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the Emperor's carriage at the door of the Opera-house. The royal cortège narrowly escaped. The Emperor's hat was torn, and his forehead scratched. The number of persons wounded was 102. Never was there a narrower escape; never did the act of a desperate conspirator produce more important effects on the politics of Europe. It shook the nerves of Louis Napoleon, and plunged him into the whirlpool of Italian politics, which ultimately led to war and broke up the treaties of 1815. It nearly led to a quarrel with England, and actually caused a change of Ministry in this country; and as minor events follow in the train of violent causes, it brought back Lord Malmesbury to the Foreign Office. The grenades thrown by Orsini were manufactured in England; the conspiracy had been matured in this country. Two, at least, of the persons implicated in it-one of them being a Frenchman, Bernard-were still residing in London. In France, a cry of indignation was raised against the asylum afforded by England to refugees who were conspiring against the life of an allied and friendly sovereign. We have had some recent experience of the feelings excited by conspiracies carried on with impunity in foreign countries against the lives and property of our own citizens. As the law stood, a man could not be prosecuted for being an accessory to a murder committed abroad by one foreigner upon another, and the British Government had no power to grant the extradition of Simon Bernard if the demand had been made. Subsequently, he was tried for a misdemeanour at the Old Bailey, and although the facts were proved, he was disgracefully acquitted.
On February 9 Lord Palmerston, being anxious to give some satisfaction to the not unjust irritation of the French, brought in a bill to make conspiracy to murder a felony instead of a misdemeanour. The first reading of the bill was carried by a majority of 299 against 99, Mr. Disraeli and the Tories supporting it. But, meanwhile, the threats. of the French colonels had produced great irritation here. The Radical party fiercely opposed the bill, and when Mr. Milner Gibson moved a hostile amendment on February 20, the majority of the Conservatives supported him, and the bill was thrown out by 234 to 215. We have always considered this as one of the most flagrant violations of principle ever committed by an Opposition, and it was done not without encouragement from one of the Conservative leaders who had previously expressed his approval of the measure. The immediate result was the resignation of Lord Palmerston
and his colleagues, and the return of the Tories to power, on the back of a refusal to grant any satisfaction to the French Government.
The second Derby Government did not differ materially from the first. Lord Malmesbury returned to the Foreign Office. Attempts were made to enlarge the basis of the Cabinet, but they did not succeed. The following entry is remarkable :-
'March 2nd.-Lord Grey said to Lady Tankerville that he would have joined Lord Derby's Government if it had not been for Mr. Disraeli, and that Mr. Gladstone would also have joined him had he been offered the leadership of the Commons.'
Lord Malmesbury's first care was to allay the irritation of the French-not an easy task, and it was rendered more difficult by the violence of M. de Persigny, then French Ambassador in London.
'March 6th.-M. de Persigny is furious at our party coming into office, as he is devoted to Lord Palmerston, and instead of assisting me to restore the friendly feeling lately subsisting between England and France, has done all he can to prevent my attaining that object; not only by relating to Lord Palmerston all that passes between us, but by writing letters to the Emperor to increase his irritation. My impression is that the Emperor is pretending to be more angry than he really is to please the French; but that, if we are firm, he will give way, and intends to do so. I believe, however, that the late attempt on his life has greatly shaken his nerves, that he is spoilt by a life of ease and pleasure, and does not stand being shot at as well as he used to do.' (Vol. ii. p. 103.)
But Persigny was at daggers drawn with Count Walewski, then Foreign Minister in Paris. A conciliatory despatch from Downing Street was well received. Persigny resigned, and to his great disgust his resignation was accepted. And on the first meeting of the House of Commons after the adjournment Mr. Disraeli was able to announce that an answer had arrived giving full satisfaction to England and that the dispute was at an end.
'March 20th.-Dined at Lady Molesworth's last night, where we met the Palmerstons and Madame de Persigny, who was crying at her husband's having given up the Embassy. She still seemed to hope they might stay. At that moment Persigny arrived, walked straight up to her, without noticing anybody else, and whispered in her ear. She got up, and went into another room, he following; and they walked about the rooms, out of one into another, in a state of great agitation. Persigny ended by rushing out of the house, to the amazement of the company, to none of whom had he said a word!'.
Such scenes were not uncommon between this excitable lady and her 'cher petit Victor;' when they visited the Malmesburys in the Highlands, her conduct was still more offensive and burlesque. M. de Persigny was succeeded by Pélissier, the Duc de Malakoff, a singular diplomatist, but who was favourably impressed by his reception in this country. In truth, the relations of France and England were entirely carried on in Paris by Lord Cowley, whose personal influence with the Emperor was great, and who had the unbounded confidence of his own chief. The foreign policy of that eventful year, when several delicate questions came under discussion, was as much the work of Lord Cowley as of Lord Malmesbury himself.
But few weeks have elapsed, at the present time, since the close of the life of that eminent diplomatist and excellent man, although he has long been withdrawn by physical infirmities from the public service. The publication now before us is an opportune tribute to his great desert. fell to the lot of Lord Cowley to act as British Ambassador in Paris during the whole period of the Second Empire. By him our alliance with France was strengthened; by him our differences with France were allayed. Though reserved and somewhat cold in manner, no representative of the Crown ever defended its interests with greater warmth and dignity. His judgement was unclouded; his conduct unshaken. He served Ministers of both sides in England with equal fidelity, and amidst the fluctuations of party in this country, and the storms and gusts which passed over France or gathered on her horizon, Lord Cowley contributed more than any other man to preserve the uniform traditions of our foreign policy in the interests of peace, and to exercise a moderating influence over the adventurous sovereign whom a series of revolutions had placed upon the throne.
