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either everything would be left, or else nothing ; for in that conventional sense the words "Austrian' and Austro-Hungarian' mean the whole extent of the possessions of the common ruler of Austria and Hungary. They do not mean one part more than
. another. In that sense there is no central Austria' from which the non-Austrian parts can be cut off. “Austria,' in that sense, might indeed be dissolved into its component elements. It could not, like the other powers, have its excrescences cut off from the centre, because there is no centre from which to cut the excrescences off.
Now all this does not of itself prove that it is for the good of Europe, that it is for the good of the kingdoms and lands' with their various nationalities, that the existing Austrian dominion should be thus broken up, thus dissolved into its component elements. It is a perfectly fair subject for argument whether such a change is to be wished for or not. There may be special reasons to show that it is right and expedient that a scrap of Germany, a scrap of Italy, a scrap of Poland, a scrap of Russia, a scrap of the Rouman and Servian lands, a few stray counties and lordships, here a suppressed commonwealth, here a stolen haven, should be joined with the kingdoms of Hungary, Bohemia, Croatia, and Dalmatia, to make up together an “ Austro-Hungarian monarchy. On the other hand, there may be reasons to show that it is right and expedient that so strange a collection of atoms should again be parted asunder. The burthen of proof may be made to lie either way. It may be held that whatever is should be held to be right until it is proved to be wrong. Or it may be held that a power so strange at first sight, so unlike all other powers, should be held to be wrong till it is proved to be right. This is not our present question.
What is proved is that the Austrian power is something wholly different in its nature from the other five powers. What is proved is that the kind of language which is applied with more or less of truth to all the other powers, becomes misleading when it is applied to Austria. Words like 'interest,' policy,' wishes, and the like, when applied to Austria do not mean what they mean when they are applied to England or France. They do not mean the interest, the policy, &c., of a nation, but simply the interest or policy of the common ruler of a crowd of nations or scraps of nations. And to speak of national feelings,' national independence,' 'national honour,' and the like, as applied to the Austrian power, is not merely misleading—it is simple nonsense. There cannot be “national feelings, and the like, where there is no common nationality, and there is no common Austrian or Austro-Hungarian nationality. It may be deemed in Vienna a point of national honour to keep possession of Trent. Trent itself may think otherwise. What the Magyar looks on as national independence, the Serb and the Rouman may look on as national bondage.
The formation of the Austrian power is one of the oddest phenomena of history. It has something in common with the formation of its neighbour and rival Prussia. But it has points which are quite peculiar to itself, as the growth of Prussia has other points which are no less peculiar. In both cases a power has grown up, resting on no genuine national basis, but consisting of all the possessions which have by any means, fair or foul, peaceful or violent, come into the hands of a certain ruling house. Such powers have existed before, but they have seldom been so lasting. The Angevin dominion in the twelfth century, the Burgundian dominion in the fifteenth, were essentially of the same kind; but they lasted only for two or three reigns each. Prussia and Austria have been far more long-lived. The characteristic of powers of this kind is that they mark simply the advance of a dynasty, not that of either a nation or a city. But the difference between Prussia and Austria has been this, that Prussia has had a quasi-national character about it, while the career of Austria has been purely dynastic. The rulers of Prussia-I mean of course since the word Prussia began to take its present meaning—have held, and still hold, both German and non-German territory. But the German element has always been so predominant as to give its character to the whole, and to allow Prussia to grow in the end into the national head of Germany. Austria, on the other hand, starting from a more purely German origin than Prussia, has often tried to Germanize her non-German territories; but in by far the greater part of these she has never succeeded. Her last development has been the exact opposite
. to the German headship of Prussia. It has taken the form of the dual' state of Austria-Hungary,' in which the two dominant races, German and Magyar, have agreed to sit side by side as dominant races, among the various nationalities of the endless kingdoms, duchies, counties, and lordships, which are held by the common sovereign of Austria and Hungary.
