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ceeding month proved less favourable to the Italians. A new revolution breaking out at Naples restored the authority of the King, who forthwith withdrew the Neapolitan contingent from the Italian army in Northern Italy, and took steps to reduce Sicily to subjection. Shortly afterwards, Marshal Radetzky, moving from the position to which he had retreated, defeated the Piedmontese army at Custozza, and recovered Milan. The Italians, in their difficulty, appealed to France, where a new revolution had placed supreme power in the 'hands of General Cavaignac. Revolutions in Paris and Naples, and strategy on the Lombard plains, had altered the whole conditions of the problem. These events brought new difficulties to the distracted Prime Minister. The Queen and Prince watched the success of Marshal Radetzky with more complacence than Lord John and Lord Palmerston; and, though her Majesty shared the anxiety of her advisers to terminate bloodshed, she desired to pay a due regard to what she considered the just claims of Austria. She noticed with some apprehension that Lord Palmerston was again in close communication with France, and that he was animated by the desire, in concert with the French, to do as much as possible for Italy. General Cavaignac had just sent M. de Beaumont to represent France in London; and M. de Beaumont rapidly succeeded in establishing the most amicable relations with the Foreign Minister. Lord Palmerston considered that the best results ensued from the understanding between M. de Beaumont and himself. The Queen, on the contrary, thought her Minister was committing her by his language to steps which she did not approve. She remonstrated; and Lord Palmerston had to yield. But the Queen's remonstrance again drew Lord John's attention to the difficulties which were inseparable from Lord Palmerston's presence at the Foreign Office. As Lady John wrote in her private diary, on August 13:—
John's difficulties about Lord Palmerston increase, because the Queen's disapprobation of everything Lord Palmerston does increases.
Lord Palmerston on his part easily forgot the complaints of the Queen and the Prime Minister. Writing on September 25, he referred to them as ancient history, and added that his own action had been beneficial. Lord John replied—
OBAN: October 1, 1848.
MY DEAR PALMERSTON,-I wrote to you yesterday upon the immediate point of the nomination of a Minister to represent this country in the conferences about Italy. There is, however, a sentence in your letter which I must notice, without at all intending to revive any controversy about your language to Beaumont, which I shall be glad to think had the good effect you mention. You say, ‘Unfortunately the Queen gives ear too readily to persons who are hostile to her Government, and who wish to poison her mind with distrust of her Ministers, and in this way she is constantly suffering under groundless uneasiness. That the Queen is constantly suffering under uneasiness is too true, but I own I cannot say it is always groundless. It is surely right that a person speaking in the name of her Majesty's Government should in important affairs submit his despatches to the Queen and obtain the opinion of her Prime Minister before he commits the Queen and her Government. This necessary preliminary you too often forget; and the Queen naturally, as I think, dreads that upon some occasion you may give her name to sanction proceedings which she may afterwards be compelled to disavow. I confess I feel some of the same uneasiness; but, as I agree with you very constantly in opinion, my only wish is that in future you will save the Queen anxiety, and me some trouble, by giving your reasons before, and not after, an important despatch is sent. The Queen's absence and mine, the constant flow of French, Danes, Germans, &c., pressing for an immediate answer, may have made this difficult for the last month; but the Queen is now, I trust, at Windsor, and I shall be at Minto in the course of this week.—I remain, yours very sincerely, J. RUSSELL.
When Lord John reached Minto, a few days afterwards, a new difficulty had arisen. The Queen desired that this country should be represented at the Conference, which it was proposed to hold on Italian affairs, by an Envoy in whom she had confidence. She objected to Lord Normanby, whom Lord Palmerston desired to send, because she thought that he shared the Italian sympathies of the Foreign Minister. Lord Palmerston, on October 6, referred the matter to Lord John, who, apparently for the Queen's information, drew up the following memorandum on the policy which he thought this country ought to pursue.
In order to form a fair judgment of the present state of foreign affairs it is necessary to look back.
