August Fournier.

Napoleon the First, a biography online

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a revolution will be the inevitable result." Even personal ene-
mies of Stein's, such as the Minister Beyme, importuned Fred-
erick William to separate from Russia and accept the homage
of the provinces which had formerly been his on the farther side
of the Elbe. Others called his attention to the danger which he
was incurring вАФ that Austria, in case she should be victorious in
this war of liberation, might get a footing also in northern Ger-
many, since Silesia v/as already signifying her desire to return
under Austrian rule. Ernst Moritz Arndt, indeed, cried aloud
to the world: "Liberty and Austria! shall be our battle-cry;
long reign the House of Habsburg ! " A storm of enthusiasm swept
over all Germany and made itself felt in Vienna in spite of the
dissuasions and warnings of the King of Prussia, who now again
had thoughts of abdicating just as he did previous to the battle
of Jena. Was it then so serious an error of Stadion's when, acting
upon this impression, he took into account the German people
rather than its rulers, and finally succeeded in constraining even
the cold-hearted Emperor Francis to "hold the knife, so to
speak, to the throat of Napoleon"? (End of February, 1809.)

Just what Austria hoped to gain by the war is to be seen from
the instructions of January 29th given to Count Wallmoden,
who was empowered to act as plenipotentiary in the negotiations
with England: "to get back to the point of inward strength and

* On March 18th, 1809, the French Charg^ d' Affaires wrote to the
home Ministry from Vienna: "In 1805 the government alone advocated
war, neither the army nor the people desired itj in 1809 it is demanded
by government, army, and people."

458 Campaigns in Spain and Austria [I809

consistency at which the country stood after the last treaties
previous to the Treaty of Pressburg, . . , but with the understand-
ing that the right is reserved to make certain minor arrangements
concerning the improvement of our frontier and our position
toward Germany when a favourable opportunity shall present
itself, particularly as two younger branches of the hereditary
dynasty have been deprived of their rightful inheritances in the
course of the revolutionary wars and must find, either in Ger-
many or Italy, rehabilitation in their inherited territories or
compensation therefor." Somewhat farther on it is declared:
"It is Austria's desire, if she should be successful in overthrow-
ing the tributary system of Napoleon, to see every lawful pro-
prietor again in possession of the lands belonging to him before
the time of Napoleon's usurpations. This principle is to apply
first of all to Spain; then in Italy to the King of Naples, the
Pope, and the King of Sardinia; in Germany to the King of Prus-
sia, to the Elector of Hesse, to the Duke of Brunswick, and to
the King of England as regards Hanover, and, lastly, to the
present duchy of Warsaw in favour of Prussia. The court of
Vienna extends this principle even to those princes of Germany
whom in the approaching war it would be compelled to treat as
foes, but whose return into their inherited lands at the close of
the war it is ready to guarantee beforehand, although with cer-
tain conditions more or less severe according to the conduct
observed by them during the course of the war." *

To what extent Napoleon was informed as to these intentions
on the part of Austria when he so abruptly ceased operations in
Spain it would be impossible to say with any degree of accuracy.
It has, however, been shown that many a bit of information
reached him, generally by way of Munich, concerning the
country's preparations, of Austrian agitations to rebellion in

* Austria was even prepared "to grant to the King of Sardinia an
addition to his former territories sufficient to prevent his being compelled
in every war to tal^e slielter under tlie 1 'rench flag and to serve as advance-
guard to tlie I

Online LibraryAugust FournierNapoleon the First, a biography → online text (page 44 of 82)