Imágenes de páginas

last heir of the Cæsars called himself Erbkaiser von Oesterreich, the thing has paid. It enabled him to keep on his Imperial style and Imperial pretensions after he had cast aside his character as heir of the Cæsars. He was Emperor before ; he went on being Emperor still; he seemed simply to resign a position external to his own states, but to lose nothing of power or dignity within them. Whether names and titles ought to influence men's thoughts and actions or not, as a matter of fact they do influence them, pedantic as it may be to acknowledge the fact that they do. It is quite certain that the 'Emperor of Austria' has held a position in Europe which could not have been held by a simple King of Hungary and Archduke of Austria. The Imperial title bas dazzled men's minds; it has led them to see a connexion, which has neither historical nor practical existence, between the odd collection of territories in or out of Germany which have come together in Austrian hands, and the ancient majesty of Germany and of Rome. It has thrown a false air of antiquity and legitimacy over a very modern creation, made up largely of very modern pilferings. Many people, whenever they see a twoheaded eagle, cry out Austria,' forgetful that the bird of Cæsar is the lawful bearing of Caesar and of none other, and that when Francis of Austria laid aside his Roman empire and German kingdom, he should, according to all the laws of heraldry, have been content with the lion of his archduchy. For an archduke of Austria to use the Imperial arms because he is the descendant of an elective Emperor, is really as absurd as it would be for a private Englishman to use the arms of an English see because he is the descendant of one of its former bishops. But all these seeming trifles pay; they produce an effect of continuity, of antiquity, where there is no continuity, no antiquity. The Emperor with his eagle can hold himself much higher than the archduke could hold himself with his lion. A power, essentially modern, upstart, revolutionary, which exists only by treading down every historic right and every national memory, has, by shifting from one character to another, by playing off one character against another, come to be looked on as the venerable embodiment of legitimacy and conservatism. The legitimacy is a little doubtful:

. about the conservatism there is no question. The one Austrian rule -a rule, to be sure, not peculiar to Austria—has ever been to get all that can be got, and when it is got, to keep it.

Still the phrase · Empire of Austria’ suggests a geographical question. Where is it? What are its boundaries? The Hereditary Emperor of Austria' did not lay aside his style of archduke. What were the relations between the · Empire' and the archduchy ? Did the ‘Empire' take in all the possessions of the Austrian house, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, or any other? Since 1867 the question has been a little easier to answer. Since the establishment of the dual system, the Empire of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary have been two states with a common sovereign. This seems to give us a means of making at least a negative definition of

[ocr errors]

the Empire of Austria. It is that part of the dominions of the common ruler of Austria, Hungary, and several other states, which is not the kingdom of Hungary. Shall we say that the land which was once the Austria, the eastern mark, of Germany has become the Neustria, the western mark, of Hungary? Shall we go a step further? According to ancient precedent, what was not Austria was Neustria. One is tempted to turn the analogy about. The sovereign of Hungary is also sovereign of some other lands which can be defined only as not being Hungary. Their most descriptive name would seem to be Nungaria or Nungarn.

There is really no tie but this negative one to unite the archduchy of Austria and the duchies immediately connected with it, with Bohemia, Moravia, Austrian Silesia, Tyrol, Trent, Trieste, Aquileia, Istria, Dalmatia, Cattaro, Spizza, Galicia and Lodomeria, Bukovina, and any other land where Francis Joseph may reign in any character other than that of King of Hungary. These lands make up Nungaria; nothing more can be said of them. The odd thing is that several of these lands can be claimed by their present master in no other character than that of King of Hungary. The feeble claim to Galicia put forth at the first partition of Poland was that it had, at two remote periods, been held by Hungarian kings. It had never been held by any Austrian duke. The equally feeble claim to Dalmatia was that several kings of Hungary had also been kings of Dalmatia; no Austrian duke ever had been so. Yet Galicia and Dalmatia count, not to Hungary but to Nungary. It is practically better that they should so count; but the historical confusion is remarkable. Yet again, the King of Hungary could put forth at least as good a title to the old kingdom of Bosnia or Rama as he could put forth to Galicia and Dalmatia. Yet he is content to administer' one of the kingdoms of his predecessors, not as duke, not as king, not as Emperor, but as the vassal of the Turk. Yet again, how many people remember that part of the territory which Austria wrung from Poland had been in earlier times wrung by Poland from Russia? As a matter of fact, Alexander is not Emperor of all the Russias,' while Francis Joseph holds the old Red Russia, the so-called Galicia and Lodomeria.

