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tility. His reconciliation with the supreme power at this period was a proof of Napoleon's placability as well as of the motives of political expediency by which he allowed himself to be governed. What Paradol's compliance cost himself was revealed by the terrible catastrophe the news of which came to his friends at home on the 19th of July. The intelligence of the fatal complication with Prussia had reached him on his arrival at Washington. He saw the Government to which he had just pledged himself rushing on a career which of all others he would most have deprecated—playing a fearful and desperate stake for Imperialism and the Dynasty. He felt his false position towards his ancient friends of the Opposition Left, he grieved over the coldness or reproaches with which they had already visited his defalcation from their ranks; add to this the withering, exhausting heat of that tropical July acting on a sensitive constitution. The result was a total upsetting of the mind's balance, which led to his death by his own hand—still a young man as years are counted, with apparently several decades of life to work in, and a career of distinguished promise.
The Budget for 1871 occupied three days of debate in the Corps Legislatif. The amount required was 2,236,988,589 francs, or 90,439,143/. sterling, of which half was for interest on national debt, endowments, customs, excise, and collection of taxes, one-third for Army and Navy, and between two and three hundred million francs only for the interior service of the empire. The opposition to it was lively, and the Ministerial defence not very successful, M. Ollivier's chief assertion, by way of argument, being that France was at that moment in a state of unexampled prosperity.
The trial of the prisoners implicated in the supposed conspiracy against the Emperor's life was fixed to take place before the High Court at Blois on the 18th of July. Upwards of seventy persons were on the list. Ultimately it took place in August, but attracted little attention amid the pressure of greater events.
Another trial that created great interest was one connected with the International Workmen's Society, on occasion of the seditious acts which had accompanied the recent strikes of operatives at Creuzot and elsewhere. The Public Prosecutor opened the judicial proceedings with a history of the society in question, which he denounced as a secret league, menacing every one with danger, and imbued with the rankest doctrines of Communism. On behalf of the defence it was denied that the society in question was a secret society, or that its object was to foment strikes. Some of the prisoners, moreover, maintained that they did not themselves belong to the society. After muc'i wrangling between the Public Prosecutor and the accused, the Tribunal at last gave sentence. Seven of the accused were condemned to a year's imprisonment, and a fine of 100 francs, and deprivation of civil rights for an additional year; and twenty-seven to two months' imprisonment and fifty francs fine; five were acquitted for want of evidence. While this judgment was being given, intelligence was received in Paris of a great strike that had taken place at the large manufacturing town of Mulhouse, in the department of the Haut Rhin, among a population almost exclusively German in their descent. Beginning with the carpenters and cabinet-makers, it had spread to other trades, till 16,000 hands had quitted their several employments. Troops arrived with a battery of artillery, but they could not prevent the burning of a large factory. It had been preceded by several strikes in the south—at Marseilles, Perpignan, and other places.
Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen's candidature for tho crown of Spain —Alarm and anger of the French Government—Remonstrances with Prussia— Explanations in the Chambers—Declaration of War, July 19th—Preparation and Arrangement of French forces by land and soa—Tho Emperor's arrival at Metz— Proclamation—Gorman Armies—Engagement at Saarbriick—Battles of Wiasemburg, Worth, and Spicheren—Retreat of the French Army—Disturbances at Paris —Resignation of Ministers—Paris placed in a state of defence—Prussians cross tho Frontier—Battles near Metz—MacMahon's N.e. march from Chalons—Pursuit by the Crown Prince—Battle of Sedan—Capitulation of the Emperor and entire Army—Excitement in Paris—Republic proclaimed—Provisional Government— Manifesto of Jules Favre—Bismarck's Counter-Manifesto-—Political parties— Defences of Paris—Its investment by the Germans—Second Circular of Jules Favre—Unsuccessful negotiations for an armistice—Fall of Laon, Toul, and Strasburg.
