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the variety of manners, created at Vienna a species of enchantment. It was on this occasion that the Prince de Ligne uttered the well known mot"the Congress dances but doesn't walk." During these festivities, Talleyrand maintained a constant correspondence with Louis XVIII., and often gratified the love of anecdote and personal gossip which distinguished that monarch, by passing before him in review, all the political personages who figured in these scenes, and narrating the gallantries of the masked balls. In one of these secret despatches, designed only for the royal eye, the diplomate describes, with infinite humour, the mysticism of the Emperor Alexander on his knees in the cabinet of Madame Krudener, the bonnes fortunes of M. Metternich, and the amours of Lord Castlereagh. At one of the most brilliant of these balls, he describes the King of Prussia allured from room to room by a black domino; the Emperor of Austria in an Hungarian costume, with a flowing pellisse; King Maximilian of Bavaria in the uniform of a colonel, which he wore with distinction in the service of Napoleon. The colossal figure of the King of Wurtemberg was ill-disguised in a domino resplendant with gold; his Majesty was flirting with the Duchess of Oldenberg, the sister of the Emperor Alexander, who was dis. guised as a grisette. The King of Denmark and Prince Metternich chat. ted in the embrasure of a window, wrapped in magnificent dominos. But it was Eugene Beauharnois that more especially fixed Talleyrand's attention, who employed special agents to watch and report his movements. The earnest and frequent conferences during the evening, between him and the Emperor Alexander, were a source of lively disquietude to the plenipotentiary of Louis, and were duly reported by him to his sovereign.
Talleyrand said nothing about his own costume on these occasions, which drew from Louis XVIII., the sarcasm-" M. de Talleyrand n'a oublié qu'une seule chose, c'est de nous fairé savoir quel était son costume à lui, car il en a de rechange."*
Murat had still contrived to occupy the throne of Naples, and, in fact, had
representatives at the Congress. Talleyrand directed all the efforts of his genius to bring the allied sovereigns to a determination to restore the Bourbon family, and depose the brother-inlaw of Napoleon. With this view, he had a long secret conference with the Emperor Alexander, which, though long denied, has now ceased to be disputed. In this conversation, Talleyrand earnestly entreated the Czar to consent to a declaration against Murat, promising him in return to withdraw all opposition to his views upon the grand duchy of Warsaw. The Emperor, at last, was induced to give a sort of general compliance. Armed with this, Talleyrand next made overtures to Prince Metternich, but was immediately met by the answer, that the Emperor of Austria was already connected with Murat by treaties, and that any declaration against him might be attended with consequences which would embarrass the court of Vienna, and compel it to send into Italy troops which might be wanted in other quarters. M. de Talleyrand next addressed himself to Lord Castlereagh, saying, that he thought a frank and unanimous declaration of the great powers of Europe against Murat, would render any recourse to arms unnecessary." The Duke of Wellington, who at that moment had succeeded Lord Castlereagh at the Congress, answered, "that England did not wish to see the crowns of Naples and Sicily on the same head."
As we have said, Talleyrand found his projects for the final territorial settlement of Europe, in its relations with France, suddenly and unexpectedly foiled by the return of Napoleon from Elba, and the flight of Louis XVIII. to Ghent. He did not hesitate, as the plenipotentiary and minister of foreign affairs of Louis XVIII., to give his immediate and cordial cooperation and assent to all the measures and declarations directed against Napoleon, and even to draw up some of these documents with his own hand. It is true, that in all these proceedings Napoleon, personally, was carefully separated from France as a nation; and those French subjects who shared in these hostile proceedings, by this reservation, intended to escape the
"M. de Talleyrand has forgotten only one thing, that is, to tell us what character he appeared in himself, for he is well provided with changes of costume."
false position of waging war against their country. This has not, however, protected Talleyrand from severe censure among his countrymen for the part he played on this occasion.
Although it is certain, that after the return of Napoleon from Elba, all the great powers of Europe would have combined as they did to crush him, and that Talleyrand's participation in the measures which resulted in the catastrophe of Waterloo, had no real effect in promoting or accelerating that disaster to the French arms, yet all the French authorities of eminence, even those who are disposed to take the most favorable view of his character, deplore his share in these transactions.
