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A coalition should be formed under the rose with the Prussians, the English, and all the kings falling or fallen ; Italy and Germany be put into collision with each other; and the German bishops alarmed in the affairs of the Pope. Finally, a new synod at once erected in opposition to Rome, whilst the Pope should be declared a decayed Jacobite—the destroyer of the spiritual and temporal power of the papacy, &c., &c.
PALMERSTON. I think you will not succeed. In the first place, because the Pope has too much popularity in Europe ; and these synods do not succeed. You have an example in Napoleon. Secondly, Germany and Italy have interests too analogous to come into collision with each other. Both desire a centralisation, both wish emancipation from their leaders. Both are exasperated with the tyranny they have suffered, from vain promises, from nominal constitutions.
METTERNICH. If I do not get an opening from this side, I shall look for it with more probability in another quarter. When the Italians shall find themselves in proper authority, when they shall imagine they have driven out the Austrians, for I believe that (new to European affairs) they are not far-sighted; what will they do ? the Unitarians, the Republicans, the Radicals, who are the strongest, and those who (with reason) desire a general union, or at least a certain centralisation of the various Italian governments, since, on the other hand, with disunion, independence and liberty do not predominate in the face of France and other great nations, what will they do? Certainly, in the general medley, it will be necessary to restore the temporal monarchy of the popes, it will be requisite to throw off the King of Piedmont, and to alienate from each other these two principal promoters and supporters of the common cause against foreigners. The Roman monarchy, allied with the King of Piedmont, will raise its head, because, having redeemed Italy, the Radicals owe him gratitude and obedience. The Radicals will then have the stage to themselves, and with their sacrifices, their unity, their Italian independence, and animosity unloosed against all the monarchs of the world, whatever their race, whether Legitimists or Ecclesiastics, anarchy they cannot avoid. If the Italian cause disconnects itself from the cause of Rome (which cannot remain united) then I triumph (salto); I declare myself immediately for the Pope, and for religion, and will create myself a strong party in Italy.
PALMERSTON. Others may do so, perhaps, but not you. You are now getting into the vale of years, and have no right to think of new disorders in this world. You are so nated by all people, that it is impossible for you to exercise any influence over them. Yet you still speak as a minister of Austria, and the first candidate of the councils of the Powers. You forget your present downfal.
METTERNICH. Whether I or others, it matters not. I say that the tendency of general events is this : Austria will soon fall upon Italy, which will then be torn to pieces between the two parties, who meddle only to éclater. I have never read in any history that a people can be overcome without a strong party being maintained amongst themselves. Our present intention should be to unite all monarchs great or small, constitutional or absolute, to vow discord in France, in Germany, in Italy, wherever the people are dominant, republics, or anarchy. I still maintain in Italy vast connexions—money-emissaries.
Louis PhilippE. But might not Pio IX. be one of the greatest legisNov.-VOL. XCIX. NO. cccxcv.
lators in the world ? might he not be able to give the last shake to the already decaying papacy, to create again or revive a great people ?
METTERNICH. No, no; he has entered a labyrinth. Besides, it appears to me, from many indications that I have perceived, that Pio Nono may yet be too tender of the temporal and pontifical prerogatives, which are so easily confounded with those of religion. That good theologian, Gioberti, has in politics launched great thunderbolts (stramberie) at the Primate of Italy. He makes me laugh. His works have, perhaps, undeceived the Pontiff and the King of Piedmont, who were the first to make concessions to the people in order to acquire popularity for themselves, or from ambitious aims. But the times are no longer those when men trusted in the infallibility and divinity of popes. Those times of the moral pontifical power will be renewed when the present opinions of men shall undergo a change, when theocracy returns, and the superstitious republicanism of the middle ages.
Louis PHILIPPE. And, therefore, do you believe that in her moral, political, and financial dissolution, that Austria can ever set foot in Italy again?
METTERNICH. With exclusive dominion, perhaps not. But if anarchy, the general dissolution, and a war in Poland should be excited, if Russia shall be constrained to ally herself with Austria, and with the kings supplanted by their people, then war, an European war, being the consequence, the German, Italian, and Polish people, &c., will never be able to acquire nationality or independence, because they will never be able to act of themselves alone. They will be dependent on French assistance, and will be subject (as the progressists say) to their influence. Enough, that Italy will not be left to itself, whether France or another may possess it, and that in this case Austria should have compensation elsewhere.
Guizot. Indeed, you are a false prophet. You foretold neither the insurrection of Paris nor of Vienna, nor mine nor your own disgrace. I have little faith in your prophecies.
