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Title: Lord Lyons: A Record of British Diplomacy, Vol. 2 of 2
Author: Newton, Thomas Wodehouse Legh
Language: English
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[Illustration: _Lord Lyons, at the age of 65._









    _All rights reserved_





    Thiers as Chief of the Executive--Negotiations respecting a new
    Anglo-French Commercial Treaty--Return of the Princes--Embarrassment
    caused by the Comte de Chambord--Question
    of voting in the House of Lords--Thiers elected President--State
    of parties in France--Irritation in Germany against Thiers--Diplomatic
    incident at Constantinople--Signature of Anglo-French
    Commercial Treaty--Death of the Emperor Napoleon--Lord
    Odo Russell on Bismarck's policy--Fall of Thiers--Bismarck
    and Arnim                                                      1




    MacMahon as President of the Republic--Franco-German
    relations--Bismarck's confidences to Lord Odo Russell--Political
    confusion in France--The war scare of 1875--Rumoured intention
    of Khedive to sell his Suez Canal shares--Lord Odo Russell on
    Bismarck's Foreign Policy--Purchase of Khedive's shares by H.M.
    Government                                                    47




    The Powers and Turkey: England and the Andrassy Note--Gambetta
    on French Politics--Simplicity of Marshal MacMahon--Political
    consequences of French military re-organisation--Struggle
    between the Marshal and Parliament--The Constantinople
    Conference: Determination of Lord Derby to do nothing--Intrigues
    of the Duc Décazes--Constitutional crisis in
    France--Defeat of Marshal MacMahon: new Radical Ministry
    formed under Dufaure with Waddington as Foreign Minister--Treaty
    of San Stefano; nervousness of French Government--Determination
    of H.M. Government to secure a Conference--Invitation
    to Lord Lyons to be the British representative at
    Berlin--Resignation of Lord Derby: appointment of Lord
    Salisbury--Lord Salisbury's circular of April 1st, 1878--Inquiry
    of Lord Salisbury respecting French desire for Tunis--The Anglo-Turkish
    Convention--The Congress of Berlin--Reception in
    France of the Anglo-Turkish Convention--Waddington and
    Tunis--Sir H. Layard on the Treaty of Berlin                  95




    Paris Exhibition of 1878: desire of Queen Victoria to visit it
    incognito--Tunis--Resignation of MacMahon: Election of
    Grévy--Waddington Prime Minister: his difficulties--Anglo-French
    policy in Egypt--Question of deposing the Khedive
    Ismail--Differences between British and French Governments
    with regard to Egypt--Deposition of the Khedive by the Sultan--Death
    of the Prince Imperial: effect in France--Proposed
    visit of Gambetta to England: his bias in favour of English
    Conservatives--Resignation of Waddington: Freycinet Prime
    Minister--Coolness between France and Russia                 161




    Change of Government in England and reversal of Foreign Policy--The
    French Embassy in London: Freycinet's model Ambassador--Personal
    characteristics of Lord Lyons: _On ne lui connait
    pas de vice_--The work at the Paris Embassy--The Eastern
    Question: Mr. Goschen at Constantinople--The Dulcigno
    Demonstration and the difficulties of the European Concert--Proposal
    to seize Smyrna--Opportune surrender of the Sultan--H.M.
    Government and the Pope: Mission of Mr. Errington,
    M.P.--Gambetta on the European situation--French expedition
    to Tunis--Ineffectual objections of H.M. Government--Establishment
    of French Protectorate over Tunis--Irritation in England
    and Italy--Distinction drawn between Tunis and Tripoli--Attempt
    to negotiate a new Anglo-French Commercial
    Treaty: Question of Retaliation                              209




    Egypt: the _coup d'état_ of the Colonels: joint Anglo-French
    action--Gambetta as Prime Minister--His desire to remain on good
    terms with England--Egypt: the Dual Note--Gambetta in favour of
    a more resolute joint policy--Fall of Gambetta after two months
    of office--Ministry formed by Freycinet--French vacillation
    with regard to Egypt--Decision of H.M. Government to employ
    force--Bombardment of Alexandria--Decision of French Government
    to take no part in expedition--Fall of Freycinet--Invitation to
    Italy to join in expedition declined--Effect produced in France by
    British military success in Egypt--French endeavour to re-establish
    the Control in Egypt--Madagascar and Tonquin                 258




    Death of Gambetta--General discontent in France--Change of
    Government: Jules Ferry Prime Minister--Waddington appointed
    Ambassador in London--Insult to King of Spain in
    Paris--Growth of French ill-will towards English influence in
    Egypt--Baron de Billing and General Gordon--Establishment
    of French Protectorate over Tonquin--Egyptian Conference
    in London--Renewed request to Lord Lyons to vote in House
    of Lords--Anti-English combination with regard to Egypt--Jules
    Ferry on the necessity of delivering a _coup foudroyant_ upon
    China--French reverse in Tonquin: resignation of Jules Ferry--New
    Government under Freycinet--Bismarck and the persons
    whom he disliked--Funeral of Victor Hugo--Return of Lord
    Salisbury to the Foreign Office--Anglophobia in Paris: scurrilities
    of Rochefort                                                 305




    Lord Rosebery at the Foreign Office--His surprise at
    ill-feeling shown by French Government--Proceedings of General
    Boulanger--Princes' Exclusion Bill--Boulanger at the Review
    of July 14th--Causes of his popularity--General Election
    in England: Lord Salisbury Prime Minister--The Foreign
    Office offered to Lord Lyons--Egyptian questions raised
    by French Government--Apprehension in France of a German
    attack--Embarrassment caused by Boulanger--Unofficial attempt
    on behalf of French Government to establish better relations
    with England--Application by Lord Lyons to be permitted to
    resign--Pressed by Lord Salisbury to remain until end of the
    year--Desire of French Government to get rid of Boulanger--Lord
    Salisbury's complaints as to unfriendly action of the French
    Government in various parts of the world--Resignation of Lord
    Lyons--Created an Earl--His death                            360


    Lord Lyons in Private Life. By MRS. WILFRID WARD             415

    INDEX                                                        429


                                 FACING PAGE

    LORD LYONS AT THE AGE OF 65                        _Frontispiece_

    WILLIAM HENRY WADDINGTON                                     169

    GENERAL BOULANGER                                            370

    THE BRITISH EMBASSY, PARIS                                   420
        (_Photograph by F. Contet, Paris._)






Strictly speaking, the existence of the National Assembly which had
been summoned to ratify the Preliminaries of Peace, had now[1] come to
an end, but under prevailing circumstances, it was more convenient to
ignore Constitutional technicalities, and the Government proceeded to
carry on the business of the country on the basis of a Republic. Thiers
had been elected Chief of the Executive, and it was astonishing how
rapidly his liking for a Republic increased since he had become the
head of one. It was now part of his task to check the too reactionary
tendencies of the Assembly and to preserve that form of government which
was supposed to divide Frenchmen the least. The feeling against the
Government of National Defence was as strong as ever, and the elections
of some of the Orleans princes gave rise to inconvenient demonstrations
on the part of their political supporters, who pressed for the repeal
of the law disqualifying that family. Thiers realized plainly enough
that the revival of this demand was premature, and would only add to
the general confusion, and had therefore induced the princes to absent
themselves from Bordeaux, but the question could no longer be avoided.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, June 6, 1871.

     Thiers has been hard at work 'lobbying,' as the Americans
     say, but could not come to any settlement with the Assembly,
     and so begged them to postpone the question of the elections of
     the Princes of Orleans till the day after to-morrow. One of the
     plans proposed was that the provisional state of things should
     be formally continued for two years, by conferring his present
     powers on Thiers for that period. This would, it was hoped, keep
     the Republicans quiet and allay the impatience of the monarchical
     parties, by giving them a fixed time to look forward to. But this,
     it seems, the majority in the Assembly would not promise to vote.
     On the other hand, Thiers is said to be afraid of having the Duc
     d'Aumale and perhaps Prince Napoleon also, speaking against him
     in the Assembly, and attacking him and each other outside. Then
     comes the doubt as to the extent to which the fusion between the
     Comte de Chambord and the other Princes, or rather that between
     their respective parties, really goes. Altogether nothing can be
     less encouraging than the prospect. The Duc d'Aumale, as Lieutenant
     Général du Royaume, to prepare the way for the Comte de Chambord,
     is, for the moment, the favourite combination. In the meantime
     Thiers has thrown a sop to the majority by putting an Orleanist
     into the Home Office. The idea at Versailles yesterday was that
     Thiers and the Assembly would come to a compromise on the basis
     that the Orleans elections should be confirmed, but with a preamble
     repeating that nothing done was to be held to prejudge the question
     of the definitive government of France.

When the question came up, Thiers yielded on the point of the admission
of the Princes, and the majority were highly pleased at having extorted
this concession. Lord Lyons, dining at Thiers's house at Versailles, a
few days after the debate in the Assembly, met there the German General
von Fabrice, the Prince de Joinville, the Duc d'Aumale, and the Duc de
Chartres, and mentions the significant fact that M. and Madame Thiers
and the rest of the company treated these Princes with even more than
the usual respect shown to Royal personages. In private conversation
Thiers expressed great confidence in soon getting the Germans out of the
Paris forts, but both he and Jules Favre complained that Bismarck was a
very bad creditor, and insisted upon having his first half-milliard by
the end of the month: in fact, the Germans were so clamorous for payment
that they hardly seemed to realize how anxious the French were to get
rid of them, and that if the money was not immediately forthcoming, it
was only because it was impossible to produce it.

What was of more immediate concern to the British Government than either
the payment of the indemnity or the future of the Orleans princes,
was the prospect of a new Commercial Treaty. This was sufficiently
unpromising. Lord Lyons had pointed out during the Empire period, that
under a Constitutional _régime_ in France, we were not likely to enjoy
such favourable commercial conditions as under personal government,
and the more liberal the composition of a French Government, the
more Protectionist appeared to be its policy. Thiers himself was an
ardent Protectionist, quite unamenable to the blandishments of British
Free Traders, who always appear to hold that man was made for Free
Trade, instead of Free Trade for man, and the Finance Minister, Pouyer
Quertier, entertained the same views as his chief. But, even if the
Emperor were to come back, it was more than doubtful whether he would
venture to maintain the existing Commercial Treaty as it stood, and
there was every probability that the Bordeaux wine people and other
so-called French Free Traders would turn Protectionist as soon as they
realized that there was no prospect of British retaliation. What cut
Lord Lyons (an orthodox Free Trader) to the heart, was that, just as the
French manufacturers had got over the shock of the sudden introduction
of Free Trade under the Empire and had adapted themselves to the new
system, everything should be thrown back again. It was likely, indeed,
that there would be some opposition to Thiers's Protectionist taxes,
but he knew well enough that there were not a sufficient number of
Free Traders in the Assembly, or in the country, to make any effective
resistance to the Government. When approached on the subject, the French
Ministers asserted that all they wanted was to increase the revenue,
and that all they demanded from England was to be allowed to raise
their tariff with this view only, whereas, in their hearts, they meant
Protection pure and simple. Lord Lyons's personal view was that England
would be better off if the Treaty was reduced to little more than a
most favoured nation clause. 'The only element for negotiation with the
school of political economy now predominant here,' he sadly remarked,
'would be a threat of retaliation, and this we cannot use.' It will
be found subsequently that this was the one predominant factor in all
commercial negotiations between the two Governments.

A long conversation with Thiers, who was pressing for a definite reply
from Her Majesty's Government on the subject of a new Treaty showed
that matters from the British point of view were as unsatisfactory
as they well could be. Thiers, whose language respecting England was
courteous and friendly, made it clear that Her Majesty's Government
must choose between the proposed modifications in the tariff and the
unconditional denunciation of the whole Treaty, and that if the Treaty
were denounced, England must not expect, after its expiration, to be
placed upon the footing of the most favoured nation. He considered that
he had a right to denounce the Treaty at once, but had no wish to act
in an unfriendly spirit, and had therefore refrained from doing so, and
although he and his colleagues considered that the existing Treaty was
disadvantageous and even disastrous to France, they had never promoted
any agitation against it, and had confined themselves to proposing
modifications of the tariff, which their financial necessities and the
state of the French manufacturing interests rendered indispensable.
Coal and iron, which were articles of the greatest importance to
England, were not touched, and all that had, in fact, been asked for
was a moderate increase on the duties on textile fabrics. As for the
French Free Traders, whatever misleading views they might put forward in
London, their influence upon the Assembly would be imperceptible, and it
remained therefore for Her Majesty's Government to decide whether they
would agree to the changes he had proposed to them, or would give up
altogether the benefits which England derived from the Treaty.

Thiers's real motive was disclosed later on, when, whilst asserting
that he should always act in a friendly spirit towards England, he
admitted that 'England was a much more formidable competitor in
commerce than any other nation.' Concessions which might safely be
made to other countries might very reasonably be withheld from her.
For instance, privileges which might be safely granted to the Italian
merchant navy might, if granted to Great Britain, produce a competition
between English and French shipping very disadvantageous to France.
It would also be certainly for the interest of France that she should
furnish herself with colonial articles brought direct to her own ports
rather than resort, as at present, to the depôts of such goods in
Great Britain. Nothing could be further from his intentions than to be
influenced by any spirit of retaliation, nor, if the Treaty should be
denounced, would he, on that account, be less friendly to England in
political matters; but it was evident that, in making his financial and
commercial arrangements, the interests and necessities of France must
be paramount. In conclusion he pressed for an immediate answer from Her
Majesty's Government in order that the French Government might complete
their plans, which were of urgent importance.

To the impartial observer the opinions expressed by Thiers seem to be
logical, natural, and reasonable, unless the principle of looking after
one's own interests is unreasonable; but to the ardent devotees of Free
Trade, they must have appeared in the light of impiety. Lord Lyons, in
reporting the interview, remarked that 'nothing could have been more
unsatisfactory than Thiers's language,' and added significantly that he
himself had managed to keep his temper.

Thiers did not get his definite answer, and the wrangle continued until
in February, 1872, the French Government, with the general approval of
the nation, gave notice of the termination of the Commercial Treaty of

The Bill abrogating the proscription of the French Royal families had
been passed by the Assembly, and the elections of the Duc d'Aumale and
the Prince de Joinville consequently declared valid, but these princes
having established their rights, wisely remained in the background. Not
so another illustrious Royalist, the Comte de Chambord. This prince, who
was also included in the reversal of the disqualifying law, returned
to France and issued a proclamation from the Château of Chambord in
July which spread consternation in the Royalist camp. After explaining
that his presence was only temporary and that he desired to create no
embarrassment, he declared that he was prepared to govern on a broad
basis of administrative decentralization, but that there were certain
conditions to which he could not submit. If he were summoned to the
throne he would accept, but he should retain his principles, and above
all the White Flag which had been handed down to him by his ancestors.
This announcement seemed, to say the least, premature, and the
supporters of a Republic must have warmly congratulated themselves upon
having to encounter an enemy who played so completely into their hands.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, July 11, 1871.

     The Comte de Chambord seems to have upset the Legitimist
     coach. The Legitimist Deputies have been obliged to repudiate
     the White Flag, being sure that they could never be elected to a
     new Chamber under that Banner, and of course fusion between the
     Orleans Princes and their cousin is now out of the question.

     Thiers said to me last night that he did not regard the
     Comte de Chambord's declaration in favour of the White Flag as
     irrevocable--and that it looked as if it had been made in a moment
     of ill-temper. According to Thiers, both the Comte de Chambord and
     the Comte de Paris eagerly desire to be kings--most people doubt,
     however, whether the Comte de Chambord does really wish it. All
     that has occurred tends to strengthen and prolong Thiers's hold on
     power, and he is rejoicing accordingly. Indeed, there is hardly a
     Frenchman who professes to doubt that Thiers's Government is the
     only Government possible at the moment.

     Gambetta is not considered by Thiers to be dangerous; he
     declares that he will only maintain a constitutional or legal
     opposition so long as the Government is Republican, and if he and
     his supporters stick to this, Thiers will certainly have no great
     cause to dread them. If Rouher had been elected he would have been
     a formidable opponent, though he has been too much accustomed
     to lead an applauding and acquiescing majority to be good at
     speaking to a hostile audience. Thiers says that the rejection of
     Rouher will be a good thing for his own health and repose, as he
     should have found it very fatiguing to have to answer the great
     Imperialist orator.

     The hurry with which the new duties were rushed through
     the Assembly on Saturday is disquieting. Thiers and Jules Favre
     protest, however, that they are determined to do nothing irregular
     regarding the Commercial Treaties. The Swiss Minister tells me his
     Government is determined to insist upon the strict execution of
     the Swiss Treaty, without admitting any alteration of the tariffs,
     but then the Swiss Treaty does not expire for five or six years. I
     take care to give no opinion as to what we shall or shall not do.
     Thiers talked again last night of conferring with me soon about the
     details of the changes. I am not very anxious that he should do so,
     as confusion is much more likely than anything else to arise from
     carrying on the discussion in both places at once.

     Half my time is taken up with the affairs of the unfortunate
     English prisoners. It is necessary to be cautious, for the French
     Authorities are extremely touchy on the subject. There does not
     appear to be any danger of their being executed, as fortunately
     they are a very insignificant and unimportant set of insurgents,
     if insurgents they were; but they are kept a long time without
     examination, and some do run the risk of being shipped off to New

The Comte de Chambord, having effectually destroyed the chances of
his own party for the time being, now disappeared from the scene, and
nothing more was heard of him or his White Flag for a considerable

The summer of 1871 did not pass without the old question of voting in
the House of Lords cropping up again. In July, Lord Lyons received
an intimation from the Liberal Whip that his vote was wanted on the
following day, accompanied by a letter from Lord Granville in the same
sense. He declined to come, on the same ground as formerly, viz. that
he considered it advisable that a diplomatist should keep aloof from
home politics, and also because he was extremely reluctant to give
votes on questions of which he had little knowledge. The particular
question involved was presumably a vote of censure on the Government in
connection with the Army Purchase Bill, and he seems to have taken it
for granted that Lord Granville would make no objection. A letter from
the latter showed that he was mistaken.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, July 17, 1871.

     I cannot agree with the principle you lay down--Lord Stuart,
     my father, the late Lord Cowley, and Lord Normanby when Ambassador
     at Paris used to vote when specially summoned. So did Lord Cowley,
     although he served under successive Governments. So did Lord
     Westmoreland and others. I find no recommendation of your principle
     in the report of the Committee of the House of Commons, and
     although Lord Derby may have given evidence in favour of it, his
     father gave practical proof in several instances that he entirely
     disagreed with it.

     A Foreign Government can hardly believe in the confidential
     relations of this Government and her Ambassador, if the latter
     being a Peer abstains from supporting them when a vote of want of
     confidence, or one amounting to it, is proposed against them.

     Clarendon brought before the Cabinet your disinclination to
     vote on the question of the Irish Church. They unanimously decided
     that we had a claim upon you, and you were good enough to consent,
     stating the grounds you mention in your letter of yesterday.

     It is of course too late for any practical result to our
     controversy as regards to-night, but I hope you will consider
     that I have a claim on you for the future, when your vote is of
     importance. I shall never ask you unnecessarily to come over.

An intimation of this kind from an official chief could not well be
disregarded, but the reply to Lord Granville's letter is conclusive in
its arguments.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, July 27, 1871.

     Your letter of the 17th about my voting in the House of Lords
     goes farther than Lord Clarendon did on the previous occasion.
     Lord Clarendon originally acquiesced in my not voting on the Irish
     Church Bill, and when he subsequently begged me to come over,
     unless I objected to the Bill, he founded his request principally
     upon a strong opinion of Mr. Gladstone's that it was the duty of
     a peer not to abstain from voting, and that every vote was of
     consequence. On this ground he expressed a hope that I should come
     over unless I was opposed to the Bill.

     Of my predecessors, the only one who was in a position
     resembling mine, was the present Lord Cowley; and certainly he will
     always be a high authority with me.

     I have been for more than thirty years, and I still am,
     devoted to my own profession, and I am sure that if I can be of
     any use in my generation, and do myself any credit, it must be
     as a diplomatist. I have worked my way up in the regular course
     of the profession, and have served under successive Governments,
     both before and since I became a peer, without any reference to
     home politics. In fact, I received my original appointment to the
     service from Lord Palmerston; I was made paid attaché by Lord
     Aberdeen; I was sent to Rome by Lord Russell; to Washington by Lord
     Malmesbury; to Constantinople by Lord Russell; and finally to Paris
     by Lord Derby. The appointment was given to me in the ordinary way
     of advancement in my profession, and I was told afterwards by Lord
     Clarendon that my being wholly unconnected with any party at home
     had been considered to be a recommendation. I have myself always
     thought that a regular diplomatist could only impair his efficiency
     by taking part in home politics, and I have throughout acted upon
     this conviction. During the thirteen years or thereabouts which
     have elapsed since I succeeded to my father's peerage, I have given
     only one vote in the House of Lords; the question, the Irish Church
     vote, was one on which there really did seem to be a possibility
     that the decision might turn upon one vote; and the question, as it
     stood before the House, was hardly a party question.

     In addition to all this, I must say that while I have a very
     great reluctance to give blind votes, I do not wish to be diverted
     from my diplomatic duties by having to attend to home questions;
     also, I would rather give my whole energies to carrying out the
     instructions of the Government abroad, without having continually
     to consult my conscience about voting in the House of Lords.

     I did not intend to have given you the trouble of reading
     a long answer to your letter, but I have just received another
     summons from Lord Bessborough. I hope, however, you will not press
     me to come over to vote on Monday. You were at all events good
     enough to say that you should never ask me to come unnecessarily;
     but if, after considering my reasons, you insist upon my coming, I
     must of course defer to your opinion and do what you desire.

It is difficult to believe that Lord Granville, who was one of the
most amiable and considerate of men, was acting otherwise than under
pressure in thus endeavouring to utilize an Ambassador as a party hack.
His arguments certainly do not bear much investigation. If a foreign
government could not feel any confidence in an Ambassador who failed to
support his party by a vote in Parliament, what confidence could they
possibly feel in him if his party were out of office, and he continued
at his post under the orders of political opponents? If the Clarendon
Cabinet really decided that they had a claim upon diplomatists as party
men it only showed that they were conspicuously wanting in judgment and
a prey to that dementia which occasionally seizes upon British statesmen
when a division is impending. That state of mind is intelligible when
a division in the House of Commons is concerned, but what passes
comprehension is that pressure should be put upon members of the House
of Lords to vote, whose abstention is obviously desirable, whilst scores
of obscure peers are left unmolested. One peer's vote was as good as
another's in 1871, just as it is now; but in the division on the vote of
censure on the Army Purchase Bill only 244 peers voted out of a House
containing about double that number.

Before long the question of the prolongation of Thiers's powers for a
fixed period became the chief topic of interest. He was infinitely the
most important personage in France, and a large number of members were
desirous of placing him more or less in the position of a constitutional
sovereign, and obliging him to take a Ministry from the majority in
the Assembly. The majority in the Assembly not unnaturally thought
that their ideas ought to prevail in the Government, and they resented
being constantly threatened with the withdrawal of this indispensable
man, an action which, it was thought, would amount to little short of a
revolution. What they wanted, therefore, was to bestow a higher title
upon him than Chief of the Executive Power, which would exclude him from
coming in person to the Assembly; and it was only the difficulty of
finding some one to take his place, and the desire to get the Germans
out of the Paris forts that kept them quiet. Like many other eminent
persons considered to be indispensable, Thiers now began to give out
that he really desired to retire into private life, and that it was
only the country which insisted upon his staying in office, while as a
matter of fact, he was by no means as indifferent to power as he fancied
himself to be. In the Chamber he damaged his reputation to some extent
by displays of temper and threats of resignation, but there was never
much doubt as to the prolongation of his powers.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Aug. 25, 1871.

     Thiers quitted the Tribune in a pet yesterday, and the whole
     series of events in the Assembly has very much lowered his credit.
     In the one thing in which he was thought to be pre-eminent, the
     art of managing a deliberative body, he completely failed: and his
     first threatening to resign, and then coming back and half giving
     in, has very much damaged him. Nevertheless the general opinion
     is that the prolongation of his powers will pass, upon his making
     it a condition, as a vote of confidence, of his remaining. But it
     is difficult to believe, even if it be passed by a considerable
     majority, that things can go on smoothly between him and the
     Assembly very long. If any party had a leader and courage, it might
     do almost anything in France at this moment.

     Arnim[2] is expected on Saturday. I knew him years ago at
     Rome. I doubt his being a conciliatory negotiator. The French
     believe that Bismarck is so anxious to obtain commercial advantages
     for Alsace, that he will give them great things in return. He
     is supposed to wish, in the first place, to conciliate his new
     subjects; and, in the second, to divert for a time from Germany
     the torrent of Alsatian manufactures which would pour in if the
     outlets into France were stopped up. The French hope to get the
     Paris forts evacuated in return for a continuance of the free
     entrance of Alsatian goods into France until the 1st of January,
     and they even speculate upon getting the Prussians to evacuate
     Champagne, and content themselves with keeping the army, which was
     to have occupied it, inside the German frontier, the French paying
     the expenses, as if it were still in France. All this to be given
     in return for a prolongation of commercial privileges for Alsace.
     It would be ungenerous of 'most favoured nations' to claim similar

     Thiers was too full of the events of the afternoon in the
     Assembly to talk about the Commercial Treaty. I don't believe he
     has brought the Committee round to his duties on raw materials.

At the end of August, the Assembly by a very large majority passed a
bill conferring upon Thiers the title of President of the Republic and
confirmed his powers for the duration of the existing Assembly, adopting
at the same time a vote of confidence in him personally. The result
of these proceedings was that the attempt to make a step towards the
definite establishment of a Republic and to place Thiers as President
for a term of years in a position independent of the Assembly, failed.
The bill asserted what the Left had always denied, viz. the constituent
power of the Assembly, and declared that the President was responsible
to it. So far, it expressed the sentiments of the moderate men, and the
minority was composed of extreme Legitimists and extreme Republicans. It
also proved that Thiers was still held to be the indispensable man.

The Assembly, which had adjourned after the passing of the
above-mentioned bill, met again in December, and was supposed to be
more Conservative than ever, owing to the fear created by Radical
progress in the country. Thiers's Presidential Message did not afford
much satisfaction to the extreme partisans on either side, and it was
evident that he did not desire any prompt solution of the Constitutional
question, preferring to leave himself free, and not to be forced into
taking any premature decision. As for the Legitimist, Orleanist, and
Moderate Republican groups, their vacillation tended only to the
advantage of two parties, the Bonapartists and the Red Republicans.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 26. 1871.

     The New Year will open gloomily for France. The Germans appear
     to be alarmed, or at all events irritated, by Thiers's military
     boasts and military preparations. The boasts are certainly unwise,
     and preparations or anything else which encourages the French
     to expect to get off paying the three milliards are extremely
     imprudent. The Germans mean to have their money and keep the
     territory they have taken, and they say that they had better have
     it out with France now that she is weak, than wait till she has
     got strong again. The irritation of the French against the Germans
     seems to grow, and the Germans are angry with the French for not
     loving them, which after the conditions of peace, to say nothing of
     the events of the war, seems somewhat unreasonable.

     Thiers so far holds his own, and no party seems willing to
     displace him, while no party agrees with him. The one thing in
     which men of all parties seem to agree is in abusing Thiers, and
     I must say that a good deal of the abuse is exceedingly unjust.
     But with the members of the Assembly in this inflammable state of
     feeling towards him, an unexpected spark may at any moment make
     them flare up and turn him out almost before they are aware of
     it. The general idea is that the Assembly would appoint the Duc
     d'Aumale to succeed him; the acceptance of the Duc d'Aumale by
     the country would depend upon the amount of vigour he showed in
     putting down illegal opposition by force. There are members of the
     Assembly who wish to declare that in case of Thiers's abdication
     or dethronement, the President of the Assembly is to exercise the
     Executive Power. This is with a view of bringing forward Grévy, who
     is an honourable, moderate man, but an old thoroughbred Republican.
     The immediate event people are looking forward to with interest
     and anxiety is the election of a deputy for Paris on the 7th of
     next month. No one will be surprised if a Red is returned, in
     consequence of the men of order declining to vote. The Legitimists
     and the Orleanists seem to be at daggers drawn again.

     Arnim says that Bismarck's fierce despatch was partly intended
     to strengthen Thiers's hands in resisting violence against the
     Germans. If this is so, the ferocity went too far beyond the mark
     to be successful, great as the provocation on the French side was.

     I will write a mild disclaimer of the accuracy of Jules
     Favre's accounts of his communications with me. There is no _malus
     animus_, I think, in them. My Russian and Italian colleagues are
     very much annoyed by the language he attributes to them.

The fierce despatch referred was a harsh communication from Bismarck
complaining of the recent acquittal of some Frenchmen who had
assassinated German soldiers of the army of occupation.

At the close of 1871, the Bonapartist Party, although scarcely
represented in the Assembly, appeared to be that which caused the
Government the most anxiety. That party had undoubtedly made progress
in the country; it held out the hope of a vigorous and determined
maintenance of public order, and a vast number of Frenchmen were so much
out of heart, so wearied and disgusted by the results of the attempts
at political liberty, and so much afraid of the triumph of the Commune,
that they were prepared to sacrifice anything in order to be assured of
peace and tranquillity. The peasants, shopkeepers, and even many of the
workmen in the towns, sighed for the material prosperity of the Empire.
They believed that the Emperor had been betrayed by his Ministers and
Generals, and were willing to excuse his personal share even in the
capitulation of Sedan. If more confidence could have been felt in his
health and personal energy, the advocates of a restoration of the Empire
would have been still more numerous. As it was, a great mass of the
ignorant and the timid were in favour of it, and it was the opinion
of so impartial an observer as the British Ambassador, that if a free
vote could have been taken under universal suffrage a majority would
probably have been obtained for the re-establishment upon the throne of
Napoleon III. If the Imperialists could by any means have seized upon
the executive Government and so directed the operations of a plébiscite,
there was little doubt as to their securing the usual millions of votes
under that process. With them, as with the other parties, the difficulty
lay in bringing about such a crisis as would enable them to act, and the
Emperor himself was disinclined to take any adventurous step.

The Legitimists had the advantage of holding to a definite principle,
but it was a principle which carried little weight in the country in
general. Their chief, the Comte de Chambord, had shown himself to be so
impracticable, that it really seemed doubtful whether he wished to mount
the throne, and the party had more members in the existing Assembly than
it was likely to obtain if a fresh general election took place; added
to which it had quarrelled with the Orleanists, a union with whom was
essential to the attainment of any practical end.

The Orleanists were weakened by their dissensions with the Legitimists
and discouraged by what they considered the want of energy and
enterprise of the Princes of the family. The members of the Orleans
party suffered from the want of a definite principle, and consisted
chiefly of educated and enlightened men who held to Constitutional
Monarchy and Parliamentary Government; in reality they were a
fluctuating body willing to accept any Government giving a promise of
order and political liberty.

The moderate Republicans included in their ranks many honest and
respected men, but they had to contend with the extreme unpopularity of
the Government of National Defence in which they had formed the chief
part, and although the existing Government was nominally based upon
their principles, they did not appear to be gaining ground. The extreme
Republicans endeavoured to make up by violence what they wanted in
numerical strength, and as they saw no prospect of obtaining office in
a regular manner, founded their hopes upon seizing power at a critical
moment with the help of the Paris mob.

Amidst this collection of parties stood Thiers's Government, supported
heartily by none, but accepted by all. By skilful management, by
yielding where resistance appeared hopeless, and by obtaining votes
sometimes from one side of the Assembly, and sometimes from the other,
Thiers had carried many points to which he attached importance, and
had never yet found himself in a minority. His Government was avowedly
a temporary expedient, resting upon a compromise between all parties,
or rather upon the adjournment of all constitutional questions. To the
monarchical parties which formed the majority of the Assembly, Thiers's
apparent adoption of the Republican system rendered him especially
obnoxious. On the other hand, the Republicans were dissatisfied because,
the whole weight of the Government was not unscrupulously used for the
purpose of establishing a Republic permanently, with or without the
consent of the people.

On the centralization of the administration, on military organization,
on finance, and on other matters, Thiers's personal views were widely
different from those generally prevalent in the Assembly, and there was
plenty of censure and criticism of him in private; but no one party saw
its way to ensuring its own triumph, and all were weighed down by the
necessity of maintaining endurable relations with Germany. In forming
such relations, Thiers had shown great skill and obtained considerable
success in his arduous task. Bismarck, in imposing the hardest possible
conditions of peace, had acted avowedly on the principle that it was
hopeless to conciliate France, and that the only security for Germany
lay in weakening her as much as possible. This policy having been
carried out, the German public and the German press appeared to be quite
surprised that France was slow to be reconciled to her conquerors,
and even to doubt whether already France was not too strong for their
safety. The apparent recovery of the French finances may well have
surprised them disagreeably, but Thiers was not over careful to avoid
increasing their distrust. His intention to create a larger army than
France had ever maintained before, and his frequent praises of the army
he already possessed, was not reassuring to them. It was, therefore,
not altogether surprising that they should have felt some doubts as to
the consequences of finding themselves confronted by an immense army,
when they called upon France to pay the remaining three milliards in
1874. Nevertheless the German Government had expressed its confidence in
Thiers, and it would have been almost impossible for any new Government
to have placed matters on as tolerable a footing.

All things considered, therefore, it seemed not improbable that the
existing Government might last for some time, although its life was
somewhat precarious, since it was liable to be upset by commotions
and conspiracies, and having no existence apart from Thiers, its
duration was bound to depend on the health and strength of a man nearly
seventy-four years old.

In January, 1872, Thiers, in consequence of a dispute in the Chamber
over the question of a tax on raw materials, tendered his resignation,
but was persuaded with some difficulty to reconsider it. 'I have never
known the French so depressed and so out of heart about their internal
affairs,' wrote Lord Lyons. 'They don't believe Thiers can go on
much longer, and they see nothing but confusion if he is turned out.
The Legitimists and Orleanists are now trying for fusion. They are
attempting to draw up a constitution on which they can all agree, and
which, when drawn up, is to be offered to the Comte de Chambord, and if
refused by him, then to the Comte de Paris. I hear they have not yet
been able to come to an understanding on the first article. It all tends
to raise the Bonapartists. Many people expect to hear any morning of a
coup by which Thiers and the Assembly will be deposed, and an _appel au
peuple_, made to end in a restoration of the Empire.' Probably it was
the knowledge of a Bonapartist reaction in the country that led Thiers
to make a singularly foolish complaint against an alleged military
demonstration in England in favour of the ex-Emperor.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Feb. 9, 1872.

     M. Thiers said to me yesterday at Versailles that he had
     been told that a general of the name of Wood had marched 6000 of
     Her Majesty's troops to Chislehurst to be reviewed by the Emperor

     M. Thiers went on to say that no one could appreciate more
     highly than he did the noble and generous hospitality which England
     extended to political exiles, and that he had indeed profited by
     it in his own person. He admired also the jealousy with which the
     English nation regarded all attempts from abroad to interfere with
     the free exercise of this hospitality. He should never complain
     of due respect being shown to a Sovereign Family in adversity. But
     he thought that there was some limit to be observed in the matter.
     For instance, he himself, while on the best terms with the reigning
     dynasty in Spain, still always treated the Queen Isabella, who was
     in France, with great respect and deference. Nevertheless, when Her
     Majesty had expressed a desire to go to live at Pau, he had felt it
     to be his duty to ask her very courteously to select a residence at
     a greater distance from the frontier of Spain. In this, as in all
     matters, he felt that consideration for the exiles must be tempered
     by a due respect for the recognized Government of their country.
     Now if the Emperor Napoleon should choose to be present at a review
     of British troops, there could be no objection to his being treated
     with all the courtesy due to a head which had worn a crown. It was,
     however, a different thing to march troops to his residence to hold
     a review there in his honour.

Thiers had not taken the trouble to substantiate his ridiculous
complaint, and his action was an instance of the extreme gullibility
of even the most intelligent French statesmen, where foreign countries
are concerned, and so perturbed was the French Government at the idea
of a Bonapartist restoration, that according to Captain Hotham, British
Consul at Calais, two gunboats, the _Cuvier_ and _Faon_, were at that
time actually employed in patrolling the coast between St. Malo and
Dunkirk with a view to preventing a possible landing of the Emperor
Napoleon. A little later, the Duc de Broglie, French Ambassador in
London, made a tactless remonstrance to Lord Granville with regard to
the presence of the Emperor and Empress at Buckingham Palace, on the
occasion of a National Thanksgiving held to celebrate the recovery of
the Prince of Wales from a dangerous illness.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, March 1, 1872.

     The Duc de Broglie told me to-day that he had been rather
     surprised when he heard of the Emperor and Empress having been at
     Buckingham Palace on so public an occasion as that of last Tuesday,
     that I had not mentioned it to him on Monday afternoon, when we had
     had a long conversation. It would have enabled him to write to M.
     de Rémusat,[3] and thus have prevented any of the effect which a
     sudden announcement in the papers might create in France.

     I told him that I had not been consulted and did not know the
     fact of the invitation when I saw him, and that if I had, I should
     probably have mentioned it to him, although not a subject about
     which I should have written.

     I should have explained to him that it was an act of courtesy
     of the Queen to those with whom she had been on friendly relations,
     and that it was analogous to many acts of courtesy shown by the
     Queen to the Orleanist Princes.

     He laid stress on the publicity of the occasion, and on the
     few opportunities which he, as Ambassador, had of seeing the Queen,
     of which he made no complaint; but it made any attentions to the
     Emperor on public occasions more marked. He was afraid that the
     announcement would produce considerable effect, not upon statesmen,
     but upon the press in France.

     I repeated that the admission of the Emperor and Empress had
     no political significance, but had been in pursuance with the
     long-established habit of the Queen to show personal courtesy
     to Foreign Princes with whom she had been formerly on friendly

The fall of the Finance Minister, Pouyer Quertier, in the spring had
given rise to hopes that the French commercial policy would become more
liberal, but the letters quoted below show how powerless were the
arguments of the British Government and how completely wasted upon the
French Ministers were the lamentations of the British free traders,
and their prognostications of ruin to those who were not sufficiently
enlightened to adopt their policy.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 5, 1872.

     I suppose Pouyer Quertier is really out, but we see so many
     changes from hour to hour in resolutions here, that I shall not
     report it officially until his successor is gazetted. We cannot
     have a more Protectionist successor; but, after all, no one is so
     bigoted a Protectionist as Thiers himself.

     Nevertheless the change of Minister will give a chance or an
     excuse for a change of policy to some extent. I think that with a
     view to this some stronger expression of displeasure, or rather
     perhaps of regret than we have hitherto ventured upon, might have
     a good effect. The new Minister and perhaps even Thiers himself
     might be struck by a report from Broglie that you had put strongly
     before him the impossibility, whatever efforts the Government might
     make, of preventing public opinion in England becoming hostile to
     France if the present commercial policy is persisted in. It is in
     fact plain that there is no probability of France obtaining the
     concessions from the Treaty Powers, on which Thiers professed to
     reckon. The result already is that, whatever may have been the
     intention, the Mercantile Marine Law is in practice a blow which
     falls on England, and not on other European Powers. Unless the
     French Government means to give us a real most favoured nation
     clause, the result of denouncing our treaty will be to place us,
     when it expires, at a special disadvantage as compared with other
     nations. And what it now asks us to effect by negotiation, is to
     hasten the moment at which it can accomplish this. It is quite idle
     to talk of special friendship for us, when its measures practically
     treat us much worse than they do the Germans. M. de Rémusat and
     some other people are fond of saying that it is quite impossible
     that France could bear to see two nations so friendly as Belgium
     and England placed exceptionally in a position inferior to Germany.
     But France seems to bear this with great equanimity so far as our
     merchant navy is concerned.

     The demand we have made to be exempted from the _surtaxes de
     pavillon_ under our most favoured nation clause would give the
     French Government a means of remedying the injustice _if it wished
     to do so_. At any rate some strong expressions of discontent on
     our part might increase the disinclination of the Assembly and
     some members of the Government to insist on imposing the duties on
     the raw materials. It would be very convenient if there were some
     retaliatory measures to which we could resort, without injuring
     ourselves or departing from our own Free Trade principles. The
     French Government grossly abuses, in order to influence the
     Assembly, our assurances of unimpaired good will, and reluctance
     to retaliate; and so, in my opinion, is preparing the way for the
     real diminution of good will which its success in carrying its
     protectionist measures, to our special injury, must produce in the

     The present Government of France does not gain strength; far
     from it. The Imperialists are gaining strength, as people become
     more and more afraid of the Reds, and feel less and less confidence
     in the power either of Thiers, or the Comte de Chambord, or the
     Comte de Paris, to keep them down. The end will probably be brought
     about by some accident when it is least expected. It would not be
     wise to leave out of the calculation of possibilities, the chance
     of Thiers's Government dragging on for some time yet, and it would
     be very difficult to predict what will succeed it. At present the
     Legitimists and Orleanists seem to have lost, and to be daily
     losing prestige, and naturally enough, to be bringing down with
     them the Assembly in which they are or were a majority.

     Perhaps I ought to say that the despatch which I send you
     to-day about the sojourn of our Royal Family in the South of
     France applies exclusively to them. Everybody knows or ought to
     know that affairs are uncertain in France, but I should not think
     it necessary or proper to warn private people against coming to
     France or staying there. The conspicuous position of members
     of the Royal Family increase the risk of their being placed in
     awkward circumstances, and circumstances which would be of little
     consequence in the case of private people, would be very serious
     and embarrassing if they affected members of the Royal Family of

The last passage referred to a stay at Nice contemplated by the Prince
of Wales. In the event of any change of Government, it was always feared
that disorders would take place in the southern towns of France.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 14, 1872.

     The commercial disputes with the French Government which, as
     you know, I always apprehended, are coming thick upon us. I foresaw
     what was coming and begged Thiers, Rémusat and other members of
     the Government over and over again to guard against vexations in
     the execution of the Treaty while it lasted. I make little doubt,
     notwithstanding, that all these violent and unfair proceedings are
     prompted, not checked, from Paris.

     The Spaniards have found out the only way to deal with the
     Protectionist spirit here. The slightest hint at retaliation would
     have such an effect in the Assembly as to stop the onward career of
     illiberality. As things now are, the extortioners have the game in
     their own hands. They levy what duty they please, and pay just as
     much or as little attention as may suit them, to our remonstrances.
     It is a very disagreeable affair for one who, like myself, is
     really anxious that there should be good feeling between the two
     countries. We are in a fix. On the one hand, we cannot, without
     injuring ourselves and abandoning our principles, retaliate; and
     on the other hand, while they feel sure we shall do no more than
     remonstrate, the Protectionist officials will care very little.
     If indeed the general opinion is to be relied upon, the present
     Government and its chief may come down with a crash at any moment,
     but I don't know whether a change would benefit us commercially.

Lord Lyons, like Lord Granville and other English public men and
officials of the day, was a Free Trader, as has already been stated.
But it would be difficult for the most ardent Protectionist to make
out a stronger case against the helplessness of a Free Trade policy
when negotiating with a foreign Government than is disclosed in these
letters, and there are any number of others all in the same strain. All
the protestations of goodwill, of sympathy, and benefit to the human
race, etc., were, and presumably are still, a pure waste of time when
addressed to a country about to frame a tariff in accordance with its
own interests, unless the threat of retaliation is used in order to
retain some bargaining power, as apparently the Spaniards had already

It has already been stated that Thiers's plans of military
re-organization and his somewhat imprudent language had caused some
agitation in Germany, and when the German Ambassador, Count Arnim,
returned to his post at Paris in the spring of 1872, it was freely
rumoured that he was the bearer of remarkably unpleasant communications.
These apprehensions turned out to be exaggerated, and Thiers in
conversation always assumed a lamb-like attitude of peace. He denied
that the Germans had addressed any representations to him, said that all
suspicions against him were grossly unjust, that it would be absolute
madness for France to think of going to war, and that, for his part,
the keystone of all his foreign policy was peace. As for his army
reform schemes, he was a much misunderstood man. He was undoubtedly
reorganizing the military forces of France, and it was his duty to place
them upon a respectable footing, and so provide a guarantee for peace.
It was, however, quite false to say that he was arming, for that term
implied that he was making preparations for war, and that he was putting
the army into a condition to pass at once from a state of peace to a
state of war. He was doing nothing of the sort; on the contrary, his
efforts were directed to obtaining the evacuation of the territory, by
providing for the payment of the war indemnity to Germany, and it could
hardly be supposed that if he were meditating a renewal of the contest,
he would begin by making over three milliards to her.

From Arnim's language, it appeared that the German public was irritated
and alarmed at the perpetual harping of the French upon the word
'Revenge,' and that the German military men (the _militaires_ who were
always so convenient to Bismarck for purposes of argument) conceived
that the best guarantee for peace would be to keep their soldiers as
long as possible within a few days' march of Paris.

The German fears were, no doubt, greatly exaggerated, but if they
existed at all they were largely due to Thiers's own language, who,
while not talking indeed of immediate revenge, was fond of boasting of
the strength and efficiency of the French army, and even of affirming
that it was at that very moment equal to cope with the Germans. That he
was conscious of having created suspicion may be inferred from the fact
that when the Prince of Wales passed through Paris on his way from Nice
to Germany, he begged H.R.H. to use his influence at the Court of Berlin
to impress upon the Emperor and all who were of importance there, that
the French Government, and the President himself in particular, desired
peace above all things, and were resolved to maintain it. A letter from
the British Ambassador at Berlin throws some light upon the prevalent
German feeling.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Mr. Odo Russell[4] to Lord Lyons._

    British Embassy, Berlin, April 27, 1872.

     Since your letter of the 9th inst. reached me feelings have
     changed in Berlin.

     Thiers's Army bill and Speech have irritated the Emperor,
     Bismarck and indeed everybody.

     The Generals tell the Emperor it would be better to fight
     France before she is ready than after; but Bismarck, who scorns the
     Generals, advises the Emperor to fight France _morally_ through
     Rome and the Catholic alliances against United Germany.

     Although he denies it, Bismarck probably caused those violent
     articles against Thiers to appear in the English newspapers, and he
     tells everybody that Thiers has lost his esteem and may lose his
     support. The next grievance they are getting up against him is that
     he is supposed to have made offers through Le Flô to Russia against

     In short, from having liked him and praised him and wished for
     him, they are now tired of him and think him a traitor because he
     tries to reform the French Army on too large a scale!

     Gontaut[5] does not appear to do anything beyond play the
     agreeable, which he does perfectly, and every one likes him. But
     it is said that _Agents_, financial Agents I presume, are employed
     by Thiers to communicate through Jewish Bankers here indirectly
     with Bismarck. Through these agents Thiers is supposed to propose
     arrangements for an early payment of the 3 milliards and an early
     withdrawal of the German troops of occupation,--the payment
     to be effected by foreign loans and the guarantee of European
     Bankers,--in paper not in gold. Bismarck has not yet pronounced
     definitely, but the Emperor William won't hear of shortening the
     occupation of France. Indeed, he regrets he cannot by Treaty leave
     his soldiers longer still as a guarantee of peace while he lives,
     for he is most anxious to die at peace with all the world.

     So that nothing is done and nothing will be done before Arnim
     returns to Paris. He has no sailing orders yet and seems well
     amused here.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Mr. Odo Russell._

    Paris, May 7, 1872.

     Many thanks for your interesting letter.

     Arnim's account of public opinion at Berlin entirely confirms
     that which you give, only he says Bismarck would be personally
     willing to come to an arrangement with France for payment of the
     milliards and the evacuation of the territory, but that he will not
     run any risk of injuring his own position by opposing either Moltke
     or public opinion on this point.

     I don't think the Germans need the least fear the French
     attacking them for many years to come. The notion of coming now
     to destroy France utterly, in order to prevent her ever in the
     dim future being able to revenge herself, seems simply atrocious.
     The French are so foolish in their boasts, and the Germans so
     thin-skinned, that I am afraid of mischief.

     I should doubt Bismarck's being wise in setting himself in
     open hostility to the Vatican. The favour of the Holy See is seldom
     of any practical use, so far as obtaining acts in its favour, to a
     Protestant or even to a Roman Catholic Government; but the simple
     fact of being notoriously in antagonism to it, brings a vast amount
     of opposition and ill-will on a Government that has Catholic
     subjects. The fear of this country's being able at this moment
     to work the Catholic element in Germany or elsewhere against the
     German Emperor appears to me to be chimerical.

     I wish the Germans would get their milliards as fast as they
     can, and go: then Europe might settle down, and they need not be
     alarmed about French vengeance, or grudge the French the poor
     consolation of talking about it.

     Arnim was a good deal struck by the decline in Thiers's
     vigour, since he took leave of him before his journey to Rome, but
     he saw Thiers some days ago, when the little President was at his

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Mr. Odo Russell to Lord Lyons._

    British Embassy, Berlin, May 11, 1872.

     I have nothing new to say about the relations of France and
     Germany, but my friends here seem so alarmed at the idea that
     France cannot pay the much longed for three milliards, that if
     Thiers really does pay them, all the rest will be forgiven and
     forgotten, and the withdrawal of the German troops will then be
     impatiently called for. Like yourself I write the impressions of
     the moment and am not answerable for future changes of public
     opinion. Clearly the thing to be desired for the peace of the world
     is the payment by France and the withdrawal by Germany, after which
     a normal state of things can be hoped for--not before.

     The Pope, to my mind, has made a mistake in declining to
     receive Hohenlohe. He ought to have accepted and in return sent a
     Nuncio to Berlin, thereby selling Bismarck, and controlling his
     German Bishops and the Döllinger movement.

     Bismarck is going away on leave to Varzin. He is so irritable
     and nervous that he can do no good here at present, and rest is
     essential to him.

     Your letter of the 7th is most useful to me, many thanks for
     it. I shall not fail to keep you as well informed as I can.

In reality, the Germans made little difficulty about the arrangements
for the payment of the indemnity and evacuation of French territory, and
early in July Thiers was able to state confidently that he felt certain
of being able to pay the whole of the indemnity by March, 1874, and
that he had only obtained an additional year's grace in order to guard
against accidents.

A curious incident which occurred in July, 1872, showed how, if
sufficient ingenuity be employed, a trivial personal question may
be turned to important political use. The Comte de Vogué, French
Ambassador at Constantinople, who possessed little or no diplomatic
experience, before proceeding on leave from his post, had an audience
of the Sultan. The Sultan received him standing, and began to talk,
when Vogué interrupted His Majesty, and begged to be allowed to sit
down, as other Ambassadors had been accustomed to do, according to him,
on similar occasions. What the Sultan actually did at the moment was
not disclosed, but he took dire offence, and telegrams began to pour
in upon the Turkish Ambassador at Paris desiring him to represent to
the French Government that if Vogué came back his position would be
very unpleasant--intimating in fact that his return to Constantinople
must be prevented. The French Foreign Minister, however, refused this
satisfaction to the Sultan, and the Turkish Ambassador in his perplexity
sought the advice of Lord Lyons, who preached conciliation, and urged
that, at all events, no steps ought to be taken until Vogué had arrived
at Paris, and was able to give his version of the incident. The French,
naturally enough, were at that moment peculiarly susceptible on all
such matters, and more reluctant to make a concession than if they
were still on their former pinnacle of grandeur at Constantinople,
although Vogué was clearly in the wrong, for Lord Lyons admitted that
he had himself never been asked to sit. The importance of the incident
consisted in the fact that it gave an opportunity of cultivating the
goodwill of Russia, as the traditional enemy of Turkey. No Frenchman
had ever lost sight of the hope that some day or other an ally against
Germany might be found in Russia, and there were not wanting signs of a
reciprocal feeling on the part of the latter. It had, for instance, been
the subject of much remark, that the Russian Ambassador at Paris, Prince
Orloff, had recently been making immense efforts to become popular
with all classes of the French: Legitimists, Orleanists, Imperialists,
Republicans, and especially newspaper writers of all shades of politics.
As it was well known that neither Prince nor Princess Orloff were really
fond of society, these efforts were almost overdone, but nevertheless
they met with a hearty response everywhere, from Thiers downwards,
for all Frenchmen were eagerly hoping for a quarrel between Russia
and Germany, and were ready to throw themselves into the arms of the
former in that hope. Russia, on her side, was clearly not unwilling to
cultivate a friendship which cost nothing, and might conceivably be of
considerable profit.

On November 5 the new Anglo-French Commercial Treaty was signed,
indignant British Free Traders striving to console themselves with the
thought that France would soon discover the error of her ways and cease
to lag behind the rest of the civilized world in her economic heresy.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Nov. 12, 1872.

     I saw Thiers on Friday after I wrote to you on that day; and
     I dined with him on Saturday. He looked remarkably well, and was
     in high spirits and in great good humour, as he ought to be, with
     us. He spoke, as indeed he always does, as if he felt quite sure
     that he should have his own way with the Assembly in all things.
     As regards the organic measures, he talked as if the fight would
     be entirely with the Right; but both sections of the Left have
     declared against organic changes to be made by this Assembly. I
     suppose, however, Thiers is pretty sure to get his own powers
     prolonged for four years certain, and this is what he cares about.

     I do not, however, find in my Austrian, German, and Russian
     colleagues so unqualified an acquiescence in Thiers remaining
     in power as they professed before I went away. It is said that
     the three Emperors at Berlin were alarmed at the prospect of the
     definitive establishment of any Republic, and still more so at
     the apparent tendency of M. Thiers's policy to leave the country
     to drift into a Red Republic, whenever he quitted the scene.
     However this may be, there is certainly a change in the language
     of their Representatives here, not very marked, but nevertheless
     quite perceptible. Orloff in particular talks as if an immediate
     Imperialist restoration were not only desirable but probable. If he
     really thinks it probable, he is almost alone in the opinion.

     The Prince de Joinville, who came to see me yesterday,
     said that he had been a great deal about in the country, and
     that he found everywhere an absolute indifference to persons
     and dynasties, and a simple cry for any Government which would
     efficiently protect property. He thought that Thiers would be
     supported for this reason, but that whatever institutions might
     be nominally established, they would last only as long as Thiers
     himself did, and that afterwards everything would be in question,
     and the country probably divide itself into two great parties,
     Conservatives and Reds, between whom there would be a fierce
     struggle notwithstanding the great numerical superiority of the

In the absence of exciting internal topics, the year closed with a
slight sensation provided by Gramont, who, it might have been supposed,
would have preferred not to court further notoriety. Count Beust had
recently asserted that he had warned France against expecting help
from Austria in the event of a war with Prussia. Gramont replied
by publishing a letter in which the following statement occurred.
'L'Autriche considère la cause de la France comme la sienne, et
contribuera au succès de ses armes dans les limites du possible.'
This quotation was supposed to be taken from a letter from Beust to
Metternich, dated July 20, 1870 (the day after the declaration of war),
and left by Metternich with Gramont, who took a copy and returned the
original. Metternich was believed to have shown the letter also to the
Emperor Napoleon and to Ollivier. The letter was represented as going on
to say that the neutrality proclaimed by Austria was merely a blind to
conceal her armaments, and that she was only waiting till the advance of
winter rendered it impossible for Russia to concentrate her forces.

It was generally believed that there was plenty of evidence that an
offensive and defensive alliance was in course of negotiation between
France and Austria in 1869, though no treaty was signed, and the record
appears to have consisted in letters exchanged between the two Emperors,
but as Gramont had nothing more than a copy of a letter from Beust to
Metternich his evidence was legally defective, whatever its moral
value, and it was questionable whether as an ex-Minister he had any
right to disclose such secrets.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 31, 1872.

     Gramont's further revelations confirm what I told you in my
     letter of the 24th. The question is becoming tiresome. I conceive
     there is no doubt that Beust at Vienna, and Metternich here,
     fanned the flame of French discontent after Sadowa, with a view
     to avenging themselves when Austria and France should be ready,
     and circumstances favourable. I think also that Gramont came back
     from Vienna full of Beust's warlike ideas, and very well inclined
     to carry them out. What exchange of letters may have taken place
     between the two Emperors, or what record of any kind there may be
     of engagements between the two countries to help one another, it is
     more difficult to say.

     The assertion is that after war had been declared, Austria
     engaged to move on the 15th September. Others say that she also
     required that France should have an army in Baden.

     This is not inconsistent with her having dissuaded France from
     war in July, 1870, when she knew positively it would be premature
     for herself, and probably had some suspicion that France was also
     not really prepared.

Early in January, 1873, the Emperor Napoleon died at Chiselhurst. The
view of Thiers was that this event would render the Bonapartists, for
the time, more turbulent and less dangerous. He believed that the
Emperor's personal influence had been used to quiet the impatience
of his followers, while, on the other hand, his death removed the
only member of the family who was popular enough in France to be a
formidable candidate. Thiers's childish susceptibility with regard to
the Bonapartists showed itself in his expressed hope that the Emperor's
death would be followed by the disappearance of the public sympathy in
England with the family in its misfortunes.

The opinions of Thiers seem to have been generally prevalent. The
Emperor was remarkably kind and courteous to all who approached him; he
was a firm friend; not, as a rule, an implacable enemy, and he inspired
no small number of people with a warm attachment to him personally. He
was also generally popular, and the glittering prosperity of the early
part of his reign was attributed by a large part of the common people
to his own genius and merits, while they were prone to consider that
its disastrous close was due to treason. No other member of the family
excited feelings of the same kind, and in France a cause was always so
largely identified with an individual that there was no doubt that the
hold of the Imperialists upon the country was largely weakened by the
loss of their chief.

It is perhaps worth noting that Lord Lyons, although it was notoriously
difficult to extract any such opinions from him, did in after years
admit reluctantly to me, that although he liked Napoleon III.
personally, he had always put a low estimate upon his capacity.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Jan. 31, 1873.

     I cannot say that the political atmosphere grows clearer. The
     Right are in their hearts as anxious as ever to depose Thiers.
     They believe as firmly as ever that if he makes the new elections,
     he will have a Chamber, not only of Republicans, but of very
     advanced Republicans. They see that all their little endeavours to
     restrain him and to establish ministerial responsibility will have
     no political effect. The death of the Emperor has not strengthened
     Thiers's position with regard to the Right. On the contrary,
     they are less disposed to bear with him since the removal of the
     candidate for the Throne of whom they were most afraid, and from
     whom they justly thought that Thiers would make every effort to
     shield them. They are consequently, even more than they usually
     are, employed in casting about for something to put in Thiers's
     place. The Fusion is again 'almost' made, and MacMahon is again
     talked of as ready to take the Government during the transition
     from the Republic to the King.

     Orloff, the Russian Ambassador, propounded to me to-day a plan
     of his own for preventing conflicts between Russia and England
     in Central Asia. So far as I understood it, it was that England
     and Russia should enter into a strict alliance, should encourage
     and protect, by force of arms, commerce between their Asiatic
     Dominions, and unite them at once by a railroad. He said there
     was a Russian company already formed which desired to connect the
     Russian railway system with the Anglo-Indian railways. He told me
     that Brünnow was always writing that war between England and Russia
     was imminent and that England was preparing for it. If Brünnow's
     vaticinations are believed, they may perhaps have a not unwholesome
     effect upon the Russian Government.

Prince Orloff seems to have had in contemplation that Trans-Persian
Railway which has met with the approval of the Russian and British
Governments at the present day. The Russian advance in Central Asia
in 1872 and 1873 had been the subject of various perfectly futile
representations on the part of Her Majesty's Government, but Baron
Brünnow must have been a singularly credulous diplomatist if he really
believed that we were making preparations for a war with Russia or any
one else.

If Orloff with prophetic insight foresaw a Trans-Persian Railway, Thiers
might be acclaimed as being the first person to suggest the project of
the Triple Entente between England, France, and Russia. Strangely enough
it was the affairs of Spain that put this notion into his head, the idea
prevalent in France being that Germany was bent on making that country a
dangerous neighbour to France, and bestowing a Hohenzollern prince upon
her as sovereign. The prospect of an 'Iberic Union,' which was being
discussed at the time, was considered to be exceptionally threatening to
France, and Thiers had had quite enough of united states on the French

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 4, 1873.

     M. Thiers spoke to me last night very confidentially about
     Spain and Portugal. The Spanish question was, he said, becoming so
     serious that it could hardly be considered an internal question.
     Among other things, the independence of Portugal was at stake. Now,
     in his opinion, the best chance of avoiding a collision between the
     Powers of Europe would be that England, France, and Russia should
     come to an understanding on the subject. He did not think that
     there would be any difficulty in effecting such an understanding;
     and indeed he had reason to believe that Russia was at this moment
     particularly well disposed to act in concert with England. He was
     far from being so absurd as to propose a new Holy Alliance; indeed,
     he desired to avoid all show and ostentation--indeed all publicity.
     He simply wished that, without any parade, the three Powers he had
     named should concert measures in order to avert events which might
     imperil the peace of Europe. After some further conversation, he
     observed that it would be impossible to avert a collision, if the
     Peninsula were formed into one Iberic state with a Hohenzollern for
     a monarch.

     I did not invite M. Thiers to state more definitely in what
     form he proposed that the understanding between France, Russia, and
     England should be effected, or what combined action he proposed
     they should adopt. I thought indeed that it would be very dangerous
     for France to enter into any sort of an alliance with Foreign
     Powers against Germany at this moment, and that the smallest result
     might be to delay the evacuation of French territory. Nor indeed
     did I know that there was any evidence that Germany was actively
     pursuing designs in Spain in such a way and to such a degree,
     as would render it proper or advantageous to try the hazardous
     experiment of undertaking to settle a European question without
     her, not to say in spite of her.

     I consequently only listened to what M. Thiers said. He
     concluded by telling me to treat his idea as most strictly
     confidential and to confide it only to your ear in a whisper.

     As regards the state of Spain, M. Thiers said that he believed
     the Federal Party was after all the party of order; that at all
     events it was predominant in all the outer circumference of
     Spain; that the Unitarians existed only in Madrid and the central
     provinces, and that the North was Carlist or Federal. This being
     the case, his advice to the Government of Madrid had been to make
     concessions to the Federals. He did not think that, if properly
     managed, their pretensions would go much beyond what was called in
     France 'decentralisation administrative.'

     The view of the Federals being the party of order in Spain
     was new to me, but M. Thiers was beset by a host of deputies and I
     could not continue the conversation.

A letter from Lord Odo Russell[6] to Lord Lyons admirably defines
the attitude of Germany, and is an exceptionally lucid summary of
Bismarckian policy in general.

       *       *       *       *       *

    British Embassy, Berlin, March 14, 1873.

     Thanks for yours of the 4th instant.

     As regards Spain, Thiers, and Bismarck I cannot add anything
     more definite or more precise. Bismarck and the Emperor William
     are so far satisfied that the Republic will make room for the
     Alphonsists so that they can afford to wait and look on.

     What Bismarck intends for Spain later, no one can guess, but
     clearly nothing favourable or agreeable to France.

     The two great objects of Bismarck's policy are:

     (1) The supremacy of Germany in Europe and of the German race
     in the world.

     (2) The neutralization of the influence and power of the Latin
     race in France and elsewhere.

     To obtain these objects he will go any lengths while he lives,
     so that we must be prepared for surprises in the future.

     A change has come over the Emperor and his military advisers
     in regard to the evacuation of French territory, as you have seen
     by his speech on opening the German Parliament.

     His Majesty is now prepared to withdraw his garrison as soon
     as the fifth and last milliard shall have been paid by Paris and
     received at Berlin.

     So that if it is true that Thiers proposes to pay the fifth
     milliard in monthly instalments of 250,000,000 fs. beginning from
     the 1st of June, the evacuation might be expected in October and
     France be relieved of her nightmare.

     This I look upon as a most desirable object. It appears to
     me that the re-establishment of the future balance of power in
     Europe on a general peace footing, is _the_ thing Diplomacy should
     work for, and that nothing can be done so long as the Germans have
     not got their French gold, and the French got rid of their German

     The Germans, as you know, look upon the war of revenge as
     unavoidable and are making immense preparations for it.

     Germany is in reality a great camp ready to break up for any
     war at a week's notice with a million of men.

     We are out of favour with the Germans for preferring the old
     French alliance to a new German one, as our commercial policy is
     said to prove, and this impression has been lately confirmed by
     Thiers's _exposé des motifs_.

     Thiers is again out of favour at Berlin, because the Russian
     Government has warned the German Government that Thiers is working
     to draw Russia into the Anglo-French Alliance contrary to their
     wishes. I believe myself that the alliance or understanding between
     Russia and Germany, Gortschakoff and Bismarck is real, intimate, and
     sincere; and that they have agreed to preserve Austria so long as
     she obeys and serves them, but woe to Austria if ever she attempts
     to be independent!

     Then the German and Slav elements she is composed of, will be
     made to gravitate towards their natural centres, leaving Hungary
     and her dependencies as a semi-oriental vassal of Germany and
     Russia. However, those are things of the future, at present I can
     think of nothing but the crisis at home and the deep regret I feel
     at losing my kind benefactor Lord Granville as a chief. My only
     consolation is that he will the sooner return to power as our
     Premier, for he is clearly the man of the future.

     I hope you will write again occasionally.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord O. Russell._

    Paris, April 8, 1873.

     Many thanks for your most interesting letter of the 14th. I
     entirely agree with you that the one object of diplomacy should be
     to re-establish the balance of power in Europe on a peace footing.
     The payment of the indemnity and the departure of the German troops
     from France are of course necessary to the commencement of anything
     like a normal state of things. The French all more or less brood
     over the hope of vengeance, and the Germans give them credit for
     being even more bent upon revenge than they really are. So Germany
     keeps up an enormous army, and France strains every nerve to raise
     one; and what can diplomatists do?

     In Germany they seem to attach a great deal more than due
     importance to the Commercial Treaty, as a sign of a tendency
     towards a renewal of the Anglo-French Alliance. But then the
     Germans have always been more angry with us for not helping to blot
     France out of Europe than the French have been with us for not
     helping them out of the scrape they got into by their own fault.
     Germans and French are to my mind alike unreasonable, but we only
     suffer the ordinary fate of neutrals.

     Thiers professes to have no thought of forming any alliance at
     present; and to consider that it would be absurd of France to try
     for more at this moment than to ward off great questions, and live
     as harmoniously as she can with all Foreign Powers, without showing
     a preference to any. This is no doubt the wise and sensible policy.
     Thiers certainly acts upon it so far as England is concerned. Does
     he also act upon it as regards Russia? I cannot say. I think there
     is a little coquetry between him and the Russians.

Lord Granville appears to have sent through the Duchesse de Galliera
a private message warning Thiers of the dangers of his advances to
Russia; but the latter asserted that although the French Ambassador at
St. Petersburg had been directed to maintain the most cordial relations
with the Russian Government, matters had not gone further than that, and
that he had made no communications which he should object to Germany
knowing of. Thiers's tenure of power was, however, destined shortly to
come to an end. On May 24, the veteran who had rendered such invaluable
services to the country was defeated by a combination of opponents, and
Marshal MacMahon became President of the Republic in his stead. The
change of Government was received quietly by the country; the elaborate
precautions which had been taken in case of disorder proved superfluous,
and the funds rose on the assumption that the Marshal was to prove to
be the new saviour of society. MacMahon, who had reluctantly accepted
the honour thrust upon him, was generally regarded as a French General
Monk, but which of the three pretenders was to be his Charles the Second
remained a matter of complete uncertainty. The fickle crowd hastened to
prostrate itself before the rising sun, and the first reception held by
the new President at Versailles constituted a veritable triumph; swarms
of people of all sorts attending, particularly those members of smart
society who had long deserted the salons of the Préfecture. Amongst the
throng were particularly noticeable the Duc d'Aumale and his brothers,
wearing uniform and the red ribands which they had never been known to
display before. All looked smooth and tranquil, as it usually did at
the beginning; but the Government so far had not done anything beyond
changing Prefects and Procureurs. The political situation, for the time
being, might be summed up in the phrase that the French preferred to
have at their head a man _qui monte à cheval_, rather than a man _qui
monte à la tribune_.

Although the dismissal of Thiers savoured of ingratitude, it was not
altogether unfortunate for him that he had quitted office at that
particular moment, for little doubt was felt that, with or without any
error of policy on his own part, the country was gradually drifting
towards communism. At any rate, he could compare with just pride the
state in which he left France to the state in which he found her.
Although the last German soldier had not yet left French soil, the
credit of the liberation of the country was due to him, and by his
financial operations, successful beyond all expectations, he had not
only paid off four milliards, but provided the funds for discharging
the fifth, and so admirably conducted the negotiations that the German
Government was willing to withdraw the rest of the occupying force.

The fall of Thiers caused searchings of heart at Berlin, and a
conversation with Count Arnim, the German Ambassador at Paris, in June
showed that the German Government regarded MacMahon with anything but
favour. Arnim stated that displeasure had been felt at Berlin, both
at language held by the Marshal before his appointment, and at his
neglect in his former position to act with proper courtesy towards the
Emperor's Ambassador in France. The German Government did not doubt that
the remainder of the indemnity would be paid, but Thiers indulged less
than other Frenchmen in hostile feelings towards Germany, and he and a
few of the people about him seemed to be the only Frenchmen who could
bring themselves to act with propriety and civility in their relations
with Germans. In fact, Thiers's foreign policy had been wise and
conciliatory, but as for his internal policy, he, Count Arnim, avowed
that he entirely concurred in the opinion that it would have thrown the
country in a short time into the hands of the Red Republicans.

The unfortunate Arnim was apparently at this time unconscious of his
impending doom, although, as the following interesting letter from Lord
Odo Russell to Lord Lyons shows, his fate had been sealed months before.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _British Embassy, Berlin, Jan. 18, 1873._

     What I have to say to-day grieves me to the soul, because it
     goes against my excellent friend and landlord Harry Arnim.

     Said friend, it is said, could not resist the temptation of
     turning an honest penny in the great War Indemnity Loan at Paris,
     and the Jew Banker he employed, called Hanseman, let it out to
     Bismarck, who could not understand how Arnim was rich enough to buy
     estates in Silesia and houses in Berlin.

     Now Bismarck, who is tired of Arnim, and thinks him a rising
     rival, will make use of this discovery with the Emperor whenever he
     wants to upset Arnim and send a new man to Paris.

     He thinks him a rising rival because Arnim went to Baden
     last autumn and advised the Emperor, behind Bismarck's back, to
     go in for an Orleanist Monarchy and drop Thiers, in opposition to
     Bismarck's policy, who wishes to drop all Pretenders and uphold
     Thiers as long as he lives.

     Besides which Arnim hinted at a readiness to take office at
     home if Bismarck came to grief.

     The Emperor is fond of Arnim and listened with complacency and
     told Bismarck when he returned from Varzin,--Bismarck has vowed
     revenge! I have not written all this home because it would serve
     no purpose yet,--but it may be useful to you as a peep behind the
     curtain. Meanwhile Bismarck has appointed one of his _secret_
     agents as Commercial Secretary to the Paris Embassy to watch Arnim.
     His name is Lindau and as he is a very able man and an old friend
     of mine, I have given him a letter to you. He might become useful
     some day.

     Let me add _in confidence_ that he corresponds privately and
     secretly with Bismarck behind Arnim's back.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be observed that the views expressed by Arnim to Lord Lyons in
June are not altogether consistent with those attributed to him in the
above letter, but Lord Odo Russell's opinion that his implacable chief
would crush him at the first opportunity was only too well justified
before long.


[Footnote 1: June, 1871.]

[Footnote 2: German Ambassador at Paris.]

[Footnote 3: Foreign Minister in succession to M. Jules Favre.]

[Footnote 4: Subsequently Lord Ampthill.]

[Footnote 5: French Ambassador at Berlin.]

[Footnote 6: Formerly Mr. Odo Russell.]




The new French Government had been received with great favour by
the upper classes, while the remainder of the population remained
indifferent, but the Marshal was credited with the wish to place the
Comte de Chambord on the throne, and the language of his entourage was
strongly Legitimist, auguries being drawn from a frequent remark of the
Maréchale, who was supposed to dislike her position: _nous ne sommes pas
à notre place!_

As the confused political situation began to clear, it became evident
that everything depended upon the Comte de Chambord himself, and if he
could be brought to adopt anything like a reasonable attitude, it was
generally felt that there would be a large majority in his favour in the
Assembly. The historic White Flag manifesto issued from Salzburg at the
end of October effectually ruined the Legitimist cause.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Oct. 31, 1873.

     The Royalists were counting up new adhesions and expecting a
     letter from the Comte de Chambord which was to be read from the
     tribune at the last moment and rally the waiters upon Providence
     and the waverers to them, when, to their utter consternation,
     the actual letter arrived, and fell like a shell with a violent
     explosion in the midst of them.

     I don't know what they are to do. All plans for making the
     Comte de Paris or the Duc d'Aumale Regent will be voted against
     by the present Legitimists, unless the Comte de Chambord approves
     them. It is very doubtful whether any explanation could do away
     with the impression the letter will have produced throughout the
     country, which was already averse from the idea of the Legitimist

     The maintenance of MacMahon and the present Ministry seems the
     best mode of postponing trouble, but it cannot do much more than

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Nov. 3, 1873.

     If the Chamber met to-morrow, I suppose it would vote the
     prolongation of MacMahon's powers; and though no one can answer
     for what a day or an hour may bring forth, I suppose this is what
     must be done. It is said that the Marshal himself insists upon a
     term of six years, if not ten. This is rather hard to understand,
     if, as I believed, he really wished to be out of the thing, and I
     doubt its adding practically to the stability of his Government.
     On the other hand, the Conservatives want to have the prolongation
     voted in such a way as to make it apparent that MacMahon is _their_
     President. It would not suit them that he should be elected
     unanimously, or nearly so, as he perhaps might be. This would put
     him, they think, in a position too like that which Thiers held. The
     preposterous notion of making a Lieutenant General of the Kingdom
     to govern in the name of a King of full age and in possession of
     all his faculties, who would undoubtedly repudiate and denounce
     his representative, has been put an end to by the refusal of the
     Princes of Orleans, one and all, it is affirmed, to accept the post.

     Thiers told me the day before yesterday that he did not
     intend to oppose the Government this session, and that we might
     count on a quiet winter. We shall see.

     The Legitimists are furious with their King, as well they
     may be. How long this may last, one cannot say, but the numbers
     of those who adore him _quand même_, as a sort of fetish, have
     certainly fallen off.

MacMahon had been as much disappointed with the Chambord manifesto as
the ultra-Legitimists themselves, and had looked forward to retiring
from a position which he found distasteful; but as no king was
available, and he was looked upon as the only guarantee for order,
obviously the best course was to secure the prolongation of his powers
for as long a period as possible. After many long and stormy discussions
MacMahon was declared President of the Republic for seven years, and a
committee of thirty was appointed to consider the Constitutional Laws.
This result was so far satisfactory to the Right, that it enabled them
to retire from the dangerous position in which they were placed by
the attempt to put the Comte de Chambord on the throne, but it failed
to establish a durable Government, and the whole period of MacMahon's
Presidency was marked by a ceaseless struggle with his Republican
opponents, which only terminated with his fall four years later.

The anxieties of French Ministers were, however, not confined to
internal difficulties. Although the fact was concealed as much as
possible, the anti-Ultramontane campaign of Bismarck created serious
alarm in the beginning of 1874, and in that year may be said to have
originated the long series of panics, well or ill founded, which have
prevailed in France ever since. MacMahon in conversation did not scruple
to express his fear of a country which, according to him, could
place 800,000 men on the Rhine in less than seventeen days, and made
the interesting confession that the French military authorities had
never credited the famous reports of Colonel Stoffel[7] as to Prussian
military efficiency. The Foreign Minister, the Duc Décazes, expressed
the strongest apprehensions.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Jan. 17, 1874.

     The fall of France has never, I think, been brought so
     forcibly home to me, as when I listened yesterday to the humble
     deprecation which Décazes was obliged to make with regard to
     Bismarck's threats, in the same room in which I had so often heard
     the high language with which the Imperial Minister used to speak of
     the affairs of Europe. One can only hope that Odo may be right in
     thinking that Bismarck's menaces may subside, when he has carried
     his Army Bill at home. But may not his eagerness in his contest
     with the Ultramontanes continue and carry him on to language and
     even to measures against France from which it may be difficult for
     him to draw back? and of course there is a limit to the submission
     of the French Government, however disastrous it may know the
     consequences of resistance to be. It is difficult to persecute
     any religion in these days, but it is impossible for the French
     Government to set itself in violent opposition to the predominant
     religion in France. I do not know what means we may have of getting
     pacific and moderate counsels listened to at Berlin, but I do
     not think the weakness of France a sufficient safeguard to other
     countries against the perils of the present state of things to the
     peace of Europe. It may be very easy to bully and to crush France,
     but will it be possible to do this without raising a storm in other

What Bismarck wanted was that the French Government should attack the
French bishops; and in order to conciliate him, a circular was issued
by the Minister of the Interior remonstrating with them on the nature
of the language in which their pastoral addresses were couched. The
well-known clerical newspaper the _Univers_ was suppressed, and although
every effort was made to disguise the various acts of subserviency
resorted to, it was perfectly well known to what cause they were due,
and it was not surprising that the French writhed under the necessity
of submitting to such dictation. In view of the military weakness
of France, however, it was useless to think of resistance, the Duc
d'Aumale, who commanded the most vulnerable district, having reported
confidentially that there were neither fortresses nor an army which
would have any chance of repelling a German invasion; added to which,
owing to considerations of economy, the conscription was six months in

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Odo Russell._

    Paris, Feb. 3, 1874.

     The French want above all things to keep the peace, or, to put
     it otherwise, to escape being attacked by Germany in their present
     defenceless state. What, in your opinion, should they do? Of course
     the temptation to the unprincipled war party in Germany to attack
     them while they are unable to defend themselves, is very great;
     and that party must know that a war this year would be much less
     hazardous than one next year, and so on, as each year passes.

     The next question I want your advice upon is what, if
     anything, can other Powers, and particularly England, do to help to
     preserve peace? This is a question peculiarly within your province,
     as the one thing to be considered in answering it, is the effect
     that anything we do may have at Berlin.

     I am not very hopeful, but I think the chances of peace will
     be very much increased if we can tide over this year 1874.

     I can see no consolation for a fresh war. I suppose Bismarck
     would be ready to buy the neutrality of Russia with Constantinople,
     and that France will give Russia _anything_ even for a little help.

     The Emperor Alexander has told General Le Flô[8] at St.
     Petersburg that there will not be war. Do you attach much
     importance to this?

     You will call this a _questionnaire_ rather than a letter, but
     if you have anything to catechise me upon in return, I will answer
     to the best of my ability.

     The Lyttons' are, as you may suppose, a very great pleasure to
     me, and they have had a great success here.

No one was better fitted than Lord Odo Russell, who was a _persona
grata_ with Bismarck, to answer these queries. The Emperor Alexander had
been very emphatic in assuring General Le Flô on several occasions that
there would be no war, but Lord Odo was in all probability quite correct
in his opinion that this was no real safeguard.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Odo Russell to Lord Lyons._

    Berlin, Feb. 20, 1874.

     I was glad after a long interval to see your handwriting
     again, and doubly glad to find you inclined to renew our
     correspondence. You ask: _Firstly_, What in my opinion should the
     French do to escape being attacked by Germany in their present
     defenceless state?

     In my opinion nothing can save them _if_ Bismarck is
     determined to fight them again; but then, is it France or is it
     Austria he is preparing to annihilate? In Bismarck's opinion,
     France, to avoid a conflict with him, should gag her press,
     imprison her bishops, quarrel with Rome, refrain from making
     an army or from seeking alliances with other Powers all out of
     deference to Germany.

     _Secondly._ What can other Powers, and particularly England,
     do to help to preserve peace?

     A Coalition is impossible; advice or interference adds to
     Bismarck's excuses for going to war, so the only course Governments
     can follow is to let him do as he pleases and submit to the
     consequences, until he dies.

     _Thirdly._ Do I attach any importance to the Emperor of
     Russia's pacific assurances?

     None whatever, because Bismarck is prepared to buy his
     co-operation with anything he pleases in the East.

     Bismarck is now master of the situation at home and abroad.
     The Emperor, the Ministers, the Army, the Press, and the National
     majority in Parliament are instruments in his hands, whilst abroad
     he can so bribe the great Powers as to prevent a coalition and make
     them subservient to his policy. Now, his policy, as you know, is
     to mediatize the minor States of Germany and to annex the German
     Provinces of Austria, so as to make one great centralized Power
     of the German-speaking portions of Europe. To accomplish this he
     may require another war, but it may be with Austria and not with
     France, which he now puts forward to keep up the war spirit of the
     Germans and to remind Europe of his powers. Besides which he has to
     pass the unpopular Army Bill and War Budget which he failed in last

     His anti-Roman policy will serve him to pick a quarrel with
     any Power he pleases by declaring that he has discovered an
     anti-German conspiracy among the clergy of the country he wishes to

     Such is the situation, but it does not follow that we shall
     have war before another year or two are over or more, nor need we
     have war _if_ Bismarck can carry out his plans without it.

     At present the tone of Bismarck and Bülow is quite pacific,
     and I notice a great desire for the co-operation of England in
     maintaining the peace of Europe generally.

Lord Lyons's own opinions were in exact agreement with Lord Odo
Russell's, and the general uncertainty as to Bismarck's intentions
continued to preoccupy both the French and the English Governments,
although the Emperor of Russia persisted in assuring General Le Flô that
there would be no war, and it was assumed in some quarters that the
German Emperor disapproved of the Bismarckian policy.

The general election in England at the beginning of 1874, resulting in
the return of the Conservative party to power, placed Lord Derby again
at the Foreign Office in the room of Lord Granville, and the long letter
which follows was presumably intended to enlighten him on the subject of
French politics generally. It is, at all events, a concise review of the

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Feb. 24, 1874.

     I thank you cordially for your letter of yesterday, and I
     resume with very peculiar satisfaction my diplomatic correspondence
     with you. I wish the subject of it was as pleasant to me as is the
     fact of its renewal; but I cannot help being more than usually
     anxious about the prospects of Europe and of France in particular.
     This spring and summer are the especially critical seasons for
     France. She will be for a long time to come far too weak to indulge
     in aggression, except indeed as a secondary ally of some stronger
     Power, but even next year, she will not be in the absolutely
     helpless condition which is at this moment so strong a temptation
     to national hatreds, and to the military thirst for gold and glory
     which prevails with a party in Germany. I am afraid the peace of
     Europe depends entirely upon the view Bismarck may take of the
     easiest means of bringing all German-speaking nations under one
     rule. The wolf can always find reasons for quarrelling with the
     lamb, and as Bismarck himself told Odo Russell, he has had a good
     deal of experience of this kind of thing. The French lamb will not
     be skittish, and indeed will hardly venture to bleat, for some
     time. For my own part, I am constantly on the watch to forestall
     questions which may make difficulties between France and any other
     country; for if Bismarck wants war, it would suit him to be able to
     appear to be only taking his part in a quarrel already made.

     Italy is the most dangerous neighbour from this point of
     view, and the presence of the _Orénoque_ at Civita Vecchia is the
     ticklish point. It is a very delicate matter to touch; for if the
     question came very prominently into notice, it might raise one of
     the storms in the press of all countries, which are so often the
     precursors of evil times. The ship is supposed to be at Civita
     Vecchia to give the Pope the means of leaving Italy, if he wishes
     to do so; and I suppose the Vatican might relieve the French of
     embarrassment by saying that she is not wanted. In fact, if the
     Italian Government intended to prevent the Pope's going away, they
     would of course stop him before he got to Civita Vecchia, and if
     they abstained (as would no doubt be the case) from interfering
     with his movements, he could get a ship to depart in, whenever he

     I do not know that there is any ill-feeling in Switzerland
     towards France, but the Ultramontane disputes give Bismarck a lever
     to work with.

     I believe the French Government have completely drawn in their
     horns about the Armenian Patriarch question and the Protectorate of
     the Latin Christians in the East, since Bismarck appeared on the
     field at Constantinople.

     In looking out for small beginnings of troubles, I have
     thought of Tunis. I suppose we may lay aside all apprehension of
     attempts of France to change the frontier or to bring the Regency
     into more complete dependency upon her, at the present moment. I
     find by a despatch from Mr. Wood, that the German commodore, in his
     conversation with the Bey, insisted particularly upon the interests
     of German subjects being put upon as good a footing as those of the
     subjects of any other country.

     I think Décazes takes the humiliating position in which
     France, and he as her Foreign Minister, are placed, with more
     equanimity and temper than most Frenchmen would; and so long as
     the present, or any other Government, not absolutely unreasonable,
     is at the head of affairs, France will be prudent in her foreign

     Of Marshal MacMahon's seven years' lease of power, only three
     months have elapsed; a time too short to give much foundation for
     conjecture as to its probable duration. Both he himself and his
     Ministers take opportunities of declaring that its continuance
     is above discussion, and that they will maintain it against all
     comers. There are two things against it. First, the extreme
     difficulty of giving it anything like the appearance of permanence
     and stability which would rally to it that great majority of
     Frenchmen who are ready at all times to worship the powers that
     be, if only they look as if they were likely to continue to be.
     Secondly, there is the character of the Marshal himself. He is
     honest and a brave soldier, but he does not take such a part in
     affairs as would increase his personal prestige. The danger,
     in fact, is that by degrees he may come to be looked upon as a

     The Imperialists are agitating themselves and spending money,
     as if they were meditating an immediate coup. The wiser heads
     counsel patience, but the old horses, who sorely miss the pampering
     they had under the Empire, are getting very hungry, and are afraid
     that they themselves may die before the grass has grown.

     The fear of an Imperialist attempt has in some degree brought
     back to the Government the support of the Legitimists, and in fact
     the Comte de Chambord has quarrelled with his own party. The Fusion
     has put an end to the Orleanist Party, as a party for placing
     the Comte de Paris on the throne; but the question of appointing
     the Duc d'Aumale Vice-President, in order to have some one ready
     to succeed MacMahon in case of need, is seriously considered. I
     suppose, however, that MacMahon would look upon this as destructive
     of the arrangements between him and the Assembly. And then the
     whole system depends upon the maintenance by hook or by crook of
     a majority, which has not yet ceased to melt away, as seats become
     vacant and new elections take place.

The Duc de Bisaccia, the new French Ambassador in London, even at his
first interview with Lord Derby, did not scruple to avow that he felt
quite certain that the Republican form of government would not last, and
he went on to assert that Bismarck's head had been turned by success,
and that he aimed at nothing less than the conquest of Europe, being
quite indifferent either to the views of his Imperial Master, or of the
Crown Prince. Whatever the prospects of the Republic, the prospects of
Bisaccia's own party (Legitimist) were indisputably gloomy, for the
prevailing sentiment in France at the time was hostility to the White
Flag and to the clerical and aristocratic influences of which it was
held to be the emblem. The great majority of the people were Republican,
and the most numerous party after the Republican was the Imperial, but
the Presidency of Marshal MacMahon was acquiesced in, for the moment,
by all parties, because it was believed to be capable of preserving
order, because it left the question of the definitive government of the
country still undecided, and because no party saw its way to securing
the pre-dominence of its own ideas.

The existing state of things was accounted for by the history of the
establishment of the seven-years Presidency.

When the Orleans Princes tendered their allegiance to the Comte de
Chambord in the previous autumn, the fusion, so long talked of, was
complete, and it was supposed that a Parliamentary Monarchy with the
Tricolour Flag, might be established under the legitimate head of
the Bourbons; but the Comte de Chambord struck a fatal blow to these
hopes by his celebrated letter, and the Conservatives felt that there
was no time to be lost in setting up a Government having some sort of
stability. The plan which they adopted was that of conferring power
upon Marshal MacMahon for a fixed and long period. Had a short period
been proposed, it would have been agreed to almost unanimously; but
this was not their object. They wished it to be apparent to the country
that the Marshal was specially the President of the Conservative
majority: they asked for a term of ten years: obtained seven, and
secured from the Marshal a declaration of adherence to their views. The
slight modification of the Ministry which ensued, resulted in placing
the Government more completely in the hands of the party pledged to a
monarchical form of Government, and the Ministry thus reconstituted, set
itself to the task of resisting the progress of Radicalism and Communism
in the country.

But the suspicion of favouring the White Flag clung to the Government,
and although the latter, following the example of the Empire, had
installed their partisans in office, as mayors, etc., by thousands
throughout the country, the candidates supported by the Government had,
in almost every instance, found themselves at the bottom of the poll
when elections took place; and the results showed that a large accession
of votes had been received by the Republican and Imperialist parties. Of
these the former had gained most, but the latter possessed a backing in
the country which was inadequately represented by their numbers in the

It should, however, be added that there did not appear on any side a
disposition to embarrass the Government by factious or bitter opposition
with regard to the three departments, Finance, War, and Foreign Affairs,
in which the practical interests of the country were most deeply
involved. The financial policy of M. Magne[9] was generally supported;
and with regard to votes for the Army and Navy, the Government had
rather to resist a pressure to increase the expenditure on these heads,
than to urge the necessity of considerable supplies.

