14 JULY 1866, Page 1


TERY little that is either official or authentic oozes out concern-

ing the negotiations between France, Prussia, and Austria for the restoration of peace in Europe, but the intrinsic probabilities of the case, strengthened by the line actually adopted in the papers which are known to represent the Prussian and French Govern- ments, show pretty clearly what France and Prussia are at present looking to as the solution they would prefer. France is exceedingly anxious to trisect Germany,—to give Prussia the Elbe Duchies, and Hanover, and Brunswick, but to provide a group of strongly federated mid-German States, including Bavaria, Saxony, Weimar, Hesse Cassel, and others, as a non-conducting medium between the great North German power and Austria, and to save Austria as a South German power. On the other hand Prussia, though not apparently at present immoderate in her views, or at all inclined to demand as yet the political unity of Germany, is pro- bably immovable in her resolve to absorb Saxony and Hesse Camel, as well as the Elbe Duchies and Hanover, and anxious to exclude Austria altogether from Germany and retain the ex- clusive military and naval command of the new Bund, in which all the States except those which she herself has eaten up and the German possessions of Austria would be represented. But besides France and Prussia there is another great, though as yet much vaguer power, to account with—the democratic national passion for complete German unity ; and how far that may gain in force, and push Prussia into daily enlarging demands, no one can yet say. Probably the Emperor of the French knows as well as any one that any premature opposition from him is the one condi- tion certain to invest this huge but as yet inorganic force with a terrible political vitality.