METTERNICH. These are particular cases. They have no influence on general events. As for me, I have always said that it was requisite to hold out; however, little was yielded in my case; for me all was over. If any such concessions would content these people, it should be fair dealing on the part of the king (sarelbe bello fare il re ed il ministro), but they are insatiable and ungrateful. Until they saw us utterly despoiled, and void of all authority, they were not contented. The Pope commenced, the Duke of Tuscany and the King of Piedmont followed, the King of Naples was constrained to yield. The Italians made a great to do about the concessions they had obtained. The pride of the French was put to too severe an experiment; there the Italians had the superiority over them. Then (as you are aware) was played the fine game you know of. Europe is in fact) a chaos.
Guizot. But the end of these questions of ours, what is it? Will kings continue to govern people, or will the people begin to rule over the kings?
PALMERSTON. The reasoning of the matter has two aspects. 1st. If France does not cross the Rhine, if Russia does not cross the Vistula, if the Polish war and a general bouleversement does not arise, if Germany and Italy are left alone in their disorder, then after hot civil strife, perhaps war, an European war being imminent, the ousted, or at least diminished (eclipati) kings, will come forth with some nationality (Austria, be it understood, being repulsed from Italy), and for the future will be a barrier for Russia and for France. 2nd. If the Polish revolution breaks out, or general war, then the question of nationality (da nasionale) becomes European, as in the days of Napoleon. Russia, to avoid being hemmed in amongst her deserts, should unite with Austria and with all the falling, or fallen kings, France should join with the cause of the people, occupy the mountains of Switzerland and the Tyrol as her bulwarks, interfere in the affairs of Switzerland and Italy, and deal terrific blows on the Russians in the camps of Germany. The war terminated, Italy and Germany should be contented with the understanding which will at once be given to them in the general adjustment. In this case, better days will smile upon kings; and good, or otherwise, will be the condition of the people, according to the force, the union, or the disunion of these. Inasmuch as refers to the noble Polish nation, its strength will not be, perhaps, ever proportioned to the dangers to which she will be subjected. Napoleon was wont to say that Polish independence could only be thoroughly obtained at Moscow. Who will support the Poles-France ? But are the interests of France for independence and the Polish unity in proportion to the sacrifices to be made? Will Russia see the keys of the north lost with Poland, become Asiatic, and diminish in importance with Europe, without a long and bitter war—without, perhaps, immense compensation on the side of the Dardanelles and Greece ?
METTERNICH. The whole question, then, is reduced to the monarchy of the people; the greater and more extended the anarchy shall be, the greater and more extended the hopes of kings. Let our primary object be to foster civil war, and nourish dissensions. The elements are not wanting. Of Italy I have spoken to you. Of France you know, or ought to know, more than myself. Germany contains dissolving elements not less powerful than Italy. Divided amongst petty princes, thrown between Austria and Prussia-between a constitution and anarchybetween the various powers of kings, nobles, the middle class, Catholicism and Protestantism-how will she be enabled to establish a central and strong government, without passing through long and violent convulsions and a civil war? Many will have recourse to (the) kings, and will believe themselves happy in being able for a while to repose under the strength of their arm; allowing that which before they had denied, and desiring that which now they would renounce. But already as regards you, sir ex-king of France, and you, Monsieur Guizot, it is a settled thing. You are no longer necessary in European politics. You can amuse yourselves happily in writing the story of your disgrace. As for me, my long experience will still indubitably make me much in request amongst the northern courts as an instrument to establish the equilibrium of the powers and forces. Gentlemen, I salute you and go to my Jabours.
Guizot. I, to read the French papers.
PALMERSTON. I, to draw up with the stenographer the summary of this our first conference, in order to inscribe it in the secret acts to be sent to the courts.
THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE. It is possible at length to head a few pages devoted to the record of Arctic discovery by the long-coveted phrase—the North-West Passage. Not that such a passage has in reality been opened—that a British ship has as yet passed through from Pacific to Atlantic, or vice versa, by the Polar Seas; but that the fact of a sea-communication has been established to exist between the two ; only it is blocked up by what appears to assume the form of almost permanent ice. As far, therefore, as the discovery of a passage for purposes of navigation is concerned, we are in reality no further than when Mr. Kennedy, of the Prince Albert (Lady Franklin's private Arctic expedition), discovered a passage leading from Prince Regent Inlet to the Western Sea, and the gallant and unfortunate Bellot gave his name to another. These were, as far as navigability is concerned, just as much north-west passages as the Prince of Wales' or Parry's Straits. For the north-west passage now determined, is not at the western termination of Wellington or Queen's Channel, to which attention has been so much directed since Captain Penny's discoveries, but where every common-sense man would have persevered in searching for it, in Parry's Strait, which is the westerly prolongation of Barrow's Strait.
