated against the bombardment, England had not been 
represented in the protest because there had remained no one 
to sign it but the Embassy's German porter. In commenting 
on Lord Lyons' consideration in having allowed the consul 
to rejoin his family, the paper remarked that the transaction 
would have been less gross had there been appointed some- 
one to fill his place. For the matrimonial ease of that 
iuxorious gentleman had been consulted with the most 
complete disregard of the residents, who were his peculiar 
care.^ ^ 

A few days later, the House of Lords was enlivened by a 
motion of the Marquis of Salisbury, calling for the re- 
printing of the guarantees that had been published in 1859 
and the addition of those that had been contracted more 
recently. The Marquis was of the opinion that England 
could not emulate the isolation of America since the " streak 

* Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, vol. cciv, pp. 1296 et seq. 

* Standard, March 4, 1871. 



368 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [368 

of silver sea " was somewhat narrower than the Atlantic. He 
conceded, however, that he was amazed at how much had 
been done in that regard ; for he had seen his country kept 
aloof while a former ally was crushed on the Continent. 
With the nations assembled in London to take council as to 
the political aspect Europe was to assume, he urged that it 
was timely for England to remember the guarantees she had 
been contracting for the past four hundred years, and to 
make adequate provision for sustaining them. The motion 
was unopposed by the Government/ It was not desirable 
that England should publicly declare political bankruptcy. It 
was a time, said the Gtiardian, when the old cry of " Perish 
Savoy ! " should not be distorted by echo into " Perish 
Alsace and Lorraine! Perish Turkey! Perish Belgium."^ 
England was distinctly nervous. She had no wish to 
increase the European anarchy by renouncing any of her 
obligations. She was very eager for information as to how 
it came about that other nations had been emboldened to 
abrogate theirs. During the session of the seventh, Disraeli 
questioned the Government as to whether it was aware that 
a secret treaty had been contracted between Russia and 
Prussia before the beginning of the war. Gladstone briefly 
declared that the Government had not been informed of 
such a treaty.* Two days later it received unofficial but de- 
tailed information on the subject from the Morning Post. 
In that paper the long suspected treaty was described as 
consisting of three articles, the last of which provided for 
the immediate entrance of Russia into the war should France 

* Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciv, pp. 1360 et seq.; Manchester Guardian, 
March 8, 1871 ; Court Journal, March 11, 1871 ; F. S. Pulling, Life and 
Speeches of Marquis of Salisbury (London, 1885), pp. 155-157. 

^Manchester Guardian, March 17, 1871. 

' Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciv, pp. 1501 et seq.; Standard, March 8, 
1871 ; Spectator, March 11, 1871. 



369] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 369 

acquire an active ally. When the solemn Lord Carnarvon 
interrogated Granville on the subject, England's Foreign 
Minister denied any knowledge of such an agreement as that 
referred to in the Post.^ But this was not the first docu- 
ment that within the year had been brought to public notice 
by the press. There was a suspicion that the information 
^iven out by the aristocratic Post was correct. The Gov- 
ernment's affirmation of ignorance on the matter caused 
many to question the state of efficiency existing at the For- 
eign Office. 

In the House, Sir Charles Dilke was annoying Gladstone 
by persistent efforts to obtain a place on the calendar for a 
motion condemning the Government's conduct in having 
accepted the London Conference. Only Gladstone's in- 
sistence that he was unable to discuss the subject while the 
diplomats were in session, finally obtained the debate's post- 
ponement. De Broglie wrote his chief that the little assem- 
blage known as the London Conference was never spoken 
of without a smile. Granville, he reported, was uncom- 
fortably aware of the ridicidous role he was playing and 
more than eager for the thing to be over. Thiers instructed 
his envoy that, under the circumstances, it would not be wise 
to make any representations to the Conference on the sub- 
ject of the impending treaty. The British Government had 
evinced such respect for a fait accompli that nothing more 
could be expected of it, by France, than some futile form of 
remonstrance. Bismarck, he wrote, was already in a very ill 
humour because of the suggestions made as to the indem- 
nity. He was saying ugly things of England and showing 
great irritation towards the French. To raise the question 
of the treaty in its entirety would give him the opportunity 
of claiming that France had negotiated ia bad faith. He 

* Hansard, op. cit., vol. cciv, pp. 1603 et seq. 



370 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [370 

might see fit to suspend indefinitely the evacuation of his 
armies.^ 

Theirs' s account of the Chancellor's anger was confirmed 
by certain declarations that Bismarck caused to be inserted 
in his official organ, the Correspondent. England, he 
charged, was hankering after a diplomatic defeat that she 
had every reason to avoid. She was treating Europe as a 
theatre for the advancement of her interests. Her states^ 
men were amazingly inflated with self-made illusions, and 
they would show wisdom in not subjecting themselves to 
contact with solid realities. He was angered at proposals 
and motions that sounded like insults from her Parliamen- 
tarians. He believed that the mildness with which Glad- 
stone rejected them afforded matter for consideration.^ 
Evidently, Bismarck was not in the mood to receive further 
representations. Equally evident was it that he desired that 
England know of his ill temper. 

On the thirteenth, the Conference adjourned without hav- 
ing added fuel to the advertised Bismarkian fire. England's 
prestige had been in no way heightened by the presence of 
the long-expected envoy from France. Rather, Lord Gran- 
ville must have felt shame at the contrast that was afforded 
to his own acquiescence in Russia's wishes. For de Broglie^ 
though able 10 participate only at the last meeting, — ^and 
then as the representative of a defeated Power, — had made 
bold to say that the French Government saw no sufficient 
reason for a moderation of the Treaty of 1856 and would 
have preferred its maintenance.^ 

The unclimatic conclusion of the Conference was very 
harshly condemned by the press. Russia, it was noted, 

^ La Correspondance de M. Thiers, etc., Revue des Deux Mondes^ 
vol. xxxiv, pp. 59-78. 

' Reported in Standard, March 4, 1871. 

• Hertslet, Map of Europe by Treaty, vol. iii, p. 1919. 



371 ] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 371 

had gained the consent of the Powers to the changes she had 
so violently demanded. The fact that she had agreed to the 
principle that no Power could withdraw from definite and 
valid obligations at her own arbitrary discretion seemed 
somewhat of a mockery. The Government was not allowed 
to take comfort from it. 

" It is too ridiculous," said Pall Mall, , \ 

to boast of what was a technical expedient of absolute submission. 
A child who rebelled against physic might as well brag, with the 
spoon in his mouth and while the rod was held over him, that he 
had wrested from his tyrant an admission that 'twas only jam. If 
we must swallow the dose, let us take it in silence, in a manner 
more English and less French.^ 

The Globe regretted that England had simply formulated 
a way for legalizing national unscrupulousness and interna- 
tional fraud.^ In the Standard, the greatest scorn was; 
expressed for the manner in which the Government had 
eaten its big words of the preceding November.* Even a 
journal so sympathetic to the conclusions of the Conference 
as was the Economist, believed that England should have 
dignified her policy and contributed to future peace by hav- 
ing made some suggestion as to the periodical revision of 
treaties.* 

It was not surprising that, during this clamorous criti- 
cism. Sir Giarles Dilke should again have asked for a place 
for his motion. Gladstone resorted to a last means of 
silencing the persistent young Member from Qielsea. He 
told him that the proposed motion was nothing less than a 
vote of censure, the carrying of which would involve thx? 

> Pall Mall Gazette, March 14, 1871. 

* Globe, March 15, 1871. 

* Standard, March 14, 20, 1871. 

* Economist, March 18, 1871. 



372 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN' WAR [372 

retirement of the Government. He asked if it was Dilke's 
intentioin to propose such a motion. The young Liberal 
accepted the Government's interpretation and still refused 
to give v^ay/ 

If the Conference had proven so unpleasant an affair 
for England, it was recognized that discomfort came because 
her former ally had been, not so much a participant, as a 
sort of haunting shadow that could not presume to ask a 
crumb of comfort. It was increasingly urged that France 
must speedily be reconstituted, so that she could make her 
presence felt. England was glad when, on the sixteenth of 
March, a convention was signed for a progressive delivery 
to the French authorities of the districts under invasion.* 
A few days later hope receded. For it was learned that 
Paris had declared the Commime. As a consequence, the 
withdrawal of any German forces was countermanded. It 
seemed even probable that the invading army might come to 
be used by the Thiers Government in its own defence.^ 

There were not wanting in England men who could ap- 
preciate the reasons, economic and political, that led to the 
Commune. The dissolution of the National Guard; fear 
of having to meet the liabilities that had accrued during the 
war; the humiliation of the German occupation; distrust 
of Thiers and the absent Assembly, combined with the in- 
evitable misery that follows a siege, had induced a despair 
that braved disaster to seek relief. John Richard Green 
was one of those who believed that Paris, in her first de- 
mands, had been reasonable, — she had asked only for the 
self-government possessed by every English town.* 

But it must be admitted that, for the most part, England's 

^ Hansard, op. cit., vol. ccv, pp. 53 et seq. 
" Hertslet, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 1927. 

* Daily News, March 22, 1871. 

* Letters of /. R. Green, p. 288. 



373] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 373 

attitude was one cf impatience. She felt somewhat as 
though she had bound up the wounds cf a badly battered 
belligerent and provided him a crutch for support, only to 
see him straighten up and make a melodramatic attempt at 
suicide. She was divided between disappointment at Thiers 
(who, evidently, was not the stout prop she had supposed) 
and anger at the whole nation. Matthew Arnold believed 
there could be no hope until a new generation of Frenchmen 
had replaced the trouble makers.^ The historian, Lecky, 
wrote in a private letter that the character of the people 
seemed corroded to the core and that all Burke's prophecies 
were about to be fulfilled.^ 

Thiers was looked to as the only one who could exert him- 
self as saviour, and was exhorted and abused because he 
was not showing himself more heroic. A correspondent of 
the Scotsman wrote that, in Paris, they said his title was 
most appropriate. He had been appointed Head of the Ex- 
ecutive Power in order that he might execute the Republic.^ 
When he showed hesitation in laying siege to Paris, there 
were those in England that believed he was trying to dis- 
credit the new Government in order to bring back the Orlean- 
ists. Others there were, who said that his hesitation was 
due only to weakness. Felix Whitehurst thought him too 
much of a weathercock to guide the destinies of France. 
He had had so many quarrels with himself, and had so often 
disputed with himself about his own political views, giving* 
away often, holding out now and again, and changing like a 
chameleon that, thus late in life, he should not have been ex- 
pected to pursue a steady policy.* In Otice a Week, the 

1 Letters of Matthew Arnold, vol. ii, p. 60. 

* El. Lecky, Memoirs of W. E. H. Lecky, p. 91. 

* Dr. Rose Cormack, Scotsman, March 4, 1871. 

* Whitehurst, Paris under the Armistice, Belgravia, March, 1871, vol. 
xiv, pp. 89 et seq. 



374 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [374 

Opinion was expressed as strongly as by the correspondent 
of the Telegraph. " M. Thiers," it said, " is probably the 
most time-serving politician that ever lived. Whichever 
way the power of circumstance pointed it has always been 
the manner of M. Thiers to bend to the breeze .... 
clever, eloquent, equal to any immediate emergency, he has 
never had a principle." ^ 

In Germany, affairs were going more to British liking. 
The reports that such generals as Manteuffel and von Moltke 
had failed of election to the Federal Parliament were taken 
to indicate that there existed jealousy of the supremacy of 
the army. It was found that the moderate Liberals had 
returned a reliable majority. England, while wishing 
the path of Thiers to be velvet smooth, was well content 
that Bismarck should find his way blocked by the friends 
of constitutional government. Said the Guardian: 

The Liberal triumph of the elections are only a premonitory sign 
that when they (the Germans) consider their position they will be 
dissatisfied with it, and resolve to free themselves from the over- 
bearing supremacy which the military successes of Prussia have 
established.^ 

William's opening Address was variously praised as a 
model of dignity and moderation and derided as a pre- 
sumptuous announcement that his great authority would 
regenerate mankind.* But the speech of the Emperor was 
not so much of interest as was the fact that the people had 
indicated a distrust of militarism in the elections, and that 
in their celebration of the peace they were showing them- 
selves calm and self -restrained.* The British were hope- 

5 Issue of March 18, 1871. 

Uhid. 

' Cf. Spectator, March 25, 1871 ; Guardian, March 28, 1871. 

* Daily News, March 23, 1871. 



375] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 375 

fill of the people in Germany as surely as they were hopeful 
of the rulers in France. The more the Germans exerted 
their influence on the Government, the more would it tend 
to follow the lines of orderly constitutionalism. But the 
more the French asserted themselves politically, the greater 
would be the danger that their Government would deviate 
from the ways beloved by Britain. 

Her interest in the regeneration of France was very near. 
The wish for a strong ally was scarcely greater than the 
dread of the effect of a France bent on experimentation. 
Pall Mall pointed out that Louis Blanc's residence in Eng- 
land had not been unproductive. His opinions appeared in 
many of the ideas most cherished by the workingmen. 
There was already a savour of the Commune in the constitu- 
tion of every trade union.^ The growth of Republicanism, 
manifested by so many of the meetings held during the war, 
had lately exhibited itself in agitation over the grant to 
Princess Louise of a dowry. It was very generally admitted 
that the single vote cast against the grant in the House was 
no adequate indication of the opposition that was being 
expressed without. The Queen had weakened her position 
by an over long retirement.^ On the occasions when she had 
emerged, it had been to offer unpopular congratulations to the 
new Emperor and to make this unpopular request on behalf 
of her daughter. Sir Arthur Helps, in a letter written on 
March the twenty-third, records that of all the great people 
he saw assembled to go to the Royal marriage, Disraeli was 
the only one cheered by the immense crowd that gathered 
to see them off.^ The English were losing something of 
their love for a lord. 

^ Pall Mall Gazette, March 23, 1871. 
' Spectator, Feb. 4, 1871 ; Evening Mail, Mardi 28, 1871. 
8 Correspondence of Sir Arthur Helps, K.C.B. (edited by his son 
(London, 1917). PP- 305-306. 



376 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [375 

During the week a meeting of upwards of fifteen hundred 
was held in the Hall of Science, St. Luke's. Stormy speeches 
were made, and reports were read from Republican clubs ia 
Birmingham, Nottingham, and other large towns. Mr. 
Bradlaugh was the speaker of the evening and carried al- 
most unanimously his motion to form similar clubs in Lon- 
don. The last edition of his paper, the National Reformer,, 
had been sold out. Another journal of similar tenour, the 
Republican, had greatly increased its circulation. An even~ 
ing or so later, in pursuance of the project of this meeting, 
a body of delegates from the Radical Associations of Lon- 
don met at the Wellington Music Hall. It was resolved 
that an organization to encourage Republicanism be formed,, 
and that an address be prepared to the country.^ Om 
March the twenty- fourth, Gladstone was asked in the House 
whether this meeting had not been of a treasonable character 
and what course the Government intended to take in regard 
to the offenders. He replied that there was no intention to 
take any steps in the matter. He had confidence that the 
" wrong and foolish opinions " embodied in the resolutions 
might be left to sink into appropriate oblivion.^ Other re- 
publican meetings were held and various associations were 
formed, but the Government was not induced to deviate 
from its policy of indifiference. 

Evidence that it had no cause for alarm on the score of 
Republicanism, was deduced by the hopeful from the cor- 
diality of the reception that was being accorded to an ex- 
Emperor. On March the twentieth, Louis Napoleon had ar- 
rived at Dover on the way to the Empress' retreat at Chisle- 
hurst. A great mob had greeted him and their shouting did 

1 Tablet, Apr. i, 1871, English Republicanism; Eraser's MagasinCt 
June, 1871, N. iS. iii, pp. 751 ^t seq. 

' Hansard, op. cit., vol. civ, pp. 574 ei seq. 



377] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 2,77 

not cease until he had reached his hotel. ^ But though the 
mayor had addressed him as " your Majesty " and many had 
shouted vivas for the Emperor, the warmth of his reception 
was due, not so much to respect for his former high estate, as 
to sorrow for an old friend of England's, who was thought 
to have been unjustly treated by his own country. Accord- 
ing to the Tablet, the cordial, boisterous welcome was a sort 
of John Bull protest against kicking a man when he was 
down, — a rough way of declaring that in England it was 
thought sneaking to turn on a man when his luck had 
deserted him.^ Napoleon was quite sensible of the char- 
acter of his reception, — too clever not to know that it was 
due, in part, to a reaction against the success and severity of 
Prussia. When, a day or two later, the Earl of Malmesbury 
journeyed down to Chislehurst, he found him calm and 
dignified, — grateful for friendly good wishes, but reconciled 
to the fortunes of war. There were to 'be no more intrigues 
on his account in England.' 

It was wished by many Parliamentarians, who were weary 
of the group that interested themselves in Britain's foreign' 
policy, that Sir Charles Dilke might have learned from the 
distinguished exile a lesson in submission. More than two 
weeks had elapsed since the adjournment of the Congress 
when, at last, he succeeded iru putting before the House the 
motion so long postponed by the Government.* The occa- 
sion was remarkable in being the first proposal of a want of 
confidence that had occurred since 1864. Moreover, the 
vote of censure was being asked by one of the Government's! 
own party. Sir Charles Dilke was very young to put a 

^Standard, March 21, 1871 ; Spectator, iMardh 25, 1871. 
" Tablet, March 25, 187 1. 

* Malmesbury, Memoirs of an ex-Minister, vol. ii, p. 417. 

* Hansard, op. cit., vol. ccv, p. 894. 



378 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [378 

motion of such importance. But it was agreed that the 
speech in which he urged it was worthy of a mature states- 
man. 

His purpose was not to discuss either the methods or the 
resuks of the Conference, but to deplore the Government's 
action in having entered it at all. This undue circumscribing 
of the issue enabled those Liberals who were discontented 
at the part played by Granville during the Conference to 
withhold support that, otherwise, might have been granted. 
But if the confines of his argument were narrow, the at- 
tack was, at least, forceful and direct. He showed con- 
clusively that, though Gortchakoff had been induced by 
British requests to say that the Conference would not con- 
vene upon foregone conclusions, he had never withdrawn his 
original Circular, and had come to London secure in the 
knowledge that, with Prussia's aid, he could convert his 
unilateral declaration into an act of international obligation, 
— that he even would make it a point of International Law. 
Russia had accomplished her purpose, as her press pro- 
claimed. She could have her fleets and arsenals on the 
Black Sea. The results of the last year of warfare in the 
Crimea had been done away with. The indecent haste with 
which England had assisted her in her endeavours. Sir 
'Charles Dilke thought, was most culpable. Before his 
coimtry had even ascertained the views of France in regard 
to the matter, it had instructed Odo Russell to accept Bis- 
marck's proposition. This had been done although the 
Government knew that the proposal of a Conference had 
come from Russia via Berlin. By reference to the telltale 
index of the Blue Book, he showed that the Ministry had 
garbled the despatches with which it sought to justify its! 
policy. In short, his argument was that through an exagger- 
ated timidity, the Government had permitted the obligations 
of treaties to be publicly released. He pled that there could 



379] LENTEN MEDITATIONS 379 

never be peace until there was an adequate sanction to en- 
force international agreements, and that such a sanction 
could not be found except in the binding force of treaties. 

One of the reporters has described his speech as a chain of 
reasoning from beginning to end, — " not the sort of speech 
likely to be efficacious in the House of Commons .... It 
was too closely and too subtly argumentative." ^ Honour- 
able Members grew weary and sought amusement in watch- 
ing the orator's movements. They were not impressive. 
He turned his body monotonously from left to right as if he 
were fixed on a pivot. The impression left was that the re- 
servoir of his speech was ingeniously located in his boots and 
that he had, somehow, to pump it up.^ 

It was thought that there could be no benefit to France 
in declaring, thus late, that the Government had done wrong 
in negotiating at a time when Paris was beleaguered and was 
unable to be represented. It could only be an acknowledge- 
ment to Russia and Prussia of their triumph, were 
Parliament to retord that Great Britain had knowingly 
consented to negotiate upon a foregone conclusion. To ex- 
pend energy in condemning the Government for a Con- 
ference, whose protocols England stood pledged to support, 
seemed futile. As Bemal Osborne said, it was like flogging 
a dead horse. His speech, and that of the Under Secretary, 
won the complete approval of the House. Though the de- 
bate was long, — ^more than a dozen Members participating in 
it, — Gladstone did not need to defend himself. However, 
according to Sir Charles Dilke, the Prime Minister had ex- 
erted himself very efficaciously before the speech-making 
began. By presenting Sir Henry Bulwer with a peerage, he 
had robbed the motion of most able support.* 

*W. White, Inner Life of the House of Commons (London, 1898), 
pp. 187 et seq. 
' Sir Henry Lucy, Men and Manners in Parliament, p. 
• Gwynn and Tuckwell, Life of Sir Chas. Dilke, vol. i, p. 122. 