In the conduct of foreign affairs, the defenceless state of France had
made the avoidance of an attack from Germany the one overwhelming care
of the Government. To effect this object, to give Germany no pretext for
a quarrel, and to make submission to the behests of Bismarck as little
galling and in appearance as little humiliating as possible, had been
the constant occupation of the Foreign Minister. In this effort he was
seconded by the Assembly, and indeed every one in and out of that body,
except a few clerical and Legitimist bigots, felt it to be a patriotic
duty to abstain from embarrassing the Government in its relations with
foreign Powers. Another reassuring feature in the situation was, that
there were no symptoms of attempts to resist by force the authority of
the Assembly, as no party seemed likely to venture to oppose by force
a Government which disposed of the army; and the army in 1874 showed
no prediction for any particular candidate for the throne sufficiently
strong to overcome its habitual obedience to the Constitutional
Government, whatever that Government might be.

As an instance of the dictation practised by Bismarck towards France in
foreign affairs, it may be mentioned that in January, 1874,[10] Count
Arnim formally announced to the Duc Décazes that the German Government
would not tolerate the assumption by France of the suzerainty of Tunis,
or of a Protectorate over that country. To this Décazes humbly replied
that there had never been the least question of anything of the kind--a
statement which can scarcely be described as accurate.

Whether Bismarck entertained any designs with regard to Tunis is not
known, but it was in this year that Germany began to show some signs
of interest in the Philippines and other places supposed to be of
some colonial value. The following extract from a letter written on
the subject by the late Lord Lytton, who was at the time Secretary
of Embassy at Paris, is a striking instance of rare and remarkable
political prescience.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lytton to Lord Lyons._

    Paris, Oct. 27, 1874.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Odo's impression (communicated to you) that Bismarck does
     not want colonies rather surprises me. It seems to me a perfectly
     natural and quite inevitable ambition on the part of a Power so
     strong as Germany not to remain an inland state a moment longer
     than it can help, but to get to the sea, and to extend its seaboard
     in all possible directions. Is there any case on record of an
     inland state suddenly attaining to the military supremacy of Europe
     without endeavouring by means of its military strength and prestige
     to develop its maritime power? But you can't be a Maritime Power
     without colonies, for if you have ships you must have places to
     send them to, work for them to do, and a marine Exercier-Platz
     for training seamen. That is why I have always thought that the
     English school of politicians which advocates getting rid of our
     colonies as profitless encumbrances, ought (to be consistent) to
     advocate the simultaneous suppression of our navy. Lord Derby says
     that though Germany may probably cherish such an ambition, she
     will have as much seaboard as she can practically want as long
     as she retains possession of the Duchies. But that is not a very
     convenient commercial seaboard, and I confess I can't help doubting
     the absence of all desire for more and better outlets to the
     sea, so long as her military power and prestige remain unbroken.
     Anyhow, there seems to be now a pretty general instinct throughout
     Europe, and even in America, that a policy of maritime and colonial
     development must be the natural result of Germany's present
     position: and such instincts, being those of self-preservation, are
     generally, I think, what Dizzy calls 'unerring' ones.

A letter from Lord Odo Russell written about this period throws a
curious light upon Bismarck's imaginary grievances, and the difficulties
which he was prepared to raise upon the slightest provocation. Probably
no Minister of modern times ever uttered so many complaints, threatened
so often to resign, and yet wielded such absolute power.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord O. Russell to Lord Derby._

    Berlin, Nov. 9, 1874.

     I found Prince Bismarck in one of his confidential moods
     the other day, and he indulged me in a long talk about his own
     interests, past, present, and prospective.

     Among many other things, he said that his life had been
     strangely divided into phases or periods of twelve years each.

     Born in 1815, he had left home when he was twelve years old to
     begin his studies. At 24 he inherited his small patrimony and his
     father's debts, and entered upon the life and duties of a country
     gentleman. At 36 (1851) his diplomatic career began, and he was
     sent to Frankfort, Vienna, St. Petersburg and Paris. At 48 (1863)
     he was recalled to form the present Administration, which in twelve
     years had carried on three wars and made the German Empire. He was
     now 60 and worn out with the responsibilities and anxieties of
     office, and he was resolved to enter upon a new phase (of 12 years
     he hoped) by resigning and retiring into private life--a resolution
     he begged I would keep to myself for the present.

     I said I could well understand his wish for rest, but I did
     not believe the Emperor or the country would allow him to indulge
     in it, as he was well enough and strong enough to govern Germany
     for many years to come.

     He replied that he felt quite strong enough to govern Germany,
     but not to be governed himself any longer by the Emperor, whose
     obstinacy and narrow mindedness were more than he could bear.

     I said I had often heard him complain of his Court duties
     before, but it appeared to me that he always carried his points,
     and that after some resistance the Emperor gave way in the end and
     followed his advice.

     He replied that it was that very struggle with his Imperial
     Master that had worn him out and that he no longer felt strong
     enough to carry on after sixty. He then related to me a series of
     very curious anecdotes illustrating his struggles with the Crown,
     and what he called the want of confidence and ingratitude of the

     I asked him whether anything had lately occurred calculated to
     increase his wish for rest.

     He said that his present difference with the Emperor related
     to the new army organization. The Emperor and his generals thought
     the sole object of the German Empire was to turn the nation into an
     army for the greater glory of the House of Hohenzollern; whilst he
     held that there must be some limit to the heavy strain of military
     obligations the Crown was ever anxious to impose on the people.

     I asked whether he was alluding to the Landsturm Bill, which
     placed every German from the age of 16 to 42 at the disposal of the
     War Department.

     He replied that he did not exactly allude to that, but there
     were other measures in contemplation, elaborated in the Emperor's
     military Cabinet, he could not give his sanction to, and which
     would consequently lead to another painful struggle. He considered
     that his great task had been completed in 1870 to 1872, and that he
     could now retire and leave the internal organization of Germany to
     other hands. The Crown Prince, he thought, might possibly govern
     on more Constitutional principles than his father, who, born
     in the last century, had not yet been able to realize what the
     duties of a Constitutional Sovereign were, and thought himself as
     King of Prussia above the Constitution, as the Emperor Sigismund
     thought himself above grammar when he wrote bad Latin. A danger
     to which the Crown Prince would be exposed as Sovereign was his
     love for intrigue and backstairs influence--'some one or other
     always concealed behind the door or curtain.' The Prince was not as
     straightforward as he appeared, and he suffered from the weakness
     of obstinacy and the obstinacy of weakness due to unbounded conceit
     and self-confidence--but at the same time he meant well.

     After a good deal more talk about his family, his property,
     and his longing for country life and pursuits, we parted.

     Without attaching undue importance to Prince Bismarck's
     oft-repeated threat of resignation, I do not suppose he would go
     out of his way to tell me and others so, without intention. My
     impression is that he wants to obtain something or other from the
     Emperor which he can make conditional on remaining in office, well
     knowing that His Majesty cannot do without him. Besides which,
     his retirement from office would have the appearance of a defeat,
     consequent on his failure to coerce the Pope and his legions. He is
     not the man to admit a defeat while he lives. Time will show what
     more he wants to satisfy his gigantic ambition.

The fear of war with Germany had died away temporarily in the summer,
and the various political parties in France were free to continue their
struggles and to reduce the situation to almost unexampled confusion.
The motives of the Comte de Chambord and his followers were too remote
for ordinary human understanding, and their object appeared to be to
bring about a crisis and a dissolution of the Assembly on the most
disadvantageous terms to themselves. Moderate Republicans were looking
to the Duc d'Aumale as a safeguard against the Imperialists on the one
hand, and the Reds on the other. Republicans of various shades, and the
Reds in particular, were coquetting with Prince Napoleon, and he with
them. Most men and most parties appeared to have particular objects,
which they hated with a hatred more intense than their love for the
object of their affections. Thiers, it was believed, would have rather
seen anything, even a restoration of the Empire, than have the Duc de
Broglie and the Orleanists in power. Notwithstanding the fusion, the
Legitimists would have probably preferred Gambetta (or some one still
more extreme) than an Orleans Prince--and so on.

'I cannot make head or tail of French internal politics,' Lord Derby
wrote, at the end of the year, 'and presume that most Frenchmen are in
the same condition. It looks as if nobody could see their way till the
present Assembly is dissolved and a new one elected.'

The beginning of the new year was signalized in Paris by the appearance
of the Lord Mayor of London, who had been invited to attend the opening
of the new Opera House. That functionary has always been invested in
French popular opinion with semi-fabulous attributes, and he seems to
have risen to the level of the occasion. 'The Lord Mayor,' wrote the
unimpressionable Lord Lyons, 'is astonishing the Parisians with his
sword, mace, trumpeters, and State coaches. So far, however, I think the
disposition here is to be pleased with it all, and I keep no countenance
and do what I have to do with becoming gravity.' A little later,
however, he was constrained to add:--

     I am afraid the Lord Mayor's head has been turned by the
     fuss which was made with him here, for he seems to have made a
     very foolish speech on his return to England. Strange to say the
     Parisians continued to be amused and pleased with his pomps and
     vanities to the end, although the narrow limits between the sublime
     and the ridiculous were always on the point of being over passed.
     I abstained from going to the banquets given to him, or by him,
     except a private dinner at the Elysée; but I had him to dinner
     here, and, I think, sent him away pleased with the Embassy, which
     it is always as well to do, and if so, I have reaped the reward of
     my diplomatic command over my risible muscles.

It was not perhaps surprising that the Lord Mayor should have been
thrown off his intellectual balance, for the honours accorded to him
far surpassed those paid to ordinary mortals and resembled rather those
habitually reserved for crowned heads. When he visited the opera the
ex-Imperial box was reserved for his use; the audience rose at his
entry, and the orchestra played the English National Anthem. Twice he
dined with the President of the Republic; the Prefect of the Seine gave
a banquet in his honour; so did the authorities at Boulogne; and to
crown all, the Tribunal of Commerce struck a medal in commemoration of
his visit.

The one thing that was fairly clear in French politics, besides
abhorrence of the White Flag, was the gradual progress of Bonapartism
which was beginning to frighten Conservatives as well as Republicans,
and the Bonapartists themselves were inclined to regret having helped
to turn Thiers out of office, because the army was becoming more and
more anti-Republican, and it would be much easier to turn it against a
civilian than against its natural head, a Marshal of France.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Jan. 26, 1875.

     Bonapartism is still in the ascendant, and certainly the
     Assembly is doing everything to give weight to the assertion that
     France is unfit for Parliamentary Government. No one believes in
     a moderate Republic, as a self-supporting institution unconnected
     with some particular individual. The 'Conservative Republic'
     was devised for M. Thiers. The Septennate Republic, if it be a
     Republic, would be scouted if MacMahon were not at the head of
     it. The Comte de Chambord is impossible. The Orleanists have cast
     in their lot with his, and besides, the Government they represent
     being constitutional or Parliamentary, is exactly what is most
     out of favour, with the exception of the White Flag. As I have
     said all along, the dispute is between a very advanced Republic
     and the Empire, and _confugiendum est ad imperium_ is becoming
     more and more the cry of those who dread Communism. Those who have
     personal reasons for fearing the Empire are already taking their
     precautions. Friends of the Orleans Princes are believed to have
     seriously conferred (not with the knowledge or consent of the
     Princes themselves, so far as I have heard) with the Bonaparte
     leaders, in order to ascertain what the Orleans family would
     have to expect if the Prince Imperial returned. At any rate the
     Bonapartist papers have been insinuating that they would be allowed
     to stay in France and keep their property; and these insinuations
     are of course intended to relieve tender Orleanist consciences of
     scruples in coming round to the Imperial cause.

     The officers in the army are becoming more and more averse
     from all idea of a permanent Republic. They would willingly wait to
     the end of MacMahon's time, but they are beginning to talk of the
     possibility of his being so much disgusted by the way in which he
     is worried by the Assembly, as to throw the Presidency up.

     In short France is at this moment in a fear of Bonapartism.
     It may, and very probably will, subside this time, but it differs
     from most intermittent fevers in this, that the attacks recur at
     shorter and shorter intervals, and increase instead of diminish in

Fear of the Imperialists drove Conservatives into voting with Gambetta
and other advanced Republicans; a ministerial crisis took place; the
Assembly gave contradictory decisions and generally discredited itself,
and the confusion grew so great that it seemed impossible to unravel it.

     'I have spent three afternoons at Versailles,' wrote Lord
     Lyons on February 26th, 'and have seen a Constitution made there.
     I have seen also such a confusion of parties and principles as I
     hope never to witness again. I found Décazes, Broglie, and a great
     number of Right Centre deputies at the MacMahons' last evening.
     They all, and particularly Décazes, looked to me very unhappy,
     and indeed they did not affect to be at all satisfied with the
     occurrences in the Assembly. Like the horse in the fable who
     invited the man to get on his back, the Right Centre have let the
     Left get on their backs to attack Bonapartism, and don't know how
     to shake them off again.'

The ceaseless struggles between the various political parties in France,
which were of little interest to the outside world, were temporarily
interrupted in the spring of 1875 by the war scare which so greatly
agitated Europe at the time, but which subsequently became an almost
annual phenomenon. Unfortunately, Lord Lyons was in England during
the greater portion of this critical period, and there are wanting,
consequently, documents which might have thrown light upon what has
always been a somewhat mysterious episode, but it would appear that the
symptoms of alarm on the part of the French first showed themselves
about March 11. On that day the Duc Décazes drew the attention of the
British Ambassador to three incidents which ought to engage the serious
attention of those Governments who were desirous of maintaining peace
in Europe. These were the threatening representation made by the German
Minister at Brussels to the Belgian Government respecting the language
and conduct of the Ultramontane Party in that country; the pointed
communication to the French Government of this representation; and the
prohibition of the export of horses from Germany. Prince Bismarck,
said Décazes, seemed to become more and more inclined to revive old
grievances and to require of foreign countries the exercise of an
unreasonable and impossible control over the prelates and even over
the lay members of the Roman Catholic Church, and as for the decree
forbidding the export of horses, it was so inexplicable that it could
only add to uneasiness. It might be easy for England, and for some other
nations, to regard these things calmly, but to France they constituted
a serious and immediate peril. In spite of the steps taken during the
past year to conciliate Germany on the subject of the Bishop's charges,
the German Government had never officially intimated that it considered
the question to be closed, and Count Arnim had used the significant
expression to him, that it was only closed 'so far as any question
between you and us can ever be looked upon as closed.' He believed that
it was only owing to the influence of other Powers, and of England in
particular, that the danger had been averted in 1874; and he now hoped
that the same influence would be exerted in the same way. Décazes added
a somewhat surprising piece of information which had been imparted to
him in January, 1874, by Prince Orloff, the Russian Ambassador, viz.
that in that month an order to occupy Nancy had absolutely been issued
by the German Government to its troops, and that there were strong
grounds for believing that this order has been rescinded chiefly owing
to influence exerted at Berlin by Russia. So far as is known, there is
no corroboration of this story, and it would appear that Prince Orloff
was so anxious to convince France of the goodwill of Russia that he
thought it advisable to drag England into the question, but it was not
surprising that France should be sensitively alive to the danger she
incurred, if Bismarck, irritated by his Ultramontane difficulties,
should choose to throw the blame upon the Roman Catholics of other
countries, or should resort to quarrels with foreign nations as a means
of diverting public opinion in Germany from inconvenient questions at

Prince Hohenlohe, the new German Ambassador, who also saw Lord Lyons on
the same day, volunteered no opinion upon the representation to Belgium
which had excited so much perturbation, but remarked with regard to the
exportation of horses that the 'agriculturists might have been alarmed
by the prospect of a drain of horses for foreign countries. He had no
reason to suppose that purchases of horses had been made in Germany by
the French Government for military purposes; but he had heard that a
considerable number had lately been brought there for the Paris fiacres.'

It will not have escaped notice that the German Government--or rather
Bismarck--was fortunate in always having excellent reasons available,
either for not complying with inconvenient requests, or for explaining
away disquieting symptoms; thus, in 1870, the insuperable difficulty to
disarmament was the King of Prussia; during the peace negotiations, all
harsh conditions were due to _les militaires_, and in 1875 the German
agriculturists and the Paris cabs were responsible for any uneasiness
that might be felt temporarily.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, March 16, 1875.

     I saw Décazes last night and found him in a greater state of
     alarm about the intentions of Germany than anything specific he
     told me seemed to warrant. The retirement of Bismarck to Varzin
     will not reassure the French, because they remember that he was
     there when the war broke out in 1870.

     There is observable here, and not least among the Russians, a
     sort of impression that there is to be a movement of some kind in
     the East.

     In short, there is a great deal of vague uneasiness and fear
     that peace is in danger.

     The German Embassy here has certainly been taking great pains
     to put it about that the prohibition to export horses has been
     decreed solely from economical, and not from military motives.
     That Embassy keeps up very close relations with the _Times_
     correspondent[11] here, and his subordinates. Of course the trouble
     it has taken has increased instead of allaying alarm. Décazes
     constantly harps on the string of the influence of England at
     Berlin, and the consolation it affords him to feel sure that it is
     exercised quietly on the side of peace. The position is a painful
     one. Without particular friendships and alliances, France is
     absolutely at the mercy of Germany, and if she tries to form such
     friendships and alliances, she may bring the wrath of the great
     Chancellor down upon her instantly.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Derby to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, March 16, 1875.

     I do not know and cannot conjecture the cause of Décazes's
     anxiety. Nothing has passed or is passing in any part of Europe to
     justify alarm as to an early disturbance of general peace. But I
     hear of a similar feeling of uneasiness at Berlin; and the Russian
     Government is credited with designs as to the nature of which no
     two persons agree. Until we hear more, I shall be inclined to set
     down all these rumours of wars to the time of year, and to the
     absence of any exciting questions (so far as foreign relations are
     concerned) to occupy men's minds.

     I may tell you confidentially that Bismarck has given us
     through Odo Russell a serious warning against the unfriendly
     feelings of the Russian Government towards England. He may be only
     trying to stir up jealousy, a game which he often plays, or he may
     be sincere. I take his hint as one not to be slighted, yet not
     infallibly trusted. Gortschakoff is no doubt much disgusted about
     the Conference; the Czar also to some extent; and probably they
     both feel that they had miscalculated the effect of the Russian
     marriage on English policy. But beyond this I know no cause of
     quarrel. Dead calm for the moment. I cannot conceive any reason why
     you should not take your leave when you wish it. Paris is always
     within reach if anything new turns up.

It is obvious from the above that neither Lord Derby nor Lord Lyons felt
any very serious apprehensions, and the latter was permitted to go home
on leave at the beginning of April. On April 10, Lord Odo Russell wrote
to Lord Derby:--

     Bismarck is at his old tricks again--alarming the Germans
     through the officious Press, and intimating that the French are
     going to attack them, and that Austria and Italy are conspiring
     in favour of the Pope, etc. Now he has succeeded in making the
     Emperor and the Crown Prince believe that France is meditating an
     invasion of Germany through Belgium! And, not knowing any better,
     they are in despair and have ordered the War Department to make
     ready for defence. This crisis will blow over like so many others,
     but Bismarck's sensational policy is very wearisome at times. Half
     the Diplomatic Body have been here since yesterday to tell me that
     war was imminent, and when I seek to calm their nerves and disprove
     their anticipations, they think that I am thoroughly bamboozled by

In the middle of April there appeared in the _Berlin Post_ the
celebrated article entitled: 'Is War in Sight?' and as it was well known
that such articles were not written except under official inspiration,
something akin to a real panic took place, more especially when other
German papers began to write in a similar strain. Letters from Mr.
Adams, who had been left as Chargé d'Affaires at Paris, show the
pitiable condition of terror to which the French Government was reduced,
and the efforts made by Décazes to obtain British support. Décazes urged
that England ought to take an active part in protesting against the
new theory that one nation was justified in falling upon another for
no other reason than that the latter might possibly prove troublesome
in the future. He said that he had protested to the German Ambassador
against the attitude of the German Government, after all the assurances
that it had received from the French Government, and added that if war
took place in August, as he feared, he should advise MacMahon to retire
with his army beyond the Loire without firing a shot and wait there
'until the justice of Europe should speak out in favour of France.' The
idea of openly identifying England with the French cause did not commend
itself apparently to Mr. Disraeli.

     'I had a rather long conversation about French politics with
     Mr. Disraeli,' Lord Lyons wrote to Mr. Adams on April 21st, 'and I
     found him thoroughly well up in the subject. He wishes to encourage
     confidence and goodwill on the part of France towards England,
     but sees the danger to France herself of any such appearance of a
     special and separate understanding as would arouse the jealousy of

       *       *       *       *       *

     'With a little variation in the illustrations, Décazes's
     language to you was just what he used to me before I left Paris.
     Germany can, I suppose, overrun France whenever she pleases, a
     fortnight after she determines to do so; and no one can tell how
     suddenly she may come to this determination. Whether Décazes is
     wise in perpetually crying "wolf" I cannot say. He is naturally
     anxious to keep Europe on the alert, but I am not sure that the
     repetition of these cries does not produce the contrary effect.'

During the second half of April the tension began to diminish, but Lord
Odo Russell, who was certainly no alarmist, felt convinced that, so long
as Bismarck remained in office, the peace of Europe was in jeopardy,
for his power had now become absolute, and neither the Emperor nor the
Crown Prince were capable of withstanding him. Writing on April 24, he
remarks: 'The prospect of another war fills me with horror and disgust,
and if Bismarck lives a few years longer I do not see how it can be
prevented. The Emperor's powers of resistance are over; he does what
Bismarck wishes, and the Crown Prince, peace-loving as he is, has not
sufficient independence of character to resist Bismarck's all-powerful
mind and will.'

A few days later the Belgian Minister at Berlin reported to Lord Odo
Russell an alarming communication made to him by Count Moltke.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord O. Russell to Lord Derby._

    Berlin, May 1, 1875.

     Since writing to you to-day, at this late hour my Belgian
     colleague Baron Nothomb has called to tell me that he had a long
     conversation with Moltke yesterday fully confirming what is said
     in my despatch. Moltke added that, much as he hated war, he did
     not see how Germany could avoid it _next year_, unless the Great
     Powers 'coalesced' to persuade France to reduce her armaments to a
     reasonable peace establishment.

     Then Nothomb told me that Bismarck had sent Bülow to him with
     the following confidential message: 'Tell your King to get his army
     ready for defence, because Belgium may be invaded by France sooner
     than we expect.'

     This message Nothomb writes to Brussels to-day. He is under
     an impression that in the event of war, Bismarck intends to occupy
     Belgium, as Frederick the Great occupied Saxony when he suspected
     Maria Theresa of wanting to take her revenge for the loss of
     Silesia. This is curious, and you will probably hear more about it
     from Brussels. I write in haste for the Messenger.

The evident desire of Bismarck to fasten a quarrel upon France aroused
the indignation of Lord Derby, who realized that the intervention of
Russia was the best method of preventing it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Derby to Lord O. Russell._

    Foreign Office, May 3, 1875.

     You seem reassured as to the immediate prospect, and the panic
     in Paris has subsided, but great uneasiness remains. Lumley[12]
     writes to me that the state of things seems to him most critical,
     and the language which you report as held by Moltke is unpleasant
     enough. Münster[13] has not called for the last few days: when last
     I saw him, his language about French armaments tallied exactly
     with that which you and others report as being held by German
     representatives throughout Europe.

     Is there no hope of Russian interference to maintain peace?
     It cannot be the interest of Russia to have France destroyed and
     Germany omnipotent. If the Czar were to say that a new war must not
     take place, and that he would not allow it, Bismarck would hardly
     undertake to fight Russia and France combined. I see little other
     prospect of averting mischief, and if it begins, where is it to end?

     Even here, and notwithstanding the sympathy felt in the
     main for the Protestant German Empire, the outrageous injustice
     of picking a quarrel with France, because she does not choose to
     remain disarmed, would produce its effect. There would be a great
     revulsion of feeling; not unlike that which took place when the
     first Napoleon had begun to show his real character and objects.
     The English public knows little about foreign concerns, but it does
     understand that hitting a man when he is down is not fair play, and
     I think in the rest of Europe fear and jealousy of the predominant
     Power would give France many adherents.

     I do what I can to point this out in a quiet and friendly way;
     but without being sanguine.

       *       *       *       *       *

     May 4. The conversation about Belgium in the House of Lords
     last night led to no result. I think I see a growing feeling,
     indicated by the language of the press, that the German demands are
     not necessarily unreasonable, and that we should at least hear more
     of the case before pronouncing judgment.

     To judge by the reports which Nothomb sends to his own
     Government, he has been thoroughly frightened, and is ready to
     advise unconditional acceptance of German proposals. Is he disposed
     to be an alarmist? Or has Bismarck established a personal hold over

     We are quiet at this office, busy in Parliament; the Session
     threatens to be long, but it will not be eventful.

On May 6, Lord Odo Russell reported that Count Schouvaloff, the Russian
Ambassador in London, had just arrived at Berlin from St. Petersburg,
and was the bearer of important tidings.

     The good news he brought respecting our relations with Russia
     filled me with delight after the dark allusions made to me here
     at Court and by the Chancellor during the winter. As regards
     Germany and the war rumours, Count Schouvaloff gave me the most
     satisfactory and welcome news that the Emperor of Russia is coming
     to Berlin on Monday next, will insist on the maintenance of peace
     in Europe, even at the cost of a rupture with Germany, and that he
     can reckon on the support of Austria in doing so.

     How Bismarck will meet the humiliating blow of being told by
     his allies, Russia and Austria, that he must keep the peace with
     France, when he has proclaimed to the world that France is ready to
     take her revenge, it is difficult to foretell. But we must not be
     surprised if it hastens on the outburst it is intended to prevent.
     I hope not, and do not expect it, but I shall not be surprised if
     it does, because Austria has really joined Russia. She has become
     an obstacle in the way of German development, which Bismarck will
     try to remove.

It had, of course, been the object of Bismarck to sow dissension between
England and Russia, and he had taken elaborate pains to convince
the British Government that Russia was animated by the most hostile
feelings. Consequently the extremely frank and friendly sentiments
expressed by Count Schouvaloff were in the nature of an agreeable
surprise, but the effusion of the Russian Envoy was so great that he
seems to have slightly overdone the part.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord O. Russell to Lord Derby._

    Berlin, May 8, 1875.

     I did not report Schouvaloff's conversation because he was
     going to tell you all he had to say in great detail as soon as he
     reached London. His frankness is fascinating, but on reflection it
     does not inspire absolute confidence. I feel at first inclined to
     believe all he says; but when I think it over, it appears too good
     to be true.

     If all he represents himself to have said to Bismarck about
     the power of Russia to coerce Germany under certain circumstances
     be strictly true, Bismarck would scarcely want him to succeed
     Gortschakoff, as he does, if he did not feel that he could make a
     tool of him (Schouvaloff).

     According to Schouvaloff, the Czar and Gortschakoff are
     to tell Bismarck next week that a new war must not take place,
     and that if he does not submit and agree, Russia, with the
     concurrence of Austria, is prepared to side with France to render
     war impossible. In all probability, their conferences will end
     in mutual assurances of peace and good will, and we shall hear
     no more of war rumours and French armaments until those of
     Germany are ready; and as Bismarck is a match both for the Czar
     and Gortschakoff, I shall not be surprised to hear that he has
     persuaded them to let him have his own way in the end. But this is
     mere conjecture; we shall know more about it all a week hence.

     The whole of Bismarck's policy now tends to produce a
     coalition of the peaceful Powers against Germany, and his Church
     policy, to produce dissensions in Germany and arrest the progress
     of unification. It is therefore evident that he seeks a conflict
     for purposes of his own.

     I may be wrong, but I cannot but think that he wants to
     mediatize the smaller German Powers and weaken Austria so as to
     render her alliance useless to Russia, France, and Italy.

     If I understand Schouvaloff correctly, Bismarck endeavoured to
     set Russia against us, as he attempted to set us against Russia,
     and he seemed to expect that Bismarck would make Gortschakoff
     various offers in return for Russian co-operation or neutrality.
     Indeed, he insinuated that he thought Bismarck a little out of his
     mind at times.

     The importance of the Czar's language and attitude at Berlin
     is so great that I look forward with anxious interest to the
     results of next week's conferences. For my part I have been careful
     to hold the language you tell me you hold at home on these matters
     in a friendly spirit to Germany and in the interest of European

On the same date (May 8), the Emperor Alexander and Prince Gortschakoff
started on the journey to Berlin from which so much was anticipated,
and the British Government addressed a despatch to Lord Odo Russell
which was also circulated at Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and
Rome, instructing him to use all his power to put an end to the
misunderstanding which had arisen between France and Germany. It is
worthy of note that when this despatch was communicated to the Austrian
Government, that Government alone declined to instruct their Ambassador
at Berlin in the sense desired, on the ground that it would irritate

The Emperor Alexander and Gortschakoff arrived at Berlin on May 10,
and the question of peace or war must have been decided with extreme
rapidity, for Lord Odo Russell dined with Bismarck on that night, and
the latter took the opportunity to express his thanks 'for the very
friendly offer, which he highly appreciated, as a proof of good will
and confidence on the part of Her Majesty's Government.' At the same
time he expressed some naïve surprise at the offer, maintaining that
all his efforts tended in the direction of peace; that the war rumours
were the work of the stockjobbers and the press, and that France and
Germany were on excellent terms! Under the circumstances, it is highly
creditable to Lord Odo Russell that he received this communication with
becoming gravity.

Gortschakoff who made his appearance after the dinner professed great
satisfaction at Bismarck's language; but in conversation with Lord
Odo Russell on the following day (May 11), Bismarck spoke with much
irritation of Gortschakoff's intervention, which he attributed to senile
vanity, and stated that he had refused Gortschakoff's request for a
categorical promise not to go to war, because such a promise would have
implied the existence of an intention which he repudiated.

On May 12, Gortschakoff sent a telegram to St. Petersburg which gave
dire offence: _La paix est assurée:_ and the Emperor of Russia requested
Lord Odo to inform Her Majesty's Government that he felt certain of the
maintenance of peace. Bismarck, secretly furious at the frustration of
his plans, outwardly betrayed no ill-humour and put a good face upon his

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord O. Russell to Lord Derby._

    Berlin, May 15, 1875.

     Although Bismarck is as civil, confidential, and amiable
     to me as ever, I fancy that he must be frantic at our combined
     action with Russia in favour of peace, which took him by surprise.
     However that matters little, and he will get over it, as he wishes
     to keep well with us. But he will seek an opportunity of paying
     out Gortschakoff for having come the Peacemaker and Dictator over
     Germany again.

     For my part, I was delighted at the course pursued by Her
     Majesty's Government and at the instructions you sent me, which I
     feel sure will do good, both at home and abroad.

     The old Emperor William, whose bodily health is wonderful, but
     whose mental powers are declining, will have been surprised and
     grieved at the Queen writing to the Czar instead of to himself.
     Bismarck thinks it is due to an intrigue of the Empress Augusta
     to spite him. His hatred and abuse of the Empress is a perfect
     mania. The Crown Prince sent for me to talk the incident over. He
     asked many questions, but was himself reserved, beyond deploring
     Bismarck's nervous state and policy which had been the cause of
     such useless alarm. He asked whether I saw any likely successor to
     Bismarck if his health broke down. I said plenty would be found
     in Germany when there was a demand for them, which Bismarck's
     popularity at present excluded. The Prince, though reserved, was
     very cordial and very anxious for information.

     Your conversation with Schouvaloff is word for word what he
     said to me. I note one mistake on his part. He spoke with certainty
     of Austrian co-operation, which failed us at the last moment.

     I was much impressed by the warmth and eloquence of the
     Czar's utterances of friendship for England. He seemed really
     to feel deeply what he said, and to wish with all his heart for
     an alliance with us. Gortschakoff was less ardent: it is not in
     his nature; but he was persuasive and consistent in his friendly
     assurances. Schouvaloff's attitude and language will show whether
     my impressions are correct or not.

     Münster's assurances to you in regard to the German army are
     quite correct, I believe; only it is better prepared for war than
     any other army in the world, and at ten days' notice. But when
     Bismarck tells him to lament the alarm he has created himself, and
     to ascribe it to Ultramontane influences in the press, Münster must
     feel rather ashamed of his master.

     We may certainly reckon on peace for this year. Next year
     peace must depend on the state of Bismarck's combinations for
     the completion of his task--the unification of Germany--Russia
     permitting. He left for Varzin this morning, which will do him
     good; but he returns on the 27th instant to receive the King and
     Queen of Sweden who stay three days in Berlin.

     I did not mention in my official report that the Czar asked
     me to tell him frankly, if I was at liberty to do so, whether I
     thought Bismarck had designs on Austria. I told him what the wishes
     of the National Party were, and what they expected of Bismarck
     their leader, and that I believed he contemplated weakening Austria
     to strengthen Germany. The Czar thanked me and said that although
     suspicion had been suggested to him from many sides, he could not
     get himself to believe in so much perfidy.

Such then in brief is the story of the great war scare of 1875, a tale
which has been told by many writers with embellishments suggested by
either Anglophil or Russophil proclivities. Which of the two countries,
England or Russia, contributed most towards the preservation of peace
will probably always remain a subject of discussion, but Bismarck at
all events never forgave Gortschakoff his vainglorious telegram, and
he used afterwards to maintain that, whereas the English had 'behaved
like gentlemen,' the conduct of the Russian Government came under a
distinctly opposite category. It is a remarkable fact that in spite
of the indisputable evidence furnished not only by the foregoing
correspondence, but from other sources, Bismarck subsequently had the
hardihood to assert that the war scare of 1875 was a myth invented
partly by Décazes for stockjobbing purposes and partly by the
Ultramontane press--even the English press being according to his
assertions under Ultramontane influence. In the authoritative work
'Bismarck: his Reflections and Reminiscences' it is lightly dismissed
as an elaborate fiction. 'So far was I from entertaining any such idea
at the time, or afterwards, that I would rather have resigned than
lent a hand in picking a quarrel which would have had no other motive
than preventing France from recovering her breath and her strength.'
Busch, in his better-known narrative, is also discreetly reticent on
the subject, and the only reference to it occurs in some notes dictated
to him by Bismarck in 1879. 'As far back as 1874 the threads of the
Gortschakoff-Jomini policy are to be found in the foreign press--oglings
and advances towards an intimacy between Russia and France of _la
revanche_. The rejection of these addresses is due rather to France
than to Russia. This policy does not appear to have originated with the
Emperor Alexander. It culminated in the period 1875-77, when the rumour
was circulated that Gortschakoff had saved France from us, and when he
began one of his circular despatches with the words, _Maintenant la
paix est assurée_. You remember Blowitz's report in the _Times_. Read
it again and mention the matter. His account was correct, except when
he spoke of an anti-French military party in Prussia. No such party

It is instructive to compare with these passages the statements made in
the 'Memoirs and Letters of Sir Robert Morier.'

The crisis was definitely passed when Lord Lyons returned to Paris,
and he found the French overflowing with gratitude for the exertions
of Her Majesty's Government in favour of peace. Both Marshal MacMahon
and the Duc Décazes were profuse in their expressions, and the latter,
in particular, said that he attached immense importance to the fact
that the same sentiments in favour of peace had been expressed
simultaneously at Berlin by England and Russia. At the same time, while
much encouraged at the thought that the danger of an attack from Germany
had been averted, he affirmed very positively that he should not on
this account relax his endeavours to avoid giving umbrage to the German
Government. On its being pointed out to him that it was obvious that
the vast and increasing sums which figured in the Budget of the French
War Department had produced in Germany a very general impression that
France was preparing for an immediate retaliatory war, he gave the
somewhat unconvincing assurance that a vote for clothing the reserve
would be struck out, but would be replaced by a supplementary vote
introduced in the winter, when a vote for clothing might seem 'natural
and unimportant.' According to Décazes, both the Emperor of Russia and
Gortschakoff had, on more than one occasion, used language which showed
that they viewed with satisfaction the efforts of France to restore her
military power, and he endeavoured to impress upon the Ambassador that
Holland first, and then Belgium, were next to France most in danger from
German ambition. Finally, he pointed out with great satisfaction that
Russia had not lent an ear to the offers which had, he presumed, been
made to her at Berlin, to forward any ambitious views she might have in
the East, and he said that he considered this particularly important,
because it removed the only obstacle which might have interfered
with a cordial co-operation, on the part of the British and Russian
Governments, for the preservation of the peace of Europe. Whether any
such offers were made or refused is not known, but as the next few years
were to show, Décazes's conclusion was about as faulty a one as could
well be imagined.

     'As regards public opinion in this country,' said Lord Lyons.
     'I find no diminution of the conviction that at the present moment
     a war with Germany would be fatal to France, and that very many
     years must elapse before France will be able to undertake such
     a war with any prospect of success. All Frenchmen are earnestly
     desirous that their army should be as speedily as possible placed
     upon such a footing as to give them some security against attack,
     and some influence in the world--but few look forward to there
     being a time when they can contend with Germany, unless they have a
     powerful ally to fight beside them in the field.

     'In the meantime I must confess that the gratitude towards
     England, which I hear expressed by men of all parties, far exceeds
     anything that I could have expected. On the one hand it shows
     perhaps the greatness of the terror from which the French have just
     been relieved; but on the other, it is, I think, an indication of a
     sincere disposition to accept heartily and ungrudgingly any proof
     of good will from England.'

The insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which broke out in the
summer of 1875, and the Turkish bankruptcy which followed a little
later, provided the French with fresh cause for apprehension, as it
was realized that the Eastern Question was once again reopened, and
that any differences that might arise between England and Russia would
be to the disadvantage of France. The French, who now saw the hand of
Bismarck in everything, believed that he had a plan of sending the
Austrian army into the Herzegovina, and the Russian army into some other
part of Turkey, with a view to sending the German army into France, and
much as the Government would have liked to have done something for the
French bondholders, and at the same time to have recovered some of the
influence formerly enjoyed at Constantinople, it was afraid to take any
action which might irritate the omnipotent chancellor. Perhaps this
was just as well, as far as England was concerned. The project of a
European Conference at Constantinople, which had been already mooted,
did not appear in any way to be conducive to British interests. Austria
and Russia were not in agreement as to the policy to be pursued. The
former had every reason to fear a Slav development on the frontier.
On the other hand, the Emperor of Russia could not, even if he wished
it, afford to disregard the feeling of the Russians in favour of
their fellows in race and in religion. Both Andrassy and Gortschakoff
foreseeing that neither could obtain a solution entirely acceptable to
opinion in his own country, desired apparently to throw a part of the
responsibility on a European Conference. But in such a Conference Russia
would be supreme. France and Germany would bid against each other for
her favour. Austria would be afraid to set herself against her, and if
England had any different views, she would always be outvoted.

Attention was shortly, however, diverted to another quarter. On November
17, Lord Derby learnt that it was absolutely necessary for the Khedive
to procure between three and four millions sterling before the end of
the month, and that he was preparing to sell his Suez Canal Shares.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Derby to Lord Lyons._

    10, Downing Street, Whitehall, Nov. 17, 1875.

     I am not quite easy in my mind about a story I hear, to the
     effect that the Khedive is negotiating with a French Company for
     the sale of his interest in the Suez Canal. If the telegram has not
     been sent to you officially, I will enclose it. Now his bias has
     always hitherto been against the pretensions of Lesseps, and he has
     been of use to us in keeping that rather irrepressible gentleman in
     order. If he withdraws from the concern, and a French Company takes
     his place in it, our position will be very unfavourably altered.
     Have you heard anything of the negotiations in question? I really
     think the matter very serious, and it is one of which the English
     public will fully understand the importance.

     I think I am not violating any confidence in enclosing to you
     for your personal use only an extract from Odo Russell's letter to
     me received on Monday which seems to throw light on the situation.
     I can add to it nothing in the way of comment.

     Your information as to the position of the French Government
     is satisfactory. It looks as if the worst of their troubles were

     P.S.--Since I began this note I have received further details,
     which I send you, and, I may add in strict confidence that we are
     prepared ourselves to take over the Viceroy's interest, if it
     cannot be kept out of French hands by other means.

     I find Lord Odo's letter is with the Prime Minister, so the
     extract I promised must wait till next messenger.

The result of Lord Lyons's inquiries, which had to be made very
discreetly, so as not to create suspicion, was the discovery that the
Khedive was actively negotiating with a French Company, but it was
believed that he wanted to mortgage, and not to sell the shares. Lord
Derby's next letter to Lord Lyons shows how reluctantly he took action.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Nov. 19, 1875.

     From General Stanton's[14] telegrams it appears that the
     Khedive has no intention of selling his interest in the Suez Canal,
     though he may be obliged to mortgage it for a time. He has promised
     to give us notice, if, from any cause, he should change his mind,
     and to give us the option of purchase.

     I sincerely hope we may not be driven to that expedient. The
     acquisition would be a bad one financially, and the affair might
     involve us in disagreeable correspondence both with France and
     the Porte. But there is a strong feeling here about not letting
     the Canal go still more exclusively into French hands, and as we
     contribute nearly four-fifths of the traffic, it cannot be said
     that this jealousy is unreasonable. There are intrigues of all
     sorts going on at Cairo, but I think we may reckon on the Khedive
     being true to us, if not tempted too strongly. I rely on you to
     tell me all you hear on the subject.

The memorandum of Lord Odo Russell referred to by Lord Derby is a lucid
exposition of the European situation at the time and of Bismarck's
attitude with regard to the other Powers, more especially Russia.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Berlin, Nov. 12, 1875.

     Bülow is loquacious and straightforward on most subjects; but
     his reticence on Oriental affairs is remarkable. I have repeatedly
     tried the experiment of talking over what the newspapers say, to
     draw him out, but he becomes silent and embarrassed, and seeks to
     change the subject, and when questioned, replies that he has not
     lately received any information from Constantinople.

     I have in consequence tried to find out through confidential
     sources what it all means, and putting two and two together, I
     make out that Bismarck feels uncertain of Russia, and does not
     wish to be committed too soon. Since Gortschakoff assumed the post
     of peacemaker between France and Germany, Bismarck has failed to
     re-establish confidential relations with Russia. In regard to
     Oriental affairs, Gortschakoff, instead of being satisfied to act
     with his German and Austrian allies exclusively, has sought to
     keep up an equally balanced understanding with England, France and
     Italy: from which Bismarck suspects that Gortschakoff does not mean
     to let him have his own way and wishes to control Germany through
     the united action and agreement of the other European Powers. This
     does not suit his book, and above all, he fears that Russia wishes
     to keep on good terms with England and France; which would, in his
     opinion, neutralize the exclusive action of the three Northern
     Powers, over which he hoped to establish his own influence to the
     exclusion of all other Governments. By lending his assistance to
     Russia in the East, he calculated on Russian neutrality in regard
     to his own plans, as was the case during the late war with France.

     The joint action of Russia and England last May, in the
     interest of peace, took him by surprise, destroyed his fondest
     calculations, and left him isolated and disappointed to reflect
     on the possibility of a peace coalition against Germany, which he
     could not break up without the certainty of Russian neutrality
     or assistance. He feels that Gortschakoff has abandoned him for
     the time being, that he has lost the confidence of the Emperor
     Alexander, and that while they live, there is but little hope of
     a change of policy in Russia, favourable to his plans--viz. the
     breaking up of Austria and the neutralization of the minor German

     Bismarck reckoned much on his friend Schouvaloff, but
     Schouvaloff turned traitor last May, and is less German in England
     than he was in Russia, which Bismarck cynically attributed to the
     influence of wine and women.

     Now Bismarck, I am told, affects honest indignation at the
     manner in which Russia is deceiving and misleading Austria in
     regard to Turkey; but in what that consists, I do not yet clearly

     When he returns to Berlin he may possibly speak to me on these
     subjects, and I should be glad to know whether there is anything in
     particular which you may wish me to say, or not to say.

     On the whole the present situation of affairs seems to me
     favourable to the maintenance of peace.

     Of course we must be prepared for an occupation of some
     portions of European Turkey by Austria and Russia, but that need
     not necessarily lead to war.

     I have also endeavoured to find out what the views of
     the National Party in regard to the East really are, and I
     find that the breaking up of European Turkey would be received
     with satisfaction, for the Turk has no friends in Germany. The
     German provinces of Austria are looked upon as the natural and
     inevitable inheritance, sooner or later, of the German Empire,
     for which Austria might be compensated in Turkey, with or without
     Constantinople. Some people talk wildly of giving Constantinople
     to Greece, as less likely to be objected to by the Western Powers.
     But even Russia might take possession of Constantinople without
     objection on the part of Germany. Anything calculated to break the
     influence of France in the East, which is still thought to be too
     great, would be popular in Germany, and more especially if the
     interests of the Latin Church could be injured by it.

     England may have Egypt if she likes. Germany will graciously
     not object.

     Since May it has become manifest that Russia has the power
     to hamper the movements of Germany and arrest her progress
     effectually, and that Germany can undertake nothing new without
     the passive consent of Russia. This power must be so intolerable
     to Bismarck that he is sure to exercise all his skill in drawing
     Russia out of the combined arms of the Great Powers, back into
     his own exclusive embrace. This, a difference between Russia and
     Austria about Turkey, might enable him to achieve.

     Bismarck's endeavours last winter to make us suspicious of
     Russia, and _vice versâ_, are now fully explained. His failure must
     add to the general irritation he suffers from.

     The situation will become clearer when he returns to Berlin in
     the course of the winter.

Lord Odo Russell's view of the situation tallied with what Gortschakoff
had said to Décazes, Thiers, and other people at Vevey, earlier in the
year. The preservation of peace seemed, therefore, to rest largely on
Russia, and it was unfortunate that the Eastern Question presented
itself in a form which certainly favoured Bismarck's efforts to create
differences between Russia and Austria, and between Russia and England.

Further inquiries in Paris with regard to the Khedive's action seemed to
confirm the view that he was seeking to mortgage the shares, but to whom
they were to be mortgaged was unknown. On November 27, there arrived
through Lord Tenterden, Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, the
intelligence that Her Majesty's Government had bought the shares.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Tenterden to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, Nov. 25, 1875.

     Lord Derby is ill and at home. I am not sure therefore whether
     he is writing to you to-night to tell you about the Suez Canal.
     General Stanton telegraphed that Lesseps (supposed to be backed
     by French Government) was offering four millions sterling (fr.
     100,000,000) for the Khedive's shares, but that the Khedive would
     sell them to England for the same sum. Thereupon he was instructed
     to offer this amount, and the Khedive accepted this morning. The
     contract was signed to-day, as we have just heard by telegram.
     Messrs. Rothschild advance the money on the security of the shares,
     £1,000,000 in December, and the rest by instalments, the Khedive
     to pay 5 per cent. on the shares while they remain without bearing
     interest (the interest being hypothecated for the next twenty

     Her Majesty's Government are to apply to Parliament to take
     the bargain off the Rothschilds' hands.

     Practically, therefore, subject to Parliament's assent, Her
     Majesty's Government have bought the shares.

     I am writing in the greatest hurry but the above is a correct
     outline of the case.

     I suppose the French will make an ugly face.

     P.S. It has all been kept very secret so far, so pray be
     supposed to be ignorant till Lord Derby tells you.

The action of Her Majesty's Government was taken none too soon, for
as Lord Lyons reported, the shares very nearly fell into the hands of
the French. On November 26 the purchase of the shares was publicly
announced, and on the following day Lord Derby had an interview with the
French Ambassador on the subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Derby to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, Nov. 27, 1875.

     I have seen d'Harcourt. He came to hear what I could tell him
     about the Suez affair, and I told him the whole story exactly as it

     He says that there will be some soreness in France, and I am
     afraid he is right. You know the facts, and I need not therefore
     repeat them. The points which I dwelt on were these:

     We did not wish that the Khedive would sell, nor was there on
     our part the slightest desire to alter the _status quo_. But we
     could not help his selling, and as he had decided on doing so, we
     took the only effectual steps to prevent the possibility of the
     shares falling into hands whose possession of them might not be
     favourable to our interests. The suddenness of the whole affair was
     not our doing. If we had delayed, other purchasers would have come
     forward. We had to take the opportunity as it offered itself or
     lose it altogether.

     It is not in the power of the British Government to act
     as Continental Governments can, through third parties--banks,
     financial companies, and the like. What we do, we must do openly,
     and in our own names, so that Parliament may judge of the whole
     transaction. This I said in answer to a remark made by d'Harcourt,
     that the act would have had less political significance if done
     through some company, or otherwise, and not directly in the name of
     the State.

     We hold even now a minority of the canal shares. The question
     for us is not one of establishing an exclusive interest, but of
     preventing an exclusive interest from being established as against

     I have always expressed my opinion that the best arrangement
     for all the world would be the placing of the Canal under an
     International Commission, like that of the Danube; and I think so
     still. I knew, I said, that the French Government were not prepared
     to entertain any such idea, and I therefore did not put it forward;
     but if France and other Governments altered their way of thinking,
     I did not think any difficulties would be made by England.

     M. d'Harcourt expressed some fear, or at least thought that
     some would be felt, lest the Khedive should be unable to pay his
     promised £200,000 a year, and we in consequence should use some
     means to coerce him, which would practically establish England in
     authority in Egypt. I assured him that nothing was further from our
     thoughts. We wanted the passage through Egypt as free for ourselves
     as for the rest of the world, and we wanted nothing more.

The purchase of the Suez Canal shares has always been surrounded
with much glamour and mystery, but in reality it seems to have been
a perfectly straightforward and business-like proceeding, to which
no reasonable objection could be taken. So far from being a profound
political _coup_ long calculated in advance, the action of Her
Majesty's Government was totally unpremeditated, and as far as Lord
Derby was concerned, it was undertaken with reluctance, and under the
conviction that England was making a bad bargain. So little confidence
did Lord Derby feel, and so averse was he from incurring any further
responsibility in Egypt, that he unhesitatingly declined a new
proposal of the Khedive that he should sell to the British Government
his contingent interest in the profits of the Suez Canal above five
per cent., and informed the French of the fact. The British public,
which warmly approved the transaction, seems to have been a better
judge of the Foreign Secretary's action than he was himself. The four
millions' worth of shares acquired by the British Government represented
nine-twentieths of the entire amount, and it is interesting to compare
these figures with the estimate put upon the value of the Canal by
Lesseps. On July 11, 1874, the latter called upon Lord Lyons and said
that two persons from England had sounded him about the sale of the
Canal; one a member of the English branch of the Rothschild family, and
the other a Baron Emile d'Erlanger, a well-known banker living in Paris.

     The Rothschild was no doubt Nathaniel,[15] M.P. for Aylesbury,
     who was here in the beginning of June. Lesseps said that on being
     pressed by him to state a sum, for which the Canal might be
     purchased, he had said a milliard (£40,000,000) and he declared
     that although this sum had startled even a Rothschild, it was only
     a fair one. His object with me seemed to be to give the impression
     that the shareholders would not sell the Canal for any sum.[16]

Although the French could hardly be expected to approve of the action
of the British Government, which, if it had occurred some years earlier,
would have caused a storm of indignation, they were, under existing
circumstances, forced to accept it with tolerable equanimity, as it was
of no use to add a coolness with England to their other difficulties;
and, in addition, they gained a great deal by the rise which took place
in Canal shares and Egyptian securities. Lesseps professed himself to
be delighted and Bismarck sent a message to say that the policy adopted
by Her Majesty's Government had met with the support of the German


[Footnote 7: French Military Attaché at Berlin before the war of 1870.]

[Footnote 8: French Ambassador at St. Petersburg.]

[Footnote 9: Finance Minister.]

[Footnote 10: Lord Lyons to Lord Granville, Jan. 16, 1874.]

[Footnote 11: Blowitz.]

[Footnote 12: British Minister at Brussels.]

[Footnote 13: German Ambassador at London.]

[Footnote 14: British Consul-General at Cairo.]

[Footnote 15: Now Lord Rothschild.]

[Footnote 16: Lord Lyons to Lord Derby, July 11, 1874.]




In January, 1876, the gradual spread of the insurrection in Turkey
led to the concoction by the three Imperial Powers of the so-called
'Andrassy Note,' and the great question was whether England would
consent to take part in its presentation, in view of her traditional
attitude towards Turkey. Lord Derby, in a letter to Lord Lyons, stated
that Bismarck was very anxious that we should do so, and explained that
although 'one can trust none of these Governments, it is as well to give
them credit for acting honestly until the reverse is proved,' and he was
therefore in favour of such a course himself. In a letter[17] addressed
to Mr. Disraeli, asking for his views on the subject, Lord Derby
remarked that: "It is too late to stand on the dignity and independence
of the Sultan; a Sovereign who can neither keep the peace at home, nor
pay his debts, must expect to submit to some disagreeable consequences."
Lord Lyons, on being consulted, concurred with Lord Derby's views.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, Jan. 14, 1876.

     I hardly see how England is to avoid supporting the Andrassy
     Note. If we stand aloof we shall stand alone. If our secession
     produces no effect and the Turks still accept, we shall be in
     the same foolish position France was in 1840; with this serious
     inconvenience, that if the Andrassy plan fails in pacifying the
     Herzegovina, we shall be blamed for the failure, as having caused
     it by breaking up the unanimity of Europe. If the Turks do not
     accept, they will be ready enough to throw the responsibility upon
     us, and to call upon us to get them out of the scrape into which
     they will get with the other Powers. I think that by consenting we
     should leave the Powers least excuse for attacking Turkey, or at
     all events, least excuse for pushing on without consulting us. I
     should not be for qualifying our support too much, for, if we do,
     the failure of the plan, which is in my opinion more than probable,
     will still be attributed to us, and a support, given as it were
     against our will, and restricted to the least possible amount, will
     be treated very much as opposition. I say all this because you ask
     me to tell you what I think: but there are two important elements
     for forming an opinion which I lack. I mean a knowledge of public
     opinion in England, and a knowledge of the real feelings of the
     three Empires towards each other.

     The despatch from Odo Russell looks as if Bismarck was
     preparing for the possibility of a quarrel with Russia. Ever since
     1870 he has been very naturally trying to turn every opportunity
     of dividing England from France to account. But since you joined
     Russia in insisting upon peace last year, and still more since
     the purchase of the Suez Canal shares, he has no doubt formed a
     higher opinion of England, and conceived the idea that she still
     has the will and the means to play a foremost part in European
     politics. Like everybody else, he feels sure that if there is a
     quarrel between Russia and Germany, France will side with Russia.
     In order to prevent his enemy being all powerful at sea, he must
     have the English fleet not merely neutral, but on his side. The
     only advantage he can offer to England is support on the Eastern
     Question, and it is on this question that he would have the best
     chance of embroiling her with Russia. What part he means Austria to
     play, I find it more difficult to guess. That he intends some day,
     and by some means, to annex German Austria to the German Empire I
     make no doubt, but I suppose he is in no hurry to add so large a
     Roman Catholic and Southern population to the electors of the Diet
     of the Empire.

     The worst service we could render France at present would
     be to set up a separate understanding with her in opposition to

The French Government was desperately anxious that England should not
separate herself from the other Powers, partly from fear that such
action would cause European complications, and partly because it was
particularly desirous of getting credit with Russia for having brought
English opinion round to Russian views. Her Majesty's Government finally
decided to join in the Andrassy Note, although it would appear from Lord
Derby's language, that the Cabinet were not unanimous on the question.

Meanwhile French internal politics remained in the same confused and
unsatisfactory state which had prevailed for so long. The divisions
amongst the Conservatives had made Monarchical Government in any form
impossible, and yet they refused to acquiesce, even temporarily, in the
moderate form of Republic which had been established, and seemed bent
upon doing all they could to exchange their King Log for a King Stork
in the shape of a Red Republic. The elections which took place in the
beginning of the year 1876 resulted in large Republican majorities both
in the Senate and in the Chamber, and in the case of the former, this
result was singularly unfortunate for Marshal MacMahon, as it deprived
him of the power of forcing a dissolution. A letter from Lord Lyons to
the Prince of Wales, who was on his way back from India, summarizes the
French internal situation.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, March 7, 1876.

     I cannot give your Royal Highness a very satisfactory
     account of French politics, although I do not take so gloomy a
     view of them as many Frenchmen do. The large number of advanced
     Republicans in the new Chamber of Deputies, the not inconsiderable
     number of Ultra-Radicals, and the complete defeat of the Moderate
     Conservatives in the Elections not unnaturally frighten the upper
     classes of Frenchmen. But in fact so many of the members are quite
     new men, that one cannot foresee how parties will group themselves.
     The Chambers meet to-morrow, and in about a month's time it will
     be possible to form an opinion as to how things are likely to go.
     So long as Marshal MacMahon is at the head of the State and of the
     army, there can be no fear of any serious disturbance of material
     order; and if he is at the same time firm and conciliatory with the
     new Chamber, and willing to take a Ministry from the more moderate
     members of the majority, he will very probably be rewarded by
     finding how tame demagogues can become in office. I understand the
     Marshal insists upon having Ministers of War and Foreign Affairs
     whom he knows and in whom he has confidence, but that he is willing
     to let the other Departments be filled by men taken in the ordinary
     way from the majority.

     So far we have not this year been disturbed, as we were
     last spring, by rumours of war, and agriculture and commerce are
     flourishing in France, and the revenue goes on increasing.

     Of the Egyptian Financial Question Your Royal Highness
     will learn all particulars on the spot. Neither that, nor the
     Herzegovina question are settled at this moment, but we must hope
     that they are on the eve of being settled.

One of the new features in the French political situation was the
recovery by Gambetta of his former influence, and as he was now a person
of considerable influence, Sheffield was utilized for the purpose of
eliciting his views. The late Mr. George Sheffield, who acted as Lord
Lyons's private secretary for over twenty years, was a well-known
figure in the political and social world of Paris, and included in
his acquaintance most people both there and in London who were worth
knowing. Not only did he enjoy much personal popularity, but as he was
known to be completely in Lord Lyons's confidence, he was the recipient
of much confidential information, and generally believed to be a model
of discretion. One of his peculiarities was that, in spite of much
practice, he spoke very imperfect French with an atrocious accent, but
this circumstance never appeared to prejudice him in any way, and it
may incidentally be noted that the possession of what is called a good
French accent is a much overrated accomplishment in France itself.
Frenchmen rarely wish to listen; they desire to talk themselves and
to be listened to; to them, as a rule, a foreigner is a foreigner and
nothing more, and whether he speaks French well or ill, they seldom
notice and rarely care.

Gambetta, having secured a listener in the person of Sheffield, was no
doubt delighted to expound his views on the situation. First of all,
speaking on the subject of Bonapartist successes at the elections, he
said that Bonapartism would die out as soon as it was realized that a
moderate Republic was firmly established. He expressed great delight at
the fall of Thiers (Thiers had once described him as a _fou furieux_),
and said that under him no real self-acting Republic could ever have
been formed, that it would have fallen to pieces at his death, and
indeed that the best thing Thiers could do for the Republic would be to
die. For Marshal MacMahon's entourage he had a great dislike, but for
the Marshal himself much respect, and he aspired to be Prime Minister
under him--a post to which he considered that he was fully entitled,
but which the Décazes, Broglie, the Marshal's secretaries and the
Maréchale and her friends would do their best to prevent him obtaining.
He professed confidence in being able to keep the extreme Radicals in
order; said that the Red Flag was as obnoxious to him as the White Flag;
that he was not inclined to grant a general amnesty to the Communists,
and that he would not agree to the re-establishment of the National
Guard. He also professed himself to be in favour of Free Trade, and
asserted that the commercial Treaty concluded by Napoleon III. accounted
for many of the Bonapartist successes.

Gambetta's aspiration of serving under the Marshal was never fulfilled,
the above-mentioned entourage being presumably too strong for him; but
the upper classes in France continued to look forward to the future
with undiminished apprehension. French capital, reversing the present
process, began to pour steadily into England, and it was stated that the
rich Radicals were not the last in sending their money abroad.

     'Marshal MacMahon's position,' wrote Lord Lyons at the end
     of March, 'does not improve. He has so little political knowledge
     or ability that, as events have shown, he exercises little or no
     personal influence in politics. There is also a jealousy springing
     up with regard to Emmanuel d'Harcourt and other people about him
     who are supposed to direct his political conduct. The officers
     now at the head of the army would follow the Marshal very far in
     any Conservative direction, but it may be questioned whether they
     would submit patiently to being placed under a Radical Minister
     of War--Gambetta for instance. It is the Marshal's political
     intelligence that is doubted. No one has a word to say against his
     disinterestedness, his honour, or his courage.'

Marshal MacMahon, a simple and amiable soldier, who knew nothing about
politics, was credited with an overwhelming admiration for the capacity
of his private secretary, Emmanuel d'Harcourt. Upon one occasion, the
question of applying for the extradition of a criminal who had fled to
America was being discussed in his presence. 'Well,' said the Marshal,
'we must telegraph at once to San Francisco.' 'Pardon, M. le Maréchal,'
interposed d'Harcourt, 'Washington, not San Francisco, is the capital of
the United States.' The Marshal was so astounded at the profundity of
his private secretary's knowledge that he was only able to ejaculate:
'_Ce diable d'Harcourt! il sait tout!_'

Many stories were told of his engaging simplicity of character, of
which the following will serve as an instance. Upon one occasion he was
inspecting a military academy, and was informed that there was present
a young Arab chieftain of distinguished lineage to whom it would be
desirable to address some words of encouragement. The young man was
brought up, whereupon the following brief colloquy ensued:--

     Marshal: '_Ah! c'est vous qui êtes le nègre?_'

     Arab Chief: '_Oui, M. le Maréchal._'

     Marshal: '_Eh bien, mon garçon, continuez!_'

By a curious combination of circumstances, Marshal MacMahon, with his
inadequate political and intellectual equipment, was still able for some
time to fill the place of a constitutional sovereign, and virtually the
French were living under a constitutional Monarchy, with an Executive
possessing large powers, rather than under a Republic. This state of
things, however, could not last for long, and it seemed as if the choice
lay between the youthful Prince Imperial and the establishment of a
really Radical Republic.

In one respect the French had every reason to congratulate themselves,
namely, upon the re-organization of their army, and some of the
political consequences which were likely to result from this increased
and increasing military strength are pointed out in the following letter.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, Sept. 26, 1876.

     As soon as General Conolly finishes his visits to the Autumn
     Manoeuvres and makes his reports, it may perhaps be desirable for
     me to send you some observations on the political consequences of
     the great progress the French Army is making. All the officers of
     Foreign Armies and the English officers especially who have been
     out with the French troops this autumn, seem to agree in regarding
     the improvement as being undoubted and very considerable. In short,
     it may not unreasonably be expected that in about three years from
     this time, the French Army will be in such a state, that France
     will count for as much or nearly as much, in the balance of power
     in Europe, as she did before 1870.

     The different phases of public opinion since the peace of
     1871 may be described as follows. At first, rage and mortification
     produced a wild and unreasoning cry for revenge. This was followed
     by a depression almost amounting to despair. In this state of
     things the rumours of an intended attack by Germany in 1875
     produced nearly a panic. Since that time hope and confidence have
     gradually returned. The general sentiment now is that France is
     safely 'biding her time.'

     Under the influence of this sentiment, the French acquiesce
     patiently in the present apparent eclipse of French power; they
     disapprove of any attempt on the part of the Government to put
     itself prominently forward in European politics; they desire to
     preserve peace and tranquillity in Europe at almost any price; they
     wish to disarm suspicion, and to be allowed three or four years
     more to recruit their strength. Their policy consequently is to
     adjourn as far as possible all questions.

     Their ultimate object in all they do, is to recover their lost
     Provinces; but however confident they may be of recovering in a
     few years their old position in the world, I do not believe that
     they contemplate, as the immediate result, an attack upon Germany.
     I do not think that they at all foresee a time at which they could
     run the risk of making such an attack singlehanded. What they do
     intend, is to put forward with vigour their own views with regard
     to the numerous questions they now leave more or less in abeyance,
     and to contract if possible foreign alliances on equal terms.

     One of the questions with regard to which they will be
     disposed to change their tone very considerably will be that of

     Another may possibly be that of the Newfoundland Fisheries, if
     we do not succeed in effecting some sort of settlement of it in the

     A third may be the extension of their possessions in Cochin
     China, and of their protectorate of Annam.

     With regard to alliances, that which they will first seek
     will no doubt be the alliance of Russia, and in a case of great
     emergency, they would make great sacrifices of Western interests to
     obtain it.

     They will desire to keep on good terms with England, so far
     at all events as to avoid throwing her into the arms of Germany,
     but as they are not likely to conceive hopes of obtaining effectual
     assistance from England towards recovering Alsace and Lorraine,
     they will not be so eager for an English as a Russian alliance.

     Another contingency to be kept in view is that a new President
     or a new Dynasty, desirous of consolidating themselves by a little
     military glory, may be led to direct an attack upon whatever
     quarter it may be easiest to do so.

     I will not however go on with mere speculations of this kind.
     Of the truth of the conclusions to which I have come, I entertain
     very little doubt. In two or three years France will not be in the
     same accommodating frame of mind in which she is now, and will
     have very much more powerful means than she has now of enforcing
     attention to her wishes. All questions therefore in which the
     influence of France is hostile, should be settled as quickly as
     possible. The restoration of the strength of France may be found
     useful in redressing the balance of power, but, anyhow, it should
     be taken into account in all political calculations.

It was not long before these anticipations were justified, but for the
present, relations between England and France remained on a friendly
footing, no doubt much to Bismarck's displeasure, who, at this period,
was continually urging us to take Egypt and not to do anything else.
As a matter of fact, if we had seized Egypt in 1876, it would not have
had the immediate effect of embroiling us with France. On the contrary,
all those who had a pecuniary interest in Egypt thought that they would
gain by our taking possession of the county, while the great majority
of Frenchmen looked upon the thing as inevitable, and thought it better
to put a good face upon the matter. Any contradiction of the supposed
English designs upon Egypt, however sincere and positive, met with no
credence at all.

There is an instructive extract on the subject, contained in a letter of
Lord Derby of December 6, 1876.

     It is evidently useless to say that we don't want Egypt and
     don't intend to take it: we must leave our friends to be convinced
     by the event. I have no doubt that everybody out of France would
     be glad that we should seize the country. Russia would like it, as
     making us an accomplice in her plans. Germany would like it still
     more, as ensuring our being on uncomfortable terms with France
     for some years to come. Italy would see in it a precedent and a
     justification for seizing Tunis; Spain, the same, in regard to
     Morocco. But you may be assured that we have no such designs and
     are not going to run into adventures of this kind.

There can be no possible doubt as to Lord Derby's sincerity; indeed,
he was so constitutionally averse from an adventurous foreign policy,
that a year or two later, Lord Salisbury said of his ex-colleague
that he could never have brought himself to annex the Isle of Man. It
is interesting to note that, in the above forecast of international
brigandage, Tunis and not Tripoli was allotted to Italy, the designs of
France in the former direction not apparently being suspected.

Before the end of 1876 the experiment of trying to work the institutions
of a Constitutional Monarchy in France under an elective chief
magistrate had very nearly come to a deadlock. The Left were determined
to get real power into their hands and not to allow themselves to be
thwarted by the conservative tendencies of the Marshal and his personal
friends. On the one hand, the Marshal stoutly maintained that he would
have Ministers of his own choice in the Departments of War and Foreign
Affairs, whereas the Left, so long as they had a majority in the
Chamber of Deputies, were, under Constitutional Government, clearly
entitled to decide the matter. But the question was complicated, because
the Marshal, as well as the Ministers, was in a position to resort
to resignation of office, and a severe Ministerial crisis ensued.
Ultimately, the Marshal succeeded in keeping his Minister of War and
his Minister for Foreign Affairs, but he was forced to accept, as Prime
Minister, M. Jules Simon. The latter, although an able and conciliatory
man, had been a member of the Revolutionary Government of National
Defence, and having been forced to yield so far to his opponents, it
seemed not improbable that the Marshal before long would be obliged to
have recourse to Gambetta himself. Gambetta, as has been shown, had
lately become much more moderate in his views, but in the opinion of
many people he still represented the Red Spectre, and it was believed
that his assumption of office would mean Communism, Socialism, equal
division of property, judges appointed by election for short periods,
the prohibition of marriage, and the suppression of religion. The
desire of the Bonapartists was that the Government should fall into
the hands of the extreme Left, in the hope that the people, from fear
of the above contingencies, would clamour for the Empire; but what
was more remarkable was, that many Orleanists as well as moderate and
timid Conservatives wished to drive the Marshal to a dissolution in
the hope of a reaction. There could have been no better proof of their
short-sightedness and incapacity, for the mass of the electors were not
in the least likely to make fine distinctions, and if really afraid of
the Republic would certainly vote for nothing short of the Empire.

The Conference which had assembled at Constantinople in the autumn in
the hope of settling the Eastern Question, with Lord Salisbury as one of
the British representatives, broke up in January, 1877, and it became
clear that war between Russia and Turkey was unavoidable. Lord Derby,
who was the reverse of sanguine by temperament, had never entertained
any hopes of its success, and was quite determined that, whatever
happened, there should be no British intervention. 'I am amused,' he
wrote to Lord Odo Russell,[18] 'by your description of the Russo-German
suspicions entertained against us; these fellows make us act as they
would act in our place. They can neither deal straightforwardly
themselves, nor give anybody else credit for doing so.

'If you are asked what steps England is going to take next, your true
answer should be "none." We shall wait, say little, and pledge ourselves
to nothing.'

The break up of the Conference filled the French with alarm.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, Feb. 5, 1877.

     It is believed here that Bismarck is determined to produce at
     least such a scare as he did two years ago, if not to do more. The
     idea provokes some anger, but more fear. Nevertheless, the danger
     is greater now than it was last time; for although France is very
     far from being ready for even a defensive war, she does feel so
     much stronger than she did in 1875, as not to be willing to bear
     quite as much from Germany as she would have borne then.

     The impressions prevalent here are:

     That Bismarck is very much disappointed by the result of the
     Constantinople Conference, which he had hoped would have ended by
     setting all Europe by the ears.

     That he is very much irritated by the cordiality which existed
     between the English, French, and Russian Plenipotentiaries, and by
     the considerable part taken by Chaudordy in the proceedings.

     That he is very much annoyed by the number of Socialist votes
     given in the recent German elections, and is eager to destroy Paris
     as the hotbed of socialism.

     That he wants a cry to make the Germans pay their taxes

     That he looks with an evil eye upon the material prosperity of

     That he considers the Exhibition of 1878 as a sort of defiance
     of Germany, and is ready to go great lengths to prevent its taking

     These are French views, not mine; but I do agree with the
     conclusion which the greater and the wiser part of the French
     nation draw from them: namely that it behoves France to be more
     than ever prudent and cautious, and more than ever careful not to
     give Germany any pretext for a quarrel.

     France is certainly not at all likely to oppose Russia in
     anything that country may undertake in the East; but she is still
     less likely to give her any military assistance there. She might
     not be able to resist the bait, if Russia held it out, of an
     offensive and defensive alliance against Germany, but in that
     case she would more than ever want her own forces on this side of
     Germany. This contingency, however, is too improbable to be worth

     It is quite true that France has a large force on her Eastern
     Frontier, and that she is hard at work there, but considering the
     difficulty of guarding that frontier, such as it has been left by
     the Treaty of 1871, her objects may well be supposed to be purely

     Lord Salisbury is to arrive this evening and to go on to
     London without stopping.

It is interesting to note that Lord Salisbury, while at Constantinople,
formed a very poor opinion of the capacity of Sultan Abdul Hamid--an
opinion which he must have had occasion to revise later on. 'Salisbury
reports ill of the new Sultan; calls him a poor weak creature, from whom
no help is to be expected. But his judgment is the result of a single
interview.' So wrote Lord Derby to Lord Odo Russell.

The French representative, Chaudordy, had been very active; his zeal
had alarmed his own countrymen, and was supposed to have aroused
the indignation of Bismarck, but one of the singular features of
the Constantinople Conference seems to have been the action of the
representatives of the small Powers such as Spain, Belgium, and Holland,
who did their utmost, and not entirely without effect, to spirit the
Turks up to resistance. In March there was much coming and going at
Paris on the part of Ignatieff and Schouvaloff, who were thought to be
endeavouring to secure what Russia wanted without war, and the former
proceeded on a special mission to London, but the negotiations with the
Turks broke down, and war was declared before the end of April. Letters
from Lord Derby describing the state of feeling in England dwell upon
the action of Gladstone, who, according to Schouvaloff, 'was much more
Russian than the Russian Government,' and whose language was, 'only
suited to a Panslavonic Society.'

The outbreak of the war between Russia and Turkey was extremely
distasteful to the French for various reasons. They were convinced that
it had been instigated by Bismarck, and that it would result in the
overwhelming preponderance of Germany on the continent, and were equally
convinced that it would lead to a great extension of English influence
in the Mediterranean including an occupation of Egypt; consequently,
Décazes, who was anything but a straightforward politician, and anxious
beyond everything to hunt with the Russian hounds, and run with the
English hare, was constantly expressing fears that if an English
force was sent to the East, the opportunity would at once be seized
by Bismarck for falling upon France. A congenial opportunity for this
intriguer arose over the question whether Egypt should be called upon to
render pecuniary and military assistance to Turkey, and an unsuccessful
attempt was made to persuade the Khedive that if he refused to comply,
he would be protected. By these means Décazes would have secured the
treble advantage of making himself agreeable to Russia, of pleasing the
French bondholders, and, to a certain degree, of thwarting England in
Egypt. Unluckily for him, the scheme miscarried; but in spite of ardent
professions of neutrality, he contrived to render services to Russia
which were of some considerable service.

He used his influence to obtain a loan for her in Paris; his agents in
Egypt supported the Russian threats to blockade the Suez Canal, and
the effect of the Franco-Russian understanding was to force Germany to
make greater sacrifices in order to retain the friendship of Russia by
furthering Russian policy in the East. One of the methods by which the
Germans sought to ingratiate themselves with Russia took the remarkable
form of insisting (as the British Ambassador at Constantinople pointed
out) that Russian subjects who remained in Turkey during the war, should
not only be entitled to remain there undisturbed, but permitted to enjoy
all the privileges of the capitulations, this being apparently the
German conception of neutrality.

The double game which Décazes was playing was not, however, popular in
France. It was felt that his intrigues with Russia tended to throw
England into the arms of Germany, and his enemies asserted that he
was too fond of speculation to be a thoroughly satisfactory Minister.
However, an internal political crisis of an exceptionally important
nature in May diverted French attention from all foreign questions for
the time being.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, May 16, 1877.

     The Marshal has been getting more and more uncomfortable about
     M. Jules Simon's giving way in the Chamber of Deputies to the more
     advanced Left, and now, as you will have learnt from my telegrams,
     he has turned him out. It is believed that if matters came to
     extremities, the Marshal will bring out a thoroughly reactionary
     Ministry which he has _in petto_. The Duc de Broglie, Prime
     Minister, General Ducrot, Minister of War, and so on. This would
     necessitate a dissolution, for which the consent of the Senate
     would be necessary. But it is very doubtful whether the country is
     ripe for anything of the kind, and whether the result might not be
     the return of a still more radical Chamber than the present; and
     then either the Marshal must retire and hand the Government over to
     Gambetta or some one still more advanced in opinion, or make a real
     _coup d'état_ by means of the army.

     However he will no doubt try to form a Ministry rather more
     Conservative than the last and still able to get on somehow with
     the present Chamber of Deputies; but this will be difficult.

     One of the Marshal's grounds of dissatisfaction with M. Jules
     Simon was that he would not, or could not, get from the Chamber
     powers which would enable the Government to restrain the press from
     attacking Germany in the dangerous manner in which it has written
     against that country lately.

The action of the Marshal in turning out Jules Simon, who was supported
by a majority in a recently elected Chamber, and replacing him by the
Duc de Broglie, who was extremely unpopular, might well be described
as a very strong measure. Décazes, who was supposed to be in the plot,
remained in office, and there was therefore not much probability of a
change in foreign policy; but it was evident that there were now only
two real parties in France--the Republicans and the Bonapartists. The
possible restoration of the Empire filled with dismay Lord Derby, who
considered that the last six years had witnessed a great purification
both of public and private life in France, and that if the French were
going back to a 'Government of adventurers, adventuresses, and priests,'
it would be a grave misfortune for Europe; and he was most anxious to
let it be known that there was no sympathy in England for Bonapartist

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, May 18, 1877.

     There are of course among the Right, many who, wisely or
     unwisely, rejoice that Marshal MacMahon has broken with the Left,
     but there is hardly any one who does not think the moment ill
     chosen, the reasons assigned insufficient, and the mode adopted
     unskilful. Décazes is represented, or misrepresented, as having
     been at the bottom of the whole thing.

     He came up to me last night, and asked if I had not something
     to say to him about the sentiments he had expressed to me with
     regard to the dangers to English interests in Western Europe. He
     also expressed anxiety to know how the question of the wine duties
     was getting on in England. He is, I suppose, anxious to have
     something to show that he is successful in cultivating intimate
     relations with England.

     While he seems so desirous of frightening us about Holland,
     he shows no inclination to admit that we have any interests at
     all in the East. In fact his plan seems to be to involve us in a
     quarrel with Germany, while he keeps safely aloof: to curry favour
     with Russia by taking to himself the credit of keeping our forces
     out of the East; to prevent any increase of our power in the
     Mediterranean, and to be well with us, but, if possible, better
     still with Russia. Still, on the whole, I am glad he remains in.
     I should not have been sorry to have Broglie himself as Minister
     for Foreign Affairs, but we might have a much more embarrassing
     Minister than Décazes, and he is easy going and conciliatory in
     most matters. Only we must not be surprised if he repeats to
     Russia, and Russia repeats to Germany, anything likely to impair
     our relations with Germany.

     The other Ministers would almost seem to have been chosen
     for the express purpose of defying the majority of the Chamber.
     Broglie, of whom I have a high opinion, is especially unpopular.
     I suppose the notion has been to put as far as possible
     representatives of all shades of the Right into the Cabinet, in
     order to be able to form a coalition strong enough to obtain a vote
     in the Senate for dissolution. It is not certain that such a vote
     could be carried, the Conservative majority in the Senate being
     only 2 or 3 on ordinary occasions.

Décazes took advantage of the occasion actually to suggest a secret
alliance with England for the protection of Holland and Belgium, and
stated that if it were ever signed, he should communicate to no single
person except the Marshal himself. It is hardly credible that he could
have been in earnest in making this suggestion, for not only are Foreign
Secretaries not in the habit of making secret treaties unknown to their
chiefs and colleagues, but Lord Derby was the last person who would be
likely to enter into an enterprise of this description. In the meanwhile
Bismarck, as an impartial friend, was warning Lord Odo Russell that
Décazes was only waiting for an opportunity to throw England over, in
order to prove his devotion to Russia, and there was little doubt as to
which alliance he would prefer if he could have his choice.

Exercising his right, Marshal MacMahon prorogued the Chambers, and it
being foreseen that there would be a general election in the autumn, his
Government set to work at once in preparing for the fight by getting
rid of as many Republican functionaries as possible, in accordance with
well-established custom.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, May 25, 1877.

     Neither the private history of the dismissal of Jules Simon,
     nor the attitude of the successful party, is calculated to give one
     good hope for the future.

     The Marshal is supposed to have been mainly influenced by M.
     de St. Paul, a Bonapartist and intimate friend of his, of whom
     he sees a great deal; by Monsignor Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans;
     by the aides-de-camp and people about him, and (it is whispered)
     by Madame la Maréchale. Fourtou may have been in the plot, but I
     believe Broglie was taken by surprise. Décazes wanted to get rid
     of Jules Simon and Martel, but to put temporarily in their places
     some members of the Left, who would have got on for a time with
     the Chamber. Jules Simon had proved a complete failure as Prime
     Minister; he had neither the confidence of the Marshal nor even
     that of the Cabinet, and he had lost all influence in the Chamber.
     He would very soon have fallen of himself if he had been left alone.

     The language of the Right tends to accredit the supposition
     which will be most fatal to them in the country. They speak and
     act as if the question was one between the aristocracy and the
     canaille. In fact they wound the sentiment of equality which is
     the strongest political and social sentiment in France, and
     consequently the present crisis is beginning to be looked upon as
     the last struggle of the old society against the new.

     As regards the great question as to what is to be done when
     the Marshal finds himself finally defeated by the Chamber, the
     party now triumphant talk of the use of military force. The Marshal
     has often declared to his friends that nothing shall induce him to
     resort to an extralegal use of force, but the wilder spirits of the
     party say that if the Marshal will not use the army, a general will
     be found with less scruple, and they hint at Ducrot. But this would
     be falling into the most fatal of all systems, that of military
     _pronunciamentos_. The Marshal himself might do a great deal with
     the army, and would probably keep it together, but it does not
     by any means follow that any one general seizing power in Paris
     would be submitted to by the rest. It is believed that even now,
     General Berthaut, the Minister of War, was with difficulty induced
     to remain in office, and yielded only to the Marshal's special
     request, on condition that he should be relieved in the autumn.

     It is however to be hoped that all this talk about military
     _coups d'état_ is simply talk; and that we shall get out of this
     difficulty quietly at last. In the meantime the upper ten thousand
     in Paris are indulging themselves in all sorts of illusions, and
     the Paris shopkeepers are dreaming of the restoration of a Court
     and of a great expenditure on luxuries.

The Chambers met again in June, and although the country was perfectly
quiet, the scenes which took place in the Chamber of Deputies were a
sufficient indication of the fury with which the politicians regarded
each other. The violent and disorderly conduct was chiefly on the side
of the Right, there being a certain number of Bonapartists who provoked
disturbances with the object of discrediting Parliamentary Government as
much as possible.

On the other hand even the moderate men on the Left began to talk
of revolutionary measures to be adopted when they got back into
power again, such as the suspension of the irremovability of judges,
the impeachment of Ministers, and the dissolution of religious
congregations. On June 22, the dissolution was voted by the Senate
by a majority of twenty. It was decided that the elections should be
held in three months' time, and both parties made their preparations
for an uncompromising fight, Marshal MacMahon beginning the campaign
with an order of the day to the army which smacked disagreeably of a
_coup d'état_, not to say a _pronunciamento_. Subsequently, having been
assured of the support of the Comte de Chambord--a somewhat questionable
advantage--he proceeded on an electoral tour in the South.

The general election took place in October, and resulted in the crushing
defeat of the Marshal and his Ministers in spite of the labours of
prefects, magistrates, mayors, policemen, and priests, who had all been
temporarily converted into electioneering agents. The exasperation of
parties reached an almost unprecedented point, and Décazes admitted
that the country was in a state of moral civil war. The partisans of
the Government talked of a second dissolution, of proclaiming a state
of siege during the new elections and conducting them with even more
administrative vigour than the last. The Republicans announced their
determination to annul the elections of all the official candidates and
to impeach the Ministers and even the Marshal himself, if he did not
retire or name a Ministry having their confidence. As for the Marshal
himself, he found little support at this crisis from the monarchical
parties, except on the part of the Orleanists, who saw that he must
be kept in at all hazards; but the Orleanists had recognized that
France, for the moment at least, was Republican, and their press owned
openly that to persist in Personal Government instead of reverting to
Constitutional Government was to march to certain disaster. The Marshal,
in fact, found himself confronted with two alternatives: either he must
accept Gambetta's demand to submit or resign; or he must run the risk of
getting rid of his difficulties by means of a _coup d'état_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, Oct. 26, 1877.

     The prospect does not grow clearer, though I see, or at all
     events like to fancy I see, a cooling down of the fury which
     prevailed a week ago.

     The Marshal is supposed to be a man of one idea, and his one
     idea at the present moment is said to be that he is bound to remain
     at his post.

     This idea might lead him to name a Ministry from the majority,
     but then he would have to dismiss all the Fourtou prefects, whom he
     solemnly promised to stand by.

     On the other hand, the idea might carry him on to a _coup

     The plan devised by his opponents, and indeed by some of his
     friends, for getting him out of the scrape, is that the Senate
     should refuse to support him in extreme measures, and that he
     should then declare (which would indeed be true) that he had never
     promised to stay in opposition to both branches of the Legislature.

     Communications which have been going on between the Elysée
     and the Duc d'Audiffret Pasquier, the President of the Senate, are
     said to have shown that the Senate cannot be depended upon either
     to vote a second dissolution, or to carry on the Government in
     conjunction with the Marshal, and without the Chamber of Deputies.

     I register as rumours, strongly requiring confirmation, that
     the Marshal has summoned the Chasseurs d'Afrique to reinforce the
     garrison of Paris; that in consequence of disagreements between
     Grévy and Gambetta, the Republicans offer the Presidency of the
     Republic to General Chanzy, the Governor-General of Algeria; that
     the more moderate Liberals have hopes of bringing in the Duc
     d'Aumale as President, if MacMahon should actually retire.

     As the population is disarmed and there is no National Guard,
     there can be no need to increase the numbers of the garrison of
     Paris. If any fresh troops were really brought up, it would be from
     mistrust of the spirit of those already here.

     Gambetta must have departed very far from his usual political
     tact, if he has set up claims in opposition to Grévy. Grévy would
     be quite alarming enough, and to establish the doctrine that the
     President must be a general would bring France to the level of a
     South American Republic.

     It would be a curious result of an election, in which the
     Orleans or Right Centre Party has met with a signal defeat, that an
     Orleans Prince should be placed at the head of the State.

The proper course for the Marshal to have adopted was to have accepted
the position of a Constitutional President; to have appointed a
Ministry which would have obtained a majority in the Chamber; and to
have restrained it from excesses by the exercise of his legitimate
authority, and by means of the power of the Senate. Instead of this,
however, he first attempted to form a Ministry of the same colour as
the old one; then tried to meet the Chamber with his old Ministers, and
finally fell back upon perfectly unknown people who carried no weight
at all, and who professed to represent no party. To this Ministry the
Chamber refused to pay any attention, and after many threats in the
Elysée organs to violate all laws; to collect and spend money without
the sanction of Parliament, to suppress newspapers, and to proclaim
a state of siege, the Marshal surrendered ignominiously in December,
and accepted a Ministry in which M. Dufaure was President of the
Council, and M. Waddington, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Thus, what
should have been a natural and proper consequence of the elections was
converted into an humiliating defeat, and there had been such a series
of solemn declarations, none of them adhered to, that all confidence
in the Marshal had disappeared. Of the more important members of the
new Government, M. Dufaure was a lawyer with Conservative leanings. M.
Waddington, who had been educated at Rugby and Cambridge, was intimate
with Lord Lyons and the Embassy generally, but it was doubtful whether
his connection with England would prove an advantage, as he might
find it necessary to demonstrate that he was not too English. M. Léon
Say, the Minister of Finance, was supposed to be a Free Trader; and
M. de Freycinet, who was destined to take part in many subsequent
administrations, had been Gambetta's Under-Secretary of State for War,
and was looked upon as Gambetta's representative in the Cabinet.

On December 17, MacMahon gave Lord Lyons his version of the history of
the crisis.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Dec. 18, 1877.

     I went to the weekly evening party at the Elysée last
     Saturday. The Marshal took me aside, saying: 'I want to tell you
     why I did it.' He proceeded to tell me that he had been led to
     remain in office and make a Parliamentary Ministry, by a warning he
     had received from abroad that if he retired, or if he established
     a clerical Ministry, war would be the inevitable consequence.

     So far the Marshal: what follows may be mere gossip.

     On the afternoon of December 12, the Marshal had quite
     determined _d'aller jusqu'au bout_; either to obtain from the
     Senate a dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies, or to give in his
     resignation. He was in consultation with General Rochebouet, who
     was at the time Prime Minister, about drawing up a message in this
     sense, when a letter was brought in, the bearer of which sent in
     a message begging that the Marshal would receive him at once. The
     letter was either written by the German Emperor, or at all events
     it convinced the Marshal that the bearer was sent to give him a
     message direct from His Imperial Majesty. The Marshal accordingly
     received him alone, and he said he was a Prussian officer who had
     been sent by the Emperor to entreat the Marshal to remain at the
     head of the Republic, at all risks, and on any conditions; and
     not to establish a Government which could be represented as being
     clerical. The message is said to have represented that the Emperor
     himself was most anxious for peace, but that he should not be able
     to restrain 'other people,' if a clerical or a radical Government
     were allowed to be established in France.

     This sounds so like gossip that I should hardly have thought
     it worth while to repeat it, if it had not tallied rather curiously
     with the statement the Marshal himself volunteered to make to me
     about his motives.

     The 'other people' are supposed to be neither more nor
     less than one other person--Prince Bismarck--and the message is
     represented as having been sent by the Emperor William without the
     knowledge of the Chancellor, or of the German Ambassador here.