Captain Sir Edward Parry, the discoverer of this strait, found it occupied by a fixed body of ice as far back as 1819. Since that time the way even to the strait has never been open to navigation. When the news first came to this country of the further exploration of Wellington Channel, and the discovery of a north-westerly passage also in that direction, as well also as by Jones's Sound, while granting all due importance to those discoveries, we still upheld the paramount importance of the acknowledged Arctic highway. We never sided with the decisive opinion given by Captain Austin and his companions, that their researches had decided the question that Sir John Franklin's expedition had not taken a westerly or south-westerly direction from Barrow's Strait. We discussed that question at length in the October number of the New Monthly Magazine for 1851, as comparing more particularly the results obtained by Captain Austin's sledge parties, and the instructions given to Sir John Franklin, which decidedly pointed out the route now followed by Captain M'Clure, of the Investigator. We returned to the charge in December of the same year. Arrowsmith's map, then published, enabled us to say still more positively, that the opinions that we emitted of the insufficiency of the data obtained by Ommaney, Osborne, Browne, and M'Clintock, to determine whether or not Sir John Franklin was frozen up in westerly or south-westerly ices, was further corroborated. We particularly insisted upon the fact, that the whole extent of country from Cape Walker and the most westerly shores explored by Captain Ommaney to Banks's Land, had been left unexamined, and it is precisely in that region that Prince of Wales' Strait has been discovered. Our hopes then lay in the progress of the Enterprise and Investigator, which we said (p. 484) would, on their way from Behring's Straits to Parry Islands, have to cut through a portion of these unexplored regions. In April, 1852, we again repeated (p. 451): “Our greatest hopes are, at the present moment, centred in the progress of Commander M‘Clure and his party in her
Majesty's ship Investigator, now frozen in somewhere between Behring's Straits and Melville Island.” And so it has really turned out to be the case.
Curious enough, Lieutenant M'Clintock must have been with the sledge Perseverance, when he attained his extreme westerly point of 114 deg. 20 min. in lat. 74 deg. 38 min. in May, 1851, within fifty-five geographical miles distance of the Bay of Mercy, where the Investigator was frozen in in September of the same year. Captain M-Clure and his party had to travel some 150 geographical miles, or more, before they could convey despatches from the Bay of Mercy in Baring Island, to Winter Harbour in Melville Island ; but in reality some sixty geographical miles from shore to shore is all that remained to be passed over to establish the existence of this frozen in “ North-West Passage.”
It will be remembered that the Investigator was last seen on the 6th of August, 1850, running to the north-eastward, with studding-sails set. It appears that she rounded Point Barrow, on the north coast of America, with great difficulty, and that the ship was also detained in its further progress along the same coast by thick weather, fogs, and contrary winds, in addition to the ordinary difficulties presented by shallow water, and the necessity of working to windward between the Polar Pack and the gradually sloping shore. On the 21st of August, however, the Investigator made the Pelly Islands, off the river Mackenzie, and on the 24th, communicated with some Esquimaux a little to the westward of Point Warren, still on the coast of Arctic America.
The Esquimaux at this place are said to have shown great apprehension as to the object of the Investigator's visit, fearing, according to their own statements, that the ship had come to revenge the death of a white man they had murdered some time ago. They related that some white men had come there in a boat, and that they built themselves a house, and lived there; at last the natives murdered one, and the others escaped they knew not where, but the murdered man was buried in a spot they pointed out. A thick fog coming on, prevented Captain M'Clure examining this locality, which is much to be regretted, as this is just the point that a boat's party from the expedition under Sir John Franklin, who was intimate with the geography of the coast of Arctic America, from his overland expedition in 1819, would-supposing the Erebus and Terror to have been wrecked in the intricate passage of the archipelago south-west of Cape Walker, or in the pack west of Baring Island—have sought to gain the Mackenzie, and which presented to them the most favourableindeed, under their circumstances, almost the only route—by which they could hope to reach the settlements of the Hudson's Bay Fur Company. This notice, then, of the destruction and dispersion of a party of white men who came there in a boat, now some time back, obtains, in the absence of all other clue to the fate of our gallant countrymen, a very deep and melancholy interest. Captain M‘Clure, for reasons which do not appear in the information as yet conveyed to us, does not attach any importance to the circumstance here alluded to ; for, after visiting another party of Esquimaux at Cape Bathurst, on the same coast, he says: “We now took our final leave of the Esquimaux upon the American coast, fully convinced that neither the ships nor any of the crew of Sir John Franklin's expedition have ever reached their shores.” It would cer