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In bringing this work before the public, I do homage 
to the memory of my father. 

It appears twenty years after the death of the 

' Such a delay is necessary, in order that the writings 
which I leave behind me may become ripe for the use 
of the hterary world.' Thus my father expressed him- 
self on different occasions, and without being bound by 
any testamentary directions, fihal piety urges me to 
fulfil a duty which is also dictated by political con- 

No restriction was placed upon the Editor as to 
the mode of dealing with the materials which my father 
left, and I have chosen the form which seems to be 
indicated by the materials themselves. 

In a memoir entitled ^ My Political Testament,* 
which the reader will find in its proper place in this 
work, the Chancellor explains in the following words the 
reasons of the silence he had maintained : — 

' I have made History, and have, therefore, not 
found time to write it. I did not regard myself capable 
of this double task, and after my retirement into 
private Hfe, I was too advanced in years to devote 

vi . PREFACE. 

myself to the task of writing history. Far removed from 
access to the State Archives necessary for such a vsrork, I 
should have had only my memory to rely upon. 

' I have recoiled from this task, and the history of 
my ministry, which lasted nearly thirty-nine years, must 
be derived from three sources : — 

'I. From the Archives of the department over 
which I presided from the Battle of Wagram, in 18095 
tiU March 13, 1848 : 

' n. From a collection of documents which I leave 
behind me, under the title of " Materials for the History 
of my Time : " 

'm. From the letters and papers which I have 
written since my retirement into private life. 

' The impartial historian who draws from these three 
sources will find abundant materials. 

' Neither self-love nor proneness to dogmatism have 
urged me to make known the views and sentiments 
by which the whole course of my life was governed. 
The feehng which inspires me rests on a regard for 
historical truth.' 

Similar expressions used by my father will be 
found by the reader in many parts of this work. The 
motive which hindered Prince Metternich from writing 
a continuous history of his Hfe and labours is every- 
where apparent ; as such an undertaking would, indeed, 
have amounted to writing the history of Europe during 
the first half of our century. 

The reader must not expect from the Chancellor's 
son a history of this period, nor a picture of the terrible 
wars, or of the long era of peace which followed them, 
an era which, ambitious as it may sound, bears the name 


of the illustrious Chancellor. But the world must 
accept from the son all he can give — the Notes, Memoirs, 
and Correspondence which the Chancellor deposited in 
the archives of his family, and which he himself de- 
scribes as a collection to be used for the history of his 
life, with the expressed wish that they should be pub- 
hshed for the use of the historian. 

My task, therefore, has been to collect the papers 
left by my father, to classify them according to the 
nature of their subjects, following the chronological 
order, and to supplement them occasionally by reference 
to the Archives of the State. I have been guided in 
my work by the desire to throw Hght on the career of 
Prince Metternich, reproducing the papers with scru- 
pulous fidelity, without addition or alteration, and in 
this way I have been able to bring out the greatness of 
his character. 

The natural divisions in the Hfe and labours of 
Prince Metternich have led me to arrange the papers 
he has left in three sections, corresponding to the three 
following epochs : — 

The first, from 1793 to 1815, beginning with the 
birth of Metternich, and ending with the celebrated 
Congress at Vienna. 

The second, from 1816 to 1848, includes a period of 
general peace, and ends with the Chancellor's retire- 
ment from political life. 

The third, from 1848 to 1859, is a period of re- 
pose, lasting till the death of the Chancellor, which 
took place on June 11, 1859. 

The fourth and last Part will consist of documents 
of a various nature, which are not easy to class in 

viii PREFACE. 

chronological order, but are more easily arranged ac- 
cording to their subjects. 

It is the First Part which is now published in 
these two volumes, comprising the period from 1773 to 

The work will be pubUshed simultaneously in Ger- 
man, French, and EngHsh. The documents left by 
Prince Metternich are written partly in German and 
partly in French. 

In the accomplishment of my arduous task I have 
had the assistance of others, whose valuable help I most 
thankfully acknowledge. Amongst others I specially 
mention with gratitude His Excellency Baron Aldenburg, 
whose rare knowledge and great experience have never 
failed me. I am also under great obhgations to the 
Government officials, to the directors and custodians of 
the State Archives, who placed their treasures at my 
disposal for the benefit of this work, but I have used 
their HberaUty merely to fiU up gaps in the papers left 
by the Chancellor. To do more than this would have 
been to alter the character of my work. 

Lastly, I must mention, as a true fellow-labourer in 
this great enterprise, my friend, Hofrath von Klinkow- 
strom. Entrusted with the sifting and arranging of the 
Chancellor's papers, he has given to this vast collection 
of documents the form under which they are now pre- 
sented to the public. 

I now leave my father to speak. The reader shall, 
in this work, hear the voice which once made itself 
heard in all the Courts and Cabinets of Europe, and 
see the man who had the honour of leading for many 
years the Conservative party of the Austrian Empire. 


The reader shall hear, not another speaking of IVCetter- 
nich, but Metternich himself. 

Now that more than a generation has passed over 
his quiet tomb, the image of the resolute defender of 
Conservative Principles appears still more imposing, 
and his own words will enable men to reahse the power 
and the charm of his character. Even his enemies 
will be touched, and will regard with respect the great 
statesman as he once again passes before them. 

Written on the 20th anniversary of the death of my 

Pakis : June 11, 1879. 


I DEPOSIT this manuscript in the archives of my family, 
and I am led to do so by the following considerations : 

My hfe belongs to the time in which it has passed. 

That time is an epoch in the history of the world ; 
it was a period of transition ! In such periods the 
older edifice is already destroyed, though the new is 
not yet in existence ; it has to be reared, and the men 
of the time play the part of builders. 

Architects present themselves on all sides : not one, 
however, is permitted to see the work concluded ; for 
that, the hfe of man is too short. Happy the man who 
can say of himself that he has not run counter to 
Eternal Laws. This testimony my conscience does not 
deny me. 

I leave to those who come after me not a finished 
work, but a clue to guide them to the truth of what 
I intended and what I did not intend. Mindful of 
my duty to the State, I have inserted in this manuscript 
nothing belonging to its secrets ; but many things which 
ought to be known, and which ought not to remain in 

I have especially desired to render a last service, the 
greatest I can render, to the dead : to make known, as 


he was, the Emperor Francis I., who in his last will has 
conferred on me the title of his best friend. 

My Hfe was full of action in a time of rapidly moving 
events. This narrative shows that from my earliest 
youth to the thirty-sixth year of a laborious ministry, 
when I write these Hues, I have not Hved one hour to 

A spectator of the order of things before the Eevo- 
lution in French society, and an observer of or a parti- 
cipator in all the circumstances, which accompanied and 
followed the overthrow of that order, of all my con- 
temporaries I now stand alone on the lofty stage on 
which neither my will nor my inclination placed me. 

I acknowledge, therefore, the right and the duty to 
point out to my descendants, the course by which alone 
the conscientious man can withstand the storms of time. 
This course I have indicated by the motto I have chosen 
as the symbol of my conviction, for myself and my de- 
scendants : ' True Strength lies in Eight ' ; save this, 
all is transitory. 

The epoch which I have especially considered lies 
between 1810 and 1815 ; for that period was the most 
important in my Hfe, as it was also in the history of 
the world. The direction was then given to the forms 
which things afterwards assumed. Proofs of this exist 
in the State Archives ; but they contain only the results, 
and contribute Uttle towards throwing hght on the pro- 
cess by which those results were brought about ; for in 
the years 1813, 1814 and 1815, the monarchs and the 
leaders of the Cabinets were mostly in the same locahty. 


If ever — and it is inevitable — an account of my 
life be given to the world, the statement of the truth 
concerning myself will furnish my descendants with the 
means of contradicting false representations. Investiga- 
tion of the State Archives will also be required, containing 
as they do all that I did not think proper to include in 
this manuscript, and which I could not have included 
from want of time, even if a feehng of duty had not 
forbidden it. 

The men who create History have not time to write 
it — I at least had none. 

I have called the period between the years 1810 
and 1815 the most important, because it includes the 
epoch in which Napoleon's attempt to estabhsh a new 
order of things was overthrown ; through which over- 
throw Europe fell under the natural consequences of 
the French Revolution — consequences which are only 
now beginning to develop themselves. 

This manuscript is to remain in my family archives 
for ever, so far as that can be said of anything man 
intends. I permit it, however, to be used, according to 
time and circumstances, to fill up the defects in histo- 
rical narratives, or to correct those which are untrue, 
whether in regard to facts or in regard to my own 



December 1844. 








I, Apprenticeship " . . . 3 

n. Ebttbabtce into Pitblic LrFB 31 

III, Embassy in Bebxin 45 

IV. As Austrian Ambassador at the Coitrt op Napoleon . 63 
V. Becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs .... 103 

VI. Special Mission to Paris 125 

VII. Before and After the Russian Campaign . . . 145 

Vin. History of the Alliances ....... 171 

IX. The Dawn of Peace 249 



Napoleon Bonaparte 269 

Contributions to the Portrait of Napoleon: 

The Coronatiou of the Empress Josephine 288 

Napoleon's Reception of the Diplomatists after Tilsit . . . . 291 



The Court at Fontainebleau 293 

The Napoleonic Aristocracy • . 295 

Napoleon at the Fatal Ball at Prince Schwarzenbeig's • . . 298 

On the Flight of the King of Holland 305 

The Church of the Madeleine 307 

Napoleon's Opinion of Chateaubriand . . > . . . . 307 

Napoleon's Family 308 

The Manuscript of St. Helena 312 




Pkeliminaky Remark bt the Editor 337 

From the Time of the Apprenticeship: 

1793. Appeal to the Army • .339 

1794. On the Necessity of a general Arming of the People on the 

Frontiers of France 340 

1797-1798. Letters from Metternich to his Wife from Rastadt 

(3 to 53) 347 

Notes by the Editob 379 




VOL. I. B 





]3irth and childhood — F. Simon — University of Strasburg — Coronation in 
Frankfort 1790 — Eulogius Schneider — The lay-bishop of Strasburg — 
Archduke Francis — Metternich's father Minister Plenipotentiary to the 
Netherlands — University of Mayence — French emigrants — Vacation in 
Brussels — Lectures on Law — Prof.Hofman — Kotzebue — NicolausVogt — 
Coronation of Emperor Francis II. in Frankfort 1792 — Ahh6 Maury and 
Mirabean — Ball— Ooblentz — Frederick William II.— Campaign of 1792 — 
General Dumouriez — Occupation of Valenciennes — Studies in the Nether- 
lands — At London — Notabilities met there — Mechanism of Parliament — 
Prince of Wales — War between France and England — Sailing of the Fleet 
from Portsmouth — The naval victory at Ushant — Visit to the interior of 
England — Report of Metternich's imprisonment — Landing in Holland — 
First journey to Vienna — Konigswart — Marriage 179.5 — Aversion to 
public life — Death of his father-in-law — Studies in natural science — 
Congress of Eastadt — Return to Vienna — Pozzo di Borgo — Salon of the 
Prince de Ligne — Salon Liechtenstein — Salon Rombeck — Thugut — Re- 
mark of the Emperor Francis. 

I WAS born at Coblentz in the year 1773, so that my 
youth coincided with that period which immediately 
preceded the social Revolution in France, and which 
served as an introduction to it. Brought up in my 
father's house with loving care, I grew up under the 
influences of the position in which I was born, — the 
pubhc station of my father in the Imperial service, the 
French social life, and the moral laxity which cha- 
racterised the smaller German States, before the storm 
burst forth which was soon afterwards to annihilate 

At the time of my childhood the educational 
B 2 


methods of Basedow and Campe were in vogue. My 
first tutor was an aged Piarist. When I was nine years 
old he died, and he was replaced by another priest, who 
taught me the Humaniora till my thirteenth year, when 
my father gave me another tutor, Friedrich Simon, 
born at Strasburg, and a Protestant, had been a teacher 
in Basedow's philanthropic institution at Dessau. He 
married a niece of Campe himself, and then, in con- 
nection with a Protestant clergyman, Schweighauser, 
estabhshed an educational institution in Alsace, and 
afterwards undertook the direction of a similar institu- 
tion at Neuwied on the Ehine. 

Under the guidance of this tutor, I and my brother, 
who was a year and a half younger than myself, went 
through the studies of the Gymnasiums till the summer 
of the year 1788, when we were sent to the University 
of Strasburg. 

This University at that time enjoyed great fame, and 
was much frequented by Germans, who went thither on 
account of the facilities it offered for acquiring the 
German and French languages. Th^^ear I went there 
t.ViP yn^itlifnl N^polepn Bonaj)a£te_J}ad Just^^ 
Ronclu(^ed his studies in the artillery re giment quar- 
^red at Str asburg. We had the same professors for 
mathematics and fencing, — a circumstance which was 
only remembered by those masters when the little 
artillery officer became, step by step, a great general. 
First Consul, and afterwards Emperor. During my 
residence in Strasburg I never heard his name men- 
tioned.* Prince Maximilian of Zweibriicken, afterwards 

* In passing through Strasburg in 1808, 1 had a visit from my old feno* | 
ing-master, Mons. Fustet. ' Is it not a strange thing,' — said he to me, ' that i 
it was my lot to give you fencing-lessons, just after I had given the like to j 
Napoleon ? I hope that my two pupils, the Emperor of the French and the 

APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 5 

the first King of Bavaria, was colonel of the royal 
Alsace regiment then quartered at Strasburg. My 
mother ,^^^ who was intimate with the parents of his wife, 
a princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, had recommended me to 
the care of this Prince. This charge he fulfilled in the 
most cordial manner, and throughout the whole fife of 
this prince, relations of the utmost confidence existed 
between us, which were not without a certain influence 
on more than one pubUc occasion. 

I left the University of Strasburg in the year 1790,^^^ 
at the time of the coronation of the Emperor Leopold 
at Frankfort, whither my father had summoned me. 
The French Eevolution was beginning. From that 
moment I wasJlS— clps e observer, and subsequeiiJjY 
without haviii g been once drawn into its w IuxIdqoL^I 
len whose characters had not sufficient 

strength to withstand the misleadingL-glare of innova- 
tions and theo ries, and who have reproached me that 
neimer*'^tiiv* 1!maerstand ing nor_^S-^on scieiic^could 
s^staSnEfiemselves at the tribunal of reagoiLaild_of-right, 
The error^nto which these men fell, I ascribe far 

more to weakness of judgment maiL-LQ-IlisJnfluence of 
evil example . 

Contingencies which might have drawn me into the 
vortex were certainly not wanting. Between the years 
1787 and 1790 I was placed under the direction of a 
tutor upon whose name the curses of Alsace fell ; 
during the Eeign of Terror he was a member of the 
revolutionary tribunal, over which Eulogius Schneider, 
a recreant monk from the diocese of Cologne, presided ; 
and he shared in the responsibiHty of those streams of 

Austrian Ambassador at Paris, will not take it into their heads to come to 
hlows with each other.' 


blood shed by that abhorred, tribunal in that unhappy 
province. My religious teacher at Strasburg was Pro- 
fessor of Canon law at the university — and after adopt- 
ing the civil constitution of the Clergy, had been elected 
Bishop of Strasburg. Afterwards he foreswore rehgion 
and the episcopate, and publicly burned the insignia of 
his office in a revolutionary orgy. I must do both these 
men the justice to state, that they never attempted to 
influence my opinions. 

My tutor made himself notorious in Paris on that 
accursed day, August 10, 1792, It was he who pre- 
sided over the Council of Ten, which the bandits^ 
known as ' The Marseillaise,' had appointed to conduct 
the operations of the day. In 1806 I found the same 
man in Paris again ; he was then teacher of the German 
language in the CoUege Louis le Grand, but he after- 
wards lost that place, being, hke all the Jacobins of that 
time, in disfavour with Napoleon. On the return of the 
Bourbons, the Duke of Orleans made him German 
teacher to his children. 

The doctrines of the Jacobins and their appeal to 
the passions of the people, excited in me an aversion, 
which age and experience have only strengthened. I 
cherish the conviction that I never should have been at 
any time, or in the lowest position, accessible to the 
temptations to which I saw so great a number of my 
contemporaries yield. I must also admit that the 
example of the errors, to which an unveracious spirit 
and the excitement of passion may lead, was not lost 
upon me ; it influenced my own mind, and aided me to 
avoid the errors into which many fell, only because 
they had not had the same opportunities of beholding 
such enormities. 

As I have already said, I went to Frankfort in the 


APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 7 

year 1790, for the coronation of the Emperor Leopold, 
where my father was Austrian Ambassador. I was 
chosen by the Cathohc Imperial Courts of the West- 
phalian Bench to be master of the ceremonies, and I 
had as colleague, for the Protestant section of the same 
Bench, Count Friedrich v. Solms-Laubach. 

I had only then attained my seventeenth year, and 
was much flattered by this mark of confidence from so 
honourable a corporation, functions being assigned to 
me which, from their important character, seemed to 
require a man of riper years. 

It was in Frankfort that I first came into personal 
contact with the Archduke, who became afterwards 
Emperor of Germany under the title of Francis II., and 
then Emperor of Austria under that of Francis I. He 
was five years older than I, and had just married his 
second wife, a Neapolitan princess. On the occasion 
of the coronation I also made the acquaintance of many 
eminent persons belonging to the Imperial court and 
to the best society of Vienna. Although the son of the 
Emperor's ambassador, I had never yet been in Austria. 
The only spot of hereditary property on which I had 
set my foot was the estate of Konigswart, where, in the 
year 1786, owing to the death of Frederic II., I had 
resided for a short time. In fact, this event recalled 
my father from his post of Plenipotentiary to the three 
Khenish electorates. 

The coronation of a Roman emperor at Frankfort 
was certainly one of the most impressive and splendid 
spectacles in the world. Everything, down to the most 
trifling details, spoke to the mind and heart through 
the force of tradition and the bringing together of so 
much splendour. Yet a painful feehng overshadowed 
the marvellous picture then presented by the city of 


Frankfort. A conflagration, which grew with each day, 
laid waste the neighbouring kingdom. Thoughtful men 
already saw the influence which this must, sooner or 
later, exercise beyond the boundaries of France. Emi- 
grants also began to pour into the heart of an empire 
which had for so many centuries served as a wall of 
defence against a movement whose origin must be 
sought for long before the outbreak of 1789 ; and this 
defensive power itself, too, was already in a condition 
of evident decay. My mind was then too young to be 
able to fathom the vicissitudes of that gloomy future ; 
absorbed in the present, I saw only, with all the force 
of youthful impressions, the contrast between the 
country contaminated by Jacobinism, and the country 
where human grandeur was united with a noble national 
spirit. Surrounded by a number of dull spectators, 
who called themselves the people, I had been present at 
the plundering of the Stadthaus at Strasburg, per- 
petrated by a drunken mob, which considered itself the 
people. Now I found myself one of the guardians of 
pubhc order in a Stadthaus, where so many impressive 
ceremonies had taken place, and this at so short a' 
distance from the great state now in conflagration. I 
repeat it, that I thought only of this contrast, full of 
faith in a future which, in my young dreams, was to 
seal the triumph of this mighty organisation over 
all weakness and error. I^ sle pt clos eto a volcano, 
withgut-lhinking^of^any eruption of lava ! 

It was towards the end of the residence of the Im- 
perial court in Frankfort that the Emperor Leopold 11. 
conferred on my father the then very important position 
of Minister Plenipotentiary to the States-General of the 
Austrian Netherlands. This title, borrowed from the 
diplomatic career, incorrectly described the functions of 

APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 9 

the office, the true attributes of which would have been 
better characterised, if he had been called Prime Minister 
of the States-General. The popular rising, in which 
such worthless men as the advocate Vandernoot and a 
priest of the name of Van Gupen had played so lament- 
able a part, had just been put down. Following the 
advice of Prince Kaunitz, who knew his calm wisdom 
and concihatory character, my father had been chosen 
by the Emperor to carry out the moral pacification of 
those provinces, and this he succeeded in doing, assisted 
by the repeal of the reforms so unwisely attempted by 
the Emperor Joseph 11. 

From Frankfort I went to the University of Mayence, 
to study Law. My brother, from whom I had never yet 
been separated, had been, from 1787, placed with me 
under the care of a clerical tutor, who was an upright, 
discreet man, and a witness of the errors into which my 
Jacobin teacher had fallen. I had now concluded my 
nineteenth year, and, strictly speaking, had no longer a 
tutor, for my tutor became my friend and coun- 
sellor. My residence in Mayence was of the greatest 
use to me, and had a decided influence on my life. My 
time was divided between my studies and intercourse 
with a society as distinguished for intellectual superiority 
as for the social position of its members. At that time 
Mayence and Brussels were the rendezvous for French 
emigrants of the higher classes, whose exile was volun- 
tary, not forced as it soon afterwards became, and who 
had not as yet to struggle with poverty. In my 
intercourse with the elite of this society, I learned to 
know the defects of the old regime ; the occurrences, 
too, of each day taught me, into what crimes and 
absurdities a nation necessarily falls, when it undermines 
the foundations of the social edifice. I learned to esti- 


mate the difficulty of erecting a society on new founda- 
tions, when the old are destroyed. In this way also I 
came to know the French ; I learned to understand 
them, and to be understood by them. 

I spent the yacation in the bosom of my family at 
Brussels, whither my father had summoned me, that I 
might work in his department. The post of Minister 
to the States-General was, of all the places which the 
Emperor had to bestow, the most important, and at the 
same time, one of the most laborious. The minister 
united in his own person the chief direction of all the 
branches of a substantive government. A numerous 
diplomatic corps resided at Brussels, the minister, there- 
fore, found himself at the head of a poHtical cabinet: 
The country had just passed through an internal crisis, 
the consequences of which were still felt in all direc- 
tions, so that my position gave me the opportunity to 
observe and study at the same time two countries, one 
of which was given up to the horrors of the Revolution, 
whilst the other still showed fresh traces of what it had 
gone through. This position and the instruction I 
gained from it have not been lost on me in the long 
course of my pubhc Hfe. 

With the scenes of devastation before me of which 
France was the theatre, my mind naturally turned 
towards every study which promised to be most useful 
in my future career. I felt that the Revolution would 
be the adversary I should have to fight, and therefore 
I set myself to study the enemy and know my way 
about his camp. I attended the lectures on Law, and 
came in contact with professors and students of all 
shades. As in all German universities, the spirit o; 
innovation developed itself in Mayence. The progress 
of events in France inflamed this disposition. I was 


APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 11 

surrounded by students, who named the lectures accord- 
ing to the EepubHcan calendar ; and some professors, 
especially a certain Hofman, who at that time (1792) 
was head of one of the clubs at Mayence, made it their 
business to interlard their lectures with allusions to the 
emancipation of the human race, as it was so well begun 
by Marat and Eobespierre. George Forster, the learned 
companion of the famous navigator James Cook in his 
voyages, then living there, gathered round him nume- 
rous acolytes of the Eevolution. I visited at his house, 
and saw the effect of the seductive principles to which 
many youthful minds fell victim. Kotzebue, the 
dramatist, was also living at Mayence at that time ; he 
was then an ardent follower of a school which, twenty- 
five years later, turned their daggers against him. 

From this epoch date the relations between me and 
the historian Nicolas Vogt, whose remains are buried 
on the Johannisberg. I attended his lectures on the 
History of the German Empire ; and whether he guessed 
how much help I should afterwards obtain from his 
lectures, or whether from the force of sympathy be- 
tween us, I always reckoned him among the number of 
my most zealous friends. Often have I recalled the 
saying with which he concluded a discussion between us 
on the subject of historical criticism : — ' Your intellect 
and your heart are on the right road ; persevere therein 
also in practical Hfe, the lessons of History wiU guide 
you. Your career, however long it may be, will not 
enable you to see the end of the conflagration which 
is destroying the great neighbouring kingdom. If you 
do not wish to expose yourself to reproaches, never leave 
the straight path. You will see many so-called great 
men pass by you with swift strides ; let them pass, but 
do not deviate from your path. You wiU overtake 


them, if only because you must meet them on their way 
back ! ' The good man was right. 

In July 1792, I was present at the coronation of the 
Emperor Francis, and then performed the same duties 
as at that of his illustrious predecessor. 

The appearance which Frankfort then presented was 
very different from that of this city two years earlier. 
France was now bowed beneath the Eeign of Terror. 
Events followed each other in quick succession. The 
comparison between what was going on in Frankfort and 
what was taking place in the neighbouring kingdom 
was too striking to escape notice, and could not but be 
painfully evident to the mind. 

The hght-heartedness which characterised the 
French emigrants assembled in the city for the corona- 
tion was in strong contrast with this impression. The 
princes of the royal family were all gathered together 
at Coblentz. All who fled from the Eevolution reckoned 
on their exile lasting for two months. Thoughtful men 
glanced at the Prussian army assembled on the Ehine, 
and at the war which had already broken out in Bel- 
gium, Austria, and France. 

Among the personages who greatly attracted my 
attention in Frankfort, I may mention the Abbe Maury, 
who officiated here as Papal Nuncio, and Vicomte de 
Mirabeau, known by the sobriquet of Mirabeau-Ton- 
neau, the younger brother of the famous Mirabeau : a 
man of spirit and great courage, just as enthusiastic 
in his loyalty as his brother was revolutionary. In 
the Abbe Maury I did not recognise the fearless 
deputy of the National Assembly, and for this reason 
doubtless, I was the less surprised to meet him a yea 
afterwards as Cardinal and almoner to Princess Pauhne 
Borghese, Napoleon's sister. 


APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 13 

In regard to the circumstances, the pageant and 
ceremonies of this coronation were perhaps of a more 
imposing character than at the former. Prince Anton 
Esterhazy, the principal Ambassador of the Emperor, 
entrusted me in the most friendly manner with the 
direction of the banquet which he gave after the coro- 
nation. I opened the ball with the young Princess 
Louise of Mecklenberg, who afterwards, as Queen of 
Prussia, was distinguished for her beauty and noble 
quahties. She was two years younger than I. We 
had known each other from childhood, for these young 
Princesses of Mecklenberg, of whom one was Queen of 
Prussia and the other Queen of Hanover, were brought 
up at Darmstadt under the care of their grandmother, 
who was on intimate terms with my mother. The 
most friendly relations existed between us during the 
whole hfe of that princess. 

When the coronation was over, the monarch and 
most of the German princes departed to Mayence, where 
the Elector held his court in great luxury, this court 
being at that time the most luxurious in Germany. The 
French princes had arrived, everything was ready for the 
beginning of the campaign. Great hopes were placed on 
the result, and certain victory was generally expected. 
The French emigrants thought the undertaking sure of 
success, and the only complaint they were heard to 
utter related to unavoidable delays in the assembhng of 
the army. According to their idea, the despatch of a few 
battahons only was needed, in order that the white flag 
should immediately appear on all the towers of France. 

No doubt these lofty delusions brought about tlie 
defeat which the Prussian army soon afterwards sus- 

From Mayence I went to Coblentz, to which place 


the French princes returned. The Prussian army had 
encamped near the village of Metternich, which hes a 
mile (German) distant from the town. There for the 
first time I came to know the Crown Prince of Prussia, 
who, after the death of King Frederick WiUiam 11., 
mounted the throne. 

Frederick Wilham 11. was the picture of a king. 
In stature he was almost a giant, and stout in propor- 
tion. In aU assembhes he stood a head taller than the 
crowd. His manners were stately and pleasant. The 
emigrants were certain that he had only to show him- 
self on the frontiers, and the sans-culottes would lay down 
their arms. F rench men-Xtf that dav . did not at a ll 
com prehend tne~Eevolution ; and, indeed, I do no t 
Sef?eve"that, witnaTewTxceptions, they ever succeeded 
m doing SO. ijut this weakness js_ not t he exclusi ve 
P ioperty of the French, for people in general do no t 
evengues^the true caus es or thepurpose of events 
which take place beioreTBeirTvesr ***'^'''^^"**'"******' 
^Doon after thisTtnecampaign commenced and dis- 
pelled all these dreams. Defective in organisation, and 
conducted by a man whose mihtary reputation was 
founded simply on a flattering speech of Frederick II., 
it ended in a calamitous retreat. All that I afterwards 
was able to discover about this campaign left me no 
doubt whatever that, if the Duke of Brunswick, instead 
of losing time in Champagne, had marched straight to 
Paris, he would have effected an entrance into that city. 
What would have been the consequence of such a suc- 
cess, it is difficult to determine ; but for my part, I^ 
feel convinced that the Eevolution would not have 
been suppressed. Apart from the fact that the mili-j 
tary power was too weak to maintain the first success, 
the evil had spread to an extent too vast to be re- 



APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 16 

strained in its onward steps by merely military opera- 
tions, and Europe was the victim of so many illusions 
beyond the range of the Eevolution that moral reme- 
dies could not keep pace with the power of the 
sword. In the latter part of the summer I went to 
Brussels. The war was at its height. My university 
studies were interrupted in consequence of these events. 
I passed to and fro between Brussels and the army, 
sometimes with commissions from my father, sometimes 
to visit my friends. On one of these occasions, as I 
was returning to Brussels, an adjutant of the general 
in command came to inform my father that the com- 
mander of the French army, General Bumouriez, had 
just seized the commissaries of the Convention, and 
sent them to the Austrian outposts. I was deputed to 
receive them on their arrival at Brussels. I had many 
interviews with them in the prisons which were assigned 
to them, and heard their complaints against the general, 
whom they had been ordered to remove and imprison. 
Shortly after this, we saw General Dumouriez himself 
arrive in the Netherlands. The French Eeign of Terror 
destroyed its own commanders just as cartridges de- 
stroyed the soldiers. The execution of Louis XVI. and 
of Marie Antoinette had called forth beyond the con- 
fines of France, and especially in our army, a horror 
which soon passed into implacable hatred, and for some 
weeks our troops, in spite of the efforts of the officers, 
gave no quarter in battle. ^^^ 

The campaign of the year 1793 concluded with the 
capture of Valenciennes.^^^ Jj^as present at almost al l 
the operations of the siege, and had t herefore th e 
QBEortum^Tiobservmg war verY.ji[Qadxj_and it is 

to be wishea tnat_alL^lflaa,.whparecaUe^^ 

take a leadmpr part in the |^^i.'| r^f thp p.mild 



learn in the same school. In the course of my long 
public life I have often had reason to congratulate 
myself upon the experience thus gained. 

I passed the winter of 1793-1794 in the Netherlands, 
continuing the studies of the service for which I was 
destined, and being employed in the business of the Cabi- 
net. Brussels was full of strangers, and the emigrants 
continued to dream of the end of their exile with a con- 
fidence which I was far from sharing. 

Towards the end of the winter, Vicomte Desan- 
droins, chief treasurer of the Netherlands Government, 
was entrusted with a mission to the EngHsh Govern- 
ment. I accompanied him to London, and was there 
received by King George III. with unusual kindness 
and afiability. The relations between the Imperial Court 
and that of Great Britain were most confidential, and 
public feeling manifested itself in both countries with 
the same energy against the horrors of the French 
Eevolution, as indeed their interests seemed to be 
identical. I thus paid a visit to England under the 
happiest auspices, and my residence there brought 
me into contact with the most remarkable men of this 
great epoch. In this way I came to know WiUiam Pitt, 
Charles Fox, Burke, Sheridan, Charles Grey (afterwards 
Lord Grey), and many other personages, who then 
and afterwards played great parts on the theatre of 
public fife. I frequented the sittings of Parliament as 
much as possible, and foUowed with particular attention 
the famous trial of Mr. Hastings. ^^^ I endeavoured to 
acquaint myself thoroughly with the mechanism of the 
Parliament, and this was not without use in my subse- 
quent career. I was then appointed Ambassador Extraj 
ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Emperor) 
at the Hague. This circumstance, being known in 


APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 17 

London, procured me admission to a sphere of society 
generally unapproachable for a young man of one-and- 
twenty. I came to know the Prince of Wales, after- 
wards Regent, then at last King, with the title of George 
IV. Our relations, begun at this time, lasted during 
the prince's whole life. Great dissensions at this period 
divided the Eoyal family of England. The Prince of 
Wales had taken up the side of the Opposition. My 
youth restrained me from expressing the profound 
disapproval which his conduct produced in me ; but I 
took one day the opportunity of saying a word to him 
on the subject, of which he reminded me thirty years 
afterwards, and added, ' You were very right then ! ' 

The Prince of Wales was one of the handsomest 
men I ever saw, and to an agreeable exterior he 
added the most charming manners. He possessed a 
sound intelhgence, which alone preserved him from 
being corrupted by the bad society in which he moved 
.with ease himself, without ever permitting the shghtest 
[want of respect in others. He took a great fancy to 
e, and was pleased, I think, at my reserve in a society 
hich was not agreeable to me. 

The war between France and England had meantime 
roken out, and the moment now drew near when the 
aval strength of the two powers was to be measured 
ainst each other. Several hundred merchant vessels, 
ound for the East and West Indies, waited in the roads 
t Spithead and St. Helen's for the opportunity to set 
iail. A great fleet of men-of-war was to protect the 
Qerchantmen from an attack, for which great naval 
)reparations had been made in the harbour of Brest, 
eagerly desired to see the sailing of the fleet. When 
e King heard of this, he was kind enough to order 
hat everything should be done to facihtate the execu- 
vou I. 


tion of my purpose ; and one day when I waited 
on him, he told me he would let me know when to go 
to Portsmouth to be present at the departure of the 
fleet, and would give the necessary directions to Admiral 
Howe and the harbour-master to secure the gratifica- 
tion of my curiosity. Shortly afterwards his Majesty 
sent to inform me that the moment for my departure 
was come, and furnished with letters to the above- 
named officers, I travelled to Portsmouth. This town 
was so full of sightseers that, but for the attention of 
the naval officers, who had secured lodgings for me, no 
such accommodation would have been found. The day 
after my arrival I paid the harbour-master a visit, and 
went on board the admiral's ship, to present the letters 
mth which I had been provided. The admiral received 
me with the greatest politeness, and assured me he 
would have me informed the moment the fleet was ready 
to sail. 

I spent three days at Portsmouth, in visiting the 
difierent estabhshments in that town, and in the night 
of the third day I was awoke by the news, brought by 
an officer sent by Admiral Howe, that he had instructions 
to conduct me to the Isle of Wight. From the top of 
the hill behind Cowes, we could see the fleets leave the 
roads and join company on the other side of the island, 
on the south of which a vessel was stationed for my use. 
in order to convey me to the admiral's ship. We lefi 
Portsmouth immediately, and landed on the Isle (^ 
Wight in the early morning, reaching our point 0" 
observation about six o'clock in the morning. A fresl 
breeze sprang up, and this was the signal for the de 
parture of more than four hundred ships. I conside 
this the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, I migh 
say, indeed, the most beautiful that human eyes hav 


APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 19 

ever beheld ! At a signal from the admiral's ship the 
merchantmen unfurled their sails, the fleet for the West 
Indies turned to the west, the fleet for the East Indies 
passed to the east side of the island, each accompanied 
with a portion of the royal fleet. Hundreds of vessels 
and boats, filled with spectators, covered the two roads 
as far as the eye could reach, in the midst of which the 
great ships followed one another, in the same manner 
as we see great masses of troops moved on the parade 
ground. Four French men-of-war, coming from Toulon, 
with emigrants on board, hoisted the white flag and 
joined the Enghsh fleet. This circumstance, unparal- 
leled in the annals of history, gave a character to the 
occurrence which will never fade from the memory of 
those who witnessed it. In a few hours the two fleets 
met to the south of the island. As soon as my guide 
gave the signal for departure, we descended the hill 
and joined Admiral Howe on board the ' Queen Char- 
lotte.' I remained with the admiral, who loaded me 
with attentions, till the evening of May 30. 

A despatch boat sent from the English fleet of 
observation before Brest brought the news that the 
French fleet had set sail and put out to sea. In 
spite of my earnest petitions to the admiral to allow 
me to remain to see the great events which were im- 
minent, he obliged me to leave him ; ' The King told 
me,' said he, ' to let you see everything ; but I have to 
send you back ahve, and cannot take upon myself to 
.expose you to the dangers of a sea-fight.' With the 
I greatest regret, therefore, I left the fleet, and went on 
I board the vessel which the admiral was sending ofi* to 
' Portsmouth with his despatches to the Admiralty ; and 
after a few days' stay in Portsmouth, I returned to 
London. The city I found illuminated, and the people 



filled with rapture at the news of the great naval victory 
of the 1st of June ofi" Ushant. This news pre- 
ceded me by a few hours only. I remained in Lon- 
don two days ; and on the third I travelled back to 
Portsmouth, to see the arrival of the fleet with their 

The admiral's ship, which I had left a few days 
before in the most perfect condition, was one of those 
which suffered the most severely. She had joined 
battle with the French admiral's ship, and presented the 
appearance of a ruin ; the greater part of her crew had 
been killed or disabled. Admiral Howe, who to my great 
joy escaped unhurt, returned covered with laurels. 

I was to have returned to the Netherlands in the 
middle of summer, but the war prevented me ; and 
while waiting to see how events would turn out, I visited 
the interior of England. At the commencement of the 
autumn, as the enemy had entered the Netherlands, I 
embarked at Harwich to cross over to Helvoetsluys. 
We were overtaken by a heavy gale, which drove us 
into the roads of Dunquerque, just as that town was 
being bombarded by Sir Sidney Smith. I was exposed 
to a cross fire for more than two hours, and had only 
to thank a sudden change of wind for my escape from 
so dangerous a position. From this circumstance a 
report was started and disseminated by the newspapers 
of the day that I had been taken prisoner by the 
French. This false report reached the ears of my 
father, and he, with the commander-in-chief of the 
Austrian army, was just on the point of approaching 
the French Government with regard to my hberation, 
when he heard of my landing in Holland. I remainec 
in this country so long as was necessary to enable m( 
to visit the Hague, Amsterdam, and part of North 

APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 21 

Holland, and from thence I repaired to the seat of go- 
vernment of the Netherlands on the Lower Ehine, to 
which place it had retired. 

In the beginning of October I travelled with my 
father to Vienna, and visited that capital for the first 
time. In the month of February of the same year 
Prince Kaunitz died, and the direction of foreign aflairs 
was entrusted to Baron von Thugut. I had made his 
acquaintance in Brussels, where he passed several months 
with Count Mercy d'Argenteau, who hved in the 
Belgian capital after his return from his post of am- 
bassador in Paris. I have already mentioned that I 
had been chosen for the mission to the Hague ; but after 
the conquest of Holland by Pichegru's army, it did not 
suit me to take that post, and I waited the develop- 
ment of events, without impatience, but with a feehng of 
bitterness against the Eevolution the consequences of 
which threatened the whole body of society. The left 
bank of the Ehine was occupied by the troops of the 
French Eepubhc. Those were to blame for this blow 
who had so utterly mistaken the strength and extent 
of the Eevolution. The greater part of our family 
estates lying on the left bank of the Ehine had been 
confiscated by the great nation ; it was necessary, there- 
fore, to turn to the estates we had in Bohemia, which 
had brought in but httle to my father, or his predeces- 
sors during the last century, but which had now to be 
made the most of. My father sent me thither in order to 
carry out the necessary measures on the spot. I spent 
the months of November and December alone in Konigs- 
wart, and occupied myself with the management of the 
affairs entrusted to me. 

On my return to Vienna, I found my parents busy 
with a project for my marriage. Prince Ernst Kaunitz, 


eldest son of the chancellor, had an only daughter ; 
he had become acquainted with me during my first 
short residence in Vienna. PreUminary conferences 
between the parents made the conclusion of the mar- 
riage dependent on the mutual inchnations of the young 
people. I was only one-and-twenty, and the thought 
of marrying so young had never occurred to me. It 
was soon evident to me that my parents much desired 
this marriage ; but as the Princess Kaunitz shortly 
afterwards had an illness, from which she only recovered 
in March 1795, I did not make the acquaintance of 
my bride-elect till the summer, and our betrothal was 
arranged to take place in the autumn of the same 

Prince Ernst Kaunitz loved his daughter tenderly, 
and was determined not to part with her, so that I con- 
sented that we should live with him. Th^iftfai^jfljal 
was celeiiialied^on-_SeElemb£iL-27, 1795. at Austerlitz , 
the place which ten years af terwaro^jecame so sad ly 

I have already said that the pubHc service presented 
no attractions for me. I had determined to remain in 
private Kfe, and to devote my time to the cultivation of 
learning and science. At the time of which I speak 
fortune seemed to favour my inchnations, and I made 
a plan for myself, which I was not permitted to carry 

I must also acquaint my readers with other caused 
which kept me aloof from public affairs. Still youngs 
and placed in a position which allowed me to observe, 
from the highest point of view, the course of the greatest 
events, I found that they were not conducted as they 
ought to have been. ' Les affaires ce sont les hommes ;' 
affairs are only the expression of the faculties or the 



APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 23 

weaknesses of men, of their inclinations and their errors, 
their virtues and their vices. Inaccessible to prejudice, 
and seekirig only the truth in everything, my modesty 
did not allow me to find fault with persons in power if 
I was not satisfied with what I saw ; on the contrary, I 
ascribed to the weakness of my own understanding and 
to my inexperience the feehng which forced me to 
disapprove of the course they had taken. But neither 
inclination nor duty led me to acquire the necessary 
experience. My particular vocation seemed to me 
to be the cultivation of knowledge, especially of the 
exact and physical Sciences, which suited my taste par- 
ticularly. I loved the fine arts too, so that nothing 
aroused in me any desire to put my freedom into 
fetters. The diplomatic career might certainly flatter 
my ambition, but during all my life I have never been 
accessible to this feeling. 

In the autumn of 1797, death carried ofi'my father- 
in-law. Home duties and study continued to be my 
occupation. I diligently attended lectures on Geology, 
Chemistry, and Physics ; then too, as afterwards, I fol- 
lowed with attention the progress of Medical Science. 
Man and his life seemed to me to be objects worthy 
of study. Vienna had for many years been rich in 
great physicians. Van Swieten and Stoll were dead ; the 
first professorial chair was filled by Peter Franck ; 
Quarin did honour to science by his extensive know- 
ledge ; Gall continued his lectures to a select audience ; 
Jacquin was continually making fresh advances in 
botany. I was happy in this scientific circle, and 
allowed the Eevolution to rage and rave without feehng 
any call to contend with it. It pleased Providence 
afterwards to rule quite otherwise. 

The Congress of Eastadt drew me out of my re- 


tirement. The Counts of the Westphahan ' Collegium ' 
entrusted me with the care of their interests. I under- 
took the charge, more from a feehng of duty than in 
the hope of being able to serve a body whose existence 
was threatened, as was that of the German Empire 
itself. I remained in Rastadt till the middle of March 
1799. As the dissolution of the Congress approached, 
I took my wife and daughter back to Vienna. A short 
time after my return to this capital, I learned the catas- 
trophe which signahsed the end of a Congress which, 
from beginning to end, had been but a phantom. I 
had no opportunity at that time of seeing Bonaparte. 
He had left Eastadt two days before my father and I 
arrived. In their respective capacities of First Plenipo- 
tentiary of the Empire and of the French Eepubhc, my 
father and Bonaparte had their apartments in the Palace 
of the city, separated only by the great saloon. ^^^ 

Eeturning home, I again resumed my own manner 
of life and my accustomed employments. My stay in 
Eastadt only strengthened me in my opposition to a 
career which in no wise satisfied my mind and disposi- 
tion. The French Eevolution h ad_reac hed and p assed 
the climax of it s barbarous follies : the Kpr>nhl'p. wa s 
only the miserablejdxsgs of it ; and a disunited Germany 


was paralysed by the peace which Prussia^, Jiad sep a- 
ratelyconcluded witli Fraiiceai l>asle, and by the 
system of neutrahty at any price, which the Princes 
of North Germany had adopted. Austria alone was in 
the field, and the war was badly carried on. Was there 
anything in such a situation to summon me to exchange 
my peaceful life for a hfe of activity constrained tc 
move within hmits conflicting with my spirit of inde- 
pendence and cramping my conscience ? • 
These feeUngs of mine might easily give the impres 


APPEENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 25 

sion that my temper had become morose. But that 
would be a mistake. I was preserved from this weak- 
ness by my love for grave studies. I never shut myself 
up from the world ; my life was that of a man who 
sought exclusively good society ; this alone had any 
power of attraction for me. The day was usually given 
entirely up to business, and the evening was divided 
between work and recreation. I frequented those 
salons by preference in which I was sure to find plea- 
sant conversation, convinced that such conversation 
serves to sharpen the intellect, correct the judgment, 
and is a source of instruction to those who know how 
to keep it from degenerating into mere babbling. 

At that time there were in Vienna several foreigners 
remarkable for their intellectual gifts ; among whom 
I may particularly mention Pozzo di Borgo,' who after- 
wards played a great part in public afiairs. He was at 
that time employed as a secret agent by the English 
Cabinet. I met him often in society. I remarked in him 
an extraordinary fluency combined with southern warmth 
in expressing his feehngs. One salon, with which, how- 
ever, I had only a distant connection, was that of the 
Prince de Ligne's. The Prince himself was conspicuous 
for the pecuhar quickness of his intellect ; and his salon 
was frequented by a very mixed company, of whom the 
greater part affected the reputation of wits, without 
being particularly intellectual. Por many years the 
Prince had honoured me with especial kindness. During 
my residence in the Netherlands he had wished to 
bestow on me his second daughter in marriage, and 
used to call me his son-in-law, a name which he con- 
tinued to give me in joke as long as he lived. The 
conquest of the Netherlands brought the Prince and 
his family from Brussels to Vienna. By a strangecaprice 


of fortune, the Prince's daughter, who had been destined 
for me, married a Count PflU fy-, who h ad been at o ne 
t ime engaged to marry thp y^ry dfl^| o rht,er of Prince 
.aunitz, who be r'^iyrip. my wif^ 

The house which I most frequented was that of 
the Princess Liechtenstein/^^ an aunt of my wife on the 
mother's side, and one of those five princesses who for [ 
many years were the intimate friends of the Emperor 
Joseph II. This small circle, known during the reign 
of this monarch by the name of ' the Society of 
Princesses,' consisted of Princess Franz Liechtenstein, 
Princess Ernest Kaunitz and her sister. Princess Karl 
Liechtenstein, and the Princesses Kinsky and Clary. Of 
men, besides the Emperor Joseph, there were Marshal 
Lascy, Lord-in-waiting, Count, afterwards Prince, Eosen- 
berg, and the Prince de Ligne. After the death of the 
Emperor, this society was dispersed. The Princess Karl 
gathered around her the remains of this circle of all 
that Vienna possessed of persons distinguished for their 
agreeable manners. The Countess Eombec too, sister of 
Count Ludwig Cobenzl, then ambassador at St. Peters- 
burg, opened her salon ; which was much frequented by 
foreigners and especially by French emigrants. 

I had arranged to pass the winter in the capital, and 
the summer months in the country, sometimes in 
Moravia on an estate belonging to my wife, sometimes 
in Bohemia on one belonging to my family. I had 
entirely withdrawn myself from public affairs, and in 
regard to them I was simply a spectator. The result 
of my observations was not favourable to the cause 
which aU my life I have considered that of reason and 
right. From time to time I visited Baron Thugut, who 
in his capacity of Minister of Foreign Affairs conducted 
the affairs of the Imperial Chancellerie. 

APPRENTICESHIP, 1773—1800. 27 

I have already mentioned our previous acquaintance. 
I made no attempt to come into closer intimacy with 
him ; nothing urged me to it, for I wanted no place, 
and Baron Thugut had no relations, beyond his official 
duties, with anyone. I agreed with him in his prin- 
ciples, but not with the manner in which he carried 
them out, and the results of his ministry have proved 
only too thoroughly that I was right. 

Sometimes I waited on the Emperor, who let no 
opportunity slip of reproaching me with what he called 
my indolence. One day when I had been speaking of 
my views on this subject, he said to me, ' You live as I 
should be very happy to live in your place ! Hold 
yourself ready for my orders, that is all I expect of you 
for the present.' 






Thugut's character and resignation — Cobenzl — Enters the public service — 
Conversation with the Emperor — As ambassador at Dresden — Beginning- 
of public life — Leading motives — Arrival at Dresden — Mr. Elliot — 
Dresden as a post of observation for the Northern courts — Fabrication 
of diplomatic correspondence. 

With the conclusion of the Peace of LuneviJle (1801) 
the weakness and vacillations of the Austrian Cabinet 
reached their height. During a conflict of ten years 
the pohcy of the Imperial court had raised a barrier, 
sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker, to the destruc- 
tive principles of all the Governments of France which 
had succeeded one another since 1792. But the oppo- 
sition so offered, betrayed only too much the utter want 
of consistency of plan. In this lay the great defect of 
the Cabinet, to whom also it has been ascribed, that the 
successes achieved one day were destroyed on the next. 
More than to all other causes, France owed her enor- 
mous successes to the inconsistent action of the 
ministries who conducted affairs from the death of the 
great statesman who for forty years presided over the 
cabinet of Vienna, but who, alas ! had latterly suffered 
from the infirmities of age. The views upon which the 
pohcy of Austria was always based could not be con- 
ceived more clearly than they were, but never was 
their execution more feebly carried out. 


The ministry of Baron Thugut displays nothing but 
an unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. 
When he was at the height of his power, he was dis- 
trusted by two parties, each from its own standpoint, 
in exactly opposite directions. He was accused by the 
one of having sold himself to France ; others pretended 
that England had him in her pocket. It is to be 
deplored, both for his own sake and for Austria's, that no 
one has ventured to assert that Thugut had served the 
interests of his country and not his own. 

Although we never attributed the pohtical attitude 
of Thugut to foreign influence, it never occurred to 
us to trace it to treachery, which is always the most 
dangerous and generally a precarious means of success. 

Sprung from a mean condition, the son of a mariner 
at Linz, Thugut was educated in the Oriental Academy, 
and trained for subordinate service in the state. Subtle 
and dexterous, he owed the success of his pohtical career 
to these qualities, which, when supported by deep dis- 
simulation and a love of intrigue, pass only too easily 
for real talents. 

He had invested the greater part of the property which 
he had acquired at Constantinople in the French funds, 
and without doubt it was anxiety for the preservation 
of this property which at the time of the outbreak of 
the Eevolution bhnded him, or at least kept him inactive. 
Then it was that the suspicion arose in the EngHsh party 
that he had been gained over to France. When how-- 
ever the Eeign of Terror destroyed every spark of hope 
of saving even the smallest portion of his property from 
the general bankruptcy, Thugut, less restrained, changed' 
his policy ; hence it came about that the public, ob- 
serving this change, took up the idea that it had been 
brought about by Enghsh gold. 



Not without talent, robed in the highest dignity of 
the state, hving in the obscurity of retirement and yet 
with cold and calculating ambition interfering with aU 
the branches of the government, Thugut was inacces- 
sible to bribery and corruption. The history of his 
ministry may be summed up in a series of miscalcula- 
tions, all of which contributed to support and advance 
the preponderance of France. ^^^ 

In consequence of the Peace of Luneville Thugut 
retired from the public service. Count Cobenzl was 
recalled from St. Petersburg, and appointed to the 
direction of Foreign Affairs. The first Lord-in-waiting, 
Count, afterwards Prince, Trautmannsdorf, held the 
portfoHo provisionally. The peace with France neces- 
sarily gave a new impulse to Austrian diplomacy. 

The posts in London, BerUn, and St. Petersburg 
were already filled. There were ambassadors at Stock- 
holm, and some of the smaller courts of Germany and 
I Italy. The Emperor felt it necessary to fill up the 
i gaps which Thugut, according to the custom which he 
sometimes carried too far, had left open. Occupied 
solely with the war against the French Eevolution, 
'. I Thugut paid no attention to anything that did not 
seem to him immediately connected with that war. 
Hence it happened that he did not read and conse- 
quently did not answer the despatches of embassies 
IT of the second rank. When removed from the Ministry, 
«• a commission had to be appointed to open and place in 
f ithe archives hundreds of the reports and letters sent 
ipi Ifrom such embassies. 

A few days after he had taken office. Count Traut- 

iiL mannsdorf summoned me to him, and informed me that 

ee: the Emperor, when he resolved to fill up the places 

'mentioned above, had ordered him to give me the 

VOL. I. D 


choice between the post at Dresden or Copenhagen, 
or to remain at home as Minister for Bohemia to the 
German Eeichstag. I begged him to allow me to think 
over the matter, and betook myself to the Emperor. 
I laid before his Majesty openly my ideas as to my 
future life, and the talents I beheved myself to possess, 
and those which I could not lay claim to. The Em- 
peror received my professions with his accustomed 
kindness ; but when he appealed to my patriotism, I 
yielded to his will. 'Your Majesty,' said I, 'desires 
that I should enter a sphere for which I beheve I have 
no vocation ; I submit to your commands. I pray your 
Majesty never to doubt my will, but to distrust my 
capabihties. I will make the experiment, and your 
Majesty will permit me to retire from the service when, 
as I fear, the day comes that I shall not answer your 
expectations.' The Emperor answered with a smile : < 
' He who cherishes such fears is not in danger of injuring ' 
the public service. I promise you to be the first to tell 
you if I find you on the wrong road.' I 

I decided for the embassy in Dresden. Denmark 
seemed to me too remote, and it was repugnant to mo 
to go to Regensburg only to witness the obsequies ol 
the noble German Empire. Dresden, on the contrary, 
one stage on the way to Berhn or St. Petersburg, 1 
valued as a post of observation which might be mad 
useful. Having been constrained to adopt this career 
I desired at any rate to have the prospect of beiu. 
useful. I could never do anything by halves ; once f 
diplomatist, I determined to be one thoroughly, and i 
the sense which I connected with diplomacy. Subsequei 
events showed that I reckoned rightly, for, the path om 
entered, events hurried me along it only too swiftly. 

Here, at the commencement of the account of t 



public life, I propose to admit into the narrative only 
what relates to myself, or rather what may serve to fill 
up the gaps in the official correspondence ; for although 
the latter alone gives a true picture of the work of a 
statesman, yet in such documents many details find no 
place. I wish that those of my readers who may be in 
a position to have access to the Imperial archives may 
consult the documents of the time in connection with the 
present work ; and, drawing from this double source, 
they will more easily appreciate the great epoch during 
which destiny had laid upon me the difficult task of 
playing an active part on the world's stage. ^^^ But 
before I relate the many remarkable occurrences which 
have signahsed my career, I will candidly state the 
principles on which the actions of my poHtical life have 
been based. This statement will serve to clear up many 
points in the history of my time and explain my own 

That a public career was distasteful to me I have 
already mentioned. CjyjmncedthgjJ||gjgg(^^ 
be prepare c^^^ to ans wer for the deeds of his own life ; 
penetrated ^^the^ consciousness of the enormous diffi- 
ilties oiT'^^^ping up a society which was falling to 
pieces'on every. side \ disap proving, before the tribunaT 
of my own conscience, of almost all the measures which 
I saw adopted for the salvation of the social body, 
undermined as it was, by the errors of the eighteenth 
century ; lastly, too diffident to believe that my mind 
was of so powerful a stamp that it could improve 
whatever it undertook ; I had determined not to appear 
on a stage on which the independence of my character 
rebelled against playing a subordinate part, though I 
did not consider myself capable of taking the part of a 

D 2 



The care with which my education had been directed 
to the wide field of pohtics had early accustomed me to 
contemplate its vast extent. I soon remarked that my 
mode of thinking of the nature and dignity of this 
sphere was essentially different from the point of view 
from which all this was regarded by the enormous 
majority of those who are called to play great pohtical 
parts. Here I may be allowed to propound the few 
principles to which I have always reduced the science 
commonly known by the name of Politics and Diplomacy. 

Pohtics is the science of the vital interests of states. 
Since, however, an isolated state no longer exists, and is 
found only in the annals of the heathen world, or in 
the abstractions of so-called philosophers, we must 
always view the society of nations as the essential con- 
dition of the present world. Thus, then, each state, 
besides its separate interests, has also those which are 
common to it with other states. The great axioms of 
pohtical science proceed from the knowledge of the 
true pohtical interests of all states. In these general 
interests hes the guarantee of their existence, while 
individual interests to which the transitory pohtical 
movements of the day assign ^ great importance, and, 
the care of which constitutes political wisdom in thel 
eyes of a restless and short-sighted pohcy, possess! 
only a relative and secondary value. History teaches 
ua_that whenever the separate come _ into conJiici-mib. 
leral interests of a state, and t.lip lat.tpr arp 


neglected or mistak en in the zeal oua_aad— fiStfiBaix^ 
prosecuuo^T^rm^jEme^^his is to be regarded as 


an exceptional^or unliealthj;_condi^^Qi^a^ ]^QSe^ 
m^nL^or speedy amend 

destiny of the state, that is, its iim^ign^i^g^deplua^ or 
it3recTiT?5f!tBT^nJro8Trofffy! inat which characterises 



the modern world, and essentiallY distinguishes it fro m 
t he ancient,_LS_theJ^^aij£jaaOi£jl^^ to 

each oth er, and in s_oine fashion to enter into a soc ial 
league,, which rests_231-lhe_sanie_basis with the great 

This foundation consists of the precept of the Book of 
books, 'Do unto others as ye would they should 
do unto you.' This fundamental rule of every human 
fraternity, applied to the state, means in the pohtical 
world reciprocity, and its effect is what in the language 
of diplomacy is called hons procedes, in other words, 
mutual consideration and honourable conduct. In the 
ancient world, pohcy isolated itself entirely, and ex- 
ercised the most absolute selfishness, without any other 
curb than that of prudence. The law of retahation 
set up eternal barriers and founded eternal enmities 
between the societies of men ; and upon every page of 
ancient history is found the principle of mutual' evil for 
evil. Modern history, on the othe^iajidi,£sJiiMi^-ihe 

principT ^oithe solidarity of natkois_aiid-lLLlJl£jj^ance 
oipowerTan^iurnishes the spectacle of the combined 

inst the temporary pre- 

dominanc^_ji[l_amz-xm£-JiLiiim£d£ the extensio|^i|fLy^^ 

principle, and to con^ijai3J.Ji.J;QJXiLUXa^t o the common 
^^Tjihe estabhsnment of international relations upon 
the basis of reciprocity, under the guarantee of respect 
for acquired rights, and the conscientious observance of 
plighted faith, constitutes, at the present day, the essence 
of politics, of which diplomacy is only the daily applica- 
tion. Between politics and diplomacy there exists, in my 
opinion, the same difierence as between science and art. 
Just as men daily transgress the laws of civil society, 
nations only too often act in opposition to the eternal 
precepts which govern their alliance. The faults of 


men and the faults of states are subject to the same 
punishments ; their whole dijQference lies in the gravit 
of the offence, which is proportionate to the importance 
of the individuals. 

When we master these truths, what becomes of a 
selfish poHcy, of the pohcy of fantasy, or of the pohcy 
of miserable greed, and especially what becomes of that 
which seeks profit apart from the simplest rules of 
right ; which mocks at the pHghted word, and, in short, 
rests solely on the usurpations of force or craft ? 

After this confession of faith, it may be conceived 
what I have always thought of pohticians of the stamp 
or, if we wiU, of the authority of a Eichelieu, a Mazarin, 
a Talleyrand, a Canning, a Capo d'Istria, or a Haugwitz, 
and of many more or less famous names. Eesolved 
not to walk in their steps, and despairing of opening 
a path in harmony with my own conscience, I naturally 
preferred not to throw myself into those great pohtical 
affairs, in which I had far more prospect of succumbing 
materially than of succeeding : I say materially, for I 
have never been afraid of failing morally. The man 
who enters pubhc Mfe has always at command a sure 
resource against this danger, that is — retirement. 

It was in January 1801 that I was made Ambassador 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Elec- 
toral Court of Saxony. Peace had just been concluded 
between France and Austria at Luneville when I entered 
on my duties at Dresden,^^*^^ towards the end of that year. 
Napoleon Bonaparte was First Consul of the French 
EepubHc, which now existed only in name. The German 
Empire visibly approached its dissolution. The Emperor! 
Paul had died a violent death in the March of that year.l 
Europe was . in a state of extreme tension, the natural 
result of the uncertainty then hanging over the whol0 



world. Dresden, and especially the Electoral court, 
like an oasis in the desert, formed a contrast to the 
universal agitation. To judge from this court alone, 
one might have beheved the world was standing still. 
Everything there was ordered and arranged just as the 
last Augustus had left it to his successors. If etiquette, 
costume, and precise regulations could be a sohd 
foundation for a kingdom, then Electoral Saxony would 
have been invulnerable. The costumes of the court, the 
gala days, and all its customs, were at that time what 
they had been in the middle of the eighteenth century. 
_The Frenc h Eevolution^afterovgjtt^igg^^ 
archy7na(^MCRec[ tn^_stage_of_Bonaj2Mi£!a.iMiailai£>, ^ 
but at the Saxon court hoops had not yet been discarded ! 

The Elector, Frederick Augustus, was a prince of 
sohd abihty, and his government would have long re- 
mained a blessed memory to his quiet, and industrious 
country had not the storm which a few years later burst 
forth destroyed his mild and peaceful rule. 

Dresden had always a numerous diplomatic corps. 
Among my colleagues, Mr. Elhot, the Enghsh ambassa- 
dor, was conspicuous for the originahty and eccen- 
tricity of his character. The life of this diplomatist had 
been remarkable. As a young militia officer, he intro- 
duced himself into the great world in a very odd way. 
At the reviews at Potsdam a number of foreign officers 
gathered every year round King Frederick II. On these 
occasions this prince showed his partiality for the 
•French, hence the Chamberlain, who had to present 
the foreigners at the Prussian court, introduced the 
French officers singly by name, while the Enghsh officers 
were all presented en bloc. At a reception of this kind, 
at which young Elliot was present, when the cham- 
berlain said to the king, ' I have the honour to present 


to your Majesty twelve Englishmen,' he was interrupted 
by Elhot, exclaiming in a loud voice, as he turned to 
leave the room, ' You are mistaken, Herr marschal ; 
there are only eleven.' Some years afterwards Elliot 
came as Ambassador Extraordinary to Berhn. Frederick 
had not forgotten the scene at Potsdam, and was Httle 
pleased by the appointment of EUiot, who had then only! 
the rank of major. He determined to let his ill-humour' 
with the London court and its representative be seen,! 
and chose a Count Lusi for the post in London. Count! 
Finkenstein was requested to notify this appointment to 
the. Enghsh ambassador, which he did in the following 
words : ' The King has chosen Count Lusi, a major in 
his army, whose name may be known to you from the 
reputation he gained in the Seven Years' War. His 
Majesty flatters himself that your Court will be satisfied 
with this choice.' EUiot answered without hesitation : 
' The King, your master, evidently could not have chosen 
anyone who would have better represented him.' With 
such manners as these, Mr. Elhot was not hkely to make 
himself a favourite in Prussia. 

Soon after Elhot was recalled from Berhn, and was 
appointed to Copenhagen, where he, on his own respon- 
sibihty, declared war with Denmark, with the intention 
of freeing the King of Sweden from the danger to which 
he was exposed, by the taking of the fortress of Gothen- 
burg. By this stroke of genius he did indeed attain his 
object, but nevertheless lost, and certainly with good 
reason, his second post, and came to Dresden, where 
he had already been for some years Enghsh ambassadoid 
when I arrived there. 

By that time he had somewhat toned down, but h< 
still possessed an extraordinary vivacity and this gain( 
for him a position quite unusual in social hfe. A plei 


santer man in society I have never known ; with a 
character of the same mould as that of the Prince de 
Ligne, he was in no respect inferior to him, nay, in 
many was his superior. I saw him very often during 
my residence in Dresden, and reckon my relations with 
him among my most pleasant memories. Having a 
numerous family, he was anxious to obtain a good 
position, and succeeded in getting the appointment of 
Governor of Barbadoes, which post he afterwards ex- 
changed for that of a Governor in India, and held 
the appointment till his death at a very advanced age. 

The Dresden Embassy was interesting as a post 
of observation of the Northern courts, and thither I 
turned my eyes, and I can testify to the truth that in 
diplomacy no post is unimportant. I was careful to 
give my court exact intelhgence of what I observed, 
without having recourse to the expedient for obtaining 
news resorted to by my friend Elhot, who when I asked 
him one day, how he contrived to have a letter to send to 
London every post-day (there were two in the week), 
repUed : ' You will see no difficulty in the matter when 
I tell you my secret ; if anything comes to my know- 
ledge which may interest my government, I tell it ; if I 
do not know of anything, I invent my news, and con- 
tradict it by the next courier. You see I can never be 
at a loss for material for my correspondence.' 

This joke was quite in Mr. EUiot's manner ; but it is 
not unusual to meet with diplomatic correspondence 
made up after the same recipe, not perhaps purposely 
invented, but from creduHty. This faiUng arises from 
weakness of judgment and the want of a critical ex- 
amination of facts, which in no branch of the pubUc 
service is more necessary than in a diplomatic career.* 

* For a note on Hugh Elliott, see end of ' Autobiography.* 






Franco-Eussian mediation — Ochsenhausen — DSbut in Berlin — Queen Louisa 
— Court of the royal family — Haugwitz, Hardenberg, Stein — The di- 
plomatic corps — Transition-period in Prussia — Prince Louis Ferdinand — 
Unhappy course of the year 1804 — Preparations for war in Austria — 
Count Cobenzl — General Mack — Close relations between Austria and 
Russia — Archduke Anton in Berlin — DolgoruM and Alopaus — The 
Russian army on the Prussian frontier — A letter of the Emperor Alex- 
ander to the King of Prussia — The King's remark on it — Napoleon's iu- 
cursion at Ansbach — Conversation of Metternich with the King — 
Negotiations for the entrance of Prussia into the alliance — Ill-will of the 
Prussian negotiators — Signing of the treaty of Potsdam — Haugwitz's 
mission — Battle of Ausierlitz — The cross of the Order of St. Stephen 
given to Metternich — Napoleon's sarcasm about Haugwitz — Hanover 
joined with Prussia — Dismissal of Haugwitz. 

I REMAINED at Dresden as ambassador till 1803, when 
Count Stadion was appointed Ambassador in St. Peters- 
burg, and I succeeded him at Berhn. 

In the same year the Franco-Russian mediation took 
place at Regensburg, in consequence of which Germany 
experienced a revolution which destroyed the last foun- 
dations of the old German Empire, and thus greatly ac- 
celerated the moment of its utter dissolution. During 
the whole negotiation my father remained in Regens- 
burg, to watch over the interests of his family. He 
received as compensation for the loss of his hereditary 
estates on the left bank of the Rhine, which had been 
confiscated by the French Repubhc, the Abbey of 


Ochsenhausen, and to this new possession I repaired in 
the course of the summer with my family. 

The Emperor had raised Ochsenhausen to be a prin- 
cipahty, as he had also raised the title of several other 
Counts of the Empire, in order to create new votes, and 
thus to supply the place in the Eeichstag of those votes 
which had been abolished by the secularisation of the 
ecclesiastical principahties. My father hoped that his 
love of the fatherland would find an opportunity in the 
immediate future of contributing to the strengthening of 
the Empire. I was so far from entertaining this hope, 
that I had, on the contrary, the firm conviction that the 
grand creation of Charlemagne was tending inevitably 
to its end. With its foundations utterly shattered by 
the process of mediatisation, the Empire even at that 
time no longer existed, and I saw its elements dissipated, 
and the impossibihty of its cohesion. My presenti- 
ments were only too just : and events soon proved 

When I left Ochsenhausen I went first to Vienna in 
order to prepare myself for my new mission, and then 
in December of the same year to Berhn. 

My dehut there was easy. I was received by King 
Frederick Wilham m,, and by the Queen as an old 
friend. The strict etiquette, by which the diplomatic 
corps was kept at the greatest possible distance fromj 
the Prussian court, was observed with regard to m 
only on those occasions when an exception made in m 
favour might have had the appearance of referring to|| 
my public position, and would therefore have mortified 
the whole diplomatic body. Eleven years had passed 
since I had seen the Queen ; I found her surrounded' 
with a true halo of beauty and dignity. 

Queen Louisa was endowed with the rarest quahties 

EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 1803—1805. 47 

She did not excel in what is commonly called esprit, but 
she possessed a refined tact and strength of mind, for the 
exercise of which in a few years she had only too many 
opportunities. It would be difficult to describe the 
dignity and grace of her bearing, or the impression of 
sweetness and tenderness her manners made. 

The royal family were then divided into different 
households: in the King's were included the widows 
of Prince Henry and Prince Ferdinand, brothers of 
Frederick II. The Prince of Orange, husband of a 
sister of the reigning king, lived in Berhn; and the 
Princess, wife of Prince Anton Eadziwill, also enjoyed 
the honours of royalty. The Princes Ludwig and 
August, sons of Prince Ferdinand, had no separate 

When I arrived in Berhn, Count Haugwitz, Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, and Baron, afterwards Prince, Har- 
denberg, exercised a great influence on pohtics. Frei- 
herr von Stein was Minister of Finance. Of these states- 
men I shall often have to speak. 

In the diplomatic body there was no man of pre- 
eminent abihty. M. de Laforest, who formerly acted as 
plenipotentiary in the conference at Regensburg, filled 
the post of French Ambassador. Herr von Alopaus 
had been for many years the Russian Ambassador in 
Berhn, and Mr. Jackson represented England. 

Prussia was then in a state of transition. Without 
attracting attention, this power raised itself from the 
state of torpor into which it fell through the Peace of 
Basle, and from the system of neutrahty which made 
Prussia a mere spectator in the wars carried on by 
Austria and England, and partially by Russia against the 
French Revolution. A reaction was preparing in the 
mind of the nation, and especially in the army of 


Prussia, which aimed at making a stand against the 
progressive enlargement of the power of France, now 
become an empire. A crisis was at hand, produced 
by the prospect of a new war between Austria and 
France. By the greater part of the pohtical prophets 
the camp at Boulogne was regarded as a preparation 
for a landing in England. Some better instructed ob- 
servers saw in this camp a French army held in 
readiness again to cross the Ehine — and that was my 

Everything accordingly pointed to a renewal of the 
war. The Prussian cabinet, led by Count Haugwitz and 
Herr Lombard, dreaded the event ; not so the men of 
action in the army, at the head of whom Prince Louis Fer- 
dinand was specially conspicuous. These were urgent 
for war, and loudly declared for the interference of 
Prussia. Berhn was accordingly divided into two camps, 
which displayed no great tenderness for each other. 
And here I would say a few words about Prince Louis 

That prince possessed great quahties, which were 
enhanced still further by a briUiant exterior, a noble 

* In one of my longer conversations with Napoleon in the journey to 
Camhray, whither I accompanied the Emperor in 1810, the conversation 
turned upon the great military preparations which he had made in the years 
1803-1805 in Boulogne. I frankly confessed to him that even at that time 
I could not regard these oflFensive measures as directed against England.,' 
* You were very right/ replied the Emperor, smiling ; ' never would I have- 
been such a fool as to make a descent upon England, unless indeed a revo-| 
lution had taken place within that country. The army assembled at Bou- 
logne was always an army against Austria. I could not place it any- 
where else without giving offence, and being obliged to form it somewhere, 
I did 80 at Boulogne, where I could whilst collecting it also disquiet Eng"" 
land. The very day of an insurrection in England, I should have sent over a 
detachment of my army to support the insurrection; I should not tha 
leas have fallen on you, for my forces were echelonned for that purpose. 
Thus you saw in 1806 how near Boulogne was to Vienna.' 


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 1803—1805. 49 

bearing, and refined manners. Of quick apprehension 
and clear intellect, Prince Louis Ferdinand united in 
himself all that goes to make a remarkable man. Un- 
happily evil company had too much influence on his life. 
There were in him two different men ; the one capable 
.of everything great and noble ; the other, regardless 
of these gifts of nature. I had much to do with 
this prince, who even took a liking for me, but the 
defects which I have mentioned raised a barrier be- 
tween us. All my hfe I have had a horror of low com- 
pany, but the prince was surrounded with it. In 
pohtical principles we agreed, but our tastes and our 
manner of life differed too much for any true confidence 
to be possible between us. 

The year 1804 passed in that unhappy condition 
which is neither peace nor war. The heavens were 
covered with thunder-clouds, the first flash from which 
did not issue until 1805. 

In Austria great preparations were being made for 

a campaign. Count Ludwig Cobenzl was Vice-Chan- 

cellor ; he and Count CoUoredo, cabinet minister, were 

regarded as the leaders of the policy of the Empire. 

Count CoUoredo was no great statesman ; Count Cobenzl, 

a candid, open-hearted man, had, in his capacity of 

ithe Emperor's ambassador at the court of Catherine II. 

ived for many years in confidential intercourse with 

er — a favour which he shared with the Prince de 

ligne, Count Segur, the French envoy, and other ex- 

ellent men, whom that princess hked to assemble 

ound her. Although he shone in the salon, Cobenzl 

was not the man to lead a cabinet. Taught by 

lie defeats of the earlier campaigns, and convinced by 

pxperience that the means applied in those campaigns 

ivere insufficient, and that Napoleon must be met by 

VOL. I. E 


Other generals than those who held the command in pre- 
ceding wars, the Emperor had singled out General Mack, 
who stood high in the estimation of the army. Events 
afterwards proved how unhappy this choice was. 
Mack possessed many estimable qualities, but he should 
never have been raised to the post of supreme com- 
mand. His intelligence, industry, and perseverance 
fitted him for the place of Quartermaster-General : 
the task of commanding an army was beyond his 

At the approach of a war, in the preparation of 
which Napoleon had put forth all his strength, the 
ties between the Courts of Vienna and St. Petersburg, 
which the issue of the campaign of 1799 and the extra- 
vagances of Paul I. had greatly loosened, were drawn 

It was at the end of the year 1804 that I received 
the first communication respecting this great under- 
taking, in which the two courts were excessively anxious 
to gain the concurrence of Prussia. It was my task 
to smooth the way for this accession.^^^^ 

This seemed to me difficult, on account of the 
known sentiments of the men at that time entrusted 
with the direction of Prussian policy. The more 
decidedly the parties in Berlin were opposed to each 
other, the more difficult was it to'make them see tlieir 
true interests. The Emperor sent his brother th€ 
Archduke Antony to Berlin. His presence had m 
result. He returned to Vienna, leaving things as h( 
found them. The Emperor Alexander then sent Princ( 
Dolgoruki, one of the younger advisers whom he hac 
gathered round him since he mounted the throne, ; 
man full of fire and spirit, but of a nature nowise fitte( 
for such a critical mission. As he had been instructe( 


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 1803—1805. 61 

by his master to adhere to me in everything, I could 
influence his conduct, but not direct it. The Eussian 
ambassador in Berlin, Herr von Alopaus, had filled 
that position for many years ; his relations with the 
most influential persons in the government were most 
confidential ; and yet the Emperor Alexander had no 
faith in his energy. I was therefore requested by that 
monarch to supply the deficiencies of his minister. 

At last the Emperor Alexander, tired out by the 
continued evasiveness of the language used by the Prus- 
sian cabinet, decided on a most dangerous step. He 
would, in fact, force the King of Prussia to a decision, 
and at the same time weaken his strength by pushing 
on his own army to the frontier of East Prussia, 
where he halted. This mihtary movement was in- 
tended to support the negotiations which were being 
carried on by the representatives of Eussia and Austria. 
But the object was not attained ; the threat, on the 
contrary, rather increased the opposition. Under the 
influence of his difierent advisers, the King became 
more and more vacillating, and could not come to any 
resolution. Then there followed an interchange of 
letters between the two monarchs, which led to no 
definite result, and the Emperor Alexander, whose im- 
patience increased daily, was more and more inchned 
to take violent measures. I remember a singular cir- 
cumstance which occurred at this time, which I will 
not omit to mention. 

I received the news one day that the Emperor 
Alexander was to strike a heavy blow. At a given 
hour a courier was to reach Herr von Alopaus with 
a communication to the King of Prussia to announce 
that the Eussian army, without further delay, was to 
cross the frontier. The actual entry of the troops 

E 2 


was to take place simultaneously with the arrival of the 
notice. When I received this news, I found that the 
warning had come too late ; if I could have done so, 
I would have addressed to the Emperor Alexander the 
most urgent request that he would abstain from a 
course which certainly must end in throwing Prussia 
into the arms of France. It was on the eve of the 
catastrophe at Ulm when the Austrian forces were 
pushing on by forced marches to this point. Nothing 
promised success to the ill-considered step of the 
Emperor Alexander, especially if the character of Fred- 
erick William III. were considered. I could do 
nothing but await the event. 

The Eussian courier was to arrive in the evening. 
At nine o'clock I went to the ambassador, who was 
detained at home by a slight indisposition. Under the 
most frivolous pretexts, I remained with him till nearly 
midnight ; then the sound of a carriage, which stopped 
at the door of his hotel, told me that the moment of 
the crisis had come. The arrival of a courier from 
the Eussian head-quarters was announced. Herr von 
Alopaus had the despatches brought to him, and imme- 
diately began to open them. We stood close to a desk, 
at which the aged ambassador was accustomed to stand 
and write. 

In spite of his increasing years Herr von Alopaus 
was vivacious almost to the point of impetuosity. In 
placing the rather bulky despatches on the writing- 
desk some papers fell on the floor, which we picked up. 
Beside the folio sheets which dropped I had remarked 
distinctly a letter of smaU size, and in fact, from the; 
other despatches this was seen to be a letter in the 
Emperor's own hand to the King of Prussia, of which ail 
copy was enclosed. In this letter his Majesty informed! 

EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 1803—1806. 53 

the King that he had ordered his army to cross the 
Prussian frontier. The contents of these despatches 
threw Herr von Alopaus into the greatest excitement ; 
it would have had the same effect upon me, if I had 
not been prepared beforehand. He went off into very 
just remarks on the danger of the situation, and said 
at last : ' The die is cast ! nothing more remains to me 
but to do the bidding of the Emperor, and hand over 
the letter of his Imperial Majesty to the King.' 

But the letter had vanished. In his sudden fright 
at not finding it, and thinking of the gravity of the 
compHcation which must arise from the non-execution 
of the orders he had received, Herr von Alopaus 
tried to ascribe the absence of the autograph itself 
to an act of forgetfulness in the sender. As for me, 
I certainly saw a sealed letter with my own eyes, 
and now it was not there ! For more than half an 
hour we sought under all the furniture without find- 
ing it ; Alopaus in an impulse of despair clasped his 
head with both hands, and at this moment the Em- 
peror's letter fell to the floor ; it had got into a fold 
in the sleeve of his dressing-gown ! 