380 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [380 

Another of those who had accustomed the House to ex- 
pect from him sharp criticism of the Govermnent, surprised 
it on this occasion with a defense of the Ministerial poHcy. 
Sir Robert Peel delivered such a speech as the Members) 
liked. He ranged afield, as he had done on a former recent 
occasion, quoted some "touching* words" of Longfellow, 
and concluded with a sky rocket of praise for the Govern- 
ment's ability, discretion, foirbearance. and good feeling. 
Disraeli, it was said, had come down with a great speech, 
for a first-class debate had been expected. But when he 
saw that it was dwindling away and would go out like a 
farthing rush-light, he refrained from adding anything of 
illumination by way of his famous verbal pyrotechnics. It 
is not surprising that, deprived of brilliant support and meet- 
ing opposition from unexpected quarters, the motion, which 
Gladstone would not allow to be withdrawn, was; negatived. 

The News described Sir Qiarles Dilke as an " unprciitable 
crotchetist." There was rather a general attempt by Par- 
liamentarians to snub him as a presumptuous young man 
who had called Members down to the House on the eve of 
the Easter holidays to hear him express opinions on a matter 
of irrelevance.^ No such objection could be raised to a 
resolution which was put forward the following night by 
Mr. Baillie Cochrane.^ And yet the Guardian reported that 
there was general indifference and inattention when Mr. 
Cochrane rose to put his motion.® Its object was to per- 
suade the House to express a desire that the terms of the 
Preliminaries be modified through the exercise of British 
influence. But the speaker, whatever the initial indifference 
the prospect of a debate on foreign affairs produced, had a 
personality and presence that never failed to gain attention 

* Cf. Bernal Osborne, Hansardl, op. cit., vol. ccv, pp. 973 et seq. 

* Manchester Guardian, Apr. 3, 1871. 
« Hansardl, vol. ccv, pp. 980 et seq. 



^8 1 ] LENTEN MED IT A TIONS 38 1 

and sympathy. Furthermore, it was known that he was not 
ambitious for office. There was a belief in his sincerity.^ 
On that Friday night he reviewed unfavourably the Gov- 
ernment's policy in the exertions it had made to prevent 
other nations from allying with France. As a sort of pal- 
liation for a neutrality that had o'erleaped itself, he wished 
the Government to exert its offices for moderation while the 
negotiations were still in progress. England was in need 
of an ally that was strong and genuinely friendly. The 
impending terms left France miserably weak. As for her 
esteem, he reminded his colleagues that the vote of thanks 
for England, proposed in the Parliament of Bordeaux, had 
been carried amid shouts of disapproval by a majority of 
only two. He saw danger in the telegram in which the 
German Ejnperor had communicated his recent triumph to 
the Tzar and had thanked him for his great assistance. He 
did not like the Tsar's assurance of the pleasure with which 
he had rendered aid, nor his wish for further opportunity to 
prove his sympathies. An understanding was implicit. 
England was isolated. He denied that the alleged policy of 
peace had been either peaceful or safe. *' It may be," he 
said, " a policy for a time cheap but it is not a truly pacific 
policy, if it is neither calculated to maintain the present 
dignity of this country nor the security of any in the future." 
The motion was ably and briefly seconded by that friend 
of France, Sir Henry Hoare.^ Gladstone, himself, replied.* 
He rested his objection to the course proposed on two 
reasons : if England should endeavour to obtain some modi- 
fication of the terms, she would gain no concession of con- 
sequence and would be placed by her efforts in the position 
of debtor of the dominant Power ; second, her interposition 

* Vanity Fair, Dec. 2, 1871. 

■ Hansard, op. cit., vol. ccv, pp. 1000 et seq. 

' Ibid., vol. ccv, pp. looi et seq. 



382 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [382 

would forfeit somewhat of the independence of the Power 
on whose behalf she mediated. In the course of his speech, he 
surprised the House by admitting that the British Govern- 
ment had known all through the war that if Austria helped 
France, Russia would come to the aid of Germany. It was 
a matter on which the Ministers had repeatedly denied having 
had information. He admitted, also, the existence of that 
isolation, which, it had been charged, was the fruit of Eng- 
land's pacific policy. Since February, he told the House, 
Granville had known that, in any effort to obtain a mitiga- 
tion of the German terms, England would have had to 
depend on isolated action. 

Here was something for Honourable 'Members to take 
home with them and ponder on through Holy Week, — ad- 
missions from the Prime Minister himself that Great 
Britain, for all her fine phrases, had held aloof because shd 
had known of a secret understanding between Russia and 
Prussia and, at the end, because the initiator of the League 
of Neutrals had learned that matters had so been manipu- 
lated that, should she have attempted to mediate, no single 
Power would have borne her company. Sack cloth and 
ashes and Good Friday prayers for Merry England! It 
seemed she had sacrificed her power, and vainly, on the 
crucifix of neutrality.^ 

The first day of March had seen the ratification speeded 
by the occupation of Paris 'by a German army. By the 
withdrawal, on the thirty-first, of the motion which had 
elicited Gladstone's Lenten confessions, it was evident that, 
so far as England was concerned, the Preliminaries might 
be embodied intact in the final treaty. 

* Cf. Spectator, Apr. 8, 1871. 



CHAPTER XVIII 
The Treaty of Frankfort 

During the Easter recess of Parliament there was much 
discussion of the methods Thiers was employing against the 
Commune and of the disasters that might be expected, 
should they not meet with success. Whatever game Thiers 
held cards in was sure to be interesting, but it was com- 
plained that he was so secretive that spectators could make 
no guess at his intentions. .In the matter of circulars, to 
be sure, he was as prolific as Gambetta. But when they had 
been discounted for their native amour de la phrase, there 
remained to them nothing. Splendid words were expended 
on the glory and honour of France, the valour of the Army, 
and the confidence the Executive had that in a few days — 
always in a few days — Paris would be brought to submis- 
sion. 

England believed that it could be reduced, and very 
speedily, — that the hesitation of Thiers was due, not so 
much to the difficulty of the situation, as to care for his 
own interests. A company of London Police, the corres- 
pondent of the Times has said, could have broken up the 
Communists easily on that famous day when Thiers de- 
parted from Paris.^ The Economist believed the Chief of 
the Executive, by doing nothing, was doing what he wished 
in preserving a meticulous balance of power between the 
Army and the Assembly. He did not desire either of them 

1 Atkins, Life of Sir W. H. Russell, vol. ii, p. 235. 
383] 383 



384 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [384 

to be strong enough to shorten the tenure of his office by 
accomplishing an Imperial or a Royal restoration. The 
Spectator and the Scotsman both pronounced him an intri- 
guer, who postponed the work of crushing Paris imtil he 
could make France believe that he, himself, was indispen- 
sable/ 

Meanwhile the world was informed by Thiers of the dis- 
sension that existed amongst the members of the Commune, 
of their pillaging, and the eagerness with which Paris awaited 
her delivery. The Assembly, he reported, was sitting tran- 
quilly at Versailles, surrounded by the best army France 
had ever possessed. The News could not resist comparing 
those two perfect but somewhat static institutions to a pair 
of English commanders, who showed a similar valorous 
hesitation. 

" Lord iQiatham, iwith his sword undrawn 
'Was waiting for Sir Richard Strachan ; 
iSir Richard, longing to be at 'em, 
Was waiting for the Earl of Chatham." 2 

Sir Charles Dilke, who had returned to France immed- 
iately after his Black Sea speech, made a visit to Versailles 
early in April, and was able to see those reasons for inaction 
which the Circulars had obscured. He found that M. 
Thiers's reserves consisted of two hundred and fifty guns, 
parked in the Place d'Armes with no artillerymen to work 
them, and a Paris regiment, locked up in the park to prevent 
its joining the insurrection.^ On the second of April, and 
again on the eighth and ninth, the generals of the Versailles 
Government managed to attack certain outlying barricades 
by using battalions of the National Guard. They succeeded 

* Economist, Spectator, and Scotsman, Apr. 8, 1871. 

* Daily News, Apr. 3, 1871. 

' Gwynn and Tuckwell, Life of Sir Chas. Dilke, vol. i, pp. 125-127. 



385] ^^^ TREATY OF FRANKFORT 385 

in occupying important positions, but news of their opera- 
tions left the British cold. What was wished was complete 
success. 

" Why in the name of humanity and common sense," 
asked the News, " was this tentative and worthless warfare 
indulged in, if the authorities were still looking forward to 
the time when they could act with some chance of suc- 
cess? " ^ A riot that could have been quelled with a small 
force had developed into an insurrection that skirmishes 
could only serve to aggravate. The Examiner complained 
that Thiers's half-hearted attacks were clearing the way for 
a terrible civil war that could not be staved off unless some 
faction should save France by executing a brilliant coup de 
mam.^ The Economist frankly favoured the elevation of 
the Due d'Aumale.^ Certain religious papers, disdaining 
Thiers as too much of an agnostic to save France, divided 
their sympathies among the Prince Pretenders. White- 
hurst, of course, in Belgraana and the Telegraph maintained 
his old loyalty for the Emperor. 

Napoleon III had visited the Queen at Windsor shortly 
after his arrival, and on the third of April she had gone to 
Chislehurst to return his visit.* Gavard, from his place at 
the Embassy, noticed jealously that the Prince of Wales and 
the Diplomatic Corps vied with one another in their testimo- 
nials of respect and deference to the Emperor, while the Am- 
bassador of Thiers and his entourage were ignored.'* So 
closely was the residence at Chislehurst surrounded that 
police had to be stationed at the gates to prevent the 
crowds from battering them in. When the Emperor at- 

^ Daily News, Apr. 4, 187 1. 

^Examiner, Apr. 15, 1871. 

^Economist, Apr. 8, 1871. 

*/o/m Bull, Apr. i, 1871. 

* Gavard, Un Dip lo mate d Londres, pp. 27-29. 



386 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [386 

tended Mass, it was found necessary to charge a fee of ad- 
mission in order to bring the number of the devout to reas- 
onable proportions/ Associations of the Conservative 
Working-men of Deal, Sandwich and Walmer sent to him 
messages of sympathy, and expressed a hope that the breach 
between himself and France would soon be healed.^ The 
excesses attributed to the Commune, distaste for Thiers and 
fear of him as a Protectionist, combined to vivify the 
memory of whatever good had come from the Emperor. 
John Bull whole-heartedly advocated his restoration and de- 
clared it was the only way of putting an end to anarchy and 
bloodshed.^ In Temple Bar, it was said that such an event 
would be most welcome tO' Bismarck, for the Chancellor was 
fearful of the influence the republic might have on his 
scarce made Empire.* 

But it was admitted by all, except those most timorous 
of Republicanism, that the astute Bismarck had nothing to 
fear from Thiers. Under his guidance, said the Spectator^ 
there would be established only a narrow-minded, reaction- 
ary, and very stupid Republic; one that would be as cen- 
tralized as the Empire and possibly as corrupt. There 
could be no motive for the Chancellor to intervene except 
the rise of a new and most attractive Republic, which might 
exert a solvent influence on Germany itself. Thiers would 
see to it that his wxDuld be neither new nor attractive.^ 
Whatever might be said of the hesitation he was showing in 
attack, it was evident that he was determined to make no at- 
tempt to placate the Radicals by concessions. The Evening 

* Saturday Review, Apr. i, 187 1. 
^ Daily News, Apr. 29, 187 1. 
*Iohn Bull, Apr. i, 1871. 

* Aspects of Paris after the War, Temple Bar, Apr., 1871, vol. xxxii^ 
pp. 91 et seq. 

* Spectator, May 6, 1871. 



387] THE TREATY OF FRANKFORT 387 

Mail, in commenting on the answer he had made to the mis- 
sion of Parisian delegates, said that he evidently had de- 
clared war, not only against the Communists, but against 
their principles, — ^that he was incapable of seeing that there 
was in their demands a germ of truth that would serve to be 
cherished in the future/ 

In spite of the fact that news from Paris was scant and 
reached London only after it had been filtered through the 
censorship of Versailles, the attempts at negotiation made 
by this delegation and by the Republican League, and the 
Freemasons, succeeded in making known the minimum de- 
mands of the capital. It appeared that Paris was urging, 
with a reckless abandon due to her recent sufferings, no more 
than the right of local self-government. But it was ap- 
parent also that, could she establish that right, she would 
rule herself according to very radical principles that might 
prove contagious to her neighbours. 

With the wish to break down, to some extent, the over 
centralization that was characteristic of France, England 
was in sympathy. It seemed right that Paris should lead 
the way in this. For it was recognized that it was peculiarly 
distinct from the provinces. Helen Taylor in an article in 
the Fortnightly, maintained that because of its cosmopoli- 
tanism, its extravagance, its disregard of morality, its 
abounding fascination for youth, it had become abhorrent to 
the provinces and, itself, was indifferent to their hatred.^ 
Others viewed Paris only as a type of all cities, that in 
their restless feverish life must be antithetic to the slow 
conservatism of the country. The Economist described the 
struggle for supremacy as a combat between two different 

^Evening Mail, Apr. 14, 1871. 

'Taylor, Paris and France, Fortnightly Review, April, 1871, vol. xv, 
pp. 451 et seq. 



388 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [388 

ages of the world, — a feudal and a commercial period, each 
insistent on dominating the other. It prescribed a genera- 
tion or so of evaluated education as the only solvent of the 
difficulty.^ In the opinion of the Graphic centralization 
multiplied bureaucrats but diminished the number of men 
who were capable of dealing wisely with public affairs. 
The plans of the Commune, it thought with the News, might 
enable France to adjust her ancient quarrel with the cities 
and, at the same time, gain for herself a greater richness 
and security.^ In an attempt to bring the problem home, the 
Evening Mail reminded London of the rights in its own 
possession. '' Paris," it said, 

asks to be governed by a municipal Council. Is not this the 
principle of the Government of London? It asks for power to 
regulate its own finances. Could any municipality pursue the way 
to bankruptcy more steadily than Baron Haussmann? It claims 
its right to regulate its own police. The city police is with us an 
institution carefully guarded by the city. It desires to manage 
the education within its walls. London has its school-board.^ 

These demands did not seem so atrocious that Thiers was 
justified in refusing to consider them. The Telegraph ad- 
vised the Commune to lay down its arms, for its desires were 
reasonable and Thiers was so just that they could easily 
come to agreement.* 

John Richard Green, though he had confidence in the 
cause of the petitioners, was less optimistic of their suc- 
cess. Thiers, he thought, had always been the ruin of 
France. He had always hated municipal freedom and had 
recently given new proof of this hatred by coercing the As- 

^ Economist, Apr. i, 1871. 

■ Graphic, April 15, Daily News, May 8, 1871. 

* Evening Mail, Apr. 14, 1871. 

* Daily Telegraph, May 4, 1871. 



389] ^^^ TREATY OF FRANKFORT 389 

sembly to refuse free election of mayors to all towns of 
considerable size. The fault of the Communal demands 
was not, as the Times said, that they were medieval and ob- 
solete, but that they were before their day/ When a com- 
monwealth of nations was once securely established, separate 
divisions within the nations could enjoy such freedom as 
was being fought for now. M. Thiers, Protectionist and 
nationalist, was not the man to anticipate the concessions 
that must be made in that larger day. 

It was the temerity of the Communists in thus planning 
for a new order, when England thought they should have 
been setting themselves to the work of reconstruction, that 
lost them such esteem as the municipal demands, alone, 
would have gained. The Examiner might praise them for 
their championship of the rights of workers, their efforts to 
weaken the tie of nationality, to denounce sham and 
tyranny, and to oppose the militarism which Thiers was 
fostering,^ but these endeavours lost them friends in Eng- 
land. Conservative British were alarmed that the chief 
offices of the Government had been assumed by workmen. 
They were fearful that the leaders of the urban artisans 
might attempt to impose their ideas on all France. Frederic 
Harrison, who was defending the Commune very vigor- 
ously, offended them by that asperity which admirers of 
other nations sometimes show to their own. The Graphic 
advised him that he was impractical, when he failed to see 
that his friends had shown themselves unpatriotic and 
selfish in attempting to make trial of their theories when 
their country was under invasion, and greatly needed peace.* 
In the Illustrated News it was declared that by her reckless 
passion for experiment, France was supplying the vindica- 

* Green' to E. A. Freeman, Apr. 14, 1871, Letters of I. R. Green, p. 295. 

* Examiner, Apr. i, May 6, 1871. 

* Graphic, May 13, 1871. 



390 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [390 

tion of Germany. The frivolity that the Emperor-King 
had claimed was excuse for his exactions, was now made 
manifest.^ 

It cannot be doubtful that some part of the anger shown 
to the Communists at retarding the peace of France was 
caused by impatience at their disturbance of British calm. 
Blame for the impetus to Republicanism, which had pre- 
viously been meted out to the Government of National De- 
fence, became a legacy, not of Thiers, but of the Parisians. 
Indications of its growth were all too evident. During the 
Parliamentary recess, Auberon Herbert, in a speech at Not- 
tingham, had the audacity to advocate that the elective 
principle be applied to the head of the British state.^ At a 
meeting summoned to protest because that unhappy can- 
didate for matrimony, the deceased wife's sister, had suf- 
fered a fresh rebuff in the House of Lords, there was waved 
from the gallery a red flag inscribed with that mystic 
shibboleth, the word " Republic.'' ® It was supposed to be an 
intimation that there was yet a way to attain to long defer- 
red desires. Mr. Bradlaugh was active and jubilant. He 
was as constant as a missionary bishop, in his visits to out- 
lying Republican clubs. In his paper, he rejoiced that the en- 
franchised British workers had come to "a judicious re- 
solve to prepare for an entire reconstruction of the basis of 
the British Constitution." * Mr. George Odger was evolving 
a system of education for his countrymen that would enable 
those who still postponed this judicious resolve to hasten 
their decision. '^ 

^ Illiistrated London News, Apr. 22, 1871. 
^Economist, Apr. 15, 1871. 

* Spectator, Apr. 8, 1871. 

* National Reformer, Apr. 2, 1871. 
'^Manchester Guardian, Apr. 10, 1871. 



391 ] THE TREATY OF FRANKFORT 391 

On the morning of April the seventeenth, the London 
papers were filled with news of a meeting of the Interna- 
tional Democratic Association, which had been held in Hyde 
Park on the Sunday afternoon before. It was a very un- 
important meeting, as the journals agreed, but it achieved 
the feat of provoking criticism out of all proportion to its 
size. The organ of the Protestant Episcopal Church told 
its readers that the meeting had been a miserable failure. 
It rejoiced that the spectacle afforded by the Parisians' out- 
burst of atheism with its attending consequences of im- 
morality and social disorder had acted as a deterrent to the 
respectable British.^ The News confirmed this churchly 
judgment by declaring that the social forces which pro- 
duced the display in Hyde Park had been not sufficiently 
deep or powerful to cause the most apprehensive of clergy- 
men alarm.^ The half-dozen red flags that gave colour to 
the parade, the Phrygian caps, and the band which played 
the Marseillaise " in a tune resembling the music drawn from 
a comb and a piece of tissue paper,'' all came in for ridicule. 
Hope was expressed by the Telegraph that when the French 
received the address which had been voted, they would un- 
derstand that it had been drawn up by men unknown in 
London and applauded by a crowd on a par with the throngs 
that stop to see the combats of Punch and Judy.* The 
Scotsman viewed the meeting somewhat more seriously. 
It was thought madness, but madness with a method in it. 
The pity was, it said, that there were certain men of char- 
acter, intellect, and ability, who with pen, like Mr. Frederic 
Harrison, or tongue, like Mr. Auberon Herbert, were argu- 
ing, in spite of all deterring facts, in favour of France, Re- 
publicanism, and against the British monarchy.* 

1 Issue of Apr. 17, 1871. 

' Ihid. 