     Prince Bismarck's enemies, and they are of course numerous
     enough here, like to argue from appearances that he has quite lost
     the confidence of the Emperor, and some of them, who profess to
     have peculiar means of obtaining information, say that he made
     three conditions with the Emperor, as those on which alone he could
     continue to serve him. 1st, that he should have _carte blanche_ in
     the Government; 2nd, that the Empress should reside at Coblentz
     or Baden rather than at Berlin; and 3rd, that certain people, of
     whom he gave a list, should be removed from Court. As a natural
     consequence, Bismarck's illness is attributed to his not having
     obtained the consent of his Imperial Master to his conditions; and
     it is said that he will not recover until his terms are complied
     with. This story of the conditions appears to me to be a very
     outrageous one, and I am quite unable to say whether there is any
     admixture of truth in it. Those who recount it, love to draw from
     it prognostications of the fall of the Great Chancellor.

Whether the story of the Marshal's mysterious visitor was true or not,
his defeat marked a decisive epoch in French internal politics; the
Republic was now firmly established and cannot be said to have been in
any dangers since, unless the vagaries of the impostor Boulanger be

Ever since the beginning of the war between Russia and Turkey, Lord
Derby had continually asserted that it was practically no concern
of ours, and that he was quite determined not to be drawn into any
intervention whatsoever. But as the Turkish resistance collapsed, and
as it became more and more evident that there was nothing to prevent
the Russians from exacting any terms they chose, unless some form of
intervention took place, Her Majesty's Government decided to call
Parliament together. Lord Derby was anxious to explain that this action
had no sinister significance.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Derby to Lord Lyons._

    Dec. 21, 1877.

     You are not unlikely to be asked the meaning of Parliament
     being called together earlier than usual. The explanation is
     simple. We see a growing excitement on the question of the war; we
     are menaced by an agitation friendly but troublesome, having for
     object to drive us into war, and with a counter movement on the
     other side. We think that much useless talk will be stopped; the
     real opinion of the country be tested, and the Ministry relieved
     from the annoyance of perpetual criticism which it cannot reply
     to, if every peer and M.P. can say what he has got to say at
     Westminster, rather than at a county dinner or borough meeting.

     Those who have confidence in us will not be sorry to hear our
     views explained by ourselves; those who have not, will have no
     further opportunity of talking mysteriously about the country being
     committed to this, that, or the other, without Parliament having a
     voice in the matter. For it is clear that if we meant to act on our
     own responsibility, and leave Parliament no choice except to ratify
     or to condemn what we had done, we should not shorten by one-half
     the interval that remains during which only such action is possible.

     It is possible that there may be in France some renewal of
     suspicions as to English designs on Egypt. If so, you may dispel
     them by the most decided language you can use. We want nothing and
     will take nothing from Egypt except what we have already, and what
     other Powers share equally with us. We shall continue to work in
     harmony with the French, and hope and expect the same from them.

Lord Derby was the most cautious and unenterprising of men, and he
already perhaps felt some suspicions as to the soundness of his
colleagues in the Cabinet; but the assurance to be given to the French
Government with regard to Egypt seems, on the face of it, somewhat
gratuitous, if not rash. The situation in Turkey might have resulted in
our being forced to go to Egypt at short notice, and only five years
later he, Lord Derby, found himself a member of a Liberal Government
which had been forced to adopt that very course.

When the British Parliament met in January, the war was already
practically ended, and the commissioners were treating for an armistice
and for the preliminaries of peace. The Queen's Speech announced that
although neither the Russians nor the Turks had infringed the conditions
on which the neutrality of England depended, it might be necessary
to ask for money and to take precautions, and on January 23, the
Mediterranean fleet was ordered to pass the Dardanelles and to proceed
to Constantinople. This action brought about the resignation of both
Lord Derby and Lord Carnarvon, but upon the countermanding of the order
to the fleet, Lord Derby resumed office. On January 28, the basis of the
peace negotiations having been communicated, the Government asked for
a vote of six millions, and in consequence of alarming intelligence,
received from Mr. Layard the British Ambassador at Constantinople, the
fleet was again ordered definitely to proceed to that city. Political
excitement reached its climax, and light-hearted Jingoes, quite
incapable of realizing the inadequacy of British military resources,
proclaimed their readiness to fight any possible adversary.

If it eventually became necessary for England to take active steps to
secure her interests in the East, it was quite clear that no assistance
whatever could be expected from France. M. Waddington took an early
opportunity to assure Lord Lyons most emphatically that France wanted
nothing for herself, and that she desired no acquisition of territory
either in the Mediterranean or elsewhere; but whilst he disclaimed any
desire of this nature, he showed in a most unmistakeable manner that
an occupation of Egypt by England would create a bitter feeling in
France which would long impair the friendly relations between the two
countries. Speaking most confidentially, M. Waddington said that it was
all important to France that England and Russia should not be involved
in hostilities, and that France should not be left _tête-à-tête_ with
Prince Bismarck, whether the latter played the part of an enemy or a
tempter. In fact, the French Government, like its predecessor, was
disquieted by a notion that Bismarck intended to propose to France
some arrangement respecting Belgium and Holland, which would dismember
those States, assigning of course to Germany the lion's share of the
spoils, and it seemed to be apprehended that France would be called
upon to choose between acquiescing in such an arrangement or incurring
the active enmity of Germany. The fear of the French that they might
become involved was so strong that Waddington was alarmed even at the
idea of committing his Government to the British declaration as to
the invalidity of treaties concluded without the participation of the
Powers; but, in spite of this timorous spirit, and although the Treaty
of San Stefano was not signed until March 3, Lord Derby informed Lord
Lyons on February 2, that, the support of Austria having been obtained,
Her Majesty's Government were determined to secure a Conference, and
it was hoped that Italy and France would also exercise at least a
benevolent neutrality. The uncertainty of the position was shown in Lord
Derby's language with regard to Constantinople. 'I hardly know what will
happen if the Russians insist on showing themselves at Constantinople.
It is not a case we could make a _casus belli_ of, but I think it would
in that case be desirable that the Neutral Powers should be present
too--that is their fleets--both as a demonstration, and to keep order
if necessary. The war being over, such a proceeding could not be
misconstrued, as it certainly would have been before. All this, however,
is uncertain.'

Judging by subsequent experiences, Lord Derby would have spent a
long time in securing the presence of the International fleets at
Constantinople, and would have experienced still more trouble in
persuading them to take any action. The Russians fortunately stopped
short of Constantinople, and a Conference being now a practical
certainty, Lord Lyons was invited to act as the British representative.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Derby to Lord Lyons._

    February 6, 1878.

     The Conference will probably come off, and it may come off
     soon, though there is a chance of delay from differences as to the
     place of meeting.

     I find the feeling of the Cabinet unanimous, and I fully share
     it, that you are the fittest person to attend the Conference on
     our behalf. Indeed, I know of no one in whom I should have equal
     confidence for a duty of that kind. Nothing has been said to the
     Queen, but I have no doubt of Her Majesty's consent.

     May I ask you if, considering the importance and difficulty
     of the work, you will be prepared to sacrifice your personal
     convenience so far as to accept the office if offered? I fear the
     sacrifice will be considerable, but let up hope that the result
     will repay your trouble.

To most people, an invitation of this character, conveyed in so
flattering a manner, would have had an irresistible attraction; but Lord
Lyons was one of those persons to whom notoriety was indifferent, if not
obnoxious, and who much preferred to confine himself to doing his own
business in a practical and unostentatious spirit. He, however, felt it
his duty to accept, hoping vainly all the time that the Conference would
never take place at all.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, Feb. 8, 1878.

     I wish to offer you my best thanks for your letter of the day
     before yesterday. Your proposal to appoint me to represent England
     at the Conference is very flattering in itself, and nothing could
     be more gratifying than the terms in which it is made.

     You were so kind as to speak of the sacrifice of my personal
     convenience, but that consideration I will set entirely aside.
     There are feelings of much greater weight which make me shrink from
     the task, and it appears to me to be a task peculiarly difficult,
     and one of which the result is, to say the least, extremely
     doubtful. I may say, too, without any affectation of modesty, that
     I do not think myself well qualified for it.

     Still these are after all personal considerations which I
     ought not to allow to interfere with any public duty which I may be
     called upon to discharge. If therefore the Queen and the Government
     should determine upon entrusting this mission to me, I should
     undertake it heartily and zealously, and do my best to justify
     their confidence.

     Of course nothing can be settled until we know the rank and
     number of the Plenipotentiaries of other Powers, the place of
     meeting, and other particulars, which may have a material influence
     in the selection of the Representative or Representatives of Her

     If however the progress of events should ultimately lead to my
     being chosen, I should be very grateful if you would allow me the
     opportunity of conferring with you upon various matters, before any
     definite arrangements are made. There is one to which I attach so
     much importance that I will mention it at once. I trust that you
     will allow me to choose myself the staff to accompany me on the
     occasion. My efficiency and comfort would depend mainly on this.

Apart from a disinclination to leave his own work, Lord Lyons probably
considered that the outlook for England at a Conference was by no
means reassuring. The issue of the Conference really depended upon the
military position in which England and Austria would apparently stand,
should the Conference itself break up _rê infectâ_, and at the end of
February the English position looked to be none too favourable, for
it depended upon the fleet having access to the Black Sea. If we were
able to stop the Russian communications by sea, the Russians would be
at the mercy of Austria by land, supposing Andrassy's boasts to be
well founded; but we had no absolute security against the Russians
occupying Gallipoli at any moment, and no semblance of a security of
their not occupying the Black Sea exit of the Bosphorus, for the Turks
were at their mercy, and, as pointed out by Mr. Layard, they were quite
capable of making any arrangement with Russia, since they considered
that they had been betrayed and abandoned by England. Neither, it might
be added, was there any security that Austria would stand firm, for
there was always the chance of her being bought off with Bosnia and the

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Derby._

    Paris, Feb. 26, 1878.

     As to the Conference itself all seems more than ever in doubt.
     Unless the Austrians are determined to go to war and are visibly
     ready, and unless we are equally determined and equally ready on
     our side, and unless the Russians are convinced of this, there can
     be no chance of their making any concessions. Then, what will the
     Austrians want? To bolster up the Turks, to waste energy in trying
     to place under them again this or that district delivered by the
     Russians, would be a very losing game. There must, I suppose,
     be some new Principality or Principalities. If anything like a
     national feeling and a national Government can be established in
     them, their danger will be from Russia, and Russia will become
     their natural enemy, unless they are thrown into her arms by a
     hostility on the part of Austria, which will make them feel that
     Russia alone is their defence against Turkey. Then there are the
     Straits, and the difficulty of placing the Turks, or whoever is
     to hold them, in a position to guard them against a Russian _coup
     de main_ at least. Ignatieff seems to be already working the
     connection between Egypt and the Porte, with a view to getting
     money out of Egypt for Russia. I am inclined to think that the more
     radically Egypt is severed from the Porte, and the less our free
     action with regard to it is hampered by collective guarantees or
     collective Protectorates the safer we shall be.

The correctness of these views has since been amply demonstrated by the
history of the Balkan States. The opinion about Egypt, however, was
probably not at all to the taste of Lord Derby, who appeared to rejoice
in divided responsibility.

Lord Lyons himself was summoned to London early in March in order to
confer with the Government respecting his procedure at Berlin, and
judging from his letters to various correspondents, the course which Her
Majesty's Government proposed to adopt was in a state of considerable
uncertainty. It was, however, a source of much satisfaction to him that
he would have the co-operation of Lord Odo Russell, who was an intimate
friend, and in whose judgment he felt complete confidence. He also got
his way about his staff, which was to include amongst others, Malet,
Sheffield, and Mr. (now Sir William) Barrington.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Odo Russell._

    London, March 13, 1878.

     My only comfort about this awful Congress or Conference is
     that you will be my partner in it. I hope, if it does come off
     after all, that we may get over it without doing harm to our
     country or to ourselves. I wanted them to set me aside and take
     advantage of the transfer to Berlin to put it into your hands;
     and I still think this would be the best plan; but they say that
     after their announcement of my appointment to Parliament, they
     cannot cancel it. Sir Robert Peel has moved a resolution that I am
     not a fit person to represent England at the Conference. I shall
     console myself if he carries it. He grounds his motion upon 'my
     well-known opinions.' I suppose he takes my opinions from a wholly
     unauthorized and incorrect account of them which appeared in a
     letter in the _Daily Telegraph_ yesterday. Some people suppose he
     wrote the letter himself in order to have a peg to hang his motion
     on. I don't think your difficulties at the Conference will arise
     from strong preconceived opinions of mine. I shall try and get our
     instructions made as precise as possible. Could you give me some
     hints as to the particular points which should be decided before we
     begin? You will know how far certain solutions in our sense will be
     feasible or not. It is worse than useless that we should be told to
     aim at impossibilities, and have to yield: though there may be of
     course conditions, which if not admitted, will render it necessary
     for us to retire from the Conference altogether.

     I am sure you will be the greatest help and comfort to me, and
     I hope I may be a help to you. Please tell me anything you wish me
     to do or say here.

Lord Odo Russell appears to have been equally in the dark as to the
intended policy of Her Majesty's Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Odo Russell to Lord Lyons._

    Berlin, March 16, 1878.

     The feelings you express concerning the Conference are so
     entirely my own that I need say no more, and only hope that Lord
     Derby will give you a better qualified assistant than I can be with
     regard to Oriental Affairs, of which I do not really know enough to
     be of any use to you or to the country, beside such authorities as
     Ignatieff, Lobanoff, Calice, Radowitz, Busch, etc., etc.

     You ask if I could give you some hints as to the particular
     points which should be decided before you begin.

     I would do so with the greatest pleasure, if I only knew what
     the policy of Her Majesty's Government is likely to be in Congress.
     All I know about it at present is contained in Lord Derby's
     despatch of May 6, and as far as Constantinople and the Straits are
     concerned, I fancy Russia will be conciliatory.

     You ask further how far certain solutions in our sense will be
     feasible or not.

     I wish I could answer your question, but can only beg of
     you to tell me first whether we accept the consequences of our
     neutrality, or whether we contest them: whether we are going
     to reject the Turko-Russian Treaty, as we rejected the Berlin
     Memorandum, or whether we are going to accept now what we refused

     Russia is now in possession of Turkey. Germany supports Russia.

     France and Italy have no wish to quarrel with Russia or
     Germany, and will not offer any serious opposition to the
     Turko-Russian Treaty.

     Austria may object to two things: the proposed limits of
     Bulgaria, and the prolonged occupation of Russian troops.

     If Russia is well disposed, she will consent to a smaller
     Bulgaria and to a shorter occupation.

     If she doesn't, Austria must choose between a diplomatic
     defeat, a compromise, or war to turn Russia out of Bulgaria.
     Bismarck will exert all his personal influence in favour of a
     compromise to keep the three Emperors' Alliance together before
     Europe in Conference assembled.

     The annexation of Armenia and the war indemnity are questions
     which Russia will scarcely consent to submit to the Congress at all.

     What then is our attitude to be? Please let me know as soon as
     you can, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

     If we go in for Greek interests we shall have the cordial
     support of Germany and Austria, I think--but Greek interests are
     in direct opposition to Turkish interests, if I am not greatly

     On hearing of your appointment I wrote to you to congratulate
     myself and to beg of you to grant us the happiness of taking up
     your quarters at the Embassy, and also to advise you to bring a
     numerous and efficient staff, as I have not hands enough at Berlin
     for an emergency.

The letters of Lord Odo Russell at this period show that he was
completely in the dark as to the intentions of Her Majesty's Government,
and that he was quite unable to get any answer as to what was to be
their policy with regard to the Treaty of San Stefano. He himself was
convinced that the three Empires had already settled what the result of
the Congress was to be, and that they simply intended to communicate it
to Greece, Roumania, and other Powers for whom they wished to manifest
their contempt, such as France and England, _à prendre ou à laisser_.
Under these circumstances, it became doubtful whether it was worth
while for England to go into a Conference at all and court unnecessary
humiliation, serious as the responsibility would be if such a course
were decided upon.

There can be no doubt that much of the prevailing uncertainty was due to
Lord Derby, who with great difficulty had contrived to keep pace with
his more enterprising colleagues, and whose over-cautious temperament
had prevented the adoption of any really definite policy. But Lord
Derby, unable to stand the shock of seeing a few thousand Indian troops
sent to the Mediterranean, resigned office on March 28, and the advent
of Lord Salisbury at the Foreign Office marked a new departure in
British Foreign Policy.

Lord Salisbury's circular of April 1, 1878, was intended to show that
the Treaty of San Stefano threatened the interests of Europe, and
that the whole, and not parts of it, as proposed by Russia, should be
submitted to the Congress. It pointed out that the creation of a big
Bulgaria, stretching over the greater part of the Balkan Peninsula,
and with ports on the Black Sea and the Ægean, would give Russia a
predominant influence; that the proposed annexations in Asia Minor would
give Russia control over political and commercial conditions in that
region, and that the exaction of an indemnity which it was impossible
for Turkey to provide, would enable Russia either to exact further
cessions of territory or to impose any other conditions which might be
thought advisable. The logic was sound, and at all events Lord Salisbury
succeeded in producing a definite British policy, which his predecessor
had signally failed to do.

When Lord Lyons returned to Paris at the beginning of April the question
of whether there was to be a Congress or not was still in suspense.
French opinion was rather more in favour of England on the Eastern
Question than had been expected, but there was no sign of anything more
than passive sympathy, and Waddington, who was particularly sensitive
on the subject, intimated, not obscurely, that the good will of France
depended upon England not acting independently of her in Egypt. It
looked, in fact, as if England would be left to bell the cat, although
Lord Salisbury's circular, as was generally admitted, had immensely
raised British prestige on the continent. The suspicion felt in France
as to Russian intentions was shown by the failure of agents of the
Russian Government to negotiate a loan at Paris for thirty millions
sterling, and Lord Salisbury's letters in the early part of April show
that, while there were symptoms of yielding in Europe, there appeared to
be no prospect of those concessions with regard to Asia Minor to which
Her Majesty's Government attached great importance.

On the whole, the French Government was apparently anxious to act as
far as possible with England, without committing itself too much, since
the idea of a Russian naval station in the Mediterranean was highly
obnoxious; but Waddington was hampered, amongst other causes, by the
proceedings of Gambetta, who was disporting himself in some of the
European capitals with the object of forming, or appearing to form,
relations with foreign statesmen, which would enable him to put forward
a claim to become eventually Minister for Foreign Affairs. Waddington
always in private repudiated responsibility for what Gambetta said
or did, but the latter was now so important a personage that it was
necessary to keep on good terms with him and to submit to a patronage
which must have been irksome to French Ministers.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, April 24, 1878.

     The negotiations for the simultaneous withdrawal of the fleet
     and army from Constantinople proceed very slowly. We are making
     no difficulties, but the Russians cannot make up their minds about
     details, and are probably trying to screw some concessions out of
     the luckless Turks. I shall be very glad to see the arrangement
     succeed, because our fleet is doing no possible good there at this
     moment. Whatever value it had, disappeared as soon as the peace was
     signed. But as the Russians seem to be afraid of it, we must make
     the most of it. Possibly, in their secret hearts, they entertain
     very much the same opinion as to the position of their armies.

     The general negotiations do not improve. Russia gives me the
     impression of a Government desperately anxious for peace, and
     driven on by some fate towards war. Andrassy undoubtedly means to
     have Bosnia; but whether he will be satisfied with that I am not
     so certain. It is a possible policy for him to throw the Danube
     over altogether; to secure an outlet for his produce by a railway
     to Salonika, and to accept a simultaneous extension southward in
     parallel lines of Austrian and Russian possession--whether in the
     form of actual territory, or of vassal states. In that case, he
     will throw us over, and his course will be easy enough if he can
     square the Hungarians. But that may be a difficulty. Do you gather
     any information about his objects?

     Is it your impression--as it is mine--that the French are
     supremely anxious to push us into war?

Lord Lyons's reply to these inquiries gives the reasons why the French
views with regard to an Anglo-Russian conflict had undergone an

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, April 26, 1878.

     I owe you many thanks for your letter of the day before

     You ask me whether it is my impression that the French are
     extremely anxious to push us into war.

     Confidence in their returning military strength, and the
     apparent success of their endeavours to conciliate Germany have
     calmed their fears of Bismarck. They are no longer nervously
     desirous that the forces of England should be kept in the west,
     as a necessary check upon the great Chancellor's supposed designs
     upon Holland, upon Belgium, or upon France herself. On the other
     hand, they have given up counting upon Russia as an ally against
     Germany, and have abandoned Décazes's policy of courting her and
     espousing her interests. The result of all this is that they are
     willing enough that the main force of England should be employed at
     a distance from home.

     They have been reassured about Egypt, and they think that if
     England is engaged in hostilities with Russia, she will be less
     disposed and less able to interfere with France or to separate from
     her in Egyptian affairs. They have lost their great fear, which was
     that England, instead of opposing Russia, would seek a compensation
     for herself in the annexation of Egypt. Thus another of the reasons
     which made them desire that England should abstain from all action
     has disappeared.

     There are, moreover, the patriots, who look far ahead, who do
     positively desire that England should go to war with Russia. Their
     calculation is that Austria and Italy would sooner or later be
     drawn into the war on the English side, and that then, Germany and
     Russia being isolated, France might join the rest of Europe against
     them, and recover Alsace and Lorraine. These are said to be the
     views of Gambetta and his friends.

     There is, however, one feeling which pervades the great
     mass of Frenchmen. They wish England to take the chestnuts out
     of the fire for them. They are quite determined not to go to war
     themselves for anything less than Alsace and Lorraine, but they do
     wish to exclude Russia from the Mediterranean, and they are very
     willing that the danger and the burthen of effecting this should be
     incurred by England.

     With these views their newspapers go on patting us on the
     back, and may continue to do so, as long as we seem to be ready to
     act alone; but they would change their note, if they saw any risk
     of France being drawn into the war with us, until _after_ Austria
     and Italy had joined us.

     I know of nothing to confirm Odo Russell's information that
     in return for the consent of Germany and Russia to exclude Egypt,
     etc., from the deliberations of the Congress, Waddington engaged to
     support Germany and Russia in everything else. What appeared on the
     surface was that this exclusion was made openly by France a _sine
     qua non_ of her attending the Congress, that she communicated the
     condition simultaneously to all the Powers, and did not at all ask
     for the assent to it as a concession. If there is only Bismarckian
     authority for the bargain stated to have been made by Waddington
     with Germany and Russia, I think it _mérite confirmation_. The one
     object of Bismarck seems always to be to sow dissensions between
     France and any other Power that she may seem to be approaching.

     Notwithstanding the Comte de St. Vallier's assertion to Odo
     Russell, Mr. Adams is quite certain that it was M. de St. Vallier
     himself who reported to Mr. Waddington that Odo had communicated
     to the Emperor William, Prince Bismarck, etc., a telegram from Mr.
     Adams on the subject of the sympathies of France with England.
     In fact Mr. Waddington who is an old schoolfellow and friend of
     Mr. Adams, read to him parts of the private letter from M. de St.
     Vallier in which the report was contained, and indeed one of the
     phrases he cited from the letter was _le telegramme Adams_ as the
     source of the communication made by Odo Russell.

     The Prince of Wales arrived this morning and I have been all
     the afternoon at the Exhibition with him, which obliges me to write
     in such haste, that I cannot be brief.

     I have just seen Hobart Pasha, who goes on to England
     to-morrow morning and will try to see you.

     I doubt whether Waddington or the Austrian Ambassador here get
     any information about Andrassy's real views and objects.

     The Russians seem to be hard at work trying to make the
     execution of the Treaty of San Stefano a _fait accompli_. _Beati

Lord Salisbury's suspicions as to the pressure being put upon the
unfortunate Turks by the Russians were confirmed by an interesting
letter from Mr. Layard to Lord Lyons, in which the much-denounced Abdul
Hamid appears in quite a new light.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Constantinople, May 1, 1878.

     I am not surprised that Waddington should care nothing about
     Armenia. The question is a purely English one, but to us a vital
     one. The Treaty of San Stefano puts the whole of Asia Minor
     virtually at the mercy of Russia and insures her influence over
     Mesopotamia and perhaps ultimately over Syria, which would probably
     not be pleasant to the French. This immense addition to the power
     of Russia in Asia, and the command that she obtains, if the Treaty
     be carried out, of routes to India and Central Asia, is a matter
     of serious import to England. But probably there is no European
     Power which does not envy us the possession of India, and would
     not secretly rejoice at the prospect of our losing it. I believe
     this feeling to be particularly strong with Frenchmen. But if we
     intend to preserve our Empire as it now is, we must be prepared to
     deal with this question of Russian aggrandisement in Asia Minor and
     drive them back. Our only way of doing so, is by making use of the
     Mussulman population. The idea of an autonomous Christian Armenia
     to form a barrier to Russian advance is one of those absurdities
     which are cropping up daily amongst our sentimental politicians,
     who know nothing of the matters upon which they pretend to lay down
     the law.

     The Grand Duke Nicholas, before going, made an ultimate
     attempt to bully the Sultan into surrendering Shumla, Varna and
     Batoum; but His Majesty held firm and His Imperial Highness failed
     to get a promise out of him on the subject. It is curious that
     whilst our ignorant and unscrupulous newspaper correspondents are
     systematically writing down the Sultan and denouncing him as a poor
     weak creature incapable of having an opinion of his own, he has
     shown far more firmness than any of his Ministers. Had it not been
     for him, it is highly probable that the ironclads would have been
     given over to the Russians, and more than probable that the Grand
     Duke would have been allowed to occupy Buyuk Dere and the entrance
     to the Bosphorus. The Russians threaten to seize Varna, Shumla
     and Batoum by force, but I much doubt whether they will venture
     to do so, as right is not on their side. Shumla and Varna are not
     to be given up to Russia, but to the Bulgarian Principality when
     constituted: and the arrangements for the final settlement of the
     Russian frontier in Asia are to be made within six months of the
     conclusion of the 'definitive' not the 'preliminary' Treaty.

     I am anxiously waiting to hear whether the simultaneous
     withdrawal of our fleet and the Russian forces can be arranged. It
     is of the utmost importance to the Turks to get the Russians away
     from San Stefano, but I cannot understand how the Russians could
     consent to give up so advantageous a position, unless they found
     that if they remained there they would be exposed to considerable
     danger from a joint attack by the English fleet and the Turkish

Layard, who was a fighting diplomatist, and possessed the rare quality
of knowing what he wanted, had long chafed at the irresolute action
of the British Government, and was all in favour of making a resolute
stand against Russian aggression. Throughout the war, he had continually
complained of the apathy and indecision of the British Cabinet, and
attributed these deficiencies to divided counsels and to the advanced
age of Lord Beaconsfield. Now, with Lord Salisbury installed at the
Foreign Office, he plucked up hope again.

     'Salisbury,' he wrote to Lord Lyons, 'seems to know what he
     wants--which is a great contrast to his predecessor. If he is firm,
     we shall, I think, triumph in the end, and remove a great danger
     from Europe and ourselves. Were it not for that double-dealing,
     untrustworthy fellow Andrassy, we might perhaps accomplish all
     that we require without war. Andrassy's proceedings give rise to a
     strong suspicion that the secret understanding between the three
     Emperors still exists. The Sultan is persuaded of it, and I have
     found that his instinct in such matters is usually right.'

On May 11, Lord Salisbury wrote to Lord Lyons saying that Count Münster
(German Ambassador in London) had assured him that the object upon
which the French were bent in the Mediterranean was Tunis. 'Do you
hear anything of the sort?' he asked Lord Lyons, and added the highly
important statement: 'It is of course an extension of French territory
and influence of which we should not have the slightest jealousy or
fear. But I am not assuming in any way that the Porte would wish to give
it up. I should only like to have your opinion how far France would wish
to have it.'

To this Lord Lyons replied:--

     Ever since I can remember, the Italians have suspected the
     French, and the French have suspected the Italians of designs upon
     Tunis. Bismarck's mention of it at this moment is probably only
     one of his usual devices to sow distrust of France. I have never
     found that the acquisition of Tunis recommended itself to French
     imagination, and I don't believe it would be taken as anything like
     a set-off against English acquisitions in Egypt or Syria. I believe
     our principal interest in Tunis arises from its being a source
     of supply of provisions to Malta. When Décazes wished to set us
     against the supposed Italian designs upon it, he used to talk of
     its being dangerous to us to have Malta in a vice between Sicily
     and an Italian Tunis, but it never seemed to me that the peril was
     very clear.

       *       *       *       *       *

     England is very popular here at this moment, and the Prince of
     Wales's visit has been a principal cause of this, but the French
     have no intention to fight with us or for us. They back us up in
     asserting the sanctity of Treaties, and they certainly desire that
     the _status quo_ may be maintained in the Mediterranean, until
     France is a little stronger.

It will be remembered that only a few years earlier the German
Government had informed the French Government through Count Arnim that
it would not tolerate the establishment of anything in the nature of
a French Protectorate in Tunis; so that if the French were now really
entertaining any designs of that nature, it was pretty obvious that it
could only be the result of a hint from Berlin. The question of Tunis,
however, was shortly overshadowed by greater issues. On May 16, Lord
Salisbury transmitted to Paris a long document which formed the basis
of the so-called Anglo-Turkish Convention. The proposals embodied
subsequently in the convention were contained in a private letter to
Mr. Layard, dated May 10, and the latter was directed not to proceed
with the negotiations until further instructions were received, as the
necessity for the convention depended upon the nature of the reply which
Count Schouvaloff was to bring back from St. Petersburg. Whatever may
have been said at the time in denunciation of the occupation of Cyprus
and the Asia Minor Protectorate, it can hardly be denied that Lord
Salisbury had a good case logically, as is shown by the following letter.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    May 22, 1878.

     Until I see Schouvaloff to-morrow I shall know little of the
     probabilities of our acting on that private letter to Layard of
     last week, of which I sent you a copy. If, however, we do so, it
     seems to me that we have a very good logical case--Is logic any use
     in diplomacy?--against any objections the French may raise.

     By the Tripartite Treaty of April 25, 1856, we had a right to
     call on them to help us in restraining Russia from appropriating
     Turkish territory. They have loudly and constantly asserted that
     no military action is to be expected on their part. In Europe we
     can meet the consequences of that desertion by the help of Austria,
     Greece, the Rhodope mountaineers and others. But in Asia we are
     abandoned wholly to ourselves. The French have left us to face and
     guard against the consequences of that Russian encroachment which
     they undertook to join with us in resisting. Does it lie in their
     mouth, if we say that such encroachments, if persisted in, require
     special precautions? that we cannot turn the Russians out by
     ourselves, and that abandoned by our ally, who should have made the
     task easy to us, we have no choice except to mount guard over the
     endangered territory and take up the positions requisite for doing
     so with effect? I do not see what answer the French would have.

     But you will probably reply that my reasoning is idle trouble,
     because logic is of _no_ use in diplomacy.

The French would have had no real cause for complaint if they had
discovered the contents of the proposed Anglo-Turkish Convention, for
as Lord Salisbury had already pointed out, he had been careful 'to turn
the eyes of desire away from Syria,' the only portion of Asia Minor in
which France was interested; but Waddington had been making declarations
against any of the Powers helping themselves to Turkish territory, and
although these declarations were meant only to apply to Bosnia and
Herzegovina, he would probably have used much the same language if he
had learnt that England was thinking of occupying any portion of the
Turkish Empire. Logic may not be of much use in diplomacy, but it is
of still less use in influencing public opinion, and an appeal to the
Tripartite Treaty, after it had been set aside so long, would have come
rather late in the day. As, however, the necessity for providing for
British interests and British safety in Asia was indisputable, Lord
Salisbury was justified in contending that those Powers who disliked the
only methods which were within our reach, should give us such help as
would enable us to dispense with them.

Upon the return of Schouvaloff from St. Petersburg, it turned out,
as Lord Salisbury had anticipated, that Russia was prepared to make
concessions in Europe, but scarcely any in Asia. Layard was, therefore,
directed to negotiate the Anglo-Turkish Convention.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, May 29, 1878.

     I send you two memoranda, or rather two separate versions
     of the same paper, which will explain fully the nature of the
     propositions which Schouvaloff brought back to me, and the extent
     to which we have been able to accept his proposals. The upshot of
     the matter has been that the Czar yields substantially all we want
     in Bulgaria and as to the Greek provinces, but sticks to his text
     as to Montenegro, Bessarabia, and the Armenian conquests, except

     I have informed Schouvaloff that against these Asiatic
     acquisitions it will be necessary for us to take precautions; and
     while taking from him a formal engagement that Russia will not
     extend her position in Turkey in Asia, we shall ourselves give to
     Turkey a guarantee to the same effect. We shall accept these terms
     as soon as he receives from St. Petersburg authority to take them
     in the redaction on which we have ultimately agreed. At the same
     time we have taken our measures to secure ourselves against the
     consequences of the Asiatic advance. Layard received on Saturday
     telegraphic directions in the sense of the private letter which I
     addressed to him a fortnight ago, and of which I sent you a copy,
     and with great vigour and skill he procured the signature of an
     agreement on Sunday last. We do not intend that this fact shall be
     made public until the Congress, as the agreement is made wholly
     conditional on the retention of Batoum and Kars. But whether we
     shall succeed in these good intentions remains to be seen. Our past
     performances in that line do not justify any very sanguine hope.

     As there seems no chance of the Porte ceding Bosnia, and as
     it is necessary to keep Austria with us in the Congress, we have
     offered to support her in any proposal she makes in Congress on the
     subject of Bosnia, if she will support us in questions concerning
     the limits of occupation and organization of Bulgaria. It is not
     necessary to tell Waddington this, but, as we have advanced a step
     since he last asked us the question, it is important to avoid
     language inconsistent with it.

One cannot help suspecting Lord Salisbury's sense of humour as being
responsible for the stipulation, that, if the Russians abandoned to the
Turks their conquests from them in Asia Minor, the occupation of Cyprus
should come to an end and the Anglo-Turkish Convention become null
and void. On the following day (May 30), the so-called Anglo-Russian
agreement was signed, and the enterprising Mr. Marvin, who had been
temporarily employed at the Foreign Office on the cheap, handed it over
to the _Globe_ newspaper, thus creating a political sensation of the
first order.

The agreement with Russia being now completed, and an invitation to the
Congress in suitable terms having been accepted, Lord Beaconsfield and
Lord Salisbury decided to go to Berlin themselves, instead of sending
Lord Lyons.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    June 5, 1878.

     I feel that I owe you many apologies for my rudeness in not
     writing to you on Saturday night to announce to you the decision
     of the Cabinet--and to thank you for the very kind and cordial
     way you had placed yourself at our disposition in the spring to
     perform what was a very ugly duty. The Cabinet was rushed to the
     decision which it took, partly by the consideration to which you
     advert, that the threads of the last two months' negociations were
     more completely in our hands than by any process of communication
     they could be in yours--but also by the fact that we have dangerous
     questions looming at Paris--and we cannot afford to have you absent
     from your post.

     My excuse for my negligence is the prosaic one that I had
     not a moment of time. The agonies of a man who has to finish a
     difficult negociation, and at the same time to entertain four
     royalties in a country house can be better imagined than described.

     The Convention at Constantinople has been signed with
     expression of lively gratitude on the Sultan's part. I am sorry
     that your impressions of the mood in which the French are likely
     to receive the news when published, are still so gloomy. However,
     we must hope for the best. We have assembled a powerful fleet at
     Portsmouth and we shall have six or seven first-rate ironclads to
     do what may be necessary in the Mediterranean, besides smaller
     ships. And our relations with Bismarck are particularly good. So I
     hope our friends at Paris will confine themselves to epigram.

     If we can, we shall keep the matter secret till we get at
     Congress to the part of the Treaty of San Stefano (Art. XIX) which
     concerns the Asiatic annexations. I do not know whether d'Harcourt
     has any inkling, but ever since his return from Paris his manner
     has changed.

Lord Lyons hailed the decision of Lords Beaconsfield and Salisbury as a
'deliverance from a nightmare which had weighed upon him since March,'
and found a sympathizer in Lord Odo Russell, who had never expected
much good from the Congress if the Three Emperors' League was revived,
and who doubted whether the British public would be contented with an
amended San Stefano Treaty. The probable action of Waddington, who
was to be the French representative at Berlin, is foreshadowed in the
following letter.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, June 4, 1878.

     I am very glad that you and Lord Beaconsfield have determined
     to go yourselves to the Congress. The matters to be treated are too
     grave to be left to subordinates, and they could hardly be treated
     properly by any one who had not had a minute acquaintance day by
     day with the recent communications with Russia and Austria.

     Waddington will, I think, be a satisfactory colleague in some
     respects, but in others I am afraid you will have difficulties with
     him. His English blood and his English education tell both ways.
     On the one hand, he is more straightforward than most Frenchmen;
     he understands and shares many English feelings, and he sees the
     force of English arguments, or perhaps I should rather say, of
     arguments put forward in an English way. But, on the other hand, he
     feels strongly the necessity of guarding against the tendency in
     France to suspect him of an English bias. He will be disposed to
     join in resistance to exaggerated Russian pretensions with regard
     to Roumelia and the Danube. His personal sentiments are strongly
     in favour of Greece. He has a certain sympathy with Christian as
     against Mussulman, but he does not carry this to an immoderate or
     unpractical extent. There is, however, one point on which you may
     find him very stiff. He is most strongly opposed to any change in
     the relative position of the Great Powers in the Mediterranean,
     and he would, I am afraid, be quite as unwilling to see England
     extend her influence in that sea, as he would be to see Russia do
     so. It is in order to prevent any alteration in the _statu quo_ in
     the Mediterranean, more than from any other reason, that he has
     made the participation of France in the Congress conditional on
     the exclusion of all questions not directly arising out of the war
     between Russia and Turkey, and has positively mentioned Syria and
     Egypt as countries to be excluded from the discussion. He would
     not perhaps be disinclined to let these questions come up, if he
     thought he should obtain the support of other Powers in resisting
     any change made outside of the Congress.

     At any rate, public feeling in France would probably be too
     strong to allow him to acquiesce in any redistribution of territory
     or influence in favour of England. But I expressed my opinion on
     this point so fully to you and Lord Beaconsfield in the interview I
     had with you just before I left England, that I have nothing more
     to say about it. The horrible event[19] which took place at Berlin
     the day before yesterday has, however, thrown so strong a light
     upon one phase of French opinion, that I feel bound to direct your
     attention to it. It seems very shocking that while the Emperor
     William is suffering from the wounds so wickedly inflicted, people
     here should be speculating upon the consequences of their being
     fatal, but so it is. The French believe that the maintenance of
     the present military system in Germany depends upon the Emperor
     William, and that even if His Majesty's successor had the same
     determination as His Majesty himself to keep it up, public opinion
     in the country would make it impossible for him to do so. What
     foundation there may be for this supposition, I do not pretend to
     determine; but that it influences the French is certain. Anything
     which makes them believe the life of the Emperor to be precarious,
     diminishes the restraint which the fear of Germany imposes upon
     them, and renders them more stiff in asserting their own views and
     pretensions, and less averse from contemplating the possibility of
     supporting them by more than words.

     There are, in my opinion, strong arguments to be brought in
     favour of our taking measures to be in a position to resist Russia
     by our own means, if other Powers will give us no help in doing
     so; but as you said in a former letter, logic is perhaps not of
     much use in diplomacy, and seems to me to be of still less use
     in influencing public opinion. I doubt our logic doing much to
     reconcile the French to our exercising a separate protection over
     Turkey in Asia, or occupying a Turkish island in the Mediterranean.
     I am afraid you will think I have become more nervous than
     ever, and more prone to the common error among diplomatists of
     exaggerating the importance of the country in which they are
     themselves stationed, but anyhow I have not seen any reason to
     change my views as to the feelings prevalent in France.

     The Parliamentary session at Versailles is about to close.
     Thanks to the Exhibition, it has been a very tranquil one, but we
     must be on the look-out for squalls when the Chamber meets again
     in the autumn. Gambetta has hitherto restrained his followers from
     opposing the Ministry, and from proposing radical measures, but it
     is doubtful whether he will be able, even if willing, to restrain
     them after the end of the Exhibition. Some unexpected incident
     might even produce a crisis before. At any rate the elections of
     a portion of the Senate, which will take place early next year,
     may remove the check which the Conservative majority in that House
     has hitherto put upon the Chamber of Deputies. The Marshal does
     not talk of making any more attempts at resisting the will of the
     majority, but I understand that he does not talk very seriously of
     retiring as soon as the election is over.

     It may perhaps be worth while to mention that Waddington finds
     the influence of Gambetta over the Government very irksome, and is
     not fond of having it alluded to.

The Congress met at Berlin in the middle of June, and the awkward
question of whether Waddington should be informed of the Anglo-Turkish
Convention or not was debated. Lord Lyons knew perfectly well that the
French would be furious when they heard of it, and that the greater the
surprise, the greater would be their indignation. The lines laid down
for Waddington's guidance at the Congress were that France desired:

1. Peace.

2. Neutrality.

3. The necessity of the consent of all the Powers to any modifications
of the Treaties.

4. The exclusion of Egypt, Syria, the Holy Places, and other topics
foreign to the Russo-Turkish War.

These points were certainly not favourable to England receiving any
support from France in defending her menaced interests in Asia Minor,
as the absolute neutrality of France was the point most insisted upon.
In fact France was so obviously anxious to stand aloof, that one
suggestion was made that she should be asked to co-operate with us in
Asia Minor on the assumption that such co-operation was sure to be
refused. This, however, was considered to be too hazardous a course,
and it was eventually decided to say nothing to Waddington for the time
being, lest he should make the Anglo-Turkish Convention an excuse for
not attending the Congress at all. The secret, unlike the Anglo-Russian
agreement, seems to have been well kept, and cannot have been known to
the Russians, or they would have utilized it for the purpose of sowing
discord between the British and French representatives. Finally, on July
6, Lord Salisbury told the whole story to Waddington in a private letter.

In this letter Lord Salisbury pointed out that, as far as the Russian
annexations in Asia Minor were concerned, we were in a completely
isolated condition, since Austria was only willing to take part in
restoring the Porte to a certain independence in Europe, while France
had clearly intimated that she had no intention of engaging in war for
the purpose of maintaining the stipulations of the Treaty of 1856. The
result was that England was compelled to act alone, as her interests
were too great to allow the _status quo_ in Asia Minor to be completely
destroyed, and consequently the onerous obligation of a defensive
alliance with Turkey had been undertaken in order to provide against
future Russian annexations beyond the frontier assigned under the
present negotiations at Berlin. As this engagement could not be carried
out from such a distance as Malta, the Sultan had made over Cyprus to
England during such period as the defensive alliance might last. The
conditional nature of the Convention, and the restraint shown by Her
Majesty's Government in rejecting more tempting and advantageous offers
are dealt with in the following passages.

     We have entered into an agreement which is now embodied in a
     formal Convention at Constantinople, that whenever the Russians
     shall, for whatever reason, return to their Asiatic frontier as
     it existed before the last war, we will immediately evacuate
     the island; and that intermediately we will annually pay the
     Sultan whatever is ascertained to be the surplus of revenue over

     I am telling Your Excellency no secret when I say that we have
     been very earnestly pressed, by advisers of no mean authority, to
     occupy Egypt--or at least to take the borders of the Suez Canal.
     Such an operation might have been very suitable for our interests
     and would have presented no material difficulties.

     No policy of this kind however was entertained by Her
     Majesty's Government. We had received an intimation from the French
     Government that any such proceeding would be very unwelcome to the
     French people, and we could not but feel the reasonableness of
     their objection under existing circumstances.

     We have therefore turned a deaf ear to all suggestions of that

     We have been likewise recommended to occupy some port on the
     coast of Syria, such as Alexandretta, but we felt that, however
     carefully guarded, such a proceeding might, in the present
     condition of opinion with respect to the Ottoman Empire, be
     construed as indicating an intention to acquire territory on the
     mainland of Western Asia; and we did not desire to be suspected
     of designs which will be wholly absent from our thoughts. We have
     therefore preferred to accept from the Sultan the provisional
     occupation of a position less advantageous indeed, but still
     sufficient for the purpose, and not exposed to the inconveniences
     I have mentioned. How long we shall stay there I cannot tell. But
     I think there is just ground of hope that the Russians will find
     in a short time that the territory they have acquired is costly
     and unproductive; that the chances of making it a stepping-stone
     to further conquests is cut off, and that they will abandon it as
     a useless acquisition. In that case our _raison d'être_ at Cyprus
     will be gone and we shall retire.

     I have adopted this form of conveying the matter to you, as
     the Convention being entirely within the Treaty competence of
     the two Powers, requires no official communication. But it would
     have been inconsistent with the feelings of friendship existing
     between our two countries, and with my gratitude for your courteous
     procedure towards me personally, to have allowed you to hear it
     first from any other source.

There can be little doubt as to the identity of the 'advisers of no
mean authority,' for Bismarck had been urging upon England for some
time the occupation of Egypt, obviously with the main intention of
creating discord with France, and Her Majesty's Government deserved all
the credit claimed by Lord Salisbury for resisting these overtures. It
is, however, somewhat difficult to follow Lord Salisbury's reasonings
for preferring Cyprus to Alexandretta. It was plain that the occupation
of either of these places would cause irritation, and as subsequent
events have shown, Cyprus has never been of much use to us, and besides
being crushed under the burden of the tribute annually paid to the
Turkish Government, is inhabited chiefly by Greeks who do not appear to
thoroughly appreciate British rule. Alexandretta, on the other hand,
might, under our control, have developed into a highly important seaport
and become the starting-place for the Bagdad railway; whereas, as a
matter of fact, it has now practically passed into the hands of the

M. Waddington did not remain long in sole possession of his exclusive
information, for on July 8, the Anglo-Turkish Convention was made
known to the world, and the general impression produced was that Lords
Beaconsfield and Salisbury had effected a brilliant _coup_. In France,
however, the news caused quite unjustifiable indignation, and the
prudent Lord Lyons telegraphed to Lord Salisbury on July 10, advising
him to get the final acts of the Congress signed as quickly as possible,
lest Waddington should be directed to come away without putting his name
to anything.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, July 12, 1878.

     Your telegram of last night was a great relief to me, but I
     shall not feel quite happy till I hear that all is actually signed.
     I am happy to find that Gambetta and the Ministerial Parties, who
     are violent on the subject of the Convention, are not having things
     all their own way in the press. No newspaper can be said to defend
     England altogether, but the more sensible papers are against any
     active opposition on the part of France. Gambetta and Waddington
     are not friends, and Gambetta will no doubt attack Waddington and
     try to upset him. This may lead to serious difficulties in France.

     It is no use to shut one's eyes to the fact that at this
     moment, there is a great and general irritation in France against
     England. It is too soon to foresee what turn public opinion will
     take eventually, but at the present moment, we must not forget to
     take this irritation into account in our dealings with this country.

The general feeling was so unsatisfactory, that he felt compelled to
write to Mr. Knollys[20] urging that the Prince of Wales, who was acting
as President of the British Section of the International Exhibition,
should postpone a contemplated visit to Paris, and enclosing articles
in the press of an abominable character directed against His Royal
Highness. Irritation over the Anglo-Turkish Convention was not confined
to one party, but existed in every class from the _haute société_
downwards. The Conservatives and their press utilized it as a means
of attacking the Republic, complained of the effacement of France,
and asserted that she had been duped by her former ally, while the
Republican opposition, headed by Gambetta, charged Waddington with
having made a shameful surrender to England.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, July 16, 1878.

     The first explosion of French wrath, on the appearance of
     the Convention of the 4th of June, was even more violent than I
     anticipated. It was well that you had the Minister for Foreign
     Affairs under _your_ influence, and at a distance from that of
     the excited spirits here. Now the first force of the eruption is
     spent and the lava cooled down. I am afraid only on the surface,
     but any way, it must be the surface which cools first. At all
     events the strong language is in great measure abandoned. In the
     first place, as no one now recommends any immediate action on the
     part of France, the French are beginning to see that they cut a
     sorry figure by barking without biting. In the second place, they
     conceive that the alliance of the Three Empires is as close as
     ever, and they think that if they quarrel with England, they will
     be giving a triumph to Bismarck and find themselves face to face
     with him without any friend on their side. Lastly, I would fain
     hope that some of them are beginning to take a really reasonable
     view of things, and to see that we had absolutely nothing left for
     it, but to act for ourselves, as they would not or could not help

     Still we shall have some trouble with them, and shall probably
     find them for some time suspicious, jealous, and hard to deal with.

     Egypt may be our first difficulty. With or without a hint
     from home, French agents there will be seeking to trip us up. It
     seems to me that our task there will be a delicate one. On the one
     hand, it will no doubt be desirable to soothe French vanity as far
     as possible; but, on the other hand, anything like a defeat or a
     retreat in Egypt, might very much impair the prestige which the
     position which we have taken with regard to Asia has given us.
     I wish Rivers Wilson had already been installed as Minister of
     Finance when the Convention of the 4th June was made public.

     Another ticklish question is that of the Newfoundland
     Fisheries. I am very anxious to know what, if anything, passed
     between you and Waddington on the subject at Berlin. The present
     moment does not seem a very happy one for resuming negotiations,
     and at all events it might be well to keep the matter, if possible,
     in the calm atmosphere of London, and at a distance from the heat
     of the political weather here.

     I have been indirectly in communication with Gambetta, and
     have reason to hope he is being brought, or is coming of himself,
     round about the Convention. What I am immediately afraid of is
     his nevertheless trying to upset Waddington. I should regret
     Waddington's fall on all grounds, and it would be extremely awkward
     to have a successor in the office brought in on the pretext that
     Waddington had not been stiff enough with regard to England. The
     candidates for his place are said to be Freycinet, the present
     Minister of Public Works, who was Gambetta's Sub-Minister for War
     in 1870 and 1871; M. Duclerc, one of the Vice-Presidents of the
     Senate, who passes for a moderate man, but who has no knowledge of
     foreign affairs, and Gambetta himself. I suppose, however, Gambetta
     would be an impossibility with the Marshal, and that he himself
     would feel that he was compromising his prospect of greater things
     hereafter, by taking a subordinate office now.

M. Waddington, upon his return from Berlin, realizing doubtless that his
position had been shaken, though from no fault of his own, intimated
his intention of writing a despatch in which Her Majesty's Government
would be called upon to give to the French certain assurances with
regard to Egypt and Tunis. As it was desirable that this request should
not be made in too peremptory a manner, he was exhorted to make his
communication in such a way as would make it easy for Her Majesty's
Government to return a cordial answer. The difficulty about giving the
assurances was pointed out by Lord Salisbury.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    Foreign Office, July 20, 1878.

     What M. Waddington said to you is very much what he said to me
     at Berlin, though the lurid touches about war have been filled in

     The precise answer to be given to his promised despatch must
     of course depend very much on the terms in which it is framed. But
     he may be certain that we shall answer it not only with the desire
     of cultivating to the utmost possible extent our good relations
     with France, but also with the aim of making his own personal task
     more easy, as far as it is in our power to contribute to that

     The matter to which he has called your attention, as he did
     ours at Berlin, was difficult to make the subject of binding
     assurances, because the contingencies under which those assurances
     would receive a practical application are difficult to foresee.

     If France occupied Tunis to-morrow, we should not even
     remonstrate. But to promise that publicly would be a little
     difficult, because we must avoid giving away other people's
     property without their consent, and also because it is no business
     of ours to pronounce beforehand on the considerations which Italy
     would probably advance upon that subject. In the same way, with
     respect to Egypt, we have stated distinctly more than once that we
     do not entertain any intention of occupying it; and that statement
     we are perfectly willing to renew. But, having done that, and
     having expressed our anxiety to work with France in Egypt, we
     have said as much as would be seemly or possible. We can hardly
     pledge the Khedive as to what he means to do, without in reality
     assuming a voice in his concerns which we do not, according to any
     international right, possess.

     These considerations make me rather anxious that M. Waddington
     in his proposed despatch should avoid putting categorical questions
     which we might not be able to answer precisely as he wishes,
     and yet which we could not avoid answering without seeming to
     exhibit precisely that coolness which he very properly and justly
     deprecates, and any appearance of which we are as anxious as he is
     to avoid. I think that his despatch--if I might suggest it--would
     more properly take the form of a statement, in general terms, of
     the territorial points on the African coast in which France takes
     an interest, leaving us to make such assurances as we think we can
     properly give, and which we will certainly make as cordial as we

     To French influence in Egypt we do not offer any objection;
     and we have never taken any step calculated to oust it. But any
     detailed engagements as to questions of administration could
     not be taken without imprudence; for each step must be taken as
     the necessity for it arises. The two great points are to keep
     the Khedive on the throne, and to get the financial obligations
     satisfied. For these objects, the two countries will, I hope,
     co-operate heartily.

     I am a little anxious as to the form he gives his despatch,
     for if he makes it too peremptory, he may produce that very
     appearance of estrangement which it is our common object to avoid.

     I will write to you more fully about the Newfoundland
     Fisheries when I have had time to study the papers. My
     conversations with him have put me fully in possession of the
     French case. I am not so certain that I know all the points of the
     English case.

An opportunity fortunately occurred of conciliating one personage who
might have given a great deal of trouble, and afforded an instance of
the influence which can occasionally be brought to bear upon advanced
democrats when judiciously applied.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, July 21, 1878.

     The Prince of Wales leaves Paris for London to-night. As his
     arrival at Paris to attend the English concerts at the Exhibition
     had been publicly announced, I did not think that it would be
     advisable that it should be postponed, but I have been a little
     nervous about it. So far however there has been no contretemps, and
     the visit has been politically useful.

     The Prince invited Gambetta to breakfast with him yesterday.
     It was His Royal Highness's own idea, but I thought it judicious.
     I have not the least doubt that if the Prince of Wales had not
     been civil to Gambetta, the Russian Embassy would have asked any
     Grand Duke who came here to show him particular attention, in order
     to bring him over to Russia. The success of such a manoeuvre has I
     think been effectually guarded against.

     Gambetta appears to have spoken to the Prince strongly in
     favour of an alliance between France and England--to have declared
     himself more or less reconciled to the Convention of June 4th--and
     to have spoken in the most disparaging terms, not so much of the
     Foreign Policy of Russia, as of the institutions, the Government,
     and the administration of that country. I hear from other quarters
     that Gambetta was extremely pleased with the interview. I am
     assured also that the Prince of Wales acquitted himself with great
     skill. The Prince thought, and so did I, that it was better that
     I should not be at the breakfast. The Embassy was represented by
     Sheffield. The occasion of the invitation to Gambetta was his
     having been very obliging and useful in matters connected with the

     To-day Waddington met the Prince of Wales at luncheon at the

     So far, then, things look well, but I am assured the calm
     does not extend far below the surface. Gambetta has the southern
     temperament, and his language is a good deal influenced by the
     impression of the moment. He has postponed, but he has not really
     given up, his attack on Waddington. He will still, if he continues
     in his present mood, try to turn him out in October, when the
     Chambers reassemble.

     The thing which would have most effect in reconciling the
     French to our acquisition and protectorate, would be to make them
     practically advantageous to the holders of Turkish and Egyptian

When M. Waddington eventually presented his despatch, or rather
despatches, for there were two, they were apparently found
unobjectionable in tone; but on the ground that the one referring to
Tunis was not 'couched in more diplomatic language,' it was suggested to
him that he should rewrite it in language more suitable for publication
subsequently; this he declined to do, but promised not to publish it at
all. The chief object presumably of these communications was: in the
first place to obtain assurances from England with regard to Egypt,
and in the second place to make Lord Salisbury's statement about Tunis
appear as an invitation to the French to appropriate that country. M.
Waddington, quite naturally, did not wish it to be thought that he had
come back empty handed from Berlin at a time when the Great Christian
Powers were helping themselves liberally at the Turk's expense.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    July 24, 1878.

     Waddington's two despatches were left with me yesterday. They
     are very friendly in tone and will not, I think, be difficult to
     answer. The answers however must be delayed some days, as the
     Cabinet does not meet till Saturday.

     Intermediately, I demur a little to the quotations that he
     makes from my conversation. The general tenor is quite accurate,
     but his vivacious French by no means renders the tone of my
     communication, and what is of more importance, to the rights and
     claims of other Powers, Turkey and Italy especially. What I told
     him was that if a state of things should arise in which there was
     no other obstacle to his occupying Tunis but our objection, that
     objection would not be made. I made the observation for the purpose
     of showing him that we had no Mediterranean aspirations--and did
     not desire to disturb the balance of power in that sea. Our eyes
     were bent wholly on the East. But he makes me talk of Tunis and
     Carthage as if they had been my own personal property and I was
     making him a liberal wedding present.

     I do not know whether he will be inclined to put his
     quotations from my conversations into a more general form. I think
     it will save the possibility of misunderstanding later; and will
     also dispense with the necessity of a correction on my part, as he
     has reported the general drift and terms of my observations with
     perfect fidelity.

The reception of the Anglo-Turkish Convention in France may be said to
have been the first of a series of difficulties which unfortunately
impaired the relations between France and England during many years,
but which have now happily almost entirely disappeared. The irritation
aroused in France was completely unjustified, and almost incapable of
explanation, unless the secrecy which surrounded the negotiation of the
Convention may be considered an adequate cause. No French interests were
prejudicially affected; and the maintenance of secrecy really relieved
France from a considerable difficulty, for a premature disclosure might
have prevented the participation of France in the Congress; but oddly
enough, the Anglo-Turkish Convention appeared to be the only matter
relating to the Congress in which the French took any interest, and
so much indignation did some patriots show that it was even seriously
suggested that by way of inflicting a surprise upon England, France
should seize Chios, or Rhodes, or Crete. In fact, at one time, Crete
appeared to possess considerably greater attractions than Tunis, in
spite of the latter's proximity to Algeria.

Probably the real explanation of this display of temper was that the
French felt their strength to be returning, and were in no mood to
put up with what they erroneously considered to be a slight, whether
intentional or unintentional.

One frantic jeremiad from Constantinople over the Treaty of Berlin may
be quoted before the subject is dismissed. Layard, who had been already
greatly scandalized by the publication of the Anglo-Russian agreement,

     What do you think of the Treaty of Berlin? It appears to
     me that if ever an apple of discord was thrown amongst nations,
     this is the one. I see in it the elements of future wars and
     disorders without number, and an upsetting of all the principles
     of justice and right which have hitherto governed the relations
     and intercourse of states. Force and fraud have triumphed, and
     when Turkey has been completely destroyed and cut up under the new
     system, it will probably be applied with similar successful results
     to other countries. Russia has gained, with the assistance of
     Germany, all and more than she wanted, and the interests of England
     and of other Powers were sacrificed in order to enable Bismarck
     to recruit his beery stomach by drinking some mineral waters.
     It is all very well to sit round a green table and to cut up an
     Empire on a map. It is a very different thing to put what has been
     so easily settled into execution. I anticipate no end of trouble
     and bloodshed for years to come in this unhappy country. We have
     not yet recovered here from the effect of the publication of the
     unfortunate memorandum which so completely destroyed the great and
     commanding position that we had acquired.

There is not much here about Peace with Honour.


[Footnote 17: Jan. 7, 1876.]

[Footnote 18: Jan. 24, 1877.]

[Footnote 19: Nobiling's attempt to assassinate the German Emperor.]

[Footnote 20: Now Viscount Knollys.]




The event in 1878 which aroused more interest in France than the Berlin
Congress or anything else, was the holding of the great Exhibition
in Paris, which not only demonstrated to the world the recovery of
France from the disasters of 1870-71, but had the beneficial effect
of improving Anglo-French relations. It was universally acknowledged
that nothing had contributed more to the success of the Exhibition
than the hearty co-operation given from first to last by England, and
in this connection the services rendered by the Prince of Wales were
of conspicuous value. His Royal Highness had come to Paris early in
the year to press forward the preparations of the British section; he
was present at each important phase of the Exhibition; he attended
unremittingly at the office of the British Royal Commission, and was
assiduous in transacting business there with the French Exhibition
authorities as well as with the British and Colonial Commissioners and
exhibitors. These visible proofs of the Prince's interest in their great
undertaking were by no means lost upon the French, and the judgment and
tact which he displayed, whenever opportunities arose for impressing
upon the French people the cordial feeling entertained by himself and
by his country towards France, produced an excellent political effect.

The Exhibition naturally threw upon the Embassy an immense amount of
extra labour, consisting largely of social work, and one of the most
brilliant social functions of the year was a ball at the British Embassy
attended by the Prince and Princess of Wales, at which the various
hostile sections of the French political world met, on that occasion
only, in temporary harmony.

The general success of the Exhibition and the prominence of English
participation inspired Queen Victoria with the desire to pay a very
private visit to Paris, accompanied by Princess Beatrice and a small
suite, towards the beginning of August. So anxious was she to maintain
secrecy that the only person in England to whom her intention was
confided, was Lord Beaconsfield, and Lord Lyons was enjoined not to say
a word about it to any one, but to inform her confidentially whether she
could visit the Exhibition without being mobbed; whether the heat was
likely to be intense; and whether there was any danger to be apprehended
from Socialists--the term Socialist doubtless including, in the Royal
vocabulary, Anarchists, Terrorists, and Revolutionaries in general.
Incidentally, too, she expressed a wish to hear the Ambassador's opinion
of the Treaty of Berlin.

Lord Lyons answered the first queries satisfactorily, but it was
characteristic of him that, even to his sovereign, he declined to commit
himself to an opinion on the policy of his official chief. 'Lord Lyons
was always of opinion that Your Majesty's Representative at the Congress
should be a Cabinet Minister, and he rejoiced very much when he heard
that Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury had been appointed. He has no
detailed or authentic information of the proceedings of the Congress,
but so far as he can judge at present, he has every hope that the
results will be satisfactory to Your Majesty.'

A long series of letters followed, and after much hesitation, the
Queen finally abandoned her intention, the prospect of hot weather
apparently proving to be too great a deterrent. One singular incident in
the correspondence, which was conducted with much secrecy, was that a
letter from Lord Lyons went all the way to New York before reaching its
destination at Balmoral--an error for which some one presumably suffered.

During the autumn and winter of 1878, constant discussions took
place between the English and French Governments on the subject of
questions connected with Egypt and Tunis, and it was again thought
at one time that a French _coup_ was in contemplation as a reply to
the Anglo-Turkish Convention. The New Year was signalized by the
denunciation of the Commercial Treaty. In announcing this intelligence,
Lord Lyons said that his only surprise was that the existing Treaty had
lasted so long, and that he did not consider it advisable to make any
attempt to conceal annoyance about it. The treaty of 1860 had been made
from political motives, and our best chance of being decently treated
commercially lay in the dislike of the French to placing themselves on
bad terms with us. 'This is the policy Gambetta avows. As for any Free
Trade feeling in France, that is absolutely a broken reed for us to lean

In January, 1879, senatorial elections took place which resulted in
large Republican gains, and it seemed probable that the existing
Moderate Ministry might not last much longer. It was generally expected
that when the Chambers met, there would be a great struggle on the
part of the advanced Left for all the lucrative and important posts,
and there were the usual fears of mob rule which prevailed whenever
a partial or entire change of Ministry was imminent. The prospect
of losing Waddington as Foreign Minister drew from Lord Salisbury a
characteristic expression of regret: 'I suppose M. Waddington is likely
to be a transitory phenomenon, if the papers are to be believed. I am
sorry for it; for he suits us much better than some converted Legitimist
with an historic name, whose policy I suppose will be a compound of
Louis XIV. and 1791.'

Waddington was not to go yet, however, and Lord Lyons complained that
he made his life a burden to him in connection with the proceedings
of the British Consul General at Tunis--an aged official who did not
view the spirited French policy there with any friendly eye, and whose
removal the French Government ardently desired. As a general massacre of
aged official innocents was contemplated shortly by the British Foreign
Office, a somewhat ignominious compromise was offered in the shape of
an early retirement of this particular official under an age limit. The
French intentions with regard to Tunis had by this time become quite
evident, and the unfortunate Bey found it extremely difficult to prevent
excuses being found for active intervention in the shape of naval
demonstrations and so forth; it being well known that Marshal MacMahon
and other military men were extremely eager to annex the country at the
first opportunity.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Jan. 14, 1879.

     I should be very sorry to do anything disagreeable to the
     French with regard to Tunis. It is the place about which they are
     most susceptible at this moment, and the irritation they would feel
     at any interference with them there, would overpower, at all events
     for the time, all considerations of the general advantages of being
     well with England.

     When I said that I saw no reason for hiding any displeasure we
     might feel at the denunciation of the Commercial Treaties and at
     the manner in which it was done, I meant that we should not abstain
     from direct expressions of dissatisfaction at the thing itself.

     My notion is that if we take it too quietly, the
     Protectionists will be able to make the Chambers believe that they
     can do what they like about the Tariff, and need not fear any
     resentment from England. I think that if it can be managed, it
     will be advisable to put it out of the power of the ministers to
     say that the denunciation has been well received by the English
     Government, and has produced no bad impression upon it. In order to
     effect this, I should be glad that something unmistakable on the
     point should be said in a written communication. If, as I suppose,
     Montebello's[21] answer to your note declares that the intention
     is to denounce the Treaties one and all, then the rejoinder which
     you must make in order to _prendre acte_ of the denunciation
     would afford a natural opportunity of expressing annoyance and
     apprehension. This is what was in my mind when I wrote.

     There are many members in the Chamber who would deprecate
     anything likely to produce coolness between France and England,
     and it is not desirable to leave the Protectionists the means
     of asserting that there is no danger that a restrictive tariff
     would do this. But the feeling is a vague one, and it would be
     weakened by endeavours to define it sharply, or to appeal to it too

     Gambetta holds that the true policy of France is to cultivate
     the friendship of England and not to loosen the tie of France upon
     her by instructions injurious to her commerce. He is in particular
     very much afraid of the feeling in favour of the Empire which would
     be revived in the wine-growing districts, if under the Republic the
     English wine duties became less favourable to French wines.

     The game of the Protectionists is to put the duties in the
     general tariff as high as they dare, without provoking retaliation;
     and the general tariff once passed, to declare that it is the
     latest expression of the will of the country, and that the
     Government has no right to relax it by treaty, unless by way of
     barter, in return for great concessions made to France.

     In the mean time matters may possibly in some measure
     be modified, as regards commercial policy by changes in the
     Government, but the modification in this respect would scarcely be
     very great.

     The 'groups,' as they are called, of the Left have been
     endeavouring to get the ministers to negotiate with them before
     the Chambers met. They want, now the Chambers have met, to reduce
     the Ministers to absolute dependence on Parliamentary Committees.
     The Ministers are acting properly and constitutionally. They
     decline to be dictated to by groups and committees, and they intend
     to announce their programme from the Tribune, and to call for a
     vote of confidence or want of confidence, from both Chambers.
     Waddington, when I saw him yesterday, was very confident of
     success. They have found it necessary to sacrifice the Minister
     of War, who, among other defects was entirely inefficient in the
     Tribune, but Waddington did not anticipate any other changes in the
     Cabinet. He said that Gambetta had promised the Government his full
     and cordial support.

     To pass from Paris, or rather from Versailles to
     Constantinople, I will give you for what it may be worth, a story
     which has been brought to the Embassy by a person who has sometimes
     shown himself to be well informed with regard to what is passing
     at the Porte. He affirms that a compact has been made between
     Khaireddin and Osman Pashas to dethrone Sultan Abdul Hamid and set
     aside the Othman family altogether as effete and half insane. This
     being done, a member of a family established at Konia is, according
     to my informant, to be declared Sultan.

     I have often heard of the Konia family as having a sort of
     pretention to the throne, as descending from Seljuk Sultans or some
     other dynasty overthrown by Othman or his successors.

     Abdul Hamid does not generally leave his Grand Viziers in
     office long enough for them to be able to mature a 'conspiracy
     against him.'

In January a prolonged struggle took place between the Ministry and the
Left, chiefly over the burning question of Government officials, and
the alleged unwillingness to introduce really Republican measures; and
before the end of the month Marshal MacMahon and his Prime Minister,
M. Dufaure tendered their resignations. It was well known that the
Marshal was anxious to take this course, and he followed the advice of
his friends in choosing, as his reason for resigning, his inability
to concur in a measure which deprived some officers of high rank of
their military commands. When, therefore, he was confronted with the
alternative of signing the decree removing his old companions in arms,
or of resigning himself, he replied that Ministers would have to look
out for another President, and M. Grévy, a comparatively moderate
Liberal, was elected in his place by a large majority. The 'transitory
phenomenon,' M. Waddington, however, remained in office and indeed
became head of a new Administration, but it was felt that this
arrangement was merely temporary. Power had really passed into the hands
of Gambetta, and although he contented himself, for the time being, with
the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies, there was nothing to prevent
him from establishing himself in office, whenever he should think that
the opportune moment had arrived; since, unlike the Speakership in
England, the Presidency of the Chamber is looked upon in France as the
road to the highest Ministerial rank.

In consequence of the election of a new President of the Republic in
the person of M. Grévy, the question arose as to whether the Foreign
Representatives should receive fresh credentials, and the action of
Prince Bismarck in this connection caused fresh discord amongst leading
French politicians. When M. Waddington was at Berlin, he had made a
very favourable impression upon the Chancellor, and as he himself
subsequently informed me, Bismarck had taken great pains to be civil
to him, and to manifest that especial confidence which takes the form
of abusing other people--notably Prince Gortschakoff. He now took the
opportunity to inform M. Waddington that he entertained such remarkable
esteem for him, that he had advised the Emperor to dispense with any new
letter of credence, a proceeding which infuriated Gambetta and disposed
him to upset Waddington at an early date. 'Altogether there seems an
impression,' wrote Lord Lyons, 'that the new Ministry will not last
long. Gambetta does not like either Grévy or Waddington. Waddington has
yet to show that he has the staff of a Prime Minister in him. He has
not hitherto been a very ready or a very effective speaker. He is
even said to have a slight English accent in speaking French. I don't
believe any one ever perceived this who did not know beforehand that he
had had an English education. But this English education certainly has
had the effect of preventing him having exactly French modes of thought
and French ways, and thus he is not always completely in tune with the
feelings of his hearers in Parliament.'

[Illustration: _J Russell & Sons, Phot._

_William Henry Waddington_


It was a common charge made against the late M. Waddington by his
opponents that he spoke French with an English, and English with a
French accent. As a matter of fact, he was a perfect specimen of a
bilinguist, and would have passed as a native of either nation.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Feb. 11, 1879.

     Fournier's[22] vagaries are becoming very dangerous, but we
     are in a state of anarchy here. The Ministry is composed in general
     of men of respectable character and respectable abilities; but
     there is no one of them who has hitherto obtained any great hold
     on the Chambers or on the country. Their proper game would be to
     try and form a Liberal-Conservative party of the Centre Gauche,
     the Centre Droit, and the Gauche Républicaine, with whose support
     and that of the country at large, they might keep the Ultra Reds
     in check. Hitherto they have not shown that there is stuff enough
     in them for this, but then they have hardly had a chance. They
     have made a weak compromise on the Amnesty Question, but if they
     get a good majority on that question, they might start afresh and
     show what is in them. So far they are looked upon by most people
     as warming pans for Gambetta and his followers: and I have been
     assured that some of the French Representatives abroad do not
     hesitate to communicate with Gambetta behind Waddington's back.

     I must confess that, contrary to my wont, I am rather gloomy
     about the state of things here. The relaxation of the efficiency
     of the police is undeniable. This was one of the symptoms of the
     decay of the Empire. The Gendarmerie is being tampered with. Recent
     measures seem to increase the opportunities for disturbances, and
     diminish the means of dealing with them. I do not see where, in
     the present Government, resistance to disorder is to come from in
     an emergency. But I will not croak. Waddington and his colleagues
     may steady themselves in office and restore authority yet, but they
     have not much time to lose.

     Waddington would be the safest Minister we could have in
     Eastern Affairs, if he made his subordinates abroad obey him.
     Gambetta might be more friendly in commercial matters and more
     ready to be an active ally in the East, but he would expect a
     recompense in the West, and might be a dangerous friend who would
     require careful 'watching.'

Poor M. Waddington's prospects were not improved by a trivial but
untoward incident in the Chamber. In the course of one of his first
speeches as Prime Minister 'a great deal of laughter is said to have
been produced by his dropping some of the sheets of his written speech
over the edge of the Tribune, and having to wait till they were picked
up'--an incident which serves to show the more generous spirit of the
British politician, since a recent Prime Minister was in the habit of
delivering soul-stirring orations by the same method, without evoking
any disrespectful criticism on the part of his opponents.

Towards the end of February a crisis in Egypt rendered it necessary for
the British and French Governments to have recourse to joint action for
the purpose of protecting their interests.

As the result of a Commission of Inquiry in 1878, the Khedive Ismail,
who had long boasted that Egypt was practically a European state,
accepted the position of a Constitutional Ruler, with Nubar Pasha as
his Prime Minister, Mr. Rivers Wilson[23] as Minister of Finance, and a
Frenchman, M. de Blignières, as Minister of Public Works. It was in the
highest degree improbable that a man of his intriguing and ambitious
character would submit permanently to any such restraint, and before
long he succeeded in working upon the disaffection of those persons
whose privileges were threatened or affected by European control, to
such an extent that, by organizing a military riot, he was able to force
Nubar Pasha to resign on February 20, 1879. At the same time he demanded
much greater powers for himself, including the right to preside over the
Cabinet, and to have all measures submitted to his approval--demands
which were strongly resisted by his European Ministers, who invoked the
support of their Governments.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Feb. 21, 1879.

     I have just received your telegram announcing your concurrence
     in Waddington's draft instructions to Cairo, and I shall
     communicate it to him forthwith.

     Waddington seemed quite firm on the point of not allowing
     the Khedive to resume his personal power, and would no doubt be
     ready to join in any practical steps for that purpose; but in
     the meantime it may be feared that His Highness is consolidating
     his resumption of power. Waddington looks upon the whole affair
     as a simple manoevre of the Khedive to upset the new system of
     government. It does not in fact seem likely that so arrant a
     coward would have risked his own precious person, if he had not
     had a pretty good understanding with the rioters. Public opinion
     in France would, I think, support Waddington in taking strong
     measures. There does not seem to be any one but Nubar of position
     enough to be a Prime Minister of any independence; Waddington
     seemed fully aware that if the Khedive is present at the council of
     Ministers, no Egyptian Minister will open his lips.

     Godeaux telegraphed last night that order having been
     restored, the presence of a ship of war at Alexandria might not be
     necessary, but Waddington thought on the contrary that it would
     be 'essential in order to produce a salutary impression on the
     Khedive, and keep him in some check.'

Nubar Pasha was regarded as English and anti-French, and his fall was,
therefore, received at Paris with some degree of complacency; but the
feeling was not sufficiently strong to make the Government hold out
against his restoration to office, should that be considered necessary
for the purpose of checking the Khedive, and the tendency was to make
no suggestions and to wait for the lead of England, it being understood
that both Governments were resolved not to consent to any change of the
political system in Egypt.

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    March 1, 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

     As to Egypt, I gather from your telegram to-day that
     Waddington looks on our message to Vivian[24] as in the nature of
     an ultimatum, and he is puzzled what we are to do next if it should
     be rejected. We do not in the least look on it as an ultimatum, and
     it is not so phrased. We may well receive either from the Khedive
     or the Agents some alternative proposal which may be discussed,
     and perhaps hammered into an acceptable arrangement at least for
     a time. But in any case our position cannot be worse here than if
     we had acquiesced at once in the results of the conspiracy against
     Nubar; while the chances are that it will enable us to arrive at
     some plan for partially curbing the Khedive, which at all events
     shall partially disguise the check we have undoubtedly received.
     The causes are obscure. It is evident there has been imprudence. I
     wish I could be quite satisfied there has been perfect loyalty.

Writing a day or two later, Lord Salisbury explained that he was in some
difficulty, as Mr. Vivian and Mr. Rivers Wilson held different opinions.
The former wanted to conciliate the Khedive by not forcing upon him the
restoration of Nubar, while Mr. Rivers Wilson strongly insisted upon his
return. Lord Salisbury himself was inclined to the latter course because
'otherwise the Khedive will be like a horse who has succeeded in beating
his rider, and will never be safe for that rider to mount again,' but
eventually decided against it. From the following letter it looks as
if the retirement of the hapless British Representative at Tunis was
intended as a peace offering to the cause of Anglo-French joint action
in Egypt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    March 6, 1879.

     It is better always to get the credit of one's good actions,
     which are naturally few. Will you kindly tell M. Waddington in the
     most unofficial way in the world that----having returned himself as
     67 years of age (he entered the service 55 years ago, and therefore
     must have begun his public labours at a precocious age) we have
     suppressed the Consulate General of Tunis, and that there will
     henceforth be a man on reduced salary, a consul or agent, after the
     close of this month.

     I think the French will find difficulties enough with Italy if
     they ever try to increase their influence in Tunis; but that is no
     affair of ours. We have hot water enough elsewhere without desiring
     to boil any in Tunis.

     One good turn deserves another, and I hope Waddington will
     feel himself bound to keep his agents from Anglophobia in Turkey.

     The Egyptian compromise will do very well for the time. It
     seems doubtful whether Nubar is worth anything now. An Oriental
     does not easily pluck up a spirit when he has once been beaten, and
     Nubar is reported to have told friends in England that he knew that
     whenever the Khedive had done with him there was a cup of coffee
     waiting for him.

The compromise referred to took the form of a new Egyptian Ministry
containing the two English and French representatives, and nominally
presided over by the Khedive's eldest son, Prince Tewfik. The
experiment, however, of trying to keep a Ministry in office in spite of
the opposition of the chief of the State did not last long, for in April
the irrepressible Khedive dismissed his Ministers and installed Cherif
Pasha as Prime Minister. This spirited action caused M. Waddington
much perplexity, as he did not believe that French public opinion
would allow him to take a slap in the face quietly from the Khedive.
The French bondholders were too influential to think of throwing them
over, and then there was the Crédit Foncier, a more or less Government
establishment, which no French Government could allow to come to grief.
There was a keen desire to maintain the concert between England and
France on Egyptian affairs, but if the bondholders suspected that
England was likely to be lukewarm on their behalf, there was a strong
probability that the French Government might be forced to act alone
in the enforcement of French claims. Lord Salisbury on his side was
naturally reluctant to be identified with the bondholders' cause.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    April 10, 1879.

     I see by your telegrams which have arrived to-day that M.
     Waddington suggests as a means of coercion against the Khedive that
     MM. Rothschild should refuse to pay him the balance of the loan.
     Mr. Rivers Wilson had made the same suggestion to the Baron. But
     the latter, in a message sent yesterday through his son, repudiated
     any idea of such a proceeding as dishonourable, and attributed the
     suggestion to momentary excitement.

     With respect to the second idea, the only question is whether
     the Sultan will ever summon up courage to take such a step, and
     if he does, whether he can enforce it. If it can be done quite
     smoothly, _perhaps_ it would be the best course; but I speak with
     some doubt.

     It may be quite tolerable and even agreeable to the French
     Government to go into partnership with the bondholders; or rather
     to act as sheriffs' officer for them. But to us it is a new and
     very embarrassing sensation. Egypt never can prosper so long as
     some 25 per cent. of her revenue goes in paying interest on her
     debt. We have no wish to part company with France: still less do we
     mean that France should acquire in Egypt any special ascendency;
     but subject to these two considerations I should be glad to be free
     of the companionship of the bondholders.

M. Waddington's 'second idea' evidently referred to the deposing of the
Khedive by means of the Sultan; but his difficulty lay in the old French
jealousy of the Porte exercising influence over the internal affairs
of Egypt, and during the reign of Sultan Abdul Aziz the consequence of
that influence had certainly been a constant drain of money from Cairo
to Constantinople. One suggestion was that the Sultan should summon the
Khedive to come to Constantinople to do homage, a ceremony which he
had never yet performed, and a refusal to obey would have made him a
rebel in the Sultan's eyes; but the objection to this course was that
the Khedive might, if he went, take large sums of money with him and so
propitiate his suzerain.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    April 16, 1879.

     Waddington's policy is not very intelligible. I suppose it
     is a compromise between a sense of the danger of doing anything
     strong, and of the necessity of satisfying the Crédit Foncier.
     In the despatch which you will receive we have done our best to
     accommodate ourselves to Waddington's view, without taking up a
     wholly untenable position.

     There is one thing which it is necessary not to forget, though
     I could not mention it in the despatch. We have very different
     audiences to please; and though we may agree upon the actual
     intimation to be given to the Khedive and the Sultan respectively,
     the argument leading up to those communications cannot in both
     cases be precisely the same. We must lay stress on separate points,
     and the argument derived from the Khedive's application for a
     European Minister must be treated differently by the two Powers,
     as the circumstances were not similar. We should therefore avoid
     identic notes, though we may make a concerted representation.

     The communication to the Porte had better be indiscreetly
     communicated to the Khedive's agent there, who is an intelligent
     man. It may only result in producing a very heavy payment to the
     Porte. But that, under existing circumstances, will itself be of

     I suppose that Waddington means to upset the Ottoman Bank
     project as a retort for the failure of Tocqueville's.

     What does he think of Martino's share in the recent Egyptian
     crisis? Italy is likely to be a plague to all of us.

In France there was a violent party, more or less supported by Gambetta,
which desired to send some energetic Agent to Egypt who would bully
the Khedive successfully. Unfortunately, such energetic agents were
extremely likely to quarrel with their British colleagues, whereas M.
Waddington, who was peaceably disposed, wished to appoint quiet and
unobtrusive representatives who would work harmoniously, and implicitly
follow their instructions. There was, however, some excuse for the men
of action, as a very well-founded suspicion prevailed in Paris that the
Russians, and even the Germans, were busy at Rome inciting the Italians
to make trouble for England and France at Cairo. Moreover, Gambetta and
his friends believed, probably with reason, that the Khedive would never
have gone so far in defying England and France if he had not felt that
he was backed up by other Powers, as well as by Italy.

Mr. Vivian, the British agent in Cairo, who had been summoned to London,
returned to his post at the end of April bearing a note, the gist of
which was, that the two Governments, in view of the iniquities of the
Khedive, 'reserved to themselves an entire liberty of appreciation
and action in defending their interests in Egypt, and in seeking
the arrangements best calculated to secure the good government and
prosperity of the country.' In other words, the Khedive was warned that
he had better be careful; but there was, so far, no hint of deposition.

In Lord Salisbury's letter to Lord Lyons, enclosing a copy of the above
note, there is an interesting personal opinion on the question of
governing Orientals by Europeans. 'With all these Oriental populations I
suspect that the _rôle_ of Europeans should in the main be confined to
positions of criticism and control. They can only govern after absolute
conquest, and then expensively. The difficulty of governing without
conquest is, of course, enormously increased when two nationalities have
to be provided for, and two Governments to be consulted.'

The period following the return of Mr. Vivian to his post was marked
by a violent and entirely unreasonable campaign against England in the
French press, it being thought, for some unknown reason, that France had
been abandoned, and M. Waddington took the somewhat unusual course of
sending a message to Lord Salisbury through Mr. Rivers Wilson, instead
of communicating in the ordinary manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    May 21, 1879.

     On Monday Rivers Wilson sent me word that he had a message
     to deliver to me from Waddington. Accordingly I asked him to come
     and see me yesterday to deliver it. It was to the effect that
     Waddington was willing and anxious to move the Porte to dethrone
     the Khedive, if England would join in this step. I represented
     that there were three difficulties. The Sultan might not assent:
     if he did, the Khedive might not yield. If the latter did yield,
     the successor might be either feeble or bad, and we should be
     called upon to support him in one case, and replace him in the
     other. To the first objection Wilson replied that Waddington had no
     apprehensions as to the Sultan's consent; to the second he (Wilson)
     and every person who knew Egypt well, did not doubt that the moment
     a Firman was issued, the Khedive would fall; as to the third, he
     could only say that Prince Tewfik was a compendium of the cardinal

     If Waddington did not communicate his proposal to you, I am
     obliged to consider what possible motive he could have had for
     taking this circuitous route, unless he meant to disavow the offer
     later on. If he says nothing to you about it, it may be worth while
     to sound him.

     If there were no France in the way, I should be disposed to
     give no reply to the Khedive's note we received by the last mail,
     or at least only to say that since the dismissal of the English
     Minister, the Khedive's finance had become so hopelessly tangled,
     partly owing to his extravagance, partly to the conflict with
     other Powers into which the decree of April 22nd has brought him,
     that we must reserve our judgment with respect to all questions
     of financial control till the position of affairs had become
     more intelligible. I think that on some such plea as that we
     might stand by and look on for a few months till the Khedive
     has knocked himself to pieces, which he inevitably will do. The
     fiscal condition is now so hopeless that I am rather grateful to
     the Khedive for refusing to put it into the hands of an English
     Minister. I doubt whether any European can now undertake it
     without discredit, until the country has gone into liquidation.
     The disproportion between the debt and the revenue--joined to
     the difficulties which have now been raised by the action of the
     courts and the attitude of the other Powers, makes effective or
     even humane government hopeless till there has been a bankruptcy.
     But then that would not suit a purely Bourse policy like that of
     France. We must take notice of this difference of the French view,
     and we may have to modify our policy accordingly; for we cannot
     allow France to go on alone, and we will not part company with her
     if we can possibly help it. But in this state of our relative views
     and wishes, it is already for us to wait, and for her to propose.
     If left alone, our disposition would be to find an excuse for
     waiting, and if we move it will be because France is urging us. We
     should therefore naturally wait till France made a proposal to us,
     and should be inclined to cross-examine her as to what will be
     her next move after that, in the various contingencies which may
     result from the course they propose. I think, however, you might
     open communications by mentioning, quite unofficially, how much
     pain the articles in the _République Française_ and the _Débuts_
     have given us. To ordinary papers we should of course have paid no
     attention; but one of them is, or was till very recently, edited
     by a gentleman in the French Foreign Office; the other is in part
     the property of a Minister. We are utterly unable to understand on
     what foundation the reproaches rest that we have shown reserves
     and hesitations in the pursuit of the joint Egyptian policy. On
     the contrary, if we had occupied towards France the position which
     Servia occupies towards Russia, our compliance could hardly have
     been more exact. But this outbreak of causeless wrath justifies us
     in asking what France wants, and what she complains of.

     You will of course say as much of this, or as much more as
     you may think wise. But it may be as well to show that we are
     not insensible to this attempt to work Parliament against us
     by revelations or communications on matters which the French
     Government themselves have charged us to treat as confidential.

The attacks on England in the French press were not inspired, as Lord
Salisbury supposed, by the French Foreign Office, but by Gambetta, who
desired a strong policy in Egypt and seized the opportunity to fall upon
Waddington. The latter, however, by this time had made up his mind as to
what should be done.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, May 22, 1879.

     As you will have seen by my telegram, what Waddington said
     to me yesterday was, that there appeared to him to be only two
     alternatives with regard to the Egyptian question--to depose the
     Khedive or to establish a Control. He talked a good deal more
     about the Control than the deposition; but when I asked him if
     this meant that the Control was the alternative he preferred, he
     declined to express any preference for the one or the other. If we
     are to wait until he has devised measures (and this is what he told
     me he was about) for establishing an efficacious control we need
     not fear being called upon to act in a hurry. I quite agree with
     you that we cannot let France go on alone in Egypt; for if we do,
     she may go lengths which will produce something a great deal more
     dangerous than a mere coolness between us. French power and French
     feeling are very different from what they were some years ago,
     when the French would have let us do almost anything we chose in
     Egypt, if we would have taken care of the interests of the French

Nothing can be plainer than Lord Salisbury's desire to act in concert
with France, and to have regard to French interests in Egypt, but the
constant attacks made upon British policy and the persistent hostility
of French agents, not only in Egypt, but elsewhere, rendered the task
anything but easy. Gambetta's hostility was partly due to the fact that
he was an enthusiastic Phil-Hellene, and considered that not enough was
being done for Greece in the way of procuring for her accessions of
territory at the expense of Turkey. It is as well to point out that,
whereas the Turks had been compelled to cede territory to States with
which they had been at war, they were at this time being pressed to cede
territory to Greece because that Power had remained at peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    June 6, 1879.

