25 AUGUST 1866, Page 7


WHERE is patience, then, as well as audacity in Count Big- ." mark. He is going to treat the conquered States of Germany as we treated Scotland, not as- we treated Ireland, and leave the unconquered to be fused by the slow action of local public opinion. The Fill for the annexation of Hanover, Hesse, Nassau, and Frankfort only accepted the sovereignty, and the Chamber began to fear that the union was to be dynastic, the King of Prussia becoming also King of Hanover, but Hanover not merging itself finally in Prussia. The consequence of that arrangement would' be an immense aggrandizement of the Crown, without any corresponding addition to the power of the people. In answer to doubts of this kind the Premier ex- plained his policy in Committee with much address, with a singular and welcome frankness, and in the most conciliating spirit,- There was no danger of his taking too little, or being beguiled into a false moderation. " The Prussian Govern'. meet is sufficiently actuated by strong ambition to make it advisable to calm rather than to stimulate it," a hint to be pondered abroad as- well as= at home. The States named in the Bill are to be incorporated into Prussia finally ; not at a bound, "as is the custom' of the Latin peoples;" but in the "German meaner," by humouring any local institutions which may appear endurable. That is, the union is to be complete, the new kingdom being all subject to one Parlia, meat as well as one King, as Scotland and England are, but if Hanover has any system of law or municipal organization which she prefers, she will retain it, as Scotland' does, till she is-willing to give it up. That seems not unwise, uniformity of machinery not being so essential as uniformity of purpose, which the com- mon government will secure. Moderation in annexing territory is dangerous to Prussia, which has broken up all Germany, and ought therefore to reorganize all, but moderation in uniformity removes perhaps the only great difficulties in the way of fusion—the fear of the local bureaucracy lest they should be superseded, and the dislike of the people towards the rigid Prussian officials. If the fusion were made absolute and immediate, the bureaus must be imported from Prussia, and the signs of conquest will be far too visible, as they were in Italy, when for a year or two if you saw an official with 1001. a yearyou saw a Piedmontese. Better let the old men whom the people know remain, even though there should be some diffi- culty in teaching them to move in the hard, exact, attentive manner insisted upon in Prussia, where- an official who re- ceives an order is-expected not only to obey it, but to keep on obeying it with all his energies, to economize State expendi- ture, for exam le; persistently, and not by fits and starts. Gradually localisms will die away, as they would die away it Scotland, bat that the stronger nation approves them almost as cordially as the weaker one ; and the political fusion is to' be complete. Three alternatives, says Count Bismark; were open to the Government--annexation, accepted with the- reserve described ; partition, rejected nominally because- the populations disliked it, really because the King of the- little' hit left would always be intriguing to regain the remainder ; and the creation of two king- Ships in- one State; This is really going to be done in Saxony. " We are compelled," he says, "by circumstances," i. e., by the interference both of France and Austria, to set up two Kings in Saxony, one the military King, " a foreigner always coming forward with distasteful requirements," the other the civil King, always " exercising the beneficent influ- ences of the civil regime," an arrangement which the Premier evidently does not believe calculated to endure, and which, should it last long, will undoubtedly turn the good Saxons to determined malcontents, as undutiful as children would be if the nurse always cossetted and the mother always slapped. It is, however, to be tried for the present, and so is the other, of keeping up hereditary Lord-Lieutenants in the persons of those Princes who adhere to Prussia. They are to be liberally treated, much more liberally than in the scheme of 1848, the King for the present at all events declining the Imperial Crown. " I admit," says the Premier, " that in theory that constitution proceeds with more strictness and consistency than our scheme, the union, because it makes, so to speak, of the different sovereigns the subjects, the vassals, of the future Emperor of Germany, but these sovereigns will be more dis- posed to concede rights to an ally, a functionary of the union, than to an Emperor and suzerain." The South, which now, says the Count, with his strange frankness, " contains a large hostile population," will gradually be conciliated by the good faith displayed towards all friendly Princes, and then indeed Germany may at last become a whole. At present it is better, he says, not to offer Bavaria the terms imposed on Saxony. It is easy to see amidst all this that the statesman has been fettered by palace intrigues, that he is occasionally moderate perforce, and sometimes invents the argument after the act has been resolved on for very different reasons. But he is steer- ing the ship well, and as rapidly as he dare, fusing terri- tories inhabited by nearly four millions of people, and sending the Crown Prince to govern them, so that when he is King he may understand the necessity of complete uniformity, and pressing on the allied populations the one incident of the Revolution they cordially detest. Mecklenburgers, and Olden- burgers, and Brunswickers compelled to submit to the relenting Landwehr conscription, whether they fuse themselves in Prussia or no, will soon grow, as the Count says, impatient of being " second-class Prussians," soon long for the broader careers and more vigorous life of the Imperial State. Succes- sive petitions from the people to a liberal King can hardly be resisted, even if the Princes themselves do not find, like the Catholic Hohenzollerns, that playing at government when one must carry out most exasperating orders from a foreign capital is work yielding little dignity and less enjoyment: The pro- cess will be a slow one, too slow, we fear, for this generation, but it is none the less inevitable.