» Ibid. 

^Weekly Scotsman, Apr. IS, 1S71. 



392 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [39^ 

About two weeks after the event, the Graphic reviewed 
the comments of its contemporaries and added its own opin- 
ion of the significance oif the meeting : 

It will always be an open question whether the difficulty of know- 
ing what's what has been increased or diminished by the circu- 
lating of newspapers. . . . What is the International Democratic 
Association, and what did it go to Hyde Park to do some Sundays 
ago? It was an assemblage of ruffians, said one reporter; while 
another, who referred with peculiar emphasis to the purifying 
effects of a certain shower of rain, hinted, also, that it was an 
assemblage of sweeps. Some gave us to understand that the 
meeting had been called mainly in the great pocket-picking in- 
dustry, others that it was a mere compound of noodles and 
knaves. . . . Its members may be all that they have been said to 
be, but beyond doubt they are essentially earnest rebels against 
society in its present form. It is the war of the penny against 
the pound — the penny declaring that, for all his individual mean- 
ness, two hundred and forty of him are as good as one of his 
master any day. It is pain so desperately pushed for a remedy 
that it finds medicine in a quack's mere promise of a cure. It is 
poverty called together in a permanent sub-committee to "sit on " 
wealth, with three pence to form a quorum. It is ignorance defy- 
ing knowledge to try a fall.^ 

An old M. P., who wrote for the Oxford monthly, ih.^ Dark 
Blue J observed this, and other meetings with satisfaction: 
" We cannot talk sufficiently " was his belief. " Talk is bet- 
ter than suppressed passion, and talk brings our great men 
in direct contact with large masses, and maintains a contin- 
uous thread of mutual confidence." A Frenchman had asked 
him, in the past fall, what the British Government intended 
to do about the revolutionary ideas evoked by the proclama- 
tion of the Republic. He had answered that the Govern- 
ment would do enough by doing nothing : it would allow the 
people to talk.* 

* Graphic, Apr. 29, 1871. 

' France Rejuvenescent, Dark Blue, May, 1871, vol. i, pp. 353 et seq. 



393] ^^^ TREATY OF FRANKFORT .393 

The Members of the House of Commons, when they re- 
convened the day after the Hyde Park meeting, showed 
their sympathy with the Ministry's pohcy of ignoring such 
utterances by forbearing to make mention of it. On April 
the twenty-first, Mr. Cavendish Bentick succeeded in put- 
ting a motion that recommended the withdrawal of Great 
Britain from certain obligations she had subscribed to by the 
Declaration of Paris.^ He had hoped to have brought his 
resolution forward during the sessions of the Conference, 
but the Government had contrived to delay him, as it had 
Sir Charles Dilke. His motion was foredoomed to failure, 
— the British had no wish to rival Russia in the manner of 
abrogations. But it gave Disraeli an opportunity of stating 
again his disapproval of the Government's policy. It may 
be that the speech he made on this occasion was the one that 
he had prepared for delivery when Sir Charles Dilke'a 
motion was received so shabbily as to have induced his 
silence. He stated, now, a very keen regret that the Con- 
ference had been held. " In the course of its proceedings," 
he said in large Parliamentary utterance, ** we have regis- 
tered the disgrace and recorded the humiliation of this 
country." He would ever consider the event of the Congress 
as " a dark page in the history of England." ^ 

For the populace of London, it was a page long since 
turned. Whatever interest they had in foreign affairs cen- 
tred in the struggle of Paris and Thiers. Bradlaugh, as 
President of the London Republican Association, was at this 
time in France, attempting the arduous role of peace maker. 
He was arrested by the Versailles Government, and de- 
ported from Calais. In the Times of April the twenty- 
fifth, he published the terms which he claimed the leaders in 

* Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, vol. ccv, pp. 1469 et seq. 
' Ihid., pp. 1496 et seq. 



394 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [394 

Paris were disposed to accept. They asked that the prin- 
ciple of Republican Government be accepted; that an am- 
nesty be extended to all political offenders; and that an elec- 
tion be held in two weeks' time for the office o^ Chief of the 
Excutive.^ Such terms seemed singularly mild in view of 
what rumour said the Communists demanded. It was not 
believed that Mr. Bradlaugh's statement of the case was 
correct. The News told its readers that the Radicals had 
issued a new version of the Rights of Man which sought 
to disrupt the French nation by erecting a series of little city 
republics.^ They had announced, too, their intention of 
destroying the Vendome Column. This contemplated de- 
molition of a monument erected to the glory of England' Si 
greatest enemy, strangely enough, aroused a furore of pro- 
test in the British press. It was zealously desired that Thiers 
would be able to capture the city in time to forestall such 
disaster.® 

Early in May, news came that Paris had elected a Com- 
mittee of Piiiblic Safety.* To the English the name evoked 
sinister memories. They grew fearful for the safety of the 
Archbishop Darboy whom the Communists were holding as 
a hostage. They believed rumours that the Madeleine had 
been plundered, — that pillage and assassination were the 
rule. 

Two Episcopal clergymen who were in Paris, wrote to 
the Spectator^ and to Fraser's^ reports that directly con- 
tradicted the prevalent impression. The article of one was 
not published until the first of the Eight Days that saw the 

* Times, Apr. 25 ; National Reformer, Apr. 30, 1871. 
' Daily News, Apr. 22, 1871. 

^Era, May 7, 1871. 

* Daily News, May 4, 1871. 

* At Paris just Before the End, Frase/s Magazine, Aug., 1871, N. S., 
vol. iv, pp. 230 et seq. 



395] ^^^ TREATY OF FRANKFORT 395 

Commune's extinction. The article of the other was held 
over until August. Both accounts are free from horrors. 
The Commune, these clergymen said, kept Paris clean and 
morally wholesome. It managed its police, its schools, and 
hospitals remarkably well, and it so restrained the power of 
the generals that there could be no danger of a coup. Even 
had their testimony been immediately published, it would 
have had little effect on public opinion. To their discom- 
fort, the two Anglican clergymen would, doubtless, have 
found themselves classed with Mr. Bradlaugh as partisan 
witnesses. 

The British saw no hope for France save in the success of 
Thiers. In April, he had entrusted his forces to the com- 
mand of Marshal MacMahon. It was reported that they 
had been allowed to occupy the positions north and east 
of Paris between the forts held by the Germans and the 
city's walls. Due to this concession of the enemy, Thiers 
enjoyed an important strategical advantage. For though 
for him the way of attack was cleared, if the insurgents 
had attempted an advance they would have been fired on as 
soon as they approached the German limits. During good 
behaviour, he could expect, too, to see his ranks filled by 
prisoners, who had been returned in accordance with the 
Convention of Ferrieres.^ But even with the odds against 
her, Paris, like Charles II, was an unconscionable time a- 
dying. The British were very impatient of the prolonga- 
tion of the agony. 

While the conquest of the French capital was being thus 
impatiently awaited, the Germans diverted London by a 
great peace festival, held there on the first of May. The 
orator of the occasion was Professor Max Miiller. In the 
course of his address, he admitted that a slight cloud rested 

1 Supra, chap, xvii, p. 372 



396 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [396 

on the triumph of his countrymen because there had been 
found in England a party that hated everything German. 
There were even Hberal and rational people who had griev- 
ously misjudged her. But he believed that the better part 
of England was friendly, — that the true aristocracy was 
hopeful of German success.^ 

Professor Miiller was to receive, very shortly, a severe 
test of the confidence he avowed in this S3rmpathy for his 
country. Somewhat later in the month, due largely to his 
urging, Hippolyte Taine came to Oicford to lecture on 
Comeille and Racine. Townspeople and students could not 
do enough to show their sympathy for the distinguished 
Frenchman. Mrs. Humphrey Ward, who watched them 
crowding to his lectures, has written that they strove, by 
honouring him, to honour France.^ There was no reason 
that the Germans should take comfort from the harsh 
epithets that were used to describe the Commune or from 
the criticism leveled at the hesitating Thiers. Both came 
only from impatience at whatever seemed to hinder the 
French recovery. 

In the book stalls, there was displayed a new map, show- 
ing the future frontier that was to divide France and Ger- 
many. Its original was said to have been prepared by the 
General Staff so far back as the succeeding September. 
The territory cut from France was in the shape of a 
widespreading, thick-legged V, placed sideways so that its 
point was toward the east.^ Men regarded it with the 
curious horror which they might have shown an amputated 
limb that had been placed in alcohol. From the provisions 
of a bill, then under discussion by the Federal Council, they 

* German Peace Festival in London, Good Words, May i, 1871, pp. 
489 et seq. 
■ Mrs. Humphrey Ward, A Writer's Recollections, pp. I53-I55- 
^ Art Journal, Apr., 1871, p. 127. 



397] ^^^ TREATY OF FRANKFORT 397 

learned that Alsace and Lorraine were to be subjected to an 
absolute dictatorship for three years, and as much longer as 
Germany might deem advisable. Even the inferior offices 
in the annexed districts were to be filled by the soldiers that 
once had invaded them.^ 

The second of May, Bismarck spoke to the Reichstag on 
the subject of the Brussels negotiations. Only in the 
Telegraph was he reported in extenso^ though his state- 
ments were certainly interesting. One of them, made 
with ostentatious indifference, was that there were said to 
be ten thousand English fighting in France on the side 
of the insurgents. The Era observed, apologetically, that 
they were really Irish, and Fenians at that, and England 
hoped the number would be materially reduced before the 
siege was over.^ The revelations, regarded with most in- 
terest, were in regard to the progress of the treaty. The 
Versailles Government, Bismarck believed, was protracting 
the negotiations in the belief that delay would increase its 
strength and enable it to get better terms. In a voice, 
meant to carry somewhat further than the Reichstag, he as- 
sured the Deputies that the French negotiators were mis- 
taken.* He had an excellent card to play gainst Thiers in 
his power of regulating the size of the Versailles forces by 
the return of the prisoners. At the moment, it pleased him 
to retard their return and to increase the army of occupa- 
tion. 

To justify his policy of incorporation, he admitted that 
Alsace was so thoroughly French that neutralization was 
impossible.* Besides this negative reason, there was the 

^Examiner, Apr. 22, 1871. 

*Era, May 7, 1871. 

^Standard, May 4, 1871. > 

^Spectator, May 6, 1871. 



I 



398 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [398 

positive one of the strategical importance of Alsace. He 
regarded Strasburg as the very gate of Germany. The 
King of Wiirttemberg had warned that so long as it re- 
mained a part of France his little state must be at peace 
with her.^ Bismarck resorted, further, to a tu quo que ar- 
gument of the type for which he had most fondness. He 
claimed that, in 1866, Napoleon had offered him the alterna- 
tive of ceding Mainz or accepting war. When he had 
virtuously chosen war, the Emperor had retracted his de- 
mand, changed his Foreign Minister, and made a public de- 
claration that it was to the interest of France to be friendly 
to Germany.^ 

If Bismarck expected that this musty revelation of Im- 
perial iniquity would in any way mollify the British in the 
matter of the annexations, he must have been disappointed. 
His statements received scant discussion in the press. In 
Parliament, the usual negative result was obtained when an 
inquisitive member tried to gain further information from 
the Foreign Office.* There was some curiosity, but no in- 
dignation. France was under a new government, and the 
futile threat attributed to her deposed Emperor had an in- 
terest only historical. 

On the ninth of May, Lord Granville was gratified by 
von Bernstorff's concurrence in the amount of damages due 
the Duclair sufferers.* The estimates had been submitted 
to the Prussian Ambassador almost a month before. Hisi 
acquiescence was timed with more consideration for his 
Government's interests than for promptness. It preceded 

^Spectator, May 6, 1871. Cf. C. D. Hazen, Alsace-Lorraine under 
German Rule (N. Y., 1917), p. 9i- 
' Saturday Review, May 13, 1871 ; Spectator, May 6, 1871. 
^ Hansard, op. cit., vol. ccvi, p. 269. 
* Bernistorflf to Granville, May 10, 1871, British State Papers, vol. Ixxi. 



399] -^^^ TREATY OF FRANKFORT 399 

by a day the signature of the Treaty of Frankfort.^ In a 
single respect, the Treaty was more lenient than had been 
the Preliminaries. A concession was made in the matter 
of the indemnity, — the only article in which Great Britain 
had attempted mediation. A sum of thirteen million pounds 
was deducted from the two hundred million, in considera- 
tion for the transfer of French rights in the Alsatian rail- 
ways. An agreement as to the first payment stipulated that 
twenty million pounds should be paid within a month after 
the capture of Paris, and that Germany would begin her 
evacuation then by withdrawing the troops in Normandy. 
The signature of a final treaty was surety that the Versaillesi 
forces would be speedily increased by the return of French 
prisoners, and that the fall of the Commune would be has- 
tened. 

In London, it was rumoured that Germany had asked for 
a commercial treaty, but that the Protectionist principles of 
Thiers and his Minister of Finance would not allow them to 
consent to it. The Spectator regretted that, by the aban^ 
donment of free trade, the French people would have to pay, 
not only the indemnity, but a bounty to their own manufac- 
turers as well. In Germany, as in England, there was fear 
that the burden would prove too great. But Bismarck as- 
sured the Reichstag that, were the payments not made, he 
would levy the taxes in a third of France, collect the cus- 
toms duties on her Eastern frontiers, and requisition the 
people for the maintenance of his army.^ 

In view of the terms of the Treaty and of the spirit which 
dictated them, it is not surprising that the News found in- 
congruity in that article which pledged Germany and 
France to everlasting friendship.^ The Communists, of 

1 Hertslet, Map of Europe by Treaty, vol. iii, pp. I954-I96s. 

2 1ssu€ of May 13, 1871. 
'Ibid. 



400 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [400 

course, accepted the transaction with no such demonstration 
of Christian amity. On the day after the signature, they 
repaired to the respectable residence of M. Thiers and 
Iburned it to the ground. Within the week the Vendome 
Column was laid low.^ 

The Government of Versailles possessed itself of two 
barricades at Bourg La Reine, refused to receive the Dele- 
gates from the Republican Union who came to make a 
last attempt at mediation, and proceeded with its discussion 
of the Treaty negotiated by the Chief of the Executive. 
The debate turned, chiefly, on whether it was expedient to 
exchange some cantons near Luxemburg for others near 
Belfort. It was decided that Thiers was right in his con- 
tention that the strengthening of Belfort was more impor- 
tant than the retention of districts that Bismarck desired for 
their coal.^ On May the twentieth, the Treaty was ac- 
cepted. On the following day, ratifications were exchanged 
with Germany.^ 

Peace was signed. But there was no peace, — not in 
France where Paris suffered under the horrors of the first of 
those Eight Days that were to end in the triumph of Thiers 
and whatever he might stand for; not in Germany, where 
pride of arms had tarnished those fine ideals that can most 
surely give a nation happiness. There was no peace even in 
neutral England. 

It is, and has long been. Great Britain's boast that on her 
little islands freedom of expression is far less confined than 
on the Continent. The grave forbodings that were felt in 
England were felt also in other lands, but England was the 
spokesman of them all. She does not seem to have been 

1 Issue of May 20, 1871. 

^Ibid. 

* Hanotaux, Contemporary France, vol. i, p. 302. 



40l] THE TREATY OF FRANKFORT 401 

jealous of German unity, but rather to have feared that 
German unity had been made a stalking horse for the de- 
signs of Prussia. The traditions of the HohenzoUems and 
of the nobility, who rendered them a feudal fealty, were not 
those, it was believed, that should shape the policy of the 
foremost Power of Europe. Pall Mall regretted that there 
was little hope that these would be modified by the Liberals. 
In the Reichstag, that party was showing the same acquies- 
cence in the duty of implicit obedience that the Junkers held 
as virtuous. " They have yielded themselves such willing 
instruments to Prince Bismarck," said that journal, " they 
have clamoured so loudly for union and unanimity as vir- 
tually to resign the right of opposition altogether. The 
boasted unification is not, it seems, to be union, but subor- 
dination." ^ Labouchefe, in his Dairy of the 'Besieged 
Resident, related an anecdote to show the sort of blind de- 
votion a German was expected to feel for his King. When 
Jules Favre, he said, was negotiating with Bismarck, the 
latter spoke of Bourbaki as a traitor because he had been 
untrue to his oath to Napoleon. "And was his country to 
count for nothing?" questioned Favre. "In Germany," 
Bismarck had answered him, " King and country are the 
same. - 

As for this Royal Family that was supposed in a mystic 
way to embody the ideal of the nation, it had shown itself 
neither peaceable nor trustworthy. It had established a 
wonderful system of education but it had preserved, as best 
it could, an ignorance of politics. The present King, said 
the Westfmiister Review, had no more than a drill-ser- 
geant's view of the concerns of his kingdom. He had 
given over the leadership to his Junker Chancellor, a man as 

^Pall Mall Gazette, Apr. 14, 1871. 

' The Prussian Character and Germany's Future, Chambers Journal, 
Apr. 29, pp. 264 et seq. 



402 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [402 

able as he was unscrupulous. If the heroic Army would 
but remember the history of their country, they would know 
that they should not put their trust in princes.^ For the 
Heir Apparent, to be sure, only admiration was expressed. 
He had managed, somehow, to keep his halo, even when his 
head was helmeted. But he would have to prove himself 
a saint, indeed, were he to withstand the traditions of Prus- 
sian leadership, once he had come to power. 

The Quarterly believed that till the whole of Germany, 
yet unannexed, should be absorbed into the German Empire^ 
one and indivisible, Prussia would remain insatiate and pro- 
fess fear for her security.^ In the Diplomatic Review, 
Urquhart warned that she would attempt to reestablish the 
Roman Empire, and that if the ransom of France proved 
insufficient to finance her armies, she would exact ransom of 
England, too.^ At Cambridge, Lord Acton told his classes 
that Prussian dominance was the greatest danger that re- 
mained to be encountered by the Anglo-Saxon race.* 
" Who will be surety for Germany?" was asked in Black- 
woods. " Who vdll say that greater and longer wars will 
not grow out of the war that has just ended, and involve the 
whole Continent in quarrels ? " ^ One of the correspondents 
who had followed her armies and had high admiration for 
their valour and noble qualities, believed that the dangerous 
impetus to aggression came solely from a passion for nation- 
ality. So far as Belgium or Poland were concerned, he 

^ Westminster Review, Jan.-Apr., 1871, vol. xcv, pp. 160 et seq. 
^ Third Republic and the Second German Empire, Quarterly Review,. 
Apr., 1871, pp. 351 et seq. 
' Third Roman Empire, Diplomatic Review, Apr., 1871. 

* Selections from the Correspondence of the first Lord Acton (edited 
by J. N. Figgis, London, 1917), vol. i, p. 11. 

* The End of the War, Blackwood's Magazine, Apr., 1871, vol. cix, 
p. 506. 



403] ^^^ TREATY OF FRANKFORT 403 

declared that Germany would not molest them, were Europe 
totally disarmed; but where she believed the territory was 
inhabited by Teutons, conquest would seem to her a religious 
duty.' 

Hope was expressed in the Edinburgh^ that Germany, in a 
generation or two, might become a republic and adopt ideals 
that would be less .disquieting to her neighbours, but of its 
own generation it expressed a distrust that was pathetic. 

We are at a loss whom we can trust and with whom we can act, 
because, in a word, the system of European policy has been de- 
stroyed, and as yet we see no approach to a reconstitution of it. 
. . . Without mutual confidence, regulated and protected by 
public law, there is no security and no peace ; and the most fright- 
ful and alarming symptom of the present state of the world ap- 
pears to be that force rather than law, at this moment, governs 
the most civilized nations of the earth, that all alliances are 
shaken, and there are no longer any standards or principles of 
political action. 