     The recent course of the French newspapers which have the
     credit of being inspired by Gambetta and Léon Say is certainly a
     puzzle. Looking over the course of negotiations between us and
     Waddington on Egypt, I should find it very difficult to say which
     of the two Governments had pulled the other on, and which had
     dragged the other back. As far as any important negotiations go,
     I should say that we had been a shade more in favour of active
     measures than the other side. The two newspapers in question
     are evidently well informed; and therefore their assumption
     that we have prevented the French from acting must be put on
     for a purpose; what purpose it is difficult to say. The most
     obvious solution--bearing in mind the English friendships of the
     two statesmen concerned--is that the whole movement is meant
     to operate on English internal politics, and not on European
     politics at all: and this view is supported by the use which has
     actually been made of the controversy here. The incident is common
     enough in diplomatic history: but it has always been bitterly
     resented by the Government which is the subject of that species
     of attack. But in this case there is some doubt as to how far
     Waddington is implicated. Nothing is more difficult to deal with
     than a 'Marionette Government,' because the marionettes are not
     responsible, and you cannot get at the man who pulls the strings.
     There is one spot in the diplomatic battlefield--almost the only
     one--where we have been exposed to risk, and have consequently
     been anxious--the Balkan Peninsula: and on this we have been
     systematically opposed by France. Ring, Coutouly and Fournier have
     played us every kind of trick. But all the time, nothing could
     have been more unexceptionable than Waddington's language and
     instructions. So it is with this newspaper warfare. The secondary
     agents, who are popularly supposed to act from inspiration are
     undisguisedly hostile. Waddington's demeanour all the time is
     imperturbably friendly. Is it helplessness, or bad faith? The
     question is one of considerable practical importance: for if we are
     to measure the co-operation of France by the action of Fournier and
     Gambetta, we shall do wisely to retire, gently but effectually,
     from a perilous partnership. And it is impossible to ignore this
     aspect of the case in considering the precise line to be pursued in
     the two pending questions of Greece and Egypt.

     Our object in Egypt, ever since we promised some four years
     ago not to take it, is to see that our own interests are not
     injured and that French interests receive adequate, but not
     excessive consideration. If, however, Gambetta means mischief, it
     may be wise for us to seek the protection of English interests
     only, and leave the French to take care of themselves. This would
     be done by pushing forward the other Powers. Their interference
     would be fatal to Egyptian solvency, and consequently to
     French bondholders. But it would be as fatal a bar to French
     preponderance as the plan of duplicating all appointments, and
     as none of these great Powers are naval, we could look after
     the Canal just as easily if they were masters in Egypt, as
     under the present Anglo-French system. If the French are really
     friends, the Anglo-French system may be maintained in spite of
     many inconveniences in order to cement that friendship. But if
     Gambetta and Fournier are to be taken as the directing force in
     French politics, the Anglo-French system is merely a make-believe,
     and will only draw us into a succession of crises in which we
     shall probably be outwitted. This dilemma merits very careful
     consideration. Greece is a less important and more transitory
     affair. In order to avoid division in the Congress we went rather
     further than we thought quite wise; and we have no wish to go
     further still. Of course, abstractedly, it would be much better
     that all the Hellenic populations should be under a Hellenic ruler.
     But Turkey is still a fact of which account must be taken; and the
     danger of Turkey resisting is very serious. The fact that Greece
     has not won this territory as prize of war, nor earned it as the
     consideration of any service done, but is to gain it merely by her
     skill in singing diplomatic dithyrambics, appears to irritate the
     Turks intensely. It is not our present policy to adopt a course
     which shall induce the Sultan to listen to the Russian proposals
     which are so freely placed before him. We would not therefore,
     in any case, take a leading part in pressing the cession on him.
     But we doubt extremely the wisdom of exciting anew the Moslem
     fanaticism, by demanding a town to which the Albanians attach so
     much importance as Janina. However, in this question we should
     have been a good deal influenced by the wishes of France, if we
     could have thought that by exalting the influence of Fournier we
     were strengthening a friend. But can we do so?

There was, in reality, no foundation for Lord Salisbury's suspicions
that Gambetta and his allies were seeking to interfere in British
internal politics. The objectionable articles were written under an
erroneous impression that France had been outwitted, and that Mr.
Vivian, in pursuance of secret instructions from his Government, was
working for the failure of the joint Anglo-French administration in
Egypt and for the establishment of exclusive British influence. But as
the attacks in the French press mainly took the form of abusing England
for not agreeing to energetic proposals made by the French Government,
it was a legitimate grievance against M. Waddington that he never took
any steps whatever to contradict this perfectly baseless accusation.
As for the conduct of French agents who were continually intriguing
against their English colleagues, it is probable that M. Waddington was
able to exercise little or no control over them, and it has already
been mentioned that some of them were in the habit of corresponding
directly with Gambetta behind the back of their official chief. Lord
Lyons, who naturally was anxious to make things as easy for the French
as possible, recommended that the vanity and susceptibility of French
diplomatists abroad and of the public at home, should be studied as
much as possible, since there was a universal feeling that France was
now too strong to play a secondary part anywhere, and that sacrifices
on our part were preferable to allowing her to throw herself into the
arms of Russia. Lord Salisbury therefore persevered in the difficult
task of endeavouring to co-operate cordially with the French Government,
and M. Waddington applied himself to elaborating the scheme of Dual
Control which was eventually adopted. Meanwhile it had become apparent
that, in order to obtain anything like a successful result, the Khedive
Ismail must be got rid of somehow, a course which was urged not only by
Gambetta, but by the French Agent at Cairo. Joint efforts were made by
the French and British Agents to induce him to abdicate in favour of
Prince Tewfik, which were seconded by the representations of Germany
and Austria; but these were of no avail, and the Gordian knot was
not cut until the Sultan suddenly intervened on June 26. On that day
a telegram arrived from Constantinople, deposing Ismail by Imperial
Iradé, and conferring the Government of Egypt upon his eldest son Prince
Tewfik, who was at once proclaimed Khedive without any disturbance of

The action of the Sultan was not only sudden but unexpected, and Lord
Salisbury at once took steps to assure the French Government that it was
not due to the instigation of Her Majesty's Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    June 26, 1879.

     Pray assure M. Waddington that the Turkish move reported
     to-day does not proceed in any way from our suggestion. We have
     only urged in the very strongest terms that the Sultan should not
     interfere with what we were doing in Cairo. But the Sultan seems to
     have been perfectly resolved to have a finger in the pie; and as he
     was not allowed to interfere to save the Khedive, he indemnified
     himself by interfering to upset him.

     I am not specially in love with the Firman of 1873, which
     I see the Sultan has revoked. But I am afraid it will annoy
     Waddington, and therefore I am anxious he should be well convinced
     we had no hand in it.

     Now it is done, the wisest course we can take is to accept it,
     and devote our energies to procuring any new Firman that may be
     necessary to the present state of Egyptian finances. I don't think
     it will be any great evil if their power of raising armaments is
     limited. But on all this I should like to have Waddington's opinion.

M. Waddington was a sensible man, and therefore there was no difficulty
in convincing him that England was not responsible for the Sultan's
action; but French opinion generally was incredulous, and it was
believed that the deposition of Ismail was the result of the rivalry at
Constantinople between the French and British Ambassadors. The latter
was unjustly suspected of a desire to reduce Egypt to the condition
of a Turkish Pashalic, and it was obvious that the revocation of the
Firman indicated the intention of the Sultan to reassert his influence
over Egypt in a manner which French policy had consistently opposed.
Although, therefore, the Sultan's action had delivered both England
and France from a highly embarrassing situation, and had been taken
at a most opportune moment, it was considered advisable, instead of
expressing gratitude, to criticise adversely the form of the Imperial
Iradé, and to insist upon the issue of another.

What was, however, of really more essential importance than the somewhat
remote fear of Turkish interference was the question of how the Dual
Control was to be effectively established.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    July 7, 1879.

     Our perplexity as to the effect of the Firman has received
     a rather comical solution. No such Firman exists. An 'Iradé' is
     merely the Sultan's signature; and that was only given to the
     telegraphic message deposing Ismail. So that the revocation of the
     Firman of 1873 has not taken place, and the discussion as to the
     exact meaning of such a revocation seems to be premature. All that
     we now have to do is to prevent, if we can, any Firman at all being
     issued to Tewfik, and then every one will be happy.

     Tewfik is resolved to begin the Liquidation at once; and if
     it be true that interest is rolling up at the rate of £80,000 a
     month, there is good cause for his desire to hurry it. But the
     Controllers will hardly be enough. We want to have some hold over
     the government of Egypt, though we do not want to assume any
     overt responsibility. The great object seems to me to be to have
     representatives inside the offices who shall be able to report
     what the Government are doing to the Agents, and shall be able to
     give advice to the Government in accordance with the instructions
     of the Agents. If you have a European Minister, the Agent must
     be suppressed. I despair of making two talented Englishmen work
     side by side, without subordinating one to the other; and if we
     must choose between Agent and Minister as a vehicle of English
     influence, the former seems to me the easier to work with. He is
     not quasi-independent, and therefore will obey orders. He occupies
     a recognized and traditional position and therefore excites no
     jealousy either among Moslems or other Christian Powers; and he
     cannot be dismissed; and if his advice is not taken, or applied
     badly, the country he serves is not in the eyes of the world
     primarily responsible. The case on the other side is that the
     European Minister has more power. But has he? What power did Wilson
     enjoy? The only power Europeans can enjoy at Cairo rests on the
     fear which their Governments may happen to inspire, and this fear
     will operate as strongly through an Agent as through a Minister.
     We do not put European Ministers even into the Governments of
     dependent Indian Provinces: and there we have, what we cannot have
     in Egypt for a long time, 'bayonets to sit upon.'

     We have made the mistake in Egypt and elsewhere, of
     underrating the vitality of the Moslem feeling. I am afraid M.
     Waddington is doing so with respect to Greece.

Another letter deals further with the question of Control, and contains
some interesting reflections on moral influence.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    July 15, 1879.

     I am very much of the opinion that the Control should take
     the form of inspection. It is the only form of Control likely to
     be effective. Actual authority we cannot exercise. We tried to do
     it through the European Ministers, but when the stress came, the
     disbanded officers proved to us that two pairs of arms are not much
     use against two thousand. The only form of Control we have is that
     which is called moral influence--which in practice is a combination
     of menace, objurgation, and worry. In this we are still supreme
     and have many modes of applying it--diplomatic notes, consular
     interviews, newspapers, blue books. We must devote ourselves to the
     perfecting of this weapon. And, obviously, the first condition of
     its use is complete knowledge of what is going in.

     The exchange, therefore, of nominal authority for real
     inspectionship is a step in the right direction. It is facing
     facts. We must exert ourselves to open to these inspectors every
     avenue of information; and we must have a certain number of
     sub-inspectors paid by Egypt, who shall travel about, collecting
     information. It is essential, of course, that these last should
     know the language.

     The division of the jurisdiction of the two inspectors is
     a serious puzzle. Upper and Lower Egypt certainly will not do,
     unless we have Lower Egypt. I had thought of a North and South
     division--the Nile--starting at Damietta. But I know Vivian does
     not like this; moreover I see difficulties about handing over
     Alexandria to the French.

     Waddington's proposal for a rotatory jurisdiction sounds odd.
     What would he think of it as applied to any other department of
     life--Ambassadors, Bishops, or Ministers? I suppose the frequency
     of what they call a 'Prefectoral Movement' in France has put it
     into his head.

     Would it be possible to fuse them into a board, giving them
     a native colleague to be chosen by themselves, and then decide
     by majority? I have spoken to Baring[25] about the Commission of
     Liquidation. I doubt his accepting the Control, though I think he
     would the Liquidation.

     As to the Firman, we are agreed as to the limitation of
     armaments. I should be glad to see loans forbidden altogether.
     To an Oriental ruler they are like firewater to the Red Indians.
     I should be glad to see a declaration that the Powers would not
     recognize or encourage the payment of any loan contracted by the
     Egyptian Government after this date. They are not wanted to meet
     any present stress; but the fellaheen are already loaded with quite
     as heavy a weight as they can bear.

The question of appointing the Controllers and deciding what their
functions were to be, gave rise to more difficulties, caused by the
obvious desire of many Frenchmen to get the Egyptian finances entirely
into French hands. Ultimately Major Baring and M. de Blignières
were appointed, but their powers were not formally defined until
November. By the decree of November 15, 1879, it was laid down that
the Controllers should have full rights of inquiring into all branches
of the administration; the rank of Ministers and seats in the Cabinet,
although restricted to making suggestions; the power of appointing and
dismissing subordinate officials; and it was further enacted that they
were irremovable without the consent of their respective Governments. By
this action the British and the French Governments practically assumed
the responsibility of Government, and for some time to come Egypt ceased
to give trouble.

In the month of June, 1879, an event had occurred which was of profound
importance to all political parties in France. The Prince Imperial
had perished in Zululand, and with him had vanished the hopes of a
resuscitated Empire. The tragedy of the Prince's death is heightened
by the fact that it was only owing to an unfortunate misunderstanding
that he was ever allowed to accompany the expedition. On March 1,
Lord Salisbury writing to Lord Lyons stated that the departure of the
Prince Imperial was: _'a mal entendu_ which we are unable to understand
even here. The Government had very distinctly negatived it, but in
consequence of some misapprehensions, our orders were not attended to
by the military men, and he received encouragement which could not
afterwards be withdrawn. If you think Waddington is at all sore on the
matter, you are authorized to explain this fully to him. But I rather
expect to hear from you that no importance is attached by the French
Government to what has taken place.'

Two days later he again wrote:--

     I am very sorry to hear that so painful an impression was
     created in Paris. We have never been able to discover exactly
     how it was done, or why our already clearly expressed objection
     was disregarded. He was of course at liberty to go, and people
     who ought to have known better were at liberty to write private
     letters and go to railway stations. Of course nothing official has
     been done, but the border line between official and private has
     been very closely trenched upon. However, all we can do now is to
     express our sincere regret.

At Lord Lyons's next interview with M. Waddington, the latter asked (not
in a complaining manner) how the Prince's expedition to Zululand had
been brought about, and was told in reply that the Prince had settled it
himself through personal friends and that Her Majesty's Government had
by no means approved of it. President Grévy alluded to the matter in the
course of a conversation with the Prince of Wales, who happened to be in
Paris, and also expressed no disapproval; in fact, he went so far as to
remark: _qu'il avait très bien fait_. Thus the principal personages in
France evidently did not consider the matter of much importance; but,
on the other hand, the Republican press showed considerable irritation,
which, under the circumstances, was perhaps not entirely unnatural, as
it did not seem credible that the Prince could have started without the
approval of the British Government. When the news of his death arrived,
it was felt that, for the time being at all events, Bonapartism had been
practically crushed out of existence.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, June 20, 1879.

     In hearing of the sad end of the short life of the Prince
     Imperial, one's first thought is for the Empress, whose bitter cup
     of sorrows is now full.

     The immediate political result is the utter disorganization
     of the Imperial Party. It was far from strong, but still it was
     the most efficacious element of opposition to the Republicans, and
     they will now have things still more their own way. The Fleurys,
     Rouhers, and the old Imperial following can never hope to live to
     recover from the blow. I suppose Prince Napoleon will hardly put
     himself forward in the position of a pretender to the Imperial
     Crown, and he would have no party with him if he did. In the
     more remote future his eldest son may prove a more formidable
     candidate than poor Prince Louis could have been. He is said to be
     a remarkably clever, attractive youth, and a thorough Bonaparte
     in appearance. No hereditary responsibility for Sedan can be cast
     upon him; he is undoubtedly of the Bonaparte race, and he has been
     brought up in France. For the present, however, Prince Louis's
     melancholy death is a decided accession to Republican strength.

The death of the Prince excited the sympathies of all classes in France
with the stricken Empress, but when in July, preparations were being
made for the funeral in England, the bitterness of French party politics
displayed itself in that hostility which, carried beyond the grave, it
is the least possible to condone.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, July 10, 1879.

     The susceptibility the French Government is showing about
     the funeral of the Prince Imperial is neither wise nor dignified.
     If ever there was an occasion on which political animosities
     might be left in abeyance, surely this is one. The death of the
     Prince Imperial has put an end to many hopes and aspirations,
     and has inclined numerous adherents of the family to acquiesce
     in the present state of things. It is certainly not politic to
     require of people in this frame of mind an overt manifestation
     of heartlessness and ingratitude to the dynasty which has had so
     mournful an end. The ceremony so manifestly relates to the past
     and not to the future that there can be no reasonable objection
     to allowing the old adherents of the family, whether Marshals and
     Generals, or merely civilians to go over to attend it. I fancy
     that Grévy himself and the Republicans _de la vieille_ cannot get
     over, even on such an occasion as this, their old hostility to the

These almost incredibly vindictive feelings again manifested themselves
when a proposal was made that a monument to the unfortunate Prince
should be placed in Westminster Abbey. M. Waddington, who must have
been heartily ashamed of the part he was forced to play, remonstrated
privately against the project, and intimated to Lord Lyons that he
thought of writing to Dean Stanley, whom he happened to know, and of
urging him not to consent to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    July 22, 1879.

     I think, on the whole, I had better not answer your despatch
     officially about the Prince Imperial's statue; but you can tell
     Waddington unofficially as much of the following as you may
     think useful. As soon as I got it, I communicated with the Prime
     Minister, who sent to the Dean of Westminster. The Dean, when the
     message reached him, had already forwarded to all the newspapers
     a letter which you have read in the issues of this morning. On
     reading it we came to the conclusion that the matter had gone too
     far to be recalled.

     On historical considerations the Dean proposes to put the
     monument into Henry the Seventh's chapel, and for that purpose,
     undoubtedly, the Queen's permission must be obtained. But as
     regards the Abbey in general he is absolutely supreme. He might
     put up a statue of Nana Sahib, if he chose. So we must decline to
     accept any responsibility for his proceedings. As he has publicly
     made the announcement that it is his intention, if not interfered
     with, to give the requisite permission, it is clearly impossible
     for us to 'apply pressure' to induce him to give way. The motive
     for doing so would have to be confessed and would cause much

     I have expressed a wish to see the inscription before it is
     put up, and I have no doubt I shall be allowed to do so. I think I
     can assure M. Waddington that there is not the slightest danger of
     anything about Napoleon IV. being contained in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The monument was never erected, the project meeting with much opposition
in Parliament as calculated to offend the susceptibilities of the French

It must be admitted that the circumstances surrounding the death of this
unfortunate Prince reflect discredit, though in an unequal degree, upon
both the French and the British Governments. If the French Government
showed a petty and vindictive spirit totally unworthy of a great and
powerful nation, the misunderstanding which enabled the Prince to go
to South Africa; his vague and indefinite status with respect to the
expeditionary force; the equally vague conditions attaching to his
relations with Captain Carey, which were partly responsible for his
death; the unhappy suggestion of the Abbey monument; the helpless
attitude of the Government in the face of an enterprising ecclesiastic;
and the subsequent unseemly discussion in the House of Commons, are
eloquent of slipshod and careless methods which are discreditable to
British administration and constitute a somewhat humiliating page in the
national history.

The autumn of 1879 was marked by the conclusion of the Austro-German
alliance, hailed at the time by Lord Salisbury as 'glad tidings of
great joy,' and destined profoundly to influence European politics for
many years to come. In spite of assurances given by Bismarck himself,
by Andrassy, and by Haymerle, this new grouping of two first-class
military Powers caused much perturbation at Paris, which was certainly
not allayed by Lord Salisbury's benediction, and provided convenient
material for an attack upon the tottering Waddington administration.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Nov. 14, 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

     As to French internal politics, the most striking feature is
     the somewhat vague but almost universal feeling of uneasiness about
     the future which pervades France. It is impossible not to see that
     this feeling has increased even during the few weeks that have
     elapsed since I went away on leave in August. I suppose that the
     immediate fear is that the Waddington Ministry will be succeeded by
     one more Radical, and that thus, step by step, the Ultra-Reds will
     get the Government into their hands.

     When I first saw Waddington on my return, he was in good
     spirits, thinking that the threatened attacks upon him about
     the amnesty, the Government, and especially the diplomatic
     appointments, had blown over. Now, however, he is menaced with
     an interpellation on the Austro-German understanding. This
     understanding is, of course, extremely unpalatable to the French,
     and among them the general belief is that it binds Austria to
     assist Germany, in case of need, to defend Alsace and Lorraine
     against France. Waddington has the most positive assurances from
     Bismarck, Andrassy and Haymerle that there is nothing against
     France in it, but this is not enough to reassure the cavillers.
     The intention seems to be to reproach Waddington with this
     understanding generally, as indicating the failure of his Foreign
     Policy, and in particular to blame him for having an Ambassador at
     Vienna who neither prevented, nor found it out, and an Ambassador
     in London who did not make the French policy on the subject
     properly understood by the English Government. It seems that
     it is intended to argue that you would not have spoken of the
     understanding in the terms you used at Manchester, if you had
     known the painful impression it had made in France.

     There are two opinions in France on the Foreign Policy to be
     now adopted. Perhaps the general, unreflecting public are inclined
     to throw themselves into the arms of Russia. The wise heads (and
     there is some reason to hope that Gambetta may be among them) look
     rather to England, and are willing to conciliate her by supporting
     her views in the East. It may be worth while to take this feeling
     into account, and perhaps with that view rather to put forward the
     reinstatement of Khaireddin and Midhat as the objects in view, than
     exclusively English appointments.

It seems to be a more or less established rule that when an English
Foreign Secretary makes a speech, Ambassadors should write and expatiate
upon the admirable effect which has been produced abroad, and Lord
Lyons's comment upon Lord Salisbury's Manchester speech approaches more
nearly to criticism than appears elsewhere in his correspondence. The
charge of ignorance brought against the French Ambassador at Vienna
was probably quite correct, but the British Embassy at Vienna must
have been in the same case, for the existence of the Austro-German
alliance was first discovered by that extremely able public servant,
the late Sir Joseph Crowe, K.C.M.G.[26] As for the alleged inaction of
the French Ambassador at London, that official was a retired admiral,
whom apparently Waddington seldom seems to have consulted, and over
whose unconscious head business was habitually transacted by the French
Foreign Office.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Nov. 21, 1879.

     We are within a week of the opening of the session, but the
     situation has not become more clear. Gambetta and Waddington have
     a personal dislike to each other, and no doubt Gambetta would be
     glad to oust Waddington, and to put in his place some new Minister
     for Foreign Affairs, such as the Marquis de Noailles, with some
     creature of his own, such as Spüller as adlatus or Under Secretary
     of State. But then Gambetta would find it difficult to do this
     without bringing about such a break up of the Ministry as would
     raise the question of his own taking office. But if those who ought
     to know him well judge aright, he does not wish to come into power
     until he sees his way to doing something very great--in fact to
     getting back Alsace and Lorraine.

     Gambetta professes to be strongly in favour of the English
     Alliance, and for that and for other reasons, to make a liberal
     treaty of commerce with us. I do not, however, imagine that his
     ideas of a liberal treaty go beyond maintaining, or nearly so, the
     tariffs as they stand in the existing Anglo-French Treaties.

     I imagine he has thought of going to England himself whenever
     he has a good opportunity, not with a view to putting himself into
     the hands of Sir Charles Dilke and taking part in any Ultra-Radical
     demonstration, but rather with a desire of conciliating the
     moderate public opinion in England, and showing that he has no
     desire to promote a Republican Propaganda abroad. He seems to have
     a decidedly friendly feeling towards the present English Ministry.

     I have heard that the Russian Grand Dukes had been led by
     General Chanzy to expect a much more warm and cordial reception at
     Paris than they actually met with, and that consequently they were
     by no means pleased.

     Waddington seems to be as little prepared to go into the
     Newfoundland question as he was two months ago. The impression
     he makes upon me is the same that he made upon you. The Navy
     Department keep him in awe of them and prevent his acting upon the
     reasonable views he expressed to you at Berlin.

The various difficulties in all parts of the world which were before
long to trouble Anglo-French relations for many years, had now
begun to manifest themselves in such places as Newfoundland, Tahiti,
Réunion, the Gambia, and elsewhere. All these troublesome questions
fell under the Marine Department, and their accumulation was productive
of an irritation which hampered M. Waddington, whose position was
also weakened by a rabid demand made upon the Ministry for Government
appointments. In fact it was difficult to see how any French Ministry
could last, if the American system of a fresh division of the spoils
was to take place whenever a change occurred. In America the Executive
is safe for four years, but in France, directly the places had been
distributed, the disappointed combined to overthrow the unhappy
Ministers responsible for the distribution.

Meanwhile his most formidable opponent, the ex-Democrat, Gambetta, had
assumed the _rôle_ of a grand seigneur, and gave sumptuous Parliamentary
banquets which were pronounced by the highest gastronomic authorities to
be exquisite in every respect. He contemplated a visit to London, and it
is somewhat surprising to learn that the Democrat showed a very obvious
prepossession in favour of the English Conservative Party.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Dec. 12, 1879.

     Gambetta has heard with very great satisfaction that you and
     Lord Beaconsfield would be very glad of the opportunity of seeing
     him, which will be afforded if he carries into effect his idea
     of going to England. He feels that it would be essential that
     he should not make himself the guest or place himself under the
     special guidance of any political person on one side or the other.
     He would probably go to an hotel. As to the time of his visit,
     he does not seem to have formed any definite plan. It seems to be
     connected in his mind with the Treaty of Commerce, and he seems
     inclined to secure himself a good reception by contributing first
     to making a favourable Treaty of Commerce. I suppose he and his
     countrymen would consider a Treaty simply renewing the arrangements
     of 1860 as very favourable to us. He absolutely repudiates all
     notion of anything like Republican propagandism. He has a strong
     bias in favour of the Conservatives in England. His sympathies are
     with an active Foreign Policy, and he has a grudge against the
     Liberals because they did not come to the assistance of France in
     the Franco-German war. He seems to follow English home politics
     very carefully. He wishes England and France to act together in
     the East, but considers that things have got into a horrid mess at
     Constantinople, and expresses regret that the French and English
     Embassies there do not pull more together.

     I think one of his objects in going to England would be to
     show people in France that he is considered a person of sufficient
     importance to be admitted into the society of people of rank and
     station in aristocratic England.

     He has also no doubt the higher object of making France and
     himself popular in England, so as to avert all risk of England's
     joining the Austro-German Alliance to the detriment of France.

     The danger would be that he would form too great expectations
     of obtaining a positive alliance with England, and that if we did
     not come up to his expectations in this respect, he might in his
     disappointment, turn to Russia. But from this point of view, the
     most dangerous thing would be to _froisser_ his susceptibility by
     showing any coldness beforehand about his visit.

     He undertakes to let us know whenever he comes to any
     resolution about going to England.

From the above letter it will be seen how much importance was attached
to Gambetta's views, and how desirable it was considered to secure his
goodwill; but apparently the visit to London from which so much was
expected, never took place--perhaps because his English Conservative
friends were shortly afterwards turned out of office.

The threatened attack upon the Waddington administration took the
form of a vote of want of confidence which was moved in the month of
December, but successfully rejected. The Ministerial success, however,
was of a somewhat fictitious nature, as the Left Groups when united,
outnumbered the Right, and the Government was, therefore, liable
to be turned out by a combination. M. Waddington himself professed
satisfaction, and affirmed with pride that he had been congratulated
upon his majority by the British Government; while from Berlin, Vienna,
and even from St. Petersburg, where he was not in favour, assurances had
been received of the satisfaction felt at the prospect of his continuing
in office. The result, too, of the vote enabled him to carry out an
intention he had long had in his mind, of abandoning the Presidency of
the Council, and of retaining the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
His own wish was to see M. Léon Say Prime Minister, but as that was out
of the question, he favoured the appointment of M. de Freycinet, who, in
addition to other qualifications, possessed the confidence of Gambetta,
and would therefore render it difficult for the latter to attack the
Government. The proposed transformation of the Ministry, however, was
found difficult to effect, chiefly owing to the animosity of Gambetta
against Waddington; the former being credited with the intention of
upsetting any Ministry in which the latter remained. Gambetta was in
fact pursuing a systematic dog-in-the-manger policy which was little
to his credit, for while continually attacking and threatening the
Government he was unwilling to take office himself, with the Chamber
then in existence, since he realized that the Ultra-Radicals were trying
to force him into a position in which he would have either to accept
responsibility or to abandon the leadership of the Republican Party.
The object, in short, of Clémenceau and the extreme party was to use
Gambetta up in order to make room eventually for themselves. Neither
President Grévy or Freycinet showed any accommodating spirit with
regard to Waddington's plans, and when Freycinet laid down conditions
which were unacceptable, the President tried to persuade Waddington to
remain on as Prime Minister; but Waddington's position had been further
impaired by imprudent representation on the part of President Grévy
and others, that he was highly acceptable to Bismarck as a Minister,
and Waddington admitted openly himself that he was wanting in the
qualifications of a French Parliamentary leader. Consequently the upshot
of it all was that he resigned, and Freycinet was allowed to form a new
administration on his own terms. 'I part with Waddington with great
regret,' wrote Lord Lyons. 'He had the greatest of all recommendations,
that you could believe him, and feel sure of him.' These regrets were
shared by Lord Salisbury. 'I am very sorry for the loss of Waddington.
It was a luxury to have a French Minister who worked on principles
intelligible to the English mind.'

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Dec. 30, 1879.

     With the new Ministry I suppose Gambetta's reign is to begin.
     The Cabinet was almost ostensibly formed by him. He did not, and
     probably could not, put in any of the chief men of his own party.
     They are kept, or keep themselves, in reserve to come into power
     with Gambetta himself. The present Ministers are personally to a
     certain extent Moderate, and altogether, so far as they are known,
     mediocre. Freycinet is said to have some inclination to assert
     independence, but he has not hitherto rebelled against his old
     master Gambetta.

     The man who appears to have lost most reputation in the affair
     is President Grévy. He knows well enough that it is Gambetta's
     intention to supplant him, but he has allowed himself to be
     circumvented with his eyes open, from lack of resolution and lack
     of energy, and has apparently let his rival obtain complete control
     of the Government.

     I do not suppose that we shall see at present any marked
     change in the Foreign Policy of the French Government. Freycinet
     knows nothing whatever of Foreign Affairs. Gambetta has strong
     general notions, but seems more inclined to insist upon disposing
     of the patronage of the Foreign Office than to go into the details
     of the business. At home I suppose the first measure will be a
     wholesale redistribution of places. _Aux situations nouvelles,
     il faut des hommes nouveaux_, was the principle proclaimed by
     Clémenceau. Beust[27] turns the phrase round and says: _Aux hommes
     nouveaux il faut des situations._

     At all events the centre Gauche is dead, and with it the
     Thiers' policy, which was to preserve as far as possible the
     institutions, the laws and the administrative system in France,
     with the simple change of having an elective President, instead
     of an hereditary sovereign at the head. The policy could not last
     long unless it was directed by a really able energetic President.
     France is now about to try real democratic and republican
     government, and it will be a dangerous experiment in a country like
     this. It would be a still more dangerous experiment if the old
     warlike spirit had survived in the people. Happily for peace, they
     are more intent upon making and enjoying money than upon obtaining
     military glory, or even upon recovering their lost provinces.
     Gambetta will try for the recovery of the Provinces if he preserves
     his energies and fortune seems to give him a chance.

     I have just seen Pothuau[28] who seems very indignant at his
     place in London having been offered to Waddington, and declares
     that he has no intention of giving it up.

Lord Lyons was destined to witness many more changes of Government in
France before his final departure; most of them accurately described by
the hackneyed phrase: _Plus cela change, plus c'est la même chose._

A letter from Major Baring written at the close of the year is worth
quoting as evidence of the improved and hopeful condition of Egypt,
and also of the harmony prevailing at the time between the English and
French Controllers.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Major Baring to Lord Lyons_.

    Cairo, Dec. 29, 1879.

     You may like to hear what I think of the state of things here,
     so I venture to write this line.

     There is a very decided improvement. Since I have been
     connected with Egyptian affairs I never remember matters going so
     smoothly. I like what I see of the Khedive, and I see a great deal
     of him, for he frequently presides at the Council, and besides this
     I often go to see him on business. Riaz's head is rather turned by
     the decorations he has received, but he is very well disposed and
     will always follow our advice, if we insist. He is oppressed with
     the fear that Nubar will return to office; as, without doubt, he
     will sooner or later; but it is not at all to be desired that he
     should return just yet. What we want is _time_. If we can get along
     for six months, or better, a year, without any considerable change
     I really believe that the financial crisis which has now lasted so
     long may be brought to a close.

     Cherif and the Turks made overtures to Nubar the other day,
     but he was wise enough to decline so unnatural a coalition.

     Before long our financial scheme will be ready to launch, and
     if, as I hope, it is accepted, the Commission of Liquidation will
     no longer be necessary. This is perhaps the best solution of the

     We shall reduce Unified to 4 per cent, and leave Preference

     Blignières is behaving most loyally in everything which
     concerns English interests. The Khedive and his Ministers have, I
     think, got over the prejudice they entertained against him.

M. de Freycinet took over the Foreign Office as well as the Presidency
of the Council; as has already been stated, he was quite ignorant of
all foreign questions, and was also looked upon as less reliable than
M. Waddington. The first official interview with him, however, produced
a favourable impression, all the more because he did not let out a
flood of common-places about devotion to England, and so forth; but the
important question was to know what line Gambetta was inclined to take
in Foreign Policy, and Sheffield was deputed to find out.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Jan. 17, 1880.

     Gambetta has expressed confidentially to Sheffield to-day his
     views as to the Foreign Policy of France; with the intention of
     course that they should be communicated to me only in the strictest

     He considered that the Austro-German Alliance had been made
     against France; that it entered into Prince Bismarck's calculations
     that it might throw France into the arms of Russia, but that His
     Highness thought that there would be more than a compensation for
     this if in consequence of it England were completely detached from
     France. Gambetta declared that France had not fallen into this trap
     and would not fall into it--that she would never make an alliance
     with Russia, but that if Russia were attacked by Germany, France
     would have to take care of her own safety. He had information which
     convinced him that there was no foundation for the assertions that
     Russian troops were being massed on the frontier of Germany, and
     he believed that these rumours were spread from Berlin to afford a
     pretext for an attack on Russia, to be made so suddenly as to be
     successful at once and to enable Germany to turn towards France
     without any fear of Russia in her rear.

     In order to disconcert this plan Gambetta thought it highly
     important that a good understanding should be established between
     England and Russia both with regard to Turkey and to India. He
     held that it was the interest of France to urge in every way the
     Russian Government to come to such an understanding with England.
     He looked upon the state of things at Constantinople as very
     bad, and attributed it to the disagreements between the French
     and English Ambassadors; while in order to promote the accord
     which he wished to see between England and Russia he desired that
     the best feeling should exist between the French and English
     Representatives at Constantinople. It was evident, however, from
     what he said that any complaint against Fournier by England would
     be met by counter-complaints on the part of France against Layard.
     If Fournier resigned, Tissot the French Minister at Athens would be
     Gambetta's candidate for the Embassy in Turkey.

     Gambetta denied most positively that there was any truth
     whatever in the rumours that he had been in communication with
     Bismarck about the restoration of Lorraine to France or anything
     of the kind. As to the insinuation that it was proposed that
     while Lorraine should be restored, France should receive a slice
     of Belgium in compensation for Alsace, Gambetta said that it
     was plain that this could only have been put about to produce
     ill-will between England and France. After the Benedetti affair, no
     Frenchman in his senses would enter into secret arrangements with
     Bismarck about Belgium, and the French Republic had certainly no
     desire under any circumstances to despoil its neighbours.

     Gambetta expressed a desire that a liberal Treaty of Commerce
     should be made with England and he was eloquent on the importance
     of a close and cordial union between the two countries.

     Gambetta impressed upon Sheffield that he was speaking to him
     simply as a friend, and quite privately. I think it is interesting
     and important to know what sentiments he expresses in this way:
     but, of course, if he was quoted, or if what he said was allowed to
     transpire, he would feel bitterly towards us and at once put an end
     to all communications of the kind. His tone appears to have been
     quite that of a man who felt that he would have the power to carry
     into effect the policy he recommended in this country.

     Freycinet has just been to see me, but I did not find him
     equally communicative on the general Foreign Policy of France.

As Freycinet was occupied at that moment, _more Gallico_, in clearing
the old officials out of the Foreign Office, and as he admittedly
possessed little knowledge himself, his reticence under the
circumstances was not surprising; but, so far as could be gathered, it
was the intention of the new Ministry to follow the prudent course of
their predecessors, a profession of faith evidently intended especially
for Berlin. As regards the so-called Eastern Question, interest had
temporarily shifted from Egypt to Greece, and the various Powers were
endeavouring without much success to negotiate the cession of Turkish
territory to that country. The usual spring war scare had taken a
different shape, and, without any foundation whatever, Bismarck was
credited with the extraordinary intention of suddenly falling upon
Russia, while a coolness had sprung up between the French and Russian
Governments owing to the refusal of the former to surrender the Nihilist
Hartmann, who was implicated in an attempt to wreck a train in which the
Russian Emperor was travelling.

This refusal annoyed the Emperor so much that he withdrew his
Ambassador, Prince Orloff, from Paris, the French consoling themselves
with the thought that if they lost the favour of the Russian Emperor
they would, on the other hand, ingratiate themselves with Bismarck.

Upon the Greek Frontier question, which in consequence of an English
proposal had been referred to an International Commission, there was,
for some unknown reason, a disposition to blame the British Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Sir H. Layard._

    Paris, March 19, 1880.

     The withdrawal of Orloff, on account of the refusal of the
     French Government to give up Hartmann, is of course the topic of
     the day here. The form adopted is that which was used when normal
     relations between Russia and the Pope were suspended some years
     ago. The Emperor Alexander is, I understand, very angry; but I do
     not know how long this _mouvement d'humeur_ will hold out against
     the obvious political interest which both Russia and France have in
     not being on bad terms with each other. There was a strong feeling
     on the Left of the Chamber against giving Hartmann up, and as to
     foreign relations, I suppose the French set pleasing Bismarck
     against displeasing the European Alexander.

     Freycinet is decidedly against the admission of Turkey to the
     Greek Frontier Commission. It might have been politic to admit her,
     though I don't see how she could have been asked to engage to be
     bound by the votes of the majority.

     I think things in the East are indeed looking serious. How
     Turkey is to be kept going, in spite of herself, much longer,
     passes my comprehension. I should be sorry to make a fourth in an
     alliance between France, Russia and Turkey. If France and Russia
     did unite for any serious purpose, I should think the last thing
     they would wish would be to tie such a clog as Turkey to their
     wheels. If there is any truth in the proverb, _Quem deus vult
     perdere si_, etc., I am afraid that there can be very little doubt
     that the ruin of Abdul Hamid is in the hands of Allah.


[Footnote 21: French Secretary of Embassy at London.]

[Footnote 22: French Ambassador at Constantinople.]

[Footnote 23: Sir Charles Rivers Wilson, G.C.M.G.]

[Footnote 24: H.B.M. Agent and Consul General at Cairo.]

[Footnote 25: Now Earl of Cromer.]

[Footnote 26: At that period British Consul-General at Düsseldorf.]

[Footnote 27: Austrian Ambassador at Paris.]

[Footnote 28: French Ambassador at London.]




The General Election in England which took place in March, 1880,
resulted not only in the rout of the Conservative Party, but in the
reversal of the Foreign Policy of Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury,
and necessitated the withdrawal of Sir Henry Layard from Constantinople,
while Lord Lytton, whose Afghan policy had been furiously denounced by
the Liberal Party, sent in his resignation. It is worthy of note that
Lord Lyons, whom no one could accuse of Jingo tendencies, and whose
opinion was certainly a very much better one than that of most of Lord
Lytton's critics, was emphatically in favour of the latter's Afghan
policy. Writing to Lady Lytton on January 8, 1879, he had expressed
himself as follows:--

     I have never had the least misgiving about Lytton's policy
     with regard to Afghanistan, and I was always sure it would be
     wisely carried into execution. I am only too thankful that we
     have a spirited Viceroy. You can hardly form an idea of the
     advantage our reputation has derived, all over Europe, from the
     Afghan campaign, and you have seen enough of diplomacy to know how
     much success in all questions of Foreign Policy depends upon the
     prestige of the country one represents.

Sir Henry Layard had incurred even greater execration than Lord Lytton
in the eyes of the Liberal Party, because he was considered to have
been deeply committed to what was described as the Pro-Turkish policy
of the Conservative Government, although his inexpiable offence
seems to have consisted chiefly in strenuous and unavailing efforts
to induce the Turks to put their house in order. During his stay at
Constantinople he had been greatly hampered by the consistent opposition
of his French colleague, M. Fournier, whose great object it appeared
to be to thwart English action whenever opportunity occurred. The
French Government, which professed great anxiety to act in harmony with
England, upon ascertaining that Sir Henry Layard was to be replaced by
Mr. Goschen,[29] withdrew Fournier and appointed M. Tissot in his place.

A change in the French Embassy in London was also imminent, and the
circumstances attending the appointment of a new Ambassador were not
devoid of humour.

Admiral Pothuau, the Ambassador under the Waddington régime, had been
forced to retire, probably much against his inclination, and it was
considered that M. Léon Say would make an excellent representative, more
especially as he passed as that _rara avis_, a French Free Trader; but
M. Say shortly after accepting the appointment was elected President
of the Senate, and therefore forced to resign. To find a satisfactory
successor was apparently not so simple a matter as might have been
assumed. Nothing could have been more correct than M. de Freycinet's
ideal of a French Ambassador in London: 'a man possessing the full
confidence and sharing the sentiments of his Government; not so much of
a politician as to be thinking more of establishing his own political
position at home than of following his instructions: a man who would
stay long at the post, and desire to stay there; who would form personal
friendships with English Statesmen, and improve good relations and
soften asperities by personal influence. A man calculated to take a part
in a society like that of London, and who would not be out of place at a
Court--a man who would have a wife with the same qualities--finally, a
man not unaccustomed to diplomatic business and diligent and accurate in
transacting it.' When, however, the question passed from the abstract to
the concrete, M. de Freycinet's ideas ceased to flow so freely, and he
seemed utterly at a loss to find the ideal being which his imagination
had sketched, although he mentioned M. Challemel Lacour--as a man who
would not do. In spite, however, of M. Challemel Lacour being in M.
de Freycinet's opinion a man 'who would not do,' it was evident that
he had a powerful backing, for an emissary from the French Foreign
Office shortly made his appearance at the Embassy and intimated in
so many words that the appointment of M. Challemel Lacour would be
agreeable to Gambetta. That no doubt was a considerable advantage, but
M. Challemel Lacour by no means corresponded to M. de Freycinet's ideal
representative, being a man of unconciliatory character and particularly
notorious on account of a speech which he had once made, in which,
alluding to political opponents, he had used the words _Fusillez moi ces
gens là!_ an expression which was continually being quoted against him.
In the meanwhile, however, M. de Freycinet had had an inspiration, and
sent for Lord Lyons to tell him that he had discovered just the right
man for the place. Unfortunately, this personage was married to a lady
whose antecedents were not considered to be satisfactory, and it became
necessary to intimate that under the circumstances the appointment would
not be favourably received in England.

     'Freycinet was dreadfully put out,' wrote Lord Lyons, 'when he
     found that the appointment was impossible. He complained chiefly
     of Léon Say for having brought him into the difficulty, by first
     accepting the London Embassy and then standing for the Presidency
     of the Senate.

     'Léon Say's picture of the lady is about as much like what she
     was when I last saw her a few years ago, as Challemel Lacour is
     like Freycinet's ideal of a French Ambassador in London.'

The appointment of M. Challemel Lacour was persisted in, and gave rise
to some very disagreeable discussions in the House of Commons. Doubtless
much of the abuse of M. Challemel Lacour was undeserved, but whatever
his political capacity, he was not remarkable for urbanity.

On the occasion of a big official dinner at the Paris Embassy, when
requested to take in the absolutely unexceptionable and agreeable wife
of one of his principal ministerial colleagues, he replied with an
emphatic '_Jamais!_' which precluded any further discussion.

The question of diplomatic appointments recalls the fact that it was
about this time that my connection with Lord Lyons first began, through
becoming a member of his staff, and that it may be appropriate to say
something about his habits and personal characteristics.

Lord Lyons, who was then more than sixty years of age, was a big,
heavily built man, whose appearance in no respect suggested the
diplomatist of fiction, and who rather resembled the conventional
British squire as depicted by Leech; and the chief characteristic of his
somewhat homely features was a small piercing eye which nothing seemed
to escape, from the most unimportant clerical error to a minute detail
in a lady's dress. As compared with the ordinary English diplomatist,
his knowledge of foreign languages, without being exceptional, was
thoroughly adequate. He, of course, spoke French with perfect facility,
and it is probable that he wrote it with greater correctness than many
Frenchmen, having a complete mastery both of the grammar and of all
the complicated expressions which are made use of in correspondence.
He was also equally at home in Italian; had a knowledge of German,
and was well acquainted with modern Greek. In addition, he was a fair
classical scholar, and a peculiarly retentive memory enabled him,
unlike most people, to remember much of what he had read. His manner,
at first sight, seemed somewhat alarming, and he was altogether a
person with whom no one would have felt disposed to take a liberty,
but the alarming impression, which was solely due to shyness, wore off
with closer acquaintance as the natural kindliness of his disposition
revealed itself, and one of the excellent traits in his character was,
that he never formed a favourable or unfavourable opinion of any one
in a hurry, but invariably waited for the test of time. The result
was, in almost every case, that the more he saw of people the more
he liked them and the more reluctant he became to part with men who
had been associated with him for any length of time. The position
which he occupied in British diplomacy during the twenty years which
he spent at Paris may, without exaggeration be described as unique.
No other man stood on quite the same footing, though it would be idle
to deny that there were some who were perhaps more brilliant. But the
implicit confidence which successive Foreign Secretaries placed in Lord
Lyons's judgment was based upon the knowledge that his opinions were
sound, unprejudiced, disinterested, and only formed after the most
conscientious investigations. 'I never volunteer advice,' he used to
remark, and it was perhaps for that very reason that his opinion was
so frequently sought by the Foreign Office. In fact so much importance
was attached to his views that he was occasionally asked to give his
opinion upon subjects of which he had no knowledge whatever, ranging
from the defence of Canada to the minimum dress allowance required
by the wife of a British Ambassador at Paris. As he had no intention
of seeking a consort himself, and as he had no intention, either, of
resigning his post, the latter inquiry (which was made in 1870) appears
somewhat superfluous; but, it may be worth noting, that as the result of
conscientious researches, he reported that £1000 a year was considered
to be necessary.

As to his merits as a chief, every one who had ever been associated
with him was of the same opinion, and it was generally held at the
Foreign Office that service under him at the Paris Embassy was a
liberal education in itself. It may be doubted, however, whether his
capacity and love of work were not to some extent a disadvantage to
his subordinates, since his industry was so great that it left them
comparatively little responsible work to do. At the Paris Embassy the
ordinary routine work is probably greater than at any other Embassy
with the exception of Constantinople, but there was scarcely anything,
however trivial, which he did not attend to himself. It is believed
in some quarters that an Ambassador leads a dignified, luxurious and
comparatively unoccupied life, but that was emphatically not the case
with Lord Lyons. He rose early and began the day by carefully studying
the more serious French newspapers; the whole of the time up to luncheon
was spent in writing or reading despatches, or attending to the various
small questions which were continually occurring. In the afternoon he
worked again until about 3 or 4 p.m., and then usually went to see
the French Foreign Minister or paid official calls in connection with
current business. Upon his return he worked again until dinner unless
interrupted by visitors, who were often of a tedious and uninteresting
type, and it not infrequently happened that telegrams would arrive at a
comparatively late hour of the night which it was necessary to deal with
immediately. All correspondence which arrived at the Embassy, no matter
from how insignificant a source, was attended to by him personally,
and elaborate directions given with regard to the replies, which were
invariably sent with the least possible delay. His industry was only
equalled by an almost preternatural caution, which showed itself in
a variety of ways. The reluctance to give advice has already been
noticed, but his excessive caution showed itself not only in writing,
but in conversation, and even amongst intimates he rarely expressed
opinions on men or things which it would have been unsafe to quote in
public, although his conversation was marked by much dry and original
humour of that elusive character which cannot be described on paper. It
was practically impossible to catch him napping. 'The Juarez (Mexican
Revolutionary) Minister having left his card upon me without any
official designation, I have returned a card also without an official
designation,' he wrote from Washington in 1859. His reticence during the
prolonged _Trent_ crisis has already been commented upon. 'I received
by the last mail,' he wrote to Sir Henry Elliot in 1867, 'a letter from
Hussein Khan, containing nothing but complimentary expressions. Not
wishing to be outdone in civility, I have written a reply in the same
strain. It has, however, occurred to me as just possible that Hussein
Khan may desire to appear to be in correspondence with me for some
particular object, and that there may be something which has occurred
since I saw him, which might render it advisable that he should not be
in correspondence with me. Accordingly I send my letter herewith open
to you. If you see any reason, however slight, for not forwarding it,
please destroy it, and take an opportunity of telling Hussein Khan that
I asked you to thank him for his letter to me.' It will be remembered
that even Queen Victoria was unable to draw him successfully on the
subject of the Treaty of Berlin. Similar instances might be quoted
indefinitely, and as an illustration of his caution in private life it
may be mentioned that he never stirred a yard outside the house without
a passport. A man of this temperament was not likely to make mistakes,
and it is a remarkable fact that throughout a correspondence extending
over something like forty years, there is not to be found a single
expression in any official communication addressed to him which could by
any stretch of the imagination be described as a censure or even as a
criticism of his proceedings.

As for the pleasures of the world, they hardly seemed to exist for him,
but the ordinary human weaknesses, which were chiefly non-existent in
his case, he regarded with an indulgent and even benevolent eye. He
used to repeat with much glee that the chief entry upon his _dossier_
at the Paris Préfecture de Police consisted of the words: _On ne lui
connait pas de vice_, and this concise statement may be said to have
been literally true. He had never been in debt, never gambled, never
quarrelled, never, as far as was known, ever been in love, although it
was a mistake to suppose that the opposite sex possessed no attractions
for him. Nor did he possess the resources available to the ordinary man,
for he cared nothing for sport, had probably never played a game in his
life, and detested exercise and outdoor life. The surprising thing was
that he contrived to keep his health, as although a total abstainer,
he was a large eater, and never took the slightest exercise. In fact,
during the last five or six years of his life he probably never walked
further than the English Church in the Rue d'Aguesseau, which was within
a hundred yards of the Embassy. 'Abstinence and exercise,' he used to
say, 'were the only two things that disagreed with him.'

The natural shyness of his disposition prevented him from deriving much
real enjoyment from what is generally described as society, but all the
social duties of an Ambassador were discharged in a manner which evoked
universal approval. The entertainments at the Embassy consisted chiefly
of dinners, which were remarkable for their excellence, and invitations
to which were highly prized by all sections of French society. Nothing,
in fact, could exceed the dignity or the faultless taste of the Embassy
arrangements, and not only were Lord Lyons's entertainments renowned,
but his horses and carriages were, even in Paris, noticeably amongst
the very best, it being one of his strongest convictions that the
British representative should always make an imposing appearance. But
his hospitality was no matter of mere show; every night the unmarried
secretaries were asked to dine with him unless otherwise engaged; and it
was upon these occasions that he used to appear at his best; obviously
finding more pleasure in their society than in that of any one else with
the exception of his own relatives. Affection, indeed, for his relatives
was one of his most marked characteristics, and it is highly probable
that his devotion to his sister, the Duchess of Norfolk, and to her sons
and daughters, was one of the causes of his not marrying; anyhow there
was no further question of marrying after the failure of the determined
attempt made upon him by an exalted personage, which has already been

His temper was singularly equable, and during his long stay in Paris
it was said that upon two occasions only was he known to have broken
out; once, when at a review at Longchamps, the Diplomatic Corps were
allotted an inferior position, and once upon an occasion when his
coachman appeared wearing trousers instead of top boots and breeches.
These ebullitions were due to the fact that he attached enormous
importance to all the outward signs of official representation, and
strongly resented anything which bore in any degree the nature of a
slight. In his capacity as a private individual he was the most modest
and unostentatious of men, and it is recorded, as an instance of his
shyness, that he once passed a week at Woburn without ever leaving the
precincts of the garden, because he was so much embarrassed by the
salutations of an adjacent lodge keeper.

It might have been supposed that a man of this unimaginative and
eminently judicial character would have failed to secure the regard
of his subordinates, however highly he might be esteemed by Cabinets
and Foreign Secretaries. As a matter of fact, probably no chief ever
enjoyed greater popularity, which was due to a variety of causes. He
was essentially a kind-hearted man, his correspondence abounds with
instances of help given to persons who had been in his employment in
any capacity, however humble; of opportune assistance rendered to
other persons who had been unlucky in their public careers, and of
recommendations of men whose services appeared to deserve recognition.
And in spite of his apparently detached nature, he took the warmest
interest in all those who were connected with him officially, and
invariably showed the utmost consideration, not only for their feelings,
but for their personal convenience. Thus, unlike some distinguished
diplomatists, one of his great objects was to save his staff unnecessary
work; he never put obstacles in the way of persons desiring leave, and
every afternoon at the earliest possible moment, in order to release
the Chancery, he used to send across the welcome written message: 'I
have nothing more for to-day,' although that by no means signified that
his own labours were concluded. Hardworking himself, he expected his
secretaries and attachés to do their share, and it was only when they
conspicuously failed, that he showed any sign of severity. During his
long career it fell to his lot to administer many reprimands, but these
were invariably so just and unavoidable, that the culprits seldom,
if ever, felt any sense of resentment, and he always made a point of
obliterating as soon as possible, any disagreeable incident of this
nature. The consequence was that he had no enemies, and no one who was
ever associated with him, has, so far as is known, ever had anything
but good to say of him. Another excellent feature in his character was
that he always made the best of his subordinates instead of searching
for their weak points; however unpromising the material, he generally
succeeded in effecting a marked improvement, and whenever any one who
had been with him left for another post, he never failed to draw special
attention to such good qualities as he appeared to possess with the view
of assisting him in his future career. Perhaps I may be pardoned for
interposing a personal testimonial, upon the occasion of a temporary
transfer to Berne, which may serve as an example amongst many others.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, May 15, 1883.

    MY DEAR ADAMS,[30]

     I have settled that Legh is to be at Berne on the 28th, and I
     hope you will like him. He is clever and well informed, though some
     people think he does not look it.

It need scarcely be added that many of the communications of this
nature are of a more elaborate character, and refer to persons who now
occupy distinguished positions in the British Diplomatic Service. As
Lord Lyons grew older he became more and more reluctant to part with men
whom he knew well, and it was pathetic to witness the obvious sorrow
which he felt at their departure.

Paris has always been the most coveted post on the Continent, and in
addition to the social attractions of the place, the Embassy enjoyed
the reputation of carrying on its business in an efficient manner
chiefly owing to the qualities of the Ambassador. The reputation was
well deserved, and I can only recall one serious _lâche_, not devoid,
however, of humour, as to which I was unjustly alleged to be the
culprit. At a moment when critical negotiations respecting intervention
in Egypt were proceeding with the French Government, a member of the
Embassy had an extremely confidential conversation with an important
French Cabinet Minister, in the course of which the Minister criticized
in very uncomplimentary terms his Ministerial colleagues, and the
conversation was immediately embodied in a confidential despatch to
the British Foreign Office. The following morning a much agitated
Chef de Cabinet appeared at the Chancery, bearing the despatch, and
announced that he 'thought that some mistake had occurred, as the
despatch had been received by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs.'
To the general consternation, it now became evident that the despatch,
instead of being placed in the Foreign Office bag, had found its way
into a lithographed envelope addressed to the _Ministre des Affaires
Etrangères_, and the whole horrid mystery was laid bare. The question
arose whether Lord Lyons should be told or not; the arguments of fear
prevailed; the French Minister behaved in an honourable manner and kept
silence, and Lord Lyons, fortunately for all concerned, never heard
of an incident which he would have looked upon as little short of a

The only possible criticism that could be brought against Lord Lyons
as an Ambassador would be that he led too narrow a life, and moved in
too restricted a circle. Day after day and week after week he led the
same existence; even his holidays were laid out on the same mechanical
principle; every year he left his post, much about the same date, took
the waters at some spa, and then proceeded on a round of visits in
England, chiefly at the country houses of the governing families, such
as Knowsley, Chatsworth, Woburn, and Hatfield, but always including
a prolonged stay with his relatives at Arundel. He was essentially a
diplomatist of the old type, consorting entirely in Paris with the
official classes, the Faubourg, and the Haute Finance; keeping the
press at arm's length, avoiding everything which did not come within
the scope of his duties, and confining himself strictly to his own
business. The modern developments of diplomacy; the use of the press,
the hasty missions of amateur diplomatists, the gushing speeches which
are apparently now considered to be obligatory upon the professional
diplomatist--all this would have been hateful and perhaps impossible to
a man who could boast that he had spent five years in America without
making a speech or taking a drink. But in an impartial survey of the
twenty-eight years which Lord Lyons spent at Washington, Constantinople,
and Paris, it would be rash to assert that any other man would, under
similar circumstances, have retained to an equal extent the confidence
of successive British Governments and the esteem and friendship of
the long series of Foreign Ministers with whom he was called upon to
negotiate questions often of the most vital importance.[31]

The main interest in foreign politics in the summer of 1880 lay in
the Balkan Peninsula. Mr. Goschen had been sent out to Constantinople
in the place of Sir Henry Layard, and Her Majesty's Government were
endeavouring energetically to force the Porte to carry out the
provisions of the Treaty of Berlin with regard to the rectification of
the Montenegrin and Greek frontiers. The Greek Frontier Question made
little way, and the Gladstone Government in their diplomatic campaign on
behalf of the Greeks met with little encouragement or support from the
other Powers, not even excepting France, who had always been the leading
advocate of Greek claims. When M. de Freycinet was asked what he was
prepared to do if the Turks resolved to defy the Conference which was
then sitting, nothing more satisfactory could be got out of him than:
_nous marcherons avec vous_, or _nous ne marcherons pas sans vous_, and
to the question whether he would go far if necessary, he only made the
cryptic reply, _peut-être bien_. The British Government were hankering
after a naval demonstration, and it was disheartening to work with so
pusillanimous a comrade.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, June 21, 1880.

     In answer to your private and personal letter of the day
     before yesterday, I may say that I am not much afraid of the
     French not being willing to go as far as we are willing to go in
     coercing the Turks, if they set Europe at defiance about the Greek
     Frontier. Freycinet seems to shrink from the idea that actual
     coercion may be required, but his only distinct limit to the action
     of France is that she will not do more than England.

     I myself very much doubt whether the Turks will yield anything
     to naval or other demonstrations, unless they are quite sure that
     these demonstrations are the prelude to the actual use of force,
     and it will not be easy to get them to believe this, unless we are
     ourselves quite sure that that is what we mean.

     Supposing we pushed demonstrations to the point of forcing
     the Dardanelles, and sending the allied fleets to Constantinople,
     we might produce a revolution, without obtaining the cession of
     the territory to Greece. If the populations are in parts really
     unwilling, the central government may be truly unable to compel
     them to give in.

     Supposing the Greek troops (_par impossible_) be defeated
     either by the Turkish troops or by recalcitrant Albanians, the
     ships of the Powers might not be able to do much to get them out of
     the scrape.

     I am very far from meaning to say, in answer to your question
     as to the mildest and safest form of coercion, that it would
     consist in moving troops to occupy the territory. To do so would
     be neither mild nor safe, nor easy to arrange. But I am afraid
     we shall find that in the end the treatment must be topical, and
     that if the Greeks cannot take possession for themselves, we shall
     hardly be able to obtain it for them by pressure exercised at
     Constantinople only.

     A rendezvous of the fleets at Corfu might have a good effect
     on the Albanians, and perhaps increase the chance of the Greeks not
     being seriously resisted.

     I see Goschen suggests that the decision of the Conference
     should be announced to the Porte by an identic note. I think a
     collective note would have more effect and be more appropriate.

The Turks, however dense they may be in other respects, are usually
intelligent enough to perceive whether the Powers are in earnest or not,
and as no Government except the British felt much enthusiasm for either
the Greek or the Montenegrin cause, they showed no signs of giving way.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, July 2, 1880.

     I am afraid it does not look as if the Turks were going to
     yield to the moral force of United Europe. Léon Say and Montebello
     seem to hold even less resolute language to you than Freycinet
     does to me. Did the King of Greece understand Gambetta to say
     that France, with or without the co-operation of other Powers,
     would support Greece with troops? Freycinet will no doubt do
     whatever Gambetta tells him, but one of the inconveniences of the
     power behind the Government greater than the Government, is that
     Gambetta does not talk as cautiously as he would if he felt direct
     responsibility. No power except Russia seems to be willing to bell
     the cat. France seems to be the only one that has in abundance the
     three elements--men, ships, and money. Freycinet always says he
     will do anything with us, but nothing alone, and does not seem much
     more willing than Austria to look the chance of having to use force
     in the face.

     I do not see much prospect of an immediate diplomatic lull,
     and I very much want one because it is of importance to my health
     (at least the doctors say so) to get away, but I conclude that I
     ought not to shrink from going through the national Festival of the
     14th July, and that I should do what is to be done at least as well
     as any of my colleagues.

Reviews, it may be said, were functions which he abhorred beyond all

The King of Greece was in Paris at the time, vainly trying to stir up
Gambetta to come to his assistance, although Gambetta in conversation
with Sheffield expressed strong opinions as to the desirability
of France and England acting energetically in concert, and even
professed himself in favour of their making a joint demonstration
at Constantinople, and landing troops there if necessary. Upon the
same occasion he betrayed his gross ignorance of English politics by
lamenting that Lord Beaconsfield had not postponed the dissolution until
the autumn, 'when he would have been certain of success.'

Freycinet, however, remained deaf to Lord Granville's appeals, even when
the latter reproached him with the humiliating position in which France
would be placed by abandoning a question which she had made her own, and
when the British Government proposed a naval demonstration in favour of
the Prince of Montenegro, made all sorts of excuses for evading it if

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, July 13, 1880.

     I was more displeased than disappointed by the refusal of
     the French to join in the naval demonstration in favour of the
     Prince of Montenegro. They always try to act with Germany and
     have a horror of sending away a ship or a man unless Germany does
     the same: such is their confidence in the friendship they profess
     to believe in, that they want always to be ready at the shortest
     notice to attack their friend or to defend themselves from him.
     They are also, no doubt, jealous of any separate help to Montenegro
     which does not explicitly pledge the Powers to action in the Greek
     Question also.

     I quite agree with you that separate threats from the
     French to the Porte about Greece (however incorrect their acting
     separately may be) are more likely to do good than harm. One Power
     in earnest would frighten the Porte more than the six, if the
     Porte were convinced that the five others would not restrain the
     energetic one.

During the next three months the Sultan, single handed, conducted a
campaign against the six Great Powers, which, as will be seen, nearly
ended in success; and it must, in fairness, be admitted that there was
a good deal to be said from the Turkish point of view. The Powers were
engaged in endeavouring to force the Porte to comply with conditions
directly or indirectly resulting from the provisions of the Treaty of
Berlin. But no steps whatever were taken, or ever have been taken, to
force other States to comply with stipulations which appeared to be
disagreeable to them. The right of the Sultan, which had been secured to
him under the Treaty, to occupy Eastern Roumelia, remained in reality
an empty phrase: the Bulgarian fortresses which were to have been
demolished, remained untouched, the tribute due from Bulgaria remained
unpaid, and there was no indication of an intention to reinstate the
unfortunate Mussulmans who, as the result of the war, had been driven
away from their homes, and had been despoiled of their property by
their new Christian masters. Neither could it be justly maintained
that, in agreeing to a rectification of the Greek frontier at Berlin,
the Turks had recognized the right of the Greeks to annex a territory
equal in extent to half of the Greek Kingdom. Added to this, were the
difficulty and the humiliation involved in surrendering against their
will, a large number of Mussulman subjects. The difficulty had in fact
proved insurmountable in the case of Montenegro, and the Albanians
who were in the first instance allotted to Montenegro offered so
successful a resistance that the original plan was abandoned, and after
much negotiation, the Porte accepted 'in principle' the cession of the
Dulcigno district as an alternative. But the concession of anything 'in
principle' by the Turks, usually means something quite different from
the usual interpretation of that expression, and the Sultan succeeded
in organizing a highly successful so-called Albanian League, and ably
supported by a resourceful local Pasha, contrived by various expedients
to delay the surrender of Dulcigno for so long that it began to look
as if it would never take place at all. Finally, the resources of
diplomacy becoming exhausted, a policy of coercion was decided upon, and
an international fleet assembled off the coast of Albania in the month
of September, under the command of Admiral Sir Beauchamp Seymour.[32]
Each power signed a declaration of disinterestedness and a pledge not to
acquire territory, but the hollow nature of this imposing manifestation
was betrayed by a provision that no troops were to be landed, and the
Sultan, who probably had some inkling of the situation, still refused
to give way. A bombardment of Dulcigno would presumably have left him
philosophically indifferent.

As the Dulcigno demonstration did not appear likely to produce any
satisfactory result, the British Government decided upon the hazardous
step of proposing the seizure of Smyrna, that being considered the most
efficacious means of coercing the Turks and of preventing the concert of
the Great Powers from becoming the laughing stock of Europe. This step
was evidently taken chiefly at the instigation of Mr. Gladstone, and the
letters of Lord Granville bear witness to the extreme anxiety which
he felt as to the result. No encouragement whatever was received from
France; the timorous Freycinet having in the meanwhile been succeeded at
the Foreign Office by the equally timorous Barthélemy St. Hilaire, an
aged survival of the Louis Philippe period.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Oct. 4, 1880.

     Barthélemy St. Hilaire's answer about the Greek Frontier does
     not look as if we should receive any energetic help from France
     towards obtaining the settlement of that or any other question
     in the East. The answer was all ready cut and dried, and the
     declaration as to France sticking to the Concert, but not taking
     any initiative, had been made before to my colleagues. A more
     experienced diplomatist would have acknowledged more elaborately
     your courtesy in offering to communicate first with France, before
     addressing the other cabinets on the Greek Frontier affair.

     The fact is that the present Cabinet is still more frightened
     than the last by the disapproval which has been manifested by
     all parties in France of even the little that has already been
     done. With regard to this, M. St. Hilaire made a remark to me
     yesterday which seems to be true enough. France, he said, has quite
     recovered her financial strength, and in great measure her military
     strength, but the _moral_ of the people is not yet _relevé_.
     They are horribly afraid of another war and consequently utterly
     averse from anything like a risky or energetic policy. Another
     popular sentiment, which is extremely inconvenient just now, is the
     feeling that France made the Crimean War _pour les beaux yeux de
     l'Angleterre_ and had better not repeat the experiment. Altogether
     I am afraid France will be a trouble, not a help to us, and I am a
     good deal put out about it.

     Barthélemy St. Hilaire talked to me a long time about
     Gambetta, with whom he described himself as very intimate. He
     described Gambetta as having a naturally generous nature, as being
     somewhat impulsive and incautious, but at the same time somewhat
     'Genoese.' He said that if I took opportunities of associating with
     him, I should find his character an interesting study. The study
     will not be a new one to me, and I am not sure that too apparent an
     intimacy between me and Gambetta would be viewed without jealousy.

M. Jules Ferry, the new Prime Minister, was no more amenable than his

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Oct. 8, 1880.

     As to the French agreeing to the Smyrna proposal, I cannot
     prognosticate favourably. I had a long conversation yesterday
     with Jules Ferry, the Prime Minister. I seemed to make some
     impression by urging that to break up the European Concert now
     would be to keep the questions open, with all their inconveniences
     and all their dangers, for an indefinite time. He also admitted
     the many advantages of the Smyrna plan, and was quite unable to
     suggest any other course of action so likely to bring the Sultan
     to reason without inconvenient consequences. But he perpetually
     reverted to the argument that it would be going too near war to be
     admissible under the French Constitution, and that the Chambers
     on that account would call the Ministers severely to task. The
     argument from the Constitution seems to me almost absurd, but it
     is constantly used already in the press, and will no doubt be used
     hereafter in the Chambers. The fact is that Jules Ferry and his
     colleagues are horribly afraid of the effect which they believe any
     action on their part would produce on public opinion and on the

     I have seen B. St. Hilaire this afternoon. I went over with
     him the same ground I had gone over with Jules Ferry yesterday, but
     with much the same result. He told me that the question had been
     discussed in the Cabinet this morning and was to be discussed in
     another Cabinet to-morrow. Perhaps they would not like to stay out
     in the cold if Germany and Austria came in, but I am afraid they
     will certainly not say 'yes,' though they may say 'no' before those
     Powers have given their answer. They seem to argue from the delay
     of the German Government, that Bismarck is against the proposal.
     Orloff, my Russian colleague, tells me that he is strongly urging
     the French to agree. Beust and Radowitz (the German) talk as if
     they themselves thought well of the Smyrna plan, but say they have
     heard nothing from their Governments.

     I spoke to B. St. Hilaire about your reasons for communicating
     first with him about the Greek Question, and he sent with effusion
     the message of thanks which he ought to have sent at first.

     Choiseul is applying with vigour the _épuration_ system to
     the Foreign Office and the Diplomatic Service. He seems to have
     dismissed some very good men in both. Des Michels is one of his
     victims, and to-day he has decapitated the head of the Commercial

     I think it better not to communicate at present the draft
     instructions to the Admiral. They would, I think, be seized upon as
     arguments that the occupation of Smyrna would be an act of war.

Her Majesty's Government were in effect in a very bad mess. The Smyrna
proposal had received no real support from any Power. Bismarck had
announced that the so-called Eastern Question was not worth the bones
of a Pomeranian Grenadier, and nothing was to be expected from him.
The same thing applied to Austria; neither Italy nor Russia were to be
relied upon, and France was unwilling and unenterprising. No wonder
that Lord Granville felt singularly uncomfortable: the Concert of
Europe, as he expressed it, had 'gone to the devil,' no one was going to
help him, and unless within a few days the Turks yielded, the British
Government would be confronted with the alternatives of seizing Smyrna
single handed or of confessing defeat and abandoning the contest. Lord
Granville himself was in favour of the latter course, as being logical,
and the natural consequence of the action of the other Powers, who would
neither agree to the English proposals nor propose anything themselves.
Mr. Gladstone, on the other hand, was apparently all for going on and
acting as the mandatory of Europe, and as he usually got his way, it
is possible that this dangerous course might have been adopted; but in
the very nick of time, just at the moment when the situation looked
to be at its worst, the Sultan suddenly gave way and announced that
Dulcigno should be handed over to the Montenegrins. What brought about
this sudden decision has always remained more or less of a mystery, but
there is no proof that the proposed seizure of Smyrna (which would have
probably inconvenienced European interests quite as much as the Sultan)
was the deciding factor. According to the late Lord Goschen, who was in
as good a position to know the real facts as any one else, the sudden
surrender of the Sultan was caused by a Havas Agency telegram from
Paris; but the contents of this communication have never been divulged,
and Lord Goschen himself never ascertained what they were. The surrender
of Dulcigno, which took place in November, terminated the crisis and
enabled the Gladstone Government to claim a striking if lucky success
for their own particular sample of spirited Foreign Policy.

In the year 1880 the relations between the Liberal Government and
the Irish Nationalists were the reverse of cordial, and a good many
inquiries used to come from the Foreign Office respecting alleged Irish
plots and conspiracies at Paris with requests that the French police
authorities should be asked to give their assistance. These requests
Lord Lyons was in the habit of discouraging as much as possible,
partly from an ingrained dislike to being involved in any secret and
equivocal transactions, and partly because he knew that if the French
police gave their assistance in tracking down Irish conspirators, they
would certainly expect reciprocity in regard to Bonapartists and other
opponents of the existing system of Government at that time residing
in England. For these reasons he always urged that the English police
authorities should communicate direct with the French police authorities
without using the Embassy as an intermediary. But the efforts of the
Gladstone Government were not confined to endeavouring to check Irish
plot by means of the police, and an attempt was made to restrain the
turbulent bishops and priests engaged in the Home Rule agitation by
applying pressure upon them from Rome. The credit of this expedient
seems to have been chiefly due to the active and enterprising cleric,
Monsignor Czacki, who was acting as Nuncio at Paris, and who appears
to have conceived the idea that if the Pope could be persuaded to
intervene on the side of the British Government, it might be possible
to re-establish regular diplomatic relations between England and the
Papacy. As far back as December, 1879, Monsignor Czacki had made certain
overtures, but they met with no attention from Lord Salisbury.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, June 18, 1880.

     Last October a very quiet, not to say dull, old Italian
     prelate was succeeded here as Papal Nuncio by a very active,
     talkative and agreeable Pole, Monsignor Czacki.

     At the beginning of December Monsignor Czacki came to me and
     told me that he had received a letter from Ireland accompanied by,
     or referring to, letters from very important people, among which
     was, he said, one from you. He had in consequence written to the
     Pope, and the Pope had written to the Irish Bishops to exhort them
     to do all in their power to restrain their flocks from taking
     part in violent or seditious proceedings. Monsignor Czacki asked
     me whether the state of affairs in Ireland was at the moment so
     serious as to render it advisable that the Pope should repeat these
     exhortations to the Irish Bishops. I made a somewhat banal answer
     to the effect that though there were no grounds for feeling alarm
     as to the ultimate issue of what was going on, there was good
     reason that those who possessed influence there should use it for
     the prevention of crime and outrage, and also of turbulence and

     I reported what has passed in a private letter to Lord
     Salisbury, but I received no answer from him, and I heard no more
     of the matter till yesterday.

     Yesterday, however, Monsignor Czacki came to see me and
     showed me a letter he had received a few days before from Lord
     Emly. The letter said that previous intervention had produced the
     best results, that several Bishops had denounced the agitation in
     the strongest terms, but that unfortunately the Socialists were
     publicly supported by various Bishops. It mentioned that the Roman
     Catholic Bishop of Meath, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of
     Cashel had manifested their sympathy with Mr. Parnell, and that the
     Roman Catholic Bishop of Kilmore had himself recommended Mr. Biggar
     to the electors as a candidate. The letter begged Monsignor Czacki
     to intervene again, but it made the request only from Lord Emly
     himself, without any allusion to you or to any other person, as
     being cognizant of it.

     Monsignor Czacki said that he entirely sympathized with the
     views of the writer and intended to send the letter to Rome; and he
     proceeded to ask me whether I would authorize him to say that he
     had shown it to me and that he sent it with my approval.

     It seemed to me that this would be bringing the thing much too
     near Her Majesty's Government for it to be right for me to assent
     to it without knowing your wishes.

     I confess this mode of communicating with the Vatican does
     not commend itself to my judgment, and that it seems to me that it
     might lead to awkwardness and interfere with better means you have
     of communicating with the Pope, if you wish to communicate with
     His Holiness at all. At the same time I was not absolutely sure
     that you might not think there might be some convenience in having
     this channel open. I did not therefore rebuff Monsignor Czacki, but
     without giving any hint that I should refer to you, said simply
     that I would think about what he had said.

     He is very fond of enlarging academically upon the advantages
     England would derive from entering into regular diplomatic
     relations with the Holy See, or if that were impossible, from
     re-establishing an unofficial agent at Rome.

     You will gather from all this that Monsignor Czacki is not
     altogether disinclined to be busy.

The energetic Nuncio returned to the subject at the close of the year.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Dec. 31, 1880.

     You may remember that in June last I gave you in a private
     letter a long account of a conversation which Monsignor Czacki, the
     Papal Nuncio here, had volunteered to have with me on Irish affairs.

     Monsignor Czacki came to see me three days ago, and enlarged
     on the great advantage to the cause of order and tranquillity in
     Ireland it would be for the Pope to pronounce an authoritative
     condemnation of the wicked acts perpetrated in that country. He
     hinted that the Pope had been misled by some of the Irish Bishops
     who had recently been at Rome, and he dwelt on the inconvenience
     which arose from the British Government's having no channel of its
     own through which to communicate direct with His Holiness.

     On the last occasion Monsignor Czacki offered to be himself
     a channel of communication. He did not repeat this offer, but
     his object in what he had said appeared to be to lead up again
     to the question of the establishment of regular diplomatic
     relations between England and the Vatican, or if that could not be
     immediately, then to the return to Rome of an unofficial agent, in
     the same position that was occupied by Odo Russell, and before him,
     by me. He told me he spoke entirely of his own accord, but that he
     was sure that Pope Leo XIII. would most willingly receive even an
     unofficial agent.

     Monsignor Czacki is a very great talker, which makes it easy
     to say very little in answer to him, and I took full advantage of
     the facility for being conveniently silent which this afforded me.

     The impression he left upon me was that for some reason or
     other the authorities at the Vatican decidedly wish to have some
     sort of agent there, from whom they could receive information
     respecting the views of the British Government upon the accuracy of
     which they could fully rely.

     I don't think that if it had depended on me I should have
     discontinued the unofficial agent, awkward as the position had been
     made by the presence of the Italian Government and of a regular
     British Embassy. But to establish one now would be a question of
     far greater difficulty than to have kept one going.

Whether influenced by Monsignor Czacki or not, Her Majesty's Government
sent Mr. Errington, a Liberal Member of Parliament, to Rome in an
ambiguous capacity which was loudly denounced in the House of Commons
both by Home Rulers and by fervent Protestants, and in the course
of one of the discussions on the subject, Mr. Gladstone informed an
astonished audience that there was all the difference in the world
between an Agent and an 'Agente.'

The French Municipal Elections which took place in January, 1881,
produced a reassuring impression throughout the country, as both the
extreme parties were decisively defeated, and the effect was largely
to increase the power and influence of Gambetta, who was now in the
enviable position of being able to make or unmake Ministries, and who
at the opening of the Chambers made a kind of 'speech from the throne'
which considerably perturbed the uninspiring President Grévy.

Everything that Gambetta now said was of importance, and his views on
the European situation were ascertained in the usual manner through

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Feb. 8, 1881.

     Gambetta asked Sheffield to breakfast on Saturday, and as
     usual talked freely to him.

     He appeared to think that the three Emperors had come to
     an understanding with each other, and that whatever might be
     their plans, it was certain that they would not be beneficial
     to French interests. According to him, it was with the Emperors
     not a question of the position of their Empires, but of their
     own individual positions. They were opposed to liberal views and
     liberal institutions. They were intent upon doing whatever would be
     most hurtful to the prestige and success of the Republic in France.
     They were, in fact, reconstituting the Holy Alliance.

     At this moment France was unfortunately powerless. Until the
     General Election had taken place, her destinies must be at the
     mercy of any old women who were employed as stopgaps in ephemeral
     ministries. Since Barthélemy St. Hilaire had been in office he had
     only seen him once. He knew nothing or next to nothing of what went
     on at the Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, and what little he did
     know, he disapproved. 'Que voulez vous,' he said: 'nobody will do
     anything to commit himself in any way, pending the uncertainty of
     the elections.'

     He seemed well informed about Egyptian affairs. He praised
     Malet and said de Ring was entirely in the wrong in his quarrel
     with de Blignières, which was very injurious to the calm direction
     of Egyptian affairs. He expressed an intention to urge the
     immediate recall of de Ring.

     I mark this letter private because we should get into a great
     scrape and close a very convenient channel of communication if
     Gambetta found that he was quoted or that his sayings transpired in
     any way.

The interest of the year 1881 lies in the fact that it makes a fresh
departure in French foreign policy and the abandonment of the retiring
and timorous attitude which had prevailed ever since the war with
Germany. The first State to experience the inconvenience of this new
development was Tunis, and early in the year it became evident that
a very acute Tunis question was imminent. The trouble began over a
large property known as the Enfida Estate. This property was sold to
an important French financial association, but upon the sale becoming
known, a certain Mr. Levy, a Maltese British subject, put in a claim of
pre-emption under Tunisian Law, and it was believed by the French that
he had been instigated by the Italians, and was merely utilized by them
as a convenient means of obstructing French enterprise. The dispute over
the Enfida Estate rose to such proportions that a French ironclad, the
_Friedland_, was sent to Tunis in February, and the British Government,
who were bound to make a show of defending the interests of Mr. Levy,
in spite of his dubious position, followed suit with H.M.S. _Thunderer_.
Both vessels were soon withdrawn, but before long it was generally
believed that a French invasion of the country was contemplated.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Feb. 25, 1881.

     The French public are getting very cross about Tunis.
     Reasonable people see that we cannot allow our own subject to be
     bullied, but the French in general do not distinguish between
     the Enfida case and the Tunisian questions regarding predominant
     influence, Italy, and so forth. Drummond Wolff's question last
     night was very mischievous. It was his own party which gave the
     assurances at Berlin which have made Tunis so very delicate a
     matter between the French and us, and which dispose the French to
     allege that the present Government is less friendly to them about
     that country than the late. Anyhow, Tunis is the point on which
     above all others the French are susceptible and irritable; and
     the Italians, and, however unconsciously, our own Consul too, I
     am afraid, are always stirring up awkward questions on the spot.
     I should be heartily glad to be rid of the Enfida question in any
     creditable manner. I so strongly suspect that Levy is simply put
     forward by the Tunisians for their own gain, and supported by the
     local enemies of goodwill between France and England, in order
     to make mischief, that I only wish we could wash our hands of
     the whole affair. There seems to me to be no evidence that he is
     a _bona fide_ purchaser on his own account. Tunis is the really
     ticklish point in our relations with France.

The Enfida Estate case was not only unsatisfactory on account of Mr.
Levy not being a very desirable _protégé_, but because it enabled
the French to manufacture a grievance against the Bey, and gave the
Italians an opportunity to encourage that unfortunate potentate in the
belief that he would receive foreign support in the event of French

The intentions of the French Government were disclosed before long.
Shortly after the wretched Bey had protested against a memorial
containing a long list of alleged French grievances against the
Government of Tunis, M. Jules Ferry, on the ever convenient plea of the
necessity of chastising hostile frontier tribes, asked for votes of
credit for both the army and the navy, which were unanimously agreed to.
Before the expedition actually started, the French agent at Tunis, M.
Roustan, visited the Bey and informed him that the French preparations
were intended to protect him against the Sultan of Turkey, who desired
to convert Tunis into a Turkish Pashalic, and that, under these
circumstances, it was very desirable that Tunis should be placed under
a French Protectorate. It was quite in vain that the unhappy Bey urged
that he had no reason to suspect the Sultan of any such intention and
that he had not the slightest desire for a French Protectorate; he was
informed that he was not the best judge of his own interest, and that
French troops would shortly enter his country to chastise the Kroumirs,
a race of whom nobody had yet heard, but who apparently constituted a
serious menace to the French Republic.

The obvious design of the French drew from Lord Granville an opinion
that they could not be allowed to seize upon Tunis without the consent
of Turkey, and the permission of other Powers; but to this opinion not
much attention seems to have been paid.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    April 5, 1881.

     I have thought it necessary to instruct you to inquire into
     the state of affairs at Tunis. You are not likely to do so in an
     unnecessarily offensive manner.

     I am told that the French are determined to establish their
     Protectorate. This will be very awkward at the moment.

     Pray look as mysterious as you can, as to what might be our

     We do not wish to follow the example of the foolish opposition
     made to Algiers, but the French cannot be allowed to seize Tunis
     without the consent of Turkey and communication with the rest of

     The Italians wish us to move vigorously in the matter; the
     Italian Government seems alarmed at the excitement of their chamber.

It was all very well to say that the 'French cannot be allowed to seize
Tunis,' but when a big European Power decides to pounce upon a weak and
decaying Oriental State, it is not of the slightest use to employ such
language if merely moral suasion is contemplated. The recent action
of the Italian Government with regard to Tripoli[33] was the exact
repetition of French action with regard to Tunis, and remonstrances were
of no more avail in one case than in the other. The Bey sent piteous
protests and appeals for justice to all the Great Powers, but as Italy,
the only Power which really objected, was not prepared to fight, his
lamentations fell upon deaf ears. Meanwhile, in an attempt to justify
their bare-faced aggression, the French Government apparently handed to
M. Blowitz, the _Times_ correspondent at Paris, a despatch from Lord
Salisbury written in 1878, which it had been agreed should be treated as
confidential, and it was intimated in the press that further private
and confidential communications would appear in a forthcoming Yellow
Book. This produced a very justifiable remonstrance from Lord Salisbury.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    Hatfield, April 24, 1881.

     I am not sure that I am not irregular in addressing to you any
     communication on public affairs. But I think I have been told that
     a certain license is accorded to disembodied Foreign Secretaries,
     of haunting the scenes of their former misdeeds.

     My cause of writing is this. My eye caught a statement in one
     or two English papers that St. Hilaire intended to print in the
     forthcoming Yellow Book, Waddington's first despatch to d'Harcourt
     on coming back from Berlin. I had a dim recollection that it was
     undiplomatically phrased and had been withdrawn: but I could
     remember no more.

     Is it not rather a strong measure for a Government to withdraw
     a despatch to which objection is taken at the time, when it might
     be answered, and then to publish it three years later, when the
     materials for answering it no longer exist? However, perhaps I am
     wrong in assuming that the newspaper report is correct.

Lord Salisbury was quite correct in his recollection, and the intention
of publishing the despatch referred to was not carried out, but various
attempts were made to fix upon him the responsibility for French action
in Tunis.

Lord Granville, although he confessed to disliking the process, had to
content himself with ineffectual barking.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    April 22, 1881.

     You will not like a despatch I send you, and I am rather sorry
     to send it. But I do not see how we are to give France _carte

     I dislike barking without biting, but if the result of not
     barking (in contradistinction to all that was done under Louis
     Philippe and Napoleon, when English remonstrances certainly stopped
     the French) is the annexation of Tunis, or the creation of the
     great port of Bizerta impregnable by naval force and neutralizing
     Malta, we should look rather foolish.

     Notwithstanding the present Chauvinism about Tunis, it would
     not be a sweetmeat for the French to have England, Italy and the
     Arabs inside and outside Algeria against her.

     It is as well that she should not imagine that this is
     perfectly impossible.

     But, of course, I wish to ruffle her as little as possible,
     and nobody will wrap up the warning of our doctrine as to the
     Ottoman Empire better than you will.

Undeterred by Lord Granville's just remonstrances and equally undeterred
by the Sultan's assertion of his suzerainty claims, the French entered
Tunis and occupied the capital on May 11, after little more than a
mere promenade. On the following day the Treaty of the Bardo, which
practically established a French Protectorate over the country, was
extorted from the Bey, and declarations by the French Government made it
clear that no intervention, direct or indirect, would be tolerated.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 13, 1881.

     Barthélemy St. Hilaire certainly foreshadowed the Tunisian
     Treaty accurately when he said that it would very much resemble a
     Protectorate. It is so like one that it would be difficult to point
     out a difference. The guaranteeing the execution of the Treaties of
     the European Powers is sufficiently impertinent. As in all these
     French expeditions, there is a vast amount of dirty pecuniary
     stockjobbing interests at the bottom, which have been the real
     motive power.

     The whole affair is of very bad augury. It will inspire the
     French Public with a love of resorting to high-handed proceedings
     which can be indulged in without any real risk. Gambetta said to
     Dilke that his Cherbourg speech was the first glass of wine given
     to the Convalescent France, good for her but somewhat startling to
     her system. This Tunis expedition is the second. The patient has
     swallowed it so complacently that she may soon wish for another,
     and perhaps a stronger stimulant. They got Bismarck's leave for
     this, and it will perhaps be a long time before they do anything
     of the kind without his leave. But then he will be sure to push
     them on to any undertakings which will occupy their minds and their
     forces, and tend to put them on bad terms with other Powers. And
     this is disquieting, for there are not wanting all over the globe
     places and questions in which the French might make themselves very
     inconvenient and disagreeable to us, and might, if encouraged by
     Bismarck, come at last to a downright quarrel with us.

     Add to this the state of feeling in the English manufacturing
     districts which is likely to be produced by the Commercial
     proceedings of the French, and their virulent Protectionism, and
     the prospect looks gloomy enough.

The actual proceedings of the French in Tunis were in reality of less
importance as regards England than the spirit which they betrayed, for
their reception by the French public indicated a state of feeling which
might have dangerous consequences. The preparations for the expedition
were not considered by impartial critics as particularly creditable
to the skill or efficiency of the French military administration, and
there had been nothing like serious fighting in the short campaign. The
question had simply been one of bullying a defenceless ruler, and of
carrying on a high-handed policy in the face of Europe. Nevertheless
the whole affair was hailed with almost unanimous delight by the French
people. Nor, apparently, was this delight diminished by the reflection
that the expedition had not been undertaken without the approval and
encouragement of the German Government, and that the favour had been
acknowledged with almost humiliating gratitude.

Gambetta had represented that his object was to emancipate France
from the humiliation of having to consult Bismarck confidentially
beforehand upon every step she took, but this humiliating precaution was
certainly not neglected in the case of Tunis, and if there had been the
slightest suspicion that the expedition would have involved France in
any difficulty with Germany, public opinion would at once have declared
against it. From the German point of view this was satisfactory enough,
but scarcely reassuring as far as other Powers were concerned.