In the beginning of July an announcement was made by the Spanish Ministers, of their intention to recommend Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, a German prince belonging to a branch of the house widely separated from that which reigned in Prussia, to the long-vacant throne of Spain. Now this was not the first time this Prince's name had been heard by French statesmen in connexion with the candidature. Marshal Prim had stated in the Cortes early in June that an eligible candidate was likely to come forward. The Emperor's ambassador at Madrid certainly knew who was meant, and Prim in all probability believed that the choice was one which the Emperor would not disapprove. At all events, no objections were then raised on the part of France. Moreover, the personal and family circumstances of Prince Leopold allied him in some measure, it might seem, with French and Napoleonic interests. The branch of the Hohenzollerns to which he belonged was Roman Catholic; his paternal grandmother was a Murat; his maternal grandmother, a Beauharnais; his mother was of the house of Braganza Bourbon. It was more than five centuries since he and the King of Prussia had had a common ancestor. Still no doubt that king was his chef de famille, and the circumstance served as the ground of a quarrel, which just then, for political and dynastic reasons, the governing party in France found it convenient to take up. Ever since the German war of 1866, France, it was well known, had existed in mortal jealousy of Prussian aggrandizement. Pretext and opportunity fitting, war with so formidable a rival in the leadership of continental Europe would have been welcome any time within the last four years to a considerable section of the French public: add to this the Emperor's personal fear for his dynasty, after the late plebiscitum had revealed a certain amount of disaffection in his army to the imperial rule; and it seemed as desirable, as it was not difficult, to light the flame of public excitement with suggestions of Bismarckian intrigues, and of design on the part of the Prussian monarch to plant a subservient relative on the southern frontier of France.
On the 4th the Charge d' Affaires of France at Berlin presented himself at the Berlin Foreign Office to complain of the outrage to French susceptibilities caused by this step. In reply, he was told that it was no affair of the Prussian Government, and that no explanations could be furnished from that source. The following day Baron Werther, the ambassador from the North German Confederation, left Paris to join the Prussian King at Ems, and explain to him fully the state of French feeling.
On the 6th the Due de Gramont made a speech in the Legislative Chamber. It was undoubtedly true, he said, that Marshal Prim had offered the crown to the Hohenzollern Prince, and that the latter had accepted it; but the Spanish people had not yet declared themselves. It could not be that France.was bound to look on quietly if an alien power should disturb the equilibrium of Europe by placing one of her Princes on the throne of Charles V. He trusted to the good sense of the German people, and to the friendship of the Spanish people, to avert such an issue; but if it should arrive, the Government which he represented, strong in the support of the deputies and of the nation, would know how to fulfil its duties. Amidst the vehement applause which interrupted this speech, a few dissentient voices were heard. Gamier Pages declared that the people's wishes were for peace. Cremieux protested against the Minister's declaration. Ernest Picard demanded that documents should be laid before the Chamber; Glais Bizoin and Emmanuel Arago alike deprecated the warlike tone of the oration. At Ems, application was made to the Prussian King in person, by M. Benedetti, ambassador from France to the North German Confederation, requesting him to forbid Prince Leopold's acceptance of the Spanish crown, but without success. Beyond giving his personal sanction as head of the Hohenzollern family, the King said be had had no hand in the candidature, and he declined to interfere for. its withdrawal. Meanwhile, in view of the dangers to the peace of Europe which were arising, Prince Leopold himself decided on giving in his resignation, and a momentary hope arose that the threatened storm had blown over. But enough had not
been done to content Gramont and the war party in France. It was required that the King of Prussia should himself write to the Emperor Napoleon, excuse himself for having personally sanctioned. Prince Leopold's candidature, take a definite part in its present withdrawal, and promise that under no circumstances should that candidature be renewed. With these humiliating'requisitions M. Benedetti presumed personally to confront the King as he was taking his afternoon exercise in the public gardens at Ems. His abrupt demand was said to have been answered with a curt denial, and he was refused any further interviews.