The Eussianjs, however, did not cross the frontier then, 
as was intended. The Emperor Alexander thought 
better of it, and an attempt was made to overcome 
the vacillation of the King by a meeting of the two 
monarchs, at which the Emperor might influence him 

Our negotiations had taken this new phase, when 
Prince Dolgoruki was commissioned to dehver to the 
King another letter from the Emperor, in which he 
invited the King to the meeting already arranged, and 
repeated the threat of sending his troops through Prus- 
sian territory. Herr von Alopaus wrote to the minister 


asking an audience, with the urgent request that, consi- 
dering the gravity of the case. Prince Dolgoruki and he 
should be admitted to the King, who was residing at 
Potsdam, as quickly as possible. 

The same day Dolgoruki came to me. We agreed 
as to the language which he should hold with the King, 
while I assured him of my best support. ' I fear, how- 
ever,' said I to him as we parted, ' that the consequence 
of this pressure will be the alliance of Prussia with 
France.' The prince promised to inform me, imme- 
diately on his return from Potsdam, of all that had 
taken place. 

Prince Dolgoruki and Herr von Alopaus came to 
me on October 6, and told me what had occurred. 
They had on that day handed to the King the Em- 
peror's letter. His Majesty read it, and declared with- 
out waiting a moment that he had offered the neutrahty 
of Prussia to the belligerent powers, and that the 
moment one of those powers by violating his territory 
broke that neutrahty, he considered himself at war 
with them. ' Eeturn to the Emperor, gentlemen,' con- 
tinued the King, ' and inform him of my unalterable 
decision. I will write him a letter to the same effect.' 
With this he dismissed the two ambassadors. 

Hardly, however, had they left Potsdam than Baron 
Hardenberg, who happened to be at the palace, was 
sent after them to Berhn, to summon them back to the 
King. His Majesty had just received the news that 
Napoleon had invaded the neutral Prussian terri- 
tory at Anspach, in order to outflank the Austrian 
army concentrated at Ulm. The King said to his min- 
ister : ' Matters have taken another turn ; go at once 
to Prince Dolgoruki. He will take with him a letter, 
in which I wiU inform the !Ebaperor that the frontiers of 

EMBASSY IN BEKLIN, 1803—1805. 55 

my kingdom are open to him.' Never, perhaps, have such 
important events come together in one decisive moment. 

The King of Prussia's letter to the Emperor of 
Russia was taken to him by Prince Dolgoruki, and the 
King invited me to come to him at Potsdam. 

I had a long conversation with the King, which con- 
firmed me in my view of the danger of the steps taken 
by the Emperor Alexander in such grave circumstances. 
This prince, vehement and full of energy, impulsive, 
always in danger of acting rashly, and viewing things 
from the standpoint of his pet ideas, had on coming to 
the throne surrounded himself with a council formed of 
persons of his own age, whom he honoured with the 
name of friends. Among these were Prince Adam Czar- 
toryski and Prince Dolgoruki. The former managed the 
affairs of the Foreign Office ; the latter was one of those 
general officers of whom his Majesty constantly took 
counsel. As I have said, he was gifted with a warm 
imagination, and influenced the Emperor more than any 
one else with the idea of binding the hands of the King 
Frederick William — an enterprise which, from the 
character of that prince, must necessarily fail.. The 
attitude of the King of Prussia was founded on strict neu- 
trality, and in this he acted in good faith. The violent 
measures of Napoleon and Alexander, similar in character 
and coincident in time, left the King only the choice 
which of two insults he should resent ; he chose with- 
out hesitation to pass by that which in form was the 
least injurious. Alexander had made known to the 
King, in a manner as peremptory as unusual, his deter- 
mination to violate the neutrality of Prussia. Napoleon, 
on the contrary, admitted the neutrality of this power, 
and yet violated it. The King felt Napoleon's proceed- 
ing to be the more bitter insultJ^^^ 


Immediately after Alexander had received the King's 
letter, sent by Prince Dolgoruki, he set out on the road 
to Potsdam. The King invited the reigning Duke of 
Brunswick to come at once and begin the negotiations 
for the entry of Prussia into alliance with the two Im- 
perial courts. This negotiation was conducted, on the 
one hand, by the Emperor Alexander and myself; on the 
Prussian side by Count Haugwitz for the pohtical part, 
and by the Duke of Brunswick, to whom the King had 
given the command of the army, for the mihtary part. 
Prince Adam Czartoryski, then Minister for Foreign 
Affairs of the Emperor of Eussia, was the official repre- 
sentative of the Emperor ; but in reality, the Emperor 
himself conducted the negotiations. My relations with 
his Imperial Majesty date from this epoch, and they after- 
wards became most confidential. 

From the first moment, the Emperor and I fell 
under the ill-will of the Prussian negotiators. With 
ill-concealed anger, they resorted to every imaginable 
pretext to protract the arrangements which, in face 
of the calamitous circumstances of the war on the 
Danube, grew more and more urgent. Certainly these 
events were of a kind to make the Prussian Cabinet 
thoughtful. Yet of aU resolutions they took the very^ 
worst. When the breach with France took place, the^ 
King should either have again proclaimed his neutrality,^ 
at the risk of seeing it violated a second time by one or* 
other of the belhgerent powers, or he should, with th^ 
least possible delay, have joined his forces with thd 
AUies, and have endeavoured by energetic action m 
restore the chances of war in their favour and his ownj 
A calculation so simple did not enter the head of Count! 
Haugwitz, and it found no response in the irresolute 
character of the Duke of Brunswick. The two Prussi 

EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 1803—1805. 57 

negotiators made the worst possible choice, they decided 
for a system of vacillation. 

At last the King made up his mind. A treaty 
of alhance between the three courts was signed at ^^^^ 
Potsdam on November 5, and the Emperor Alexander 
went immediately to the head-quarters of the Emperor 

Count Haugwitz, who could not evade the completion 
of the treaty of alliance, left open a backdoor of escape. 
He caused the King to send him to Napoleon to inform 
him, on the part of the King, that the King had decided 
to unite his forces with those of the two Imperial courts, 
in case the French army should not halt in its vic- 
torious career. The days necessary to carry out this 
step were duly calculated. At his departure, the Czar 
had given me full powers, and in his name also I was 
to watch over the strict fulfilment of the engagements 
just made. Without loss of time the Prussian army 
marched towards the Upper Danube. 

Just at this time the war of 1805 entered its last 
phase. Count Haugwitz, having delayed his departure 
from Berhn more than eight days beyond the time 
agreed upon, did not find Napoleon at Vienna, and 
went to join him at Briinn. But, instead of executing 
his commission, he gave it the character of a simple 
act of pohteness on the part of the King his master. 
Napoleon sent him back to Vienna. He was preparing to 
offer battle, to which the Emperor Alexander also was 
pressing forward. Napoleon found himself in a very dan- 
gerous position. The Archduke Charles was advancing 
by forced marches with the army of Italy through Styria ; 
the Prussian army wa» in movement towards Eegens- 
burg ; and, lastly, the news from Paris of the internal 
condition of France was of the most disquieting cha- 



racter. If the allied armies, instead of offering battle 
at Austerlitz, had halted at a suitable distance, the French 
army would have been forced to fall back upon Vienna, 
and the Alhes would then have been able again to take 
the offensive with vigour. Tyrol and even Upper 
Austria only waited for this to rise in one mass. Thus 
the chances of war were all in favour of the AlHes, 
and never was position more grave than that of Napo- 
leon. The Emperor Francis himself tried every argu- 
ment to dissuade the Emperor Alexander from offering 
battle. It was, however, begun, and its results He before 
us in the Peace of Pressburg.^^*^ 

The Emperor bestowed on me the order of the grand 
cross of St. Stephen, in recognition of the services which 
he condescended to see in my share in the conclusion 
of the league with Prussia. This league was, thanks 
to the attitude of Count Haugwitz, a fruitless one.^^^^ 
Wlien he presented himself to the Emperor Napoleon 
after his entrance into Vienna, and offered him his 
congratulations on the victory, Napoleon asked him 
whether if the event had been different he would have 
spoken to him of the friendship of the King his master. 
Count Haugwitz took no notice of the sarcasm, and ne- 
gotiated for the union of the Electorate of Hanover 
with Prussia. ^^^^ Napoleon gave, in fact, his consent to 
this, for, aiming as he did at the destruction of GerH 
many, nothing could better serve his plans than a unioil 
of that character, which was a direct attack on thc| 
existence of the German Empire, and at the same tim 
concealed within itself the germ of an irreparable 
breach between Prussia and Great Britain. 

Vienna was the theatre of all these not very honour^ 
able arrangements, wliich Count Haugwitz concealeq 
from the King his master till his return to Berhn. 

EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 1803—1805. 59 

This return he delayed as long as possible, sometimes 
on the plea of health, sometimes pretending important 
business which he carefully kept under a veil of mys- 
tery. At last he made his appearance at Potsdam, 
and gave the King an account of his pohtical industry, 
leaving to the King the choice between the ratification 
of the act concluded by Haugwitz sub spe rati, and the 
deposition of the negotiator. The King ratified the 
treaty, but dismissed Count Haugwitz from his office, 
which he conferred on Freiherr von Hardenberg.^^^^ 



( * 




Retirement of OoUoredo and Oobenzl — Stadion appointed Minister for 
Foreign AtFairs — Metternich appointed to St. Petersburg : goes, instead, 
to Paris — Reasons for this change — Conversation with the Emperor 
Francis — Little instruction from the Archives — Journey from Vienna — 
Detention in Strasburg — Arrival in Paris — Beginning of public life 
there — "With Talleyrand — First audience of Napoleon in St.-Cloud — 
Jena, the summit of Napoleon's power — The mistakes of Prussia — Napo- 
leon's mistakes — Bulletins — The gloire nationale — Napoleon's return from 
the banks of the Niemen (Memel) — Dalberg's audience on taking leave — 
Count Tolskoy — Count Nesselrode — Napoleon glances towards Spain — 
Meeting of the monarchs at Erfurt — Count Romanzow — Metternich's 
passive attitude — Lafayette — Barrere — The great audience of August 15, 
1808 — Champagny silenced — Arrival at Vienna — The Austrian position 
— Conversation with the Emperor Francis — Metternich's \'iews on the 
war — Napoleon's attitude — Diplomatic relations with Austria broken off 
— Metternich's departure prevented, and the reason for this— The internal 
condition of France — Wealth of the French marshals — Napoleon's 
position — Anti-warlike disposition of the great office-bearers and mar- 
shals of France — Characteristics of Talleyrand, Fouche, and Cambac^re-s 
— Metternich's departure from Paris as prisoner under escort — Report of 
the battle of Aspern— Visit to the Empress Josephine at Strasburg — 
Arrival at Vienna — Metternich's father, with the Archbishop of Vienna, 
Count Pergen, and Hardegg, appointed to Geiseln — Conversation with 
Champagny — Interned in the Villa of Griinberg— General Savary'a visit 
— Departure for the place of exchange — Contrary orders — Napoleon's ex- 
cuses— Night-quaiiers in Acs — An Austrian battery fires at Metternich's 
carriage— Return to Raab — Exchanged at last — Colonel Avy — Recep- 
tion by the Emperor Francis — Stadion's appointment — Preparation for 
battle— Retreat of the Austrian army — Head-quarters in Znaim. 

The consequences of the battle of Austerlitz made it 
impossible for those men who had undertaken the war of 
1805 to remain in office. Count Colloredo, the cabinet 



minister, and Count Cobenzl, the Vice-Chancellor of 
Courland State, resigned, and the Emperor appointed 
Count Stadion, his ambassador at St. Petersburg, to be. 
Minister of Foreign Affairs. , As the Emperor Alexander! 
had wished me to be ambassador there, I was ordere 
to leave Berlin, and to repair to my new appointment, b 
way of Vienna. ^^^^ At the beginning of April I reache 
that city, and presented myself to Count Stadion, who 
informed me that not St. Petersburg, but Paris, was to 
be my destination. Count Phihp Cobenzl, who had 
been selected for the embassy in France, had been o 
jected to by Napoleon, who pointed out me as th 
representative of Austria most suitable to streng 
those relations he was now anxious to see estabhshed 
between the two Empires. 

I afterwards learned that the reasons which actuated' 
Napoleon on this occasion were the following: — My 
French colleague in BerHn was M. de Laforest, before; 
mentioned, a confidant of Prince Talleyrand. At th 
moment of extreme tension, just before the conclusion^ 
of the aUiance between Austria, Russia and Prussia, the 
position of M. de Laforest had become most difficult. It 
had, however, always been my habit not to mingle busi- 
ness affairs with personal matters, and so I endeavoured 
to maintain relations with my French colleague on a 
footing of frank courtesy. These relations continued 
during all the different phases of the affair. This did 
not escape the notice of Talleyrand, whose pohcy waai 
not averse to the estabhshment of good relations be- 
tween France and Austria. The influence of Count 
Phihp Cobenzl had become stale in Paris, a new man; 
was wanted there : the choice fell on me. 

This change in my destination, when I learned 
fell upon me Hke a thunder-bolt. I resigned the posi4 


tion at St. Petersburg, with reluctance, for the personal 
relations in which I stood to the Emperor Alexander 
allowed me to hope that I might render service there 
to my monarch, and at the same time count on a sphere 
of action more suited to my views than that which 
awaited me in Paris, face to face with Napoleon. The 
task of representing Austria in Prance, immediately 
after the Peace of Pressburg, presented so many diffi- 
culties, that I feared I should not be adequate to them. 
The next day I waited on the Emperor Francis, and 
ventured to describe the embarrassment of my position. 
He received me with his usual kindness, praised me 
for my conduct in Berlin, and set before me the necessity 
of accommodating myself to what he called my destiny, 
with expressions which made it impossible for me to 
oppose his wishes. 

I was thus placed in a position opposed to my in- 
clinations, but being determined always to subordinate 
them to a feehng of duty, I endeavoured to make clear to 
myself the line I ought to take. Napoleon seei fi M to m e 
the incarnation of the Eevolution • while in t he Austn an 

j|P~aTOj 111,11 iiiiiiiiii I I >i iii]u,ujL.]j.iiijjwm '■**" ■— ~— . 1 1 ■Mi"™*^"^'"-^" 

rer wh ich I h ad to represent at his cou rt, I saw the 

^— ^— II — r~~^ ' ■, ' ^ -— ——-——'— •~>———^~—^— —- -— 

surest guardian of the principles which alone f^uaranteed 
generarpeace ana political equihbrium. When 1 looked 
at my task from this point otview, the great importance 
of the functions I had to perform rose before me. I 
did not, indeed, fear to go wrong, as so many had done, 
from a heated imagination or self-love, for I felt myself 
free from these failings ; but, on the other hand, I knew 
the many and dangerous rocks in my new position, and 
I resolved for the present, to keep my ambition within 
very modest bounds, and at least to prevent evil when 
I saw the impossibihty of doing good. 

I searched in the archives of the chancellery, but. 
VOL. I. F 



found little to help me. Th^ French Revolution wa s 
not yet understo od b^siJJi£_jTqe.i|^ -^^hDuai^iAftJiiMiLj^^lTprl 
on, to deal with t ins mon strous social catastrop he. The 
rapidity of the career oi .Napoleon had aazzl^S many 
spectators, and left them httle time to weigh, im- 
partially and quietly, the conditions on which his exist- 
ence rested. I addressed myself to this task with 
pleasure, convinced as I was that the analysis of this 
personified product of the Revolution must necessarily 
explain to me how this man, from so mean a start- 
ing-point, could have raised himself to such a height. 
Some saw in Napoleon only the great general ; some 
saw the ground of his elevation in his pohtical talents ; 
while others regarded him merely as. an adventurer 
favoured by fortune : all forgot that for the explanation 
of the astonishing success of this man, it was indispen- 
sable to connect his personal quahties with the circum- 
stances in which he hved. 

I left Vienna in July 1806. When I arrived in 
Strasburg, I was not allowed to continue my journey ; 
the order had been given in Paris, but the pretext made 
use of by the local authorities was, that they could not 
allow me to continue my journey without a positive , 
order. The true cause of this unjustifiable proceeding 
was, however, the presence of Herr Oubril in Paris,^ 
through whose assistance Napoleon hoped to arrive at 
an understanding with the Russian court. Till this 
understanding, to which the Emperor Alexander after 
wards refused his consent, was arrived at, the Emperorj 
of the French seemed not to wish for my presence in 
Paris. If, indeed, I had been there, I should have used 
my influence to prevent that young and inexperiencedJ 
negotiator from compromising himself in so painfufi 
a manner. When the negotiations with Herr Oubril 


had once been concluded sub spe rati, I was allowed to 
continue my journey to Paris, where I arrived on August 
4. The next day I went to the Prince of Benevento 
(Talleyrand), then Minister for Foreign Afiairs, whom I 
did not as yet personally know. He received me with 
the greatest cordiality, showed himself incHned to closer 
relations between France and Austria, and boasted of 
the moderation which he had displayed during the 
negotiations of the Peace of Pressburg. As this assertion 
was well founded, I took up my own position, and ex- 
plained to him what the Emperor understood by friendly 
relations, which must not be confounded with sub- 

This was, in fact, the beginning of my pubhc life. 
All that had gone before might have shown the inde- 
pendence of my character. As a man of principles, 
I could not and I would not bend when it came to the 
point of defending them. Within a short space of time 
destiny had placed me face to face with the man who at 
this epoch ruled the affairs of the world ; I felt it my 
duty and I had the courage never to offer to mere cir- 
cumstance a sacrifice which I could not defend to my 
conscience both as a statesman and as a private in- 
dividual. This voice of conscience I followed ; and I 
do not think it was a good inspiration of Napoleon's, 
which called me to functions which gave me the oppor- 
tunity of appreciating his excellences, but also the 
possibility of discovering the faults which at last led him 
to ruin and freed Europe from the oppression under 
which it languished. 

This study put means into my hand, the efficacy 
of which I had the opportunity of proving in a few 

I presented myself to Napoleon, without delivering 

F 2 


an address at the first audience I had at St. -Cloud, . 
as was the custom of my colleagues. I confined myself 
to stating that as, in accordance with his own wishes, 
I had been chosen to represent the Emperor of Austria 
at his court, I should strive on every occasion to 
strengthen the good relations between the two empires 
on that basis upon which alone a lasting peace could 
be established between independent states. Napoleon 
answered me in the same simple style, and our subse- 
quent personal relations took their tone from this first 

France at that time felt the need of order, and would 
easily have been led in that direction, if Napoleon's love 
of conquest had not forced it to a system which ulti- 
mately led him to his ruin. War with Prussia was 
imminent : yet Napoleon might have acted so as to 
avoid it- This he would not do ; and the consequences 
would have justified the choice made by Napoleon, had 
he not abused the victory. 

In this Autobiography there will not be found a 
narrative of events belonging to diplomatic and military 
history ; materials for the history of the time must be 
drawn fi-om the state archives of official correspondence. 
It does not belong to the plan I set before me to specify 
the mass of labours which in the long course of my 
public life I was able to achieve. The present work is 
intended only to communicate what concerns myself, or- 
has reference to the tone of mind which the circum-; 
stances of my time have produced in me, those of. 
which I was a mere spectator and those in which I havej 
myself played a part. 

According to my opinion. Napoleon reached thei 
summit of his power in the victory of Jena. If, in- 
stead of the destruction of Prussia, he had limited his 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1800—1809. 69 

ambition to the weakening of that power, and had 
then annexed it to the Confederation of the Ehine, the 
enormous edifice which he had succeeded in erecting 
would have gained a foundation of strength and solidity, 
which the Peace of Tilsit did not gain for it ; indeed, 
the conditions of that peace were so hard and over- 
strained that it essentially contributed to its downfall/^*^ 
The mistake which the Prussians made in 1805 in 
not uniting their strength with that of Austria and 
Russia, was renewed in the rising of 1806 ; and yet it 
was to this repeated mistake, that we owe the libera- 
tion of Europe from the yoke which Napoleon's love 
of conquest had imposed upon it. For King Frederick 
WilHam III. the war of 1806 was not premeditated, 
but rather the effect of an agitation which he had not 
the strength to resist. Prince Louis Ferdinand and the 
feeble elite of the army were at the head of the agitation 
for war. The great mass of the army as well as of the 
people were under the spell of the neutrahty which 
the King contrived to maintain after the Peace of Basle,, 
and which, after the dissolution of the German Em- 
pire, had given Prussia a kind of protectorate over 
North Germany. This position was weak on the face 
of it, and although it flattered the short-sighted plans 
of such men as Count Haugwitz, Lombard, and General 
von Pfuel, it hindered everything Uke enthusiasm in 
the nation. When Napoleon, in 1805, in order to 
ensure the success of a strategic combination, ventured 
to violate the neutral Prussian territory, he showed how 
well he understood the condition of Prussia ; and cer- 
tainly the attitude of Count Haugwitz after the battle 
of AusterUtz was not calculated to give him a different 
impression of the energy of that power. I am con- 
vinced, therefore, that the political mistake committed 


by Napoleon, after his enormous successes during the 
whole campaign, was chiefly the consequence of the 
false idea he had formed of the thorough exhaustion 
of the Prussian power. When Napoleon had reduced 
this kingdom to the condition of the Peace of Tilsit, 
he beheved that he could leave it to die a natural 
death ; and in his opinion the kingdoms of Westphaha 
and Saxony were the natural heirs of Prussia. 

I took leave in the year 1810 to draw Napo- 
leon's attention to what I thought a mistake in his 
calculation. He did not contradict me, and added, Jj 
hjad^^akea jj^in hand, and must fi nish th e work I had 
begum^^^^jjiii^ggjJjgg^^^a^Trussi^j^g^g^Jor.' The 
events of a few years later than this prove that Napo- 
leon was not infallible in his calculations : they justified 

There are few chapters in the history of nations 
which exhibit such astonishing vicissitudes of fortune 
as the history of Prussia from the death of the great 
Frederick till the Peace of Tilsit. Rising in the course 
of four reigns from the position of an electorate to a 
power of the first rank, this monarchy, after the cam- 
paigns of 1806 and 1807, was shaken to its very found- 
ations. All seems contradiction in the annals of Prussia, 
and these annals comprise scarcely one century. In less 
than this period a barren and thinly populated country 
rose to a height of power which assigned to its rulers 
more than once the part of umpires in Europe, and this 
height of power it reached amid storms and agitations 
which threatened it at home and abroad. From the 
year 1740 there was not a moment when the Prussian 
army was not in active service. Its standing army, 
though out of all proportion to the number of the people, 
or the resources of the country, far from exhausting 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 71 

these, on the contrary, raised the monarchy to a height 
of power not aspired to in the wildest dreams of its 
greatest princes. Frederick 11. on his deathbed said 
to his young nephew that his successors would do 
more than he had done if they knew how to maintain 
his conquests. But, in fact, they doubled them. And 
this state did not grow and increase in the midst of less 
civilised nations. On the contrary, all its conquests were 
over those which surpassed it in wealth and power. 
The Eevolution, which since 1789 threatened to engulf 
the civilised world, contributed to the aggrandisement 
of Prussia. All the Powers that went to war with 
France exhausted themselves. Prussia alone drew ad- 
vantage from all circumstances ; and when she found 
herself with other states put down for the time, she 
went her own way with quiet steps and accommodated 
herself to the conqueror. Every campaign gave her 
a pretext for extending her influence ; every truce either 
confirmed an encroachment on a weak and timid 
neighbour, or contrived that such should voluntarily 
place itself under her banner ; lastly, every peace 
brought her a reward for exertions which she had 
nevertheless made only to serve her own purposes. 
Such were the consequences of the mighty impulse 
given to the country by the genius of her first kings. 

The observations which my position in the French 
capital enabled me to make during the whole duration 
of the war of 1806 and 1807 were in absolute contra- 
diction to the reports industriously circulated by the 
organs of the Government on the condition of the 
country. I had the opportunity of convincing myself 
of the extreme care taken by the Emperor to magnify 
the effect of his victories. ^^"'^ The account of some pre- 
vious victory was spread through Paris previous to the 


officially prepared news of a defeat; the members of 
the Government itself might act as if in the greatest 
anxiety, whilst the cannon of the Invahdes thundered 
forth the news of a victory already known. 

Napoleon, in making use of such petty means, had 
doubtless the double object of adding brilhancy to his 
successes, and of furnishing the means to his pohce of 
ascertaining the feehngs of individuals. With respect to 
the first, he may have succeeded to a certain point, but 
not in regard to the latter. A stupor then reigned in 
Paris, produced by a sense of the weight which the Em- 
peror had laid upon all classes of society. With the ex- 
ception of agents provocateurs, no person of any influence 
would have ventured to express aloud any sentiment 
unpleasant to the Government; but after aU the loud 
talkers are not really the persons to be feared. The im- 
pression made on the public of Paris by the news of 
,a battle won by Napoleon was certainly not that of joy : 
it was satisfaction that France had escaped the conse- 
quences, and at seeing that her internal peace was not 
endangered. The Emperor might with good right say at 
that time La France c'est moil The revolutionary 
elements were only smothered. The country had not '] 
one friend in Europe, and an immeasurable feeling of 
unrest reigned amid the rejoicings for a victory of the 
French army, for everyone knew that these victories 
made new ones necessary to complete the work, the 
ultimate extent of which no one could foresee. The 
phrase gloire nationale, which in the Restoration acted 
like magic, had not then the same effect. With a fewj 
exceptions, the nation would wiUingly have exchanged 
glory for safety. Under the Restoration the appeal to 
la gloire was a weapon of the Bonapartist and revolu- 
tionary opposition ; under the Empire the opposition 


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 73 

was unanimous m its repudiation of a warlike ten- 

Intoxicated with victory, Napoleon returned from 
the banks of the Niemen to Paris. The first im- 
pression of the unrestrained idea of power of the 
insatiable conqueror was given to the diplomatic corps 
at the customary reception, when all the assembled re- 
presentatives of foreign powers had in turn to hear the 
unpleasant things from the mouth of the Emperor. ^^^^ 
Sarcasm of every kind was interspersed with warlike 
menaces. I came off the best, although in the negotia- 
tions on the adjustment of the boundary between Aus- 
tria and the kingdom of Italy, which at that time came 
to a conclusion in the Convention of Fontainebleau,^^''^^ 
the feehng of Napoleon betrayed itself in a way any- 
thing but satisfactory to the wishes of Austria. 

It was at this time that the Princes of the new Con- 
federation of the Ehine came to Paris, to do homage to 
their new master and to congratulate him on his fresh 
victories. At their head was the Prince Primate Frei- 
herr von Dalberg. Six weeks after the arrival of that 
Prince, I happened to have an audience of Napoleon at 
St.-Cloud. In the ante-room I met the Prince Primate, 
who had come to take leave of the Emperor. He was 
just speaking to me of the grand prospects of the Bund, 
of the thankfulness of all its members to the Emperor 
Napoleon, and of the high destiny to which the German 
Fatherland was called, when he was invited to enter the 
Emperor's closet. He remained about eight or ten 
minutes with the Emperor, then came my turn. 

Napoleon excused himself that he had kept me 
waiting so long. I remarked that to me at least the 
time had passed quickly, that the audience of the 
Prince Primate had not seemed to me to be a long one, 


at any rate for a farewell audience. ' Well, what would 
you have ? ' said Napoleon smiUng : ' this man is full oi 
empty dreams. He torments me continually to arrange 
the constitution of what he calls the German Fatherland 
He wants his Eegensburg, his Imperial court of supreme 
judicature with all the traditions of the old GermaO 
Empire. He tried to speak again of these absurdities, 
but I cut him short. "Monsieur I'Abbe," I said to? 
him, " I will tell you my secret. In Germany the small:^.^ 
people want to be protected against the great people ;1i 
the great wish to govern according to their own fancy ;{ 
now, as I only want from the federation men andj 
money, and as it is the great people and not the small' 
who can provide me with both, I leave the former alone 
in peace, and the second have only to settle themselves 
as best they may ! " ' 

My personal relations with Napoleon soon assum 
the same character which they had before he too" 
the field. About that time General Count Peter Tolsto; 
arrived in France as ambassador from Eussia.^^^^ Th 
Emperor Alexander had enjoined him to attach himse 
to me, and to follow my advice. Count Tolstoy had n 
before served in the diplomatic line, and from the tu 
of his mind and his exclusively mihtary knowledge 
never was successful in this career ; and in accepting th 
post of Ambassador in Paris he merely submitted 
the will of the Emperor. The choice of the Empero] 
Alexander was, in my opinion, well suited to the positio: 
of affairs. As a zealous conservative, by nature and 
experience, the enemy of the system of conquest, thi 
' Ambassador against his will ' made no secret of hi 
incHnations, and thereby gained the respect of mej 
whose tendencies he had been directed to observf 
Count Nesselrode, afterwards yice-Chancellor of th) 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 75 

Eussian Empire, filled the post of first Secretary of 
Legation under Count Tolstoy, and from this time date 
the relations of personal confidence between us which 
have been maintained through the varied phases of our 
pubHc hfe. 

After the Peace of Tilsit, the Emperor of the French 
turned his eyes on Spain. In order to secure the carry- 
ing out of his "plans, he thought it necessary to cripple 
Eussia, after conquering Austria and Prussia, in two 
successive wars, and covering the eastern frontier of 
his Empire by the Confederation of the Ehine. The 
undertaking had but too great success at Erfurt. The 
conference which took place there between Napoleon 
and Alexander was a snare for the Eussian monarch. 
In reality. Napoleon's thoughts were directed neither 
against Turkey nor against Asia ; and if the hatred 
which he entertained for England led him to think for 
li moment of attacking her in her Indian possessions, 
this project existed only as an eventuahty, dependent 
on the concurrence of circumstances as yet remote, 
^^igol^o n occupied himsel f_rather with perfs£ting his 
bons from t he thro n^^f_Saau^-JIIll£,£xtrayagaJlL£--ilf 
these ^i^ ant i^cnemes brought ab oii^, tJie fp|]] pf iVopri- 
leon^^^,__^^^years later, and the__exgedition against 

SpaiiL_wM(lh beyond an ydoubtwas a thoriHiglilY im^ 

taken idea on his part. onl^Lac££lfi3al£d^-th£-£atastrophe. 

JNapoleon left Paris in August. History has unde" 
taken to describe the events of which Spain was the 
theatre, and to record for posterity the reaction of those 
events on the destiny of Europe. They made a most 
lively impression upon the Austrian Cabinet; and I 
felt them the more, from my knowledge of them in my 
official capacity. Desirous of leaving a position where 


I could not obtain the necessary information, I asked 
leave, during the absence of the Emperor from Paris, 
to go to Vienna in order to give them the news I pos- 
sessed, and learn some for myself. Leave being granted 
to me, I started on October 4, and arrived in Vienna on 
the 10th. 

The meeting of the monarchs took place at Erfurt 
in September and October, 1808.^'*^ Thither General 
Baron Vincent was sent from Vienna, under the pretext 
of welcoming the two Emperors ; he had acted as am- 
bassador in Paris from the peace of 1805 till my 
arrival. His candid and loyal character, as well as the 
tendency of his mind, had won Napoleon's regard. The 
Emperor Francis could not have made a better choice 
for so critical a mission. Through him and my col- 
league Tolstoy, I was kept informed of what passed at 
Erfurt, and could not but foresee, that enormous com- 
phcations were inevitable from the approach of two 
such great potentates as Napoleon and Alexander — an 
approach which had no real basis, and was only a trap 
laid for the Eussian monarch on the part of the French 
Emperor. But the calculation was wrong, because 
Napoleon, when he speculated on deluding the Em- 
peror of Eussia for a time, was quite mistaken as to 
the time necessary for accompHshing the overthrow oi 

The Chancellor, Count Eomanzow, followed Napol© 
to Paris, after his return from Erfurt, as closely as pes 
sible.^^^^ Eomanzow knew me from my earhest youi 
for when he resided at Frankfort as Eussian Amb 
sador to the Ehenish Courts, he was a colleague of ffl 
father. During his residence at Paris, Count Eomanzo 
was extremely intimate with me, and anxiously 
deavoured to flatter the new ally of Eussia. All 


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 77 

Count Eomanzow did was in good faith, and I doubt 
not that he took this aUiance to be quite sincere. I 
am sure that he only followed the guidance of his con- 
science, when he endeavoured to correct my ideas with 
regard to this new pohtical phase. Count Eomanzow, 
a clever man, though of no deep intellect, was caught 
ill the nets which Napoleon spread for him. Loaded by 
Xapoleon with favours, he took all these attentions as 
genuine, and was at last so dazzled by them that in the 
course of a long conversation, I do not now remember 
on what subject, he thought to silence me with the fol- 
lowing words : ' I have Napoleon in my pocket ; do you 
think that I am going to let him go ? ' By a curious 
coincidence, it happened that I had just come from the 
Emperor, and my conversation with him had given me 
an impression which scarcely agreed with this. Napo- 
leon had, in fact, spoken to me of the Chancellor with 
extreme candour, and made no secret of his mean 
opinion of him as a statesman. 

My position was a peculiar one. I was placed at 
the most prominent post for observing the movement 
of which the Emperor of the French was the centre. 
I represented at his court a great monarch, whose 
kingdom had yielded under the force of circumstances, 
but which was ready to rise on the first opportunity. 
I was penetrated with the feeling of danger to my 
country, if it entered on a new war with France with- 
out having more probable chances of success ; and I 
conceived that my task consisted in playing the part 
of a quiet and impartial spectator — impartial, so far 
as this might be possible to a man of feeling, at an 
epoch when the world was passing through a social 
transformation. Nowhere was the conflict between the 
fermenting elements more vehement than in the great 



country in which I was Hving. Beyond the confines of, 
France, Governments had no other care than to with 
stand the pohtical encroachments of the conqueror wh 
had placed the Imperial crown on his head. The con- 
flict between the different systems of government reall 
existed only in France. Eaised by the Eevolution t 
the summit of power, Napoleon endeavoured to pro 
up by monarchical institutions the throne he had mad 
for himself. The destructive parties, having to do wit 
a man equally great as a statesman and as a general, 
who knew his country and the spirit of the natio: 
better than any who ever guided the destinies 
France, were above all anxious to save from the wrec 
of their works all they could secure from the encroach 
ments of the Imperial power. These efforts were imp 
tent ; but they were not the less worthy of observation 

My impartial attitude gained me the confidence 
the most prominent men of different parties, beginnin 
with Napoleon himself. One individual I must except 
I never saw Lafayette. When the Emperor spoke t 
me of him, he did so with an expression of that con 
tempt which he had for everyone whom he considere 
an ideologue. Among the most eager courtiers of thej 
Empire might be seen the fiercest partisans of a Govern 
ment which, after it had shed blood in streams, vanish 
like smoke under the Directory. Napoleon spoke o; 
these men with the deepest scorn ; ]i£_^ aid to me on 
da:£-:_^ Th£a£^-i)eo ple were the perpetrators of impiou n 
deeds but n. short timp. ap rp ; now I use them in buildin i 
uiLJiLE-Ji£aL.siKdaL£difi£e.- . There are soin£_2iiad wor 

to be architects^,,JI JaaLdii^afaaajii^Mt]A^Jiaii^JHill^JE^ 
Prencl^there is hardl^_Qaa^ aaQttflLltollJwho does not 
tTMrdrimTTseTn^apable of ^overnincMLhe country f 

AT THE COUKT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 79 

Among the dismal celebrities of a bloody epoch I 
will mention Barere, who gained the nickname of the 
Anacreon of the Guillotine. To my great surprise, 
this man one day desired an interview with me. I found 
in him the traces of that spurious refinement which was 
also a characteristic of Eobespierre. The reason of 
his coming was to ask a favour for one of his rela- 
tions. To judge from his physiognomy, one might have 
taken him for the most harmless creature in the world. 
I shall perhaps have to speak again of persons of the 
same stamp as Barere and Merlin de Thionville, whose 
reign ended with the Eeign of Terror. 

Napoleon's mind was full, as I have said before, of 
the overthrow of Spain. He was preparing to appear 
personally on the scene where the great drama was to 
be played. This might lead to contingencies for which 
the Vienna Cabinet must provide. The preparations 
made in Austria pointed to warhke designs. ^^^^ Before 
he left Paris, Napoleon, wishing to insult Austria, chose 
for the purpose the ceremonious audience which he 
was accustomed to grant to the diplomatic body on 
his fete, August 15.* 

These audiences took place immediately before the 
service, which the Emperor, accompanied by a great 
retinue, attended in the chapel at St.-Cloud. Just before 
noon the diplomatic corps was conducted to the audience- 
chamber. I took my usual place in the circle, having 
Count Tolstoy on my right, the rest of the diplomatic 

* Till the Concordat, no day had been set apart in the calendar for 
Saint Napoleon. The Emperor of the French obtained the permission of 
Pope Pius VII., however, to have his festival on the day of the Assmnp- 
tion of the Virgin, As this day was kept as a great festival in consequence 
of the reconciliation with the Roman Court, the Emperor chose it in order 
that his fete might coincide with a religious festival observed throughout 


corps being arranged in a semicircle, in the centre of 
which was the Emperor. At such ceremonials the princes 
of his family were ranged behind him, then the cabinet 
ministers, the members of the court, and the adjutants. 

After some minutes of unusual silence, Napoleon 
advanced towards me with great solemnity. He stopped 
two feet in front of me, and addressed me in a loud 
voice and pompous tone : ' Well, Sir Ambassador, what 
does the Emperor, your master, want — does he intend 
to call me back to Vienna ? ' This address did not dis- 
concert me ; I answered him calmly, and in no less 
elevated tones. Our conversation the longer it lasted 
took on Napoleon's side more and more the character of 
a pubhc manifestation. Napoleon raising his voice as he 
always did, when he had the double end in view of in- 
timidating the person he was addressing and of making 
an effect on the rest of his hearers. I did not alter my 
tone, and met his worthless arguments with the weapon 
of irony ; from time to time Napoleon appealed to Count 
Tolstoy as a witness ; but when he observed that the 
Count preserved an unbroken silence, he turned round, 
breaking off in the midst of a sentence, and strode to 
the chapel without completing the round of the circle. 
This scene lasted more than half an hour. The Empress 
Josephine and her train waited in the hall throug 
which the Emperor had to pass, and no one could ex- 
plain the reason of the length of this so-called dipl 
matic audience. 

As soon as Napoleon had left the audience-chamber 
all my colleagues thronged round me, to congratulatt 
me on having, as they said, given the Emperor a lesson 
A few hours afterwards I went to the Hotel of Coun 
Champagny, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, who gavl 
a great banquet in honour of the day. On my entrano 


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 81 

he said to me, he was ordered by his master, the Em- 
peror, to assure me, that the scene at the audience had 
nothing personal in it ; and that his master's intention 
had merely been to explain the position. I assured the 
minister that I too put the same construction on the inci- 
dent ; and, for my part, did not regret that the Emperor 
had given me the opportunity to explain before as- 
sembled Europe what the monarch whom I had the 
honour to represent wished — and what he did not wish. 
' EuroDe,' I continued, 'wi]yjg,^jjj^^t^m^dg^nwhich 
sid^re^jgfljljyii^ljjigjjll^t^^ Count Cham- 

pagny made no answer. ^^^^ 

In order to understand the moral view by which the 
I Austrian cabinet was actuated, it will be enough to 
■; refer to the poUtical relations existing in Europe. Under 
! the weight of the unhappy issue of the war of 1805, 
Austria had collapsed. The Confederation of the Rhine, 
I under the protection of the French Emperor, had taken 
i the place of the German Empire ; and after the last 
war between France and Prussia the Princes of North 
; Germany also had entered this Confederation. Tyrol 
1 had joined Bavaria, and the dukedom of Warsaw, under 
j the supremacy of the King of Saxony, was pushed in 
i between Austria and Russia. The Peace of Tilsit had 
destroyed the Prussian power, and from the confe- 
rence of Erfurt there had resulted an illusive alliance 
between Russia and France, the twofold object of which 
was the silent assent of the former power to the attacks 
of the latter, and the partition of the Ottoman Empire 
between the two, adjusted on the supposition of its im- 
pending fall. 

Austria, therefore, was in a position in which she 
could not possibly maintain herself. The Imperial 
cabinet was not alone in this feehng. Napoleon was so 

VOL. I. G 


convinced of it that he looked upon Austria as a prize 
in prospect for one of his new German allies. Not only 
then was a renewal of the war in the nature of things, 
but it was for our Empire an absolute condition of its 
existence. This question was to my mind settled. But 
the points which remained, and, in my view, required 
ripe consideration, were, the choice of the right moment 
for beginning the war, and the settling of the plan of 

Immediately after my arrival in Vienna, I went to 
Count Stadion, who at that time was Minister for 
Foreign Afiairs. He gave me an insight into the posi- 
tion : I found that war was nearer than I had sup- 
posed when I left Paris. I explained to him my rea- 
sons for obtaining leave to come to Vienna, and gave 
him to understand that it would be impossible for me 
to be really useful to the important interests committed 
to my care, if I were not thoroughly initiated into the 
feehng of the Court. Count Stadion showed the hveliest 
satisfaction at coming to an understanding with me. 
The next day I waited on the Emperor. A con versa™ j 
tion of many hours gave me the impression that the" 
Cabinet was more decided than the Emperor, not indeed 
in respect to the war in itself, for with good reason 
was looked upon as unavoidable, but as to choosi 
the right moment. His Majesty charged me moa 
urgently to make myself acquainted with the ste] 
about to be taken, and to assist the cabinet with mjfl 
advice. J 

Emboldened by this request and the extraordinary! 
importance of the circumstances, I did not fail to explain I 
the situation exactly as it was.^^®^ My statement con- 
sisted of the following elements : — m \ 

The material preparations were nearly completed. 



AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 83 

SO that the army might, by the beginning of the year 
1809, take the field. In this respect everything was 
secured, and that to a degree which the enemy, if he 
judged from the disasters of the campaign of 1805, 
could not expect. 

It was not so with the moral side of this great un- 
dertaking. I can testify that the cabinet was subject 
to more than one illusion. 

The change, made in the original plan of the cam- 
paign necessarily exercised an influence on the moral 
side of the undertaking, which was quite as worthy of 
being taken into account as the material operations, 
when the state of men's minds in Germany was con- 
sidered.* .,......, 

As I received no instructions from Vienna, I could 
contribute little. Nothing could suit Napoleon better. 
He continued, after my return, to treat me with his 
customary kindness. ^^"^ The passive part I had to play 
was a contrast to the excessive activity in the mihtary 
preparations, of which I was condemned to be a mere 
spectator. If the Paris public judged from my rela- 
tions to the Court, it must have been very difficult 
for it to beheve in the impending outbreak of a new 
war with Austria. Napoleon hked to surprise the 
Parisians, and to make known his wars only by the 
cannons fired from the Invalides to announce the success 
of the first battle. WilUngly would I have hindered 
him from acting so now ; but this unhappily was not 
permitted to me ; for only by his unexpected departure 
from Paris in the night of the 14th of April, and by 
the message I received from Count Champagny on the 
15th, that he had orders from his master to give me my 

* On this gap in the manuscript, see Note 29, 
6 2 


passports, did I learn that peace was at an end ; the 
courier who ought to have brought me the news had 
been detained at Ch^lons-sur-Marne. By another 
courier the Minister for Foreign Affairs assured me, 
in the name of the Emperor, that the safety of my 
family would be cared for, in case I did not take them 
with me, but wished to leave them in Paris. 

When I had fixed my departure for the 19th, the 
Postmaster-General de Lavalette * refused me horses, 
under the pretence that they were required for the Em- 
peror's use. My repeated requests always met with the 
same refusal ; and I was reheved from this state of un- 
certainty only by a letter from Count Champagny, which 
he sent to me from Munich on the 19th, in which he 
informed me that, the cause of the hindrances put in the 
way of my departure from Paris had been the arrest of 
the French agent and attache in Vienna, and their 
being carried off to Hungary. At the same time he 
disclosed to me that till an exchange was made of the 
personnel of the embassy, I should not be allowed to 
leave Paris. [ 

The measure, on the part of the Court of Vienna, ' 
was unusual, and also quite unnecessary ; it originated 
in fear, and might have compromised my personal 
safety : the French ambassador had already come back 
from Vienna. This was, in my eyes, a fresh example 
of the false estimate the Austrian cabinet made of 
Napoleon's character and attitude. I remained quietly 
in Paris, and can certify from my own observations, how I 
exceedingly weary France was of the war. The news 

* One of the oldest adjutants of General Bonaparte. I had made hi» 
acquaintance at the Congress of Rastadt, at the beginning of which he was 
present. He it was whose wife, after the return of the Bourbons in 1816, 
aided him to escape out of prison when he was threatened with a fate 
like that of Marshal Ney and General Lab^doyere. 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1800. 85 

of the very important events which attended the open- 
ing of the campaign were received in Paris with a 
painful feehng, that akeady approached aversion to 
the conqueror. My hfe in society continued to be the 
same as before the rupture : indeed, I might even main- 
tain that the attentions of the pubhc towards me rather 

As I have reached that point of my narrative when 
my office of Ambassador in France came to an end/^^^ 
I think I may say a few words on the internal condition 
of the country, and on some of the most prominent in- 
dividuals of the time. 

France felt the need of repose, and this feehng pre- 
vailed not only among the masses, but was shared by 
Napoleon's companions in arms. These individuals had 
been for the most part taken from the lower ranks of the 
army, and raised to the height of military honour. They 
had become rich from foreign spoil and the calculated 
generosity of the Emperor, and now wished tio enjoy 
what they had gained. Napoleon had made a bril- 
liant existence for them.^^^^ The Prince of Neufch^tel 
(Berthier) had a yearly income of more than 1,200,000 
francs : Marshal Davoust had property which brought 
in an income of a million : Massena, Augereau, and 
many other marshals and generals were equally wealthy. 
These men wished to enjoy their possessions, and 
objected to stake them on the chances of war. 

Many in civil Hfe had, hke the generals, risen to 
great wealth. One source of riches, which during the 
wars of the Revolution had existed for a class of specu- 
lative spirits, was exhausted. The war which Napoleon 
declared against the fraudulent army-contractors, and 
the strict order which he had introduced into all deal- 
ings with the public money, reacted on this class. 


already so numerous before Napoleon mounted the 
throne, and infused into them an aversion to the war- 
like pohcy, which formerly had the best wishes of 
themselves and those with whom they dealt. The 
nation, decimated by the annual levies, far from inter- 
esting itself in military operations carried on so far 
from the frontiers of France that even the names of 
the places where new victories were gained were un- 
known, cursed the conquests whose poKtical value they 
were not capable of understanding. In a word, France 
was anxious for peace, and it was a great mistake of the 
European Courts at that time, that in their pohtical ac- 
tion they did not take this fact into account. Napoleon 
was in power, but between the system followed by him 
and the feeling of the great country which he governed 
there was a repugnance of which the cabinets of 
Europe were not aware. It would have been wise 
if this had not been excluded from their calculations, 
which, in spite of aU that the French manifestoes said 
on the subject, sprang only from the feeling of self- 
preservation in the European States. This remark 
explains my anxiety that, on the near approach of the 
war, the right course should be taken. The uni- 
versal error in Europe arose from the fact that the 
vast encroachments made by the violent ambition of 
one man were supposed to spring from a national move- 
ment in France itself. I should hardly myself have 
seen this so clearly if I had not been placed in so 
favourable a position for observation. 

The Emperor enjoyed, in France, that popularity 
which wiU be always gained by a ruler who knows how 
to hold the reins of power with an equally firm and 
skilful hand. Napoleon's practical mind enabled himj 
to understand the needs of a country where the social 


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 87 

edifice had to be rebuilt. Abroad a soldier, at home he 
was a legislator and most able administrator. There- 
fore the country lamented to see him and his work 
exposed to the chances of war. France was no longer 
inspired by a warlike spirit. The revolutionary parties 
alone, between 1792 and the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century, entertained the idea of war. This they 
did with the double object of employing beyond the 
frontier the army, which was always a danger when at 
home to this party, and of defending the frontiers against 
foreign invasion. Had Napoleon confined his plans to 
the preservation of what the EepubUc had conquered, 
he would have greatly increased his popularity; his 
warlike temperament carried him much further. He 
was a born conqueror, legislator, and administrator, and 
he thought he could indulge all three inclinations at 
once. His undoubted genius furnished him with the 
means' of doing so. The sentiment of the enormous 
majority of the nation would have been entirely with 
him if he had confined himself to the duties of govern- 

The greater part of the high officials shared in this 
national feehng. Among these were the Prince of Bene- 
vento (Talleyrand), Fouche, then Minister of Pohce, and 
a great number of marshals and generals. The moral 
power of the Emperor was too overpowering to be 
opposed openly, therefore intrigue was resorted to, and 
this was a means quite suited to the characters of the 
two first-named personages. During the time that I 
was ambassador, I had many opportunities of verifying 
this fact. 

Talleyrand possessed unusual intellectual abihty. 
My long-continued relations with him made me aware 
that his whole character more adapted him to destroy 


than to create. A priest, his temperament led him 
to irrehgious courses. Of noble birth, he pleaded for 
the uprooting of his class ; under the repubHcan 
rule he foreswore the Eepublic ; under the Empire 
he was constantly inchned to conspire against the 
Emperor ; under the Bourbons, lastly, he laboured for 
the overthrow of the legitimate dynasty. To hinder 
any definite course from being taken — for that Talley- 
rand was always ready. In the contrary direction, I 
could never discover equal abihty. Napoleon so esti- 
mated him, and with justice. In one of our conver- 
sations which took place in consequence of one of the 
many withdrawals of Talleyrand from the Ministry, the 
Emperor said to me : ' If I want anything done, I do 
not employ the Prince of Benevento ; I turn to him when 
I want a thing not to be done which I wish to appear 
to want.' In private life, however, Talleyrand was as 
trustworthy as he was agreeable. ^'^^ 

Fouche was a complete contrast to Talleyrand. ^^^ 
In consequence of the contradictory character of the two 
men, the word ' rivalry ' was not applicable to them. Their 
opposition was radical, for it had its source in difference 
of character. Fouch^ had been a priest, Hke Talley- 
rand, and had stained himself with blood and mire,* 
while Talleyrand lost himself in the theories of that; 
school which called itself the Enghsh School. Fouche 
was an enemy to all theories ; he was a practical man, 
deterred by no obstacle. Thoroughly acquainted with , 
the French mind, he went forward with the time, buti 
always in extremes, convinced as he was that in this* 
manner only an extreme end could be attained. Never 
had these two men any points of contact, unless their 
paths crossed in following out some conspiracy against 
the existing order of things. Napoleon knew both of 


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 89 

them, and made use of their talents, as well as their 
faults, whenever he thought they couM be useful to 
favour his own views. At the time of which I speak, 
Fouche, as Minister of Pohce, had gained the confi- 
dence of the emigres, to whom Napoleon had re-opened 
the doors of France. He showed them all the services 
in his power, which seemed to bear the character of 
complete disinterestedness. Fouche foreboded the over- 
throw of the Emperor, and hence regarded the return 
of the Bourbons only as possible. 

The man in whose talent for governing Napoleon 
had the most confidence was Cambaceres, and, there- 
fore, when he took the field beyond the frontiers of 
France, he left the business affairs in his hands. More 
than once Napoleon analysed to me the pecuharities of 
the Arch-Chancellor, as they appeared to him. I had 
not the opportunity myself of forming an opinion with 
regard to Cambaceres, for he hved in seclusion, and 
never left it but on occasions of great ceremonial. At 
the beginning of the Eevolution he sat as advocate in 
the Parhament of Aix in Provence, the President of 
which was M. d'Aigrefeuille. The advocate made his 
fortune, the president was ruined. The two being friends, 
Cambaceres took him into his house. When his pro- 
tector was at the height of his power, D'Aigrefeuille 
filled the position of a servant. One day, when Cam- 
baceres was invested with the dignity of Archichancelier 
of the kingdom — that fantastic imitation of the ceremo- 
nial of the old German Empire — to which the title 

* Durchlaucht ' (Serene Highness) was attached, DAigre- 
feuille addressed him for the first time with this title. 

* When we are alone,' said Cambaceres to him, ' don't 
use these empty titles ; continue to treat me as a iriend, 
and content yourself with calling me Monseigneur.' 


When Napoleon made the first batch of Counts and 
Barons, Cambaceres celebrated the event by a banquet, 
to which he invited the ambassadors and first officials 
of the kingdom. After dinner the newly ennobled came 
to pay their respects to him. As the new titles were 
announced, the reception-room was filled with laughter ; 
Cambaceres alone was imperturbable. 

On May 16, Fouche wrote to me that, in consequence 
of an order from the Emperor, he had to request me to 
go to Vienna, to be there exchanged for some of the 
personnel of the French embassy. He wished to know 
the day I thought I could start, which he begged me to 
hasten as much as possible, and added that an officer of 
gendarmes would escort me on my journey. I named 
the next day, but an inflammation in the eyes detained 
me in Paris till the 26th. I took with me all the 
officers of the embassy, and some Austrian travellers 
who had been detained in Paris, who, but for this oppo- 
tunity, might have found difficulty in leaving France. 
I left my family in the hotel of the embassy. The pro- 
gress made by the war and the siege of Vienna itself 
led me to prefer this course to the chances of a difficult 
journey. Besides, I knew the ground too well to be un- 
easy as to the welfare of those I left behind me in Paris. 

At Ch^lons-sur-Marne, I met the first train of Aus- 
trian prisoners, among whom were many officers of my 
acquaintance. I hastened to hear the news from them, \ 
but I had none to give them in exchange, for I had beeni 
deprived of every source of information, except the 
French army bulletins, since the beginning of the cam- 
paign. In Luneville a report was current that the 
French had lost a decisive battle. In Strasburg I heard 
this confirmed, it referred to the battle of Aspern. Thei 
Empress Josephine was residing at the time in this cityJ 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 91 

I had hardly ahghted, when I received an invitation to go 
to her in the course of the evening. I found her in great 
anxiety as to the consequences the event might have. 
She told me of circumstances, which she had learned, 
which left me no doubt as to the importance of the 
defeat. They seemed so decisive and exact that 
Josephine did not doubt I should, on my arrival in 
Vienna, find the negotiations for peace already begun. 
The Empress went so far as to think I might meet 
Napoleon returning to France ! I mention this circum- 
stance, because it shows how httle confidence as to the 
issue of this war was entertained in the very bosom 
of the family of Napoleon. 

On June 5 I arrived at Vienna, and went to the 
Palais Esterhazy with Prince Paul, who was with me 
as my attache. I hastened to my father, whom I found 
quite overwhelmed by an order he had just received, 
to repair, with the Archbishop of Vienna and Counts 
Pergen and Hardegg, to France, as hostages for the 
payment of a contribution imposed on the city of 
Vienna. My father was determined to yield to force 
only, in which plan I encouraged him ; while, on the 
other hand, I took upon myself to dissuade Napoleon 
from so false a measure. For this purpose I went, by 
the permission of the Prince of Neufch^tel, direct to 
the Emperor, and the so-called hostages remained in 
the capital without further molestation. Napoleon laid 
the blame on the Commissary-General. 

The next morning I visited Champagny, in the 
Burg, where the Empress had rooms, while the Em- 
peror lived at Schonbrunn. The minister received me 
with honied phrases, in which a great feeling of anxiety 
was perceptible. In consequence of the battle of 
Aspern, the position of the French army was quite 


altered. Public spirit was roused once more in Vienna. 
The precautions taken by the invading army were 
redoubled. The time teemed with the most important 
events, which were explained by the different parties 
each in their own manner. There was no confidence 
on the enemy's side. Champagny told me he had not 
been informed on what day the oflScers of the French 
embassy, who were to be sent in exchange, would be 
at the place appointed, and begged me to wait in 
patience for this moment. ' Think, meanwhile, on the 
possible issue of the impending drama : you will find 
the Emperor in good humour about it.' I answered, 
that in my position, as prisoner, I had nothing to do 
with business, and that I should await the arrangements 
respecting my person very quietly. Champagny invited 
me to dine with him on that day, and I found myself 
in the enemy's camp, in the capacity of an unconcerned 
spectator. Thus I had no opportunity to prepare my- 
self for what was reserved for me in the time just at 

On the morning of June 7, an adjutant of Count 
Andrassy, then Governor of Vienna, came to me to 
announce, in the name of the Emperor, that I could 
not remain in Vienna; but that it was left to me t 
await the moment of my exchange in any place 
preferred in the neighbourhood of the capital. I d 
clared myself ready to obey the orders of the Emperor 
but I added, at the same time, that I was in reahty n 
a prisoner, and that the more painful he made m; 
position the more he would add to its injustice. I ask 
to be allowed to go to a country house belonging to mj 
mother at Griinberg, a mile and a half from Vienna 
close to the garden of Schonbrunn^^*^ This choice w^ 
accepted ; and thither I repaired on the morning of 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 93 

8th. The officer of gendarmes, who came with me from 
Paris, I took to hve with me at Griinberg ; and as I 
would not have the officers of the embassy share my 
uncomfortable position, I took only my necessary ser- 
vants with me. During the whole time of my stay in 
this house I was careful to behave as a prisoner ; in 
spite of the fine speeches of my jailers, I did not go 
beyond the house. 

Some days after my arrival in Griinberg, I heard 
the sound of a horse in the front of my house. I ran 
to the window and saw General Savary, who on seeing 
me made as if he had not known that I was living 
there, and jumping down from his horse, came in to 
see me. Savary was chief of the pohce at head- 
quarters, — an office which he filled, also, when the Em- 
peror resided in Paris. Savary was at the head of one 
division of police whose business it was to control that 
which Fouche directed. The palaces inhabited by 
Napoleon were under the guardianship of a third body 
of pohce, at whose head was General Duroc. 

General Savary did not hesitate to turn the conver- 
sation to politics, which he did apparently with can- 
dour, finding fault with the perpetual war, the dangers 
I of which for France itself he recounted, whilst he dwelt 
on the necessity of obtaining a lasting foundation for 
peace. I allowed him to dehver himself of all his phrases 
without interrupting him ; and when he saw my calm- 
ness and quietness, he said to me, ' Why do you not use 
ithe opportunity of being in the Emperor's neighbour- 
hood to obtain a meeting with him ? You hve two or 
three steps from one another, the gardens are close 
together : instead of taking the air in your own, go over 
into the Schonbrunn garden ; the Emperor will be de- 
lighted to see you.' 


* The pleasure,' I answered, * would not be mutual ; 
still that consideration would not keep me back. But 
I shall not go out of this place till the day when I 
receive the order to do so. I can do nothing by halves. 
If I am a prisoner, I behave myself as a prisoner ; if I 
am free, I shall make use of my freedom ; but if I had 
my freedom at this moment, I should certainly not use 
it in order to go and walk with Napoleon in the garden 
belonging to the Emperor my master.' 

' You do not wish then to see the Emperor ? ' an- 
swered Savary. ' You would find him in the best and 
most peaceful disposition. A conversation between you 
might have the happiest consequences. You would 
perhaps obtain for the Emperor Francis some most 
important suggestions. I hope you do not confuse a 
certain proclamation ^^^^ with Napoleon's true feelings : 
those were words spoken to the winds.' 

' I have nothing to say to your master, and nothing 
to hear from him,' said I to Savary. ' I am practically 
a prisoner, and prisoners of my kind consider them- 
selves, if they do their duty, as dead.' 

On my making this declaration, Savary left me. 
did not doubt but that he had been commissioned b; 
Napoleon to sound me with regard to a meeting ; and if 
I had not had from the very beginning a presenti- 
ment that this was his purpose, a step made in th 
direction by the Minister of Foreign Affairs would hav! 
left me no doubt on the matter. On the second as W( 
as the first occasion I refused the meeting, which woul< 
have been turned to account by Napoleon in a wa; 
which I had no right to allow to be done. It is evj] 
dent that, looking at the position of the two armii 
Napoleon wished to avoid the risks of a new battle 
after that of Aspern, and would have been well pleas 



AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 96 

if he could have made use of me to induce the Im- 
perial Cabinet to take the initiative in the interests of a 
peaceful settlement. 

At the place in which I was interned I received 
visits from the most distinguished men of Vienna ; I 
thus learned the real position of the two armies, and 
could not doubt that we were standing on the eve of 
an event the result of which would be decisive of the 
fate of the campaign. On the evening of June 17 
Colonel Avy, a staff officer, came to me with a message 
from Marshal Berthier, that I was to go next morning 
to the place where the exchange was to be made, and 
that he was ordered to accompany me. I therefore 
left Griinberg on the 18th. In my escort I found the 
Attach^ of the Parisian Embassy, Prince Paul Ester- 
hazy and Count Mier, and the Counsellor of Legation 
Floret. My cortege consisted of five carriages, which 
were escorted by fifty mounted Jagers. We passed the 
night at the house of Count Harrach at Bruck, on the 
Leitha. When we had arrived in Wieselburg on the 
19th, Colonel Avy would not halt till he had received 
news of the arrival of the French employe at the out- 
posts. But when he learnt through an adjutant of 
the vice-King of Italy (Eugene Beauharnais) that the 
commandant of Komorn, General Davidovich,was quite 
uncertain on what day this agent would arrive, on 
account of the distance ; Avy declared that he had 
received orders to make the exchange on the 21st, and 
that if it were not accomphshed, I must go back to 
Vienna, for he could not stay any longer at Wiesel- 
burg. In fact, on the evening of the same day, I had 
to return to the house at Griinberg. Napoleon imme- 
diately sent to apologise for what had taken place, by 
one of his adjutants, and to show me letters of the 



Commandant of Komorn and Chief of the Staff to the 
vice-King, as a proof that there was neither mistake 
nor ill will on his part. 

On June 26, Col. Avy came with the news that 
the French employe would be on the 28th at Acs, one 
of the places declared neutral, for twenty-four hours, 
for the purpose of making the exchange. We set off 
together at daybreak the following day, and arrived at 
Eaab early on the 28th. On the way, I learned that 
Pressburg had been bombarded on the night of the 27th. 
After some hours' rest, we went, under an escort of fifty ^ 
dragoons, to Acs, where I stopped with General Mont- 
brun, who commanded the outposts of the French 
army at this point. Opposite the place where, near to 
Gonyo, the high road runs along the banks of the 
Danube, an Austrian battery had been erected. The 
officer in command of it, when he saw a train of car- ] 
riages coming forward, guarded by a strong escort, 
thought it must be the retinue of the vice-King of Italy, 
and fired a volley at once. Although the zeal was mis- 
placed, I could not but do justice to the skill of our 
artillerymen. Of the first two shots, one went through 
the wheel of my carriage, the other passed two feet 
above the roof of it. Upon this, my escort left the high 
road, and took me as quickly as might be across the 

On the 29th, the employe not having arrived at the 
place of rendezvous, General Montbrun sent to Komorn 
to enquire after him. General Davidovich replied that 
M. Dodun would not be at the outposts for two or three 
days. On hearing this, Colonel Avy, on the 30th, took 
me back to Eaab, by Bony, in order to avoid the 
famous battery at Gonyo. On the morning of July 1, 
Colonel Avy was informed by Prince Eugene, the chief 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 97 

of the staff, that the French employe had reached Ko- 
morn, and would be at Acs by the afternoon at two« 
o'clock. We immediately went on our way again. 
While going backwards and forwards in this way, I saw 
a great movement take place in the French army. The- 
bodies of troops which I met were marching towards 
Vienna. As no military event had taken place, I could' 
only suppose that Napoleon was preparing to. strike a- 

On our arrival at Acs, at seven o'clock in the morn- 
ing, we found the mansion empty which had been the 
head-quarters of General Montbrun. The house-steward 
whom I questioned, told me that the place had been. 
vacated the evening before, and was now occupied only 
by a division of the Hungarian '^.z^stanc?.' When Colonei 
Avy received this news, he jumped out of my carriage, 
and ran to the officer in command of the escort, ' Give 
me the best horse you can spare ! ' I drew the Colonel 
back ; ' You forget,' said I to him, ' that our parts are 
exchanged. I have been under your protection ; now 
you are under mine, national law protects you ; you 
will not be made a prisoner.' At this moment an 
Austrian officer of the staff appeared with an escort, 
and informed us that the French employe was at the 
place appointed for carrying out the exchange. I re- 
quested Colonel Avy to halt the escort, and to follow 
me. We went to the place, where we found Dodun. 
I joined the Austrian, he the French corps. I never 
heard anything more of this diplomatist : Colonel Avy 
was killed in Spain in 1810 or 1811. His personal 
attention to me during the whole time of the perform- 
ance of his thankless task should be mentioned with 

In Komorn I met the Archduke Palatin, who took 

VOL. I. H 



the command of the Hungarian ^ Auf stand' I learned- 
from him that the Emperor Francis was waiting atj 
Wolkersdorf with impatience till I could join him. 
spent the night in Komorn, and reached Wolkersdod 
on the evening of July 3. 

The Emperor received me with the hearty kindness 
which he had already showed me so abundantly. H( 
told me all that had happened since my departure from] 
Vienna in the last days of the previous year. Quiet 
and firm as ever, he was yet penetrated with the diffi-j 
culty of the situation, daily expecting an event decisive 
of the war. The movement which I had observed ii 
the enemy's army corresponded with this expectation.] 
Ilis majesty informed me that he intended to keep me 
with him during the rest of the campaign. 

After I left the Emperor, I hastened to Count Stadion^ 
and found him quite overwhelmed and ready to give 
up the situation as lost. Count Stadion was one oi 
those men of lively imagination and quick understanding^ 
who are easily overcome by the impressions of the mc 
ment. Men of this sort always inchne to extremes: 
for them there are no transitions, and since these never-! 
theless do exist, when they come before them insteac 
of knowing how to wait, they too often act at randoi 
The minister acknowledged that the poUcy which I pre 
pounded would have accomplished more, if it had bee! 
followed. Although I agreed with him on this poini 
I assured him that I ascribed the misfortunes which hi 
fallen on our empire, and the extreme danger in whic 
it was placed, not merely to any specified plan of operj 
tions : the true causes were rather the unhappy choic 
of the moment for the rising, and the inaction of tl 
army after the victory of May 22.^^^^ Count Stadion tol 
me that he only waited the result of a battle on the lei 

AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 1806—1809. 99 

bank of the Danube to decide the question whether 
he should continue to serve or not — a battle which the 
Archduke Charles was expecting, and which in fact ap- 
peared to be immediately impending, to judge from the 
preparations made by the French army to effect the 
passage of the Danube. 

July 4 passed in preparations for a battle. I was 
with the Emperor when an envoy from the Archduke 
came to inform him of the operations of the enemy, 
and that his Imperial Highness was determined to await 
the event with resolution. ' Tell my brother,' answered 
the Emperor to the adjutant, ' that I am of opinion 
that the enemy should not be allowed to cross in 
force, and that it would be well to drive those who 
had crossed into the river.' This day there were only 
partial fights between the advanced troops. In the fol- 
lowing night, under a sharp cannonade, the French 
army left the island, and went along the Lobau and 
crossed that arm of the Danube, farther down the river 
at Orth and two other points. 

On the morning of July 5, I joined the Emperor on 
the battle-field, on which the fate of the Empire was to 
be decided. The battle was soon general, and we did 
not return to Wolkersdorf till nightfall, amid the blazing 
buildings which covered the Marchfeld. When we re- 
paired to our post of observation in the grey of the early 
morning of the next day, we witnessed the apparently 
decisive result of the right wing of our army. About 
one o'clock in the afternoon, however. Count CoUeredo, 
a general-adjutant of the Archduke's, came with the in- 
formation to the Emperor, that his Imperial Highness 
had ordered the retreat of the army.^^^^ Without losing 
his self-possession, the Emperor asked the messenger, 
whether the Archduke had only determined on the 

H 2 



retreat, or whether it had actually commenced. When 
the Emperor heard that the army was already in full 
retreat, he said to the adjutant, ' Very well ; ' and 
added, turning to me, ' We shall have much to retrieve.' 
His Majesty gave immediate orders to remove his head- 
quarters to Znaim. We remained some time on the 
heights which commanded the broad plain of the March- 
feld, in front of Wolkersdorf, and then began our march, 
which brought us to Ernstbrunn, where we passed the 
night. On the following day we continued our retreat 
to Znaim. 







Undertakes the direction of the Department of Foreign Affairs, in the place 
of Count Stadion — Conversation with the Emperor Francis— Conversa- 
tion with Count Stadion — With the Emperor at Komorn — Truce of 
Znaim — Peace negotiations — Altenburg chosen for the purpose — Met- 
ternich as Minister of State — The Emperor Francis in Totis — Prince 
John Liechtenstein Commander-in-Chief — Archduke Carl at Teschen — 
General Nugent, second Plenipotentiary for the Peace Negotiations — 
Fruitlessness of the Conferences at Altenburg — Prince John Liechten- 
stein sent to Vienna — Mettemich's thoughts — Character of Johann 
Liechtenstein — Breaking oiF of the negotiations at Altenburg — Liech- 
tenstein with Napoleon — His return to Totis — History of the Vienna 
Peace — Its ratification — Metternich enters on the office of Minister of 
Foreign Afiairs — Returns to Vienna, to the Palace of the Chancellor — 
Reflections on the consequences of the rising of 1809 — Principal features- 
of the new position — Prince Carl Schwarzenberg as Ambassador in 
Paris — First news of Napoleon's desire to obtain the hand of Marie - 
Louise — Conversation with the Emperor Francis on this matter — Answer 
of Marie Louise — Decision of the Emperor Francis— Importance of this 

On the morning of July 8, 1809, I was sent for by the 
Emperor. He received me with the following words : 
' Count Stadion has just given in his resignation ; I 
commit the department of Foreign Affairs to you in his- 

I begged his Majesty not to consider this appoint- 
ment as definite. ' Two reasons,' said I, ' move me to- 
make this request : one is, that this is not a favourable 
moment for changing the ministry ; the other, to my 
mind no less important, that I do not consider myself 


fit for this post. Neither my inchnation nor my 
talents, so far as I know them, quahfy me for the high 
functions which your Majesty wishes to confide to me. 
This feehng is not based on the difficulties of the 
moment, but on the knowledge which I have of myself. 
I do not think myself capable of steering the vessel of 
the state in so great an Empire ; I do not wish to do 
as I have seen done by far more able men than I am. 
I should run the risk of advising badly, and my con- 
science does not allow me to bring this danger upon 
your Majesty and the state. Besides, the retirement of 
Count Stadion from the ministry on the second day 
after the battle of Wagram would have an importance 
as seeming to imply an abandonment by your Majesty 
of the cause for which you have already made so many 
sacrifices ; I should regard this step as a great mistake.' 
With the patience which never left him in the 
greatest crises — and what monarch has gone through 
more than the Emperor Francis ? — ^with a strength of 
mind andifirmness of character which comprise all the 
gifts most valuable for princes who are called to govern, 
the Emperor answered : ' What you say of Stadion's 
resignation under present circumstances is quite true ; 
but he has insisted, and I have accepted his resignation, | 
because you cannot urge a man to remain in a posi-i 
tion which he wishes to leave, when it calls upon him 
do administer important business. As to the difficulties 
which you raise about taking the office yourself, th 
same rule does not apply to you ; far from being deterred 
by the considerations you mention, I am confirmed 
by them in my choice. I am less afraid of men whOi 
doubt their own capacity than of those who think 
themselves fit for everything. I count on the know- 
ledge you have of the difficulties of the position, and oa 



your patriotism. Confer, then, with Count Stadion on 
the most suitable method of making the change of 
ministry ; and come back and inform me when you have 
agreed what to do.' 

' I will do what your Majesty commands,' I replied ; 
' still, I beg your Majesty to believe that my disinchna- 
tion has nothing to do with the present crisis, but rests 
on quite other grounds ; and in case Count Stadion will 
not on my representation remain in office, may I beg 
your Majesty to grant me a favour, namely, that your 
Majesty will promise to dismiss me on the day when 
your Majesty sees me going wrong ? ' 

' That I promise you,' answered the Emperor, ' but 
I hope that this contingency will not occur to either of 

I went immediately to Count Stadion, whom I found 
immovable in his resolution to retire. Great determi- 
nation was one of the characteristic features of this 
minister : and if this quahty had not been marred by a 
most dangerous precipitation, the war of 1809 would 
not have taken place under such auspices as it did. As 
I saw that my efforts to make him change his resolution 
were fruitless, I turned our conversation in a direction 
in which Count Stadion's high feeling did not allow me 
to fear a defeat. I appealed to his feeling of duty, and 
pointed out the consequences which his sudden resigna- 
tion must have. The result was that we agreed to 
propose to the Emperor that he should order the Arch- 
duke Charles to continue the retreat of the army under 
Ids command towards Bohemia, and that Count Stadion 
should remain as minister with the Archduke. His 
Majesty should put himself at the head of the army 
in Hungary ; and I should accompany the Emperor, per- 
forming ad interim the functions of a Minister of Foreign 


Aflfairs in attendance on his person. Lastly, we agreed 
that the actual retirement of Count Stadion from the 
ministry should be delayed till the end of the war, on 
the issue of which it should depend. We went both 
together to the Emperor, who was satisfied with the 

I here avow with all sincerity that there was nothing 
in me to counterbalance the load of responsibility which 
was laid upon me but the feeling of duty. Free from 
the stimulus of ambition, as I have been all my life, I 
felt only the weight of the fetters which were to rob 
me of my personal freedom, and was, with more sensi- 
tiveness than was natural to me, weighed down under 
the influence of my new position. 

Soon after this conclusion had been arrived at, the 
Emperor left Znaim, and I accompanied him to Hun- 
gary, We took the road over the Jablunka Pass, and 
went straight to Komorn, Count Stadion attached him- 
self to the Archduke Charles. I travelled from Znaim 
to Komorn in the Emperor's carriage, and I made use 
of the time to lay before his Majesty my view of the 
present position of affairs. From this prince's calm 
and just line of thought, from the impression made on 
me by his strong and candid mind, I was convinced that 
in all important questions my views would always be in 
harmony with his, and that his great qualities would 
ever insure me the support without which a minister, 
be his views ever so good, can make no certain plan f j 
and carry out no project with prospect of success. We 
examined the situation of the empire with thorough 
impartiahty ; we reviewed the prospects which the war 
still presented, as well as those promised by a peace 
concluded under the most unhappy auspices. I 

Shortly after the arrival of the Emperor at Komorn 



we received the details of the battle of Znaim, and the 
news of a truce between the two armies. At the same 
time there came to me a proposal from Count Cham- 
pagny, for the opening of negotiations for peace.^^^^ 

I found the Emperor inclined to the reception of 
this offer, and I therefore settled with the French Minis- 
ter that our meeting should take place at the town of 
Altenburg, in the province of Wieselburg. On this 
occasion there arose a singular difficulty in a matter of 
form. I did not know what title to take in order to 
address my answer to Count Champagny in the third 
person. My name alone would be of no authority. 
I was no longer an ambassador, and not yet a minis- 
ter. I informed the Emperor of the difficulty, and 
he ruled that I should take the title of Minister of 

As the town of Altenburg was chosen for the nego- 
tiations, and as it lay within the French line of demar- 
cation according to the Treaty of Znaim, it was declared 
neutral. The Emperor took up his abode at Totis, 
where soon afterwards Prince John Liechtenstein, com- 
mander-in-chief of the army, had his head-quarters. 
This prince had taken the command from Archduke 
Charles, who had gone back to Teschen. General 
Count Bubna held the office of military commissary 
with Napoleon. Since I was entrusted with the func- 
tions of Chief Plenipotentiary for the peace negotiations, 
I begged the Emperor to appoint an influential military 
officer as second Plenipotentiary. The choice fell on 
General Count Nugent, who during the campaign had 
acted as quartermaster-general to the corps commanded 
by the Archduke John. 

The knowledge which I had gained of the meri with 
whom I was to negotiate such important interests did 


not allow me to consider the negotiation as a serious 
matter on Napoleon's part. He wanted to get his army 
into condition again, after the successes bought by such 
great sacrifices. He knew that the Austrian forces also 
needed to be recruited ; if he had not felt that a halt 
was needed in the operations, he would have followed 
up his advantage. I did not expect therefore anything 
more from the Altenburg Conference than that it would 
either lead to the renewal of hostilities or be concluded 
by a peace dictated by Napoleon in his usual manner. 
The instructions which I took with me to the place of 
meeting were of a simple nature. My task was hmited 
to exposing the moral position, that the Emperor should 
be forced to a definite conclusion, whether it were in 
favour of concluding the war or of carrying it on. 

Since I do not intend to enter here into the details of 
this pretended negotiation,^*^^ during which both armies 
were drawn up opposite each other, and only engaged 
in reinforcing themselves as much as possible, I will 
confine myself to mentioning one fact which charac- 
terised the pohtical action of Napoleon and the servihty 
of his agents. 

I opened the negotiations with the request that the 
might be divided into formal sittings, conducted by Pr 
tocols and into simple conversations without anything 
of the kind. Count Champagny said he was not authcfe 
rised to use protocols, still he was ready to inform hil 
master of my request. Although the distance was i^ 
short which separated the place from Napoleon's head- 
quarters at Schonbrunn, days passed by without any 
answer from him. When at last it came, it was in the 
negative. I now explained that I did not call the conJ 
versations between Plenipotentiaries a negotiation, asm 
that they could only prepare the way for such. In thij 




way the discussions went on for about fourteen days, when 
suddenly, in consequence of the arrival of a courier from 
Schonbrunn, Count Champagny sent me a note, in which 
he informed me that the Emperor, his master, having 
taken into consideration the advantages which would be 
gained by adopting the proposed form, not only agreed 
to the drawing up of Protocols, but also wished that the 
Protocols already prepared might be laid before me for 
approval, in order that the conferences with a view to 
peace already held might not be lost time. There were, 
in fact, a number of reports of conferences which were 
never held enclosed with the note of the French Pleni- 
potentiary. I answered Count Champagny, that I was not 
accustomed to make use of any other pen than my own 
in the expression of my thoughts on so grave an occa- 
sion, and should not condescend to put my signature 
to worthless documents ; but I was ready to consider 
Ithe so-called Protocols as containing what had been said 
by the French Plenipotentiaries ; although with the em- 
hatic proviso, that my words therein should be replaced 
y authentic documents, which I was ready to supply. 
n this declaration Count Champagny withdrew his pro- 
posal. The false Protocols contained only reports which 
svere written in a spirit which Napoleon permitted in order 
hat, in the event of hostilities being renewed, their cha- 
acter might be changed into that of manifestoes. I 
isked Count Champagny how he could take upon himself 
o make me such a proposal, which the plainest common 
ense must know to be a futile and compromising at- 
empt. He excused himself with the assurance that 
t was not he who had thought of it ; the pretended 
*rotocols were dictated by Napoleon himself, and he 
lust admit that he neither had said to me anytliing of 
le matter of the acts in question nor had heard any- 


thing like it from my mouth. ' Napoleon,' I remarked to 
him, ' has the power of putting words into your mouth 
wliich your position prevents you perhaps from deny- 
ing ; but what he can do with you, he cannot do to me 
— he may conquer kingdoms, but never my conscience ! ' 

Several days more passed in the inaction described, 
and my anticipations with regard to Napoleon's proceed- 
ings were verified. 