And all this, it believed, was the result of the policy of 
which Count Bismarck was the prime originator.^ 

The immediate reaction of England was a determination 
to increase her armament. What was done in this respect, 
how Gladstone succeeded in diverting something of the 
zeal for universal service into the carrying out of his pro- 
ject for the purchase of the Army from its officers, is a 
matter of military history that we must not stop for. But 
public opinion on the war cannot be mirrored without 
mention of a little pamphl-et that was written to increase this 
desire for armament. The Fall of England or The Battle 
of Dorking had appeared, at first, in the April number of 
Blackwood's. Published separately, at the time the Treaty 

^ A. I. Shand, On the Trail of the War, pp. 199-203. 
' The German Empire, Edinburgh Review, Apr., 1871, vol. cxxxiii^ 
pp. 459 et seq. 



404 BRITISH POLICY IN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR [404 

was signed, it had a tremendous vogue. By the next De- 
cember, its sale had totalled two hundred thousand copies. 
It was supposed to be the narrative of a British volunteer, 
who, some fifty years later, is telling his grandchildren the 
story of his country's great disaster. It is a very rambling 
narrative that is contained in the little pamphlet. Many re- 
petitions have taken passion from the old gentleman's story, 
but his memory has retained all the vivid details of the days 
when England was invaded by the Germans. The trouble 
came, he says, from her failure to prepare for war. The 
Ministry had come in on a policy of retrenchment and hoped 
to keep the vote of those who decried military estimates be- 
cause they were eager to reduce the power of the Crown and 
the aristocracy. With a precision of detail equal to Defoe, 
he tells why the greater part of the Army and Navy were 
absent from England at a time when Germany seized Den- 
mark and Holland. How England ventured to oppose, and 
how she saw her fleet defeated and her territory invaded, is 
told in a style that is painfully realistic. Even at this late 
day, it is easy to understand how men could have shaken 
their heads over the story and been convinced that the fan- 
cied events might very easily have taken place. 

England believed that she was entering on a new era. 
She was fearful of what it might bring forth. She had no 
confidence in her power to stop events. She distrusted the 
influence of a militant Germany and a resentful France. If 
we may be permitted to change the perspective and look 
from the present to the past, it will be seen that modern his- 
orians find, unhappily, a justification for her forebodings. 

Charles Downer Hazen, in his recently published Fifty 
Years of Europe, discerns in the intervening period between 
the Franco-Prussian war and the world war, a certain tragic 
unity, bom of the shadow of the past and the phantom of 
the future. " All the various streams of activity," he says, 



405] THE TREATY OF FRANKFORT 405 

all the different movements, national and international, social and 
economic, intellectual and spiritual, all the complex and diverse 
phenomena of the life of Europe during that crowded half-century 
took their form and colour largely from the memory of war, the 
fear of war, the preparation for war.^ 

Carlton Hayes, in tracing the results of the struggle of 
1870, has said, 

The war fanned, rather than banked, the fire of mutually vindic- 
tive patriotism on either side of the Franco- German frontier. 
And it was this war more than any other single event which 
throughout the next forty years gave complexion to international 
politics, saddled Europe with enormous crushing armaments, and 
constituted the first link in that causal chain of circumstances that 
led straight on to another and vaster European war.^ 

Guglielmo Ferrero, more recently, has stated an opinion 
almost coincident, save that he extends even further the 
scope of consequence: 

The war declared on July 18, 1870, really continued without in- 
termission. . . . From the Treaty of Frankfort sprang the un- 
limited rivalry in armaments, and the diplomatic contest for alli- 
ance which resulted in the world war ; both were simply desperate 
efforts to preserve by force a situation which force had created by 
imposing that treaty upon the vanquished. 

And the tragedy has not come to an end with the world war — 
far from it.^ 

* C. D. Hazen, Fifty Years of Europe, New York, 1919, p. i. 

'Carlton J. H. Hayes, A Political and Social History of Modern 
Europe (New York, 1916), vol. ii, p. 203. 

•G. Ferrero, The Crisis of Western Civilization, Atlantic Monthly, 
May, 1920, vol. cxxv, pp. 705-706. 



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407] BIBLIOGRAPHY 407 

Buchanan, Robert, Complete Poetical Works of. London, 1901. 

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Chesney, Sir G. T. The Fall of England or the Battle of Dorking. 
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Coleridge, Ernest Hartley. Life and Correspondence of John Duke, 
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Deschanel, Paul. Gamhetta. New York, 1920. 

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Frederick, the Empress. A Memoir. London, 1913. 

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Gavard, Chalres. Un Diplomate a Londres, 1B70-1B77. Paris, 1895. 

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Griffin, W. Hall. Life of Robert Browning. London, 191 1. 

Gwynn, Stephen, and Gertrude Tuckwell. Life of the Right Hon. Sir 
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Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, vols, cciii-ccvi. London, 1870-1871. 

Harrison, Frederic. Autobiographic Memoirs. London, 191 1. 

Haussonville, Count Gabriel Paul d'. Mon Journal pendant la guerre, 
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Hayes, Carlton J. H. A Political and Social History of Modern 
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Hazen, Charles Downer. Alsace-Lorraine under German Rule. New 
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Fifty Years of Europe. New York, 1919. 

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Hertslet, Sir Edward. Map of Europe by Treaty, London, 1909, vol. iii. 

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Hooper, George. The Campaign of Sedan. London, 191 4. 

Hueffer, Ford Ma-dox. Ancient Lights and Certain New Reflections. 
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Hugo, Memoirs of Victor. Translated by Paul J. W. Harding. New 
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4 1 1 ] BIBLIOGRAPHY 4I i 

NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS 

1870- 187 1 

Academy and Literary Monthly. London. 

All the Year Round. Weekly. London, 

Anglo-American Times. Weekly. London. 

Annual Register. History and Politics. London. 

Art Journal. Monthly. London. 

Art Pictorial and Industrial. Monthly. London. 

Athenaeum. Weekly journal of literature, science and fine arts. London. 

Bankers', Insurance Managers' and Agents^ Magazine. Monthly. 

London. 
Belgravia. Monthly. London. 

Blackwood's Magazine. Monthly. Edinburgh and' London. 
Bookman. Monthly. London. 
Builder. Weekly. London. 
Chambers's Journal. Weekly. London. 
C alburn's New Monthly Magazine. London. 
Contemporary Review. Monthly. London. 
Cornhill Magazine. Monthly. London. 
Court Journal and Gazette. Weekly. London. 
Dark Blue. Monthly. Oxford. 
Diplomatic Reviezv. Monthly until Oct. i, 1870, then a quarterly. 

London. 
Dublin Evening Mail. Tri-weekly. 
Dublin Review. Monthly. London. 
Dublin University Magazine. Monthly. Dublin. 
Economist. Weekly. London. 

Edinburgh Review. Quarterly. Edinburgh and) London. 
Era Almanack. Annual of Dramatics and Music. London. 
Examiner and London Review. Weekly. London. 
Field, the Farm, and Garden. The Country Gentleman's Newspaper. 

Weekly. London. 
Fortnightly Review. London. 
Eraser's Magazine. Monthly. London. 
Freeman, Weekly. Dublin. 
Fun. Weekly. London. 
Gentleman's Magazine. Monthly. London. Gentleman's Annual issued 

as supplement. 
Globe and Traveller. Daily. London. 
Good Words. Monthly. London. 
Graphic. Weekly. London. 
Illustrated London Nezvs. Weekly. 
John Bull. Weekly. London. 



412 BIBLIOGRAPHY [412 

Judy. Serio-comic weekly. London. 

Literary World. Illustrated weekly. London. 

London Daily News. 

London Daily Telegraph. 

London Daily Times. 

London Daily Standard. 

London Society. Illustrated weekly. 

Macmillan's Magazine. Monthly. London. 

Manchester Guardian. Daily. 

Monthly Packet. London. 

Nation. Daily. Belfast. 

National Reformer. Weekly. London. 

News of the World. Weekly. London. 

Notes and Queries. Weekly. London. 

Pall Mall Gazette. Evening daily. London. 

Public Opinion. Weekly journal composed of extracts from the press 

on all great topics of the day. London. 
Punch, or the London Charivari. Weekly. 
Once a Week. Illustrated miscellany. London. 
Quart.erly Review. London. 

Queen. Monthly review of fashion and' society. London. 
Record. Tri-weekly of the English Church. 

Revue des deux mondes. Semi-monthly. Paris. Vols, xxxiii and xxxiv. 
Saint Paul's Magazine. Monthly. London. 
Saturday Review. Weekly. London. 
Saunders's News Letter and Daily Advertiser. Dublin. 
Scotsman and Caledonian Mercury. Weekly. 
Spectator. Weekly. London. 
Sunday Magazine. London. 

Tablet. Weekly of Roman Catholic Church in England. 
Temple Bar. Weekly. London. 
Vanity Fair Album. Illustrated weekly. London. 
Westminster Review. Monthly. London. 



INDEX 



About, Edmond, 129 

Acton, Sir John, 16, 85, 402 

Adare, Lord, 114 

Advertiser, Morning, London, 81, 
138, 150, 233, 265 

Agricultural Hall, London, 196 

Alabama claims, 270, 285, 349 

Albert, Prince Consort, 28 

Alexander II, Tsar of Russia, 19, 
36, 59, 226, 235, 242, 361, 382 

Alexandra, Princess of Wales, 1,30 

Algiers, 159 

Alham'bra, music-hall, London, 16, 
148, 201, 236 

Allgevi^ine Zeitung, 266 

Alps, 26, 100 

Alsace, Tiynes advice on, 18, I44» 
169; Prussian desire for, 74, 
206, 264, 345, 351; Prussian 
governor appointed, 144; neu- 
tralization suggested, 145, 216; 
British opposition to annexa- 
tion, 145, 191, 216, 233, 268; 
German opinion on annexation, 
160, 259, 233; Gladstone on, 
171, 221, 239, 268, 351 ; Morier 
on, 174: Fitzmaurice on, 200; 
Garibaldi on, 205; in Bazaine 
intrigue, 210, 212; commissioner 
of, 212; Graphic on, 216, 217; 
alleged German sympathy, 217; 
British M. P. on, 218; Times 
proposal, 220 ; Garlyle on, 251 ; 
German administration of, 260, 
397; Pere Hyacinthe on, 279; 
arguments against transfer, 295 ; 
in cartoon, 305; S. Morley on, 
307; in Imperial intrigue, 317; 
in false peace terms, 321 ; af- 
fected by Gamibetta's struggle. 
331. 351 ; ceded to Germany, 
354. 361 ; British interest in. 
368; transfer of railway rights 
in, 339 

Alsatians, 198, 260 

America, 199, 222, 284, 367 

Ammergau, 116 

Anglo-American Times, 85, 238, 
360 

413] 



Anglo-French Intervention Com- 
mittee, 219 

Annual Register, London, 99 

Anthony, Prince, of Hohenzollem- 
Sigmaringen, 58 

Antwerp, 87, 318 

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, 359 

Army and Navy Gazette, 112 

Army of the Loire, 209 

Army of the Rhine, 119 

Arnold, Matthew, 239, 334, 373 

Art Journal, London, 196 

Arthenay, 195 

Arundel Hall, London, 166 

Association of Conservative Work- 
ing-men, 7^ 

AthencBum, London, 198, 274 

Atiantic, 222, 270, 368 

Aubigny, C.-F. d', 280 

Augusta, German Empress, ZZ^ 
164, 197, 239, 354 

Aumale, Due d^ 385 

Austin, Chas., 113 

Austria, 19; in Schleswig-Holstein 
dispute, 20; Bismarck's plot 
against, 29; Seven Weeks' War, 
31, 98, 100; Gramont's friend- 
ship for, 45 ; Prussia's conduct 
towards, 81, 303; declines guar- 
antee of Belgium, 104: treaty 
with Prussia, 108; possible ally 
of France, 108, 123; military 
equipment, 118; agreement with 
Italy, 124 ; efforts at peace-mak- 
ing. 175. 348; supports Favre, 
190; Times proposal for alli- 
ance, 220; response to British 
proposals, 227 ; Thiers's hopes 
of, 241 ; project for interven- 
tion, 267 ; negotiates with Bis- 
marck, 269 ; fears Hungary, 269 ; 
represented at London Confer- 
ence, 302; as possible ally of 
England, 306; refuses coopera- 
tion, 314; recognizes French 
Government, 342 ; prevented 
from alliance with France. 382 

Avenir National, 48 

4x3 



414 



INDEX 



[414 



Baden, 24, 26, 28, 36, 109, 118, 254 

Baden-Baden, 18 

Baines, M. P. far Leeds, 306 

Balmoral, residence of Victoria, 11 

Baltic, 30, 109, 23s 

Bank of England, 147 

Bank of France, 147 

Bankers Magazine. London^, 131 

Battle of Dorking, see Fall of 
England 

Bavaria, 21. 254 

Bavarians, 293 

Bazaine, Frangois - Achille, Mar- 
shal of France, 139; Imperialist 
sympathies, 163; surrenders 
Metz, 208, 230; accused by 
Gambetta, 208; attempts in- 
trigue with Eugenie, 210-214; 
rumoured treaty of, 211; pub- 
lishes defence, 213; at Cassel, 
232 

Bazeilles, 197, 287 

Beales, Edmund, 131 

Beaufort, Gen., 315 

Beaumont, 139, 150 

Beaury, conspiracy against Napo- 
f leon, 42, 46 

Bebel, August, 259, 260 

Beesly, Prof., 15, 168, 297 

Belfast Examiner, 245, 305 

Bel fort, 354, 400 

Belgium, British care for, 20, 65, 

87, loi, 103, 105, 135, 368; fear 
of France, 21, 25, 87; measures 
against France, 26; Prussia's 
attitude towards, 34, 91, 175; 
French assurance to, 65, 92; 
treaties of guarantee, 87, 91 » 
103, 1^3; in Draft Treaty, 88, 
90, 92, 94, 99; rumours from, 
211; Morier's news of, 265; in 
Bismarck's plans, 316-318; vis- 
ited by Peel, 349; Germany's 
relations with, 402 

Belgravia, London, 275, 385 
Belleville, Paris, 39, 215, 230 
Benedetti, Count Vincent, 52; 
avoided by Bismarck, 56; inter- 
view with King William, 57, 61- 
64, 71, 74, 7^, 78, 80, 153, 246; 
negotiations in 1869, 80, 84; 
Russell ^ on, 82 ; book of, 85 ; 
connection with Draft Treaty, 

88, 96 ; negotiations of 1866, 91 ; 
hated by Germans, 137; visits 
Granville, 141, 1^2, 144 



" Benedetti," card-game, 310 

Benefit Societies, London, 301 

Bentick, Cavendish, 393 

Berlin, British representative at, 
14, 35, 53, 215, 227; conversation 
of ambassadors at, 23; Prince 
Napoleon at, 24; French repre- 
sentative at, 49; von Thile at, 
51, 189; information from, 54, 
59, 67, 76, 123 ; Bismarck at, 61 ; 
French agent at, 66; opinion of 
Hohenzollern candidacy, 69, 70 ; 
war feeling in, y2', visited by 
Ranees, 84; informed' of Draft 
Treaty, 90; French goal, 109, 
III; Stoffel in, 11 1; Russell in, 
112; Walker inv 114; Queen's 
messenger in, 142; receives ar- 
mistice despatch, 227; Russian 
representative at, 22y ; measures 
against press, 259; attempted 
uprising, 260; press attacks on 
England, 285; correspondent of 
Times in, 321, 325 ; receives ad- 
vice on indemnity, 353; opinion 
on Preliminaries, 364; effect of 
indemnity, 365; influenced by 
Russell, 378 

Berlin Post, 340 

Berne, Convention of, 26 

Bernhardi, von, Prussian diplo- 
mat, 85 

Bernstorff, Count von, 25; on 
Hohenzollern candidacy, 55 ; 
Granville's memorandum to, 83 ; 
alarm at British criticism, no; 
communicates Draft Treaty, 88, 
96; alleges breaches of neutral- 
ity, 135, 208, 238; Standard on, 
138; meets Benedetti, 141; on 
French Republic, 176; inter- 
views Eugenie, 211; informa- 
tion oni Luxemburg, 263 ; com- 
munication to Granville, 267; 
refuses request of, 269; receives 
warning from, 314; reassures 
England as to Luxemburg, 338; 
settles Britisih claims, 398 

Beust, Count Friedrich von, 60, 
108, 124, 2&7 

Birmingham, 15, 142, 167, 339, 376 

Birnvinghmn Daily Post, 142 

Bismarck, Prince Otto von, 14; 
praised by Carlyle, 16, 234; in 
waxworks, 16; policy towards 
Belgium, 25; French suspicious 



415] 



INDEX 



4IS 



of, 26; leadership of Prussia, 
28, 76, 197; policy during Cri- 
mea, 29 ; assurance of, 29 ; con- 
versation with Disraeli, 29; re- 
fuses mediation, 31 ; blamed by- 
Victoria, 32; conversation with 
Napoleon, 34; letter to Claren- 
don, 34 ; opposition to disarma- 
ment, 35 ; on Clarendon's death, 
36; intrigues for war, 41, 46, 
84; boast of, 42; absence from 
Berlin, 51, 57, 80, 189; respon- 
sibility for Hohenzollern candi- 
dacy, 55, 58, 69, 81, 84, 85; con- 
versation with Loftus, 60, 96; 
assigns dual role to King, 61 ; 
demands on France, 61, 62, 217, 
234; rebuffs England, 62, 83; 
precipitates war, 66, 70, 85, 86; 
Irish opinion of, 76; alleged 
plot of, 78; Napoleon suspic- 
ious of, 80; diplomacy of, 81, 
97, 403 ; interviewed iby Ranees, 
84; ensures support of South, 
86; connection with Draft 
Treaty, 88, 91-99; accusations 
of, 99 ; triumph of, 104 ; British 
measures against, 106; Austria's 
attitude towards, 108; peasants' 
fear of, 130; criticisms of Eng- 
lan<!, 133-136, 228; Circulars of, 
135, 195, 203, 226; balks peace 
move, 142; critics of, 146, 165, 
259, 261, 401 ; arranges Napo- 
leon's surrender, 150, 151, 164; 
manages opposition, 161 ; desires 
Alsace and Lorraine, 162 ; ar- 
rests Jacoby, 162; attitude tow- 
ards Provisional Governmenit, 
163, 168, 184, 316; intrigues for 
Imperial restoration, 164, 165, 
210, 266, 316-318, 340, 386; letter 
from Motley, 175 ; interview re- 
quested by France, 181 ; Malet's 
interview, 183; Ferrieres nego- 
tiations, 184, 190, 210, 226; terri- 
torial demands, 184, 345; inter- 
view in Standard, 185; mani- 
festo on mission of Thiers, 185 ; 
terms rejected, 187 ; portraits of, 
195 ; in caricature, 196, 249, 284, 
359. 361 ; grants privileges to 
Napoleon, 209; discourteous to 
Dr. Russell, 209; intrigues 
against French Republic, 210- 



214, 233; interviewed by Lloyd 
Lindsay, 217 ; Gortchakoff on 
demands of, 226; negotiates- 
with Thiers, 228-232; affected 
by Paris insurrection, 229; re- 
'fuses to x>crmit revictualling, 
231 ; influence on Germany, 234, 
401 ; Court Ga:!:ette on, 235; fails 
to inervene for Russell, 242;. 
inconvenienced by Russia. 242 ; 
Odo Russell's mission to, 246- 
248, 33^, 353» 362, 378; accused 
by Renouf, 253 ; refuses tripar- 
tite agreement, 256 ; German op- 
position to, 259; Luxemburg in-^ 
trigue, 263-266; negotiates with 
Austria, 269; receives Chau- 
dordy's proposals, 270; favours 
Washburne, 271 ; conduct in 
Duclair affair, 273, 283, 294; 
siege dishes named for, 274; 
despatch to Washburne, 277; 
accused of bribing Times, 277; 
decides to bombard Paris, 281- 
283; receives protest of Diplo- 
rnatic Corps, 286 ; on Red Cross 
violations, 291 ; conduct towards 
Versailles, 292; booed at British 
meetings, 300: prevents Favre's 
presence in London, 302, 307, 
340 ; homage to King, 304, 401 ; 
condemned by Otway, 306 ; fear- 
ful of London Conference, 307; 
in card^-game, 310; armistice 
negotiations, 310, 314-319, 401 ; 
in Dame Europa's School, 311; 
refuses to relieve besieged Brit- 
ish, 313 ; disrespect for Victoria, 
313 ; plans for Leopold of Bel- 
gium, 317; alleged terms of 
peace, 321 ; speculations on 
future policy, 322, 327; contra- 
dicts false rumours, 324; op- 
poses Gambetta, 330 ; opinion of 
Thiers, 342; blamed for peace 
terms, 354; fears intervention, 
355; foresees future war with 
France, 356; annoyedi at indem- 
nity suggestions, 369; criticizes 
England and Gladstone, 369; 
on Brussels negotiations, 397 

