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success our demands will have to be graduated to the principles laid down in it. He inclosed a as follows:—In the first place, you will have to draught treaty, explaining that he preferred one combine into one proposition the recovery of the treaty to two; that he found Landau and Saarfrontiers of 1814 and the annexation of Belgium.brück unattainable, and that he had accordingly You have, therefore, to ask for the extradition, kept to Luxemburg and Belgium. The Germans by formal treaty, of Landau, Saarlouis, Saarbrück, had also got hold of the reply to Count Benedetti's and the duchy of Luxemburg; and you have to letter from the French government. A general aim at the annexation of Belgium, by the con- approval was given to his draught; but whereas clusion of an offensive and defensive treaty which the fourth article contemplated the extension of is to be kept secret. Secondly, should this basis Prussian supremacy south of the Main, and the appear to promise no result, you will resign Saar- fifth provided for the annexation of Belgium, the louis, Saarbrück, and even Landau, which, after French government wished it to be made clear all, is but a dilapidated nest of a place, the occu- that the latter article was not to be regarded as pation of which might excite German national only binding if the former had been carried out. feeling against us. In this eventuality your public “ It is obvious that the extension of the supremacy agreement will be confined to the duchy of Lux- of Prussia across the Main will, as a matter of emburg, and your secret treaty to the reunion of course, compel us to seize Belgium. But the Belgium with France. Thirdly, supposing a clear same necessity may be brought on by other events, and unmistakable reference to the incorporation on which subject we must reserve to ourselves of Belgium is found unpalatable, you are author- exclusively the right to judge." ized to assent to a clause in which, to obviate Amendments to carry out the views of the the intervention of England, Antwerp is declared French government were added on the margin of a free city. In no case, however, are you to M. Benedetti's draught treaty, and as thus amended, permit the reunion of Antwerp with Holland, or it also fell into the hands of the German governthe incorporation of Maestricht with Prussia. ment. On the receipt of his revised draught, Count

“Should Herr von Bismarck put the question, Benedetti presented to Count von Bismarck a what advantage would accrue to him from such a draught treaty incorporating the amendments with treaty, the simple reply would be, that he would his original handiwork, and this was the treaty thereby secure a powerful ally; that he would which Count von Bismarck published to the world consolidate his recent acquisitions; that he was in 1870. When, however, M. Benedetti came to only desired to consent to the cession of what does discuss the project he was disappointed at the not belong to him; and that he makes no sacrifice reception he met with; and he wrote home on at all to be compared to his gains. To sum up, the 29th of August, expressing for the first time the minimum we require is an ostensible treaty a doubt whether France could count on the sinwhich gives us Luxemburg, and a secret treaty, cerity of Prussia, which, according to his belief, which, stipulating for an offensive and defensive had succeeded in establishing an alliance with alliance, leaves us the chance of annexing Belgium Russia, that might lead to the co-operation of at the right moment, Prussia engaging to assist us, France being refused. The whole matter, for if necessary, by force of arms, in carrying out this the time at least, thus dropped, and secret negopurpose."

tiations were suspended for several months. These instructions of August 16 were answered These documents entirely disposed of M. Beneby Count Benedetti in a letter dated Berlin, detti's case, which was that the suggestion for the August 23, and commenting upon it, in replying annexation of Belgium came solely from Count to his book, published in 1871, Prince Bismarck von Bismarck, at whose dictation the draught drily observed that “this letter, which is en- treaty had been written; and that the treaty was tirely in his own hand, like so many other inter- at once rejected by the French government, which esting documents of the same kind, is at this would have nothing to do with the annexation of moment in the possession of the German Foreign Belgium. In short, Count Benedetti's story was Office." In the letter Count Benedetti told his shown by the documents of his own government correspondent that he had received his communi- to be entirely untrue. cation, and would conform as closely as possible In so far as regards France, there is the clearest

VOL. II.

20

evidence of her determined design upon Belgium, July M. Benedetti wrote again, that he should be and the French government had actually conde- telling the French Foreign minister nothing new scended to calculate what it might be necessary to in saying that Count von Bismarck “is of opinion provide as a sop to appease England. It is more that we ought to seek compensation in Belgium, difficult to say what was the true history of the and has offered to come to an understanding with part played by Count von Bismarck and Prussia France on this head.” All these letters, written in the matter. A part of M. Benedetti's book is from time to time by M. Benedetti, in the ordiproved to have been utterly false, but other parts nary course of his business, for the exclusive and the Prussian minister by no means explained. All private information of his own government, were that is really proved by the emperor's instructions published in his book, and their accuracy was of August 16 to Count Benedetti is, that the French certainly not impugned by anything Prince Bisgovernment was plotting to seize Belgium, while marck afterwards published. he-anxious to put his government forth as a Putting all the accounts together, therefore, we paragon of virtueendeavoured to make the world think it is not very difficult to guess what really believe that France would not have Belgium, even happened. Prince Bismarck was, in June and if offered. Prince Bismarck's revelations would have July, 1866, very much afraid of France helping us infer that the proposal to lay hands on Belgium Austria, and thought it expedient to agree that originated with her, but this by no means follows. the former should have some makeweight to counLouis Napoleon had manifested considerable un- terpoise the increased power of Prussia. As he easiness at the growing power of Prussia, and could did not wish to give up German soil, he suggested not but see that it was quite possible for him to pre- that France should take Belgium. France did not vent the easy subjugation of Austria in the war of at all approve of this. She did not wish to get 1866. He thought it reasonable, therefore, to inquire into a great international quarrel, and held that, of Count von Bismarck, what compensation he might as it was Prussia that was winning, she it was expect in return for allowing Prussia unmolested that ought to pay.