Count Bubna, who, as already mentioned, was MiH- 
tary Commissary at Napoleon's head-quarters, was or- 
dered by him to request the Emperor Francis to send 
Prince Jolin Liechtenstein to Vienna. ' The diplo- 
matists,' added Napoleon, ' do not know how to get 
through an affair hke the present ; we soldiers under- 
stand one another better. Let the Emperor send Prince 
Liechstentein to me, and we will end the matter in four- 
and-twenty hours. I will tell him what I wish and 
what I desire from the Emperor ; and what I want he 
will grant me, because he is upright and wise. I 
desire — not the destruction of Austria — but its con- 
sohdation. What I said against the Emperor Francis 
at the beginning of the war was nothing but a phrase ; 
such things are allowable before a battle, they vanish 
with the smoke of the cannon.' 

I was informed of the sending for Field-Marshal 
Prince Liechtenstein, through an adjutant who pre- 
ceded him, with the request to make known his arrival 
at Vienna. The Prince was close behind him, and 
stopped to see me at Altenburg. He brought me a 
letter from the Emperor Francis, telling me that this 
mission had no other object but to arrive at last at aj 
knowledge of Napoleon's intentions ; the Field-Marshal 
had orders to hsten to everything, but not to enter intoj 
a discussion on any subject. When the Prince had in-i 


formed me of the instructions he had received, I said 
to him, ' If I had been aware of your mission, rather 
than you should have passed the outposts of the French 
army I would have taken upon myself to request you 
to wait, till I had spoken to the Emperor. We are no 
longer in Altenburg ; you are within reach of the hos- 
tile army, and must go on. But I tell you beforehand 
that of two things one will happen : either Napoleon 
will lead you to do something that will compromise our 
cause ; or he will prevent you from returning to your- 
post. The army must have its commanders ; this Na- 
poleon knows, and has drawn you away from it. He 
will either constrain the Emperor to conclude a peace 
which he ought not to conclude, or he will deprive him 
of the means of carrying on the war.' The Prince, 
who was much agitated by what I said, declared he 
was ready to go back to Totis. I showed him that he 
must perform the commission he had undertaken, but 
must make every effort not to depart from it. 

I feel bound in conscience to give here some account 
of Prince John Liechtenstein, one of the noblest cha- 
racters of this sad time. He was a born soldier ; he 
had not the quahties which make a statesman. With 
overflowing zeal for what is right, gifted with unusual 
faculties of mind, and a courage proof against every 
trial ; a warm patriot, ready for any sacrifice, but with- 
out that balance which is necessary to learn the true 
value of men and things : he had already, in the year 
1805, succumbed to the power which Napoleon was 
able to exercise in so high a degree upon those whom 
his interest required him to influence. Prince John 
saw in Napoleon only the mere soldier ; in this quahty 
he thought he was his equal. He deceived himself, 
and could not escape from the craft of a man who 


united in himself the most different qualities in the 
most extraordinary manner. 

Wlien the Field-Marshal had returned to Altenburg, 
I went to Count Champagny and informed him that 
as several days must pass without anything being done, 
I thought of going back to Totis, but that I was 
ready to return to Altenburg whenever the first news 
in consequence of the arrival of Prince Liechtenstein 
was received from Vienna at the French head-quarters. 
* This news,' I continued, ' will, however, announce the 
breaking off of the Altenburg negotiations.' Count 
Champagny would not admit my pre-supposition. I 
hastened the next morning to the Emperor, and went to 
Totis to Count Stadion, who had arrived there from 
Bohemia a short time before. 

I did not conceal my fears from the Emperor ; and 
was convinced that in sending for Prince Liechtenstein, 
the Emperor had yielded only from confidence in the 
engagements entered into by Napoleon, and in conse- 
quence of a cabinet council which had decided in 
favour of the attempt. Before his departure from Totis, 
Prince Liechtenstein had, in the fulfilment of the duties 
required of him, made all preparations for the re- 
sumption of hostihties. Therefore I had only to main- 
tain an observant and passive attitude ; Count Stadion 
had consented also, in case of a rupture, again to lead 
the Ministry. 

On the day after my return to the Emperor, I re- 
ceived the notice from Count Champagny that Napoleon 
had just summoned him to Vienna ; in consequence of 
which, the Altenburg negotiation must be considered as 
broken off. 

Several days passed without any news from Vienna. 
Prince Liechtenstein informed the Emperor of his plea- 



sant reception by Napoleon, with the addition that, 
nevertheless, Napoleon had refused to go into the sub- 
ject of his summons, and referred him rather to the 
Duke of Bassano (Maret), head of the personal cabinet 
of the Emperor. 

I concluded from this that my other foreboding 
would shortly be fulfilled. From this time I directed 
all my attention to the preparations for war. The 
means we had at command were immense. The demon- 
strations of the Eussian army on the Gahcian side gave 
me no uneasiness. I encouraged the Emperor only to 
look forward. The patience of the Emperor was ex- 
hausted ; his Majesty resolved on the recal of Prince 
Liechtenstein, and I was commissioned to make the 
necessary arrangements and preparations. 

On October 14, towards evening, as I was walking 
along the road from Totis towards Vienna, I saw car- 
riages approaching, which I knew to be those of Prince 
John Liechtenstein. As soon as the Prince saw me, 
he stopped the carriage, jumped out, and said, ' I bring 
you peace, and my head too : the Emperor will dispose 
at his pleasure of both one and the other.' 

This is what had happened in Vienna. Napoleon, 
as before mentioned, had declined to speak to Prince 
Liechtenstein himself on the matter for which he came, 
and had referred him to the Duke of Bassano. The 
Duke, for his part, declared to the Field-Marshal that 
he was not Minister of Foreign Affairs, and that he must 
wait the arrival of Count Champagny, whom the 
Emperor had appointed to carry on the negotiation. 
Prince Liechtenstein persisted in his protestation that he 
was not commissioned with any negotiation. The Duke 
of Bassano paid no regard to what he said. ' You will 
talk over the affair with Champagny,' said he, ' and 

VOL. I. I 


easily come to an understanding with a man so pacific 
in his nature and so thoroughly acquainted with the 
Emperor's mind.' On the remark of the Field-Marshal 
that the place for peace negotiations was Altenburg, 
the Duke of Bassano replied that the Emperor, his 
master, had recalled his Plenipotentiary from that place, 
because it was not possible to carry on negotiations in 
two places ! Prince Liechtenstein on that declared he 
should leave Vienna at once. 'You cannot do that,' 
replied the duke : ' the Emperor would regard it as a 
sign of breaking the truce ; by doing so, you would 
compromise the fate of the army, and also of your 
country : and what is needed to avert from you so fear- 
ful a responsibility? A short delay, to learn what 
Napoleon thinks of proposing to the Emperor your 
master ! ' Finding himself in this dilemma. Prince Liech- 
tenstein decided on remaining. 

After the arrival of Count Champagny, the con- 
ferences began, under the name of Preliminaries, which 
were concluded on the night of October 13 and 14 
with the signing of a document which the French 
Minister called the 'Project for a Treaty of Peace,' 
to be brought before the Emperor of Austria. After 
signing this document, which Prince Liechtenstein 
thought had this and no other meaning, he returned 
home at 5 o'clock in the morning ; he had ordered his 
post-horses for 10 o'clock, when he suddenly at day- 
break heard the firing of cannons, and on asking what 
this firing meant, was told it announced the signing of 
peace in the capital of Austria. He wished to make 
Napoleon answer for this on the spot, but Naj)oleon 
had just left Schonbrunn with all his retinue ! 

This is the history of the Peace of Vienna of 0(3tober 
14, 1809, and is known to only a Hmited circle : ^*^^ a 



Treaty of Peace full of unworthy artifices, having no 
foundation in international rights. 

The Emperor's decision under the circumstances 
could not be doubted. Without compromising himself 
and his Empire in the most dangerous manner, he could 
not reject the conclusion of a peace which had been 
already announced, amid the rejoicings of the people, 
in the capital and in more than a third part of the 
country still remaining to him. The Emperor ratified 
the treaty. 

By this event the provisional character of the func- 
tions assigned to me at once terminated. I appeared 
now in the character of a Minister of Foreign Affairs ; 
and frankly admit that I took possession of the port- 
foho with more self-confidence than I had expected in 
the previous July. What had just taken place dis- 
closed a side of Napoleon to me which placed him 
far lower in my eyes ; and before my conscience the 
<3ause I had to uphold rose in like measure. 

At the end of November, I came with the Emperor 
back to Vienna, and ahghted at the Chancellor's Palace. ^*^^ 

The conditions of the act of October 14 were loyally 
carried out in all directions. The places of the Empire 
occupied by the French forces and those of the Con- 
federation of the Ehine were vacated, and the war con- 
tribution discharged within the appointed time. The 
return of the Emperor to his capital was hke a 
triumphal entry. The populace there, as in the pro- 
vinces, did not look beyond the present moment, satisfied 
with being reheved from the presence of an enemy who 
carried refinement, in making use of all the resources of 
the country, to the very highest degree. Napoleon, in 
the eyes of Europe, passed for an irresistible power, 
under the yoke of which all must bow. The feehng 

I 2 


of the masses was no longer to escape this fate, but to 
lighten the burden as much as possible. My thoughts, 
however, soared higher. Under the load of enormous 
responsibility, I found only two points on which it seemed 
possible to rest, the immovable strength of character of 
the Emperor Francis, and my own conscience. 

The results of the rising of Austria in the year 1809 
were most destructive for the Empire. The (so-called) 
Peace of Vienna had bound the kingdom with a circle 6f 
iron, deprived it of its communication with the Adriatic, 
and from Brody, the north-east point of junction with 
Russia, to its south-east boundary adjoining the Otto- 
man Empire, encircled it with countries which were 
under the sceptre of Napoleon, or subject to his direct 
influence. The Empire accordingly lost all freedom of 
movement ; and the conqueror had done aU^that lay in 
his power to hinder any future development of strength, 
by a secret article in the Treaty of Peace, which hmited 
the maximum of the Austrian forces to a hundred and 
fifty thousand men. 

Called to the hard task of defending the political 
existence of the Empire under such adverse circum- 
stances, I compared the position of the European con- 
tinent and the pecuhar situation of the Austrian States, 
and, weighing the evils which pressed upon each, care- 
fiilly watched for the preponderating influence. 

I considered the Revolution, as it burst forth in 
France in 1789, as the starting-point of all the misfor- 
tunes of Europe, and I clearly perceived that a military 
despotism, which found its highest expression in Napo- 
leon, was its inevitable result. If the wars occasioned 
by the Revolution had preserved Germany and Austria 
from the infection of social theories, daring the twenty 
years which had elapsed between 1789 and 1809 — 


for nations are averse to adopt as benefits those doc- 
trines which are presented to them by the force of 
arms — I at the same time recognised in Napoleon him- 
self a barrier against the encroachments of anarchical 
theories in France and in those countries upon which lay 
the weight of his iron arm. Social questions, therefore, 
I placed in the background, but in the very first rank 
I placed the preservation of what remained of the 
Austrian Empire, even after its unsuccessful campaigns. 
That Napoleon, in his lust of power on the European 
continent, had already overstepped the limits of the 
possible — of this I had not the slightest doubt. I fore- 
saw that neither he nor his undertakings would escape 
the consequences of rashness and extravagance. The 
when and the how I could not pretend to determine. 
Thus my reason pointed out to me the direction which 
I had to take in order not to interfere with the natural 
development of the situation, and to keep open for 
Austria the chances which the greatest of all powers, 
the power of circumstances, might offer sooner or later 
(under the strong government of its monarch) for the 
much-threatened prosperity of the Empire. As it was 
beyond everything necessary to await the development 
of events after the return of Napoleon to his capital, I 
made use of the leisure so gained to go to Vienna and 
make myself acquainted with the requirements of the 
departments which had been entrusted to me. I gave 
the Chancellery an inner organisation more fitted to the 
times ; in doing which I had before my mind the former 
organisation under Prince Kaunitz.^^^^ 

In accordance with my proposal, the Emperor Francis 
had appointed Prince Schwarzenberg, Ambassador in 
France : a better choice could not have been made, as 
events proved. 


Neither before nor after the conclusion of the Vienna 
Peace had a single word been exchanged between Na- 
poleon and the Austrian Cabinet regarding the design 
of the Emperor of the French as to his marriage. We 
were aware of the negotiations with the Eussian Court, 
which Napoleon had entered into for a marriage with 
one of the Grand-Duchesses, and we also knew that 
Napoleon had decided to dissolve his marriage with 
the Empress Josephine, that marriage being without 
canonical authority. But we were so httle aware of 
his intentions with regard to an Austrian Archduchess, 
that when the first indications of it came to us from the 
expressions of M. de Laborde, we regarded it as a fantas- 
tic dream, and only attributed a serious character to 
the matter when Napoleon himself, on the occasion of a 
ball, asked my wife, who had remained behind in Paris, 
to make known his intentions to me. 

At a masked ball, at Cambaceres', to which my wife 
had received a very pressing invitation, a mask, in whom 
she immediately recognised Napoleon, took hold of her 
arm, and led her into a private room at the end of the 
suite of apartments. After some jokes of no importance, 
Napoleon asked her, whether she thought that the Arch- 
duchess Marie Louise would accept his hand, and whether 
the Emperor, her father, would agree to this alliance. 
My wife, very much surprised by this question, assured 
him that it was impossible for her to answer it. On that, 
Napoleon asked further whether she, in the place of the 
Archduchess, would bestow her hand upon him. My 
wife assured him she would refuse him. 'You are 
cruel ! ' said the Emperor to her ; ' write to your hus- 
band, and ask him what he thinks of the matter.' My 
wife refused to do this, and pointed out that Prince 
Schwarzenberg was the organ through which he should 


approach the Imperial Court. Neither did she delay to 
inform the Ambassador, who was present at the ball, 
of what had passed between her and the Emperor. 

The following morning. Prince Eugene made his ap- 
pearance at Prince Schwarzenberg's, and in ' the name 
of the Emperor and with the knowledge of his mother, 
the Empress Josephine,' he made the same offer, which, 
the Ambassador explained, he could only receive dd 

As soon as the courier brought me this news, I re- 
paired to the Emperor. ' Your Majesty,' said I, ' is here 
placed in a situation in which the Euler and the Father 
can alone say Yes or No. One or the other must be 
spoken by you, for a doubtful or hesitating answer is not 

The Emperor collected himself for a moment, and 
then asked me what I should do in his place. 

' There are cases in the life of states as with private 
persons,' I answered, ' when a third person is not able 
to put himself in the place of another, on whom the 
responsibihty of a decision rests. These cases are espe- 
cially those in which calculation alone is not suffi- 
cient to lead to a decision. Your Majesty is Euler and 
Father — to you alone it belongs to consider what is 
your duty.' 

' I shall leave the decision in my daughter's hands,' 
cried the Emperor, warmly ; ' for I will never constrain 
her, and I desire, before I consult my duty as a monarch, 
to knoAV what is her wish in the matter. Find the Arch- 
duchess, and let me know what she says to you. I will 
not myself speak to her on the subject, lest it should 
seem as if I wished to influence her decision.' 

I went at once to the Archduchess Marie Louise, 
and laid the matter before her, without circumlocution 


or fine phrases, either for or against the proposal. The 
Archduchess listened with her usual calmness, and after 
a moment's reflection, asked me, ' What does my father 
wish ? ' 

' The Emperor,' I repHed, ' has commissioned me to 
interrogate your Imperial Highness as to your decision 
in a matter so important for the destiny of your whole 
life. Do not ask what the Emperor wishes : tell me 
what you wish.' 

* I wish only what it is my duty to wish,' answered 
the Archduchess ; ' where the interest of the Empire is 
concerned that interest must be consulted, and not my 
will. Ask my father to consult his duty as a ruler, and 
to subordinate to that any interests connected with 
my person.' 

When I reported this result of my mission to the 
Emperor, he said to me, with that perfect openness 
which was usual to him in the most difficult circum- 
stances, ' I am not surprised at what you tell me from 
my daughter ; I know she is too good for me to expect 
her to do otherwise. Whilst you have been with her 
I have been thinking how to decide. My consent to 
the marriage would secure to the Empire some years 
of pohtical peace, which I can devote to the heahng of 
its wounds. All my powers are devoted to the welfare 
of my people, I cannot, therefore, hesitate in my de- 
cision. Send a courier to Paris, and say, that I accept 
the oflier for the hand of my daughter, but with the 
express reservation, that on neither side shall any con- 
dition be attached to it ; there are sacrifices which 
must not be contaminated with anything approaching 
to a bargain.' 

This is the truth with recrard to the marriage of 
Napoleon with the Archduchess Marie Louise.^^^^ 



When Napoleon sounded Prince Schwarzenberg 
whether any concessions on his side would be agree- 
able to the Emperor, the Ambassador was in a position 
to express himself in the same sense as the Emperor 
himself had done. 

One question which naturally had a great interest 
for the public was the divorce of Napoleon and Jose- 
phine. For the Church this question did not exist, 
and therefore not for the Emperor. Napoleon had con- 
tracted a civil marriage with the express understanding 
that the union could be dissolved ; in the eyes of the 
Church, therefore, it was not a valid marriage. Indeed, 
had it been otherwise, the scheme could not have been 
entertained for a moment. The dissolution of the first 
marriage, so called, had only, therefore, the value of a 
mere formality such as the French civil law required. 

That this event, however, drew a line between the 
past and the present is quite evident. I felt myself 
called to direct my gravest attention to the future ; and 
I think that I fulfilled this duty to the best of my 








What was Napoleon's object in marryinp: Marie Louise ? — Marshal Bertliier 
acts the suitor for Napoleon — Archduke Charles represents Napoleon in 
the ceremony at Vienna — Departure of Marie Louise — Metternich's mis- 
sion to Paris — Visit to Oompiegne — First conversation of Metternich with 
Napoleon — Residence in Paris — Feeling in France about the marriage — 
Prolongation of residence in Paris — Representation by Metternich's 
Father in Vienna — Journey to Oambrai — Ball at Schwarzenberg's — Close 
intercourse with the Court — The European archives — Napoleon's ideas 
about England — The Turkish Question — Beginning of diflferences with 
Russia — Choice of a successor to the throne of Sweden — Clearness of 
Napoleon's views with regard to Russia — Audience to take leave — 
Return to Vienna. 

The step which Napoleon had taken must have had a 
motive, and I now considered it my next and most im- 
portant task to discover and follow up the Emperor's 
reasons. Napoleon's union with the Austrian Imperial 
family was doubtless the result of some calculation. 
What could be its aim ? 

Will the Imperial conqueror put his sword in its 
sheath and build up the future of France, and of his 
family, on the principles of internal order and external 
peace ? 

Or does the soldier-Prince desire, with the help of 
Austria, to found a dynasty, and at the same time con- 
tinue his system of conquest ? 

The answers to these questions would decide our 
action in the future. The first of these queries did 


not seem to me, from the character of Napoleon, to be 
probable, the other rested on such impracticable sup- 
positions that I could not build on it with any certainty, 
however well it corresponded with the habits of that 
prince. I therefore decided to request the Emperor to 
allow me to go to Paris at the same time as the new 
Empress, and to remain there till I could discover the 
true state of the case. The Emperor agreed to my 
proposal, and fortliwith I prepared to carry it out. 

Marshal Berthier, on whom the title of Prince of 
Neufchatel and Wagram had been conferred, was sent 
'to Vienna with the proposal for the hand of the Arch- 
duchess Marie Louise. Archduke Charles, entrusted with 
Napoleon's Procuration, represented the bridegroom at 
the altar, and the formal giving up of the Empress took 
place at Braunau, where she was received by the Queen 
of Naples, Napoleon's sister. The Austrian people took 
the event with that feehng which, after long wars and 
boundless sacrifices, greets every prospect of peace as a 
blessing ; they looked upon it as a pledge of peace. ^^^^ 
Neither the Emperor nor I went so far in our hopes ; 
mine were Umited to the obtaining of an interval of 
quiet for the recruiting of our resources for the pos- 
sibility of a necessary defence of the interests of the 

In order not to take the same road as the Empress 
Marie Louise, who went by the south of Germany and 
Strasburg to Paris, I chose the road by Metz to Com- 
piegne, whither I had been invited by Napoleon. At 
that place I was joined by Prince Schwarzenberg and 
my wife, who had arrived there from Paris. The mem-j 
bers of the Lnperial family were all assembled in thej 
palace which the Emperor had had prepared with thej 
greatest magnificence to receive his new consort. At; 


tlie moment when I arrived, Napoleon had just left it 
to meet the Empress : I was not, therefore, received by 
him till after their first meeting. 

Napoleon welcomed me with visible signs of satisfac- 
tion. He expressed his gratification at the conclusion 
of the event which at this moment occupied him en- 
tirely; he touched on all the details of the course of 
the negotiation, and came back to the point, that we 
must omit nothing which could make the happy event 
of the moment as sweet and pleasant as possible. He 
spoke to me of an entire forgetfulness of the past, of 
a happy and peaceful epoch, at which we had now 
arrived, of the impossibihty that anything should dis- 
turb the natural relations between us ; on which I ex- 
pressed the wish that during my residence in Paris I 
might venture to speak on many subjects of great 
importance for us, and of common utihty for the two 
empires. ^^^^ 

The ecclesiastical details with respect to the affair 
of the divorce brought the conversation to the existing 
dispute with the Holy See, and I felt myself called upon 
not to refuse our good ofiices between Pope Pius VII. 
and Napoleon. That this step, in the main, led to no 
result does not prevent me from mentioning it here.^*^^ 

Napoleon spoke too of the last war, and during this 
conversation many interesting admissions fell from him. 
' If,' so he said among other things, ' in the month of 
September you had recommenced hostihties and beaten 
me, I should have been lost ; ' and when he saw that 
he had said too much, he withdrew the word '■lost' 
and replaced it by ' in great difiiculties.' But I would 
not let it pass, but assured him I held by his first 
expression, and this conviction had much strengthened 
me in my attitude at Altenburg. I thanked him per- 


sonally for having excused me at the time of the nego- 
tiations at Vienna, and assured him that I should never 
have concluded the last peace. ' Well, what would you 
have done then ? ' interrupted Napoleon. 

' I would have made a far better peace, and one 
more in correspondence with our true strength ; if not, 
then war.' 

' War ! ' said the Emperor, taking up the word ; ' then 
you would have done wrong : it would have been diffi- 
cult to drive me out of Vienna ; but a better peace 
than your negotiators at Schonbrunn succeeded in 
obtaining — that I believe.' 

Accounts had just arrived which announced that 
Napoleon's marriage was very ill received at St. Peters- 
burg. I was not at all surprised at this, though some- 
what disturbed ; for what we wished, I remarked, was 
simply peace and quiet, and it did not fall within our 
plans that Eussia should be involved. 

' What do you mean by that ? ' asked Napoleon. 

' Russia is afraid,' I answered, ' and acts under the 
influence of fear : she is afraid of France, she fears our 
relations with France, and will quarrel out of sheer 
uneasiness and anxiety.' 

' Do not be anxious,' interrupted Napoleon, ' if the 
Russians try to commit themselves. I will act as if 
I did not understand them.' With that he expatiated 
at length on his relations with that Power, from which 
I saw that much wisdom and care on the side of 
Austria would be necessary to prevent a rupture with 

After a short stay in the Imperial Palace at Com- 
piegne, I betook myself to Paris, where the Emperor 
had placed the Hotel of Marshal Ney, with a complete 
household, at my disposal, which, however, I only used 


on very particular occasions. I did not wish to burden 
the court with my family, so I generally resided in the 
house in the Chaussee d'Antin, which my wife had occu- 
pied since my departure from Paris in 1809. 

The Empress Marie Louise was received by the 
French pubhc with the same feehng which the marriage 
had called forth in Austria. France was tired of war. 
After so many disastrous battles, conquerors and con- 
quered joined in longing and hoping for a final settle- 
ment. I saw proofs of this in all classes of the people, 
and more particularly in Napoleon's own family. 

In the subsequent conversations which I had with 
the Emperor, he was warm in his declarations of good- 
will to Austria. As a special sign of his favour. Na- 
poleon proposed to Prince Schwarzenberg (then Aus- 
trian Ambassador in Paris) and me to aboHsh the 
mediatisation of our famihes, and to enrol them as 
sovereign members of the Ehenish Confederation, a 
proposal which we both, in consideration of our official 
position, declined in the most poHte manner. 

In my intercourse with the Emperor, we took up 
again the thread of the conversation, so to speak, where 
it had been broken off before the war. I had not come, 
however, to study the past, but to get a ghmpse of the 
future ; and since I wished to do this as quickly as 
possible, I one day remarked to the Emperor that my 
stay in Paris could not be of much longer duration. 
' Your Majesty,' said I to him, ' sent me as a prisoner 
to Austria : I come back to Paris a free man, but yet 
not free from difficult duties. Loaded as I am with 
an enormous responsibihty, I have my duties in Vienna 
to fulfil. The Emperor Francis wished me to accom- 
pany his daughter into France ; I have come by his 
orders, but it must be evident to you that my wish 
VOL. I. K 


goes beyond this, and I would gladly find a guiding 
principle for my political action in a more remote future/ 

' I understand you,' answered Napoleon : ' your Avish 
corresponds with my own. Stay with us a few weeks, 
and you will leave us with satisfaction.' 

These words might have led me to hope that my 
residence in Paris would not be much prolonged, but I 
knew Napoleon too well to build anything on a mere 
probabiHty. Instead of four weeks, I was detained in 
Paris for quite half a year. On my departure from 
Vienna the Emperor had confided the direction of the 
Chancellery to my father. Prince Francis George von 
Metternich. Since Paris was at that time the centre of 
affairs, my absence from Vienna could only cause any 
alteration in the carrying on of my department if my 
representative in the office deviated from my own 
views. With my father there could be no question of 
this ; and, seeing that no injury to pubHc business 
would be connected with my distance from the capital, 
I kept to my determination not to leave Napoleon be- 
fore I had attained the true object of my journey to 
France. The sequence of this narrative will show that 
I gained my object. 

In May, Napoleon conducted his wife to Brussels. 
The Emperor had invited me to accompany him to 
Cambrai, so that I was an eye-witness of the enthu- 
siasm with which the young Empress was everywhere 
received by the people. At St.-Quentin, Napoleon 
particularly wished that I should be present at an 
audience to which he had invited the authorities of the 
place. ' I wish to show you,' said he, ' how I am wont 
to speak to these people,' I saw that the Emperor was 
anxious that I should perceive how many-sided was liis 
administrative knowledge. 



After our return from this journey, the festivities 
were continued which Paris had prepared for the new 
Empress. Chief of these was the ball that was given in 
honour of the marriage by Prince Schwarzenberg, and 
which terminated so fatally. ^^^^ 

I busied myself with negotiations for the execution 
of some decrees in the last Peace/^^^ and brought them 
with ease to the solution we desired. Napoleon evi- 
dently wished to give us a proof of his good will ; and 
it was my business to draw from this feeling some 
advantage in favour of certain affairs of detail com- 
mitted to my care.^^^^ 

But notwithstanding this, the great interest which 
had brought me to Paris was supreme in my thoughts, 
and served as a guiding star in all my actions. A veil 
was spread over the future of Europe, which I longed 
to raise ; to this end I must secure a freedom of action 
which would have been hampered by a closer intimacy 
with the conqueror. 

Therefore I remained impenetrable to all the acts 
of attention which Napoleon knew how to heap on 
those from whom he desired some benefit. I did not 
withdraw from intercourse with the court : I had the 
freest access to it, of which, however, I only made 
use, in regard to the Empress Marie Louise, with 
the most careful reserve. In the subjoined notes * I 

* I. Conversation with Marie Louise at the Tuileries. — About two months 
after his marriage, Napoleon asked me why I never went to see the Empress 
Marie Louise, except on her reception days, or on other occasions of more or 
less ceremony. I replied that I knew of no reason for acting differently ; 
on the contrary, there were many reasons for acting as I had. If I went be- 
yond the usual routine, I should give rise to idle talk : people would tax me 
with conniving at some intrigue ; I should injure the Empress, and depart 
from my proper mission. * Bah ! ' interrupted Napoleon, * I wish you to see 
the Empress ; go to her to-morrow morning, I wUl teU her to expect you.' 

The next morning 1 repaired to the Tuileries ; I found NapoI<)on w'th 

K 2 


have communicated some details connected with this 

the Empress. The conversation ran on ordinary topics, when Napoleon said 
to me, * I wish the Empress to speak openly to you, and confide to you what 
she thinks of her position. You are her friend ; she should have no secrets 
from you.' At the end of this speech Napoleon closed the door of the room, 
put the key in his pocket, and disappeared by another door. I enquired of 
the Empress what was the meaning of this scene : she addressed the same 
question to me. Seeing that she had not been prepared by Napoleon, I 
guessed that he wished to enable me to receive from the mouth of the Em- 
press herself satisfactory ideas of her domestic relations, in order that I 
might give a favourable accoimt to her father, the Emperor. The Empress 
was of the same opinion. We were together for more than an hour, then 
Napoleon came back smiling. * Well,' said he to us, * have you had a good 
talk ? Has the Empress said much ill of me ? Has she laughed or wept ? 
I do not ask you to tell me. You two have secrets which do not concern 
a third person, even though that third person is the husband.' 

We continued talking in the same tone of pleasant raillery, and I took 
my leave. On the foUovdng day Napoleon sought an opportunity of speak- 
ing to me. * What did the Empress say to you yesterday,' said he. * You 
said,' I replied, * that our conversation should not be known to a third 
person : allow me to keep it a secret.' * The Empress will have said,' inter- 
rupted Napoleon, * that she is happy with me, that she has no complaint to 
make. I hope you will tell this to your Emperor, he will believe you 
sooner than anyone else.' 

n. Counsel to be given to the Empress Marie Louise. — In the course of 
the summer of the year 1810, Napoleon detained me one day, after his lev^e 
at St.-01oud. When we were alone, he said to me, in an embarrassed tone, 
that I could do him a service. 

' It concerns the Empress,' said he. * She is young, without experience, 
and she does not know the ways of this country, nor the character of the 
French. I have placed the Duchess of Montebello in attendance on her. 
She is all one could wish, but is sometimes thoughtless. Yesterday, for 
example, walking in the park with the Empress, she presented to her one of 
her cousins. The Empress spoke to him, which was wrong ; if she allows 
young men, cousins and so forth, to be introduced to her, she will very soon 
become the prey of intriguers. Everyone in France has always some favour 
to ask. The Empress will be beset, and, vnthout the power of doing good, 
she will be exposed to constant annoyance.' I said to Napoleon that I 
agreed with him, but could not imderstand why he had taken me into his 
confidence. * It is,' said Napoleon, * because I wish you to speak of this 
matter to the Empress.' 

I expressed my surprise that he had not himself performed this duty. 
' The advice,' said I, ' b good, it is wise, and the Empress is too right- 
minded not to appreciate it.' * I prefer,' interrupted Napoleon, ' that you 
should xmdertake this commission. The Empress is young, she might think 
I was going to be a severe husband ; you are her father's minister, and the \ 


which may serve to explain the character of Na- 

During his conversations with me, which lasted 
sometimes for hours, the Emperor Napoleon spoke 
with great openness of his plans for government and 
organisation with respect to France, and only touched 
on the domain of politics for the purpose of historical 

One of his favourite schemes at this time was the idea 
of collecting all the archives of Europe, in Paris. There 
should be, so he said to me, a grand edifice, erected 
on the Place between the Mihtary School and the Inva- 
lides, constructed entirely of stone and iron, so as 
to be fire-proof. This building should contain all the 
archives of the European States. On my remarking 
that he must begin by getting possession of the archives 
before he arranged for their reception. Napoleon an- 
swered in the most frank manner, ' Why should I not 
have them ? Will not all the Powers hasten to send 
their archives to a place so perfectly safe? Without 
any doubt they will be inchned to do so in the double 
interests of safety and of science. Only think, your- 
self, of the immense advantages which history would 
derive from this ! Of course, each State must have 
the right of placing its documents under the care of 
keepers of its archives, who would live close to their 
papers. It would be free to each one to keep legal 
copies of them. What an immense advantage it would 
be to avoid distances ; one would only have to take 

friend of her childhood ; what you say will have more effect upon her than 
anything I could say.' 

* The manuscript here hreaks off suddenly. What follows is the text of 
the ' clue to the explanation of my manner of thought and negotiation^ See 
Preliminary Remark to the Notes on p. 381. — Ed, * 


two or three steps across a corridor, to draw from the 
historical treasures of France, Austria, Eome, &c.' 

I could not restrain an incredulous smile, and begged 
him not to overlook the difficulties which this project 
would meet with from other States. 

' Well,' rejoined Napoleon, ' see what narrow ideas 
the statesmen of Europe have, and do not know how 
to get rid of! I shall carry out my project ; the plans 
for the building are in preparation ! ' And with that he 
took me into his study, where he showed me a plan of 
Paris, on which the edifice in question was drawn. 
According to the ground plan, this palace of the ar- 
chives was to include eight inner courts. 

Our other conversations on political questions bore 
the stamp of academical enquiries rather than the discus- 
sion of practical matters. On meeting again a man so 
richly gifted, it was most surprising to me to see what 
thoroughly erroneous ideas he had of England, her ma- 
terial resources and her moral character. He would not 
allow of contrary views, and sought the key to them in 
prejudices which he reprobated. That he would bring 
England to reason by means of the Continental blockade, 
this he regarded as a mathematical certainty. He knew 
the state of Germany exactly ; and on the internal rela- 
tions of Austria he expressed views which were far from 
being unsound. 

However great the interest of learning the thoughts 
and views of this wonderful man on the most diiferent 
subjects, this did not afford me any satisfactory hints 
in explanation of his plans for the immediate future. 
The victorious progress of the Eussian arms in Turkey 
gave me, however, a favourable opportunity of sound- 
ing Napoleon on the Turkish question. In repeated 
conversations on this subject,^"^^ Napoleon began to lift 



the veil behind which his thoughts were concealed. 
Amongst other things, he said that he should not 
oppose the establishment of the Eussians in the Danu- 
bian PrincipaHties, which, besides, were more Eussian 
than Turkish ; Erfurt prevented him from doing so. 
But this Eussian success will be the cause of an alliance 
between France and Austria: a pohtical alliance 
grounded on common interests, far more important 
than a mere family connection, such as now existed 
between the two courts. An advance of the Eussians 
on the right bank of the Danube he would in no case 
put up mth, nor with a Eussian protectorate over 
Servia. Belgrade belongs to Austria. ' You must try- 
to take this place by stratagem, or get the Servians 
themselves to give it up to you. Begin by using it as a 
depot ; once there, they will not turn you out.' 

In the month of September Napoleon first began to 
let out his views in our conversations. 

It was at the time that, in consequence of the choice 
of the successor to the Swedish throne, and the constant 
increase of the prohibitions against trade and pressure 
on the Continental States, a tension in the relations 
with Eussia was everywhere apparent, and Napoleon's 
thoughts regarding his future attitude to this Northern 
Power began to take a definite shape, which crept out 
in his conversations with me. 

He spoke of the anxieties and embarrassments which 
the choice of the new Crown Prince of Sweden had 
brought about. When I said that he must have fore- 
seen the result, which I held to be more a Pranco-Eussian 
than a Swedish-Eussian complication — in fact, it must 
have fallen in with his plans, for .he could have pre- 
vented it, Napoleon assured me he had remained quite 
neutral, and had allowed the nation to choose. A French 


mai'shal on the throne of Gustavus Adolphus would, 
besides, have been the finest trick anyone could have 
played on England/^^^ 

On September 20, under tlie pretext of the latest 
news from Turkey, Napoleon detained me in St.-Cloud. 
He expatiated on the possibility or probabihty of a peace 
between Turkey and Russia. Then he came again to 
speak of tlie elevation of the Prince of Ponte Corvo as 
successor to the Swedish throne. 

' I had news,' said tlie Emperor, ' from St. Peters- 
burg, which proved that tliis event was received there 
as a thing that must be ; it did not work well, but it 
was taken in silence.' Then he went on : ' I consider 
the Swedish affair as a more or less distant motive for 
war -with Eussia. That it sliould not excite envy in the 
latter is impossible. I shall liave war with Russia on 
grounds which lie beyond human possibiHties, because 
they are rooted in the case itself.' 

' The time \vill soon approach — and I am very far from 
hastening it either by my wishes or my deeds — when 
hostiUties wiU be inevitable. What part will you play 
then ? I speak to you of all these things not at all in 
an official manner, and still less with the intention of 
making a proposal to you, but simply as we talk over 
any circumstance foreign to both of us. On this occa- 
sion you must either unite with Prance or you must 
side with Russia, and in the latter case you would 
remain neutral. The course last named will lead you to 
nothing, nor would it be the means of raising your- 
self ; and if you attempt a merely nominal neutrality, 
in order to join the strongest party after the battle, you 
will get small thanks from tliem and small profit for 
yourself out of such a course.' 

' I consider,' continued Xapoleon, ' that what now 



constitutes the Illyrian provinces is the most important 
district for Austria. These provinces once your own, 
and Dalmatia, would give you all possible points of 
egress which you are now without. I have the feeling 
that I humiliate and oppress you as long as I have these 
provinces. You must feel the same. There is, too, an 
ever-increasing germ of jealousy and ill-feeling between 
you and France. Will you one day refuse to confer 
with me for the exchange of an equal portion of Galicia 
for these provinces ? Whenever I find it necessary to 
make war with Eussia, I should have a great and power- 
ful ally in a King of Poland. I shall not need your 
provinces, and you too will find this combination not 
less useful to you.' 

I remarked to the Emperor that I could only speak 
on this subject with the full understanding that every- 
thing I might say should be considered as coming from 
the lips of a cosmopolitan, and not from the Austrian 

I divided the matter into two questions — the re-esta- 
blishment of a kingdom of Poland, and the exchange of 
a part of Galicia for the Illyrian provinces. 

' The first question,' I said to his Majesty, ' is of 
a purely pohtical nature. A kingdom of Poland is 
nothing more than the Duchy of Warsaw with another 
name and with the new boundaries for which it has 
striven ever since it was made. Whenever our Gahcian 
provinces are reduced in size more than they now are, 
our interest in the Polish question must surely diminish 
in the same proportion. But it seems to me impossible 
to approach a matter lightly whicli presents such many- 
sided political prospects, and would alter the position of 
the existing relations in Europe. The Illyrian provinces 
are most important to us fi-om twenty points of view. 


Galicia has advantages on its side, for which it would be 
difficult to compensate. The revenue offered by lUyria 
is trifling, and hardly comes up to that of Gahcia ; it 
has fewer men and less means of subsistence. Galicia 
has important boundary points for the common- 
monarchy. If ever the idea of such a combination is 
entertained by the Emperor, my master, the exchange 
can only take place under quite different topographical 
relations, and will meet with many and great difficul- 

In a long statement, Napoleon then explained the 
advantages which Austria would obtain by regaining 
possession of the Ulyrian provinces, and, on the other 
hand, the great danger of Gahcia to Austria in case 
of a successful war with Eussia, which should lead to 
the incorporation of the Polish-Eussian provinces in 
a Duchy of Warsaw, and must give it a great im- 
portance among the Powers. 

' As for the revenues,' continued the Emperor, ' you 
have one means of compensation — buy all the estates 
in Gahcia : they supply the principal revenues of the 
country. It can never be a question of the Gahcia of 
the first partition ; nothing would be easier than to fix 
the mihtary boundaries in the north of Hungary.' 

* Everything that I say to you,' said the Emperor, 
* is entirely in confidence. I do not wish that anyone 
should know of it but the Emperor and you. I have 
never spoken of it to Champagny. If the war with 
Eussia is avoided, I shaU be quite content ; but in the 
contrary event, it is much better to look at the conse- 
quences beforehand. I always put the question very 
simply as to what concerns me, both to myself and to 
others. So, for example, I say to myself in the present 
case, If it suits Austria to join with France, then she 



can make more use of the lUyrian provinces — irrespec- 
tive of their administrative advantages — than of part of 
Gahcia, the provinces of which are a cause of envy 
between the two Powers. If Austria's system inclines 
more to Eussia, then Gahcia stands quite in the first 
rank pohtically, for it serves as a connecting hnk. I 
do not desire from you any active co-operation, because 
I have made up my mind not again to join any coahtion. 
I have had enough of the trial I made of it in 1809. I 
should have made quite another war for you, if I had 
been alone. I have never reckoned much on the Rus- 
sians, but they have at any rate taken the place of fifty 
or sixty thousand Frenchmen, who would have treated 
you to quite another sort of war from the Russians.' 

' If I speak thus to you,' said l!iI"apoleon in conclud- 
ing his interesting and candid conversation, ' it is because 
I will not let shp the rare opportunity when a monarch 
can converse with the Foreign Minister of another 
Power, and offer a new point of view to another Govern- 
ment, without expecting an answer. I do not expect 
the least response to this, which I have wished to impart 
to you before your departure. The purchase of estates 
in Galicia will be a sufficient proof of what the Emperor 
Francis thinks on the matter.' ^^^^ 

I left St.-Cloud with the consciousness that I had at 
last obtained light. The object of my stay in Paris 
was attained. I had an audience to take leave,^^^^ and 
returned to Vienna, where I arrived before the middle 
of October. 

I found the Emperor Francis at Gratz in Styria. 
On his departure from the capital, he left a request for 
me to follow him to Gratz without loss of time. I re- 
mained four-and -twenty hours in Vienna, to obtain from 
my father information about a poHtical incident which 


had just taken place, and to whicli I shall return fur- 
ther on. 

My report to tlie Emperor on the result of my 
observations in Paris consisted of the following re- 
marks : — 

' During the year 1811 the peace of the continent 
of Europe will not be destroyed by any fresh attack of 

* In the course of this year Napoleon will join his 
own forces, greatly strengthened, with those of his 
aUies, in order to deal a great blow at Eussia. 

* Napoleon will begin the campaign in the spring of 

' Therefore the Imperial government must employ 
the next year in improving the financial position in 
two ways : first, by lessening the quantity of paper - 
money ; next, in making important miHtary improve- 

' The position to be taken by Austria in the year 
1812 must be that of an armed neutrality. The fate of 
Napoleon's undertaking, in any case a very eccentric 
one, will give us the direction which we shall after- 
wards have to take. In a war between France and 
Eussia, Austria must take a position on the flank which 
will ensure a decisive importance for her opinions during 
the war, and at the end of it.' ^^'''^ 

The Emperor shared these views, and they led 
us, by ways apparently indirect, to the main object 
always before us ; and through all the varied circum- 
stances of the following year to that pohcy the 
courageous development of which, at the right moment, 
was crowned by such decisive results. 

Napoleon deceived himself greatly. First in liis 
false reckoning was the conviction that the Emperor of 


Eussia would either not fight with France, or give way 
at the first victory, which Napoleon had no doubt of 
gaining. This idea showed ignorance of the Eussian 
monarch's character, and a disregard of the vast space 
at his command. By all this the Austrian cabinet was 
made aware of its duty, namely, to be prepared for any- 
thing that might happen. 

The incident which I mentioned as having occurred 
before my return to Vienna was, that the Emperor 
Alexander had sent his Adjutant Count Schuwalow to 
Vienna with a proposal to confer with the Imperial 
cabinet about possible events. I found a plan made 
out for a treaty of alliance in case of a new war 
with France, which was given me by my father. The 
project was reje<ited, as one not appHcable to the cir- 
cumstances of the day, or at least not suited to the 
spirit of the times. I was bent on securing the free 
movement of Austria with foreign nations, and on the 
greatest possible resuscitation of her financial and mili- 
tary strength. Count Schuwalow at once returned 
to St. Petersburg, his mission being followed by no 

I thought it also a prudential duty to set our posi- 
tion as clearly as possible before the Prussian cabinet. 
The Prussian state was in the deepest decadence. The 
personal relations between King Frederick William TTT ., 
Minister Hardenberg, and some other men trusted by 
the King, and myself, during the time that I was Am- 
bassador at Berlin, made it possible that my opinion 
would be favourably received at this court. I used the 
opportunity to place the true position of Austria and 
Prussia before them, and to advise the 'King to patience 
and the remedies which time and its vicissitudes would 
effect, with the moral certainty that the Emperor 



Francis would stand by him as a firm friend. The 
King understood my words, and they led to a per- 
sonal relation between the two monarchs which sur- 
vived the storms that followed, and exercised a great 
influence, not only on the history of Prussia, but also of 






Principles of Finance — Finance Minister, Count Wallis — Minister of War, 
Count Bellegarde — Hungarian Diet — The Council of State — Academy 
of Arts — Dantzic, a place of importance for the Russian campaign — 
Armament — Armed neutrality of Austria — Meeting of the Emperor 
Francis with Napoleon at Dresden — Napoleon's ideas concerning the 
best form of Government in France — Napoleon's illusion and plan of the 
war — The elements of the Austrian military system — Confidential under- 
standing between the Cabinets of Vienna and Berlin — The termination 
of the Russian campaign — Importance of the Austrian neutrality — The 
armed mediation — The Austrian auxiliary force in the Russian campaign 
— Warlike prospects for 1813 — The consequences of the armed mediation 
— The return of Austria and Prussia to the basis of 1805 — The German 
question — The King of Saxony places himself under the Austrian pro- 
tection — General preparation for war — The Emperor Francis — The dis- 
position of the people — The situation of Prussia — Feeling in France ; in 
Germany ; in Austria — Napoleon-haters — The armies drawn up in posi- 
tion — The moment arrives for the armed mediation of Austria. 

However bad was her condition, there seemed to be for 
Austria, in the domain of pohtics, a moment of repose ; 
but I could not look forward to the duration of this 
pause beyond the year 1811. This year must be made 
use of by our country for unremitting attention to the 
most important tasks. First of these was the question 
of the state finances. The proper adjustment of these 
to the circumstances of the time would be a most labo- 
rious undertaking. The wars between 1792 and 1809 
had exhausted the sources of pubhc prosperity ; the 
German part of the Empire was flooded with paper- 
VOL. I. L 


money ; Hungary, by law, .still maintained a metallic 
standard, but nevertheless paid her subsidies, small 
as they were, in paper only, without any regard to its 
depreciation. It was impossible to have recourse to 
credit, for if foreign countries had had sufficient confi- 
dence in the resources of the Empire to stand by it in 
the way of credit, in spite of its precarious position, this 
assistance would have been cut off from us by Napo- 
leon, and by the ignorance which then reigned in the 
Continental states with respect to the system of credit. 

The introduction, then, of a system of finance cor- 
responding to this condition was not feasible, and 
attention must be equally paid to providing for the 
absolute necessities of the present, and the prospective 
demands of the future. To fulfil these important ends, 
the finance operation proposed by Count Wallis, the 
Minister of Finance, was very well suited. Count WalHs 
would have raised this to the dignity of a system made 
for perpetuity. But the Emperor and I thought of it 
only as of a bridge, leading from an untenable to a ten- 
able condition, by the help of circumstances, the issue 
of which, however, was uncertain. 

I must here mention one man, in whose knowledge 
of the situation, business dexterity, and devotion to the 
general good, the Emperor found a firm support, and I, 
assistance as enlightened as loyal, in the development of 
the fate of the Empire. This man was the then Presi- 
dent of the Ministry of War, Count Bellegarde. With a 
thorough knowledge of mihtary matters, famiUar with 
my turn of mind, and quite agreeing with my poHtical 
views, he was anxious not only to maintain the Imperial 
forces, but to strengthen them to the utmost, for every 
imaginable contingency, while avoiding everything that 
wouJd attract attention. He alone was. thoroughly 


acquainted with my views, and he knew how to raise 
himself, with me, above the illusions which assume the 
appearance of pubhc opinion. He understood as well 
as I did the value of letting men talk. 

The introduction of the new system of finance ne- 
cessitated the holding of a Hungarian Diet, without the 
co-operation of which this would not be possible. After 
much opposition, the Hungarian states passed the requi- 
site financial measures. As I shall afterwards have 
occasion to examine the state of Hungary more closely, 
I will in this place say nothing of its position at that 

But what forced itself upon me was the imperative 
necessity of strengthening the central power. The 
Austrian monarchy is a composite whole, formed of se- 
parate districts which are historically or legally, from 
reasons of necessity or considerations of prudence, held 
together by having one common head. In a state Hke 
this, the idea of unity inseparable from the existence of 
an Empire requires to be matured and rightly defined, 
if it is not to become a mere personal union with all its 
attendant weaknesses. The existence of a moral body 
convoked to defend supreme sovereign power in the 
common head of the Empire, without at the same time 
restricting the exercise of the separate rights of the 
provinces, seemed to be the most appropriate means 
by which to assert the conception of Imperial unity. 

A well-organised Council of State is considered by 
the impartial statesman to be such a body, and so it 
appeared to Prince Kaunitz. According to his pro- 
posal, the Empress Maria Theresa, in the year 1760, 
founded a Council of State of this kind. Sound as the 
idea was, the practical working of it was not free from 
defects. It seemed to me that one of the greatest of 



these mistakes was the admission of the heads of its dif- 
ferent departments (ministers there were none) into the 
Council of State, and the direction of this Council by a 
High Chancellor. Under the government of the Empe- 
ror Joseph n., the Council of State had been in many- 
ways mismanaged, and even hindered in its action by 
a cabinet government in imitation of Frederick 11. 's 
system of government. 

The Council of State came forward prominently 
again in the reign of the Emperor Francis ; but soon 
after the death of Prince Kaunitz it fell actually into 
decay, a result caused chiefly by the setting aside of 
oral discussion, and the substitution of voting by papers. 
A later reorganisation was the work of some subordinate 
officials, who thought only of securing their own personal 
influence, so that the Emperor Francis was induced 
to dissolve it entirely in the year 1809. I devoted my 
whole attention to the creation of a new Council of 
State, in place of the old one. My intentions, and the 
proposals relative to them, aimed at associating with the 
Emperor a true Council of State, and, instead of coun- 
cillors working singly, to form one common deHberative 
body ; to give to the central power a more central 
spirit, so as to procure for the monarch, by a higher 
degree of tranquilHty and security, greater facihty for 
carrying on his own work. To the further course of 
this plan of organisation, which was to be carried on 
hand-in-hand with a revision of the institutions of the 
provincial states, I wiU return again/^^^ 

During this interval of peace I was made Curator of 
the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, an unexpected 
and honourable appointment, which opened up to me 
an unfamiHar but most congenial sphere of activity, in 
which there was full scope for my strong consciousness 


of duty, heightened as it was in this case by my inclina- 
tion. I began my functions as Curator of the Academy, 
and was anxious to infuse into the old statutes of the 
institution (with the co-operation of Sonnenfels) fresh 
strength • and inner Kfe, by reforms suited to the times ; 
and I endeavoured to invest it with outward brilliancy 
by the reception of foreign notabihties as honorary 

In pohtical matters the year 1811 passed as I had 
foreseen. Napoleon advanced his forces as far as the 
Duchy of Warsaw, and made Dantzig a point d'appui for 
the supphes necessary for a great campaign. ' I have,' 
he said to me, in the year 1812, ' in Dantzig secured for 
myself a second Paris.' Eussia was also on her side 
preparing, and strove to end the war, in which she was 
involved with the Porte, as quickly as possible, whilst 
Napoleon was always endeavouring to add fresh fuel to 
its flames. In outward appearance Austria seemed to 
be in the enjoyment of profound peace, and was sup- 
posed to be exclusively occupied in heahng the wounds 
which the last war had inflicted on the Empire. Prussia 
pined under the most unhappy depression, and endea- 
voured to stir up German feeling by means of the 
Tugendbund ; in South Germany, however, this had no 
success. The armies of the States belonging to the 
Ehenish Confederation prepared themselves to join the 
French Grande Armee, in the ranks of which there were 
already Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian contingents. 
The Continental prohibitions against trade steadily 
increased, and the granting of licences became a source 
of wealth to the French finances. Napoleon's power 
pressed heavily upon the whole Continent. It took the 
direction of a system of incorporation carried out by 
Imperial decrees. It was the eve of the catastrophe, 


which to a quiet spectator had not, indeed, the feehng 
of a calm before the storm, but the sad aspect of a 
general humihation of princes and people under the 
verdict of an inexorable fate. 

The situation developed itself with the approach of 
the year 1812.^^^^ The moment for Austria's declaration 
with regard to the forthcoming war between France 
and Russia had arrived. We declared for an armed 
neutrality. Napoleon demanded the contribution of an 
auxiliary army of thirty thousand men. The Emperor 
Francis granted this request, under the condition that 
the neutrality and inviolability of the Austrian territory 
should not be endangered by either of the beUigerent 
Powers. All history has not recorded so strange a 
poHtical situation, and it probably never will record a 
second example of the same kind. It was the result of 
circumstances, and a remarkable illustration of a period 
fantastic in every respect, and afflicted with every kind 
of abnormal condition. In the imposition of an auxiUary 
army from Austria Napoleon sought, not a material 
strengthening of his forces, for this did not seem to him 
to be necessary, but a moral guarantee for the restraint 
of the other part of the Austrian army within the 
boundaries of their own kingdom. The Emperor Alex- 
ander considered the closing of the Austrian territory 
as a useful defence for the southern provinces of the 
Russian Empire. Both sides acknowledged the neu- 
trahty of Austria, notwithstanding her contribution of 
an auxiliary army. 

I was satisfied, for what I wished above all was to 
secure for Austria freedom in her political action when 
the moment came for decision with regard to the 
coming war. 

When Napoleon, in the spring of 1812, went to 


Dresden, to make from thence the last arrangements 
for the campaign against Kussia, he expressed a wish 
to meet there the Emperor Francis. The Emperor 
compUed with his wish, and set out for Dresden accom- 
panied by the Empress and myself. The Empress Louisa 
was, it is well known, very bitter in her feeHng against 
•Napoleon. The manner of both Emperors was suited 
to their position, but cold. The daily contact into 
which I now came with Napoleon was a continuation 
of our intercourse at the time of my embassy to Paris, 
and my residence there in 1810. Our conversations 
sometimes lasted for hours, but we did not often touch 
upon politics. It was at this time that he explained to 
me his ideas on the best form of government for France. 
* France,' he said to me, ' lends itself less to representa- 
tive forms than many other countries. In France 
talent is common enough ; but it is only talent, there is 
nothing beneath it which resembles character, and still 
less principle. Everyone runs after applause — whether 
it comes from above or below, no matter ; they want to 
be noticed and applauded. In the tribune they did 
nothing but make revolution, so I put them in order — 
I dissolved them. I put a gag on the Corps Legislatif. 
Silence an assembly which, if it is anything, must be 
deHberative, and you discredit it. Therefore I had 
only to take the key from the door of the hall of 
assembly and put it in my pocket ; that shall be done 
with the Corps Legislatif. Nobody will think any more 
about it, for its existence is already forgotten. I do 
not, however, desire absolute power : I wish for more 
than mere forms. I wish for one thing entirely for the 
pi^lic, order and utiHty. I would give a new organi- 
sation to the Senate and to the Conseil d'JEtat. The 
first will replace the upper chamber, the second that 


of the Deputies. I shall continue to appoint senators 
to all the places. I shall have one-third of the Conseil 
d'Etat elected by triple hsts, the rest I shall nominate. 
In this assembly the budget will be made, and the laws 
elaborated. In this way I shall have a real represen- 
tation, for it will be entirely composed of men well 
accustomed to business. No mere tattlers, no ideologues, 
no false tinsel. Then France will be a well governed 
country, even under a. faineant prince, and such princes 
there will be. The manner in which they are brought 
up is sufficient to make that certain.' 

I took the Hberty of asking why he had not carried 
out his project. The Senate had without this already 
lost its credit, and the legislative bodies were reduced 
to a sphere of action which pleased no one ; to which 
Napoleon answered :— 

^ Everything has its season ; that for reform has 
not yet come. I must wait for two or three years, and 
who knows when the war will end which I am just 
beginning? That will come after the peace.' 

On the whole, I received from our confidential inter- 
course in Dresden the impression that if Napoleon, on 
the one hand, did not deceive himself about the greatness 
of the undertaking, and looked on his success as the 
keystone of an edifice'which hovered before his mind as 
a Carlo vingian Empire under a Bonapartist dynasty ; on 
the other hand, his undertaking depended on the 
terrible chances of war, about which he indulged in 
the most dangerous delusion. 

As illustrating the reasons for my views, I will men- 
tion the following. Napoleon was convinced that the 
Russian army would open the campaign by crossing the 
boundaries of their own country. The conviction ex- 
pressed by me that the Emperor Alexander would await 


the attack of the French army and baffle it by a retreat, 
Napoleon opposed both on strategical grounds, and 
from Alexander's manner of thought and action, with 
which he imagined himself to be perfectly acquainted. 
All which reasons told more in favour of my views 
than his. 

When the reports from the army, drawn up in the 
Duchy of Warsaw ready for action, deprived him of 
all hope that the Emperor Alexander would take the 
initiative, he explained to me his plan for the war with 
Russia in the following words, which subsequent events 
have made memorable ; — 

'My enterprise is one of those of which the solu- 
tion is to be found in patience. Victory will attend 
the most patient. I shall open the campaign by cross- 
ing the Niemen. It will be concluded at Smolensk and 
Minsk. There I shall stop. I shall fortify these two 
points, and occupy myself at Wilna, where the chief 
head-quarters will be during the next winter, with the 
organisation of Lithuania, which burns with impatience 
to be deUvered from the yoke of Russia. I shall wait 
and see which of us tires first : I, of feeding my army 
at the expense of Russia; or Alexander, of sustaining 
my army at the expense of his country. Perhaps I 
myself may pass the most inclement months of the 
winter at Paris.' 

To my question what he would do in case the Em- 
peror Alexander did not vouchsafe to make peace be- 
cause of the occupation of Lithuania, Napoleon answered : 

' In that case I should in the following year advance 
quite to the centre of the Empire, and I shall be patient 
in 1813 as I shall have been in 1812 ! The affair, as I 
have told you, is a question of time.' 

That Napoleon's plan for the campaign of 1812 was 


exactly the one which he mentioned to me has become 
an historical fact ; the same may be said of the motives 
which induced him to undertake the expedition to 

The following conversation between us may serve to 
throw yet more hght on Napoleon's ideas : 

' I begin to be a Httle , perplexed,' he said to me on 
another occasion, ' about the perfection of your military 
system, which you have heard me describe as worthy 
to serve as a model, and which, to my great regret, I 
cannot myself adopt, because the mihtary organisation of 
the two empires is not ahke. You have composed the 
auxihary corps under the command of Prince Schwarzen- 
berg of the cadres of twenty regiments. Have you 
then forgotten in Austria that there is nothing in an 
army more valuable than these cadres ; why did you 
not make up the corps of five or six regiments, which 
would have sufficed for the number required ? ' 

' I am surprised,' I answered, ' that your Majesty 
addresses such a question to me. The Imperial army, 
which a secret article of the Treaty of Vienna fixes at a 
maximum of 150,000 men, is now composed principally 
of cadres ; for the Emperor, well aware of their value, 
has not, since the peace, diminished the number of regi- 
ments. He now puts at your disposal a part of what 
you have left him.' 

' That does not prevent this from being a mistake,' 
interrupted Napoleon. 

If Napoleon was right in his remark, yet we, for 
our part, were not wrong. Field-Marshal Count Belle- 
garde had composed the corps of Prince Schwarzen- 
berg of more cadres than was necessary. By the filHng 
up of these cadres with soldiers, together with the army 
of observation stationed in Bohemia and Galicia to 


defend the neutrality, the whole forces of the Empire 
were ready for action, a measure which the Imperial 
Government could not have taken in any other way 
without exciting attention both at home and abroad. 

The most confidential relations existed between the 
courts of Vienna and Berhn during the whole of Napo- 
leon's campaign. Whether the course we pursued was 
better than the one which Freiherr von Stein and his 
pohtical friends were never tired of urging upon King 
WiUiam III., I must leave to be decided by the actual 
events of the years 1813-1814. The results would cer- 
tainly have been quite different if Austria had not taken 
so prudent an attitude in the last adventurous undertak- 
ing of the conqueror of the world. If we had hstened 
to the urgent entreaties of the Prussian party, we 
should, without any means of defence, have seen Napo- 
leon on the battle-fields of our own exhausted territories, 
instead of on the icy steppes of Eussia. At any rate, 
Austria's course has not run counter to the ways of 

The campaign of 1812 was followed by conse- 
quences which even before it began I knew to be not 
only possible but most probable, on account of Napo- 
leon's erroneous views. But I am free to confess that 
neither I nor anyone else imagined that Napoleon would 
attempt in the first campaign the task so difficult in 
itself, and which he had mentioned to me as to be put 
off till 1813, in case of the longer duration of the war. 
If Napoleon's whole enterprise was fantastic — the va 
banque of a gambler maddened by former gains — the 
marching on Moscow by the French army, which was 
prevented from fighting by the continual retreating of 
the enemy to the heights of Smolensk, was a mistake. 
The only explanation of this is to be found in Napo- 


leon's firm conviction that the Eussian monarch would 
not and could not expose the second, indeed the most 
beautiful, city of his Empire to the occupation of the 

The continuance of Austria's neutral attitude after 
the result of the war with Eussia, could have no other 
meaning but a confession of a want of strength in the 
Empire. I need not say that this want of strength was 
very evident to the Emperor and myself. The question 
which arose between his Majesty and myself was not on 
this ground, but referred to the direction we should take 
in changing our passive attitude into an active one. The 
King of Prussia, who had not been neutral in the Franco- 
Eussian war, but had taken an active part by sending a 
small force to join the ranks of the French army, en- 
tered into an alliance with Eussia after the dissolution 
of the French army. Our position was quite different 
from that of the Prussian court. Stein and the Prussian 
Particularists or abstract Germanists, together with the 
Eussian cabinet, urged on Austria the immediate decla- 
ration of war against France. We did not allow our- 
selves to be disturbed in our quiet course, and referred 
the two newly-allied Powers to the decision which would 
be made known by the Emperor at the right moment. 
The bases which we wished to give to the pohtical posi- 
tion of our Empire, called upon by the vicissitude of 
things to decide the fate of the world, are expressed in 
the following short statement, laid before me by the 
Emperor Francis, which requires neither ampHfication 
nor explanation : — 

' The pohtical position of the Imperial court is that 
of an armed neutrality. This position, if persevered 
in, would degrade the Austrian Power into a mere ne- 
gation. This could be changed only by a rapid transi- 


tion, or by a course of moderation which secures to the 
Emperor free action in the future. Eapid transition 
would make Austria a member of the Northern alhance, 
or lead to a union with France : while the latter would 
be impossible, the former is open to us. The transition 
from neutrahty to war lies in an armed mediation.' 

The Emperor was in favour of the mediation. The 
most important considerations supported the moral and 
poHtical advantages of this attitude. 

In relating my conversations with Napoleon in the 
month of May 1812,1 have already mentioned the cir- 
cumstance that Prince Schwarzenberg's army of thirty 
thousand men, consisted mostly of the cadres of the regi- 
ments. This corps formed the extreme right wing of 
the great French army. Napoleon had not required 
it to take part in the operations of the principal army 
during the short campaign in the interior of Russia, for 
reasons which have been already mentioned. Prince 
Schwarzenberg, whose army corps had been reinforced 
by the Saxon contingent, had not, during the course of 
the campaign received any orders from Napoleon. He, 
therefore, had sustained no losses worth mentioning. 
After the retreat of the French army. Prince Schwarzen- 
berg led his corps to the north-west frontier of Ga- 
licia, where it was opposed to the corps of Prince Joseph 
Poniatowski, whose retreat had taken place in the same 
direction. Only a small portion of the Imperial army 
had been stationed, at the beginning of the Franco- Rus- 
sian war, to guard the neutral territory of the Empire 
in Bohemia. The greater part of the whole army was 
either in Galicia or near by, as an auxiliary corps or 
corps of observation. GaUcia could not be denuded of 
troops so long as the Pohsh army in the southern part 
of the Grand-Duehy of Warsaw was under arms. There- 


fore a rapid concentration of forces on the western fron- 
tier of the Empire was impossible, for in any case the 
formation of an army corresponding to the strength of 
the Empire, and adapted for a great war, would require 
time. We were convinced that Napoleon would use the 
winter to begin a new campaign in the year 1813. We 
could not prevent him from doing this ; therefore it was 
our duty to prepare to strike a decisive blow. We kept 
these circumstances in view, and the Cabinet avoided 
giving any diplomatic explanations as to its course of 
action in the immediate future. That the part which 
Austria must take in this future must be a most ener- 
getic one arose from the general situation of affairs and 
the geographical position of our country. When and 
how this was to be done was the problem we had to 
solve. Nobody could doubt that the Emperor Francis 
would strictly follow the voice of his conscience. The 
moment was too important for us to feel impelled to any 
definite expression. We kept back even our decision as 
to the mediation, till we were satisfied that the right 
moment had arrived. After the end of the campaign in 
Russia, our forces could be reinforced and collected, and 
take up strategical positions, in a few months. These 
positions were to be taken up in Bohemia. In our rear 
we were hampered by the PoUsh force under Ponia- 
towski. The Imperial forces on the southern frontier 
also received the necessary reinforcements. 

In this position of affairs, my task was Hmited to 
giving the Emperor a report on the situation in which 
we should find ourselves in consequence of an armed 
mediation. Accustomed, in all situations, to put clearly 
before me the aims in view — and to allow the necessary 
time for their development — I arrived at the results ex- 
pressed in the following short sentences : — ; 


' The miscarrying of Napoleon's enterprise against 
Eussia has altered Austria's position as well as that of 
the other Powers.' 

' The final solution of the fate of Europe will exhibit 
itself by the Peace.' 

' To bring this about is the true part and business of 

* In what_gaY can Peace be established — a 
not a mere truce in dis guise, EK^alliormer treaties of 
e ace with the Frencn RepnbhV, and with 1S[aT)oleon P ' 

' Undoubtedly tliis can only be done by restricting 
the power of France within such limits as give hopes of 
a lasting peace and estabHsh a balance of power among 
the chief States.' * 

Napoleon's power, always striving to extend itself, 
was broken by the miscarriage of his last undertaking. 
Was it destroyed? No. The campaigns of 1813 and 
1814, indeed, even the short campaign of 1815, proved 
the contrary. We did not doubt that Napoleon would 
not consider his power destroyed by the failure of the 
last campaign, and here our supposition difiered from 
that of his open adversaries. They desired the immedi- 
ate pursuit of the enemy. Of the practical considerations 
of whither and wherewith they did not think, and 
indeed considered it as loss of time to do so. My 
calmer judgment looked forward to a reasonable and 
successful termination, in comparison with which I 
thought nothing of a few lost months. 

* The notion of political equilibrium has been much attacked since the 
General Peace (1814-1815), and the Imperial cabinet itself has been re- 
proached -with having taken up such a mistaken idea. The idea, however, 
apprehended in its true meaning, is not the less the only true one. Rest 
without equilibrium is a fallacy. Absolute equilibrium cannot, it is true, be 
found in politics, but only in a measure which offers the greatest possible 


The attitude of Austria as a mediatory armed power, 
said I to myself, harmonises with the geographical po- 
sition of the empire, as well as with its forces, and 
will secure to the Emperor Francis the last word either 
in peace or war. Preparations to the greatest ex- 
tent possible must be made for the carrying on of the 
war. By thus gaining time the part to be played by 
the Emperor will become more safe. 

Two questions of th6 utmost importance were im- 
mediately presented to my mind. The one concerned 
the boundaries of Austria and Prussia. In the first 
place, this boundary must be fixed, as well in the view 
of the opening of a new campaign between France and 
the two allied Powers already at war with her as in the 
view of the contingency of peace without resuming the 
contest. If the precaution of a previous arrangement 
of the territories of the allied Powers were not taken, 
the war would become one of conquest, and, in case of 
a speedy peace, that peace would be wanting in its 
very first principles. We took our position with respect 
to both kingdoms, not on the basis of extension of ter- 
ritories, but on the restoration of their status quo in 
the year 1803 or 1805. The Emperor decided to 
leave the choice between these two years to the King 
of Prussia. 

The other no less important question was that of the 
quid faciendum with all those territories which had 
formed the old German Empire, and which, after its 
dissolution, were divided into four parts, of which three 
belonged to Austria, Prussia, and the states forming the 
Confederation of the Ehine, but the fourth consisted of 
the great German provinces which were incorporated 
as departments in France. A German central political 
body no longer existed. First of all, we had to con-^ 



sider: Should and could such a body be called into 

It happened with this question as it is, has been, and 
will be with all important questions at all times. One 
may consider them from a calm and practical or from 
a passionate and hasty point of view. The Imperial 
cabinet took the first course. The German Empire of 
a thousand years was dissolved in 1805 and 1806, and 
indeed, strictly speaking, as much from the want of in- 
ward vitahty as from external influences. If earlier 
defects had crippled the strengtli of the Empire, its con- 
tinuance had become a sheer impossibihty by the re- 
sults of the Eegensburg mediation in the year 1803. 
Not only had the German Empire been extinguished in 
the year 1805, but the German name had disappeared 
from the map. 

The question whether a German central pohtical 
body should be caUed into life could only be answered 
in the affirmative, for all imaginable moral and pohtical 
reasons combined to support this decision. The pro- 
blem remaining for the Imperial cabinet was therefore 
only how this was to be accomplished. To understand 
the disposition of the Imperial cabinet on this impor- 
tant point it is necessary to set clearly before us the 
state of things at that time, — a state which had, under 
the impressions of later years and the party strifes 
which issued from them, been essentially transformed, 
but which at the time when we write this (1852) again 
confirms the correctness of our decision at that time. 

In deciding the point, 'How can a German state 
be again admitted into the European corporation of 
states ? ' we considered these questions : — 

1. Can the old Holy Eoman Empire of the German 
nation be called into Hfe again ? 
VOL. I. M 


This question we could only answer with a decided 
negative ; for Germany (the name itself had only a geo- 
graphical value) had lost the elements necessary to re- 
establish the old forms. 

2. Could the fragments of the earlier Empire be 
gathered together into one united state ? 

We answered this question in the negative, on ac- 
count of the following considerations : — 

The idea of a state must rest on the basis of a united 
sovereignty, whether that of a personal sovereign or of 
the sovereignty of the people. The personal sovereign 
may reign over several countries different in their pro- 
vincial laws and in their local internal administration. 
One sovereign people cannot rule over another. At 
that time we never thought of the -latter ; it was left to 
time to introduce it into German territory. The question 
then was, and could only be, of absolute sovereignty 
resting on an Emperor, and against this there arose 
insuperable difficulties. 

The Confederation of the Ehine had assigned to the 
princes of the (Confederate states the sovereign rights 
which in the Holy Roman Empire belonged to the Em- 
peror and the Empire. These states should have been 
forced to restore them to the head of the state ; and 
the moral consequences of this constraint would have 
been but an addition to the fundamental evils of the 
former state of the empire, namely, to the unavoid- 
able coUisions between the sovereign head and the 
supremacy of the separate states. 

Would the King of Prussia have admitted the subor- 
dination of his sovereignty to that of the German Em- 
peror ? and would the Emperor of Austria, on his part, 
have accommodated himself to such a pretension ? 

Of the re-estabhshment of a German Empire and a 


united kingdom we gave up all idea, and considered 
only the formation of a German Confederation. 

I thought that for the present the part of armed 
mediation did not require more than the establishment 
of these bases. There seemed to me to be a nearer 
prospect of war than of peace. I was convinced that 
the Powers had not, as they imagined in Berhn, an 
easy contest before them ; but that Napoleon's efforts 
would be most vigorous — of this I was convinced, and 
therefore I exerted myself to develop the strength of 
our forces to the utmost. In this course lay salvation 
in the case of a war in which Austria would be called 
to strike the decisive blow. The means of attaining 
peace could only be discovered in the course of cir- 
cumstances, and this required time, which to anticipate, 
I have always considered a fault. 

A political interlude now took place. The King of 
Saxony, driven from his states by the united Eussian 
and Prussian armies, put himself under the protection 
of Austria. He declared hj^mself ready to join the Im- 
perial court in its political action. We accepted his 
adhesion, and advised the king to await the course of 
events quietly at Prague. 

Napoleon devoted the winter of 1812-1813 to pre- 
parations for the campaign. This was done in Prussia, 
whilst new forces were sent to the Eussian army from 
the interior of the kingdom. Austria, on her part, col- 
lected her apparently exhausted forces, and led them to 
their places of assembly in Bohemia, and to the southern 
and western frontiers which had been moved forward 
within the old territory. 

The result corresponded with the skilful prepara- 
tions, which Count Bellegarde had made to ensure its 
attainment. In the states of the Confederation of the 

M 2 


Ehine new soldiers were levied to fill up the numerous 
gaps which the campaign in Russia had made in their 
contingents. The whole of Europe was in arms, and 
waited in anxious expectation for the approaching 

Firm in his convictions and quiet in his conscience, 
the Emperor Francis stood in the midst of a commotion 
the result of which it was impossible to foresee. What 
made the Emperor so secure was the strength of his 
principles, and the consciousness that he rested on a 
faithful people and a courageous army; how strong 
these were the result has proved ! 

I should leave a gap in my picture if I did not say 
a word here on the feehng of the people in the different 
countries, and in different circles of society. With 
respect to the feehng of the people, very different ideas 
prevailed, according to the personal feehng and party 
spirit of the observer. I may describe the moral fea- 
tures of society, as it appeared to me, as follows : 

^Piej^gjz^^g^^ajQ^g^i^ganeelin^ an d of 


twenty years, cov ered with corpses many ba ttle-fielfe 
^aste^wnoleKingdoms, overturned thronga^-^bow ec 
bengathTt^^ketherej^ ilicoffljTum|jjgf ^ j^ ^oj:^ 

as its final consequence seemed to }mv^jjhi££iLJh^I^Q 
oO!|^pp^inFne hands yt oup_i^^^^|i . This fopHnff ^ ^nd 
the_iniserY_unssi^araMe_ft:om it wereumversal, and 
were_sli ared even by thos e whose, opinion s were gene- 
r^y in opposiuor ^^p nqueror and conquered wer e' 
their conquests o r^p_^c£iLrc_jLliaLxiMLaiii£dJi^-lJ^ : 
DuTui^rrussian States formed a third and very different 
element in the general situation. The destinies of 


Prussia differed from tliose of other states. If its 
dynasty had been destroyed by Napoleon, and replaced 
by another, it would so far have shared the fate of the 
French and Spanish Bourbons, the royal houses of 
Hanover, Hesse Cassel, Orange, and others. If, again. 
Napoleon had erased the name of Prussia from the 
map, the Prussian state would have shared the same 
fate as the German Empire, Holland, Piedmont, the 
States of the Church, and Tuscany. But Napoleon had 
ruled it otherwise with Prussia. The tyranny he exer- 
cised on it was unendurable, and he kept it in a state 
bordering on an impossible existence and final ex- 
tinction. • 

France was just as tired of never-ending wars as 
the countries which, since the unsuccessful campaign of 
1792, had had to bear the hardships of the actual battle- 
fields, the devastation of their provinces, and the pay- 
ment of the contributions. Napoleon had, however, 
given back to France itself the internal peace which 
she had- lost, and the country was grateful for this bene- 
fit, whilst French patriotism rejoiced in the brilliant 
successes of his armies. 

The results of the war had produced very different 
effects on the German Governments and the various 
German races. Mixed together and intermingled by 
the ' Mediatisation ' of the year 1803, the feelings of the 
people of the various German races took quite different 
directions. The people of those German States whose 
territory had been enlarged by the Peace of Pressburg 
(1805) and the Peace of Vienna (1809) were contented 
with these and the protection of the conqueror of the 
world. North Germany, on the contrary, could not see 
any reason for satisfaction either in the union of the 
sea coasts with the Frencli Empire, or in the estabhsh- 


ment of German States under members of the Bona- 
parte family in the place of their own princes. 

The decided feehng of the different populations of 
the Austrian Imperial states was for the preservation of 
peace. Austria had borne the burden of all the former 
wars except that of 1806, which had ended so unfor- 
tunately for Prussia ; the inner strength of the Empire 
seemed to be exhausted, and the people to have lost all 
hope of regaining by force of arms what they had lost. 
In Austria, deserted since the peace of Basle (1795) 
and the later wars (1805 and 1809) by its German alhes 
of the Confederation, the expression German feeling Yi^^di 
no more meaning than a myth, especially in the high 
sense attached to it, since the catastrophe of Prussia and 
the northern German territories, by the upper strata of 
the populations of those countries. 

A class not numerous but important from the posi- 
tion of the individuals composing it raised the banner 
of war in our country. This party only shared the 
feehng of hatred to the person of Napoleon with the 
people of the north of Germany, who called for free- 
dom from the yoke of the conqueror of the world. 
They took the name of ' Napoleon-haters ' ; their voices 
died away in space, and their efforts would never have 
had, even if the party had been stronger, any effect on 
the mind of the Emperor Francis, or on the voice of my 
pohtical conscience. The monarch would not suffer a 
repetition of those trials which the Empire had gone 
through after the campaigns of 1805 and 1809 ; and 
had he been wilhng, I should not have been ready to 
join him. 