Bismarckism, article by F. Harri- 
son, ^37, 261, 297 

Black Sea, 2d2, 246, 256, 300, 344,. 
346, 349, 362 



4i6 



INDEX 



[416 



Blackivood's Magazine, London, 
84, 402, 403 

Blanc, Louis, 360, 375 

Blind, Karl, 294 

Bloomfield, Lady Georgiana, 234 

Blount, Sir Edward, 157, 173, 182, 
273, 286, 287 

Blue Books, British, 82, 83, 86, 95, 
221, 344-346, 27^ 

Blumenthal, Field Marshal Count 
von, 183 

Bluntschli. Johann Kaspar, 135 

Board of Trade, 286 

Bonaparte, Prince Pierre, 38 

Bonapartes, 39, 317 

Bonapartists. 209-214, 229, 232, 330 

Bookworm, London, 198 

Bordeaux, 254, 302, 331, 340 

Bordeaux Government, 302, 340, 
354 359, 382 

Borsenhalle, Hamburg, 136 

Boulogne, 130 

Bourbaki, Gen. Charles Denis. 210- 
213, 319, 401 

Bourbon, Charles d€, 84 

Bourbons, 130 

Bourg la Reine, 400 

Bourse, Paris, 113, 129 

Bower, correspondent for Stand- 
ard, 113 

Bowles, Thos. Gibson, 114 

Boyer, Gen., 212, 213 

Bradford. 299 

Bradlaugh, Chas., 15. 158, 168, 
288, 297, 300, 376, 390, 393, 395 

Bremen, 262 

Brie. 254 

Bright, Jacob, loi, 306 

Bright, John, character and policy, 
13 ; relations with Disraeli, 13 ; 
urges naval reductions, 19; on 
Belgium, loi ; on Times, 113; 
sympathetic to iMinghetti, 124; 
opposed by Thiers, 178; letter 
from Gladstone, 191 ; Russian 
opinion of, 245 ; attitude on 
Treaty of 1856, 245; press criti- 
cisms of, 245, 258; letter to 
Gladstone. 246: resignation ac- 
cepted. 248, 286; unpopularity 
of, .363 

Bristol. 307 

British Channel, 12, 80, 130, 146, 
152. 178, 271 

British Constitution. 390 



British Legation, Paris, 182 

Brittany, 209, 213 

Broglie, Jacques Victor, Due de, 
352, 353, 365, 369, 370 

Brooke, Dr. Stopford, 79 

Browning, Robt., 16, 114, 320 

Bruce, H. A., Home Secretary. 
336 

Brunswick, 259 

Brussels, 211. 232, 397 

Buchanan, Sir A., British Ambas- 
sador to Russia, 14, 55, 225 

Buchanan, Robt., 16, 148. 237, 324 

Bulwer, Edward, 299 

Bulwer, Sir Henry, 13, 14, 102, 107, 
187-189, 192, 379 

Bund, 28 

Bunsen, Baron de, 109 

Bunsen, Baroness de, 109 

Burdett-Coutts, Angela Georgina, 
289 

Burnside, Gen. Ambrose Everett, 
225 

Busch, Dr. Moritz, 56, 342 

Cabinet, British, opposes Palmer- 
ston and Russell, 31 ; policy on 
Belgium, 103; unpopularity of. 
103, 286, 299. 312, 324. 352; in- 
fluence of Manchester school, 
172, 224: holidays of, 172, 187, 
257; early session of, 190; Glad- 
stone's wishes for, 191, 269; in 
agreement with Lowe, 224 ; at- 
tempt to procure armistice. 226- 
228 ; neutral role. 240 ; illogic of, 
240, 255, 333; aflfected by Gort- 
chakoff circular, 243; effect of 
Bright on, 245 ; pacifism of, 256. 
286; distrusted, 264; Granville 
claims approval for. 268; policy 
of retrenchment, 285 : press on, 
285, 323 ; commended by Jacab 
Bright, 306: recognizes France. 
342 ; criticized in Parliament. 
349, 377-382: acts on indemnity. 
3527354,: attitude towards Pre- 
liminaries, 354. 365 ; financial 
scheme of. 365 : attitude tow- 
ards French protectionism, 366 ; 
edits Blue Book, 378; see, also. 
Government, British 

" Cabinet of Reform and Re- 
trenchment," 13 

Cadore, Duke of, 109 



417] 



INDEX 



417 



Cairns, Lord, 104 
Calais, 141, 393 
Cambridge, Duke of, 165 
Camibridge University, 363, 402 
Canada, 21 

Canning, Stratford, 14, 132, 174 
Cannon ,St. Hall, London, 288 
Canrobert, Marshal, 45 
Canterbury, Archbishop of, 79 
Caprera, 205 

Cardwell, Edward, Secretary of 
War, 13, 87, 88, 172, 240, 290, 

338 
Carlsbad, 51 
Carlton Club, 251 
Carlyle, Thos., 15, 234, 236, 251, 

261, 262, 295, 357 
Carnarvon, fourth Earl of, 192, 

347, 369 
Cassel, 229, 232, 266 
Catechism for Intervention, 300 
Cavour, Count Camillo di, 325, 349 
Chablis, 18 
Chalons, 115 

Chambord, Comte de, 266 
Champigny, 254 
Champs Elysees, 358 
Chandernagore, 262 
Changarni er.Nicolas- A.-T., French 

general, 332 
Chant du depart, 129 
Chanzy, Antoine - E. - A,, French 

general. 319 
Charenton, iii 
Chateaudon, 195 
Chatham, 261, 306 
Chaudordy, Comte de, 225; on 

German atrocities, 253, 291 
Chavannes, Puvis de, 289 
Chelsea, 299, 371 
"Chelsea, Sage of," see Carlyle, 

Thos. 
Chenery, Thos., 220 
Cherizy, 198 
Childers, Hugh C. E., First Lord 

of Admiralty, 13, 299, 338 
Chislehurst, residence of Eugenie, 

165, 210, 212-214, 316, 376, 377, 

385 
Christian, King of Denmark, no 
Church of England, 139 
Churchill, Lady iRandolph, 201, 

317 
Civil List, British, 339 
Claremont, Col, 273 



Clarendon, Earl of, conversation 
iwith Bernstorff, 25; with Bis- 
marck, 25; efforts at disarma- 
ment, 32-34; opinion of Bis- 
marck, 35; of William, 35; 
blames Prussia for armaments, 
35 ; reports meeting of Tsar and 
William, 36; Bismarck's pleas- 
ure at death, 36; regret for, 41, 
109; alleged loan, 48; succeeded 
by Granville, 52; discussed by 
Peel, 349 

Cobdien, Richard, 176, 258, 366 

Cobden Club, 355 

Cobden Commemoration, 107 

Coblentz, 115 

Coburg, Duke of, 134, 242 

Cochin China, 262, 263 

Cochrane, Baillie, M. P., 339, 380 

Coleridge, Lord John, Chief Jus- 
tice of England, 140 

Cologne Gazette, 162 

Commercial Treaty, links England 
and France, 13; Gladstone's 
approval of, 18; renewal of, 38, 
47; Figaro's account of, 48; op- 
posed in France, 366 

Committee of National Defense, 
241, 308 

Committee of Public Safety, 156, 
394 

Commune, ZJ^; Thiers's struggle 
against, 383, 386, 393-396; the 
Eight Days, 394; faJl of, 399; 
see, also, Paris 

Compagnie Irlandaise, 208, 215 

Comte, Auguste, 15 

Comtists, 15, 168, 206, 288, 296 

Confederates, Southern, 19, 80 

Conservatives, British, distrust 
Disraeli, 13; sympathy for 
France, 107; on French change 
of government, 155; press of, 
'^77, 300; oppose intervention, 
241 ; fearful of French republi- 
canism, 206, 301 ; opinion of 
Frederic Harrison, 262; on na- 
tional armaments, 290 

Constantinople, 22 

Constitutionnel, 71 

Contemporary Review, 237 

Copenhagen, 109 

Cork, 121, 122 

Corps Legislatif, 26; Ollivier's 
relations with, y;\ inaugrurates 



4i8 



INDEX 



[418 



Ministry, 38; constitution of, 
39 ; President of, 41 ; estimates 
for, 45, 49; summer sessions, 
50, 51 ; anger at iHohenzollem 
candidacy, 57; Ministry's state- 
ments to, 59, 64, 72; news with- 
held from, 63; declares for 
war, 70; Palikao's announce- 
ment, 136; visited by mob, 154 

Cortes, Spanish, 67, 85 

Cosmopolitan, London, 156 

Courbet, Gustave, 289 

Court Gazette, London, 235, 258 

Court Journal, London, 97, 140, 
162, 204, 212, 285 

Crawford, correspondent for DaHy 
News, 113 

Creil, 202 

Crete, 22 

Creuzot, 41 

Crimean War, 17, 29, 107, 118, 
243, 251, 290, 338, 378 

Crystal Palace, London, 236 

Customs Consolidation Act, 135 

Dallas, Geo., 113 

Dame Europa's Apology, 364 

Dartboy, Georges, Archbishop of 
Paris, 394 

Dark Blue, j^ 

Darmstadt, 14 

L^ru, 'Comte Napoleon, French 
Foreign Minister, measurers for 
disarmament, 35, 49; answers 
Favre, 40; on papal infallibil- 
ity, 40; on foreign policy, 40; 
resignation, 41 ; pacifism of, 46 

'Dasent, A. L, 220 

Deal, 386 

Delane, Thadeus, 88-90, 194, 202, 
211, 220, 231, 250, :&2 

[Delegate Government, French, 313, 
see, also. Provisional Govern- 
ment, French, Tours, and Bor- 
deaux Government 

'Democrats, British, 167, 168, 206 

Denmark, British interest in royal 
family, 20, 30, ^i^', independence 
guaranteed, 20; dispute over 
Schleswig-iHolstein, 20, 30, no; 
promised aid of England, 31 ; 
Prussia's conduct towards, 81 ; 
as possible ally of France, 109, 
no, 123; in Battle of Dorking, 
404 



Deptford, 299 

Derby, M. P., for, 219 

Derby, fifteenth Earl of, on Brit- 
ish policy, 31, 192; letter from 
Disraeli, 245; on Luxemburg, 
264; military calculations, 290 

Diary of the Besieged Resident, 
401 

Dieppe, 271 

Dilke, Sir Chas., 95, 120, 154, 199, 
299, 306, 347, 369, 371, 377, 384, 
393 

Diplomatic Corps, Paris, 286, 287 

Diplomatic Review, 14, 85, 224, 
235, 402 

Disraeli, Benjamin, leader of Op- 
position, 13; distrusts Napoleon 
III, 21 ; conversation with Bis- 
marck, 29; author, 68; on re- 
sponsibility for war, y2, y2>, 117; 
advocates armed neutrality, loi ; 
favours understanding with 
(Russia, 102 ; on Palmerston, 133 ; 
confers with Conservatives, 192 ; 
on Government, 245; on Lowe, 
248 ; against anti-4German policy, 
290; in Dame Europa's School, 
311; on Parliament, 2>2)2', de- 
bates of, ZZ7, 353, 362, 368, 393 ; 
cheered by crowd, 375; with- 
holds support from EHlke, 380 

Dore, Gustave, 196, 289 

Dorking, Battle of, see Fall of 
England 

Dover, 144, 167, 208, 376 

Dover, Strait of, 142 

Downing Street, Number 10, 16, 
55. 56, 257; see, also. Foreign 
Office, British 

Draft Treaty, Franco-Prussian, 
88-101, III, 145, 317 

Dublin, 77, 122, 207 

Dublin Evening Mail, 94, 122, 128, 
143, 178, 188, 195, 245, 284, 343, 
Z^, 388 

Dublin Review, 181, 204 

Duclair, British vessels sunk off, 
272, 283 ; Prussia makes amends, 
294, 398; alleged insult to flag, 
398 

Ducrot, Gen., in 

Dufour Aries, 225 

Dunraven, Earl of, 114 

Dupanloup, Mgr., Bishop of Or- 
leans, 122 



419] 



INDEX 



419 



Dusseldorf, 84 

Echo, London, 135, 222, 262 

Economist, Lx)n<k)n, 74, 98, 134, 

135, 145. 173, 191, 206, 217, 259, 
285, 298, 305. Z^, 345, 361, 371, 

z^z, 385, 387 

Edinburgh, 220, 246, 285, 328, 334, 

403 
Edwardi, Prince of Wales, i, 385 
Egypt, II 
Elbe duchies, 30 
Elgin, 187 
Eliot, George, 131, 236, 289, 296, 

326 
Empire, French, see France 
Ems, interview of King William 

and Benedetti at, 36, 51, 57, 60, 

61, 70, 71, 73. 78, 82, 153, 246 
Ems despatch, 62, 63, 70, 72, 85, 

, 345 

England, compared to Victoria, 
1 1 ; affected by Franco-Prussian 
War, 12; relations with France 
before 1870, 13, 17-27; Turkish 
bath introduced into, 15; wish 
for German unification, 18, 27, 
146; interest in Schleswig-Hol- 
stein, 20; isolated, 20, 222, 243, 
270, 271, 2&Z, 306, 314, 355, 2^, 
382; at London Conference, 23; 
refuses to advise Prussia, 24; 
alarmed' over Belgium, 25, 65, 
loi, 105, 318; relations with 
Prussia before 1870, 27-36; atti- 
tude towards Savoy, 28; gains 
nothing in Seven Weeks* War, 
31; France grateful to, 32; 
opinion, of Ollivier, 27 \ renews 
Commercial Treaty, 38; France 
represented in, 53; urged to 
mediate, 60: opinion of Hohen- 
zollern candidacy, 67; ignorant 
on Ems despatch, 70; visited 
by d>e Lesseps, 76; Napoleon's 
friendship for, 76; neutrality 
of, 79, 345. 349 ; French circular 
to, 80; caricatured, 80, 182, 207; 
guarantor of Belgium. 87, 104, 
123 ; influenced by Draft Treaty, 
93; disregarded, 93, 102, 106, 

136, 176, 255, 265, 290, 306, 349; 
diplomacy of, 98; opinion on 
increase of armaments, 99, loi, 
223, 272, 285, 290, 325-328, z^z, 
335, 338; advised to ally with 



Russia, 102; opinion of Den- 
marck, 109; French rumours of, 
114; misinformed on Prince 
Imperial, 119; approached by 
France and Italy, 124; France 
sensitive towards, 130; German 
hostility to, 133-136, 244, 246, 
271, 289, 303, 325, 402; exports 
of, 133, 238; opinion of French 
foreign policy, 138, 159; press 
of, 139; Benedetti's visit to, 141 ; 
urged to intervene, 141-144, 166, 
175, 178-180, 189, 219, 225, 237, 
241, 244, 297, 313, 323, 347-349, 
355; disapproves demand for 
Alsace and Lorraine, 145, 191, 
268; interest m Sedan, 147; 
opinion of Bismarck's domestic 
policy, 161 ; attitude towards 
French sympathizers, 168; atti- 
tude towards French Republic, 
165-172, 176, 181, 184, 186, 193, 
215, 289, 315, 332, 339, 372; 
policy towards Louis Philippe, 
170; U. S. Minister to, 175; 
King William's opinion of, 176; 
visited by Thiers, 177, 179-181 ; 
disregards balance of power, 
192; alarmed by terrorism, 198; 
Fitzmaurice returns to, 200; 
refugees in, 201 ; startled by 
Gambetta, 202-204; opinion on 
Garibaldi, 204; navy of, 207, 
308; read's Bazaine's report, 213 ; 
ignorant of French political 
conditions, 215; Times suggests 
policy to, 220; foreign opinion 
of, 222, 312; appealed to by Du- 
four, 225; international duties 
of, 225, 240, 262, T,2f7, Z2>7, 348, 
Z^y 379; wishes alliance with 
Russia, 226; solicited by Tissot, 
226 ; criticized by Bismarck, 228, 
369; maritime position of, 235; 
affected by Russian abrogation, 
242-251, 269; policy in 1856, 247; 
Odo Russell's threat of bellig- 
erency, 247, 353; Mill's advice 
to, 250; imperial duties of, 250, 
25i8; wishes France at Confer- 
ence, 252-255, 372; Indian in- 
terests, 252, 262; news from 
Prussia, 260; interest in Lux- 
emburg, 263-265, 267; attitude 
towards Imperial restoration, 



420 



INDEX 



[420 



266, 316; Beust's promise of co- 
operation with, 267 ; on Paris, 
281 ; ceases to admonish France, 
286; not represented in protest 
against bombardment, 287; vis- 
ited by d'Aubigny, 289: advised 
by Moniteur, 290; policy disap- 
proved by Army, 302; affected 
by German supremacy, 303, 314, 
324, ZZ7. 2>7A\ displeased with 
William's coronation, 303-306 ; 
advised against intervention, 
306, 349, 381 ; class feeling in, 
309; tired of political pamph- 
lets, 312; warned of Bismarck, 
317; alarmed over rumoured 
peace terms, 321-323, 351 ; party 
to Treaty of 181 5, 322; distrusts 
Gambetta, 330; policy in recog- 
nizing Napoleon III, 337; agita- 
tion over royal dowry, 339 ; rec- 
ognizes French Republic, 342; 
policy reviewed by Auberon 
Hertjert, 347 ; opinion of French 
elections, 351 ; impatient of paci- 
fism, 2)^'>> 'y disapproves Prelimi- 
naries, 365; affected by indem- 
nity, 365, 399; reminded of 
guarantees, 368: policy in Cri- 
mea, 371 ; policy in London 
Conference, 371 ; attitude tow- 
ard Commune, 372-383, 387, 393, 
397; influenced by Louis Blanc, 
375 ; sees end of Imperial in- 
trigue, 377 ; reasons against in- 
tervention, 382; policy reviewed 
by Dilke, 378; by Disraeli, 393; 
Miiller on, 396; reforms army 
system, 403; in Battle of Dor- 
king, 404; see, also, Great 
Britain 

Era, 397 

iEstancelin, M., 48 

Eton, 223 

Eugenie, Empress of France, 11, 
38, 56, 119, 127, 153, 164, 172, 
177, 200, 210, 211-213, 266, 316, 
376 

Ettlenburg, Marshal, 61 

Europe, 21 27, 31, 33. 50, 58, 59, 64, 
72, 74, 75, 76, 80, 86, 95, 96, 102, 
103, 131, 132, 146, 162, 163, 178, 

188, 191, 192, 2Q2, 216, 218, 219, 
220, 224, 225, 228, 234, 237, 242, 
247, 257, 258, 269, 280, 285, 299, 

311, 326, 345' 34^, 349, 352, 357, 



360, 361, 363, 370, 401, 403, 405 
Examiner, London, 75, 215, 282, 
330, 356, 385, 389 

Faidherbe, Louis - L. - C, French 
general, 319 

Fall of England or the Battle of 
Dorking, 403 

Faucigny, 18 

Favre, Jules, interpellation of, 39; 
British press on, 155, 156; urban 
popularity of, 157; foreign pol- 
icy, 158-160; revolutionary in- 
fluence of, 164; circulars of, 
166, 175, 185, 230; British sym- 
pathizers, 167 ; despatch from 
Thiers, 180 ; Ferrieres interview, 
184-187, 202, 210, 226, 268; sup- 
ported by Austria, 190; follow- 
ers of, 228; secretary's mission, 
267; warned by Granville, 268; 
delegate to London Conference, 
301, 308; refused passport, 302, 
307, 340; negotiates for armis- 
tice, 309, 312-316, 321 : offered 
concessions by Granville, ^25 ; 
displeases Gambetta, 330; signs 
Preliminaries, 354, 401 

