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implies a reduction of French territory equal in | arrangements for an armistice of twenty-four or area to the increase through Savoy and Nice, twenty-eight days were agreed to. The main diffiwhile the population of these provinces obtained culty arose out of the revictualling of Paris, to which from Italy is about 750,000 larger. When it is the Prussian chancellor ultimately consented, on considered that France, according to the census of condition that, as a “military equivalent,” the Ger1866, numbers 38,000,000 of inhabitants without mans should have at least one of the Paris forts. Algiers, and with Algiers now furnishing an The veteran French statesman had not expected essential part of the French war forces, 42,000,000, this, and with considerable warmth he replied: “It it is palpable that a decrease therein of 750,000 is Paris that you ask from us; for to deny us the effects no change in the importance of France as revictualling during the armistice is to take from against foreign countries."
us one month of our resistance; to require from M. de Chandordy represented to Lord Lyons us one or several of our forts is to ask for our that, to these claims of Prussia, France could never ramparts. It is, in fact, to demand Paris, while submit. He added, that “he felt he was entitled we should give you the means of starving or to appeal to the rest of Europe for support. The bombarding her. In treating with us for an time for good offices had passed. The powers armistice you could never suppose its condition should now speak to Prussia in a tone which could to be that we should give up Paris herself to you not be mistaken, and take measures to insure their -Paris, our chief strength, our great hope, and being listened to.” Lord Granville, however, re- for you the great difficulty, which, after fifty days plied that England was not prepared to support of siege, you have not been able to overcome.” M. by force any representations they might make to Thiers then left to consult with M. Favre, who, Prussia; and further instructed Lord Lyons, should in turn, took counsel with his colleagues of the opportunity arise, to point out that her Majesty's government in the city. The result was, that on government thought the rigid determination ex- the following day, November 6, M. Thiers received pressed by M. Favre, not to yield an inch of instructions to break off the negotiations, and at territory nor one stone of a fortress, was a great once left the German headquarters. For a third
time, therefore, the hopes of peace were frustrated, But though the English government could not and both parties girded themselves for a war à yield to the appeals of France, they took advantage outrance. of a circular of Count von Bismarck's respecting Considered in the light of subsequent events, the danger of famine with which Paris was threat the French committed a grave diplomatic blunder ened, to make a formal suggestion that both bel- in refusing the terms offered by the Germans, and ligerents should agree upon an armistice for the allowing the negotiations to be broken off on the convocation of a French constituent assembly, question of revictualling Paris. The king of Prussia which might decide the question of peace or war.
and his advisers consented to the armistice under This proposal Lord Granville pressed with great the mistaken idea that there was no prospect of an energy, and informed Count Bernstorff that M. efficient force being formed in any quarter for the Thiers, backed by the personal intervention of the relief of the capital. The French had up to that emperor of Russia, had proposed to undertake time been everywhere beaten, and were therefore the negotiation. Russia, Austria, Italy, and Spain supposed to be incapable of again showing any joined in urging the armistice; Italy, indeed, head in the field. On the contrary, the several appeared to desire even more decided intervention. armies forming in the provinces only needed time M. Tissot again pressed Lord Granville to call on to render them, both in number and organization, Prussia to state her terms of peace, “bring them extremely formidable to the Germans. With regard within fair limits, and then communicate them especially to the army of the Loire, twenty-eight to the French government.” All the principal days would have enabled D'Aurelles to complete powers, however, were agreed in restricting the pro- his cavalry and artillery, to establish discipline, posed negotiations to the question of an armistice. and to concentrate his army in a state of readiness
In virtue of these proceedings, M. Thiers had for an immediate advance. The Breton levies would his first interview with Count von Bismarck, at have been prepared to operate from the west in Versailles, on November 1, when the general force, and aid in a simultaneous march to the capital.
obstacle to peace.
In order to keep the truce, Prince Frederick Charles, last monopolist.” The prefect of the Ain declared who was now on the
way from Metz, would have that, “ whether the traitors are Prussians, or still been arrested at full twelve days' march from dare to call themselves Frenchmen, the bullet and Orleans, so that whatever French forces could have the axe shall render equal justice to both.” been collected within one hundred miles of Paris Lord Granville's despatch, urging the arrangeduring the armistice would have been free from ment of an armistice, was, in the first instance, met immediate danger of the overwhelming German on the part of Count von Bismarck by the intimareinforcements which presently proved their ruin. tion that any overtures for negotiations must be We cannot see how the revictualling of Paris would made by France; and that the benevolent offices have affected matters at all. The inhabitants would of England were regarded with no less coldness not have been any worse off at the end of the by Germany may be gathered from the following armistice, supposing they had obtained no new remarks of the Cologne Gazette:-“ The Gladsupplies, since there was at any rate plenty of food stone-Bright ministry, and especially the Foreign to last them for that time. If, therefore, the Ger- Secretary, Lord Granville, unfortunately did not man armies would have been compelled to raise do its utmost to prevent the outbreak of this great the siege in December at all, after an armistice, war. Indeed, one may say not its least—viz., the they would have been forced to abandon it whether public declaration that France had no right to Paris were revictualled or not.
