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rage England or the “ Bund." The the greatest calculations failed to Conference was a failure simply accomplish, we have brought about because France would take no part by the insensate stupidity of not in its deliberations. France was believing that an insignificant intelthere to be the dignified spectator lect may become dominant in an of an unruly discussion-the one age of mediocrity, and that there calm, well-bred individual in a are eras in life in which the craft of brawling company. While one a conspirator can take the place of screamed the “Schlei!" and another the statesman. I am quite sure we yelled the “Dannewerk!” France ought never to have gone to war only smiled blandly on each, gently about Denmark. Her cause was hinting how honourable were all not at any time one of that clear, strong convictions, and how refresh- palpable, unmistakable nature that ing it was to witness such ardour justifies going to war for. It would in an age that had been reproached have been like trying to settle a with its cold infidelity. She saw, case in equity by a duel! The in fact, that by simply waiting “the Danish question was precisely one lights would be put out," and she for a Chancery suit, and it might knew who'd get the money.
have followed the fortunes of one The “power of the unknown if it had not been that a very small number is incommensurable," was Prussian, M. Bismarck, bad got into a maxim of the First Napoleon, and his head the ambition of being a in the reserve-in the unexpressed great Minister. To turn off the determination of the present Em- attention of the Radicals at home peror, lies all his weight at this he got up the row abroad ; and we, moment. The press of Germany instead of aiding the Liberal party, assures him that the hour is com- as we might and ought to have ing in which he will destroy for done, by unmasking his roguery, ever the boasted maritime supre- and showing that the attack on macy of England, and humble the Denmark was a mere fraud,-we Power that has so long been mis- actually took him at his word, and tress of the seas. The English affected to believe him to be the papers assure him that he may have advanced-guard of German Liberalthe Rhine for the asking! and thus ism, the herald of that mighty spirit this accident of an accident, by that comes out every fifty years or our unstatesmanlike courses, by our so, to sing, “ Wo ist das Deutsches want of foresight, and our utter Vaterland ?” Dumas tells us someforgetfulness of even late history, where of a mayor in France that is now the master of Europe. endowed his native town with a
We have done for this man all lake, but which, as it was only three that genius, which he has not, and inches deep at its deepest part, noall that craft, which he has, could body would accept as a real piece possibly have done for him. We of water, till one day, by some accihave broken up all the coalitions dent, a wild duck, a solitary bird of which years of common danger had eccentric taste, actually descended cemented, and the friendships we and alighted on the pond ; taking had pledged when fighting side by it, as he quaintly says, "au sérieux." side for the same cause ; we have From that hour the mayor's trimade him great, not from any quali- umph was assured. Now Lord ties of greatness in himself, but Russell performed the wild duck to because we brought ourselves so M. Bismarck's lake; and had henever low that we stand humbled before gone paddling there, the water him.
would have dried up long ago, and All that the great Emperor could the stench of the swamp would not do with his genius, the little have kept off all invaders. Emperor has done by our folly. Bismarck never believed in SchlesWhat the grandest conceptions and wig-Holstein any more than the
VOL. XCVI.—NO. DLXXXVI.
mayor believed in the water. It At all events, they got up a was that “ Duck" of ours did it all. white-heat patriotism. It glowed, Why won't he keep to his own pud- it flared, and it sputtered all the dles, where he can do no mischief ? more vigorously, perhaps, that
“I told you it was water,"screams France only smiled and said, “How Bismarck ;“ and you see I was right. picturesque !" When one of the Look at Russell : he is come down minor theatres parodied the Italian to bathe in it.” This was the begin- drama, it was Paul Bedford perning of the mess. The second stage formed the part of Medea. It is was a speech-an extra-parliamen- needless to say what a shock such tary utterance, as the 'Times,' with a travestie gave to all who really a superfetation of bad phrase- enjoyed the great personation of ology, styles it. Now, whether it Ristori. In exactly the same taste be some old remnant of the public and spirit do we see the new piece, school that survives in our states the regeneration of Germany, anmen or not, I cannot say, but cer- nounced—the part of Garibaldi by tainly vacation always seems too M. Bismarck. much for them; and when the par- Now to give an illustration. If liamentary "half” is over, they ap- the late Mr Palmer of Rugely, some pear to take leave of their wits. It days after his conviction, had exwas at such a moment as this the pressed a strong desire to be elected Foreign Secretary told Russia she President of the Humane Society, had forfeited her claim to Poland, would not the ambition have exand also informed Germany that cited some question at least as to on the day she attacked Denmark, his motives ? And in the name of she'd find somebody else in the all common sense, was not Bismarck Baltic that she didn't look for. just as notorious as Palmer was
Now, this was all Bismarck want there anything that the one had not ed. To make Germany believe that done to extinguish life that the his little war was a great national other had not tried to stifle liberty ! movement, was his real difficulty. Palmer laughed at and derided the To persuade the forty millions of tests employed to unmask him ; beer-drinking dreamers that some- so did Bismarck. Paliner made "bis body had said something disre- book” to win by putting his antaspectful of sauer kraut was not an gonist out of the way-so did Biseasy task. No one in Europe marck. I only wish I could carry troubles his head much about Ger- my comparison farther. At all many in ordinary times, and to events, would it not have been posimagine that they would get up a sible to show the German peoplefervour about freedom, and lash I don't mean the narrow-minded themselves into an ecstasy on the Berlin folk, the smallest, meanest, subject of liberty, seemed as likely most poor -spirited population I as that the hippopotamus in the ever encountered, but the great Zoological Gardens should insist kraut-eating, solid, and, in the main, on being permitted to dance on right-hearted German nation—that the tight-rope.