Federal Council, 396 
Federal Parliament, 374 
Federals, U. S., 19 
Fenians, 189, 391 
Ferrero, Guglielmo, 405 
Ferrieres, 184-187, 190, 210, 226, 

268 
Ferrieres, Convention of, 395, 397 
Ferry, Jules, 26 
Fifty Years of Europe, 404 
Figaro, Paris, 48 
Fight at Dame Europa's School, 

310-312, 364 
First French Empire, 74 
Second French Empire, see France 
Fish, Hamilton, U. S. Secretary of 

State, 270 
Fitzgerald, Edward, 260 
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund, 200 
Florence, 187, 227 
Forbach, 137 
Forbes, Archibald, 113, 150, 182, 

281, 318, 325, 331 
Foreign Englistment Act, 135, 207 
Foreign Legion, 208 
Foreign Office, British, 36, 52, 95, 

loi, 256, 294, 338, 344, 361, 369, 

398 



421 ] 



INDEX 



421 



Forster, British M. P., 299 
Fort Lichtenberg, 123, 139 
Fortescue, Chichester, President, 

Board of Trade, 286 
Fortnightly Review, 146, 237, 261, 

296, 323, 387 
Fourchambault, 41 
France, misunderstood "by Glad- 
stone, 12; Bright's friendship 
for, 13 ; praised by Swinburne, 
16; foreign relations, chap, i, 
passim; policy of Empire, 37-39; 
attitude on papal infallibili^, 
40; senatus consultum and ple- 
biscite, 41-44; relations with 
Italy, 42; Bismarck's intrigue, 
42; Orleans petition, 47; rad- 
icals of, 49; prestige of, 50; U. 
S. Minister to, 51 ; relations 
with Prussia, 52; sensitiveness 
of, 53-56, 84; responsibility for 
war, 56, 58-60, 66, 83, 128, 240- 
246; defers mobilization, 57; 
rumoured' attack, 59; wishes as- 
surance on Hchenzollern candi- 
dacy, 60, 68, 246; Bismarck's 
demands on, 61 ; refuses Eng- 
landf's good offices, 64; respects 
Belgium's neutrality, 65, 92 ; de- 
clares war, 66, 243 ; British 
press on, 68, 70, 137. 169, 278; 
blamed by British, 69, 71-78, 87, 
93» 95. 98, 102 ; war aims, 74, 91 ; 
defenders of, 76, 102, 107; as- 
sured of Irish support, 76, 78, 
121; Prussian plans against, 78; 
represented by Britain, 79, 133; 
circular from, 80; party to 
Draft Treaty. 88-90, 98 ; British 
policy towards, 94, 167, 215, 288, 
379. 392; asked to guarantee 
Belgium, 103; chance of mili- 
tary success, 107-110, 123-125, 
143, 202; camp at Chalons, 115: 
visited by Moltke, 116; military 
operations, 116, 120, 127, 143, 
I75» 195; British deter allies, 
123, 130; blockades Germany, 
123; under Palikao, 124; resents 
League of Neutrals, 125, 225, 
347; desire for peace, 129; ad- 
miration for Napoleon I, 129; 
response to war loan, 130; Brit- 
ish in, 130: Morier on, 131; 
German opinion of, 132; im- 



ports from England, 133, 238; 
British sympathy for, 142, 166, 
168, 192, 206, 219, 220, 223, 237, 
239, 241, 245, 252, 289, 294, 310, 
350, 362; unwilling to yield ter- 
ritory, 144-146, 186, 215, 224; 
defeat of Sedan, 147 ; William's 
proclamation concerning, 153; 
founding of Republic, 153-155; 
weakened by Algiers, 159; dura- 
bility of government, 164, 165, 
184, 193; British estimate of, 
178; Prussian demands on, 185, 
234; Bulwer on, 188; Neutrals 
propose armistice, 190; sym- 
pathy of Fitzmaurice for, 200; 
refugees from, 201 ; pride in 
Metz, 208; Bazaine's designs 
on, 210; false rumours of, 213; 
isolated, 215, 228, 234, 315; pro- 
jected peace terms, 216-226, 231, 
271, 321 ; Ruskin on, 219 ; post- 
war policy, 219, 220; criticized 
by Glad^stone, 221 ; extremity of, 
224, 285, 320, 324, 333, 346, 355, 
361 ; wishes mediation, 225, 241, 
381; Thiers as emissary, 2^; 
armistice negotiations, 228 ; pop- 
ularity of Oiangarnier, 232; 
policy in 1856, 247; England's 
need of alliance with, 252, 255, 
257, 283-2S6, 307, 324, 335, 340; 
Carlyle on, 252, 357 ; effect of 
successes, 254; German debates 
on, 259; conduct in India, 262; 
endurance of, 266; Beust's offer 
of assistance, 267; advised by 
Granville, 268; Prussian inter- 
est in, 271 ; on Duclair incident, 
272; Father Hyacinthe on, 279; 
Bismarck's impatience at, 282; 
praised* 'by Meredith, 296; Brit- 
ish fears for, 303 ; a<ivised by 
Guizot, 313 ; under German oc- 
cupation. 314, 325, 354; Gran- 
ville on future of, 314, 344-346; 
attitude towards restoration, 
316; seed for future war, 318; 
need of Metz, 322. 361 ; Indian 
policy, 322; as object lesson, 
329; dynastic history, 330; in- 
fluence of Gambetta, 330; for- 
mal constitution of government, 
332, 340-343: Granville on, 347; 
question of British intervention,. 



422 



INDEX 



[422 



347-350, 380-382; Herbert's mo- 
tion for aid of, 348, 380; praised 
by Peel, 349; effect of peace 
terms, 3S1, 356, 360, 365, 382, 
404 ; secures mediation on in- 
demnity, 353; ratifies Prelimi- 
naries, 359; attempts financial 
alliance with England, 365 ; pol- 
icy at London Conference, 369; 
Ferrieres Convention, 372 ; Com- 
mune, 383-388; new frontier, 
396; Bismarck's threat against, 
399; accepts Treaty of Frank- 
fort, 398-400 

Franco-Prussian War, 17, 347; 
see, also, France, Prussia, Eng- 
land 

Frankfort, 16, 161 

Frankfort, Treaty of, 353-357, 364* 
398-400, 404, 405 

Frankfort Journal, 162 

Eraser's Magazine, 83, 99, 151, 
217, 394 

Frederick William, Crown' Prince 
of Prussia, 28, 33, 120, 134, 199, 
^ZZ, 247, 274, 281, 327, 347, 402 

Freeman, E. A., 16, 251, 261 

Freeman, Weekly Irish, 140, 195, 
249, 273, 324, 360 

Freemasons, French, 387 

French Benevolent Society, 278 

French Chamber, see Corps Legis- 
latif 

French Council, 59 

Freycinet, C.-L.-de S.-de, 319 

Freytag, Gustav, 199 

Froude, Jas. A,, 151, 251 

Fun, 105, 149, 155, 236, 249, 287, 
294, 358 

Gal-way, 122 

Gambetta, Leon, eloquence of, 12, 
158; helps found Republic, 155; 
popularity of, 157; air flight to 
Touts, 202, 204; proclamations, 
203, 383; accuses Bazaine, 208; 
followers of, 228; praised by 
News, 252 ; energy of, 254, 341 ; 
success of, 253; uses carrier 
pigeons, 276; optimism of, 319, 
333; speculations on attitude 
towards treaty, 322; dissatisfied 
with armistice, 329; election 
proclamation, 330 ; resignation, 
330, 332; retirement, 342 



Garde Mobile, 157 

Garde National, see National 
Guard 

Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 113, 204, 206, 
215, 22>7, 301, 342 

Gasparin, Count, 86, 219, 295 

Gastein 'Convention, 31 

Gauthier, Theophile, 212° 

Gavard, Charles, 353 

Gendarmerie of the Seine, 154 

General Staff, German, 396 

Geneva, flag of, 291 

Geneva Conventions, 291 

Gentlem<jn's Magazine, 84, 258 

Germany, soldiers of, 16; Times 
on, 18, 27, 137, 169; Napoleon's 
attitude towards, 21 ; British re- 
lations preceding 1870, 27-^6; 
iDaru's statement on, 40; atti- 
tude on iHohenzollern candidacy, 
58, ^', probable support of 
Prussia, 64; Spectator on, 74; 
inception of war, 116-118; ports 
blockaded, 123; on League of 
Neutrals, 125; war's effect on, 
131 ; hostility towards England, 
133-136; military success, 143; 
demand of Alsace and Lor- 
raine, 144, 233, 295, 297, 307, 349, 
351 ; territorial ambitions, 145, 
200, 206, 234-236, 240, 247, 251, 
265, 401, 402; receives Favre's 
Circular, 159; republicanism in, 
161 ; loss of British sympathy, 
187, 199, 233, 239, 241, 259, 261, 
294; war news in, 174, 195; 
attitude of Alsace towards, 217, 
260 ; policy towards France, 220 ; 
reviewed by Gladstone, 221 ; 
Liberals of, 228 ; military bodies 
of, 234 ; rumoured aims of, 235, 
262', claims war as inevitable, 
240 ; feels kinship with England, 
247; Carlyle on, 251; as pros- 
pective neighbour in India, 262, 
322; publishes St. Qoud des- 
patches, 265 ; rumoured attack 
on England, 271 ; Father Hya- 
cinthe on, 279; interests endan- 
gered, 282; French purchases 
in, 292 ; influence of Kant, 295 ; 
becomes Empire, 303 ; William's 
desires for, 303; communication 
from Granville, 314, 344-346; 
value of Metz to, 322 ; effect of 



423] 



INDEX 



423 



victory on, 323, 2^, 35^, 360, 
364; iMorier's stay in, 326; ter- 
ritorial gains, 331 ; congratu- 
lated by Victoria, 335 ; Disraeli 
on, 2,Z7\ Herbert's motion to 
modify peace terms, 348; vis- 
ited by Peel, 3^19; indemnity de- 
mand, 351, 365; relations with 
Russia, 361 ; domestic politics, 
374; effect of French Republic 
on, 386, 389; new frontier of, 
396; policy in Brussels negotia- 
tions, 397-399; Treaty of Frank- 
fort, 398-400; future of, 401- 
405 ; in Battle of Dorking, 404 

Germany, France and England, 
220-224, 232, 246, 285, 334 

Girardin, fimile, 129 

Giraud, Victor, 289 

Gladstone, Thos. Ewart, interest 
in Ireland, 12; lack of sympathy 
for France, 12; Bright's influ- 
ence on, 13, loi ; negotiates 
treaty with France, 18; conver- 
sation with Bernstorff, 25; 
vexed at Bismarck, 35 ; Roths- 
child's mission to, 53 ; on French 
policy, 55, 72; withholds official 
correspondence, 72 ; identified 
with " Scrutator," 86 ; care for 
Belgium, 87; informed of Draft 
Treaty, 88, 92 ; " secure neutral- 
ity," loi ; criticized, 101-103, 
132, 231, 258, 284, 298; guar- 
antees Belgium, 103; letters, 
107; sympathetic to Minghetti, 
124; waited on by delegations. 
169, 189, 206; on Alsace and 
Lorraine, 171, 173, 191. 239, 268, 
351; in Judy, 172; influence on 
England, 178; opposed by 
Thiers, 178; on intervention, 
182: caution of, 188; opposed 
by Cabinet, 191 ; at German em- 
bassy, 194; resolutions concern- 
ing. 206; unsigned article in 
Edinburgh, 220-224, 232, 285, 
334 ; Delane on, 231 ; at Lord 
Mayor's banquet, 240 ; dubious 
position of, 246: interviewed by 
Reitlinger, 267-269; rumours of 
resignation, 276 ; caricatured, 
284; advised on Cabinet, 286; 
condemned at St. James Hall, 
297; dissatisfaction of constitu- 



ents, 298; in Dame Europa's 
School, 311; appealed to by 
Guizot, 313; rhetoric of, 336; 
reassured as to Luxemburg, 
338; evaded by Bismarck, 340; 
speech on Herbert's motion, 
350; Gavard on, 353; attacked 
W Disraeli, 353; advised by 
Tim£S, 355; indemnity, 365; in- 
termediary of, 366; irritated by 
Peel, 367; unin formed of Russo- 
German treaty, 368; delays 
Dilke's motion, 369, 371 ; criti- 
cized by Bismarck, 370; ques- 
tioned on radical meeting, 376; 
successful over Dilke, 379; in 
debate on Cochrane's motion, 
381 ; army reforms, 403 

Globe and Traveller, 69, 73, 81, 
104, 156, 157, 159, 163, 173. 174, 
191, 219, 251, 263, 297, 304, 307, 
330, 371 

Goben, Gen. von, 292 

Gortchakoff, Prince Alexander, 
226, 242, 244, 249, 250, 252, 256, 
265, 337, 361, 378 

Gottingen, University of, 282 

Government, British, semi-official 
organ of, 12, 75, 138; distrusts 
•Morier, 14; policy in Poland, 
19; in Schleswig-Holstein, 20, 
31 : influence of Manchester 
School, 26, loi, 172, 274; naval 
reductions, 35 ; lack of informa- 
tion on Hohenzollern candidacy, 
53-55; attempts mediation, 57, 
59, 62. 72. 145, 185, 225; Bis- 
marck's request to, 61 ; with- 
holds documents, 73, 80; repre- 
sents France in Germany, 79; 
retrenchments, loi ; vote of 
credit, loi ; guarantees Belgium, 
103, 123; restrains war corres- 
pondents, 112; forms League of 
Neutrals, 124, 146, 172; sugges- 
tions as to policy, 135, 137, 141, 
339; urged to recognize French 
Republic, 167, 169-171, 193, 205, 
297, 308; criticisms of, 169, 172- 
174. 187, 207, 223, 256, 261, 285, 
297, 300, 334, 377-382; urged to 
intervene. 174. 308, 355; refuses 
support to France, 193; alleged 
breaches of neutrality, 208; 
policy on armament, 224, 238, 



424 



INDEX 



[424 



267; proposes negotiation of 
armistice, 227; lack of support 
for intervention, 241 ; affected 
by Gortchakoff Circular, 243- 
246; attitude on Luxemburg 
question, 264; freed from Du- 
clair difficulty, 294; addressed 
by St. Jas. Hall meeting, 297; 
Edward Bulwer on, 299; loses 
support of Radicals, 300; re- 
strains Volunteers, 302; op- 
posed by Otway, 306; advised 
(by Baines, 306; attacked in Par- 
liament, 334-336, 346-350, 362, 
3^, 2>77, 393; submits Blue 
Book, 339, 344; acts to reduce 
indemnity, 354; on Russo-Ger- 
man agreement, 362, 368, 382; 
sounds France on alliance, 365 ; 
supports Salisbury's motion, 
368 ; questioned' by Disraeli, 368, 
2,76; de Broglie on, 369; criti- 
cized for results of London 
Conference, 371 ; EHlke's attack 
on, 377-381 

Government, Danish, 123 

Government, French, policy to- 
ward Belgium, 25 ; towards Swit- 
zerland, 26; British approval 
of, 38; pre-war policy, 38-48; 
distrusted, 42 ; sells army horses, 
45; unpopular measures, 46; 
critics of, 47, 72, 222, 253 ; pun- 
ishes newspapers, 49: supported 
by Thiers, 50 ; policy on Hohen- 
zollern candidacy, 55-57, 60-64, 
72 ; _ reassures Belgium, 65, 87 ; 
advised by Siccle, 70; pre-^war 
negotiations, 72, ; Granville's 
representations to, 83; Lava- 
lette's despatch to, 88; connec- 
tion with Draft Treaty, 93; 
economy of, 120; resignation, 
123, 136; informed of League 
of Neutrals, 128; removes ban 
on Marseillaise, 129; asks war 
loan, 130; imports, 136; ru- 
moured intervention for, 142; 
embarrassed by Favre and Gam- 
betta, 155: becomes Republican, 
155; British attitude towards, 
165-171 ; Prussian attitude to- 
wards, 176; status of, 184; com- 
bats ^ radicals, 332; formally 
constituted, 339; represented in 
London, 352 



Government, Italian, 100, 314 
Government, Prussian, 25 ; liberal 
tendency, 27 ; Bismarck's leader- 
ship, 28; Benedetti's represen- 
tations to, 52, 61 ; policy to- 
wards Hohenzollern candidacy, 
57, 68; false information from, 
60; on Draft Treaty, 97; com- 
plaints against England, 244; 
opposition to, 260; declaration 
on Luxemburg, 266; disregard 
for constitution, 304; see, also, 
Prussia 
Government, Spanish, 60 
Government, Wiirttemberg, 59 
Gramont, Due de, 26, 27, 44-48, 50, 
53-64, 7^, 80, 82, 84, 87, 96, 99, 
127, 137 
Grant, Ulysses, 270 
Granville, Geo, Leveson Gower, 
Earl of, 12; Bright's influence 
on, 13; opinion of Prussia, 30; 
Queen's message to, 31 ; be- 
comes Secretary of Foreign Af- 
fairs, 51 ; statement on Hohen- 
zollern candidacy, 53 ; pre-war 
negotiations, 53-59, 62, 65, 72; 
reticence of, 7Z', presents Blue 
Book, 82, 92 ; memorandum to 
Bernstorff, 9>2, ; informed of 
iDraft Treaty, 88, 92; statement 
to Parliament on, 92; advocates 
guarantee of Belgium, 103, 123 ; 
despatch to Netherlands, 109; 
forms League of Neutrals, 124, 
146; informs France and Prus- 
sia, 124, 125; cold to Lavalette, 
129; letter from Queen, 134; 
Circulars of, 135; French visi- 
tors, 141 ; criticized' by British, 
173; efforts at peace-making, 
175; interview with Bernstorff, 
176; on Imperial restoration, 
177; estimate of France, 179; 
interview with Thiers, 179; re- 
quests Franco-Prussian inter- 
view, 181-183; receives Favre's 
Circular, 190; influence on 
Gladstone, 191 ; despatch to 
Lyons, 193 ; at German embassy, 
194 ; blames Eugenie, 200 ; hears 
peace rumours, 21 1 ; solicited by 
Chaudordy, 225 ; seeks under- 
standing with^ Russia, 225, 361 ; 
solicited by Tissot, 226; conver- 
sation with Princess Metter- 



425] 



INDEX 



425 



nich, 227 ; suggestions on armis- 
tice, 227 ; Delane on, 231 ; press 
criticism of, 231, 284, 344-346; 
at Lord Mayor's, 240; depart- 
ment of, 241 ; despatches to, 
241 ; answers Gortcnakoflf Cir- 
cular, 243, 245, 247 ; sends envoy 
to Bismarck, 247; instructions 
exceeded, 248; urges French 
assent to Conference, 253; re- 
ceives interpretation of Russian 
declaration, 267 ; interview with 
Reitlinger, 267-269; letter from 
Gladstone, 269 ; presents Bis- 
marck with armistice proposal, 
269; conduct in Ehiclair affair, 
273; instructions to Paris Em- 
bassy, 273 ; unrepresented in 
bombardment protest, 286 ; 
•warned of danger to British, 
287 ; loses secretary, 306 ; policy 
at London Conference, 307, 324, 
369, 370, 378; on German re- 
sponsibility for future of 
France, 314, 344-346; despatches 
to Bismarck, 315; presents Blue 
Book, 344 ; censors France, 345 ; 
•welcomes de Broglie, 352; me- 
diates on indemnity, 353, 365; 
warned of Russo-German en- 
tente, 361 ; questioned by Car- 
narvon, 369; knows England is 
isolated, 382; gratified at Du- 
clair settlement, 398 

Graphic, London, 48, 96, 116, 212, 
216, 236, 312, 322, 340, 345, 360, 
388, 389, 392 

Gravelotte, 139, 347 

Great Britain, 12; treaty with 
France, 13 ; retrenchments, 13, 
250; served by Palmerston and 
Russell, 14; foreign relations, 
1860-1870, 19-37: Prussian re- 
quest to, 61 ; France refuses 
good offices of, 64; care for 
small states, 95; sympathy for 
Prussia, 95; urged to arm, 98; 
guarantees Belgium, 103, 318; 
resents sympathy for Ireland, 
122; forms League of Neutrals, 
126; hopes for stable peace, 
145 ; resolutions on intervention 
of, 193, 206, 381 ; French claims 
on, 225, 231 ; unwilling to op- 
pose Germany, 241, 382; effect 



of Gortchakoff circular, 242-251 ; 
republicanism in, 288, 308 ; Queen 
of, 302; effacement of, 314, 317, 
328, z^, 382; difficulty of me- 
diation, 314; concerned in peace 
terms, 323, 335, 360; requests 
lowering of demands, 353, 399; 
projects alliance with France, 
365; debates on foreign policy, 
Z77, 393; freedom of speech in, 
400; see, also, England 

Greece, 22 

Green, John R., 16, 128, 129, 132,. 
145, 170, 332, 372, 388 

Greenock, 219 

Greenwich, 298 

Grotius, 191 

Guildhall, London, 241 

Guizot, Frangois-P.-G., no, 128,. 
224, 313, 314 

Hamburg, 136 
Hammond, Edmund, 52 
Hanover, i, 32, 176 
Hanover Square, London, 279 
Happy England, 222 
Harcourt, Vernon, 219, 328 
Harrison Frederick, 15, 237, 261, 

297, 312, 323, 326, 328, 389, 391 
Hartington, Spencer Compton: 

iCavendish, Marquis of, 286 
Hastings, 210 

Haussmann, Baron, 3S, 46, 388 
Havelock, Sir Henry, 114 
Havre, 133, 208, 271 
Hawarden Castle, 268 
Hayes, Carlton J. H., 405 
Hayward, Abraham, 194 
Hazen, Chas. Downer, 404 
Heffter, 135 
Heligoland, 235 
Helps, Sir Arthur, 265, 375 
Herbert, Auberon, M. P., 200, 347- 

349. 352, 390 
Hertford, Marquis of, 278 
Herve Riel, 321 
Hesse, 305 
Hesse-Cassel, 28 
Hesse-Darmstadt, 254 
Highbury Barn, 2*i 
Histories of the Consulate and 

Empire, 343 
Hoare, Sir Henry, 168, 288, 300,. 