The French had shown that they rejoiced in any high-handed proceedings
which did not bring them into collision with Germany, and whilst it was
not improbable that their rulers would seek popularity by gratifying
this feeling, it seemed not unlikely that the policy pursued by
Germany with regard to the Tunis expedition would be persevered in. To
disseminate the forces of France and to divert the minds of the French
from Alsace and Lorraine by encouraging them to undertake distant
enterprises for the gratification of their vanity, was an obvious means
of increasing the safety of Germany, and the more such enterprises
tended to alienate from France the sympathies of other Powers, the more
they would contribute to the security of Germany. Unfortunately there
were scattered over the globe, numerous islands and other territories,
the annexation of which by France might be prejudicial to English
material interests or objectionable to English feeling; and there were,
moreover, various countries in which the undue extension of French
influence might be dangerous to England, and where France, if tempted
or encouraged to resort to arbitrary proceedings, might, without
deliberately intending it, become involved in a downright quarrel with
England. These considerations made it desirable that especial caution
should be exercised in the case of Egypt. The effect of the Tunis
expedition upon Egypt had been twofold. On the one hand, it increased
Egyptian suspicions of the insincerity and rapacity of European Powers;
on the other hand, it increased the reputation of France in Egypt at the
expense of the other Powers and of England in particular, and diminished
any confidence in being effectively protected from French encroachments.
The lesson of the Tunis expedition was obvious; it would clearly be
folly, either by withholding the tribute or by any other step to weaken
the connexion of Egypt with the Porte, for the French Government had
taken elaborate pains to show that in dealing with Tunis it was dealing
with an independent Power. This contention had naturally been resisted
by the Porte, and there was little difficulty in proving that suzerainty
had been effectually established by a Firman of 1871. But the Sultan of
Turkey, who in the past had enjoyed the possession of more suzerainties
than any other potentate, had seldom derived anything but embarrassment
from this particular attribute, and in the case of Tunis it proved
to be singularly inconvenient. Encountering no opposition from other
Powers, the French flouted the claims of Abdul Hamid, and in order to
signify their new position, announced that the French representative
would thenceforth take charge of all foreign questions. In spite,
however, of the flexibility of the European conscience with regard to
the general principle of the Sultan's suzerainty, it was recognized
that under certain circumstances that principle must be conscientiously
upheld; and it was, therefore, intimated, more or less directly to the
French Government, that although the Sultan's suzerainty in Tunis was a
negligible quantity, the situation in Tripoli was quite different, and
so, in a far greater degree, was that of Egypt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, June 17, 1881.

     It is most true that the danger of bad relations between us
     and the French arises from their proceedings not ours, and that
     this makes the great difficulty in meeting it.

     The change of their position with regard to Bismarck is
     another great difficulty. A little while ago dread of Germany
     made them unwilling to send a regiment or a ship to a distance
     from France, but since the Tunis affair, they have gone into the
     trap he has set for them with their eyes open. They feel sure of
     his support and encouragement in any distant enterprises, and the
     surer of it in proportion to the hostility which such enterprises
     may provoke in England and Italy. They thus find a cheap way of
     gratifying their vanity, and of advancing some of their apparent
     interests. This coquetting with Bismarck does, moreover, divert
     their thoughts from Alsace and Lorraine.

     I don't think it would be prudent to make any special advances
     to Gambetta at this moment. We might not please him and we should
     very probably offend Grévy and Barthélémy St. Hilaire, and so
     interfere with the practical treatment of present questions, such
     as the Commercial Treaty, the West Coast of Africa, Newfoundland,

     The anomalous position of the French in Tunis, and the
     proceedings of Roustan[34] there, will keep up irritation in
     England and Italy--and I suppose the French, annuente Bismarck,
     will cut the Gordian knot, sooner or later, by annexing it. They
     ought in consequence to acquiesce in some improvement of the
     position of England in Egypt, but this is dangerous ground.

The overbearing attitude of the French officials in Tunis caused
considerable irritation in England, and something akin to exasperation
in Italy. The Italians, had they felt strong enough to do so, would have
resisted the French pretensions by force, but being without an ally at
the time, had to content themselves with violent ebullitions in the
press. The ill-feeling between the two countries was marked by serious
riots at Marseilles and other towns in the South of France.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, June 24, 1881.

     I did my best to impress upon B. St. Hilaire yesterday that
     there was real bitterness of feeling among the public in England,
     and that if the French Government and its agents persisted in a
     series of irritating measures, the consequences might be very
     inconvenient. The French had got all they could want, I said, and
     I could not help wondering that it did not strike them that their
     policy should now be to let the new system settle down quietly,
     to avoid occasions of controversy about it, and in short, to let
     Tunis be as little heard of as possible at present. It was an ill
     return, I observed, for the great patience and friendliness shown
     by our Government, to be perpetually springing upon them surprises
     unpalatable to English public opinion. He professed to _abonder
     dans mon sens_. I entreated him to keep his subordinates in order.

     The French seem to have an unpleasant business in Western
     Algeria, and there is beginning to be an outcry against the
     military and civil management of the troubles there.

     Good feeling between French and Italians will not be promoted
     by late events at Marseilles. The feelings of the French towards
     the Italians there are like those of the American workman towards
     the Chinese at San Francisco, or of the Irish towards the negroes
     at New York. There are said to be more than 50,000 Italians at
     Marseilles, and they are apt to use their knives.

     There are symptoms of a growing antagonism between Jules Ferry
     and Gambetta, signs of the feeling between the Elysée and the
     Palais Bourbon.

After all, the Tunis expedition turned out to be a rather more
troublesome affair than had appeared probable at first. At the end of
June insurrections broke out at Sfax and other places, necessitating the
recall of French troops who had been sent back to France; bombardments,
and other severe measures of repression. The insurrection spread into
Algiers on the western side, and on the eastern side the disturbances
created the possibility of a violation of the frontier of Tripoli by the
French troops.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, July 5, 1881.

     Retribution has come quickly upon the French for their
     hypocritical seizure of Tunis. The Arabs seem to be upon them
     in all directions. Although this serves them right, it is, I
     think, much to be regretted for political reasons, independently
     of the suffering it causes to un-offending Europeans of various
     nationalities in Africa.

     If the French have to send a large force to Tunis, they will
     very probably, formally as well as virtually, annex the Regency.
     Tripoli will then stand exactly in the same relation to them
     that Tunis did before the assumption of the Protectorate. After
     Tripoli would come Egypt; but happily there is, I believe, a very
     impracticable desert tract between them.

     How great must be the complacency of those who desire to
     occupy French troops in distant countries, and to involve France in
     difficulties with other Powers.

If the action of the French in seizing Tunis was hypocritical, the
contention that the case of Tripoli stood on an entirely different
footing was equally unconvincing. The real truth, of course, was that,
with the exception of the Italians, no one really objected to the French
going to Tunis. They went there, under distinctly false professions,
announcing that the expedition was intended solely to punish refractory
tribes, and that the occupation was merely temporary. The disclosure
of their real objects naturally caused irritation in England as well
as in Italy, but all hostile criticism was met by the assertion of the
Liberal Government that Lord Salisbury had himself invited the French
to take Tunis at the time of the Berlin Congress. The French themselves
were careful to represent that they had only followed Lord Salisbury's
advice, and Lord Granville, in defence of his own policy, always
maintained that the phrase attributed to Lord Salisbury, _Carthage ne
doit pas rester aux barbares_, had cut the ground from beneath his
feet, and rendered remonstrance useless. But to make Lord Salisbury
responsible for this act of flagrant immorality seems, in the face of
such evidence as is available, unjustifiable. All that he had done was
to intimate that he had heard that the French were extremely anxious
to go to Tunis; that if they did so, British interests would not be
endangered, and that he should consequently look on with indifference.
When M. Waddington, in 1878, construed this opinion as an invitation to
France to appropriate Tunis, Lord Salisbury felt bound to remonstrate,
and he wrote to Lord Lyons, as has been already shown. 'He (Waddington)
makes me talk of Tunis and Carthage as if they had been my own personal
property, and I was making him a liberal wedding present.' The real
instigator of the Tunis expedition was not Lord Salisbury, but Bismarck.
The latter, who was omnipotent in Europe at the time, could have stopped
French action at any moment he pleased, but instead of doing so, he
naturally encouraged an enterprise which was certain to lead eventually
to difficulties between France, Italy, and England.

While, however, it was convenient to overlook any French illegality
with reference to Tunis and to its connection with the Turkish Empire,
it would have been, as has already been shown, manifestly imprudent
to allow Tripoli, which stood in a precisely similar position, to be
menaced with a similar fate: besides which, Italy had already marked
Tripoli down as her own prey. Accordingly the French Government were
informed that 'in view of the unquestioned incorporation of Tripoli in
the Turkish Empire, as well as its proximity to Egypt, Her Majesty's
Government could not regard interference of whatever description on
the part of the French Government in that province in the same manner
as they viewed the recent occurrences at Tunis. That Her Majesty's
Government should take this view of the question of Tripoli cannot, they
feel assured, be a source of surprise to that of France, since they
have, on all occasions when the question of the extension of French
influence in the direction of Egypt has been under discussion, been
perfectly frank in their explanations with the French Government on the
subject.' In his reply to this communication, M. B. St. Hilaire (who
had previously announced that to annex Tunis would be a great mistake),
effusively stated that the French Government looked upon Tripoli as
an integral part of the Ottoman Empire, over which it did not pretend
to exercise a predominant or exclusive influence, and gave a formal
denial to all rumours which attributed to France any designs upon that
country. The British Government professed itself quite satisfied with
these assurances, and the Porte, for once in a way, showed sufficient
intelligence to make its suzerainty quite clear, by despatching troops
to garrison the country, and by other precautionary measures. In
consequence of these steps Tripoli remained immune from attack for
another thirty-two years, and when, in 1912, the Italians, following
the French example of 1881, fell suddenly upon it without any serious
attempt at justification, they did not allege that they were attacking a
semi or wholly-independent State, but declared war upon Turkey itself,
and incidentally brought about the destruction of Turkish power in
Europe. The future of Tripoli under Italian rule is still obscure, while
the numerous prophecies of failure which attended the seizure of Tunis
by the French have not been fulfilled, but in either case it would be
difficult to justify the morality of the enterprise or to defend the
policy of these two Great Christian Powers.

The year 1881 witnessed the renewal of negotiations for a new Commercial
Treaty between France and England, and in consequence of opinions
expressed by M. Tirard, the French Minister of Commerce, it was
determined to take the negotiations out of the hands of diplomatists.
M. Tirard had declared that he believed that an understanding could be
effected if the question could be freed from diplomatic dilatoriness,
and that if he were brought face to face with a 'competent and
well-disposed man,' the whole matter would be settled within a week
by making a few mutual concessions. To meet these views, the late Sir
Charles Dilke, M.P., was appointed principal British Commissioner with
the late Sir Joseph Crowe, Sir Alfred Bateman, and other distinguished
experts as his colleagues or assistants, but M. Tirard's prognostication
turned out to be entirely incorrect. In spite of the great ability
and indefatigable industry of Sir Charles Dilke and the other British
Commissioners, the negotiations made a very unsatisfactory start,
were constantly broken off, and were not even concluded by the end
of the year, so that it must have been impressed upon M. Tirard that
dilatoriness was not necessarily due to diplomacy. From the first, the
negotiations were unpromising, for Free Trade had continually receded in
France since the Empire, and the necessity of cultivating good political
relations with England was evidently less in 1881 than it had been upon
the last occasion.

The representatives of the two nations met in London in June, and an
inauspicious beginning was made by the French Commissioners repudiating
the bases signed in 1880 by Lord Granville and M. Léon Say. By the
middle of the month the breaking off of the negotiations was already
being considered.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Sir C. Dilke, M.P._

    Paris, June 14, 1881.

     I received last evening your letter of the day before, asking
     me whether I had anything to say on the policy of breaking off the
     commercial negotiations when you get to work.

     I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that there will
     in all probability be a thorough change of Government in France in
     the autumn. We might _perhaps_ get a decent treaty from the new
     Government if they found the negotiations in progress. It might
     not be so easy to get negotiations reopened if they had once been
     broken off, and the French had become accustomed to the idea of
     having the general tariff applied to British goods.

     Politically, it would, I think, be a great pity to begin
     ill with the new Government, and I don't think we could possibly
     begin well, in the state of feeling which would be produced in
     this country, and still more I suppose in England, by a commercial

     The majority of the French would be very glad that the general
     tariff, or still higher duties, should be enforced against English
     goods, but they would none the less be irritated by our breaking
     with them.

     I confess, too, that I am alarmed, perhaps without sufficient
     reason, at the effect which may be produced both at home and abroad
     by the cry in England for retaliation.

     My own plan would be, for the present, to pursue the
     negotiation as seriously and as steadily as is compatible with
     not committing ourselves to any decidedly objectionable duties so
     definitely as to be hampered in subsequent negotiations if we find
     the new Government more fairly disposed towards us.

     If there was ever any possibility of concluding a Treaty in
     time for it to be passed by the Chambers this Session, there is
     certainly none now. Gambetta wanted to get the question out of the
     way before the elections; but even if the Treaty were signed, I
     don't think the Chambers could be induced to consider it under
     present circumstances. Nor would they, I should think, pass a bill
     to prolong the existing Treaties.

     To my mind, our most prudent course would be to let the new
     Chambers find the negotiations going on when they meet in the
     autumn. I don't of course mean that you should go on sitting every
     week from this time to the autumn: it would suffice that there
     should not be any adjournment _sine die_, and that we should not
     give any ground for an assertion that we are not really willing to
     conclude even a moderately fair treaty.

Lord Lyons, as has already been stated, was, like almost every British
official of the time, a firm and almost bigoted Free Trader; and it
is possible that his alarm at the prospect of retaliation was caused
by the appearance of the Fair Trade League; that harbinger of Tariff
Reform to which somewhat inadequate justice has been rendered by its
imitators. But it is surprising to learn of these qualms, when he is
found predicting that the smaller countries who were willing and able to
retaliate on French goods, would obtain better terms than England. The
very different spirit in which the smaller States approached commercial
questions with France is shown in the following instructive account of
the views of the Swiss Minister at Paris, M. Kern.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Sir C. Dilke._

    Paris, June 25, 1881.

     Last evening, after my letter to you of yesterday had gone, I
     met Kern, who told me that in the course of the day he had had an
     interview with M. Tirard, and also one with M. Gambetta. He had,
     he said, declared most distinctly to both, first, that Switzerland
     would not sign a Treaty placing her in a less advantageous
     commercial position than that now existing; and secondly, that
     if the general tariff were applied to Swiss goods, French goods
     would be forthwith subjected to duties of precisely the same amount
     in Switzerland. He had, he said, somewhat surprised M. Tirard by
     informing him that the Swiss Government had power to impose such
     duties at once, without waiting for legislative sanction.

     The impression left upon Kern's mind by the two interviews
     was, that as hard a bargain as possible would be driven by France,
     but that in the end they would rather make moderate treaties than
     no treaties at all, if they saw that this was the only alternative.

     He is going to Berne to confer with his Government, and he
     says that he is sure they will approve and confirm his language to
     Tirard and Gambetta.

     After these interviews, Kern was very positive that the French
     Government were making a great fight to justify themselves to the
     Chambers, but that if the Powers, and particularly England, were
     firm, the French would yield rather than incur the political and
     other inconveniences of not making any treaty at all.

     I am not so sure as he seemed to be of this, but I think that
     the French are alive to the political inconveniences of breaking
     with England altogether; and it might therefore be worthy of your
     consideration, whether, when you go back to the Articles you
     reserved in the Tariff, you should not make a last effort to see
     whether the French cannot be brought to consent to a Treaty which
     would be better commercially than no Tariff Treaty at all. It might
     interfere with whatever chance of success such an effort might
     have, for the French to feel beforehand that they could get out of
     the political difficulty by signing a simple Most Favoured Nation

     Nevertheless I am not shaken in my opinion that it would be
     advisable for you to sign a Most Favoured Nation Treaty, if better
     may not be, before you break up the Commission, or adjourn it for
     any long time.

     Commercially we had better make sure at once of sharing the
     concessions which may be made to other Powers under threats of

     Politically we should, I think, find it most disadvantageous
     to have even the appearance of being on bad terms with France.

The British Government apparently still entertained the illusion
that there were real French Free Traders. M. Challemel Lacour was
the chief French Commissioner and Lord Granville welcomed him as a
brother Free Trader. His brother Free Trader said it was true that he
was _Libre-Echangiste_, but he was _Libre-Echangiste Français_, and
recognized the necessity of paying due consideration to the interests of
native industries. To this chilling response, Lord Granville was forced
to retort that he must venture to doubt whether a _Libre-Echangiste
Français_, in His Excellency's acceptation of the term, was not what
in England was called a Protectionist. M. Waddington had once stated
that he was a Free Trader 'bar cotton,' and whenever the French Radical
Parliamentary candidates, who were then perambulating the country in
view of an approaching general election, were asked whether they were
Free Traders or not, they replied in the affirmative, but qualified by
a reserve in favour of French industries which would be ruined by Free
Trade. As a matter of fact, the spirit of Protection was becoming more
and more ingrained in the French people, and the best chance of getting
a reasonable Commercial Treaty lay in the hope that an election would
bring Gambetta into power.

The London negotiations which had been temporarily suspended were
resumed at Paris in the autumn, and continued during the remainder of
the year; but interest was diverted from commercial matters to the
events which were occurring in Egypt and their probable effect upon
Anglo-French relations.


[Footnote 29: Subsequently Viscount Goschen.]

[Footnote 30: Sir Francis Adams, Minister at Berne.]

[Footnote 31: See Appendix by Mrs. Wilfrid Ward, "Lord Lyons in Private

[Footnote 32: Afterwards Lord Alcester.]

[Footnote 33: 1911.]

[Footnote 34: French Consul-General at Tunis.]




In September, 1881, the long-drawn-out Egyptian crisis culminated in the
military _coup d'état_ of Arabi and the colonels, which resulted in the
dismissal of the Ministry and the practical establishment in Egypt of a
military dictatorship. From that moment European intervention, in some
form, became inevitable, and it was the object of the British Government
to continue to adhere honestly and consistently to the policy of working
in conjunction with France, and to avoid carefully as long as possible
any action which might necessitate the employment of force.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Sept. 30, 1881.

     The article in the _Times_ has produced an anti-English
     explosion on the subject of Egypt, and was certainly well
     calculated to do so.

     For my part, I think the best thing to be done is to take an
     opportunity of distinctly manifesting at Cairo the continuance of
     the Anglo-French understanding.

     If we let either the Egyptians or Foreign Powers suppose they
     can upset that, we shall not be able to maintain the English and
     French Controllers, and if they disappear, the financial prosperity
     will disappear with them, and we shall have the bondholders,
     French and English, on our backs again.

     If we let in other Foreign Powers, and at the same time try
     to establish English predominance, we shall have those Powers
     coalescing with France against us.

     A split with us would very probably lead to France throwing
     herself into the arms of Bismarck, and he would encourage all
     her ambitious aims out of Europe, and, in particular, those
     the prosecution of which would widen the breach between her
     and England: or, in other words, be especially annoying and
     inconvenient to us.

     I hope things are so far calming down in Egypt, that we may
     not be called upon to take any special measures this time; and
     the best hope of avoiding them in future seems to be in making it
     understood that England and France united will resist attempts to
     overthrow the existing system.

     I am all against letting the Turks thrust the smallest finger
     into the pie. At this moment the French would never consent, and
     would consider our bringing in the Turks a specially unfriendly
     act, with a view to their Tunisian affairs. The less they merit any
     consideration from us, the more sore they will be at not receiving
     it. Besides which, where the Turkish hoof has trod, no grass grows,
     and woe to the finances of any country with which the Turk can

     Of course, in what I have said about Egypt I have confined
     myself to the present and the immediate future.

The chances of being able to avoid active intervention were in reality
non-existent; for temporizing measures taken in conjunction with France
could not put off for ever the day when, moral pressure having been
found insufficient, armed force would necessarily have to be employed.
When that day arrived, the probability was that France would want to
send troops in conjunction with ours, and our consent to that course
might involve us in war with France in a very short time. If we had the
courage to tell the French that our interests were paramount in Egypt,
and that therefore all other European Powers must be kept out, then we
must be prepared to back our words with force, and everything therefore
pointed to the naval superiority of England in the Mediterranean as
being our paramount necessity. With real naval superiority in the
Mediterranean we were practically able to make the French do our
bidding, if we chose. We had the power to shut up their navy in French
ports, to stop their communications with Africa, to render powerless
two millions of French soldiers, and to demolish Bismarck's schemes
of elbowing us out of the Mediterranean. Such was the happy position
which we enjoyed in 1881, and it was a great contrast to that which
we occupy at the present day; but it did not tend towards promoting
goodwill between the two nations, and Lord Lyons constantly urged
that some joint understanding should be arrived at, in the event of
another military outbreak in Egypt. The situation had been complicated
by the despatch of a Turkish mission, and the general impression in
France was that Arabi and the colonels would shortly be engaged in a
conspiracy to dethrone the Khedive and to restore something like the old
_régime_ in the country. A positive declaration from the English and
French Governments that they would not tolerate the overthrow of the
Khedive and the established system might have effected much if it was
felt that the two Governments would interfere by force, if necessary,
rather than permit it; but this would not be felt or believed unless
the two Governments had really come to an understanding and had agreed
upon details; and when it came to discussing details the question
at once presented difficulties. These difficulties were not lessened
by a French Ministerial crisis in the autumn, as a crisis usually
produced a fit of petty Chauvinism, such an encouragement to Consuls
in the East to _porter haut le drapeau de la France_, the bullying of
local authorities, and a demand for the extortion of monopolies and
concessions for French speculators.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Nov. 4, 1881.

     The Treaty of Commerce and Egypt will probably be the two
     first questions we shall have to discuss with the new Government.

     The Commercial negotiations seem to me to have been brought
     exactly to the right point. Having obtained the three months
     prolongation, we have resumed the negotiation on the day fixed, and
     have continued it _bona fide_; and it now stands over in a manner
     which will enable us to see in due time whether or no we can make a
     treaty with the new Government.

     As regards Egypt, the opinion gains ground here that at the
     bottom of the agitation there is (or soon will be) a plot to
     dethrone Tewfik and put Halim in his place as a 'National': _i.e._
     anti-European, anti-French, and anti-English Control, Khedive. I
     understand that de Blignières represented strongly to Gambetta that
     the only way to produce quiet in Egypt and counteract intrigues
     in favour of Halim at Yildiz Kiosk is for England and France to
     declare positively at Cairo and Constantinople that they will not
     stand it, but will resolutely support Tewfik and the existing state
     of things. I do not know how far Gambetta assented to this, but I
     am told he did not dissent from it.

The result of much political manoeuvring was that in November, 1881,
Gambetta was forced to take office and to exchange the irresponsible
power which he had hitherto wielded in the background for Ministerial
responsibility. As frequently occurs in similar cases, when the great
mystery man was dragged out into the light of open day, his appearance
was somewhat disappointing. His Administration, with one exception
only, was composed entirely of men belonging to his own immediate
following, and contained no one of any weight beside himself. Gambetta
took the Foreign Office as well as the Presidency of the Council, and
on the principle that _il vaut toujours mieux avoir affaire à Dieu qu'à
ses anges_, this was an advantage, although it was believed that he
entertained so great an admiration for Bismarck, that, following the
latter's example, he would probably hand over the foreign diplomatist to
an under secretary. The first impressions produced by the new Ministry
were not favourable.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Nov. 18, 1881.

     I don't think the present Ministry is so far at all a success.
     Among other inconveniences arising from the appointment of men of
     so little personal importance is that there is no one in Gambetta's
     party who does not think that he ought to have been a Minister;
     or, in other words, who acquiesces in the superiority of any of
     those chosen. The fact that Léon Say and Freycinet were offered
     portfolios, but would not accept them on Gambetta's terms, tells
     against the selection ultimately made. Gambetta's personal genius
     must make up for all deficiencies. He appears to have a talent
     in particular for parliamentary tactics, especially for making
     the right move on the spur of the moment. I doubt his having
     deep-matured plans. So far as I can see, he lives _au jour le jour_
     like ordinary men.

     I had a long visit yesterday from Spüller, but we did not get
     much beyond generalities. Gambetta and I have exchanged visits, but
     have not met.

     I do not hazard conjectures on commercial matters, as Dilke
     will ascertain to-morrow exactly how the land lies. ... As a
     diplomatist, I cannot but feel that there is convenience in being a
     bachelor just now.

The last sentence does not refer to the fact that he had just been
created a Viscount, but to the somewhat peculiar domestic circumstances
attaching to certain members of the new Government.

It had been assumed that Gambetta's accession to office would be
marked by a more vigorous foreign policy, especially in the direction
of acquiring fresh territories in distant regions; but this was not
justified by his own language or bearing, and at his first interview
with the Ambassador he abstained from pompous common-places about
preferring England to all the rest of the world, and desiring peace at
any price, which was looked upon as a good sign. At the same time, there
was, in his speeches about Tunis and the Mediterranean, a slight flavour
of Chauvinism which would not have excited remark before 1870, but which
would not have appeared in 1880, and would certainly not have been
applauded in 1881, unless it had become generally known that Bismarck
had sanctioned and encouraged French enterprises away from the continent
of Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 6, 1881.

     Gambetta gave the Diplomatic Body an excellent dinner last
     Saturday, and played his part as host very successfully.

     What may be at the bottom of his heart, nothing has yet shown.

     The change which has come over the relations between France
     and Germany opens to him the door for a comparatively safe yet
     ambitious Foreign Policy. Will he resist the temptation?

     During the years which immediately followed the war, the
     feeling of France towards Germany was composed of furious hatred
     and of mortal dread. The line taken, consciously or unconsciously,
     by Germany tended to add bitterness to this feeling. She interfered
     dictatorially with France even in internal matters. Her object
     seemed to be not only to impede the restoration of French strength
     and wealth, but to prevent the French recovering even prestige
     anywhere. She was, or affected to be, convinced that a war of
     revenge on the part of France was imminent. She was believed by
     the French to be angry at their showing so much vitality and to be
     preparing to give them the _coup de grâce_.

     At this moment, however, neither France nor Germany appears
     to apprehend an attack or to be prepared to make one. Each appears
     to consider the other too strong to be attacked with impunity.
     Certainly Gambetta would not find the nation in heart to follow him
     in defying Germany. If therefore his policy or his passions incline
     him to do something striking to flatter the national vanity, how
     is he to find the means? The Tunis affair has given Bismarck an
     opportunity of showing him. It has enabled the Chancellor to
     convince the French that they will have the countenance of Germany
     in any enterprise in which they may engage out of Europe.

     How far this may be part of a great plan of Bismarck's
     to secure German supremacy in Europe by pushing Austria into
     the Levant, Russia into Asia, and France into Africa and the
     Mediterranean, and by shutting up England in her own islands, we
     need not inquire. In any case it must suit Prince Bismarck to see
     France making acquisitions of territory or influence, which weaken
     her military force in Europe, throw burthens on her finances, and
     make ill blood between her and other Powers.

     Unhappily if Gambetta is so short-sighted as to give in to
     temptation of this kind, difficult questions are, more than with
     any other Power, likely to arise with England, who is in contact
     with France all over the world and especially in the Mediterranean.

     I hope better things, and I am not at all willing to despair
     of a thorough good understanding between France and England which
     would avert danger from both, and enable both to do good to all the
     world. Still one cannot but be anxious at this moment. Egypt may be
     the ticklish point.

The Parliamentary skill of Gambetta was seen to advantage during the
short winter session, and compared favourably with the want of tact and
vigour which had been displayed by his predecessors. He even obtained a
success in the Senate, where he had not expected to find any sympathy
at all, and some of the more sensible Conservatives became disposed to
support him, more from fear of what might result if he fell than from
personal attachment. Some of his appointments, however, aroused alarm,
and he perturbed Lord Lyons by bestowing upon a journalist a most
important post in the Foreign Office.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 30, 1881.

     I will not despair, but I am feeling very great anxiety
     about the Commercial Treaty. I am afraid that on this side of the
     Channel, much more than in England, the failure of the negotiations
     would have a most undesirable political effect. In France and on
     the Continent generally, it would be taken as a sure indication of
     a coolness between the two Governments. Gambetta would be taunted
     by the Opposition with having alienated England (Italy having been
     alienated before). Gambetta's supporters in the press and elsewhere
     would try to throw the blame upon England, the English press would
     retort upon France, and a very unpleasant state of feeling would be
     the result.

     Gambetta has astounded people by appointing a flashy newspaper
     writer, of no particular principles, to the post of Political
     Director in the Foreign Office. The Political Director is almost
     the most important person in the office, as he drafts all the
     political despatches and notes. I hope the communications to the
     foreign ambassadors are not to be in the style of 'smart' newspaper
     articles. I confess that when I saw the appointment in the _Journal
     Officiel_, it did not occur to me that the man could be the same
     Weiss who had been writing in the _Figaro_.

The friendly disposition of Gambetta towards England has already been
noted, and beyond a certain tendency in his speeches towards Chauvinism,
there was nothing in his conduct calculated to arouse alarm, but
nevertheless a critical moment in Anglo-French relations appeared to
be approaching at the beginning of 1882. The Government of France had
passed into the hands of a Minister far more influential, more able,
and more ambitious than any man who had taken part in public affairs
since the retirement of Thiers, and the time was at hand when that
Minister must decide on the line of policy to be followed with regard
to Foreign Powers. The character and temperament of Gambetta naturally
disposed him to endeavour to make his Foreign Policy more vigorous,
more successful and more striking than that of his predecessors, and
with that object he would probably take one of two courses. Either
he would aim at emancipating France from her existing confidential
servility towards Germany; or, despairing of that, he would continue the
existing relations with Bismarck, and thus ensure the latter's willing
acquiescence in aggressive proceedings on the part of France beyond the
limits of Europe.

In order to shake off the German yoke, Gambetta evidently considered
it essential that he should be able to place himself on distinctly
friendly and intimate terms with England, and if he failed in this, the
probability was that he would be obliged to revert to the patronage
which was felt to be so irksome. But the change which had come over
the relations between France and Germany opened the door to a foreign
policy which was comparatively safe and easy, and yet did not present
the disadvantage of being unambitious. The period which immediately
followed the war of 1870, was, as has already been pointed out, marked
by a feeling in France towards Germany of fierce hatred combined with
extreme fear, and German policy, whether consciously or unconsciously,
tended to embitter this feeling. Germany interfered dictatorially and
ostentatiously even in French internal affairs, and the object seemed
to be not only to crush the reviving strength of France, but to prevent
her recovering anywhere, or in any matter, the smallest portion of her
lost _prestige_. The German Government professed to believe that a war
of revenge was meditated, and was credited with the intention of finally
destroying France before the latter should be sufficiently recuperated
to resume the struggle.

But with the lapse of time, a change of policy, and, to a certain
extent, a change of feeling had taken place on both sides. Neither
country was in any immediate apprehension of an attack from the other. A
somewhat ostentatious interchange of courtesy had been substituted for
their former reserve, and Bismarck had seized the opportunity of the
invasion of Tunis to let the French understand that they would have the
countenance of Germany in enterprises undertaken by them out of Europe.
Apart from all far-reaching schemes for securing German supremacy in
Europe, it was obviously in the interests of Germany that France should
engage in enterprises and make acquisitions which dispersed her armies,
disorganized her finances and created ill feeling with other Powers.

Gambetta was much too intelligent a man not to see through this policy,
but the temptation to direct the energies of France into the Colonial,
rather than the continental direction, might prove too strong for him
if he despaired of gaining credit for his Government in another way.
Unhappily, in such a case, with no Power were difficulties so likely to
arise as with England, which was more or less in contact with France in
all parts of the world, and especially in the Mediterranean. Nor could
it be forgotten that in the speeches lately delivered on the subject of
Tunis, Gambetta had made strong appeals to national pride with regard to
French possessions and interests beyond the seas.

Still there was no reason to suppose that the so-called Colonial Policy
was Gambetta's first choice. He was known to chafe under the practical
subservience of France to Germany, and to feel deeply humiliated by it.
At the bottom of his heart he cherished an ardent desire to recover
the lost provinces, but he knew that neither the military strength of
France nor the spirit of the people would warrant his attempting this
within any assignable period. He did, however, aim at freeing the French
Government from the sort of occult control which Germany had recently
exercised over it, and at improving the position of France as a Great
Power. He desired to present the Government over which he presided
to France and to Europe as taking a dignified and important part in
international questions, and feeling that these objects could best be
attained by a real and visible friendship with England, he was evidently
disposed to treat pending questions with a view to maintaining and
manifesting a cordial understanding.

The two most important questions of the moment were, of course, Egypt
and the Commercial Treaty.

As regards Egypt, there was so far complete unity between the two
Governments--the strain having not yet arrived--but the conclusion of
a Commercial Treaty appeared to be a more arduous affair. Gambetta
was apparently ready to go as far towards making an acceptable Treaty
as was possible without risking a defeat in the Chambers. But if the
negotiations were to fail, he would probably despair of keeping up good
feeling towards England in France. He would conceive that the failure
would discredit him in the eyes of France and of Europe; that it would
convey to foreign Governments an impression, which he could not remove,
of there being a coolness between France and England, and that it would
oblige him to seek for his Foreign Policy some other basis than union
with England.

Perhaps the fear that unsuccessful commercial negotiations would convert
Gambetta into a foe was partly due to a communication from Sir Charles
Dilke announcing that a commercial ultimatum was about to be hurled at
the French Government. This communication is extremely instructive from
the English Parliamentary point of view, for it recommended that in
despatches the word 'bargain' should be carefully avoided, 'as it would
strengthen the reciprocity argument.' In other words, although wine
duties were to be utilized for the purpose of bargaining, the fact was
not to be disclosed lest it might be construed as a departure from the
sacred principles of Free Trade.

Attention was, however, quickly diverted from the Commercial Treaty
to Egypt. On January 8, the British and French Governments presented
the so-called Dual Note, in which they declared their intention of
'warding off by their united efforts all causes of external or internal
complications, which might menace the _régime_ established in Egypt.'
The Dual Note was by no means as successful as had been hoped, and it is
clear that Gambetta was in favour of more decided and independent action
than the British Cabinet. Within a few days Lord Granville was already
writing to Lord Lyons and asking him whether it would not be advisable
for England and France to ask permission from the Powers to appear as
mandatories of Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    Jan. 17, 1882.

     The news from Egypt is certainly not reassuring, and the
     _mauvais quart d'heure_ may arrive at any moment.

     M. Gambetta would probably desire joint intervention; the
     objections to this are immense: I need not recapitulate them all to

     Single occupation, by England or by France, still more so.

     I am not quite sure that Turkish occupation under proper
     conditions and control by France and England, although a great
     evil, would not be less bad than the three alternatives I have
     mentioned. But it is not only bad in itself, but it would be
     strongly opposed by the French, although it would be supported
     by the German Powers. In these circumstances, an observation of
     Malet's struck me as having some force. Talking of the intentions
     of some of the other Powers to have their part in the question, he
     said it would not be so objectionable, if they consented to allow
     the English and French to be the mandatories.

     The idea seemed to me to be worth considering, and I spoke to
     Tenterden and Rivers Wilson (but to no one else) and requested them
     to draw up a memorandum as to how this could be carried out. I send
     you an extract, and I should like to have your opinion on it before
     I submit it even to Gladstone as a possibility.

     Gambetta of course would not like it. But his difficulty is as
     great as ours if he were to understand that we will not agree to
     joint occupation. There would be nothing humiliating to France if
     the proposal was freely consented to by both countries and jointly
     offered to Egypt.

     For us it would only be acting on the Concert of Europe
     principle, about which we have been making such a fuss.

This somewhat half-hearted proposal met with no approval from Lord
Lyons, who expressed his objections in more decisive terms than were
usual with him.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Jan. 19, 1882.

     In your letter of the day before yesterday you ask me for
     my opinion on a suggestion as to admitting other Powers to take
     part in the Egyptian Question, on the supposition that France and
     England should be their mandatories.

     This would, _ipso facto_, be the abandonment of the
     exceptional position which England and France have taken up in
     Egypt. Whether this position can be, or ought to be, maintained for
     a long time, is a question which I will not stop to examine.

     That a proposal to abandon it, at this moment, would have a
     very bad effect on our relations with France, does not, I think,
     admit of a doubt. It would be taken as an abandonment of our
     intention to give up, in the face of Europe, all special intimacy
     with the French Government. It would give rise to suspicions
     that we were trying to use the other Powers for the purpose of
     ousting France from Egypt. The union of England and France on the
     Egyptian Question is the principal symbol of there being a good
     understanding between them, and to this symbol the French attach no
     little importance.

     I don't know that the designation of mandatories of Europe
     would mend the matter. The other Powers would not commission
     England and France to decide by themselves what measures should
     be recommended for Egypt. They might depute England and France
     to enforce the decisions of Europe, but this would only bring us
     back to the joint intervention of the two Powers in a particularly
     awkward and unmanageable form.

     Practically, it would, I think, be found much more difficult
     for us to keep well with France, if the other Powers were also to
     have a voice in details. Hitherto England and France have managed
     to come to an agreement with each other on the questions that have
     arisen. It might be made more difficult for them invariably to side
     with each other against other Powers. Political considerations as
     to affairs distinct from Egypt might come into play. Setting aside
     a natural and not improper jealousy on the part of each, lest its
     associate should obtain separate and undue influence, the interests
     of England and France in Egypt are very much the same. The main
     interest of some Governments, and in particular that of the Porte,
     might be antagonistic to cordiality between the two Western Powers.

     A Commission appointed now to deal with questions relating to
     the government and administration of Egypt would be a different
     matter from the Commissions of 1878 and 1880.

     In the first place, it seems probable that the Sultan would
     protest strongly against it, and that he would do so whether or
     no there were Turkish members of it appointed by him. His Majesty
     might possibly acquiesce under strong pressure from all the Powers,
     but would all the Powers put such pressure on him? In all matters
     bearing upon the relations between the Porte and Egypt, it must, I
     am afraid, be taken into consideration that neither France singly,
     nor England singly, nor the two acting together, are likely at the
     present time to exercise predominant influence at Constantinople;
     and that, on the other hand, the Power which does exercise
     predominant influence there shows no disposition to jeopardize that
     influence by giving unpalatable advice, and is not supposed to have
     any desire to promote cordiality between England and France.

     Moreover, we have to consider not only the Sultan and the
     Khedive, but the mutinous officers and the so-called National Party
     in Egypt. From a telegram which Gambetta showed me yesterday,
     it would appear that Arabi had expressed some idea of appealing
     against England and France to the Great Powers collectively. But
     would he and his party, whose watchword seems to be 'Egypt for
     the Egyptians,' submit passively to the installation of a Foreign
     Commission to settle all the important national questions? Would
     they acquiesce in the subsequent enforcement of the decision of the

     The Commission might certainly sit at Alexandria, and it
     might perhaps have the support afforded by the presence of an
     Anglo-French squadron, or an International squadron. In either
     case, would the squadron be provided with men to be landed in
     case of need, and would the Commission be authorized to call for
     the assistance and protection of a force to be put on shore? If
     this were so, it might be merely a small beginning which might
     ultimately render intervention in arms on a larger scale inevitable.

     On the other hand, if the presence of the squadron were to
     be merely a naval demonstration, would the fact of its being more
     or less representative of all the Great Powers give it much more
     weight than if it were made on behalf of England and France alone?
     Would it, in either case, be safe to trust to the moral effect
     of its being sufficient, and to its not rendering further action

     Gambetta seems to hope that firm and decided language, used
     collectively now by France and England, may ward off a crisis.
     If there be any chance of warding off a necessity for action, it
     no doubt lies in this; but I suppose that with Gambetta the wish
     is father to the thought. On the one hand, in face of the present
     unpopularity of the Tunis expedition, it would be very awkward for
     him to have to send another French force to Africa at the present
     moment. But, on the other hand, he could not confront the mass of
     enraged bondholders if he abandoned their interests; and public
     opinion here, which is very sensitive about Egypt, would not
     tolerate his letting France be openly set at naught in that country.

     It is needless to add that the French Government would
     bitterly resent it, if any hint were given to a third Power,
     without their having been previously consulted, if there is any
     idea on our part of withdrawing from our separate understanding
     with them, and merging Egypt in the general Eastern Question. If
     they were ever brought to consent to calling in the other Powers,
     they would not readily forgive having their hands forced in the

     For my own part, I would certainly, as regards Egypt, rather
     have to deal with France only than with four or five more Powers.

There can be no shadow of doubt that Lord Lyons's view was the correct
one, but Lord Granville and Mr. Gladstone (no other member of the
Cabinet is mentioned) seem to have hankered after the Concert of Europe,
probably in consequence of the stroke of luck at Dulcigno.

     'Your very powerful letter,' Lord Granville wrote on January
     21, 'is gone to Gladstone. It is not easy to find an answer to all
     your arguments. The question is whether there are not stronger
     arguments against any other course. I think it is likely that I
     shall write to you to ask you to speak to Gambetta.

     'On the imminence of the crisis: the importance of perfect
     union between England and France: our strong objection to intervene
     alone--giving as reasons:--opposition of Egyptians; of Turkey;
     jealousy of Europe; responsibility of governing a country of
     Orientals without adequate means and under adverse circumstances;
     presumption that France would object as much to our sole occupation
     as we should object to theirs.

     'Have carefully considered joint occupation; some of the
     objections to sole occupation lessened, but others most seriously

     'Deprecate Turkish intervention, but think it a lesser evil
     than the two to which I have alluded, giving some reasons.

     'Then propose the European element, as sketched out in my
     private letter.

     'Any concessions to Europe after any demonstrations on the
     part of the German powers and Italy would place us in a false
     position; but if made spontaneously and jointly by France and
     England, would not have that inconvenience.

     'Please reflect upon the way such arguments might best be put,
     but let me have all your opinions upon it.

     'Such able letters as your last are very valuable.'

Another letter written on the same day asks for advice as to what should
be done 'if the crisis arrives, as is probable, in a week.' It was very
evident that the Cabinet had no definite plan of their own, and were
only too glad of the opportunity of consulting some one whose opinion
was worth having.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, January 22, 1882.

     I have received this morning your two letters of yesterday
     about Egypt; and I have reconsidered the letters from me of the
     19th to which they are answers.

     There exists at this moment one new difficulty, the
     uncertainty whether Gambetta will still be in office this day week.

     I do not, however, find in this circumstance any reason to
     modify the views expressed in my long letter.

     Whoever may be in office here at the time, if we proposed to
     call in the other Powers, we should be held (to use Commercial
     Treaty slang) to have 'denounced' our good understanding with
     France. We should be reproached with deserting our comrade at the
     critical moment, and I am seriously afraid that for a long time
     the feeling in France towards England would be bitter, and the
     relations of the French Government towards the English Government
     more than cold.

     In my communication to the French Government respecting Egypt,
     there are some topics in particular which would require delicate

     First of these, I should mention Turkish intervention. This
     has been a subject of difference between France and England for
     half a century, and the French have a traditional feeling on
     the subject at all times. But at this moment they (rightly or
     wrongly) think it a matter of vital importance to them with regard
     to Algeria and Tunis, and they would go very great lengths to
     resist the introduction of the Turkish Troops into Egypt, or the
     increase of Turkish influence there. They always suspect us of
     hankering after Turkish support against them, not reflecting that
     our influence at Constantinople is not so predominant as when they
     supported Mehemet Ali against the Porte and England.

     Another topic on which the French might be sensitive would be
     the question of governing a country of Orientals. This is a matter
     on which I feel strongly myself, but it would need to be dealt with
     very cautiously, or the French would see in it a sneer against
     their own shortcomings in Tunis and even in Algeria.

     The objections to joint dual occupation are strong, but almost
     any statement of them would apply with equal force, or more, to
     joint sextuple occupation, or to the occupation by two Powers as
     mandatories of the rest.

     Malet, I see, telegraphs that the Chamber would, he thinks,
     listen to the united Great Powers, but would not listen to England
     and France alone.

     Admitting that Malet is right (and he generally is right),
     there always remains the difficulty as to putting this cumbersome
     six-wheeled waggon into motion in any reasonable time.

     And this brings me to the question in your second letter, what
     course should I recommend, if the crisis, as is probable, arises in
     a week.

     It seems to me that in that case either things must be let
     'slide,' or England and France must take some step together,
     without waiting for the other Powers.

All the anxious speculations which had taken place with regard to
Gambetta's future foreign policy turned out to be quite unnecessary, for
on January 27, after little more than two months of office, he resigned,
having been defeated, like any ordinary political mediocrity, on a
question of domestic interest. His place was taken by M. de Freycinet,
who succeeded in forming a respectable Ministry, but whose policy with
regard to Egypt was as vague and undecided as that of the British
Government, and whose views with regard to a Commercial Treaty were
supposed to be identical with those of his predecessor.

Advantage was taken of the change by Lord Granville to again urge the
substitution of the Concert of Europe for purely Anglo-French control in
Egypt, and Freycinet showed himself much more amenable than Gambetta.
As far as can be gathered, the attitude of both Governments was the
reverse of heroic; the British Government was anxious to hand over its
responsibility to other parties, and the French Government was not
disposed to take any initiative at all. The French were, in fact,
waiting for England to make a suggestion, and while perhaps ready to act
in conjunction, wished that the responsibility of whatever proceedings
were adopted in common, should rest primarily, if not exclusively, upon
England. The Tunis enterprise had proved to be so much more troublesome
and expensive than had been expected, that the Government shrank from
becoming involved in anything of the same nature in Egypt. But the
condition of affairs in Egypt was such that even the timid Freycinet
Government might find its hand forced. An insult to a French functionary
might produce an outbreak of Chauvinism which would force the Government
to send a force to avenge it, and Gambetta would certainly have had a
force ready for a contingency of this kind.

Nubar Pasha was in Paris at the time, and his views on the Egyptian
situation were not without interest.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 7, 1882.

     I do not find the least diminution of the French opposition to
     Turkish intervention in Egypt, even if it were only moral.

     Nubar has been here for some months, and often comes to see
     me. His first object in life seems to be to get Blignières out
     of Egypt, and his second to get Tewfik deposed. I conclude that
     he thinks that both are obstacles to his own return to power.
     His language is, that the dictation of the English and French
     Controllers in Egypt was more than any country could bear; that the
     present state of things is much better; office and power being in
     the same hands; that Arabi Bey and his compeers will do very well
     if they are properly managed, and that two quiet, conciliatory
     (perhaps we should read imbecile) Controllers would keep everything
     straight. I think he inclines to the moral intervention of the
     Sultan. He seems to be intriguing with Germany. He had an interview
     with Freycinet, to whom, according to his own account, he held the
     language I have described above. He talks more ably than any one
     else about Egypt, but always with a view to his own interests.

Any one who ever conversed with the late Nubar Pasha could not fail to
be impressed with his ability, but like many other able Orientals, he
was a consummate intriguer, and probably the predominant feeling in his
mind was a desire to be reinstated in power. It should be explained
that, at this time, Arabi was already practically at the head of the
Government, although only occupying the post of Minister of War, and
that M. de Blignières was still French Controller. M. de Blignières,
however, resigned his post on March 12, and an open letter[35] from him
to M. Clémenceau threw a lurid light on the tortuous and inexplicable
course of French policy in Egypt.

     'Lorsqu'il (Cherif Pasha) a du quitter le pouvoir; lorsque j'ai
     compris que les chefs du parti militaire, qui l'avaient renversé,
     pouvaient compter sur la bienveillance de notre gouvernement,
     ce jour-là, ne me faisant aucune illusion sur les conséquences
     nécessaires de cette politique nouvelle, j'ai résigné mes

If, therefore, M. de Blignières was correct, the French were playing
a double game; ostensibly acting in concert with England against the
Nationalist agitation in Egypt, while secretly encouraging Arabi and his
friends to persevere in their efforts. In one respect, however, they
were consistent, namely in their opposition to Turkish intervention, and
the traditional French opposition to Turkish influence in Egypt was
accentuated in consequence of the recent events in Tunis and Algeria.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, April 4, 1882.

     You will have seen by the despatches I sent you by post
     yesterday that Freycinet has at last put the dots on his i's, and
     distinctly proposed that Tewfik shall be deposed and Halim put
     in his place. I cannot say I take to the idea. As you said to
     Tissot, there might be some good in it if Halim had great moral and
     intellectual qualities. But I don't see that we have any reason
     to suppose he has such qualities. Nor indeed, if he had, do I see
     how his mere appointment would at once set things straight in
     Egypt. The removal of Ismail was a great blow to the prestige of
     the Khediviate, and it would require a genius to re-establish its
     authority, if another deposition takes place in so short a time.
     I do not understand how Freycinet reconciles his present idea
     with his objection to Turkish interference. If the Khedive is in
     daily fear of being deposed by the Sultan, there will be abject
     submission to Yildiz Kiosk and a constant flow of backsheesh to the

     Halim no doubt promises the French that he will be their man,
     and if he becomes so, they may go great lengths to support him; but
     how will this suit us? And how long will it be before it leads to
     something very like armed intervention of the French in support of

     Then it seems to me that to depose Tewfik would be something
     very like treachery, after the dual declaration made to him in

     It seems to me that the things to aim at should be: to keep
     Tewfik; to give him some strength against military dictation, and
     to preserve the Anglo-French Control, which means a reasonable
     financial administration, and gives us at any rate some means of
     knowing what the Egyptians (perhaps I ought to add) what the French
     are about.

The immoral proposal to depose Tewfik met with no encouragement from
Her Majesty's Government, as was only to be expected, and the only
conclusion to be drawn from the equivocal language of M. de Freycinet
was that he felt armed intervention to be inevitable, but wanted the
proposal to come from England. He tried to persuade Lord Lyons to
propose a plan of his own which should be put forward privately, but
this met with no approval at all. '"Private and between ourselves
conversations," between Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers generally
cause mischief.'

As the situation in Egypt continued to get worse, the British Government
was forced to take some action, and accordingly suggested that three
generals, French, English, and Turkish, should be sent to Egypt 'to
restore discipline to the Egyptian army.' As it was not proposed that
these generals should employ anything but moral force, it is difficult
to see how they could have succeeded, but Lord Granville appears to have
considered that it would obviate armed interference, and the French
Government having no plan of their own were presumably ready to accept
almost anything, but caused considerable embarrassment by asking for a
pledge that Turkish intervention by force of arms, in any circumstances,
would not be tolerated. What Freycinet wanted, in fact, was to be able
to declare to the Chamber that England and France were agreed not to
allow armed Ottoman intervention.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 5, 1882.

     Freycinet asked me just now to let him speak to me 'privately
     and academically' about intervention in Egypt. He said his great
     objection to Turkish intervention was that as matters now stand,
     it would take place for a vague and indefinite object: that thus
     it would be impossible to fix the exact time at which that object
     would be accomplished, and that thus the Turks would have pretexts
     for prolonging it indefinitely, for mixing themselves up in the
     administration, for laying their hands on the Treasury, and what

     If the intervention was simply for installing a new Khedive,
     his objections would be less. This would be a single definite
     sovereign act of the Sultan. It might be accomplished in a week or
     ten days, and the Ottoman troops would have no pretext for staying,
     or for interfering in the administration. He should not object to a
     Turkish, French, and English fleet going to Egypt to support some
     single definite act of this kind, nor even, speaking solely for
     himself personally, to Turkish troops being landed.

     After some questioning from me, he said that, for a single
     definite object, he personally might even prefer a Turkish
     intervention, but that for any such vague purpose as supporting
     Tewfik and restoring order, he thought Turkish intervention
     absolutely inadmissible. If anything of that kind was to be
     attempted, Anglo-French seemed to him the least open to objection.
     Italian seemed to him to be worse than Turkish.

     His idea was that we should set on foot some Government that
     could stand by itself. Under Tewfik no such Government would in his
     opinion be ever possible. He had no predilection for any particular
     individual as Khedive: all he wanted was to have some reasonably
     efficient man at the head of the Government.

     He begged me to consider all this as strictly confidential,
     personal, private, and academic; and he said that except in a
     conversation of this character, he could not even have mentioned
     the possibility of France consenting under any conceivable
     circumstances to Turkish intervention; for he was by no means sure
     that it would ever be agreed to by his colleagues or borne by
     public opinion.

The 'confidential, personal, private, and academic' character of M. de
Freycinet's conversation was, of course, merely intended to conceal
his own vacillation and fear of having to communicate to the Chambers
any announcement that he had sanctioned Turkish intervention in any
shape whatever. A little later, however, he nerved himself to make a
proposal that there should be a joint Anglo-French Naval Demonstration
off Alexandria. An allied squadron consequently proceeded to that
port, and its appearance produced a temporary panic in the ranks of
the Nationalists; the latter, however, speedily recovered when it was
realized that there were no troops on board, and that the Sultan, far
from approving of the demonstration, had protested against it. The
ultimatum of the allies was practically rejected, and Arabi, who had
been compelled to resign, was reinstated in office nominally as Minister
of War, in reality as dictator. To make Freycinet's position still
worse, he got into difficulties in the Chamber.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 26, 1882.

     The explosion has come, and if the irritation that prevails
     in Paris to-day continues, Freycinet will be out of office, or
     will, _per fas et nefas_, back out of his proposal that Turkish
     intervention may be resorted to in Egypt. His Chauvin speech in the
     Chamber about French preponderance, and what not, is now of course
     turned against him.

     There is an impression here that in order to keep Gambetta out
     of office, Bismarck may help Freycinet to eat his words.

     I am afraid that now, whether Freycinet stays in or goes out,
     it will be next to impossible to have any comfortable understanding
     with France about intervention in Egypt.

     Even supposing all the other Powers cordially united with
     us, to repeat the experiment of 1840 would be dangerous, and would
     produce a scarcely ever to be remedied coldness (to call it by a
     mild name) between us and France.

     Then I share all Dufferin's misgivings as to the possibility
     of either controlling the Turks if they set foot in Egypt, or of
     ever getting them out. I have also a very strong fear of my own as
     to the mischief they would do to the country. Even if they went
     with the acquiescence of France, I think we should be constantly in
     hot water with the French as long as they stayed.

     If Gambetta comes in he will no doubt again propose joint
     Anglo-French intervention. Unless the Porte is backed up very
     strongly indeed, he will very likely make its intervention in Egypt
     something like a _casus belli_ with Turkey--or in fact do as the
     French did with regard to Tunis--declare that he will oppose by
     force the despatch of Turkish troops to Egypt.

The Anglo-French Naval Demonstration had been intended as a compromise
between the two Governments over the question of Turkish intervention,
but when it was seen to be useless, it was agreed that the Sultan should
be asked to send a Special Commission to Cairo, and communications were
made to the other Powers with a view to convoking a European Conference
on Egypt; M. de Freycinet, who had for three months opposed the English
proposal for Turkish intervention, suddenly discovering that there was
no danger about it, if requested jointly by England and France. The
Turkish Commission which proceeded to Egypt was not more successful in
restoring order than the Anglo-French Naval Demonstration. It consisted
of three persons; one of whom, Dervish Pasha, was instructed to support
the Khedive and to threaten the Nationalist leaders; the second
Commissioner was instructed to support Arabi and his associates; and
the duty of the third Commissioner was to spy upon his two colleagues.
In order to make everything quite safe, the latter was accompanied by a
fourth official, whose duty it was to spy upon him, and it was perhaps
owing to these over-elaborated precautions that the mission proved to be
a complete failure.

On June 11, the massacre at Alexandria took place, and armed
intervention became more and more inevitable, but some Governments still
entertained the hope that diplomacy might yet be successful, and the
Conference assembled at Constantinople towards the end of the month.
The chief advantage of the Conference was that it disclosed the views
of the various Great Powers, and the conditions which were to govern
the despatch of Turkish troops to Egypt were of so engrossing a nature
that they were still being discussed when the battle of Tel-el-Kebir
was fought two months subsequently, and the victorious British troops
entered Cairo.

The vacillations and dilatoriness of M. de Freycinet irritated even the
easy-going Lord Granville, who complained of having twice been put in
a hole by him, and was justifiably anxious as to how he could defend
his Egyptian policy successfully in Parliament if the French Government
could not be relied upon for any consistent line of action. But while
admitting that nearly everything had gone wrong up till now, and that
the failure of the Sultan's Special Mission made the outlook still more
gloomy, he consoled himself with the reflection (which was shortly
afterwards shown in one respect to be quite erroneous) that, 'we have
avoided a rupture with France, a rupture with Europe, and a possible
war.' Within a few weeks, the error of this last assumption was to be
conclusively established.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, June 20, 1882.

     I do not hope much from the Conference: certainly I have very
     little expectation of its forwarding the strong measures which the
     Alexandria massacres seem to me to call for imperatively.

     I think Germany will be very little inclined to urge the
     despatch of Turkish troops. Bismarck's great object appears to be
     to keep Freycinet in, and he fears, not without some reason, that
     when the first Turkish soldier sets his foot in Egypt, Freycinet
     will fall at Paris.

     The Freycinet Ministry would probably be succeeded by a
     Cabinet in which Gambetta would not actually have a seat, but
     over which he would exercise very great influence. Bismarck very
     probably exaggerates the strength of that influence and looks for
     more direct hostility to Germany than it would really provoke. But
     he is perhaps right in thinking that, under Gambetta's influence,
     France would coquet with the Anti-German party in Russia, and would
     lose no opportunity of fostering enmity to Germany whenever she
     could find an opening for doing so. At all events, it would be
     impossible for Germany to feel as much at her ease as she does now,
     if Gambetta were the virtual director of French policy.

     Freycinet's strength lies partly in the disinclination of the
     nation for anything like what it calls adventures, but mainly in
     the dread which the present Chamber has of Gambetta, the Scrutin de
     Liste and a dissolution.

     Meanwhile general dissatisfaction with the whole state of
     things, and despondency do not diminish. People who looked to
     Gambetta as the man to set things straight are directing their eyes
     to other quarters, and there is even a sort of revival of Orleanism.

       *       *       *       *       *

     A few hours after this letter reaches you, you will in
     all probability receive from me by telegraph the French answer to
     the proposal to them to concert measures with us for the protection
     of the Suez Canal. I don't think Freycinet likes the idea of
     anything which may tend towards sending French troops to Egypt.
     He seems to me to want to lean on the Conference in the hope that
     by so doing, he may be able to stand quite still. Strange to say,
     the Chamber and the public seem to be in the same mood. They like
     to think that it is more upon England than upon them that the
     discredit of putting up with the Alexandria massacre and the recent
     patch up in Egypt would fall. Their present pusillanimity seems so
     unnatural that I cannot think it will last. Gambetta will rouse
     them from it, if he has the chance.

They are full of suspicions of designs on our part to seize the Suez
Canal with or without the assistance or connivance of Turkey. You will
see by a telegram I have just sent, that Freycinet has asked me a
question about this. I imagine the French would object very much less to
our acting entirely alone than to our acting in any way with the Porte.

The Sultan seems to tell de Noailles all kinds of stories against
England and Dufferin. It is not, however, from Freycinet that I hear

In Lord Lyons's opinion, the French, at this stage, were quite prepared
for England acting alone in Egypt, but he considered that it was most
important to be very frank with them, to afford them every opportunity
of joining us, but to do it in such a way that other Powers should not
be given too much time in which to raise objections.

It was not apparently until June 27, 1882, that the British Government
seriously considered the probability of having to employ 'material
force' in Egypt, whether alone or in concert with other Powers; but
in consequence of the danger of the situation and of the necessity of
acting quickly, they then applied to the War Office for information as
to what forces were available for an expedition. In view of our alleged
military capacity at the present time, it is of interest to learn what
the War Office was prepared to do thirty-one years ago. The military
authorities stated that they were prepared to embark within twenty-four
hours, 3500 infantry, and 500 garrison artillerymen, with a small siege
train, from Malta and Gibraltar, with necessary camp equipage and
reserves of food and ammunition. These troops could be conveyed in the
ships of the Channel Squadron now in the Mediterranean. A force of about
12,000 fighting men, complete in infantry, cavalry, and field artillery,
with forty-eight field guns, was also available, to embark from England.
The first 5000 of the infantry could sail within a week, and the whole
force could leave England in a fortnight from the date of the order,
with complete supplies for an army in the field. The force from England
would be made up partially by the First Class Army Reserve, and a
Brigade was also available to be sent from Bombay to Suez. Such was the
purport of a most confidential communication to Lord Granville from the
War Office, dated June 27, 1882.

On July 11, the bombardment of Alexandria by the British fleet took
place; the departure of the French ships marking, in an unmistakeable
form, the refusal of the French Government to incur further
responsibility, and foreshadowing the permanent renunciation of the old
French position in Egypt.

The news of the Alexandria bombardment, which, owing to the absence
of troops for landing, could hardly be described as a very effective
operation, was received without much excitement in Paris, and Freycinet
stated that the Chamber would certainly not have sanctioned the
co-operation of the French fleet. The main point on which sensitiveness
was shown was the Suez Canal. The French seemed disposed to resent any
landing of English troops alone at Port Said, and to insist, if not
on joining with us, on sending a 'lateral' expedition of their own.
It was important, therefore, that they should be given a _bona fide_
invitation to join in anything we might determine to do, and the French
were accordingly invited by Lord Granville to concert measures at once
for the protection of the canal; questions of detail being left to
the Conference at Constantinople. Upon the whole the bombardment of
Alexandria had tended to improve rather than to impair Anglo-French
relations, and the chief danger seemed to lie in the projected Turkish
intervention, which would alienate public opinion and provoke strong
opposition from Gambetta and his followers. Extraordinary French Naval
Credits were voted and Lord Granville appears to have thought that joint
action was secured after all, at least as far as the Canal was concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    July 19, 1882.

     I wish you and ourselves joy of the renewed _entente
     cordiale_. It will not be popular in many quarters here, but it is
     an immense national advantage, and ought to relieve us from many

     I am not in the least jealous of the dual action in the Canal,
     though I should prefer its being triangular. But I own I dread it,
     if we are obliged, as is probable, to intervene in Egypt itself.

     I hope they do not think we are pressing them too fast. I
     believe the Cabinet will settle to send 15,000 men to Malta. If so,
     I will let you know.

     Remember I am always grateful for suggestions and criticisms.
     I hear Bismarck is really ill and cannot sleep at night. The
     preparation of his own financial measures does not act as an

     I am told that the debate in the Commons last night did us
     good and not harm. I suppose we shall have a more formidable one in
     the Lords.

     It is rumoured that the Peers will pass the Second Reading of
     the Arrears Bill, and mutilate it in Committee.

The voting of the extraordinary French Naval Credits, which had caused
it to be supposed that the French Government intended to take some
decided action, was soon shown to mean nothing at all. Freycinet, whose
position had been much shaken, was in the uncomfortable situation of
being blamed by the Chamber for doing too much and denounced in the
Senate for not doing enough. On July 19, an important debate took place
in the Chamber, during which Gambetta, with his accustomed eloquence,
adjured the Government to adhere to the English alliance at all costs,
and urged that to quarrel with England would be the most fatal of
mistakes. The Credits asked for were agreed to, and the Government
obtained a large majority; but when Freycinet appeared in support of his
modest proposals before the Senate, he was obliged to admit that the
Conference at Constantinople had refused to entrust France and England
with a Mandate, and that in consequence of this refusal the French
Government would leave England to act alone, and would confine their own
action to the protection of the Suez Canal. A fresh credit amounting to
about £350,000 was asked for with this object, but met with formidable

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, July 26, 1882.

     When I saw Freycinet this afternoon he seemed in absolute
     despair. There are two modes of escape which are supposed to be
     still open.

     Though the majority of the Chamber are strongly opposed to
     military intervention in Egypt, they may still hesitate to turn
     Freycinet out, lest by showing it to be impossible to make their
     own existence compatible with anything like a stable Government in
     France, they may bring about a dissolution.

     It is said that they are casting about for some means of
     refusing the Credit and yet not turning out Freycinet; and the
     second device, which might enable Freycinet to stay in, is the
     singularly undignified one of his playing into their hand, by
     declaring that he does not make the Credit a Cabinet question, and
     that if it be refused, he will bow to the will of the Chamber and
     withdraw from the protection of the Canal.

     So long as it is undeniable that we have _bona fide_ invited
     and pressed France to take part in all our operations in Egypt, I
     shall not break my heart if she chooses to decline to do so.

     I believe that Freycinet would have been in a better plight
     if he had taken a decided course either way; if he had distinctly
     refused all intervention, or if he had boldly joined England in all
     her operations.

On July 29, the question of voting the fresh Credit was brought forward
in the Chamber and made one of confidence in the Ministry. Every one
by this time was much alarmed at the prospect of France being dragged
into some vague and desperate adventure; the Credit was refused by an
overwhelming majority; Freycinet resigned office, and France definitely
retired from the scene of action.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, July 30, 1882.

     Among the innumerable Ministerial crises which I have seen
     here, I do not recollect one in which there has been so much
     uncertainty as to who would be the new Prime Minister.

     Grévy, in conformity with his own views, and with those of
     the great majority of the Chamber and indeed of the country, is
     trying to form an absolutely non-intervention Cabinet. But such a
     Cabinet might have difficulties with the Senate. Léon Say and Jules
     Ferry, the most able members of the late Ministry, were for full
     intervention and the English Alliance.

     Freycinet very unwisely began with a perfectly idle dispute
     with Gambetta as to whether the English Government would, or would
     not, have consented to armed intervention with France only, if
     Gambetta had remained in power. Gambetta did not speak yesterday,
     but he and his followers voted against Freycinet.

     Hohenlohe seemed, I hear, dreadfully put out by the result of
     the division yesterday. It was Bismarck's communication which gave
     Freycinet the _coup de grâce_. Hohenlohe had evidently hoped that
     it would save him, by giving him an excuse for withdrawing the Bill.

     I was very much disappointed to hear from Freycinet that
     Russia had gone back to the Conference. I hoped her retirement
     would have given us a good opportunity of freeing ourselves from
     that cumbrous clog.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Aug. 1, 1882.

     All is still uncertain as to who the new French Ministers
     will be. Grévy is doing his best to keep Freycinet, and Hohenlohe
     is working in the same direction, which is not wise. Hitherto
     Freycinet has positively declined, but he is a man who sometimes
     changes his mind. He will be in an extraordinarily false position
     if he does come back. Grévy may, perhaps, manage to appoint a
     warming-pan sort of Ministry, just to keep the offices warm during
     the recess and to make room for something more serious in October.

     The French are in very good disposition towards us at this
     moment. The way to keep them so will be to endeavour to make their
     present position comfortable to them, without being humiliating,
     and, above all, not to crow over them, as part of our press seems
     too much inclined to do. Their fleet, next to our own, is the most
     important factor in the Mediterranean question. We can do as well
     or better, without any aid from France or other countries, but we
     ought to have the field to ourselves.

     I wish we were well rid of that dangerous Conference. I had
     a sort of hope that just now it might have a sort of use, as a
     means of letting the other Powers talk while we were acting. But in
     fact, as worked by Bismarck and by the Turks under his direction,
     it seems merely to supply the machinery for formally placing us in
     opposition to the so-called European Concert, and for embarrassing
     France. I think the French would be glad to be delivered from it.

     Public opinion in France is at this moment friendly to us, but
     it is in a very susceptible state.

A new Ministry was in course of time formed under M. Duclerc, one of
the many uninteresting mediocrities who have governed France during the
last forty years, and a sort of formula was agreed upon that there was
no 'solution of continuity in the Entente,' which was not intended to
commit the French to anything in particular.

A vast amount has been written respecting the events in Egypt in 1882;
much of it by persons who occupied responsible and important positions
at the time; but the reasons for the inaction and eventual retirement
of the French have never been clearly explained. Probably the French
themselves would be unable to give a satisfactory explanation, and
would attribute their inglorious attitude to the Freycinet Government,
which did not know its own mind. But it may be assumed that a variety
of reasons were responsible for the French refusal of co-operation with
England. Had the invitation been received some months earlier, it would
probably have been accepted with enthusiasm; but the Tunis expedition,
which had opened with so much success and enthusiasm, had proved a much
more troublesome and unsatisfactory business than had been anticipated,
and had created a decided disinclination for further enterprises in
North Africa. In the second place, the difficulties of an Egyptian
campaign were greatly over-estimated; the French calculation was that
no less than 60,000 men would be necessary, and the ordinary French
Minister would not venture to allow so many men to leave the country.
Lastly, the French were quite unable, rightly or wrongly, to get it out
of their minds that they were being deliberately led into a trap by
Bismarck, and this by itself was sufficient to daunt a Government of the
Freycinet type.

France having now definitely declined, the British invitation was
transferred to Italy.

     'We have asked the Italians to join us,' Lord Granville wrote
     on July 27, 'but we have not pressed them. They also will try to
     _se faire prier_, and will be too late. I told Menabrea I could not
     delay operations.

     'I hope they will decline, but I myself was not very hot for
     even the offer. But the balance of argument seemed to be in favour
     of it, and you did not raise any objection to it.

     'Please explain that the _Times_ is entirely off the track as
     to our wish for a protectorate.'

The refusal of the Italians was welcome and not unexpected, and as
no other Power was in the least inclined to co-operate, the British
Government was able to set about the task of smashing Arabi with a clear
conscience, in its own way, and unhampered by allies; for the Turks, who
had agreed to send troops, protracted the negotiations with regard to
their employment to such an extent, that the campaign was finished long
before an agreement was arrived at.

Lord Cromer in his well-known work 'Modern Egypt,' has exposed with
much skill and lucidity the futile nature of many of the proposals
put forward by the British and French Governments during the period
that they were acting together. But the really remarkable fact is,
that each Government succeeded in bringing about the result which it
least desired. The policy of the British Government was governed by a
sincere, if mistaken, determination not to be dragged into assuming
sole responsibility for Egypt, and in particular to avoid the necessity
of military occupation. The efforts of the French Government were
chiefly directed towards the prevention of Turkey or any other Power
establishing its predominant influence in Egypt, and that French policy
should have unconsciously and involuntarily thrust England into this
unsought and unwelcome position is one of the real ironies of recent

Perhaps the most fortunate event for England during the crisis which
preceded the Egyptian expedition was the fall of Gambetta early in the
year. Had that statesman remained in office he would certainly have
never consented to remain a supine and indifferent spectator; he would
undoubtedly have insisted on France taking an active part: a joint
expedition would have taken place, and the sequel might have followed
the Schleswig-Holstein precedent.

It was hardly to be expected that the skill and rapidity with which the
campaign against Arabi was conducted would evoke much enthusiasm in
France, nor could the French reasonably expect that upon the restoration
of peace and order the old state of things would be renewed. Before the
end of October Lord Granville informed the French Ambassador in London
that the Control would not be restored; and when the French Government
objected, on the ground that such an alteration must be submitted to the
Powers, it was pointed out the matter was one for the Khedive to decide
himself. In order to soothe wounded French feelings various compromises
in the shape of posts in the Egyptian administration were offered in

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Nov. 3, 1882.

     I thought it simpler and better to let Duclerc have a copy of
     your despatch, as you had no objection to my doing so. He has not
     yet given any sign of life since he received it.

     The argument that the Financial Adviser will have only a small
     position in Egypt, or at all events a less important position than
     the Controllers, cuts both ways here. Duclerc's line is to say that
     we are making a distinction without any real difference: that in
     practice the adviser will have all and more than all the powers of
     the Controllers; and that thus virtually France is to be deprived
     of her share in the Control without receiving, even nominally, any

     A complaint of a very different kind is made by the 'Haute
     Finance.' They say that the only real compensation which could be
     given to France, if she is to be ousted from the Control, would
     be the establishment, under the auspices and responsibility of
     England, of such a strong practical supervision of the Egyptian
     Administration as would make the regular payment of the Debt
     and the maintenance of the commercial and other interests of
     foreigners secure. They pretend that the proposed establishment
     of the Financial Adviser is in form injurious to the dignity of
     France, while in substance it does not sufficiently provide for the
     control by any one of the Egyptian Government. These seem to be the
     opinions of a very influential body here. It is quite consistent
     with them that Dufferin's mission should be looked on with favour
     by those who hold them.

     Clémenceau's views seem to be confined to himself.

     The thing most favourable to our coming to an understanding
     with France, is the very general belief among Frenchmen that
     Bismarck is egging indirectly both England and France on to a

     In the meantime the alarm caused by the anarchists is enough
     to keep the minds of the great majority of the French fixed
     on their own internal affairs. People are sending away their
     securities and other valuables to foreign countries. I suppose an
     absolute outbreak in force enough to resist the Government, if the
     Government be resolute, is not to be expected. But there may be
     explosions of dynamite here and there, and the employment of the
     other new-fangled means of creating panic which the French seem to
     be inclined to adopt from the Russians.

     The competition of America and other causes are producing
     a curious change in the French peasantry, and a change not
     favourable to peace and order. The tenacity with which the very
     small proprietors have hitherto clung to their land is visibly
     diminishing. They now offer their land for sale to an extent
     hitherto quite unprecedented. They say that they can get better
     interest by putting the price of the land into the funds or other
     speculations, and can thus lead a pleasant life, instead of
     slaving from morning to night to get a bare subsistence out of
     their fields. The tendency of all this is to reduce the numbers
     of the hitherto ultra-Conservative laborious class, and to fill
     the towns more and more with idle and very often disappointed and
     discontented speculators, who form a material ready to the hand of

The letters from Lord Granville show that although the British
Government had embarked most unwillingly upon the Egyptian enterprise,
and viewed additional responsibility with so much horror that some
members of the Cabinet were even opposed to the office of Financial
Adviser to the Egyptian Government being given to an Englishman, yet
that the Cabinet was at all events unanimously against the maintenance
of the Control, and of the old dual arrangements. The French Government,
with an entire absence of logic and common sense, was quite indisposed
to recognize the complete change in the situation which had taken place,
and continued to claim that England and France should remain on an
equality as regarded themselves, and in a superior position as far as
the other Powers were concerned. The difficulty lay in discovering some
means of satisfying French vanity without yielding on the essential
point of equality, and efforts to ascertain what would be considered
satisfactory did not meet with much success.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Nov. 14, 1882.

     I tried to make Duclerc see yesterday that the practical way
     towards obtaining some satisfaction for French _amour-propre_ was
     to enter upon the discussion of details as to the Boards in Egypt.
     I went as far as I could without running the risk of provoking
     lofty language, which might have been an obstacle to moderate
     arrangements hereafter.

     However, at the moment Duclerc did not go back from his old
     grounds. He does not insist upon a literal re-establishment of
     the Control, but he does claim a virtual return to the _status quo
     ante_, and he interprets that status as equality between England
     and France and superiority of the two jointly over other Powers.

     The single Financial Councillor pleases no one here. As
     he must of course be an Englishman, the sticklers for French
     _gloriole_ declare that whether his functions be great or small,
     he will simply be a symbol of English supremacy and French
     decadency. To the _haute_ and _petite finance_, the mode of his
     appointment and the smallness of his powers seem an additional
     cause of complaint, as not giving sufficient security for a proper
     administration of the finances of Egypt. I shall be very anxious to
     hear how it all strikes Dufferin.

     In fact, at the present moment, the French are too uneasy
     about their internal affairs to pay much attention to Egypt. But
     they may fire up if any special event comes to irritate them. It
     is more, however, future lasting ill will than violence at the
     moment which I apprehend. If we leave them bitterly discontented
     with arrangements in Egypt, I hardly see when we shall be able to
     withdraw our troops and still maintain the influence which is a
     necessity to us.

The idea that the British occupation of Egypt was anything more than
a temporary expedient does not seem to have been considered a serious
possibility by any English Minister so far. Partly by luck, partly
by the skill of Sir Garnet Wolseley and Lord Dufferin, we had found
ourselves in possession of Egypt, unhampered by association with any
European Power or with the Turks; but for a time it looked as if the
brilliant results achieved were to be thrown away because the British
Government had no clear idea what its policy was to be. Fortunately for
all concerned, the step was taken of sending Lord Dufferin on a special
mission to Cairo, and unlike most special missions of more recent date,
the experiment proved a complete success, and quickly destroyed the
mischievous delusion entertained by a section of English politicians
that an evacuation of Egypt was possible at any early date. This
delusion had never been shared by the French, who naturally judged the
action of others in the light in which they themselves would have acted
under similar circumstances, and who made little effort to conceal their

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 1, 1882.

     I don't succeed in making Duclerc _coulant_ about Egypt. He
     rather implied that it was not from Tissot that he had heard that
     you were going to send him a favourable communication, and that you
     were thinking of sending an expert to discuss details. He did not,
     however, say who it was that told him. Perhaps d'Aunay may have had
     something to do with it. Duclerc went on to hint at there being two
     currents in the English Cabinet, one more favourable to the French
     than the other, but I declined to listen to this. He talked as if
     he had some special source of information as to your intentions and
     sentiments. He seemed to take to the idea of a discussion between

     He was amiable about Madagascar, but we shall see what
     his written answer will be. He represented himself as having
     overwhelmed the Ambassadors with kindness, and then as having
     broken off the negotiation on the point of the leases being for 99

     In the meantime prospects at home do not brighten. Railroads
     and other public works have been begun, with very little system, in
     all kinds of places to please Deputies and their constituents. The
     Government dare not stop them for fear of what the workmen would do
     if large numbers of them found themselves out of work. To go on,
     is ruinous to the finances. There must be a limit to the floating
     debt. The Government are again negotiating with the railway
     companies. People are beginning to talk of Saviours of Society.
     The names most mentioned are those of General Chanzy and the Duc
     d'Aumale. Gambetta would have been everybody's man, if he had never
     been Minister. However, I don't think that we are very near any
     violent change.

     Grévy is certainly not brisk, but he may grow old without
     things coming to an early catastrophe.

     There is a not unaccredited rumour that it was in wresting
     the revolver from a female hand that Gambetta got wounded. The
     bulletins at the office of the _République Française_ are that he
     is going on as well as possible.

The last paragraph refers to the wounding of Gambetta by a pistol shot.
The accident (which terminated fatally) occurred at his villa outside
Paris, and was surrounded by a mystery which has never been dispelled,
but it may be assumed that a lady really was involved.

The allusion to Madagascar relates to the mission despatched by the
Queen of the Hovas to Europe in the autumn in the vain hope of coming to
some agreement with the French Government, which had raised questions
ominously resembling those which had, in the previous year, formed
the prelude to the Tunis expedition. The Hovas, like the Kroumirs,
constituted 'a serious danger' to the French Republic, and demands were
put forward which involved general French rights over the whole of
Madagascar, and a protectorate over the northwest coast. The unhappy
Hova envoys proceeded from Paris to London, but met with little
encouragement there, and before long a semi-official announcement
was made in which the stereotyped statement, with which small and
defenceless states are so painfully familiar, appeared: 'The Cabinet is
resolved to enforce the respect of the rights and interests of France
in Madagascar, and orders in conformity with the situation have,
therefore, been sent to the Commander of the French naval station.'
Signs of the same ominous activity were also beginning to manifest
themselves in Tonquin; and the only compensating factor was that
Madagascar and Tonquin served to distract a certain amount of French
attention from Egypt, although the tone of the press, and especially of
the _République Française_, the organ of Gambetta, became increasingly
hostile to England.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 19, 1882.

     There are reports afloat that Gambetta's cure is not going
     on as steadily as it ought. At all events there is no change for
     the better in the tone of the _République Française_ respecting
     England in Egypt. I don't like the idea of having the French there
     in bitter opposition to all we do. It may make it very difficult
     for us with safety to ourselves to give any large measure of
     independence to the Egyptian Government. At all events, the less we
     are able to sacrifice to satisfy French _amour-propre_, the more we
     must do to give security to legitimate French material interests by
     providing for a really good honest financial administration. If the
     French take the protection of their material interests exclusively
     into their own hands, they may go very great lengths indeed to
     protect them, if they are seriously threatened; and, besides, the
     pretext that the credit, property or persons of Frenchmen are
     threatened, will always be at hand to sanction interference.

     At present it looks as if the Duclerc Government would be
     glad to back out of its expeditions to Tonquin, etc., etc. The
     proceedings of the Hova Ambassadors and their supporters in England
     may make it difficult for the French Government to be as reasonable
     as it might otherwise wish to be about Madagascar.

     The prevalent feeling of depression and uneasiness about
     the general condition of France does not seem to diminish. There
     seems to be a profound distrust of the abilities, if not of the
     intentions, of the men who so rapidly succeed one another in
     office, and no one seems to know where to turn for something better.

It was somewhat unfortunate that French aggression in Tonquin and
Madagascar was unconsciously stimulated by the English press. 'The
English press is driving the French public wild on the subject of
Tonquin, Madagascar, and other beyond sea questions, which the
Government would probably have been glad enough to back out of if they
had been let alone.'[36]

Until the end of the year private negotiations continued between Lord
Granville and the French Government with reference to the abolition of
the Control with completely unsuccessful results.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 26, 1882.

     I hear, not from himself, that Duclerc's present intention
     is to make a very strong protest if we abolish Control without
     coming to a previous understanding with France; and that our making
     our own Control, or that of Europe in general, over the Egyptian
     finances weak, would not mollify him. On the contrary, he would try
     to make a point of what he would call our abandonment of French
     material interests--and deduce from it an argument that France is
     bound to protect them herself. While we are absolutely at two with
     France, we shall find it very difficult to relax our material hold
     on Egypt. Egypt for the Egyptians is only too likely to become
     Egypt for the French.

     Gambetta's illness seems to have rather strengthened his
     position. The anxiety of his opponents in the press to make out
     that he is worse than is really the case and the disgusting
     statements they have in consequence put forward, have served to
     impress on friends and foes his importance. According to the best
     information I have been able to get, he is not at this moment
     seriously ill, though his recovery is too slow to be satisfactory.

     Confidence and tranquillity do not appear to revive in France,
     and the disappearance of Gambetta would increase uneasiness. People
     do not exactly know what they are afraid of, but there is a general
     vague uneasiness. Perhaps the most definite cause of fears or hopes
     is the intrigue in which certain officers of the army are said to
     be engaged with a view of putting the Duc d'Aumale at the head of
     the state.

The childish frame of mind in which the French Government of the day
considered the question of the Control may be judged from the fact that
Duclerc in private conversation had admitted in the autumn that, if
for form's sake, the _status quo ante_ could be restored for only five
minutes, he would agree subsequently to its immediate abolition. In
December, however, he was in a more intractable mood, and, at the end
of the year, Lord Granville found it necessary to break off all private
negotiations on the subject, observing that it was very painful and
disadvantageous to be on bad terms with the French, but that it was, at
the least, equally disadvantageous to them.


[Footnote 35: 'Egypt and the Egyptian Question,' Sir D. Mackenzie

[Footnote 36: Lyons to Granville.]




The first day of 1883 was signalized by the announcement of the death of
Gambetta, and those who were present at the Elysée on the occasion of
President Grévy's New Year's Day reception will remember the singularly
embarrassed demeanour of that uninteresting personage; an embarrassment
which might have been accounted for on various grounds. Gambetta's
death was followed in a day or two by that of General Chanzy, an event
which caused consternation amongst the Monarchical and Conservative
parties, as he was looked upon as the only man capable of stopping the
too rapid progress of the Republican car. It was doubtless with the
view of anticipating other pretenders, that Prince Napoleon seized the
opportunity to issue a Proclamation denouncing the Republic, which
resulted in his immediate incarceration in the Conciergerie.

For some months there had existed in France a feeling of uneasiness
and of distrust in the maintenance of orderly government, and this
feeling was greatly increased by the double loss of Gambetta and Chanzy.
Gambetta was the only man in the Republican party whose ability and
popularity were sufficient to induce the country to acquiesce in his
wielding great power, and who was believed to have the will and the
courage to exercise that power energetically in case of need. Chanzy
was looked upon as the only man whose military reputation and influence
qualified him to keep the army united and to use it with effect, in the
case of grave political troubles.

As for the President of the Republic, M. Grévy, his energy and influence
continued to diminish; the Chamber of Deputies was becoming more and
more discredited, and the professedly anarchical parties were certainly
increasing in violence, and apparently in numbers and influence as well.
The public generally, even amongst the lower orders, showed few signs
of great attachment to the Republican Government. That Government had
not augmented their material prosperity, had not raised their social
position, and had not realized their dreams of absolute equality with,
or rather of predominance over, the rich and the educated. Every form
of Monarchical Government was repugnant to them, but nevertheless a
moderate Republic excited no enthusiasm whatsoever. The upper classes
were alarmed and discontented; they did not believe that their property
was secure, and they considered the work of administration was
deplorably carried on by the various obscure Ministers who succeeded
each other so rapidly in office; their religious feelings were daily
shocked, while bad harvests, bad trade, and an unpromising financial
situation added to the general feeling of dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, the 'spirited Colonial Policy,' which was now so much
in evidence, did little to counterbalance this feeling, and the attempts
which had been made to pander to the national vanity by the overbearing
policy adopted towards Madagascar; the extension of French predominance
in Tunis; annexations on the Congo; and the consolidation of the French
Protectorate over Tonquin and Annam, had met with little success. The
disquieting fact from the English point of view was that ill-feeling
towards England, chiefly with regard to Egypt, had risen to a high
pitch, and that each successive step taken by the British Government,
and each declaration made by it, seemed only to increase the irritation.
It was in this direction that, Lord Lyons feared, attempts would be made
to divert public discontent by those who might be in power; and the
procedure of the new French Government certainly justified the fear.
The position which the French Government took up, was that of defending
French influence and French interests in Egypt by its own independent
means. It declared that by the abolition of the Control, a deep wound
had been inflicted upon French dignity, while the principal security
for the regular payment of the sums due in regard to the loans had been
taken away. It did not hesitate to declare that any tampering with
the Law of Liquidation, or with the lands and revenues pledged to the
loans; or any failure to provide for the charges on the loans, would
be regarded as a breach of international obligations on the part of
Egypt, which would warrant the active interference of France. It hardly
made any pretence of concealing its intention to work against English
influence in Egypt by every means in its power, and unfortunately it was
evident that in this anti-English policy it could reckon on the support
of public opinion.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Jan. 9, 1883.

     Blowitz's[37] intelligence certainly comes from the French
     Foreign Office, sometimes, I dare say, directly, but often only
     through the _Temps_. The _Temps_ is published the afternoon before
     the day on which it is dated, and some hours before Blowitz's
     letter goes to the _Times_. Blowitz's letter always goes by
     telegraph, the _Times_ having the exclusive use of a line for some
     hours every night.

     It seems that Ferry will succeed Gambetta in the leadership
     of the largest portion of the Republican party. I do not think he
     is hostile to Duclerc, but if he attains to anything at all near
     to Gambetta's position, Duclerc will only hold office during his
     sufferance. Probably neither would be willing to serve under the

     If, as seems likely, the death of Gambetta leads to the
     decay of the spirit of revenge upon Germany, this will (as I
     have said before) increase the danger of all other Powers from
     the restlessness of France, and will in particular increase our
     difficulties in Egypt. If any modification of the arrangement of
     the Law of Liquidation is proposed or any other step taken which
     can give France a pretext for interfering in defence of French
     interests, we may have trouble. If we leave a door open for French
     intrusion, France may get so far in, that her _amour-propre_ may
     force her to push on at all risks.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Jan. 16, 1883.

     Prince Napoleon's Proclamation and his arrest have put all
     other things out of people's heads here for the moment. He was
     arrested, very roughly I understand, at 3 o'clock, as he drove up
     to his own door in the Avenue d'Autin, and his papers were examined
     and seized in the usual way on such occasions. There is not so
     far any appearance of his having anything behind to back up the
     Proclamation. It is said that he has rendered himself liable to
     very severe penalties as a conspirator against the State. What
     seems to be more generally expected is that the law enabling the
     Government to exile the members of any family that has reigned in
     France will be revived. If it is to be the beginning of political
     proscriptions, in however mild a form, it will be a calamity and
     perhaps a prelude to revolutionary times and ways.

     The only good I can see in it is that it may divert attention
     here from Egypt, for the French were getting excessively cross with
     us on that subject. I should not have been surprised if Duclerc's
     Declaration and Yellow Book had been much more unfriendly than they
     are. The Declaration was, it seems, received with icy coldness in
     the Chamber. It is creditable to Duclerc that he did not fish for a
     cheer by a Chauvin wind up, as Freycinet used to do. But if Duclerc
     had been popular and had been thought to be firm in the saddle, he
     would have met with a better reception.

Prince Napoleon's Proclamation did not in reality cause any great
commotion or alarm, as it was obvious that he had no backing of
importance; but it served as an excuse to introduce a preposterous
Exclusion Bill directed against the members of all ex-reigning families.
This measure created great indignation amongst the French Conservatives,
more especially the provision which deprived the Princes of their
Commissions in the army, and in consequence of modifications which were
introduced. Duclerc and his colleagues resigned office, giving place to
an ephemeral Cabinet under M. Fallières, subsequently President of the

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Feb. 2, 1883.

     Everything is at sixes and sevens here, and no one knows
     to whom to turn in the absolute dearth of any man of decided
     superiority since the death of Gambetta. It is curious that he
     should come to be regretted as the mainstay of Conservatism.

     I send you by the messenger a despatch from Villiers[38]
     which seems to me to give a very clear and correct account of
     the state of feeling in the French Army. I don't think it at all
     overrates the dissatisfaction that exists among the officers. For
     my own part I do not believe there is any organized movement,
     Legitimist, Orleanist, or Bonapartist, actually in preparation
     at this moment. But I do see that confidence in the duration of
     the present institutions is diminishing, and that, as a cause or
     a consequence, dissatisfaction and disquietude are increasing.
     Something subversive may happen with very little warning beforehand.