They cannot see how, under any circumstances, a Frenchman can be exculpated from aiding to bring about an invasion of France by foreign hosts. "There are sentiments," says Mignet, "which are above all question; there are principles which are above all rights, and more real than all systems. The sentiment which awakens the love of our country, the principle which forbids us to provoke against it foreign arms, are among these. The independence of the country is an object paramount above the powers of government or the interests of parties. Neither the grievance of exile, nor the ardour of convictions, nor the force of attachments, nor the bitterness of hatred, can justify us in neglecting this first of duties. To separate our country from the government which rules it, to say that we attack the one to deliver the other, is no excuse. These subtle distinctions lead to the ruin of states. A nation which has not the right to choose its government, has no longer independence. Besides, can we always be certain, that the war which is directed against the government of a country, will not be turned against its territory, and after having attacked its freedom of choice, will not turn itself against its greatness? The wounds that we thus inflict on the country are deep, and no one can say that they will not be mortal."
It is contended on the other hand, in his favor, that Talleyrand had no reason to expect that the allied powers would again take the field for any other purpose than to replace Louis XVIII. on the throne, and in the effective exercise of the government. He
wished to avail himself of the catastrophe of the Hundred Days, to obtain for France stronger and more numerous guarantees for her liberties. He wrote frankly and boldly to Louis XVIII. from Vienna, demonstrating all the errors and all the faults of the government of the Restoration in 1814, such as relinquishing the national cockade (the tricolor); the unwise restrictions imposed on the securities offered by the charter; the exclusion of the constitutional party from all public functions which were conferred, without almost an exception, on Royalists; the ignorance and mal-address shown in subjecting the country to the immediate administration of men who, having grown up as emigrants, were strangers to the ideas and the sentiments of the nation, and who therefore spread alarm among established interests, and excited universal hatred; and above all, he blamed the system of governing without an accordant and responsible ministry.
When he returned from Vienna and joined the King at Mons, after the catastrophe of Waterloo, he acted in conformity with these principles. The estimation in which his services, not to France only, but to Europe, were held at that moment, is sufficiently manifested in a letter addressed by the Duke of Wellington to the King, in which he affirmed that his Majesty stood in absolute need of "a counsellor of enlightened understanding and practical capacity; that M. de Talleyrand seemed to him to be the only person capable of comprehending the difficult position in which the House of Bourbon was placed in regard to France; that without presuming to name to his Majesty those whom he ought to take into his council, he felt it to be important to his Majesty's interests, that he should remove from around him advisers who were viewed with aversion by the French people."
Notwithstanding the intrigues of the ultra-Royalists, countenanced and fostered by the Count d'Artois, (afterwards Charles X.) directed against Talleyrand personally, and the hostile feeling which his diplomatic proceedings at Vienna had excited in the mind of the Emperor Alexander against him, the good sense of the representatives of the chief powers, united with the sheer necessity of the restoration, restored him to the head of affairs.
At this time, Fouché, who, being at the head of the police, kept up a secret communication with the Duke of Wellington, sent an agent to the head quarters with a letter, containing assurances, that although the army was discontented, and the chambers hostile, yet, if the charter were re-established, and accompanied by constitutional guarantees, all would be prepared for the entrance of the king at the end of three days. The duke, on receiving this, handed it to Talleyrand, who happened then to be with him. The latter replied verbally to the messenger-"Let all apprehensions be appeased; we have already decided on the adoption of the course recommended; we are here ready to pledge ourselves to it: this is Sir Charles Stuart, ambassador to his Brittanic Majesty; this Count Pozzo di Borgo, ambassador from the Emperor of Russia; and I, Prince Talleyrand, am Minister of Foreign Af fairs and plenipotentiary of his majesty Louis XVIII.”
The high position assigned to Talleyrand in the royal councils, was displeasing to the Emperor Alexander on more than one account. He had frustrated the ambitious projects of the Czar at the Congress at Vienna. His old predilection in favour of the English alliance, was now become so mani. fest, as to give a distinctive character to his policy, and a significancy to his elevation to the highest post in the French cabinet. This was a source of further discontent to his imperial majesty. Moreover, the Emperors of Russia and Austria had not yet arrived at the head quarters of the allies, and the result of the day of Waterloo conferred upon the Duke of Wellington an almost omnipotent voice in the councils of the restored monarch. It was this voice, as we have observed, which raised Talleyrand to the head of affairs, in spite of the opposition of the king's brother, the heir presumptive to the crown.
