26 MARCH 1892, Page 23


Memoirs of the Prince de Talleyrand. Edited by the Duc de Broglie. Translated by Mrs. Angus Hall. Vol. IV. (Griffith, Farran, and Co.)—As we have long since given up the expectation of receiving entertainment from the Talleyrand Memoirs, we must be content with what we can get. This fourth volume, which we must say is not even in bulk a very ample equivalent for its cost, contains but little. It is chiefly occupied with matters that arose out of the separation of Belgium from Holland. The throne had to be given away, and there were various candidates for it.

Prince Otho of Bavaria, who was afterwards inflicted on Greece, was proposed; so were the Due de Leuchtenberg, the Due de Nemours, an Austrian Archduke, and the Prince of Orange. The last of these was an impossibility. The Due de Nemours was actually chosen and proclaimed, but as England would have gone to war sooner than permit the election, the French King refused

to accept for his son. Talleyrand had all along fixed on Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, demonstrating again the soundness of his political judgment. The French Envoy at Brussels conceived the idea of creating a Polish Kingdom for the disappointed Prince of Orange, a proposition on which the Prince bestows not a little scorn. Of English matters, the most interesting, perhaps, is the anec- dote about Lord Palmerston's irritation at "H. B.'s " caricature of "The Blind Leading the Blind," in which his own figure and that of Talleyrand were represented. Of course there are not a few things in the volume which are interesting. There is the Duc de Dalberg's notable saying, "The mountebanks of the Empire will not bring back the victories of Napoleon," words which were curiously verified some forty years later. But the effect of the whole is not satisfactory. It would have been useful, while waiting for the index, to have had head-lines giving some infor- mation. As it is, we have to find our way about with an inadequate "Table of Contents."