     Barring accidents, the probabilities seem to be that the
     present Ministry may last about ten days, and that then Jules
     Ferry may come in for some months and _après lui le déluge_.
     Challemel Lacour is talked of as Minister for Foreign Affairs. As a
     diplomatist you know him better than I do. The little social (so to
     call it) intercourse I have had with him has been pleasant enough,
     but he has the reputation of being irritable and cross-grained.

     The proceedings against the Princes are bad enough in
     themselves, and they are of evil augury. The Reds having once
     tasted blood, may become ravenous for more, and who can say where
     they may look for the next victims?

     Notwithstanding the critical state of home affairs, the
     French papers find room occasionally for bitter articles against
     us about Egypt. The great point to attend to, in order to prevent
     the smouldering irritations bursting into a blaze, seems to be to
     avoid touching the Law of Liquidation, or the administrations of
     the Daira and Domains. Any alteration, however great an improvement
     it might be in reality, would give rise to unlimited suspicion and
     dissatisfaction here.

The Prince of Wales had intended visiting Paris about this period, but
in consequence of the violent feelings aroused by the Exclusion Bill
and of the bitterness of the extremists against constituted dynasties,
he was advised to keep away.

     Their newspapers would have no scruple in attacking any
     personage, however exalted, whom they believed to be opposed to
     their deplorable bill. Indeed, the more exalted the personage,
     and the more entitled to respect, the greater might be their
     scurrility. Nothing can be more lamentable than all this, and I
     am obliged to add that the general feeling towards England is not
     particularly cordial. Taking everything into consideration, I have,
     though very reluctantly, come to the conclusion that it is my duty
     to report to Your Royal Highness that I cannot feel quite sure that
     if you were at Paris something unpleasant might not happen, or that
     at least very improper language might not be used by a portion of
     the press; and I cannot conceal from Your Royal Highness that the
     present moment is far from an opportune one for a visit.[39]

The increasing bad feeling produced a complaint from Lord Granville,
who considered that 'it is hard upon me, that being probably, of all
English public men, the one who for various reasons is most attached to
France, we should always have such difficult moments to pass when I am
in office.'

After all the fuss that had been made about Prince Napoleon's
Proclamation, it came as a distinct anti-climax that his arrest was
discovered to be illegal. He was accordingly released, and nothing more
was heard of him; meanwhile it was generally believed that General
Billot, the late Minister of War in the Duclerc Government, had actually
made all preparations for a _pronunciamento_ in favour of the Duc
d'Aumale, and that his project was only foiled on account of the want
of enterprise shown by the Orleans princes themselves. General Billot
was superseded by a certain General Thibaudin, who was considered to be
especially well adapted for the purpose of carrying out the dirty work
in connection with the dismissal of the Princes from the army.

After a period of much uncertainty, during which for more than a month
there was no one at the French Foreign Office to whom the Foreign
Diplomatists could speak on foreign affairs, or even any subordinate who
could express an opinion or give an instruction, M. Fallières was got
rid of, and a new administration was formed under M. Jules Ferry, M.
Challemel Lacour becoming Foreign Minister.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Feb. 20, 1883.

     I suppose Ferry must have made his Ministry by to-morrow or
     the next day. I will not bore you with the innumerable conjectures
     as to who his colleagues will be. It is said Thibaudin is to be
     kept as Minister of War, long enough at all events to take the
     measures against the Princes which a more respectable general would
     shrink from.

     I only hope the new Ministry will not try to divert public
     attention from home difficulties by a 'spirited' Foreign or
     Colonial Policy. Egypt is always a source of trouble ready to their
     hand, if they want to produce excitement. I think the great thing
     is to avoid touching the Law of Liquidation or the administration
     of the securities for the loans; in short, to avoid giving them
     any pretext for saying that the material interests of France are
     injured, and the guarantee she held weakened. But it is premature
     to speculate on these matters in ignorance of who the incoming
     Ministers may be and what policy they will adopt.

The urbane M. Challemel Lacour, in his new capacity as Foreign Minister,
was not likely to begin by making gushing protestations of deep
affection for England, but Lord Lyons was disposed to consider this a
hopeful symptom. 'I know by long experience that ardent professions
of love for England on the part of an incoming Minister are not to be
trusted to as good signs.' Mr. Gladstone was in Paris at the time and
paid visits to the President, Challemel Lacour, and Jules Ferry; but
much to the relief of the Ambassador, he avoided the subjects of Egypt
and of Commercial Treaties, and no harm was done.

The Ferry administration possessed the advantage of attracting a better
class of French politician than had lately been the case, and M.
Waddington now reappeared upon the scene.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    March 6, 1883.

     Jules Ferry appears to have hinted to Waddington that he would
     be offered the Embassy in London, if he voted with the Government
     on the interpellation in the Senate on the Decree putting the
     Orleans Princes _en non-activité_. The Embassy at Vienna has, I
     understand, been actually offered to and refused by him. He would
     not, under any circumstances, take any Embassy but London, and
     moreover he would in no case serve a Government of which Thibaudin
     was a member.

     Waddington asked Rivers Wilson if he could not suggest some
     offer which might be made to France in order to place her once
     more in cordial union with England in Egypt. There is, moreover,
     a notice in the Havas, purporting to come from London, but very
     likely put in more or less on authority here, to the effect that
     France cannot, and England ought to, take the initiative of
     proposing something. I entirely agree with you that the matter had
     better lie still for the moment. I suppose you don't want to make
     any such concession to France as would satisfy her, and certainly
     matters would not be mended by our making another unsuccessful
     proposal. I hope Waddington spoke entirely on his own hook and
     not in concert with Challemel Lacour. It would be intolerable
     if Challemel Lacour tried the system of indirect irresponsible
     communications, the delight of Duclerc, which produced so much
     annoyance and inconvenience, and in fact rendered any real
     understanding impossible.

     Jules Ferry is believed to be contemplating a conversion of
     the 5 per cents. If he makes the attempt, it will bind him over
     to keep things quiet abroad and at home, in order to secure the
     success of the operation.

     It is very provoking that the French should have put down the
     New Hebrides among the places to which to transport their relapsed

Lord Granville, who owned that he had nothing to propose about Egypt,
even if he wished to do so, was not at all enthusiastic at the prospect
of Waddington coming to London, 'I am not particularly anxious to
have Waddington instead of Tissot, he would be burning to distinguish
himself, and very _agissant_.' Lord Granville's fears of Waddington's
activity were founded upon the fact that he had been selected as the
French Representative at the Coronation at Moscow, and that, therefore,
he would find it impossible to settle down quietly at the London Embassy
without burning to distinguish himself, after 'flourishing about Europe.'

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 23, 1883.

     It is whispered, at least by Waddington's friends, that it is
     intended that his special Embassy to Russia shall be a prelude to
     his becoming regular Ambassador in London: that the idea is that he
     shall offer a Commercial Treaty to us; that he shall by this means
     enlist the support of some members of Parliament and influential
     manufacturers in England, and that then he shall obtain concessions
     for us about Egypt, on the plea that, without such concessions,
     the Chambers could not be brought to ratify a Commercial Treaty
     favourable to us. The statements in the newspapers about the
     assumption of Commercial negotiations between England and France
     are stated to be _ballons d'essai_ to see how the wind sets with
     regard to such a policy.

     I just give you all this for what it may be worth. I doubt
     very much whether formal negotiations or a stirring French
     Ambassador in London would be likely to lead just now to cordiality
     between France and England. The French could hardly do anything
     that would satisfy us about trade, and we should find it very
     difficult to do anything that would satisfy them about Egypt. My
     hope would rather be that we might glide back into cordiality by
     avoiding critical questions.

     In talking to me about his Embassy to Russia, Waddington
     mentioned, amongst its advantages, that it would bring him into
     contact with important personages of various countries, and he said
     he should probably visit Berlin and Vienna on his way home.

With Challemel Lacour at the Foreign Office there did not appear to
be much prospect of 'gliding back into cordiality,' judging by the
following account of an interview between him and some members of the
Rothschild family who were frequently employed as intermediaries between
the two Governments.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 30, 1883.

     Alphonse de Rothschild and his cousin Sir Nathaniel came to
     see me yesterday and told me that they had had an interview with
     Challemel Lacour on the subject of the proposed sale of the Domain
     Lands in Egypt. They told me that they found Challemel Lacour
     extremely sore about the whole Egyptian Question. He appears to
     have distinctly refused to forward in any way the sale of the
     Domain and to have alleged as his reason that he would not help to
     do away with any board of management in which a Frenchman still had
     a seat; that this would tend to diminish the number of Frenchmen
     holding influential positions in Egypt, while his object was to
     increase, or at all events, to maintain the existing number. As
     indeed might have been foreseen, he was very far from desiring
     to facilitate any financial or other arrangements required by
     England. We shall no doubt find the French very inconvenient
     and embarrassing in Egypt at every turn. I hope they will not
     be dangerous, unless some disregard of positive international
     engagements affecting French interests gives the Chauvinists the
     pretext they are looking out for, and drives the sensible men into
     a corner, in face of their public declarations and of popular

     I understand Louise Michel has been arrested. The Government
     may gain ground by showing vigour, but unless it finds means of
     convincing the officers in the army that it will secure their
     position against the Radical endeavours to undermine it, things may
     end in that fatal solution, a military _pronunciamento_.

The arrest of Louise Michel had taken place as the result of one of the
numerous riots which occurred at Paris in the spring of 1883; they were
not of much importance, but possessed some significance as being the
first appearance of disturbances in the streets since the suppression of
the Commune, and were due largely to the distress caused by bad trade,
and to artificially stimulated expenditure on building, and other modes
of finding employment. The result of the latter expedient was to raise
the price of labour artificially and consequently to drive manufactures
to other places, thus creating unemployment in Paris itself. In
connection with these disturbances there was one singular peculiarity
in the attitude of the so-called Conservative classes. Not only the
Royalist and Imperial parties, but a considerable number of the richer
people who were without any strong political bias, sympathized rather
with the people in the streets than with the Government. The upper
classes were, in fact, so dissatisfied with the existing state of things
that they appeared willing to run the risk of seeing the Republican
Government discredited and ultimately overthrown by popular tumult.

The following letter is an admirable illustration of the spirit in
which the French viewed all English action in Egypt. Lord Dufferin,
in the course of a despatch, had spoken in most appreciative terms of
the friendly attitude adopted towards him by M. de Raindre, the French
Agent and Consul-General at Cairo, and the British Government naturally
supposed that it would be agreeable to the French Government if the
despatch were communicated to them. Lord Lyons, however, who was much
better acquainted with French opinion, thought otherwise.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 15, 1883.

     I am rather frightened by the praises given by Dufferin in his
     despatch of April 29th to the 'very correct and loyal attitude of
     M. de Raindre, the French Agent and Consul-General, and of all the
     French officials in Egypt.' If this despatch came to the knowledge
     of the French Government or the French public, it might do de
     Raindre a serious injury, and lead to the immediate substitution
     for him of an Agent whose attitude would be more correct in the
     French sense. I am afraid also that the claim Dufferin makes
     to have considered the interests of the French in the Egyptian
     service, however true it is, would provoke a howl of contradiction.

     I do not mean to imply that Raindre's conduct has been at
     variance with his instructions. I don't think it is the policy
     of the French Government at this moment to get up irritating
     discussions with us on small everyday matters, either in Egypt or
     in other parts of the world. The French Foreign Office seems to
     me to be, on the contrary, more conciliatory than usual in its
     answers respecting such matters. I mark this with satisfaction
     because I hope that in this way, provided we can avoid irritating
     controversies, we may return insensibly to satisfactory relations.
     But we are far enough from such relations in reality at this
     moment. Challemel Lacour is not given, as you know, to talk about
     general diplomatic policy, but others do not hesitate to let us
     understand that while they are civil about small matters, they are
     only biding their time till an opportunity comes of opposing us in
     effect with great ones.

The course of affairs in Tonquin had not tended to restore the French
to good humour by providing a compensation for their eclipse in Egypt,
and the attempt to indulge in Chauvinism on the cheap had turned out
to be a costly and unsatisfactory experiment. Had it not been for the
provocations of the foreign press, it is possible that the spirited
Colonial Policy with regard to Tonquin, Madagascar, etc., would have
been abandoned quietly; but it was found intolerable to endure the daily
administration of threats, ridicule, and supercilious advice showered
from abroad. As it was, these expeditions did serve one useful purpose,
namely, that of temporarily diverting attention from Egypt.

The reputation of the French Republic was not enhanced by a most
discreditable incident which occurred at Paris in the autumn. The young
King of Spain who had been visiting some of the European capitals,
arrived at Paris on September 29, shortly after having been created
by the German Emperor an Honorary Colonel of an Uhlan regiment at
Strasbourg. On the strength of this honorary distinction he was met by
a howling mob, which proceeded to demonstrate its patriotism by insults
such as have seldom been offered to any foreign potentate, and for which
the President of the Republic was forced to make an apology on the
following day.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Oct. 5, 1883.

     I do not remember any moment at which affairs here have
     appeared to me so gloomy. The more I learn of the proceedings of
     the French authorities, no less than those of the mob, the more
     unpardonable do they appear. I have never felt the same repugnance
     (and I have had my trials in this way) to the people with whom I
     have to deal. It is a comfort to contrast the bearing of the King
     of Spain with that of His Majesty's so called hosts. Jules Ferry
     himself appears to have behaved decorously. I will forbear from
     speculating on the ultimate effect of this deplorable affair on
     French institutions. So far as I can see, Ferry and Wilson both
     calculate on obtaining the advantage in a battle in the Chambers,
     if they put off the fight till the session opens on the 23rd. In
     the meantime, decency (if decency were at all taken into account
     here at this moment) would seem to require that Thibaudin should
     resign or be dismissed.

     Our own political questions with the French Government do
     not seem in a much more hopeful state than the general political
     condition of things here.

Not content with having by carelessness allowed the King of Spain to be
insulted, the French Government prevented a correct and complete report
of President Grévy's apology from being published in the _Journal
Officiel_, this action being on a par with the whole disgraceful
proceedings. As, however, the only alternative to the existing
Government appeared to be a thoroughgoing Intransigeant Cabinet, and
there was no telling what the latter might do both at home and abroad,
it was hoped that Jules Ferry and his colleagues would succeed in
holding their own.

In the autumn, Challemel Lacour, who had become unpopular owing to the
unsatisfactory campaign in Tonquin, resigned office, and his place at
the Foreign Office was taken by Jules Ferry himself. Towards the end of
November there arrived the news of Hicks Pasha's disaster in the Soudan,
and although this event was not by any means unwelcome to the French,
the chances of a speedy termination of the British occupation of Egypt
naturally grew more remote.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Nov. 23, 1883.

     I suppose there can be no hope that the disaster which has
     overwhelmed Hicks's army is less serious than is reported. It seems
     to be a grievous misfortune which has come at a most inopportune
     moment for us. It is far from causing sorrow to our friends here.

     I quite understand your not being keen to arbitrate between
     France and China, and I don't think the French will be willing to
     accept the arbitration of anybody. What they understand by our good
     offices, is that we should help them to carry all their points
     against the Chinese. It is supposed that the Committee will press
     on the Government a larger vote for Tonquin than the Government has
     asked for.

     In the mean time things at home are looking gloomy in
     France. There is likely to be a stagnation of trade and generally
     much distress during the winter. People of all classes are
     getting irritable, and seem to seek to vent their irritation on
     foreign Powers. Add to this that the depression and pusillanimity
     which followed 1870-1871, seem to be giving place to the former
     overweening opinion of the strength of France and consequently to

     I wrote a despatch to you by the last messenger as to the
     effect the lowering the wine duties for Spain would have here. I
     am never quite at ease when I think of our holding Most Favoured
     Nation treatment at the pleasure of the French. The lowest class
     who are gaining power are certainly not Free Traders.

In consequence of the Soudan disaster the Egyptian Government became
anxious to call in the Turks to their assistance, and this project
excited a strong feeling in France against the admission of the Sultan's
troops, or of any Turkish fighting men into Egypt, to take part in the
defence against the Mahdi, that feeling being founded on the old ground
of danger to the French position in Tunis and Algeria. But, for the same
reason, the French were disposed to throw a heavy responsibility upon
England for taking precautions that the Mahdi should be effectually
stopped somewhere or other. Everything, in fact, that England did in
Egypt was wrong in French eyes, and there was a fresh outburst over an
arrangement made between Lesseps and the English shipowners with regard
to the Suez Canal.

In January, 1884, the British Government decided definitely upon the
evacuation of the Soudan, and Gordon was despatched to carry out the

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Jan. 19, 1884.

     I do not know that in the main any marked change in public
     opinion in France about Egypt has taken place since I wrote ten
     days ago; but as the state of things there remains unchanged
     for the better or becomes changed for the worse, excitement and
     reproaches against England increase. A catastrophe with regard to
     the garrison of Khartoum or that of Sinkat, or any massacre of
     Europeans, would probably produce a violent outcry against us, of a
     much more intense character than the present general upbraiding as
     to our allowing the advance of the Soudan towards civilization to
     be stopped, and the slave trade to be revived.

     I am told confidentially that Barrère, the French Agent at
     Cairo, writes to urge his Government to decide upon some distinct
     line of policy, in view of the present crisis. His own idea
     would seem to be to ingratiate himself with the Egyptians at the
     expense of the English, to lead them to attribute all the present
     misfortunes to England and to teach them to look to France for
     ultimate deliverance from them. I hear that he rates Baring's
     ability very highly, but writes very disparagingly of the other
     Englishmen in office in Egypt. One of his topics in decrying
     England is said to be the sum charged by her on the Egyptian
     Treasury for the occupying troops. He is said not to be averse to
     touching the Law of Liquidation, because he conceives that, if this
     is done, France will get her finger into the pie again.

     Tonquin is, at this moment, secondary to Egypt in interest
     here, but the French are getting impatient for news from Admiral

     Nothing particularly critical has yet taken place in the

Lord Granville's reply seems to show that General Gordon was almost as
great an optimist as himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Jan. 19, 1884.

     Many thanks for your important private letter about Egypt. The
     information may be of use to Baring.

     Barrère is a very clever fellow, and has persuaded Baring that
     he is very friendly.

     Gordon went off yesterday, in a very good humour, determined
     to help us in carrying out our policy of evacuation in the best

     He is wonderfully optimistic, with a great contempt for the
     Mahdi and disbelief in Arab fanaticism or love of real fighting. He
     is not much afraid of a massacre. I trust he may be right.

A fresh disaster in the Soudan--Baker Pasha's defeat--encouraged the
idea that these reverses were symptoms of weakness on the part of
England, and gave France a reason for desiring to interfere, and a
_locus standi_ for asserting a claim to do so.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 11, 1884.

     The large majority obtained by the Government against the
     coalition of the extreme Right and the extreme Left on Paul Bert's
     extravagant proposals relative to the salaries of schoolmasters and
     schoolmistresses, has strengthened their hands and has given some
     confidence to the Union Républicaine Party, on which they mainly
     rely. They also succeeded in defeating a very mischievous motion
     made by Clémenceau in the Committee of 44 to send a deputation to
     Anzin in order to inquire into, or more properly to foment the
     troubles in the Anzin coal districts. Nevertheless, the state of
     the country and of Paris in particular is far from comfortable.
     The distress of the workmen, and the folly and unreasonableness of
     their demands and expectations are on the increase. I send you by
     this messenger a good despatch by Crowe[40] on the violent cry for
     protection from the competition of foreign workmen as well as that
     of foreign goods, which has been one of the consequences.

     I am afraid all this does not tend to make the Government
     more conciliatory on foreign affairs. They are hourly expecting
     to hear of the fall of Bac-Ninh, and if they are quite successful
     there, they are only too likely to turn their thoughts to getting
     a little glory out of the Egyptian question, as well as out of the
     Madagascar, Congo, and other matters in which they are more or less
     opposed to England.

     So far as we are concerned, the effect the reconciliation
     between Russia and Germany has had upon the French is not good.
     So long as they had any hopes of a quarrel between Germany and
     Russia, they felt bound to reserve their strength in order to take
     advantage of it, and to cultivate good relations with other Powers,
     in order to secure at least their non-interference. Now they have
     given up the hope of a break between Russia and Germany, and are
     at the same time confident that all the Continental Powers are
     determined on peace. They think therefore that they may expect to
     be _tête-à-tête_ with us and to be free to act as suits them in
     affairs in which we are concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    March 12, 1884.

     Your letters are most interesting, though not comforting. The
     difficulty of keeping on friendly terms with France is not to be

     I await with almost equal interest the news which we shall
     probably get this evening from [illegible] and that which I suppose
     will come in a few days from Bac-Ninh.

     I am afraid victory will make the French Government very
     difficult to deal with; on the other hand, a defeat, which is not
     likely, will make the Chinese intolerable.

     Our own troubles, especially in the Soudan, are great. If
     things could settle there, I am confident that Egypt would soon
     recover the state in which she was before Hicks's defeat, and this
     notwithstanding all the intrigues which are going on there.

     Bismarck says he shall give us no trouble about the Law of
     Liquidation, but that other nations will. What will be the best way
     of approaching the French Government when we have made up our own

     As to protection, it will create a very angry feeling here.
     It will ruin the French and it will make us the monopolists of the
     neutral markets of the world so long as we can keep at peace.

     The Egyptian blister has diverted public attention from Merv.
     The question was treated in excellent speeches in the Lords, but
     the debate was dull and flat.

     We do not make you a very handsome present in Mohrenheim. He
     is like a diplomatist on the stage.

Baron Mohrenheim, a diplomatist of a very conventional type, had just
been transferred to Paris from the Russian Embassy in London, and was
generally credited with strong anti-English sentiments.

On the question of the financial condition of Egypt, the British
Government finally decided to propose a European Conference, and the
decision was communicated to the French Government. As was only to be
expected, the English proposal produced a conflict of opinion in France.
Some approved of calling in Europe generally, but others denounced the
proposal as a new proof of the treachery of England, who, according
to them, was bound to treat with France alone, and called loudly upon
the French Government to refuse to go into a Conference on equal terms
with other Powers. All seemed to think, however, that the moment had
come for France to reassume a position equal with that of England, if
not superior to it. The attitude of the French Government itself was
more moderate. Jules Ferry accepted the Conference 'in principle,'
and endeavoured to show that two absolutely false notions prevailed
in England which seemed to be the great obstacles to an understanding
between the two countries. One was that if the English withdrew their
troops from Egypt, France would send hers in; the other, that France
sought to re-establish the Control.

The position in which Gordon now found himself in Khartoum began to
cause Her Majesty's Government serious misgivings, and many expedients
were suggested for relieving Ministers from their embarrassment. Amongst
them appears a serio-comic proposition from the Baron de Billing, a
well-known figure in Anglo-French society.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 4, 1884.

     I send you copies of a letter written to me by Baron de
     Billing yesterday and of a memo annexed to it. I don't know what
     you will think of the offer to rescue Gordon which they contain,
     but I deem it right to lay it before you. Billing made it to me
     verbally yesterday, and I begged him to put it in writing. The
     inclosed papers are the result.

     Billing did not tell me who the persons were by whom the
     rescue was to be effected, but I understand that they were Arab
     Sheikhs or something of that kind. Apparently they are in Paris,
     for he professed to go to consult them before he sent me the memo.

     He says you have known him from a boy.

     '_Il se porte garant de l'honorabilité des personnes en jeu._'
     For my part '_Je ne me porte garant de rien_' in the matter.

     Billing insisted much on the importance of his receiving a
     speedy answer.


     '_Gordon Pasha sera remis aux autorités egyptiennes ou
     anglaises à un des ports de la Mer Rouge ou aux avant-postes de
     l'armée anglo-egyptienne moyennant:_

     1°. _le paiement immédiat par Lord Lyons d'une somme de deux
     mille livres sterling à une personne désignée par le Baron de
     Billing, ancien chargé d'affaires de France à Munich, Tunis et

     2°. _Le versement d'une somme de 48,000 livres sterling au
     credit du Baron de Billing chez Messrs. Coutts, ses banquiers
     ordinaires, le jour même où parviendra à Londres la nouvelle
     officielle de la remise de Gordon Pasha entre les mains des
     autorités anglo-egyptiennes._

     _N.B._--1°. _Un compte détaillé sera rendu à Lord Lyons de
     l'emploi des deux milles livres sterling immédiatement exigibles._

     2° _Gordon Pasha devra prendre l'engagement écrit de quitter
     sur le champ l'Egypte et de s'en tenir éloigné pendant une période
     de 10 ans._ (_Je crois qu'il sera possible de faire modifier cette
     dernière prétention qui semble bien peu pratique._)

     _Le Baron de Billing se porte garant vis-à-vis de Lord Lyons
     de l'honorabilité des personnes en jeu, et il ajoute que vû son
     expérience de l'Afrique, il croit à de sérieuses chances de succés._

     _Un permis de séjour en blanc pour l'Egypte sera remis au
     Baron de Billing pour un Musulman à désigner par lui._'

     (_Très important._)

In spite of Lord Granville's life-long acquaintance with the Baron, the
proposal (which bears a striking resemblance to some of the incidents
in the Dreyfus case) was declined, and nothing more was heard of him in
connection with the rescue of Gordon.

The French military operations in the Far East were terminated
temporarily by a Treaty with China, concluded in May, under which the
Protectorate of France over Tonquin and Annam was recognized, and there
was some uncertainty at first as to how the commercial terms would
be interpreted. When the Prince of Wales, who was then in Paris,
called upon President Grévy, the latter dilated effusively upon the
satisfaction which all nations must feel at the new opening of trade to
them in Tonquin and Annam. On the other hand, the _Temps_, a newspaper
of considerable authority, talked of the _ouverture au commerce
exclusif de la France des Provinces de l'Empire celeste limitrophes de
nos possessions de l'Indo-Chine_. 'I have observed,' Lord Lyons wrote
sadly, 'no symptoms lately in France of anything like a decently liberal
commercial spirit.' Nor when M. Jules Ferry was congratulated upon the
Tonquin settlement, did that statesman let fall any hint of an intention
to open to the rest of the world the commercial advantages which France
had secured for herself. In fact, the chief result of the French success
in Tonquin seemed to be, that, having at all events, got rid temporarily
of this difficulty, a more unconciliatory line of policy than ever would
be adopted as far as Egypt was concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 27, 1884.

     You may have observed that, contrary to my usual habit, I
     have been sending you lately a great many extracts from French
     newspapers. My reason is of a very painful kind. I have thought it
     necessary to give you specimens of the ill will towards England,
     the suspicions of her, and the irritability respecting her which
     seem to become more and more prevalent here. To these unpleasant
     symptoms I might add that exclusive and illiberal commercial views
     and extreme Protectionist ideas are in the ascendant: and that thus
     the spirited Colonial Policy now in vogue, becomes a danger instead
     of an advantage to foreign commerce, which it might be if it opened
     new areas to the trade of all nations.

     The Ferry Government is wafted along by the pleasant breezes
     from Tonquin, but they must be on the look out for squalls as they
     near the revision of the Constitution and the discussion of the
     Budget of 1885.

     The _Gaulois_ is hardly looked upon here as a serious paper,
     but the calumnies upon Sir J. Drummond Hay which it professes
     to have derived from a report made, I suppose _viva voce_, by
     Ordega[41] to Ferry, are too bad. Menabrea says that the Italian
     Minister at Tangier is a man of herculean strength and fierce
     temper, and that he is as likely as not to wring Ordega's neck if
     he catches him. _Libre à lui de le faire._

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    May 28, 1884.

     We must be very clumsy to invite so much indignation in France
     and at the same time to run the risk of being turned out next month
     for being so subservient to her.

     Waddington seems in earnest to bring about a good
     understanding, but our press, over which the Government has
     absolutely no control, will be most offensive, until the vote of
     censure against the Conference, which is almost sure to be brought
     on, is decided one way or the other.

     It will require all Salisbury's want of caution to try to come
     in upon a quarrel with all Europe upon the Egyptian question.

The Egyptian policy of the Gladstone Government, subsequently to the
successful campaign of 1882, never met with much favour in any quarter
in England, but it was not surprising, on the whole, that Lord Granville
should be pained by French hostility, since nothing whatever had been
done to warrant it. Had we behaved ill to France, there might have been
a chance of returning to favour by altering our procedure; as it was,
there was no reasonable ground of offence whatever, and therefore the
prospect of restoring friendly relations appeared to be all the more

Lord Hartington, then a prominent member of the Gladstone Government,
was in Paris at the beginning of June, and Lord Granville seems to have
been much alarmed as to the language which he might use with reference
to Egypt in conversation with French Ministers. Lord Hartington was
probably not in the least desirous of conversing with French Ministers
upon Egypt or upon any other subject, and wished to go _incognito_, 'as
he was constantly in the habit of doing;' but it was represented to him
that unless he called upon Jules Ferry it would be believed that he was
engaged upon a secret mission, and Lord Lyons was therefore asked to
give him some preliminary coaching.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, June 3, 1884.

     I sent Lord Hartington your letter yesterday, and I had a long
     visit from him in the afternoon.

     As matters stand, what seems to me most to be dreaded with a
     view to our relations with France is a vote of the House of Commons
     censuring an arrangement made by Her Majesty's Government with the
     French Government. Such a vote, and the debate by which it would be
     preceded, would, I cannot but fear, have a truly lamentable effect.

     I understand that Jules Ferry is having a memorandum on the
     Finances of Egypt drawn up by Blignières, and that it will dispute
     the accuracy of Mr. Childers's information and represent that the
     Finances were in a flourishing condition, and that there were
     surpluses even during Arabi's rebellion, up to the time at which
     England took the thing in hand. The memorandum will probably deny
     there being any necessity for reducing the interest of the debt, if
     the Finances be properly managed.

     I do not know whether such a reason will be assigned to us,
     but in fact it seems that the French object to any large loans
     being guaranteed by England, on account of the lien, so to speak,
     which it would give England upon Egypt. The French would prefer a
     simple fresh issue of Unified stock.

     In the meantime, the French bondholders are bestirring
     themselves and protesting against any arrangement being made
     without their being consulted.

     Jules Ferry, however, himself thinks little of any other
     consideration in comparison with the political success which it
     would be to him to give France again a political footing in Egypt,
     and as a means to this, to get a time fixed for the departure of
     our troops. I do not think he is afraid of much disapproval here
     of his counter-concession--the engagement that French troops shall
     not enter Egypt, either on the departure of the English troops or
     afterwards. Unless the engagement were very formally made and very
     peculiarly and stringently worded, it would be felt here that it
     did not amount to much. For though it would preclude the occupation
     of Egypt by the French to preserve order and promote reforms in the
     same way we occupy the country now, it would not be interpreted
     here as preventing France using force to avenge an insult or
     protect distinct French interests in cases which would constitute a
     _casus belli_ as regarded any ordinary country.

     I do not quite understand the exact position in which stands
     the suggestion that the Financial question should be first
     settled by England with the several Powers separately, and then a
     conference be held for a day or two only to ratify what had already
     been settled. Does this afford an opening for purely financial
     negotiations, and admit of dropping the French political proposals
     which appear to be so unpopular in England? I believe Jules Ferry
     is in some tribulation about the difficulties his proposals have
     met with in England, and is half inclined to be sorry he made them
     so strong, though I doubt whether Waddington has made him fully
     aware of the violence of the opposition they encounter in England.

     Generally speaking, I am very unhappy about the growing
     ill-will between France and England which exists on both sides
     of the Channel. It is not that I suppose that France has any
     deliberate intention of going to war with us. But the two nations
     come into contact in every part of the world. In every part of it
     questions arise which, in the present state of feeling, excite
     mutual suspicion and irritation. Who can say, when and where, in
     this state of things, some local events may not produce a serious
     quarrel, or some high-handed proceedings of hot-headed officials
     occasion an actual collision?

The variety and number of questions upon which Lord Lyons was requested
to pronounce an opinion have already been commented upon; now he was
asked to consider the effect of a hypothetical vote of the House of

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    Trentham, June 4, 1884.

     Many thanks for your important and pregnant letter. I quite
     agree that the relations between England and France will be
     disagreeable if the House of Commons rejects our proposals; but
     this, though possible, is not so probable as Hartington thinks.

     The M.P.'s neither desire a Salisbury administration; still
     less a dissolution.

     But how will our relations be, if we previously break off
     with France? and what can you suggest for the settlement of the
     financial difficulties of Egypt, if we obtain no sanction for a
     change of the Law of Liquidation?

     Do you think that the House of Commons would allow us to take
     the whole debt upon ourselves, in order to save the bondholders? I
     should be really grateful for your suggestions on this last point.

From the above letter it is plain that Her Majesty's Government had no
definite Egyptian policy, and were merely stumbling along concerned
only, as frequently happens with British Cabinets, with the possible
result of a division in the House of Commons. The only evidence of
policy was a strong inclination to evade responsibility; to hand it over
to a collection of Powers; and to fritter away such advantages as had
been so hardly won, in the hopeless attempt to recover the goodwill of
the French Government.

Lord Lyons's reply was to the effect that nothing would have a worse
effect than a bitter debate in the House of Commons followed by the
censure of terms agreed upon by the French and English Governments. But
as there was no doubt whatever that the French Government intended to
take advantage of the Conference to place France in the same position in
Egypt as that which she formerly held, a firm policy on the part of Her
Majesty's Government might have a better effect than an over-yielding

The Egyptian Conference met in London at the end of June and continued
its sterile discussions for upwards of a month before finally breaking
up, while the tone of the French press grew more and more hostile, and
anything in the nature of a concession on the subject of the interest of
the debt or on any other matter affecting French material interest was
denounced in the fiercest terms. Even the craven British proposals with
regard to the limitation of the military occupation were treated with
contempt, and no person came in for greater abuse than M. Waddington,
who was now established as Ambassador in London, and was constantly
denounced for subservience to England, solely because he owned an
English name.

The Conference broke up in August, and the Cabinet, which was now being
continually denounced on all sides for its feeble and procrastinating
policy, decided upon despatching Lord Northbrook on a special mission
to Cairo. Before Lord Northbrook started he had a long interview with
Lord Lyons, who did his best to impress upon him the views, interests,
and susceptibilities of France, and the great importance of not running
counter to them if possible.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Oct. 17, 1884.

     I opened my first conversation with Ferry, the day after my
     return, with a message from you as to your desire to be on good
     terms, and to avoid unpleasantness in treating matters between
     the two countries all over the world. I enlarged upon this theme,
     and made it as plain to him as I could, without letting the
     conversation degenerate into recrimination, that if France were
     perpetually irritating us, we on our side had the means, and should
     not always be able to abstain from using them, of making ourselves
     very disagreeable too. The subject was treated in the most friendly
     way by me, and Ferry was profuse in his acknowledgments to you, and
     in assurances; but I should have been glad if I could have brought
     him to more practical advances towards intimacy and good fellowship
     than I was able to do. However, the conversation may perhaps have
     done some good.

     As regards the Congo Conference, I came away with the
     impression that there is more or less a tacit, if not very
     explicit, understanding between France and Germany, in addition to
     what appears in the Yellow Book; and that this understanding may
     prove inconvenient to us.

     The session has not opened very favourably for the Government.
     The Finance Minister's hocus-pocus expedients for balancing the
     Budget have been unanimously rejected by the Budget Committee. The
     recent 'glories' in Tonquin hardly outweigh in public estimation
     the growing expenses of the operations there and in China. Ferry
     told me he disliked the protective duties on cattle and corn, but
     that the Government could not altogether resist them, though it
     would endeavour to make them as moderate as possible. Rouvier,
     the new Minister of Commerce, is less Protectionist than his
     predecessor, Hérisson; but I have no confidence in the so-called
     Free Trade principles of any Frenchman. Duties on manufactures
     are sure to follow in the wake of duties on food, and I can never
     forget that we hold our Most Favoured Nation treatment only at the
     good pleasure of the French Government. The proceedings of the
     Lyonnais are socialist and revolutionary, and a great impetus has
     been given to Socialism by the journeyings during the recess of the
     sub-committees of the General Committee appointed by the Chamber
     of Deputies to inquire into the distress of the working classes.
     Nevertheless the chances still seem to be that the Ferry Ministry
     will weather the storms of the autumn session.

     Ferry complained bitterly of the English press. He said in
     particular that the irritating lecturing tone of the _Times_ goaded
     the French to madness; though he himself observed that it used the
     same tone towards the Government of its own country. I said that
     the press on both sides of the Channel seemed to work as if for the
     express purpose of producing ill-will between the two countries;
     but that certainly the English Government had no power to restrain
     it. A good understanding between the two Governments and friendly
     proceedings on their parts to each other, would in time act upon
     public opinion; and saying this, I preached a little more on the
     text of the importance of the French Government's not making itself
     unnecessarily disagreeable.

Her Majesty's Government were at this time involved in domestic as well
as external difficulties, and Lord Granville's reply to the foregoing
letter contained a renewal of the old importunity to come over and vote
in the House of Lords on a party question. It is quite obvious that
Lord Granville was impelled to do so by Gladstone, and the typical
Gladstonian reasoning is shown in the argument that Lord Lyons ought to
vote, because being an Ambassador he was a non-party man; whereas on
previous occasions his vote had been applied for, because he distinctly
ranked as a party man in the Whip's list.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    Walmer, Oct. 18, 1884.

     Gladstone writes to me earnestly, but I think reasonably,
     respecting your vote at the present important crisis.

     He says that you must be aware of the estimate we hold of your
     judgment and independence. But to save the House of Lords from a
     tempest which must strain and may wreck it, some Tory Lords will
     be moved to vote for the Franchise Bill, and he asks why the same
     motive should not operate upon men like our Ambassadors, who he
     believes are of no party.

     I own I think that the same majority, or possibly a larger one
     in the Lords, would be a great disaster.

     If the Liberal Party take up hostility to the House of Lords
     itself as its leading question--whether led by Gladstone himself,
     or not,--and with a leader of the Lords who is personally in favour
     of getting a larger career of power and utility for himself in the
     Commons, it is difficult not to foresee the result.

     With regard to immediate politics, supposing Salisbury
     succeeds in forcing a dissolution, and with the help of the Irish
     turns us out, what chance is there of his not being turned out in
     six months by nearly the same process?

     The Waddingtons came here to luncheon. I guessed that they
     funked being reported as being here. He was very civil, and his
     talk was not altogether unpromising.

No one with the slightest practical acquaintance with politics could
possibly be taken in by the Gladstonian phrase about the 'estimate of
your judgment and independence.' Ministers when urging their docile
supporters either in the Lords or the Commons to support a party
measure, are not in the habit of boasting that some eminent person,
whether an Ambassador or not, is going to give a silent vote in their
favour, and even if they did, it would not produce the slightest effect.
One peer's vote is as good as another's, and in the division list an
Ambassador counts no higher than the most obscure of backwoodsmen.

Anglo-French relations were not improved by the occurrences in the
Far East, where the French, in consequence of the Tonquin expedition,
had drifted into war with China. The Chinese fleet, composed of small
obsolete vessels, was destroyed at Foochow by the heavily armed French
ships in August; but as the Chinese Government showed no signs of
yielding, the French Admiral, Courbet, was ordered to seize part of
the island of Formosa, where valuable coal mines were known to exist.
In order to effect his object, Admiral Courbet, with a magnificent
disregard of all neutral Powers, proclaimed a paper blockade of Formosa,
which naturally provoked a protestation on the part of the British
Government. During the remainder of the year hostilities between France
and China continued, although from time to time recurrence to the
friendly offices of Her Majesty's Government was suggested but found

Egypt, however, remained the centre of interest, and the prospects of
any amicable arrangement appeared to recede further into the distance.
Upon the return of Lord Northbrook, the new proposals of Her Majesty's
Government were put before the French Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 26, 1884.

     I suppose Waddington's private statement to me that we must
     not expect an answer to our Egyptian proposals before the end of
     the year was intended to imply that we _should_ get an answer about
     that time.

     I pressed Ferry strongly on the subject the day before
     yesterday. He assured me that he had studied our papers and was
     occupying himself without intermission on the subject, but I could
     not bring him to book as to the exact time we might look for an
     answer, nor could I extract from him any hint as to what the answer
     was to be.

     I am afraid that the draft of it has gone, or is going, to
     Berlin, and I augur anything but good from this. It seems to
     me that without being driven to anything of the kind by German
     interests, Bismarck has lately taken a sort of malicious pleasure
     in treating matters in a way calculated to embarrass and discredit

     You may be quite sure that I shall leave no stone unturned
     to get an answer as soon as possible. I don't think threats of
     Tunisifying Egypt, or of bankruptcy, or other strong measures,
     would tell upon the French. They would not believe that we
     should have recourse to such measures, in face of the opposition
     of France, Germany, Austria, and Russia, even if we had the
     thoroughgoing support of Italy. I should hesitate to bring matters
     to a point at which we could only execute our threats by a very
     large display of military and naval force, or back out of them.
     The best card in our hand, and it is not a high trump, is the
     reluctance of the French to be thrown irretrievably into the
     clutches of Bismarck by a distinct quarrel with us.

     Ferry seemed grateful to you for the way in which you
     sounded him through Waddington about new proposals from China,
     but he appears to think that any eagerness on his part to receive
     new proposals would be looked upon by the Chinese as a sign of
     weakness, and short of absolutely giving in on the part of China,
     an _action d'éclat_ on the part of the French forces would answer
     best for him with the Chambers.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Dec. 30, 1884.

     I put your letter myself into Errington's hand this
     morning.[42] He starts for Italy this evening.

     You will see by the despatch I send with this that Ferry
     promises an answer on the Egyptian Finances on the 15th of next
     month, and that he intends to make counter-proposals. I cried out
     at his mentioning so distant a date as the 15th, but he would not
     name a nearer one. If, as I cannot but surmise, he is consulting
     Berlin, I fear that neither speed nor conciliation to us will be
     recommended from that quarter. I confess I cannot think of any
     threat which would be likely to mend matters. The French would
     probably rejoice at any crisis which might array distinctly against
     us the three Emperors, as well as this Republic. I doubt the
     Tonquin affair being very much of a safeguard. I should feel safer
     if France were not getting into the habit of sending out distant

     I report officially this evening Ferry's language about the
     new Chinese proposals. The Chambers were all in favour of an
     _action d'éclat_. I don't think Ferry could face them with another
     doubtful negotiation on his hands which would suspend military
     action. At any rate he does not seem to wish to hear anything of
     Chinese proposals, short of actual surrender.

At the beginning of 1885 Her Majesty's Government were confronted
with the unpleasant fact, that whereas hitherto they had only had
French opposition to reckon with in respect to Egypt, Bismarck had
now engineered a European combination against them in consequence of
dissatisfaction at the English attitude towards his colonial policy.
The English financial proposals, more especially those which suggested
that the interest on the debt should be reduced, and the Anglo-French
Administration of the Daira and Domain Lands should be abolished, were
denounced in unmeasured terms in France. Nor did it seem easy to devise
any efficacious means either of reconciling the French to the proposals
or of putting pressure on them. The time for putting pressure on France
was past; earlier in the day, a representation that a refusal to consent
to measures necessary for the well being and good administration of
Egypt would oblige the British Government to take the country formally
under their protection, after the fashion of Tunis, would have met with
little opposition; but now France might go to any extremities to resist
such an arrangement, feeling sure that in so doing she would have the
support of Germany, Austria, and Russia. Under these circumstances the
prospect of a financial crisis, or even of bankruptcy, produced little
alarm, because it was felt that the support of the three Empires would
be forthcoming in demanding that the Egyptian financial administration
should be placed under the joint control of the Powers; and it was in
fact only too probable that the intractability of the French Government
would increase in proportion with the support obtained from Germany and
the Powers which followed the German lead.

It was hardly credible that the patronage of Germany was acceptable to
the French public or entirely satisfactory to the French Government,
as the danger, not to say the humiliation, of falling altogether into
the hands of Bismarck, could not quite be lost sight of. The French
Government no doubt had two objects in view; the first, to make use
of the support of Germany and the Powers, in order to guard French
pecuniary interests, and to improve as far as possible the political
position of France in Egypt; the second, to avoid severing themselves
so entirely from England as to be left wholly at the mercy of Germany.
Unfortunately for England the second object appeared to be the one to
which the lesser importance was attached.

In short, the probabilities were, that unless we succeeded in coming to
some arrangement with France, we should find arrayed against us all the
European Powers, except Italy, the position in which we were placed at
the moment, in consequence of the expedition to Khartoum, having been
taken into account in calculating the means at our disposal to withstand
such a coalition. It should be mentioned that the friendship of Italy
had been purchased by an arrangement under which she was to take
possession of Massowah and the adjacent coast.

The French counter-proposals respecting Egyptian Finance were
communicated in the middle of January.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Jan. 20, 1885.

     I earnestly hope that a settlement of the Egyptian Financial
     Question may be the result of the Cabinet to-day. That question
     seems to me to have a disastrous effect on our foreign relations

     Bismarck and Ferry are _jouant au plus fin_ with each other at
     our expense. Each seems to think that he can use the other to help
     in thwarting us, without risk to himself. But Bismarck has the best
     of the game. He occupies the French thoughts, and to some extent
     their forces, at a distance from Europe: he keeps up irritation
     between them and us, and some of the acquisitions he encourages
     them to make (Tonquin for instance) will in all probability
     be a permanent cause of weakness to them. At the same time he
     neutralizes opposition from us to his childish colonial schemes,
     which I cannot help suspecting are founded as much on what, for
     want of a better word, I must call spite against us, as on any
     real expectation of advantage to Germany. Ferry hopes, by means of
     Bismarck and the Powers who follow Bismarck's lead, to carry his
     immediate points in regard to Egypt and other parts of the world,
     and so increase his reputation at home for the moment; and he
     trusts to his skill to enable him to stop before he has so entirely
     alienated us as to be quite at Bismarck's mercy. It is the natural
     disposition of almost all Europe to side against us, as matters
     stand, on the Egyptian Financial Question, which makes this pretty
     game possible.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, Feb. 3, 1885.

     I am provoked by Ferry's tardiness in sending Waddington the
     instructions to proceed with the Egyptian Finances Question. He
     has evidently been waiting for the approval of Berlin. I am more
     than ever impatient to get this question disposed of. One, and not
     the least of my reasons, is the desire to get rid of this habit of
     referring every moment to Bismarck.

     The Tonquin and China affairs seem to get more perplexing
     and more expensive to the French in men and money every day. It
     seems very doubtful that Ferry will get the _action d'éclat_ he is
     looking for there, in time for the election; and if he do not, it
     may go hard with him in the new Chamber.

     The _Gaulois_ announces that a great Anglo-French meeting is
     to be held in Paris in the month of March, at which a resolution
     is to be voted that England and France must remain united in the
     interests of liberty in Europe. According to the _Gaulois_, 'Mr.
     Cremer, secrétaire general de la Workmen's Peace Association,' is
     in communication about it with M. Clémenceau, who is to organise
     the meeting in conjunction with Mr. Burns, _Membre de la Chambre
     des Communes_, who would come to Paris with a delegation of English
     workmen. If there be any truth in the story, the object of the
     French promoters of this demonstration is probably to embarrass the
     Ferry Government.

The Mr. Burns referred to was presumably the present President of the
Local Government Board, but the description of him as an M.P. was

Negotiations between the French and English Governments over the
financial proposals were resumed, and eventually some sort of
arrangement was arrived at, but in the meanwhile all interest had been
transferred to the Soudan. The battle of Abou Klea took place on January
19, and on February 5 there arrived the news of the fall of Khartoum
and death of Gordon. The French were not wanting in appreciation of
the gallantry shown by the British troops, but were prodigal of gloomy
forebodings with regard to the future prospects of the expeditions.
Prominent amongst these prophets of evil were Lesseps and Jules Ferry.
Lesseps (on the strength of having once been on a tour in the Soudan
with the ex-Khedive) considered that an attempt to advance would be
madness, and that the army was in great danger of being surrounded.
He thought that the only prudent course would be to concentrate the
forces and keep them behind walls and entrenchments until the autumn.
But even then he did not see how the army could ever get away if it
were stoutly opposed by the Arabs, as the scarcity of water and other
difficulties would make the Berber-Suakim route impracticable; and in
short he was convinced that the only practical plan was to come to
terms with the Mahdi, and that the only means of making terms with the
Madhi would be to reinstate Ismail as Khedive and utilize his influence.
This surprising conclusion was due to the fact that Lesseps had for a
long time been exerting himself in every possible way to bring about the
restoration of Ismail.

M. Jules Ferry was also full of condolences upon the British position in
the Soudan, but was, at the same time, not at all enthusiastic about the
French position in the Far East. He admitted that the troops in Tonquin
were sickly and that the climate was odious; that neither in Tonquin
nor Formosa could any blow be struck which China would really feel, but
that nevertheless 'in the interests of civilization as represented in
those parts by France and England, it was necessary to deal a stunning
blow (_coup foudroyant_) at the huge Empire of China.' This might be
effected by landing an attacking force in China proper, or by blockading
the ports, but either of these methods would involve great difficulties
with other Powers, and the only thing that remained to be done was
to dismember the Empire. Once China was broken up into three or four
provinces she would become comparatively harmless. M. Jules Ferry's
views were expressed after a dinner at the Embassy, and Lord Lyons in
reporting the conversation remarked that his wine must be more heady
than he imagined.

Before long, however, a crisis in another part of the world temporarily
distracted attention from Egypt and brought home to every thinking
person the indefinite and multifarious responsibilities of British rule,
as well as the singularly inadequate military resources available.
Prominent British statesmen had long derided the absurdity of supposing
that England and Russia could ever become involved in disputes in
Central Asia, but, profiting by our embarrassments in Egypt, the
Russian Government had adopted so aggressive a policy, that even the
peace-loving Gladstone Government found itself on the brink of a
collision before the end of February. This critical situation and the
possibility of a conflict between England and Russia, far from giving
satisfaction to the French, afforded them just cause for anxiety.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 13, 1885.

     The critical state of things between England and Russia has
     come more home to the French mind during the last few days, and
     is looked upon with increased alarm. Whatever may be Bismarck's
     feelings and plans, the French cannot help feeling that it would
     be a great danger to them for him to be without counterpoise in
     Europe. Those who believe that they see far ahead, declare that
     Bismarck's ultimate object is Holland, and that Belgium, or a part
     of Belgium, is to be given to France as a compensation for the
     annexation of Holland to Germany. To this end they conceive that
     Bismarck has aimed at embroiling Russia with England, so that the
     one may paralyse the other; at separating England and France, and
     at setting up an alliance between France and Germany. It is to
     be hoped that many Frenchmen would shrink from taking part in an
     iniquity which would be equalled only by the partition of Poland.
     It is to be supposed that none can be so blind as not to see that
     Bismarck will never make a territorial arrangement which would
     increase the relative strength of France as compared with that of
     Germany. It can hardly be doubted that Bismarck must be well aware
     that so far from the gift of Belgium reconciling the French to the
     loss of Alsace and Lorraine, any additional power that gift might
     confer upon them would certainly be used, on the first opportunity,
     for the recovery of the two lost Provinces.

     To people who incline to more simple and obvious explanations
     of political conduct, Bismarck himself seems to be rather old to
     indulge in any hope of executing schemes of this kind. Moreover,
     the character of the Emperor would in all probability prevent his
     sanctioning such proceedings, while His Majesty's death would,
     in all probability, greatly diminish, if not put an end to,
     Bismarck's influence. Bismarck may in fact be working in order to
     attain smaller and more immediate objects, and to gratify personal

     However all this may be, the French decidedly wish to prevent
     a rupture between England and Russia. They do not relish the
     effect upon the position of Bismarck in Europe which would be
     the consequence of France herself, England and Russia, being all
     hampered by being engaged in wars in the extreme East.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    March 14, 1885.

     I doubt the Russians going quite to extremes, but the risk is

     Bismarck is behaving as ill as possible--after the mission of
     peace and a complete making up, creating difficulties at the last
     moment about Egyptian finances, concerning which he promised that
     no objections would be raised by Germany, if France and England
     were agreed. It is supposed to be with a view to getting a decree
     against us at Cairo before the settlement.

The military preparations for a possible struggle with Russia were
typical of the manner in which British statesmen occasionally prepare
for the worst. In order to strike terror into a Power which could
dispose of millions of soldiers, two army corps of 25,000 men each
were ordered to be mobilized in India, and as 'a time of emergency had
arrived,' it was announced that the first-class army reserve and militia
reserve would be called out; their total numbers amounting to the
stupendous figure of about 70,000 men. By these steps it was hoped that
the greatest military Power in the world would be overawed.

From one embarrassment Her Majesty's Government were fortunately
relieved, the basis of an arrangement with France having been arrived
at with regard to Egyptian Finance. Mr. Gladstone, with whom Lord Lyons
had been requested to communicate direct, wrote expressing his relief,
but was obviously far more concerned to demonstrate the turpitude of his
political opponents.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Mr. Gladstone to Lord Lyons._

    10, Downing St., March 21, 1885.

     When you so kindly wrote to me about Egyptian Finance, I did
     not reply. Not because I was insensible or forgetful, but because
     the unsatisfactory condition of the question made it so difficult.
     Now, thank God, we are through, as far as Foreign Powers are
     concerned; and we have thus far escaped from a position the most
     hopeless and helpless that it is possible to conceive.

     It remains a subject of regret, and of some surprise, that
     the Opposition are pressing for time before we take the vote, in
     a manner quite unusual, with almost a certainty of bankruptcy and
     financial chaos in Egypt, and the likelihood of consequences more
     than financial if we comply; and all this, as far as we can make
     out, because of the disorganized condition of the Tory party. It
     seems that the mutinous followers have exacted this condition from
     their leaders, as some reparation for the agreement about the Seats
     Bill, and for their other offences.

     To be defeated on the agreement would be _most_ convenient
     for the Government (for me priceless) but somewhat ruinous or
     mischievous, I think, to all the rest of the world.

     We must of course hold our ground.

The rooted belief of Ministers that their continuance in office is
absolutely essential to the welfare of the universe as well as to that
of the British Empire is, of course, a well-known phenomenon which has
manifested itself in more recent times in the case of both political
parties. In 1885 the difficulties of the Gladstone Government continued
to grow, and it was fortunate for Lord Granville's peace of mind that he
was an optimist by nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    March 25, 1885.

     The incorrigible Turk has not yet sent instructions to
     Musurus. We have tried the most serious threats, which Musurus
     believes will be successful.

     But if we do not take care, we shall soon be at war with the
     Mahdi, with Turkey, and with the Russians.

     I do not know how the latter question will finish. Being of
     a sanguine disposition, I hope for the best. We are determined to
     take a firm stand.

     Do you believe that the French have many tricks in hand for
     the Suez Canal Commission?

Early in April there arrived the news of the fight at Penjdeh, where,
to use Gladstone's own expression, the attack of the Russians upon
the Afghans 'bore the appearance of an unprovoked aggression.' A
financial panic took place, consols fell 3 per cent., Russian stocks 9
per cent., and for a short time the impression prevailed that war was
inevitable. In the House of Commons, Mr. Gladstone made one of those
eloquent statements which were so widely accepted by his followers as a
satisfactory solution of any outstanding difficulty, but which failed to
reassure the more intelligent; and even the optimistic Lord Granville
felt some uncomfortable qualms.

     'It is too dreadful,' he wrote on April 10th, 'jumping from
     one nightmare into another.

     'Once at war with Russia we shall be obliged to toady Germany,
     France, and Turkey.

     'But I cannot believe that it will come to war. It cannot be
     a good move of the Russians to have created a blood feud with the

     'Not having a genius for war, I do not know how we are
     effectively to carry it on against Russia, although it is not off
     the cards that it may break her up.'

Probably Lord Granville was not singular in his inability to see how a
war on land was to be effectively carried on against Russia.

In the meanwhile the French were not without their own foreign troubles.
M. Jules Ferry had spoken of the necessity of inflicting a _coup
foudroyant_. The _coup foudroyant_ fell in a totally unexpected fashion
upon his own head, in the shape of a defeat of the French forces at
Lang-Son. The news of the reverse arrived in Paris on March 25, and
created so absurd a panic and so strong a feeling against Spirited
Colonial Policy that Jules Ferry at once bowed to the storm and resigned
on the 31st. He had been in office for the unprecedented period of two
years and one month, which alone was sufficient cause for disappearance;
nor could it be said that his administration had been colourless, for he
had passed an important Education Bill, established the Protectorate of
France in Tunis, and annexed Tonquin and Madagascar.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, March 31, 1885.

     Ferry was certainly at work quietly with negotiations for
     peace with China, and no doubt he calculated on playing it as a
     high trump at the Elections; and a great card it would have been
     for him, for the war in Tonquin is extremely unpopular. The reverse
     at Lang-Son has changed all this; the extreme Right have always
     had a special hatred of Ferry on account of the suppression of the
     religious communities, and Clémenceau and the extreme Left have
     become bitterly hostile to him personally. Not many of his own
     party cared to stick to him when their own popularity would have
     been risked by doing so. And, besides, he had been in office for
     two years; a very unusually long period of late, and people were
     tired of him.

     Freycinet is now trying to form a Cabinet. It is not certain
     that he will succeed, and if he does succeed, it is very doubtful
     whether his Cabinet will last. His idea seems to be to take into it
     Republicans of all shades, not excluding deep Red. The Republicans
     have been rather startled by the progress, far from great though
     it has been, of the Conservatives and Monarchists (Orleanist and
     Imperialist) in the constituencies; and the notion seems to be that
     the importance to them of resisting this, may keep them together
     and prevent them quarrelling with each other, at all events until
     after the Elections. But anyway, each change of Ministry produces
     a further step towards the Left, and there is a foundation for the
     fear that there may be socialist legislation against property and
     proprietors, and that the Government may by degrees throw away all
     the means of resisting anarchy.

     Freycinet's own tendencies would be towards peace. Now there
     is nothing but flame and fury against the Chinese, but considering
     the general unpopularity of the war this may to a certain extent
     subside. He would, I think, desire to be on good terms with all
     countries. He would hardly be so subservient to Bismarck as Ferry
     had lately become. It so happens that personally he and I are
     particularly good friends.

Towards the end of April the British Government asked for a credit
of eleven millions, and the eloquence of Mr. Gladstone worked his
faithful followers up to a belief in verbiage which is almost pathetic.
'Gladstone's magnificent speech had a great effect here,' wrote Lord
Granville. 'It will hasten the _dénouement_ one way or the other in

'I understand that the Emperor is decidedly pacific; but he believes his
father lost himself from want of firmness, that he himself is determined
to be firm, and that the particular firmness which appeals to him, is
not that which goes against the wishes of his army.'

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 1, 1885.

     A war between England and Russia is much dreaded by the
     French. They fear that it would leave Bismarck without any
     counterpoise in Europe. Any influence they may have will no doubt
     be exercised in favour of peace, but their influence at this moment
     does not count very much. I do not know that they would have any
     strong sympathy with Russia if hostilities broke out, but such a
     feeling would be produced by anything which irritated them with us
     on account of Egyptian or other matters. Anyhow we must be prepared
     to find them exacting and susceptible.

     The consequences of the war as regards the money market here
     would be disastrous; but it is believed they would be still more
     disastrous at Berlin.

     The dangerous point is considered here to be the notions of
     military honour, of a peculiar kind, which prevail in the Russian
     as much as, or more than, in other Continental armies.

     These military notions in the armies do not at all require
     that the rulers of the armies should keep their words to
     foreigners, or abide by their international engagements; but they
     do require that, right or wrong, the rulers should not allow the
     _amour-propre_ of the army to be wounded. The Emperor of Russia
     probably shares these feelings, and at any rate he would certainly
     be afraid to run counter to them. Those here who profess to
     understand Russia declare that she has no desire to take Herat or
     to annex any part of Afghanistan. They think that the ultimate
     object at which she is really aiming is to extend her possessions
     to the Persian Gulf, and that she would be tractable enough about
     the Afghan frontier, if that question were separated from military
     honour, or rather vanity.

     I met Freycinet and Herbette at dinner yesterday. They seemed
     to be much relieved at having got rid of the _Bosphore Egyptien_
     difficulty, and to be really much obliged to you for the help you
     had given to them.

The _Bosphore Egyptien_, a French newspaper in Cairo which continually
attacked the British administration in Egypt with unparalleled
malignity, had at length worn out the patience of Sir Evelyn Baring, and
been temporarily suspended.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Granville._

    Paris, May 15, 1885.

     The symptoms apparent here indicate that Bismarck is busily
     employed in getting up a European coalition against England on the
     Egyptian question. He has very nearly succeeded, if not quite, in
     isolating us in the Suez Canal Commission. He would seem to have
     put great pressure for this purpose upon Italy, who was disposed to
     side with us, and to have frightened or cajoled Holland and Spain.
     With Russia and Austria he seems to have made a regular cabal. It
     has required great tact and firmness on Pauncefote's part to have
     resisted the endeavours to turn the Commission into a political
     conference on the whole Egyptian question, and at the same time
     to have avoided breaking it up prematurely. Another circumstance
     which Bismarck is using as a lever against us, is the levying by
     the Egyptian Government of the tax upon the coupon, before the
     Financial Convention has been ratified by all the parties to it.

     He has sent Courcel here from Berlin to seduce or terrify
     the French Government, and is said to have charged him with large
     offers relative to establishing an international administration in
     Egypt, and assigning to France a preponderant influence in such an
     administration. What the real offers may be, of course, I cannot
     say, but I think the French are half afraid of them. Probably, like
     all Bismarck's demonstrations in so-called support of France, they
     contain the essential elements--the employing a considerable number
     of French troops at a distance from France, and the promoting
     ill-will between France and England.

These suspicions as to Bismarck's motives were confirmed by Lord
Rosebery, who at the time occupied a minor post in the Gladstone
administration, and had lately paid a visit to Germany.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Granville to Lord Lyons._

    May 30, 1885.

     Rosebery has not yet written out the report (which Blowitz
     saw), but he has given me a full account from his notes.

     Bismarck acknowledged that he had been thwarting us in every
     way; but at the last conversation (influenced, Rosebery thought,
     by an unsatisfactory conversation with Courcel) he was much more

     He was exceedingly civil to Rosebery; hostile to Gladstone,
     and especially to Derby.

     He is a great man, but he sees through a great many

     The Emperor is certainly unwell. Rosebery is convinced that
     Bismarck will retire for a time on his death.

Judging from the material available, no statesman ever disliked so many
persons as Bismarck, and the objects of his antipathy were not confined
to his own sex. Busch's book and the works of other authors contain
frequent references to the grievances which he entertained towards women
who were alleged to have interfered with his policy, and, whether these
charges were well founded or not, he made no secret of his animosity
against even so important a personage as the Empress Augusta. In fact
there can be little doubt that it was owing to the despotic influence
exercised by the Chancellor that the Empress, who had had the misfortune
to incur his displeasure, was forced to leave Berlin and to reside for a
considerable period at Coblentz.

Apparently the man who inspired him with the greatest aversion was
Gortschakoff, but it is easy to understand that from the Bismarckian
point of view, Mr. Gladstone and Lord Derby represented a singularly
futile type of statesman. Lord Rosebery's prophecy with regard to his
retirement was only partially correct. In private conversation, Bismarck
is understood to have calculated upon three years of office under the
present German Emperor; whereas he only succeeded in remaining for two,
and his retirement was compulsory and not voluntary.

One of the notable events in Paris in 1885 was the death of Victor Hugo.
His funeral was made the occasion of a great ceremonial, and Queen
Victoria, who was always much interested in functions of this nature,
desired that she should be furnished with a special report. Any one
who happened to have been a witness of the Victor Hugo funeral would
corroborate the accuracy of the following account, which is probably in
striking contrast to the word pictures of the newspaper correspondents
of the time.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, June 4, 1885.

     Lord Lyons presents his humble duty to Your Majesty and
     in obedience to Your Majesty's commands, proceeds to state the
     impression made upon him by the funeral of Victor Hugo.

     There was nothing striking, splendid or appropriate, either in
     the monstrous catafalque erected under the Arc de Triomphe, or in
     the trappings of the funeral. There was nothing mournful or solemn
     in the demeanour of the people. The impressive part of the scene
     consisted in the vast crowds from all parts of France and from many
     other countries. As decorations of the scene, were the innumerable
     wreaths, some conveyed in cars and some carried in the hands of
     those who offered them.

     The aspect was that of a vast assemblage of people gathered
     together for some ordinary demonstration, or from curiosity. On
     the other hand, perfect order was preserved. Both those who joined
     in the procession and those who lined the streets through which it
     passed, maintained the good humour and civility which are seldom
     wanting to a Paris crowd. At some points attempts were made to
     raise anarchical or socialistic cries, but met with no response.
     The distance from the point of departure to the Arc de Triomphe is
     about three miles by the route taken, which was through some of the
     finest avenues of Paris. The procession began at 11 o'clock in the
     morning and went on until after 4 in the afternoon.

     The general impression left upon Lord Lyons by the day was one
     of weariness and unconcern. The orderliness of the people was a
     satisfactory symptom, but the total absence of strong feeling was
     chilling, and the studied avoidance of any recognition of religion
     did away with all solemnity.

On June 12, the Gladstone Government, having been defeated during a
Budget debate, resigned, and left to the Conservatives the ungrateful
task of facing an accumulation of difficulties while in a minority in
the House of Commons. Lord Salisbury took Lord Granville's place at the
Foreign Office and the transfer was marked by a double compliment to
Lord Lyons. Lord Granville, who was always extremely popular with all
those with whom he was in any way connected, with habitual kindliness
and generosity expressed his obligations to the Ambassador. 'An ordinary
letter of farewell and of thanks would very inadequately express my
feelings to you. I cannot say how much I have valued the loyal and
important assistance you have given me in most difficult circumstances.'

Lord Salisbury showed his appreciation by at once asking him to come
over to England in order to discuss the general situation, and upon
his return to Paris in July, he was able to report that the change of
Government in England appeared to have had a beneficial effect upon
Anglo-French relations. 'The statement you made in the House of Lords
has made an excellent impression. Freycinet seems to be really disposed
to abstain from endeavouring to thwart us or to raise difficulties for
us with regard to Egyptian Finance. He also appears to be inclined to
come to terms with us about Newfoundland and other matters.'

'I think he is sincerely desirous to put the relations between the
two countries on a good footing, but I cannot yet say that he will be
willing to make sacrifices for this purpose.'

As Freycinet, however, showed few symptoms of being willing to retire
from the position he had taken up with regard to the eventual British
evacuation of Egypt, and to the resumption by France of an influence
equal with our own, his professions of friendship did not appear to be
of much value. Some apprehension too was caused by the ostentatious
announcements in the French press, that the numerous military forces in
the Far East released in consequence of the conclusion of peace with
China would return by the Suez Canal and would therefore be 'available
for other purposes in the Mediterranean.' What was perhaps more
encouraging, was the increasing distaste for Spirited Colonial Policy
combined with renewed distrust of Bismarck's intentions.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, July 14, 1885.

     I have been rejoiced by your telegram announcing that Germany,
     Austria, and Italy agree to the issue of the Egyptian Loan Decree.
     It looks as if you were on the eve of settling the question most
     pressing in point of time (that of the money for Egypt), and I
     hope it augurs well for the disposition generally of the German
     Chancellor. The National Fête here puts a stop to all business for
     to-day, but I shall see Freycinet about the issue of the Decree

     The debate on the Budget for 1886 elicited some curious
     speeches in the Chamber of Deputies three days ago on the
     'Expéditions lointaines.' There was no difficulty in showing that
     they had all cost more than they were worth. They were plainly held
     by the Deputies to be unpopular in the country, and condemnation of
     them is likely to be one of the election cries of the extreme Left.
     But hardly any one seemed to see the way to bring them to an end.
     In fact, it looked as if France had got into the groove which by a
     fatality leads to annexation and conquest by strong and civilized
     nations when they once begin to establish themselves amongst weak
     and barbarous peoples. All this may delight Prince Bismarck,
     whose avowed object is to find an outlet for what he calls French
     vanity and restlessness, and a gulf to swallow up French troops
     and treasures at a distance from Europe. From a certain point of
     view this may not be without its advantages to other nations; but
     it is not without danger to the good relations between France and
     England--between whom awkward questions may arise all over the
     world. In the present I am uneasy about Siam and more so about
     Burmah. It is not a pleasant speculation to consider the change
     which may be produced in no very remote future, in the condition
     of our Indian Empire, if it be in contact with a great European
     Power both on the north and on the east.

In August, 1885, a prodigious outburst of Anglophobia occurred in Paris
in consequence of mendacious statements published by Rochefort in his
newspaper, charging the British military authorities in the Soudan
with the assassination of a certain Olivier Pain. Olivier Pain was an
ex-Communist and French journalist who had accompanied the Turks in
the campaign of 1877, and who was reputed to be occasionally employed
by the Turkish Government as a secret agent. In the spring of 1884,
he had set off to join the Mahdi, and having completely disappeared
from view, and being presumably dead, Rochefort took the opportunity
to announce that Lord Wolseley had procured his death by offering a
reward of fifty pounds for his head. The enterprise had been allotted to
Major Kitchener[43]: 'un sinistre gredin nourri de psaumes et abreuvé
de whisky qui a eu le premier, l'idée de mettre à prix la tête de celui
qu'il appelait "l'espion français."'

As, however, it was impossible to reach Lord Wolseley and the
'sinistre gredin,' Rochefort urged that vengeance should be taken upon
'l'Ambassadeur Lyons.' 'A partir d'aujourd'hui il est notre ôtage!
Sa vieille peau est le gage de la satisfaction qui nous est due.'
'L'Ambassadeur Lyons' was, however, also beyond reach, as he happened to
be on leave, and it was, therefore, suggested that the few secretaries
(of whom I was one), who were then in Paris, should be forthwith strung
up to the lamp-posts in the Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré. The astonishing
thing was that these ravings were actually taken more or less seriously,
and that for some time the French authorities found it necessary to
protect the Embassy with numerous police detachments.

It has always been one of the inscrutable mysteries that Rochefort,
ever since the Commune, was allowed a toleration accorded to no one
else, on the ground of his alleged exceptional wit and humour, whereas
his effusions consisted almost entirely of gross personal abuse of the
lowest type, levelled indiscriminately at prominent individuals of any
description, and largely directed against England, whose hospitality he
enjoyed during many years of exile.


[Footnote 37: _Times_ correspondent in Paris.]

[Footnote 38: Col. the Hon. George Villiers, Military Attaché at Paris.]

[Footnote 39: Lyons, Feb. 1883.]

[Footnote 40: Sir Joseph Crowe, K.C.M.G., Commercial Attaché at the
Paris Embassy.]

[Footnote 41: French Minister at Tangier.]

[Footnote 42: Mr. G. Errington, M.P., had been despatched by Mr.
Gladstone on a secret mission to the Vatican in connection with the Home
Rule agitation.]

[Footnote 43: Now Lord Kitchener.]




The sudden and unexpected declaration in September of the Union of
Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia which caused so much perturbation in
Europe, and resulted in a war between Servia and Bulgaria, left the
French quite indifferent; but the imminence of hostilities between
England and Burmah provoked French ill-humour, which was all the
more inexcusable because no protest had ever been made against
French proceedings in Tonquin and Madagascar. The truth was that the
Burmese resistance to the Indian Government was largely due to French
encouragement. As far back as 1883 a Burmese Mission had arrived in
Paris, and kept studiously aloof from the British Embassy; and although
every opportunity had been taken to impress upon the French Government
the peculiar relations between Burmah and British India, there was not
the least doubt that the object of the Burmese had been to obtain from
the French Government such a Treaty as would enable them to appeal
to France in the event of their being involved in difficulties with
England. How much encouragement they actually received is not known, but
it was probably sufficient to effect their undoing.

     The papers are abusing us about Burmah, and being quite
     innocent of any aggression themselves in that part of the world,
     are horrified at our holding our own there. Nevertheless, I hope
     the Indian Government will finish the thing out of hand, for an
     ugly state of feeling about it is growing up here.

The rapidity with which the operations against Burmah were conducted
left nothing to be desired. The campaign was over within a few weeks;
on January 1, 1886, the annexation of Burmah was proclaimed, and the
affairs of that country ceased to be of any further interest to the
French Government.

Lord Salisbury's tenure of the Foreign Office, which had been marked
by so successful a policy that even Mr. Gladstone had expressed
satisfaction, came to an end early in 1886, and he was succeeded by Lord
Rosebery. 'The irony of events,' wrote the latter to Lord Lyons, 'has
sent me to the Foreign Office, and one of the incidents of this which
is most agreeable to me, is that it brings me into close relations with

Although the Paris press had circulated a ridiculous fiction that Lord
Rosebery (presumably because he was personally acquainted with Bismarck)
was anti-French by inclination, the change of Government in England was
received in France with perfect equanimity, as had been the case in the
previous autumn.

The new Foreign Secretary, however, could not fail to be painfully
impressed by the unsatisfactory feeling which obviously existed in
France towards England, and found it difficult of explanation.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Rosebery to Lord Lyons._

    March 3, 1886.

     I am rather anxious about the attitude of the French. In
     my short tenure of office they have brought up three or four
     questions, all in the highest degree distasteful to us.

     1. The Consul at Suakim: as to which they say, with accuracy
     which is disputed, that they had gone too far and could not
     withdraw the appointment.

     2. Arbitration on the Somali coast troubles: as to which they
     declare that Salisbury promised it, which Salisbury, I understand,

     3. The revival of the Suez Canal Commission.

     4. The announcement made to me by Waddington yesterday that
     they should be obliged shortly to send a cargo of recidivists to
     the Isle of Pines. I remonstrated strongly with him, and indeed
     I cannot foresee all the consequences, should they carry their
     intention into effect. One, however, I do clearly perceive, which
     is that we should have to denounce the Postal Convention of 1856,
     which gives the Messageries privileges in Australian ports, which
     could not be sustained, and which the colonists would not for a
     moment, under such circumstances, respect.

     But these are details. What I want to point out is the
     apparent animus displayed in these different proceedings. I shall
     not mention them to my colleagues until I hear your view of them,
     and anything you may be able to collect on the subject.

     What does it all mean? These things did not occur during the
     late Government? Are they directed against the new Administration?
     I cannot view them as a chapter of accidents.

     As for myself, I have entered upon this office with the most
     sincere wish to be friendly with France. There can be no earthly
     reason why we should not be so. It is a pity, therefore, that our
     cordiality should be poisoned at its source.

     I wish you would let me know what you think of all this. You
     can pick up much directly, and perhaps even more indirectly, on
     these points. Pray forgive the length of this letter.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Rosebery._

    Paris, March 5, 1886.

     I have naturally been on the watch since you came into office
     for indications of the feelings of the French Government respecting
     the change. In answer to your letter of the day before yesterday,
     asking my opinion, I can only say that I think the French are quite
     as well disposed towards the new Government as they were to the
     late one--indeed, of the two, I should say better. We come so much
     into contact with the French all over the globe that questions
     more or less unpleasant are always arising in smaller or greater
     numbers, according to circumstances; and French feeling is in a
     chronic state of irritability about Egypt.

     The four subjects you mention are certainly annoying, but I do
     not believe that the French proceedings respecting them have been
     actuated by any animus against the present English Ministry.

     I shall be somewhat staggered in this opinion, however, if the
     French Government proposes to substitute arbitration by any third
     Power for the understanding that the Somali coast questions shall
     be treated by friendly negotiations between the two Governments,
     and that meanwhile the _status quo_ shall not be disturbed. With a
     view to proceeding with the negotiation, M. Waddington proposed to
     Lord Salisbury on Jan. 20th, and by a written note the next day,
     that an inquiry should be made on the spot by two Commissioners,
     one English and one French. Lord Salisbury received the verbal
     proposal favourably, but did not at the moment give a definitive

     The proposal to reassemble the Suez Canal Commission is simply
     the renewal of a proposal made by M. Waddington to Lord Salisbury
     at the beginning of January.

     The most serious of the affairs you mention appears to me to
     be the imminent despatch of a cargo of _récidivistes_ to the Isle
     of Pines. I have seen from the beginning the importance of this
     _récidiviste_ question as regards public feeling in Australia,
     and there is hardly any question about which I have taken so much
     trouble. I have attacked successive French Ministers upon it in
     season and out of season, but I have never succeeded in obtaining
     any promise that _récidivistes_ should not be sent to the Pacific.
     As I reported to you, I remonstrated with Freycinet about the
     intention actually to send off a batch, as soon as I became aware
     of it. I did not perceive any difference in his manner or language
     from what they had been when some other Ministers had been in
     office in England, but my remonstrances were equally ineffectual. I
     am glad you had an opportunity of speaking strongly to Waddington.
     I see troubles ahead, for the Australians have before now
     threatened to pass Dominion laws against French ships found to have
     escaped convicts on board, which seem to go a good deal beyond
     international usage, not to say law.

     It is time, however, for me to wind up this long story. My
     answer to your question is that I am far from thinking that there
     is any _malus animus_ against Her Majesty's present Government on
     the part of Freycinet and his Cabinet. Nor do I know that there is
     more than the usual irritability towards England among the French
     public; but still I feel strongly that it behoves us to tread
     cautiously as well as firmly, when we are coming upon French ground.

The spring of 1886 was noticeable for another Government onslaught
upon such members of ex-reigning families as were then residing in
France. Of these the most conspicuous were the Orleans Princes. There
was nothing in their conduct to cause alarm to the Republic, as they
confined themselves to taking part in social functions, at which they
maintained a kind of semi-state, being always attended by ladies and
gentlemen-in-waiting after the manner of recognized Royal personages.
This innocent procedure was sufficient excuse to work up an agitation
against them, and to introduce an Expulsion Bill.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Rosebery._

    Paris, May 25, 1886.

     The question of the day is the expulsion of the Princes. The
     measure, if taken, will be quite unjustifiable, discreditable to
     the Government, and, I should say, not at all injurious to the
     cause of the victims. Considering the people and the institutions
     with which they had to deal, the partisans of the Orleans Princes
     have not been so prudent and correct as the Princes themselves.
     They have gone about twitting the Republicans with weakness for
     permitting the very mild demonstration made by the Royalists, and
     declaring that such want of vigour was simply a sign of the decay
     of the Republic.

       *       *       *       *       *

     The general opinion is that the Expulsion Bill will pass in
     its present, or even in an aggravated form, and that if it does,
     the Government will proceed to expel the Comte de Paris at least,
     if not the Duc de Chartres, and some others. On the other hand, it
     is not expected that the Bill confiscating the property, real and
     personal, of the Orleans and Bonapartes will be adopted.

     Much anxiety is felt respecting Boulanger's goings on with
     respect to the army. He seems to think of nothing but currying
     favour with the lowest ranks in the service, and with the mob
     outside. It is believed by many people that he would not act
     vigorously, as Minister of War, against any disturbances, but would
     try to turn them to account and set up for himself as dictator or
     what not.

     The financial situation is very bad, and if common scandal is
     to be listened to, the very short duration of French Ministries is
     having the effect of making most of the individual Ministers very
     unscrupulous and very impatient to make hay during the very short
     time that the sun shines.

The above letter contains one of the first allusions to the enterprising
impostor Boulanger, who very nearly succeeded in making history, and
of whom much was to be heard for some considerable space of time. His
popularity was due in great measure to the vague discontent which
was then prevalent in France. People thought that they saw the same
inefficiency in the Government, the same relaxation of authority, the
same financial difficulties, and the same venality which marked the last
days of the Second Empire. There seemed to be no individual, in or out
of the Royal or Imperial Dynasties, capable of exciting any enthusiasm
or of inspiring any confidence, and public feeling was in that state of
lassitude and dissatisfaction which might give a reasonable chance for a
bold stroke for power.

The scandalous Expulsion Bill passed both Chambers, and the Princes took
their departure.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Rosebery._

    Paris, June 25, 1886.

     The departure of the Comte de Paris from Eu has been
     accompanied by many very sad circumstances, but I cannot help
     thinking that his political position is improved by his expulsion.
     His own partisans are much pleased at its having elicited from
     him a distinct assertion of a claim to the throne, and of a
     determination to work for the restoration of monarchy.

     It is less easy to give an opinion on the position of the
     Princes who have remained in France. It seems to be hardly
     compatible with dignity and comfort, considering the unabated
     hostility to them of the Reds, who seem generally to end in
     overpowering all generous and conservative feelings in the Chambers
     and in the Government.

     Prince Napoleon and his son Prince Victor went off in opposite
     directions, one to Geneva, the other to Brussels. The departure of
     neither seems to have made much apparent sensation in Paris when
     it took place, but I am far from certain that Prince Victor is not
     really a more formidable opponent to the Republic than is the Comte
     de Paris.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Rosebery._

    Paris, July 2, 1886.

       *       *       *       *       *

     The topic of the day here is the conduct of the Minister of
     War, General Boulanger. He was supposed to be an Orleanist. Then
     he went round to Clémençeau, and was put into Freycinet's Cabinet
     as a representative of the Clémençeau party, which though not the
     most Red in the Chamber, is more Red than the Freycinet section.
     Since he has been in office Boulanger has lost no opportunity of
     ingratiating himself with the Radicals, and he has been travelling
     about the country making speeches, the object of which has
     evidently been to gain personal popularity for himself without
     regard to his colleagues.

     He has also by degrees put creatures of his own into the
     great military commands. A crisis was produced, during the last
     few days, by his quarrelling with General Saussier, the military
     Governor of Paris, and provoking him into resigning. He is also
     said to have used strange language in the Council of Ministers. At
     any rate, President Grévy and the Ministers seem to have thought
     they would be more comfortable at Paris without having a satellite
     of Boulanger as Governor, and they have insisted upon declining
     Saussier's resignation. From the way people talk, one would think
     that the questions were whether Boulanger is aiming at being a
     Cromwell or a Monk, and if a Monk, which dynasty he will take up.

     There is a good deal of alarm here about foreign affairs. The
     reports of a large concentration of Russian troops in Bessarabia
     are supposed to confirm other indications that Russia is meditating
     a revenge for the check she has sustained with regard to Bulgaria.
     This, it is supposed, must bring Austria into the field. Moreover,
     Bismarck does not seem to be in an amiable mood towards France;
     and with or without instigation from him, Germans talk as if war
     was inevitable.

     Then the Republic here has lasted sixteen years, and that is
     about the time which it takes to make the French tired of a form of
     Government. The Republic has not been successful financially, and
     trade and agriculture are not prosperous, nor is the reputation of
     the Republican administration high for purity or efficiency.

     So there is plenty to croak about for those who are inclined
     to croak.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Rosebery._

    Paris, July 13, 1886.

     The regular session of the French Chambers is to be closed the
     day after to-morrow, and the Chambers are to spend to-morrow at
     the Review at Longchamps, and I suppose to take part in the other
     nuisances which makes Paris insupportable on a National Fête day.
     I conclude the Chambers will come back in October for an extra
     session as usual. In fact, they have not yet voted the Budget; or,
     I had almost said, any useful measure. In Commercial matters and
     indeed in everything relating to intercourse with other countries,
     they have shown the narrowest and most exclusive spirit. Their
     great feat has been the law for the persecution of the Princes,
     which seems to be carried out as harshly as possible. I should
     not have said that the literal wording of the law necessitated
     or even justified the dismissal from the army of Princes who
     already belonged to it, but I suppose that was the intention of
     the legislators. The Duc d'Aumale's letter to the President is a
     powerful document, but was sure to lead to his expulsion, and was
     perhaps intended to have that effect.

     Among people who ought to have good information from abroad,
     the alarm as to a war this autumn seems stronger than among
     the French politicians who confine themselves more closely to
     considering French feeling at home. Certainly it comes round to
     one in various ways from Germany that war is very generally
     expected, or at all events talked of there. The accounts current
     in Germany of supposed French provocations look as if there was
     a party there trying to work up hostile feeling against France.
     An alliance between France and Russia seems to be the bugbear. I
     don't see symptoms at present of any war spirit in this country;
     but of course a quarrel between Russia and Germany would be a great
     temptation to French Chauvinism.

The abhorred annual fête of July 14, 1886, possessed an interest which
had been wanting previously, and has never since been renewed. This
was due to the presence of a number of troops at the Longchamps Review
who had just returned from Tonquin, and to the excitement caused by
the first appearance of Boulanger at a big military display in Paris.
Notwithstanding the inflated rubbish which was published the next day in
the French press, there could not be the least doubt that the Tonquin
troops were received without the slightest enthusiasm. In Paris the
very word 'Tonquin' was hated; the country was associated with loss of
life, and with heavy taxation, and nothing could have expressed more
eloquently the disenchantment produced by a Spirited Colonial Policy,
than the chilling reception accorded to these returned soldiers. The
enthusiasm which should have been bestowed upon these humble instruments
was lavished upon the charlatan who at that moment was the most
prominent and popular figure in the eye of the French public.

The military mountebank (aptly christened by Jules Ferry, 'a music
hall St. Arnaud') had, with some foresight, provided himself with a
high-actioned black circus horse, and those who were present on the
occasion will never forget the moment when he advanced to salute the
President, and other notabilities established in the official Tribune.
Only a few days before, it was currently believed, he had terrified his
ministerial colleagues by appearing at a Cabinet Council in uniform,
and now as he pranced backwards or forwards on the circus horse and the
public yelled their acclamations, President Grévy and the uninteresting
crowd of bourgeois ministers and deputies who surrounded him, seemed
visibly to quiver and flinch as shuddering memories of December 2 and
other _coups d'état_ obtruded themselves upon their recollections.

From that day Boulanger became a dangerous man; the circus horse
had done the trick; the general embodied in the public fancy the
_clinquant_, for which the French had so long been sighing in secret;
_l'homme qui monte à cheval_ in place of _l'homme qui monte à la
tribune_, and for a long time he survived even that ridicule which in
France is supposed to kill more effectively than elsewhere. Even when
he engaged in a duel with an elderly and short-sighted civilian, M.
Floquet, and was decisively worsted, he continued to remain a popular

Lord Rosebery, upon whom the unreasonable ill-feeling then constantly
shown by the French towards England had made a painful impression,
had realized in May that the Gladstone Government was doomed, and
had wisely decided in consequence that a process of marking time
was preferable to embarking upon anything in the nature of a heroic
policy. Upon his retirement and the formation of a new administration,
Lord Lyons experienced what was probably the greatest surprise of his
life in the shape of the following letter from Lord Salisbury. In
order to reinforce its arguments the late Lord Currie, then Permanent
Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, was sent over with it to

[Illustration: _General Boulanger._


       *       *       *       *       *

    Confidential. July 26, 1886.

     I accepted yesterday the Queen's commission to form a
     Government. It is a task full of difficulties; and I would have
     gladly seen Lord Hartington undertake it. This, however, he could
     not be induced to do; and the duty falls upon me. One of my first
     thoughts is to provide a Foreign Secretary for the new Government:
     for I could not, with any hope of carrying it through successfully,
     repeat the experiment of last summer by uniting the Foreign
     Secretaryship with the Premiership.

     There is no one possessing the experience and knowledge of
     Foreign Affairs which you have, and no one whose appointment would
     exercise so great a moral authority in Europe. And we certainly
     have not in our political ranks any one who could claim a tithe of
     the fitness for the office which every one would acknowledge in
     your case. I earnestly hope the proposal may be not unacceptable to
     you. If that should happily be the case, a great difficulty in our
     way will have been most successfully removed.

     As there is much to be said on the matter which it would be
     too long to write, Currie has very kindly undertaken to take this
     letter over and discuss the matter with you. We have talked it over
     very fully.

     If you should be in need of any interval of repose, I could
     easily take the seals for a few weeks.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris. July 27, 1886.

     Currie brought me your letter early this morning. In answer to
     it I sent you at 11.30 a.m. the following telegram:--

     'I am very much gratified, and I am very grateful for the kind
     consideration with which your proposal is accompanied, but my
     age and the state of my health make it quite impossible for me to
     undertake the office.'

     I hope I need not assure you that I am fully sensible of the
     kindness of your letter, and that if I cannot feel that I merit all
     you say of me, I am at least grateful for your good opinion.

     The truth is, that I could not now undertake new and laborious
     duties with any confidence that I could discharge them efficiently.
     I feel the need of rest, and I am not equal to beginning a new
     life of hard work. I could not conscientiously assume the great
     responsibility which would be thrown upon me.