this man Bismarck meant no good The German devotion to liberty by them? He was like a man en- this sudden uprising in favour of couraging a mob to attack a smith's freedom-is somewhat droll; but shop that he might obtain the Alphonse Karr says that “the lib- handcuffs to put on his followerty of the press is indescribablyers afterwards. By what freak of dear to that interesting portion of imagination could any one convert the population wbo can't read;" so, him who had defied the Parliament, possibly, it is the unknown that and threatened to impose taxation gives the charm to this German by a royal edict, into an apostle of infatuation, as “distance lends en- Liberty? chantment to the view.".
What were our Ministers and envoys doing in Germany not to liceman, as we believed, but the have shown our Foreign Office the chief of the gang, and the very first danger that was impending, and to rob the premises. the urgent necessity there existed Having told the Danes that they for promptly unmasking this man's should not be left to themselves, it designs, and showing the great Ger- was somewhat difficult to get out of man people that he could never our scrape when the time of trial be taken as the exponent of their approached. We did this, however, wishes-the representative of their ingeniously. We made proposals hopes?
to them, as the price of our friendIt must be owned that the Whigs ship, so humiliating that we deemhave a sort of knack of this kind of ed them impossible of acceptance. bungling. When Daniel O'Connell They disappointed us ; they agreed had stamped himself as a rebel, to everything. The Allies, however, the Whig Government of the day seeing that Denmark was to be diswhitewashed him into a patriot; posed of by auction, outbid us, and and now that Bismarck has out- we gave up the lot that had been raged the Chamber and denounced actually knocked down to us. the Constitution, our Ministers We then called for a Conference. have stepped in with a bill of in- The word Congress was not palatdemnity, and agreed to regard him able; and as modest people put as the incarnate soul of an awak"tea” on their cards when they ened Germany. And as if this was mean an evening party, we only not enough, they have, by holding said Conference, not Congress. out false hopes to Denmark, en- Let any one imagine thirteen couraged a resistance, to overcome men, quibblers by profession, and which, bas converted Bismarck into obstructive through the force of a hero!
habit, met together to agree on a When the history of our time question where each had a strong shall be written, it will puzzle pos- interest in differing from all the terity to account for the amount of rest, and where any possible plan influence wielded in it by men so pal- could never have the approval of pably third-rate in ability, nor will more than the man who proposed the riddle be explained without it. Let him figure to his mind adverting to the calibre of those thirteen nationalities stimulated by who opposed them. Then will it all their characteristic prejudices, be seen how small was the stature and goaded on by the language, that ranked as a giant amongst more or less inflammatory, of their pigmies.
respective newspapers, and say wheStill, no great cleverness was ther these deliberations were likely needed either to detect this fraud or to lead to peace. unmask it; and I would ask, What Through the fragments that have were our envoys doing in Ger- reached us we can form some notion many? Why did they not neus of the task of him whose doings tralise this man's influence? Why most nearly concern us - our Fopot expose the rotten treachery by reign Secretary; and certainly no which he was entrapping the na- man ever seemed more inexhausttion into a war whose only issue ible in resources of which nobody must be its own subjugation ? And cared to avail himself. Whatever he why did our own Foreign Office proposed was immediately scouted. accept him in the character of a He recommended a line of demarliberator?
cation-neither side would hear of The simple truth is, we were it; he suggested another-they got out-maneuvred and jockeyed. We sulky and refused it; he counselled wanted to bully the Diet, and called an arbitration, and named the arin the assistance of Prussia; but biter —and immediately the com* the man in blue" was not a po- pany got up and walked home.
Now,while all this was going on— -I agree, provided we do not go and remember, it was not our quarrel to war against Germany, and thus at all; we had only lent our front offer our open flank to the assault parlour to the gentlemen who were of an ally far more dangerous than to settle it — we were made the all our enemies. The Germans mark of all the abuse and vitupera- will one day get over their indition of Europe. For a while, in- gestion. Much ought to be fordeed, it startled us to be called given to the eaters of sauer kraut. braggarts and bullies, faithless allies They will recover, not their good and treacherous friends ; but we manners, for they have lost none, got accustomed to even worse, but their good-humour, which they and grew to see ourselves written once had ; they will see that they down cowards in that guttural lan- have been cheated by their own guage whose most endearing word leaders, and will make a sort of sounds like an imprecation.