349, Z^2 
Hoffman, Wicfcham, 275 



426 



INDEX 



[426 



Hohenlohe, 33^ 

Hohenzollern candidacy, see Leo- 
pold of Hohenzollern Sigma- 

ringen 
Hohenzollerns, 22, 401 
Holland, see Onited Provinces of 

the Netherlands 
Holstein, 20, 30, 305, 349 
Home, Douglas, 114 
Hortense, ex-Queen of Holland, 

129 
House of Commons, British, 19, 

72, loi, 336, 349, 353, 362, 367- 

369, 375, 379, 382, 393 
House of Deputies, French, 39 
House of iLords, British, 73, 92, 

103, 105, 336, 3^7, 369, 390 
House of Representatives, U. S. 

A., 270 
Hozier, Capt. H. M., 112 
Hudson, Sir Jas., 255 
Hugo, Victor, 360 
Hungary, 269 
Huxley, Sir Thos., 16, 165 
Hyacinthe, Pere, 278-280 
Hyde Park, 16. 167-169, 276, 391- 

393 

Illustrated London News, 75, 98, 
114, 202, 236, 245, 389 

Imperial Guard, French, 214 

Imperial Staff, 150 

Imperialists, see Bonapartists 

Independance Beige, 263 

India, 235, 262, 321-323 

India House, 263 

Interest of Europe in Conditions 
of Peace, 217 

International Democratic Asso- 
ciation, 391 

International League for Peace, 
225 

International Society of Work- 
men, 46 

Ireland, 12, 76-78, 94, 104, 121, 
140, 141, 147, 156, 207, 245, 249, 
286, 301, 397 

Irish Amibulance Corps, 207 

Isabella II, Queen of Spain, 52, 56 

Italy, 17-19, ^, 42, 52, 124, 158, 
213, 216, 226, 241, 302, 306, 332, 
347, 349 

Jacoby, Dr. Johann, 162, 259, 364 
Jardin des Plantes, 274 



Jerrold Blanchard, 114 

John Bully London, 98, 99, 100, 
115, 195, 249, 271, 290, 311, 320, 
322, 335, 355, 377, 386 

Johnson, Capt., Queen's Messen- 
ger, 183 

Journal Officiel, 83, 278 

Judy, 97, 98, 100, 115, 139, 141, 
143, 172, 222, 249, 284, 293, 305, 
329, 362 

Jules Favre Demonstration Com- 
mittee, 301, 352 

Junkers, 326, 401 

" Jupiter," sobriquet of Times, I45 

Kantuck, 121 

Keratry, Gen., 209 

Kiel, 30 

Kinglake, British historian, 81 

Kingston, Beatty, 114 

Konigsiberg, 162 

Krause, Baron, 88, 89, 95 

Krupp, Herr, 365 

Krupp Munition Works, 304 

Kursaal Gardens, 70, 78, 80 

Labouchere, Henry, 113, 154, 275, 
276, 277, 401 

Landtag, 29 

Landseer, Sir Edwin, 309 

Landsturm, 234 

Landwehr, 119 

Lansdowne, Sir Henry Petty- 
Fitzmaurice, third Marquis of, 
289 

Laon, 175 

Lassalle, Ferdinand, 260 

Latour, French diplomat, 49 

Lauenburg, 31 

Lavalette, Charles-J.-M.-F., Mar- 
quis de, 26, 53, 88, 92, 124, 129, 

175 
Lawley, Frank, 113 
Lawson, Sir Wilfred, 327 
Layard, Austin Henry, 14, 54 
League of Neutrals, 123-126, 172, 

186, 228, 265, 314, 382 
Leather OLane, Republicans of, 206 
Leboeuf, Edmond, Marshal of 

■France, 44, 45, no, 127, 200 
Le Breton, M™e, 210 
Lebrun, Gen., 45 

Lecky, W. E. H., 145, 207, 363, 373 
Leeds, 15, 306, 325 
Leeds Mercury, 200, 280 



427] 



INDEX 



427 



Legitimists, French, 341 

Leopold I, King of Belgium, i, 25, 

317 
Leopold, of Hohenzollern-Sigma- 

ringen, candidacy for Spanish 

throne, chap, iii, passim, 68-70, 

75S5, 91, 98, 246, 337 
Lesseps, Ferdinand de, 76 
Lever, Chas., 82, 84, 99, 120, 269 
Liberals, British, 13, 138, 139, 168, 

178, 190, 241, 300, 301, 349, 350, 
378 

Liberals, German, 162, 163, 199, 

228, 233, 374, 401 
Liberie, La, 302 
Liebknecht, Wilhelm, 259, 260 
Ligue des Neutres, see League of 

Neutrals 
Limerick, 121 
Lindsay, Col. Lloyd (later Lord 

Wantage), 217, 278 
Lindsay, Mrs. Lloyd, 194 
Liverpool, 76 
Liverpool Albion, 140 
Lloyd's Weekly, 81 
Loftus, Lord Augustus, 14, 35, 53, 

60-62, 96, 215, 227, 242 
Loire, Army of the, 209 
Loire, Department of the, 41 
Lombard' St., 351 
London, 16, 20, 25, 29, 32, ^, 46, 

51, 53, 55. (r^> 69, 71, 78, 79, 90, 

92, 107. Ill, 114, 124, 140, 143, 

147, 148, 155. 166-170, 173. 175, 

179, 181, 182, 189, 190, 192, 201, 
234, 235. 239, 241, 243, 249, 254, 
260, 266, 268-270, 275-278, 281, 
287, 288, 297, 299-301, 307, 308, 
31S. 321, 351-353, 356, 358, 365, 
376, 388. 391, 393. 395, 397 

London Conference, of 1864, 20, 
32; of 1867, 23, 24, 32: of 1871, 
254. 301, 302, 306-309, 325, 335, 
336, 353, 368-370, 372, 2,77 

London Democracy, 167 

London Graphic, 68, 70, 98 

London Protocol, 20, 31 

•London Republican Association, 
393 

London Society, 194, 266 

London, Treaty of, 1867, 263 

■Londonderry, 122 

Lord Mayor's Committee, 319 

Lord (Mayor's Fund, 289 

Lome, Marquis of, 339 



Lorraine, Times advice on, 18, 
144, 169, 220; Prussian desire 
for, 74, 206, 264, 345, 351 ; Prus- 
sian governor appointed, 144; 
neutralization suggested, 145, 
216; German attitude on annex- 
ation, 160, 233, 259; Gladstone 
on, 171, 191, 221, 239, 268, 351 ; 
Morier on, 174; Garibaldi on, 
205 ; in Bazaine intrigue, 210, 
212, 317; Graphic on, 216; Brit- 
ish M. P. on, 218; opposition to 
annexation, 233, 268, 269, 295 ; 
'Carlyle on, 251 ; Pere Hyacinthe 
on, 279 ; in cartoon, 305 ; S. Mor- 
ley on, 307; in false peace 
terms, 321 ; affected iby Gam- 
betta's struggle, 331 ; in final 
treaty, 354; British interest in, 
368 ; German government of, 397 

Lot hair, 68 

Louis XIV, 145, 181 

Louis, French Prince Imperial, 43, 
74, 119, 164, 210-213 

Louise, Princess of England, 339, 

375 

Louvre, Paris, 181 

Lowe, Robt, Chancellor of Ex- 
chequer, 13, 186, 189. 224, 248, 
258, 311 

Lucca, Duke of, 84 

Lucy, Sir Henry, 347 

Ludlow, Jas. M., 237, 238 

Lutzen, 161 

Luxemburg, 21, 22, 25, 90, 91, 263- 
267, 273, 338, 400 

Lyons, 225 

Lyons, Lord Richard, B. P., 14, 25, 
36, 38, 47. 54-65. 82, 87, 92, 108, 
124, 160, 182, 183, 185, 190, 193, 
211, 225, 239, 241, 253, 260, 273, 
287. 315, 324. 341, 3O7 

Lytton, Lord Edward Buhver, 131, 
233 

Lytton, British representative at 
Vienna, 255 

MacMahon, Marie-E.-P.-M., Mar- 
shal of France, in, 121, 139, 
151. 177, 395 
Macmillan's Magazine, 117, 328 
Madeleine, Church of the, 394 
Madrid, 14, 52-54, 67, 85, 246 
Main, 24 
Mainz, 398 



428 



INDEX 



[428 



Mair, Jos., 116 

Malet, Sir Alex., 16 

Malet, Edward, 182 

Malmesbury, Jas. Howard Harris, 
Earl of, 44, 82, 377 

Manchester, 15, 20, 238, 306, 325 

Manchester Examiner, 94, 179, 
203, 204, 249 

Manchester Guardian, 68, 74, 94, 
97, 98, no, 114, 121, 138, 141, 
142, 160, 162, 168, 169, 187, 204, 
213, 227, 228, 244, 249, 287, 303, 
342, 346, 355, 361, 368, 374, 380 

Manchester, school of economists, 
II, 19, 26, loi, 123, 172, 176, 245, 
256, 274 

Mansion House Relief Fund, 320 

Manteuffel, Otto von, German 
general, 374 

Maori, 193 

Mario, Jessie White, 113 

Marriott, Sir William, 297 

Marseillaise, French anthem, 16, 
77, 129, 154, 168, 196, 236, 391 

Marseillaise, newspaper, 48 

Marseilles, 186, 203 

Marx, Karl, 14 

Maxse, Capt., 297 

May fair, 140 ^ 

Mjayhew, Henry, 114 

Mediterranean, 108, 179 

Meissonier, Jean-L.-E., 289 

Meredith, George, 79, 107, 296, 297 

Merriman, Jos., 288, 302 

Metropolitan Peace Party, 300 

Metternich, Prince, Austrian Am- 
bassador, 118 

Metternich, Princess, 227 

Metz, III, 114, 163, 169, 184, 185, 
195, 208, 210-218, 226, 230, ^32, 
239, 242, 292, 322, 335, 354, 356, 
361 

Mexico, 19-21, 30 

Militar Cabinet, 229, 326 

Mill, Joihn Stuart, 16, 94, 95, 133, 
170, 216, 250, 263, 288, 325, 327, 
329, 337 

Minghetti, Marco, 124 

" Minister," carrier pigeon, 276 

Ministry, British, see Cabinet, 
Government 

Ministry, French, see Government 

Mitchel, John, yy 

Moltke, Gen. Hellmuth von, 33, \ 
55, 85, 116, 117, 197, 216, 2yy, \ 
281, 290, 319, 374 1 



Mommsen, German historian, 295 

Monarchists, French, 340 

Moniteur, 18, 290 

Monod, Gabriel, 150 

Montauban, Gen., see Palikao 

Montpensier, Antoine - M. - P. - L. 
d'Orleans, Due de, 68 

Morier, Sir Robt., 14, 96. 104, 106, 
115, 118, 125, 131, 145, 174, 193, 
217, 255, 265, 316, 317, 326, 359 

Morley, John, 16, 146, 169, 238, 

327, 329 

Morley, Samuel, 307 

Morning Advertiser^ see Adver- 
tiser, Morning 

Morning Post, see Post, Morning 

Moselle, 184 

Motley, John Lothrop, 175 

Mount Avron, 283 

Moustier, Marquis de, 29 

Murat, Prince Joachim, 142 

Musset, Alfred de, 129 

Miilkr, Max, 233, 295, 395 

Napoleon, Prince, 24, in 
Napoleon I, 28, 129, 149, 322 
Napoleon HI, friendship for Eng- 
land, 13, 22, y6, 139, 148, 377; 
subject for British poets, 16; 
distrusted, 17-20, 32; acquires 
Nice and Savoy, 17; relations 
with Russell, 17; American 
policy, 19, 20; Polish, 19; pro- 
poses congress. 19, 20, 24; atti- 
tude towards Germany, 21 ; fails 
to get Luxemburg, 22; Roman 
policy, 22, 24; reported pacific, 
25; feared by William, 33; in- 
terviewed by Clarendon, 33; 
conversation with Bismarck, 34; 
elevates Ollivier, 34, S7 '> effort 
for disarmament, 34; speech to 
Diplomatic Body, sy ; friendship 
for Haussmann, 38 ; affected by 
killing of Victor Noir, 38; ple- 
biscite, 41-44, 47, 128; conspir- 
acy against, 42, 46; reports of, 
43, 44; letter to Canrobert, 45; 
irritated by criticism, 47, 48; 
claim of pacifism, 49, 151 ; ill- 
ness, 49; on Hohenzollern can- 
didacy, 52, 54, 64, 68; News on, 
68; British opinion of, 69, 74, 
76, 79, 148-152; culpability of, 
72-74, 81, 84, 106, 127, 174, 180, 
181 ; fears for dynasty, 74, 164 ; 



429] 



INDEX 



429 



traditions of, 75; military 
strength, 77] secret negotia- 
tions, 80; Kinglake's concep- 
tion of, 81 ; ridiculed by Lever, 
82, 84; defeat of, 84. 147-148; 
disliked by Titties, 88; connec- 
tion with Draft Treaty, 90, 94» 
5^, 99; interviewed by Tele- 
graph, 90, III; assurance on 
Belgium, 103; Italian policy, 
108; attitude towards corres- 
pondents, 112, 117; military 
ability, 117-119, 139; contrasted 
with William, 120; sympathy 
for Irish, 122 ; resigns command, 
127; alleged desire for peace, 
127; scored by Paradol, 129; 
abdication advised, 136 -141; 
caricatured, 140, 358; surrender 
of, 147-153; finances of, 149; 
loses control of Paris, 153-155 ; 
embarrassed by South, 157; 
status of, 176, 177; secret of 
power, 178; Wilhelshohe Mani- 
festo, 195, 209; visitors of, 232; 
anonymous defence of, 232, 233; 
British attitude on restoration, 
265 ; St. Qoud' revelations, 265 ; 
mentioned in News, 280; in 
Dame Euro pa's School, 311; 
used by Bismarck, 316; letter 
of, 317; proclamation of, 331, 
340; under close surveillance, 
340; as refugee, 376, 385; al- 
leged negotiations, 398 ; deserted 
by Bourbaki, 401 

Nation, Irish, 69, 76, 105, 140, 156, 
208, 245, 249 

National Assembly, French, 313, 
359, 372, 382, 388 

National Guard, 39, 154, 157, 230, 
372, 384 

Natiottal Reformer, 158, 161, 376 

Nationalists, Irish, 122, 168 

Nelson Monument, London, 16, 
308 

Netherland, United Provinces of 
the, 22, 91, 94, 99, 105, 236, 263, 
265. 316, 404 

Nevill, I>orothy, 248 

Newcastle Chronicle, 304 

Nezus, Daily, London, 68, 74, 77, 
94, 113, 121, 135, 139, 141, 149. 
150, 159, 166, 174. 178, 179, 188, 
190, 191, 192, 195, 196, 205, 217, 



234, 240, 249, 252, 254, 263, 266, 
267, 277, 279, 280, 291, 294, 303. 
316, 341, 344, 352, 359, 380, 385, 
388, 391, 394, '«)9 

News of the World, 81 

Nice, 17, 158, 205, 213, 216 

Nicholas, Tsar of Russia, 245 

Noir, Victor, 38 

Normandy, 213, 399 

North German Confederation, 24. 

36, 55, 84, 90, 133, 254, 270 
North Gernmn Gazette, 62, 63, 66, 

71, 83, 303 
North Sea, 235 
North Woolwich, 196 
Northern Whig, 76, 97, 244 
Norway, 30 
Nottingham, 339, 376, 390 

Observer, 155 

Odger, George, 15, 166-168, 189, 

297, 300-302, 308, 390 
Old St., 288 
Ollivier, fimile, 34, 37, 38, 41, 44. 

50, 51, 54, 71, 77, 78, 95, 96, no, 

120, 123, 127, 136, 137 
Once a Week, 97, 149, 373 
Opera Comique, 129 
Orangemen, 122 
Orleanists, 68, 139, i55, IS6, 165, 

181, 230, 266, 341, 373 
Orleans, 195, 239, 242, 254, 290 
Orleans, House of, 47 
Osborne, Bernal, M. P., loi, 104, 

379 
O'Shea, J. Augustus, 113 
Otway, British under-secretary, 

241, 306 
Oxford, 15, 219, 396 

Palace Yard, 206 

Paladin, Gen. Aurelles de, 209, 

239, 254 
Palatinate. 18, 20 
Palikao, Charles-G.-iM.-A., Count 

de, 124, 136 
Pall Mall Gazette, 74, 93, 94, I35. 