We pursued the plan known only to ourselves in 
seeming quiet and under the protection of secrecy.^®^^ 
The extension of the armaments, and the grave prepara- 


tions of every kind, were justified by the certainty, which 
increased every day, that Napoleon would commence 
a new campaign in Germany in 1813, and the whole 
people felt them to be measures necessary for the peace 
of Austria. 

So passed the winter of 1812 to 1813. The belhge- 
rent powers, France and her aUies on one side, Russia, 
Prussia, and Great Britain on the other, drew up their 
armies, in the beginning of spring, in strategic positions. 
From pohtical as well as mihtary considerations, we took 
up our position in Bohemia. The army collected there 
was placed under the command of Prince Schwarzen- 
berg. The Emperor left it to me to fix the moment 
which I thought most suitable to announce to the 
belhgerent Powers that Austria had given up her 
neutrahty, and to invite them to recognise her armed 
mediation as the most fitting attitude. 

Napoleon's victories at Llitzen and Bautzen were the 
signs which told me that the hour had come.* ' 

* On the following chapter (Ohap. VIII.) see Preliminary Remark to the 
Notes on p. 381. — Ed. 





Introduction — After tlie battle of Bautzen to tlie war manifesto of Austria — 
Journey to Gitschin — Meeting with Nesselrode— Napoleon's attempt to 
enter into direct negotiations with the two belligerent monarchs — Meet- 
ing of Mettemich with the Emperor Alexander in Opocno — Inyitation of 
Bassano to an interview of Metternich with Napoleon in Dresden — Regu- 
lation of the institutions for the Austrian army — Metternich's departure 
for Dresden — ^Famous conversation with Napoleon himself — Character 
of Maret — Question of lengthening the truce — Second conversation of 
Mettemich with Napoleon in the Marcolini Garden — Convention of 
June 30 — Return to Gitschin — Conference in Prague — War manifesto — 
War breaks out — Stipulations of Teplitz — Administration of the con- 
quered German territory — ^The King of Saxony in Leipzig — Residence in 
Frankfort — Residence in Freiburg and Basle — Residence in Langres — 
Congress of Chatillon — Council of war in Bar-sur-Aube — Residence in 
Dijon — Arrival in Paris — Entry of Louis XVIII. into Paris, and the 
condition of France after the return of the Bourbons. 


Since we intend the present work for publication, we feel 
bound to say something on the object we have in view. 
One of the most important epochs of our time was in- 
disputably that in which the overthrow of the French 
Empire and the return of the house of Bourbon to its 
old inheritance took place. 

Many particulars of this enormous revolution have 
been given in various Memoirs. Its true history is not 
yet written, and although we make no pretension to take 
this severe task upon ourselves, we cannot banish the 
feeling that the true history of this epoch can never 



be set forth with exactitude without the help of the 
materials given in the present work. 

This conviction does not rest on any personal con- 
siderations ; and to show on what it is founded we only 
need to mention the following circumstances. 

History is built up of two distinct parts. One of 
these, the public or notorious part, consists of facts. The 
other part is that which is secret. It consists of the 
negotiations between the Courts, and includes the mo- 
tives and causes of events. The first part, which we call 
secret, sooner or later loses this peculiarity. The official 
and confidential communications remain in the archives, 
and the day conies when they are picked up out of the 

This, however, cannot be the case with the history 
of the AUiance in the years 1813, 1814, and 1815. 

By a coincidence which was not only singular at the 
time, but without example in the annals of history, the 
chief personages in the great drama found themselves 
together in the very same place. The Emperors of 
Austria and of Eussia, the King of Prussia, and their 
three cabinets, were really never separated. The leader 
of the Enghsh cabinet had also generally been with his 
colleagues of Austria, Russia, and Prussia. At the Con- 
gress of Vienna most of the Princes who now form the 
German Confederation were also present at the nego- 
tiations. Since, therefore, the European potentates and 
their ministers were in the same place, the forms of 
diplomatic business had to adapt themselves to circum- 
stances. The most difficult affairs, and the arrangements 
most compHcated in their nature, were, so to speak, 
negotiated from one room to another ; no sending ol' 
couriers, no written negotiations, no medium between 
the Courts : all these things, so necessary in ordinary 


times, had disappeared. Many a business which under 
any other circumstances would have required a long 
time for arra,ngement was concluded in the course of 
a forenoon. This state of things had two results : the 
first and the happiest was the success of the vast 
undertakings ; the second, and it may be lamented, 
was this, that now the courts concerned are without 
any written accounts of the course of the most im- 
portant negotiations. 

Necessity always, produc es new forms . So it was 
witfiTliose observed by the cabinets during their meet- 
ings at the negotiations. The most important affairs 
were always discussed in confidential conversations be- 
tween the three monarchs, as well as between the heads 
of the cabinets. Only when the matter had reached a 
certain stage of ripeness did the ministers come to- 
gether for regular conferences, carried on with Protocols. 
A mere glance at these Protocols suflices to show that 
they contain no discussions. Where they are anything 
more than the mere formula of the point agreed upon, 
they give single statements, whicli show the shades 
of meaning in the opinions of the different persons who 
joined in them : shades which, however, never stood in 
'the way of a general conclusion. Two new forms in 
diplomacy date from this time : that of giving Memoirs, 
as additions to the Protocols, and that of simple Proto- 
cols, with the form and value of proper conventions. It 
is to be wished that this mode had been retained, for it 
undoubtedly affords the greatest ease, and is on that 
very account the most suitable for the handling of 
great political affairs. 

While asserting the fact that the diplomatic archives 
of the courts most concerned contain no documents 
relating to some of the most important negotiations 


of the years 1813, 1814, and 1815, we must except 
those of England and France at the time of the Vienna 
Congress. Lord Castlereagh and the Plenipotentiaries 
of England and France have constantly corresponded 
with their Governments. 

It is therefore with the conviction that it will be 
otherwise almost impossible that the history of this 
extremely important period should be based on sure 
foundations, that we have determined to put together 
the present materials ; but we have also been influenced 
by another feeling, and this we will confess with the 
utmost candour. 

Few monarchs have conferred more honour on their 
throne than the Emperor Francis. His people knew 
his value as a man. A true father to his subjects, 
uniting in himself all the virtues of private life, he was 
not honoured so much as he ought to have been by 
many of his contemporaries in regard to the quaUties 
which distinguished him as a sovereign. Of pure 
morals and simple manners, averse to every kind of 
parade, he disdained even the distinctions which dazzle 
the crowd and often make Princes appear what they are 
not. In everything loving and seeking only the truth, firm 
in his principles and just in his opinions, this Monarch 
nevertheless often played what seemed to his contem- 
poraries a subordinate part, exactly at those times when 
the extraordinary results were due only to his energy, 
his determination, and his virtues. The materials which 
we shaU leave to an impartial posterity will not contra- 
dict this assertion. 

It remains to us, however unwilhng we may be, to 
say a word with regard to ourselves. The part which 
we have personally played in the events of our time 
has not been by our own choice, but imposed by a feel- 



ing of duty. Eree from every ambition, but that of 
honestly fulfilHng the tasks which, owing to a variety 
of circumstances, were laid upon us even from the very 
commencement of our ministry, we have never left the 
path which seemed to us to be the right one. Unmoved 
by the errors of our time — errors which always lead 
society to the abyss — ^we have had the happiness in a 
time full of dangers to serve the cause of peace and the 
welfare of nations, which never will be advanced by 
pohtical revolutions. 

In the reports and lampoons of the time, a certain 
significance has been always attached to our name, in 
which we have not been able to recognise ourselves. It 
belongs to posterity to judge us according to our deeds ; 
and in order to put it in a position to perform this im- 
portant office, we have thought proper to give here the 
true grounds on which a rightjudgmentcan be formed. 

At the moment when we write these hues (1829) 
the historian is not yet born who will describe the 
numerous events of the first ten years of the nineteenth 
century. Contemporaries cannot reasonably do more 
than collect materials for those who, at a subsequent 
period, will be called upon to write the true history of 
the past with that calmness and impartiality which are 
always wanting to those who have taken an active part 
in the events. 

We ascribe, therefore, to our undertaking no other 
value than that of a collection of materials for the 
history of a certain portion of our time. 

We have still to mention the plan of our work. 

It is, as we said, not the history of the years 1813, 
1814, and 1815 which we undertake to write, nor even 
regular Memoirs. We wish nothing more than to indi- 
cate, with unvarnished truth, the great causes and 


motives of the events. We desire to trace back known 
facts to their true causes, and to show the connecting 
links which are necessary for the right understanding 
of events. We shall be quite content if we can attain 
this object. 

After the Battle of Bautzen till the Austrian War 
Manifesto, 1813. 

On May 29th, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I 
received a courier from Dresden, who brought me the 
news of the loss of the battle at Bautzen. I went 
immediately to Laxenburg, where the Emperor was 
staying. I had made my choice. The point was this — 
to prevent Napoleon's onward march, and to remove all 
uncertainty as to the decision of the Emperor from the 
minds of the Emperor Alexander and King Frederick 
William. The Russian army Avas much demorahsed ; it 
had but one wish — to get back into its own territory. 
The Emperor Alexander had indeed resolved to carry 
on the war ; but the will of the army might at last have 
got the better of his intentions. The Allied armies had 
decided to retreat towards Silesia. This manoeuvre, 
well-planned from a military point of view, clearly 
showed the intention of the Emperor Alexander, who 
desired to drive Austria into a corner and oblige her 
to join the Alliance. If Austria showed that she was 
not inchned to take part in the war against Napoleon, 
this would give the Eussian monarch the excuse to cross 
the Warta, and conclude the war. 

The head-quarters of Prince Schwarzenberg were 
then in Prague, while his army was beginning to assemble 
round that city : the advanced posts occupied the dis- 


tricts of Saaz and Leitmeritz. Count Bubna had arrived 
at Napoleon's head-quarters. 

I was convinced that if we joined in the war without 
having assembled sufficient forces to be able to keep 
the field, independently of the ill-organised and demo- 
ralised Eussian army, and of the Prussian army, which 
existed only in name, everything would be staked upon 
the loss of one single battle. It was necessary, there- 
fore, to prevent Napoleon from carrying out his usual 
system of leaving an army of observation before the 
Allied armies, and himself turning to Bohemia to deal a 
great blow at us, the effect of which it would be impos- 
sible to foresee in the present depressed state of the 
great majority of our men. 

I proposed to the Emperor that he should go in a 
few days to a point almost exactly between Dresden and 
the head-quarters of the Allied monarchs. We looked 
out on the map for such a place, and Gitschin seemed to 
us the right spot. His Majesty decided to start the next 
day but one, while I immediately despatched couriers to 
Dresden and Silesia. The first conveyed instructions to 
Count Bubna to press on Napoleon the acceptation of 
the mediation of Austria, which had been offered to him. 
The other carried the news that the Emperor would 
shortly join the army. It seemed to me that these 
measures, or rather the mere fact of the Emperor's 
arrival at head-quarters, must exercise a decisive effect ; 
and it was so. 

The Emperor left Vienna with a very small retinue 
on June 1, at five o'clock in the morning. ^^*^ The day 
after, near Czaslau, we met Count Nesselrode, who had 
been sent by the Emperor Alexander in order to urge 
Austria to a rapid decision. He brought me a copy of 
the truce concluded at Poischewitz. 


The Emperor Francis despatched Count Nessekode 
with the following short instructions : — ' Go back, and 
tell the Emperor, your master, and the King of Prussia, 
that you met me on my way to the head -quarters 
of my army in Bohemia. I beg the Emperor to choose a 
point on the frontiers of Bohemia and Silesia, to wliich 
I can send my Minister for Foreign Affairs, in order to 
make him fully acquainted with my decision,' 

Through Count Bubna proposals of mediation had 
been sent to Dresden. ^^^^ Napoleon, in the hope of being 
again able to beat the Eusso-Prussian army, and reckon- 
ing on the effect which a fresh defeat must produce on 
the two monarchs and their armies, as well as on Aus- 
tria, had received the proposals of our Ambassador 
coldly and proudly. It was to be expected, therefore, 
that after the victory of Bautzen he would be more in- 
chned to enter into negotiations ; and this was actually 
the case when he, according to his usual system, put him- 
self into direct communication with the AlUed monarchs. 

Adjutant Flahault was despatched to the spot as 
Commissary of Demarcation ; and Napoleon could count 
on his imphcit devotion. He had flattered himself that 
he could influence the Emperor Alexander both by 
the choice of the negotiator (Caulaincourt) and by 
the power which he imagined he continued to exercise 
over the mind of this monarch. He deceived him- 
self. The attempt had no other result but to let the 
monarchs perceive that Napoleon was striving once 
more to strengthen his tottering position by means of 
deceitful negotiations, in which he sought only to pre- 
vent the formation of a Quadruple Alliance, and gain the 
necessary time to replace the men he had lost by the 
forced marches of his army, and by the battles of Liitzen 
and Bautzen. The Emperor Alexander and King Fred- 


erick William informed the Emperor Francis of their 
firm determination not to entertain the proposals for a 
negotiation ; at the same time they -expressed to his 
Majesty their thorough confidence in his loyalty and 
enlightened principles. 

On June 3, we reached Gitschin. I at once ac- 
quainted the Duke of Bassano of the arrival of the 
Emperor at head-quarters. At the same time I de- 
manded a personal interview, to inform him that his 
Majesty had quite determined to give the proposals for 
a mediation the necessary authority. I was convinced 
that the answer of the French minister would be an 
evasive one ; and this was the case. I, however, needed 
such a refusal as a suitable pretext for a meeting with 
the Emperor Alexander, which I begged for on the 
very same day that I received the answer from Bassano. 
Opocno was the place chosen for the rendezvous ; I had 
chosen it on account of its proximity to the frontier, and 
being so retired a spot. In order not to be there at the 
same time, the Emperor Francis pretended to have 
business in Gitschin. June 16 I started, and arrived 
the following day at Opocno, where I found the Em- 
peror Alexander, who had already been there for some 
hours. The Grand-Duchess Katharine, the Emperor 
Alexander's sister, who at this time was staying in 
Prague, had also arrived. In attendance on the Em- 
peror Alexander was Count Nesselrode and several 
adjutants. Count Stadion and Herr von Lebzeltern, in 
consequence of the instructions they had received, had 
already repaired thither. 

I went immediately to the Emperor Alexander. From 
the communication I had already had with Count Nes- 
selrode in Czaslau, I was generally acquainted with that 
monarch's feehngs both about the affairs and with 

N 2 


regard to myself. I had learned to know the Emperor 
Alexander during the Berhn negotiations of 1805, and 
at that time he showed me many attentions. By his 
express desire I was to have gone to St. Petersburg as Am- 
bassador in the year 1806. The relations which I had 
with his ambassador in Paris in the years 1807 and 1808 
confirmed his former inchnation for me ; and not till 
Count Eomanzow went to Paris, in consequence of the 
Erfurt conferences, was there any estrangement between 
the Emperor Alexander and myself, when it arose from 
the views of that minister being at variance with mine. 
The marriage of the Archduchess Marie Louise, and the 
absolutely necessary refusal of the Austrian Cabinet to 
enter into a secret treaty with Eussia in the year 1811, 
did the rest. The Emperor Alexander did not allow of 
any graduations in the behaviour of another, because he 
knew none in his own political conduct, as he was always 
going backwards and forwards from one extreme to 
another, in the most opposite directions; he therefore 
suspected me of being altogether on the side of France, 
and of nourishing great prejudices against Eussia. At 
this first meeting, then, I had to be prepared to combat 
the personal bias, always so powerful with the Emperor, 
as well as all the difficulties presented by the poHtical 
and mihtary attitude of Austria. 

I went to meet the Emperor with the greatest 
frankness. I did not at once attack his prejudices, but 
made no secret of my conviction that the only sheet- 
anchor for the AUies lay in an unbounded confidence in 
that Power which, without a thorough knowledge of the 
character of the Emperor Francis, as weU as of the 
principles and projects of his cabinet, might easily be 
suspected. I assured him, at the same time, that 
nothing could turn us aside from the position which we 


had taken up for the good of Europe, whose preserver 
we desired to be. 

The Emperor Alexander begged me not to doubt 
his confidence, but said that he could only see the 
ruin of the cause in every measure which did not there 
and then proclaim the true intention of Austria. 

As I could not and would not give up the project in 
which alone I saw safety, I explained to the Emperor 
that I was ready to lay the whole plan before him, but 
must not raise any false hope that we could ever give it 
up, or even make any substantial change in it. I in- 
sisted on the absolute necessity of the mediation of 
Austria, the formal acknowledgment of which I desired 
to obtain from him. 

' What will become of our cause ? ' asked the Em- 
peror, ' if Napoleon accepts the mediation ? ' 

' If he decHnes,' I answered, ' the truce will come to 
an end, and you will find us among the number of your 
allies ; if he accepts, the negotiations will most cer- 
tainly show Napoleon to be neither wise nor just, and 
then the result will be the same. In any case, we 
shall have gained the necessary time to bring our armies 
into such positions that we need not again fear a sepa- 
rate attack on any one of them, and from which we 
may ourselves take the ofiensive.' 

This first conversation lasted over two hours, and 
we separated without coming to any conclusion. How- 
ever, a short time afterwards, I had a proof that the 
Emperor could no longer shut out from himself the 
clear facts, though his natural distrust had not yet quite 
disappeared. The next day I succeeded in gaining him 
entirely over to the project which I had advised. I 
asked him to send an able officer to Prince Scliwarzen- 
berg, at head-quarters, which from this time were 



to be with the Emperor Francis. This officer should be 
commissioned to inform us of the condition and position 
of the AUied armies. At the same time, he was to be 
under the orders of the commander-in-chief, and to 
co-operate with him in the plan of operations with 
reference to the alternatives before mentioned. 

The Emperor Alexander seemed exceedingly well 
pleased : he considered this to be a guarantee of our 
intentions. The good spirit which Count Nesselrode 
constantly showed in the management of his depart- 
ment, and the support given by Prince Wolkonski, one 
of the Emperor Alexander's staff, and Count Tolstoy, 
greatly facihtated the attainment of my object. Tolstoy, 
at that time, had the ear. of his master, and indulged 
in a freedom of speech which subsequently brought 
him into disfavour. On June 20 I parted from the 
Emperor Alexander, who was quite pleased with our 
prospects, and able to look calmly at the chances for 
the future.^^^ 

To enhven the Emperor Alexander's leisure, two 
cavalry regiments had been brought to Opocno, which 
were manoeuvred by his Majesty during the two days 
for which the Emperor prolonged his stay after my 

I went straight back to Gitschin, where I found a 
very pressing invitation from the Duke of Bassano to 
go to Dresden. Xapoleon had jieard of my meeting 

I had foreseen, was a proof to me that Napoleon did 
not feel strong enough to break with us openly. I 
begged the Emperor to allow me to accept the in- 
vitation ; and immediately informed the Eusso-Prussian 
cabinet assembled at Eeichenbach, in Silesia, of the 


matter. I saw on their side much dejection. In my 
position, the strongest which ever a minister took, I 
was only anxious to convince the two cabinets that the 
future w eI!aSB3QST!rop e*5ep^nne on tli ^iiB£_Q£_£Qn- 
luct follo ^sied by Austria, o mce^m. tne course of my 
official career, 1 have never derived support except 
from the resources of my country and the strength of 
mind and firm principles of the Emperor Francis, I was 
far from fearing the great responsibihty heaped upon 
me by an -attitude which has ended in raising our 
position, and in the triumph of the common cause. 

The Emperor arranged with Prince Schwarzenberg 
and myself all that could accelerate the marching and 
arrival of our troops. His Majesty issued the most 
vigorous orders. Great as was this monarch's constant 
care for his provinces, such a consideration had now no 
place in his reckoning. His thoughts were fixed only 
on the great work that was laid upon him. It con- 
cerned the salvation of the world, and in this enormous 
benefit his people would find their compensation. All 
supphes which were likely to fall into the hands of the 
enemy were removed from the theatre of war ; the 
most suitable places were fortified ; the Hues of Prague 
were closed, for this place was intended for a fortress. 
They began to lay tetes de pont on the Elbe and 
Moldau ; enormous magazines were estabhshed for the 
use of the Austrian and Allied armies, which were to 
be summoned to Bohemia ; a general conscription was 
begun of provisions and everything else that could 
be made useful in the war. The spirit of the people 
answered the expectations of the monarch ; it rose as 
they gained confidence in the measures of the Govern- 
ment. The east and north part of Bohemia had now 
the appearance of a great camp. 


I travelled from Gitscliin on June 24, arrived the 
next day at Dresden, and went to Count Bubna. Napo- 
leon was just then absent from Dresden, and returned 
in the evening of the day of my arrival. I therefore 
did not receive Napoleon's invitation to go to him till 
the next day, the 26th. His head-quarters were at the 
Marcohni Garden, near the Elster meadows. He had 

not the courage to live in the town ; more than twenty 
thousand men of his troops were assembled in Fried- 
richstadt, and about this suburb. 

The position of Napoleon with regard to the army 
and the French people was at that time a very critical 
one. The nation, formerly spHt up into several different 
parties, had now only two — the party of the Revolu- 
tionists and the party of the Bourbon Eoyahsts. The 
first of these consisted of the immense number of indi- 
viduals whose fate was bound up with the Government, 
or who relied on it for their positions, their professions, 
or their property, which was mostly derived from the 
nation. The first party lamented the precarious posi- 
tion in which Napoleon's love of conquest had placed 
their interests ; the latter, not yet daring to raise their 
heads, waited with anxiety to see the result of the new 
campaign, for which the nation had just made new and 
enormous efforts. 

The French army sighed for peace. The generals, 
without exception, had httle confidence in the issue of a 
war which was more than unequal when the Eussians 
and Prussians entered into the new alliance. The hatred 
of the German races could hardly be longer restrained by 
the efforts of the Governments of the Confederation of 
the Rhine, and when the attitude of this Government 
itself began to be somewhat equivocal, Europe looked 
all the more anxiously at Austria. 


The appearance of the Austrian Minister of Foreign 
Afiairs at Napoleon's head-quarters could, under such 
circumstances, only be regarded by the leaders of the 
French army as decisive in its results, I was received in 
Dresden with this feeling. It would be difficult to 
describe the expression of painful anxiety shown on the 
faces of the crowd of men in uniform, who were as- 
sembled in the waiting-rooms of the Emperor. The 
Prince of Neufchatel (Berthier) said to me in a low 
voice, ' D^^ngiii^yijjggtjJj^jJJ^jljyj^^jjgfljj,^ 
es peciall y France, which will have nothi n^but peace.' 
Not seeingmyS^alle^ipoi^^m'swertliis, I at once 
entered the Emperor's reception-room. 

Napoleon waited for me, standing in the middle of 
the room with his sword at his side and his hat under 
his arm. He came up to me in a studied manner, and 
inquired after the health of the Emperor. His counte- 
nance then soon clouded over, and he spoke, standing 
in front of me, as follows : 

'' So you, too, want war ; well, you shall have it. I 
have 'anni hilated th e Prussian armv at Tjtitzpri • T haaf 
Deaten the Russians at^ autzen ;_. now you wish your 
tu rn to come. Be it so ; the rendezvous shall be in 
\ lenna. Jdenare incorrigible : e xperience is lost upon 
you. TJiree tnnes ii4V^ IT^pTace^ tlie JjimDeror Franc is 
on his throne. I have promised always to live in peace 
with him ; I have married his d aughter. At the time 
F said t^ myselt" you a_m— D£rpetrating a folly ; but it 
was done, and to-day I repent of it ! ' 

This introduction doubled my feeling of the strength 
of my position. I felt myself, at this crisis, the repre- 
sentative of all European society. If I may say so — 
Napoleon seemed to me small ! 

' Peace and war,' I answered, ' He in your Majesty's 


^^fl. |]|ds. Thfi ^Emperor, my master, has duties to ful fil, 

into the back- 

pf^ourid. TliP ffltfi nf Enrnpp. hftr f uture and yours, all li e 
i n your h|i||ds. Eetweeu Europe ^ ^]d t"hp a jn^s you have 
jlitlierto pursued there is absolute contradiction . The 
world re quires p eace. Tn prder to secure th is peace, you 
mn^^^reducej^^r ^^wg^^thm bounds^g^^ patible with 
the a;eneral tranquillity, o r you will fall in the con- 
test. T o-day you can yet c onclude pc^c^ ; | ; g-morrow 
it may be too late. Tlie**Empero r. rny in aster. in these 
"negotiations is only guided by the voice of conscience ; 
it is for you, Sire, now to take counsel of yours.' 

'"^iYpP nnw^ vjh^ t dn |hpy want, m( ^ to do?' said 
Napoleon, sharply ; ' d^the^wantm^ode^rademy- 
self^^^^^rJ— L- shall know howJ^^di^^|^|it_J^ sliail 
not yield one handbread th o f soil. Your sovereigns, 
born to the throne, may be beaten twenty times, and 
still go back to their palaces ; that cannot I — the child 
of fortune ; my reign will not outlast the day when I 
have ceased to be strong, and therefore to be feared. | I 
have committed one great fault in forgetting what this 
army has cost me — the most splendid army that ever 
existed. I may defy man, but not the elements ; the 
cold has ruined me. In one night I lost thirty thousand 
horses. I have lost everything, except honour and the 
consciousness of what I owe to a brave people who, 
after such enormous misfortunes^ have given me fresh 
proofs of their devotion and their conviction that I 
alone can rule them.. I have madie up for the losses 
of the past year ; only look at the army, after the 
battles I have just won ! I will hold a review before 
you ! ' 

' And it i s tha t very army,' I answered, 'which 
desires peace i 


'J^igl^the^jjjjyjj^' interrupted Napoleon, hastily. J^J^^! 

my generals wish ibr_oeace. I^i2j^aj;iilj31Q];:ajy£a£];:aIs . 

"Ihe cold of Mos cow ha ^demQi|alisedt heni. I have 






a ll that your Maj esfcgJias just said to me.' I re- 
mafked, ' 1 see a t resh proof that Europe and your 
Majesty cannmTomeT?ranunder 
is never more tJian a truce. Mis::ortune. ]i'Ve success. 

hurries you to war. The Tnomprnt has arrived whan 
you and Europe both thr owdownthegamitj^t^ 
will take It up — you an d Europe ; and__it_wiU_not_b e 
Europe tnaT wiTr De aeieated. 

continued Napoleon ; ' JniLhow many are there of yo u 
Alhes — foLLc—fijia—iaa:— twenty ? The more vou are, so 
much the better for me. I take up the challenge. But 
I can assure you,' he continued, with a forced laugh, 
* that in next October w e shall meet in Vienna ; then it 
will be seen what Has become oi' your good friends, the 
Eussians and Prussians. Do you count on Germany? 
See what it did in the year 1809 ! To hold the people 
there in check, my soldiers are sufficient ; and for the 
faith of the princes, my security is the fear they have 
of you. Declare y our neutrahty, and hold to ity then 
I w ill cons ennytff^negotiations m I'rague^ WiIl 
you have an armed neutrality Y Be it so ! Send 
three hundred thousand men to Bohemia ; the 
word of the Emperor is sufficient, that he will not 
make war against me, before the negotiation is 

' The Emperor,' answered I, ' has offered the Powers 


his mediation, not his neutrahty. Eussia and Prussia 
have accepted the mediation : it is for you to declare 
yourself to-day. If you will accept what I have just 
proposed, we will fix a time for the duration of the 
negotiations. If you refuse it, the Emperor, my gra- 
cious master, will consider himself free to make what 
decisions and take up what attitude he chooses. The 
situation is critical : the army must live ; very soon there 
wiU be two hundred and fifty thousand men in Bohemia ; 
they may stay there a few weeks, but they cannot 
remain for months in quarters.' 

Here Napoleon again interrupted me, to go into a 
long digression on the possible strength of our army. 
According to his calculation, we could at the most send 
seventy-five thousand men to take the field in Bohemia. 
He based these calculations on the normal condition of 
the population of the country, on the supposed losses 
in the last wars, and on our rules for conscription. 
I expressed my astonishment at the incorrectness of 
the information he had obtained, when it would have 
been so easy for him to obtain fuller and more correct 

' I will pledge myself,' I declared to him, ' to give 
you an exact Hst of your battalions ; and should your 
Majesty not be as well informed on the strength of the 
Austrian army ? ' 

' I am so ; ' said Napoleon, ' I possess most minute 
information respecting the army, and am certain I do 
not deceive myself as to its effectiveness. M. de Nar- 
bonne,' he continued, ' sent a number of spies into the 
field, and his information includes the very drummers 
of your army — my head-quarters have done the same ; 
but I know better than anyone the value to be placed 
on such information. My calculations rest on mathe- 


matical grounds, and are therefore reliable ; in fact, no 
one has more than he can have.' * 

Napoleon took me into his study, and showed me 
the Hsts of our forces as they were daily sent to him. 
We examined this with great particularity, and almost 
regiment for regiment. Our discussion on this subject 
lasted more than an hour. 

On returning into the reception-room, he did not 
speak again on political subjects, and I might have 
thought that he wished to draw my attention away 
from the object of my mission, if a former experience 
had not taught me that such digressions were natural 
to him. He spoke of the whole of his operations in 
Eussia, and expatiated at length and with the pettiest 
details about his last return to France. It was clear 
to me from all this that he was constantly endeavour- 
ing to show that his defeat of 1812 was entirely owing 
to the time of year, and that his moral position in 
France had never been firmer than it was in conse- 
quence of this same event. ' It was a hard test,' he 
said to me, ' but I have stood it perfectly well.' 

After I had listened to him for more than half an 
hour, I interrupted him with the remark, that in what 
he had just told me I saw strong proof of the necessity 
of putting an end to so uncertain a fate. ' Fortune,' 
I said, ' may play you false a second time, as it did 
in 1812. In ordinary times armies are formed of 
only a small part of the population, to-day it is the 
whole people that you have called to arms. Is not 
your present army anticipated by a generation? I 
have seen your soldiers : they are mere children. 

* The number of Napoleon's illusions since the commencement of the last 
campaign, with respect to the forces of his adversaries, is a most remarkable 
circumstance, and one which can be corroborated by more than one proof. 



Your Majesty has the feeling that you are absolutely 
necessary to the nation : but is not the nation also 
necessary to you? And if this juvenile army that 
you levied but yesterday should be swept away, what 

When Napoleon heard these words he was over- 
come with rage, he turned pale, and his features were 
distorted. ' You are no soldier,' said he, ' and you do 

not know what goes on in_llie_jidnd^ of a soldier 

was brou jiIiLllD m the field_^_and a man siidi_Bs_I am 
does no t conasnL-MsigglLilllifilL^iaflliL Jhe lives of a 
niillion of men.' * With this exclamation he threw his 
hat, whiciOi^nad held in his hand, into the corner of 
the room. I remained quite quiet, leaning against the 
edge of a console between the two windows, and said, 
deeply moved by what I had just heard, ^J^^jjj^j^h^ve 
yo u chosen to say t his to me ')[ yithin^,„th ese four walls ; 
^^ the d oors, and lei y our woxds sound from onp end 
o t- France to the ot her. The cause which I re present 
"syill no t lose tnerel 

lapoleon recovered himself, and with calmer tones 
said to me the following words, no less remarkable 
than the former : ' The French cannot complain of me ; 
to spare them, I have sacrificed the Germans and t he 
roles^l have lo st in the camn aign of Moscow thre e 
hundred thousand men, and there were not more than 
thirty thousand Frencnnien am ong th em.' 

' JTou fo r get, si re, I exclaimed, ' t hat you ar e speak- 
ing to a (jer man. 

iNapoieon walKed up and down the room, and at 
the second turn he picked up his hat from the floor. 
Then he began to speak of his marriage. ' So I have 

* I do not dare to make use here of the much worse expressions employed 
by Napoleon. 


perpetrated a very stupid piece of folly in marrying an 
Archduchess of Austria.' 

' Since your Majesty desires to know my opinion,' 
I answered, ' I will candidly say that Napoleon the 
conqueror made a mistake.' 

' The Emperor Francis will then dethrone his daugh- 

' The Emperor,' I replied, ' knows nothing but his 
duty, and he will fulfil it. Whatever the fate of his 
daughter may be, the Emperor Francis is in the first 
place a monarch, and the interests of his people will 
always take the first place in his calculations.' 

' Well,' interrupted Napoleon, ' what you say does 
not astonish me : everything confirms my idea that I 
have made an inexcusable mistake. When I married 
an Archduchess I tried to weld the new with the old, 
Gothic prejudices with the institutions of my century : 
I deceived myself, and I, this day, feel the whole extent 
of my error. It Jfl^i^^^^mffiS^ ^^^Y throne, but_ 
bu ry the world be ne ath its rui ns.' 

Th^conversaSSnTia^iasted till half-past eight 
o'clock in the evening. It was already quite dark. No 
one had ventured to come into the room. Not one 
pause of silence interrupted this animated discussion, 
in which I can count no less than six moments in which 
my words had the weight of a formal declaration of 
war. I have no intention of reproducing here all that 
Napoleon said during this long interview. I have only 
dwelt upon the most striking points in it which bear 
directly on the object of my mission. We wandered 
far away from it twenty times ; * those who have known 

* The account of his campaign of 1812 alone took up several hours of our 
conversation ; many other things quite foreign to the object of my mission 
occupied his attention for a long time. 


Napoleon, and transacted business with him, will not be 
surprised at that. 

When Napoleon dismissed me, his tone had be- 
come calm and quiet. I could no longer distinguish 
his features. He accompanied me to the door of 
the reception-room. Holding the handle of the fold- 
ing-door, he said to me, ' We shall see one another 
again ! ' 

'At your pleasure. Sire,' was my answer, '^^utl ,- 
have no hope of attaining the object of my mission.' 

* WelLnow,' said Napoleon, touching me on the 
shoulder, 'do you know what will happen ? You will 
not make war on me ? ' 

' You are lost, Sim^ I said, quickly ; '^i^|,^j]j^£re- 
s^entiment of it when I came ; now, in goin^;, I have the 

In the anterooms I found the same generals whom I ; 
had seen on entering. They crowded round me to read 
in my face the impression of the nearly nine hours' con- 
versation. I did not stop, and I do not think I satisfied 
their curiosity. 

Berthier accompanied me to my carriage. He seized 
a moment when no one was near to ask me whether I 
had been satisfied with the Emperor, '^gg^' I answered, 
' he has explained everything to me ; il_is_aILQZ£r with 
the man.' ^^''^ 

i heard afterwards that the same evening, at bed- 
time. Napoleon said to some one about him, ll have had 
a long conversation with Metternich. He held ouT 
-fl^TTTy^thTrTSLJiiJimiL-diJ — l__LhxQw~ mT^hegauntT?^ 

nd thirteen times did he pick-LLjiJ 

^^IfT^nT5i?m^ny*hand^tJ^a^ I have every reason 
t^Soev^ro^one ol those about him were satisfied 
with this speech. Napoleon's most devoted courtiers 



began to doubt his infallibility. In tlieir eyes, as in the 
eyes of Europe, his star began to pale. 

One man only could not break away from the 
greatest devotion and fascination which perhaps history 
has ever portrayed : that man was Maret (Duke of Bas- 
sano), who continued to live in an ideal region which he 
himself had made, and of which the genius of Napoleon 
was the centre ; the world has very greatly to thank 
him for its deliverance. At that time he was detested 
in the army. • The incomprehensible operation of Napo- 
leon against Moscow had enabled him to assume a mili- 
tary position ; all the reports of the heads of the differ- 
ent corps d'armee which were cut off from direct com- 
munication with the Emperor were sent to him. The 
help he was able to give them was not to be despised. 
He disposed of all the material resources of Lithuania, 
and the remains of those of the Grand-Duchy of War- 
saw. It was less a question of fighting than of sustain- 
ing life ; from this time Maret believed himself almighty, 
and thought his position could only be made greater by 
the genius of his leader. I had no difficulty in disco- 
vering this when I had a conversation with him the day 
after my long interview with Napoleon. I found him 
in my drawing-room at eight o'clock in the morning, 
waiting for me. When I saw that he only thought of 
paraphrasing Napoleon's words, I contented myself 
with telUng him how that I was about to send him an 
official note with the proposal for the Austrian Me- 
diation, and informed him that my time was precious, 
my departure to Bohemia having been fixed for the 
next day but one. 

I had left the head-quarters at the moment when 
our different army corps were busy assembling. The 
flower of the Austrian army numbered, in arms of 

VOL. I. 


all descriptions hardly men. I wished to 

ascertain a certain point which would greatly affect 
the issue of the war ; my conversation with Napoleon 
himself had raised the doubt in my mind whether it 
would not be desirable to gain some weeks' delay, in 
order to bring our ordre de hataille to its greatest pos- 
sible completeness. Before the night was over, I des- 
patched a courier to Prince Schwarzenberg with the 
two following questions : — 

' Would a prolongation of the armistice between the 
French and the Alhes be useful for the purpose I have 
just hinted at ?' 

' What would be the most useful and consequently 
the only allowable extreme length of such a prolonga- 

I begged the Prince to give me an immediate and 
decisive answer, and allowed six-and-thirty hours for ; 
the return of the courier. The adjutant whom I had 
sent came back, in two-and-thirty hours, with a letter i 
from Prince Schwarzenberg, containing only the few 
words, ' My army would in twenty days add to its 
strength seventy-five thousand men : I should consider 
the possibility of obtaining this extension a happy cir- 
cumstance, the twenty-first day would be a burden to 

From this moment my efforts were all to obtain the 
twenty days. It was not an easy matter, for Napoleon 
must have been making very much the same calcula- 
tion as ourselves. How were two suspicious monarchs 
to be brought to accept this delay : one of whom knew 
his very existence to be bound up in Austria's decision, 
and the other of whom was obliged to strike some great 
blow in order to keep his dissatisfied and beaten army 
in obedience ; and how, finally, should the impossibility 


— in which the Eusso-Prussian army was placed — be 
overcome, of hving in a province stripped of everything, 
and how were the wants of this army to be siippUed 
from the resources of Bohemia and Moravia without our 
being exposed to the danger that Napoleon would ter- 
minate the whole affair by a sudden attack on Bohemia, 
or demand of us that we should come to the help of 
Saxony, which was still more exhausted than Silesia? I 
put these difficulties distinctly before me, and I sought 
and found the means to remove them. 

The three days following the conversation with 
Napoleon I was in constant communication with the 
French Emperor, the Duke of Bassano, the marshals 
and the generals. In our conversations Napoleon did 
not again approach the object of my mission, but referred 
me to Bassano, who again declared himself without 
instructions, and recommended me to wait patiently ; 
while the heads of the army expressed themselves more 
urgently and more anxiously in favour of peace. 

In the evening of the last day of my stay in Dresden, 
I received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs a written 
Projet d' arrangement^ which had nothing in common 
with my demands, and which, therefore, I immediately 
answered by saying . that I should start from Dresden 
without delay. 

I fixed my departure for seven o'clock the next 
morning, and ordered the post-horses for that hour. A 
few minutes before the time I received a note from Bas- 
sano, which only contained the intimation that the Em- 
peror wished to speak with me before my departure, 
and that he would receive me at eight o'clock in my 
travelhng dress. 

I had the horses taken out of my travelhng carriage, 
and gave notice that the time of my departure was post- 



poned, and I repaired at the appointed hour to the Mar- 
colini Garden, where I met Napoleon walking. Here 
a conversation took place which it is hardly possible to 
describe. Napoleon's first words were : ' So you are 
pretending to be offended — what for ? ' I answered 
shortly that my duty required me not to lose useless 
time in Dresden. 

Napoleon then went over the text of the Projet 
d' arrangement, which had been sent me by his minister, 
and concluded by rejecting it. ' Pgjji^y,j;y^ftiliial^jgder- 
stand one aniiL]ia]:,J.2£tt££*— ^im^-and_ I — -come int o my 
room, aiiiL]£L-LLS comgjt^i.ai2m^_2£a aaBiMMaL^ 

When we had got into his private room, Napoleon 
asked me whether there would be any objection to 
the presence of Bassano ; in a negotiation there should 
be a Protocol writer, and this part should be entrusted 
to his minister. He rang the bell and sent for the Duke 
of Bassano, who soon appeared. 

"We sat down at a httle table, on which the minister 
had placed the necessary writing materials. ' Formulate 
the articles,' said Napoleon to me, ' as you wish them 
to be.' 

I limited my demands to the following declarations, 
in a few words : — 

1. The Emperor of the French accepts the armed 
mediation of the Emperor of Austria. 

2. The Plenipotentiaries of the belligerent Powers 
will meet the mediating Court at a Conference to be 
held at Prague on the tenth of July. 

3. The tenth of August shall be fixed as the last day 
of the negotiations. 

4. All warhke operations to be discontinued till that 

After this statement of my demands. Napoleon said : 


' Put the articles upon paper ; I will add my ap- 

Never, surely, was so great a business settled in so 
short a time ! 

After Bassano and I had signed the act, and Napo- 
leon had confirmed and accepted it by countersigning 
it, he said to me : ' He who wills a thing must also will 
the means to bring it about. In respect of the fourth 
article only, there is a little difficulty to be removed. My 
truce with the Eussians and Prussians ends in the middle 
of July ; it must therefore be prolonged to the 10th of 
August, a day of ominous import. Can you take it 
on yourself to prolong the existing truce ? ' 

I replied that I had no power to do this ; but that 
I was prepared, on the part of the two allied monarchs, 
under the pressure of circumstances, to guarantee the 
prolongation of the truce ; upon this condition, I ex- 
pressed myself in the following terms : — 

' In order to maintain the armed territorial neutrafity, 
the Emperor Francis has prohibited the exportation of 
all provisions from Bohemia and Moravia since the cam- 
paign of 1813. The Russian and Prussian forces so 
closely concentrated in Upper Silesia cannot maintain 
their present position beyond the existing truce (July 
20), unless the necessary help be granted to enable 
them to meet the prolongation. But we have just 
heard the declaration from your Majesty that " he who 
wills a thing must also will the means to bring it 
about." For the Emperor of Austria the means exist 
only and solely in the removal of the prohibition which 
applies to the exportation of provisions in Silesia as well 
as on the Saxon frontier. Will your Majesty give me 
the assurance that the removing of the prohibition 
on the Silesian, Bohemian, and Moravian frontiers 


will not be considered as a breach of the Austrian 
neutrahty ? ' 

' Without the least hesitation ! ' answered the Em- 

An hour after this last conversation I left Dresden. 

After my return to Gitschin (July 1) all necessary 
arrangements were made for the commissariat of the 
Eussian and Prussian forces in Silesia, and for the rein- 
forcement of our own forces in Bohemia, for which 
purpose it was necessary to include the army then on 
the Polish frontiers. At the same time Poniatowsky 
demanded a passage through the Austrian neutral terri- 
tory, in the direction of Saxony. The Emperor granted 
this demand. I, for my part, made preparations for 
the meeting of the Plenipotentiaries of the belligerent 
Powers in Prague, under the mediation of Austria ; and 
the Emperor left the head-quarters and went to Brandeis, 
to be near the place where the negotiations were to be 
carried on. 

The Plenipotentiaries of Eussia and Prussia made 
their appearance in Prague at the appointed hour. 
Count Narbonne, French Ambassador at the Imperial 
court, who had been appointed second Plenipotentiary 
to Napoleon, had also arrived punctually. The Duke of 
Vicenza (Caulaincourt), Napoleon's first Plenipotentiary, 
was the only one behind»his time. When he appeared, 
after the hour appointed for opening the negotiations, 
he came up to me at once. On my request that he 
would hand me his credentials, he explained that he 
awaited their arrival, but was nevertheless ready .to 
take part in the conferences. I answered him that I 
should not open the conference before the deUvery of 
the credentials. He begged me not to insist upon this 
mere formality. I rephed again, that I could not do this ; 


on the contrary, I considered it my duty to avoid every 
meeting which could have the appearance of a confer- 
ence till the arrival of the credentials of the French 
Plenipotentiaries. ' The Emperor, your master,' I said to 
him, ' knows too well the necessary formalities, to have 
neglected to furnish his Plenipotentiaries with their cre- 
dentials unintentionally.' Caulaincourt persisted that it 
was not so, and could not be so. ' The Emperor would 
not,' he said, ' have chosen me to carry out any under- 
hand proceeding. He knows that I should never have 
accepted a mission under such auspices.' I explained 
again the firm determination of myself and the other 
Plenipotentiaries not to enter on any conferences with- 
out the strict observation of diplomatic forms ; all the 
less since there were still differences between the Allied 
courts and Napoleon with regard to the kind of the 
negotiations which they should adopt. Only a fortnight 
remained open until August 10, which was fixed as the 
last day for the negotiations. They passed without the 
letters for the French Plenipotentiaries arriving, and 
therefore without any approach to the subjects about 
which the negotiation was to have been held. 

I had the passports prepared for Count Narbonne 
in his capacity of Ambassador at the Imperial court, and 
I put the finishing touch to the Emperor's war mani- 
festo. These documents I despatched as the clock 
struck twelve on the night of August 10. Then I had 
the beacons hghted, which had been prepared from 
Prague to the Silesian frontier, as a sign of the breach 
of the negotiations, and the right of the Allied armies 
to cross the Silesian frontier. 

In the course of the morning of August 12 a courier 
from Dresden arrived at Prague, who brought the let- 
ters to the French Plenipotentiaries. The Duke of 


Vicenza and Count Narbonne then came to me. I told 
them it would be no longer possible to make use of 
these letters ; the die was cast, and the fate of Europe 
was once more left to the decision of arms. 

But this time the cards were mixed differently, 
and events proved that fortune and chance had their 

Stipulations of Teplitz. 

The attitude to be taken by Austria was clearly 
shown when the last prospect of a peaceful under- 
standing between the Powers vanished. The mediation, 
which was hke a bridge from one bank of a stream to 
the other, — whether the bank to be attained was peace 
or war, — was at an end, and that not by the fault of 
the mediating Power, nor of the Powers at war with 
Napoleon. Our proper place was, therefore, on the side 
of the AlHes. To take this position rightly the basis of 
an enlarged alhance must be first arranged. 

I will here give in a few words the views and 
feelings which the Emperor and I, in the most perfect 
harmony, laid down as invariable rules for our guidance 
in the immediate as well as the more remote future. 

The object we must keep before us was the re- 
estabhshment of a state of peace, firmly based on the 
principles of order. As the means to attain this, I 
pointed out to the Emperor : — 

1. The removal of the idea of conquest from the 
Alhance by the return of France, Austria, and Prussia 
to their former territorial hmits. 

2. The consideration of the international differences 
between consummated conquests and via facti incorpor- 
ations of territory, without formal renunciation by their 
former possessors in favour of the conqueror. The 



last-named must be immediately and unconditionally 
restored to their former possessors, whilst the first must, 
as countries dehvered from the dominion of France by 
the AUied Powers, be considered common property, and 
reserved for the future disposal of those Powers. 

The countries which were included in the category 
of via facti incorporations were : 

a) The possessions of the House of Hanover ; 
h) That part of the States of the Church not 
mentioned in the Peace of Tolentino ; 

c) The possessions of the King of Sardinia on the 
continent ; 

d) The possessions of the House of Orange in 
Germany ; and, 

e) The possessions of the Electorate of Hesse. 

3. The adjournment of all negotiations regarding 
the disposal of the countries which would form the 
common property of the AlHance till peace is con- 
cluded ; and the reference of their final destination to a 
European Congress to be held after the Peace. 

The three measures just named, besides their own 
innate value, presented the incalculable advantage of 
preserving the great enterprise from discord amongst 
the AlUes. 

With these we considered another object of the 
highest importance : the question of quid faciendum 
with the German territories. The points already else- 
where mentioned, which arose between the Emperor 
and myself on the question, determined us to give up 
the idea of a restoration of the old Empire, and to keep 
to the form of a Confederation. 

That this determination would meet with opponents 
from different and quite opposite quarters was to be 


expected, and we did not deceive ourselves in the 
matter. We were well aware that many desires for 
conquest would have to be checked, many individual 
interests would have to be restrained. All considera- 
tions of this kind were subordinate to the aim and 
intention of the Emperor Francis, to secure to Europe 
and his own Empire the blessings of political peace for 
as many years as possible. Party spirit was not to be 
considered in an undertaking of this magnitude, and we 
did not concern ourselves about it. 

After the battle of Liitzen, the King of Saxony had, 
in consequence of Napoleon's threat of dethroning him, 
broken off his alliance with Austria, and returned from 
Prague to Dresden. If this step, which was explained 
by the condition of Saxony, cost the King half of his 
country, the other half owed its existence as an inde- 
pendent state to the monarch so richly endowed with 
virtue, but so hardly pressed by destiny ; and at any 
rate it was only Austria who could complain of the 
breach of faith. 

After the campaign of 1812, so unfortunate for 
Napoleon and his allies, the King of Bavaria took steps 
to obtain an understanding with Austria. We entered 
into this, not only for the sake of the reinforcements of 
our armies which w^ould result to the Alliance from 
the accession of Bavaria in case of a continuation of the 
war, but also to secure our plan for the estabhshment 
of a German Confederation. 

After the dissolution of the Congress of Prague 
(which had never been a living power), the Monarchs of 
Austria, Eussia, and Prussia, with the leaders of their 
cabinets, met at Teplitz, where Field-Marshal Prince 
Schwarzenberg had his head-quarters. Negotiations as 
to the establishment and securing of fixed bases for the 


Quadruple Alliance, and for the conduct of the war, 
were the tasks of the Allied cabinets. We pointed out, 
as the foundation, as far as we were concerned, the 
three points alluded to above, as well as the conditio 
sine qud non of Austria joining the Alhance. For the 
crreatest possible security of the miUtary operations, we 
demanded further the union of the forces of the three 
continental Powers under the command of Field- 
Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg, and the division of the 
operations of the war into campaigns, with definite 

We appointed for the first campaign the time from 
the commencement of the war to the arrival of the 
united armies at the Ehine, where the three monarchs, 
with their cabinets and chief generals, would have to 
arrange the beginning and hmitation of a new cam- 
paign. According to my conviction, we could not ask 
more, neither could it be less. The result proved that 
I was right. The elements of which the three Allied 
armies consisted were essentially difierent. 

The Austrian army burned with a passionate desire 
to revenge the numerous defeats which they had sus- 
tained in the course of the long wars of the Eevolution. 
But accustomed always to obedience and strict disci- 
phne, they waited in patience till the order should reach 

Two feehngs appeared in the Russian army which, 
though they arose from the same source, differed much 
in their effects. It was filled with a proud conscious- 
ness (which, with the Eussians, easily degenerates into 
swagger) founded on the campaign of 1812, and a 
decided antipathy to seek new battles in distant coun- 
tries, when they saw an easy and certain conquest close 
at hand, and that Poland could be brought beneath the 


sceptre of their Emperor, without their requiring to 
make any further sacrifices. It is more than probable 
that Marshal Kutusow, if he had been still alive, would 
have opposed in the most determined manner his 
master's order to cross the Oder. 

The Prussian army only thought of taking revenge 
for a long and unsupportable pressure. This army, 
hastily collected from thoroughly national elements, 
long prepared and instructed by the Tugendbund, con- 
tained many battahons of fanatic volunteers, — fanatic 
as so many of the students and professors, literati and 
poets were at that time, — and burned with a desire to 
break forth at once into a war of extermination. 

In this picture the portraits of the Princes and their 
generals must not be omitted. 

The Emperor Francis, ripened by nature in the school 
of experience, ever dispassionate in his conclusions, 
never withholding a calm judgment, always acknow- 
ledged and respected the reasons for and against every- 
thing : holding his army well in hand, this monarch 
was always raised above inferior ends and the play of 

The Emperor of Eussia was animated by a noble 
ambition, but he well knew that he did not possess the 
qualities necessary for a commander-in-chief. Deter- 
mined, on the one hand, to carry out the great work of 
restoration, but full of respect for the feeling of his 
people and his army, which he knew not to be inchned 
for the enterprise, he was most anxious to secure suc- 
cess by rapid and decisive operations. 

The King of Prussia, calm in the midst of a highly 
excited people, and by nature little inclined to believe 
in easily gained victories, even where his army thought 
them certain, was a severe critic of all plans (withou 


himself bringing forward any) for the intended ope- 

But if there were essential differences between the 
characters of the monarchs, those between the com- 
manders of the three armies were no less evident. 

The chief qualities requisite for a great general were 
as obviously possessed by Prince Schwarzenberg as they 
were wanting in General Barclay de Tolly. 

General Bliicher, was a man of overflowing courage 
and energy, but impartial history will deny him many 
other quahties, without which a general cannot inspire 
lasting confidence. He was, however, the true repre- 
sentative of the national spirit of the time, and the King 
could not have given his army a better head. 

Behind the scenes moved two very different men. 
General Jomini had deserted the flag of the French army, 
and had just enlisted under that of Eussia. General 
Moreau had been summoned by the Emperor Alexander, 
and had reached him at Prague. Mistrusting his own 
military talent, this monarch had formed of these men 
a sort of secret council, and indulged the idea that 
with their help he could take upon himself the chief 
command of the Allied armies. This plan was, however, 
soon abandoned. 

The Emperor of Austria urged that the chief 
command should be given to Field-Marshal Prince 
Schwarzenberg, and the Emperor Alexander gave his 

The ill-timed attack on Dresden was made at the 
request of the Emperor Alexander, against the wish 
of the Commander-in-Chief. The great head-quarters 
were removed from TepJitz to Komotau, and the Allied 
armies crossed the Saxon frontier. The Emperor 
Alexander and the King of Prussia followed this opera- 


tion ; the Emperor Francis, who was opposed to it, re- 
mained at TepUtz. 

A few days after the frontier was crossed by the 
AlHed army, I received an urgent request from the 
Emperor of Russia that I would go to him. This I did, 
and met the Emperor in Saxon Altenburg. 

The Emperor declared to me that affairs could not 
go on longer as they were, and that a new arrangement 
must be made in place of that agreed on at Teplitz. 
To my question, what change was to be made, the 
Emperor rephed that he had decided to entrust the con- 
duct of the war to General Moreau. He did not, how- 
ever, conceal from himself that General Moreau, being 
a Frenchman, would not obtain the confidence of the 
AlHed armies ; that he, the Emperor, therefore, would 
take the title of Generahssimo, but that, knowing his 
own want of the necessary qualities, he would always 
follow the advice of the general, whom he would always 
keep at his side as his lieutenant. The appointment of _^ 
General Moreau, the Emperor thought, would soon be '^ 
justified in the eyes of the army by new successes ; and 
the very difiiculty which was thought to exclude him 
from the position intended for him, would in itself 
have a great effect upon the French army. He was 
certain that the mere name of Moreau, at the head of 
the AlUes, would have a magical effect upon the enemy's 

I at once declared that if his Imperial Majesty meant 
to insist on this arrangement, the Emperor, my master, 
would withdraw from the Alliance. With equal decision 
I withstood the expectations which the Emperor Alex- 
ander connected with the appearance of General Moreau 
in the ranks of the Allies, for, according to my sincere 
convictions — convictions, too, grounded on an intimate 


knowledge of the French character — the effect would be 
the very opposite, and would be seen only in the in- 
creased animosity of the French army. 

After a long pause, during which he seemed lost in 
profound thought, the Emperor at last broke silence, 
saying, ' Well and good, we will postpone the question, 
but I make you responsible for all the mischief which 
may arise from it.' 

Two days after this. General Moreau was mortally 
wounded by the side of the Emperor Alexander. When 
he met me the next day, he said to me, ' God has uttered 
His judgment : He was of your opinion ! ' 

There was one view which vehement politicians 
Hke Von Stein and others were never able to appre- 
ciate, but which was constantly before the Imperial 
cabinets : namely, that to secure the triumph of the 
Alliance so far as this was in the power of the leaders of 
the mighty undertaking, they had to consider not only 
the enemy, but also the Allies. If the agreement of mem- 
bers of an alliance upon a common object, and the 
sacrifices which it demands, is a problem difficult to be 
resolved in ordinary political alliances, this was pre- 
eminently the case in the impending war, in the waging 
of which Powers were leagued together whose posi- 
tions, geographical and political, were as different from 
each other as were their actual relations to the common 
enemy. How profoundly different were the situations 
of England, of Eussia, of Prussia, of Austria, and of the 
Princes of the Confederation of the Ehine, who owed 
all the growth of their power to the wars of Napoleon ! 
In league with these there was one element essentially 
different from all the others — the Swedish element, 
under Bernadotte, then Crown Prince, afterwards Charles 
John, King of Sweden. 


It does not admit of a doubt that the Crown Prince 
had personal designs on the throne of France. Even if 
his operations in the campaigns of 1813 and 1814 did 
not furnish the actual proof of the existence of this pre- 
tension, the words spoken by him would be equivalent 
to a confession. When he perceived at Zerbst the pe- 
culiar courtesy of the Swedish soldiers to the French 
prisoners-of-war, it is reported that he said to the people 
about him : ' It is inconceivable with what gentleness 
the Swedish soldier tends the French prisoners ; what 
instinct ! ' And on another occasion, after the battle of 
Grossbeeren, when an adjutant of the Prussian General 
Bulow brought the news of victory to Bernadotte, as he 
was riding along the road, accompanied by General Pozzo 
di Borgo, who was acting as Eussian Commissary, Ber- 
nadotte cried out enthusiastically : ' La France au plus 
digne I ' ' Grands Dieux,' answered Pozzo, ' la France 
est a moi.' The Crown Prince was silent. 

An account of the mihtary operations of the AUied 
armies does not fall in with the plan of this work, I 
wiU, therefore, touch upon these only in a summary 
way, remarking at the same time that the mysterious 
attitude of Napoleon, after the defeat, at Kulm, of the 
corps under command of Yandamme, which had forced 
its way into Bohemia, reversed the position of things, 
and that Prince Schwarzenberg availed himself of that 
favourable moment to carry out his first plan of opera- 
tion, which culminated in the battle of Leipsic* By 

* On the 18th of Octoher, 1813, at eleven o'clock in the morning, I went, in 
attendance on the three monarchs, to the place chosen hy Prince Schwarzen- 
herg as the most suitable point for himself and the monarchs to watch the 
battle ; and I did not leave this point of observation till the end of that 
bloody day, about six o'clock in the evening, when I returned with them. 
The monarchs required no report of the victory, for they were themselves 
spectators of it from a point commanding a view of the whole vast extent 


the event, rightly designated by universal consent as the 
Battle of the Nations, the power of Napoleon beyond the 
frontiers of his own empire was crushed ; and in order 
to terminate the first campaign of the AlHed Powers, 
nothing more was now required but to clear the Ger- 
man provinces between the Pleiss and the Rhine of 
the French forces. 

Administration of the Conquered German Countries. 

The revolutionary spirit which in 1807 had dis- 
guised itself under the cloak of Prussian patriotism, and 
afterwards in Teutonic colours, was, in the years 1812 and 
1813, introduced into the councils of the Emperor of 
Eussia by Baron Stein, General Gneisenau, and other 
Prussian and German fugitives. One need only look at 
some of the Russian proclamations in the campaign of 
1812 to remove all doubt on this subject. The same spirit 
prevailed in the negotiations between Russia and Prussia 
in Kalisch. The immediate interests of the two Powers 
were, however, not left out of sight. They promised to 
help each other in the conquest of the Duchy of Warsaw 
for Russia, and of the Kingdom of Saxony for Prussia. 

of the battle-field. The fate of this decisive day (not reckoning on acci- 
dents which may happen on any 'battle-field) was evident even by twelve 
o'clock at noon. The position taken by the French forces after the first 
morning hours was, and could only be, entirely a defensive one, for the pur- 
pose of covering their retreat over the river, which made a retreat to the 
west of Leipsic more difficult. An attack on Schonefeld, the farthest point 
on the outposts, and its capture by the Russian Guards, had no effect in 
deciding the event of the day, which had, as we before said, been certain 
for many hours. The arrangements of the Oommander-in-Ohief were there- 
fore concerned only with the pursuit of the enemy, and the taking possession 
of the town of Leipsic on the following morning. 

Knowing the religious feeling of the three monarchs, we may be sure 
that they ascribed the victory of the day to the Disposer of events, with 
truly thankful hearts ; but that, on the news of the victory of October 18, 
they fell down on their knees, on the hill from which they had watched the 
battle, is only a poetic embellishment. 

VOL. I. P 



The conventions made on this subject between the two 
monarchs placed them afterwards in a false position in 
the carrying out of the great work of the political resto- 
ration of Europe, and they were the source of many 
and great difficulties between those two courts and that 
of Austria. 

Von Stein was selected by the Emperor Alexander, 
after the retreat of Napoleon in 1812, to be the director 
of the future fate of Germany. His influence in the 
deliberations at Kahsch was very marked, and it made 
itself felt tin the second Peace of Paris in 1815. But it 
was in Leipsic that the Emperor of Eussia first intro- 
duced him to the Austrian Cabinet. 

After the entrance of the Allies into that town, 
October 19, the Emperor Alexander sent for me on the 
20th to inform me of the necessity of putting Von 
Stein at the head of the administration of the Ger- 
man countries already conquered or expected to be so. 
This administration had really become necessary, in 
consequence of the agreement, made in Teplitz, for the 
provisional destination of these conquests. As I had 
long known the perversity of Von Stein's character, I 
strongly protested against his being chosen. The Em- 
peror Francis personally supported my endeavours, but 
they were ineffectual. The Emperor of Eussia in- 
formed me at last that he had given his word to Stein, 
and that it was impossible to break it, without exposing 
himself to the reproach of great weakness. It was, 
therefore, necessary to yield the point. The committee 
of arrangement was appointed, under the presidency of 
Von Stein ; but I acquainted the Eussian monarch 
with my opinion of the deplorable consequences to '. 
Germany from the appointment of a man who was 
under the immediate guidance of the revolutionary 


ox THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 1813—1814. 211 

party. Events proved that my prediction was well 
founded. The administration, of which the internal 
arrangement was made at Leipsie, became the support 
and engine of that party, and to its immediate influence 
may be chiefly ascribed the revolutionary turn which 
the public spirit of Germany took at a later period. 
This administration was composed of the leaders of the 
popular party at that time, and this it was which organ- 
ised the revolution that would certainly have broken 
out in Germany but for the vigorous efibrts of the 
AlUed courts for the safety of themselves and their 
peoples. It is sufficient to mention Jahn, Arndt, even 
Gorres, and many others, to remove all doubt on the 

The King of Saxony in Leipsie. 

At the entrance of the Allied monarchs into Leipsie 
(October 19, 1813), the King of Saxony stood at the 
window of his hotel to see them pass. None of the 
monarchs turned to look at him. 

The three monarchs met to consider the fate of this 

Prince. We wished to appoint Prague as his place of 

residence for the present. The Emperor of Eussia and^ 

the King of Prussia had already determined to send him 

to Berlin. We agreed that the monarchs should not 

see the King, and I was charged to announce his fate to 

him. I went to the King's palace, and was admitted 

without delay. The King awaited me standing in his 

reception-room, and received me with friendHness. I 

executed my mission with as much delicacy as possible. 

The King listened, not without emotion, but with an 

expression of thorough resignation. He said some words 

and tried to make me understand that his position was 

of such a kind that no other attitude had been possible 

p 2 


for him. I answered that, in my capacity of leader of 
the cabinet, I felt it to be my duty to point out to him 
that all his misfortunes were the consequence of his first 
mistake of refusing the hand we had stretched out to 
save him and his country. The King ofiered me his 
sword. I explained to him that I did not consider my- 
self authorised to receive it. 

During our conversation the Queen of Saxony entered 
the room. When she heard the object of my visit, she 
betrayed the greatest agitation. She reproached me 
bitterly that I myself had opposed Napoleon's cause, 
which she called the cause of God. I answered her 
quietly that I had not come to the King to argue this 
matter with her. The King immediately departed for 
Berlin and Freienwalde. 

Residence in Frankfort. 

Frankfort was, from its situation, the place where 
the future operations had to be arranged. Up to this 
time the monarchs had only followed the movements of 
the army after the battle of Leipsic. The only diplo- 
matic action between October 18 and November 6, the 
day of the Emperor of Austria's arrival in Frankfort, 
was the Peace which I signed at Fulda, on November 2, 
with the King of Wurtemberg. The Princes of the 
Confederation of the Ehine had sent plenipotentiaries 
in great haste to Frankfort, in order to join in the 
conference with the Allies. The united Cabinets ap- 
pointed Plenipotentiaries for the business of signing the 
different documents. These Plenipotentiaries were, for 
Austria Baron Binder, for Eussia Herr von Anstett, and 
for Prussia Baron von Humboldt. They signed in one 
day twenty-two treaties. 

The great poHtical question was to fix the course of 


a new campaign. Germany was evacuated : of French 
military there Avere only the garrisons of some fortresses 
on the Oder and the Elbe. The AlHed armies, every- 
where victorious, were now still further reinforced by 
the German contingents. The object of the war of 1813 
was attained — Napoleon was repulsed and driven back 
over the Ehine. What was to be done in the next year ? 
This was what we had to decide. 

On the following points we were all agreed : — 

1. To carry the war beyond the Ehine into the 
interior of France. 

2. By this proceeding to strike a blow at the very 
existence of the Emperor Napoleon which might be 
decisive in its consequences. 

3. To wait to see what effect the misfortunes of the 
two last campaigns and the invasion of the French ter- 
ritory would have on the mind of the nation ; further 

4. It was resolved, at my suggestion, that if once 
the heights of the Vosges and the Ardennes were occu- 
pied, a plan must be made for the mihtary operations 
which would amount to a third campaign, deciding the 
future fate of France, and therefore also the triumph 
of the Quadruple Alliance. The most important motives 
decided me to this course. They will be seen more 
clearly in the sketch I shall afterwards give of the 
' Eesidence in Langres.' 

But, before crossing the Ehine, some resolutions 
must be taken on both moral and mihtary grounds. It 
was not an easy undertaking. 

The Emperor of Eussia, prepossessed by revolution- 
ary ideas, surrounded by men like Laharpe, Stein, and 
Jomini, entertained plans which would have led the 
world to ruin. The Eussian army remained quiet, and 
thought its object gained. If Marshal Kutusow had been 


still living, it would not liave left the Oder. The Prus- 
sian army ruled the cabinet ; it thirsted only for revenge. 
Bllicher and the Free Corps thought only of the destruc- 
tion and plundering of Paris. The revolutionary seed, 
which had borne so much fruit in Prussia since 18U8, 
grew and flourished on this extensive field. Men like 
Arndt, Jahn, and others, who distinguished themselves 
so deplorably, had all appointments in the army at 
Frankfort, or about the ministers. 

The efforts of the Emperor of Austria were directed 
to good ends only ; and the task fell on me, in these 
difficult circumstances, to clear the way for events, and 
prevent evil designs from neutralising the really good, 
and bringing about a situation which would only too 
easily have involved the future of society itself. 

I proposed, in the first place, to issue a manifesto to 
the French people, in the name of the Allied monarchs, 
to enhghten the French nation on the motives and ob- 
jects of the invasion. 

Being thoroughly acquainted with the public feehng 
in France, I felt certain that in the appeal mention 
should be made of the Ehine, the Alps, and the Pyre- 
nees as the natural boundaries of France, thus offering 
a bait which would be taken by all, and flattering the 
vanity instead of embittering the feehngs of the nation. 
Intending to separate Napoleon still more from the 
nation, and at the same time to act on the mind of the 
army, I proposed further to join with the idea of natural 
boundaries the offer of an immediate negotiation. As 
the Emperor Francis sanctioned my intention, I laid it 
before their Majesties of Eussia and Prussia. Both of 
them feared that Napoleon, trusting to the chances of 
the future, might by accepting the proposal with quick 
and energetic decision, put an end to the affair. I used 

ON THE fflSTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 1813—1814. 215 

all my powers of persuasion on the two monarchs to 
lead them to share my conviction that Napoleon would 
never voluntarily take such a decision. The substance 
of the proclamation was decided on, and it was left to 
me to fill up the details. 

Baron St.-Aignan, the French Ambassador at the 
ducal court of Saxony, had been taken prisoner in 
Gotha, and brought to Bohemia by the troops of the 
Alhes. I proposed to make amends for a proceeding so 
contrary to • all international rights, and to take ad- 
vantage of his being summoned to Frankfort, to let the 
Emperor Napoleon know of our projected plan. Baron 
St.-Aignan was summoned, and I had a long conversation 
with him, in the presence of Count Nesselrode and Lord 
Aberdeen, and we then allowed him to depart imme- 
diately for Paris. At the same time twenty thousand 
copies of the proclamation were printed and sent, by all 
possible means, across the Ehine and all over France. 
Afterwards I heard from the Prince of Neufchatel that the 
fij*st of the proclamations which was posted up in Paris 
was brought by Savary, then Minister of Pohce, to the 
Emperor Napoleon, who, on reading it, said : ' No one but 
Metternich can have concocted this document ; talking 
of the Ehine, the Alps, and the Pyrenees is a thorough 
piece of cunning. It could only enter into the head of 
a man who knows France as well as he does.' 

Napoleon had made a proposal for the renewal of 
the negotiations for the conclusion of peace. On the 
side of Prussia, the feeling was decidedly against any such 
negotiations. The Emperor Alexander inclined to the 
opinion of the Austrian Cabinet, that the way should 
never be closed against peaceful tendencies, even in 
the hottest fight. The Emperor Francis believed in 
the sincerity of Napoleon's mood ; but I was convinced 


of the contrary. It seemed to me that an acceptable 
end of the war could not be intended by the man who 
had, as it were, burned his ships behind him ; but I 
thought it the duty of the Powers at least to hear the 
conditions with which Napoleon was prepared to come 

The three courts answered the proposals of Napo- 
leon with the calm consciousness of strength, and de- 
clared themselves ready for a meeting of deputies in 
Mannheim ; but refused to listen to any hints for the 
suspension of warlike operations. My prediction that 
the idea of peace was far from Napoleon proved to be 
right. He never carried out the meeting in Mann- 

The question was now to arrange the plans for the 
mihtary operations, and this presented great difficulties. 

Field-Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg proposed a 
general attack on three hnes of operation : namely, the 
right wing of the great army, consisting of the Prussian 
forces, under the command of General Bluchcr, should 
cross the Ehine between Mayence and Cologne, advance 
towards the Netherlands, and take the direction to 
Lothringen and the slopes of the Ardennes. The centre 
of the army, composed of Austrian and Eussian troops, 
should cross the Rhine between Mannheim and Basle, and 
lead the chief line of operations of the Austrian army 
through Switzerland. A corps of the latter, under the 
command of General Bubna, would have to march out 
of Italy by the Simplon Pass, to occupy La Vallee, to 
take Geneva and Lyons, and thus to form the extreme 
outer left wing. 

The impatience of the Prussian army, and its wish to 
get to Paris as soon as possible, even if it went alone, de- 
cided Marshal Blucher to propose an operation directed 


towards Verdun, like the one which ended so unfortu- 
nately in 1792. Supported by the Russian and Austrian 
forces, he did not fear similar misfortunes, whilst this 
operation would really have brought him to Paris by 
the shortest route. 

A subordinate circumstance, but one of the kind 
which had already so often influenced the Emperor of 
Russia, determined his Imperial Majesty to propose a 
modified plan, between those of the Austrian and Prussian 
generals. This proposal was grounded on the desire 
that the neutrality of Switzerland should be respected, 
and presupposed a general and simultaneous movement 
of the Allied armies, to cross the Rhine in several places 
between Altbreisach and Cologne. The secret of this 
plan was as follows : — 

Laharpe, Jomini, and other Swiss revolutionaries, 
had urged vehemently on the Emperor Alexander what 
they called respect for Helvetian neutrality. Several 
considerations had led them to this wish. Laharpe and 
the Vaudois feared a return to the old order of things, 
as a consequence of which the new Cantons might lose 
their pohtical existence. Whereas by preserving their 
political existence, they hoped to succeed in transform- 
ing the old Cantons into an entirely democratic system. 
Lastly, Laharpe and his friends wished to keep Switzer- 
land, whatever might happen, open as an asylum for the 
revolutionaries of France, and of all other countries oc- 
cupied, or which might be occupied, by-the Allies. The 
Emperor of Russia had committed himself to them by 
certain engagements ; but they set other springs in 
motion to make their cause certain. They suggested 
the despatch of a deputation to Frankfort to require the 
confirmation of the neutrahty. The Emperor of Russia, 
without giving any decided promises, such as he had 


given to some of his intimate friends, did not, however, 
fail to dismiss the deputation with a confident hope that 
the neutrahty of Switzerland would not be violated. 
But there was another circumstance which had a much 
more decisive effect upon the attitude of the Emperor. 

A lady, formerly governess of the Grand-Duchess 
Marie of Weimar, a Vaudois who had been sent by the 
Cantons to Frankfort to implore the support of her 
Imperial Highness, had been listened to by the Princess. 
The Emperor Alexander, on his side, had promised his 
sister that he would never allow the Allied armies to 
enter Switzerland. He even empowered her to mention 
this promise in a letter which the Grand-Duchess wrote 
to her former governess, and which the Grand-Duchess 
expressly allowed her to show in confidence to her 
friends at Lausanne. 

Several daj^'s were lost in mere councils of war 
between the leaders of the different armies. Each of 
them defended his own plan of operation ; and all 
rational arguments supported the plan of Field-Marshal 
Prince Schwarzenberg, which had the more to say for 
itself as the prehminary preparations, made by me in 
Switzerland, could leave us no doubt that the sound 
part of the Swiss people would give a good reception 
to the Austrian army, which was the only one that 
could enter Switzerland, and would welcome them as 
liberators. When the Emperor of Russia had lost all 
hope of bringing the Austrian and Prussian generals 
over to his plan, one evening about ten o'clock he sent 
to me Prince Demeter Wolkonski, chief of the staff, 
with an invitation to come to him without delay. 

Introduced into the closet of his Imperial Majesty, 
I found the generals of the three armies assembled 
there. The Emperor at once began, and said to me 


that the council of war, after fruitless endeavours to 
;i<Tree about the plan of impending operations, had come 
to the resolution of referring the decision to a third 
person, and that his — the Emperor's — choice had fallen 
upon me. Although not in doubt what I should do, I 
nevertheless asked to be informed of the discussion 
which had taken place. The Emperor then undertook 
to explain to me the different plans of operation. 

I began by insisting on the analogy of the views 
of his Imperial Majesty with those of the Austrian 
(.^ommander, and on the strong grounds which existed 
for the choice of Switzerland as a basis of operation. 
The Emperor, although he allowed me to unfold all the 
mihtary and poHtical grounds which I brought forward 
in the support of my advice, at last expressed himself 
to this effect : that, although he did not deny the 
cogency of my arguments, he could never agree to the 
violation of the neutrality of Switzerland. I repUed to 
the Emperor that such a measure would as little fall in 
with my views ; but the most important grounds per- 
mitted me to assume it as a certainty that whenever we 
appeared on the soil of the Confederation we should be 
received as friends and hberators. His Majesty replied 
to me that special grounds and considerations, which 
perhaps applied only to himself, would always restrain 
him from exposing himself to the danger, or even the 
possibility, of meeting with opposition from the Cantons. 
Ultimately the Emperor consented that if we should 
succeed in obtaining permission from the Swiss to make 
use of the bridge at Basle, to this he would make no 
objection. Upon this concession, I advanced a step 
further, and, without rejecting it, I expressed my con- 
viction that the permission to pass through the whole 
territory of the Confederation would encounter no 


more opposition than would the permission to cross the 
one bridge, by which the partisans of the pretended 
neutraUty would consider it just as much violated. 1 
concluded the discussion by deciding in favour of the 
plan of Prince Schwarzenberg, with due consideration 
for the wishes of his Majesty the Emperor Alexander, 
especially in paying all possible respect to the Swiss 

Residence in Freiburg and Basle. 

During the negotiations in Frankfort I had taken 
every possible step to obtain permission for the entrance 
of the Imperial troops into Switzerland. Baron Leb- 
zeltern was in Zurich at the Bundesdirectorium^ Count 
Senfft in Berne. Prince Schwarzenberg had put him- 
self into immediate communication with the mihtary 
chiefs of the Swiss contingents. There could be no 
doubt that the army would be well received in Switzer- 
land, and that at their first appearance the troops of 
the Eepublie would join them. 

Since Marshal Bliicher's plan of operations was set 
aside, the head-quarters of the Russian and Austrian 
army were removed to Brisgau. 

Prince Schwarzenberg had hastened on several days 
before the departure of their Majesties, and fixed on 
Lorrach for their head-quarters. When I was in 
Frankfort, I received a letter from him, in which he 
informed me of the impossibility of his putting ofi* 
crossing the Ehine beyond the end of the year, because 
the means were wanting to support the numerous forces 
drawn up from Schafi"hausen to the heights of Freiburg. 
At the same time he let me know that, in concert 
with the Swiss generals, he had made arrangements 
to cross the Ehine from SchafThausen to Basle at all f 


the necessary points. I presented myself to take the 
orders of the Emperor, and set out without delay to 
Freiburg, authorised by his Majesty to make all ar- 
rangements for carrying out the operation with the 

The Emperor of Eussia had left Frankfort two days 
earher, and was in Carlsruhe with the family of the 
Empress. I made my arrangements so that I had to 
pass this town at two o'clock in the morning. The 
Emperor Francis followed me five-and-twenty hours 
later. Immediately on my arrival in Freiburg, I found 
the last news required for the final arrangement of my 
diplomatic plan, which was designed to support the 
mihtary plan of the field-marshal. The same night I 
sent to Baron Lebzeltern in Zurich a courier with the 
sketch of the official note, which was to be delivered 
to the Diet assembled in that town. Prince Schwarzen- 
berg ordered the crossing of the Rhine ; and on the 
arrival of the Emperor in Freiburg, I was so fortunate 
as to be able to inform him that the troops of the 
Confederation had joined those of his Majesty, and that 
the latter had everywhere met with the most favourable 

There still remained the difficulty of informing his 
Majesty the Emperor of Russia that the event had- 
really been accomphshed which he had pronounced to 
be impossible. The Emperor Francis instructed me to 
execute this commission on the following day, when the 
arrival of his ally was expected. 