On the 15th the following explanation was made to both branches of the French Legislature: by Ollivier in the Corps Legislatif, and by the Due de Gramont in the Senate :— 9
Gentlemen,—The manner in which you received the declaration of the 6th inst. afforded us the certainty that you approved our policy, and that we could count upon your support. We commenced, then, negotiations with the foreign Powers to invoke their good offices with Prussia in order that the legitimacy of our grievances might be recognized. We asked nothing of Spain, whose susceptibilities we did not wish to wound. We took no steps with the Prince of Hohenzollern, considering him shielded by the King of Prussia, and we refused to mix up in the affair any recriminations upon other subjects. The majority of the Powers admitted, with more or less warmth, the justice of our demands. The Prussian Minister of Foreign Affairs refused to accede to our demands, pretending that he knew nothing of the affair, and that the Cabinet of Berlin remained completely a stranger to it. We then addressed ourselves to the King himself, and the King, while avowing that he had authorized the Prince of Hohenzollern to accept the nomination to the Spanish Crown, maintained that he had also been a stranger to the negotiation, and that he had intervened between the Prince of Hohenzollern and Spain as head of the family, and not as Sovereign. He acknowledged, however, that he had communicated the affair to Count Bismarck. We could not admit this subtle distinction between the chief of the family and the Sovereign. In the meanwhile we received an intimation from the Spanish Ambassador that the Prince of Hohenzollern had renounced the Crown. We asked the King to associate himself with this renunciation, and we asked him to engage that should the Crown be again offered to the Prince of Hohenzollern he would refuse his authorization. Our moderate demands, couched in equally moderate language, written to M. Benedetti, made it clear that we had no arriere pensee, and that we were not seeking a pretext in the Hohenzollern affair. The engagement demanded the King refused to give, and terminated the conversation with M. Benedetti by saying that he would in this, as in all other things, reserve to him•"" "right of considering the circumstances. Notwithstanding -^sequence of our desire for peace, we did not break off ions. Our surprise was great when we learned that the King had refused to receive M. Benedetti, and had communicated the fact officially to the Cabinet. We learned that Baron Werther had received orders to take his leave, and that Prussia was arming. Under these circumstances we should have forgotten our dignity and also our prudence had we not made preparations. We have prepared to maintain the war which is offered to us, leaving to each that portion of the responsibility which devolves upon him. (Enthusiastic and prolonged applause.) Since yesterday we have called out the reserve, and we shall take the necessary measures to guard the interest and the security and the honour of France."
Simultaneously with this exposition, a credit of fifty millions was demanded by the Minister of War, and granted, though not without energetic opposition from several members of the Left, who declaimed, some against the injustice, some against the danger and impolicy of a war with Germany.
The Senate went on Sunday to St. Cloud to congratulate the Emperor on the decision arrived at. To the populace of Paris the exciting prospect was welcome. Crowds assembled on the Boulevards, singing the "Marseillaise" and "Mourir pour la Patrie," and shouting " Vive la guerre \" " h. Berlin \" " a bas la Prusse."
On the 19th of July, war was formally declared. On Saturday, the 24th, a proclamation came out. There were "solemn moments in the life of peoples," it said, " when the national honour violently excited, imposes itself with irresistible force, dominates all interests, and alone takes in hand the destinies of the country. Launched on the path of invasion, Prussia has aroused defiance everywhere, necessitated exaggerated armaments, and turned Europe into a camp where only uncertainty and fear of the morrow reigns. .... It only remains to us to confide our destinies to the decision of arms We wish to conquer a lasting peace."
The Due de Gramont forwarded a lengthy despatch to the representatives of France abroad, declaring that the Hohenzollern candidature had been agitated as far back as March, and as good as disavowed then by the Prussian Government at the remonstrances of France.
The sittings of the Senate and Corps Legislatif were adjourned by decree.
The French declaration of war had been sudden; and most military critics expected that it would have been followed by a movement on what is termed the middle course of the Rhine, and an immediate and rapid campaign, allowing no time for the Prussians to concentrate their forces before Germany should be cut through the middle, and North and South separated. Then, such were the calculations of the French war politicians, those German States which had been unwillingly coerced in 1866 into acknowledging Prussian supremacy, would have rejoiced in the opportunity to take part against her, Austria would have re-asserted herself, Sadowa would have been avenged; and, as a final result, France would have remained arbitress of Europe, with the Rhine frontier secured to