dues * and services, ceased legally to exist : all men became equal before the law under the sovereign. All old local constitutions, including that of Hungary, with which his mother had dealt so warily, were abolished or violently invaded, old provinces obliterated from the map, and a division of the whole empire into thirteen great departments, with a civil administrator (Kreishauptmann) at the head of each, substituted. All ecclesiastical dependence on the see of Rome was removed; all convents not connected with useful institutions, such as schools and hospitals, suppressed; universal religious toleration, or rather equality, established, except for some unlucky deistical sectaries, who instead of toleration incurred the Austrian classical number of fifty-five ‘Stockprügel,' or blows with a stick; for Joseph, with all bis radicalism, was a religious man, and no friend to deists. *I am no divine,' he said to the professor of theology at Bologna, .but a soldier : but this much I know, that there is only one

road to Heaven, and only one doctrine, that of Jesus Christ.' Education was made national, the press rendered free, the old and inveterate “unwesen' (to use a German word for which we want an equivalent) of guilds and corporations in the towns, and other restrictions on internal commerce, utterly abolished; the superstructure of ages rased down to the very foundation.

It need not be said, that a great number of these changes remained in the form of decrees only, and never attained a practical existence. Yet he actually performed much; energetically, but intemperately, and without the slightest trace of that politic respect which might have been shown for interests injured, or feelings wounded, in the process. Regis ad exemplar, the subordinates who were entrusted with the execution of the Emperor's innovating decrees, set to work with a revolutionary violence which seems scarcely credible in a civilised and regular State. In fact, much of what we read of the Austrian reforms of 1780—1785, resembles the sometimes grotesque and sometimes terrible scenes which took place ten years later in France. Convents were ransacked with merciless violence, their goods plundered, the precious contents of their libraries destroyed or scattered; the bones of the dead disturbed by offi

1 cial riflers of the graves. At the Chartreuse, at Vienna, the mummied corpse of Albert the Wise was ejected from its leaden

It was in reference to some change of this kind that the Bohemian Count Chotek remonstrated, and declared that the peasants ought to pay, and must be forced to pay. 'I fancy, dear Chotek, Joseph wrote in reply, 'that physical force is after all on the side of

the peasants; and if it ever should happen that they will not pay, * what is to become of us all ?'.


[ocr errors]

coffin, for the sake of the metal, and lay for months exposed to the curiosity and insults of the populace. An order was at one time issued by Joseph for the conversion of that venerable pile, the ancient palace of the Hradschin, at Prague, into barracks : to be executed by a given day. Instantly a band of Vandals was let loose, to strip it of the accumulated relics of centuries. The mysterious treasure chamber of the stargazing Emperor Rudolf was utterly despoiled of its renowned antiquarian collections. The statues were sold off; a torso * found no purchaser; it was thrown at last out of the window

into the garden: an oculist of Vienna, Barth, bought it for • six “ siebzehner.” It was sold at the congress of Vienna to " the Crown Prince, Louis of Bavaria, for 6000 ducats—it is 'the Ilioneus of the Glyptothek at Munich. The antique coins

were sold by weight. An inventory of the contents of the treasury was made, which was preserved in the Schonfeld

Museum, at Vienna: a Leda of Titian figures in it as “a " " woman bitten by an enraged goose.”' (Vol. iii. p. 8.) Yet after all this mischief was done, Joseph was induced by the murmurs of the Bohemians to revoke his order; a strong proof of the truth of Frederick's sarcasm, that he always took the second step before the first.'

The truth is, that Joseph had learnt, during his long apprenticeship in his mother's court, a kind of cynical contempt for men. He connected this, in his own mind, with the equalising precepts of his philosophy: he admired the constant exhibition of it by his great model, Frederick, of whose peculiar aquafortis wit he possessed nothing. He did himself probably more injury by his laboured smartnesses against religious fraternities and monks -- those ulemas and fakirs, as he affected to call them— than by suppressing their convents. His nobility could more easily have forgiven his attacks on their privileges, and his endeavour to diminish their importance bypitchforking' into their class a herd of insignificant people, civil functionaries, municipal authorities, and the like, the notorious · Bagatelladel' of Austria, than his parade of maxims about the equality of mankind, and the grim satisfaction with which he gave the Viennese, by way of corollary to these maxims, the spectacle of a count who had forged banknotes sweeping the streets in chains, and another, a grey-haired colonel of the guards who had plundered his military chest, exposed in the pillory.

Closely allied with these peculiarities, were a roughness of manner carried to affectation, a harsh and dictatorial air; an assumed outside, which covered singular delicacy as well as strength of sentiments: feelings tremblingly alive to every

[ocr errors]

variation in those of the persons whom he loved; a lively sympathy for suffering, a special fondness for elegant and particularly female society; his only relaxation in later years, and in which he appeared to great advantage, as what Kaunitz described him, in his barbarous Frenchified dialect, "ein ganz 'aimabler perfecter Cavalier.' Baron Reizenstein, in his 'Jour'ney to Vienna' (1789), describes not amiss this double aspect of Joseph's outward demeanour. When I entered the room,' he says, the Emperor was still speaking with a gentleman to . whom he gave some orders. His tone was so rough, so harsh, • his pronunciation so Austrian, that the impression made on me ' was unpleasing in the highest degree. Immediately after• wards, two French ladies were introduced to him. How • polite, refined, and soft his manner at once became ! The imperious monarch disappeared: the most prepossessing, at• tractive man of the world stood before me instead.' His death is said to have been accelerated by his passionate grief at the loss of his favourite niece, Elizabeth of Wirtemberg, the first wife of Francis the Second. One of the most touching of the many pieces of his writing which remain, is the billet of adieu to the Princess Francis Lichtenstein, written just before his decease, and addressed • Aux cinq dames réunies de la société,

qui m'y toléraient.' The reader will find it at vol. viii. p. 307. of the work before us.