On December 22 the Emperor went to meet the 
Russian monarch two miles outside the town. I ac- 
companied his Majesty. At the moment of the meeting 
of the two monarch s, the Emperor Alexander addressed 
me with the question whether there was any news. I 


replied that I could not answer his question till we 
had arrived at the hotel. The Emperor Francis accom- 
panied the Emperor of Russia to his apartments, and 
then left him. The latter asked me to come into his 
private room : ' Your Majesty,' I said, ' has addressed 
a question to me which it was impossible for me to 
answer in the presence of so many persons. I am 
not yet certain how your Majesty will take what I have 
to tell you, even here between ourselves. The Austrian 
army crossed the Rhine, the night before last, at several 
points between Schaffhausen and Basle.' 

The Emperor was very much agitated by this news ; 
when he had collected himself, he asked how the army 
had been received. ' Amid cheers for the Alhance, your 
Majesty. The Confederate troops in a body have joined 
our flag, and the people came in crowds from all sides 
to bring provisions to the army, for which we paid in 
ready money.' 

I could easily read in the Emperor's features the 
conflicting feelings which this news excited. After a 
longer pause, he took my hand and said : — ' Success 
crowns the undertaking : it remains for success to 
justify what you have done. As one of the Allied 
monarchs I have nothing more to say to you ; but as a 
. man I declare to you that you have grieved me in a 
way that you can never repair.' 

I remained quiet, and repHed to his Majesty that my 
conscience did not reproach me, because his glory was 
as dear to me as the great cause which was his as well 
as that of all Europe. 

' You do not know how you have grieved me,' said 
the Emperor hastily. ' You do not know the peculiar 
circumstances of my position.' 

' I know them,' I rephed, ' and I beheve I know 


them fully. It is not for you to reproach me, your 
Majesty. The regret is much more on my side. Why 
did your Majesty not let me know what I ought to have 
known, even if it were only to oppose it? Your Majesty 
would have been spared many griefs, and your friend 
the Emperor also.' 

' The thing is done,' said the Emperor quietly ; ' it 
is good from a miHtary point of view, so then let per- 
sonal considerations yield to the common good. Let us 
go straight on to the end in view, and talk no more 
about it.' 

And, in fact, we did not talk any more about it, and 
the Emperor Alexander never mentioned the subject to 
the Emperor Francis. 

The military arrangements for carrying out the 
operations were quickly made. The Emperor of Eussia 
asked as a favour that his guard, which formed the head 
of the Eussian columns, might pass the bridge of Basle 
on the Greek New Year's Day (January 13, 1814). 
His wish was granted, although the general operation 
suffered some useless delay in consequence. 

Our stay in Basle had nothing remarkable in it but 
the arrival of Lord Castlereagh. It was here that a 
few hours' conversation sufficed to lay the foundation of 
a good feeling between this upright and enlightened 
statesman and myself, which the following eventful 
years cemented and enlarged. 

I found Lord Castlereagh not quite thoroughly in- 
formed of the real state of affairs on the Continent. 
His straightforward feeling, free from all prejudice and 
prepossession, and his justice and benevolence gave him 
a quick insight into the truth of things. I soon saw 
that his ideas about the reconstruction of France in a 
manner compatible with the general interests of Europe 



did not materially differ from mine. Thus the resi- 
dence in Basle was merely a preparation for the poUtical 
scene which was soon inaugurated in Langres. 

Residence in Langres. 

Langres, the crowning point of the Vosges where 
they overlook the plains of France, and the heights of 
the Ardennes, were fixed on by the Frankfort decrees as 
the strategic line where the third operation was to 
begin. We entered Langres on January 25, 1814, and 
the following days were occupied with negotiations of 
the greatest importance. These would remain unknown 
to the world for ever if I did not record them here. 

As the monarchs and their cabinets were here 
together, no protocols were drawn up, so that no written 
trace exists of proceedings which had the most impor- 
tant consequences. The correspondence of Lord Castle- 
reagh with his cabinet may contain some fragments, but 
it cannot give the complete course, for the principal 
questions were only discussed between the Emperor of j 
Eussia and myself. 

Soon after the arrival of the monarchs in Langres, 
I was informed by the sagacious and far-seeing men of] 
the cabinet of the Emperor Alexander that this monarch 
was much agitated at the necessity of coming to a con- 
clusion with respect to the future form of government j 
to be estabhshed in France, which indeed was the most 
important of all questions. The overthrow of Napoleon 
seemed to be inevitable. The attempt to come to a 
treaty of peace which should maintain him on the 
throne had been unsuccessful from his own fault, and 
would in no way have attained the objects of the great 
AUiance — the object, namely, of establishing a state of 
peace based on the due consideration of the relations 


of the Powers to each other, and promising as much 
durabihty as can be expected from any pohtical crea- 

Every peace with Napoleon which would have 
thrown him back to the old boundaries of France, and 
which would have deprived him of districts that had 
been conquered before he came to power, would only 
have been a ridiculous armistice, and would at once have 
been repelled by him. There remained, therefore, only 
three possibihties : the recall of the Bourbons ; a regency 
till the majority of Napoleon's son ; the nomination of a 
third person to the throne of France. 

Everything — ^just rights as well as reason, the interest 
of France as well as the general interest of Europe — 
spoke in favour of the first course. The Emperor of 
Austria did not for a moment doubt this. The same 
thing cannot be said of his Majesty the Emperor of 
Eussia. The revolutionary spirits who surrounded this 
monarch, and who at that time exercised a pernicious 
and only too decisive influence on the tendencies of his 
mind, had laboured for a long time in a direction opposed 
to the legitimate claims of the Bourbon family. They 
ceased not to represent its return as a vain under- 
taking. The Emperor was convinced of this. Diffi- 
culties easy to be conceived were raised against the 
accession to the throne of Napoleon's son, then a httle 
child. The man who was at once suggested for the 
third of the supposed cases was the Crown Prince of 
Sweden. The intrigues of himself and of his friends 
had not been without their efiects. His previous life 
and career rendered him accessible to the revolutionary 
party ; and there is no doubt that Laharpe himself 
would have raised him to the throne had not his tho- 
roughly republican feehng and sentiment preferred a 
VOL. L Q, 


return "to that constitution which best corresponded 
with his mode of thinking. 

I allowed the first days to pass ; they were devoted 
to purely mihtary arrangements. The exaggerated zeal 
of the Prussian generals needed to be restrained. We 
at last settled on the plan which promised most success 
against the resistance to be expected from Napoleon's 
genius when driven to its last defences. It was re- 
solved that the Austrian army and the greater part of 
the Eussian and Prussian Guards should form one great 
army. Another was formed by the Prussian army, re- 
inforced by two Eussian corps. The object of all the 
operations was to be — Paris. The hue of operation of 
Prince Schwarzenberg was to be in the direction of the 
Seine — that of General Bllicher the direction of the 
Marne. If Napoleon offered battle to one or other of 
the armies, the one attacked was not to accept the 
challenge, but to wait till the Allies came to its help. 
The corps under the command of General Bubna, 
should take Lyons, and keep in check and beat the 
army opposed to him under Augereau. 

When these dispositions were determined on, I was 
sent for, one evening, by the Emperor of Eussia. He 
began the conversation with the explanation of the chief \ 
reasons which had prevented him from sooner expres- 
sing his thoughts to the Allies regarding the future 
government of France. He imparted to me his par- 
ticular wish, for these same reasons, to learn on the very 
spot itself the true feeling of the French nation. ' It 
is against the Bourbons,' said the Emperor to me ; ' and 
to bring these back to a throne which they had not 
known how to keep would be to expose France, and 
eventually aU Europe, to another Eevolution, of which 
no one can foretell the consequences. To choose a new 


ruler is a very difficult undertaking for a foreigner. My 
resolution, therefore, is taken. The operations against 
Paris must be continued with vigour ; we must take 
possession of the city. On the approach of this event, 
which will crown the military successes of the Alliance, 
it will be necessary to issue a Proclamation to the 
French people, declaring our determination to have 
nothing to do with the choice of a form of government, 
or the selection of a ruler. At the same time we must 
summon the original assemblies, and demand that a 
proper number of deputies should be sent to Paris to 
decide both these points in the name of the nation.' 

I did not think it prudent directly to oppose a scheme 
which apparently was not merely the Emperor's own 
idea. As it was most important to me to learn the 
details of this plan, I only expressed my doubt whether 
its results would ever answer the expectations of his 
Majesty. ' Bonaparte,' I observed to the Emperor, ' has 
mastered the Eevolution ; the plan of caUing the nation 
to dehberate on questions concerning the foundation 
of the social edifice of France, and thereby causing, 
as it were, a second Convention, would unchain the 
Eevolution again, and that can never be the object of 
the Alliance, nor the meaning of their deliberations.' 

The Emperor repHed, with vivacity, that my obser- 
vations would be correct if the monarchs did not hold 
in theii: hands the measures by which revolutionary 
evils could be restrained. ' We are in France,' he con- 
tinued, ' and our armies are numerous : they will inti- 
midate the agitators. The deputies of the nation will 
only have to give their opinion on two questions — namely, 
the form of government and the selection of a ruler. 
The Repubhc is at an end. It has fallen by its own 
excesses. The Prince whom the nation will give to itself 

Q 2 


mil have less difficulty in establishing his authority. The 
authority of Napoleon is broken, and no one will haire 
anything more to do with it. A more essential point 
will be to direct the assembly aright. I have in readi- 
ness, the man most suitable for this, most fitted for an 
affair, which would perhaps be impossible to a novice. 
We entrust the direction of this matter to Laharpe.' 

I thought this the right moment to attack the 

* This plan,' I replied, ' will never be accepted by 
the Emperor, my master ; and if he shoidd give way, I 
should immediately lay my resignation at his feet. The 
carrying out of this plan would cause France and the 
whole of Europe years of confimon and sorrow. If 
M. Laharpe thinks himself able to answer for tiie result, 
he is mistakpTi ; and I speak only of the material dis- 
advantages, for what will become of Europe even firom 
the mere starting of the principle on which the idea 
rests ? The confidence which your Majesty has just 
shown me by giving me an insight into your views on 
the most important question of the day,* I continued, 
'demands from me the most perfect candour. What I 
am now going to say to you, your Majesty, is what the 
Emperor Francis thinks. Mapoleon's power i? broken, 
and will not lise again. This is the fate of the power of 
a usurper when a crisis arrives. When the overthrow 
of the Empire comes, there will be only the Bourbons 
to take possession again of their undying rights. They 
will do it by the power of events and the wish of the 
nation ; about which, in my opinion, there can be no 
doubt. The Emperor Frauds will never £a,vour any 
other dynasty.' 

The Emperor Alexander dismissed me with the 
charge to report our conversation to my master. It was 


midnight. On my return, I found at my house, Count 
Nesselrode and General Pozzo di Borgo. They knew 
that I had spent the evening with the Emperor Alex- 
ander. I trusted them sufficiently to inform them of the 
subject of our conversation. They were both much 
agitated, and begged me never to r^lax my opposition 
to ideas which they judged as I did, both from a con- 
sideration of their real meaning and the source from 
which alone they could have sprung. 

I was authorised by the Emperor Francis to go so 
far as to threaten th-e immediate withdrawal of his 

The following evening, I went again to the Emperor 
of Eussia. I had heard during the day that he was much 
excited, but did not speak to any of his ministers on the 
subject of our conversation of the preceding day. His 
Majesty enquired from me what were the views of the 
Emperor of Austria on this subject. 

' To answer your Majesty in a few words,' I replied, 
' I can only repeat what I said yesterday. The Emperor 
is against any appeal to the nation — to a people who 
would be in the false position of deliberating in face of 
seven hundred thousand foreign bayonets. The Em- 
peror does not see either, what could be the subject of 
dehberation — the legitimate King is there.' 

The Emperor Alexander composed himself, and said, 
' I do not insist on my idea against the wish of my 
allies : I have spoken according to my conscience ; time 
will do the rest ; it will also teach us who was right.' 

Seeing the Emperor in such a favourable mood, I 
gave my thoughts full course, and showed him the 
dangers which would have been inseparable from a plan 
which would have left no choice between breaking up 
the Alliance just when its efforts were about to be 


crowned with success, and undermining the foundations 
of social order and throwing Europe into confusions 
worse than those which attended the first outbreak of 
the Eevolution. The Emperor followed my argument 
step by step, and combated what was most opposed 
to his ideas ; but we parted good friends. 

I should not have described this circumstance so 
fully, if ignorant persons from party spirit had not, in 
the important question of the internal arrangement of 
France, attributed to the Emperor Francis and his 
cabinet views and intentions which had no foundation 
whatever, thus placing the attitude of Austria and her 
allies in a light quite opposed to truth. The feeling 
which guided Austria was well considered, and was 
free from ambitious or sanguinary feelings, and entirely 
devoted to the great task of attaining and securing a 
state of peace for the European continent resting on 
solid grounds. This was the direction in which the 
cabinet thought and acted in its political course, as well 
as in the operations of the war. 

The rest of our stay in Langres was devoted to ar- 
ranging the mihtary operations. It was beyond doubt 
that, at any rate at first, Napoleon would hmit his 
defence to the approaches to Paris, and that therefore 
the campaign would open on the Aube. 

The news which came to us from those parts of the 
country behind the Alhed armies, as well as from other 
parts of France, as to the feelings of the nation, were 
confirmed by the observations which we ourselves were 
able to make concerning this important question, at 
the place where the head-quarters were stationed. The 
prevaihng feehng of the people consisted in the wish for 
an early conclusion of the operations, and by far the 
larger majority was for the return of the Bourbons. 


The political question was discussed no more by the 
Emperor of Russia and his allies. The course of events 
shows how useful it would have been if a regular plan 
for our future attitude had been made at the right 
time, resting on the principle of a restoration of the 
legitimate power. The advantage, however, of having 
removed for the moment so fatal an idea was too great 
not to be very satisfactory. The attempt to go farther 
would have miscarried, and would have endangered the 
necessary harmony between the Powers, which in the 
very midst of France itself were occupied in an under- 
taking still liable to all the chances of war. 

There was no danger that the nation might wish 
the maintenance of the Imperial government. Our 
care was limited to a successful termination of the 
war, and the final result of the great undertaking we 
committed to a Power higher than that of men. 

Congress of Chatillon. 

Few negotiations of the year 1814 were better known 
to the public than those of Chatillon. The acts of the 
Congress have been given to the public, and discussed 
by the historians of all parties. The following is the 
truth with regard to the spirit which guided the ca- 
binets in this juncture. 

The four Alhed Powers, harmonious as their pro- 
ceedings appeared, were nevertheless divided in their 
secret views about many points of high and decided 

The Emperor of Austria had directed his thoughts 
and wishes only to a state of things which enabled 
him to hope that the political peace of Europe would 
be secured by a return to the balance of power and 


political equilibrium which had been entirely destroyed 
by the French conquests during the Eevolution and the 
Empire. At the time we are speaking of — namely, after 
the concentration of the operations between the Seine 
and Marne — the overthrow of the French Empire was 
beyond doubt for every pohtician who did not give 
himself up to illusions. The return of the Bourbons 
and the reduction of France to her old boundaries 
seemed to the Emperor Francis and his cabinet the 
only tenable propositions, since they alone would gua- 
rantee a peace founded on legitimacy. Austria was, on 
this fundamental point, in perfect harmony with the 
British Government. 

The ideas of the Emperor Alexander, as we have 
seen, hovered sometimes in the mists of a vague hberal- 
ism, and at other times were the result of personal or 
accidental influences. 

Prussia was filled with thoughts of conquest and 
with a thirst for the revenge of all her sorrows of the 
last few years, which was perhaps natural. The King 
and Prince Hardenberg agreed much better with our 
views and those of the EngUsh as to the dynasty to be 
placed on the French throne, than with the exaggerated 
ideas of the Emperor of Eussia. 

Napoleon now felt that it was quite necessary to 
make use of the last chances of obtaining a peaceful 

My own feeUng in pressing the opening of formal 
negotiations was only the continuation of that which 
had directed my calculations and my pohtical attitude 
since the beginning of the year 1813. I had so 
thorough a knowledge of the inchnation of the mass of 
the French people, of the feeling of the Army, and also 
of the direction of Napoleon's mind, that I saw only 

ox THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 1813—1814. 233 

great advantages from these attempts at negotiation, 
without any fear that an untimely settlement would 
delay the return to a better order of things. 

I therefore used my influence to carry out the 
declarations which had been made by the Powers in 
Frankfort since the beginning of the year. In this 
matter I was greatly assisted by the perfect agreement 
of Lord Castlereagh's views with my own. 

I brought about the appointment of Count Stadion 
as Plenipotentiary of Austria. The other cabinets fol- 
lowed this example, and their leaders remained in the 
head-quarters of the monarchs ; with the exception only 
of Lord Castlereagh, who could not give up to another 
so important a matter as the representation of Great 
Britain at the Congress where the foundations of a 
general peace were to be arranged. 

It soon appeared that Napoleon, notwithstanding 
the enormous difficulties of his position, did not 
seriously think of peace. 

He gave a proof of how easily his hopes revived 
again, by the extraordinary importance which he at- 
tributed to the trifling success of the skirmish of 
Montereau. The day after this fight, he wrote a letter 
to the Emperor of Austria quite in the tone as if 
written after one of his former great victories. Among 
other things, he was weak enough to give in this letter 
a calculation of the losses of the Allies on the day of 
the battle of Montereau which, in vain-glorious boast- 
ing, far surpassed the fabulous accounts of his ' war- 

The course of military events put an end to the 
conferences at Chatillon. 


The Council of War at Bar-sur-VAuhe. 

The great Austrian army had, in consequence of the 
battle of Montereau, become separated from Blucher's 
army. Obliged to evacuate Troyes and to retreat to! 
Bar-sur-l'Aube, the three monarchs held a conference] 
at which, besides their Majesties and their ministers,] 
several generals of the Allied armies assisted. The] 
mihtary measures to be taken were there discussed 
with great animation. 

The King of Prussia insisted most energetically that 
the three armies should unite and make an immediate 
attack upon Paris. The Emperor Francis, Prince 
Schwarzenberg, and I defended the opposite proposal. 
The plan which we had hitherto followed so success- 
fully seemed too good to be hastily renounced. Its 
object was to avoid risking the fate of the campaign on 
the chance of one general battle, but gradually to ex- 
haust Napoleon's strength. This plan, though slow in 
its operation, seemed certain of success. Events have 
proved this to be the case. A subordinate motive con- 
tributed to the urgency of the Prussian party. The 
army of Marshal Bliicher was already on the road to 
Paris — all their desire was to be the first to occupy 
Paris. This army and its leaders were so exasperated 
that even the latter did not shrink from the idea of 
abandoning Paris to the fury of the soldiers, whom it 
would have been impossible to restrain in tlie first 
moment of their success. Such a consideration could 
not be left out of our reckoning, and if prudence had 
not restrained us from venturing the fate of the cam- 
paign on one great battle, as Napoleon so much desired, 
the intentions of the Prussians with regard to Paris, 


which were no secret from anyone, would alone have 
been sufficient to prevent us from yielding. 

The discussion was animated, and was led by the 
King of Prussia with some heat. The Emperor 
Alexander hesitated to favour either one side or the 
other. Only in consequence of an energetic declaration 
of the Emperor Francis, which I supported with perfect 
openness, and with all my might, did the Eussian 
monarch agree to Austria's views. He offered to take 
the office of secretary, and I dictated to him the points 
agreed upon as follows : 

1. No battle is to be fought near Bar-sur-l'Aube. 

2. Blucher shall continue his separate movement. 

3. The great army shall continue its march by 
Chaumont and Langres. 

4. The continuation of this movement will depend 
on circumstances. 

5. To inform Blucher of the movements decided on 
for the great army^ and that Wintzingerode and Biilow 
are to be at his command. 

6. To give the necessary orders to Wintzingerode 
and Btilow. 

7. To give to Blucher a certain latitude in his 
movements, provided always that military prudence be 

The council of war separated, but the Prussian 
party were very much out of humour. 

As I have no intention of entering into the details 
of mihtary operations, I shall here limit myself to those 
circumstances which have a political bearing. The 
battle which Prince Schwarzenberg accepted near 
Arcis proved to be a mere skirmish with the outposts, 
for Napoleon broke it off as soon as he had convinced 
himself that both the Austrian and Prussian armies 


would take part in the fight To his astonishment the 
commander-in-chief saw, from the heights behind Arcis, 
the French army in full retreat, eastwards. 

The Emperor of Austria remained behind in Bar- 
sur-lAube with the intention of leaving it for Arcis, 
if a battle should take place. His Majesty had all the 
ministers with him, except Count Nesselrode. 

In the meantime arrived an adjutant. Count Paar, 
sent to head- quarters by Prince Schwarzenberg. He 
brought the new arrangemejits for the generals in 
command. Prince Schwarzenberg, having crossed the 
Aube, and made certain that Napoleon was continuing 
his march eastwards, proposed to the Emperor of 
Eussia and the King of Prussia to attack Paris with the 
united forces of the AUies. Bui by this movement the 
Austrian army and part -of the Eussian were in danger 
of being cut off from their line of operations. Napoleon 
might have two plans. He might either attack the 
rearguard of the army near Nancy, or the fortified 
places to the east, and, reinforced by their occupation, 
he might begin a new war at some place between the 
Ehine and the invading army. 

The Field-Marshal informed the Emperor that if 
this operation was successful, he would take the city of 
Paris, and remain there — if unsuccessful, he would 
retire upon Belgium. He begged his Majesty at the 
same time to make the necessary arrangements, and to 
inform the miUtary commissariat of the dangers which 
threatened them. Count Paar brought the order to the 
chief ofiicer of the Eussian commissariat, who had 
remained in Bar-sur-l'Aube, to repair immediately to 
the Eussian head-quarters. The first thought of the 
Emperor was to go himself to head-quarters without 
loss of time ; but by a simple calculation it was soon 


seen that this was not feasible. At the time of Count 
Paar's arrival the army was already a day's march on 
the way to Paris, and therefore the Emperor could only 
liave reached the head-quarters at the third halting- 
place, while the country between was open to French 
stragglers. His Majesty was obliged, with great regret, 
to await the course of events. I considered for a long 
time whether I should run the risk of attempting to 
reach the head-quarters myself. The impossibility of 
securing the necessary change of horses for making a 
three days' march without delay, prevented me from 
carrying out my wishes. Count Paar had taken the 
precaution of securing beforehand the change of horses 
required for his own journey. He arrived safely at 
liead-quarters, and carried with him the full consent of 
tlie Emperor to the Field-Marshal's plan. 

The chief of the Eussian commissariat was seized 
the day after his departure by some French cavalry, 
who had attacked the rear of the great Alhed army. In 
the course of the same night we received, at 2 o'clock 
A.M., the news that Napoleon had gone eastwards as far 
as St.-Dizier, and that on receipt of the news of the 
bold movement against Paris he had turned into the 
road to Bar-sur-l'Aube. This movement showed that 
Napoleon's eccentric march had no other object but to 
cause the commander of the Austrian army to retreat, 
by threatening his connecting line of operations. 
Napoleon was mistaken ; and when he heard of the 
march of the army to Paris, he exclaimed, ' A fine 
move ! I should not have expected it from a general 
of the Coalition.' 

Preparations were immediately made for departure 
from Bar-sur-l'Aube, and at 4 o'clock in the morning the 
Emperor and his ministers set out for Dijon, with the 


small escort of a few battalions who were on their 
march to join the great army, and one of which had 
happened to arrive in Bar the night before. This 
march brought us nearer to the army of the hereditary 
Prince of Hesse-Homburg, some troops of which were 
now in Dijon. 

Stay in Dijon. 

As the Emperor did not wish to be long on the road, 
he posted from Chatillon to Dijon. We made the last 
part of the way in two post-chaises, among a popula- 
tion who were greatly astonished at the arrival of his 
Imperial Majesty, and at the confidence which allowed 
us to come among them without escort. The impres- 
sion made by this unexpected arrival of the Emperor in 
Dijon was the same as it had been on the road. We 
arrived at 4 o'clock in the morning in Dijon, and the 
Emperor alighted at the palace of the Prefecture. We 
were obhged to mention the Emperor's name to gain 
admittance. In a few hours the populace rushed into 
the open space before the Prefecture, and a great 
Eoyalist agitation took place. His Majesty called upon 
the different parties to keep quiet, and forbade every 
kind of reaction. These orders were strictly followed. 

Some days after our arrival in the town. Baron 
Wessenberg arrived, who had fallen into the hands of 
General Pire, on his return from an embassy to England. 

The country to the west of Dijon was unsafe ; 
General Alhx commanded there a corps of mobihsed 
National Guards. Some troops collected from different 
directions and, united with those who had left Bar with 
us, sufficed to guard our stay in Dijon, where we 
remained till we received the news of the capitulation 
of Paris. Nearly at the same time with this news the 



Duke of Cadore (Champagny) was announced to deliver 
a communication from Napoleon to the Emperor. I 
did not see him, because his Majesty had ordered me to 
start for Paris without delay. This mission had no 

The news of the capitulation of Paris caused a great 
sensation in Dijon. The courtyard of the hotel where 
I lived was soon filled with thousands of men. A 
deputation came to ask me whether it was permitted to 
set up the royal colours. His Majesty gave his consent, 
and I communicated it to the assembled public. 
Shortly afterwards the royal flag waved in Dijon. I 
departed in company with Lord Castlereagh and Chan- 
cellor Hardenberg. 

Arrival in Paris. 

I arrived in Paris on April 10. A few minutes 
afterwards I went to the Emperor Alexander. He had 
taken up his abode in the hotel of Prince Talleyrand. 
His Majesty informed me of his communications with 
Napoleon since the entrance of the Allied armies into 
Paris, and of the presence of the Marshals Ney and 
Macdonald, Napoleon's plenipotentiaries, in Paris, for 
the conclusion of a treaty with the Allies, in which he 
renounced the throne of France, and accepted the 
sovereignty of the island of Elba. 

I expressed my astonishment at the last point of 
this agreement. I represented to him how many un- 
pleasantnesses would arise from an arrangement by 
which a residence was chosen for the dethroned Em- 
peror so near to the country he had formerly governed. 
It was easy to support my apprehensions by considera- 
tions arising from Napoleon's character, and others 
which were made evident by the force of circumstances. 


The Emperor of Russia met my argument with reasons 
which did him great credit, but were little suited to 
tranquilUse me as to my predictions. One of his argu- 
ments was that without insult the word of a soldier 
and a sovereign could not be doubted. I declared 
to his Majesty that I did not feel authorised to take 
upon myself a decision of such great consequence for 
the future repose of France and of Europe without 
having received the commands of the Emperor, my 
master. 'This cannot now be done,' replied the Em- 
peror Alexander warmly. ' In the expectation of your 
arrival, and of Lord Castlereagh's, I have put off the 
signature of the treaty for several days ; this must be 
brought to a conclusion in the course of the evening ; 
the marshals must dehver the act to Napoleon this very 
night. If the signing of this act is not completed, 
hostihties will begin again to-morrow, and God knows 
what the result may be. Napoleon is at the head of his 
army at Fontainebleau, and it is not unknown to him 
that the act is approved by myself and the King of 
Prussia; I cannot take back my word. On the other 
hand, I cannot force you to sign the document which 
has been already drawn up, and which Nesselrode will 
lay before you ; but you will incur a very heavy 
responsibility if you do not sign.' I told his Majesty 
that before I resolved what was to be done, I wished 
to consult with Prince Schwarzenberg and Lord Castle- 

After this consultation, I returned to the Emperor 
Alexander. I said to him, ' The negotiation between 
your Majesty, the King of Prussia, and Napoleon has 
gone too far for my opposition to stop it. Prince 
Schwarzenberg has taken part in the preliminary dis- 
cussions ; the conference in which this treaty is to be 




signed has actually met. I will go to it, and there place 
my name to a treaty which in less than two years will 
bring us back again to the battle-field.' 

Events proved that I had made a mistake of only a 
year. The treaty was signed in the course of that 

The terms of this treaty have been very variously 
judged, and it could not be otherwise. The truth is, 
that a display of magnanimity was in this case out of 
place, and the facility with which the Emperor Alex 
ander surrendered himself to the force of illusions had 
the same effect on his side as the pressure of circum- 
stances had in compelling the Emperor Napoleon to 
sign it. I shall always consider the conference between 
the Plenipotentiaries which preceded the signing of the 
convention as the most remarkable scene of my public 
life. The articles were determined on, except in some 
unimportant deviations in the composition, at the very 
opening of the sitting. I did not conceal from my col- 
leagues the impression which the investing of Napoleon 
with the island of Elba made upon me. There was 
not one of them who did not share it, and the lan- 
guage of Napoleon's two plenipotentiaries differed little 
from our own. The feehngs which they expressed on 
this subject were perfectly correct and free from all il- 
lusions. On my return from the conference, I despatched 
a courier to the Emperor Francis, who at once left 
Dijon and set out for Paris, where the hotel of the Prin- 
cess Borghese had been prepared for his reception. 

Commissioners of the Allies accompanied Napoleon 
to his new destination. The Imperial General von 
KoUer, who acted in this capacity in the name of 
Austria, on one occasion, by his presence of mind and 
courage, saved Napoleon from dangers which threatened 
VOL. I. E 


his life in the midst of the hot-blooded country-people 
of Provence. 

The monarchs placed the Empress Marie Louise 
and the King of Eome under the protection of her 
father. Marie Louise went to Schonbrunn. 

Entrance of Louis XVIII. into Paris, and the condition 
of France after the return of the Bourbons. 

On May 4 King Louis XV ill. made his entrance 
into Paris. I had placed myself, with Prince Schwarzen- 
berg, at a window in the Eue Montmartre to see the 
procession go by. It made a most painful impression 
upon me. A contrast prevailed between the gloomy 
countenances of the Imperial Guard who preceded and 
followed the royal carriage, and that of the King beam- 
ing with studied affabihty, which seemed to reflect the 
general feeling of the country. The attitude of the 
crowd in the streets completed the picture in this 
respect. The most opposite feelings were depicted in 
their faces, and found their expression in the cry ' Vive 
le Roi ' from the side of the Eoyalists, and the sullen ^ 
silence of the enemies of the monarchy. I could almost] 
have thought that the King was too eager to respond 
with his movement of salutation to so mixed a manifes- 
tation of feeling. 

The three monarchs went immediately to pay their 
visits to the King, and immediately afterwards I pre- 
sented myself at the Tuileries. The King received me 
in his closet. In the course of conversation I could 
not help remarking to him that in this same room, sit- 
ting at the same writing table, surrounded by the same 
articles of furniture, I had passed many hours with 
Napoleon. ' Your Majesty,' I said to the King, ' seems J 
however, to be quite at home here.' 


' It must be allowed,' answered the King, ' that 
Napoleon was a very good tenant ; he made everything 
most comfortable ; he has arranged everything ex- 
cellently for me.' 

I spent two hours with his Majesty, and left the 
King without having at all the satisfactory impression 
which I ought to have had with regard to the future of 
France. We talked over the maps which had just been 
pubHshed, of the difficulties which, according to my 
views, had to be faced in carrying them out, of the 
mood of the public, &c. I therefore had the oppor- 
tunity of convincing myself that the King had decided 
views on all those subjects which differed from my 
own in more than one point of importance. 

Time has, more indeed than I could have desired, 
verified the views which I even then held to be correct. 

The question whether the return of the Bourbon 
family to France was according to the wish of the 
country has received very difierent rephes. I do not 
hesitate to affirm that it was accepted most wilhngly 
by the enormous majority of the people, and the cause 
of this feeling lay so deep in the nature of the case that 
it could not be otherwise.* 

France has gone through the phases of social Revo- 
lution in a comparatively very short time. These 
phases, between the years 1789 and 1814, may be 

* During my stay in Paris in 1825, when 1 was summoned thither by 
a domestic affliction, I was received by King Oharies X. After dinner we 
spoke much of the past, and lively recollections, called forth by the very 
rooms in which we stood, rushed into my mind. ' 1 remember,' I remarked 
among other things to the King, 'that in 1810 in this very salon I was 
sitting with Napoleon, and that, when we came to speak of the Bourbons, 
Napoleon said to me : " Do you know why Louis XVIIl. is not sitting 
opposite to you ? It is only because it is I who am sitting here. No other 
person could maintain his position ; and if ever I disappear in consequence of 
a catastrophe, no one but a Bourbon could sit here.'" 

B 2 


divided into three epochs : the first, from 1789 to 1792, 
was the epoch of the overthrow of centuries of ancient 
institutions and the creation of a Eepubhc modelled 
after the illusive ideas of the eighteenth century ; the 
second, from 1792 to 1804, was the attempt at a Ee- 
publican government ; and lastly, the Empire, between 
the years 1804 and 1814, has fulfilled the end which 
Napoleon's vast genius proposed to itself, and the king- 
dom of France is once more established on a monarchical 

With the exception of a handful of incorrigible 
enthusiasts, the repubhcan form of government "iiind few 
supporters in the country ; they had disappeared, first 
in consequence of the Eeign of Terror, which had raised 
itself on the ruins of the throne, the old institutions and 
everything which had outlasted the governments of 
Louis Xm. and XIY., and the moral decay and the 
governmental disorders of the Eegency and the time 
of Louis XV., and then the depravity and weakness of 
the Directorate. The form of government which Na- 
poleon had introduced was agreeable to all France, but 
it was weary of wars of which it could see no end. 
The return of the Bourbons was not longed for in 
the sense which the Eoyalists attributed to this feeling, 
and the Eoyalist party itself had much diminished dur- 
ing the course of five-and-twenty years. It was longed 
for by the friends of public order and political peace — 
that is, by the great majority of the nation, which in all 
times and in all countries ever places first in their cal- 
culations the true interests of the Fatherland. 

Therefore the real difficulties of the monarchy on 
the reappearance of the government did not lie in the 
pubhc feehng, but in the line of conduct which it had 
taken. The return to what was called ' the old Regime ' 


was impossible, because nothing was left of it but the 
remembrance of the causes of its decay. Neither had 
the Bourbons ever thought of it, and even the name 
was at no time anything more than a brand wherewith 
to terrify the masses.* 

* Here ends the manuscript ' On the History ol' the Alliances.' The 
following chapter is taken from the text of the ' Guide.' — Ed. 








Character of the first Peace of Paris— Journey to England — Return to 
Vienna — German Confederation — Congress of Vienna — Napoleon's flight 
from Elba — Betrospect on the Congress of Vienna — Episode of the 
Hundred Days — Project for elevating the King of Rome to the throne of 
France — The Battle of Waterloo — Bonapartism — Louis XVIII. — The 
second Peace of Paris — Origin of the Holy Alliance-^ Austria — Want of 
a name for the Empire — Coronation of the Emperor — Austria renounces 
the Austrian Netherlands and Vorlands — A moral Pentarchy. 

I SHOULD exceed the limits I have proposed to myself in 
the present work, if I were to enter into the details of 
the negotiations which preceded the Peace of May 30, 

The Peace itself bore the stamp of the moderation 
of the monarchs and their cabinets — a moderation which 
did not arise from weakness, but from the resolve to 
secure a lasting peace to Europe. The situation was 
one of those when, for the attainment of an object, it is 
more dangerous to do too much than too little. 

Only a calculation resting on firm foundations can 
secure the success of an undertaking. (It had been 
proved that the peace to be concluded with France 
could only be look:ed at either as a revenge on the 
country, or as estabhshing the greatest possible political 
equihbrium between the PowerX^ That the Emperor 
I^rancTs prepared, in perfect harmony with my convic- 
tion, to bring about the solution of the problem in the 
latter direction, had been proved by the conditions 
under which Austria entered the AUiance. The rejec- 


tion of the system of conquest, and the estabhshment of 
the system of restitution and equivalents in the forming 
of kingdoms and states, remove all doubt on this point. 

I was beforehand well aware that the Imperial 
cabinet would, from this manner of looking at the 
whole question, come into conflict with all kinds of 
poUtical swindlers and with the separate interests of 
single governments, but I did not allow my course to be 
altered thereby. Just as the entrance of Austria into 
the Quadruple Alliance had formed the foundation for 
the Peace of Paris, that peace formed the foundation 
for the settlement of the difficult problem by the 
Vienna Congress. 

After the signature of the Paris Peace, I went with 
the Emperor Alexander and the King of Prussia to 
England, taking with me the excuses of the Emperor 
Francis to the Prince Eegent. I also received myself a 
personal invitation from the Prince Eegent. Twenty 
years had elapsed since I had first visited that country, 
and made the acquaintance of the then Prince of Wales. 
I wished to see England again, to behold with my own 
eyes the impression which the changes in the political 
situation on the Continent must have made there, and m 
at the same time to confer with the English Cabinet " 
on the negotiations prehminary to the Congress of 

After an absence of several months, I arrived again 
in Vienna on July 18. The moral impression made on 
me by the mood in which I found the country was not 
elevating, but so far satisfactory that it convinced me 
that the poHtical line which I followed was right, in 
reference to the position of our own empire as well as to 
the securing of a long general peace. Austria was endur- 
ing the after-pains of a two-and-twenty years' war, and 


felt her very existence in danger. The people of Austria, 
always calm and reasonable, had imagined that the 
union of the Emperor's daughter with Napoleon would 
have been a pledge of peace, and they yielded reluc- 
tantly to the fate of a new war. The result to be ex- 
pected from this war seemed to the populace to be 
nothing more than a second edition of the former 
peace in rather a different form. 

What a striking contrast was there in the situation 
of Prussia as compared with that of Austria ! Only a 
dreamer could put them on the same level, and to the 
dreamers I have never belonged. The domain which 
opened the widest field for men of this class at the be- 
ginning of the Congress was Germany, and with this 
conviction I looked continually in that direction during 
the weeks preceding the opening of the Congress. 

I have already mentioned the saying of the Emperor 
that a German political body must be called into exist- 
ence in the form of a Confederation, and have asserted 
that this had practically the value of a conditio sine qua 
non as to the first entrance of Austria into the Alliance. 
The direction I had to follow was therefore clearly 
pointed out. The only question was, the choice of 
means for the attainment of the end. This matter was 
made extremely difficult by the Powers which opposed 
it. In the first rank stood the separatist efforts of 
Prussia ; then the dread of the German princes of any 
limitation of their sovereign rights ; and, lastly, the 
aspirations which had emerged in North Germany and 
the Ehine Provinces since 1806 — aspirations which 
showed themselves partly in decided democratic ten- 
dencies, and partly can only be described as ' deutsch- 
thiimehide Geluste ' (predilections for German nation- 
ahty and principles). In the conflict which arose, the 


aristocratic tendencies blended with the democratic m 
the mind of Freiherr von Stein played a peculiar and 
prominent part. Among all these parties the latter, 
however, was the most divided, both with regard to end 
and means. To the dictates of party I paid no other 
attention than to be conscious of their existence, and to 
redouble our efforts to keep our own path clear. 

I summoned the few officials of the time of the 
Empire to a consultation upon German questions, but 
I was soon convinced that I could find in them the aid 
only of mere antiquarianism. I determined, therefore, 
to take my stand immovably upon the general principles 
of the Confederation, and to relegate its more special 
provisions to the German deputies at the Congress. 

This Congress was opened on November 3, 1814, 
by a simple unpretending conference not at all corre- 
sponding to the expectations of a public greedy for 
' spectacle.' * 

The Plenipotentiaries of the different states and 
countries begged me to undertake the direction of the 
negotiations. I undertook that office in the conviction 
that the questions to be submitted to the Congress 
could only be settled if brought forward in systematic 
order, everything unnecessary being rigorously rejected, 
with a clear apprehension of everything that time and 
circumstances demanded. I submitted a scheme for 
the order of proceeding, which embraced — 

{a) The consultations of the members of the Quad- 
ruple Alliance and of France, under the designation of 
the ' Comite des cinq Puissances' 

* The public had taken it into its head that the meetings of the Pleni- 
potentiaries at the Congress would be held in the great Ball-room of the 
Imperial Palace, and that the public would be admitted to the galleries 
which run round it. 


[b] The meetings of the Plenipotentiaries of these 
five Powers with the Plenipotentiaries of Spain, Portu- 
gal, and Sweden, under the designation of the ' Assem- 
hlee des huit Cours^ and their connection with the 
representatives of the other states. 

(c) The institution of a commission to be formed 
from the Plenipotentiaries of the German states, spe- 
cially devoted to the regulation of German affairs. 

This form was accepted ; and under its protection 
the grave matters submitted to the assembly were 
brought to a solution. 

The history of the Congress is written in its Acts 
and in its results, and has no place in these pages. It 
lias experienced the destiny of all remarkable events, 
it has not escaped the criticism of the prejudiced, or 
the censure of the superficial ; and, in order to estimate 
the importance of its transactions, the consideration 
may suffice that from this Congress the foundations of 
the political peace which has subsisted for eight-and- 
thirty years have proceeded, and that its most important 
decrees have been able not only to defy the storms 
which arose in the intermediate period, but even to sur- 
vive the revolutions of the year 1848.* 

The news received on March 7, 1815, that Napoleon 
had left the island of Elba contributed much to the 
acceleration of the negotiations just begun in the Con- 
gress, and especially to a more speedy agreement of the 
German courts with regard to the Acts of Confedera- 

* The mot of Field-Marshal the Prince de Ligne, ' le Congres danse mats ne 
marche pas,^ has gone the round of the newspapers. During the Congress a 
number of crowned heads with numerous retinues and a crowd of tourists 
assembled within the walls of Vienna. To provide social recreation for 
them was one of the duties of the Imperial Court ; that these festivities had 
no connection with the labours of the Congress, and did not interfere with 
them, is proved by the short duration of the Conj^ress, which accomplished 
its work in five months. 


tion. The course of the affair was as follows, and the 
decision for war was taken in almost as short a time as 
I shall require for describing it. 

I received the first news of Napoleon having left 
Elba in the following manner. A conference between 
the Plenipotentiaries of the five Powers took place in 
my house on the night of March 6, and lasted till 
three o'clock in the morning. Since the Cabinets had 
met in Vienna, I had given my servant orders that if 
a courier arrived at night he was not to awake me. In 
spite of this order, the servant brought me at six o'clock 
in the morning a despatch, sent by courier, and marked 
urgent When I saw on the envelope the words ' from 
the Consul-general at Genoa,' having been only two 
hours in bed, I laid the despatch unopened on the 
nearest table, and turned round again to sleep. One 
disturbed, however, sleep would not come again. About 
half-past seven I resolved to open the despatch. It 
contained the information in six hues : ' The EngHsh 
Commissary, Campbell, has just appeared in the har- 
bour, to inquire whether Napoleon has been seen in 
Genoa, as he has disappeared from the island of Elba ; 
this question being answered in the negative, the Eng- 
lish ship has again put out to sea.' 

I was dressed in a few minutes, and before eisfht 
o'clock I was with the Emperor. He read the despatch, 
and said to me quietly and calmly, as he always did on 
great occasions : ' Napoleon seems to wish to play the 
adventurer : that is his concern ; ours is to secure to the 
world that peace which he has disturbed for years. Gd 
without delay to the Emperor of Eussia and the King 
of Prussia, and tell them that I am ready to order my 
army to march back to France. I do not doubt but 
that both monarchs mil agree with me.' 



At a quarter-past eight I was with the Emperor 
Alexander, who dismissed me with the same words as 
the Emperor Francis had used. At half-past eight I 
received a similar declaration from the mouth of King 
Frederic Wilham III. At nine o'clock I was at my 
house again, where I had directed Field-Marshal Prince 
Schwarzenberg to meet me. At ten o'clock the minis- 
ters of the four Powers came at my request. At the 
same hour adjutants were already on their way, in all 
directions, to order the armies to halt who were return- 
ing home. 

Thus war was decided on in less than an hour. 
When the ministers assembled at my house, the event 
was unknown to them. Talleyrand was the first to 
enter. I gave him the despatch from Genoa to read. 
He remained calm, and the following laconic conversa- 
tion took place between us : 

Talleyrand. — ' Do you know where Napoleon is 
going ? ' 

Metternich. — ' The despatch does not say anything 
about it.' 

Talleyrand. — ' He will embark somewhere on the 
coast of Italy, and throw himself into Switzerland.' 

Metternich. — ' He will go straight to Paris.' 

This is the history in its full simplicity. 

One great stumbling-block in the arrangement of 
the German territorial questions at the Vienna Congress 
proved to be the agreement made at Kalisch between 
the Emperor of Eussia and the King of Prussia with 
regard to the incorporation of the kingdom of Saxony 
with the Prussian monarchy. When at last the Powers 
had come to an agreement between themselves about this 
important question, the consent of the King of Saxony 
not having been yet received, the news arrived in Vienna 


of Napoleon's escape. The Congress commissioned the 
Duke of Wellington, Prince Talleyrand, and myself to 
gain the consent of King Frederick Augustus, who was 
at that time in Presburg. We repaired to the much- 
harassed Prince, and concluded the business in a few \ 

As a circumstance very characteristic of the time, 
I will mention that the Duke of Welhngton, on the day J 
of our return to Vienna, was present at a review at Pres- 
burg of a regiment of cuirassiers, which was going to 
the Ehine, whose march through Vienna on their way 
to Hungary the Duke had also seen. 

In looking back, quite impartially, on the results of 
the Congress now concluded, I may be allowed to say 
a few words. 

The pecuhar characteristic of the French Eevolu- , 
tion, from its very beginning, was that it was thoroughly ^ 
social. Its pohtical character, of which Xapoleon was 
the highest expression, was at first foreign to it. Napo- 
leon in endeavouring to restore France to internal order, 
knew no bounds to his love of power. 

The unexpected opposition he met with in his enter- 
prise against Kussia, on which he had not calculated, 
but which the force of circumstances opposed to his 
erroneous plans, had caused an agreement among the 
Powers which did not exist in the earlier wars with 
the Republic and the French Empire, and which Napo- 
leon had thought unattainable. 

That the fatal result to Napoleon of the campaign 
in Russia did not deceive the Emperor Francis as to 
the difficulty of attaining for the Continent a secure 
political peace, events have shewn. That the pohtical 
rebuilding required after Napoleon's fall would be a 
most difficult task was evident to the Emperor and 



myself. In our views and feelings, the rejection of all 
undertakings founded merely on sentiment predominated 
so strongly as to give to the work whose forerunners 
were the victories of the Alliance, and whose result 
was the Peace of Paris, the same impress of quiet 
deliberation, which had marked our course in the pre- 
liminary period. 

There was no doubt that if the Congress confined 
itself to the Umits of calm calculation, it would be ex- 
posed to great opposition. The longest time of pohtical 
peace which Europe has ever enjoyed would, how- 
ever, suffice to tranquillise the conscience of the great 
monarch and his assistant, even if the work of the 
Congress itself had not remained triumphantly fire- 
proof in the years 1848 and 1849 ! 

The history of the Hundred Days was but an episode, 
in illustration of which I will relate only the following 
incident : — 

When Napoleon, after his return to Paris, restored 
to Fouche his former position as Minister of PoHce, the 
latter followed exactly in the footsteps of his old course 
of action, which was a strange mixture of abject sub- 
jection to the views of the Emperor and of rebellion 
against them. Fouche, who undeniably had great in- 
sight into the position of Napoleon and of France, as 
veil as that of the great Powers, and who saw no pros- 
pect of final victory in the return of Napoleon to the 
French Imperial throne, sent to me at Vienna a secret 
agent, with a proposal, addressed to the Emperor 
Francis, to proclaim the King of Eorae Emperor, and 
accompariied also with a request addressed to myself 
to despatch a commissioner to Basle, to come to an 
arrangement for the carrying out of the project. How 
abhorrent such a step as this would be to the Emperor 

VOL. I. S 


Francis, on this the French Minister of Police alone 
could entertain any delusion. The Emperor com 
manded me at once to communicate the proposal to the 
Emperor Alexander and King Frederick William, and 
' to leave it to their judgment, not whether the idea 
should be entertained, but whether a confidential ageni 
should be despatched to obtain information with respect 
to the proposal. Both monarchs advised this step. I 
commissioned an official of my department to undertake 
this business, informed him of the secret password, and 
bade him hear everything and say nothing. The agents 
met at an appointed hour, and after a short time sepa- 
rated because neither had anything to communicate to 
the other. It afterwards came out that Napoleon had 
been informed of the step of his Minister of Police, and 
instead of a representative of Fouche's, had sent to 
Basle an agent of his own. This history has found its 
way into the memoirs of the time, and originated a 
report of an understanding between Napoleon and thel 
Emperor Francis. Thus is history written ! 

The battle of Waterloo gave the finishing stroke ^ 
to the destiny of Napoleon. Even if this battle had 
not resulted in the success due to the iron resolution ofi 
the English General and the courageous assistance of 
Field-Marshal Bliicher, the cause of Napoleon would 
nevertheless have been irretrievably lost. The Austrian 
and Eussian armies together, with the contingent of the ' 
German Confederation, moving towards the Ehine, would i 
have spread over France. The power which she before 
possessed under the Empire was completely broken in 
consequence of the destructive concessions which Na- 
poleon in the course of the Hundred Days was con- 
strained to make. Bonapartism hved only in the army 
and with some adherents among the civihans. The 


country sighed for peace in 1815 as it had sighed for 
it in preceding years. If the character of Louis XVIII. 
had been different, the house of Bourbon would have 
lasted longer than it did. My feeling in this respect 
was not the product of a later time : I held it after the 
first return of Louis XVIII. and briefly expressed it to 
the King himself in these words : Voire Majeste croit 
fonder la Monarchie: Elle se trompe, c'est la Revolution 
qu'EUe prend en sous-ceuvre ! 

I took . the hberty of reminding the King of this 
remark, after his second return. Louis XVIII. was 
gifted with much power of mind, which, however, took 
rather a theoretical than a practical direction. He 
ascended the throne in 1814, still under the influence of 
those views which had caused him to play the part of 
president of a section of the Assemhlee des Notables. To 
these he had added some ideas, gathered, during his 
emigration, from the ecole anglaise, of the same kind as 
those which since Montesquieu's time had perplexed so 
many minds in France. 

The second Peace of Paris was the complement of 
the first, and differed from it only in this, that the 
Powers desired to give to the country a lesson, by taking 
away some places on the frontier, by restoring to fo- 
reign countries the art-treasures seized in the wars of 
the Revolution, by imposing a contribution, and by the 
temporary occupation of some of the departments, in 
order to secure internal peace and the safety of the 
ancient throne of France. 

During the negotiations of the second Peace of Paris, 
the Emperor Alexander desired me to come to him, that 
he might impart to me that he was occupied with a 
great undertaking, about which he wished especially to 
consult the Emperor Francis. ' There are things,' said 



the Emperor, ' which feehngs must decide, and feehngs 
are under the influence of personal position and situa- 
tion. These have a commanding influence on indivi- 
duals. If it was a matter of business, I should ask you 
for your advice, but the present matter is of such a 
kind that not the ministers but only the monarchs 
are capable of deciding it. Tell the Emperor Francis 
that I wish to speak to him on a subject on which I can 
explain myself only to him. It will then be in his 
power to take counsel of you, my dear Prince.' 

After a lapse of some days, I was summoned by the 
Emperor Francis, who told me that early on that day 
he had called upon the Emperor Alexander in conse- 
quence of a request from him for a personal interview 
on a most important subject. ' You will learn,' said his 
Majesty, 'what the subject is from this document, which 
he committed to my careful consideration. You know 
I do not like to express myself on a subject which I 
have not thoroughly examined. I have therefore taken 
this paper, which is written in the Emperor Alexander's 
own hand, and reserved to myself the power of express- 
ing an opinion upon it. Eead and examine it, and tell 
me your opinion of the document, which does not please 
me at all ; it has indeed excited the most grave re- 
flections in my mind.' 

No very severe examination was required on my 
part to see that the paper was nothing more than a 
philanthropic aspiration clothed in a reUgious garb, 
which supplied no material for a treaty between the 
monarchs, and which contained many phrases that might 
even have given occasion to reHgious misconstructions. 

On the projected treaty, therefore, my views coin- 
cided with those of the Emperor Francis ; and as the 
Emperor Alexander had told the Emperor Francis that 


the document was to be shown to the King of Prussia, 
his Majesty ordered me to go to the King and ask his 
opinion of it. I found the King also agreed with the 
Emperor Francis, except that he hesitated to reject the 
views of the Eussian monarch entirely. However, we 
came to an agreement as to the impossibility of execut- 
ing the document without some absolutely necessary 
changes in the text. Even to this the Emperor Francis 
did not quite agree. 

In consequence of this, I was charged by both mon- 
archs to go to the Emperor Alexander as their common 
representative. In a conversation of several hours, I 
succeeded, not without great difficulty, in persuading 
the author of the necessity of changing several sentences 
and omitting some passages entirely. 

I gave his Majesty, my Imperial master, an account 
of the objections which I had made without reserve 
about this, at any rate, useless scheme, and of my pre- 
diction of the malicious interpretation which I felt cer- 
tain it would not escape. 

The Emperor Francis, although he did not approve 
the project even when modified, agreed to sign it, for 
reasons which I for my part could not oppose. 

This is the history of the ' Holy Alhance,' which even 
in the partial feehng of its originator had no other 
object than that of a moral demonstration, whilst in 
the eyes of the other persons concerned the document 
had no such meaning, and therefore does not deserve 
the interpretation which was afterwards put on it by 
party spirit. 

The most unanswerable proof of the correctness of 
this statement exists in the circumstance that never 
afterwards did it happen that the ' Holy Alliance ' was 
made mention of between the cabinets, nor indeed 


could it have been mentioned. Only the parties hostile 
to the monarchs used it as a weapon for the calumnia- 
tion of the purest intentions of their opponents. 

The ' Holy Alliance ' was not an institution to keep 
down the rights of the people, to promote absolutism or 
any other tyranny. It was only the overflow of the 
pietistic feehng of the Emperor Alexander, and the 
application of Christian principles to politics. 

From a union of religious and political-liberal ideas 
the ' Holy Alliance ' was developed under the influence 
of Frau von Kriidener and Monsieur Bergasse. No one 
is so well acquainted as I am with the circumstances of 
this ' loud-sounding nothing.' 

In conclusion, I may be allowed to throw a passing 
glance over the Austrian Monarchy, and to give in a 
few hues the picture of a country which to foreigners 
has always had the character of a terra incognita. 

The kingdom, which only since 1806 has taken the 
name of the Austrian Empire, is like no other either in 
its origin or its maturity. To the Ostmark of the 
Empire many other districts have been added under the 
House of Hapsburg, which were formerly separated from 
each other by history or nationality. These have brought 
to this dynasty in the course of generations a great pos- 
session, not, with few exceptions, by way of conquest, 
but by hereditary succession, contracts of marriage, 
and voluntary submission with reservation of individual 
rights. That these rights and reservations were gene- 
rally maintained by the rulers, when they were not 
forfeited by single portions of the Empire, is a truth 
which the party spirit and political strife of foreigners 
may attack but can never destroy. If this may be 
maintained in general of the rulers of the House of 
Hapsburg, the reign of the Emperor Joseph H. is an 


exception in the history of Austria, the consequences of 
which, so far from answering the expectations of that 
monarch, have led the kingdom and the government 
into difficulties in exact opposition to his intentions. 

From the singular formation of the whole kingdom, 
united under a succession of rulers unbroken for cen- 
turies, arose the extraordinary want of a name for this 
whole — a want which is shown by its appellation of the 
'House of Hapsburg,' or the 'House of Austria.' This 
case is unique in the history of states, for in no other 
country has the name of the ruling family been used 
instead of the name of the country in ordinary, and 
still less in diplomatic, usage. Not until 1806, at the 
same time with the extinction of the German Imperial 
dignity, did the Emperor Francis give to his Empire 
the name of the ' Empire of Austria,' which appellation 
was not chosen arbitrarily, but was a necessity, and 
gave the appearance as if the parts were united to the 
whole and to each other only by a personal union. 

The coronation of the Emperor should form the 
keystone of the new edifice. This design was executed 
in the Patent of 1806, but, from the circumstances of 
the times, not carried into effect. Subsequently there 
were two moments when this omission might have been 
repaired : first, the General Peace ; secondly, at the 
accession of the first successor to the Pounder of the 
Austrian Empire. Both times I raised my voice in 
favour of the coronation. According to my views, 
deputations from all parts of the monarchy should assist 
at the coronation, thus performing an act of common 
homage to the common head of the State, whilst they 
should receive the assurance of the maintenance of the 
constitutional rights of each country. 

The Empire of Austria, without being a federal 


state, had yet the advantage and the disadvantage of a 
federal constitution. If the head of the house was in the 
modern sense of the word absolute, this notion was re- 
stricted in its sovereign power, according to the different 
constitutions of the several countries whose crowns he 
united on his own head. That this position was a most 
peculiar one cannot be doubted ; and it is no less 
certain that it would have been untenable, if it had 
not been founded on the most important of motives — 
namely, the interest of the different parts of the Empire 
in being united. These facts, which were clearly seen 
by the Emperor and myself, exercised a decided influ- 
ence on the reconstruction of the Empire in the years 
1813 to 1815. 

The union of the former Austrian Netherlands and 
of the districts known under the name of the Austrian 
Vorlande with the Austrian Empire would, in the years 
just mentioned, not only not have been objected to, but the 
re-union of Belgium with the Empire was even desired 
by the AUied Powers on natural pohtical grounds. We 
rejected it, in consequence of a consideration, not refer- 
ring to our Empire alone, but to the great work of peace. 
We wished to remove our country from direct contact 
with France, and thus put an end to the wars which 
had been in consequence of this contact perpetually 
occurring between the two neighbouring empires. For 
France is the country where innovations of all kinds are 
most easily introduced, but where old accustomed im- 
pressions last the longest. From this latter reason, the 
altered situation of Austria and France, after the return 
of the old dynasty to the French throne, was not noticed 
either by the public or even in the cabinet, and there was 
in many minds the same idea of wars between France 
and Austria as if the geographical position of the two 



countries was the same as in the times of Francis I. and 
Louis XIV. 

The Act of Congress had placed the possessions of 
the kinofdora and the states on firm foundations. The 
four Powers which had so successfully driven back 
France into her old boundaries, admitted the French 
crown into their alliance replaced in its former rights. 
From the Quadruple AUiance, dissolved in consequence 
of its pohtical end being attained, arose the moral 
Pentarchy, whose power was afterwards estabhshed, 
limited, and regulated in the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. 

Thus the foundations of a lasting Peace were secured 
as far as possible. 

NOTE to page 41. 

Hugh Elliot, son of Sii* Gilbert Elliot, had a commission given 
him in 1762, when he wa^ only ten years old. This scandal s 
pointedly alluded to in the ' North Briton,' Nos. 43 and 45. In 
1771, when he wished to take active service, the ratification of the 
appointment was refused, though the rank of captain appears to have 
been granted to him. He was appointed Governor of the Leeward 
Islands in 1809, and in 1814 recalled and made Governor of Madras. 
He died in 1830, His brother Gilbert, first Earl Minto, was 
Governor-General of India. — Tr. 






Among individuals by their position independent of this 
extraordinary man, there are few who have had so many 
points of contact and such direct relations with him as 
I have had. 

In the different phases of these relations, my opinion 
of Napoleon has never varied. I have seen and studied 
him in the moments of his greatest success ; I have seen 
and followed him in those of his decline ; and though he 
may have attempted to induce me to form wrong con- 
clusions about him — as it was often his interest to 
do — he has never succeeded. I may then flatter myself 
with having seized the essential traits of his character, 
and with having formed an impartial judgment with 
respect to it, while the great majority of his contempo- 
raries have seen as it were through a prism only the 
brilHant sides and the defective or evil sides of a man 
whom the force of circumstances and great personal 
quaUties raised to a height of power unexampled in 
modern history. 

Endeavouring with a rare sagacity and an indefatig- 
able perseverance to make the most of what half a 


century of events seemed to have prepared in his 
favour ; animated by a spirit of domination as active as 
clearsighted ; skilful in appreciating every advantage 
which the circumstances of the moment offered to his 
ambition ; knowing how to turn to his own advantage 
with remarkable skill the faults and weaknesses of 
others, Bonaparte was left alone on the battle-field 
where blind passions and furious factions had raged 
and disputed for ten years. Having at last confiscated 
to his own advantage the whole Revolution, he seemed 
to me from that time to be the indivisible point 
on which all observations should be centred, and my ap- 
pointment as Ambassador in France furnished me with 
peculiar facihties, which I have been careful not to 

The judgment is often influenced by first impres- 
sions. I had never seen Napoleon till the audience 
which he gave me at St.-Cloud, when I deUvered my 
credentials. I found him standing in the middle of one 
of the rooms, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and 
six other members of the Court. He wore the Guard's 
uniform, and had his hat on his head. This latter cir- 
cumstance, improper in any case, for the audience was 
not a public one, struck me as misplaced pretension, 
showing the parvenu ; I even hesitated for a moment, 
whether I too should not cover. However, I delivered 
a short speech, the concise and exact style of which 
differed essentially from that which had come into use 
in the new Court of France. 

His attitude seemed to me to show constraint and 
even embarrassment. His short, broad figure, neghgent 
dress, and marked endeavour to make an imposing 
effect, combined to weaken in me the feeling of gran- 
deur naturally attached to the idea of a man before 


whom the world trembled. This impression has never 
been entirely effaced from my mind : it was present 
with me in the most important interviews which I have 
had with Napoleon, at different epochs in his career. 
Possibly it helped to show me the man as he was, be- 
hind the masks with which he knew how to cover him- 
self. In his freaks, in his fits of passion, in his brusque 
interpellations, I saw prepared scenes, studied and cal- 
culated to produce a certain effect on the person to 
whom he was speaking. 

In my relations with Napoleon, relations which from 
the beginning I endeavoured to make frequent and con- 
fidential, what at first struck me most was the re- 
markable perspicuity and grand simpHcity of his mind 
and its processes. Conversation with him always had a 
charm for me, difficult to define. Seizing the essential 
point of subjects, stripping them of useless accessories, 
developing his thought and never ceasing to elaborate 
it till he had made it perfectly clear and conclusive, 
always finding the fitting word for the thing, or invent- 
ing one where the usage of the language had not 
created it, his conversation was ever full of interest. 
He did not converse, he talked ; by the wealth of 
his ideas and the facihty of his elocution, he was able 
to lead the conversation, and one of his habitual ex- 
pressions was, ' I see what you want ; you wish to come 
to such or such a point ; well, let us go straight to it.' 

Yet he did not fail to listen to the remarks and 
objections which were addressed to him ; he accepted 
them, questioned them, or opposed them, without losing 
the tone or overstepping the bounds of a business dis- 
cussion ; and I have never felt the least difficulty in say- 
ing to him what I believed to be the truth, even when 
it was not Ukely to please him. 


Whilst in his conceptions all was clear and precise, 
in what required action he knew neither difficulty nor 
uncertainty. Ordinary rules did not embarrass him at 
all. In practice, as in discussion, he went straight to 
the end in view without being delayed by considera- 
tions which he treated as secondary, and of which he 
perhaps too often disdained the importance. The most 
direct hue to the object he desired to reach was that 
which he chose by preference, and which he followed 
to the end, while nothing could entice him to deviate 
from it ; but then, being no slave to his plans, he knew 
how to give them up or modify them the moment that 
his point of view changed, or new combinations gave 
him the means of attaining it more effectually by a 
different path. 

He had Httle scientific knowledge, although his parti- 
sans encouraged the behef that he was a profound mathe- 
matician. His knowledge of mathematical science 
would not have raised him above the level of any 
officer destined, as he was himself, for the Artillery ; 
but his natural abilities supphed the want of knowledge. 
He became a legislator and administrator, as he became a 
great soldier, by following his own instinct. The turn 
of his mind always led him towards the positive ; he 
disHked vague ideas, and hated equally the dreams of 
visionaries and the abstraction of idealists, and treated 
as mere nonsense everything that was not clearly and 
practically presented to him. He valued only those 
sciences which can be controlled and verified by the 
senses or which rest on observation and experience. 
He had the greatest contempt for the false philosophy 
and the false philanthropy of the eighteenth century. 
Among the chief teachers of these doctrines, Voltaire 
wag the special object of his aversion, and he even went 



so far as to attack, whenever he had the opportunity, 
the general opinion as to his Hterary power. 

Napoleon was not irreligious in the ordinary sense 
of the word. He would not admit that there had ever 
existed a genuine atheist ; he condemned Deism as the 
result of rash speculation. A Christian and a Catholic, 
he recognised in religion alone the right to govern 
human societies. He looked on Christianity as the 
basis of all real civihsation ; and considered CathoHcism 
as the form of worship most favourable to the mainten- 
ance of order and the true tranquillity of the moral 
world ; Protestantism as a source of trouble and dis- 
agreements. Personally indifferent to religious prac- 
tices, he respected them too much to permit the 
slightest ridicule of those who followed them. It is 
possible that religion was, with him, more the result of 
an enlightened pohcy than an affair of sentiment ; but 
whatever might have been the secret of his heart, he 
took care never to betray it. His opinions of men w^re 
concentrated in one idea which, unhappily for him, had 
in his mind gained the force of an axiom. He was per- 
suaded that no man, called to appear in public life, or 
even only engaged in the active pursuits of life, was 
L*:uided or could be guided by any other motive than 
that of interest. He did not deny the existence of 
virtue and honour ; but he maintained that neither of 
these sentiments had ever been the chief guide of any 
but those whom he called dreamers, and to whom, by 
this title, he, in his own mind, denied the existence of 
tlie requisite faculty for taking a successful part in the 
affairs of society. I had long arguments with him on 
an assertion which my conviction repelled, and of 
which I endeavoured to show him the fallacy, at any 


rate, to the extent to which he apphed it, but I never 
succeeded in moving him on this point.* 

He was gifted with a particular tact for recognising 
those men who could be useful to him. He discovered 
in them very quickly the side by which he could best 
attach them to his interest. Never forgetting, however, 
to seek the guarantee of their fidelity in a calculation 
of interest, he took care to join their fortune to his 
own, involving them in such a way as to cut off the 
possibility of retreat to other engagements. He had, 
above all, studied the national character of the French, 
and the history of his hfe proved that he had under- 
stood it rightly. He privately regarded the Parisians 
as children, and often compared Paris to the opera. 
Having reproached him one day with the palpable 
falsehoods which formed the chief part of his bulletins, 
he said, to me with a smile, ' They are not written for 

* This allusion to Napoleon's haWt of attributing all human actions to un- 
worthy motives recalls the 0]:inion which Montaigne has expressed on the 
celebrated historian Guicciardini. The following passage might be applied, 
word for word, to Napoleon ; ' I have remarked that of all the many acts and 
deeds, of all the many movements and courses, on which he passed his opinion, 
he does not attribute a single one to virtue, religion, and conscience ; as if these 
things were quite extinct in the world ; and of all actions, however good 
they may seem to be, he attributes the motive to some bad reason, or the 
gaining of some advantage. It is impossible to imagine that, amongst the 
infinite niunber of actions of which he judges, there should not be one pro- 
duced by the voice of reason ; corruption cannot have seized men so univer- 
sally that not one escapes the contagion. This leads me to fear that there 
may be something wrong in his judgment ; and it may chance that he has 
estimated others by himself.' — {Essays, I. it. c. 6). I think I have read 
somewhere that Napoleon had a great opinion of Guicciardini. Certainly 
he greatly admired Macchiavelli. But there was this important difference 
between Guicciardini and Macchiavelli, although both were truly the 
offspring of the age : the one was content to paint the general depravity of 
his contemporaries in the hideous colours of truth, without seeming to 
applaud them ; whilst the other is a most zealous and impudent panegyrist : 
all that has been done to absolve Macchiavelli from this reproach is only a 
tissue of evil sophisms. He was the man of his time, and that is all that 
can be said in his excuse. 


you ; the Parisians believe everything, and I might tell 
them a great deal more which they would not refuse to 

It frequently happened that he turned his conversa- 
tion into historical discussions. These discussions gen- 
erally revealed his imperfect knowledge of facts, but 
an extreme sagacity in appreciating causes and fore- 
seeing consequences. Thus he guessed more than 
lie knew, and, while lending to persons and events the 
colour of his "own mind, he explained them in an in- 
genious manner. As he always made use of the same 
quotations, he must have drawn from a very few books, 
and those principally abridgments, the most salient 
points of ancient history and the history of France. 
He, however, charged his memory with a collection of 
names and. facts sufficiently copious to impose on those 
whose studies had been still less thorough than his own. 
Ilis heroes were Alexander, Cassar, and, above all, 
Charlemagne. He was singularly occupied with his 
claim to be the successor of Charlemagne by right and 
title. He would lose himself in interminable discussions 
with me in endeavouring to sustain this paradox by the 
feeblest reasoning. Apparently it was my quaUty of 
Austrian Ambassador which I had to thank for his 
obstinacy on this point. 

One thing which he always regretted extremely was, 
that he could not invoke the principle of Legitimacy 
as the basis of his power. Few men have been so pro- 
foundly conscious as he was that authority deprived of 
this foundation is precarious and fragile, and open to 
attack. He never lost an opportunity of anxiously 
protesting against those who imagined that he occupied 
the throne as a usurper. ' The throne of France,' 
he said to me once, 'was vacant. Louis XVI. had 

T 2 


not been able to maintain himself. If I had been 
in his place, the Eevolution — notwithstanding the im- 
mense progress it had made in men's minds in the pre- 
ceding reign — would never have been consummated. 
The King overthrown, the Eepublic was master of the 
soil of France. It is that which I have replaced. The 
old throne of France is buried under its rubbish ; I had 
to found a new one. The Bourbons could not reign 
over this creation. My strength hes in my fortune : 
I am new, Uke the Empire ; there is, therefore, a perfect 
homogeneity between the Empire and myself.' 

However, I have often thought that Napoleon, by 
talking in this way, merely sought to study the opinion 
of others or to confuse it, and the direct advance which 
lie made to Louis XV ill. in 1804 seemed to confirm 
this suspicion. Speaking to me one day of this ad- 
vance, he said : — ' Monsieur's reply was grand ; it was 
full of fine traditions. There is something in legiti- 
mate rights w^hich appeals to more than the mere mind. 
If Monsieur had consulted his mind only, he would 
have arranged with me, and I should have made for 
him a magnificent future.' 

He was also much impressed with the idea of 
deriving the origin of supreme authority from the 
Divinity. He said to me one day at Compiegne, shortly 
after his marriage with the Archduchess, ' I see that 
the Empress, in writing to her father, addresses her 
letter to His Sacred and Imperial Majesty. Is this title 
customary with you ? ' I told him that it was, from the 
tradition of the old German Empire, which bore the 
title of the Holy Empire, and because it was also at- 
tached to the Apostolic crown of Hungary. Napoleon 
then replied, in a grave tone : — ' It is a fine custom, and 
a good expression. Power comes from God, and it is 


that alone which places it beyond the attacks of men. 
Hence I shall adopt the title some day.' 

He laid great stress on his aristocratic birth and the 
antiquity of his family. He has more than once en- 
leavoured to explain to me that envy and calumny 
alone could throw any doubt on the nobility of his 
birth. ' I am placed,' he said to me, ' in a singular 
position. There are genealogists who would date my 
family from the Deluge, and there are people who pre- 
tend that I am of plebeian birth. The truth lies between 
these two. The Bonapartes are a good Corsican family, 
little known, for we have hardly ever left our island, 
but much better than many of the coxcombs who take 
upon themselves to vilify us.' 

Napoleon looked upon himself as a being isolated 
from the rest of the world, made to govern it, and to 
direct every one according to his own will. He had no 
other regard for men than a foreman in a manufactory 
feels for his workpeople.* The person to whom he was 
most attached was Duroc. ' He loves me as a dog 
loves his master,' was the expression he used in speak- 
ing to me about him. Berthier's feeling for him he 
compared to that of a child's nurse. These comparisons, 
far from being opposed to his theory of the motives 
which actuate men, were the natural consequence of it, 
for where he met with sentiments which he could not 
explain simply by interest,^ he attributed them to a kind 
of instinct. 

* Marshal Lannes was mortally wounded at the battle of Aspem. The 
bulletins of the French army related the occurrence, and gave the very 
words the Marshal had used. This is what Napoleon said to me about it : — 
* You have read the sentence I put into Lannes' mouth ? — he never 
thought of it ! When the Marshal pronounced my name, they came to tell 
me, and immediately I declared he must be dead. Lannes hated me cor- 
dially. He spoke my name as atheists do the name of God, when they come 
to die. Lannes having called for me, I looked upon his case as hopeless.' 


Much has been said of Napoleon's superstition, and 
almost as much of his want of personal bravery. Both 
of these accusations rest either on false ideas or mis- 
taken observations. Napoleon beheved in fortune, and 
who has made the trial of it that he has ? He liked to 
boast of his good star ; he was very glad that the com- 
mon herd did not object to believe him to be a privi- 
leged being ; but he did not deceive himself about him- 
self : and, what is more, he did not care to grant too 
large a share to fortune in considering his elevation. 
I have often heard him say : ' They call me lucky, be- 
cause I am able ; it is weak men who accuse the strong 
of good fortune.' 

I will here mention an anecdote which shows to 
what an extent he rehed on his innate energy and vigour 
of mind. Among the paradoxes which he hked to 
maintain on questions of medicine and physiology (sub- 
jects for which he had a natural predilection), he as- 
serted that death is often only the effect of an absence 
of energetic will in the individual. One day at St.- 
Cloud, he had had a dangerous fall (he had been thrown 
out of a carriage on to a great block of stone, nar- 
rowly escaping severe injury to his stomach) ; * the next 
day, when I inquired how he was, he replied very 
gravely : ' I yesterday completed my experiences on the 
power of the will ; when I was struck in the stomach I 
felt my life going ; I had only just time to say to myself 
that I did not wish to die, and I live 1 Anyone else in 
ray place would have died.' If this is to be called 
superstition, it must, at any rate, be granted that it is 

* I could almost imagine tliat this accident may have assisted to develop 
the germ of the malady to which Napoleon succumbed at St. Helena, and I 
am surprised that this has not been already remarked. It is true, however, 
that he has often told me that this malady was hereditary in his family. 


very different from that which had been attributed to 

It is the same with his courage. He was most tena- 
cious of hfe ; but, since so vast a number of destinies 
were bound up with his, it was doubtless allowable in 
liim to see something more in it than the pitiful exist- 
ence of an individual. He did not, therefore, think 
liimself called upon to expose ' Ccesar and his fortune ' 
simply to prove his courage. Other great commanders 
liave thought and acted as he did. If he had not that 
stimulus which makes break-neck daring, that is cer- 
tainly not a reason for accusing him of cowardice, as 
some of his enemies have not hesitated to do. The his- 
tory of his campaigns suffices to prove that he was 
always at the place, dangerous or not, which was proper 
for the head of a great army. 

In private life, without being amiable, he was good- 
natured, and even carried indulgence to the point of 
weakness. A good son and good kinsman, with those 
Httle peculiarities that are met with more particularly 
in the family interiors of the Itahan bourgeoisie, he 
allowed the extravagant courses of some of his relations 
without using sufficient strength of will to stop them, 
even when it would have been clearly to his interest 
to do so. His sisters, in particular, got from him 
everything that they wanted. 

Neither of his wives had ever anything to complain 
of from Napoleon's personal manners. Although the 
fact is well known already, a saying of the Arch- 
duchesse Marie Louise will put it in a new hght. * I 
am sure,' she said to me some time after her marriage, 
' that they think a great deal about me in Vienna, and 
that the general opinion is that I hve a hfe of daily 
suffering. So true is it that truth is often not probable. 


I have no fear of Napoleon, but I begin to think that 
he is afraid of me.' 

Simple and even easy as he was in private hfe, he 
showed himself to little advantage in the great world. 
It is difficult to imagine anything more awkward than 
Napoleon's manner in a drawing-room. The pains 
which he took to correct the faults of his nature and 
education only served to make his deficiencies more 
evident. I am satisfied that he would have made great 
sacrifices to add to his height and give dignity to his 
appearance, which became more common in proportion 
as his embonpoint incresised. He walked by preference 
on tiptoe. His costumes were studied to form a con- 
trast by comparison with the circle which surrounded 
him, either by their extreme simplicity or by their ex- 
treme magnificence. It is certain that he made Talma 
come to teach him particular attitudes. He showed much 
favour to this actor, and his affection was greatly 
founded on the hkeness which really existed between 
them. He hked very much to see Talma on the stage : 
it might be said, in fact, that he saw himself repro- 
duced. Out of his mouth there never came one 
graceful or even a well-turned speech to a woman, 
although the effort to make one was often expressed on 
his face and in the sound of his voice. He spoke to 
ladies only of their dress, of which he declared himself 
a severe judge, or perhaps of the number of their chil- 
dren, and one of his usual questions was if they had 
nursed their children themselves, a question which he 
commonly made in terms seldom used in good society. 
He sometimes tried to inflict upon them questions on 
the private relations of society, which gave to his conver- 
sations more the character of misplaced admonitions — 
misplaced at least as to the choice of place and manner — 


than that of polite drawing-room conversations. This 
want of savoir-vivre more than once exposed him to 
repartees which he was not able to return. His feeling 
against women who mixed in politics or affairs almost 
amounted to hatred.* 

In order to judge of this extraordinary man, we 
must follow him upon the grand theatre for which he 
was born. Fortune had no doubt done much for Napo- 
leon ; but by the force of his character, the activity 
and lucidity -of his mind, and by his genius, for the great 
combinations of mihtary science, he had risen to the 
level of the position which she had destined for him. 
Having but one passion, that of power, he never lost 
either his time or his means on those objects which 
might have diverted him from his aim. Master of 
himself, he soon became master of men and events. In 
whatever time he had appeared he would have played 
a prominent part. But the epoch when he first entered 
on his career was particularly fitted to facilitate his 
elevation. Surrounded by individuals who, in the 
midst of a world in ruins, walked at random without 
any fixed guidance, given up to all kinds of ambition 
and greed, he alone was able to form a plan, hold 

* Madame de Stael applied to me in 1810, to obtain for her from Napo- 
leon permission to live in Paris. Everybody knew the extraordinary value 
she placed on this favour, of vy^hich I need not attempt to discover the 
motives. I had no reason to take any particular interest in the request of 
Madame de Stael ; I knew, too, that my assistance would not be of much 
use to her. An opportunity, however, occurred, when I was able to make 
known to Napoleon the request of this celebrated woman. ' I do not want 
Madame de Stael in Paris,' he said to me, ' and I have good reasons foi- 
saying so.' I replied that it might be so, but it was no less certain that by 
this way of treating a lady he gave her a distinction which, without that, 
she might not, perhaps, have. * If Madame de Stael,' Napoleon replied, 
' would be or could be either a royalist or a republican, I should have 
nothing to say against her ; but she is a machine in motion which will make 
a disturbance in the sfdotis. It is only in France that such a woman is to 
be feared, and I will not agree to it.' 


it fast, and conduct it to its conclusion. It was in the 
course of the second campaign in Italy that he con- 
ceived the one which was to carry him to the summit 
of power. ' When I was young,' he said to me ; * I was 
revolutionary from ignorance and ambition. At the 
age of reason, I have followed its counsels and my own 
instinct, and I crushed the Revolution.' 