If the post of Foreign Secretary has ever been offered during the
last hundred years to any other person outside the ranks of orthodox
party politicians the secret has been well kept, and it might perhaps
be suggested that few people would be found with sufficient strength
of mind to decline so glittering a prize. Lord Lyons, however, as is
sufficiently evident, found no difficulty in at once deciding upon the
refusal of an offer which the ordinary mediocrity would have accepted
with avidity. In the above letter he founded his refusal upon grounds
of age and ill-health, and in private he used to express the opinion
that after the age of forty a man's faculties began and continued to
deteriorate. But it is not in the least likely that he would have
accepted the honour which it was proposed to bestow upon him, at any
period of his life. His extreme modesty and diffidence have already
been dwelt upon, but a more valuable quality than these is a man's
realization of his own limitations, and it is probable that Lord Lyons,
by the exercise of his exceptionally impartial judgment, was able to
form a more correct opinion as to his own potentialities than Lord
Salisbury. A thorough and profound knowledge of foreign politics is
not the sole necessary qualification of an English Foreign Secretary;
had such been the case, Lord Lyons would have been an ideal occupant
of the post; but in England, where the value of Ministers is gauged
chiefly by the fallacious test of oratorical capacity, the Foreign
Secretary is constantly obliged to make speeches in defence of or in
explanation of his policy, and although the House of Lords is the
most long-suffering and good-natured assembly in the world, it would
have been no easy task for a man of sixty-nine, who had never put two
sentences together in public, to suddenly appear in Parliament as the
representative of one of the most important departments, to say nothing
of public meetings, deputations, banquets, etc. It may also be doubted
whether, in spite of his many admirable qualities, he was really adapted
for the post. All his life, he had been merely an instrument--a highly
efficient instrument--of the existing Government, and had received
instructions, which had invariably been carried out with singular skill
and intelligence. But the responsibility had not been his, and as
Foreign Secretary the initiative as well as the responsibility which
would have rested upon him might have imposed too formidable a strain
upon one of so cautious a temperament. Taking into consideration these
doubts, his advanced age, failing health, and the effect of depression
caused by the recent death of his much loved sister, the Dowager Duchess
of Norfolk, the refusal of the Foreign Office by Lord Lyons was only an
additional instance of that robust common sense which was one of his
most pronounced characteristics. Lord Rosebery, at all events, thought
that he had decided wisely.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Rosebery to Lord Lyons._

    Dalmeny, Aug. 10, 1886.

     As my Foreign Office episode is at an end, I write a line of
     good-bye, not as a Minister, but on the footing of what I hope I
     may call friendship.

     My six months' experience has led me to the conviction that
     our relations with France are really more troublesome than with
     any other Power. She is always wanting something of us which it is
     impossible to give her, and she then says plaintively, 'You never
     do anything for me.' She is quite oblivious of the fact that she
     never loses the opportunity of playing us a trick. Witness the
     secret expedition to the New Hebrides. Nothing would have induced
     me to go on with any one of the negotiations with Waddington until
     they had removed their troops from those islands. Whenever he asked
     for an answer about anything, I always turned the conversation
     round to that interesting spot.

     With this conviction, therefore, it has been a great comfort
     to feel that you were at Paris.

     I am not surprised that you did not care about my succession!
     It is a weary post.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Rosebery._

    Heron's Ghyll, Uckfield, Aug. 17, 1886.

     Your friendly letter has followed me here and has much
     gratified me.

     I think you must look back with great satisfaction to your
     time at the Foreign Office. You have certainly won golden opinions
     from your subordinates and from the world at large, which is
     perhaps a less competent judge. My own official intercourse with
     you was certainly both very pleasant to me and very satisfactory.

     I attribute the difficulties with France more to the
     inevitable consequences of our coming into contact with the French
     in all parts of the world, than to any ill-will on either side,
     although I do not pretend to say that the state of feeling is what
     I could wish it to be.

     Independently of any other considerations, I felt altogether
     too old to undertake the Foreign Office. I was so convinced of
     this, that I regarded it as what the French call an objection
     _préjudicielle_ to entertaining the question at all.

The post which Lord Lyons had declined was accepted by Lord Iddesleigh,
who had just been removed from the House of Commons, and, as was only
natural, it is evident that he was in the habit of consulting Lord
Salisbury before taking any step of importance. In October, 1886, with
the concurrence of Lord Salisbury, Lord Lyons was instructed to approach
the French Government on the question of Egypt, and to explain the
conditions under which it would be possible to terminate the British
military occupation. There seems to be absolutely no doubt that Her
Majesty's Government were perfectly sincere and honestly desirous of
carrying out the promises that had been made at various times, and as
subsequent history showed, it was the misguided opposition of France and
Russia which was as much responsible as anything else for the permanent
British occupation of Egypt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Iddesleigh._

    Paris, Oct. 22, 1886.

     In my previous letter of to-day I have told you what M. de
     Freycinet said to me about the Suez Canal Convention. I had a long
     interview with him, but though I gave him plenty of opportunities,
     he did not say one other word about Egypt. This being the case,
     I thought it prudent to abstain, at all events at this first
     interview, from saying anything on my side. So far then I have not
     made known to him any part of the contents of your letter to Lord
     Salisbury of the 18th or of his telegraphic answer.

     The fact is, that from what I have made out since I came back
     here, I am led to think that the French Government have now good
     reason to doubt whether they would get Bismarck's support if they
     raised the Egyptian question with a view to embarrass us. This
     being the case, they are very much hesitating to do so, and are
     on the look-out for signs of our impressions on the subject, and
     would interpret any appearance of unusual anxiety on our part, or
     any fresh offers of concessions from us, simply as indications
     that we still thought Germany might join against us. If the French
     Government are not pretty sure of help and sympathy from abroad,
     they will probably not stir in the matter.

     In the meantime, however, the press has been strongly excited,
     probably by d'Aunay and Charmes. There is a very nasty article,
     principally about the financial part of the Egyptian question, in
     the _Débuts_ this morning.

     I shall perhaps be able to see my way more clearly in a day or
     two. In the meantime I am disposed to think the most prudent plan
     will be to be reserved and firm about Egypt, but not to display
     anxiety on the subject.

The idea of Lord Salisbury, speaking generally, was that a somewhat
distant date of evacuation should be foreshadowed; that if evacuation,
as was fully intended, should be carried out, some return should be
expected for the expenditure of British blood and treasure, and that
the Suez Canal difficulty should be settled without further delay. He
considered that the negotiations should be carried on with the Porte
(Sir Henry Drummond Wolff had already been despatched on this mission),
and that confidential communications should be made to France and

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Iddesleigh._

    Paris, Oct. 26, 1886.

     I shall be very anxious to know what line Waddington took on
     his return to his post, and particularly what, if anything, he said
     about Egypt.

     Freycinet is the man chiefly responsible for the refusal of
     France to join in our expedition to Egypt, and this no doubt makes
     him very anxious to gain for himself the credit of some striking
     success in getting England out of that country. So far as I can
     make out here, the attempts that have been made to get the Powers
     to unite in calling for a general Conference upon Egyptian affairs
     have not met with much success. If Bismarck decidedly opposes
     attempts of this kind, they will no doubt be abandoned. The Press
     continue to urge strong measures against our continuing in Egypt,
     and is not measured in its language.

     The autumn session is often fatal to French Ministers. I
     recollect Gambetta's saying to me not long before his own fall:
     '_En automne les feuilles tombent et les porte-feuilles aussi._'

It is more than likely that the instructions which M. Waddington
received about this period were of a disagreeable nature. A well-known
French Ambassador once remarked to me some years later, that the London
Embassy was no very desirable post from the French diplomatist's point
of view. 'We are sent there with the mission of getting the English out
of Egypt, and the thing cannot be done!'

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Iddesleigh._

    Paris, Nov. 23, 1886.

     Freycinet's aim seems to be to improve his own position in
     the Chambers and in the country by obtaining our withdrawal from
     Egypt, and of course the object cannot be attained unless he can
     make it appear that the withdrawal is his doing. Hence his strong
     desire that we should negotiate with him and his dislike to our
     negotiating with Turkey or any other Power.

     The crushing defeat of the Right in the elections in the
     Department of the Nord is another proof of their blindness in
     misusing the chance they had after the general election. They might
     possibly have led gradually up to a restoration by giving strength
     to Conservative principles and measures. They could only discredit
     themselves by joining the extreme Radicals and attempting to
     produce mischief and confusion.

     The Germans are either very dilatory, or they have some
     _arrière pensée_ about the Zanzibar affair. Yesterday afternoon
     Münster was still without any instructions to make the joint
     invitation to the French.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Iddesleigh._

    Paris, Dec. 3, 1886.

     You will see by my despatch that Freycinet has again attacked
     me about Egypt. He wants the negotiation to go through him, and
     if possible to be made with him, independently of the Turks, or
     at least virtually in conjunction with us. I have not yet seen
     any symptoms of his being anxious really to help us in Egyptian
     matters; and I am not generally favourable to carrying on parallel
     negotiations, or the same negotiation in different places. The
     danger of informal conversations between Freycinet and me is that,
     however cautious I may be, he may somehow or other find occasion
     to quote me, as being more _coulant_ than you. At any rate, if I
     had to talk to him it would be very necessary for you to tell me
     very exactly how far I could go: and above all, that I should be
     guarded from holding any language which might by any possibility be
     embarrassing to the line circumstances might make it advisable for
     Her Majesty's Government to take in Parliament afterwards.

     I was long enough at Constantinople to see that no dependence
     whatever was to be placed upon what the Porte told an Ambassador
     about his colleagues. Still I cannot say that the Turkish
     revelation about the communications the Porte affects to receive
     from the French and Russian Ambassadors about Egypt and about us,
     are, in the face of them, improbable. At any rate, our views must
     be much nearer than those we now have to the French ideas, before
     we shall get any real help from France at the Porte.

     I write, as you know, in ignorance of Wolff's opinion, as he
     did not stop here on his way home.

     Freycinet's defeat in the Chamber this afternoon is serious
     because it followed a strong speech from himself against the
     _Sous-Préfet_ abolition, but he has wonderful skill in patching
     things up.

Freycinet in December was defeated by one of those combinations of
Royalist and Radicals which were not uncommon in French politics, and
although the absurdity of the situation was obvious to every one,
insisted on placing his resignation and that of the Cabinet in President
Grévy's hands. A change of Government was so useless that even those
who had combined to overthrow Freycinet endeavoured to persuade him
to reconsider his determination. He remained obdurate, however, and
the President, casting about for a successor, pitched at first upon M.
Floquet, a strong Radical who was particularly obnoxious to the Russian

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Iddesleigh._

    Paris, Dec. 7, 1886.

     The chances seem to be in favour of Floquet being Prime
     Minister. He is of the section of the Chamber called 'Gauche
     radical,' that is to say, he falls just short of the most extreme
     Left. Who would be his Minister for Foreign Affairs and what would
     be his foreign policy I do not pretend to say. The incident in
     his life most talked about is his having cried out, '_Vive la
     Pologne!_' and used some expressions taken as disrespectful to
     the late Emperor of Russia, when His Majesty was at the Palais de
     Justice, on his visit to Paris during the Exhibition of 1867. The
     Russian Ambassadors have, I believe, declined or avoided exchanging
     courtesies with him when he has since been in situations, such
     as that of _Préfet de la Seine_, and President of the Chamber of
     Deputies, which have brought him into communication with the rest
     of the diplomatic body. Russia at this moment is paying so much
     court to France that she might perhaps get over this.

     The Left of the Chamber have hitherto been opposed to the
     Tonquin and Madagascar Expeditions and to an adventurous and
     Chauvin policy altogether; but if in power they would probably go
     in for pleasing the Chamber and the bulk of the people out of doors
     even more unreservedly than Freycinet did.

     I should have regretted Freycinet's fall more, if he had
     not taken up the Egyptian question in the way he did. Our
     communications with him on that subject were becoming very
     uncomfortable. I am not very sanguine, however, about their being
     more satisfactory with his successor.

The notion, however, of having M. Floquet as Prime Minister frightened
every one except the extreme Radicals so much that that gentleman was
unable to form an administration, and the choice of the President
ultimately fell upon a M. Goblet, who was Radical enough for most people
and not much hampered by pledges and declarations. The office of Foreign
Minister remained vacant, but, much to the relief of Lord Lyons, it was
definitely refused by M. Duclerc. Lord Lyons had, by this time, had no
less than twenty-one different French Foreign Ministers to deal with,
and of these Duclerc was the one he liked least. No suitable person
seemed to be available, and it was in vain that, one after the other
French diplomatists were solicited to accept the office. At length a
Foreign Minister was found in M. Flourens, a brother of the well-known
Communist who was killed in 1871. M. Flourens was completely ignorant of
everything concerning foreign affairs, and his appointment was perhaps
an unconscious tribute to the English practice of putting civilians at
the head of our naval and military administrations.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Iddesleigh._

    Paris, Dec. 21, 1886.

     I have not yet had the means of improving my acquaintance
     with Flourens, but I expect to have some conversation with him
     to-morrow. He had not a word to say about Bulgaria when I saw him
     on Friday. He did not seem to have known anything about foreign
     affairs before he took office, nor to expect to stay long enough in
     office to become acquainted with them. Some people suppose that he
     is to make way for the return of Freycinet as soon as the Budget is
     passed. Anyway, the Goblet Ministry is only the Freycinet Ministry
     over again without the strongest man, who was undoubtedly Freycinet
     himself. When Parliament meets, things will be just as they were.
     There will still be in the Chamber 180 Deputies on the Right,
     ready to vote any way in order to make mischief and discredit the
     Republic; about 100 Deputies on the extreme Left, intimidating the
     Government and forcing it into extreme Radical measures, they being
     able to count in all emergencies upon getting the vote of the Right
     to turn out a Ministry; and lastly there will be 300 remaining
     deputies, who cannot agree enough amongst themselves to form a
     majority that can be relied upon, who do not at all like violent
     radical measures, but who are too nervously afraid of unpopularity
     to show resolution in opposing the extreme Left.

     So far the Comte de Paris's declaration seems simply to have
     made the ultra-Monarchists furiously angry, and not to have induced
     any great part of the Right to think of taking the wise course it

     I do not see any outward signs here of the strained relations
     between France and Germany and the imminent war between the two
     countries which the _Standard_ announces. But it is true that among
     the French themselves some suspicion and distrust of Boulanger's
     aims are becoming more apparent.

The hackneyed saying: _Plus cela change, plus c'est la même chose_, was
never more appropriate than in the case of the change from a Freycinet
to a Goblet Government; one section of uninspiring ministers had merely
given place to another, and no one in France seemed in any way the
better for it.

On New Year's Dav, 1887, President Grévy broke out into Latin in
congratulating the Diplomatic Corps on the already long continuance
of peace, but a more accurate view of the situation was expressed by
a French newspaper in the sentence: 'Jamais année nouvelle ne s'est
ouverte au milieu d'autant de promesses de paix et de préparatifs de
guerre que l'année 1887.' 'I do not know,' wrote Lord Lyons, 'which is
the nation which wishes for war. France certainly does not, she is, on
the contrary, very much afraid of it. But one would feel more confidence
in peace if there appeared less necessity in all countries to be
perpetually giving pacific assurances. There are rumours of a defensive
alliance between Russia and France. The bond of union between the two
countries, if it exists, must be simply a common hatred of Germany.'

At the beginning of the year 1887, the Germans professed to be in
dread of an attack from France, while the French complained that they
were threatened by Germany. In France it was believed that in August,
1886, preparations had been actually made to mobilize the German army,
and the language held by Boulanger was to the effect that the military
power of France would be found to be very different to what it was in
1870. Meanwhile an unsuccessful attempt had been made by those two old
Parliamentary hands, Freycinet and Ferry, to get rid of Boulanger, who
was now becoming to be considered as equally dangerous both in France
and Germany.

It was probably the apprehension caused by the presence of this
adventurer, whose incapacity was as yet imperfectly realized, that was
responsible for the state of tension and alarm which prevailed in France
during January and February, 1887.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._[44]

    Paris, Jan. 18, 1887.

     I saw M. Grévy this morning, and found him, as it seemed to
     me, really alarmed at the possibility of France being attacked
     by Germany. The only overt act he spoke of, on the part of
     Germany, was the increase of the strength of the German garrisons
     in the neighbourhood of the French frontier. Grévy himself is
     most peaceful, and quite sincerely so. His natural character and
     temperament, and his interest too, tend that way. He would hardly
     be able to hold his own as President in case of war, and there is
     very little chance of France going to war as long as he is the head
     of the State. Flourens also spoke to me of danger to France and
     Germany when I saw him this afternoon.

     I think the alarm of Grévy and Flourens was sincere, though I
     do not share it myself at this moment.

     In France there is no desire to go to war, and I doubt whether
     she is able, or at all events fancies herself able, to cope with

     It is perhaps more difficult to keep her on good terms
     with us. Egypt is a sore which will not heal. There was a nasty
     discussion about Newfoundland Fisheries in the Senate yesterday. I
     send you a full report officially. Happily, so far, it has not had
     much echo in the public.

Alarm with respect to Germany continued to grow, and was fed by private
communications from Bismarck, who sent by unofficial agents messages
to the effect that 'he was all for peace, but that it was impossible
for him to stand the way that France was going on.' These messages came
through Bleichröder and members of the _haute finance_ in Paris, who
expressed the opinion that if Boulanger remained in office, war with
Germany was certain. The _haute finance_ is by no means invariably
correct in its political judgment, but it seems highly probable that the
war scares prevalent in 1887 were promulgated with the object of getting
rid of the troublesome firebrand upon whom so much public attention was
concentrated. The position of Boulanger, however, was a strong one, and
to dislodge him was a work of no slight difficulty. Ever since the day
when he had been taken into Freycinet's Cabinet he had contrived by
adroit advertising to keep himself before the public, and to distinguish
himself from his colleagues as exercising a separate and commanding
influence in the Chambers and with the public. In the army he had
managed to make himself feared by the higher officers and assiduously
courted popularity with the rank and file. In the political world he
had at first been regarded as being ultra democratic, but now excited
suspicion by paying court to the Conservatives, and by endeavouring, not
entirely without success, to obtain their good will.

On the whole, there was a very general impression that he was ambitious,
self-seeking, and thoroughly unscrupulous; but there were few means of
forming an opinion as to what his special plans really were, if indeed
he had formed any. Still he successfully flattered the belief of the
French that they were fast emerging from the eclipse in which their
military power and reputation were involved in 1870, and there were
not wanting those who asserted that he was inclined to seek a war, in
the hope of conducting it with success, and so establishing himself as
a military dictator. Others, influenced by their wishes, indulged in
the hope that he might be meditating a Monarchist restoration under an
Orleanist or Bonapartist Dynasty. Unsubstantial and improbable as these
suppositions may have been, it was plain that in the army and among the
public at large there prevailed a vague notion that he might be the man
of the future, a notion fostered by the absence of any one recognized in
France as possessing conspicuous and commanding abilities, and by the
craving for a real personality after a long succession of second-class

The embarrassment with regard to Germany created by the presence of
so disturbing an element in the Government as Boulanger did not,
contrary to what might have been expected, tend to improve Anglo-French
relations, and a letter from Lord Salisbury expresses in forcible
terms his dissatisfaction at difficulties which seemed to have been
gratuitously created.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    Feb. 5, 1887.

     The French are inexplicable. One would have thought that under
     existing circumstances it was not necessary to _make_ enemies--that
     there were enough provided for France by nature just now. But
     she seems bent upon aggravating the patient beast of burden that
     lives here by every insult and worry her ingenuity can devise. In
     Newfoundland she has issued orders which, if faithfully executed,
     must bring the French and English fleets into collision. At the
     New Hebrides, in spite of repeated promises, she will not stir. In
     Egypt she baulks a philanthropic change out of pure 'cussedness.'
     In Morocco she is engaged in appropriating the territory by
     instalments, threatening to reach Tangier at no distant date. And
     now, just as we are entering on pacific negotiations, the French
     Government sent orders to do precisely that which, a month ago,
     Waddington promised they should not do, namely run up the French
     flag at Dongorita.[45] It is very difficult to prevent oneself
     from wishing for another Franco-German war to put a stop to this
     incessant vexation.

     We have protested earnestly about Dongorita, which has more
     the air of a studied insult than any of the others. As to the
     Newfoundland Fisheries, if they execute their threats, they render
     the passage of a Bait Bill next year a matter of certainty. We
     have strained the good will of the colonists very far in refusing
     to allow it this year. The other matters will, I suppose, be the
     subject of slow negotiations.

     D'Herbette has made at Berlin more practical suggestions as to
     naming a date for the annexation of Egypt than we have yet had from
     the French Government. I hope the large majorities will persuade
     the French that the national feeling is in this instance not in
     favour of scuttle.

All that Lord Lyons, who was always most anxious to make the best case
he could for the French, was able to say in their defence, was that he
hoped that it was an exceptionally dark moment, and that there must be a
change shortly for the better.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Feb. 18, 1887.

     The French seem to be more confident of peace and altogether
     in better spirits than they were a few days ago, but I do not know
     that they have any positive facts or distinct information to go
     upon. The hopes of a certain number of them rest upon the belief
     that the Goblet Ministry is likely to be upset as soon as the
     Budget is finally disposed of, and that thus Boulanger will be got
     rid of.

     The newspaper accounts of Wolff's mission to Constantinople
     have brought Egypt on the tapis again, and as anxiety about
     Germany falls into the background, irritation against England
     comes prominently forward. There are, however, some symptoms of
     a return among wiser men to more prudent and reasonable views
     respecting the relations of France towards England. These men are
     alarmed especially respecting the hostility towards France which is
     apparent in Italy, and they see the folly of making enemies on all
     sides. If there should be a new Ministry it might possibly pursue
     a policy more friendly towards England with regard to Egypt and
     other matters. The Egyptian question would no doubt become less
     difficult if a change should remove M. Charmes from the Foreign
     Office and put into his place, as Political Director there, a man
     less prejudiced about Egypt.

     In the meantime much amusement has been caused by an escapade
     of Madame Flourens. On Saturday last she called upon Countess Marie
     Münster, and found with her Count Hoyos, the Austrian Ambassador.
     Madame Flourens announced loudly that her husband had resigned
     the Foreign Office, because Boulanger had attempted, without his
     knowledge, to send a letter direct to the Emperor of Russia by the
     French Military Attaché, who was to start for St. Petersburg.
     Hoyos fetched Münster himself out of an adjoining room, to hear the
     story. Madame Flourens, it appeared, supposed that Flourens was on
     the point of announcing his resignation to the Chamber of Deputies.
     It turned out, however, that Flourens had made a scene with
     Boulanger at the Council of Ministers, had gone away in a huff,
     but had been subsequently calmed by M. Grévy and M. Goblet; no
     letter to the Emperor had been sent, and the resignation had been
     withdrawn. The story had of course spread all over the town. In
     defiance of truth, a _communiqué_ contradicting it was inserted in
     the _Agence Havas_, with no other effect than that of discrediting
     the _communiqués_ which the Government is apt to put into the Havas.

There is so little mention of women in Lord Lyons's correspondence that
Madame Flourens's indiscretion comes as a welcome relief, although in
all probability it got the unfortunate Count Münster into trouble with
Bismarck, and afforded an excuse for fresh bullying. Count Münster,
who had been for many years Ambassador in London, where he had been
extremely popular, found the transfer to Paris singularly unpleasant,
more especially as in order to make things thoroughly uncomfortable for
him, Bismarck had provided an entirely new Embassy Staff.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    Feb. 19, 1887.

     * * * * *

     We are thinking of renewing our negotiations with respect to
     the Suez Canal in a serious spirit. But before we sign anything we
     shall want some satisfaction about Dongorita and the New Hebrides,
     and possibly about the Corvée.

     I think it was very shabby of the French to open the Dongorita
     affair upon us, just after we had made so material a concession
     upon the subject of the bait in Newfoundland.

     Waddington is gloomy and rather ill-tempered--either from the
     fogs or the crisis. I have not had any further talk with him about
     Egypt lately. I think he avoids the subject. Wolff tells me that
     the French Chargé d'Affaires at Constantinople is a mere creature
     of Nelidoff's. Our negotiations are dragging on with little
     prospect of success. We are willing to fix a distant date for our
     leaving, if we receive a treaty power to go back whenever internal
     or external security are threatened. The tone in which both France
     and Turkey have received this proposal may be best expressed by the
     colloquial phrase 'Damn their impudence!' I do not expect to carry
     what I want at present, but before modifying these terms, I should
     like to know what is going to happen in Europe.

Sir Henry Drummond Wolff was at this time at Constantinople endeavouring
to negotiate the Convention with regard to the evacuation of Egypt,
and the French and Russian Embassies were actively engaged in the
senseless opposition which eventually prevented the ratification of the
Convention. The above letter from Lord Salisbury is an additional proof
of the honest desire of the British Government to carry out the rash
undertakings which had been given in the past.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, Feb. 25, 1887.

     The general feeling here seems to be that war has been
     escaped, but still there is a good deal of discontent against the
     foreign policy of the Goblet Cabinet. It seems to be considered
     that the understanding between Italy, Austria, and Germany is as
     good as made, and that the result of it will be to put an end to
     any fear of war between Russia and Austria. On the other hand, it
     is thought that Russia will feel it too necessary to watch Germany
     for it to be prudent of her to make an alliance with France, while
     without the alliance of Russia, France of course cannot face
     Germany, particularly as she has almost hostility to expect from
     Italy and no great sympathy to look for from England. The policy
     which has thus isolated France from the other Powers is seen to
     have been a mistake, and there seems to be a disposition to throw
     the blame on the Goblet Ministry. If the Goblet Ministry should
     fall, it is not improbable that the new Government might take
     the line of being conciliatory to the neighbouring countries and
     to Italy and England in particular. I am not very sanguine about
     this, but if in the meantime no irritating questions come to excite
     public opinion against us, there may possibly be a chance that
     a change of Ministry here would make our relations with France

     My hopes that a change towards England may be in contemplation
     have perhaps been strengthened by a visit which I have just had
     from a person wholly unconnected with the French Ministry who
     evidently came to ascertain what were the particular points with
     regard to which the relations between France and England might be
     improved. I said that instead of thwarting us in our endeavours
     to improve the condition of Egypt and put it in a state to stand
     alone, the French might help us; and they could not expect
     comfortable relations with us if they endeavoured to stir up other
     Powers to make difficulties with us about Egypt. I mentioned also
     the New Hebrides question, which most certainly ought and might
     be settled at once. I alluded also to those various matters all
     over the world which might be treated in a cordial and not in an
     antagonistic spirit.

     P.S.--I have strong reasons for thinking it very important
     that Waddington should not have the least inkling of my having had
     the above interview, or any communication of the kind.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    Feb. 26, 1887.

     I will not mention to Waddington the interview which you have
     had as to English grounds of complaint. I have not seen him for ten
     days: he must have taken huff at something.

     I think, as the French are coming to their senses, it might be
     well to mention unofficially to Flourens that I am quite ready to
     resume the negotiations about the Suez Canal; and that I have good
     hope of bringing it to a successful issue, but that I am hindered
     by the flag that is floating at Dongorita, and by the delay of the
     French in performing their promises as regards the New Hebrides. We
     are being a good deal reproached here, on account of our apparent
     submission to this breach of faith. If these two matters are
     corrected, I shall find it possible, and shall be very glad to
     renew the Suez Canal discussion either at Paris or here.

     I have seen Karolyi to-day--an unusual occurrence--and for the
     first time have had the admission from him that a war with Russia
     was not an impossible contingency.

     The Russians are very quiet; and the negotiations about
     Bulgaria do not really advance a bit.

M. Flourens, in spite of his complete inexperience, seems to have
realized the simple fact that it was not advisable to quarrel with
England just at the moment when relations with Germany were in a
critical condition; but unhappily the public did not appear to be in
an accommodating mood. The statements published in the English press
respecting the Drummond Wolff mission had caused great irritation,
and what was perhaps more serious, had alarmed the French again
about the security of the coupons. As long as they felt sure that
the coupons would be paid regularly, and that there was no fear of
future reduction, they were reasonably patient, unless some specially
severe blow, such as a reduction of the numbers and salaries of French
officials, as compared with English, was struck at their _amour propre_.
Now, however, they were beset with the fear that, under what they
considered to be English mismanagement, they were about to lose their
money as well as their influence.

In March the Goblet Ministry was already in difficulties, and it was
believed that Freycinet was likely to return to power, although what the
precise advantages were of these continual changes, no one was capable
of explaining.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    March 8, 1887.

     By taking credit to himself at the expense of his
     predecessors, in the interpellation yesterday, Goblet has stirred
     up the bile of a large party in the Chamber, and the determination
     to turn his Cabinet out, if possible, has revived with fresh
     vigour. It is supposed that the attempts will be made as soon as
     the Corn Duties Bill is disposed of. It seems to be thought that,
     if it succeeds, Freycinet must be Prime Minister; but there appears
     to be a strong feeling against his having the Foreign Office again.
     He is thought to have got France into uncomfortable relations with
     many of his neighbours. In the treatment of the Egyptian question
     he is believed to have sacrificed cordiality with England to a
     desire to regain the popularity he had lost by the policy which
     led to England's occupying her present position in Egypt; while
     his attempt to get up an opposition to England on the part of the
     European Powers and his worrying way of dealing himself with the
     British Government about Egypt, are thought simply to have excited
     public opinion on both sides of the Channel and to have provoked
     ill will, without in the least improving the position of France.
     There can be no doubt that Freycinet looked upon a success with
     regard to Egypt as a personal necessity for himself, and was much
     influenced in his policy towards England by this feeling.

     It is apprehended that unless the _prestige_ of Boulanger is
     put on high again by strong language from Germany, there will be no
     difficulty in obtaining, as a matter of course, his fall, with the
     rest of the Cabinet of which he is a part. M. Grévy is believed to
     be very anxious to be rid of him.

     I hear on good authority that the Russians have been trying
     again, though without success, to come to a special understanding
     with the French Government.

To say that M. Grévy was very anxious to be rid of Boulanger was
probably an understatement, for he could not conceivably have desired
anything so ardently. But the 'Music Hall St. Arnaud' was by no means
at the end of his tether, and had contrived to advertise himself by
egregious conduct with regard to the Army Committee of the Chamber
of Deputies. That Committee had drawn up a military Bill, based upon
three years' service, and Boulanger, on the pretext that it was 'not
sufficiently faithful to democratic principles,' had, without consulting
any of his colleagues, written a letter condemning the provisions of
the bill and proposing something quite different. This letter was
thoughtfully communicated to the press before it reached the Committee,
and the outraged members of the Committee as well as his colleagues
were at last goaded into resistance. The Chamber condemned the attitude
of the General towards the sacrosanct representatives of the nation;
the General himself beat a hasty and prudent retreat under cover of an
apology; the Moderate Republicans denounced him as a would-be dictator,
and the Ultra-Radicals accused him of cowardice in consequence of his
apology. Most men under the circumstances would have felt disposed to
resign office, but in the case of Boulanger it was probably immaterial
to him whether he was blamed or praised, so long as he could keep his
name before the public.

It was, and probably is still, a regulation in the British Diplomatic
Service, that its members should retire at the age of seventy, and, as
a rule, an Ambassador who had attained that age, usually considered
himself fit to discharge his duties for a further period. Lord Lyons,
however, was an exception. His seventieth birthday fell due in April,
and a month beforehand he wrote to announce that he wished to resign.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, March 22, 1887.

     Towards the end of the next month, the time will come when
     I shall be superannuated, and I feel very strongly that it will
     not come too soon. It will not be without a pang that I shall
     find myself no longer a diplomatic servant of the Queen, who has
     ever received my endeavours to obtain her approval with the most
     generous indulgence. But the labour and responsibility of this post
     are becoming too much for me, and I shall be anxious to be relieved
     from them when the time fixed by the regulations arrives.

     I need not assure you that I shall much regret the termination
     of the official connexion with you from which I have derived so
     much satisfaction.

It may not unfairly be presumed that resignations of important official
posts are habitually welcomed by Governments, as they not only remedy
stagnation in the public service, but frequently provide opportunities
for political patronage. It is plain, however, that the prospect of
losing Lord Lyons was looked upon by Lord Salisbury as a genuine
misfortune, and he did his best to induce him to reconsider his decision.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    March 26, 1887.

     I have considered your letter of the 22nd, stating that you
     felt very strongly that the time of your superannuation would not
     come too soon; and though it was a matter of very deep regret to me
     to receive such an announcement from you, it was not altogether a
     matter of surprise; for I remembered the language you had used to
     me when I tried to induce you to join us as Foreign Secretary last

     The loss which the Diplomatic Service will suffer by your
     retirement will be profound, and, for the time, hardly possible to
     repair. Your presence at Paris gave to the public mind a sense of
     security which was the result of a long experience of your powers,
     and which no one else is in a position to inspire.

     In face of the expressions in your letter I feel as if I were
     almost presuming in suggesting any alternative course of action.
     But it struck me that possibly you might be willing to make your
     official career terminate with the end of your current appointment,
     rather than with the precise date of superannuation. The effect of
     this would be to prolong your stay at Paris till next December.

     My reasons from a public point of view will, I hope, strike
     you at once. We are passing through a very anxious European crisis.
     If any fateful decisions are taken this year, it will be within the
     next three or four months. It will add very much to our anxiety to
     know that the reins at Paris are in new hands, which have never
     held them before. This mere fact may even be an element of danger.
     The avalanche hangs so loosely, that any additional sensation or
     uneasiness may displace it. If we could avoid a change till the
     winter it would be a great public advantage, even if the change
     should be inevitable.

     I hope you will forgive me for having pressed this on you in
     the interests of the public service. Whatever your decision may be,
     I give you the warmest thanks for the kind and loyal support which
     you have always given to the policy which it has been my duty to
     carry out.

An appeal of this kind from an official chief could not well be
disregarded, setting aside the fact that but few officials can have
experienced the compliment of being assured that their continued service
was essential to the peace of Europe. With well justified misgivings,
Lord Lyons therefore consented to remain on until the end of the year,
knowing perfectly well that his physical energies were on the point of

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, March 29, 1887.

     I am deeply touched by your letter of the 26th, and I feel
     that, after what you say in it, I should be extremely ungrateful if
     I were not ready to sacrifice a great deal to meet your views.

     For my own part I feel that the work and responsibility here
     are an increasing strain both upon my mind and upon my bodily
     health, and I am beset with misgivings lest, even in ordinary
     times, I may be unable to discharge my duties with energy and
     efficiency, and lest, in an emergency calling for much labour,
     I may break down altogether. This being the case, it would
     undoubtedly be a great relief and comfort to me to retire on
     becoming superannuated towards the end of next month.

     Begging you to take the misgivings into full consideration,
     and to be sure that they have not been conceived without good
     reason, and that they are strongly and very seriously felt by
     me, I place myself in your hands. If after giving full weight to
     them, you still think that it would be a satisfaction to you that
     I should continue to hold this post till the winter, and that it
     would be a great public advantage to avoid a change till that time,
     I am ready to stay on, and trusting to your indulgence to do my

     I should, of course, look upon it as quite settled that in any
     case I should retire at latest when my current appointment comes to
     an end at the close of the present year.

     If you wish me to hold on, I must ask you what, if any,
     announcement respecting my retirement should be made. Up to this
     time I have simply stated to people who have questioned me,
     that nothing was definitely settled. I did not mention to any
     one my intention to write my letter of the 22nd expressing to
     you my wish to retire, nor have I made any one acquainted with
     my having written it, except of course Sheffield, who, as my
     private secretary, made a copy of it for me to keep. The question,
     therefore, as to announcing my retirement remains intact.

     I cannot conclude without once more saying how much I am
     gratified by the appreciation of my services expressed in your
     letter, and how truly I feel the kindness shown by it.

The offer was accepted by Lord Salisbury in singularly flattering terms,
Queen Victoria also expressing much satisfaction at the consent of the
Ambassador to remain at his post. From Lord Salisbury's language, it
might be inferred that he was in some doubt as to whether his own tenure
of office was likely to be prolonged.

     I have had no hesitation in availing myself of your kind
     consent--though you seemed to doubt whether on reflection I should
     do so. Of course I fully understand that you do not feel equal to
     the amount of exertion which you would take in a more favourable
     condition of health. But this circumstance will not detract
     from the great value of your counsel and judgment, nor from the
     authority which by so many years of experience you have acquired.

     I quite understand that towards the close of the session of
     Parliament you will require the holiday you have been accustomed
     to take in recent years. I hope also to get to a bath at that
     time--whether I am in office or not.

Why Lord Salisbury should have spoken so doubtfully is not clear, unless
instinct warned him of Miss Cass, who was the first to strike a blow
at the Unionist administration. At the end of March there reappeared
the mysterious emissary who has been already mentioned. There are no
means of actually establishing his identity, but there can be little
doubt that it was M. de Chaudordy, who represented the French Foreign
Office at Tours and Bordeaux during the war. M. de Chaudordy had made
friends with Lord Salisbury at the time of the Constantinople Conference
in 1876, and he was, therefore, a suitable person to utilize for the
purpose of making advances towards a better understanding between the
two Governments.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, March 29, 1887.

     In a private letter which I wrote to you on the 25th of last
     month, I mentioned that I had received a visit from a person wholly
     unconnected officially with the French Government, who appeared to
     have come to ascertain what were the particular points with regard
     to which the relations between the English and French Governments
     might be improved. The same person has been to me again to-day,
     and has only just left me. This time he did not conceal that it
     was after being in communication with Flourens that he came. He
     enlarged on the embarrassing and indeed dangerous position in which
     France was placed by the adherence of Italy to the Austro-German
     Alliance, and said that M. Flourens was ready to make almost any
     sacrifice to secure the good will of England. I said that there
     could be no great difficulty in this, if only France would abstain
     from irritating opposition to us, and would settle promptly and
     satisfactorily outstanding questions. My visitor answered that
     Flourens conceived that he had sent conciliatory instructions
     to Waddington which would settle these questions, and that both
     Waddington and Florian[46] (who had come on leave) reported that
     there was decidedly a _détente_ in the strain which had existed in
     the Anglo-French relations. I said that I was delighted to hear it,
     and that it showed how ready you were to welcome all conciliatory
     overtures. My friend seemed on this occasion, as on the last, to
     wish me to tell him some special thing which Flourens might do
     to please you. I said that I should at any rate mention a thing
     which he might do to avoid displeasing you. He might prevent the
     French setting up an opposition to financial proposals in Egypt in
     cases in which all the other Powers were ready to agree. My friend
     spoke of Flourens's readiness to give to Russia on the Bulgarian
     question advice which you might suggest, and he mentioned various
     things which he thought M. Flourens might be ready to do to please
     England. These things appeared to me to be rather too grand and
     too vague in character to be very practical. I said, however, that
     I would always bear in mind what he had told me of M. Flourens's
     good dispositions, and would speak frankly and unreservedly to the
     Minister whenever I could make a suggestion as to the means of
     acting upon those dispositions in a manner to be satisfactory to

     The conclusions I drew from the conversation of Flourens's
     friend were that the French are horribly afraid of our being led
     to join the Italo-Austro-German Alliance, and that they have been
     urged by Russia to exert themselves to prevent this. I do not
     conceive that the French expect to induce us to join them against
     the Germans and the German Alliance. What they want is to feel sure
     that we shall not join the others against France and Russia.

It is somewhat curious that M. Flourens, who was evidently desirous
of establishing better relations with England, should have selected
an unofficial person for communication, rather than approach the
Ambassador himself; but perhaps, being quite ignorant of diplomatic
usage, he considered it necessary to shroud his action in mystery.
The Triple Alliance dated in reality from 1882, Italy having joined
the Austro-German Alliance in that year; but a new Treaty had been
signed in the month of February, 1887, and caused the French to feel a
well-justified alarm. In fact, their position was anything but a happy
one, for it was generally believed that the Emperor Alexander III. had
resolved, since the abortive attempt on his life, that he would never
ally himself with Revolutionists, and that he considered the French to
be arch-Revolutionists. Perhaps this belief may have accounted in some
measure for Flourens's amiable professions towards England.

In the month of April there occurred one of those incidents which
are the despair of peaceably minded politicians and the delight of
sensational journalism and of adventurers of the Boulanger type. A
certain M. Schnaebelé, a French Commissaire de Police, was induced to
cross the German frontier, and thereupon was arrested and imprisoned.
The act had the appearance of provocation and naturally caused a
prodigious uproar in France; Flourens endeavouring to settle the
matter diplomatically and Boulanger seizing the opportunity to display
patriotic truculence.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, April 26, 1887.

     So far as one can judge at present the French are irritated
     beyond measure by the arrest at Pagny, but generally they still
     shrink from war. It will not, I conceive, be difficult for
     Bismarck to keep at peace with them, if he really wishes to do so.
     The danger is that they are persuaded that he is only looking out
     for a pretext, and that however much they may now give way, he will
     be bent upon humiliating them till they _must_ resent and resist.
     I don't see that so far the German Government have treated the
     Pagny affair as if they wished to make a quarrel of it. The German
     _Chargé d'Affaires_ has taken many messages from Berlin to Flourens
     in the sense that if Schnaebelé shall prove to have been arrested
     on German soil, all satisfaction shall be given. But, then, in the
     Press of the two countries a controversy is raging as to which side
     of the frontier he was arrested on, and as to whether or no he was
     inveigled over the frontier.

     The French undoubtedly shrink from war, but they do not
     shrink from it as much as they did ten years ago; and if the press
     should get up a loud popular cry, there is no Government strength
     to resist it. I conceive that at this moment the Government is
     pacific, and that it does not believe the army to be yet ready.
     But if, as is no doubt the case, the Germans also believe that the
     French army is not as ready now as it will be two or three years
     hence, they may be impatient to begin. In the mean time, so far
     as I can make out, the Pagny affair is being treated by the two
     Governments with each other, in correct form diplomatically, and
     without any apparent willingness to embitter matters. I cannot say
     as much for the press on either side, though there are symptoms of
     prudence and caution in the moderate French papers.

The Schnaebelé incident was disposed of by his release from prison and
transfer to another post at Lyons; but the agitation did not subside
readily, and a bill brought in by Boulanger to mobilize an army corps
caused much disquietude at the German Embassy. It was now generally
known that Bismarck considered Boulanger a danger and desired his
removal from the War Office; but the very knowledge of this feeling and
the support accorded to him by the League of Patriots and other noisy
organizations rendered this step all the more difficult.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, May 13, 1887.

     I have not heard of any new incident between France and
     Germany, but the suspicion and susceptibility with which the two
     nations, and indeed the two Governments, regard each other, are
     certainly not diminishing.

     In France home politics are in so peculiar a state as to be
     positively disquieting. The Budget Committee and the Ministry have
     come to an open breach, and the Committee intend to propose to
     the Chamber a resolution which apparently must, if carried, turn
     out the Goblet Cabinet. This the Chamber would be willing enough
     to do, if it could see its way to forming another Government. The
     plan would be to form a Ministry with Freycinet as Prime Minister,
     but not as Minister for Foreign Affairs, and without Boulanger.
     But then they are afraid to try and upset Boulanger, while they
     feel that to form a new Government and put Boulanger in it would
     be, or might be, taken in Germany as a plain indication that they
     are warlike at heart. It is an emergency in which the Chief of
     the State should exert himself; but Grévy's caution has become
     something very like lethargy. In the mean time they are letting
     Boulanger grow up into a personage whose position may be a danger
     to the Republic at home, even if it does not embroil the country
     in a foreign war. The redeeming point in all this is that the
     Government does seem to feel that it would not do to be upon bad
     terms with England, and that it would be wise to be conciliatory
     toward us.

The Goblet Ministry soon found itself in hopeless difficulty over
the Budget, and it was plain that another aimless change of men was
inevitable. Goblet's Government had lasted for five months (inclusive
of a prolonged recess), and the real question of interest was whether
Boulanger was to be a member of the new Government or not. If he was
included in it, it was apprehended that the suspicions of Germany would
be aggravated; and on the other hand, it was doubtful whether any
Government could be formed without him. An ultra-patriotic demonstration
in Paris against German music, in the shape of Wagner's operas, was
eloquent of the state of feeling between the two nations at the time,
and the Government found that the only course open to them was to close
the theatre where the obnoxious productions were to have appeared.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, May 20, 1887.

     Freycinet appears to have agreed with Grévy to try and form a
     Cabinet and to be hard at work at the task. Of course the question
     is whether Boulanger is or is not to be in the new Cabinet? It was
     believed this morning that Grévy and Freycinet had decided upon
     offering to keep him as Minister of War. As the day has gone on,
     however, the belief has gained ground that Freycinet has not found
     colleagues willing to run the risk of war which the maintenance
     of Boulanger would produce, and that he is to propose to Grévy a
     Cabinet from which Boulanger is to be excluded. He is, however,
     to make it an essential condition with Grévy that he is to have
     the power to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies in his hands, as
     without this power he does not feel able to form a Cabinet without
     Boulanger, or indeed any Cabinet at all. In the mean time the
     Reds are getting up in all directions addresses and petitions in
     favour of Boulanger, with a view to forcing Grévy's and Freycinet's
     hands and working on their fears. If Boulanger is got rid of, the
     immediate danger of war will probably be escaped for the moment.
     Boulanger's own character, and the position in which he has placed
     himself, make him threatening to peace; and the opinion held of him
     in Germany and the irritation felt against him there make him still
     more dangerous.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, May 24, 1887.

     The last news is supposed to be that Floquet, the President
     of the Chamber, has undertaken the task of forming a Ministry,
     and that he will keep many of the outgoing Ministers, Boulanger
     included. The goings and comings at the Elysée; the singular
     selections of men to be Prime Ministers, or quasi Prime Ministers,
     and the apparent want of firmness and inability to exercise any
     influence on the part of the President of the Republic, have
     certainly not increased the reputation of M. Grévy. Floquet will,
     I suppose, be unacceptable to Russia, for the Russians have always
     ostentatiously kept up the show of resentment against him for the
     cry, offensive to the Emperor Alexander II., which he raised when
     that monarch visited the Palais de Justice during the Exhibition
     of 1867. Boulanger has lately declared that he does not want to
     continue to be Minister, but that if he is Minister, he will,
     whatever Germany may say, continue his mobilization scheme, and not
     relax in his preparations to resist an attack from Germany, and to
     avert the necessity of submitting to humiliation.

     I think, in fact, that things look very bad for France both
     at home and abroad. I can only hope that as the phases of the
     Ministerial crisis change from hour to hour, you may receive by
     telegraph some more satisfactory news before you get this letter.

In course of time a new Ministry was formed under M. Rouvier, and the
important fact attaching to it was that Boulanger had been got rid of.
Otherwise there was nothing much to distinguish the new Ministers from
the old, and they seemed disposed to angle for popularity in the country
much in the same way as Freycinet and Goblet.

The object of removing Boulanger had been to reassure and placate
Germany, but no sooner had this been done, than the Government appeared
to feel alarmed at the danger of incurring unpopularity in the country,
and hastily announced that the new Minister of War would continue to
follow in the footsteps of his predecessor.

Again, it had been understood that one of the objects of the new
Government would be to put an end to the isolation of France by
placing itself on more cordial terms with the neighbouring nations
and especially with England; but what it appeared anxious to profess,
was the intention of stoutly refusing to accept or even acquiesce
in the Anglo-Turkish Convention respecting Egypt. All this, as Lord
Lyons observed, might proceed in great measure from ignorance and
inexperience, and might be mitigated by the knowledge of affairs and
sense of responsibility which accompany office, but still it was
disquieting: all the more disquieting, because the French Foreign
Minister never failed to intimate that France would never be a party to
an arrangement which would confer upon England an international right
to re-occupy Egypt under certain circumstances after evacuation, whilst
France was to be formally excluded from enjoying an equal right.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, July 12, 1887.

     Baron Alphonse de Rothschild came to see me this afternoon,
     and told me that the last accounts he had received from Berlin
     caused him to feel more than usual alarm as to the feelings of
     Prince Bismarck and of the Germans in general towards France. They
     did not indeed imply that Germany was actually contemplating any
     immediate declaration of war, but they did show that in Germany
     war with France was regarded as a contingency that could not be
     long postponed, and of which the postponement was not desirable
     for German interests. The Germans did not seem to be prepared to
     incur the opprobrium of Europe by attacking France without having
     the appearance of a good reason for doing so, but they did seem to
     be looking out impatiently for a plausible pretext for a rupture;
     far from being sorry, they would be very glad if France would
     furnish them with such a pretext. Prince Bismarck was evidently
     not disposed to facilitate the task of M. Rouvier's Government,
     notwithstanding the pledges it had given of its desire for peace
     abroad, and the efforts it was making to promote moderation at home.

     Baron de Rothschild had, he told me, seen M. Rouvier to-day
     and made all this known to him. He had pointed out to him the
     danger which arose from the sort of coalition against France of
     the Powers of Europe, had dwelt on the importance of making almost
     any sacrifice to break up this coalition, and had especially urged
     the imprudence of allowing coldness, if not ill-will, to subsist
     between France and England.

     M. Rouvier had expressed an anxious desire to establish
     cordial relations with England.

     Baron de Rothschild had answered that the time had come
     to show this by acts, and had strongly pressed M. Rouvier to
     settle without any delay the outstanding questions which produced
     irritation between the two countries. M. Rouvier had expressed his
     intention to do so, and Baron de Rothschild had reason to believe
     that this was also the desire and intention of M. Flourens.

     I said that I heard this with great pleasure, and that
     I had received with much satisfaction assurances to the same
     effect respecting M. Flourens's sentiments, which had come to me
     indirectly through various channels. I must, however, confess that
     I had not found in M. Flourens himself any disposition to push
     assurance to this effect beyond generalities. I had not seen any
     strong practical instances of a desire on his part to give a speedy
     and satisfactory solution to outstanding questions.

     Baron de Rothschild observed that what he had said on this
     point to M. Rouvier had appeared to make a considerable impression
     on him.

     I said that it so happened that I should in all probability
     have the means of testing this almost immediately. I had in fact
     only yesterday strongly urged M. Flourens to close a question, that
     of the New Hebrides, which was creating suspicion and annoyance to
     England and causing great inconvenience in consequence of the very
     strong feeling about it which prevailed in the colonies. The two
     Governments were entirely in accord in principle upon it, and in
     fact it was only kept open by the pertinacity with which the French
     Government delayed to take the formal step necessary for closing it.

     Baron de Rothschild went on to tell me that in speaking of
     the relations with England, M. Rouvier alluded to the convention
     negotiated by Sir Drummond Wolff at Constantinople, and said that
     he did not see why it should produce any lasting disagreement
     between France and England. Whether it was ratified or not, France
     might be as conciliatory as possible towards England in dealing
     with the matter in future. In answer I suppose to a remark from
     Baron de Rothschild, M. Rouvier would seem to have said that the
     Comte de Montebello[47] appeared to have gone far beyond his
     instructions in the language he had used to the Porte.

     I asked Baron de Rothschild whether M. Rouvier had also
     said that the Comte de Montebello had received any check or
     discouragement from the Government at Paris.

     Passing on from this, Baron de Rothschild told me that before
     concluding the conversation, he had pointed out to M. Rouvier that
     the great addition of strength which the Ministry had received
     from the vote of the Chamber yesterday, would enable them to act
     with more independence and vigour, and that they might now settle
     questions with England, and establish good relations with her
     without being under the constant fear of a check in the Chamber of

     There can be no doubt that, in fact, the position of the
     Rouvier Ministry has been immensely strengthened by the large vote
     they obtained yesterday on the interpellation put forward against
     them on the subject of Monarchical and Clerical intrigues. It is
     earnestly to be hoped, for their own sakes, and for the sake of
     France, that they will turn it to account in order to pursue a more
     reasonable and conciliatory policy towards England, and to take
     stronger and more effectual means of preserving order in Paris. The
     riot at the Lyons railway station seems to have done Boulangism
     harm even among the ultra-Radicals, and to have been the main cause
     of Boulanger's having been thrown over by Radical speakers in the
     Chamber yesterday. But it is a very dangerous thing to give the
     Paris mob its head.

M. Rouvier's friendly assurances with regard to England had, of course,
been imparted to the Baron in order that they might be communicated
to the British Embassy, but the action of the French Government
appeared to have very little in common with them; nor was there any
reason to assume that Montebello was exceeding his instructions in
opposing at Constantinople the ratification of the Anglo-Turkish
Convention with regard to Egypt. The egregious action which forced
the Sultan to withhold his consent to the Convention, and thereby
perpetuated the British occupation of Egypt, was not the result of the
unauthorized proceedings of the French Ambassador, but the consequence
of the deliberately considered joint policy of the French and Russian
Governments. Incidentally, it may be pointed out that the fruitless
attempt to negotiate the Convention was yet another convincing proof
of the absolute honesty of British policy with regard to Egypt, and
the following letter from Lord Salisbury shows no satisfaction at the
frustration of Sir H. Drummond Wolff's mission.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Salisbury to Lord Lyons._

    July 20, 1887.

     I am afraid the temper of the French will not make the
     settlement of the Egyptian question more easy. I do not now see how
     we are to devise any middle terms that will satisfy them. We cannot
     leave the Khedive to take his chance of foreign attack, or native
     riot. The French refuse to let us exercise the necessary powers
     of defence unless we do it by continuing our military occupation.
     I see nothing for it but to sit still and drift awhile: a little
     further on in the history of Europe the conditions may be changed,
     and we may be able to get some agreement arrived at which will
     justify evacuation. Till then we must simply refuse to evacuate.
     Our relations with France are not pleasant at present. There are
     five or six different places where we are at odds:--

     1. She has destroyed the Convention at Constantinople.

     2. She will allow no Press Law to pass.

     3. She is trying to back out of the arrangement on the Somali

     4. She still occupies the New Hebrides.

     5. She destroys our fishing tackle, etc.

     6. She is trying to elbow us out of at least two
     unpronounceable places on the West Coast of Africa.

     Can you wonder that there is, to my eyes, a silver lining even
     to the great black cloud of a Franco-German War?

On account of the tension existing between France and Germany, and
of the agitation produced by the transfer of Boulanger to a command
at Clermont-Ferrand, it was feared that the National Fête of July 14
would be marked by serious disturbances; these fears were happily not
realized, although Boulanger's departure from Paris a few days earlier
had formed the pretext for a display of embarrassing Jingoism. The
French Government were so apprehensive of an anti-German demonstration,
that, although Count Münster received the usual invitation to attend
the Longchamps Review, M. Flourens privately begged him to absent
himself, and the two German military attachés, instead of joining the
War Minister's Staff in uniform, went to the Diplomatic Tribune in plain

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Lord Lyons to Lord Salisbury._

    Paris, July 15, 1887.

     The National Fête of yesterday passed off quietly enough.
     There are said to have been cries in various places of 'Vive
     Boulanger,' and 'À bas Grévy,' but nowhere was there anything which
     assumed anything like the proportions of a demonstration. There do
     not appear to have been any cries at all in the army.

     The low French papers keep up a constant fire of scurrilous
     language against the Germans and even against the Germany Embassy.
     This sort of thing seems to be taken more seriously and to cause
     more irritation in Germany than it would in most countries. Count
     Münster naturally enough did not come to the President's stand, to
     which he and the other Ambassadors were as usual invited to see
     the Review. The German military attachés did not go in uniform
     with the staff of the Minister of War, but saw the Review from the
     Diplomatic Tribune in plain clothes. In fact, ill will between
     France and Germany seems to be on the increase. It looks as if the
     Germans would really be glad to find a fair pretext for going to
     war with France. On the other hand, Boulangism, which is now the
     French term for Jingoism, spreads, especially amongst the reckless
     Radicals and enemies of the present Ministry. And even among the
     better classes, warlike language and, to some degree, a warlike
     spirit grows up with a new generation, which has had no practical
     acquaintance with war. Abject fear of the German armies is being
     succeeded by overweening confidence in themselves.

     The present Ministry seem to have been afraid of unpopularity
     if they abandoned altogether Boulanger's absurd mobilization
     scheme. The Germans seem to be taking this quietly. Perhaps they
     look on with satisfaction at the French incurring an immense
     expenditure for an experiment apparently without any practical use
     from a military point of view. Perhaps they believe, as many people
     do here, that the Chambers will never really vote the money.

     It is supposed that the session will be over next week, and I
     trust that then you will be disposed to receive an application from
     me for leave. I am getting quite knocked up by the Paris summer,
     and am in urgent need of rest and country air.

The foregoing letter was one of the last communications received from
Lord Lyons at Paris, and his official career practically terminated a
few days later, when he left on leave, destined never to return to the
post which he had so long occupied, for the unfavourable view which
he held with regard to his physical condition was only too completely

He appears to have passed the months of August and September quietly
with his near relatives in Sussex. Towards the end of October he
must have learnt with some surprise that, whereas in March he had
been most urgently begged by Lord Salisbury to remain at his post
until the end of the year, a successor to him, in the person of Lord
Lytton, had been appointed, and that there was no necessity for him to
return to Paris. If he, as would have been the case with most people,
really felt aggrieved at this change of circumstances, there is no
trace of resentment shown in his correspondence. On the contrary, he
warmly welcomed the new appointment, and at once set about making
arrangements for his successor's convenience. On November 1, he made
a formal application to be permitted to resign his appointment, was
created an Earl, and the few remaining letters (the latest bearing the
date of November 20) deal with business details, and unostentatious
acts of kindness to various persons who had been in his service or
otherwise connected with him. The very last of all was a characteristic
communication to Sir Edwin Egerton, the Chargé d'Affaires at Paris,
respecting the payment of the fire insurance premium on the Embassy.

The close of his life was destined to coincide dramatically with the
close of his official career. Intellectually there were no signs of
decay; but physically he was even more worn out than he realized
himself. On November 28, whilst staying at Norfolk House, he was
stricken with paralysis, and a week later he was dead, without having
in the meanwhile recovered consciousness. Thus the end came at a moment
singularly appropriate to his well ordered existence, and to no one
could the time-honoured Latin epitaph have been applied with greater

In an earlier portion of this work some attempt has been made to
portray Lord Lyons's personality and to explain the causes of his
success as a diplomatist, but the best criterion of the man is to be
found in his letters, which have been reproduced verbatim, and may be
said to constitute a condensed record of the most interesting episodes
in English diplomatic history during a space of nearly thirty years.
Throughout this long series there is hardly to be found an unnecessary
sentence or even a redundant epithet; there is a total absence of any
straining after effect, of exaggeration, of personal animosity or
predilection, or of any desire to gain his ends by intrigue or trickery.
On the other hand, they are marked by profound mastery of detail, sound
judgment, inexhaustible patience, an almost inhuman impartiality, and
an obviously single-minded desire to do his best for his country as one
of its most responsible representatives. Such, then, was the character
of the man, and the general public is probably quite unconscious of the
inestimable value to the country of officials of this particular type.

It was Lord Lyons's fate twice to represent this country at most
critical periods during wars, in the course of which, England, while
desiring to observe the strictest neutrality, aroused the bitterest
hostility on the part of the belligerents. In spite of untiring efforts
he had the mortification of seeing the relations of England, first with
the United States and then with France, gradually deteriorate, and never
experienced the satisfaction, which no one would have appreciated more
highly than himself, of seeing those unfriendly relations converted into
the condition which now happily prevails; but it may be fairly said
of him that no one ever laboured more assiduously and efficiently to
promote peace and good will between England and her neighbours; that he
never made either an enemy or apparently a mistake, and that no other
diplomatist of his day enjoyed to an equal degree the confidence of
his chiefs, and the regard of his subordinates. Overshadowed by more
brilliant and interesting personalities, the unobtrusive services of
Lord Lyons are unknown to the rising generation, and probably forgotten
by many of those who have reached middle age; but in the opinion of
the statesman who amongst living Englishmen is the most competent to
judge, he was the greatest Ambassador who has represented this country
in modern times, and by those whose privilege it was to serve under him,
his memory will ever be held in affectionate remembrance.


[Footnote 44: Lord Salisbury had taken over the Foreign Office upon the
death of Lord Iddesleigh on January 12, 1887.]

[Footnote 45: Dongorita. A town on the Somali coast.]

[Footnote 46: Secretary of French Embassy at London.]

[Footnote 47: French Ambassador at Constantinople.]




It is not uncommon to find a seeming contradiction between the official
and the private characters of the same individual. Extreme reserve, for
instance, even an astonishing power of silence in conducting official
work, may not indicate the same power of silence in private life, or the
same reserve in the life of the affections. In Lord Lyons there was no
such contrast, and no attempt to depict him could pretend to penetrate
his extreme reserve as to his deeper feelings. This reticence on his
part must severely limit any account of his _vie intime_. Moreover,
curiously enough there is another difficulty in describing him which
lies in quite an opposite direction. Lord Lyons had a keen sense of
the ridiculous, and he loved the absolute relaxation of talking pure
nonsense which, however amusing at the moment, would hardly bear the
strain of repetition. Indeed, very little can be added to the history
of the public life of a man so absolutely reticent as to his feelings,
his thoughts, and his opinions, which he further concealed rather than
revealed by an almost burlesque habit of talking nonsense among his

It would be easy to give many instances of his gift for silence when he
did not wish to be 'drawn' by his interlocutor. A little story told to
me by the late Sir Edward Blount is a case in point.

Sir Edward, waiting to see Lord Lyons at the Embassy, heard talking in
the next room which lasted some time, and soon distinguished the voice
of M. Blowitz. As soon as he was alone with Lord Lyons he said that he
felt obliged to warn him that, if he had liked, he could have overheard
his conversation with the journalist.

'You might,' was the answer, 'have overheard what was said by M.
Blowitz, but you could not have heard anything said by me for the good
reason that I said nothing at all!'

It was never known to anybody, as far as it is possible to ascertain,
whether Lord Lyons had ever even contemplated marriage, though he
certainly did not recommend celibacy. 'Matrimony,' he constantly used to
repeat--slightly varying the phrase in his favourite _Rasselas_--'may
have thorns, but celibacy has no roses.'

There was at one moment, while he was attached to the Embassy at Rome,
a rumour that he was engaged to be married. Hearing something of it he
inquired of a lady friend whether she could tell him to whom he was
supposed to be attached, and later on he discovered that she was herself
the person in question!

His nature was certainly lonely, and I believe from quite early in life
he was conscious of suffering from loneliness. I have been told of a
letter of his written from school in which this was quite clearly set
forth. In later life he would never have expressed so much. What he felt
and thought on any intimate question can, I think, only be inferred by
his comments on life in general, or on the sorrows and joys of others.
Once only I believe did he take any part in directly influencing the
lives of young people in the critical question of marriage. The daughter
of an old friend, with a courage in her confidence which seems to me
almost phenomenal, told him the story of a mutual affection existing
between her and a young man who did not seem to her parents to be a
sufficiently good match. Lord Lyons listened with the utmost attention,
and eventually interceded with his old friend, speaking of the terrible
danger of causing irremediable pain to two young hearts, and was the
means of making these young people happy. Was there, perhaps, in this
action some reminiscence of a possible past happiness lost by himself?
No one can even make the faintest surmise as to whether this was the
case. He made no allusion to his own past when telling the story.

Of his childhood I know little, but there is a toy preserved in the
family that gives a curious and characteristic foretaste of what he
was to become. It is a miniature escritoire fitted with pen and paper
and seals, and also soap and towels, etc. All this was supposed to
belong to the children's dog, who was promoted in their games to the
position of an Ambassador, and described as 'His Excellency.' There are
still existing despatches written to and by 'His Excellency' in the
handwriting of the four children.

I think he must have been too old to have joined in his sister Minna's
bit of naughtiness when at Malta she put snuff in the guitar of a young
exquisite who had provoked their mirth, and whose name was Benjamin

He used to say that among his most vivid recollections of his boyhood
while at Malta, was the unexpected return of his father and the fleet.
The children had been deeply engaged in preparing theatricals which were
postponed on account of their father's arrival. He remembered his guilty
feeling that he ought to be glad, and that he was not glad at all!

It was not at first intended that Bickerton Lyons should enter the
diplomatic service; he began life in the navy. But Bickerton, unlike
his brother Edmund, had no vocation for the sea. The sorrow of Edmund's
loss, who died at Therapia, from a wound received when commanding his
ship in the Sea of Azoph during the Crimean war, was a shadow that never
passed from the lives of the other three. Bickerton was deeply attached
to both his sisters and their families. Annie married Baron Wurtzburg,
and Minna married Lord Fitzalan, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. Other
relations with whom he was in close intimacy all his life were his aunt,
Mrs. Pearson and her children, especially her daughters, Mrs. Lister
Venables and Mrs. Little, who both survived him.

All his life Lord Lyons was devoted to children, and especially so to
the large family of the Duchess of Norfolk, with whom he was able to
indulge his domestic tastes and his love of fun. He spent with them the
greater part of every holiday, and in the last twenty-five years of his
life they were frequently with him in Paris. My mother, Lady Victoria,
the eldest of the family, married very young, and my aunt Minna, the
second daughter, became a Carmelite nun. Mary, the eldest of the sisters
who remained at home, was Lord Lyons's constant companion and secretary.
I think she was the only person who did not experience the strong sense
of his reserve which so impressed those who had to do with him even in
everyday intercourse. In a very serious state of health which followed
his work at Washington he depended greatly on the companionship of his
nieces. I have been told that for months he could not raise his head,
and the only thing he could do by himself was to play with glass balls
on a solitaire board. During this interval in his career, before he
accepted the Embassy at Constantinople, he had more leisure than usual
for the society of his sister's family, but he had always been devoted
to them when they were quite little children, and was once described as
'an excellent nursery governess.' He said to his sister: 'I could never
have married; it would not have been right, as I could never have loved
my own children as much as I love yours.'

Into this near association with him my sisters and I were more
closely drawn after the death of our parents. We had lost our mother
in the winter of 1870, and my father, James Hope-Scott, died in the
spring of 1873. It was then that my grandmother took us to live with
her at Arundel, and we were added to the large family party who had
often stayed with him in Paris. My own earliest recollections of my
great-uncle are tinged with an awe which no amount of time spent with
him ever quite overcame; but it did not prevent great enjoyment of all
the fun we had with him. He was certainly very indulgent to the younger
members of the family circle, particularly my brother, who was some
years younger than the rest of us, and this was especially the case when
we were his guests.

I think that what inspired awe was the immense strength of character,
the reserved force, the severely controlled natural irritability. He
had, too, a humorous vehemence of expression which seemed at times to be
a safety valve to the forces he had under control, and was a reminder of
their existence.

I suppose that nothing could be imagined more stately and more regular
than life at the Embassy in those days. The Ambassador himself lived
in a routine of absolute regularity and extremely hard work. He got up
at seven, had breakfast at eight, and was, I think, at work by nine
o'clock. His very small leisure, when he was alone, was mostly spent
in reading. And this was carefully classified in three divisions. In
the morning he read history or science, in the evening, between tea and
dinner, biography; while, for an hour before he went to bed he read
novels. While in France he never left the Embassy. Once a year he did
leave it for his annual holiday--generally spent in England. He used to
boast how many nights in succession--I think in one year it amounted
to over 300--he had slept in the same bed. Every afternoon when we
were with him, he drove with my grandmother, generally in the Bois de
Boulogne, and in the warm weather we always stopped at some _café_ for
us children to have ices. He also took us to the circus once during each
visit until, in later life, he became afraid of catching cold. He still
occasionally went to the theatre, to which he had been much devoted as
a younger man. We all dined downstairs, and he used to like my youngest
sister and my brother to sit at a little table near the big one and have
dessert. He insisted on this, and was rather pleased than otherwise at
the scolding he received from an English friend for keeping them up
so late. In later life he used to speak of the pretty picture the two
children had made.

I recollect the extraordinary general sense of importance as to
his movements in those days, partly on account of their phenomenal
regularity. I could not imagine him ever acting on impulse, even in the
matter of going up or downstairs. I cannot picture him strolling into
his own garden except at the fixed hour. This without intention added to
the dignity of his life which seemed to move like a rather dreary state

I wonder if the servants who never saw him break through his routine,
or lose one jot of his dignity, ever guessed at how shy he was of them,
or suspected the rather wistful curiosity he felt about their lives.
I think it was Pierre, the butler, who lived with his family in the
_entresol_ between the two floors of reception rooms in the Embassy.
Lord Lyons was much interested in their family life, and liked to
speculate as to what went on there. One inconvenient result of his
extreme shyness was that when he really wished to alter any detail as
to the daily routine, he could not bring himself to impart his wishes
to any of the servants. I have often heard him say how tired he was of
the same breakfast which never varied in the least, and he would add
that his Italian valet Giuseppe was so convinced that it was the only
breakfast he liked that when he travelled, the man took incredible
pains that the coffee, the eggs, the rolls, the marmalade, the two
tangerine oranges in winter and the tiny basket of strawberries in
summer, should not differ an iota from those served up every morning
at the Embassy. But Lord Lyons could never summon up courage to speak
to him on the subject. On certain days Pierre undertook Giuseppe's
duties, and for many years Lord Lyons wished that Pierre would arrange
his things as they were arranged by Giuseppe, but he never told him
so. While he grumbled, he was amused at the situation and at himself.
Indeed, his keen sense of the ridiculous and his endless enjoyment of
nonsense explain a good deal of his life. He used to say that as he was
too shy to look at the servants' faces, he had learnt to know them by
their silk stockinged calves. When he dined alone he made an amusement
of identifying the six or seven pairs of calves, and was proud of his
success in this odd game of skill.

I recall one ludicrous instance of his shyness with servants. It was
his custom annually when he came to stay with us to shake hands with
the old family nurse, and on one occasion, meeting her on the stairs,
he leant across the banisters to perform the ceremony with such
_empressement_ and effort that he broke one of the supports. He always
afterwards alluded to the extraordinary emotion he had shown in this
greeting. Nothing is so unaccountable as shyness, but it was curious
that a man who had seen so much of public life and of society should
have so much of it as he had. I remember once helping him to escape
with, for him, astonishing speed across the garden of a country house,
when a very agreeable woman, whom I believe he really liked, had come
to call; he was as full of glee as if he were a boy running away from a


_F. Contet, Paris. Phot._]

I don't think that in Paris he ever gave way to such impulses; they were
the relaxation of a shy nature in the holidays.

To return for one moment to Paris. He occasionally gave a big official
dinner which I don't think he at all enjoyed, and of which we knew
nothing. But he certainly enjoyed small gatherings, especially if they
included old friends who were passing through Paris, although not one
word of ordinary sentiment would probably pass his lips, nor would one
of the day's arrangements be changed. He certainly enjoyed the society
of his women friends, and I liked to watch him talking to Mrs. Augustus
Craven, the author of the _Récit d'une Soeur_. Two characteristic
sayings of his about the Cravens I remember. He was always pleased at
showing his knowledge of the most orthodox and strict views of Roman
affairs. He used to say that Mrs. Craven could never make amends for
her conduct at the time of the Vatican Council--when her _salon_ was a
centre for 'inopportunist' Bishops--unless she went back to Rome and
gave 'Infallibilist tea-parties.'

Mr. Augustus Craven, her husband, was intensely mysterious in manner,
and Lord Lyons used to call him 'the General of the Jesuits.' Once, on
meeting him in London, he asked him if his wife were with him. Mrs.
Craven was staying with Lady Cowper, and Mr. Craven answered with
solemn, slow and mysterious tones: 'She is at Wrest,' and my uncle said
'Requiescat in Pace,' with equal solemnity.

I think that with all his natural British prejudices he liked French
people and their ways. He used to maintain that Frenchwomen were more
domestic and kept earlier hours than Englishwomen. He certainly liked
French cooking. He spoke once in tones of horror of an Englishman who
had committed the monstrosity of putting pepper on young green peas--a
crime of which a Frenchman was incapable.

Many of his opinions, however, like Dr. Johnson's, were evoked by the
spirit of contradiction, and it was chiefly with English people that I
heard him talk about the French.

In the holidays in England reading aloud was one of his chief pleasures.
He read much poetry to us at one time, but later I think he had to
give this up as it tired him. At Arundel he wrote his letters in the
dressing-room opening out of his bedroom. We used to sit there waiting
for him before the appointed time, making drawings in red ink, of which
there was always a large supply, when he would make a mock solemn
entrance, as of a stiff professor. We were allowed to scribble during
the reading, but, woe betide us! if we showed any inattention. He read
'Marmion,' Southey's 'Thalaba,' and, I think, 'The Curse of Kehama,'
also much of Byron, the 'Siege of Corinth,' with especial enjoyment. He
knew many pages of Byron by heart, and we used to get him to repeat any
amount while out walking. 'Rejected Addresses,' 'Bombastes Furioso,'
'The Rape of the Lock' were also among the many things he liked to
recite. I wish I could remember half the things he read or repeated
to us. I am sure there was no Tennyson, and certainly no Browning. He
used to jeer at the obscurity of both the Brownings, and to mutter such
phrases as the 'thundering white silence' of Mrs. Browning with intense
scorn. I think he may have met the Brownings when he was in Rome. He saw
a good deal of Fanny and Adelaide Kemble at that time. He liked Adelaide
much the best of the two, and used to quote with delight a saying of
hers as to the Brownings. When she was told of the birth of their son
she exclaimed: 'There are now then not one incomprehensible, or two
incomprehensibles, but three incomprehensibles!'

He was always amused at the Kemble grand manner. He used to imitate the
dramatic utterance with which Fanny Kemble frightened a young waiter
who had brought her some beer. 'I asked for _water_, boy; you bring me

At that same time he knew Sir Frederick Leighton, and they once had a
pillow fight! Who could imagine that pillow fight who only knew him as
Ambassador in Paris? He always spoke as if he had enjoyed life in Rome;
he was devoted to the theatre, and he had much congenial society. He
used to say, too, that Pius IX. was the most agreeable sovereign with
whom he ever had diplomatic relations.

Lord Lyons's literary tastes were not those of the present generation.
He declared that he only liked verse that rhymed and music with a tune.
He loved the sonorous sound of Byron as he loved the solemn cadence of
Latin verse. All the time the love of absurdity was never far off. He
would suddenly imitate the action of a schoolboy repeating Latin verse,
first with his arms and then with his feet! A stout, very dignified
elderly man, in some path in the garden, punctuating the verse with the
action of his feet, is sufficiently surprising. Occasionally he would
have the oddest freaks of this kind, and I remember an afternoon when he
took a whim of pretending to be imbecile; he made the most extraordinary
faces, and not a word of sense could be got from him.

Once in a steamer on the lake of Lucerne he insisted on his nieces
joining him in impersonating a typical family of English tourists
out for their holiday. He was the _paterfamilias_, one niece was his
wife, another the German governess, a third his child. In the middle
of the performance he found that he was being regarded with surprise
and curiosity by some English society friends whose acquaintance with
him had hitherto been exclusively in the character of a very dignified

My aunt, Mary Howard, used to read aloud to him by the hour, and we all
enjoyed these times immensely. It would be difficult to say how often we
had 'Pickwick,' 'Cranford,' 'Rasselas,' 'The Rose and the Ring,' and
'Mrs. Boss's Niece.' I have never met anybody outside that circle who
ever even heard of 'Mrs. Boss's Niece;' it is a serious loss. To quote
at all appropriately from any of his favourites was to be exceedingly
in his good books for the rest of the day. Like the late Lord Salisbury
he delighted in Miss Yonge; he could not have too many pairs of twins,
or too large a family circle to read about. He loved the analysis of
domestic life, and would have been ready to canonise any really and
genuinely unselfish character. Detective stories were a great joy. 'The
House on the Marsh,' and 'Called Back,' were among the most successful.
He used to prolong discussion as to the solution of the mystery, and
would even knock at our doors very late at night if he thought he had
identified the murderer, and mutter in dramatic undertones, 'So-an-so
was the man who did it.' But the detective story was never read before
dinner, and to look into the book meanwhile was a crime. Anybody who
peeped to see the end of a novel 'deserved to be dragged to death by
wild horses.' And there must be no skipping. Only descriptions of
scenery--to which he had the strongest objection--might be left out.

The annual holiday was, for the most part, spent with the Duchess of
Norfolk at Arundel, and later at Heron's Ghyll. Sometimes he went to
Germany to take the waters, in company with his eldest sister, Baroness
Wurtzburg. When in England he always paid a certain number of country
house visits. These generally included Knowsley and Woburn. The visits
that were paid every year, I think without exception, were those to
Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, and to an old schoolfellow--Major Trower,
who had been with him at Winchester. Major Trower was one of four old
Wykehamists who remained close friends. The other two had died some time
before. I think the visit to Raby was annual. He specially enjoyed the
society of the Duchess of Cleveland and of Lady Mary Hope. He was at
Raby in the September before he died, and I believe that was the last
visit he ever paid. The famous visitors' book there always amused him,
and he was fond of quoting from it. One of his own contributions I
remember was written with mock modesty. He took from Lockhart's Spanish
ballads the lines:--

    ''Twere better to be silent before such a crowd of folk,
    Than utter words as meaningless as he did when he spoke.'

His recollections of the society of his youth in these houses had some
amusing details. I think it was at the Duchess of Bedford's that there
was a Christmas tree, off which each young man visitor was given a piece
of flowered silk for a waistcoat. Early next morning, at Mr. Lyons's
suggestion, one of the young men, provided with a list of the names and
addresses of the tailors employed by the others, went up to London and
brought back all the waistcoats made up in time to be worn at dinner
that evening. He used to speak with some amusement of the ungraciousness
of Rogers, the poet, whom he met at the Derbys'. On one occasion Rogers
had lost his spectacles, and Mr. Lyons went a long way in the big house
to find them. Rogers who was drinking tea took the spectacles, but did
not thank him, and, a moment later, when he heard Mr. Lyons refusing
sugar, he observed to the company: 'That young man, having nothing else
to be proud of, is proud of not having sugar with his tea!'

I don't suppose that he talked much as a young man, and probably he
followed the rule he always preached, that young men should speak
'little but often.'

Among the few serious sayings to be quoted from him was that the great
axiom in diplomacy was 'Never do anything to-day that can be put off
till to-morrow.'

In speaking of Leo XIII. and his successful policy with Bismarck, he
said: 'Those very clever men succeed by doing what no one expects. My
success has been made by always doing what was expected of me. I always
did the safe thing.'

In conversation he enjoyed a Johnsonian style of repartee. One retort of
his had an excellent practical result. He acted as a special constable
in London during the Chartist Riots. Hearing a woman in the dense crowd
cry out, 'Let me faint, let me faint,' he turned to her at once, and
said: 'Pray do, madam,' whereupon she recovered immediately.

Soon after the Berlin Conference when the Disraeli party were making the
most of the accession of Crete, a visitor at the Embassy, gushing over
its charms concluded with the assertion that Crete was the loveliest
island in the world. Whereupon Mr. William Barrington (now Sir William
Barrington) said drily: 'Have you seen all the others?' This amused
Lord Lyons immensely, and some years afterwards when a young lady who
was and is still famous for her powers of conversation had talked at
him for some time, he adopted the same method. After a good many other
sweeping assertions she said of some work that had just come out: 'It is
the best written book that has appeared this century.' 'Ah,' he said,
'have you read all the others?' Being alone with her soon afterwards I
was not surprised at her inquiring of me dubiously whether I liked my

       *       *       *       *       *

It need hardly be said that, in the matter of his personal religion,
Lord Lyons was very reticent. He was absolutely regular in his
attendance at the Sunday service in Paris and in England. He was very
fond of the singing of English hymns.

He never had any sympathy with the ritualist party in the Church of
England, and was inclined to be sarcastic as to those whom he designated
'Puseyites,' as was then the custom.

One who knew him very well told me that for a time he was somewhat
unsettled in the matter of definite religious belief. There is also
evidence that in middle life the idea of joining the Catholic Church
had been present to him as a possibility. As far as can be known it
was during the last summer of his life that he began to consider the
question practically. It is not surprising that Lord Lyons, when he
took the matter up, showed the same characteristics in its regard that
he had shown in any serious question throughout his life, namely, the
greatest thoroughness and care in studying the Catholic religion and
in carrying out its practical side, reserve as to deep sentiment, not
without humorous touches which were intensely characteristic. Newman's
works formed the chief part of his study during those summer months.
A letter written in that August says of him, 'He is always reading
Newman.' It was not until shortly before his death that he spoke on the
matter to any of the family. A note in the writing of his secretary and
intimate friend--Mr. George Sheffield--says that he spoke of it six
weeks before his death. Lord Lyons had known Bishop Butt for many years
when he was parish priest at Arundel, and it was to him that he applied
for advice. He studied the Penny Catechism most carefully, learning the
answers by heart, like a child. He began to fulfil the practices of a
Catholic with great regularity. He went to Mass daily at ten o'clock,
and adopted little habits of self-denial and showed greater liberality
in almsgiving. The last honour he ever received was the offer of an
earldom on his retiring from the Paris Embassy. He suggested to Dr. Butt
that it would be a good act of mortification to refuse this honour, but
the Bishop would not advise him to do so. He began, against his usual
custom, to give money to crossing-sweepers or beggars in the streets,
and I am told by my aunt, Lady Phillippa Stewart, that, after returning
from my wedding, he said to her: 'Is it not customary after an event
of this kind to give money in alms?' He then suggested that he should
make some offering to the hospitals and asked her to write out the
names of those she thought would be the most suitable. It was about
ten days before my marriage in November, 1887, that I first heard of
his intentions. I learnt it in a fashion very characteristic of him. I
was not staying in the house, but I had been dining with him when he
remarked casually: 'Really, my austerities are becoming alarming. I have
given up soup for dinner and jam for breakfast.' This struck me as a
novel proceeding, as I knew his fondness for jam and that the ordinary
routine of dinner beginning with a clear soup was a fixed ceremonial
with him. That night I questioned my aunt, who told me that he had been
for some weeks preparing to join the Church. It was at this time that
he said to one of the family: 'I am now ready to be received as soon
as the Bishop likes.' He also characteristically consulted his nephew,
the Duke of Norfolk, as to whether he ought to inform Lord Salisbury of
his intention of becoming a Catholic. He did not, during these weeks,
know that he was in any danger. The last time I saw my great uncle was
at my wedding. He had a stroke about ten days afterwards, and to all
appearance became unconscious. Dr. Butt, knowing what his intentions had
been, had no hesitation in giving him conditional Baptism and Extreme
Unction. I was at the funeral at Arundel, and saw the coffin lowered
into the vault in the Fitzalan Chapel, where his sister Minna had been
placed two and a half years earlier.

       *       *       *       *       *

I feel most strongly as I conclude these very imperfect notes, how
entirely Lord Lyons belonged to a generation of Englishmen now long
passed away. The force of will, the power of self-devotion, the dignity,
the reticence, the minute regularity, the sense of order, the degree
of submission to authority and the undoubting assertion of his own
authority towards others--all were elements in a strong personality.
There are, no doubt, strong men now, but their strength is of a
different kind. Englishmen to-day are obliged to be more expansive
and unreserved. No fixed routine can be followed now as then; no man
can so guard his own life and his own personality from the public
eye. Lord Lyons was not of the type that makes the successful servant
of the democracy. Fidelity, reticence, self-effacement, are not the
characteristics that are prominent in the popular idea of the strong man
to-day. But no one who knew Lord Lyons can doubt that those qualities
were in him a great part of his strength. He was and must always be to
those who knew him very much of an enigma, and it certainly would not
have been his own wish that any great effort should be made to interpret
his inner life to the world at large.


    Aali Pasha, i. 146, 150, 151, 155, 161, 166, 167, 172;
      and the Paris Conference, i. 153.

    Abdul Aziz, Sultan of Turkey, i. 151, ii. 175;
      effort for Navy, i. 152;
      dismisses Fuad Pasha, i. 155;
      unpopularity of, i. 161, 163;
      visit to France, i. 169, 170;
      to England, i. 171, 173.

    Abdul Hamid, ii. 108, 208;
      policy of, ii. 137;
      reported conspiracy against, ii. 167;
      suzerainty in Tunis, ii. 246;
      overthrow of, i. 168.

    Aberdeen, Lord, ii. 11.

    Abolition proclamation, i. 93.

    Abou Klea, battle of, ii. 343.

    Adams, Mr., U.S. Minister in London, i. 38, 43, 59, 63, 71, 72, 98, 99.

    Adams, Sir Francis, chargé d'affaires at Paris, ii. 72;
      telegram on Anglo-French sympathies, ii. 136;
      Minister at Berne, ii. 220.

    Adrianople, railway to Constantinople, i. 176.

    Aehrenthal, Count, i. 342.

    Afghanistan, Lytton's policy in, ii. 209;
      attacked by Russia, ii. 348, 352.

    Africa, west coast, ii. 409.

    _Alabama_ incident, i. 97, 98, 99, 105, 300;
      question revived, i. 162, 189.

    Alaska, bought by America, i. 168.

    Albanian league, ii. 228.

    Alderson, Capt., sent to report on army of the Potomac, i. 128, 129.

    Alexander, Emperor of Russia, i. 187, 255, 273, 333, 354, ii. 52,
         54, 404;
      visit to Berlin, ii. 76;
      friendliness to England, ii. 80;
      attempt on life of, ii. 207.

    Alexandretta, ii. 150, 151.

    Alexandria, ii. 172, 188, 273;
      Anglo-French Naval Demonstration at, ii. 283;
      massacre at, ii. 285;
      bombardment of, ii. 288.

    Algeria, position of French in, i. 199, 268, 271, 382, ii. 159, 249.

    Alsace and Lorraine, question of cession, i. 321, 332, 334, 358,
        361, 369;
      French hopes of recovery of, ii. 103, 135, 195, 197, 247, 346;
      trade of, ii. 14.

    America, army, i. 45, 47, 48, 79, 109;
      methods of recruiting, i. 110, 116;
      finance, i. 57;
      slave trade, i. 20;
      affairs in central, i. 13;
      relations between North and South, i. 20, 29, 31;
      relations with England, i. 12, 15, 16, 45, 46, 79, 129, 189.

    American Civil War, i. 34, 343;
      Blockade question, i. 33, 36, 37;
      privateering, i. 42;
      Confederate Government, i. 53;
      Southern Confederacy, i. 31, 33, 34, 36;
      position of Consuls, i. 83, 121;
      Southern activity, i. 82, 83;
      Revolutionary Party, i. 80;
      proposed foreign intervention, i. 90, 91, 92, 96;
      rising prices, i. 94;
      vessel building in England, i. 101, 102;
      position of foreigners during, i. 106-109;
      seizure of British vessels, i. 100, 104, 105;
      Irish in, i. 109, 114, 115;
      Germans in, i. 115;
      British officers sent to follow operations, i. 128;
      M. Mercier on, i. 85.

    Anarchical plots, i. 187.

    Ancona district, Austrian troops in, i. 3.

    Anderson, at Fort Sumter, i. 35.

    Anderson, Mr., attaché at Washington, i. 87.

    Andrassy, Count, ii. 85;
      and the Eastern Question, ii. 127, 134, 138;
      and the Austro-German Alliance, ii. 194.

    Andrassy Note, ii. 95.

    Anglo-Russian Agreement, ii. 143, 160.

    Anglo-Turkish Convention, ii. 140-142;
      disclosed to Waddington, ii. 148;
      made public, ii. 151;
      irritation in France, ii. 152, 159, 163.

    Annam, French in, ii. 103, 307, 327.

    Anti-Slavery party in England, i. 118.

    Antonelli, Cardinal, i. 3, 4, 184.

    Anzin, ii. 323.

    Arabi Bey, rebellion of, ii. 258, 273, 278;
      Minister of War, ii. 279, 283;
      campaign against, ii. 295, 296.

    Arago, Emmanuel, succeeds Gambetta as Minister of War, i. 361.

    Archibald, Consul, on the kidnapping of recruits, i. 112.

    Arcolay pamphlet, i. 220.

    Argyll, Duke and Duchess of, i. 41.

    Armenia, ii. 131, 137;
      patriarch question, ii. 55.

    Army Purchase Bill, ii. 9, 12.

    Arnim, Count, Minister at Rome, i. 347;
      Ambassador at Paris, ii. 14, 16, 27, 30, 60, 68, 140;
      and Thiers, ii. 31;
      on French policy, ii. 45;
      Bismarck's dislike of, ii. 46.

    Arundel, Lyons at, i. 139, ii. 222, 418, 422, 428.

    Ashman, Mr., i. 50.

    Asia Minor, Russian policy in, i. 268, ii. 133, 137.

    Athens, i. 149; Lyons attaché at, i. 1.

    Atlantic, coast defence, i. 40.

    Augusta, Empress, Bismarck's dislike of, ii. 80, 354.

    Aumale Duc d', ii. 2, 7, 16, 44, 48, 51, 56, 64, 311, 368.

    d'Aunay, M., ii. 300, 376.

    Austria, relations with Prussia, i. 186, 193, 202;
      relations with France, ii. 35;
      military power of, i. 268;
      and the Eastern Question, ii. 85, 127;
      in the Moldo-Wallachian Principalities, i. 153;
      in the Ancona district, i. 3.

    Austro-German Alliance, ii. 194, 199, 205, 398.

    Austro-Prussian War, failure of French policy in, i. 177.

    Azoph, Sea of, ii. 417.

    Bac-ninh, ii. 324.

    Baden, Grand Duchy of, and Confederation, i. 208, 266, 276, 285, 293;
      French policy in, i. 190, ii. 36;
      proposed neutrality, i. 302.

