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in Austria, after citing a variety of damaging illustrations, adds, that even the purer reign of Joseph II. is not exempt from it. When in 1787 an insurrection broke out in Belgium, this Emperor exclaimed, that it was necessary to quench the flames of the rebellion in blood.' Finding afterwards that the resistance was more obstinate than he had anticipated, he apparently grew milder, suppressed his resentment, dissembled, demanded conferences with the insurgents, and promised amnesties and oblivion; but no sooner had the storm blown over, than he recalled his pardon, violated all his engagements, and commenced the system of persecution."* This was the unkinder cut from him who had been teaching them liberalism, and indoctrinating them with reform. He might on that account have upbraided himself in the language of Shakspeare's philosophic and experimentalising Duke, to whom, in certain salient points of political character, Joseph has a markworthy resemblance–

'Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,

"Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them,
For what I bid them do.†

His Flemish reforms, as Lord Brougham says, and then his attempts upon the liberties of the Flemings, ended in exciting an open rebellion, which convulsed the Netherlands at the time of his death.

It is generally entertaining, we think, and sometimes instructive, to trace a fragmentary series of incidental contemporary allusions to some remarkable career, in the familiar correspondence, or journals, of an observer of sense and "position in society," for instance, in the voluminous letters of Horace Walpole. It is like looking over a file of the Times, for leading-article comments on the shifting aspects, from day to day, and from year to year, of some political question. We get the impressions in vogue at the time-with abundance, maybe, of inconsistencies, and misapprehensions, and even misrepresentations, not to mention the approved modicum of malice; but we have the subject handled, at any rate, as one of then instant interest and import, with the charm of an unaccomplished sequel, an undefined course yet to run. Let us turn to some of the Walpole letters, then, for current testimony of this sort, such as it is, by a man of wit noting down the impressions of the hour, and the gossip of the gazettes, as regards Kaiser Joseph the Second. About the earliest allusion occurs in 1766, while Walpole was in Paris, where rumours obtain, he says, "of a coolness, even of quarrels, between this Court and the new Emperor. . . It would not surprise me: France, as England has done, will find that the Court of Vienna obeys no law, observes no tie, but that of pride. . . . . If this young German Cæsar begins already, I know where he will end-at impatience to reign over his mother's estates." This is not an auspicious commencement of our Horatiana: the young German Cæsar is not in Walpole's good books, to begin with. Years pass on-half a dozen of them; and then we come across this ironical note of admiration: "Pious Maria Theresa! Humane Joseph, the father and idol of his people!"§ This was written in 1772, Edinburgh Review, vol. xl. p. 309. Measure for Measure, Act I. Sc. 4.


Walpole's Letters (Cunningham's edition), vol. iv. p. 476.
Ibid., vol. v. p. 414.


à propos of the Partition of Poland and cognate doings. Again years roll on, without Joseph being discussed or mentioned in the Strawberry Hill But in 1778 the Kaiser has his turn for another buffet. despatches. "I doubt that imperial philosopher, who scattered so many humane apophthegms last year at Paris, is a little too impatient to employ his Austrian talons" (there was talk of war between him and Prussia). "What a farce to visit hospitals, when one thinks of nothing but stockWhat buckets of blood it costs, before ing them with maimed carcases! a prince takes his place at the table of Fame, that might be earned so much better by benevolence!"* Benevolence, by-the-by, being the asserted characteristic of the imperial philosopher in question. Again (April 18, 1778): "I take the Emperor to be the most impatient to be a Cæsar, and his mother I suppose is very ready to employ him at a disIn June, Horace speculates as to Frederick of tance from home." Prussia's designs-whether he means to maintain his throne as warriorking of Europe, or cede it "to a young Cæsar. He seems to be aiming at a more artful crown-that of policy; and, in all probability, will attain it; at least, I am not much prejudiced yet in favour of his competitor." That was quite evident. Then again in August of the same year, after a little croaking over English degeneracy and mishaps in war: "Cæsar After usurping Bavaria, he seems to have made as bad a figure as we. is forced to beg peace too. They say he is convinced of having been in the wrong, by a renunciation that has been found of the Emperor Albert. It is the first time a hero at the head of two hundred and twenty thousand men was ever convinced by an old parchment! His Imperial reason did not deign to listen to law and equity in the dismemberment of Poland; nor would he now, I ween, if Lord Chief Justice Frederick had not enclosed him with more numerous armies."-In the same strain, in March, 1779: "Fame has shut her temple, too, in Germany: yet I think both the Emperor and King of Prussia have some claim on history; the latter by clipping Cæsar's soaring wings, and Cæsar by having kept so old and so able a professor at bay for a whole campaign. Still the professor has carried a great point by having linked his interests with those of the Empire. The gratitude of those princes might soon wear out; but it is their interest to maintain a great, though new, power, that can balance the House of Austria."†