The Austrian power is a fact; while it exists as a power, it is entitled to be treated in formal matters like any other power. But it is not wise to forget its real nature. While each of the other powers answers to a nation, or at least has a nation as its kernel, the Austrian power has no national basis whatever. A Hungarian power would have a national basis in the Magyar nation; an Austro-Hungarian power has none. It is a mere accidental gathering of odds and ends, which must fall to pieces the moment the several nations concerned feel at once the wish and the power to part asunder. When the German is drawn to his fellow-Germans, the Italian to his fellowItalians, the Slave to his fellow-Slaves, the Rouman to his fellow

Roumans, what will be left of the great constitutional power' of Lord Salisbury's admiration? The Magyar and nothing else. Some years back, before the events of 1875-1878, some observers of South-Eastern affairs-I must confess to having been myself one of them-cherished the hope that the Hungarian kingdom, as the most settled state of South-Eastern Europe, might, when freed from its artificial connexion with German and Italian yoke-fellows, have become, whether under the shape of a Confederation or any other, the centre of the other nations of South-Eastern Europe. Such a 'solution,' to use the cant phrase of diplomacy, was possible so lately as five years ago; it has become, for the present at least, impossible by the position taken up both by the Magyars as a people and by the Austro-Hungarian power as a power. The hope which I have just spoken of was kindled in many minds by the state of things which was to be seen in the lands east of the Hadriatic, at the time when the war first began in Herzegovina in 1875. That war began, very significantly, immediately after the visit of Francis Joseph to his Dalmatian kingdom, a visit which was universally understood to be a visit of reconciliation to his Slavonic subjects. It was at that moment perfectly open to him to have put himself at the head of the Slavonic movement, and to have done all, and more than all, that Russia did afterwards, without awakening anything like the same jealousy which was awakened by the action of Russia. Such a policy, boldly carried out, might have changed the prince who still calls himself King of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia-to say nothing of Bohemia, Galicia, and Lodomeria-into the head of a Slavonic empire, like that which was striven for by the Servian Stephen, and in earlier times by the Bulgarian Simeon and Samuel. That is to say, the Hungarian kingdom might have grown into a great Slavonic power. Such a change must, sooner or later, have led to a separation between the Austrian and Hungarian realms, and to the restoration of Austria in some shape or other to its natural connexion with Germany. And, towards the end of 1875, things really looked as if the beginning of such a chain of events had actually taken place. Austria was helping the people of Herzegovina in their struggle with the Turk in every way short of actually making war on the Turk. Presently all these hopes faded away, and Austria, from the friend, became the enemy of the struggling nations. The change was not wonderful. The policy which would have enabled Francis Joseph to carry out the dreams of Charles VI. was in itself a very bold one; it was contrary to all Magyar interests; it was contrary to Austrian interests in the narrower sense. But since that change in Austrian policy-of which the kidnapping of Ljubibratich on foreign ground may be taken as the most marked outward sign-everything has to

I put forth this hope in the first edition of my First Series of Historical Essays, p. 282, as late as 1871. In 1879 I had to speak in another tone, in the Third Series PP. 413, 416.