Lord Malmesbury had not been long in office before he perceived that the Emperor in 1858 was a very different man from the Emperor in 1852. He had lost all his sense
of rights and prudence, and is acting on passion.' 'A 'complete plan for the invasion of England by Admiral ' de la Gravière, made in 1857, is in my possession.' These are ominous sentences. Before the close of the year rumours of war gained consistency, for in fact at that very time the negotiation between the Emperor and M. de Cavour was going on at Plombières, and on January 1 the Emperor's declaration showed what was in store for Austria. From
that moment Lord Malmesbury directed all his exertions to avert, or at least to localise, the impending war. He was, therefore, in direct opposition to the policy of the Emperor, who first attempted to deceive him and Lord Cowley by false assurances, and afterwards resented the opposition of England with great bitterness. The motive of the hostility of the French Government, and of M. de Persigny in particular, to Lord Derby's Administration, was that, from Lord Palmerston's well-known enthusiasm for the cause of Italy and aversion to Austria, backed by the influence of the Italian Minister in London and Signor Panizzi, who were his intimate friends, the French hoped that if Lord Palmerston were in office he would aid and abet them in the Italian war. This was so true that at a subsequent period, on his return to office, Lord Palmerston proposed to the Cabinet an offensive and defensive alliance with France and Italy; but the majority of his colleagues did not share his opinion, and the proposal was overruled.
The view of Lord Malmesbury and the Derby Ministry was, on the contrary, that this, the first outbreak of French military action on the continent of Europe, whatever might be the motive, was a flagrant violation of the pledge 'L'Empire c'est la paix ;' that it would break up the existing treaties and settlement of the Continent which had weathered the storm of 1848; and that this campaign would lead to further conflicts, of which no man could foresee the end, and possibly to a general war. Nor was this opinion peculiar to the Tory Party. It was shared by Lord Clarendon; it was defended at the time by ourselves. It was argued that, although an amelioration of the condition of Italy was highly desirable, it was perilous to all nations to effect it by letting loose the armies of France. So in fact it has proved. Territorial aggrandizement has followed in the rear of conquest; provinces have been seized and annexed by great States; new combinations have arisen by which France herself has been the chief loser; Europe has ever since been crushed by enormous armaments; and no system of alliances, based on public law and a general European Treaty, has as yet been restored.
Foreseeing these dangers, the manifest traditional policy of England was to labour in the cause of peace, and if unhappily war ensued, to proclaim her absolute neutrality between the contending parties. Lord Malmesbury's letters to Lord Cowley prove that this was the course he adopted.
'Lord M. to Lord Cowley.
Heron Court: January 7, 1859.
My dear Cowley,-I will send you a very important paper in a few days (the Queen must approve of my reply first), which I have got from Bloomfield, asking me on the part of the Prussian Government what we mean to do if Austria and France go to war. I have answered, neutrality at all events, and as long as possible. We are ready, if Austria and France choose to join, to improve the Legations, to give our moral support, and even to consider a reconstruction of the Central territory if we see hopes of improving the condition of the people without weakening the spiritual authority of the Pope; but we will not consent beyond this to any alterations in the territorial arrangements of 1815, which have ensured the longest peace on
'Lord M. to Lord Cowley.
'Foreign Office: January 11, 1859. 'My dear Cowley,-You will see that we have taken a line, and I leave you to carry it out with your usual straightforward exactness. If the Emperor cares for the public opinion of this country, he must be made to understand that it will be against the aggressor, whoever he may be, who is the first cause of a European war. That it will cost him his life or his crown I have not the least doubt. Eventually, as it spreads, Germany is sure to be found united against the Latin nations; therefore it is as a friend I wish to warn him before he decides at his age and in his position on such a coup de dés. Persigny went back yesterday to intrigue against Walewski and her Majesty's present Government. . . . Of course you will see the Emperor himself, and give all the solemnity you can to the advice, leaving all the consequences and calamities of a European war on his head if he begins, or allows Sardinia to begin.'
'January 12th.-The King of Sardinia has made a speech which can only mean war. Things look bad all over Europe, and it will be very difficult to avert a general war if Louis Napoleon wants one. Great panic in Paris, and war very unpopular. The Emperor is getting alarmed at the feeling in France and the extraordinary fall in the funds; also at the unpopularity of the marriage arranged between Prince Napoleon and the King of Sardinia's daughter. Lord Cowley writes that he was much depressed at his ball; but I believe it is his fear of assassination, which haunts him perpetually, and has robbed him of all his former courage and coolness. It is driving him on to war, thinking that by supporting the cause of Italian nationality he will disarm those men who, in his earlier days, were his confederates in Carbonarism, and to whom he is pledged by former promises, and perhaps oaths. Cavour, knowing these facts, works upon them to induce him to take part openly with Sardinia. Austria is behaving with a folly which is perfectly inconceivable considering her position surrounded by enemies on all the frontiers. But what can one expect from Buol? I care for neither Austria nor France, but Lord Derby