The history of the mere name of Austria is remarkable. The German mark or frontier-land on the Danube, the bulwark of the German realm against the Magyar, took its name from its geographical position. It was the Marca Orientalis, the Eastern mark. It was the Oesterreich, a name which our forefathers cut short into Ostrich, but which we now call by the Latin form Austria, a form which might easily suggest a wrong point of the compass. This Austria was not the only land so named. There was more than one Austria in other parts of Europe; the word had a kind of technical use wherever a land was divided into an eastern and a western portion. The eastern part of Lombardy was Austria, a fact which may now be safely proclaimed: twenty years ago or less, dangerous arguments might have been founded on it. So the eastern part of the old Frankish realm was Austria or Austrasia, two forms of the same word. And in both these cases the rest of the land, that which was not Austria, was known by the negative name of Neustria. We get the same division in the Ostro- or East-Goths, though their western fellows did in this case gain a positive and not a negative
name. Indeed one is sometimes tempted to wonder that there nerer was an Austria in our own island; the name might have been just as well applied to East-Anglia and Essex as it was to the lands which actually bore it. But it was only to the Austria on the Danube, the Oesterreich of the German realm, whose princes had the duty of keeping the German realm against the Magyar, that the name permanently clave. The mark became a duchy; it was raised to the unique rank of archduchy. And an archduchy the true Austria, Upper and Lower, still remains; among all his endless titles, the king, duke, count, and lord of so many lands and cities, the self-styled Emperor, has never dropped his style as Archduke of Austria. The duchy of Austria was united in the twelfth century with that of Steiermark or Styria. The two passed for a moment to the Bohemian King Ottocar ; under him a power was formed which stretched from the Giant Mountains to the Hadriatic; but its head was at Prag, not at Vienna. But the history of Austria in the modern sense began with the grant of Austria and Styria to Albert of Habsburg in 1282. Since then the names · House of Austria' and · House of Habsburg,' have had the same meaning. Austria was now united with the Swabian dominions of the Counts of Habsburg, and thus the dukes of Austria came to play a part in the affairs of the famous Confederation which arose on their borders in the West. From that time to our own, the Austrian house has been ever extending its dominions by every kind of means, and sometimes losing them by every kind of means. A crowd of German territories, greater and smaller, were added one by one, the county of Tyrol being the most worthy of notice. And to these German territories the Austrian name was in some sort extended. The Swabian and Alsatian possessions were known as Fore-Austria; the Austrian circle took in the whole German dominion of the Austrian House. The kingdom of Bohemia, a vassal state of the Empire, the kingdom of Hungary, lying altogether beyond the bounds of the Empire, so often chose Austrian princes for their kings that their crowns at last became hereditary in the Austrian house. Add to this the occasional possession of Italian kingdoms and duchies from the beginning of the last century to our own time—add the possession of the southern Netherlands from the beginning of the last century to the French Revolution-add the share of Poland won at the first partition, and the shorter possession of the share won at the third-add Dalmatia, won and lost and won again-add Ragusa and Cracow basely seized in modern times, and Trieste held for ages by the free commendation of its own citizens; allow for endless dismemberments and annexations during the French revolutionary wars and the negotiations which followed them all this gives us the picture of a power whose outward frontier has shifted as much as a frontier can shift, but which has always kept a solid mass of dominion in and near its original seat. We behold a power holding a very marked position, partly German, partly non-German, and able to use at pleasure its German and its non-Ġerman elements to influence each other. We behold a power,
the furthest removed of all powers from a really national character, a power made up of scraps of endless peoples, nations, and languages, each of which may be played off against the others, but wbich have no common tie of origin or of interest, which have nothing to bind them together except that a series of historical accidents have placed them all under the rule of the same prince. The old phrase of the House of Austria,' now almost forgotten, but which used to be used where we now say “ Austria' or · Austria-Hungary,' exactly expressed the truth of the case. It marked the distinction between the land inhabited by a nation and the territory possessed by a dynasty. The territory under Austrian rule was, and is, neither the land inhabited by an Austrian nation nor the land conquered by an Austrian nation; it is neither a free confederation nor yet an assemblage of provinces dependent on a common centre; it is the dominion of the House of Austria and nothing else. It is made up of all those lands and cities which, having nothing else to bind them together, are bound together by the artificial and accidental tie that they all have at sundry times and in divers manners passed under the rule of the Austrian house.