He was so accustomed to think of himself as neces- 
sary for the maintenance of the system he had created 
that at last he no longer understood how the world 
could go on without him. I have no doubt that he 
spoke from a deep and thorough conviction when, in 
our conversation at Dresden in 1813, he said to me 
these very words : ' I shall perish, perhaps ; but in my 
fall I shall drag down thrones, and with them the whole 
of society I ' 

The prodigious successes of which his life was full 
had doubtless ended by bhnding him ; but up to the 
time of the campaign of 1812, when he for the first 
time succumbed under the weight of illusions, he 
never lost sight of the profound calculations by which 
lie had so often conquered. Even after the disaster of 
Moscow, we have seen him defend himself with as much 
coolness as energy, and the campaign of 1814 was 
certainly that in which he displayed most mihtary talent, 
and that with much reduced means. I have never been 
among those— and their number was considerable — who 
thought that after the events of 1814 and 1815, he 
tried to create a new career, by descending to the part 
of an adventurer, and by giving in to the most romantic 
projects. His character and the turn of his mind made 
him despise all that was petty. Like great gamblers, 
instead of being pleased with the chances of a petty 
game, they would have filled him with disgust. 


The question has often been asked, Whether Napo- 
leon was radically good or bad ? It has always seemed to 
me that these epithets, as they are generally understood, 
are not appHcable to a character such as his. Constantly 
occupied with one sole object, given up day and night 
to the task of holding the helm of an empire which, by 
progressive encroachments, had finished by including 
the interests of a great part of Europe, he never re- 
coiled from fear of the wounds he might cause, nor 
even from the immense amount of individual suffering 
inseparable from the execution of his projects. As a 
war-chariot crushes everything which it meets on its 
way. Napoleon thought of nothing but to advance. He 
took no notice of those who had not been on their 
guard ; he was sometimes tempted to accuse them of 
stupidity. Unmoved by anything which was out of his 
path, he did not concern himself with it for good or 
evil. He could sympathise with family troubles, he 
was indifferent to poHtical calamities. 

It was the same with the instruments he made use 
of. Disinterested generosity he had none ; he only dis- 
pensed his favours and kindnesses in proportion to the 
value he put on the utility of those who received them. 
He treated others as he thought himself treated by 
them. He accepted all services, without scrutinising 
either the motives, the opinions, or the antecedents 
of those who offered them to him, except to make use 
of them for his own purposes. 

Napoleon had two aspects. As a private man, he 
was easy tempered and tractable, without being either 
good or bad. In his public capacity he admitted no 
sentiment ; he was never influenced either by affection 
or by hatred. He crushed or removed his enemies, 
without thinking of anything but the necessity or advi- 


sability of getting rid of them. This object gained, he 
forgot them entirely and injured them no more. 

Many useless attempts have been made, and much 
learning vainly expended in order to compare Napoleon 
to such or such of his predecessors in the career of 
conquest and poHtical revolution. The mania for paral- ; 
lels has been a real evil for history ; it has cast a false ; 
Hght on the most remarkable characters, and has often 
quite distorted the point of view from which they ought 
to be regarded. It is impossible to judge of a man 
when separated from the setting in which he was placed, 
and the circumstances which combined to act upon him. 
If nature, even, were pleased to create two individuals 
absolutely ahke, their development in periods and situa-^ 
tions which admit of no analogy would necessarily 
efface the first resemblance and confuse the unskilful 
painter who wishes to reproduce it. The true historian, 
he who is aware of the infinitely varied elements whicli 
ought to enter into the composition of his pictures, will 
gladly give up the vain idea of comparing Napoleon, 
either to the heroes of antiquity, the barbarian con- 
querors of the Middle Ages, a great king of the last 
century, or a usurper of the stamp of Cromwell. 
None of these chance resemblances can ofier any new 
light for the instruction of posterity ; but they inevitably 
falsify the truth of history. 

Napoleon's system of conquests was, too, of a quite 
pecuhar character. The object of the universal domi- 
nation to which he aspired was not the concentration 
of an enormous region in the immediate hands of the 
government, but the establishing of a central supremacy 
over the states of Europe, after the ideal disfigured and 
exaggerated in the Empire of Charlemagne. If mo- 
mentary considerations made him abandon this system, 


if they led him to appropriate or to incorporate with 
French territory countries which for his own interests 
he ought not to have touched, these measures so in- 
jurious to the strength of his power, far from advanc- 
ing the development of the great plan which he had 
really in his mind, only served to overturn and destroy 
it. This plan would have been extended to the Church. 
He wished to make Paris the seat of Cathohcism, and 
to detach the Pope from all temporal interests, while 
assuring to him the spiritual supremacy under the segis 
of Imperial France. 

In these pohtical and military combinations. Napo- 
leon did not fail to reckon largely on the weakness and 
errors of his adversaries. It must be confessed that a 
long experience only too well justified him in following 
this principle. But it is also certain that he abused it, 
and that the habit of despising the means and capa- 
bihties of his adversaries was one of the principal 
causes of his downfall. The Alhance of 1813 destroyed 
him, because he was never able to persuade himself, 
that the members of a coalition could remain united 
and persevere in a given course of action. 

The opinion of the world is still divided, and per- 
haps will always be, on the question, Whether Napoleon 
did in fact deserve to be called a great man ? It would 
be impossible to dispute the great qualities of one who, 
rising from obscurity, has become in a few years the 
strongest and most powerful of his contemporaries. 
But strength, power, and superiority are more or less 
relative terms. To appreciate properly the degree of 
genius which has been required for a man to dominate 
his age, it is necessary to have the measure of that age. 
This is the point from which opinions with regard to 
Napoleon diverge so essentially. If the era of the 


Eevolution was, as its admirers think, the most brilhant, 
the most glorious epoch of modern history, Napoleon, 
who has been able to take the first place in it, and to 
keep it for fifteen years, was, certainly, one of the 
greatest men who have ever appeared. If, on the con- 
trary, he has only had to move hke a meteor above the 
mists of a general dissolution ; if he has found nothing 
around him but the debris of a social condition ruined 
by the excess of false civihsation ; if he has only had 
to combat a resistance weakened by universal lassitude, 
feeble rivalries, ignoble passions, in fact, adversaries 
everywhere disunited and paralysed by their disagree- 
ments, the splendour of his success diminishes with the 
facihty with which he obtained it. Now, as in our 
opinion, this was really the state of things, we are in 
no danger of exaggerating the idea of Napoleon's gran- 
deur, though acknowledging that there was something 
extraordinary and imposing in his career. 

The vast edifice which he had constructed was exclu- 
sively the work of his hands, and he was himself the key- 
stone of the arch. But this gigantic construction was 
essentially wanting in its foundation ; the materials of 
which it was composed were nothing but the ruins of 
other buildings ; some were rotten from decay, others 
had never possessed any consistency from their very 
beginning. The keystone of the arch has been with- 
drawn, and the whole edifice has fallen in. 

Such is, in a few words, the history of the French 
Empire. Conceived and created by Napoleon, it only 
existed in him ; and with him it was extinguished.* 

* In the last months of the year 1853, two works appeared which, 
though not of equal importance, have a peculiar value for enabling us to 
form an opinion of the character of Napoleon. These works are the 
Memoirs of King Joseph (of Naples and Spain), and the History of Napoleon 
at St. Helena, from the papers left by Sir Hudson Lowe. In these two 


works the inind and character of the man are pourtrayed in situations the 
most opposite. In one he is the conqueror of the world : in the other a pri- 
soner on an island in the ocean. To both these works Napoleon contributed 
not merely the matter, but he appears in them as the author as well as 
the subject of the history. What result does the impartial observer de- 
rive from the study of these works ? Certainly not an exalted estimate of 
the man who had for many years the destiny of human society in his 

As far as I am personally concerned, these books revealed nothing 
new, and did not even serve to correct the judgment forced upon me by long 
immediate contact — such contact as never existed between Napoleon and 
any other person not a Frenchman. Ilis rare intellectual gifts, his strength 
of will and his weaknesses I always regarded without prejudice in the light 
of truth, and I have depicted, under strong control but yet fearlessly, not 
only myself but Napoleon in the most decisive moments. 

These latest historical performances are all that have come from the 
pen of Napoleon's companion at St. Helena, and greatly originate with 
Napoleon himself, setting before us, not the portrait of the man as he was, 
but as he wished to represent himself to the world. 




The Coronation of the Empress Josephine. 

Shortly after his retirement from the ministry, Cardinal 
Consalvi related to me the following fact with regard 
to the invalidity of the Emperor Napoleon's marriage 
with the Empress Josephine. 

The Emperor Napoleon had invited the Pope to 
come to Paris to crown him alone. There was no 
({uestion of the coronation of the Empress Josephine in 
the long negotiations which took place with the object 
of overcoming the repugnance of his Holiness to make 
this journey ; they did not even mention this princess 
to him when he was actually in Paris, till the evening 
before the coronation. 

His Hohness begged repeatedly to be informed of 
the details and ceremonial of the fete ; but they avoided 
giving him the least idea of it, alleging frivolous pre- 
texts which irritated the Pope so much that he declared 
he would not officiate at this solemn occasion if he was 
not informed some days beforehand of the part he was 
to take, and the form of the oath which was to be 
repeated. Then they promised to satisfy him, but by 


constant delays the communication he desired was not 
made till the evening before the day fixed for the 
coronation, and announced to the nation in the pubhc 

The Holy Father perceived to his great surprise 
that it was intended to crown the Empress at the same 
time as Napoleon. 

The Pope was undecided as to the part he ought to 
take : on one side, he had no proof of the validity of the 
Emperor's niarriage, which was contracted at a time 
when that sacrament was only considered as a civil 
ffontract ; on the other, how could he hesitate to cele- 
brate the coronation the next day, when it had been 
publicly announced to the nation? A refusal on his 
part would have exposed him to humiliation, for Napo- 
leon could have been crowned by the Archbishop of 
Paris or Cardinal Fesch, and the Pope would have been 
condemned to a situation which the eclat of his journey 
would have made the more ignominious ; besides Napo- 
leon's dissatisfaction would doubtless have rendered 
abortive the real object which induced the Holy Father 
to take this journey. He would have run the risk of 
obtaining no advantage from a step which could not at 
this time have been agreeable to the Catholic Powers 
or the Christian world. He had received repeated 
assurances that the articles inserted by the French 
Government at the conclusion of the Concordat, by the 
request of his Holiness, should be reformed and recast, 
and that arrangements should be made in ecclesiastical 
affairs and in favour of the French clergy. These con- 
siderations, important for the Sovereign Pontiff, had 
outweighed the censure which he did not conceal from 
himself must be incurred by a journey about which he 
had been long reproached. The Holy Father, never- 
VOL. T. U 


theless, constrained by the sentiment of duty, declared 
that he would not appear at the august ceremony, and 
that he would sacrifice all his interests if he did not 
receive direct proofs of the vahdity of the marriage 
between the Emperor and the Empress Josephine. 

In the meantime, two or three French bishops, whom 
Cardinal Consalvi named to me, came to present their 
homage to the Holy Father ; he communicated to them 
the cause of the agitation and disquiet which his coun- 
tenance betrayed. The bishops reassured him, and gave 
him details of the marriage of Napoleon with Josephine, 
and the sacramental bond by which they were united. 
The Holy Father, quite taken in, crowned them the 
next day; and it was not till several days after the 
ceremony that he learned that his credulity had been 
abused. He was inchned to speak out with vehemence, 
but was constrained by the consideration that he would 
draw general condemnation on himself if he informed 
the pubUc that he had consecrated and crowned the 
Empress without first being sure of the tie which 
united this Princess to Napoleon, and that he had, 
so to speak, sanctioned a concubinage. He felt that 
the dissimulation and deceit which had been practised 
did not excuse him, and that he would be taxed with 
weakness ; he took, therefore, the part of silence, but 
never ceased to make the strongest remonstrances to 
Napoleon, and to persuade him to repair a wrong for 
which the Pope has never forgiven him. 

The hot discussions arising from the misfortunes of 
the Pope commenced shortly afterwards, and this con- 
fidential communication was made to me at a moment 
when bitterness and animosity had brought affairs to a 
point when all conciliation became impossible, and it 
was given to me as an additional proof that the griev- 



ances of the Pope were of old standing, and were botli 
many and great. 

This circumstance was known only to the three 
Cardinals ; they were shocked at the unjustifiable per- 
fidy of the bishops, but they also charged the Holy 
Father with having shown a little too much credulity 
on the occasion. 

Reception of^ the Diplomatists after Napoleon^'s Return 
from Tilsit, 1807. 

The Emperor, at the diplomatic audience of August 
2, appearing to be in a very good humour, it was very 
generally whispered that since his arrival at Paris his 
manners had much changed, and that probably the 
Corps Diplomatique would not be again exposed to the 
insults to which it was too well known he often obhged 
them to submit. The following sketch will show how 
far this expectation was well founded : — 

The Emperor, according to custom, began his round 
by the Cardinal Legate, but did not speak to him ; he 
came straight up to me, and conversed very pleasantly 
on difierent subjects. He asked after his Imperial 
Majesty ; spoke of his stay at Baden, &c. When he 
came to the Prince de Masserano, he said to him, 

* I understand that the King of Spain has been ill : that 
will not have hindered him from hunting as usual twice 
a day.' 

Then, addressing the Minister of Denmark, ' So you 
have allowed the Baltic to be violated. We laid down 
the principle that you were to be its guardians.' The 
Baron de Dreger having replied in rather a long speech, 
which I could not understand, the Emperor rephed, 

* The thing will, I hope, now be arranged.' 



To General Armstrong, Minister of the United 
States, he said (in French), ' Have you learned French 
yet ? ' This Minister neither spoke nor understood any 
language but English. 

When the Emperor, in returning — for he always 
^vent twice round the circle — approached him again, the 
General turned his head to avoid the grammatical dis- 
cussion which he probably feared. 

After a long speech to the Ambassador of Portugal, 
lie ended by saying, ' That cannot continue ; we must 
have peace or war.' 

In returning, he talked again witli me, and ended the 
circ^le by the following tirade, addressed in Italian to 
the Nuncio: 'You are bad Christians, you people at 
Eome ; you leave fifteen episcopal sees vacant, and then] 
this pretension of making all the Bishops in the ItaHan 
kingdom go to Eome for investiture! The Emperor 
Joseph has already opposed it ; how could they sup- 
pose that I should consent at the present moment ? If 
Jesus Christ had instituted the pilgrimage to Eome, as 
Mahomet did that "to Mecca, everyone would go ; but 
where do you find that written f And why should you 
exact fpom the Archbishop of Milan what you do not 
require from the Archbishop of Paris or of Vienna ? ' 
The NuDci© Avished to put in a word. ' The Holy 
Father,' interrupted the Emperor, ' is a good man, but 
none of the people about him have any head. Now, if] 
he gives up all sovereign power, and confines himself to 
spiritual power like Saint Peter, then the Bishops can 
be allowed to go there ; but I shall never allow my 
subjects to do fealty and homage to a foreign Prince.' 
The Nuncio again seemed to wish to speak. ' Every- j 
thing which is done there is without common sense,* 
rejoined the Emperor ; and becoming more and more 



excited, he ended by saying, 'Well, I shall be obhged 
to put you in order, and then I shall crush you so that 
you will be utterly ruined.' With this speech he 
bowed his adieus to the circle, and the Diplomatic 
Corps took their departure. 

The Court at Fontainebleau, 1807. 

The aspect of the Court at Fontainebleau could not 
but offer many objects of curiosity to an impartial ob- 

This Court sometimes endeavoured to go back to 
tlie old forms, and sometimes rejected them as beneath 
the dignity of the moment. The Emperor hunted forty 
miserable deer which had been brought from Hanover 
and other parts of Germany to refill a forest twenty 
leagues round, because the kings too had their fixed 
days for hunting. He did not really care for the sport, 
except for the violent exercise, which suited his health ; 
and, besides, he merely went at full speed, right and left, 
through the forest, without regularly following the 
hunt. In this matter he was the despair of Marshal 
Berthier, who, as Master of the Hounds, wished to esta- 
bhsh order in his department.. The number of horses 
and equipages being quite insufficient, no one, except 
the foreign Princes, was admitted to these parties. 

Three times a week there was a play at the Court. 
The actors of the Comedie Franqaise received a thou- 
sand crowns for each representation ; this rate is the 
same as that of the old time. The other evenings wer6 
divided between the Courts of the Queen of Holland, 
the King of Westphaha, the Grand-Duchess of Berg, and 
the Princess de Bade. The Empress held her Court on 
Sundays. The diplomatic body was only received from 
time to time by the Princes, and they chose for this the 


time when the Emperor was absent ; neither I nor any 
of my colleagues had as yet seen him, except at a dis- 

The Secretaries of State of France and of Italy, 
and the two ministers for the exterior and interior, were 
estabUshed at Fontainebleau, and kept open house for 
all foreigners. It would be difficult to give an idea of 
the prodigious expenses of the Court and of the 
ministers ; the chateau had been dilapidated, and the fur- 
niture sold ; now all is repaired, and while every corner 
of Paris, and all the principal towns of France, are full 
of new buildings, millions are spent for objects of pure 
luxury or mere fancy. On the fourteenth of this month 
there were fetes in honour of the marriage of Prince 
Jerome with the Princess of Wurtemberg. On this 
same occasion, at Paris, they gave the ' Triumph of 
Trajan,' a grand opera which had been preparing for 
several months. 

The marriage of the Due d'Arenberg and that of 
the Hereditary Prince of HohenzoUern-Sigmaringen 
with Mesdemoiselles Tascher and Bonafoux — the first a 
niece of the Empress, and the second a niece of Prince 
Murat, whose name she now bears — were to have taken 
place the same day, but they have just been put oil 
for one or two weeks. It does not look as if the first 
were to obtain the title of Imperial Highness, as the 
family of her future husband have flattered themselves. 
Monsignor the Grand -Duke of Wurzburg, and th.e 
Prince Primates of Nassau and Waldeck, are staying at 
the chateau. The first receives all the honours and 
respect due to his rank, and his Imperial Highness 
continues to gain the good opinions of everyone. 


The Napoleonic Aristocracy ^ 1808. 

The Emperor Napoleon employed the last moments 
of his stay in Paris in unfolding his vast plan of orga- 
nisation. The Moniteurs of March 14 and 16 contained 
all the arrangements concerning the execution of his 
plan. We are continually to see titles given to numbers 
of individuals ; all the members of the Legion of Honour 
taking the title of ChevaHer, there will be some of these 
in the ranks of the army and in the artists' studios. 

The bestowal of these titles is a great object of 
interest to a foreign observer. Napoleon's genius has 
seized new opportunities for connecting with his person, 
with his succession, with the extent of his conquests, 
even private interest, that most powerful motive, espe- 
cially with individuals who have already experienced 
the Imperial favour, or desire to do so. He now dis- 
poses of the immense mass of domains which he had 
reserved to himself in the arrangements which followed 
the last war. A few examples will no doubt suffice for 
the calculation of the remainder of the favours about 
to be distributed. Marshal Ney told me himself that 
the leases of the different dotations in landed property 
which he had received in Italy, in Poland, and which 
were just announced to him in WestphaUa and Hanover, 
amounted to five hundred thousand Hvres yearly. Alto- 
gether, his appointments, the Legion of Honour, and 
what he got under various titles from the coffers of the 
State, amounted to three hundred thousand francs. He 
assured me that his revenues were far from the maxi- 
mum granted to many of his companions. 

The Arch-Chancellor Cambaceres received a dotation 
of one hundred and fifty thousand francs ad perpetuum 
from the revenues of Parma, of which he took the title 


of Duke. The arch-treasurer Lebrun, while taking the 
title of Due de Plaisance, received a like revenue. 
MM. de Segur, de Champagny, and Maret, have eacli 
received between fifty and a hundred thousand francs 
a year from land in Westphalia and in Hanover. It is 
supposed that the ducal title is reserved for them, as 
well as for MM. Duroc, Coulaincourt, Savary, etc. etc. 
The latter found in his office just as he was about to re- 
turn to St. Petersburg a cheque for five hundred thou- 
sand francs from the pubhc treasury. Every general 
who returned here from the army, received one, two, 
or three thousand louis, .to amuse himself with for a 
few days in Paris ; and this was given as the ground on 
which the Vice-Constable distributed the gratuity. The 
Imperial Guard has received a particular mark of the 
favour of the Sovereign, who has just allotted to all 
his officers a pension transmissible to their descendants 
in the direct line, namely, 500 francs to the sub-Heu- 
tenants, 1,000 to the heutenants, 2,000 to the captains, 
and so on. 

If the great point of attaching a great number of 
citizens of the Empire to his person and dynasty was 
one evident motive of these immense concessions, there 
are others which cannot escape the attention of the 
enhghtened observer. The law which prevents the 
new nobility from selling to a foreigner, without special 
authority, the dotations they receive, clearly serves to 
unite these individuals in defence of their territories. 
The Imperial supremacy not only extends to the banks 
of the Vistula ; Napoleon has diminished the power 
and the means of the sovereigns, who rule the pro- 
vinces of the great empire under his protection, by 
depriving them of a great mass of their revenues 
He increased his own power by placing this wealth in 


the hands of French subjects, who, with this title, find 
themselves among the richest proprietors of the States 
of the Confederation. Twenty millions will flow every 
year into the interior of France ; the new nobility will 
throw them into the channels of industry, and this con- 
sideration alone gives a balance of twenty millions in 
favour of the Empire. Whether France exports more 
for a similar sum in the countries under her influence, 
or whether it comes to her from other causes, the fact 
is and will remain the same as to the result ; the 
landed estates, too, will maintain a very high value, if, 
httle by little, the titled possessors are allowed to sell 
to foreigners, and to increase their property in France 
itself, a slow operation which will never pass beyond 
the hands of the government, and which some happy 
chances for the new dynasty will no doubt accelerate, 
whilst it can be arrested the moment the least danger 
threatens the existing order of things. 

The old noblesse seems also to be favoured in tlie 
distribution of the new titles. This measure must 
greatly influence the views of the Emperor. Nothing 
could more effectively extinguish the old claims than 
their finding a new existence. The ashes of the house 
of Montmorency preserved in a cinerary urn since 
1789 will be scattered to the winds in 1808. MM. 
Montmorency, de Mortemart and others are mentioned 
as likely to receive dotations and titles. 

The only nominations to titles of nobility, besides 
those included in the last message to the Senate, have 
been just given to military men. Nearly all the 
marshals are made Dukes. 

Augereau takes the title of Due de Castighone, Mas- 
sena that of Eivoh, Ney that of d'Elchingen, Davoust 
that of Auerstadt, etc. etc. Marshal Duroc takes tlie 


title of Due de Friuli ; Coulaincourt that of Vicenza ; 
Colonel Arrighi, a cousin of the Emperor, that of Padua ; 
Junot that of Abrantes. It should be observed that 
the real Marquis d'Abrantes is expected here some day, 
soon, with a deputation from Portugal, of which M. de 
Lima will be one. 

The ministers will be mostly dukes ; and all the 
titles have immense dotations. Nearly all the generals 
of brigade have received 10,000 livres annually in per- 
petuity ; the colonels between 2,000 and 8,000. And, 
lastly, every passion was set in motion by a man who 
knew but one. Europe has been chased and hunted 
down, and la curee is being enacted on her carcase at 
the present moment ; ambition, vanity, cupidity, all the 
passions are put in movement as accessories of the great 
work of destruction. Many will be satisfied by it, but 
not all ; some bait will be necessary for the rest : this 
bait will be sought in every direction, and history ofiers 
too many examples of the success of the system of 
dividing the best of the spoil among the collahorateurs 
to have escaped the attention of Napoleon. 

Napoleon at the Fatal Ball at Prince Schwarzenherg's, 
in Paris^ July 1, 1810. From a Report sent to the 
Emperor Francis. 

Your Majesty's Ambassador had fixed July 1 to give 
fete to their Imperial Majesties on the occasion of their 
marriage. AU the arrangements were made with as 
much taste as magnificence. The programme * enclosed 

• Programme de la Fete. — Un groupe de musique plac6 dans la coxir 
d'honneur jouera des fanfares et autres airs choisis a I'arrivee de Leura 
Majest^s, de la famille iraperiale, des grrands dignitaires, &c. 

Les musiciens du concert seront places dans I'orchestre & sept heures. 

Le concert ne commencera que lorsque les dames invitees seront arriy^, 
et continuera jusqu a Tarriv^e de Leurs Majest^a. 


gives only a poor idea of the intention of the whole, 
or of the perfection with which the details were carried 

The Emperor arrived at the gates of Paris at a 
quarter to ten. Their Majesties changed their carriages 
there, and were received by the Ambassador, at the 
door of his hotel, about ten o'clock. The Emperor 
wore the ribbon of St.-Etienne over his coat. He had 
ordered that all persons decorated with Austrian orders 
should wear them. Those who had French orders 
wore them under their coats. 

Their Majesties, after having walked round the 
gardens, and seen a charming ballet which was danced 
on a lawn in the garden of the Luxembourg, w^ent 
through a great gallery newly constructed along the 

Lorsque Leurs Majestes entreront dans la galerie, I'orchestre jouera une 

Leurs Majestes, conduites par son Excellence, traverseront la salle de 
concert et passeront dans le jardin ; Elles s'arreteront un instant devant le 
temple d'Apollon : — les Muses qui I'entourent ex^cuteront un choeur. 

Leurs Majestes passeront par I'all^e de la cascade ; une harmonie placee 
dans la grotte souterraine s'y fera entendre. 

De la Leurs Majestes iront sous le berceau de vigne, qui sera omd de 
chiffres, de fleurs, de guirlandes et de glaces. Au fond sera 6le\6 un vaste 
buffet. En passant sous ce berceau, Leurs Majestes y entendront des con- 
certs de musique voca.o et inutrumentale, I'un allemand et I'autre frangais — 
plus un solo d'un instrument nomm6 glass-cord (instrument nouveau invents 
par Franklin). 

En continuant a circuler dans le jardin, Leurs Majestes arriveront en 
face d'un temple dedie a la Renommee. Trois figurantes qui seront au faite 
representeront : la Victoire, Olio, Muse de I'histoire, et, au milieu, la Re- 
nommee. Les trompettes y executeront des fanfares et on y chantera un 
thoeur. Devant ce monument brillamment illuming seront des tr^pieds, ou 
Ton brulera des parfums. 

Leurs Majestes se rendront au pavilion imperial, sur une estrade ou il y 
aura des sieges pour elles et Leur famille. 

Ici s'ex^cutera une fete de chateau, suivie du feu d'artifice. 

Apres le feu, Leurs Majestes et Leur suite rentreront dans le salon 
dtonneur, et tout le monde se rendra par la galerie dans la salle de bal. 

Leurs Majestes, apres avoir pris des glaces, se rendront dana ladite salle. 

Apres le bal, festin dans le temple de la Renommde. 


facade of the hotel to a ball-room made to hold 1,2U() 
to 1,500 persons. The ball was opened by a quadrille. 
This quadrille finished, the Emperor came down from 
the raised part of the ball-room in order to walk round, 
according to his custom. Her Majesty the Empress, 
the Queen of Westphaha, the Queen of Naples, and 
the Vice-Queen of Italy remained in their places on 
this same platform. All at once a garland took fire 
in the gallery, and set fire to some of the draperies. 
The Emperor was only a few steps from the spot- 
Many persons tried to pull doAvn the part that was 
burning ; their efforts set the draperies in motion, and 
may have helped to extend the flames ; at last the con- 
flagration became general. 

I was at the foot of the platform : I ascended the 
steps, in order to warn her Majesty the Empress of tlie 
accident ; begging her to follow me when I thought 
the right moment had arrived. The Emperor, who was 
with Prince Schwarzenberg, w^as, so to speak, forced 
by him to retire ; he crossed the ball-room, rejoined 
the Empress, and all four went out together. The 
Prince of Schwarzenberg did not leave their Majesties 
till, having crossed the gardens^ they entered their car-^ 

Seeing the Emperor and his august consort in safety, 
I wished to return to the ball-room. It was all on fire ; 
I met the crowd hastening towards me ; I got to tlie 
lop of the steps that led to the ball-room; I saw the 
Queen of Westphalia, who was fainting ; I seized hold 
of her, and earried her far enough to be out of all 
danger, when I left her to some persons about the 

The Queen of Naples, the Viceroy and the Vice-'' 
Queen of Italy, six months enceinte, had remained on 


the platform, reassured by the coolness of the Viceroy. 
The first of these Princesses wanted to try and get 
away by the great door by which the Emperor and 
Empress had escaped ; she was soon so surrounded 
by the crowd that, being quite behind, she would inevi- 
tably have been caught by the fire, as many other 
j)ersons were, but for the help of Monsignor the Arch- 
(hike Grand-Due and Marshal Moncey, who seized her 
and got her out. The Viceroy, seeing the lustres in the 
ball-room fall, and consequently not being able to get 
across the room, took his wife into the house by 
a small door wdiicli he discovered near by. No acci- 
dent, therefore, happened to the Imperial family, who, 
following the example of the Emperor and Empress, 
showed the greatest calmness and courage. 

Her Majesty the Empress was not alarmed for a 
inoment ; and I am happy to be able to assure your 
Majesty that this frightful accident has not had the 
least ill effect upon her. 

I have the honour to enclose, with this report, the 
Moniteur of to-day, which gives a detailed account of 
the event. It would be difficult to add anything to 
it. I had, however, another account written out to be 
inserted in the Gazette de Vienna. It seemed to me 
that we ought to pay a just tribute to the manner in 
which the Emperor behaved on this occasion. 

He conducted his august consort only as far as the 
place where, in coming, they had changed carriages. 
He put her into the coach which had brought them 
from St.-Cloud, and returned himself to the Ambas- 
sador's house. Present everywhere, giving orders both 
to save the house from the fire, and to guard its interior 
from the effects of disorder, directing, ordering every- 
'thing, he remained there, for more than two hours, 


exposed sometimes to a heavy rain which came on, 
sometimes to the efiects of the heat and smoke. He 
was alone, without any guard whatever, and evidently 
anxious to prevent any false interpretation of an event 
the sad character of which would not deter ill-natured 
people from turning it to account. 

Many persons, who had been kept back or thrown 
down, were grievously injured by the flames. Prince 
Kourakin fell on the burning steps of the ball-room, and 
was only saved by a man who pulled him out by the 
legs. He had all his hair and the skin of his forehead, 
his hands, and his legs burned. The doctors do not 
think him dangerously injured. Madame la Princesse 
de la Ley en (mere) received injuries which seem to be 
mortal, both from being thrown down by the crowd 
and from burns. The wife of the Consul of Eussia, 
Labensky, struck by a lustre in its fall and frightfully 
burned, died yesterday in the course of the day. 

Amongst the persons most injured must be men- 
tioned the second daughter of Prince Joseph Schwarzen- 
berg ; the Prefect of Istria and his wife ; General Tou- 
sard and his wife ; Madame de la Force, and at least 
a dozen others more or less dangerously wounded. 
About twenty persons were slightly injured ; but one 
victim, who cannot be sufficiently deplored, and who 
perished from following the greatest of all sentiments, 
that of a mother trying to help her children, the Prin- 
cess Pauline de Schwarzenberg, wife of Prince Joseph, 
fills all hearts. 

Placed at the lower end of the ball-room, by the 
side of Madame de Metternich, near the Imperial plat- 
form, these two mothers threw themselves into the 
' Anglaise, which was then being danced, in order to 
get hold of their daughters who — happily placed near 


the door into the garden — were saved by this accident 
from all danger. Madame de Metternich was dragged 
by the crowd into the garden, where she was imme- 
diately joined by her daughter and the eldest daughter 
of Princess de Schwarzenberg. That Princess perceiving 
her youngest daughter at some way off at the side of 
the great ball-room ran up to her, and carried her off ; 
but the mother was soon thrown into the garden and 
separated from her child, who fell down insensible in 
a corner. The mother ran about weeping, and asking 
everyone if they had not seen her children. In the 
garden she had spoken to the King of Westphaha, to 
Minister Regnaud, and two or three other persons ; and 
we waited till four o'clock in the morning, in the most 
frightful anxiety about her, all efforts to find her having 
been useless up to that time. As she had been seen 
in the garden, there was no suspicion that she had 
been burnt. Covered with diamonds, she might have 
been seized and plundered by thieves, on the suppo- 
sition that she had ventured alone into the street. The 
Emperor himself directed a search, all the houses in the 
neighbourhood being visited. It was not till five o'clock 
that, in moving the heaps of cinders and ruins of the 
ball-room, a dead body was discovered, entirely burnt, 
in a little recess which there was in the imperial plat- 
form at the end of the ball-room. Doctor GaU was 
the first to recognise it as the body of Princess Pauhne 
de Schwarzenberg, and the inquest held by the Prefect of 
poHce confirmed the melancholy fact. It is only to be 
explained by the circumstance that the Princess, know- 
ing the locaHties thoroughly, certain that the daughter 
she had been leading was left behind, and not being 
able to reach the door by which the crowd was going 
out, had returned to the baU-room by the interior of the 


liouse, that she had wished to cross the room to get t 
the Httle door by which the Viceroy had escaped, but 
tliat, suffocated by the smoke or by the intense heat, 
or perhaps crushed by the fall of the roof, which first 
fell in at this part of the ball-room, she perished only a 
few steps from this same door, and a little behind the 
spot where the Imperial family had been placed. 

I was the more inclined to this supposition as, after 
having put the Queen of Westphalia in safety, wishing 
once more to penetrate into the ball-room, and stopped 
by the crowd going out, I took the same road to get 
to the back of the ball-room and satisfy myself that 
no one was there. I did not meet a single person. 
When I came to the door of the ball-room, which com- 
municated with the rest of the house, I was stopped 
for a moment by the general conflagration of all the 
Avails and of the ceiling. The lustres had fallen ; the 
part of the roof on my right, where they after- 
Avards found the body of the Princess, had fallen in ; 
the one over my head was still firm. I made some 
steps forward, and convinced myself that the ball-room 
was perfectly empty. All this building fell in two or 
three minutes afterwards. The Princess must have 
preceded me by only a very few minutes. 

The second daughter of Prince Joseph de Schwarzen- 
berg, the same who was separated from her mother, 
was saved by a Frenchman. She was badly burnt, but 
they hope to save her. 

Such is the true account of an event which will be 
misrepresented in twenty ways ; but which obliges me 
to pay a tribute of just praise to your Majesty's Ambas- 
sador, who carried himself with a calm, a courage, and 
a dignity beyond all expression. Occupied with the . 
personal safety of the Sovereigns, he forgot his own 


frightful position. The employes of the Embassy, the 
Austrians in Paris, the couriers employed by the cabinet, 
rescued from the flames, at the peril of their lives, all 
those whom they were able to help, and many belonging 
to the French Court showed no less calmness and 
courage. At the moment when the fire was at its 
worst, the firemen being deficient, the preservation of 
the house, which began to burn in every direction, was 
entirely due to the efforts of persons in the company. 

On the Flight of the King of Holland. From a Report 
to the Emperor Francis, Paris, July 28, 1810. 

It was by a courier sent to Paris by the Saxon Cabi- 
net that the Emperor Napoleon was informed of the 
arrival of the King of Holland at Teplitz. 

I saw the Emperor the same day, and when his 
Majesty told me of the news he had just received, I felt 
all the more authorised to express myself plainly on the 
subject, as the evening before his Majesty had talked 
freely with me about his- brother's proceedings. I said 
to the Emperor that I knew I should be doing your 
Imperial Majesty a service if I could inform you of the 
wishes of the head of the family in this respect, as I 
was certain that my Court would wish neither to fail in 
showing respect to a Prince of the Imperial family of 
France, nor to appear too attentive to him who had 
taken refuge with them. I added that I should be glad 
to know whether he would prefer that the King should 
be treated as a French Prince, or simply as a traveller. 

The Emperor seemed pleased with the attention, 
and said that, the King having taken a private name, 
it appeared to him that he had no right to expect to 
be treated as a Royal personage. The Emperor ex- 
pressed his satisfaction at his coming to us, and did not 



conceal that he had feared he would cross the seas, and 
that if he had gone to Russia it would hardly have 
pleased him better. I observed to the Emperor that, in 
coming to us, the King, no doubt, felt as if he were not 
leaving the family ; and in what followed, the Emperor 
returned twenty times to this idea, which seemed to 
flatter him so much. 

He went into many details of the inconsistency of 
the King's conduct, which he had pubhcly blamed in the 
article in the Moniteur of December 22. It cannot 
be denied that the King was really placed in a very 
false position ; he had only the choice between acting 
the part of Napoleon's brother or that of a despoiled 
Sovereign ; he must by choosing the former avoid a com- 
pHcation and yield to force ; if he followed the second, 
he must imitate the Prince of Brazil, and put himself at 
the head of the Colonies. This is the opinion of the 
pubHc ; and this pubhc, too, is still ignorant that he had 
made the amende honorable at Dresden, which might 
very well cause the supposition that outward evils had 
been added to moral misfortunes. The Emperor has 
lodged the Prince Royal at St.-Cloud ; but he is not the 
less anxious to justify the principles advanced in the 
above-mentioned article of the Moniteur, the reading 
of which has caused a sensation among those occupied 
with pubhc affairs difficult to describe. 

The Emperor of Austria has commanded that no 
notice is to be taken of the King's stay. This measure 
is perfectly in accordance wdth the wishes of the Em- 
peror of the French. I think, however, I ought to lay 
before your Majesty my conviction that, while leaving 
the King the strictest incognito, it would not be amiss 
to order the local authorities to show him particular 
attention. The Emperor will be pleased if tlie King 


on his return expresses himself gratified with his stay, 
and he thinks a great deal of these' forms of mere- 
courtesy. The Emperor, indeed, is more influenced by 
these httle matters than it is possible to imagine. 

The Church of La Madeleine. 

Napoleon talking one day with M. Mole about the 
edifices being constructed in Paris, the latter asked him 
when the Church of the Madeleine was to be thought of. 
' Well,' asked the Emperor, ' what do you wish me to 
do with it ? ' M. Mole replied that he had understood 
that his Majesty intended it for a temple de la Gloire. 
' That is what people think,' said Napoleon ; ' but I 
intend it for an expiatory monument for the murder of 
Louis XVI. ; the moment, however, for me to announce 
this has not yet arrived.' 

A similar project was carried out a few years after- 
wards by Louis XVIII. 

Napoleon's Opinion of Chateaubriand. 

The following anecdote will serve to throw Hght on 
the claim made by M. de Chateaubriand and his friends 
of having been able to resist the seductive power which 
Napoleon knew how to exercise on his opponents : — 

One day the Emperor of the French was passing in 
review the remarkable men of the time, and he said to 
me, ' There are men, and France unhappily abounds in 
them, who think themselves fit for everything, because' 
they have one quality or one talent. Amongst these 
men is Chateaubriand, who joins the opposition, because 
I will not employ him. This man is a reasoner in the 
clouds, but gifted with great dialectic power. If he 
would use his talent in the fine marked out for him, he 
might be useful. But he will not comply with this, 



and he is, therefore, good for nothing. It is necessary 
either to be able to guide one's self, or to submit to 
orders. He can neither do one nor the other : therefore 
I cannot employ him. He has offered himself to me 
twenty times ; but as it was to make me bend to his 
imagination, which always leads to errors, and not to 
obey me, I dechned his services — that is to say, I de- 
chned to serve him.' 

Napoleon's Family. 

Napoleon had a great weakness for his family. 
There is no doubt that many of the changes of Sove- 
reigns were due to the covetousness of his brothers and 

All the members of this too numerous family were 
not, however, equally ambitious. Napoleon's mother 
cared for nothing but money. Neither her turn of 
mind, nor her tastes inclined her towards social eleva- 
tion. She had an immense income ; and, without the 
precise orders of her son, she would not have dreamed 
of doing anything but invest it. When her children 
turned her extreme economy to ridicule, she said to 
them, ' You don't know what you do ; the world will 
not always go on in this way, and if ever you come 
back on my hands, you will be glad enough of what I 
have done to-day.' 

In 1814, Madame Lgetitia had amassed a large sum 
of money, which she hid in a corner covered by the 
portrait of her late husband. The fact and the place 
where the treasure was hid being mentioned to Napo- 
leon, he went to his mother's house, and took away 
the money. She must have taken from France a for- 
tune of nearly six millions of francs. 

I did not know either Joseph or Lucien Bonaparte 


personally ; I cannot, therefore, give any opinion about 
them. Napoleon thought well of Lucien's mind, but he 
never ceased accusing him of uncontrolled and mis- 
directed ambition. 

In an interview that Lucien had with his brother at 
Milan, he offered as a pledge of reconcihation a declara- 
tion by his wife, given of her own accord, that she 
would be no obstacle to her husband's fortune. The 
Emperor, after one of their conferences, said to the 
persons collected in the ante-room, ' Lucien wiU not give 
up his rubbish ; he wants to prove to me that he has a 
hard head ; I will show him that mine is harder than 
his.' From that time there was no question of a re- 
concihation. It is, in fact, known that, while agreeing 
to leave his wife, he insisted on the recognition of his 
children. His conduct in 1815 enables one to judge of 
the severity of his repubhcan principles. 

Napoleon has often described Joseph to me as a 
man gentle in mind and temper, but incapable of under- 
taking a career which required much vigour. 

Louis was- like a stranger in the family. Injustice 
alone could find anything to blame in his moral cha- 

Jerome was clever ; but the depravity of his man- 
ners, absurd vanity, and mania for imitating his brother 
in everything, covered him with ridicule. 

Two of Napoleon's sisters were remarkable from 
character ; the third from her great beauty. 

Elisa, the eldest of the sisters — older, also, than 
Napoleon, had a mascuHne mind, and both in character 
and appearance closely resembled her brother. Ambi- 
tion was her ruling passion ; and if the low extraction 
of her husband, Baciocchi, and his entire want of in- 
tellectual faculties, had not prevented it, there is no 


doubt that this branch of the family would have been 
raised to a very high position. Of the three sisters, she 
had, however, the least power over Napoleon, who 
feared and resisted her. 

Caroline joined to a pleasant exterior uncommon 
powers of mind. She had carefully studied the charac- 
ter of her brother, and did not deceive herself as to 
his defects, or the danger to himself of the excess of 
his ambition and love of power. She also knew per- 
fectly the weak side of her husband, and she would 
have guided him had it been possible for anyone to 
guide him. 

Murat was nothing but a soldier ; but a soldier of 
the Eevolution, and gifted with a certain instinct for 
domination, which I have constantly seen to be the 
apanage of Jacobins. Caroline exercised great power 
over the mind of her brother, and it was she 
who cemented the family bonds. Her desire was to 
create for herself and her family a position as inde- 
pendent as possible of Napoleon — independent even 
of the chances of his fortune — a fortune which she 
thought endangered by every act of violence resulting 
from his insatiable ambition. 

PauHne was as handsome as it is possible to be ; she 
was in love with herself, and her only occupation was 
pleasure. Of amiable character and extreme good- 
nature, Napoleon entertained a different sentiment for 
her from that with which he regarded the rest of his 
family. ' Pauhne,' he has often told me, ' Pauhne never 
asks me for anything.' The Princess Borghese, on her 
side, used to say, ' I do not care for crowns ; if I had 
wished for one, I should have had it ; but I left that 
taste to my relations.' She had a veneration for Napo- 
leon which almost amounted to worship. 



Josephine long held an empire over Napoleon ; she 
was gifted with a character of extreme benevolence and 
a quite pecuhar social tact. Her mind was narrow, but 
in a good direction. Her excessive taste for expense 
often led to painful explanations between her and her 
husband. It would be unjust to attribute any of 
Napoleon's ambitious flights to her influence. Without 
doubt, she would, if she could, have put spokes in the 
wheel of the chariot on which, however, she had, in the 
early days of his fortune, directly assisted to place the 
future Emperor. 

Endowed with more intellect and a much larger 
ambition, Josephine's daughter Hortense always played 
a part in Napoleon's career. Napoleon loved her, and 
his kindness to her was the constant cause of jealousy 
between her and her sisters-in-law. More than one 
embarrassment in the personal situation of Napoleon, 
and even in the progress of afiairs, was due to this 

Cardinal Fesch was a curious compound of bigotry 
and ambition. A sincere devotee, he yet was not far 
from beUeving Napoleon to be an instrument of heaven 
and a being almost supernatural. He thought his reign 
was written in the book of destiny, and looked on his 
flights of ambition as so many decrees of God. 

Napoleon knew all the individual peculiarities of his 
family ; and did not conceal from himself that he had 
been much to blame in giving way to the love of power 
and insatiable covetousness of some among them. 

He said to me one day in 1810, on the occasion of a 
long conversation in which he had just given me the 
history of his Ufe : 'I have clouded and obstructed 
my career by placing my relations on thrones. We 
learn as we go, and I now see that the fundamental 


principle of ancient monarchies, of keeping the princes 
of the reigning house in constant and real dependence 
on the throne, is wise and necessary. My relations have 
done me more harm than I have done them good ; and I 
if I had to begin again, my brothers and sisters should 
have nothing more than a palace in Paris, and a few 
millions to spend in idleness. The line arts and charity 
should be their domains, and not kingdoms — which 
some do not know how to guide, and others commit 
me by carrying their imitation to the point of parody. 

Napoleon took care to place near each of his brothers 
and relations a man whom he could trust. The fortune 
of M. Decazes sprang out of the post which he occupied 
as secretary to Madame Lsetitia. 

The Manuscript from St. Helena. 

At the time when it appeared the Manuscript of 
St. Helena made a great impression upon Europe. 

This pamphlet was generally regarded as a pre- 
cursor of the Memoirs which Napoleon was thought to 
be writing in his place of exile. One consideration only 
strikes one — namely, the pecuHarity of the fact that the 
author has, in a short abridgment, given the resume of 
a work which he was preparing to pubhsh in extenso., and 
that in this abridgment he puts forth a number of sen- 
timents and ideas of which the reproduction certainly 
formed the essential part of the work itself. This 
argument is, however, weakened by the consideration 
of the advantage which Napoleon might think he found 
in keeping the mind of Europe occupied with him and 
his thoughts ; as well as by the boldness of the views 
expressed, and their agreement with the antecedents of 
his life. 

Opinions were, however, soon divided with respect 


to this pamphlet ; and if there were no serious doubt 
raised on the nature of its contents, which were univer- 
sally attributed to Bonaparte himself, some thought that 
it emanated directly from St. Helena, others only took it 
to be a compilation of the opinions and views of Napo- 
leon on the principal acts of his political life, drawn up 
by some person who, formerly, had had the opportunity 
of becoming acquainted with the expression of his 
thoughts and views. 

But to put together the thoughts of a third person, 
in a style so individual, it is necessary to suppose the 
author to be gifted with a very peculiar talent. The 
report soon spread that the work was conceived and 
executed by Madame de Stael. Madame de Stael, for 
her part, attributed it to Benjamin Constant, from whom 
she was at this time separated by some disagreement. 
Afterwards it came to be know^n that the author was 
the Marquis LuUin de Chateauvieux, — a man in society, 
whom no one had suspected of being able to hold a 





To draw a picture of the Emperor Alexander is a 
most difficult undertaking. 

Napoleon expressed his opinion of this prince in a 
manner the most apt and striking. In one of our con- 
versations, in the year 1810, he asked me whether I 
knew the Emperor of Eussia intimately. I answered 
that I had had no personal interview with him, except 
at the time of his residence in Berhn, in 1805. ' Well,' 
replied Napoleon, ' the course of events may bring you 
and this Prince together again ; the Emperor Alexander' 
is an attractive person, quite the man to exercise a 
singular spell over those with whom he comes in con- 
tact. If I were given to yielding to mere impressions, 
I could hke him with all my heart. With so many 
intellectual advantages and dazzling quahties, there is 
something in him for which I have no name, and which 
I cannot better express than by saying that there is 
always something wanting in him. The most singular 
thing is, that one cannot foresee, in any given case or 
special affair, what wiU be wanting, because that which 
is wanting changes perpetually.' 

In foreseeing that the course of events would bring 


me into close contact with the Emperor Alexander, 
Napoleon had spoken prophetically, without believing, 
assuredly, that the fulfilment of his prediction was so 
near as it really was. Three years afterwards, I was in 
the most intimate relations with the Emperor of Eussia. 
These relations lasted for thirteen years in a constant 
(interchange of real confidence, of more or less expressed 
•coldness, and of personal and open disagreements. Each 
of these phases has enabled me to see the correctness of 
Napoleon's judgment. 

Eelations so lasting and yet so variable have given 
me an opportunity of forming an exact idea of the 
character of this monarch. 

For my part, I cannot better give the impressions 
I received than by summing them up in this sen- 
tence ; that Alexander's character showed a pecuHar 
mixture of masculine virtues and feminine weaknesses. 

The Emperor Alexander certainly possessed mind, 
but his mind, refined and keen as it was, had no depth ; 
he was as easily led astray by an excess of distrust as 
by an inclination to erroneous theories. His judgment 
was always influenced by fanciful ideas ; he seized upon 
them as if by sudden inspiration, and with the greatest 
eagerness ; and they soon gained weight enough to rule 
him, and make the subjection of his will an easy matter 
to their originators. 

Such ideas soon came to be regarded by him as sys- 
tems ; quick as his mind was, even to an extraordinary 
versatihty, these systems did not assimilate, they fol- 
lowed one another in rapid succession. Devoted to the 
system whose turn it was, he arrived at the exact 
opposite by intermediate steps, of which he was not 
aware, and nothing remained of the convictions with 
which he had been penetrated but the remembrance 


of the obligations under which they had placed him to 
different individuals. Hence arose the number of in- 
surmountable embarrassments which were always pres- 
sing on the mind and heart of the Emperor ; and the 
frequent favours bestowed on men and things quite 
opposite to one another ; hence the difficulty to most 
spectators of understanding his attitude, who was not 
in a position to penetrate into the true causes of such 
strange appearances. 

The Emperor Alexander's hfe was worn out between 
devotion to certain systems and disappointment in their 
results ; the feehngs prompted by both moods were 
spontaneous and vigorous and, strange as it may sound, 
their course showed a certain periodicity, of which I 
shall afterwards give pertinent examples. 

He was a man of his word, entering with facility 
into the obligations of the ideas for the m^oment para- 
mount ; he knew how to avoid with delicacy those who 
might lead him in an opposite direction ; but since his 
mind, from taking up systems so easily, was constantly 
undergoing changes, this very regard for his given word 
placed his conscience, as well as his whole attitude, in a 
situation as painful to himself as injurious to the pubhc 

Many contemporaries have wrongly ascribed to 
Alexander the possession of a restless ambition. In his 
character there was neither sufficient strength for true 
ambition, nor sufficient weakness for mere vanity. He 
acted generally from conviction, and if he seemed now 
and then somewhat full of pretension, this was connected , 
more with the little victories of a man of the worldj 
than with his success as the ruler of a great empire. 

His youth passed in a time which is unequalled in] 
the annals of Bussia. The government of Catherine | 


gave him the example of a brilliant despotism ; in that 
of Paul, he was himself several times nearly a victim to 
a despotism mean even in its very choice of forms. It 
suffices to know what Eussia was under these two 
governments, to conceive that a mind like Alexander's 
would find there neither models for imitation nor men 
to advise him. 

La Harpe was entrusted by Catherine II. with the 
first education of Alexander. It is, therefore, not sur- 
prising that wrong ideas of liberalism and philanthropy 
long dominated the pupil of such a master ; or that 
such a wonderful mixture as the lessons of a Hberal 
mentor with the practice of the Russian government 
must lead his judgment and his action in a wrong direc- 
tion, far, indeed, beyond the Hmits in which experience 
could help him. 

The method of education followed by La Harpe was 
far more suited to fill the mind of his pupil with doc- 
trines wrong in themselves, and ridiculous in their appli- 
cation, than to enrich it with positive knowledge. Con- 
vinced, no doubt, that the empire which his pupil would 
one day be called on to govern was not sufficiently ad- 
vanced in civihsation to bear immediately the practice 
of these doctrines, he thought of preparing in the future 
autocrat a mighty lever, to secure the upheaval of 
other countries which he considered more ripe for the 
purpose, and especially his own fatherland, Switzerland. 
The part of a philanthropic monarch appeared to 
Alexander the one which would secure to him the 
palm of certain glory — a glory which was easy to gain 
by a monarch who was removed from the dangers with 
which other thrones and the old institutions of Central 
Europe were surrounded. 

Simple in his enjoyments, cool in temperament, with 


many tastes which were, if I may say so, somewhat 
plebeian, Alexander was too easily guided not to be 
taken advantage of by such leaders. 

A long observation of the moral peculiarities of this 
monarch and of his poHtical course led me to discover, 
what I have called above, the periodicity of his thoughts. 
This periodicity followed a measure of about five years. 
I do not know how to express this observation more 

The Emperor seized an idea, and followed it out 
quickly. It grew in his mind for about two years, till 
it came to be regarded by him as a system. In the 
course of the third year he remained faithful to the 
system he had adopted and learned to love, hstened 
with real fervour to its promoters, and was inaccessible 
to any calculation as to its worth or dangerous conse- 
quences. In the fourth year the sight of those conse- 
quences began to calm down his fervour ; the fifth year 
showed an unseemly mixture of the old and nearly ex- 
tinct system with the new idea. This new idea was 
often diametrically opposite to the one he had just left. 
To prove this remark, I will give the following his- 
torical facts. 

My first connection with the Emperor Alexander 
took place at the time of my embassy toBerhn in 1805. 
I found him then liberal in the largest sense of the 
word, and a bitter enemy of Bonaparte, he loaded him 
— in his double quality of despot and conqueror — with 
execrations. In the year 1807 a great change came 
over his mode of thinking. In 1808 his personal feel- 
ings even inchned towards the Emperor of the French. 
The year 1812 brought a new change in his mood : even 
if Napoleon had not made war on Eussia, Alexander's 
feehngs for him would nevertheless have died away. 


The old ideas of philantliropy and free-thinking had 
not only regained the power over his mind, but they 
even took fire from the spirit of the time. In 1814 
they had reached their highest point. In 1815 they 
had already given way to religious mysticism. In the 
year 1817, this new turn of mind underwent a great 
change ; and in 1818, I found the Emperor a zealous 
champion of monarchic and conservative principles, a 
declared enemy of every revolutionary tendency, and 
already on his way to return to religious mysticism. 
He followed this direction till 1823. Then the embar- 
rassments arose which his own counsellors had pre- 
pared for him by their pohcy in the affairs in Greece, 
and he was able everywhere to see the increase of 
revolutionary principles, whose germs he, in his bhnd- 
ness, had himself scattered in his own empire in past 
years. All these painful circumstances caused a visible 
languor in his mind and feehngs. A great weariness of 
life began to show itself in him. His body, apparently 
so active, suffered under these moral influences. It was 
during his residence in Yerona towards the end of the 
year 1822, that Alexander confided to the Emperor 
Erancis, his sure presentiment that his life would not be 
of long duration. The evil made rapid steps, and in 
1825, Alexander died of thorough weariness of life. 

There is no doubt that amongst the causes which 
contributed to shorten his days was that bitter conflict of 
feelings caused by the prospect of a trial of conspirators, 
the principal culprits among whom might reproach the 
Emperor with having been the cause of their error. 

By giving this picture of the very peculiar perso- 
naUty of this prince, about whom the world would other- 
wise with difficulty form a. right judgment, I believe I 
supply the key to many apparently insoluble problems. 


All the constancy of the Emperor Alexander's affec- 
tions seemed concentrated in the feehng which he had 
for the Emperor Francis. The particulars which I 
can supply in this respect will fill up this sketch of the 
monarch's character, and also throw some light on his 
relations to me. 

The two Emperors were for the first time in per- 
sonal contact on the battle-fields of Moravia in the 
autumn of the year 1805. The misfortune which the 
bad arrangements of the Austrian generals brought 
about at the beginning of the single campaign of this 
war was completed by the Eussian generals at its 
close. The Emperor Alexander, young and without 
any experience of war, lent his ear to high-flown and 
quite unpractical plans, rather than to the calm and 
prudent advice which suited the vigorous understand- 
ing of the Emperor Francis. Everything which this 
monarch had foreseen and predicted to his ally was 
fulfilled in sad succession. This fact was always present 
to the mind of the Emperor Alexander, and laid the 
first foundation of that close and complete confidence 
which he never afterwards ceased to bestow on his 

Many subsequent political events made it impossible 
that this feeling on the part of his Imperial Majesty 
should always be expressed : but in reahty it always 
existed. The events of the years 1814 and 1815 gave 
rise to direct and continuous relations between the two 
raonarchs, which at last grew into a sincere hearty 
personal friendship. J| 

A friendship which has stood every trial, and which 
nothing could shake, in spite of the most important 11 
pohtical interests, and, strangest of all, a thorough dif- " 
ference in the personahty of the two friends, is a prob- 



lem which can only be solved by a true insight into the 
character of the two monarchs. 

The Emperor Francis united in himself the most 
valuable positive quahties. His calmness, impartiahty, 
soundness of judgment, and unvarying and tranquil 
temper inspired Alexander with a feehng of devotion 
which almost resembled the veneration of a child. 
This feehng was afterwards heightened by a colouring 
quite pecuHar to the mind of this prince. It was reh- 
gious. The Emperor Alexander considered his friend 
as a monarch after the will of God, as the representa- 
tive of God's will, and of godly wisdom, and almost 
worshipped him. On several occasions, when the 
Emperor Francis directly opposed the personal inclina- 
tions of Alexander, the opinion of the wise monarch 
sufficed to arrest the decisions of Alexander, and to 
decide him either to relinquish or change them. 

The devotion of the Emperor Alexander to the 
Emperor Francis continued to the end of his Hfe to be 
one of his predominant sentiments. 
' In everything relating to private hfe Alexander fol- 
lowed the most pure and simple tastes, bearing, how- 
ever, the stamp of distinguished elegance. With the 
sciences he did not concern himself, and I never 
saw in him a leaning to any of them. Amongst the 
fine arts, he cared only for architecture. His short 
sight and shght deafness did not allow him to devote 
himself to the cultivation of those arts the full enjoy- 
ment of which depends on the perfection of senses 
which were partially denied to him. He hked work 
belonging to the Cabinet, provided it did not go beyond 
pohtical afiairs or mihtary details. He had an evident 
dishke to merely administrative subjects ; and if he ever 
took part in them, it could only be that he was in- 

VOL. I. Y 


fluenced by the political theories which then attracted! 
his mind. The history of the administration of his] 
empire during the whole of his reign proves how power- 
ful and how hurtful those influences were. 

To the outhnes of this sketch I will add some illus- 1 
trations taken from my intercourse with the Emperor. 
They will not be without value as forming a standpoint ■ 
from which to consider the history of the time, and they j 
will also serve to confirm the opinion I have expressed 
as to the mind and character of this prince. 

I shall begin by making the general statement that 
nothing could be so little in harmony as the direction 
of the Emperor's mind and my own. Our tastes also — 
with the exception of a certain agreement in the choice 
of our social relations — were exactly opposite, and 
probably nothing would have led to a lasting and often 
intimate connection but our overwhelming interest in 
the questions which were impending. 

I have already said that my first direct relations 
with the Emperor took place in Berhn in the year 
1805. Alexander had come to this city to represent in 
person the cause and interests of the Austro-Eussian 
aUiance. Association in the same cause easily brings 
two men together, whatever may be the difference of 
their positions. 

The Emperor was accustomed to handle the great 
political questions himself, thus being — as he was fond 
of saying — his own minister, and from that time we 
entered into close and subsequently even into familiar 

Peace was concluded at the end of the same year' 
between Austria and France, and since Count Stadion, 
then Ambassador at St. Petersburg, had accepted the 
direction of foreign affairs at home, Alexander wished 


me to represent Austria at his court. A singular con- 
catenation of circumstances led to my nomination as 
Austrian Ambassador in France. When I again met 
the Emperor, on the Bohemian frontier, seven years 
later, I found him apparently reserved towards me. The 
reasons for this I have explained in another part of 
these Memoirs. With the charming kindness and cor- 
diality peculiar to him, the Emperor seemed to reproach 
me with infidelity in my friendship. The conclusion of 
the alliance dispersed these clouds ; but a real intimacy 
in our personal relations began to revive only^ after the 
unhappy result of the first military undertaking of the 
Allies against Dresden. The efforts which I had vainly 
made in harmony with the Emperor Francis and Field- 
Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg to avoid this operation, 
the frankness of my declaration on- this subject to the 
Emperor Alexander, perhaps also the fulfilment of my 
predictions, laid the foundation of an increased inti- 

In spite of the decided opposition of our views on 
many subjects and notwithstanding many important 
circumstances, and the discomfort which might so natu- 
rally have arisen, nothing disturbed our intimate and 
daily relations in the course of the campaign — relations, 
indeed, of a kind rarely occurring between the Sove- 
reign of one great empire and the head of the cabinet 
of another. 

During the whole time of the war operations I 
spent the evenings with his Imperial Majesty. We re- 
mained alone together from eight or nine in the evening 
till midnight in unrestrained conversation, which in- 
cluded the most different subjects in private life as well 
as the great moral and political questions and the affairs 
of the day. Thorough frankness in our interchange of 



opinions about everything gave to this intercourse the 
charm of perfect ease. 

I never concealed the truth from the Emperor, 
either about himself or anything else which had, in 
my eyes, the high value of a principle. Only too 
often I had to combat some favourite idea of his, which 
he maintained with great emphasis ; our discussions 
were sometimes very animated — ^the narrative of our 
stay in Langres is a proof of this. Yet our intercourse 
never suffered from this, but was long continued and 
maintained with the same frankness and heartiness. 

Whilst we were stajdng in Paris in 1814 I had 
many discussions with Alexander as to the principles 
which Louis XVIII. ought to follow. As the Em- 
peror Alexander was at that time enthusiastic for 
hberal ideas, our opinions were often in direct opposi- 
tion about what would be most likely to contribute to 
the estabhshment of internal peace in France under the 
government of the Bourbons. 

After the Peace of Paris I went to England at the 
same time as the Emperor of Eussia and the King of 
Prussia. Whilst we stayed in that country my personal 
relations with the Emperor preserved the same character 
of intimacy. Considerable differences between Alex- 
ander and George IV., then Prince Eegent, often placed 
me in a difficult position. Being kindly regarded by 
both princes and a confidant of their daily and personal 
troubles, my efforts were necessarily directed to pre- 
vent their mutual irritation from growing into a serious 
dissension. The Emperor, in truth, was always in the 
wrong : his sensitiveness was constantly kept ahve by 
the Grand-Duchess Katherine, who had been in Eng- 
land some weeks before the arrival of her brother. 
The conduct at that time of this Princess, who was 


gifted with very estimable qualities of mind and heart, 
has always been a problem to me. No doubt, one of 
the motives of her journey was to break off the mar- 
riage agreed upon between the Prince of Orange and 
the heiress to the English throne, and to place her own 
sister on the throne of Holland. But this object, which 
indeed she attained, will not account for all which was 
strange and unpleasant in her behaviour, nor for the 
conduct to which she persuaded the Emperor Alex- 

I may here give an anecdote which will throw some 
light on the often strange and inexphcable character of 
the Emperor Alexander's mind. 

His Imperial Majesty Hked to flatter the most dis- 
tinguished persons belonging to the Enghsh Opposition. 
One day he asked Lord Grey to lay before him a work 
on the formation of an Opposition in Russia. After the 
audience, Lord Grey called on me, to ask an explana- 
tion of a caprice as unintelligible in its object as unprac- 
tical in its execution, ' Does the Emperor intend to in- 
troduce a Parliament into his country ? If he really 
means to do so — and I should take good care not to 
advise it — he need not concern himself about an Oppo- 
sition, it would certainly not be wanting.' 

It was the Vienna Congress which brought a change 
in my relations with the Emperor. 

The creation of a kingdom of Poland which should 
include under the Eussian sceptre the whole district of 
the Duchy of Warsaw, and the surrender of the king- 
dom of Saxony to. Prussia, had been agreed upon at the 
negotiations in Kalisch, between the Emperor Alexan- 
der and King Wilham IIL This was known to us. The 
incorporation of Saxony with Prussia was contrary to 
the Emperor of Austria's fixed principles, and would 


also cause much lamentable irritation between his em- 
pire and Prussia. The Emperor Francis being deter- 
mined, at the very outset, to oppose this proposition 
firmly, he, however, thought it prudent to delay all 
discussion on the subject till after the conclusion of the 
Peace with France : reserving it till the Congress, which 
was to regulate the reconstruction of the different 
Powers of Europe. 

This important question had somewhat disturbed 
the relations of the two courts. Each of them hesitated 
to speak of it. Thus several weeks passed, even after 
the meeting of the Congress, without the question 
being mentioned on either side. The first approaches 
to the subject were made by the Emperor Alexander to 
Lord Castlereagh. The latter informed me immediately, 
and I advised a decided refusal. Some days after- 
wards thfe Emperor spoke himself to me about it. I 
found him a little embarrassed. My decided answer 
met with only a feeble resistance, and he at last expressed 
a wish that I should speak to th-e Prussian Chancellor 
myself on the matter. The very day of my conversa- 
tion with his Imperial Majesty, Prince Hardenberg 
made a communication to me on the point, which he 
supported by a written one. My verbal and written ex- 
planations were the same as I had already given to the 
Emperor. Prince Hardenberg found all his calculations 
crossed, and himself placed in a painful position. The 
Prussian Chancellor considered the affair lost, in conse- 
quence of my informing him of the sHght importance 
which the Emperor Alexander had seemed to attach to 
the question of the incorporation of Saxony in his con- 
versation with me. Perhaps, too, he had misunderstood 
my words from being shghtly deaf and very nervous ; 
and he therefore felt himself obliged to appeal to the 


Emperor himself, who m his turn may have felt hurt by 
some misrepresentation of my words. 

This afiair gave rise to the most extraordinary and 
hasty conduct on the part of the Emperor Alexander. 
The day after my explanation with the Prussian Chan- 
cellor, the Emperor, my master, sent for me at a very 
early hour. His Majesty informed me that the Empe- 
ror Alexander had just left him after a very animated 
conversation, in which that prince, thinking himself per- 
sonally offended by me, had told his Majesty his deci- 
sion to challenge me to a duel. The Emperor added 
that he had endeavoured to point out to Alexander how 
very strange such a proceeding would appear ; but, 
seeing that his remonstrances were without success, he 
had told him at last that if he persisted in his design, he 
would certainly find me ready to obey the challenge, 
which, though my reason would no doubt condemn, my 
honour would command me to accept. His Majesty 
told me at last that he had most vigorously urged 
the Emperor to have a third explanation with me 
before giving the challenge, to which Alexander at last 

I declared to his Imperial Majesty that I should 
await with tranquillity the further steps of the Emperor 
of Russia, and had hardly returned to my house when 
Count Ozarowsky, one of Alexander's Adjutants-General, 
was announced. He told me that he was charged by 
his Imperial master to call upon me to declare to the 
Prussian Chancellor that I had been mistaken in what 
I had told him about my conversation with the Empe- 
ror Alexander. I begged the adjutant to tell his Impe- 
rial master that I should never recall one word of the 
correctness of which I was certain ; but that, if Prince 
Hardenberg had misunderstood me, and had therefore 


repeated my words incorrectly, I should be ready to 
remove the mistake. Count Ozarowsky retired. A few 
moments afterward his Imperial Majesty sent word to 
me that he would not appear at the ball in my house, to 
which all the Princes and all the members of the Con- 
gress were invited for that very day. 

The same day I saw the Russian ministers, and 
informed Count Nesselrode of what had happened. He 
said he had not received any instructions from the Em- 
peror with regard to this affair. The conferences went 
on as if no difficulties at all had been raised, and their 
result was that half of Saxony remained to its King. 

This strange incident caused no disturbance in the 
course of the important discussions of the Congress. 
Even the open friendship which existed between the 
two Imperial courts did not suffer any injury from it ; 
but this was not the case with regard to the personal 
relations between the Emperor of Russia and myself. 
Alexander, who went a great deal into society, liked 
especially certain more intimate circles, which I, too, 
used to visit. Thus hardly a day passed without my 
meeting him. We did not take any notice of each other. 
The peculiarity of this conduct before the crowd of 
spectators who at that time frequented the salons of 
Vienna was gradually effaced by custom. The mem- 
bers of the Imperial Russian family were present as 
usual at the balls and parties at my house. The Empe- 
ror only appeared amongst us no more. The pubhc 
grew accustomed to the idea that the Emperor was out 
of humour with me ; but since business affairs did not 
suffer, even the restless curiosity of diplomatists could 
find nothing to gratify it in a state of things in itself 
so odd. I often received hints to take some steps 
to approach his Majesty, but I thought it best to leave 


the return to the natural order of things to be effected 
by time. 

This disagreement lasted, in fact, till the moment 
when a great event changed the prospects of the whole 
of Europe. 

The first news of Napoleon's leaving the island of 
Elba reached me on the sixth of March, at six o'clock 
in the morning, by an express sent from the Austrian 
Consul-General from Genoa. The report gave nothing 
but the simple announcement of the fact. I repaired 
immediately to the Emperor, my master. His Imperial 
Majesty commanded me to take the news without delay 
to the Emperor of Eussia and the King of Prussia. It 
was the first time for nearly three months that I had 
presented myself to the first of these monarchs. He 
received me at once. I told him the news of the great 
event in execution of the wishes of the Emperor, my 
master. The Emperor Alexander expressed himself 
with calmness and dignity, in the same manner as his 
august ally. We did not require much time to delibe- 
rate about the measures that had to be taken. The 
, decision was prompt and decided. 

Having settled this subject, the Emperor said to 
me : ' We have still to adjust a personal difference. We 
are both Christians, and our sacred law commands us to 
forgive offences. Let us embrace, and let everything 
be forgotten.' 

I replied to the Emperor that I, on my part, had 
nothing to forgive, but only to forget painful occur- 
rences ; that, according to all justice, his Imperial Ma- 
jesty must be in the same condition ; that I therefore 
did not accept the forgiveness, but agreed to forget. 

The Emperor embraced me, and dismissed me with 
the request that I would be his friend once more. 


In our subsequent frequent relations no mention was 
ever made of our former disagreement. Our inter- 
course soon returned to its former intimacy. This was 
maintained during our meetings in 1815, and again 
at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. 

I have still to mention a circumstance which oc- 
curred in 1822, which, perhaps, throws more hght than 
any other on the character of Alexander. 

About six weeks after the meeting in Verona, I went 
to see the Emperor one evening, to talk over the affairs 
of the day. I found him in a state of great excitement, 
and hastened to enquire the cause. ' I am in a strange 
position,' said his Imperial Majesty. ' I feel compelled 
to speak to you on a subject which I think most im- 
portant, and I am at a loss how to do it.' I answered 
that I could well understand that some important affair 
occupied his thoughts, but that I could not see how, if 
he wished to speak to me about it, he could have the 
least difficulty in doing so. 

' It is,' rephed the Emperor, ' because the subject 
does not concern the ordinary domain of politics : it 
regards us personally, and I fear lest you should not 
exactly understand what I mean.' It was only after 
a real effort that the Emperor was able to address me in 
the following memorable words : — ' People wish to 
separate us, and to tear asunder those bonds which 
unite us ; I consider these bonds sacred, for they unite 
us for the general good. You desire the Peace of the 
world, and I have no other ambition but to maintain j 
it. The enemies of Europe's peace are right in this, 
and in regard to the strength of the resistance which our 
agreement opposes to their mahcious plans. They 
desire to remove this hindrance in any way possible, 
and, conscious that they will not succeed by open means, 




they resort to indirect methods. I am overwhelmed 
with reproaches for having relinquished my independ- 
ence, and allowed myself to be guided by you.' 

I answered the Emperor warmly, that what he had 
done me the honour to say was not new to me, and that 
I did not hesitate to return his confidence by a confession 
which would only confirm the truth of what he had just 
said. 'You are accused, Sire, of giving yourself up 
entirely to my advice ; and, on the other hand, I am 
accused of sacrificing the interests of my country to my 
relations to your Majesty. One accusation is of as 
much value as the other. The conscience of your 
Majesty is as pure as mine. We serve one and the 
same cause, and this cause is that of Eussia and of 
Austria, as well as of society in general. I have long 
been the butt of the various parties, and I consider the 
cordial relations of our two courts as a bulwark, which 
alone can withstand the inroads of a general confusion. 
On the other hand, you will judge from the extreme 
reserve of my attitude what importance I attach to the 
preservation of this intimacy. Does your Majesty wish 
anything altered in this respect ? ' 

'I expected this from you,' interrupted the Em- 
])eror. ' If I have felt some difficulty in confessing 
the embarrassments in my position, it is not because 
I am not perfectly resolved to defy them ; what I feared 
was, that you might begin to hesitate.' 

We then went into many details of the intrigues of 
one party, of which there were many disciples in Eus- 
sia, even in the circle immediately surrounding the 

At the end of our long conversation he made me 
promise formally ' not to be intimidated by any rumour, 
but to remain faithful to the most intimate aUiance with 


him,' and he begged me * to accept from him the not 
less formal promise of the inviolable constancy of hiaa 
trust in me.' 

To loosen the harmony which united the two Em-1 
perors and their cabinets had been the design of some 
persons in this faction, as well as of some ambitious 
men, and of the many Eussian courtiers who though! 
little and desired much. In direct connection with thd 
Liberahsm of the day, these men followed its impulse 
and became its tools, when they, in their bhnd self- 
conceit, imagined themselves its leaders. An alliance 
having no other object but the protection of true 
poUtical freedom, which was founded on regard for the 
real independence of States, and desired only public 
peace and the removal of all desire for conquest and 
disturbance, such an alliance was not likely to suit 
the crowd of sophists and self-seekers. 

The insurrection in Greece was^ afterwards provoked 
by these men. According to the calculations of the 
agitators, this was to act as a wedge to separate the 
Powers, and especially the two Imperial Courts ; and 
as a means of dissolving the aUiance. These calcula- 
tions were correct, but they were fulfilled in a sense 
which was quite unexpected. The monarch who, in 
his own kingdom, had worked so much into the hands 
of the Eevolutionists, succumbed mentally and bodily 
in the fight. The Emperor Alexander died of weariness 
of Hfe. Seeing himself deceived in all his calculations, 
under the necessity of himself striking at a class of his 
own subjects who had been led astray and instigated 
by men and principles whom he himself had long su] 
ported, his heart broke, and the events which cloud( 
the accession of his successor remained a proof of th| 
troubles which embittered the last moments of Alexandei 


The true historian will find it difficult to judge 
aright the character of this Prince. So many sharp 
contradictions will pass before him that his mind will 
with difficulty gain the firm standpoint so necessary for 
those who feel it their noble task to write history. 

The mind and heart of this Prince included such 
opposite moral qualities that the strength of character 
which he possessed was not sufficient to maintain the 
balance of his different incHnations. 

Every part of his life was marked by errors and 
mistakes sufficient to bring exposure to himself and the 
public cause. Always carried away by enthusiasm, and 
always changeable in the direction of his mind, Alex- 
ander never enjoyed one moment of real repose. He 
had valuable quahties : his disposition was noble, and 
his word was sacred. These advantages were counter- 
balanced by great deficiencies. 

Had he been born in ordinary society, his quahties 
would not have attracted notice ; but on the throne it 
ia otherwise. If he had been the Euler of any other 
country but Eussia, neither his faults nor his virtues 
would have been so apparent. Alexander much needed 
support; his mind and heart needed to be led and 
guided. Whilst every Prince has difficulty in finding 
really unselfish servants, independent enough in cha- 
racter and position to rise to the part of a friend, an 
Emperor of Eussia is in a position less favourable to 
do so than any other monarch. 

The reign of Alexander, we must not forget, oc- 
curred in a time overflowing with numberless difficul- 
ties for the heads of all governments ; and if this could 
be said of all Princes of that time, it was particularly 
the case with Alexander. 

Before his time, the germ of a false civihsation had 


been sown on the soil of his vast Empire, which, despoti- 
cally governed and in want of every real institution, 
contained a mass of people sunk in complete darl 
ness. This germ Paul I. would fain have smotherec 
To his short reign followed that of Alexander. Welfl 
known Eevolutionists, after having guided his education, 
exercised an evil influence on the mind of the young 
monarch. Alexander, without experience and full of 
vain theories, caused evil where he only intended good. 
He deceived himself, and the discovery of his errors 
brought him to the grave. 

A mind subject to such changes must be considered 
frail and sensitive ; a strong mind it cannot be. 






[j The abundance of materials for the Third Book does 

j not allow us to embrace in the First Volume the whole 
collection of papers up to 1815 : they will be continued 
in the Second. We mention this here because the 

il arrangement is made only from typographical con- 

;i siderations. 

The essays and letters, the despatches and memoirs, 
mostly from Metternich's own hand, are all numbered, 
and are also in chronological order : their connection 
with the Autobiographical Memoir, which they are in- 
tended to complete and elucidate, is made more evident 
by the addition of titles pointing out to what part of it 
they refer. 