Forty years ago Spain gave the signal of resistance to the system which Napoleon had successfully enforced on Austria, Prussia, and Russia. The terrible power which he possessed did not frighten the people of Spain. They did not calculate; they fought, fell, and rose to fight again. In a few years the sovereigns of Europe, recovering from their panic, and paid by England, joined in the resistance. But, in order to do so with success, the King of Prussia promised a constitution; England called upon Lombardy and Sicily in the name of liberty, and the people of Europe were promised, if they would resist Napoleon, freedom as well as independence. The sovereigns of Europe triumphed, and their earliest attention was given to the punishment of those who had aided them, and to the repression of all attempts to obtain freedom similar to that of England. Arguelles in Spain was sent to a dungeon; Pellico and others in Lombardy and Piedmont were seized and imprisoned. In 1830, upon the French Revolution, one of the forced arrangements of 1815 broke to pieces. Belgium revolted; the Prince of Orange marched with a wellappointed army to put down the rebellion. France under Louis Philippe sent an army to support the insurgents; and England joined with France to deprive the King of Holland of the territory secured to him by treaty. The result has been most satisfactory. The people of Belgium have been governed with wisdom, with fairness, with due regard to their national character, and they now reward such treatment by devoted loyalty to their King and firm attachment to their constitution. - *
In Russia and Austria the event has been different. Where the press has been most enslaved, where representative institutions have been most carefully excluded, there we now see authority most helpless, anarchy most prevalent, and mob excesses most cruel. The part of England in these circumstances was pointed out by experience. Had she joined with Russia in declaring that no changes should take place in the territorial arrangements of 1815, she would have provoked a war like that of 1793, without the alliances she was then able to form. Her obvious policy then was to dissuade from all violent invasions of territory, and to hold out prospects of conciliatory arrangements to the powers brought into conflict by the great débâcle of February 1848. This course she has pursued. She did not, as advised by some, interfere to prevent the Prussian invasion of Schleswig, but she advised an armistice and terms of agreement to Denmark and to Germany. In the same manner she dissuaded Charles Albert from invading Lombardy, and France from sending an army to his assistance. By these means she has hitherto staved off, though not prevented, an European war. In order finally to secure peace, she must show fairness to all parties. Lombardy must have a civil Government virtually if not nominally independent of Vienna; Sicily must have a Legislature and Administration virtually independent of Naples. Thus in our foreign policy as in our domestic we must be at once conservative and reforming—preserving that we may reform, and reforming that we may preserve. Fortunately, the beginning of winter and the disposition of General Cavaignac afford scope for such a policy. Unfortunately the disposition of the Cabinets of Austria and Naples seems hostile to any compromise. If they continue so we may expect perhaps a short reaction, but in the end a strong reinforcement to the republican party in Germany and in Italy. In that case we can only stand aside and guard ourselves. J. R.
The anxiety of the Court was not entirely allayed by a knowledge of the Prime Minister's opinions: and almost immediately afterwards her Majesty invited Lord John to Windsor, and during a visit—which was protracted over three days— discussed with him the state of affairs abroad, and her reasons for disapproving the course which Lord Palmerston was pursuing. And certainly the events which were rapidly succeeding one another on the Continent justified and excused the Queen's anxiety. In Prussia, Berlin was on the eve of a revolution. In Austria, Vienna was being bombarded by Jellachich's battalions; the Emperor of Austria was a fugitive; and Kossuth was winning victory after victory in the cause of Hungarian independence. But even in the hour of defeat Austria was steadily declining to enter into conference on the affairs of Italy except on her own terms. In October, indeed, while Lord John was at Windsor, hopes were entertained that the difficulties which she was raising would be surmounted. As November ebbed away, this prospect disappeared.
OSBORNE:1 December 2, 1848.
MY DEAR PALMERSTON,--. . . We have now exhausted argument to induce Austria to give up Lombardy. Your despatches on this subject cannot be surpassed, and can only be repeated. F. Schwarzenberg is less liberal than Wessenberg, and, having less intelligence, is less likely to be persuaded. It is obvious Austria will never consent to any place of conference out of her dominions; that France will not consent to any place within them; that Sardinia will not consent to any basis of negotiation other than that first proposed : that Austria will never agree to that basis. It results from this account that the conference is impossible or will be nugatory.
Territorial questions put aside, might we not urge on the King of Sardinia that it behoves him to make the best terms he can for peace, order, and liberty in Italy? All would be lost by a war; but by agreeing to a peace—on the declaration of Austria that she will instantly give free institutions to Lombardy—England, France, Austria, and Sardinia may all use their influence to preserve constitutional government in Italy, to put down anarchy, and maintain tranquillity: whereas, if there is to be war between young Italy and Austria, whatever Austria may lose will probably go, not to strengthen Sardinia, but to promote republican views and shake every throne in Italy.—Yours truly,
1 Lord and Lady John were the Queen's guests in the Isle of Wight.
2 Writing nearly four years afterwards to Lord Aberdeen, on July 2, 1852, Lord John said: “After he [Charles Albert] had made his first attempt, we, in conjunction with France, proposed to mediate. What we intended to propose was that Charles Albert should withdraw his claims to Northern Italy (Lombardy and Venice), and that Austria should withdraw her claims to indemnity for the past war, This was settled between Palmerston and me, and would have been laid before the Queen in a formal shape. But both parties were anxious for another struggle. Charles Albert broke the truce, and was beat at Novara. We then interfered by advice. I advised the Piedmontese Envoy to offer sixty or seventy millions of francs, instead of thirty which he proposed; and Thiers at Paris told Mr. Hubner that, if moderate terms were not made at Vienna, France would go to war. Thus the peace was made."