amende to us in some stupid way If we burned and destroyed every of their own. But the French will old rotten Prussian town in the hate as they have always hated us ; Baltic to-morrow — no very great and their Emperor, if the hour achievement—it would no more re- comes that he can slip his bloodpay us for all the insolence that we hounds against us, will attach to have put up with, than does the his name and his dynasty a loyalty infliction of a forty-shilling fine on that all the conquests of the Conthe cabman recompense the gentle- tinent would never bring him. man whom he has blackguarded for If the fight is to come, let it be a an hour in a crowded thoroughfare. fair one ; let us not come into the
The Germans are not bad people, ring with an arm tied; and for but they are grob, which is some this reason I say, No war with thing more than rude, something Germany, nor any Continental war compounded of insolence and stu- in which France has not pronounced pidity. The fraction of right they the side she takes. had in this quarrel excited their Above all, no little wars; and imaginations; their success in arms, the best way to avoid them is, no like all unaccustomed sensations, Conferences. I know something turned their heads completely, for of the sort of people who assemble though Döppel was on a hill, it was at these councils ; and I declare so unlike Jena!
solemnly, I do not think there is a We fared badly in the negotia- question in religion, ethics, or even tions, and came ill out of the Con- art, that thirteen diplomatists could ference. We are insulted, outraged, discuss without thirteen separate and reviled from one end of the and divergent opinions. Continent to the other. We are Their profession, if we may dig. told that our influence is ended in nify their calling by the name, Europe, and that the sooner we teaches little beyond hair-splitting ; recognise our position as a fourth- and the highest ambition of any is, rate Power the happier will it be to connect his name with some for us. Our fair - spoken ally, treaty or some convention that may France, too, who has had good hand him down, in connection words for everybody-pity for the with another like himself, to a posDanes and praise for the Prussians terity that in all likelihood will be -tells us that in our aquatic ca- grateful to neither of them. Imapacity we may make some noise, gine thirteen doctors consulting but as a terrestrial people we are over a patient, of whom a large nothing, and that in our “ little majority would rather that the war,” if we make one, nobody need sick man should die, and you have be inconvenienced ; and yet with some idea of the late Conference at all this-not very pleasant to bear London.
CHRONICLES OF CARLINGFORD : THE PERPETUAL CURATE.
PART XIV.-CHAPTER XLIII.
THESE were eventful days in are to do! My darling, I am afraid Grange Lane, when gossip was not you will have to— to make your nearly rapid enough to follow the own dresses in future, which is march of events. When Mr Went- what I never thought to see," she worth went to lunch with his family, said, putting her handkerchief to the two sisters kept together in the her eyes; “ and we have not had drawing-room, which seemed again any talk about anything, Lucy, and re-consecrated to the purposes of there are so many things to think Life. Lucy had not much inclina- of !” Miss Wodehouse, who was tion just at that moment to move moving about the room as she spoke, out of her chair; she was not soci- began to lift her own books and able, to tell the truth, nor disposed special property off the centre table. to talk even about the new prospects The books were principally ancient which were brightening over both. Annualsin pretty bindings, which no She even took out her needlework, representation on Lucy's part could to the disgust of her sister. “When induce her to think out of date ; there are so many things to talk and among her other possessions about, and so much to be consider- was a little desk in Indian mosaic, ed,” Miss Wodehouse said, with a of ivory, which had been an instilittle indignation ; and wondered tution in the house from Lucy's within herself whether Lucy was earliest recollection. “And these really insensible to " what had hap- are yours, Lucy dear," said Miss pened," or whether the sense of Wodehouse, standing up on a chair duty was strong upon her little to take down from the wall two sister even in the height of her little pictures which hung side by happiness. A woman of greater side. They were copies both, and experience or discrimination might neither of great value; one reprebave perceived that Lucy had re- senting the San Sisto Madonna, tired into that sacred silence, sweet and the other a sweet St Agnes, est of all youthful privileges, in whom Lucy had in her earlier days which she could dream over to her- taken to her heart. Lucy's slumberself the wonderful hour which had ing attention was roused by this just come to an end, and the fair sacrilegious act. She gave a little future of which it was the gateway, scream, and dropped her work out As for Miss Wodehouse herself, she of her hands. was in a flutter, and could not get “ What do I mean?" said Miss over the sense of haste and confu- Wodehouse ; " indeed, Lucy dear, sion which this last new incident we must look it in the face. It is had brought upon her. Things not our drawing-room any longer, were going too fast around her, and you know." Here she made a the timid woman was out of breath. pause, and sighed; but somehow a Lucy's composure at such a moment, vision of the other drawing-room and, above all, the production of which was awaiting her in the new her needlework, was beyond the rectory, made the prospect less dolecomprehension of the elder sister. ful than it might have been. She
“My dear,” said Miss Wodehouse, cleared up in a surprising way as with an effort, “I don't doubt that she turned to look at her own prothese poor people are badly off, and perty on the table. “My cousin I am sure it is very good of you to Jack gave me this," said the gentle work for them; but if you will woman, brushing a little dust off only think how many things there her pretty desk. “When it came