Skipping onwards to August, 1781, we read: "Oh! but the Emperor? -why, he is running about and sowing sayings, that are to be cited by However, I am mistaken if he turns out anyDiderot and D'Alembert. thing but an ape of the King of Prussia." In September, we get a glimpse of Kaiser Joseph in a new character (but then it is through Strawberry Hill glasses-not unfrequently a discolouring and refracting medium): "I have heard of Lady Derby's imperial conquest; nor should I wonder if her mother was immediately to transport her own rays of That is beauty to Vienna, since there is a monarch that can take up with remnants of charms, that indeed never were very charming." gossip for Lady Ossory's delectation, and so is what follows: "I have met Miss Lloyd at Lady Di.'s. She is superlatively inflated with the odours

* Walpole's Letters (Cunningham's edition), vol. vii. p. 48.
† Ibid., pp. 53, 82, 104, 183.

'We sat

that flowed from the Emperor on her and Lady Clermont. round him, and he put us quite at our ease.' 'He would not have put me so,' said I; 'I have seen a good deal of princes in my day, and always found, that if they put themselves at their ease, they did not at all like that I should put myself so.' I demurred, too, to the great admiration: I remember when the Lady Clermonts of that time wept for the departure of the Duke of Lorraine, the late emperor, and yet he proved an oaf. This man announces too much: we shall see."

Whatever may have been Walpole's experience of royal familiarities, and the shrewdness of his interpretation of them, it cannot be doubted that Joseph II. was exceptionally benign and free in personal intercourse. The author of "Friends of Bohemia," having occasion in one of his satirical portrait-sketches to remark that in those days (as contrasted with the present) kings were kings by the grace of God, and society was kept down in stiff demarcations; whereas in these days Courts have to be circumspect, in the belief that familiarity breeds contempt; adds, in his peculiar way: "Joseph of Austria set a terrible example of bonhomie to continental sovereigns; and that free and easy style of royalty has destroyed the principle of monarchy in Germany." A republican sentiment, which also has a free-and-easy style of its own.

But to return to the Walpole letters. Before entering, however, on the next batch, a preliminary word or two may be offered, touching the feats of Kaiser Joseph as an ecclesiastical reformer, with which they are mainly concerned. Nine-tenths of the estates belonging, in former days, to the Church, were confiscated by him between 1784 and 1789; therǝ being this "vital distinction," as Alison calls it, "between the proceedings of this philosophic reformer and those of our Henry VIII.-he did not bestow the confiscated lands on rapacious courtiers or reforming barons, but, with a few trifling exceptions, they were all accumulated into a religious fund (religionscasse) in the different provinces, from which provision was thereafter to be made for the spiritual wants and education of the people." He also, in defiance of all the remonstrances of the Pope, ordered the prayers and litanies in the churches to be performed in German, though Latin was still allowed for mass. Moreover, he took measures to prevent Appeals to Rome, and to retain the power of Ordination and Deprivation within the country. But he proceeded, as Lord Brougham says, in so inconsiderate a manner as to raise universal alarm among all classes of the clergy, and even to make the Pope undertake a journey from Rome with the view of turning him aside from his projects, by showing their dangerous consequences. "A courteous reception was all the Sovereign Pontiff received; and after his return to Italy, the Emperor rashly abolished the Diocesan Seminaries, reserving only five or six for the whole of his vast dominions; new modelled the the dioceses, and altered the whole law of marriage, granting, for the first time in a Catholic country, the liberty of divorce."§ Courteous as the reception of his Holiness may be called, it does not seem, by a German historian's account, to have been very courteous as

* Walpole's Letters (Cunningham's edition), vol. viii. pp. 70, 75, 80.

† Political Portraits, by E. M. Whitty, p. 102.

History of Europe, vol. vi. ch. xl. § 24.

§ Historical Sketches, vol. ii. p. 218.

Menzel, vol. iii, ch. 238.

a Court of Rome understands courtesy. The road into Vienna was, indeed, lined by thousands as the Pope (it was Pius VI.) made his entry (1782). But Kaiser Joseph did not honour with his presence the mass celebrated by the Holy Father; nor did he allow any one to have access to his sacred visitor without special permission; and whenever Pius tried to get Joseph into conversation on business matters, the latter declared he understood nothing about them, must first consult his council, and begged that the affair might be conducted in writing. Old Kaunitz, too, instead of kissing the Pope's hand when graciously extended to him, grasped it with a prodigious show of cordiality, and shook it as if he really thought Pius VI. a capital fellow, and one of his best friends; and when the Pope came to visit him, on the pretext of seeing his picturegallery, the veteran Minister, to keep up the spirit of the thing, received. his Holiness in a light robe-de-chambre, and with as airy, jaunty a demeanour as he could put on. Four weeks was the baffled Saint Père at Vienna, and had to go home again, after all, re infecta. It must have been something in the style of Hamlet's valediction that, in his heart, he took leave of innovating, intrusive, aggressive Cæsar:

Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!*

Then again Joseph took to removing the images from the churches, to show that he could (it is a Protestant liberal's comment), in trifling as well as graver matters, pursue the course of premature innovation, and that he was ignorant of the great rule of practical wisdom in government, which forbids us to hurt strong and general feelings where no adequate purpose is to be served, how trifling or absurd soever the subject-matter may be to which those feelings relate. "The removal of images, however, was far from the most trifling of the details into which he thrust his improving hand. He wearied out the clergy as well as their flocks with innumerable regulations touching fasts, processions, ceremonies of the Church, everything, as has been well observed, with which the civil power has the least right to meddle, and, it might be added, everything the most beneath a Sovereign's regard: so that Frederic used not unhappily to speak of him as his brother the Sexton' (mon frère le Sacristain)." Lord Brougham's remark is just, that every one must know how such freaks of power, the growth of a little mind, torment and irritate their objects even more than they lower the reputation and weaken the authority of those who commit them.

And all this was done by Joseph en philosophe. He provoked the Pope and the populace, at different times and on various grounds, strictly on philosophical principles. We can't help thinking of what old Jarvis says of his young master, when reporting progress to the uncle, in Goldsmith's play: "Faith, begging your honour's pardon, I'm sorry they taught him any philosophy at all; it has only served to spoil him. This same philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey. For my own part, whenever I hear him mention the name on't, I'm always sure he's going to play the fool." Many an observer

* Hamlet, III. 4.

† Brougham, Statesmen of Time of George III., vol. ii.
The Good-natured Man, Act I. Sc. 1.

must have always felt sure of the self-same thing in Joseph's time, and in Joseph's own case,-whenever a strong infusion of philosophy tinctured the last new rescript from the throne.

Revenons à notre Strawberry Hill. "We hear with some surprise," Walpole writes to Mann, in January, 1782, "of the Emperor's very rapid suffocation of nunneries. Do not the monks regret their helpmates, and tremble for themselves? If Cæsar could tremble, I should ask if Cæsar had no apprehension for himself. Are all the Jesuits extinct that despatched poor Ganganelli? Is not the Vatican hung with sackcloth ?" Ganganelli, Walpole's pet Pontiff (Clement XIV.), was the immediate predecessor of Pius VI., whom Menzel calls the Jesuits' tool. Hence Walpole's significant queries.-Again, in a letter to Mason (Feb. 7, 1782): “If you love imperial logic, pray read the Emperor's rescript on the suppression of Popery; it is a model of reasoning that may be applied to the restoration of Popery here, for it shows that everything tient uniquement de la volonté libre et arbitraire des Princes de la terre-did you ever see so happy an union as that of libre and arbitraire?" In another, to Parson Cole (Feb. 14), after some allusions to their political differences and mutual toleration: "The Emperor seems to be of our party; but, if I like his notions, I do not admire his judgment, which is too precipitate to be judgment." And a following one (Feb. 22) explains the allusion: "The act of the Emperor to which I alluded, is the general destruction of convents in Flanders, and, I suppose, in his German dominions too. The Pope suppressed the carnival, as mourning, and proposes a journey to Vienna to implore mercy. This is a little different from the time when the pontiff's trampled on the necks of emperors, and called it trampling super aspidem et draconem." The same week Horace writes to Mann, at Florence: "You say that the Emperor had consented to receive the Pope, from whom he has taken at least a third of his tiara. We had heard that Cæsar added, that his Holiness's visit would be to no manner of purpose. Perhaps the Monarch would not dislike to return the super aspidem et basilicum calcabis-yet he may find an aspic under his feet. There is more than metaphoric poison still left in the vipers of the Church."*



Our next excerpt, from a letter to Cole, dated March 9, 1782, is extra note-worthy. "I do not know whether the Emperor will atone to for demolishing the cross, by attacking the crescent. The papers he has declared war with the Turks. He seems to me to be a mountebank who professes curing all diseases. As power is his only panacea, the remedy, methinks, is worse than the disease. . . . I do not approve of convents: but, if Cæsar wants to make soldiers of monks, I detest his reformation, and think that men had better not procreate than commit murder, but what avail abstracted speculations? Human passions wear the dresses of the times, and carry on the same views, though in different habits." We must pass on to February, 1783, to get another such hit at the Kaiser. A postscript to Lady Ossory, of that date, informs her of Walpole's having just seen in the Public Advertiser a passage in a etter from the Emperor to the Pope, which, says he, "informs me how little the delegates of Heaven have occasion to read. Cæsar tells St.

* Walpole's Letters, vol. viii. pp. 143, 151, 154, 161, 166.

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