It is much to have secured even this, for the Premier's course has been beset with difficulties of which we obtain some inkling in- the final arrangements made with the Southern States. Count von Bismark intended, as we know, to drive Hesse Darmstadt to the south of the Main, to deprive Bavaria of Franconia and the Palatinate, clip her into powerlessness, and to punish Wurtemberg for its audacious seizure of Hohenzollern. The King, however, still rules in Prussia, and the King, as we have all heard, is not the man whom Bismark, had it been left to him, would have created. He minds people of his own caste, reads autographs from the Czar, listens to the great ladies of his family, feels as if it hurt him to strip nephews and relatives of the dig- nity to which they were born, and on which they have set their hearts as an English Peer does on his social status. For relations to be poorer than oneself is pleasant, but for re- lations 'to lose caste—that is not so enjoyable. He does not like the sense of being left lonely on a pinnacle, with nobody in Germany to whom he can talk as to an equal. The Wurtem- berger is the Czar's brother-in-law, and one must be polite, so in virtue of his wife he is let off with a fine. The Duke of Baden married the King's daughter, and robbing daughters is offensive to kindly natured' men, so Baden gets off with a con- tribution which a new lease for the gaming-tables will supply. Hesse Darmstadt will belong to the husband of the future Queen of Prussia, so the frontier of the new kingdom is broken, and• a half State admitted into North Germany in order that a British Princess should not be inconvenienced or her husband suffer even the appearance of compulsion. Only Homburg is ceded, a sacrifice which will hurt the gamesters of Europe more than its respectable people, and the reversionary claim to

Hesse Cassel on the Elector's death. Then, as the Palatinate is not wanted for Princess Alice, Bavaria is allowed to retain it, Bavaria yielding Princesses in swarms both to Vienna and Berlin ; and the great Southern State loses only Franconia, if indeed even that. Think of the maze of intrigue in which Count von Bismark must have been involved, the pressure from this Prince and that great lady, the ridiculous arguments which he must have answered with a respectful face and a savage heart. He does not believe in divine right, this man, and he does believe in himself ; and all this parcelling out of provinces to gratify family claims, and soothe the French Court, and conciliate the British Court, and not offend the Russian Court, and banish this personal susceptibility, and remove that conscientious scruple. and avoid that threatened "cut direct," must have made him wish heartily that he had been for one short year dictator. The Princes, if they had come back then, would at least not have known their States. Even now, when so much has been compro- mised, there is danger remaining, for the Junkers are savage with the overthrow of the Princes, the King is fascinated with the notion of reigning over vassal sovereigns and reviving the Middle Ages, and Count von Bismark is desperately inclined to hold out that olive branch with which he once threatened his Liberal opponents. If he does hold it out, and they recognize that it is held out, Germany will have gained yet one more advantage from her Seven Days' War, a statesman who, while he must be Liberal, has yet proved that he can govern. In the entire Fortschritt party there is not a man qualified by experience to administer a department, but with Bismark and hall-a-dozen clerks the German Liberals would have a Cabinet ready at any moment to take office. The Junkers may yet regret that they made such a fuss about the expulsion of half-a-dozen Kings.