commence this wanton war. This sin of omission The news of the failure of the negotiations is now, alas, too late admitted even by the English. produced a momentary feeling of regret and disap- We carry on this war in a certain degree for Engpointment in most parts of France. On November land, for had imperial France conquered in it, 10, however, there occurred the first German Napoleon would certainly have seized on Belgium, reverse of any magnitude during the war, re- which he coveted more than the left bank of the sulting in the defeat of Von der Tann and Rhine. It would then have been seen how Eng. the retreat of the Bavarians from Orleans. This land defended Belgium, after formally assuming raised the hopes of the nation, gave a new light the protection of it; and Napoleon III. would certo the failure of M. Thiers' mission, and England tainly have gained what was his ultimate object in and the neutral powers generally were bitterly his powerful naval armaments—the humiliation of denounced for having suggested a temporary ces- England, the revenge for Waterloo of which the sation of hostilities. Many of the journals and French are always thinking. We willingly do jusprefects, especially of southern France, repudiated tice to the considerations on which England now with scorn the idea of peace, or even of an armis- seeks to arrest the destruction of Paris. It is only tice, until satisfaction had been obtained from a pity that England's prestige suffered so grievously Prussia for the injuries she had inflicted upon their through its cowardly attitude at the commencecountry. Thus the Progrès of Lyons said that the ment of the affair. Per se, we should regret as idea of an armistice could only enter into the skull much as anybody the destruction of a city inhabited of a Prussian, and could only have been proposed by more than a million of women and children, by an Englishman. “It is only when the Prussian and in which so many treasures of art and science, hordes are hunting for their food like wolves in which can never be made good, are collected. our provinces that our felon ally (England) dares The entry into Paris, however, is a necessity for to dash her bucket of water upon the brasier of the German army, and an event which cannot now our patriotism. Now that the French nation is be averted, especially after the fall of Metz. May upon the point of turning the victories of our the Parisians therefore come to their senses, and enemies into unprecedented disaster, the quaking by the acceptance of reasonable conditions of an thrones of this supreme resurrection are trembling armistice and peace, release us from that lamentable upon their bases, and seek, by means of an armis- necessity !" tice, to smother the threatening flame." The The feeling throughout Germany during October prefect of the Haute Garonne was equally opposed was one of extreme disappointment at the prolonto a cessation of hostilities, and stated in a procla- gation of the war, which every one expected would mation that “ we will establish the republic upon have ended soon after Sedan. But it would have the corpse of the last Prussian and the body of the been erroneous to mistake this wish of a speedy
cessation of hostilities for a disinclination to con- territorial advantages commended by the generals, tinue it, should that appear imperative. Notwith- whose experience and judgment we have every standing that the military system of the country reason to confide in? Is not every peace with the made war sensibly felt, yet such was the general French merely an armistice while they do not confidence in the military and political leaders that,
their old ambition; and should we not be as these held the objects of the campaign were not actually encouraging them to attack us again were yet attained, the people were willing to support we to permit them to repeat the thing under the them to the end. If the generals had not declared same favourable conditions as formerly?" the recovery of Alsace and Lorraine to be necessary An extract from the Bremen Weser Zeitung is for the protection of the German frontiers, the vast subjoined as illustrative of this state of popular majority in the country would have been in favour feeling :" It is remarkable what an important of concluding peace at once, and on the terms influence a single trait in the national character of proposed by M. Favre; but as the German generals the French exercises upon the destinies of Europe. were, and indeed had been for the last hundred The constitutional vanity of the French, their years, of the opposite opinion, the nation was inability to realize and recognize unpleasant facts, determined to profit by the opportunity, and becomes as terrible a scourge to themselves as to acquire the territory which was to enable them the nations around them. Vanity has stirred them to ward off future invasions with a greater chance up to a frivolous war, vanity prevents the restoraof success than hitherto. Count von Bismarck tion of peace. Very characteristic in this respect was but too accurate an interpreter of the thoughts is that passage in M. Favre's last circular, in which of his countrymen when, in his negotiations with M. he depicts the ravishing aspect France will wear Thiers, he spoke of the probability of future colli- when perishing amid the flaring halo of glory and sions with France, and of the duty the Germans