that ought to pay. France demanded Mayence to absorb German territory on all hands. The and the left bank of the Rhine. . Count von Bisidea of French interference evidently caused great marck rejoined that, rather than agree, he would uneasiness in Prussia; and on the 6th of June prefer war. France backed out of the deinand, (more than two months prior to the letter of in- but immediately caught at his suggestion for the structions above quoted) M. Benedetti wrote to annexation of Belgium, with, however, a demand his government that Count von Bismarck had for Luxemburg and a slice of Germany. Count told him that the compensation France might von Bismarck would consent to no infraction of require in consideration of any future territorial German territory, but was quite open to discuss aggrandizement of Prussia must be sought in a what compensation he was to receive for LuxemFrench-speaking district. This, it appears to us, burg and Belgium. During all this time that he was the first intimation of the secret treaty busi- was keeping France and M. Benedetti in play,

Count von Bismarck wished to disarm the he was arranging a Russian alliance; and no hostility of Napoleon III., and in order to this he sooner had that point been gained than he threw chose to keep dangling before him the prospect of M. Benedetti and his draught treaty to the winds, an accession of territory to France at no risk or and vowed that he could never have the heart to cost to himself. By this device he was completely do anything distasteful to England. taken in, and confirmed in his intention of main- Under the title of “A Ministry of War for taining an absolute neutrality between Prussia and Twenty-four Days,” Count de Palikao endeavoured Austria. On the 16th of July M. Benedetti wrote to shuffle all the responsibility of the march to that Count von Bismarck had pressed on him the Sedan off his shoulders, and to justify the other advantages of an alliance between the two coun- acts of his administration. He admitted having tries. On his objection that to take the compensa- been the author of the plan which proved so distion offered would involve a breach of international astrous to MacMahon, but endeavoured to show treaties, Bismarck replied that if France and Prussia that it was founded upon military considerations were united they need not fear armed resistance suggested by a former well-known campaign of either from Russia or England. On the 26th of Dumouriez in the Argonne. Dumouriez marched

ness.

as

from Sedan southwards and won the decisive battle great powers, the main object of which was, if of Valmy; therefore Count de Palikao thought if possible, to draw them into alliances with France, MacMahon marched northward towards Sedan he so as to continue the war and expel the Germans too would win a great battle over the sons of those from French territory. Where, however, the who were defeated at Valmy. “When I con- Emperor Napoleon in the fulness of his power, ceived the march of the army of Châlons on Metz, and his cousin Prince Napoleon, had, after a first in order to operate its junction with that of Marshal disaster, been unsuccessful, there could be little Bazaine,” says the War minister of twenty-four chance for the representative of a country without days, “ I understood that Dumouriez's plan could an army and without a government. Besides, be executed in an inverse sense, that is to say, by these projects of coalition “ against the common a rapid march from the valley of the Marne to the enemy” were little likely to be favourably entervalley of the Meuse.” In Chapter X. of this work tained by cabinets accustomed to look upon France we have expressed our opinion that the sending of " the common enemy.” In case of the failure MacMahon northwards in the attempt to relieve of these projects M. Thiers was to induce the variBazaine was one of the most striking examples ous powers to remonstrate strongly with Germany in all history in which military were sacrificed to upon the exorbitancy of her demands. But to political considerations; and notwithstanding Count extort from Germany better terms than she deemed Palikao's explanations, to that opinion we still equitable was a task which would have required adhere.

the combined efforts of Europe—a task, withal, in From M. J. Valfrey's “ History of French which it was doubtful whether Russia would, or Diplomacy since the 6th September," and the Austria could, co-operate. It would be hard to official documents published by M. Jules Favre, say what England alone, or even England with we obtain a clear insight into the extraordinary Italy, could have done for France after Sedan; part played by M. Gambetta in the misfortunes of and M. Thiers should have considered how little France, and some very interesting details respecting influenced France herself would have been by the the mission of M. Thiers to this and other countries mere remonstrances of Europe, had the Prussian in September, 1871. The mission intrusted to M. armies been overpowered in two pitched battles,

, Thiers was the opening of a series of illusions Mayence and Coblenz besieged, and the French destined to be dispelled by a terribly painful ex- van-guard in sight of Berlin. perience; and the manæuvres of M. Gambetta to In spite of his quick intelligence, M. Thiers paralyze the small results of the mission inaugurated did not at once perceive how difficult it would be what may be called the “era of patriotic false- to turn the opinion of Europe in favour of France, hoods."