dominance of English influence was another source of jealousy on the part of the two emperors. They were therefore hastening to Paris, at the moment we now refer to, and were met at Nanci by Count Pozzo di Borgo, escorted only by a few squadrons of light cavalry. The cautious diplomatist expressed his surprise that their majesties would expose their per
sons, in a hostile country, under such circumstances. Alexander replied
"We are going in all haste to Paris. We are not informed of all that is going on there; and the little that we do know does not please us." On these accounts, the tact of Talleyrand, which never failed, even in circumstances of much greater difficulty, at once suggested the necessity of propitiating the Emperor Alexander, in the constitution of the cabinet. However decided his leaning might be towards an alliance with England, he could not close his eyes to the fact, that Russian forces had already covered part of the territory of France, and that they would be daily augmented in number. He therefore resolved to introduce into the cabinet two statesmen, who must be, personally, highly acceptable to the Czar. To M. Pozzo di Borgo, who, although he had entered the service of Russia, was a native of Corsica, and therefore a subject of France, he offered the portfolio of the home department; and the Duke de Richelieu, also loved and respected by Alexander, was placed at the head of the royal household, in the place of M. de Blacas, an ultra-Royalist, who had resigned.
This artful policy, however, could not be carried into practical effect, without much caution and circumspection. After all the recent humiliations suffered by the French arms, and with the recollection of Moscow still vivid in the public mind, to instal a Russian general in the hotel of the Minister of the Interior, and to place under his authority the whole domestic government of the country, was a proceeding which could not be attempted without some danger. He therefore resolved to provide another occupant, ad interim, for the ministry designed for M. Pozzo, and an opportunity of executing his purpose was not slow to present itself.
M. Pasquier, now the president of the Chamber of Peers, was, so early as the period we refer to, a person of high political consideration. He came from Paris to the chateau of Arnouville, where Louis XVIII. was waiting, preparatory to his entry into the capital, to offer his advice against any violent reactionary measures, and in favour of a prudent deference to pub. lic opinion on the part of the king. As he was leaving the royal chamber, Talleyrand followed him, and seized
the opportunity of a conversation."I will take you in my carriage, M. Pasquier," said he, "I wish to have some conversation with you. I am going to the Duke of Wellington, to make the final arrangements for the formation of the cabinet, and for the public entry of the king into the capital. I reckon upon you as one of the cabinet. You shall choose your office. Our principles are-unity of political views-the most honourable peace which can be effected-the evacuation of the French territory by the allied armies, giving them an indemnity no reaction-no other reference to the past, except to allow the regulated course of justice with regard to the most prominent actors during the Hundred Days. I must not conceal from you that Fouché is to enter the cabinet. He is necessary."
M. Pasquier, answered “I know the services that Fouché has rendered, and the motives of gratitude which the Royalists must feel towards him, for all that has passed within the last three months; but never forget that he, whose office it is to watch others, will require to be most carefully watched himself."
Talleyrand replied "The matter is settled. The Duke of Wellington has made a formal demand to that effect of the king, and we cannot now retrace our steps. But for yourselfchoose your office-you are indispensable for us, and the king desires your services."
M. Pasquier named the Ministry of Justice.
"Very well," promptly replied Talleyrand, "it is agreed, but it is indispensable that for the present you should fill the Ministry of the Interior also."
M. Pasquier remonstrated at the double responsibility, especially at a moment so critical, with the provinces in a state so unsettled.
"You will not long have the trouble," answered Talleyrand. "I will only ask you to remain in the Ministry of the Interior until the arrival of the Emperor of Russia, with whom I want to have a personal conference, for we must make some concession to him.
The same evening the ministry was completed.
The practical effects of the counsels of Talleyrand, and the influence he exercised over the mind and conduct
of Louis XVIII., in spite of the aversion with which that monarch regarded him, are now matter of history. The proclamation of Cambria, in which the faults of 1814 were acknowledged, and pledges given to repair them, was of his dictation. He suggested also the ordonnance issued the same day in which the charter was liberalised; the age at which a candidate became eligible to the representative chamber was reduced from forty to twenty-five; the number of deputies, previously limited to two hundred and sixty-two, was increased to three hundred and eightyfive; the initiative of laws was conceded to the chamber, which before was confined to the crown; members of the Legion of Honour were admitted to the Electoral Colleges, and the age qualifying an elector to vote, was reduced to twenty-one. While he thus gave a more democratic character to the representative chamber, he required that the peerage should be hereditary, with the view of securing more effectually its independence.