The consciousness of playing an imposowed to themselves to prepare for coming attacks ing rôle before the world to a certain extent conof the fiery Gaul. The French were now reaping soles him for the ruin of his country. But is ruin the fruits of the treatment they had accorded Ger- likely to follow the acceptance of the German many for centuries both in word and deed. The terms? Will not the French remain a powerful, people were but too keenly aware how frequently gallant, rich, and highly-gifted nation even after they had been invaded in the past, and could not the forfeiture of their German provinces? And, help remembering with what intense hostility they instead of revelling in the prospect of fine tragical had been spoken of by nearly every political celeb- catastrophes, had they not better look realities in rity in France up to the very outbreak of the war. the face, consider the common-sense question how It was the knowledge of the inveteracy of this to get out of a bad job, and extricate themselves at feeling on the other side of the frontier, coupled as cheap a price as possible? All the statesmen of with the observation that the French even now Europe have had to do this occasionally, and hisdeemed themselves invincible, which led popular tory mentions even some French ministers who feeling in Germany to look forward to another war capitulated when there was nothing left but to in the wake of the one in which they were then capitulate. But it is quite true, while other nations engaged. Had the French admitted that they praise those of their statesmen who in the hour of were beaten, and that they had better give up defeat averted greater evils by timely concessions, battling with Germany for the mere sake of pres- the French have always called Talleyrand a traitor tige, they would perhaps not have been suspected for procuring them the best terms possible after the of a design to resume the fray as soon as they discomfiture of 1815. Though Talleyrand saved could after the conclusion of peace. But with M. all he could for them, the French, in their unconGambetta declaring the final victory of France a trollable conceit, only look to what he was commatter of course, and indispensable to civilization pelled to sign away, and therefore insist upon to boot, the Germans asked — "What can we regarding him as a rascal. They have no Talleyexpect but to see them come down upon us when- rand now, no man sufficiently courageous to bend ever the opportunity occurs? And the contin-to the inevitable. Sheer compulsion alone can gency being so very probable a one, ought we not terminate the war. We know it, and are prepared to guard against it by securing those military and for it.”
About the same time the Prussian government "Only after the Parisians, and with them the issued an important manifesto in the semi-official entire population of France, have been humbled to Provincial Correspondenz. Considerable impatience the dust; only when the military strength of their was exhibited in Germany at the delay in the siege country has been entirely broken, and the hope of operations before Paris. After ascribing this delay creating fresh armies is everywhere annihilatedto purely military reasons, the article went on to will they become conscious of the magnitude of speak generally of the prospects of the war in these their defeat, and perhaps perceive and remember
that to invade a neighbour may be attended with “ Natural as it is to wish for a prompt termina- unpleasant consequences to themselves." tion of the war, we are perhaps not wrong in seeing That at this period (October) the Germans were the finger of Providence in the retribution which sanguine of a speedy conclusion of peace, is shown the French are thus bringing in full measure upon by the fact that the pen with which Count von Bisthemselves. It seems to be decreed that they are marck was to sign the treaty was already prepared. to empty the cup of bitterness to the dregs, and, Herr Bissinger, jeweller, of Pforzheim, manufacby having their insolence thoroughly chastised, be tured out of massive gold an imitation of an ordiweaned from their bellicose propensities and con- nary stout goosequill. The quill itself was polished, verted into better neighbours for the future. in order that it might be more conveniently handled,
“ All of us would have been delighted had the but the feather closely resembled a real quill, every last shot in this sanguinary contest been fired on fibre being represented, while the back of the feather the heights of Sedan. Yet there is no denying that was thickly studded with brilliants, and below them had peace been concluded then and there, the idea a count's coronet and Bismarck's monogram were of holding universal supremacy, so firmly rooted in engraved. Besides the engraver and maker, two the French mind, would have regained irresistible goldsmiths were engaged on it for five weeks. ascendancy the moment we left the country. Even The gold used was of eighteen carats, and that now the majority of the French deem themselves part in which the brilliants were set was of twentyunconquerable, and, indeed, unconquered. They one carats. have heard of nothing but of victories, with, per- In acknowledging its receipt Count von Bismarck haps, a few insignificant reverses now and then. wrote: “Your beautiful and very artistic present They have accustomed themselves to pooh-pooh has been delivered to me by Herr Jolly. I feel the fancy that their armies have been subdued, and some difficulty in knowing how to express my tell