A power thus formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms needed above all others some kind of traditional majesty, some kind of imposing title, to make up for the lack of national being, and to give dignity to a dominion which might otherwise seem a grotesque collection of odds and ends. And that genius of happy accident which seems, from the thirteenth century onwards, to have ever watched over all things Austrian, did not fail to supply exactly what was wanted in the way of title and tradition. The thing lacking was found in the long connexion of the ducal and archducal House of Austria with the Roman Empire and the kingdom of Germany. The majesty of a long line of Cæsars was gradually spread over the Austrian dukes and their motley territories. The first Duke of Austria of the line of Habsburg was also the first ruler of Austria who added, not indeed the imperial crown of Rome, but the royal crown of Aachen, to the ducal coronet. In the person of the first Albert, a duke of Austria rose in 1298 to the rank, not indeed of Emperor, but of King of the Romans. No other Austrian duke was chosen to that rank till the second Albert (Gifth of Austria) in 1438; but from the second Albert onwards every King and Emperor was either a member of the Austrian house, a claimant of its dominions, or a husband or son of their female sovereign. Thus the ideas of Emperor and of Austria easily got confounded in many minds; it seemed impossible to conceive an Emperor who should not be duke of Austria, or a duke of Austria who should not be Emperor. It has been said in very respectable books that Duke Leopold at Morgarten commanded an Imperial army. It was assumed that an Austrian army must have been an Imperial army, and that men at war with Austria must have been at war with the Empire. Yet the records of the time show that Lewis, King of the Romans and afterwards Emperor, rejoiced
with his loyal men of the Three Lands on their victory over his Austrian enemy. In later times a cloud of impenetrable darkness seems to hang over the position of Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Archduchess of Austria in her own right, Empress through the election of her husband to the Imperial Crown. We may well believe that Duke Francis of Lorraine would never have been chosen Emperor if he had not been the husband of the Queen and Archduchess; still it is in his Imperial election that we have the key to what seems to many people her mysterious title of Empress-Queen. It has been said in book after book that the succession to the Empire was settled by that Pragmatic Sanction by which Charles the Sixth secured his hereditary states to his daughter. Not a few writers seem puzzled when they find the daughter of one Emperor, the wife of another, the mother of two more, spoken of, as she necessarily was from the death of her father to the election of her husband, simply as Queen of Hungary. Confusion of course reached its height when, in 1804, the Emperor Francis the Second, to the titles of Roman Emperor-elect and King of Germany, added that of Hereditary Emperor of Austria' —when in 1805 he was styled in the Treaty of Pressburg' Emperor of Germany and Austria'-when in 1806 he laid aside his Roman and German titles, and went on reigning by the style of Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, and all the rest.
We have now reached the days of the Austrian Empire,' the days of that title of Emperor of Austria,' which a moment's thought shows to be so strange and anomalous, but which the usage of seventysix years has made so familiar that in modern writings we not uncommonly find it carried back to ages in which it was never heard. Not only the Emperors of the last century, but Emperors of far earlier times—Emperors who had nothing to do with the Austrian duchy except to receive its homage-are not uncommonly made to suffer under this title of yesterday. I believe I have seen Frederick Barbarossa bimself spoken of as an • Emperor of Austria.' This amazing confusion is the best comment on the way in which the special meaning which even in the last century attached to the title of Emperor has been wholly forgotten in our own day. Till 1804 the Imperial title still carried with it a claim to represent, in some way or other, by descent or by analogy, the power of Rome, Eastern or Western. We may even say that it was in that sense that the title was taken by the elder Buonaparte. By calling himself Emperor, he meant to challenge a position beyond that of the local Kings of France, the position, in short, of Charles the Great. What Francis the Second, already Roman Emperor-elect, meant by calling himself Hereditary Emperor of Austria, is less easy to explain. One is tempted to think that he had forgotten who he was. But the new form was plainly designed to announce that the House of Austria, as the House of Austria, apart from any elective Roman or German crowns, was at least the equal of the House of Ajaccio.
One thing is certain, that, with whatever motive it was that the