136, 142, 172, 187, 191. 220, 222, 

235, 244, 246, 249, 252, 262-264, 
334, 345, 352, 355, 35^, 371, 375, 
401 

Palmerston, Lord, 12, 14, 19, 20, 

30, 31, 132, 133, 174, 349 
Paradol, Prevost, 129 



430 



INDEX 



[430 



Paris, 14, 2Z, 24, 32, 35, 36, 38-43, 
46, 52, 56, 6z, 69, 70, 72, 75, 78, 
84, 90, 102, III, 113, 114, 116, 
120, 128-130, 137, 138, 146, 151, 
153-155, 157, 164, 166, 170, 172, 
173, 182-186, 200, 202, 203, 207, 
215, 226, 229-232, 241, 252, 254, 
261, 270-286, 289, 305, 306, 309, 
313, 315, 319-321, 330, 331, 346, 
351, 354, Z(i7, Z72, 382-385, 387- 
390, 393-395, 399, 400 

Paris, Conference of, 1856, 65 

Paris, Declaration of, 393 

Paris, Treaty of, see Treaty of 
1856 

Paris, Louis - P. - A. - d'Orleans, 
Comte de, 266 

Parleni£nt, 48 

Parliament, British, 51 ; debates 
on war's inception, 72, 92, 93, 
loi, 107; on neutrality, 79; re- 
views official correspondence, 82, 
92, 93; ignorant of League of 
Neutrals, 125 ; recess of, 146, 
187, 192, 334, 338, 383, 390; vote 
of credit, 174: popular demand 
for, 205, 206, ^i ; vacation 
speeches, 219, 241, 296, 299; ses- 
sions of, 286, 288, 334-340, 344; 
given diplomatic correspond- 
ence, 344; debate on London 
Conference, 377-380; on Pre- 
liminaries, 380-382; enquires of 
1866 negotiations, 398; see, also. 
House of Commons, House of 
Lords 

Parliament, North German, 36, 
164, 254, 259, 262, 270, 273 

Parliamentarians, British, 296, 333, 
370, 377, 380 

Parthenon. 287 

Passion Play, 116 

Peace Party, 297 

Peel, Sir Robt., 349, 35o, 3^7, 380 

Persigny, Jean-G.-V.-R, Due de, 

43 
Phalsbourg, 185 
Picardy, 213 
Piedmont, 99 

Pietri, Parisian prefect, 128 
Pigeon post, 275, 276 
Pilcoq, Jules, 114 
Pitie Hospital, Paris, 287 
Pitt, William, 176, 265, 349 
Place d'Armes, 384 



Place de la Concorde, 358 

Poland, 19, 30, 402 

Pondicherry, 262, 321-324 

Positivists, see Comtists 

Post, Morning, London, 80, 93, 
114, 121, 159, 167, 368 

Prague, Peace of, 32, 33, 50, 108 

Pre-Raphaelites, 289 

Prim, Gen. Juan, Count of Reuss, 
Marquis of Los Castillejos, 14, 
52, 58, 67, 76, 78, 84 

Printing House Square, 278 

Protestant Episcopal Church, 391 

Provisional Government of Na- 
tional 'Defence, 154, 155, 166; 
anomalous status, 176, 177, 184, 
206, 257, 288, 301 ; accepts ser- 
vice of Thiers, 177, 228, 230; 
desire for peace, 181, 182; rec- 
ognition of, 188, 254. 270, 288, 
299; fails to get armistice, 190; 
sympathy for British workmen, 
205 ; dependence on Gambetta, 
205 ; revolutionary influence, 
205, 215, 294, 340, 390; character 
of, ^ 207 : embarrassed by Im- 
perial intrigue, 209-214, 340; 
policy towards Italy, 216; quells 
insurrection, 230; blamed by 
Telegraph, 231 ; encouraged by 
British, 253; affected by Black 
Sea controversy, 253, 301-303, 
340; blamed for failure of 
negotiations, 268; uses Wash- 
burne, 271 ; accused by Ger- 
mans, 291 ; policy on London 
Conference, 307-309: disliked by 
Bismarck, 317; policy in revic- 
tualling Paris, 319; weakness 
of, 329; gives way to formal 
government, 341 

Prussia, praised by Carlyle, 16; 
foreign relations previous to 
outbreak of war, 19-36; effect 
of French reduction of con- 
scription, 35, 38, 49; Gramont's 
attitude towards, 45 ; ambassa- 
dor of, 45; military power of, 
49 ; reigning house of, 52 ; rela- 
tions with France, 52; Gran- 
ville's representations to, 53, 54, 
62; attitude on Hohenzollern 
question, 55-58, 68, 69, 71, 84; 
French demands on, 56, 61, 66, 
69; refuses British mediation. 



431] 



INDEX 



431 



62, 65; advertises Ems inter- 
view, 64, 66; Manchester Guar- 
dian on, 68; British sympathy 
for, 71, 74» 95. 97; war aims, 
74, 156; envied by France, 75; 
circulars of, 80 ; connection with 
Draft Treaty, 89-92, 95, 96, I45 ; 
wish for Holland, 91 ; guaran- 
tees Belgium, 103, 104; chance 
for military success, 107-110; 
policy towards military corres- 
pondents, 112; informed of 
League of Neutrals, 125, 146; 
suffers from British exports, 
135; attitude towards Napo- 
leon, 137, 191 ; contracts loan, 
147; attitude towards French 
Republic, 164, 176, 209; demand 
for guarantees, 176, 185, 190, 
217-219, 2ZZ'y Motley's advice 
to, 176; instructions to Bern- 
storff, 176; unpopularity of de- 
mands, 182, 191, 200, 205, 219, 
223, 239, 245, 291, 308, 350, 2,77; 
Bulwer on, 188; claims on 
Providence, 197, 252 ; diplomatic 
victory, 228; approached by 
Changamier, 232 ; press attacks 
on England, 233, 2^ ; change in 
character of -war, 239; relations 
with Russia, 249, 252, 256, 290, 
346, 368, 379. 381, 382; unop- 
posed by British, 241 ; signs 
Treaty of Paris, 247, 263, 338; 
plans con f erence, 247 ; asks Brit- 
ish good offices, 253 ; breaks off 
November negotiations, 254 ; 
future of, 258, 261, 327, 362, 401, 
405 ; suggests peace terms, 264 ; 
secures Austrian neutrality, 269 ; 
relations with U. S., 270; ru- 
moured influence on Times, 277 ; 
represented at London Confer- 
ence, 302; militarism of, 303, 
356; bound by Treaty of 1815, 
Z^^y 2,27', disclaims wish for 
Pondicherry. 324 ; unifies France, 
329: demand for occupation of 
Paris, 352 

Prussian Annals, 233 

Puffendorf, 191 

Pullen, W. H., 310, 364 

Punch, 99, 115. 119. 151, 197, 216, 
237, 344, 362 



Quai d'Orsay, 63 

Quakers, see Society of Friends 

Quarterly Review, 97, 223, 224, 

285, 290, 402 
Quartier Latin 274 
Queen, London, 75, 148 
Queen Elizabeth Regiment, 325 
Queen's Concert Rooms, 279 

Rameau, Mayor of Versailles, 292 
Ranees, Spanish diplomat, 84 
Ranke, Leopold von, 181 
Rappel, 48 
Record, 93, 94, 139, I79, 203, 222, 

263, 355 
Red Cross, 278, 291 
Redesdale, Lord Algernon, 43 
Reform Bill, 13 
Reform Club, 251 
Regnault, Henri, 289 
Regnier, "M or N," 210, 229 
Reichstag, 397, 399. 401 
Reitlinger, Frederic, 267 
Renan, Ernest, 131 
Renouf, French publicist, 253 
Republic, French, see France 
Republican, London, 376 
Republicans, British, 189, 206, 297, 

334, 339, 375 
Republicans, French, 331, 340, 341, 

387, 400 
Reuter News Agency, 71, 259 
Reveil, 48 
Rheims, 153 

Rhin, Departments of, 184 
Rhin, Le, 129 
Rhine, z^, in, 119, 304, 306, 358, 

364 
Rights of Man, 394 
Rivoli, Rue de, 352 
Robinson, Geo. T., 114, 212-214 
Robinson's, pleasure - ground of 

Paris, 274 
Rochefort, Henri, 38, 39, 154, 157, 

164 
Roman Catholic Church, 40, 200 
Rome, 18, 22, 24 
Roncourt, 150 

iRoon, Gen. Albrecht von, 85 
Rossetti, Christina, 237 
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 201 
Rothschild, Alfred, 319 
Rothschild, Baron Alphonse de, 

53, 56, 184 



432 



INDEX 



[432 



Rothschilds, international bankers, 

365 
Rouher, Eugene, 77, no, 211 
Rumania, 52 

Rumbold, Sir Horace, 191 
Ruskin, John, 16, 198, 218, 219, 

285, 288 
Russell, Lady John, 131 
Russell, Lord John, 12, 14, 17, 20, 

31, 82, 103, 251, 327, 349 
Russell, John Scott, 116, 117, 241 
Russell, Odo, 245, 248, 250, 294, 

313, 315-317, 337, 353, 378 
Russell, Dr. W., 112, 182, 209, 229, 

242, 246, 247, 282, 292 

Russell Square, 113 

Russia, 14, 19, 22, 27, 29, 30, 55, 
59, 102, 104, 106, 108, 134, 182, 
191, 226-228, 235, 242-251, 252, 
256, 257, 269, 270, 284, 290, 302, 

314, 2>2>(>, Z27, 346, 349, 353, 361, 
362, 368, 370, Z7^, 379, 381, 382, 
393 

^aarebriick, 119 

Sadowa, 53, 112, 129 

St. Cloud, 64, 151, 265 

St. Denis, 202 

Saint Gothard Pass, 26, 27, 50, 51, 

108 
St. Honore, Faubourg, 183 
-St. James Chapel, 79 
St. James's Hall, 166-169, 178, 296, 

298 
St. Luke's, 376 
St. Petersburg, 14, 55, 181, 187, 

191, 225, 227, 250 
Sala, G. Augustus, 113, 118 
Salazar, Sefior, Spanish diplomat, 

84 
Salisbury, Cathedral of, 310 
"Salisbury, third Marquis of, 285, 

Z(>7 
Sandwich, 386 
Sarsfield Brigade, 78 
Saturday Review, 81, 189, 221, 

235, 294, 303, 309, 344 
Saunders's News Letter, 76, 78, 

94, 132, 148, 179, 188, 205, 265, 

323, 355 
Savoy, 17, 18, 28, 158, 205, 213, 

216, 368 
Saxony, 305 
Scandinavia, 199 
Schelstadt, 195 



Schleswig, 20, 30, 150, 305, 349 

Schneider, President of Corps 
Legislatif, 41, 42 

Scotsman, Weekly, 75, 81, 91, 122, 
143, 188, 223, 243, 291, 373, 384, 
391 

" Scrutator," pen name of pam- 
phleteer, 86, 219, 295 

Sebastopol, 243 

Sedan, 147, 148, 153, 172, 174, 195, 
197, 209, 236 

Seeley, Prof. John Robt., 363 

Seine, 272, 306 

Senate, French, 63 

Sergeant's Inn, 88 

Seven Weeks' War, 31 

Shaftesbury, Earl of, 250 

Shand, Alex. I, 112, 115 

Steele, 48, 70 

Situation, La, 164, 266 

Skinner, Hilary, 113 

Socialist Democratic Party, 160, 
259 

Society of Friends, 13, 258, 363 

Soissons, 195 

Sophia, Queen of Netherlands, 
109 

Spain, 19, 32, 52-85, 159, 175, 241, 
332 

Spectator, London, 69, 74, 77, 79, 
97, 105, 119, 121, 135, 136, 151, 
163, 166, 187, 203, 209, 211, 222, 
233, 251, 257, 260, 262, 286, 291, 
292, 294, 297, 301, 318, 319, 322, 
332, 335, 336, 340, 343, 346, 361, 
365, 384, 386, 394, 399 

Spicheren, 120 

Standard, 70, 80, 81, 88, 93, 113, 
120, 128, 138, 142, 155, 179, 185, 
190, 191, 192, 206, 220, 231, 232, 
243, 245, 249, 251, 256, 264, 271, 
272, 278, 290, 323, 334, 336, 343, 
346, 352, 355, 363, 367, 371 

Stanley, Lord, 264 

Stock Exchange, London, 69, 92, 
147, 321 

Stockmar, Baron, 359 

Stoffel, Col., Ill 

Strand, London, 166, 207 

Strasburg, 123, 139, 146, 154, 174, 
184, 186, 190, 198, 199, 217, 226, 
359, 398 

Strauss, Dr. Friedrich, 131 

Stuttgart, 59 

Suffolk St. Galleries, 289 



433] 



INDEX 



433 



Sullivan, Sir Edward, 222 

Sun, 138, 264 

Sunday Magazine, 361 

Sweden, 30 

Swinburne, Algernon Chas., 16, 

158 
Switzerland, 18, 26, 236 
Sybel, Heinrich von, 233, 294, 296 

Tablet, 75, 81, 207, 266, 303, 377 

Taine, Hippolyte, 396 

Taylor, Helen, 387 

Telegraph, London, 69, 70, 71, 90, 
91, 93, 97, 98, 106, III, 113, 114, 
137, 138, 140, 144, 156, 158, 162, 
204, 216, 219, 231, 244, 252, 260, 
264, 279, 295, 316, 334, 352, 355, 
388, 391, 397 

Temple Bar, 115, 386 

Tennyson, Lord Alfred, 17, 181 

Thiers, Louis Adolphe, 50; on 
French prospects, 1 10 ; speeches, 
128; fortification of Paris, 130; 
missions for Provisional Gov- 
ernment, 177-182, 188, 202, 228, 
229, 250, 254; policy towards 
England, 178 ; despatch to Favre, 
180 ; responsibility for war, 228 ; 
distrusted in Paris, 230; Times 
on, 231 ; political beliefs, 232, 
386, 389, 399; British sympathy, 
235, 241, 360; desire for con- 
gress, 241 ; pamphlet of, 253 ; 
plan for Leopold, 317; Head of 
Executive, 341 ; represented at 
Conference, 352; signs Prelimi- 
naries, 354, 360; correspondence 
with de Broglie, 365, 369; J. R. 
Green on, 388; struggle against 
Commune, 372, 387, 393-397, 
400; Circulars of, 399; residence 
burned, 400; speech on Treaty 
of Frankfort, 400 

Thile, Ludwig von, 52, 57, 80, 84, 
189, 190 

Times, London, 12, 18, 27, 48, &7- 
78, 84, 88-91, 93, 95, 96, 99, 102, 
112, 113, 120-122, 124, 126, 128, 
135, 137-144, 149, 161-170, 179, 
186-192, 199, 205, 208, 211, 216, 
219, 220, 229, 231, 232, 240, 246, 
250, 253, 254, 265, 2(16, 275-278, 
280, 282, 285, 289, 290, 300, 308, 
312, 316, 321, 341, 343, 344, 350, 
351, 354, 355, 360. 383, 389, 393 



Tissot, French Minister, 175, 226, 
241 

Torrens, W. M., 339 

Toul, 186 

Tours, 202, 203, 227, 231, 254, 273 

Trades Societies, London, 169, 
170, 189 

Trades Unions, British, 301 

Trafalgar Square, 171, 308 

Treaties of 1831 and 1839, 87, 104, 
105 

Treaty of 181 5, 322, 327 

Treaty of 1856, 72, 242, 243, 256, 
265, 325, 335, ^2, 370 

Treaty of 1867, 263, 265, 267, 338, 
362 

Treaty of Frankfort, see Frank- 
fort, Treaty of 

Treaty of Prague, see Prague, 
Treaty of 

Treaty Stone, Ireland, 121 

Treitschke, von, 233 

Trieste, 269 

Trinity College, Dublin, 282 

Trochu, Louis- Jules, French gen- 
eral, 156-159, 302 

Tuileries, 46, 6z, 151, I54 

Turcos, 118, 120, 154, 193 

Turkey, 22, 241, 302, 368 

Tussaud, Mme, 16, 196 

Tweed, 143 

Tynan, Katharine, 121 

Uhlans, 130, 305 
Ultramontane, 28, 41, 200 
Union, Act of, 76, 249 
Union Jack, 272, 301 
United States, 24, 134, 175, 270, 284 
Urquhart, David, 14, 85, 86, 224, 
235, 243, 290, 402 

Val Richer, no, 128 

Vamty Fair, 37, 199, 234, 304, 305 

Varzin, 60 

Vendome Column, 394, 400 

Verite, La, 278 

Vernon, Lord, 278 

Versailles, 212, 214, 217, 228, 229, 

233, 241, 242, 246, 249, 266, 268, 

283, 290-292, 303, 305, 309-315, 

353, 359 
Versailles Government, 384, 387, 

393, 397-400 
Vichy, 51 



434 



INDEX 



[434 



Victoria, Crown Princess of Brus- 
sia, I, 28, 112, 134, 199, 327 

Victoria, Queen of England, pol- 
icy in foreign affairs, 1860-1870, 
II, 19, 25, 26, 28-32; appealed 
to by Ministers, 57; proclaims 
neutrality, yd>\ letters to, 136; 
messengers of, 142 ; criticism of, 
173; cousin's loss, 176; Prus- 
sia's attitude towards, 176, 313; 
extra-territorial power, 184 ; 
telegrams to King William, 
185, 375 ; rumours of, 276 ; con- 
gratulates German Emperor, 
302; opens Parliament, 334, 336, 
350 ; requests dowry for Louise, 
339, 375; visited by Napoleon, 
385 

Vienna, 49, 60, 181, 187, 227, 255, 
267, 269 

Vizetelly, George, 114, 183, 319 

Volkes Zeitung, 161 

Volunteers, British, 302, 404 

Wacht am Rheim, Die, 148, 236 
Wagner, Dr., 236 
Walker, Capt, 114 
Wallace, Richard, 278 
Walmer, 386 

Walmer Castle, 141, 142, 173 
Ward, Mrs. Humphrey, 396 
Washburne, Elihu B., 51, 270, 273, 

2y6 
Waterloo, 29, 95 
Weissembourg, 120, 196 
Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, 

Duke of, 289, 305, 349 
Wellington Music Hall, Z7^ 
Werder, Gen., 198 
Werther, Baron August von, 45, 

53, 54, 63, 64 
West, Mrs. Geo. Cornwallis West, 

see Churchill, Lady Randolph 
Westminster Review, 401 
What We Demand from France, 

Whitehurst, Felix, 114, 184, 286, 
313, 316, 329, 385 

Wilberforce, Bishop Samuel, 128 

Wilhelmshohe, Castle of, 164, 184, 
195, 209, 211, 232, 316 

WilHam 1, German Emperor, 
crowned King of Prussia, 28; 
elevates Bismarck, 29; inter- 
viewed by Clarendon, 33; dis- 



trusts Napoleon, 33; Bismarck's 
attitude towards, 34, 62, 83, 234, 
401 ; on disarmament, 35 ; speech 
of, 36; interview with Tsar, 36; 
at Ems, 51 ; sanction of Hohen- 
zollern candidacy, 53, 57, 58, 61, 
81 ; responsibility of, 54-57, 71, 
85; interviewed by Benedetti, 
57, 71, 73, 76, 78, 80, 82 ; answer 
to France, 57; appealed to by 
Tsar, 59; French demands on, 
60 ; telegraphs Bismarck, 61 ; 
visited by Eulenburg, 61 ; as 
head of House, 61 ; Kursaal in- 
terview, 61-64, 85; British rep- 
resentations to, 62; military 
strength, 75, 157; British opin- 
ion of, 76, 79, 172, 196, 199, 249, 
280, 300, 303-306, 359, 362; kin- 
ship to Leopold, 84; connection 
with Draft Treaty, 90, 93; as- 
surance to Belgium, 103; re- 
ceives Russell, 112, 283; speech 
at Saarebruck, 119, 153, 160; 
complains to Victoria, 134; balks 
peace move, 142; methods in 
Alsace, 144 ; reply to Pope, 144 ; 
portrait, 148; letter to Napo- 
leon, 152 ; telegram after Sedan, 
152; desires Alsace and Lor- 
raine, 160, 200, 305; fears Re- 
public, 161, 165; piety of, 168, 
197, 221, 305, 362; on British 
apathy, 176; disclaims ambi- 
tion, 182; replies to Victoria, 
185; uses terrorism, 198; inter- 
view with Napoleon, 209; rela- 
tions with Tsar, 227, 235, 361, 
382 ; Christina Rossetti on, 237 ; 
on loss of Orleans, 239; fails 
to intervene for Russell, 242; 
announcement to Parliament, 
254; proposed change of title, 
259, 270; illiberal, 259; peti- 
tioned by Bremen, 262 ; crowned 
Emperor, 302, 335, 375; title 
recognized by ^ London Confer- 
ence, 309;^ Bismarck superior 
to, 310; in Dame Euro pa's 
School, 311; effect on Europe 
of supremacy, 323, 327, 401 ; ad- 
vice to England, 323; relations 
with Junkers, 326, 401 ; tele- 
gram on treaty, 354; address to 



435] 



INDEX 



435 



Parliament, 374 ; accusations 

against France, 390 
Wimbledon, 68 
Wimpffen, Emmanuel Felix de, 

French general, 151 
Windsor Castle, 173, 325, 385 
Wingfield, Lewis, 114 
Winn, C. Allanson, 292 
Wodehouse, Henry, 273 
Wolff News Agency, 260 



Workingmen's Association, 128 
Workingmen's International Ex- 
hibition, 173 
Workingmen's National Peace 

Society, 288 
World War, 404 

Worth, 120, 121, 137, 139, 236, 347 
Wurttemberg, 59, 254, 398 

Zouaves, 305 



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