It was an understood thing that, with or instead of listening to his fears, he obeyed only M. Gambetta, “country” was synonymous with the promptings of his devotion to his country. He

republic;" if no republic there was no country; went to London, and there proved in lengthy to save the country, therefore, it was necessary to conversations, to his own satisfaction at least, save the republic. But if the republic signed a how necessary France was to the equilibrium of disastrous peace it was lost. This was the reason Europe and to the happiness of mankind. He why, after the 4th of September, M. Gambetta was was listened to, as he always had been, with deferever found impeding all attempts at a peace, or ence, with sympathy, and even with pleasure ; but even an armistice. Before leaving Paris by balloon Lord Granville answered that England “did not he was hostile to the pacific projects of M. Jules mean to go to war; that by interfering in behalf Favre, and he found a powerful auxiliary in the of the neutral powers she might run a risk of famous “ plan ” of General Trochu; at the end of offending Prussia, who would not put up with her October he resisted in his despatches the attempts intervention; and that such an intervention might at an armistice made by M. Thiers; in February, do more harm than good.” He added, that Eng. at Bordeaux, he voted against peace. His conduct land had already paid the penalty sure to fall on was consistent, and from his own point of view all neutrality; that she had given offence to both irreproachable.

belligerents, and the Germans complained of her M. Thiers had been charged by the government too great partiality to France. M. Thiers insisted of the 4th September with a mission to all the that the course England had followed, and was bent on following, would cause her to fall from it impossible. He put the government of Paris on her rank among nations, and that her inaction, its guard against the very objectionable views of under present circumstances, amounted to conniv- the negotiator; the country was not so exhausted ance with Prussia, as it would necessarily turn to as he thought, men abounded, the staff of officers her advantage.

was being reformed. There existed in reality an The English minister had, however, made up his army of the Loire of 110,000 men, well armed and mind not to compromise his country on any account. equipped. The general who commanded them Her Majesty's government were fully aware of the was not a great captain, but he was fully comfutility of offering mediation between two belliger- petent for his task.

petent for his task. Another army was forming ents who could not agree upon a basis of negotia- in the east; the west was getting ready; the north tion. They had brought the two plenipotentiaries would stand firm; the franc-tireurs were the terror face to face at Ferrières, and there left them to do of the enemy; with Keratry and Garibaldi to comthe best they could together.

mand them they formed important resources.

In M. Thiers next went to Vienna, charmed Count a word, the military position was excellent, and as Beust, thought that he had won him over, and Paris would hold out long enough for all these went on to St. Petersburg. There all was cordi- forces to come into action, the state of affairs, from ality and goodwill; the Emperor Alexander was being critical, would become favourable; the flight understood to renew his promise that the French of time, the rigours of winter, were so many auxilterritory should be spared; this was much. Re- iaries which might be counted on. turning to Vienna, M. Thiers was received with This picture was drawn with the view of rengood words, but it was necessary to make sure dering the government remaining in Paris more of Italy. King Victor Emmanuel was frankness exacting with regard to the conditions and even itself; he acceded to everything asked by him, the acceptance of the armistice. To give addiprovided that his cabinet consented, but the cab- tional effect to the picture, M. Gambetta furnished inet did not consent. These great armies, this a highly coloured description of the state of people's general rising announced by M. Gambetta, were minds in France. According to him elections they indeed real? M. Thiers, speaking officially, were demanded only by a minority in the country. had no doubt about them, but when he spoke in All the towns were “passionately republican and his own name he was full of anxieties. His sad warlike;" even the provinces began to show their pilgrimage over, he returned to the government of teeth. The Legitimists and the Orleanists alone, the Delegation, bringing with him, besides the enemies to the supremacy of the capital, demanded fair words which he everywhere received, a tele- new elections. There were no disturbances in the gram from the Emperor Alexander to the king of large towns. Lyons and Marseilles recognized the Prussia, the object of which was to arrange for authority of the central government; leagues had the entrance of M. Thiers into Paris, and to facili- been formed, but a little firmness and plain dealing tate overtures for an armistice. If the Delegation sufficed to disperse them. Besides the republican approved, the telegram would be sent. At Tours