We conclude the First Volume with the papers 
referring to the ' Apprenticeship,' and commence the 
Second with those which refer to ' Metternich's Entrance 
into Pubhc Life ; ' this seeming the most suitable divi- 
sion of the Third Book, for here a new phase of Metter- 
nich's Hfe begins, his action as a statesman comes to the 
front, and gives to all he wrote a specially pohtical 

. character. 

f I The restless activity of Metternich's pen, first while 

Envoy to Dresden and Berlin, then as Ambassador in 

Paris, and lastly as Minister of Foreign Afiairs, has left 

such an enormous mass of materials that it was no easy 

VOL. I. Z 


task, in selecting the documents to be published, to hit 
the right mean between the wants of the general reader 
and the demands of the earnest student of EQstory, who 
would deem nothing uninteresting which came from 
the hand of so important an historical character as 

The documents chosen are, from their constitution 
and objects, to be considered neither as additions to 
the Autobiography, nor as so-called ^pieces justijica- 
tives.' In many of these will be found no direct con- 
nection with the Autobiography, except the common 
object of explaining Metternich's actions, and of fiUing 
up the picture of his life. We have abstained, on prin- 
ciple, from all explanatory remarks on the different 
papers ; neither connecting them by any sort of bio- 
graphical thread, nor offering a critical review of the 
whole. To have attempted this would have involved 
the Editor in the danger of departing from the point of 
view he had chosen, and drawing him into a province 
he would neither himself enter nor permit another to 
do so. He was determined that the Chancellor's opinions 
should appear before the pubhc in no other light than 
their own. The absence of all connecting remarks will 
not be regretted. It will rather prove an advantage, 
that no apologies for the Chancellor, no criticism of his 
adversaries, no extraneous opinions, should weaken the 
impression made by hearing Metternich's poHcy from 
Metternich's o\^ti mouth. 



Appeal to the Army. 

The Sketch of an Appeal to the Imperial Army, composed in my 
youthful zeal in 1793. (See note 4.) 

1. Soldiers ! Your couragej your bravery needs not 
to be inflamed ; redouble then your zeal and passionate 
desire to avenge the hideous crime, Maria Theresa's 
blood, upon the monsters who make war upon you. 

Maria Antonia op Austria, Queen of France. 
Innocence have they slaughtered on the scaffold, the 
place of malefactors. 

Ruin fall on the heads of these impious murderers, 
murderers of their kings and of their Fatherland. 

The blood of your immortal Theresa, the blood of 
Austria herself, spilled upon a scaffold !.! 

Listen ! that blood calls you to Vengeance. Heaven 
and Earth cry out for Vengeance, even to- death ! 

Brave defenders of your lawful monarchs, rest not 
Until that cry is accomplished I. 




On the Necessity of a general Arming of the People on the 
Frontiers of France, by a Friend of Universal Peace. 

An anonymous pamphlet, by Count Clemens von Mettemich, 
printed August 1794. (Note 4.) 

2. jUifiJFre nch B evolutio n has reached that stage 
fro-m which it seeins to nTreaTeyTnTTTTTrfHT^ITff^^LTps 

of Europe. The spreaTor*^ner ai anarchy is itsaim ![ 
linci Its means a re enormous, i^our years ^y^in tern al 
msomer and three oi war'wTfT^ffiegreat Powers did 
not diminish it. Without money, without a settled form 
of government, without a disciplined army, without 
unity, the Eevolution established itself in no class of tlie 
people within the realm, but rather threatened foreign 
countries. The conflagration was thought distant and 
unimportant — when suddenly people awoke. 

A general cry for help sounded through all king- 
doms, men rushed to arms, and insignificant armies 
were despatched. The disasters of the first campaign 
spread terror — more vigorous means were seen to be 
necessary, and surprise was everywhere felt at the 
strength of the so-called farce of Liberty. 

Brilliant was the beginning of the year 1793. Army 
fought against army, and the history of this month of 
March will always be distinguished in mihtary annals. ; 
The French army, everywhere beaten, almost destroyed, 3 
fled to the frontier, and found safety only behind the l 
numerous fortresses which formed the bulwarks of the 
ruined Empire. The tyrants of the Convention werej 
struck with terror, and commanded the nation to pre- 
pare for a general rising. The population was divided 



into so-called requisitions ; those who refused fell by the 
i^millotine. Immediately the French people flocked in 
swarms to the frontiers ; old men and children, wilhn" 
or unwilling, timid or brave, all fought in the same 
ranks. Mobs attacked armies, and small forces had to 
-tand against enormous masses. Thousands fell on one 
side, and thousands replaced them ; hundreds fell on 
the other, and their places remained empty. Incom- 
prehensible it is that the armies of the Alhes could 
resist, but less so to him who knows the universal bra- 
very of Austrian troops. Actions occurred almost daily, 
and marches and counter-marches more toilsome still 
wore out the physical strength of the soldier. The 
campaign was nearly over ; the Austrian, EngHsh, and 
Dutch armies in the Netherlands made themselves 
secure in the newly-acquired places. The united Aus- 
trian and Prussian army retired- across the Ehine ; the 
Spanish army crossed the frontier, and even Italy was 
threatened by an. attack. In this state of things the 
combined armies took, up their winter quarters, and 
Republican, masses nearly everywhere kept the field. 
The astonishment was general at the small success and 
the great loss of troops, in this year which began so 
brilliantly for the cause of humanity. Men reflected on 
the causes of this unhappy event. . The amplest re- 
sources in money and troops had been applied, and no 
frontier was protected after a two years' war. Astonish- 
ment at the- strength of an ever-encroaching anarchy, 
with. a. consciousness of weakness in themselves, possessed 
most minds. Insufiicient execution of plans, the great difli- 
culty of self-defence, the impossibihty of restoring repose 
in France, was evident to everyone, except the Powers. 
There remained but one single resource, not perhaps 
easy^ but certain in its execution. Two campaigns had 


taught what may be expected when armies have to 
contend against a whole people in arms, and tlie fear of 
neighbouring nations daily increased. The Austrian 
Netherlands, scarcely escaped from the yoke of France, 
knew better than any other country the crushing weight 
of anarchy, and was prepared for self-defence. A ge 
iieral arming of the people was proposed, and weapons 
and ammunition were actually distributed in some 
threatened districts of the province of Flanders. The 
peasant took them -with joy, he who possessed goods 
took them for their preservation, and he who possessed 
nothing ^desired to follow the general impulse. The 
newly-made army was distributed among the troops, and 
small bands constantly braved the inevitable dangers of 
war. A medal given at the right moment raised the! 
first zeal* to enthusiasm, and peasants accompanied in 
crowds the mihtary patrols going to a distance. The 
aversion which narrow minds felt at the first movement 
of this resource, which promised everythi^ig, -is incon- 
ceivable. A bugbear was held up before the eyes of 
the monarchs, and this decisive measure of the Go- 
vernment of the Netherlands was prohibited. At the' 
beginning of this year, the Emperor resolved himself to 
take the command of the army in the Netherlands. The 
campaign opened late, and began by the taking of a 
fortress, but alas ! the sequence did not correspond with 
the beginning — daily the number of enemies increased, 

* A young man, who had specially distingiiished himself in the defence 
of Templeuvre, in West Flanders, received this medal from the hands of 
Major d'Aspre. The honour of the public mark of personal bravery, the 
magnificence of the ceremony with which it was presented, all raised the 
delight of the people to the highest pitch. Every peasant desired to 
become a hero. Everyone wished to wear the red-and- white ribbon in his 
button-hole. The next day, more volunteers presented themselves for the 
jtuost dangerous patrols than were wanted. Princes ! With what small 
means can you not attain the greatest ends ! 


and daily the armies of the Powers diminished. Attacks 
on the left wing necessitated immediate and considerable 
i-einforcements from the right, and in a few days a 
similar danger threatened the other wing. The army, 
almost wearied out by marches, scarcely rested a mo- 
ment, scarcely enjoyed a victory when fresh efforts 
were required in consequence of new attacks on the 
]:)Iace they had but just left. The Emperor quitted the 
army, returned to his kingdom, and with him fled the 
hope of the whole nation. Every day afterwards was 
marked by some action, affairs looked more threatening, 
and it became more probable that many thousand men 
would be lost, large sums of money, and, eventually, 
even the Netherlands. 

It will be incomprehensible to posterity that even 
such brave armies could so long withstand the masses, 
and equally incomprehensible how unwilhngly, at last, 
the only means available under the desperate circum- 
stances was adopted, of arming masses against masses. 
Now the multitude was asked for assistance, and excuse 
was made for the long delay by showing confidence in 
their strength. But the attempt was too late ; and it 
will ever disgrace the memory of those who stopped 
this salutary measure at the right moment, and sur- 
rendered one of the most flourishing countries to a 
second, perhaps a perpetual, anarchy, and by cowardice 
or folly hurried on the ruin of the whole of Europe. 
Great and extraordinary evils can onlv be stemmed 


reat and extraordinary means ; great was the 

py gi:e _«_^. _ 

■ danger to all members of society from the__beginnmg 

o f the French E evolution ; the dullest minds could 

s ee JnniL-iiia»-ifi£al_JIQniinencem^iiL— tl^^ 

which must result_Jbr centuries ; but what were tl^e 

means to prevent its further spread P Armies of the 



different Powers, divided by political interests : armies 
suitable only for the decision of little quarrels — on thes^ 
depended the fate of future generations. The sacrifice 
of some thousands never terrifies an oligarchic govern 
ment : that of some hundreds is a considerable loss for 
armies which have alone to bear the enormous burden 
of both offensive and defensive warfare, and can expect 
help only from the most remote regions. In this man- 
ner the belHgerent Powers were shedding their blood 
since the first declaration of war, which was the conse- 
quence of a feeling of their own strength and of th 
necessity of occupying a people in revolution on the 

The National Assembly, profoundly acquainted wit 
all cabinets, knew the small preparations of the scarcel 
united courts, and rightly estimated their weak mean 
of self-defence. Enormous armies were to cross the 
frontiers from all sides, and the undertaking could not 
fail. Part of Italy, Germany, and the whole Nether- 
lands were quickly covered with a vile mob, gathered 
from every quarter, whose strength was in its numbers. 
Certainly the attempt would have failed in its birth had 
a similar mass, supported by the bravery of disciplined 
armies, been opposed to this attack. Men of that numer 
ous class who consider the present war like any other, 
and the Eevolution in its commencement mere child' 
play, and who regard the general conflagration wit 
the true cold-bloodedness of a physician, exclaim — 

' What ? arm the people ? put arms in the hands o; 
the mob ? You are, then, resolved on your own d 
struction ! ' 

True a few years ago, but false at the present m 

* This reason -will always hinder the Convention from entering into ar 
]peace negotiations. ^ 


ment. And what madman would advise the arminGr of 
the mob? Never is the difference between the real 
people and the mob more evident than at times when 
the former have to defend their property against the 
attacks of the latter. The people is everywhere against 
the introduction of the new principles : the mob is for 
them. The existence of the first and much larger 
class depends on general peace, and the other only 
desires disorder. The people finds its salvation in self- 
defence, in defence of its property, be it ever so small ; 
the mob, who have nothing to lose but everything 
to gain in disorder, is found only in cities ; in the 
country a hundred different works and services occupy 
men where they owe their existence entirely to the yeo- 
man, and therefore entirely depend upon him. 

In a general arming of the people I do not, there- 
fore,'Understand the class of the unoccupied, so dangerous 
to the state, men who possess nothing, and are constantly 
ready for a revolt, and who have extraordinarily in- 
creased in recent times, especially in great cities. Let 
us give, or, rather, let us permit, the citizen and the yeo- 
man to take arms to help to avert a danger which is so 
threatening. Who would refuse to defend his property, 
his money and possessions, his wife and children ? * 
Who would not gladly join with victorious armies? 
Let there be but a few happy successes, and insurmount- 
able barriers would soon be raised against the progress 
of the enemy. 

The present war has for some time taken the same 
course as the first attempts at the migration of nations. 

* A truth which fairly answers another objection of the diplomatists above 
mentioned, ' What would our newly-armed people do against the French, 
accustomed to war as they are ? ' they ask. They would do what a free 
people fighting for themselves and xheir property can always do against 
men who are forced to fight by some tyrant they detest. 


Enormous masses attack smaller armies, are constantly 
beaten, yet always invincible. Death and desolation 
open the way to them. Atrocities of every kind are 
performed with more than the cruelty of Vandals. Too 
narrow appear their boundaries to a people dying of 
hunger in a country formerly so blooming. Destruction 
of all monuments and works of art, and subjugation of 
the nations, present a striking resemblance to the deeds 
of the Northern hordes of the fifth and sixth centuries. 
The breaking up of all manners and customs make 
them still more dangerous. The cause of the first mi- 
gration of nations wsls either the supplanting by neigh- 
bouring peoples, or the desire to exchange a gloomy 
sky for brighter chmates. 

Innovations in morahty, the overthrow of the most 
sacred duties, the introduction of the horrors of a Eevo- 
lution never lay in its purpose. The object of the 
second is the dissolution of all social ties, the destruction 
of all principles, and the spoHation of all property. 
Italy fell by its indiflerence from the highest stage of 
cultivation to the most dreadful barbarism ; indifference 
threatens Europe with the same fate. 

Eulers of nations ! and Nations I bound so closely 
together by mutual interest, ye are drawing daily nearer 
to the end of your peace. Few moments remain to you ; 
then perhaps you w^ill repent too late of the time lost in 
shameful inactivity. This moment decides your fate and 
that of your descendants. The example of three useless 
campaigns teaches you the necessity of applying stronger 
measures to avert the threatening danger so close at 
hand. Make use of these means which have hitherto 
supported the enemy. Fathers of famihes, possessors 
of property fight in the same rank with the brave 
defenders of your Fatherland and of your provinces ! 



If you are united the rapacious hordes will flee from 
you, and the well-intentioned of all nations will join you. 
To you then Europe will owe her preservation, and 
whole generations their peace. 

From Rastadt. 

Fragments from Mettemich's private Letters to his Wife, in the 
years 1797 and 1798. (Note 7.) 

.Arrival in Rastadt — Bonaparte's departure — residence in the castle. 4. 
MM. Treilhard and Bonnier — opening of a theatre. 5. Dinner with 

. Cohenzl — Citoyen Perret. 6. First visit from Treilhard and Bonnier. 
7. Confusion of affairs — secularisation. 8. The French deputies decline the 
invitation to dine with Oohenzl ! 9. Merveldt goes to Vienna. 10. Visit 
to Oarlsruhe. 11. Characteristics of the French deputies. 12. The epide- 
mic among cats. 13. Visit to Strashurg. 14. Characteristics of the 
French Comedy. 15. Progress of affairs — Napoleon expected. 16. 
Uneasiness in Vienna on account of the non-arrival of Napoleon — block- 
ade of Mayence — thoughts of a landing in England. 18. Bonaparte 
still expected. 19. Midnight mass with the Piarists. 20. General satis- 
faction with F. G. Metternich's manner of conducting the negotiations. 
21. Entrance of the French into Basle. 22. Bonaparte expected at Ras- 
tadt. 24. Ball at Rastadt. 25. Bonaparte supposed to be occupied in 
planning an attack on England. 26. Metternich plays at an Amateur 
Concert — monotonous life at Rastadt. 27. Opening of the Congress. 29. 
Opera and Comedy. 31. Supper with the Opera Singers. 32. France 
for, Austria against, secularisation. 33. Metternich likely to return to 
Vienna in the month of May. 34. Passion-week. 36. Feeling of the 
people of Alsace. 36. Anecdote of a colony of French ^jmyr^'s. 38. At 
Frankfort. 89. Bernadotte at Vienna. 41, Return to Rastadt. 43. 
Miserable theatre. 44. Bonaparte's return certain. 46. Bonaparte's 
journey from Paris to Toulon a critical moment. 48. Treilhard named 
Director of the Republic — Bernadotte's departure. 50. Dinner with 
Oobenzl. 52-53. Madame de Metternich's journey to Rastadt. 

Count Metternich to his wife, the Countess Eleanor. 

3. Rastadt, December 2, 1797.— I am just out of the 
carriage, and my first anxiety is to announce to you our 
safe arrival at the place of our destination. 


Bonaparte sets out to-night for Paris, and he will 
not return here for eight or ten days ; the other depu-J 
ties are all there, and we begin work to-morrow. 

The chateau is superb ; it had been much injurec 
by the French, but great efforts have been made to| 
put it in order again. We occupy* that part of it 
which was inhabited by Prince Eugene during the last 
Peace of Eastadt, and Bonaparte the part which was 
then occupied by Marshal de Villars. We have the 
French play in the chateau itself, which is very con- 
venient. Everything is horribly dear ; to give you an 
instance, I wiH only mention that for one supper of six 
very indifferent dishes, just like those you get from a 
cook-shop, they made us pay fifty-five florins at 

4. December 3. — I told you yesterday that Bona- 
parte set ©ut for Paris- a few hours after our arrival. 
He leaves us only MM. Treilhard and Bonnier. f They 
are quartered opposite my windows, which look into the 
courtyard; they have a great many people in their 
suite. Bonaparte himself never goes out without seven 
or eight aides-de-camp all very well dressed, and he 
with all the seams- of his uniform embroidered. The 
entrance to my father's apartment is the same as that 
used by the French. It is a very large hall ; on one 
side are our people, and on the other all the citoyens, 
servants, hussars, and couriers, of whom there are at 
least a score, in little laced jackets,. &c. &c. My father 
occupies thechief apartment, which they have arranged 

* The writer of this letter accompanied his father, who was Imperialj 
Plenipotentiary to the Rastadt Oongrftss. — Ed. 

t Bonnier d'Arco, sprung from a noble Italian family, bom 1742. Treil-] 
hard, properly John Count de Treiliard, born 1742. French Ministers at 
tb.Q Rastadt Conorress, — Ed. 


in great haste to render it habitable, and the rest of 
the house is swallowed up by the French. 

The French deputies are invisible : they do not leave 
their rooms ; and Bonnier is so afraid that anyone should 
enter his, that he has had all the doors bricked up 
that lead out of his quarters, leaving only one open to 
go in and out at himself, and this he bolts when 
he is alone. All their servants look like porters, and 
the masters themselves are dressed in a vulgar way, 
dress coats and pantaloons, not as we should be in the 

They are working hard to arrange the theatre for 
ihe Strasburg troupe \ they will also give some enter- 
t ainments and balls, but as the Ambassadors can scarcely 
1 e expected to dance, I believe it will only be necessary 
to walk about, and I suspect they will not do anything 
I'lse. Eastadt is nearly full of deputies and envoys of 
all kinds. There are, however, still some apartments to 
1)6 let at a very high figure, or rather not to be let, for 
strangers, who might be tempted to come, would die of 

6. December 5. — I have just come from a half French 
dinner at M. de Cobenzl's.* We found ourselves with an 
aide-de-camp of General Bonaparte's, and Citizen Ferret, 
Secretary to the Legation. The first is a small crea- 
ture, indifferent enough, and the second, a good-looking 
young man, who speaks German perfectly, and who has 
studied at Jena and Leipsic, the same who attended the 
negotiations at Udine. They were all very pohte, giving 
the full titles, &c. I shall dine with Treilhard and Bon- 
nier : so confess that I am in good company. Alas ! I 
do not think so. I think I see the nucleus of the men 

* John Ludwig Count Oobenzl, Imperial Plenipotentiary for the King- 
dom of Hungary and Bolieaiia at the Congress of liastadt. — Ed. 


of September, and those of the guillotine, and I in- 
wardly shudder. 

6. December 6. — The French deputies Treilhard and 
Bonnier have this morning paid their first visit to mj 
father, and I leave you to go with him to return it. J 
gain nothing by it, but still it is necessary. They were 
very pohte, better got up than usual, in blue frock coats, 
shoes, and stockings, &c., without any national colour, 
neither cockade nor scarf. 

7. December 7. — Our affairs are still in such confu- 
sion that their issue is not ascertained, but it cannot be 
otherwise than terrible for the Empire. Whatever it is, 
we must bear it. Our private afiairs, T believe, will 
prosper in the way I explained to you before my de- 
parture for Eastadt ; and I am convinced that taken 
individually we shall lose nothing, we shall, perhaps, 
even gain ; but I cannot bear the idea of seeing my 
home in the hands of these rogues, and, on the other 
hand, the secularisations so little fall in with my views 
that nothing but the certainty that what is not given to 
us as compensation will only go to increase the patri- 
mony of some one else makes me catch at this last 
resource. Say nothing to anyone ; I do not wish to be 
quoted ; but according to my way of seeing things, 
everything is gone to the devil ; and the time is come 
when everyone must save from the wreck what he 

8. December 9. — This is the second time that I hav^ 
been going to dine with the French deputies, and at th 
last moment they have sent excuses to M. de Cobenzl 
I declare that in all my life I never saw such ill-condi- 
tioned animals. They see no one, are sealed up in their 
apartments, and are more savage than white bears. 
Good God ! how this nation is changed ! To extreme 




neatness, aad that elegance which one could hardly 
imitate, has succeeded the greatest slovenliness ; the 
most perfect amiabihty is replaced by a dull sinister air, 
which I can only fully describe by calling it Eevolu- 
tionary ! Among all those whom we have here, I have 
not found one amiable, or even supportable, except a 
certain Ferret, Secretary of the Legation of Bonaparte, 
the same of whom I told you some days ago. He is a 
very good-looking young man, well informed, and speaks 
German as if "he had never left the Empire. You can 
form no idea what a pack of wretches they are here. 
AlWhf^^p fpHows have coay ^f mnrlrly t^lmpg r rreat blue 

panta loons^^vesL.QLMu^^oil_ilL^^ 

by an enormous hsit^vdlh.^2t^i££^SlmJ:^^^-^BMiGL^^Q^ 

wuTddie of frightri believe, if one met the best clothed 

01 ihem m a wood. They have a su llen_air, and seem more 
Ti^contei i^^^^^^nemselvesinan with anyone else. 

Lerveldt* will aelive^msleiter to you, my dear. 
He goes to Vienna, and will not return : his work is 
finished. I wish it were the same with the great busi- 
ness ; but that becomes worse every day. Bonaparte 
will take vigorous measures on his arrival, I have no 
doubt, but all possible data prove to me that the affair 
both on our side and on that of the French was ill- 
considered. But certainly the Empire has gone to the 
devil. . . . 

I send you a programme of our theatre, which will 
open to-morrow ; it is the troupe from Strasburg which 
has had the happy idea of coming. I beheve that 
in the end we shall die of ennui ; I pass my evenings 

* Max. Count Merveldt, Major-General, came to Rastadt for the conclu- 
sion of the Military Oouvention of December 1, 1797. 


in playing macao, or some other game of chance at 
my. Aunt Eeinach's ; or play with dice, &c. M. de 
Cobenzl or I make a fortune with a ducat. I sup fre- 
quently at the Count de Sickingen's,* who sees his coli 
leagues every evening, the deputies, the Counts, anc 
some other men. I should laugh at it all, if the genera 
affairs were going better. 

10. December 11. — I have been to Carlsruhe ; w( 
returned very late, and, by no fault of mine, have missec 
the post. It is five good leagues from here to Carlsruhe : 
the road is charming in summer, bordered by an 
avenue of superb poplars ; the country is beautiful, but 
there is nothing pleasant about it at this time of year 
It did nothing but rain, and we could scarcely get on at 
all. The arrival of my father was announced in the 
evening ; and the court was put in Jiocchi ; the Mar- 
shals, grand chamberlains, &c., came to meet him at 
the door of his carriage ; the Margrave himself received 
him in the first hall. I was very much pleased with 
the court ; the Margrave is a good old man, of very 
fine appearance, and extremely polite ; he has three 
sons, who were all present ; the hereditary Princess, 
mother of the Grand-Duchess Alexandra and of the 
Queen of Sweden, seems a pleasant person : he has three 
daughters remaining, two of them quite small, and an 
older one who is not at all pretty. The Duchess o 
Deux-Ponts, who is also one of his daughters, is good 
looking, but they say she is not nearly so pretty as the 
Queen. I have seen the portrait of the King of Sweden, 
which is said to be not the least flattered, and which is 
charming. The hereditary Princess could not spea 
kindly enough to me, and I beheve myself she is a Httld 

• Count Sicking:en, the representative of the Swabian Counts at the 
Congress of Rastadt. 


in love. We had very good cheer ; the court is well 
arranged, and I am convinced that you would be well 
pleased with all the individuals who compose it. We 
left directly after dinner ; but the night and the roads 
were so against any speed in our progress that it took 
us three hours and a half to return to Rastadt, making 
me lose the first play at the French Theatre, which 

is just opened We shall have 

the Opera Comique for a fortnight, and the singers 
alternately with the Comedie, who in the meantime play 
at Strasburg. Bonaparte has promised the Director to 
bring him some of the best actors from Paris, and I 
hope he will keep his word. 

11. December 12. — The French deputies are toler- 
ably old men. Bonaparte's suite is composed of young 
men ; he himself was twenty-eight years old in June, 
and is older than any of his aides-de-camp or secre- 
taries ; he is expected to return to Rastadt in a week. 
Everyone about him is extremely cold towards the 
deputies ; they say that he himself treats them with 
great haughtiness. Treilhard is very pohte ; he came 
yesterday to our box at the theatre, giving us all our 
titles, conversing well hke all the old advocates. All 
who belong to the Corps Diplomatique wear blue frock 
coats, with yellow buttons, on which is the figure of 
Liberty and the inscription of Liberie, Egalite. The mili- 
tary are always in uniform, and are very well appointed. 
. . . . I am a little reconciled to the theatre. There 
are some very pretty subjects, and above all the women 
are dressed most perfectly. They have new dresses, 
really charming, and as all the properties have changed 
masters, the actresses have no end of diamonds. The 
costume of the actors is incredible, and one is incUned 
to take them all for caricatures. An enormous tuft of 


hair curled round the head, leaving the ears uncovered, 
and two long locks of hair which fall on the shoulders, 
are the peculiarities of the perruque worn by fashion- 
able gentlemen. A monstrous cravat covers the chin 
and half the mouth ; two enormous earrings appear at 
the sides. A frock coat, short and as loose as a sack, 
a small waistcoat, and shoes well cut down and of the 
shape of slippers, complete this charming costume. It 
appears that fair perruques are the most in vogue : they 
are all fair, men and women, almost flaxen. The pieces 
they give us are good, and do not refer to the Eevo- 
lution at all. From the cockade one would not suppose 
any differences of opinion : all the roles have their cock- 
ade, in fact, Crispin, Scapin, the old cavalier — all have 
those cursed colours, which, besides the evil they have 
already done, now destroy all illusion. 

12. December 13. — My father is too much occupied 
to think of the details of the house ; he is no longer 
in a state to be sole representative, and the dignity of 
his office even will suffer. Our baggage arrived to-day ; 
they are busy unpacking, and the house will be open 

You have no idea of the noise which the epidemic 
at Vienna among cats has made here. Every letter 
which has arrived for some days speaks of it, and 
the Viennese are already reproached for not being able 
to think of anything else at a time so interesting as the 

13. December 15.— I leave to-night for Strasburg., 


* Private letters of this period mention that tbe epidemic among cats, 
■which then hroke out in Vienna, was considered a sign of the approach of 
the Plague. This fear, originally limited to a few anxious persons, soo: 
grew to be a universal terror among the people in consequence of a false r 
port that the Plague had appeared in Oalicia, and already spread to Bohi 
mia, though called by another name. 


I seize this opportunity because there is less to do here 
than if Bonaparte had come, and I wish to be able to 
stay there at least two days to see everything. You 
cannot think how curious I am to see once more the 
places I have known so well both before and since the 
commencement of the Eevolution, and which I am 
told are changed entirely, 

14. December 17. — You are waiting for details of 
Strasburg, my dear ; alas ! you will not have them, and 
for the best of all reasons, I have not been there. An 
accident prevented me from carrying out my plan, 
which I must now leave till another time. Bonaparte 
left Paris yesterday, and is expected here next Tuesday. 
I am just out from the first dinner we have given, my 
father having opened his house to-day ; the French 
deputies ought to have been here, but they are re- 
ceiving company themselves. Ferret and Lavalette, the 
one secretary to Bonaparte's Legation, and the other 
liis aide-de-camp, and M. Eosenstiel, secretary to the 
French Mission, were all that we had, besides those who 
are here belonging to the Emperor and the Envoy of 
Mayence. Aime * gave us a very good repast, and 
things are beginning to be got into order. Do not be 
uneasy about the finances, everything is going on 

The Comedie Franqaise, which we have now had for 
several days, is very good. There is a Mdlle. Legrand 
and a Mdlle. Delile of the Odeon at Paris, who are both 
very good. The former is very much like Madame 
Spettel, SardeUen-Konigin, so much so that a certain 
person would not be able to contain himself if he were 
here. They give us this evening Un pas de trois de 
sabotiers, which is translated in the programme Ein 

* Count Franz Qeorg von Metternich's cook. 
A A 2 


Tritt von drei Holzschuhtrdgern. I could not help bursty 
ing with laughter when I read it. 

15. December 19. — Our affairs here go on as well 
as the extraordinary circumstances in which we find 
ourselves permit. I pity you, my dear, being at Vienna ; 
you will hear all the events criticised and talked over 
in the most insupportable manner ; people will always 
concern themselves with your interests and those of the 
persons connected with you ; but I can only recommend 
you to preserve the utmost calmness and tranquilHty. 
Events are so extraordinary in themselves, the military 
movements which the French are constantly making 
with respect to the Empire are so inexphcable to the 
ignorant, that I can imagine all Vienna in combustion. 
On twenty different sides one hears of the dissolution 
of the Congress ; the fact is, that it is not possible to 
calculate its duration — ^it has really only just commenced ; 
but our private interests will be perfectly safe. 

We expect Bonaparte to return to-morrow ; they 
have prepared a fete for him as he passes through 
Strasburg, without knowing if he intends to stay there. 
I will write and tell you all the particulars of his con- 
versations when he has once arrived ; they will be 
more interesting than those of the ministers who are 
here — one of whom speaks the most beautiful Gascon, 
and the other, Bonnier, says nothing. We do not know 
yet if Madame Bonaparte accompanies or follows Bona- 
parte. J 

16. December 21. — Bonaparte has not yet returned} 
the Directory detains him still in Paris, but we expect? 
him from one moment to another, without knowing 
exactly when he will arrive. His absence, which apij 
pears to make you and all Vienna uneasy, has nothing:* 
to do with present affairs : he would not have much tqj 


do even if he were here, for a Congress of the Empire 
is very different from a negotiation between two Powers ; 
liere there are so many different interests at stake, so 
many heads to put into one cap, that in spite of the 
greatest desire one cannot get on more quickly than we 
do. There is no part of the country where the Empire 
is less understood than at Vienna, nor where they have 
more mistaken ideas about it. I already seem to hear 
you saying twenty times over, Jct^ wenn's so ist, when, 
on my return to Vienna, I show you things in a very 
different light from that in which you and your society 
Jiave been accustomed to see them, and I wish to 
heaven that time had' already come. 

The secretary of the Legation and' Bonaparte's 
aide-de-camp have interrupted me. They are very 
good fellows, and I often see them ; up to the present 
time they are the only people with whom one can 
associate. Good God ! how extraordinary the times 
and the events are. Seven months ago everyone fled- 
before these men, and now there they are under the 
same roof, and often in the same room with us. 

17. December 22: — I have absolutely nothing new to-. 
tell you ; you have do idea how barren is a sojourn in 
Rastadt for newsmongers ; the great affairs would not 
interest you in their details, and there is nothing else 
to relate. All days are ahke : I dine either with my 
father or with M. de Cobenzl ; they are the only people 
who keep house. I spend all my morning in writing, 
I do the same after dinner, and in the evening I gene- 
rally go to the theatre, which is excellent. They give- 
only good pieces, which never refer to the Eevolution. 
I sup three or four times a week with M. de- Sickingen ; 
I either pass my evening at Madame de Reinach's, or !» 
come home after the theatre and write again, often till 


two or three o'clock in the morning. You see that 
this is a very uniform and very simple manner of living, 
so uniform that I cannot write you anything new. I 
enclose an invitation to dine with the Frenchmen, which j 
you will find quite in the old-fashioned style. Treilhard 
is in general very poHte, and a striking contrast to his 
colleague, who is what we should call the quintessence^ 
of a clown. Even a Parisian journal, the Courrier d%^ 
Jour, in yesterday's number, censures his cool and vulgar 
^ir, and with perfect reason. They are still ignorant of 
the day of Bonaparte's arrival. The French, mean- 
time, are progressing on all sides ; they have blockaded 
Mayence, and taken possession of the Bishopric ofj 
Basle, which makes the Swiss very uneasy, seeing them;^ 
actually in the midst of their country, which promises 
to become as revolutionary as Italy. Heaven knows 
where it will stop ; but there is certainly no reason 
why the rest of Europe should not be shaken to itsE 
foundations by forty milHons of men aiming at the same. 
mark. All they dream of in France at this moment is- 
a descent on England. The wildest projects are formed,, 
and it appears to me that those that are the least so 
are quite impossible. A certain man Tillorier thin ks 
of p'(^^pQL_O Yer in a, b^ lToo^^anoth^j^. ji^ped (j^rmer. 
proposes elastic skates ; a third pretends to have in - 
vented a species o^DoaT^^pas^mae^Iie^^^ater witlioii 

would have guns made t o carry fi fty miles which shal l 
4sal£Qz ''^^nglanT'^rom^Fren^^ 1 ou may 

think these are the plans of some madmen — not at al l ; 
th^se are the proiect-mak ers_of the day . They say 
that Bonaparte received in one day two thousand pro- 
jects, plans, and letters, directly he arrived in Paris. 
18. December 24. — We are always in expectation of .^ 


Bonaparte's arrival. The Paris newspapers announce 
his departure in almost every one of their numbers ; 
they expected him at Strasburg the day before yesterday, 
and he has not yet arrived there. In the meantime 
Mayence is gone to the devil, and on all the left bank 
everybody must cross himself; many people do not beheve 
it yet, but for myself I made the sacrifice long ago, and 
come what will, I shall be astonished at nothing. 

19. December 25. — I have just come from Treil- 
hard, who has given us his first dinner. We had 
very good cheer ; I do not know who cooked it, for 
three days ago he asked Aime if he would prepare a 
diimer for him — be that as it may, it was very well 
appointed. Good wine and good cheer — see to what 
the rehgion of this regenerated nation is reduced : they 
know no other God than their stomach, and no enjoy- 
ment but that of their senses. Doubtless this is Christ- 
mas Day, but they know it only as the 5th Nivose. I 
have been to a midnight mass at the Piaristes with my 
father and the Count de Lehrbach.* I do not beheve 
that a single member of the French embassy, either 
master or servant, has dreamt of attending mass. We 
were rather less than twenty at dinner ; first, naturally, 
all their suite, then ourselves, and some of the envoys. 
The dinner passed off very well ; they talked much and 
eat much — this is the best I can say for it. 

20. December 27. — What Mer veldt said to you of the 
duration of the Congress is quite vague. I defy anyone 
to tell how long it will last, but as it has only just com- 
menced, judge for yourself if it can be finished in a 
month. The French, who refuse to receive the creden- 

* Kom-ad Ludwig von Leiirbacli, IMinister for the Austrian Circle at the 
Rastadt Congress, he afterwards represented also Hungary and Bohemia. — 


tials of the Deputation of the Empire in their present 
form, have obhged the latter to procure new ones. It! 
is absolutely impossible that they can arrive for five ori 
six weeks. So you see how it is. My father is the) 
only one who deals with them, their full powers being^ 
exchanged for his. Everyone is very much pleased 
with him and his mode of deahng, and I have no doubt, 
the court will be equally satisfied. 

21. December 31. — The French have entered Basle, 
and under the pretext of occupying only the houses 
which belong to the Bishop, and which they have de- 
clared to be their property, and not to violate the neu- 
trahty, they have sent there several thousand unarmed 
men. This is the first step against the hberty of the 
Swiss, and you will see that in a few months the whole 
of that fine country will be a prey to revolution. Of 
what horrible augury is this unheard-of infringement 
of people's rights for all the countries near the whirl- 
pool ! The Ee volution will have carried away in its 
torrent nearly fifty millions of men in less than seventy 
years, and where will it stop ? I pity these poor Swiss ; 
but they are lost, and we shall have the Eevolution in 
all the frontiers of Tyrol. The French yesterday en- 
tered Mayence. 


22. Rastadt, January 1. — Bonaparte is expected oi 
Saturday or Sunday. I do not know whether to be glac 
at his arrival or not. I am afraid that he will not decidel 
very quickly ; his expedition to England torments him,] 
not that I believe it will ever succeed, and he wants his 
hands fi*ee. They still say that his wife will accompan] 

23. January 6. — Our affairs go steadily on ; the] 


will move more quickly when once Bonaparte has 
iirrived. There will be the devil to pay when once the 
machine is set agoing. The left bank of the Rhine is 
irretrievably lost ; but I have well-founded hopes of 
being successful in the matter of our indemnities. I 
liave broken the ice ; I had a conversation of an hour 
with Treilhard, and the result was so curious that I 
have sent by the same courier a report to Thugut,* who 
will, I hope, give me some credit. My position, as 
deputy of the Counts, is an inestimable advantage to me. 
It gives me the opportunity of acting by and for myself, 
and I swear to you that I never lose a minute nor an 
occasion. My project of an indemnity on the right 
bank has been accepted by the French the more easily 
inasmuch as they had conceived the same idea them- 
selves some time ago. My father conciliates himself 
with everybody ; you have no idea how general the 
satisfaction with him is ; and how everybody does him 
justice. No post could have suited him better, and no 
man could have better filled the post ; he comes out 
from every difficult question with infinite honour and 
advantage. I do not enter into the detail of affairs ; I 
will explain everything to you by word of mouth when 
I return to Vienna ; but be happy and contented. Mi- 
nisters are arriving here from all parts of the universe. 
We have Cisalpine Envoys, Ligurian, Dutch, Swiss, &c.; 
many people and especially at Vienna, where they only 
know what passes within a circle of three leagues, be- 
Heve that the Congress of Rastadt is nothing but a farce : 
everything is already arranged — say our great pohti- 
cians ; you may remember that I always said the con- 
trary. The fate of the whole world is being decided- 
here, and from the Peace of Rastadt only will date that 

* Johann Amadeus von Tliugut, Minister of Foreign Affairs.— Ed. 


of Europe, if this stormy age permits it to have any. All 
that I foresaw has come to pass : each Power seeks to 
regain something of what it has lost by preventing a 
third from aggrandising itself ; all the poHtical elements ! 
are in combustion, and the end is known to nobody. 

24. January 9. — The day before yesterday we had^ 
a ball in the hall of the theatre ; we are to have another -j 
to-day. There is not under the canopy of heaven a 
more wearisome thing than a ball at Eastadt ; there are- 
nearly a hundred men, almost all ministers and depu 
ties, and eight or ten women, half of them more than,' 
fifty years old. It is only for want of something better 
to do that one ever goes to them. 

26. January 13. — Bonaparte has not arrived yet.^ 
I do not know to what to attribute the causes of this 
delay ; some say that business about this descent on' 
England occupies him very much; others suppose that 
he wishes to wait the arrival of the full powers of the 
deputies of the Empire ; and a third party beheve that 
his omnipotence has much decreased now he is no- 
longer surrounded by all his army and a crowd of 
aides-de-camp and admirers. It is certain that Bona 
parte is the creature of Barras, and that Kewbell,* who isfl 
no friend of the latter, has much more power at this" 
moment. Time wiU explain the mystery, but there is 
no doubt of his return ; only the time is not fixed, and 
I am annoyed not to see him before my departure. La 
Comedie goes on playing in the meantime as if he were 
here, and aU goes on as usual. 

26. January 16. — The new full powers for the^ 
deputies of the Empire have arrived; the negotiation^ 
which up to this time has been managed by my father > 

* Barras and BewbeU, well-known members of the National Oonven- 


alone, will go on now with the Deputation, and affairs 
will be much more exciting. I shall be charged with 
very interesting despatches for Vienna, and I shall be 
able to tell you much more on my return than I can 
at present. The bomb is in the air ; it will burst ; 
happy those who are not struck by it ! You have no 
idea of the despair which reigns on the left bank of the 
I Rhine; the inhabitants have been hoping that they 
i would become Germans again, but their hopes sink day 
by day, and give place to the most profound grief; cer- 
tainly the lot of the proprietors is very sad, and if ever 
the being a State of the Empire were valuable, it is so 
at tliis moment. I have gathered together a number of 
data on the internal state of this unhappy country, and 
I beheve I have heard enough from people of all 
; parties to be perfectly well informed of all that is 
passing there. I do not enter into any details ; I shall 
enjoy telhng you everything myself, and I do not wish 
to trust to paper what I can tell you so much better by 
word of mouth. 

We had a concert yesterday, at which I played a 
good deal. One of the Envoys of the Empire has a 
i young man here with him who has a very considerable 
J talent for the vioHn, and who will be a perfect master 
! of it, if he apphes himself ; we arranged a concert for 
i him with some amateurs, and the pubhc paid a small 
jsum for admission. The music was well chosen, and 
i the concert perfect, so that everyone was astonishe d^ I 
conducted the orchestra in the sj^iiphonies^and__the_con^ 


everyone talks of it to-day. It was about the pleasant- 
est evening I have passed in Rastadt, for I Uke extremely 
to play music. 



27. January 19. — The Congress was opened this 
morning as splendidly as possible. My father was at' 
the deputation, and communicated the first proposition 
of the French, which was nothing less than the keeping 
of the left bank. We have known this a long time, 
and you can say that this is the proposition, if you see 
that it is no mystery at Vienna. You know that it is not 
well to be the first to tell anything. . . I am waitin 
for the despatches I am to take with me, which prevents 
me from fixing the day of my departure ; but believe me, 
and expect me at Vienna before the end of the month 

28. January 21. — This is the last letter which 
you will receive from me, my dear ; perhaps I shall arrive 
at the same time as this does. I am really to go on: 
Tuesday the 23rd ; it will take me nearly six days to 
make the journey, and I shall embrace you on the 29th 
or 30th of this month. 

The news I told you some days ago that the French? 
had occupied Basle is false ; what is more astonishing isi 
that the French themselves had spread this report here.; 
One of them told me himself. So there is the first un- 
truth I have written to you from Eastadt. 

29. March 19. — Here I am once more in this 
miserable Eastadt, two hundred leagues from you and 
our dear little children. I arrived yesterday evening ; 
no one expected me, and I fell hke a bombshell in my 
mother's room, who had just come from the theatre. 
My journey was very agreeable. . . Eastadt is always 
the same. 

30. March 20. — I had supper yesterday with the. 
Frenchmen; there were very few people, and I retire 
to rest in good time. . . We have the opera still for 
few days more, and then we shall have the comedy 
take its place. I find no change ; the same characte 


and the same pieces, with the exception of a few novel- 
ties which the director will give for me before their de- 
parture. I shall pay my visits to-day, to be perfectly 

31. March 24. — Yesterday we had supper at M. de 
Cobenzl's, with all the actors of the opera. There were 
no ladies, except Mdlle. Hyacinthe. They have all gone 
to-day for good ; La Comedie will take their place, and 
after Easter a new opera company is coming, which we 
do not know at all. You have no idea how sorry all 
these people are to be obliged to return to France ; they 
wished to remain always at Eastadt, or to find some 
place in Germany ; they feel themselves so free here, 
people can do what they like, and, above all, everyone 
is so polite. What a regeneration is this ! 

Fair perruques are still the fashion ; you have no 
-idea of the number that are sold in Eastadt. Hair is 
so scarce in France that they have already begun to 
get it from Eussia and Sweden. Madame de Pdlffy 
would get a fortune for life with her head, if she were 
in the mind to be shaved regularly, and if this rage for 
fair hair continued. The French are still exercisinsr the 
most frightful persecutions on all the Belgian emigres ; 
the ambassador of your friend VanderHst, and several 
other Braban^ons, is in prison at Brussels ; he will be 
in despair, and with reason. It is all the more annoying 
because the papers he had with him have been seized, 
and sent to Paris. It seems to be decided that Bona- 
parte will not return to Eastadt, notwithstanding all 
that people say. 

32. March 27. — Our affairs are going on as well as 
they can, considering the feebleness and inaction of the 
Princes and States of the Empire ; the French lay down 
the law, and that witli an arrogance and certainty of 


success incredible to those who do not know the secret 
supporters and authors of all our evils. They declare 
strongly for secularisation. The Court of Vienna, whicl 
knows all the inconveniences, is very much opposed toj 
it ; and I am daily confirmed in my opinion that theyj 
will end by adopting the middle course, which will be 
the happiest for the persons concerned. The arrival of 
the next courier from Vienna will partly decide this 
question, and considerably advance the negotiation, 
which has languished for some time. 

The non-arrival of Bonaparte is now certain ; all 
his people have gone to rejoin him at Paris, and Perret 
and Lavalette go to-day. They believe that the expedi- 
tion against England is very near, and that they will 
soon be embarked on this enterprise — the most sad and 
dangerous of all ; they are all in despair ; and Pitt 
would be more tranquil about the result, if he could 
only calculate the danger by the zeal of the troops 
destined to fight against England : all of them have 
made their wills. 

33. March 31. — How I shall thank Heaven when 
once I am with you again. I will leave you no more. 
I will devote all my cares and all my leisure to you and 
my dear children. That time is not very far off, I hope. 
I ha^e come back to my old idea of the month of May : 
it is impossible for me to return in April. The Congress 
must first be over, which cannot yet be foreseen ; but 
rely upon me, in the month of May I will be with you, 
let affairs go as they may ; besides, the conclusion will 
be about that time, or will be so near that my pre- 
sence here will not be the least use, and you cannot 
doubt that when once there is no urgent necessity tc 
stay, I shall know no other care than that of returninc 
to you. I shall dine on Tuesday with Treilhard, and,] 


as you like knick-knacks, I send you his card of in- 
vitation ; you will see that he gives me a title which 
does not belong to me. 

34. April 2. — Our affairs here go on slowly. I 
wish they had no further to go, and that we were all 
safe at home. I cannot express to you the pleasure it 
will give me to get back to Vienna, in the most lovely 
se ason o f th e year, to our little garc en. of w hich T mn 

8^Mj,y,,j^yi,jjfl4Bajjj^j^ you shall be 

very gay ; and we will not be separated again. We 
shall give parties to amuse you, and we will spend 
some months in the country. . . 

Holy Week occupies us here, much as it does in 
Vienna. I am going to take the Sacrament the day 
.after to-morrow. I will pray for my dear httle wife 
aiid children ; do the same for me. The theatre 
is open to-morrow ; but the Cathohc and Protestant 
Legations of all countries have given the word not to 
go to it during Holy Week, and consequently only the 
French and some strangers were at the representation 
yesterday. The former wished them not to omit any 
day, but everybody opposed that. One should not lose 
the opportunity of setting a good example at a time 
when the whole world, so to speak, only furnishes bad 
ones, and those destructive of social order and individual 

35. April 5. — You have no idea of the number of 
poor peasants and inhabitants of Alsace who cross the 
Ehine daily to be present at Divine service during Holy 
Week. To-day being very fine, I was walking about 
midday on the bank of the Ehine ; I saw a number of 
men and women re-embarking sadly in a boat. I ac- 
costed them and asked whence they came, and where 
they were going. ' Alas ! my good sir,' said an old man 



to me, ' you are very happy to be able to remain on the 
right bank ; one is quiet there, but we must return to 
our unhappy country, where everything is upside down.' 
I asked him why he had come to this side. ' We cros> 
the Rhine on the great Feast Days,' said he to me, ' to 
pray to God. There is nothing with us, the church is 
closed ; in the evening our schoolmaster says the Cha- 
peletf everyone in the village attends, and that is all 
our Divine service. They dare not ring the bells ; but 
at midday the bell is hit several times as if the hour 
struck, so that we may know the hour of the Angelus.' 
I asked him if the Mayor would object to this infringe- 
ment of the laws. ' The Mayor,' replied he, * is a good 
man ; he is also forbidden to receive emigres, but our 
village is full of them ; he tells us always to hide them, 
and not to let him know of it, so as not to involve him 
and get him into trouble.' I informed myself on all 
matters one could talk about to the peasants ; they 
assured me that they pay double what they did in the 
hardest times of the old regime, and if the thing does 
not end soon they will pack up their things and go. Fine 
regeneration and fine hberty ! E^fig^^ jeers or wee ps 
whep^Jll^wor^^ibert^ is pronounced, or^^qualiT?: .' 
at which they mock still mor^ '^n^Yet with so many 
conditions against them, these folks make laws for the 
world, and for us, above all, they make some every day. 

36. April 7. — I dined yesterday with Treilhard ;i 
we had in the middle of the table a sort of pyramid^ 
made en croquants, with enormous tri-coloured flags ; I' 
declare I quite lost my appetite at the sight of these 
execrable colours. The dinner itself was very good; 
ne has taken possession of Bonaparte's apartments, no" 
that it is quite certain he will not return. 

A newspaper which I saw to-day contains an aneC' 


dote good enough to be repeated to you. A Portuguese 
vessel going round the world to make discoveries, prin- 
cipally in the Southern Seas, came upon an island up to 
that time unknown. They put in, and were very much 
astonished at being received there by Frenchmen. 
Three hundred emigres^ the greater number of them 
naval officers, had formed a colony ; flying from the 
disasters of the Eevolution, they had quitted France at 
its very beginning, taking their wives and children, and 
all things necessary, &c. ; they landed on this island, 
chose a part where nature was very bountiful, and 
where nothing was wanting but cattle. The Portu- 
guese made a present of some to the colony, who lead 
a patriarchal Hfe, and do not regret in the least what 
they have left behind. What a resource in these civil 
disturbances ! If ever we were obhged to fly, we could 
do the same, and one need not be unhappy in a dehcious 
country, under a pleasant sky, with all one's friends and 
relations. I am sure this history is hke a pleasant 
dream : it is not, however, the less true ; it is men- 
tioned in the official account of this voyage, which I 
intend to get from Paris. 

37. April 11. — I seize this opportunity to give you 
for once a succinct account of our affairs here. You 
know that the left bank of the Ehine is ceded by the 
deputies of the Empire ; you know, too, that the prin- 
ciple of secularisation for the indemnification of the 
states is also adopted ; my father has not yet in the name 
of the Emperor acquiesced in these two propositions, 
but it cannot be avoided, and no doubt the first courier 
will bring us news of the Imperial ratification. We 
are sure to lose all we have on the left bank ; the French 
declare openly their intention of regarding these do- 
mains as national property, and of indemnifying us on 
, VOL. I. B B 


the right bank for what we have lost on the left. The 
difficulty now is to know what portion Heaven destines 
for us. I have my eye on an estate which has ever] 
advantage, and I have every reason to beheve that H 
will fall to our share. Be that as it may, we can b< 
perfectly easy about our future. 

You see, then, that the two principal points ar^ 
settled, and without doubt they are the most difficult to 
digest. Do not worry yourself about the duration of 
the Congress and that confounded business : it may end 
very soon, or drag on for some time, according to the 
course they take. 

38. Frankfort, April 19. — Here I am at Frankfort, 
and very well pleased to find myself where I have not 
been for five years. I could not describe to you the 
various feehngs which pass through my mind ; my exist- 
ence, my country, my position, all are changed in tliis 
time, though it is not so very long ; and the objects 
that surround me are the only things which remain the 
same. An irresistible longing, most powerful and most 
sweet, draws me towards you and my children, of all 
which I had nothing five years ago ; you did not exist, 
at least for me, and the poor children could not boast 
of being much. During my last sojourn at Frankfort, 
I thought of Vienna much as you would think of Naples 
or St. Petersburg ; I was to have stayed there three 
weeks, and there I am for life. All this is very well, 
and I would not give up these advantages for the 
treasure of the universe ; but there are other changes 
which pain me beyond expression. As I draw near 
my home, I feel more keenly its loss ; I am surrounded 
here by persons whom I once knew happy and pros- 
perous ; the greater number of them have now notliing, 
and a miserable cockade takes the place of all the 


advantages of the past. The inhabitants of tlie le ft 
bank ar e all ob Hged to wea^n^c ocKaaeeveirwtien 
ffavellin^ ^^^uc^^^^aOh^eop Te^irBie'Sr^ 
w!ioare, in fact, mgiij^lia^ ts of Mayence^Soffne!^??. , 
loo^iKeso^nany FrenchmST*TE?T7Sc}^rTT!v1?a'M 
its outposts about a league from the town ; the soldiers 
may walk there as much as they like, and you may be 
sure they take advantage of the privilege. 

The fair is splendid for purchasers : much merchan- 
dise, much display, and very little business. All the 
merchants complain of losses which they suffer daily. 

The theatre is good ; I went yesterday to an opera 
which was much better than our German operas at 
Vienna, though that is not saying much. I dined yester- 
day with Bethmann ; I shall dine to-day with Count de 
Schhck, and I shall go after dinner to see the Elector of 
Cologne. He has become enormous : he is stouter than 
Schreibers,* which is saying a good deal. 

39. Frankfort, April 22. — I have just received the 

news of the 13th and 14th from Vienna.f I am ignorant 

•of the details : twenty letters have arrived which all 

• contradict each other about the principal facts. I am 
very impatient for an explanation, especially from you, 
my dear ; I cannot rest till I know how you are, and if 
you have been much alarmed, the scene of the event 
being so near you ; and to think that I was not with 
you ! I hope PepiJ has been helpful to you; he has 
enough coolness and love for you to have kept the Httle 

* Dr. Sclireibers was physician'to Countess Metternich. 

t This refers to an act of provocation on the part of the French Ambas- 
sador, then in Vienna, Bernadotte, who on April 13 exliibited the tri-co- 
louredflag on his hotel in Wallnerstnme, only a few houses distant from the 
one in which Countess Metternieh lived, thereby causin? a very tumultuous 

• counter-demonstration on the part of the populace. 

X Count Joseph Metlernich, the only brother of Metternieh. 

B B 2 


family in order. I think I see you running to the little- 
ones at the first alarm ; it was the first thought which 
struck me. Tliank Heaven we had not let the house to- 
the Ambassador : there is no depending on these men. 
I suspend judgment on the affair itself until I know 
more about it, but it is sure to be annoying in one way 
or another. If the French are the abettors and in- 
stigators, I foresee nothing but war ; if not, the thing 
may be arranged. What a time and what a future ! I 
shall stay here two or three days longer, and then 
return to Rastadt, unless I receive letters which obhge- 
me to return sooner. This event in any case will hasten 
the negotiations : it may break them off, or they may 
begin with new vigour, and finish once for all. 

40. Frankfort, April 24. — I have seen some one 
who came yesterday from Rastadt ; the news of the scene- 
at the Ambassador's had made a terrible sensation there. 
I think the conduct of the court was perfect, and only' 
fools could have wished it otherwise. Bernadotte's 
conduct is inexcusable, and he is generally blamed by 
the French, of whom there are a great many in these 
parts. We are waiting with impatience the arrival of 
news from Paris, to know what will be the resolution of" 
the Directory ; it cannot be otherwise than favourable 
to us. 

41. Rastadt, April 30. — I arrived from Frankfort 
some hours ago. ... I found everything very quiet here ; 
Bernadotte located in the chdteau opposite to me. He has^ 
not paid a visit to my father and M. de Lehrbach, who 
have not seen him. I met him a moment ago : he seemed 
rather ashamed, and with good reason. The Directory 
pretends to disapprove of the insolent steps which it has 
allowed ; they have shocked tlie whole French army, as 
I heard from many of the ofiicers at Frankfort. I look 



upon this event as rather happy, for it will show the 
weakness of the French Government and the strength of 
ours, to which it is dictating, especially at a time when 
tliey are uneasy about the detestable success of the elec- 
tions in the greater number of the departments. 

42. May 4. — I work all day : I am overwhelmed 
with demands and requests from my constituents; 
everyone thinks only of indemnifying himself, and 
this is the most important moment of the crisis. 
To make it worse, I have been obhged to allow my 
secretary to go away for a time, his wife is so ill 
that it would have been cruelty to prevent him, and I 
am left alone with this mass of papers. In a httle while 
I shall be able to turn round ; my demands will be 
presented to the Deputation ; I shall have done my duty 
and will occupy myself only with the thought of rejoin- 
ing you. This is all my ambition, it is that to which 
all my wishes tend, which bounds all my desires, and 
nothing shall prevent me executing what I long for more 
than anything in the world. 

43. May 5. — ^We have such a detestable theatre 
here now that we can hardly go to it. All the good 
-actors have returned to Paris, or do not play ; they are 
waiting for some fresh ones who take a long time to 
come, and the thing is beneath criticism. Walking is 
•our only resource, and it is really one in this splendid 
country. I am astonished at the diiference which I 
found between the season at Frankfort and Rastadt; 
everything here is a month in advance. 

44. May 8. — It appears to me impossible that affairs 
should not be decided sooner than people think. The 
arrival of M. de Cobenzl is expected every moment, and 
the return of Bonaparte is certain. The question of 
how they will end is more difficult to solve. 


46. May 12. — You cover me with reproaches which 
both amuse and vex me. You wish me to tell you 
about a hundred thousand things, not one of which is- 
known at Eastadt, and which all issue from the empty- 
brain of some Foreign Office poHtician. They tell you 
that Bonaparte has been at Eastadt for some time : there- 
is not a word of truth in it ; we have been expecting- 
him for a week or rather more ; the French courier, 
going to announce to him the arrival of M. de Cobenzl,, 
only passed by the day before yesterday. They tell you 
that Treilhard is appointed Ambassador to Vienna : it 
is not so ; we are perfectly ignorant who is going there ; 
and there is a great probabihty that Treilhard will be 
appointed Director. The elections are to take place 
between the 20th and 30th Floreal, this is the 24th, 
so in a few days we shall know who it is. There are 
only two competitors, the old Bishop of Autun (Tal- 
leyrand) and Treilliard ; everyone thinks the latter will 
carry the day. They tell you that a great number of 
couriers arrive from Eastadt and Paris : there is not one 
by whom I do not send a few hues for you, my dear, so 
do not believe what they say. You know how they 
lie ; and beheve me if anything interesting occurs, I 
shall always be the first to tell you of it — that is, if I 
possibly can. 

46. May 15. — ^Bonaparte has left Paris for Toulon 
to which place a courier has been sent teUing him that 
M. de Cobenzl awaits him at Eastadt ; all this has the 
appearance of some trick, and there is as much reason 
to bet for as against the arrival of Bonaparte. In that 
case it would be seen if the Directory sends another in 
his place ; if not M. de Cobenzl will not remain here, 
but will return to Vienna ; Treilhard also goes to Paris 
in a few days ; he has been elected to the Council of 


the Ancients, and has already received 263 votes for 
the Directory, who cannot do without him. It is not 
known who will succeed him in the post at Eastadt. 
You see that at this moment the crisis is very in- 

47. May 17. — It is now certain that Bonaparte 
will not come (this is between ourselves), and it is 
beheved that Francis de Neufchateau, the Director now 
going out, will replace both him and Treilhard. One will 
gain by the change, for this man is said to be very mild 
and temperate ; we shall see what he will do, and if 
he can help to accelerate the business. I shall soon 
know, and as soon as he has set forth his views and 
]iis measures, I shall see about the means of rejoin- 
ing you. 

48. May 19. — Treilhard has been appointed Direc- 
tor of the EepubHc. The courier who brought this 
news arrived the day before yesterday, whilst we were 
at the theatre ; the radiant face of the new king, and 
the congratulations of his colleagues and friends, told 
us at once what had happened ; he packed up yester- 
day, and departed this morning at four o'clock to take 
possession of his new place. You can conceive the 
effect the event has had at the seat of the Congress ; all 
the underHngs and flatterers crowded round him to 
tender homage. He received no one this morning. I 
went to see him after dinner yesterday, and took a most 
tender leave of the illustrious personage. It is not yet 
known who will replace him. We expect the Abbe 
Sieyes * here this evening or to-morrow ; he is on his 
way to Berlin, where he is appointed Ambassador. 
Bernadotte left here yesterday for Strasburg with all 

* Abb^ Sieyes, appointed Member of the Directory in the place of 
Eewbell, was afterwards sent to Berlin as Ambassador.— Ed. 


his suite ; he would not stop here, not wishing to accept 
the command of the Fifth Mihtary Division, which had 
been offered to him on his retirement from the diplo- 
matic career — the Government being as discontented 
with him as he is with the Government. This is the 
latest news, and with it I commence my letter. . . . 

49. May 26. — Jean Debry, a furious Jacobin, has 
been appointed by the Directory to replace Treilhard. 
We shall have a nice business with him. Francis de 
Neufchateau has been since yesterday at Seltz, a small 
village on the other side of the Ehine, about a league 
from here, where he will wait till the conferences with 
M. de Cobenzl begin. 

50. June 3. — I dined to-day with Count Cobenzl 
at Seltz ; there were no strangers, except Francis de 
Neufchateau, MM. Geoffroy and Gallois, and the Com- 
mandant at Seltz. I am very well satisfied with the 
tone of these gentlemen ; Francis de Neufchateau is 
very courteous, mild, and amiable ; he is a man of 
letters, and he gives one that impression. I could 
hardly beheve I was in France ; the Sunday is kept as 
it is here, no one was working, and one of the gentle- 
men told me he had attended high mass that morning. 
They pay all possible honour to M. de Cobenzl. He 
has two grenadiers and two mounted soldiers before the 
door of his house. I cannot tell you how extraordinary 
all this appeared to me ; I could not believe my eyes at 
table, where I saw nothing but Frenchmen, both civil 
and mihtary, and French soldiers to guard us. Francis 
de Neufchateau is always in ministerial costume, which! 
in my opinion is very ugly. A black coat, with an-j 
enormous round collar {ein Pekeschkragen), of bright; 
orange gros de Tours, a vest of the same stuff and colour, 
embroidered in black, breeches of the same, and halfj 


Ijoots, a large sword, and a hat a la Henri IV., with 
enormous plumes. 

I go to-morrow morning to Strasburg, and return 
on Wednesday ; I shall be glad to see again a number 
of old acquaintances who have been inviting me for 
some time. 

51. June 17. — Jean D^bry has been here for some 
days with wife and children, arms and baggage ; we are 
still waiting for a third French Envoy. There is no 
end to this. 

52. June 18. — If you leave on the 25th, as you told 
me, this letter will not find you, and I am writing it at a 
risk. You seem to be uneasy and tormented by un- 
certainty, between the inconvenience and the desire of 
taking Httle Mary with you ; I am sorry for you, for I 
know how uncomfortable such a state is. The journey 
is long, but many people take their children with them ; 
everyone takes them from Vienna to the other side of 
Bohemia, for instance, and my opinion is that fifty or 
sixty leagues more make very httle difference. I can 
only commend you all to the paternal care of the best 
of Fathers ; God will protect you, as my good children 
deserve. He will watch over you all the way and bring 
you to my arms in safety. All is ready for your recep- 
tion, and I will do everything I can to make your stay 
here more supportable; Eastadt will acquire charms 
for me from the moment of your arrival. I shall go to 
meet you as far as Ulm ; after consideration, I think it 
is the place which will suit me best. You can go very 
comfortably in one day from Munich to Augsburg ; it 
will not take the whole day, but it is necessary to sleep 
there, because of getting a bed. It will take you another 
day to get to Uhn ; I will meet you there ; we will go 


the next day as far as Cannstadt, and the following daj 
will bring us very comfortably to Eastadt. 

53. June 26. — Salut a ma bonne petite femme sui 
terre d' Empire. You are now at Munich, twenty-eight 
posts nearer to me. I shall leave here on the evening 
of Sunday, July 1, for Ulm, where I will wait for you. 
Nothing shall prevent my departure, except a letter fro 
you telHng me you have put off yours from Vienna.* 

* This letter is tiie last from Rastadt, where Count Metternich, wit 
his wife and child, remained tiU March, 1790. He left the place of Cor 
gi-ess before the conclusion of the negotiations. Of the three French Am-^ 
bassadors, who on their departure from Rastadt, met with so frightfully 
tragic a fate, no trace is left in these papers, except a few unimportant lines 
to Count Metternich, written by Roberjot, as follows : — 

' I was not able to receive M. le Comte de Metternich this morning,, 
because the French Legation had met at my house. If he has anything ta 
communicate to me, I beg him to inform me, or to tell me the hour it will 
suit him to see me. I beg him to accept, &c., &c. 


* 10 Nivose, an VH. (Dec. 30, 1798).' 



The autobiographical memoir is made up of two, or more pro- 
perly of three, component parts or fragments, which, however, 
fit in so well together that, by simple arrangement, portions of 
the original text form a perfect whole for the first part of 
Metternich's life — ^that is, from the year 1773 to 1815. These 
' component parts are : — 

A. Materials for the History of my Public Life. — A me- 
moir written by the Prince-Chancellor for his family ar- 

!| chives in the year 1844. This breaks off suddenly at the year 
' 1810 (see pages 1-133). To this is joined as continuation — 

B. Guide to explain my Manner of Thought and Actioiv 
during the Course of m/y Ministry from 1809 to 1848. — A 
memoir (which may be considered a continuation of the * Ma- 
terials ') also prepared for the family archives in the year 1852, 
left unfinished in the year 1844, and which is simply joined 
to that fragment with the mere omission of repetitions of facts 
already known (see pages 133-167, and pages 249 to end). 

C. On the History of the Alliances^ 1813 to 1815. — A manu- 
script of Metternich's of the year 1829, which was originally in- 
tended for publication, but never actually published. Although 
not quite complete (the year 1815 is wanting), this Paper is 
much fuller, in the important years 1813 and 1814, than the 
corresponding portion of the ' Gruide,' which has induced us 
to use it in the place of the latter, and to incorporate it with 
the autobiographical memoir as the eighth chapter with its 
original title, together with an introduction which shows the 


:382 NOTES. 

reasons which decided the author to publish a special history of 
the short but critical period from 1813 to 1815 (see pages 
171-245). Notes by the Editor show the beginning and end 
•of the different parts of the autobiography. 

Note I, page 5. 

Maria Beatrix Countess von Kagenegg, born December 8, 
1755; died November 23, 1828; married, January 9, 1771, 
Franz Georg Count of the Empire and afterwards Prince von 
Mettemich-Winneburg-Ochsenhausen, mother of the auto- 

Note 2, page 5. 

We cannot refrain from giving a letter from PVanz Georg 
Metternich to his son, written in the year 1785, which remarks 
on the handwriting of Clement, who was then twelve years old, 
and which is very characteristic from the critical and prophetic 
exhortations of the writer. The letter is dated from Mayence, 
April 9, 1785, and is as follows: — * Your two letters, my dear 
Clement, have reached me safely. I am very much pleased 
with the care that you take of dear Mamma's health ; and that - 
you are thoughtful enough to inform me about it. It shows a I 
good and grateful heart to think chiefly of what children have 
to do from respect to their parents, and the consequences are 
always blessed. I am also much pleased with the style of the 
letter and your handwriting. But in the first I wish you to 
avoid repetitions of thoughts and expressions, and in the latter 
I desire that you will use larger characters. Time always 
makes them smaller, and as your writing is already so very small, 
it will one day become illegible ; and that would be a pity, for I 
hope that Clement will write what will be well worth reading.* 
In a subsequent letter, at the time when young Metternich was 
at the University, Franz Georg von Metternich advised his son 
to carry on his correspondence with him in German, and gave 
him good counsel as to his behaviour at the University. He 
wrote from Coblenz, December 30, 1790 : — 'For a German it is 
always particularly necessary, not only to speak and write his 
mother tongue, but to do so with that excellence which cor- 
responds with a thorough education, and a perfection of Ian- 

NOTES. 383 

rimge which will raise him above the crowd. Much reading 
;ind writing acts on the powers of the mind, and in order to 
practise these, I shall continue our correspondence in German, 
dear Clement, whilst you can carry it on in French with your 
mother I recommend to you and your brother particu- 
larly to devote yourselves during your stay at the University 
to the higher sciences with the greatest diligence, and to gain 
regard and respect by correct and polite behaviour. I have 
already had letters speaking much in your favour. You must 
therefore try to keep up this good reputation, for everything 
depends on that.' 

Note 3, page 15. 

About this time Metternieh made his first attempt at author- 
ship. First, an ' Appeal to the Army,' on the occasion of the 
execution of Marie Antoinette — an appeal glowing with a spirit 
of noble retribution, of which we are ignorant whether it ever 
left the author's writing-desk, or is to be considered as a mere 
exercise in patriotic style by a youth of twenty. Then soon 
afterwards, in the year 1794, a pamphlet which appeared under 
the title * On the Necessity of a General Arming of the Popula- 
tion on the Frontiers of France,' by a Friend of Public Order ; 
the anonymous author of which was Metternieh himself, as he 
avows in the printed copy before us. These two pieces begin, 
as Nos. 1 and 2, the ' Collection of Papers ' contained in the third 
book, for the completion and explanation of the first period of 
Mettemich's Life. The papers composing the third book are 
marked with continuous numbers to facilitate quotation. 

Note 4, page 15. 

Greneral-Lieutenant Count Ferraris (born 1726, died 1807), 
grandfather of Metternich's third wife, Melanie Countess Zichy- 
Ferraris, distinguished himself at the siege of Valenciennes. 

Note 5, page 16. 
The Hastings trial, so called after Warren Hastings, Go- • 
vernor-General of Bengal, who was at that time decried as a 
tyrant, and against whom Burke, in 1787, brought an indict- 

384 NOTES. 

ment which filled 460 pages. This monster trial, which has 
become femous by the eloquence shown by Pitt and Fox pro et 
contra, began February 13, 1788, and ended April 23, 1795, 
with the acquittal of Hastings on all the twenty-two articles of 

Note 6, page 24. 

We fill up the desultory notices on Kastadt by portions of 
Mettemich's letters to his wife, then staying at Vienna. The 
correspondence * from Eastadt ' only gives a description of the 
life there (Nos. 3-53). The reader who does not expect poli- 
tical disclosures will be interested in the details, particularly 
regarding the Plenipotentiaries of the French Eepublic. 

Note 7, page 26. 

The Princess Carl Liechtenstein (bom Princess Oettingen- 
Spielberg) is the same lady fragments of whose letters Adam Wolf~ 
has published in the work ' Princess Eleonore Liechtenstein.*^ 
In the fourth chapter of that work he describes more fully the 
* Salon of the five Princesses ' here mentioned. 

Note 8, page 33. 

The opinions here expressed of Thugut are doubtless taken 
from an essay already composed by Mettemich when he was 
Ambassador at BerUn in 1806, and are so far remarkable that they 
show the feeling which then prevailed among the most intelli- 
gent of his contemporaries and colleagues. It was reserved to 
modem historical investigation, not only to clear his private 
character from many careless imputations, but also to do more 
justice to his diplomatic qualities. Compare Vivenot's work^ 
* Thugut,' &c. 

Note 9, page 35. 

The collection of documents owes its existence chiefly to the 
Chancellor's wish here expressed. The third book of this work 
contains that part of the collection which refers to the years 
before 1815. Even if incomplete in comparison with treasures 


I NOTES. 885 

of the State Archives, this collection of documents gives an 
insight into the important events of the time, and enables the 
reader to estimate more properly the works of the autobio- 

Note 10, page 38. 

The first document of the newly appointed Ambassador at 
the Electoral court at Dresden was the ' Instruction ' which 
Count Mettemich composed for his own use, and wrote down with 
his own hand. Besides being remarkable on that account, the 
contents of the * Instruction ' have a general historical interest, 
as they contain a review of the whole position of Europe at that 
time. The voluminous character of this document has decided 
us to omit historical facts generally known, and to confine 
ourselves to an abridgment, under the title of ' Mettemich's 
Entrance into the Imperial Service' (No. 54). The document 
immediately following, ' End of the Dresden Embassy ' (No. 
55), gives the conclusion of his three years' oflBcial residence 

Note II, page 50. 

The great undertaking which Prussia was invited to join 
consisted in a secret treaty, which had been concluded in 
Vienna on November 6, 1804, between Austria and Russia, 
with the intention of protecting themselves against the pre- 
dominant influence of France. To smooth the way for Prussia 
to join the Austro-Russian coalition was Mettemich's chief 
work in Berlin; and therefore the documents in the third 
hook from the time of the Berlin embassy refer chiefly to this 
subject. On the commencement of Mettemich's action in this 
direction, the documents 'Mettemich's First Steps in Pre- 
paration for Prussia's joining in the Coalition' (Nos. 56-61), 
also 'Wintzingerode's Mission to Berlin' (Nos. 62-64), give 
fuller details. 

Note 12, page 55, 

*The Imminent March of Russian Troops through Prussian 
Territory ' (Nos. 65,66), and ' The Inroad of the French at Ans- 
tach' (Nos. 67-73), relate to the events here mentioned. 

VOL. I. ^ ^ 

386 NOTES. 

Note 13, page 57. 

See * First Meeting of Mettemich with the Emperor 
Alexander in Berlin ' (Nos. 74, 75). 

Note 14, page 58. 

See *The Potsdam Treaty of Alliance ' (Nos. 76-80). See 
*The Battle of Austerlitz ' (Nos. 83-85), and in connection 
with this the paper * On the French Army Bulletins, and the 
Necessity of publishing a Newspaper' (Nos. 81, 82), and the 

* Impression made by the Peace of Presburg ' (Nos. 88, 89). 

Note 15, page 58. 
See ' The Haugwitz Mission' (Nos. 86, 87). 

Note 16, page 58. 

See ' The Change in Prussian Politics after Austerlitz * 
(Nos. 90, 91). 

Note 17, page 59. 

See ' The Prussian-French Alliance ' (Nos. 92-94). 

Note 18, page 64. 

On the occasion of Metternich's appointment from Berlin 
to St. Petersburg, a St. Petersburg newspaper, VAbeille dv, 
Nord, contained (in No. 23) the following announcement: — 

* Vienna, March 12, 1806. Count Clement de Mettemich- 
Winneburg has just arrived here. He has been appointed 
Minister Plenipotentiary of the Emperor of Austria at Berlin, 
and is a young man of great talent, who has a great future be- 
fore him. He possesses everything necessary to ensure success/ 

Note 19, page 69. 
See *The Tilsit Treaty of Peace ' (No. 95). 

Note 20, page 71. 

Of the way in which Napoleon understood how to influence 
public opinion and guide it in his own favour we have already 

NOTES. 33y 

seen some examples. The reader will find more on this point in 
the section on ' Army Bulletins and the Necessity for the Pub- 
lication of a Newspaper' (Nos. 81, 82). How strongly Metter- 
nich saw the necessity of something to coimteract Napoleon's 
move is to be seen in the despatch to Count Stadion, * On the 
Necessity of Influencing the Press ' (No. 1 10). It is interesting 
to know what Napoleon himself said of the joumaUsts. At the 
beginning of December, 1809, the news went the round of the 
papers that Metternich was recalled from Paris and transferred 
to St. Petersburg. This was contradicted in the Journal de 
V Empire some days before Napoleon's return to Paris by some 
lines written in the police style. At the first audience of the 
Diplomatic Corps Napoleon took the opportunity to approach 
Metternich, saying, ' I hope that the journals have not been 
correct in their information concerning you.' When Metter- 
nich remarked that probably his court knew as httle as he did 
himself of such a change, Napoleon answered, ' I beg you to 
believe that personally I should be extremely sorry for your 
departure, but these wretched joumahsts form a state within 
the state.' And when Metternich, smiling, said that in that 
case it must be very difficult to keep order and discipline 
amongst these people, the Emperor said, * More than that, 
they often try to lay down the law to me myself.' 

Note 21, page 73. 

See * The Keception of the Diplomatists after Napoleon's 
Keturn from Tilsit,' in the ' Contributions to the Portrait of 
Napoleon ' (page 291). 

Note 22, page 73. 
See ' The Treaty of Fontainebleau ' (Nos. 96-98). 

Note 23, page 74. 
See 'Arrival of the Kussian Ambassador Tolstoy in Paris* 
MNo. 100). Concerning the report spread, at that time, of 
INapoleon's divorce from Josephine and aUiance with a Ruusian 
[^jGrrand-Duchess see Nos. 101, 102. 

C C 2 


388 NOTES. 

Note 24, page 76. 

Further particulars are contained in the section * The Meet- 
ing of the Monarchs at Erfurt' (Nos. 118-121), and see also 
* The Question of the Kecognition of the Kings of Spain and 
Naples' (Nos. 122-124), and 'Napoleon's Return from Erfurt ' 
(No. 126). 

Note 25, page 76. 

See * Romanzow's Mission to Paris ' (Nos. 134-136). 

Note 26, page 79. 

See * First Indications of Napoleon's Warlike Views against 
Austria' (Nos. 108, 109), and *The Clamour at Austria's Pre- 
parations for War ' (Nos. 111-113). The despatches of Metter- 
nich, contained under the last title to Count Stadion, mention 
a correspondence which had arisen between the French Minister 
of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Ambassador in Paris — 
namely, the letters of Champagny, dated Bayonne, July 16, 
Toulouse, July 27, and Bordeaux, July 30, and Mettemich's 
answers, dated Paris, July 22 and August 3. This exchange 
of letters is amongst the collection of writings which, by 
Napoleon's order, were brought before the Senate at Paris, during 
the session, April 15, 1809, as a proof of the hostile attitude of 
Austria, and which, April 24 of the same year, were published 
by the Moniteur as an appendix to the account given by 
Minister Champagny to the Emperor Napoleon, and thereby 
brought into general notice. We therefore omit giving these 
diffuse writings, and limit ourselves to a short analysis of their 
contents, which will render the despatches more easily under- 

The occasion of this correspondence was several special 
occurrences with which the French charged the Austrian 
Government, and in which she saw a want of peaceable inten- 
tions. Thus, amongst other things, the arrest of the Polish 
Lieutenant Young in Gralicia ; the provisioning of the English 
fleet at Trieste ; the purchase of the prizes brought in by 
English cruisers to Lussin ; the admission of American ships 
into the harbour of Trieste ; the warlike speeches made in the 

NOTES. 389 

coffeehouses of Marienbad, Franzensbad, and Carlsbad &c • 
but above aU, the rumours of extraordinary movemeiu of 
troops in Bohemia and Galicia, and the calling out of the town 
and country militias at different places of the Empire— of all 
this Champagny desired an explanation, and Mettemich gave 
it in the same sense as that of the despatches to Stadion, of 
xjourse only as far as he himself was instructed. 