you, with the most implicit confidence, that if thanks for it. At a time when the sword of the he liked Bazaine might easily get out of Metz and German nation has performed such illustrious feats, crush the forces besieging it. They smile at the you render the pen almost too much honour in thought of Paris ever falling into our hands when making it so costly. I can only hope that the use it is defended by hundreds of thousands of mobiles, to which you have destined the pen in the service and attacked only by German soldiers. Last, not of our country may conduce to its permanent welleast, they will swear that Europe will come to the fare in a fortunate peace, and I can promise you rescue of their holy city, and save what they are that, with God's help, it shall in my hand subscribe pleased to call the metropolis of the world. With nothing unworthy of German feeling and of the these hallucinations the French are consoling them- German sword.” selves in the present disastrous period of their his- Serious as were the consequences of the war for tory. Were peace to be re-established before they Germany, under a military system by which almost have been cured of their self-sufficiency, they would all the able-bodied male population were liable to doubtless flatter themselves that they have not been be called away from their occupations, its effects vanquished at all—that the war might have been upon the French were far more serious. A policy continued, and that if it has not been, its premature of prolonged though apparently hopeless resistance conclusion is mainly owing to the pusillanimity and might, indeed, in the end have caused extreme treachery of those in power. With these intoxi- perplexity to the Germans; but, on the other hand, cating illusions filling their brains, so arrogant a it seemed as if the king of Prussia was not far people as the French would not wait long before wrong in his assertion that the social system of they attempted to win back what they had lost. France was falling to pieces under the enormous pressure of disorderly war. It is not too much to Rouen, which, with its surrounding villages, barely say
that no words could be too strong to describe maintained itself against the competition of Manthe critical condition of the French cities and chester in the best of times, with the assistance of great towns, seeing that all the familiar phenomena duties still largely protective. Certain political (save one) of the first French revolution were economists, distinguished for peculiar tenderness to showing themselves at Rouen, Lyons, Dijon, and all the heresies of the working class, have argued Marseilles. The clubs, the mobs, the municipali- that the share of profit which workmen associated ties claiming to be supreme over every other in trade unions may wring from their employers, authority, the wholesale imprisonment of priests is greater than an older generation of economical and so-called reactionists, the rumours of con- teachers had supposed. But the new doctrine is at spiracy, and specially of conspiracy in the prisons, best only intended for times of prosperity, and we the popularity of newspapers of the class of the have yet to learn how an arbitrary rate of wages Père Duchesne, seemed a prelude to another reign can be long exacted from a manufacturer deprived of terror. One thing only was wanting. There of customers. The moment at which calamitous was an almost complete absence of clamour for war and socialist convictions are found in presence civil blood, and when all the rest was so like, it of one another in any country, may well be regarded was natural to wonder at the difference. Had the with terror. humanitarian spirit which when nations are at Deplorable as was the case of both France and peace shows itself in effeminate reluctance to inflict Germany in an agricultural point of view, it would painful punishment, but which when they are at have been incalculably worse if the women had war fails to save them one drop of blood, at least not been trained to do much of the farm work achieved this? Were French mobs less murderous which in England devolves on men alone. Every because they had grown to be more humane? or tourist in Rhineland and the south of France has was it that attacks on life had been exchanged for noticed, and deplored, the extent to which female attacks on property? In Lyons the manufactories labour is there employed—not only for the lighter were still at work, and the workmen were receiving tasks of weeding and hoeing, as with us, but for the highest wages required by the rules of the ploughing, reaping, and all the more important International Union. But the manufacture was branches of husbandry. It was now seen that such only continued through fear of the consequences a condition of things renders the country far better of stopping it; and it appeared as if general bank- able to sustain the requirements of war than otherruptcy must sooner or later show what strain wise it could be. With us the sudden demand on socialist theories were capable of bearing. Lyons so large a proportion of our male population would doubtless spun and wove silk for the whole world, almost suspend all agricultural operations; for and thus, in spite of the impoverishment of all steam, although it reduces the number of hands foreign customers indirectly caused by the war, employed, throws the work more than ever upon may
have been better able than other manufactur- | the men. We notice these facts from no desire to ing towns to bear up against the loss of the home see the women of Great Britain converted into market, so long as its commcdities found access to farm drudges; but merely to show that soil, sea. But some of the cities most seriously threatened climate, and social habits abroad have combined by revolutionary fury were wholly engaged in with custom to render southern countries less manufacturing goods to be consumed within France dependent upon male labour than can be the case itself. In this condition was the great city of with us.