be looked at in another way. From that time every advance of Austria in the South-Eastern lands has meant, not the possible growth of a great Slavonic power, but the further sacrifice of the Slavonic nations to the narrowest dynastic interests. The power which might have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina as a deliverer at last entered those lands as a conqueror. They are at this moment held as a conquered land. Under Austrian administration,' the old grievances have not been redressed, and some new grievances have been created. Christians and Mussulmans are beginning to forget their old quarrels in common loathing of the foreign yoke. The dealings of Austria with Montenegro at the Berlin Treaty were all in the same spirit.5 The principality was forbidden to annex the kindred lands which were eager to be annexed, but was allowed to annex alien lands which had no wish to be annexed, but whose annexation was necessary for Montenegro to win her way to the sea. All this shows that the Austrian power is the most immediate and most dangerous enemy of South-Eastern freedom. Nowhere did the accession to power of the English friends of South-Eastern freedom awaken a stronger feeling of fear and loathing than it awakened in Austria, if by Austria' we understand the official circles of Vienna and Pesth; nowhere was it welcomed with more enthusiastic delight than in Austria, if by that word we understand the vast majority of the nations which are still under the rule of Vienna and Pesth. To the Slavonic and Rouman subjects of the Austrian and Hungarian crowns-the people who of all the people of Europe have the feeblest means of making their voice heard in other lands-no less than to all the nations which are still under the Turk, Mr. Gladstone's triumph was indeed gład tidings of great joy. His accession to power was at once followed by a formal denial on the part of the representative of Austria in England of schemes which, as everyone knew, were the most cherished schemes of Austrian policy. The real meaning of what passed between Mr. Gladstone and Count Karolyi was understood at once in Austrian official circles; after a certain amount of puzzledom at some expressions which might well have been otherwise worded, it was soon understood by the nations whom it specially concerned. To know what is really going on in those parts we must go a little deeper than the despatches which fly daily from one great capital to another. Vienna and Constantinople may tell London the mind of Vienna and Constantinople, or of some classes in Vienna and Constantinople. But better light may be had from more obscure provincial' sources, say from Manchester and Philippopolis. How the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina feel under Austrian administration' may be seen, not uncommonly, in the letters which pass from Ragusa to the Manchester Guardian.' How such administration' looks in the eyes of a people who have gained what turns out to be the better boon of adminis

See more in Historical Essays, Third Series, p. 410.
See an instance, the latest of the series, June 7.

trative autonomy,' may be seen in the press of Southern Bulgaria. The ‘Maritza’ of Philippopolis, which has always a page or two of French, has lately been very instructive reading. It was plain-spoken enough while the Russians were in the land. Then the nominal restoration of Southern Bulgaria to Turkish rule brought with it a singular fit of respectful language towards his Majesty the Sultan. Now that experience has shown that Turkish rule in Southern Bulgaria is purely nominal, above all, now that England is no longer to be reckoned among the enemies of Bulgarian freedom, the SouthBulgarian print has taken heart again. Turkish oppression in Macedonia, Austrian oppression in Bosnia and Herzegovina, are freely spoken of and are bracketed together. When an Austrian minister speaks of “regenerating Turkey'—whatever that may mean—the Maritza ' hopes that the regeneration will at least not be done after the Austrian pattern. These are certainly signs of the times. It does not become any of us to foretell what may happen; but in carefully looking at things as they do happen, it will make them clearer if we bear in mind that “ Austrian interests,' and the like, as those words are understood in official language, mean something wholly different from the interests of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and further, that they mean something wholly different from the interests of the avowed Slavonic and Rouman subjects of the Austrian and Hungarian Crowns.


[ocr errors]


Truth in its unity hath many sides;
One Beauty rules infinity of change;
Art, a free spirit, through all realms may range,
Embracing Truth and Beauty for her guides.
All doors are open to them; where abides
Their foot the roof is sacred, lowly grange
Or temple-court; no home to them is strange,
From starry vault to pook where flowret bides.

And, Artists, hearken! Holding fast their hand,
Ye shall learn secrets, each a special one-
Not of mere skill; the imitative band
Of craftsmen may not catch the whispered tone.
Truth beautiful is Art; who understand
This to create are Artists, they alone.

A. B.

« AnteriorContinuar »