Note 27 y page 81. 

The following memoirs give fuller details: 'The famous 
Audience with Napoleon, August 15, 1808 ' (Nos. 114, 115), and 
* Special Audience of Mettemich with Napoleon' (Nos. 116, 

Note 28, page 82. 

See ' On the Eventualities of a War ' (Nos. 127, 128) two me- 
moirs written by Mettemich during his residence in Vienna. 
A third memoir, presented at the same time as the two others, 
we have omitted here, because it does not give any explanations 
of Mettemich's actions or of the situation, and because the 
communications referring to Tolstoy are known already from 
other documents. 

Note 29, page 83. 

Here a whole sheet is wanting in the manuscript. By 
its loss the discussion on the unfortunate issue of the cam- 
paign of 1809 is unfortunately interrupted. But we can 
guess what the missing sheet contained by reading an essay 
written in Mettemich's own hand under the title * Historical 
Eemarks on the Letter of General Grrunne to Prince de Ligne, 
September 27 and 28.' We read there : * The preparations for 
the war were now resolved upon, and an element was added t4> 
them by the rising of popular feeling which had occurred in 
North Germany since the defeat of Prussia in 1806. How 
illusive this assistance was, events have proved. That the call- 
ing forth of this feeling would, on the other hand, be attended 
with constant danger, the cabinet of that time did not tee. 
At the head of the undertaking were the brother of Count 
Philip Stadion (Imperial Ambassador at the Royal Imperial 

390 NOTES. 

court), Hormayer, and some other persons possessed with the 
ideas of Stein and Schamhorst. I filled at that time the post 
of Imperial Ambassador in France. The cabinet was not open 
and candid to me, as it ought to have been. I therefore did 
not hide my feelings about the enterprise, and insisted on 
being recalled to Vienna, which took place in November of the 
year 1808. Having on this occasion gained a knowledge of the 
military plans, I told the Emperor and Count Stadion the 
doubts which the Archduke Charles and I had on the success 
of the popular rising. I showed the wrong estimation of the 
number and strength of the forces which Napoleon would be 
able to send against us, in spite of the failure of the plans he 
had founded on a conviction of the easy subjection of Spain. 
I declared the trust which the cabinet put in Prussian and 
Kussian help to be illusive, and I also rejected the idea of 
energetic support from the Grerman popular feeling which had 
been evoked in North Grermany, and which, in case of an un- 
fortunate beginning of the war, would turn, not against Napo- 
leon, but against Austria.' Thus Count Mettemich writes in 
the essay mentioned above. Besides, the Autobiography men- 
tions again (page 116), the unfavourable issue of the Austrian 
rising in 1809, a circumstance which makes ;^the gap in the 
manuscript somewhat less important. 

The following may serve as an explanation why the original 
military plan, which is mentioned a few lines before the unfor- 
tunate gap in the manuscript, was altered. With reference to 
the chief army, which was to operate in Grermany under the 
command of the Archduke Charles, the opinions amongst the 
principal members of the staff of the Archduke were divided as 
to the plan that should be followed. One opinion was that 
Bohemia should be the place of issue ; that the army should 
break off to Baireuth, defeat singly the French dispersed in 
Saxony, Franconia, and the Upper Palatine, and, by their 
sudden appearance and quick success, move the Grerman peoples 
to a general rising. This bold plan, which was to lead the 
Austrians through Baireuth and Wiirzburg till under the gates 
of Mayence, and bring them by the shortest way to the Khine, 
was advanced by Greneral Mayer. The second plan, more 
modest but apparently more sure of success, consisted in taking" 


the ordinary road along the Danube, where the French naturally 
would advance because of the faciHty of the communication, 
to oppose them on this road with the whole chief force* 
and defeat them before they were strong enough in number to 
make the victory questionable. This was Count Griinne's plan. 
When the Emperor Francis suddenly recalled Mayer, Griinne's 
plan was adopted, but, being accepted too late, it could be only 
partially carried out, and one part of the army was obliged to 
break out from Bohemia. 

Note 30, 'page 83. 

See ' Metternich's Eeturn to Paris ' (No. 129), and 'Napo- 
leon's Eetum from Spain ' (Nos. 130-132). 

Note 31, page 85. 

/S'ee 'The Last Despatches of the Austrian AmbassadorinParis' 
(Nos. 141-144). On Metternich's work and action as Austrian 
Ambassador at the Court of Napoleon, we find in the collection 
of documents, besides the papers already mentioned, the follow- 
ing, to which, since the text of the autobiography gave us 
no opportunity of doing so, we draw the attention of the 
reader here, at the conclusion of Metternich's embassy. These 
papers are : ' Napoleon's War with Portugal, and the Continental 
Embargo' (No. 99); 'Napoleon's Plans for the Partition of 
Turkey' (Nos, 103-106); 'Necessity of an Austro-Russian 
Alliance' (No. 107); 'The Peace between England and the 
Porte '(No. 137); 'The Causes of Napoleon's Delay of the 
War' (No. 138); and ' On the Question of Guarantees' (Nos. 
139, 140). 

Note 32, page 85. 
See ' The Aristocracy created by Napoleon,' amongst the 
characteristic contributions to the portrait of Napoleon (page 

Note 33, page 88. 
To obtain a better idea of Talleyrand, and his position in 
France, we recommend to the reader the foUowing papem 

392 NOTES. 

amongst the collections of the third book : * Talleyrand's Posi- 
tion ' (No. 125); < Talleyrand in Disgrace ' (No. 133); and the 
memoir already mentioned * On the Eventualities of a War ' 
(No. 127). 

Note 34, 'page 88. 

The memoir mentioned in the preceding note (No. 127) 
contains also interesting details on Fouche. 

Note 35, page 92. 
The country house here mentioned still exists, and bears 
now, as it did at that time, on its chief front the Grreek inscrip- 
tion XAIPE (Salve). 

Note 36, page 94. 

Probably this refers to the proclamation which Napoleon issued 
to his army at the occupation of Vienna, in which the princes of 
the house of Lorraine are mentioned in the most shameful 
manner. (Bourrienne, 'Memoires contemporains,' vol. viii. 
p. 191.) 

Note 37, page 98. 

Military history has since shown that the inaction of the 
Austrian army after the victory of Aspern was only a necessary 
consequence of the exhaustion of the troops after the great 
battle and the enormous marches which preceded it ; and is 
also explained by the want of munition and the loss of the 
pontoons which took place at Eegensburg, as well as the great 
reinforcements which Napoleon received a few days after 

Note 38, page 99. \ 

We gather from the above authority that Napoleon took 
advantage of the non-appearance of the corps of the Archduke 
John — which had been hourly expected for four and twenty 
hours — to outjBank our left wing, about noon, with a superior 
force ; indeed, at that time he was stronger by a third. 

Note 39, page 107. 

We place under the title of ' Antecedents of Altenburg,* 
chosen by the author himself, a collection of the Eeports of 

NOTES. 393 

Metternich to the Emperor Francis, together with the Em- 
peror's decree which had to serve at the same time as an in- 
struction for the negotiation of the peace. Apart from their 
intrinsic merit, these reports are of special interest, inasmuch 
as they are the first papers of the new minister now in imme- 
diate intercourse with his monarch (Nos. 145-148). Of 
the feelings which actuated Metternich in entering upon his 
new and difficult position some extracts from letters of that 
time will inform us. 

He writes to his mother from Komom, July 25, 1809 : — 
' You have good reason to pity me in my position, and you 
are far from knowing it thoroughly. Count Stadion, in an ex- 
tremely generous and noble impulse, had given in his resigna- 
tion to the Emperor, when at Znaim. He thinks that in a 
negotiation his presence may do more harm than good to the 
Ministry. His Majesty at once appointed me to fill his place, 
which I have only accepted with many conditions. For one 
thing, I should be very sorry to see such a servant as M. 
Stadion lost to the state ; for another, I do not feel that I have 
moral strength to guide the ship in a sense which is as much 
opposed to my principles as to my feelings. All that I have, at 
the moment, engaged myself to do is, not to leave the Em- 
peror, who deserves, under all possible relations, all the happi- 
ness of which he has so little. I am charged with the depart- 
ment of Foreign Afiairs near his person. M. de Stadion, who 
still keeps the title of Minister of this department, remains at 
the quarters of the Archduke. I do not wish on any account to 
appear at the head of the department at the time of a negotiation. 
If I can persuade Stadion to keep his position, I shall be the 
happiest man in the world — but I despair of doing so. Pray 
do not breathe a word of all this to anyone, neither to Stadion's 
family nor to anyone else ; the negotiation itself would suffer 

*>y it. ... 

« You may imagine, my dear mother, that the position in 
which I find myself is the most compUcated one possible. Three 
months' interruption have made affairs seem strange to me. I 
am placed between the affairs of the past and the tasks of the 
present day; to arrange a negotiation Uke the present one 
alone, without any aid whatever, is a terrible task, at a cnsis 

394 NOTES. 

such as has never been before. I speak of negotiation ; I would 
not speak to you of capitulation — I would leave that to some 
one else — even if we had not these means. You will shortly 
see an army of 250,000 men, troops of the line, support my ne- 
gotiation, and these 250,000 men form the finest army in the 
world. Add to this all the vnsurrection, the descent of 25,000 
to 30,000 English on the Weser — a descent actually made 
— and you will not deny the material means of negotiation. 
If we had but a quarter of the moral means ! Grood God, 
where are we going ? ' 

Then again on August 1, 1809, he writes: — 

' It is true that it is not we who hang back, it is true that 
it is we who desire peace, but it must be a peace which shall 
rid us of the necessity of watching our safety every hour of the 
day and night, which shall allow us to enjoy the blessings of 
peace — to disarm, to flatter ourselves with the possibility of 
remaining quiet for a time. Again, if we do not wish to 
undergo certain death in six months, if we do not wish to throw 
the monarchy out of the window, and that window one from 
which the leap would be equivalent to the Emperor's last re- 
source, we must not desire it. If Napoleon desires the destruc- 
tion of Austria — at any rate it is better to fight him with 
300,000 men, than with 50,000. Here you have a resuTne of 
our policy, which it seems to me is simple and clear. I have 
the pleasure of reading every now and then articles about my- 
self, worthy of the second or third year of the KepubHc. Do 
not vex or distress yourself about them, dear mother : I know 
what they mean by taking this line. I receive much atten- 
tion, more than I deserve, except for my attachment to my 
master, and my desire to do right. I shall be the happiest 
man in the world when I have only to take care of my fields 
and the education of my children ; but meantime I shall go 
my way so directly, I shall follow the dictates of my conscience 
so impKcitly, that nothing will stop my path.' 

Note 40, page 108. 

Some notices of the stay in Altenburg, and life in Altenburg, 
will not be without interest, and these we take from Metter- 
nich's letters to his mother. He writes from thence : — 

NOTES. 395 

< August 17. — You see, my dear mother, that I have arrived 
at the place of my destination. Altenburg is a little town of 
the existence of which you are no doubt ignorant. It is situ- 
ated between Vienna and Kaab, a stage and a half from Pres- 
burg. We are almost alone here. M. de Champagny, general 
Nugent, myself, our employes, and two French generals, a few 
French officers, and some provincial officials, these are our only 
social resources. The place is healthy, and, in this respect, in- 
finitely preferable to Kaab, which was at one time proposed as the 
place of the negotiations. I have with me here Paul Esterhazy, 
Floret, Hope, and some other employes of the department. 
When we left Znaim I sent Mier to Prague. I have since 
written to him to come nearer to us. We divide our day 
between work and eating ; we have no other kind of recreation ; 
the word pleasure has, I should think, never been pronounced 
at Altenburg, and I am not enough of an innovator to intro- 
duce it. 

* August 23. — I am extremely busy, first because, my work 
being here, and having all the department of Foreign Affairs in 
my charge, at a distance from the Emperor, I have three times 
the trouble that I shoiUd have if I were with him. What could 
be finished in half an hour's verbal conversation costs me five 
or six hours of writing. Our mode of Hfe is regular and uni- 
form. I work from eight o'clock in the morning till one o'clock. 
We confer from one to four or five. I work again from 
five to seven. We dine at half-past seven o'clock, and I send 
off my courier at twelve or one. It would be difficult to 
say how and when we shall finish. I shall not be surprised 
at the result ; I have seen as much good will in the adverse 
party as with us. In fact, my dear mother, you must be ready 
for everything, for I can answer for nothing. 

i September 3.— We are much occupied with our difficult 
business. I do not beheve that anyone can tell the resiilt 
of a negotiation which in one way or other will decide the fet« 
of Europe and of Austria. It is certainly only possible to work 
with a very firm, decided wiU in an affair of this kind, when the 
eyes of all the world, and of generations present and to come, 
are fixed upon us ; when one false step may bnng <lown Jh^ 
venerable edifice, stiU so strong and so much threatened, «. 

396 NOTES. 

great and yet so small. It is assuredly no easy thing to satisfy 
one's conscience and sense of responsibility. But if ever the 
day comes when I am afraid, I shall do nothing but make mis- 
takes. I now occupy a position which the love of good alone 
has given me strength not to fly from. I hesitated a long time, 
and at last said to myself that I was nothing, and that the cause 
was everything — and I think it right to do what I can.' 

Note 4:1, page 114. 

The accounts of contemporaries, even of those most closely 
connected with him, vary extremely as to the exact date of Na- 
poleon's departure from Schonbrunn. Thus the French Minister, 
Champagny, who conducted the peace negotiations at Schon- 
brunn, in a letter to Bourrienne, quoted in his * Memoirs,' makes 
Napoleon go to Munich on October 17. Whilst in a secret 
memoir of the time, written by the Austrian Minister, Count 
Stadion (published by Klinkowstrom in his ' Extracts from the 
Old Eegisters of the State '), October 16 is mentioned as the day 
of Napoleon's journey. Thiers in his * Histoire du Consulat et 
de I'Empire' makes his journey take place in the night of 
October 15-16 ; whilst in the * Correspondance de I'Empereur 
Napoleon ' several letters are given as written at Schonbrunn, 
and dated October 16 (?). According to Mettemich's account, 
Napoleon, on the day of the proclamation of peace, had already 
left Schonbrunn. But the expression * left ' still leaves something 
undecided — that is, whether Napoleon had actually departed, or 
was only temporarily absent, as for hunting, inspecting troops, 
&c., &c. But in any case the correctness of the actions them- 
selves would be in no wise altered. For very probably Liech- 
tenstein had returned to Totis immediately after the projected 
peace was signed, on his important and urgent mission. It is 
also almost certain that Napoleon at the moment when he 
ordered the guns to be fired was engaged with Liechtenstein's 
energetic protest, and it can hardly be doubted that if Napoleon 
resorted to this ruse, it was because he was glad to get out of 
the way of an unpleasant interview with the Austrian General. 
There was certainly a shade of mystery over these peace nego- 
tiatons, as is shown by the following expression of Mettemich's 
-(Oct. 26, 1809), when in writing to his wife from Totis he says. 


♦What absurdities and follies have taken place! You cannot 
understand it, and no one can understand it who has not the 
key — and there are perhaps not two persons in the world who 
have it besides myself.' 

Note 4:2, page 115. 

On his arrival at Vienna, Metternich wrote to his wife: — 

* Vienna, November 28, 1809. 

' I arrived here to-day, a few hours after the Emperor ; I 
have therefore not seen the extreme enthusiasm which met him 
everywhere on the road ; he was literally carried into the house. 
It is no slight matter to be Minister for Foreign Affairs for Aus- 
tria in 1809. But the Emperor is so perfect in his way of 
treating me, he honours me vrith so thorough a confidence, 
that I should be the most ungrateful man in the world if I were 
not entirely devoted to his service. I have done a great deal 
already, but there is still a terrible amount to be done. What 
things have passed round me for some years, what events and 
occurrences in which I have been called on to play a first part ! 
And I of all people, who would have been so happy if in a 
quiet but independent way I could have followed my own tastes, 
so different from the firightful agitation by which I constantly 
find myself surrounded ! ' 

Note 43, page 117. 
See 'Organisation of a Secret Department' (No. 149). 
Metternich writes to his wife about this from Totis : — 

'November 14, 1809. 
' I have just reorganised the office ; I have given it a shape 
more suited to the times ; I shall do three times the work, and 
with less time to do it in than many others, or any of my pre- 
decessors had. I have to a great extent put things back to 
the footing of the department as it was under your grand- 

Note 44, page 120. 

The third book contains papers relating to this under the 
title * The Marriage of Napoleon with Marie Louise ' (Nos. 150- 

398 NOTES. 

155), of which some have been already published in Heifer's 
-excellent work, ' Marie Louise.' 

Note 45, jpage 126. 

The happy impression made by the marriage of Marie Louise, 
in Vienna, is described by Mettemich in a letter to his wife, as 
follows : — 

* All Vienna is occupied with the question of the marriage : 
it would be difficult to give an idea of the excitement this has 
caused in the mind of the public, and the extreme popularity of 
the thing. If I were the saviour of the world, I could not 
receive more congratulations nor more homage on the part 
which it is thought I must have taken. In the promotions 
which wiU take place I shall have the Toison. If it comes to 
me just now, it will not be very much apropos, but it is no less 
certain that it required circumstances both very extraordinary 
and quite unexpected to bring me to a position far beyond what 
r desired — I who never have had any ambition. The fetes here 
will be very fine, and although they have had to send all over 
the world for necessary things, all is here at last. I sent the 
programme to Paris. Schwarzenberg will have shown it to you. 
The new Empress will please at Paris, and ought to please, from 
her goodness, her great sweetness, and simplicity. Rather plain 
than handsome in face, she has a very fine figure, and when she 
is a little " arrangee,''^ dressed, etc., she will do very well. I 
have begged her, as soon as she arrives, to take a dancing-master, 
and not to dance till she can do so thoroughly well. She has a 
^eat wish to please, and with that desire people do please.' 

Note 46, page 127. 

For a further account of Mettemich's meeting with Napo- 
leon, see * Mettemich's Arrival in Paris, and his Conversation 
with Napoleon in Compi^gne' (Nos. 156, 157). 

Notes 47-49, page 127. 

See the documents relating to this entitled * Mettemich as 
a Mediator between Pius VII. and Napoleon ' (Nos. 158-164). 


NOTES. 399 

Note 50y page 131. 

See * Napoleon at the Fatal Ball at Prince Schwarzenberg's ' 
'(* Gallery of Famous Contemporaries,' page 298). 

Note 51, page 131. 

Under the ' Negotiations for the Execution of certain Ar- 
rangements in the last Peace ' are two conventions, both of 
which were concluded under the immediate direction of Met- 
ternich : one of these refers to the trade of Austria, and the 
erection of depots on the Adriatic coasts; the other to the 
sequestration of estates in the former Grerman Empire (No. 

Note 52, page 131. 

Concerning Metternich's anxiety for the destruction of the 
false Vienna bank-notes, see Nos. 165-167 ; and the negotiation 
of an Austrian loan under Napoleon's auspices (No. 171). 

Note 53, page 134. 

The reader will find further details in the paper * On Eus- 
sia's Kelations with France (No. 168), and the Danubian 
Principalities and Servia' (Nos. 169, 170). 

Note 54:, page 136. 

See ' Metternich's Conversation with Napoleon on the 
Swedish Throne' (Nos. 173, 174). 

Note 55, page 139. 

On this highly interesting conversation of September 20, 
the collection of documents contains a sketch written by Met- 
ternich in Grerman for the Emperor Francis, under the fresh 
impression of the occurrence. This sketch follows the text 
of the Autobiography so exactly that it was not necessary to 
repeat the document in the collection of the third book. 

400 NOTES. 

Note 56, page 139. 

See * Metternich's Farewell Audience with Napoleon ^ 
(No. 175). 

Note 57, page 140. 

Metternich's account to the Emperor Francis seems to 
have been a verbal one, for the written report was not made by 
Mettemich till January 19, 1811. See * Keport on the Results 
of the Paris Mission ' (No. 177). 

Note 58, page 141. 
See * Schouvalow's Treaty of Alliance' (No. 176). 

Note 59, pa^e 148. 

See * On the Organisation of an Imperial Council in Austria '' 
(No. 183). 

Note 60, page 149. 

Metternich's introduction to the Academy of Fine Arts at 
Vienna, as its newly elected Curator, took place January 10, 
1811. On this occasion the President — Sonnenfels — who was 
also newly elected, addressed the new Curator, in the name of 
the whole academy, as follows : — 

* The solemn moment when your Excellency enters on the 
executive administration of Art, as I think I may call it, jus- 
tifies the Academy in great expectations. The destiny of the 
Arts, their growth and perfection, the encouragement and 
support of promising talent, the respect and esteem of the 
finished artist, the improvement of all branches of art industry, 
in short, the glory and prosperity which flow back to the nation 
from the culture of artists, are given into your hands. We 
are certain that our confidence is not misplaced, but that we 
shall soon feel the effects of your vigorous action.' 

To this Mettemich replied : — 

* I use with pleasure the first moment in which I enter the 
Academy of Fine Arts to thank you most heartily for the trust 
you have reposed in me. "We are henceforth united in one 
great aim for the good of the whole nation. Vast is the domain 
of Art ! All parts of the national industry are connected with 

NOTES. 401 

it ; every onward step is a gain for the whole. The Arts must 
prosper under the government of the best of monarehs ; in the 
Austrian Empire every advantage is united — artists, amateurs, 
encouragement, material. On us, gentlemen, much depends. 
Most justly should we be reproached for the slightest neglect. 
Nothing is more susceptible than Art : it either advances to 
the highest perfection or sinks down instantaneously to nothing. 
Let it be our effort to nourish this vigorous life, to guide this 
advancement to our advantage' {Beobachter, January 17, 1811, 
No. 15). A year later, February, 1812, on the festival for the 
birthday of the Emperor Francis, the new statutes of the Aca- 
demy were proclaimed in a solemn manner. Mettemich on 
this occasion delivered his great speech containing an historical 
retrospect of former results, and an allusion to future fields for 
action in the domain of Art. This speech is to be found com- 
plete in the third book (No. 184). On this solemn occasion 
proclamation was also made of the foreign notabilities of Art 
and Science who had been made honorary members ; amongst 
them were W. Humboldt in Berlin, Bottinger in Dresden, 
Raphael Morghen in Florence, Thorwaldsen in Eome, Schelling 
in Munich, David and Gerard in Paris, Kohler in St. Peters- 
burg, Danneker in Stuttgart ; Groethe also in Weimar had been 
appointed an honorary member. The letter in which he thanked 
Mettemich for this honour, dated Weimar, March 16, 1812, 
runs as follows : * That your Excellency, presiding over the 
most important and urgent affairs, takes also an interest in 
Science and Art, could not be unknown even to me at this dis- 
tance ; moreover, I was informed of it long ago, and silently 
rejoiced in it for the general good. But I could hardly have 
believed that I should have the happiness to present the 
heartiest thanks to your Excellency for the extension of a great 
favour to my person. When we devote our lives to special 
spheres of action, and attain a certain facility in them, we 
certainly wish to exercise them, and therewith to be useful to 
others ; and how can this be better and more certainly done 
than when we surround ourselves with men well tried in such 
departments, and associate ourselves with their advantages, 
which can only be attained by a number all working for the 
same object ? Thus each individual is encouraged, and what 

VOL. I. D D 

402 NOTES. 

human idleness, unfavourable circumstances, ill-will might 
have lulled to sleep, contracted, or even injured, is stimulated 
and roused to action. Great, therefore, are your Excellency's 
merits in endeavouring to create, renew, preserve, extend and 
animate such imions by the patronage of the court. I shall 
not fail to return my heartiest thanks to the Royal Imperial 
Academy of the Fine Arts, although words fail me to express 
how dehghted I am that in so flattering a manner, and on such 
a brilliant occasion, they have been good enough to think of me, 
and thus marked a new epoch in my life. I cannot but see 
here the influence of your Excellency, and the high honour 
you have done me by announcing this beautiful gift yourself. I 
must not insist with many words on the high value I place on 
these favourable regards, which I only wish I could respond to 
in some manner by action.' 

Note 61, page 150. 

* The Position and Attitude of Austria in the Impending War 
with France and Russia.' Four reports by Mettemich to the 
Emperor Francis (Nos. 178-182). 

During this time of serious negotiation, which rendered 
the intercourse of the monarch and his minister more and more 
intimate, a little occurrence happened which, though not of a 
political character, we will not leave unmentioned, because it 
helps to show the character of the Emperor Francis. One 
might feel inclined to laugh at the pedantic strictness of the 
Emperor on this occasion, if his maintenance of legal equality 
did not give a certain dignity to the trifling incident. Met- 
temich's report, June 25, 1812, runs as follows : ' The President 
of the Exchequer refuses the order for importation, which 
I wanted for a little barrel of French wine that has been 
lying waiting for me in Ulm for months, because the quantity 
of the wine is not given in Eimer^ (a measure), 'but only in 
weight, 456 pounds (about four Eimers). I can say nothing in 
answer to this objection, but that it can be easily removed. 
The second objection, however, is of another kind. The Presi- 
dent of the Exchequer refers to an Imperial order by which 
one person has every year the privilege of importing one Eimer 
and a half only of foreign wine. I consider that one of the 

NOTES. 403 

troublesome duties of my office is the entertainment of the corps 
diplomatique and foreigners. Now one Eimer and a half of 
foreign wine is just as good as none at all, and I do not be- 
lieve that it would answer the purpose of my entertainments or 
be at all in good taste, if I were no longer able to give foreign 
wine to that very class of guests which is accustomed only to 
foreign wines. I dare all the more openly express this asser- 
tion, as in the case in question my private interest is quite 
opposed to the sacrifices which, however, I have never shunned 
if required for the honour or welfare of the Imperial service. 
My most humble request, therefore, is that your Majesty may 
please either to give me a decided order to give no more foreign 
wines in future, or that your Majesty may have the grace to 
send an order to the President of the Exchequer, which might 
run as follows : — 

' " To the President of the Exchequer. 

' " Dear Count Stadion, my Minister of Foreign Affairs has 
most humbly represented to me that he might be exempted 
by the Exchequer from the general decree concerning the 
foreign wines necessary for his entertainments — the decree 
according to which a single person is only allowed to receive the 
annual quantity of one Eimer and a half of these wines. 
Since these requirements arise from the position of the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, you have to act in future with regard to 
him according to the rules that existed before the above 
decree." ' 

In answer to this the Emperor himself wrote from Stra- 
konitz, July 9, 1812:— 

' No exception can be made to the order I gave concerning 
the importation of foreign wines, and to the limitation ordered 
in general, and you have to follow out this arrangement as 
strictly as any of my subjects. — Francis.' 

As is to be seen, the influence of the minister, which was 
already very powerful at that time over his monarch, was 
restricted by firm and insurmountable barriers, which must 
not be left unconsidered in judging Metternich's course of 
action. On the other hand, the relation of this minister to 
the Emperor Francis, especially in all private matters, may be 
called — if it is allowed to use this expression — that of a patri- 

D D 2 

404 NOTES. 

archal heartiness. Another little occurrence from the year 1811, 
which concerns Mettemich's domestic life, proves this, and may 
find a place here. The Emperor Francis, namely, had promised, 
on the occasion of the expected confinement of Mettemich's 
wife, to act as godfather if the child should be a son. But 
a daughter came into the world. Mettemich reports on this 
to the Emperor: — 

* Vienna, June 18, 1811. Your Majesty! I was prevented 
from undertaking the journey to Baden to-day, as I had 
intended, because of my wife's most difficult and dangerous 
confinement. I shall try to set out on my journey to-morrow 
evening, or at the latest early the day after to-morrow, accord- 
ing as I get on with the despatches for Petersburg. Since 
my wife has given birth to a daughter, I can only lay at your 
Majesty's feet the most humble and hearty thanks for the 
gracious condescension with which your Majesty designed to 
take the place of a godfather if the case had been otherwise. 
I should have been extremely happy to give to your Majesty 
in a second son another faithful and active servant. Now my 
hopes are limited to my only son, who certainly will never 
forget the double duty towards your Majesty and your most 
illustrious house.' 

To this the Emperor himself replied : 

* I hope that your wife's health has not suflfered, and regret 
that I have not the opportunity of acting as godfather, as I 
promised you. I count on your educating your son to be as 
clever and skilful a statesman as you are yourself. — Francis.' 

It does not become us to dwell on the fact that Prince 
Victor, Mettemich's firstborn son, who is mentioned here, an- 
swered these expectations. He died in the prime of life (1828), 
a faithful servant of his Emperor and master, loved and re- 
spected by all who knew him, and deeply deplored by those 
who had the opportunity of seeing and estimating the rich 
mental gifts of the young diplomatist. The daughter who was 
then bom received in baptism the name of Leontine, married 
(1835) Count Moritz von Sand, died 1861, and was the mother 
of Princess Pauline, the wife of the editor. 

NOTES. 405 

Note 62, ^age 155. 

On the occasion of the outbreak of the Russo-Franco war 
Gentz wrote, July 24th, 1812, to Count Metternich as follows : 
* All that your Excellency has foreseen for eight months and 
longer has now, as it seems, completely come to pass. All your 
■calculations are justified. But even the evil which may arise 
for us and for the world from the present occurrences was 
included in your calculations, and whoever is even slightly 
acquainted with former negotiations, must acknowledge that 
jour Excellency has done the very best to prevent that evil.' 
Besides, there is in Metternich's handwriting the following note 
of the year 1851 : — 

' The evil that is mentioned here was the providential begin- 
ning of Napoleon's end ! That I have helped forward this as 
much as lay in my power history will testify. Have I been 
able to supply the help necessary to complete the work of 
■deliverance ? ' 

Note 63, ^age 166. 

April 21, 1813, Metternich writes to Nesselrode: 'I will 
not delay the departure of the present courier. I beg you, 
however, to remain my friend, and, above all, continue to con- 
fide in me. If Napoleon will be foolish enough to fight, let us 
endeavour not to meet with a reverse, which I feel to be only 
too possible. 

' One battle lost for Napoleon, and all Grermany will be under 

Note Q4:,page 177. 

It is interesting to hear how Gentz, a short time before he 
was ordered to Bohemia, speaks in a letter to Metternich of 
the general feeling in consequence of the sudden departure of 
the Emperor Francis, accompanied by Metternich, to Gritschin, 
and of the apprehensions and hopes which this unexpected 
event excited in the provinces. At the same time, the rather 
desponding feelings of the letter-writer contrast well with 
the energy and foresight of the Emperor Francis and his 
minister. The letter is dated from Vienna, June 5 : — 

*It [public judgment] does really no longer exist. The 
great mass of silly people — that is to say, of those who are 

406 NOTES. 

perfectly ignorant of affairs — becomes stupefied and crushed 
by problems which are daily more unintelligible to them ; and 
thosie who have a voice in the matter do not ask of a new 
measure, whether it be good or bad, but only how far it suits 
their ideas. The same thing happened on the occasion of 
the journey to Gritschin. The many have nothing to say 
about it, because the whole is a riddle. The two extreme 
parties disapprove of it. Those who like the war see nothing 
in it but disgraceful negotiations of peace, dangerous meet- 
ings with Napoleon or his ministers, mystifications, loss of 
time, vain pretences, or irresolution. The timid think it the 
immediate signal for war, and give us to understand (as far as 
this may be done now-a-days entre gens de bonne coTnpagnie) 
that those who brought on war by this journey will one day have 
to answer for it. Your Excellency knows I am thankful to 
say that I do not belong to either of these parties. I owe 
it to my intercourse with you, and only to this, that I am at 
present on a height where at least none of the common illusions 
can reach me. But the air that blows on this height is never- 
theless heavy with cares and doubts ; and at the end of the 
most fatiguing and anxious meditations on the dreadful ques- 
tions of the present, I nearly always content myself with prais- 
ing heaven that I have not to decide them. When I hear men 
talk like Langenau, Nugent (whose judgment on military 
matters is not to be despised), Wartensleben, even Marveldt, 
and others of this kind, I often feel inclined to believe that it 
only requires a courageous resolution to cut asunder the whole 
knot with one stroke ; that the mere advancing of an Austrian 
army would throw Napoleon into such embarrassment that 
hardly an outlet would be left to him ; he jyould see that his 
present operation had again been mad, and his present position 
in reference to that of the Allies and the Austrian power so 
dangerous that if these two were to act together only for a 
week a miracle alone would save him. If, however, I think, 
on the other hand, what men of similar feelings have said three 
or four months ago about the alternate advantages and dis- 
advantages under which the campaign began for the Allies and 
for Napoleon, and how all this has been knocked down by the 
events of a single month ; if I represent to myself Napoleon's 

NOTES. 407 

enormous military superiority, and how nobody can calculate 
beforehand whether he with his skill would not find a remedy 
even for the most dangerous combinations ; if I think of the 
Eussia-Prussian army, as we now fully know it, and of the Aus- 
trian army, as it will be in all probability, and necessarily 
must be with its innate defects ; if the dreadfal case appears 
before my imagination that he might by one of his violent 
movements suddenly scatter the united forces, and then pursue 
and destroy each part separately — and what could then be done 
or hoped ? — it seems to me sometimes that I should heartily 
embrace even a moderate peace.' 

Full of this thought of peace, and on the supposition 
that the question of war or peace was still an open one, 
Gentz expresses his wishes and convictions a few days later, 
in a letter to Metternich, dated from Koniggratz, June 10 : — 
' My wishes are entirely directed to a solution of the great 
problem of the moment by negotiations, and not by war. Be- 
sides various reasons for these wishes which I have, or at least 
ought to have, in common with others, one quite particular 
one determines me, which I can confide only to your Excellency 
and to a few congenial spirits. I think better of the Austrian 
army, without comparison, than of all other armies, and there- 
fore would rejoice if the glory were to fall to her share to give a 
happy end to this crisis. But — Grod forgive me ! — I love you 
even more than the Austrian army, and no gained battle would, 
therefore, give me the joy which I should feel in a peace brought 
on by your merit and your skill, if, according to my judgment, 
it were but honourable and judicious. Happily my best and most 
mature convictions agree perfectly with this my secret wish. 
First, I deny altogether that it is a question here of the 
entire political and moral existence of our state, to he or 
not to 6e, whatever the great phrases are. Austria is in no 
immediate danger of life, however things may go, and the 
prophecies one hears from so many sides, as if the ruin of 
the state were inevitable if this or the other were not done, I 
count simply amongst the blank firing by which they try now 
to frighten, or even confuse, the Grovemment. Napoleon's 
power is essentially shaken and undermined, not perhaps by 
the Russian campaign or since the Eussian campaign : a build- 

408 NOTES. 

ing that has no foundation at all sinks from the moment it is 
erected. Already at the time of the Peace of Tilsit, which was 
certainly the most brilliant in Napoleon's career and the most 
dreadful for Europe, the signs of approaching ruin mani- 
fested themselves to clear eyes and intrepid natures. In the 
war of 1809 they became more evident. The campaign of 1812 
and its consequences have disclosed this now to nearly every- 
one. If Napoleon — which T should consider a great evil — pre- 
served in a peace concluded now even the whole former extent 
of his dominion, Austria, nevertheless, would maintain her 
position, invulnerable, and destined to outlive the ephemeral 
power of Napoleon for centuries. If, on the other hand — ^which 
may heaven prevent! — the war were to have an unfortunate 
issue, we should still be certain of an undisturbed continuance, 
and should only be the poorer from the loss of those who were 
uselessly sacrificed. For the situation is now of a kind that 
Napoleon, even after a battle gained against our army, cannot 
penetrate our country without exposing himself to the utmost 
danger. To keep to this point of view seems important to me, 
because it gives the greatest freedom to our calculations and 
consultations in all directions; whereas the fatal " to be or not to 
be " confounds, aggravates, and embitters them without any ne- 
cessity. To-day the question is only in what way, whether by 
war or peace, Austria has the most hope of hastening the over- 
throw of a predominant power destined to inevitable ruin by 
its own defects. Every peace which does not put an end 
to all direct or indirect dominion (influence would be to say 
too much) of France on this side of the Khine, and at least 
in East and Middle Italy, is an incomplete one, and only 
a provisional peace ; for no balance can ever be established as 
long as those conditions at least are not fulfilled. Every 
peace which does not fulfil them, on whatever base it may 
be concluded, is only to be considered as a truce. After 
this the chief question will be. Is there more probability that 
the (inevitable in itself) ruin of the French power will be pro- 
moted by an advantageous truce, or by Austria's immediate 
participation in the war ? My answer would be. The results of 
the war may be greater, but those of the truce are more cer- 
tain. That we should attain by war advantages of the first 

NOTES. 409 

rank, a better truce than negotiations could give, perhaps 
even a real peace, is in any case very doubtful, from all that 
we know of the powers, the faculties, and the former fate of 
those who then would become our allies — for alone we could 
not execute it. On the other hand, every advantage which 
we gain by the peace — that is to say, by the truce — is so far 
always a gain for future measures and enterprises, and what 
strength we, and those who share our interests, still possess, 
will be reserved for these future enterprises : a consideration 
which is of no little weight. The question of more or less in 
the conditions of peace we should now obtain has here to be 
considered, but the chief consideration remains always the same. 
If we can bring about the dissolution of the Duchy of War- 
saw, the re-establishment of Prussia (which, according to my 
opinion, will be brought about, not only by some enlargement 
of territory, but also by the repossession of Magdeburg and the 
liberty of Hamburg), and, finally, the restitution of some 
countries that have been taken away from us — the Illyrian 
Provinces at least — I think this a very happy truce and agree 
to it. But if even we only succeed in inducing Napoleon to 
renovate Poland, I say autant de gagnS I But now I leave it 
to greater arithmeticians than I am to decide if, after the 
rules of a reasonable probability, more is to be expected from a 
war; and when they say "yes," I vote immediately for war. 
Thus only I judge the task ; all the rest is chimera or idle 
discourse. Moreover, very much is gained by peace — what- 
ever the conditions may be — if for the future Austria, Eussia, 
and Prussia remain closely united. And since Austria has 
spoken, so frankly, so wisely, so grandly, and even so plainly, 
to Napoleon with regard to his entire poHtical system, that 
she can never draw back in this respect, such an alliance, if she 
does not forfeit it by rough awkwardness, or by petulant 
mistakes, is quite suited to the present situation. Some time 
ago I mentioned these ideas to somebody whom your Excel- 
lency and I equally esteem, and I heard, to my inexpressible 
satisfaction, that you also had turned your attention to them, 
which circumstance would be to me the greatest guarantee of 
their fitness. But the greatest and most important point is 
gained, and irrevocably gained. The world and Napoleon know 

410 NOTES. 

that the Austrian cabinet considers the present state of Europe a 
state not to be depended upon, contrary to all ideas of order, quiet- 
ness, and justice, and therefore quite unbearable. This is of 
more importance than six provinces snatched away from 
French supremacy. Concerning public opinion, I have become, 
though not yet quite composed, yet — I must candidly confess 
it — much more indifferent, in consequence of the quiet and free 
meditations of the last three days, than I may have seemed ta 
your Excellency in my last letter. Everything considered, 
I feel a far greater desire to rule or reform public opinion than 
to accept its laws. This opinion must not remain as it is now, 
lest a still worse preponderating influence than the French 
arise from it. There must be once more belief and obedience, 
with much less talking, or there can be no more governing. 
The evil has become colossal, and threatens us with radical 
dissolution. We sneer at it too often, we detest it too- 
much, we are much too indifferent as to the brawlers and 
agitators ; their nonsense amuses us, and when they become 
more serious it irritates or vexes us, at the most, but the 
way that it injures, corrupts, and discredits Grovemments is 
less felt by statesmen than by attentive and well-informed 
observers. I have studied this thoroughly, though I should 
tremble if I were asked to name effective remedies for this 
deadly disease. It has attained its height in the upper classes ; 
there it has destroyed all social intercourse and erected a 
spurious tribunal, before which not a single measure of Govern- 
ment can stand. I often say to these people : But, ladies and 
gentlemen, do we know this better than Government ? Are 
we better informed than the Emperor ? Have we more means 
of information than his ministers ? But they all think, " yes, 
yes ! " and go on teaching their world, and 

Hoc fonte derivata clades 
In patriam populosque fluxit. 

These considerations of course lessen the weight which the 
judgment of the public ought otherwise to have, and by degrees 
it has gone so far that a measure seems to me suspicious if I 
see it protected by the public' 

It is not known whether an answer was given to these two 
letters ; at any rate we do not possess it. We may easily guess 

NOTES. 411 

what JMetternich thought of the remarks of the intelligent 
and clever aulic councillor from the following remark made by 
him : ' Grentz was always inclined to describe matters in the 
most decided colours, and to pass from the extreme of hope to 
that of despair. Everything belonging to military operations 
was beyond his power of comprehension ; he even shunned the 
consideration of such operations, as if shot could faU on the 
field of thought.' These words we find written in Mettemich's 
own hand, on a memoir of Grentz of that period. They give us, 
too, a glimpse of the relations of Metternich and Grentz, as to 
Avhich a wrong idea formerly obtained. But the latest his- 
torical literature afibrds more light on this, and these remarks 
show how little GTentz knew of the intentions of Metternich, 
however well the latter was able to value the talents of this 
extraordinary man, and to make use of his masterly pen in 
legal matters at deliberations of the Congress. 

Note 65ypage 178. 

The propositions of mediation which Bubna had to deliver 
to Napoleon were : 1. Abolition of the political existence of 
the Duchy of Warsaw and the application of his present re- 
sources to the strengthening of the intermediary powers. 
2. The restoration of the Illyrian Provinces to Austria, with 
a good frontier towards Italy. 3. The renunciation by France 
of the provinces in G-ermany beyond the Khine. There are 
no remarks on Bubna's mission in Mettemich's legacy of 
documents. To supplement this want by documents from the 
State Archives seemed unnecessary, since the material that is 
there has only lately been used in Onken's work * Austria 
and Prussia in the War of Deliverance,' from which also we take 
the above three points of mediation. The Austrian State 
Archives being opened to Onken for literary purposes explains 
the circumstance that many documents which we have taken 
out of our own legacy of writings are identical with his pub- 
lications — a circumstance which we mention here in general 
without pointing it out in every single case. For this very 
reason we are induced to draw the attention of the reader to 
this parallel work, feeling at the same time happy to be able 
publicly to express our thanks to its author in acknowledgment 

412 NOTES. 

of his helpful labours ; and especially grateful to him as one of 
the first who, without apologetic colouring, but also without 
the prejudices which have too much influenced even Austrian 
historians, has searched wisely and faithfully to discover Met- 
temich's line of action during one of the most brilliant parts of 
the Chancellor's life. 

Note 182. 

Within the two following days, Gentz, who had gone to 
Opocno, had a very interesting conversation with the Emperor 
Alexander, of which he wrote to Metternich on June 22, 1813 : 
— * I found the Emperor on the whole just, reasonable, and 
pleasant ; much excited, however, at certain turns of the con- 
versation. I could see that the idea of withdrawing from the 
war, without the attainment of the great end with which he 
had been flattered, pierced his very soul, and that he (such is 
his feehng) would give a kingdom if he could stir up Austria 
to seize her arms without any attempt at peace. Yet he seems 
to see that it would be utter insanity to continue the war with- 
out Austria's concurrence. At the beginning of the conver- 
sation I confined myself to bringing to his notice the different 
standpoints from which Eussia, Austria, and Prussia must con- 
sider and negotiate these affairs. I reasoned thus : For Prussia 
the war is a war of necessity and almost of despair ; for Kussia 
it is half a case of honour, half a political calculation ; for Aus- 
tria it is a war of purer calculation, founded, not on common 
interests and selfish aims, but on the highest and largest con- 
siderations for the present and the future. . . . 

' I then begged to explain to him what possibly appeared to 
him, in many instances, as indecision and weakness. " Austria," 
I said, " has full right to retort, ' If M. de Metternich were 
your Majesty's minister, and consequently situated as a minister 
of your Majesty's now is, your Majesty would perhaps find 
in him one of the warmest advocates of the war.' As Aus- 
trian Minister he must look on things differently, and your 
Majesty is too just and too noble not to acknowledge 
this." By this representation I apparently gained much 
ground. My discourse was founded on the following argu- 
ments. Two great, enormous results are already won: one, 

NOTES. 41 S 

the close union and faithful understanding between the two 
principal Grerman Powers and Russia, the other, " the state of 
permanent protestation against all system of invasion, and the 
preponderance of these three Powers, whatever may be the 
temporary issue of the crisis." To maintain and preserve these 
two immense advantages would be now, in my opinion, the fun- 
damental law of all anti-Napoleonic policy, and an almost un- 
failing basis for the establishment of the balance of power and 
general order in Europe. I said further : " If his Majesty the 
Emperor of Austria would to-day do me the honour to consult 
me on the part to be taken in case Russia and Prussia are im- 
movably decided for the continuation of the war, I should say : 
Rather war — even if your Majesty should not approve it — than 
a course which would again separate us from Russia and Prussia. 
But, if your Majesty asks me my advice in case of Austria 
thinking she had strong motives for avoiding war, I should not 
hesitate to say : Rather peace — whatever repugnance it may 
inspire in your Majesty — ^than to separate yourself again from 
Austria." He seemed much struck with this reasoning, listened 
(as he always does to what I say) with great attention, and an- 
swered : " That is very true ; that is very fine ; see what it is to 
speak as a statesman ! Union is necessary beyond everything ! " 
etc. etc. Your Excellency was the subject of a great part of 
our conversation. The Emperor freely acknowledged that 
people had endeavoured to prejudice him against your political 
principles and political character (he allowed it to be seen that 
this had been the case with Romanzow), and hence he had long 
felt some mistrust. This, however, had been quite effaced by 
much which had occurred during the last few months, and 
especially by his late conversation with you, and he now firmly 
believes that your Excellency had done and would do all that 
you possibly could.' 

Note 67, page 192. ' 

The account of the occurrence in the Marcolini Palace at 
Dresden is word for word the same as the one given by Metter- 
nich of his conversation with Napoleon, in the year 1820, since 
published in Helfert's * Marie Louise.' It is evident that Met- 
temich, in the later account of the ' History of the Alliances * 

414 NOTES. 

(in the year 1829), made use of his earlier manuscript (of the] 
year 1820), but in this he has corrected some little chrono-l 
logical errors. For instance, in this June 22 is mentioned as 
the day of the journey from Gritschin, and June 23 as the day 
of the conversation with Napoleon; whereas the first took 
place on Jime 24, the last on the 26th. The correctness of j 
these dates is now settled beyond doubt by their agreement] 
with the statements in a report which Metternich sent to the] 
Emperor Francis the very same evening as the conversation 
with Napoleon. This report, written under the immediate 
impression of the great and momentous event, will be found in j 
the third book (Nos. 185, 186). From this document not] 
merely the dates will be rectified, but also many other errors. 

Note 68, page 198. 

On the documents exchanged at Brandeis between the Em- 
peror Francis and Metternich, see ' Metternich's Instruction for 
the Conference in Prague ' (Nos. 187, 188). At that time Met- 
ternich wrote on the question ' Peace or War ? ' the following 
letter to his father at Prague : ' Shall we have war or no ? 
Before April 10 no one can answer that question, and when 
say no one, I include Napoleon. But, happen what may, 
shall have done my duty ; and if I exhaust all the chances of 
peace, it is not the less sure that war will be made with chances 
of success far beyond what you can imagine. It is necessary to 
be at the centre of affairs, to be situated as I am, to see all 
that passes everywhere, to know the resources on one side and 
the lack of them on the other ; in a word, one must be at the 
very focus itself in order to form a just idea of the true posi- 
tion of things. Never was there one more complicated, and 
never has a part been played by any Power comparable to ours. 
We are so completely the centre of everything that every word 
— I do not speak of negotiations — passes through us. Napo- 
leon is placed so peculiarly that wherever he knocks he receives 
for answer, " Gro and ask the Austrian Cabinet." It is possible 
that Caulaincourt may arrive to-night. All that is nothing ; 
Prague is for the public, and all that is done out of Prague is 
the real thing.' 

NOTES. 415 

Note 69, ^age 199. 

On the celebrated manifesto of war of 1813, of which, as 
everyone knows, Grentz is the author, the latter expresses 
himself, in a letter to Metternich, September 4, 1813, in the 
following terms : — ' The manifesto could, and should, have 
only one merit, that of exhibiting the political administration 
of the last three years as a whole, and of making the character 
of it clear to the intelligent part of our contemporaries. When 
Ancillon wrote to me, " Vou8 avez parle comme le Tninistere 
autrichien a agi; voila voire plus bel eloge" this was the 
first balm of comfort to my heart. When I afterwards heard 
that the manifesto was regarded as a sheet of glass, through 
which that political system (which, indeed, I had not devised, 
and which to have apprehended was glory enough for me) was 
seen exactly as it was — when Frederick Schlegel himself wrote 
to me, " Now I understand and feel that the course of events 
must have been just as it was ; that nothing, yea nothing, 
could have been otherwise " — then I began to feel a satisfac- 
tion and joy with myself such as I had not known since 1806, 
when, as was felt at that time, my measures were somewhat 
successful. For my triumph can only consist in this, that I 
help to make our triumph the true triumph, the triumph of 
which language is only the weak reflection, and which the world 
and posterity will feel and acknowledge — glorious. 

Note 70, page 203. 

With what feelings of confidence the heart of Metternich 
was animated we have a convincing proof in a letter which he 
addressed to his former tutor. Abbe Hohn, at this time Pastor 
at Tajax, in Moravia, dated Teplitz, October 3, 1813 :— ' I thank 
you, dear Abbe, for your last letter. Certain of your sympathy 
in all great events, and equally certain of the friendly interest 
which you take in my political welfare, I may ask you, with 
confidence, to be quite easy : I have begun a great work ; I have 
slowly advanced. All our powers must be concentrated. We 
must wait our opportunity. We must have moral right on our 
side in order to carry us through materially. Heaven has blessed 
•our undertaking ; heaven helps us because we help ourselves, and 

416 NOTES. 

in a short time it will be with French tyranny as with the cedar 
of Lebanon. The springs of Napoleon's power are broken. 
The gigantic edifice totters to its ruin ; without an army, even 
the best general cannot make war : and the army of Napoleon 
is no longer an army. Our strength is threefold augmented,. 
our resources are renovated and invigorated ; his are old and 
shattered : we go slowly because we will go surely. We wish 
for no temporary action: we aspire to a thorough cure. No 
heroic, but sure measures ; and I, if Grod give me life and health, 
will c^rry on the work to a successful end : on this point have 
no fear. The worst is past. It is now a question of perseverance 
and determination to follow the straight path, and we have this 
perseverance and this determination.' 

Some days before this Mettemich wrote to his father : 
* Our affairs are going on well, and that upon a very large 
scale. Europe will be saved, and I flatter myself that in the 
end no little merit will be attributed to me. Grod has en- 
dowed me with patience and strength. For some years my 
political course has been the same, and a great power like 
Austria ought to conquer all obstacles, if it is well directed, 
and above all if its progress is uniform and always towards 
the same end. It was not without a purpose that I desired, 
before undertaking the great work, thoroughly to know my 
enemy and our strength. I know the first better than any- 
one in Europe, and I have brought the last to a point which 
none would have believed it capable of attaining after so 
many years of defeats and misfortune. It only remains to find 
the moment when it will be possible to undertake the thing 
without excessive risk. I have prepared this time by the armi- 
stice of June 4, and I have attained it by the boldest blow 
possible, by a prolongation of the armistice of twenty days, 
which I have taken upon myself to stipulate in the name of 
the Powers, without saying a word to them ; for, with their 
knowledge, the thing would be impossible. The results have 
proved that my calculations were just. The Kussian and Prus- 
sian armies have come in time to cover the north of Bohemia, 
and fix the chief attention of Napoleon on the left bank of the 
Elbe. Bliicher and the Prince Royal have had time to be 
ready ; they have remained far enough off to oblige Napoleon tO' 

NOTES. 417 

divide his forces into three parts. He has been everywhere 
beaten, and one cannot but estimate his loss, since the opening 
of the campaign, at more than 150,000 men, and 300 guns. 
His army is entirely demoralised. His men are dying of hunger 
and fatigue. Ours are in the best state, and animated with a 
rare spirit. I saw, two days ago, battalions crying out in im- 
patience at not seeing the French army come down from the 
mountains. We are about to become vigorous once more, and 
Grod will crown the end of this holy enterprise. Napoleon has 
no more reserves, and we have one of more than 200,0Q|S) men. 
Benningsen's army has just formed in line. Those of LabanofF 
and de Tolstoy are approaching the Oder. We shall have more 
fresh men, at the end of each month, than we can lose. All 
Prussia is under arms, and all Grermany will be so.' Metter- 
nich wrote to his daughter Mary, from Teplitz, October 1, 
1813 : ' Everything shows that the hour has struck, and that my 
mission of putting an end to so many evils is brought to a point 
by Heaven's decree. Napoleon thinks of me continually, of 
this I am certain ; I must appear to him like a sort of con- 
science personified. I told him everything and predicted 
everything at Dresden ; he would not believe me, and the Latin 
proverb, " Quos deus vult perdere dementat " — you can make 
Victor translate it — is verified anew.' 

Note 71, x>age 206. 

In a memoir of that time — it is dated November 11, 1813, 
and has not to our knowledge ever been published — Gentz de- 
votes to the men who had brought about the great results of 
the battle of Leipzig the following words of acknowledgment : — 
* The plan of campaign which was not, as was said, the work of 
General Moreau — although, at the moment of the arrival of 
this general at Prague, this plan had already received his last 
sanction — was planned with much intelligence and executed ^ 
with much precision and vigour. Prince Schwarzenberg, never 
having commanded great armies, could not at first inspire the 
absolute confidence which is only given to a successful career. 
Besides, he was a man of great modesty and of extreme gentle- 
ness and simplicity. When, in the month of September, it was 
seen that he would risk nothing, but waited for the propitious 
VOL. I. E E 

418 NOTES. 

moment, anxious people and timid frondeurs already began to 
condemn his prudence, and to speak of him as of a general 
unequal to the t^sk imposed upon him. These charges he 
gloriously revenged. Everyone acknowledges now that he was 
exactly the man required to moderate the passions of some, 
control the jealousies of others, and to bring into one scheme 
the views and plans of three sovereigns and half a dozen generals 
supported like Barclay, Wittgenstein, Benningsen, Kleist, &c., 
by a long and brilhant reputation. The wisdom and firmness 
with which Prince Schwarzenberg followed his operations, with- 
out ever yielding to the clamours of the multitude, or the im- 
portunities of the great, is another victory, and the true found- 
ation of all the others. The edat of the ser\aces performed by 
this general greatly reflected on Prince Metternich, who had the 
mierit of having designated Prince Schwarzenberg for the com- 
mand, and of supporting him against malcontents and de- 
tractors. But for M. de Metternich, Prince Schwarzenberg 
would not have accepted or kept the chief command ; so that 
the same minister who has been the soul of all the political com- 
binations, has also directly insured the success of the military 
operations. He has even followed personally all the movements 
of the army, and is always found at the side of Prince Schwarz- 
enberg during action. After these, the first place as to 
military merit must undoubtedly be assigned to the veteran 
Bliicher. The plan of operation made by the chief of his staff. 
General Gneisenau, was a chef-cfceuvre, and the execution of 
this plan in all its details, from Breslau to Leipzig, was the 
most ingenious, the most learned, and the most brilliant of the 
campaign. One cannot be as satisfied with the Prince Eoyal 
of Sweden. The general opinion is that the splendid move- 
ments which led to and followed the battle of Dennewitz, and 
the difierent passages of the Elbe, were rather the work of 
some excellent Prussian and Russian Generals, such as Billow, 
Tauenzien, Czemiczeflf, and Tettenborn, who were under his 
orders, than of himself.' 

Note 72, page 208. 

On the brilliant success of the enterprise, Metternich writes 
to his father, from Frankfort, on November 17, 1813, as 

NOTES. 419 

follows: 'I can assure you an end more glorious than all 
that we shall have intended. Heaven has crowned our efforts far 
beyond what appears to the eyes of the public. One must be 
initiated, as I am, into the details of the interior of France, see it 
as closely as I do, to be able to place oneself exactly at the true 
point between fear and hope, truth and illusion. I have the 
sweet happiness of seeing that the Emperor recognises that my 
zeal for his service has not been without success; he feels 
that he owes to me part of the happiness which he now enjoys 
after twenty years of misfortune. He tells me so ; and I speak 
only the truth when I reply by expressing my firm conviction 
that he, by his firmness — and by that precious quality of which 
he might hardly have been thought susceptible — by his con- 
fidence, has saved Europe : and Austria would never have saved 
herself without Europe. I know that this last truth will be 
considered toute vulgaire: everyone is wise after the blow; 
even those who have preached that nothing should be done, or 
taken quite an opposite side, will make out that they have fore- 
told all that has happened. As for me, I content myself with 
feeling that I have not deceived myself as to my means of 
action, and that is a great thing to say in 1813.' 

Of the time of the residence of the Allied Monarchs in 
Frankfort, Metternich tells a very characteristic anecdote of the 
Emperor Francis, which we will not withhold from the reader. 
* In the year 1812,' writes Metternich, 'the Prince Primate 
von Dalberg had founded an order called the Order of Union 
{EintracM). When we came to Frankfort, after the battle of 
Leipzig, one of the Knights of this new order presented himself 
to the Emperor of Austria to receive his Majesty's consent to 
wear the order. " If you are not ashamed," remarked the 
Emperor Francis, " it is perfectly indifferent to me whether 
you wear it or not." ' 

Note 73, x>(^ge 214. 

In the famous and ever-memorable declaration from Frank- 
fort of December 1, which is erroneously ascribed to the 
pen of G-entz, the Allied Powers, confirmed to the French Em- 
pire an extension of territory such as France never had under 
its Kings. * The Powers confirm to the French Empire an 

E E 2 

420 NOTES. 

extent of territory such as France has never had under the- 
ancient Kings, for a brave nation does not lose its rank because 
it has in its turn sustained reverses, in the course of an obsti- 
nate and bloody struggle, in which it has fought with its usual 
bravery.' This mode of expression is only to be rightly under- 
stood in connection with the proposals of mediation by the 
Allies brought by St. Aignan to Napoleon, in which mention 
is made of the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Rhine, as the natural- 
boundaries of France. 

Note 74, page 222. 

On the reception of our troops in Switzerland, as well as on 
the impression made by the publications from Metternich's pen, 
we take a private letter of the Prince's, written at Fribourg, De- 
cember 26, 1813. ' The Swiss have received us wonderfully ; we 
are in full march towards the interior of France, and such a 
conference as that which took place yesterday at my house, to 
regulate the manner of administrating the departments that we 
already partly occupy and are going to occupy, is a very pleasant 
thing. You will see in the papers a note which I have addressed 
by Lebzeltem and Capo d'Istria to the Landamman of Switzer- 
land, and you will see that if we know how to act well, we also 
know how to talk well. I have kept up a general conversation 
with Europe for some time, and it is a difficult matter. What 
pleases me is that I always see the pieces which come from my 
pen are those which the public like the best. I am certain that 
my little proclamation to the French and this note to the Swiss 
will be generally approved.' 

Note 75, page 234. 

In the collection of documents left by Metternich is an 
original pencil sketch, in the hand of the Emperor Alexander, a 
fac-simile of which we give in this work. The heading of the 
Protocol of the Conference, held at Bar-sur-l'Aube, February 
25, 1814, of which this autograph of Alexander's is the enclo- 
sure, is written by Metternich, as follows : — 

NOTES. 421 

Presents . 

Sa Majeste Imperiale rEmpereur d'Autriche. 

Sa Majeste Imperiale TEmpereur de Kussie. 

Sa Majeste le Koi de Prusse. 

Son Altesse le Prince de Schwarzenberg, Marechal des 
armees de Sa Majeste Imperiale et Koyale Apostolique, Greneral- 
en-chef des armees alliees. 

Son Altesse le Prince de Metternich, Ministre des affaires 
etrangeres d'Autriche. 

Son Excellence Mylord Viscount Castlereagh, principal Se- 
cretaire d'etat de Sa Majeste Britannique pour le departement 
des affaires etrangeres. 

Son Excellence le Comte de Nesselrode, Secretaire d'Etat 
de Sa Majeste I'Empereur de Russie. 

Son Excellence le Baron de Hardenberg, Chancelier d'Etat 
de Prusse. 

Son Excellence le Comte de Radetzky, Quartier-Maitre 
general de I'armee autrichienne. 

Son Excellence le Prince Wolkonsky, Chef de I'Etat-major 
general de Sa Majeste I'Empereur de toutes les Russies. 

Monsieur le Greneral de Diebitsch, Quartier-Maitre general 
de I'armee russe. 

Monsieur le General de Knesebeck, Aide-de-camp general 
de Sa Majeste le Roi de Prusse. 

Le protocole a ete tenu par Sa Majeste I'Empereur de 
Russie, dont I'original ci inclus. 

En foi de quoi j'ai signe le present acte. 

Le Pkince de Metternich. 

Note 7Q, page 24:1. 
See ' The Abdication of Napoleon and the arrival of Comte 
d'Artois in Paris.' Two reports by Metternich to the Emperor 
Francis, with a letter in answer by the latter (Nos. 189-191). 

Note 77, page 250. 
After the conclusion of the first Paris peace, the Emperor 
Francis sent a royal letter to the famous Field-marshal Prince 
Carl Schwarzenberg. We give the rough copy as a very 

422 NOTES. 

characteristic fee-simile of Mettemich's handwriting and that 
of Emperor Francis, who has corrected it. 

Note. 78, page 250. 

The return of Mettemich to Vienna was celebrated by a 
serenade arranged by Count Palflfy, in front of the Chancellor's 
palace. The combined musical forces of the Court Theatre and 
the Vienna Theatre performed the overture from Beethoven's 
* Prometheus.' Baier on the flute and Spohr on the violin 
displayed their brilliant talents in select pieces. At the end of 
the festivities, a Cantata was sung, for which Dr. Veith had com- 
posed the words and Kinsky the music. The substance of this 
successftd Cantata consisted, as Der Wanderer, from which we 
take this, announces : ' In recognition of the merits of the 
celebrated statesman, whose wise calculations and steadfast per- 
severance, strengthened by the choice and confidence of his 
Emperor, effected a result, by earnest prudence, modera- 
tion and wisdom, which a year ago would have been regarded 
as the most fantastic of wishes. Of that statesman who, un- 
concerned with the outcries of the impatient crowd, knew how, 
with wise caution, to delay the appeal to arms until certain of 
the implacabiHty of the enemy, and till he was also convinced 
that with the now completed armaments of the Empire, the game 
of war might be begun and perfected with power and vigour, 
^ence the general and hearty applause which the public paid to 
all those passages of the Cantata which celebrated these im- 
mortal deeds.' This Cantata was composed by Johann Em- 
anuel Veith, at that time a very young Doctor of Medicine, but 
who afterwards became celebrated as a poet, and then as dis- 
tinguished as a theologian as he had been as a physician. 

Note 79, page 252. 

The political antagonism between the national and progres- 
sive views of Freiherr von Stein and the conservative prin- 
ciples of Mettemich displays itself in this paper wherever 
mention is made of Von Stein ; the reader, however, receives 
no hint on the personal relation of these two statesmen. A 
letter of Mettemich to Freiherr von Gragem, of the year 1833, 

NOTES. 423 

throws some light on this point ; and is also in many respects 
of great interest. Metternich writes : * Your friend (Stein) 
hated me ; this was inevitable from his character. He was one 
of those men who are well described by the English word " im- 
pressionable." For my own part, I never hated Stein, and the 
hatred of individuals is a weakness which exercises no influence 
upon my practical life, and with the late Baron von Stein I 
never had other than business relations. In these we had 
indeed difficulty in agreeing, for where the objects which we 
pursued did not stand in contradiction, we constantly differed 
in our choice of means. No one reverenced more than I did 
the distinguished gifts of heart and mind of Freiherr von 
Stein. I very much doubt whether he ever formed anything 
like a true opinion of my character. If he ever deemed 
me worthy of the trouble of investigating what the man 
and his views might be (an undertaking which I constantly 
made my duty), he never understood me, and consequently 
sought me where I was not to be found. The influence of each 
of us on the progress of events between 1812 and 1820 furnishes 
a proof of this. His letters to you after the year 1830 prove 
to me that their author, after the July of that year, had taken 
up ground on which we might easily have met : should we ever 
again have separated ? I scarcely think it. It was with 
Stein as with men of much mobility of character. They easily 
surrender themselves, even in the most important cases, to the 
influence of mere impressions, and by these men, accordingly, 
illusions are often taken for truth until the force of things un- 
looses knots with a heavy hand.' Among the papers left by 
Metternich there are only three letters of Stein, two of the 
year 1810 and one of the year 1830. The former letters 
belong to the time when Stein, banished by Napoleon from 
Prussia, had found an asylum in Austria, and relate to his 
wish to exchange his residence in Briinn for that in Prague, 
which was at once granted at Metternich's request, and brought 
forth the most hearty thanks from Stein. The letter of 1830 
is far more important, because it shows how free Metter- 
nich's conduct towards his political opponent was from any poli- 
tical prepossession. Stein's letter contains the most convincing 
roof of this. 

424 NOTES. 

' The formal and positive denial which your Excellency has 
given to the calumnious assertion of M. de Bourrienne, the ex- 
pressions of indignation with which it is accompanied, com- 
pletely destroy the impression which the whining and cunning 
phrases of that author might make on even those readers the 
most disposed to believe evil and the most ignorant of the cir- 
cumstances of the time and the character of the persons. It 
concerned me especially that this effect should be produced, 
because the " Memoires de Bourrienne " will remain an historical 
source for future generations, and because my contemporaries, 
who could judge me with knowledge of the case, are disappear- 
ing in rapid succession. Your Excellency has granted your 
attention to an object of such great interest for me, at a time 
when your feelings have been so cruelly tried by the loss of the 
dearest objects of your affection, and when the political situa- 
tion of Europe demands all your attention and vigoiur of mind. 
I beg, then, that your Excellency will believe that I know how 
to appreciate your goodness,' &c. &c. 

Note 80, ^age 253. 

For the filling up of the history of the Vienna Congress, 
the reader will make use of the Memoir by Friedrich Gentz, 
left among Metternich's papers, and illustrated by some remarks 
of the Chancellor's which show the work in its true light, and 
at the same time guarantee the accuracy of the account as a 
whole. See 'The Vienna Congress' (Nos. 192-194). 

Note S\^ page 25Z. 

At the grand festivities which took place during the Vienna 
Congress, a peace festival was held at Villa Metternich, to 
which all the monarchs, the reigning princes, and notabili- 
ties of the time were invited. We here give the programme 
of the fete, composed by the inspector-general of the Royal 
Academy of Music. 

NOTES. 426 

Programme de la ' Fete de la Paix ' pour etre ex^cuUe dans 
les jardins de Son Excellence le Prwice Mettemich aupres 
de Vienne. 

1. Salle pour la reception de Leurs Majestes les Empereurs, 
le Eoi de Prusse, les Imperatrices et Eeines, et autres Princes 
et Princesses, invitees. 2. Ballon enlevant dans les airs un 
soleil d'artifice forme de lances a feu avec les armes des sou- 
verains, au bruit des trompettes et tambours, pour annoncer 
le commencement de la fete. 3. Depart des souverains, 
precedes de deux directeurs de la fete qui indiqueraient la 
marche et la promenade dans les jardins, les pauses et repos 
necessaires pour faire jouir des points de vue, des scenes, des 
trophees, des danses, des differentes musiques vocales et instru- 
mentales, solos, duos, trios, masques dans les bosquets aux tem- 
ples de Mars, d'Apollon et de Minerve. Apres cette prome- 
nade, qui demande beaucoup de soins et d'ordre, pour que 
per Sonne ne precede Leurs Majestes et ne masque ces tableaux 
mouvants, il faudra conduire les souverains au grand amphi- 
theatre. 4. Grand amphitheatre qui fera face a la pelouse. 
5. Pelouse qui servira de theatre. Trois temples decoreront ce 
vaste theatre : le plus considerable occupera le milieu et sera 
dedie a la Paix ; les deux autres, places a quelque intervalle, au- 
ront pour inscription ' Aux Arts,^ ' A V Industrie.'' Derriere ces 
deux temples, on apercevra une partie des fortifications et des 
habitants de deux grandes villes. La pantomime suivante 
s'exeeutera au feu d'artifice. Scene I*"®. La Discorde, .es- 
•cortee de divinites infernales et trainee sur un char attele de 
trois chevaux noirs, parcourt le theatre en secouant ses torches ; 
elle va d'une ville a I'autre et disperse sur sa route les groupes des 
peuples qui fuient devant elle ; des troupes de di verses nations 
s'attaqvient ; le siege des villes commence ; des pelotons de ca- 
valerie se chargent, I'infanterie se mele, les chefs se defient au 
combat singulier ; le bombardement des villes continue, les 
creneaux des remparts sont renverses, les tours s'ecroulent, un 
incendie general embrase les maisons, les femmes se sauvent 
emportant leurs enfants et vont se refugier dans les temples. 
Un bruit de victoire se fait entendre, des chants plus doux 
viennent frapper I'oreille, I'esperance renait ; le temple de la 

426 NOTES. 

Paix, ferme jusqu'alors, s'ouvre de nouveau : les divers habi- 
tants sortent des asiles oil ils s'etaient refugies et forment des 
groupes. Ensuite, une marche generale oil chaque nation 
est representee par un officier general monte sur un char 
tire par deux chevaux blancs et portant des drapeaux et 
attributs caracteristiques de chaque Puissance. Ce cortege, 
entourant un autel eleve a la Paix, entonnera les chants 
de la Concorde et prononcera un serment d'alliance. Pen- 
dant ce temps des feux de joie, tires des deux villes, 
couronnent ce tableau et terminent la pantomime. Pendant 
cette pantomime, il faut servir le souper sur nombre de tables 
rondes qui contiennent dix a douze converts. Celles des 
Puissances auraient fort bon effet si Ton dressait les tables sur 
des caisses de tr^s-grands orangers dont le tronc passerait au 
centre des tables : rien n'est plus aise en faisant la table de 
deux morceaux. 6. Apres le souper, bal general dans toils les 

Note 82, page 255. 

On the disagreement which took place between the Emperor 
Alexander and Prince Mettemich on this question, the reader 
will find further particulars in the portrait of the Emperor Alex- 
ander in the 'Grallery of Celebrated Contemporaries,' page 314. 
How decided was the attitude of the Emperor Francis in this 
Prusso-Saxon controversy is shown by the sentence which the 
Emperor Francis, in answer to a short question of Mettemich's, 
wrote with his own hand on a slip of paper : ' I have declared 
to the King of Prussia that I will never consent that Saxony 
shall be entirely united to his kingdom, and I have offered 
myself as mediator between Prussia and the King of Saxony.' 

Note 83, page 256. 

In consequence of the renewal of the war with Napoleon, 
Mettemich went to join the Emperor Francis at his head-quar- 
ters at Heidelberg. During this journey, which took him to 
Paris, the interesting private correspondence occurs which we 
have given, and amongst them a letter to Talleyrand and two 
letters to the Empress Marie Louise ; the other seven are on 
family matters. See 'Journey to Paris' (Nos. 1^7-207). 


Note 84, page 258. 

Metternich's secret agent was Freiherr von Ottenfels, then 
Court Secretary at the Chancery of State. He was ordered to 
go, under the incognito of ' Henri Werner,' to Basle, and there, 
at the hotel * The Three Kings,' to meet the confidant of Fouche. 
Instead of the latter, an agent sent by Napoleon appeared in 
the person of M. Fleury. At a second interview the mystifica- 
tion was so evident that the negotiation was broken off. The 
interesting instruction for Ottenfels, which the reader will find 
under the head of ' Mission of Ottenfels to Basle,' plainly proves 
that nothing like an agreement existed between the Emperor 
Francis and Napoleon (Nos. 206-209). Metternich's opinion 
of the way in which this subject was treated by history cannot 
refer to Thiers's ' Histoire du Consulat et de I'Empire,' the 
fourteenth volume of which, where this is mentioned, did not 
appear till 1861, consequently after Metternich's death. In 
that work the incident is related pretty accurately, which is 
perhaps to be explained from the circumstance that Thiers 
got his information at the right source — namely, from Met- 
temich himself. During Metternich's latter years, Thiers had 
put to him a great number of questions which at his re- 
quest Metternich answered by letter. Amongst these is the 
following : — ' The mission of M. Werner (Ottenfels) to Basle 
is certain: what was its object and importance?' This point 
is important, for this mission had serious consequences, by 
setting Napoleon at variance with Fouche. Metternich's 
answer to this letter of Thiers, which bears date May 1859, is 
not in the collection of writings left by Metternich. 

Note 85, j^age 263. 

The very short description of the peculiarity of the Austrian 
Imperial state allowed the author to give but a slight notice of 
the time of the Government of Joseph II. We therefore give , 
here the opinion of Metternich on that monarch more in 
detail. It is taken from a paper written in 1839. 

The short government of Francis II. bore the stamp of a 
purely personal government, and was guided by the influence of 
the philosophical spirit of the eighteenth century, which appeared 
no less from the independent decrees of this monarch than 

428 NOTES, 

the counsels of the men who surrounded his person. In 
the reign of Maria Theresa the soil was still wanting for the 
spread of philosophical theories. Their subsequent rise is to be 
explained, first, from the character of the heir to the throne, 
but it was also excited by the example of Frederick II. and 
Catherine II., although those monarchs in reality only played 
with these philosophical tendencies. From the moment 
of his accession to the throne the Emperor Joseph II. took 
quite another direction from what the philosophers of the 
eighteenth century and the revolutionists of the nineteenth cen- 
tury intended. His thoughts were all directed to the strengthen- 
ing of the central power, which he endeavoured to support by 
the centralisation of the administration of the Empire and by the 
Grermanisation of the different races. To attain this piu-pose, 
the Emperor surrounded himself with counsellors, out of whom 
he formed a cabinet, a form of government after the model of 
Frederick II., and the men whom he called to this position 
were all still further advanced in the philosophical ideas of the 
century than their Imperial master ! 

The government of Joseph II. may be divided into three 
periods. The first, from 1780 to the end of 1783, may weU be 
called a period filled with unsuccessful attempts ; the second, 
which likewise lasted three years, was devoted to useful reforms 
of government; the third period comprehended the war with 
the Porte, which was badly conducted and had been un- 
dertaken more for the advantage of Russia than in the true 
interests of Austria. The last year of Joseph II.'s life is 
marked by the- withdrawal of the decrees which clashed with the 
constitutional rights of the separate countries, which decrees 
had excited the population in the Netherlands, and had incurred 
the danger of an insurrection at a time when political peace 
was already seriously threatened by the outbreak of the French 

Great as was the influence of Joseph II.'s government on 
his successors, certainly the greatest consequences were pro- 
duced by the period when the revocation of the encroachments 
on the old Hungarian constitution took place. This revoca- 
tion had the effect of a real change of constitution because, by 
decrees of the Diet in 1790-91 (which at the Emperor Francis's 

NOTES. 429 

accession were still confirmed by those of the year 1792), a 
new legislation took the place of the old. 

The Emperor Joseph, by carrying out his ideas of Ger- 
nmrdsation and centralisation in Hungary, also injured the 
national feehng and the constitution of the country, excited 
the Magyar feeling and caused a desire for separation in the 
Hungarian people. We will not inquire whether the under- 
taking would have had more prospect of success if the Emperor 
Joseph, instead of pursuing his aim now in a direct, now in an 
indirect, manner, had gone straight on without hesitation. If 
instead of giving up the ceremony of coronation, which, accord- 
ing to the spirit of the constitution and the customs of the 
country, has a legal signification, he had taken the initiative 
in revising the existing constitution ; and, lastly, had appeared 
openly, instead of hiding his idea of reform with scruples as 
to the coronation-oath, and brought his projects of improve- 
ment before the Diet — ^thus he would have opened a vast 
field for useful reforms, in the real interest of the country. 
It suffices to point out, on the one hand, the failure of the 
system followed by Joseph II., and on the other, to emphasise 
the troubles which the Emperor has left to his successors on 
the throne of Hungary in consequence of this very proceeding, 
and especially by his change of opinion. The first acts of 
Joseph II.'s government gained the approbation of all innova- 
tors, an approbation which was preserved to this monarch for 
acts of a later period of his reign, which had nothing in common 
with his former revolutionary directions, because the people 
who had applauded him before would not own to themselves 
that the Emperor Joseph II. had deserted them. The greater 
part of the concessions which he made to the spirit of the age 
were maintained for a short time only. Amongst other things, 
the liberty of the press lasted only a few months. The same 
may be said of the abolition of capital punishment, when chas- 
tisement was inflicted to which death seemed preferable. 

The moral consequences of so many unsuccessful attempts, 
and some organic laws of undeniable value, remain to us from 
the time of Joseph. The kingdom of Bohemia, where these laws 
were applied more vigorously than in other countries of the 
monarchy, owes to them the height to which she has risen in 

430 NOTES. 

various directions in consequence of the regulations of the dif- 
ferent branches of administration and industry. But it is 
especially the army into which the " reign of Joseph II. brought 
life, under the direction of Field-Marshal Lascy, which the 
Imperial army has shown most brilliantly on every occasion, so 
that Napoleon himself called its organisation the best possible. 
These and other arrangements will always throw a favourable 
light on a monarch who, though involved in many errors, was 
yet animated by a creative and reforming spirit. None of his 
mistakes were rooted in revolutionary ideas, which only those 
will not acknowledge who see something meritorious in that 
very circumstance. 

Joseph II. was guided by autocratic principles. He wished 
to unite in his hand all the elements of power, and to this end 
he would remove all obstacles which the singular constitutions 
of the country, and the variety of the nationalities of his empire, 
put in his way. Free and liberal in his words, he was not so in 
his deeds, and certainly not so in the sense of modern liberalism. 
A fifiend of order, he sought the metos of strengthening it by a 
government free from every troublesome fetter. Joseph II. 
was certainly more an organiser than a legislator. 

Note 86, page 265. 

The continuation of the Autobiographical Notices will follow 
in the Second Part of this work — ^those of the time from 1816 to 
March 1848. 





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