But this revival of the liberal spirit, and the concession of the ideas of the revolution, were not destined to be permanent. Louis XVIII. had not long resumed his place on the throne, when the party of the emigration threw off their temporary disguise of moderation and compromise. Talleyrand was also decided in his estimate of the generosity and disinterestedness of the foreign powers, which had now, for a second time, cantoned their troops in the capital, planted their cannon on the quays and bridges, and bivouacked in the Champs Elysées. They professed to have come, not to make war on France or its people, but to expel the military dictator who was placed over the country by the army. Once in possession of the capital, these promises were broken, and these generous professions forgotten. The works of art were taken out of the Louvre, and sent back to the places from whence they had been obtained by former conquests. It was demanded by a diplomatic note, dated 20th September, 1815, that the territory which had been ceded to France the preceding year should be now surrendered; that the King of the Netherlands should resume the territory that formerly belonged to Belgium; that Savoy should be surrendered to the King of Sardinia; that France should surrender
the forts of Condé, Philippeville, Marienburg, Givet, Charleroi, Sanelouis, and Landau; that the fortifications of Huningen should be razed; that France should pay a contribution of thirty-two millions sterling, of which eight millions were to be applied to the construction of forts in the territory lying adjacent to the French frontiers; that, moreover, she should pay thirty millions sterling, as an indemnity for the losses occasioned by the various wars of invasion she had carried on in Europe since the Revolution; and, finally, that a foreign army of an hundred and fifty thousand men, maintained at the expence of France, should occupy the northern part of the kingdom for a period of seven years.
M. Talleyrand remonstrated in the most indignant spirit against these conditions, which he pronounced to be oppressive and insulting-an unworthy abuse of the advantages gained by measures, in which the king and his friends were induced to accept the aid of the allies, and in which Talleyrand himself co-operated, on the faith of the assurance, that the war was against Napoleon, and not against France. He denounced such proposals, therefore, as a flagrant breach of faith on the part of the allies-as an act of unparalleled and unjustifiable oppression towards France-an unworthy and unwise manifestation of a vindictive spirit on the part of Europe. In his diplomatic note of the 21st September, he demonstrated, that such terms could only be imposed in virtue of the rights of conquest, and that these rights, by the confession of the allies themselves, had no existence in the present case. "Conquest," said Talleyrand, I can only be made where war has been waged against the possessor of a territory-that is to say, over its sovereign, the right of possession and sovereignty being identical. But when war is waged against one who has unlawfully usurped a throne, with a view of restoring this country to its legitimate sovereign, there can be no conquest-there is only the restoration of the territory to its rightful owner. Now, the allied powers treated the late enterprise of Bonaparte as an act of usurpation, and regarded Louis XVIII. as the real sovereign of France. They have made war in support of his rights, and
they are, therefore, bound to respect them. They have recognized this obligation in the declaration which they issued on the 13th, and the treaty which they signed on the 25th March, in which they have recognized Louis XVIII. as an ally, leagued with them against a common enemy. If conquest be inadmissible against a friendly power, it is à fortiori impossible against an allied sovereign."
"We live," added Talleyrand, "at an epoch, when, more than at any former period, it is important to confirm the world in its confidence in the word of kings. The sacrifices now demanded from his most Christian Majesty would weaken that faith, after the declaration in which the allied powers announced that they took arms only against Bonaparte and his adherents; after the treaty, in which they pledged themselves to maintain, in their full integrity, the stipulations of the treaty of the 30th May, 1814, which cannot be maintained if the integrity of the French territory is violated; and after the proclamations of their generals-inchief, in which the like assurances are given."
He entreated them to reflect that France would never cease to seek the recovery of that of which she must always believe herself to have been unjustly deprived; that she would impute as a crime to Louis XVIII. those cessions of territory which would be regarded as the price paid by him for foreign aid; that they would operate as a continual obstacle to the re-establishment of the government of the Restoration; and finally, that they would destroy that European equilibrium, to establish which had cost so many efforts, by the extent of territory which France ought to possess, the necessity of which could not then be denied, since it had been admitted in the territorial arrangements made the year before.
This appeal to the public law of Europe and the faith of engagements, as well as to considerations of high policy, availed nothing against the excited passions, and the irrepressible thirst for vengeance which prevailed at that moment. In 1814, the claims and remonstrances of Talleyrand were sustained by the Emperor Alexander. The opposition and personal hostility of that sovereign were, however, now raised to a high pitch by the success of