« السابقةمتابعة »
the Fenians ; holding that their wishes cannot be gratified without danger to the general well-being of the empire.' To the NorthGerman he will say "The possession of a single administrative and legislative system is as much an advantage for Austria as it is for North-Germany: if you advocate the suppression of your petty dukedoms and princedoms, how can you consistently condemn the abrogation of provincial independence in Austria ?' The answer that the federalist might make to these and similar arguments lies on the surface. Unity of administration is only so far good as there exists a unity in the material administrated. There can be no universal rule laid down in this question. From certain points of view it would no doubt be an advantage for France and Germany to be governed from a single centre; but there are other points of view from which it would be an unquestionable evil. The question to be considered is, whether there exists in the various nationalities of which Austria is composed a sufficient unity of political purpose to justify the maintenance of a central administration. Apart from this argument, there are many who uphold federalism as the means to a more complete and representative centralism ; who consider the establishment of a federal system as the only practical method for ridding the Government of the traditions of German supremacy. A central system, say they, should be the result of the voluntary cohesion of the political units; the movement which produces it should come from the extremities and not from the centre itself. But under the present régime a movement of this sort is impossible. Give the provinces autonomy and it will not be long before they recognize the advantages of unity.
Turning now from the general question at issue between the two parties, let us ask what are the practical claims put forward hy the Austrian Slaves and their chief spokesmen the Czechs ? They ask first of all for the abolition of the Schmerlingian groupsystem, the natural and almost necessary result of which would be the election of a Slavish majority to the Reichsrath, and the establishment by this majority of a federal constitution—a constitution indeed which in such an event the Germans would be the first to demand. Then comes the main difficulty. The Germans urge with much force that the Landtage dominated by a Slavish majority would in all probability make a tyrannical use of their new power, and treat the Germans very much worse than the Germans had treated them. Dr. Fischhof proposes to obviate this difficulty in the following manner. Either, he says, the Landtag might be divided into two different chambers for the two prevailing nationalities, and each chamber be given in certain questions a power of vetoing the resolutions of the other : or, the representatives of the two nationalities might debate in common, but vote in separate curies, the sanction of each cury being necessary for the carrying of certain laws. He proposes to restrict the right of separate voting to questions connected with education and language.
The tyranny of the majority' in the Reichsrath would be obviated according to his plan still more simply. He would turn the Upper House into a Senate on the American principle. Each province would here have an equal voice. The Lower House would then be no longer chosen indirectly, through the Landtage, but directly by the people themselves, while each Landtag would send an equal number of members to the Upper Housė. As it happens, in eight of the seventeen provinces of Cisleithania there is a majority of Germans, so that the preponderance of the Slaves in the Lower House would be checked by the almost equal balance of power in the Upper House. The two Houses would thus in De Tocqueville's words respectively represent the principles of population and federation.
It is not very probable that any so radical scheme will be adopted for the present by the Austrian Parliament. And yet the existing state of things is perilous in the extreme, and evidently calls for some heroic remedy. The centralist Ministry, which took office after the passing of the Ausgleich' with Hungary, succumbed in the winter of 1869 to the opposition of the Czechs and the Poles. Though commanding a majority in the Reichsrath, they represented the minority of the nation, and their government was an anomaly. Graf Potocki, the Pole, was then appointed Minister-President. His intention was to carry a gradual scheme of federation, beginning with Galicia. But he failed to conciliate the Czechs, who showed no wish to help the Poles to a liberty which they were not sure of securing for themselves afterwards. Hence the Government was left in a hopeless minority, for the German party, with a culpable want of patriotism, refused to support Potocki, and passed in the autumn of 1870 a vote of want of confidence against the Ministry, The Kaiser and Count Beust were involved in an apparently inextricable dilemma. Government by the majority, and government by the minority of the Reichsrath, had both been tried in the balances, and been found wanting. There ensued an interregnum of eight weeks. At last the list of new ministers, which had been kept completely secret till the morning of publication, was published in the Wiener Zeitung. The list contained the names of a number of hitherto unknown men. Not a single member of the new government had ever sat in the Reichsrath or the Landtag, and two of them were born Czechs.
The scheme was ingeniously planned to meet the two main difficulties of the situation—the party hostility of the centralists, and the opposition of the Czechs. But the German party, though incapable of governing themselves, seem determined to allow no one else to govern but themselves. The measure of Count Hohenwart, the Minister-President, which proposed to confer a modified liberty of initiative on the Landtage, has lately been rejected in a full house, and matters rest as they were.