At Tours party, “with the exception of two or three ultrathe proposal was met by a similar proposal from moderate individuals, are unanimous in considerthe British cabinet. The combination decided ing the elections as a perilous diversion from the their acceptance; for fear of showing unreason- necessities of the war.' If an armistice was to be able stubbornness, M. Gambetta yielded. While concluded, it must serve to reinforce the defence apparently joining in the opinion of his colleagues, and not to weaken it. There must, therefore, be however, he drew up privately for the government laid down as absolute conditions the revictualling of Defence a long despatch, intended to precede of besieged places. M. Thiers and to destroy beforehand the effect of “Far from weakening the spirit of resistance," his speeches and his advice. This despatch may says he, "we ought to excite it still more; we ought be said to throw a full light upon the character only to accept the truce proposed to us if it is advanof M. Gambetta, as well as upon this episode of a tageous from a military point of view, and only to very dark story. Overpowered by the authority make use of it from a political point of view if we of M. Thiers, M. Gambetta gave his vote for peace, are resolved to hold really republican elections." but by underhand means he endeavoured to make | The eloquence of Gambetta had the most disastrous

influence upon those who read his fatal despatch; reckoning” of us for allowing the export of arms; it persuaded them that the armies from the outside forgetful that Prussia supplied Russia with them were hastening towards them, that the enemy was in the Crimean war, and that her jurists maintained about to raise the siege, was imploring quarter, that it was then both legal and expedient. and must be made to pay for it. The armistice, There is, however, one field where the muchas we know, was rejected, because the Germans maligned neutral is allowed fair play—the hospital would not consent to the re-victualling of Paris, and the ambulance. Here, at least, the United and ultimately France had to pay three milliards Kingdom showed that its neutrality was owing to more than would probably then have satisfied her no indifference, and that it is possible for outsiders enemy, and to lose, besides Strassburg and Metz, to feel that there is a certain amount of truth and the whole of Alsace and a portion of Lorraine. right on both sides, which the eager combatants

A singular feature of the war publications was overlook in the heat of the fearful strifethe complaisance with which all the French genaises. General Faidherbe

“Where furious Frank and fiery Hun erals sang their own p: uises.

Charge 'neath their sulph'rous canopy." was always victorious, and General Chanzy would have ultimately triumphed had the war continued. In these days of close intercourse and free trade In our account of the operations in the north of among nations, England must suffer by all the France we have already alluded to M. Faidherbe's misfortunes of its neighbours; a truth which, it work,“Campagne de l'Armée du Nord en 1870–71,” may be hoped, will in time bring about a more and see no reason to modify the opinions then charitable spirit towards us. Commerce is a senexpressed. The object of successful war is not to sitive plant, which shrivels up immediately under fight battles, or win them, for their own sakes, any cold chill, and our commerce, as the greatest but as means to certain desired ends; and the in the world, is the most quickly affected. Yet whole question of a general's alleged victories the British contributions on behalf of the sufferers turns on the degree in which he approached to by the war exceeded those for any former object, or attained his object. Now, if Faidherbe in and were larger by far than for our own Patriotic December wished merely to fight a defensive Fund, in the Crimean distress, in the same time. action and then move off, or in January to fight Such aid by neutral nations is regarded by some a defensive action and then move off, he certainly as an indirect subsidy for the carrying on of war; succeeded. But if the battle of Pont-à-Noyelles but a little reflection as to the circumstances of came out of an attempt to recover Amiens, as is the recent contest will show that such was not the generally supposed, or that of Bapaume of the case in 1870–71.

Under ordinary circumstances desire to save Péronne, as Faidherbe himself tells it is an admitted fact that any provision which a us, then it is certain that he failed on each occasion, government can maintain for the service of the and can claim no success merely because he was

sick and wounded in time of peace, is invariably not re-attacked or pursued.

inadequate to meet the enormously increased demands which instantly spring up at the com

mencement of war. While the French arrangeWe have more than once, in the course of this ments in this respect were found on almost every history, alluded to the difficult part which Eng- occasion to be very greatly defective, the abundant land, as a neutral nation, had to play during the provision made by Germany often seemed equally

We were regarded by the belligerents as shortcoming. For the reason of this we have not cold blooded and lukewarm, for not taking an far to seek. The campaign was one of unpreceactive share in a contest which stirred up the dented mutilation and slaughter; but in addition fiercest passions of both countries, and which each to this, and as a natural result of the extraordinary worked itself up to consider could only be right- success of the Germans, a battle invariably threw fully regarded from its own point of view. Many upon their hands the sick and wounded of both Frenchmen felt more disposed to forgive Germany sides; and the enormous strain under which they the invasion of their country than to forgive Eng- laboured may be gathered from the fact that the land for "permitting" it; while on the other hand, three first battles, Wissembourg, Woerth, and Formany German newspapers demanded a “ bloody | bach, left with them no less than 20,000 wounded.

ENGLISH BENEVOLENT OPERATIONS DURING THE WAR.

war.

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