It was in his ecclesiastical reforms, in reality the most beneficial part of his operations, that Joseph encountered the first and most violent, if not most determined resistance. The leader of the Ultramontane opposition was the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Migazzi, no saint, but more resembling Thomas à Becket before he began to exhale the odour of sanctity; a

handsome, gallant man of the world,' says Vehse, and a great intriguer in the former reign. It was under the influence of the representations of Migazzi and his party, that Pius VI. determined on his memorable journey to Vienna, in 1782.

It was in truth a memorable journey; and we of the third generation after it, are now for the first time able to perceive its true significance. It is scarcely an exaggeration to call it one of the turning points in the history of the world. Rome on that occasion renewed her youth by touching her mother earth; the successor of the Apostles became, for a moment, the brother and companion of that mass of mankind from which his first predecessors sprang. In earlier days, during the life and death struggles of the Reformation, the importance, in religious quarrels, not only of exciting the general sympathies of the multitude, but of downright popular agitation with all its vulgar

[ocr errors]

incidents, had been thoroughly understood on both sides of the question. To know how and when to let loose with success the passions of the populace, lâcher la grande levrière, as the leaders of the French League were wont to call it, was then an important point in the politician's art. But the age of popular enthusiasm had now long passed; and in Germany especially, where the Thirty Years' War degenerated from a great religious quarrel into a struggle of rival condottieri, the importance of the plebeian element in Church politics was practically forgotten. Of the intriguing and diplomatic statesmen-popes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, not one would have thought of descending from his pedestal to invoke the aid of the masses in an emergency, any more than he would have thought of preaching a crusade.

Nor do we believe that Pius VI. for a moment entertained the notion. He was a good and zealous churchman, but neither wiser nor more original in his views than cardinals in general. His idea seems only to have been that of making a personal impression on Joseph, partly by his own persuasive powers, - for there entered no sinall amount of vanity into his composition, partly through that traditional aid from above, which had made Attila quail before Leo. In this sense only his project was judged, when his advisers strenuously urged him against it, and the wise men of the world taxed him with consummate folly. I was almost beginning to believe in your master's in• fallibility,' said Frederick to Pius's envoy at Berlin, but this journey to Vienna !' Nor did the adoration of the multitudes which threw themselves at his feet in sudden enthusiasm during that long Alpine journey, or of those who flocked from far and near to Vienna to idolise him, insomuch that a famine was apprehended during his stay, however it might affect the feelings of observers, alter the general estimate of his undertaking. Even now some liberal historians, like Schlosser, affect to doubt the reality of its effects, and assert that the great South-German

revival of 1782 evaporated in smoke. They do not perceive the new impulse which was then given to the minds of men, if not to the immediate march of events. The progress of religious democracy in Catholic countries since that day is but too marked a feature in modern history. There was but too much significance in the emblematic medal which the legate at Munich struck on the occasion, representing Religion as Cybele, drawn in her car by lions among the prostrate bodies of men.

The Pope, indeed, gained no present advantage by his journey, as is well known. Joseph received him with a polite affectation of keeping all serious conversation at a distance. Kaunitz, ac

[ocr errors]

cording to the anecdotes repeated by Vehse, thought it politic to treat the unwished-for stranger with peculiar rudeness, as if in contempt of his supposed power, shook lustily the hand which Pius offered him to kiss-received him at his villa in morning dishabille, talked of nothing but his statues and pictures, and pushed his visitor into all kinds of places and postures in order to give him a better sight of them, insomuch that the high-bred Italian, at once pontiff and patrician, remained “tutto stupefatto.' Joseph even gave his supposed victory over his Holiness something of a comic turn, by paying him a return visit at Rome, where the populace, always anti-papal whatever the sentiment may be elsewhere, received him with shouts of Long live the • Emperor-king, siete a casa vostra, siete il padrone. But the work of resistance to his reforms was not the less effectively commenced. The cause of reaction had received a moral aid, worth more than myriads of bayonets. Joseph was taught how thoroughly he had miscalculated, in bis heedlessness, the influence of the ulemas and fakirs — the objects of his scorn-over the masses which he deemed made but to obey a beneficent despot. He knew that there was a power within his states greater than that of the Emperor; that half the allegiance, and more than half the reverence, of the millions, belonged to another than him. His pride was no less wounded than his purpose thwarted. And the blow was a fatal one.

We have no space to dwell on the details of that reaction which completes, as it were, the dramatic unity of Joseph's ten years of reign. Perpetual opposition in Church and State made him in no degree alter his purpose, but it rendered him impatient and violent, and apt to exercise his power the more stubbornly in trifles, because he felt himself bound fast by a thousand invisible chains, when he attempted any greater movement. He became suspicious; and Vienna swarmed with government agents, noble and plebeian spies, instruments of the secret police, who poisoned his ear with suggestions of imaginary plots, and led him into the commission of acts of injustice towards some of his most faithful subjects. Then commenced in reality or in popular belief, that fearful system of the employment of egens provocateurs to stir up the opposition of classes and races, with which Austrian policy under several reigns has been reproached, how far justly it is impossible to say. When the Hungarian nobles were in organised passive resistance to the attack on their Constitution (1784) a Wallach boor, Horya, became the leader of a pensant insurrection against them. His supposed complicity with government agents was never proved; but he had tokens to show which worked strongly on the ima

« 前へ次へ »