What is the remedy for these things? Government with the present Reichsrath is evidently impossible. To an outside observer, there appears to be but one straightforward policy which would cut the knot. Let the Kaiser pass a decree abolishing the group-method of voting, dissolve the Reichsrath, and trust to the good sense and patriotism of the electors. The result of this would probably be the return to Parliament of an autonomist majority, which would help the Government to carry a number of measures for the conciliation of the Slavish populations. The latter have at present, in addition to their parliamentary grievances, several grounds of discontent. They complain, for instance, that the clause of the first State ground-law, enacting the equality of all nationalities and languages in the eyes of the law, is a mere dead letter. Unlike the remaining clauses of the law, it pronounced nothing but the abstract principle, and has not been followed up by the definite regulations necessary to make it effective. Hence they urge that the Reichsrath was only half-sincere in inserting it. They ask that the State should come forward and encourage the foundation of universities and high-schools, where the Czechish, Slovenian, Polish, Servian, and Rumanian tongues may be scientifically studied. At the same time, they ask that the judges and other State officials should make use in all public transactions of the language spoken by the majority of the population. A nation, says Dr. Fischhof, can only be cultivated and civilized through the medium of its own tongue. If you wish to win over the Slaves to German culture, you will defeat your own ends by forcing on them the use of a foreign idiom. Prepare the soil first in the only way in which it can be rightly prepared, and it will welcome and assimilate for itself the riches of German science and literature. These require no force to recommend them to the world; the employment of force implies a doubt of their intrinsic value.
But the Germans are opposed to these changes, and the Kaiser is naturally unwilling to alienate the sympathies of the race which forms, after all, the backbone of the empire. At the present moment especially, the victories of their Northern brothers, and the prestige which has gathered round the German name, makes them less than ever inclined to bend the neck to the whims of their semi-barbarous fellow-subjects. Austrian statesmen see only too plainly that the link which binds the German population to the monarchy is but a slight one, and will not bear any excessive strain. It is worth while to consider what are the chances, and what would be the results, of an annexation of the German provinces by the newly founded empire. At present the relations existing between the two courts are the most amicable, and it seems improbable that Prince Bismarck is meditating any aggressive move.
The feeling, too, of the German inhabitants of Vienna and the principal towns is on the whole distinctly averse to the transference of allegiance from Kaiser Franz Joseph to Kaiser Wilhelm. They have tasted the sweets of liberty, and feel little attraction to the iron system of Berlin. On the other hand, it is unquestionable that the dominant party in Germany look forward with a sort of hungry impatience to the time when the black, red, and white flag shall be planted on the Hofburg of Vienna. It is the fashion among these politicians to talk of Austria as a hopelessly demoralized country, which nothing less than the rigid rule of Prussia could restore to healthy life. Indeed, Berlin and Vienna are complete contrasts: it is no wonder that they should fail to understand one another. On the one side we see civil absorbed in military life, a feudal aristocracy, an almost Puritanic rigidity of manners; on the other side a sociable bourgeoisie, genial manners, a free and almost licentious press. It may be presumed that the time has not yet come for the incorporation of the old Kaiser-city in the empire of the North. Such an incorporation would be really harmful to the cause of European civilization. The Germans of Bohemia and the two Austrias act as a sort of political rallying-point for the inchoate civilizations which enclose them. It would be a pity if they abandoned this quasi-colonial task imposed on them. Without them the Czechs, Slovenians, Ruthenians, &c., would be incapable of holding together, and would fall a prey sooner or later to the clutches of Russia. But with their help Austria may look forward to a glorious future. The Christian populations lying to the south-east of Hungary are utterly incapable of governing themselves, and the task of their political reconstruction could be entrusted most properly to Austria. But before any such schemes can become possible, she must set her own house in order. To this end a certain amount of self-sacrifice is required on the part of the Germans, and a cheerful co-operation on the part of the remaining nationalities. The main home difficulties which threaten the monarchy have been already described. The dangers which threaten it from without are merely, as it were, the mirror and counterpart of those which threaten it from within. Russia is only so far dangerous, as she can serve as the rallying-point for the discontent of the Austrian Slaves. The aim of the Austrian statesman should be to make the old empire a home where the mixed nationalities of central Europe may enjoy peace, prosperity, and freedom. Such a policy will be the surest safeguard against the intrigues of the Panslavists and Orthodoxists of Moscow. It has been shown that patriotism of the ordinary kind—the patriotism which rests on communities of blood, literature, and national history-cannot be expected in Austria. The time has gone by when patriotism could be based on the pride of a common army, and fomented by continuous acts of successful military aggression. What remaining idea is there that may serve as an element of cohesion to the Austrian peoples? The idea of common rights and a common freedom, and the knowledge that these rights and this freedom can only be secured against the attacks of foreign absolutism by the union which is strength, and the subservience of a multiplicity of wills to a common object, which is unity.
ART. IV.-The whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor,
D.D., Lord Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore: with a Life of the Author, and a critical examination of his Writings. By the Right Rev. Reginald Heber, D.D., late Lord Bishop of Calcutta. Revised and corrected by the Rev. Charles Page Eden, M.A., and the Rev. Alexander Taylor, M.A. In 10
volumes. London, 1856. 2. Bishop Jeremy Taylor, his Predecessors, Contemporaries, and
Successors. A Biography. By the Rev. Robert Aris Willmott, Incumbent of Bear Wood, Berks. Second Edition. London, 1848. \HE
Jeremy Taylor; and he has, we think, fairly earned his supremacy. He is much the most distinguished of those who, in the early part of the seventeenth century, turned in their sermons from the discussion of abstract points of theology to the earnest recommendation of those points of Christian life and character which are known and loved of all men; no one of his time joined in an equal degree the graver studies of morality and theology with an eager love of polite letters, not only in Vol. 131.- No. 261.