    Bagdad railway, ii. 151.

    Bahamas, the, i. 130.

    Baker Pasha, defeat of, ii. 323.

    Balkan Peninsula, ii. 223.

    Bapaume, i. 355.

    Bardo, Treaty of the, ii. 243.

    Baring, Major (Earl of Cromer) in Egypt, ii. 189, 322, 352;
      letter to Lyons, ii. 203;
      and "Modern Egypt," ii. 295.

    _Barracouta_, H.M.S., i. 100.

    Barrère, M., ii. 322.

    Barrington, Mr. (Sir William), ii. 128, 426.

    Bateman, Sir Alfred, ii. 253.

    Batoum, ii. 137, 138, 143.

    Baucel, M., i. 228.

    Bavaria, i. 193;
      and Confederation, i. 266;
      proposed neutrality, i. 302.

    Bayazid, ii. 142.

    Baynes, Admiral, i. 23.

    Bazaine, General, i. 317, 320;
      capitulation, i. 329.

    Beaconsfield, Lord, ii. 144.

    Beatrice, Princess, ii. 162.

    Beauregard, General, i. 35.

    Beaury, plot against Napoleon III., i. 285.

    Bedford, Duchess of, ii. 425.

    Belfort, i. 370, 374.

    Belgium, Prince Napoleon on, i. 193;
      French in, i. 211;
      trade relations with France, ii. 25;
      neutrality of, i. 298, 302;
      foreign policy towards, i. 303, 355, ii. 113, 124, 206;
      secret Treaty, i. 320, 340;
      in Constantinople Conference, ii. 109;
      Bismarck's policy in, i. 254, ii. 74, 83, 345.

    Belgium, King of, i. 212, 216.

    Belgrade, Fortress of, i. 161;
      evacuated by the Turks, i. 163.

    Belligerent Rights, Exposition of French Jurists on, i. 44, 46, 50.

    Benedetti, French Ambassador at Berlin, i. 293;
      on Franco-Prussian situation, i. 299;
      affront to, i. 300, ii. 206;
      despatch from, i. 304;
      meeting with King of Prussia at Ems, i. 305.

    Benjamin, Mr., i. 122.

    Berlin, Congress at, ii. 147.

    _Berlin Post_, "Is War in Sight" article, ii. 72.

    Berlin, Treaty of, i. 342, ii. 227;
      Layard on, ii. 160.

    Bermuda, i. 130.

    Berne, ii. 256.

    Bernstorff, Count, Prussian Ambassador in London, i. 196, 256, 259,
        260, 268, 293, 304, 309, 317, 323, 337;
      on Belgian affairs, i. 218;
      letter from Bismarck, i. 261.

    Bert, M. Paul, ii. 323.

    Berthaut, General, Minister of War, ii. 115.

    Bessarabia, ii. 142, 367.

    Bessborough, Lord, ii. 11.

    Beust, Count, Austrian Minister, i. 162, 272, 314, 320; ii. 202, 231;
      and the Belgian question, i. 229;
      letter to Metternich, ii. 35.

    Beyens, Baron, Belgian Minister, i. 213.

    Biarritz, i. 197.

    Biggar, Mr., ii. 234.

    Billing, Baron de, plan to relieve Gordon, ii. 326.

    Billot, General, ii. 311.

    Bisaccia, Duc de, French Ambassador in London, ii. 57.

    Bismarck, Prince, i. 162, 192, 387;
      and Luxemburg railway affair, i. 168, 213;
      and German Confederation, i. 247, 251, 276;
      at Ems, i. 293;
      and the Vatican, ii. 30, 68;
      relations with Emperor, ii. 62, 120;
      and disarmament negotiations, i. 254, 260-5, 270-3, 275, 278, 301;
      foreign policy of, i. 179, 211, 214, 218, 314, 355, ii. 14, 29, 49,
        54, 70, 72, 74, 77, 82, 124, 205, 345, 358;
      with regard to Austria, ii. 42;
      and the Austro-German Alliance, ii. 194;
      and Belgium, i. 303;
      and the Eastern Question, ii. 90, 97, 231;
      and Egypt, ii. 150, 297, 325, 338, 339, 352;
      and France, ii. 16, 60, 136, 283, 286, 384;
      during war, i. 314;
      peace negotiations, i. 345, 348, 357, 361, 365, 370, 374, 380,
        ii. 20, 30, 82;
      and payment of indemnity, ii. 3;
      colonial policy, ii. 60;
      and French colonial schemes, ii. 244-5, 251, 259, 264, 268, 342;
      and Russia, i. 338;
      and Russo-Turkish War, ii. 109;
      Suez Canal transaction, ii. 94;
      and claims of Prussia in Tunis, i. 200;
      and Favre, i. 316, 318, 321, 323, 324, 352;
      interviews with Malet, i. 319;
      with Thiers, i. 329, 331, 342, 353, 358;
      French views of policy, ii. 107;
      and Arnim, ii. 46;
      and Boulanger, ii. 401;
      and Clarendon, i. 250, 279;
      and Gramont, i. 307;
      and Count Münster, ii. 388;
      and Napoleon III., i. 221, 254, 333;
      and Odo Russell, i. 338;
      and Waddington, ii. 168;
      on himself, ii. 61;
      on French Press, i. 271-2;
      and the German Press, i. 305;
      power of, ii. 53, 73;
      illness of, ii. 290.

    "Bismarck, his Reflections and Reminiscences," quoted, i. 338.

    Bizerta, ii. 243.

    Black Sea Conference, i. 341, 350, 366;
      clauses in Treaty of Paris, concerning, i. 337;
      French policy in, i. 337, 339;
      Russia policy in, ii. 127.

    Blairgowrie, Lord Russell at, i. 119.

    Blanqui, revolutionary leader, i. 385.

    Bleichröder, ii. 384.

    Blignières, M. de, ii. 171, 204;
      in Egypt, ii. 189, 238, 261, 278;
      resignation of, ii. 279;
      on Egyptian finances, ii. 330.

    Blockade, international law concerning, i. 97.

    Blount, Sir Edward, ii. 415.

    Blowitz, M., _Times_ correspondent, ii. 70, 241, 308, 416.

    Blue Books, publication of, i. 101, 102, 300.

    Boer War, i. 49;
      pay of men in, i. 110.

    Bonaparte, Prince Pierre, i. 244.

    Bonapartist Party, policy of, i. 349, 356, 364, ii. 15, 17, 66, 106,

    Bordeaux, i. 345, 349.

    Bosnia, ii. 127, 134, 141, 143;
      annexation of, i. 342;
      insurrection in, ii. 84.

    _Bosphore Egyptien_, suspended, ii. 352.

    Boston, i. 73, 75;
      harbour, i. 64.

    Boulanger, General, ii. 121;
      policy, ii. 367, 384, 385, 393, 403;
      and the army, ii. 365, 383;
      popularity of, ii. 366;
      at Longchamps, ii. 369;
      mobilization scheme, ii. 401, 411;
      transferred to Clermont-Ferrand, ii. 409.

    Bourbaki, General, i. 327, 354;
      on the military situation, i. 327;
      at Bourges, i. 348;
      defeated, i. 359;
      army not included in armistice, i. 360.

    Bourges, Bourbaki at, i. 348.

    Brassey, Mr., application for railway concession, i. 176.

    Bray, Bavarian Minister, i. 302.

    Brodie, attaché at Washington, i. 87.

    Broglie, Duc de, at Black Sea Conference, i. 341;
      French Ambassador in London, ii. 22, 23, 24;
      in French politics, ii. 64, 67, 100;
      becomes Prime Minister, ii. 111;
      unpopularity of, ii. 113.

    Browning, Mr. and Mrs., ii. 422.

    Bruce, Sir Frederick, i. 140, 141.

    Brünnow, Baron, i. 186, ii. 38.

    Buchanan, President (U.S.A.), i. 12, 19, 23, 29;
      invitation to Prince of Wales, i. 25;
      letter from Queen Victoria, i. 26.

    Bucharest, i. 149.

    Buffet, M., i. 282.

    Bulgaria, i. 166-8, ii. 142, 143;
      proposed limits of, ii. 130;
      Union with Eastern Roumelia, ii. 360;
      Russia in, ii. 367, 391, 399.

    Bull's Run, Fight of, i. 47-50, 110.

    Bülow, Count von, ii. 53, 74, 87.

    Bulwer, Sir Henry, at the Constantinople Embassy, i. 145, 146;
      opinion on a Turkish Navy, i. 152.

    Bulwer, Lady, i. 146.

    Bunch, Mr., British Consul at Charleston, i. 42, 51-53, 72, 94.

    Burmah, ii. 358;
      English in, ii. 360;
      annexation of, ii. 361.

    Burnley, Mr., Chargé d'Affaires in Washington, i. 134, 136.

    Burns, Mr., ii. 343.

    Busch, M., ii. 130;
      quoted, ii. 82, 344, 352.

    Butt, Bishop, ii. 427.

    Buyak Dere, ii. 138.

    _Cagliari_ case, i. 8-11.

    Cairo, intrigues at, ii. 87, 258;
      British troops enter, ii. 285;
      Northbrook mission to, ii. 332.

    Calais, ii. 22.

    Calcutta, i. 223.

    Calice, Baron, ii. 130.

    Cambridge, Duke of, i. 379.

    Canada, i. 15, 119;
      defences of, i. 40, 43, 49, 60, 72, 74, 80, 132, 134, 291;
      despatch of troops to, i. 54;
      Reciprocity Treaties, i. 17, 123.

    _Caradoc_, the, i. 146.

    Carafa, Signor, Neapolitan Foreign Minister, i. 9, 11.

    Carey, Capt., ii. 194.

    Carnarvon, Lord, resigns office, ii. 123.

    Cass, Miss, ii. 398.

    Cass, General, i. 12.

    Cayenne, i. 243.

    Ceylon, i. 223.

    Chalons, i. 204;
      French army at i. 307.

    Chambord, Comte de, i. 364; ii. 2, 9, 18, 21, 25, 56, 57, 64, 66;
      proclamation of, ii. 7;
      White Flag manifesto, ii. 47.

    Chanzy, General, at Le Mans, i. 348, 354, 359;
      suggested President, ii. 118, 197;
      death of, ii. 305.

    Charles X. of France, i. 254.

    Charleston, fighting at, i. 34, 51;
      prices in, during war, i. 94.

    Charmes, M., ii. 376, 387.

    Chartres, Duc de, ii. 3, 365.

    Chase, Mr., Secretary of Treasury, U.S., i. 43, 119.

    Chasseurs d'Afrique, ii. 118.

    Chatsworth, Lyons at, ii. 222.

    Chattanooga, i. 120.

    Chaudordy, Comte de, i. 325;
      and the elections, i. 338;
      policy at Tours, i. 339;
      on the recognition of the Government, i. 357, 362;
      on cession of territory, i. 329;
      and Black Sea Conference, i. 366, 371;
      at Constantinople Conference, ii. 109, 398.

    Cherbourg, i. 303.

    Cherif Pasha, ii. 174, 204.

    Childers, Mr., ii. 330.

    China, French Treaty with, ii. 327;
      French war with, ii. 337.

    Chios, ii. 159.

    Chislehurst, Empress Eugénie at, i. 327;
      reported review by Napoleon at, ii. 21;
      death of Napoleon at, ii. 36.

    Choiseul, ii. 231.

    Christ Church, Oxford, Lord Lyons at, i. 1.

    Christiania, i. 345.

    Christians in Turkey, i. 160, 165, 167.

    Civita Vecchia, i. 8, 180, ii. 55.

    Claremont, Colonel, British military attaché in Paris, i. 194, 196,
        245, 351, 377;
      on French army, i. 281.

    Clarendon, Lord, interest in Lyons, i. 6, 8, 174;
      and the _Cagliari_ case, i. 9;
      succeeds Lord Russell as Foreign Secretary, i. 149;
      on Roumanian affairs, i. 156;
      on Franco-Prussian relations, i. 201;
      and Napoleon III., i. 203;
      return to office, i. 205;
      and proposed Turco-Greek Conference, i. 210;
      on foreign affairs, i. 214, 216;
      on French politics, i. 231, 237, 241;
      on disarmament, i. 247, 251, 256, 301;
      views on the plébiscite, i. 287;
      on North American colonies, i. 292;
      and party voting, ii. 11;
      Bismarck's tribute to, i. 279;
      death of, i. 294;
      his private correspondence, i. 221;
      letters to Lyons, i. 207, 215, 217, 225, 234, 236, 247, 259, 260,
        266, 276, 282, 287, 293;
      letters to Loftus, i. 267, 251.

    Clémenceau, M., ii. 201, 350;
      open letter from de Blignières to, ii. 279.

    Clermont-Ferrand, ii. 409.

    Cleveland, Duchess of, ii. 424.

    Coasting trade with U.S.A., i. 17.

    Cobden, on intervention in American Civil War, i. 92.

    Cochin China, ii. 103.

    Cologne, i. 193.

    Commercial Treaties, Anglo-French negotiations, i. 239, 241, 243,
       245, 284, 368, 372; ii. 3, 7, 8, 14, 33, 43, 163, 165, 206, 252,
       261, 265, 269, 315.

    Commune, termination of, i. 388.

    Compiègne, i. 206.

    Congo Conference, ii. 334.

    Connecticut, i. 113.

    Conolly, General, ii. 102.

    Conscription Act, in U.S., i. 115.

    Constantinople i. 5;
      Embassy at, offered to Lyons, i. 144;
      position of British ambassador at, i. 147;
      intrigues, i. 149, 151;
      discontent among Mussulmans, i. 167;
      railway scheme, i. 176;
      Russian policy in, ii. 52, 124;
      Moustier's policy in, i. 206;
      Conference at, ii. 106, 107, 108, 109, 398.

    Corfu, ii. 224.

    Cotton trade with America, i. 31, 88, 89;
      during the war, i. 115, 118, 122.

    Courbet, Admiral, ii. 322;
      in Chinese war, ii. 337.

    Courbevoie, i. 381.

    Courcel, overtures from Bismarck, ii. 353.

    Coutouly, M., ii. 182.

    Couza, Prince, i. 149, 150, 157;
      deposed, i. 153.

    Cowley, Lord, i. 70, 225;
      on Eastern question, i. 170;
      on Ambassadors' votes, ii. 9;
      visit to Napoleon, i. 197;
      letter to Lord Lyons, i. 165.

    Cowper, Lady, ii. 421.

    Crampton, Sir John, i. 41, 42.

    Craven, Mr. and Mrs. Augustus, ii. 421.

    Cremer, Mr., ii. 342.

    Crete, i. 148, 180, 300, ii. 159, 426;
      insurrection in, i. 160, 163, 208;
      proposed cession to Greece, i. 163, 206;
      Omar Pasha sent to, i. 166;
      settlement in Turco-Greek Conference, i. 210.

    Cridland, Mr., i. 122.

    Crimean war, allusions to, i. 4, 49, 129, 170, ii. 229, 417.

    Cromer, Earl of. _See_ Baring.

    Crowe, Sir Joseph, ii. 196, 253, 323.

    Cuba, United States and, i. 13, 15.

    _Curaçoa_, H.M.S., i. 12.

    Currie, Lord, ii. 371.

    _Cuvier_, the, French gunboat, ii. 22.

    _Cygnet_, H.M.S., i. 100.

    Cyprus, ii. 143, 150, 151.

    Czacki, Mgr., ii. 233.

    Czarewitch, ill-will to Prussia, i. 255, 260.

    _Daily Telegraph_, letter on Lyons' opinions, ii. 129.

    Daira Land, administration of the, ii. 340.

    Dallas, Mr., U.S. Minister in London, i. 18, 38.

    Damietta, ii. 188.

    Danube, Russian policy, ii. 145.

    Dardanelles, the, i. 350, ii. 123, 224.

    Daru, Count, i. 243, 247, 251, 256, 261, 282;
      on disarmament, i. 258, 265, 274, 301;
      on political situation in France, i. 244;
      on Bismarck's policy, i. 257;
      and the plébiscite, i. 289.

    Davies, Jefferson, i. 89, 121, 123.

    Dayton, Mr., i. 46.

    _Débuts,_ anti-English articles in, ii. 180, 376.

    Décazes, Duc, ii. 50;
      French Foreign Minister, ii. 56;
      and the suzerainty of Tunis, ii. 60;
      and ministerial crisis, ii. 67;
      on foreign affairs, ii. 68;
      and the war scare, ii. 71, 83;
      policy in Russo-Turkish war, ii. 109;
      internal policy, ii. 90, 100, 112;
      suggests secret treaty to England, ii. 113.

    Declaration of Paris, allusions to, i. 38, 42.

    Denmark, Bismarck and, i. 272, 278;
      Danish War, i. 177;
      position before Franco-Prussian War, i. 302;
      and Russia, i. 355.

    Derby, Earl of. _See_ Stanley.

    Dervish Pasha, ii. 284.

    Des Michels, M., ii. 231.

    Dilke, Sir Charles, ii. 197;
      and Anglo-French commercial negotiations, ii. 253, 263, 269;
      his Cherbourg speech, ii. 244.

    Disarmament negotiations, i. 246 _et seq._

    Disraeli, Benjamin (Lord Beaconsfield), ii. 61;
      quoted, ii. 138, 417;
      on Franco-Prussian relations, i. 208;
      on Anglo-French relations, ii. 73.

    Dix, Maj.-General John A., Report to, on recruiting system, i. 112-3,
      and raid of St. Albans, i. 135.

    Döllinger movement, ii. 31.

    Domain Land, administration in, ii. 340.

    Dongorita, ii. 386, 388.

    Douglas, Governor, i. 19, 43.

    Dragoman system, Lyons dislike of, i. 146, 150, 175.

    Dresden, Lyons attaché at, i. 2.

    Duclerc, M., ii. 154;
      forms a Ministry, ii. 293;
      refuses office of Foreign Minister, ii. 380.

    Ducrot, General, ii. 111, 115.

    Dufaure, M., in the National Assembly, i. 365;
      President of the Council, ii. 119;
      resigns office, ii. 167.

    Dufferin, Lord, ii. 284, 287;
      in Egypt, ii. 297, 299, 317.

    Dulcigno, ii. 274;
      demonstration at, ii. 228;
      surrender of, ii. 232.

    Dundas, Admiral, i. 5.

    Dunkirk, ii. 22.

    Dupanloup, Mgr., Bishop of Orleans, ii. 114.

    Eastern Question, i. 221 _et seq._;
      reopened, ii. 84, 89, 95;
      Salisbury's circular on, ii. 132.

    Edinburgh, Duke of, offer of throne of Spain to, i. 200.

    Egerton, Sir Edwin, ii. 412.

    Egypt, affairs of, ii. 128, 154, 163, 203;
      crisis in, ii. 171;
      controllers appointed, ii. 189;
      question of independence, i. 240;
      Dual Note presented, ii. 270;
      proposed Foreign Commission, ii. 273;
      Turkish Commission in, ii. 284;
      Conference on situation, ii. 285, 333;
      Italy refuses to join England in, ii. 293;
      Loan Decree, ii. 357;
      question of evacuation, ii. 389;
      Anglo-Turkish Convention, ii. 405, 409;
      financial affairs, ii. 330;
      proposed Conference on, ii. 325;
      French counter-proposals, ii. 341;
      settlement of, ii. 347;
      English policy in, ii. 89, 109, 123, 133, 139, 153, 187-9;
      Anglo-French action in, ii. 182;
      Anglo-French relations in, ii. 246, 258, 296, 302, 304, 375;
      French policy in, ii. 103, 386;
      fears of English annexation, ii. 135;
      French retirement from, ii. 291, 293;
      National Party in, ii. 273;
      foreign interests in, ii. 104;
      Derby's policy in, ii. 122.

    Elliot, Sir Henry, ii. 216.

    Elysée, the, New Year's reception at, ii. 305.

    Emancipation of Slaves, i. 95.

    Emly, Lord, letter to Czacki, ii. 234.

    Ems, interviews at, i. 305;
      visit of Emperor of Russia, i. 293.

    Enfida estate dispute, ii. 238.

    England, relations with the Papal Government, i. 4;
      and the Neapolitan Government, i. 9;
      and with U.S.A., i. 12;
      and Belgian independence, i. 212;
      commercial relations with France, i. 239, ii. 25.
        (_See_ Commercial Treaties);
      expenditure on armament, i. 278;
      position in Franco-Prussian question, i. 203, 205, 314, 317;
      and peace negotiations, i. 334;
      military forces of, ii. 288;
      military preparations in Central Asia, ii. 346;
      press in, ii. 335.

    Erlanger, Baron Emile d', ii. 93.

    Errington, M.P., Mr. G., ii. 236;
      secret mission to the Vatican, ii. 339.

    Erskine, Mr., British Minister at Athens, i. 149.

    Eugénie, Empress, on foreign affairs, i. 179, 180, 191;
      visit to the East, i. 236, 239;
      proposed visit to India, i. 222;
      on Queen Victoria's postponed visit, i. 197;
      on Spanish affairs, i. 205, 207;
      and the war, i. 308, 309, 316;
      on home affairs, i. 235, 245;
      withdrawal from politics, i. 241;
      press attacks on, i. 244;
      a fugitive, i. 310;
      at Chislehurst, i. 327, ii. 22;
      Bismarck on, i. 271.

    European Conference at Constantinople, ii. 85, 106;
      at Berlin, ii. 125, 126, 147.

    Exclusion Bill, ii. 309, 311.

    Expulsion Bill, ii. 365, 366.

    Fabrice, General von, i. 387, ii. 3.

    Faidherbe, General, defeat at St. Quentin, i. 359.

    Fair Trade League, ii. 255.

    Fallières, M., ii. 309, 312.

    _Faon_, the, French gunboat, ii. 22.

    Fashoda, i. 71.

    Favre, Jules, Minister for Foreign Affairs, i. 313, 315, 332, 341,
        349, 356, 358, 361, 377, 381, 386, ii. 3, 16;
      war policy, i. 310;
      meeting with Bismarck, i. 316-324;
      advises diplomatists to leave Paris, i. 322;
      at Black Sea Conference, i. 350;
      Bismarck refuses safe conduct to London, i. 353;
      and peace negotiations, i. 360;
      policy attacked, i. 362;
      in the National Assembly, i. 368;
      Lyons appreciation of, i. 359, 368.

    Fazyl Pasha, and the Young Turk Party, i. 167.

    Ferrières, i. 321.

    Ferry, M. Jules, i. 361;
      Prime Minister, ii. 230;
      policy in Tunis, ii. 240;
      and Gambetta, ii. 249;
      forms a Ministry, ii. 312;
      at Foreign Office, ii. 320;
      Egyptian policy, ii. 330, 338;
      policy in China, ii. 339;
      resignation of, ii. 349;
      on Soudan affairs, ii. 344.

    Fielding, Hon. Percy, i. 348.

    Fire Island, kidnapped recruits at, i. 112.

    Fitzmaurice, Lord, i. 316;
      "Life of Granville," quoted, i. 342.

    Flahault, M. de, i. 92.

    Fleury, General, i. 217;
      proposed Minister at Florence, i. 230;
      and Russo-French Alliance, i. 273;
      Lord Clarendon on, i. 231.

    Floquet, M., ii. 404;
      duel with Boulanger, ii. 370;
      fails to form an administration, ii. 380.

    Florence, i. 2;
      Lyons appointed secretary of legation at, i. 6;
      Lyons appointed Minister at, i. 11;
      Fleury's mission to, i. 230.

    Florian, Count, ii. 399.

    Flourens, M. Gustave, organizes riot in Paris, i. 330.

    Flourens, M., appointed Foreign Minister, ii. 381;
      policy, ii. 398, 406.

    Flourens, Mme., ii. 387.

    Fontainebleau, i. 197, 375.

    Foochow, Chinese fleet destroyed at, ii. 337.

    Formosa, blockade of, ii. 337, 344.

    Forsyth, Mr., i. 14.

    Fort Issy, i. 382.

    Fort Lafayette, i. 131.

    Fort Sumter, i. 34, 50.

    Fort Warren, i. 71, 74, 75.

    Fournier, M., French Ambassador at Constantinople, ii. 169, 182, 205;
      withdrawn from Constantinople, ii. 210.

    Fourtou, M., ii. 114.

    France, internal affairs, i. 190, 238, 280, ii. 105, 147, 164, 306,
      republic declared, i. 237, 310;
      Constitutional Government in, i. 283, 290;
      Bismarck on, i. 271;
      government of National Defence, i. 311, 336 _et seq._;
      National Assembly, i. 363;
      public v. monarchy in, i. 364;
      elections in, i. 227, 360, ii. 97, 114, 116, 237, 363;
      unrest among peasantry, ii. 297;
      finances, i. 236, 358;
      Protection v. Free Trade, ii. 321, 328, 335.
        (_See_ Commercial Treaties);
      press campaigns against England, ii. 178, 307, 310, 328, 333, 376;
      anti-German attacks, ii. 411;
      military power of, i. 257, 268, 369, ii. 59, 102, 356;
      Lord Stanley on, i. 162;
      Villiers' report, ii. 310;
      and disarmament, i. 246, 258, 277;
      navy of, ii. 59;
      policy in U.S.A., i. 13, 42, 44, 46, 54, 67, 70, 77, 81;
      in the Moldo-Wallachian Principalities, i. 153;
      in Belgium, i. 211, 303;
      in North Africa, i. 199;
      in Eastern Question, ii. 134;
      occupation of Rome, i. 3, 183-187;
      proposes cession of Crete to Greece, i. 163.

    Franco-Prussian War, apprehensions of, i. 185, 195;
      war declared, i. 301;
      causes of, i. 305;
      panic in Paris, i. 306;
      suggestion for armistice, i. 312, 314, 347;
      Bourbaki on the military situation, i. 327;
      peace party, i. 328;
      suggestion for European Congress, i. 367;
      suggested terms of Peace, i. 348;
      armistice agreed on, i. 360;
      preliminaries of Peace signed, i. 369;
      harshness of conditions, i. 373;
      Neutral Powers and, i. 371;
      the war indemnity, i. 369, ii. 3, 29, 41, 45;
      effects on the Embassy, i. 347.

    Frankfort, i. 140, 236, 370.

    Frederick William IV., King of Prussia, ii. 41, 62;
      in the San Juan dispute, i. 19;
      on German unity, i. 208, 247, 266;
      and army, i. 207, 247-9, 252, 254-6, 348;
      on disarmament, i. 266, 275, 277;
      at Ems, i. 293, 305;
      and Clarendon, i. 201, 204;
      friendship for Arnim, ii. 46;
      relations with Bismarck, ii. 54, 57, 62, 73, 120;
      attempt to assassinate, ii. 146;
      ill-health, ii. 80, 354.

    Frederick William, Crown Prince of Prussia, on Franco-Prussian
        relations, i. 207;
      in the Franco-Prussian War, i. 309;
      peaceful policy, i. 247;
      English sympathies, i. 342, 343;
      conversation with Odo Russell, ii. 80;
      relations with Bismarck, ii. 57, 63, 74.

    Free Trade, decline in France, i. 241, 245, 290, 372, ii. 3, 27, 163.
      (_See_ Commercial Treaties and Protection);
      Lyons on, i. 284, ii. 27.

    Frère-Orban, M., visit to Paris, i. 219.

    Freycinet, M. de, ii. 119, 154, 200, 350;
      succeeds Waddington at Foreign Office, ii. 204;
      his ideal ambassador, ii. 211;
      refuses office in Gambetta Ministry, ii. 262;
      forms Ministry, ii. 277;
      retires from office, ii. 291, 378;
      Egyptian policy, ii. 281-91, 356, 377, 392;
      Eastern policy, ii. 223.

    _Friedland_, the, sent to Tunis, ii. 238.

    Fuad Pasha, Grand Vizier, on Turkish finance, i. 146;
      and the Paris Conference, i. 153;
      dismissal of, i. 155;
      alluded to, i. 151, 155, 166, 167, 171.

    Galliera, Duchess of, ii. 43.

    Gallipoli, ii. 127.

    Gallway, Colonel, sent to report on army of the Potomac, i. 128, 129.

    Galt, Mr., Canadian Finance Minister, i. 60.

    Gambetta, minister of war, i. 325-329, 336, 338, 345, 349, 351, 355,
        356, 358, 360;
      resigns office, i. 361;
      recovery of influence, ii. 98;
      dispute with Grévy, ii. 118;
      interview with Prince of Wales, ii. 156;
      growth of power, ii. 168;
      on foreign policy of France, ii. 205;
      resignation of, ii. 277;
      and Ferry, ii. 249;
      administrative qualities, ii. 262;
      fall from office, ii. 296;
      shot, ii. 301;
      death, ii. 305;
      policy and views of, i. 362, 363, 365, 370, ii. 8, 64, 67, 99, 106,
        119, 133, 147, 166, 197, 198, 226, 237, 266;
      Egyptian policy, ii. 177, 181, 261, 290;
      St. Hilaire on, ii. 229.

    Gambia, the, ii. 198.

    Garibaldi, invades Papal States, i. 178;
      embarrassing foreign policy, i. 177;
      in Franco-Prussian war, i. 324.

    _Gaulois_, on Sir J. Drummond Hay, ii. 329.

    Genoa, i. 8.

    Germany. _See also_ Prussia and Franco-German War;
      Confederation question, i. 190, 192, 201, 204, 205, 207, 251, 266,
        276, 277, 343;
      and need of seaboard, ii. 60;
      relations with Russia, ii. 42, 324;
      military power, i. 275, ii. 80, 356.

    Gibraltar, i. 200, ii. 288.

    Gladstone, on American struggle, i. 89;
      on Belgian independence, i. 212, 214, 218;
      on a peer's vote, i. 225, ii. 336;
      and disarmament, i. 250, 259;
      on the plébiscite, i. 283, 289, 290;
      and the Hohenzollern candidature, i. 298;
      on peace negotiations, i. 334;
      Russian sympathies, ii. 109;
      Eastern policy, ii. 228, 231;
      Egyptian policy, ii. 274, 329;
      visit to Paris, ii. 313;
      Bismarck's dislike of, ii. 353, 354;
      resigns office, ii. 356;
      letters to Lyons, i. 334, ii. 347.

    _Globe_, and the Anglo-Russian Agreement, ii. 143.

    Goblet, M., Prime Minister of France, ii. 380;
      foreign policy, ii. 389;
      difficulties of, ii. 392.

    Godeaux, M., ii. 172.

    Gontaut, M. de, ii. 29.

    Goodenough, Captain, i. 128.

    Gordon, General, sent to Soudan, ii. 321, 343;
      in Khartoum, ii. 326;
      death of, ii. 343.

    Gortschakoff, Prince, i. 181, 209, 248, 273, ii. 42, 77, 80, 85, 88,
      Bismarck's abuse of, ii. 168.

    Goschen, Mr. (afterward Viscount), at Constantinople, ii. 210, 223.

    Gozze, Count, i. 6.

    Gramont, Duc de, i. 289, 299, 302, 303, 340;
      on the Hohenzollern candidature, i. 294;
      and war, i. 307;
      letter from Napoleon, i. 304;
      Bismarck on, i. 320;
      publishes letter of Beust, ii. 35, 36.

    Grant, General, i. 133, 372.

    Granville, Lord, at the Foreign Office, i. 294, 301, 343, 383;
      policy in Franco-Prussian War, i. 313;
      interview with Thiers, i. 316;
      on revolution in Paris, i. 379;
      Free Trade policy, ii. 27, 257;
      Egyptian policy, ii. 274, 277;
      succeeded by Lord Derby, ii. 54;
      on the Eastern Question, ii. 231;
      and Franco in Tunis, ii. 250;
      on peers' voting, ii. 12;
      on Waddington, ii. 314;
      succeeded by Salisbury, ii. 356;
      letters to Lyons, i. 294, 297, 317, 337, 340, 373, ii. 9, 23, 241,
        242, 270, 289, 323, 324, 329, 332, 346, 348, 353;
      letter to Gladstone, ii. 274.

    Great Lakes, fortification of, i. 60.

    Greece, ii. 183;
      financial immorality, i. 163;
      increase of power, i. 164;
      and Turkey, i. 166, 209, ii. 89;
      and the Eastern question, i. 160, ii. 131, 223;
      frontier question, i. 206, ii. 207, 227, 229.

    Greece, King of, ii. 225.

    Greeley, Mr. Horace, i. 96.

    Green, Mr., at Bucharest, i. 149, 153, 158.

    Grévy, M., i. 328;
      in the National Assembly, i. 365, 368, ii. 16;
      dispute with Gambetta, ii. 118;
      becomes President, ii. 167;
      loss of prestige, ii. 202;
      and Boulanger, ii. 367, 393;
      New Year's reception, ii. 305;
      and peace policy, ii. 382, 383.

    Grey, General, letter to Clarendon, i. 211.

    Griffith, Mr., i. 28.

    Grousset, Paschal, i. 383.

    Halifax, i. 73, 74.

    Halim, ii. 261;
      proposed to make Khedive, ii. 280.

    Hammond, Mr., Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, views and opinions
        of, i. 63, 64, 77, 86, 294, 299;
      letter to Lyons, i. 172.

    Hauseman, ii. 46.

    d'Harcourt, Emmanuel, ii. 91, 100, 144.

    Harney, General. i. 19, 23.

    Harper's Ferry, i. 20.

    Hartington, Lord, ii. 330, 332, 371.

    Hartmann, nihilist, ii. 207.

    Hatfield, Lyons at, ii. 222.

    Havannah, i. 54.

    Hay, Sir J. Drummond, ii. 329.

    Haymerle and the Austro-German Alliance, ii. 194.

    Head, Sir Edmund, Governor-General of Canada, i. 39, 50.

    Heneage, Mr., i. 132.

    Herat, ii. 352.

    Herbert, Sir Michael, i. 90.

    Herbette, M. d', ii. 386.

    Heron's Ghyll, Lyons at, ii. 424.

    Herzegovina, ii. 141;
      annexation of, i. 342;
      insurrection in, ii. 84;
      and the Andrassy Note, ii. 96, 127.

    Hesse, i. 285.

    Hicks Pasha, disaster in Soudan, ii. 320, 325.

    Hobart Pasha, ii. 136.

    Hohenlohe, Prince, ii. 31, 69, 292.

    Hohenzollern, candidature for Spain, i. 294, 296, 305.

    Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Prince Charles of, chosen Hereditary Prince
        of Roumania, i. 155-157;
      invested at Constantinople, i. 158.

    Holland, i. 217;
      and Luxembourg, i. 165, 168;
      foreign designs on, i. 304, 355, ii. 83;
      suggestions for protection of, ii. 113;
      foreign relations, ii. 124;
      in Constantinople Conference, ii. 109;
      Bismarck's policy, ii. 345.

    Hope, Sir James, i. 133.

    Hope, Lady Mary, ii. 424.

    Hope-Scott, James, ii. 418.

    Hotham, Captain, ii. 22.

    Hovas, Queen of the, ii. 301.

    Howard, Lady Mary, ii. 418, 423.

    Hoyos, Count, ii. 387.

    Hudson, Sir James, note to the Sardinian Government, i. 10.

    Hugo, Victor, i. 224, 363, 370, 371;
      death and funeral, ii. 354.

    Hungary, policy of Russia concerning, ii. 134.

    Hussein Khan, ii. 216.

    Iddesleigh, Lord, Foreign Secretary, ii. 375;
      death of, ii. 383.

    Ignatieff, General, Russian Minister at Constantinople, i. 148, 158;
      mission to London, ii. 109;
      foreign policy, ii. 128, 130.

    Imperialists, policy of, ii. 56.

    India, ii. 137, 205.

    International Law on blockade, i. 97.

    Irish emigrants in U.S.A., i. 15, 16, 25, 69;
      liability to service, i. 109, 114, 115;
      secret societies, i. 40.

    Irish Church Bill, i. 224, ii. 10, 11.

    Irish Nationalists, ii. 232.

    Isabella, Queen, in France, ii. 22.

    Ismail, Khedive, i. 221, 222, 239;
      and Suez Canal Shares, ii. 85;
      and Russo-Turkish War, ii. 110, 155, 171;
      warning to, ii. 177;
      deposed, ii. 185;
      proposal to restore, ii. 344.

    Italy, ii. 55;
      neutral policy, i. 298, 302;
      Bismarck on, i. 321;
      Eastern policy, i. 164;
      and Prussia, i. 178, 193;
      and Savoy, i. 382;
      policy in Tunis, ii. 240, 248.

    Jahde, i. 228.

    James river, America, i. 83.

    Janina, ii. 183.

    Jecker bonds, i. 218.

    Jenner, Mr., i. 87.

    Johnstone, Mr. Horace, i. 127.

    Joinville, Prince de, ii. 3, 7, 34.

    _Journal officiel_, i. 315, ii. 320.

    Juarez, i. 13.

    Karolyi, ii. 391.

    Kars, ii. 143.

    Kemble, Adelaide, ii. 422.

    Kemble, Fanny, ii. 422.

    Kennedy, i. 140.

    Kentucky, i. 60.

    Kern, M., Swiss Minister at Paris, ii. 255.

    Khaireddin Pasha, ii. 167, 196.

    Khartoum, ii. 322; Gordon in, ii. 326;
      expedition to, ii. 341;
      fall of, ii. 343.

    Khedive. _See_ Ismail.

    Kiel, i. 204.

    Kitchener, Major (Lord), Rochefort's abuse of, ii. 358.

    Klazko, Mgr., i. 272, 278, 294.

    Knollys, Viscount, ii. 152.

    Knowsley, Lyons at, ii. 222, 424.

    Kroumirs, the, ii. 240, 301.

    Lacour, M. Challemel, ii. 211, 257, 310;
      becomes Foreign Minister, ii. 312;
      on Egyptian question, ii. 316;
      resignation of, ii. 320.

    Lagarde, the Abbé, i. 385.

    Land Bill (English), i. 294.

    Landsturm Bill, ii. 62.

    Lang-Son, French defeat at, ii. 349.

    Lascelles, Sir Frank, i. 377.

    La Tour d'Auvergne, La Prince de, i. 208, 233, 234, 240, 241, 308, 310.

    La Valette, M. de, i. 206, 218, 223, 234, 242, 256, 261, 287, 298,
      on home policy, i. 229;
      and disarmament, i. 247;
      on the Hohenzollern candidature, i. 295;
      on political situation, i. 285.

    Layard, Mr. (Sir Henry), i. 295, 347;
      reports from Constantinople, ii. 123, 127;
      the Anglo-Turkish Convention, ii. 140, 142, 143;
      on Treaty of Berlin, ii. 160;
      withdrawn from Constantinople, ii. 209;
      letter to Lyons, ii. 137, 138.

    League of Patriots, ii. 402.

    Leboeuf, on France's readiness for war, i. 307.

    Le Flô, General, ii. 29;
      conversation with Alexander of Russia, ii. 52, 54.

    Legh, Mr. (Lord Newton), ii. 220.

    Legitimists, policy of, i. 228, 364, 368, ii. 15, 18, 25, 56;
      and Comte de Chambord, ii. 7;
      proposed fusion with Orleanists, ii. 21;
      White Flag Manifesto, ii. 47.

    Leighton, Sir Frederick, ii. 423.

    Le Mans, Chanzy at, i. 348, 359.

    Leo XIII., ii. 425.

    Lesseps, M. de, ii. 86;
      and Suez Canal Shares, ii. 90, 93, 321;
      on Soudan expedition, ii. 343.

    Levy, Mr., and the Enfida estate, ii. 238.

    Lhuys, Drouyn de, i. 241.

    _Liberté_, publishes secret negotiations, i. 301.

    Lincoln, President Abraham, i. 29, 34, 47, 60, 65, 69, 81, 88, 93,
        98, 100, 115, 140;
      issues proclamations of Emancipation, i. 95;
      and the U.S. Army, i. 110.

    Lindau, employed as secret agent by Bismarck, ii. 46.

    Lindsay, Major-General, i. 129.

    Lisbon, i. 144.

    Little, Mrs., ii. 417.

    Lobanoff, Prince, ii. 130.

    Loftus, Lord Augustus, British Ambassador at Berlin, i. 250, 295;
      despatches from, i. 218, 273, 276, 285, 293;
      interview with Bismarck, i. 254, 261, 270, 275;
      letters to Clarendon, i. 254, 270.

    Longchamps, Reviews at, ii. 368, 369, 410.

    Longworth, Mr., i. 161.

    Lord Mayor, in Paris, ii. 64.

    Lords, House of, Lyons vote in, i. 226, ii. 9, 336.

    Lorraine. _See_ Alsace and Lorraine.

    Louis XVI., i. 254.

    Louis Philippe, i. 254.

    Louis, Prince Imperial, ii. 102;
      death of, ii. 190-193.

    Lumley, British Minister at Brussels, ii. 75.

    Luxembourg, report of cession to France, i. 165;
      Prussia refuses consent to sell, i. 168;
      conference in London, i. 169;
      railway affair, i. 211, 257;
      Commission in London, i. 219.

    Lynch Law, i. 21.

    Lyons, strength of garrisons at, i. 268, 349.

    Lyons, Richard Bickerton Pemell, Lord, early life, i. 1;
      succeeds to the peerage, i. 11;
      Mission to Naples respecting _Cagliari_ case, i. 8-11;
      appointed Minister at Florence, i. 11;
      offer of the Washington Legation, i. 11;
      with Prince of Wales in Canada, i. 25; a G.C.B., i. 76;
      visits to Canada, i. 119, 134;
      returns to London on account of ill-health, i. 89, 136;
      resigns U.S. Legation, i. 139;
      receives the degree of D.C.L., i. 144;
      appointed to the Embassy at Constantinople, i. 144;
      to Paris Embassy, i. 177;
      removes with Embassy to Tours, i. 322;
      to Bordeaux, i. 345;
      returns to Paris, i. 375;
      invited to represent England at Berlin Congress, ii. 125;
      proffered resignation, ii. 394;
      offer of Foreign Secretaryship, ii. 371;
      termination of office, ii. 411;
      created an earl, ii. 412;
      death, ii. 412;
      his personal characteristics, ii. 213-222, 412;
      in private life, ii. 415.

    Letters from Lyons--
      to Lord Clarendon, i. 149, 152, 153, 206, 213, 219, 224, 227, 228,
        230, 233, 235, 239, 241, 244, 248, 256, 273, 280, 283, 285, 288,
      to Earl Cowley, i. 154, 158, 174.
      to Lord Derby, i. 156, ii. 54, 66, 95, 102, 107, 111, 112, 117,
        119, 127.
      to Sir C. Dilke, ii. 254, 255.
      to Lord Granville, i. 296, 299, 301, 303, 305, 308, 312, 315, 322,
        325, 329, 338, 350, 355, 356, 361, 365, 367, 371, 374, 376, 380,
        382, 385, 386, ii. 2, 7, 13, 15, 21, 24, 26, 34, 36, 37, 39, 47,
        48, 50, 223, 225, 226, 229, 230, 233, 235, 239, 243, 247, 248,
        249, 258, 261, 262, 263, 265, 271, 275, 278, 280, 281, 283, 286,
        292, 296, 298, 300, 302, 303, 308, 309, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317,
        319, 320, 321, 323, 326, 328, 330, 334, 338, 339, 341, 342, 345,
        350, 351, 352.
      to Mr. Green, i. 158.
      to Mr. Griffith, i. 28.
      to Mr. Hammond, i. 127, 132, 309, 346.
      to Sir Edmund Head, i. 39, 50.
      to Lord Iddesleigh, ii. 375, 377, 378, 379, 381.
      to Mr. Layard (Sir H.), i. 347, ii. 207.
      to Captain Lyons, i. 5.
      to Lady Lytton, ii. 209.
      to Lord Malmesbury, i. 13, 14.
      to Admiral Sir A. Milne, i. 104.
      to Viscount Monck, i. 123.
      to Duke of Newcastle, i. 28, 29.
      to Lord Rosebery, ii. 363, 365, 366, 367, 368, 374.
      to Lord John Russell, i. 17, 20, 21, 26, 30, 31, 36, 41, 42, 47, 55,
        57, 59, 65, 67, 71, 74, 82, 85, 88, 101, 102, 115, 120, 122, 128,
        136, 143, 145.
      to Lord Odo Russell, ii. 30, 42, 51, 129.
      to Lord Salisbury, ii. 134, 139, 145, 151, 152, 156, 165, 169, 171,
        180, 191, 192, 195, 196, 198, 202, 204, 357, 371, 383, 387, 388,
        389, 392, 394, 396, 398, 400, 402, 403, 404, 405, 410.
      to Mr. Seward, i. 131, 140.
      to Mr. Stuart, i. 139, 156.
      to Lord Stanley (Earl Derby), i. 156, 159, 166, 179, 182, 186, 187,
        190, 197, 201, 203.
      to Prince of Wales, ii. 98.

    Lyons, Admiral Sir Edmund, first baron, i. 1.

    Lyons, Captain Edmund, i. 5, ii. 417.

    Lytton, Lord, ii. 52, 209;
      succeeds Lyons at Paris Embassy, ii. 411;
      letter to Lyons, ii. 60.

    McClellan, General, i. 56, 57, 65, 89.

    McHugh, Mr. James, i. 131.

    McLane, Mr., i. 13, 14.

    MacMahon, Marshal, i. 306, ii. 38;
      succeeds Thiers as President, ii. 43;
      and war scare, ii. 83;
      policy of, ii. 56, 67, 97, 105, 111;
      character, ii. 100;
      Gambetta on, ii. 100;
      election defeat, ii. 116;
      resigns office, ii. 167.

    MacMahon, Madame la Maréchale, ii. 47, 114.

    Madagascar, ii. 300, 301, 307, 318, 360, 380.

    Magee, Mr., Consul at Mobile, i. 97, 121.

    _Magicienne_, the, i. 100, 103.

    Magne, M., finance minister, ii. 59.

    Malet, Sir Edward, accompanies Lyons to the Washington Legation, i. 90;
      on Lyons' work at, i. 137;
      transferred to Lisbon, i. 140;
      accompanies Lyons to Constantinople, i. 144;
      to Paris, i. 177;
      emissary to Bismarck, i. 318;
      alluded to, i. 347, 377, 383, 387, ii. 128;
      in Egypt, ii. 238, 271, 276;
      letter to Lyons, i. 319.

    Malmesbury, Lord, foreign secretary, i. 2, 8, ii. 11;
      in the _Cagliari_ case, i. 10-14;
      succeeded by Lord John Russell, i. 17.

    Malta, i. 5, 146, ii. 139, 243, 288;
      troops in, ii. 290;
      Lyons' boyhood at, ii. 417.

    Marne river, i. 345.

    Marseilles, i. 349; riots at, ii. 248.

    Martel, M., ii. 114.

    Martin, Sir Theodore, i. 61.

    Martino, ii. 177.

    Marvin, Mr., ii. 143.

    Mary, Grand Duchess, of Russia, i. 235.

    Maryland, i. 60.

    Mason, Mr., Confederate delegate to England, seized on board the
        _Trent_, i. 54;
      alluded to, i. 59, 60, 63, 74, 81;
      failure of mission to Europe, i. 121.

    Matamoros, i. 100, 104.

    Mathilde, Princess, i. 223.

    Mayence, i. 265.

    Mazzinians, revolt of the, i. 9.

    Mazzini, plot against Napoleon, i. 188.

    Mediterranean, English power in, ii. 109, 113, 140, 200;
      fleet ordered to Constantinople, ii. 123;
      Indian troops in, ii. 132.

    Mehmet Ali, ii. 276.

    Menabrea, General, ii. 294;
      on Sir J. Drummond Hay, ii. 329;
      Ministry, i. 186.

    Mentana, i. 178.

    Mercantile Marine Law in France, ii. 24.

    Mercier, M., French Minister in U.S.A., i. 32-34, 46, 66, 115, 156;
      friendly relations with Lyons, i. 44, 54;
      on _Trent_ case, i. 68, 70;
      visits Confederate headquarters, i. 82;
      on American Civil War, i. 82;
      proposal of foreign intervention, i. 90, 96.

    Merv, ii. 325.

    Mesopotamia, Russian policy in, ii. 137.

    Metternich, Prince, Austrian Ambassador in Paris, i. 287, 318, 338;
      letter from Beust, ii. 35.

    Metz, i. 304, 358;
      French army at, i. 307, 321, 327;
      capitulation of, i. 329, 351.

    Mexico, United States policy in, i. 13, 15, 21;
      expedition against, i. 70;
      French in, i. 177, 218;
      Emperor of, i. 133.

    Michel, Louise, ii. 316.

    Midhat Pasha, ii. 196.

    Military attachés, i. 120.

    Military efficiency, Lord Palmerston on, i. 48.

    Militia regiments in U.S., i. 47, 50.

    Milne, Admiral Sir A., i. 39, 52, 58, 59, 100, 104, 119.

    Missouri, i. 60.

    Mobile, i. 97, 121.

    Mohrenheim, Baron, ii. 325.

    Moldo-Wallachian Principalities, i. 148-150.

    Moltke, General von, i. 354, 374, ii. 30;
      on Germany's position in Europe, i. 196;
      on Franco-Prussian relations, i. 201;
      on relations with Russia, i. 202;
      and Clarendon, i. 203;
      and the war scare, ii. 74.

    Monck, Lord, Governor-General of Canada, i. 60, 125, 126;
      and Canadian defence, i. 132, 133.

    _Moniteur_, article in, i. 159.

    Monroe doctrine, i. 23.

    Monson, Mr., attaché at Washington, i. 87.

    Montebello, M. de, ii. 165;
      Eastern policy, ii. 225, 407.

    Montenegro, ii. 142, 227;
      surrender of Dulcigno to, ii. 232;
      Prince of, ii. 226.

    Montpensier, i. 294.

    Moore, Mr., i. 122.

    Morier, Sir Robert, quoted, i. 344, ii. 82.

    Morocco, French policy in, ii. 386.

    Morrill Tariff (U.S.), i. 57.

    Moscow, coronation, ii. 314.

    Mouchy, Duc de, i. 233.

    Moustier, Marquis de, French Ambassador at Constantinople, i. 147,
        148, 153;
      and Roumanian difficulty, i. 156, 158;
      Eastern policy, i. 165, 186, 192;
      and Prussia, i. 195;
      succeeded by de la Valette, i. 206;
      alluded to, i. 202, 203.

    Münster, Count, German Ambassador in London, ii. 75;
      on the German army, ii. 80;
      and French policy in Tunis, ii. 139;
      at French Embassy, ii. 388, 410.

    Münster, Countess Marie, ii. 387.

    Murat, Prince Joachim, i. 233.

    Muscovite party, and Germany, i. 255.

    Mussulmans, and the Roman Catholic Church, ii. 4;
      population in Turkey, i. 161;
      discontent among, i. 167;
      position in Bulgaria, ii. 227.

    Musurus Pasha, i. 152, 171, ii. 348.

    Naples, i. 8, 146.

    Napoleon III., Emperor of France, i. 8;
      proposal of intervention in American Civil War, i. 92;
      Pro-Russian sympathies, i. 165. 170;
      foreign policy, i. 183, 187, 213, 215. 220, 238;
      on foreign policy of Prussia, i. 192;
      on Franco-Prussian situation, i. 203;
      on Spanish affairs, i. 207;
      love of Conferences, i. 209;
      ill-health of, i. 236;
      plot, against, i. 285;
      position in France, i. 187, 197, 235;
      home policy, i. 227-9, 232, 234, 237, 240, 250;
      and Constitutional Government, i. 190, 274;
      and the plébiscite, i. 280, 291;
      disposition for peace, i.
      191, 296;
      with the army, i. 307, 355;
      question of restoration, ii. 17;
      at Chislehurst, ii. 21;
      death of, ii. 36;
      Bismarck on, i. 254, 320, 333;
      friendship for Clarendon, i. 201;
      letter to Gramont, i. 304.

    Napoleon, Prince, on the "Roman" question, i. 181;
      on French foreign policy, i. 185;
      on war with Germany, i. 191, 194, 203;
      visit to Germany, i. 191;
      Proclamation denouncing the Republic, ii. 305, 309;
      arrest, ii. 308;
      release, ii. 311;
      expulsion from France, ii. 366;
      alluded to, i. 235, ii. 2, 64, 191.

    National Assembly, at Versailles, i. 373.

    National Guards, defection of, i. 376;
      at Courbevoie, i. 381.

    Neapolitan troops, i. 9.

    Nelidoff, M. de, ii. 389.

    Newcastle, Duke of, Colonial Secretary, i. 24, 28, 29.

    Newfoundland Fisheries, ii. 103, 153, 156, 197, 356, 384, 386.

    Newfoundland, Governor of, on colonial questions, i. 292.

    New Hampshire, i. 113.

    New Hebrides, ii. 314, 374, 386, 388, 390, 407, 409.

    New Orleans, i. 83; captured, i. 93.

    New York, i. 111, 113, 115;
      visit of Russian squadron to, i. 120.

    Nice, ii. 26.

    Nicholas, Grand Duke, ii. 137.

    Niel, Marshal, orations by, i. 196.

    Nigra, Italian minister in Paris, i. 186.

    Noailles, Marquis de, ii. 197, 287.

    Nobiling, attempt to assassinate German Emperor, ii. 146.

    Noir, Victor, i. 244.

    Norfolk, America, i. 83.

    Norfolk, Duke of, i. 11, ii. 417.

    Norfolk, Duchess of, i. 139, ii. 218, 373, 424.

    Normanby, Lord, Minister at Florence, i. 7, 8, 87;
      on Parliamentary voting, ii. 9.

    Northbrook, Lord, mission to Cairo, ii. 332;
      return to England, ii. 337.

    North Carolina, revolt in, i. 35.

    _North German Gazette_, articles in, i. 299, 305.

    North Sea, Prussian fortifications on, i. 265.

    Nothomb, Baron, ii. 74, 76.

    Nubar Pasha, ii. 171, 204;
      on Egyptian situation, ii. 278.

    Nuncio, the, in Paris, i. 287-8, 387.

    Oldenburg, Duke of, i. 266.

    Ollivier, M. Emile, i. 240, ii. 35;
      ministry of, i. 243;
      policy of, i. 266;
      and the plébiscite, i. 283, 284, 286;
      on disarmament, i. 248, 283, 301;
      resignation of, i. 307.

    Omar Pasha, sent to Crete, i. 166.

    Ordega, M., French Minister at Tangier, ii. 329.

    _Orénoque_, at Civita Vecchia, ii. 55.

    _Oreto_, the, i. 99.

    Orleans, i. 336, 349.

    Orleanists, i. 228, 349, 368, ii. 2, 15, 18, 21, 25, 56, 66, 106, 116;
      Expulsion Bill, ii. 365, 366.

    Orloff, Prince, Russian Ambassador at Paris, ii. 33, 34, 231;
      policy in Central Asia, ii. 38;
      conversation with Décazes, ii. 69;
      withdrawn from Paris, ii. 207.

    Osman Pasha, ii. 167.

    Oxford, Lyons at, i. 1.

    Pacific coast defence, i. 40.

    Pagny, ii. 400.

    Pain, Olivier, ii. 358.

    Paladines, General d'Aurelle de, i. 336.

    Palermo, i. 146.

    Palikao, Count, i. 307.

    Palmerston, Lord, on fight of Bull's Run, i. 48;
      on foreign intervention in American Civil War, i. 92;
      and Lyons, i. 144, ii. 11;
      death of, i. 149 _n._

    Papal government, i. 3, 4, 8, 184, ii. 31;
      and Irish affairs, ii. 234-6.

    Paris, Conference at, i. 153, 155;
      Lyons appointed to the Embassy, i. 173, 177;
      riots in, i. 286, 376, 386, ii. 316;
      panic in, i. 306;
      defences of, i. 317;
      diplomatists leave, i. 322;
      siege of, i. 348;
      bombardment of, i. 356, 383;
      military power in, i. 356;
      Embassy returns to, i. 375;
      Commune proclaimed, i. 379.

    Paris Exhibition, ii. 161.

    Paris, Treaty of, i. 337, 339.

    Paris, Archbishop of, seized by Commune, i. 384;
      killed, i. 386.

    Paris, Comte de, ii. 8, 21, 25, 48, 56, 365, 366, 382.

    Park, engineer on the _Cagliari_, i. 9.

    Parnell, Mr., ii. 234.

    Pasquier, Duc d'Audiffret, ii. 117.

    Pau, ii. 22.

    Pauncefote and Egyptian Commission, ii. 353.

    Pearson, Mr., ii. 417.

    Peel, Sir Robert, attack on Lyons, i. 324, ii. 129.

    Penjdeh, fight at, ii. 348.

    Persia, Shah of, visit to Berlin, ii. 354.

    Persian Gulf, Russian policy in, ii. 352.

    Peruvian Papers, i. 32.

    _Peterhoff_, the, i. 100, 103.

    Petre, Mr., i. 2.

    Philippines, German interest in, ii. 60.

    Picard, M., i. 358, 387.

    Pines, Isle of, ii. 362, 364.

    Pius IX., ii. 423.

    Playfair, Colonel, i. 382.

    Poland, French policy in, i. 177, ii. 345.

    Polish Party, intrigues of, i. 272.

    Ponza island, i. 9.

    Portland, U.S.A., i. 81.

    Portugal, independence threatened, ii. 39.

    Postage, international, i. 211.

    Pothuau, Admiral, French ambassador, ii. 203, 210.

    Potomac, i. 59; army of the, i. 128.

    Prague, Treaty of, i. 204.

    Prince Consort, advice in _Trent_ case, i. 61, 77.

    Prince Eugène Barracks, i. 286.

    Protection in U.S.A., i. 18.

    Protection, growth of, in France, i. 241, 243, 245, 284, ii. 3, 27,
        165, 244, 257.

    Protestants in Papal dominions, i. 4.

    Provincetown, i. 74.

    Prussia (_see also_ Germany and Franco-German War), proposed
        intervention in American Civil War, i. 91;
      irritation against, in Paris, i. 165;
      alliance with Italy, i. 178;
      refuses consent to sell Luxembourg, i. 168;
      relations with Austria, i. 186;
      armament of, i. 192;
      desire for peace, i. 201;
      relations with Russia, i. 202;
      question of disarmament, i. 246;
      and Hohenzollern candidature in Spain, i. 294.

    Quebec, i. 116, 133.

    Quertier, M. Pouyer, ii. 23, 24.

    Raby, ii. 424.

    Radowitz, M., ii. 130, 231.

    Rahming, i. 132.

    Raindre, M. de, ii. 317.

    Rastadt, Prussian troops at, i. 302.

    Reciprocity Treaties, i. 17, 50, 74, 123.

    Recruiting methods in American Civil War, i. 110, 133.

    Redcliffe, Lord Stratford de, ii. 424;
      letter to Lyons, i. 150.

    Regnier, M., and General Bourbaki, i. 327.

    Rémusat, M. de, ii. 23, 25.

    _République Française_, anti-English articles in, ii. 180, 302.

    Réunion, ii. 198.

    Rhenish Prussia, i. 193.

    Rhodes, ii. 159.

    Riaz Pasha, ii. 203.

    Richmond, U.S.A., Confederate headquarters, i. 82, 93, 133.

    Ring, M. de, ii. 182, 238.

    Rio Grande, i. 100.

    Ripley, General, i. 94.

    Ripon, Lord, mission to Washington, i. 190.

    Rochebouet, General, ii. 120.

    Rochefort, M. de, i. 230, 244, 313, 358, 363.

    Rogers, Mr., ii. 425.

    Rome, i. 2.

    "Roman question," i. 178, 182, 231.

    Rosebery, Lord, visit to Bismarck, ii. 353;
      at Foreign Office, ii. 361;
      retires from office, ii. 371;
      letters to Lyons, ii. 363, 374.

    Rothschild, Baron Alphonse de, ii. 312, 315, 405.

    Rothschild, Sir Nathaniel, ii. 93, 315.

    Rothschild, Messrs., ii. 90, 175.

    Rouher, M., i. 228, 233, 244, 285, ii. 8;
      foreign policy, i. 178, 183, 184, 254;
      resignation of, i. 234, 237.

    Roumania, i. 155, 156, ii. 131.

    Roumelia, ii. 145, 227, 360.

    Roustan. M., French Agent at Tunis, ii. 240, 248.

    Rouvier, M., ii. 335;
      becomes President, ii. 404.

    Russell, Lord John (Earl Russell), at Foreign Office, i. 17;
      appoints Lyons attaché at Rome, i. 2, ii. 11;
      policy in U.S.A., i. 37, 38, 61, 76, 90, 101, 127;
      dislike of Seward, i. 118, 123;
      his appreciation of Lyons, i. 141;
      offers Lyons Constantinople Embassy, i. 144, ii. 11;
      succeeded by Clarendon, i. 149;
      visit to Paris, i. 283, 284;
      to Versailles, i. 345;
      letters to Lyons, i. 19, 37, 52, 62, 64, 92, 98, 99, 118, 132, 141.

    Russell, Odo (Lord Ampthill), on Roman question, i. 187;
      meets Bismarck at Versailles, i. 339;
      conversation with Bismarck, ii. 55;
      on Bismarck's policy, ii. 60, 73, 87;
      and the Constantinople Congress, ii. 145;
      alluded to, ii. 71, 236, 345, 354;
      letters to Derby, ii. 61, 72, 74, 77;
      letters to Lyons, i. 184, ii. 29, 31, 40, 45, 52, 130;
      despatch from, ii. 96.

    Russell, W. H., quoted, i. 35.

    Russia, policy in America, i. 91;
      and the Treaty of Paris, i. 337;
      foreign policy of, i. 354, ii. 33, 75, 76;
      relations with Prussia, i. 202, 260, 268, ii. 42, 324;
      and Denmark, i. 355;
      policy in Turkey, i. 154, 159, 166, 209, 351;
      in Eastern question, i. 164, 186, ii. 85;
      in Asia, ii. 38, 345;
      reputed ill-will to England, ii. 71;
      military honour of, ii. 352.

    Russo-Turkish War, ii. 109, 121.

    Sackville, Lord, i. 41.

    Sadowa, i. 185, 202, 301, ii. 36.

    St. Albans (Amer.), raid of, i. 135.

    St. Cloud, i. 197, 203, 208, 233.

    St. Denis, i. 382.

    St. Germain, i. 375.

    St. Hilaire, M. Barthélemy, at Foreign Office, ii. 229, 213, 248.

    St. Lawrence, i. 133.

    St. Malo, i. 347, ii. 22.

    St. Paul, M. de, ii. 114.

    St. Petersburg, i. 162, 317.

    St. Quentin, defeat of French at, i. 359.

    St. Thomas, U.S. ships at, i. 104, 105.

    St. Vallier, Comte de, ii. 136.

    _St. Vincent_, deserters from, i. 111.

    Salisbury, Lord, on Derby's foreign policy, ii. 105;
      at Constantinople Conference, ii. 107, 108;
      at the Foreign Office, ii. 132, 356;
      on government of Orientals, ii. 178;
      and Tunis, ii. 250;
      and Mgr. Czacki, ii. 233, 234;
      succeeded by Rosebery, ii. 361;
      Layard on, ii. 138;
      letters to Lyons, ii. 133, 140, 142, 144, 158, 172, 173, 175,
        176, 178, 180, 185, 187, 188, 190, 193, 242, 371, 386, 391,
        395, 409;
      letter to Waddington, ii. 148.

    Salzburg, ii. 47.

    Sanford, Mr., i. 44.

    _San Jacinto_, American warship, i. 54.

    San Juan, disputed ownership of, i. 18, 23, 29, 30;
      Company of Marines on, i. 43.

    San Stefano, Treaty of, ii. 124, 131, 136, 137, 144.

    Sapri, i. 9.

    Sardinia, i. 8, 10.

    Saumarez, Lord de, i. 377.

    Saussier, General, ii. 367.

    Savannah, i. 94.

    Savoy, i. 382.

    Saxony, i. 193.

    Saxony, Crown Prince of, i. 387.

    Say, M. Léon, Minister of Finance, ii. 119, 181, 200;
      elected President of the Senate, ii. 210;
      Eastern policy, ii. 225;
      refuses office in Gambetta ministry, ii. 262.

    Schnaebelé, M., ii. 400, 401.

    Schouvaloff, Count, Russian Ambassador in London, ii. 76, 80, 88,
      140, 142.

    Schwarzenberg, Prince, i. 272.

    Scotland, Papal Government's plans in, i. 4.

    Scott, General, i. 19, 47, 64, 68.

    Sedan, i. 351, ii. 17.

    Seine, English merchant ships sunk in, i. 344;
      Prefect of the, ii. 65.

    Semmes, Captain, i. 105.

    Servians and the Fortress of Belgrade, i. 161.

    Seward, Mr., i. 29;
      appointed Secretary of State, U.S.A., i. 30;
      policy of, i. 31 _et seq._;
      advocates annexation of Canada, i. 40;
      in the _Trent_ case, i. 65 _et seq._;
      friendly relations with England, i. 80;
      on the war, i. 92;
      and Conscription Act, i. 115;
      proposes state visit to England, i. 117-9;
      correspondence with, i. 121;
      letter to Lyons, i. 141.

    Seymour, Mr., i. 140.

    Seymour, Admiral Sir Beauchamp (Lord Alcester), ii. 228.

    Sfax, insurrections at, ii. 249.

    Sheffield, Mr. George, Private Secretary to Lyons, i. 90, 136;
      sent to Frankfort, i. 140;
      accompanies Lyons to Constantinople, i. 144;
      to Paris, i. 177, 347, 377, ii. 98, 128, 204, 397, 427;
      conversations with Gambetta, ii. 226, 237.

    "Shifting Scenes" quoted, i. 137.

    Shumla, ii. 137, 138.

    Siam, ii. 358.

    Simon, M. Jules, i. 387;
      Prime Minister, ii. 106;
      turned out of office, ii. 111.

    Sinkat, ii. 322.

    Slave trade in America, i. 20, 34;
      proclamations of Emancipation, i. 95.

    Slave Trade Treaty, i. 85.

    Slidell, Mr., Confederate delegate to England seized on board the
        _Trent_, i. 54, 59, 60, 63, 74, 81;
      failure of mission to Europe, i. 121;
      Mr. Benjamin's letter to, i. 122.

    Smyrna, proposed seizure of, ii. 228, 230.

    Socialism in France, i. 280.

    Somaliland coast troubles, ii. 362, 363, 409.

    Soudan, Hicks Pasha's disaster, ii. 320, 321;
      Baker Pasha's defeat, ii. 323;
      affairs in, ii. 343.

    Spain, internal affairs of, i. 200, 207, 221, ii. 39-41;
      the Hohenzollern candidature, i. 294;
      in Mexico, i. 70;
      commercial relations with France, ii. 26;
      in Constantinople Conference, ii. 109;
      King of, mobbed in Paris, ii. 319.

    Spüller, M., ii. 197, 263.

    Stackelberg, on the Turco-Greek question, i. 206.

    _Standard_, the, on Franco-German relations, ii. 382.

    Stanley, Dean, ii. 193.

    Stanley, Lord (Earl of Derby), becomes Foreign Secretary, i. 156_n._;
      diplomatic views, i. 161;
      on the Cretan quarrel, i. 163;
      on the Luxembourg difficulty, i. 169;
      offers Paris Embassy to Lyons, i. 173;
      on the Roman question, i. 178, 181;
      American policy, i. 188;
      and Franco-Prussian situation, i. 195, 203;
      succeeded by Clarendon, i. 206;
      and Prussian disarmament, i. 246;
      on Parliamentary vote, ii. 10, 11;
      at the Foreign Office, ii. 54, 123;
      resignation of, ii. 132;
      foreign policy, ii. 105, 107;
      in Egypt, ii. 104, 122;
      in Russo-Turkish War, ii. 121;
      in the Eastern Question, ii. 95, 125;
      in French politics, ii. 64, 112;
      and the Suez Canal Shares, ii. 93;
      Bismarck's dislike of, ii. 353, 354;
      letters to Lyons, i. 164, 168, 195, ii. 71, 86, 87, 91, 121, 125;
      letter to Odo Russell, ii. 75.

    Stanton, General, and the Suez Canal Shares, ii. 87, 90.

    Staveley, Mr., letter to Lyons, i. 226.

    Stewart, Lady Phillippa, ii. 427.

    Stoeckl, M. de, Russian Minister in U.S.A., i. 32, 33.

    Stoffel, Colonel, military reports of, ii. 50.

    Strasburg, i. 321, 358.

    Stuart, Lord, ii. 9.

    Stuart, Mr., Chargé d'affaires in Washington, i. 89, 92, 116.

    Suakim, French consul at, ii. 362.

    Suez Canal, i. 156, 221, 222;
      Anglo-French relations in, ii. 287, 289, 321;
      Commission, ii. 348, 352, 362, 363, 375, 388-91.

    Suez Canal Shares, Khedive prepares to sell, ii. 85;
      purchased by England, ii. 90, 96.

    Sumner, Mr., i. 41, 85, 119, 120.

    Sunderland. Rev. Dr., on the _Trent_ case, i. 76.

    Sweden, King and Queen of, visit to Berlin, ii. 81.

    Switzerland, i. 198, 363;
      proposed Confederation with South German States, i. 204, 205;
      and Savoy, i. 382;
      Commercial Treaty, ii. 8;
      Protectionist policy, ii. 255.

    Syria, Russia in, ii. 137, 141.

    Tahiti, ii. 198.

    Tangier, ii. 386.

    Tariff Bill, U.S.A., i. 50.

    Tel-el-Kebir, ii. 285.

    Tennessee, i. 85.

    Tenterden, Lord, letter to Lyons, ii. 90;
      on Egypt, ii. 271.

    Tewfik, Prince, ii. 174;
      proclaimed Khedive, ii. 185;
      plot to dethrone, ii. 261;
      proposal to depose, ii. 278, 280.

    Texas, i. 31.

    Therapia, ii. 417.

    Thibaudin, General, ii. 312, 319.

    Thiers, M., foreign policy, i. 185, 338, 347, 368, 373, 378,
        ii. 19, 43;
      and the political crisis, i. 282, 284;
      on Napoleon III., i. 221, ii. 36;
      interview with Lyons, i. 311;
      mission to the Powers, i. 315, 317, 335;
      on causes of the war, i. 316;
      interview with Clarendon, i. 323;
      interviews with Bismarck, i. 329, 331, 342, 353, 358;
      peace efforts, i. 345, 347, 349, 369-71, ii. 29;
      on the situation in Prussia, i. 332;
      favours a republic, i. 362, 372;
      in the National Assembly, i. 365, ii. 1;
      commercial policy, i. 245, ii. 3, 5, 24;
      made President, ii. 14;
      tenders resignation, ii. 21;
      and military re-organization, ii. 27, 29;
      ill-health, ii. 31;
      and the Triple Alliance, ii. 42;
      succeeded by MacMahon, ii. 43;
      home policy, ii. 34, 64, _et passim_;
      Gambetta on, ii. 99.

    Thile, Prussian Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, i. 305.

    Thouvenel, M., i. 44, 63, 66, 67.

    Three Emperors Alliance, ii. 131, 145, 237.

    _Thunderer_, H.M.S., ii. 239.

    _Times_, references to, ii. 258, 303, 335, 343, 358.

    Tirard, M., Minister of Commerce, ii. 253.

    Tissot, M., i. 350, ii. 205;
      at Constantinople, ii. 210, 300.

    Tonquin, French affairs in, ii. 302, 307, 318, 320, 322, 327, 334,
      337, 340, 342, 344, 350, 360, 369, 380.

    Toulon, i. 349.

    Tours, i. 315, 324, 345.

    _Trent_ case, i. 29, 54-78, 101, 103.

    Tripartite Treaty, ii. 141, 142.

    Triple Entente foreseen by Thiers, ii. 39.

    Tripoli, ii. 105; Italy in, ii. 251.

    Trochu, General, i. 303, 307, 318, 345, 354, 358, 359, 361.

    Trower, Major, ii. 424.

    Troyes, i. 197.

    Tuilleries, balls at the, i. 245, 288.

    Tunis, i. 8, 221;
      French position in, i. 199, ii. 55, 139, 154, 163, 164, 173, 238,
      French Protectorate established, ii. 243;
      proposed Commission at, i. 206;
      Germany in, ii. 55;
      Italy in, ii. 105, 139.

    Tunis, Bey of, i. 148.

    Turkey, financial affairs, i. 146, 149, _et seq._, ii. 208;
      bankruptcy of, ii. 84;
      navy of, i. 151;
      condition in 1866, i. 159;
      in Crete, i. 208;
      in Egypt, ii. 272, 276, 281, 321;
      policy of Russia in, i. 159, 166, 351;
      Prussian opinion of, i. 193.

    Turco-Greece affairs, i. 206, 209, 210.

    Turkey, Sultan of, and Khedive Ismail, i. 221;
      and French Ambassador, ii. 32.

    Tuscany, i. 2, 7.

    Ultramontane Party in Belgium, ii. 68.

    Ultramontanes, Bismarck's contest with, ii. 49, 50, 55, 81.

    United States Legation, represents Prussia in France, i. 308, 309.

    _Univers_, the, ii. 51.

    Vacoufs, question of secularization, i. 147.

    Varna, ii. 137, 138.

    Varzin, Bismarck at, i. 299, ii. 70.

    Vattel, i. 64.

    Venables, Mrs. Lister, ii. 417.

    Versailles, diplomatic meetings at, i. 330, 337, 345, 358;
      peace negotiations at, i. 368;
      National Assembly established at, i. 373;
      Government retires to, i. 376;
      Thiers at, ii. 3, 21;
      MacMahon at, ii. 44.

    Vevey, ii. 90.

    Victor Emmanuel (King of Italy), i. 178, 183, 201.

    Victor, Prince, expulsion from France, ii. 366.

    Victoria, Queen, letter to President Buchanan, i. 26;
      and _Trent_ case, i. 61;
      Sultan's wish to visit, i. 171;
      reported plot against, i. 188;
      visit to Paris, i. 197, 198;
      on France in Belgium, i. 211;
      and the Empress Eugénie, i. 222;
      on Prussian disarmament, i. 250;
      on French disarmament, i. 259;
      and the Hohenzollern candidature i. 297;
      and exiled royalties, ii. 23;
      opening speech on Russo-Turkish war, ii. 123;
      projected visit to Paris Exhibition, ii. 162;
      and Lyons, i. 76, 144, ii. 354, 397.

    Vienna, i. 140.

    Villiers, Colonel the Hon. George, report on French army, ii. 310.

    Vinoy, General, i. 345.

    Virginia, i. 60, 85, 93.

    Vivian, Mr., H.B.M. Agent at Cairo, ii. 172, 173, 177.

    Vogué, Comte de, ii. 32.

    Waddington, M., Minister for Foreign Affairs, ii. 119;
      and foreign policy, ii. 123;
      on Egyptian affairs, ii. 133, 171, 176, 180, 338, 389;
      and Bismarck, ii. 168;
      internal policy, ii. 147, 148, 195;
      despatches, ii. 158;
      resigns office, ii. 201;
      a Free Trader, ii. 257;
      and the Ferry Ministry, ii. 313;
      Lyons on, ii. 145.

    Wagner, opera in Paris, ii. 403.

    Wales, Prince of (Edward VII.), visit to Canada, i. 24, 25;
      visit to U.S.A., i. 27, 86, 117;
      visits to Paris, i. 199; ii. 136, 139, 162, 328;
      at Paris Exhibition, ii. 161;
      proposed visit to South of France ii. 26;
      visit to Paris abandoned, ii. 311;
      and Thiers, ii. 29;
      attacked in French press, ii. 152;
      interview with Gambetta, ii. 156;
      anti-Turkish opinions, i. 162.

    Wales, Princess of (Queen Alexandra), i. 99, 199.

    Walker, Colonel, British military attaché at Berlin, i. 219, 372.

    Walker, Mr., despatch to Lord Russell, i. 122.

    Walpole, Lord, i. 6.

    Warre, Mr., i. 14, 17, 87.

    Washbourne, Mr., American Minister in Paris, i. 384.

    Washington, Lyons appointed to Legation, i. 11;
      Lyons at, i. 23;
      society in, i. 87;
      climate of, i. 119;
      official figures of despatches to and from in 1864, i. 137;
      work of the Chancery, i. 138.

    Watt, engineer on the _Cagliari_, i. 9.

    Weiss, appointment by Gambetta, ii. 266.

    Welles, Mr., Secretary to U.S. Navy, i. 58, 101, 103, 119.

    Werther, Prussian Ambassador at Paris, ii. 299.

    West Indies, proposals for defence, i. 40.

    Westminster Abbey, ii. 193.

    Westmoreland, Lord, on Parliamentary vote, ii. 10.

    Wheaton on international law, i. 40, 64.

    White Flag manifesto, ii. 57, 58, 65, 66.

    Wilhelmshöhe, i. 333.

    Wilkes, Captain (of the _San Jacinto_), i. 58, 64, 100, 105.

    Wilmington, Vigilance Committee at, i. 35.

    Wilson, M. Daniel, on the Franco-Prussian war, i. 328.

    Wilson, Sir C. Rivers, Minister of Finance in Egypt, ii. 153, 171,
      173, 175, 178, 188, 271, 313.

    Winchester, Lyons at, i. 1.

    Wistar, General, i. 112.

    Woburn, Lyons at, ii. 219, 222, 424.

    Wodehouse, Mr. Henry, i. 342, 377;
      letter to Lyons, i. 343.

    Wood, Mr., despatch from, ii. 55.

    Wolff, Sir H. Drummond, question on Tunis, ii. 239;
      mission to the Porte, ii. 376, 387, 389, 391, 407, 409.

    Wolseley, Sir Garnet, in Egypt, i. 299, 358.

    Würtemberg and Confederation, i. 193, 266.

    Wurtzburg, Baron, i. 11, ii. 417.

    Wurtzburg, Baroness, ii. 424.

    Young Turk Party, i. 167.

    Zanzibar, ii. 378.

    Zululand expedition, ii. 190.



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    Mr. Edward Arnold's


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The stupendous natural surroundings amidst which they dwell have
inspired sojourners in Kashmir and other Himalayan countries to produce
some of the finest books of travel to be found. Among them will have to
be included in future this book of Dr. Arthur Neve's, so effectively
does the author reveal the wonders of the land of towering peaks and
huge glaciers where he has made his home for the last thirty years.

Going out to Kashmir in 1882 under the auspices of the Church Missionary
Society, Dr. Neve took over the charge of the Kashmir Mission Hospital
at Srinagur from Dr. Edmund Downes, who was retiring, and has stayed
there ever since. In his earlier chapters he gives some account of the
Punjab and Kashmir in the eighties, and also of the work of the mission.
He then gets to the principal motif of the book--the exploring tours and
mountaineering expeditions to which he has devoted his spare time. Nanga
Parbat, Nun Kun, and many other Himalayan giants, are within hail of
Srinagur, and before he has finished with the book the reader will find
he has acquired the next best thing to a first-hand knowledge of this
magnificent country. Dr. Neve has also a great deal that is interesting
to tell about the people of various races and religions who inhabit the
valleys, and from whom his medical help gained him a warm welcome at all

A series of rare photographs gives a pictorial support to the


By Captain H. L. HAUGHTON.


_With Illustrations from the Author's Photographs. One Volume._

_Demy 8vo._ =12s. 6d. net.=

Captain Haughton has written a book which should prove a welcome
addition to the library of every sportsman, as well as being of supreme
interest to the naturalist and the student of folk-lore. On the subject
of sport the author writes with that thorough insight and sympathy
which are the fruits of many years' practical experience with rod and
rifle, in the jungle, on river-bank or mountain-side. In his agreeable
society the reader may stalk the markhor or the ibex, lightly throw his
"Sir Richard" across some Kashmiri trout-stream, or lie in wait for the
Himalayan black bear on its way to feed; and if the author's description
of his many amusing and exciting adventures and experiences is eminently
readable, the value of his work is still further enhanced by his
intimate knowledge of natural history, and by the introduction of many
of those old Indian legendary tales that he has culled from the lips of
native Shikaris round the camp-fire at night. The book is illustrated
throughout with a series of remarkably interesting photographs taken by
the author in the course of his many sporting expeditions.


By the late Lieut.-Colonel JOSEPH ANDERSON, C.B., K.H.

_With Photogravure Portrait. Demy 8vo._ =10s. 6d. net.=

The late Lieut.-Colonel Joseph Anderson was born in 1790, and from the
age of fifteen, when he received a commission as Ensign in the 78th
Regiment, to within a few years of his death in 1877, his career was
almost continuously as adventurous as it was distinguished. In 1806
he saw active service for the first time, when he took part in the
expedition to Calabria; in the following year he served in the Egyptian
Campaign of that date; and during the Peninsular War he fought at the
battles of Maida, Busaco, Fuentes d'Onoro, was wounded at Talavera, and
accompanied Wellington on the retreat to the lines of Torres Vedras. A
few years later Captain Anderson, now a Captain in the York Chasseurs,
was sent with his regiment to Barbadoes, and was present at the capture
of Guadeloupe in 1815. He was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Penal
Settlement at Norfolk Island in 1834, where his humane endeavours to
reform the prevailing penal system, and his efforts to quell mutinous
convicts, met with marked success. Nine years later Colonel Anderson
went to India to take part in the Mahratta Campaign, and at the Battle
of Punniar (where he commanded a Brigade) was severely wounded when
charging the enemy's guns. After retiring from the Service, Colonel
Anderson settled down in Australia, and it was at his home near
Melbourne that these memories were compiled, during the later years of a
strenuous and active life, for the edification of his family. They are
written in a simple, unaffected style, which renders them peculiarly
readable, and form a most instructive record of the manners and customs,
of the mode of warfare, and the military and social life of a past age,
and a bygone generation.


By Major-General Sir H. M. BENGOUGH, K.C.B.

_With Portrait. Demy 8vo._ =8s. 6d. net.=

Major-General Sir H. M. Bengough joined the army in 1855, and retired
in 1898, after more than forty years of distinguished service in all
quarters of the Empire. His first experience of active warfare dates
from the Crimea; later on he took the field in the Zulu War and the
Burma Expedition of 1885. In days of peace he held various high commands
in India, South Africa, and Jamaica, and finally commanded a brigade
of infantry at Aldershot. In this volume of personal recollections the
author narrates the many varied incidents and experiences of a long
military career and vividly describes the campaigns in which he took
part. He also gives an interesting account of his adventures in the
realm of sport--pig-sticking, tiger-shooting, and pursuing other forms
of game in India and elsewhere; subjects upon which a long experience
enables him to write with expert knowledge. It will be strange indeed if
so interesting an autobiographical volume from the pen of a deservedly
popular soldier and sportsman fails to appeal to a wide public.


Pages from the Autobiography of a Bulgarian Insurgent.

Translated by M. POTTER.

_One Volume. Demy 8vo._ =10s. 6d. net.=

In this volume Zachary Stoyanoff gives us the narrative of his personal
experiences during the Bulgarian outbreaks of 1875 and 1876. Almost
by accident he became an "apostle" of rebellion, and was sent out
forthwith to range the country, stirring up the villagers and forming
local committees. It is an amazing story. With unsurpassable candour
he portrays for us the leaders, their enthusiasm, their incredible
short-sightedness, and the pitiful inadequacy of their preparations.
The bubble burst, and after a miserable attempt at flight, Stoyanoff
was taken prisoner and sent to Philippopolis for trial. There is no
attempt at heroics. With the same Boswellian simplicity he reveals his
fears, his cringing, his mendacity, and incidentally gives us a graphic
picture, not wholly black, of the conquering Turk. The narrative ends
abruptly while he is still in peril of his life. One is glad to know
that, somehow, he escaped. A very human document, and a remarkable
contrast to the startling exhibition of efficiency given to the world by
the Bulgarians in their latest struggle with the Turks.




_With Portraits. Demy 8vo._ =10s. 6d. net.=

It is perhaps unlikely that any two individuals will agree as to the
proper definition of the term "A Splendid Failure"--a phrase of which
the origin would appear to be obscure. It may, however, be roughly
stated that the "Splendid Failures" of the past divide themselves
naturally into three classes: those whom their contemporaries invested
with a fictitious or exaggerated splendour which posterity is quite
unable to comprehend or appreciate; those whom the modern world regards
with admiration--but who signally failed in impressing the men of
their own generation; and those who, gifted with genius and inspired
with lofty ideals, never justified the world's high opinion of their
talents or fulfilled the promise of their early days. In this volume of
biographical essays, the author of "A Group of Scottish Women" and other
popular works has dealt with a selection of "splendid failures" of whose
personal history the public knows but little, though well acquainted
with their names. Wolfe Tone, "the first of the Fenians"; Benjamin
Haydon, the "Cockney Raphael"; Toussaint L'Ouverture, the "Napoleon
of San Domingo"; William Betty, the "Infant Roscius"; and "Champagne"
Townshend, the politician of Pitt's day, may be included under this
category. The reader cannot fail to be interested in that account which
the author gives of the ill-fated Archduke Maximilian's attempt to found
a Mexican monarchy; in his careful review of the work and character
of Hartley Coleridge; and in his biographical study of George Smythe,
that friend of Disraeli whom the statesman-novelist took as his model
for the hero of "Coningsby." This book, which should appeal strongly
to all readers of literary essays, is illustrated with eight excellent



_With 20 Folding Plates of Designs for Yachts, and numerous black and
white Illustrations. Demy 8vo._ =10s. 6d. net.=

This new handbook covers the sport of yachting in all its branches. The
writer, who has had many years' experience of cruising and racing in
yachts and boats of all types, has treated the subject in a thoroughly
practical manner. The book is divided into six parts.

In Part I., which deals with the selection of a yacht, the various types
and rigs suitable for Corinthian yachting are discussed. The designing
and building of new craft are also dealt with at some length, and
designs and descriptions of a number of up-to-date small cruisers are

In Part II. some hints are given as to where to station the yacht. All
available headquarters within easy reach of London are described, and
the advantages and disadvantages of each pointed out.

Part III. is devoted to the equipment of yachts, and contains a wealth
of information as to the internal arrangement, rigging, and fittings of
small cruisers.

Part IV. treats of the maintenance of small cruising vessels, with
notes on the cost of upkeep, fitting out and laying up. Other matters
dealt with in this section are the preservation of sails and gear, and

Part V., on seamanship, covers the handling of fore-and-aft vessels
under all conditions of weather, and upon every point of sailing.

Part VI. covers the racing side of the sport in a comprehensive manner.
An exhaustive exposition of the International Sailing Rules is followed
by hints on racing tactics. The appendix contains, _inter alia_, an
illustrated description of the British Buoyage System.

Mr. Cooke's well-known handbooks have come to be regarded by yachtsmen
as standard works, and a new and more ambitious work from his pen can
hardly fail to interest them.




_One Volume. Demy 8vo._ =12s. 6d. net.=

This volume is a political-historical study of the great change which
took place in British commercial and financial policy mainly between
the years 1840 and 1850. The writer examines the state of things in
these respects which existed before this revolution, and describes the
previous protective system, navigation system, and colonial system.
He then narrates the process by which those systems were overthrown,
devoting special attention to the character, career, and changes in
opinion of Sir Robert Peel, and to the attitude and action of the Tory,
Whig, and Radical parties, and of their leading men, especially Mr.
Disraeli, Lord John Russell, and Mr. Cobden. He analyses with care
the arguments used on all sides in these controversies, especially
with regard to the Repeal of the Corn Laws, and he shows the extent to
which questions of imperial preference and the relations between the
United Kingdom and the Colonies entered into the issues. One chapter is
devoted to the Bank Act of 1844, and to the consideration of its causes
and results. The author concludes by tracing very briefly the chain of
events which connect the period in question with our own day, in respect
of commercial and fiscal policy, and expresses his own views as to
existing tendencies and future developments.

Mr. Bernard Holland is known as the author of the Life of the Duke
of Devonshire, and of "Imperium et Libertas." In a sense the present
volume is a continuation of the latter book, or rather is an attempt to
deal more expansively and in detail with certain history and questions
connected with the same theme, for the full treatment of which there was
insufficient space in that book. Mr. Holland having acted for a number
of years as Private Secretary to two successive Secretaries of State for
the Colonies, has been brought into close touch in a practical way with
colonial questions. This book, it is hoped, will be of some service both
to students of economic history and to politicians in active life.



_A New Edition, thoroughly Revised, with many new and additional
Illustrations. Crown 4to._ =21s. net.=

Since the first edition of this book was published in 1907, much has
happened, and a quantity of new material has been brought to light.

Interest in the subject has been immensely widened and strengthened.
The museums of Europe and America are vying with each other to procure
fine specimens of Chinese and Japanese art. The opening this autumn of
a new museum at Cologne, exclusively devoted to the arts of Eastern
Asia, is a symptom of the times. Collections, public and private, both
European and American, have been greatly enriched; and the exhibition in
1910 at Shepherd's Bush, of treasured masterpieces lent from Japanese
collections, has provided a standard for the student.

Six years ago, again, scarcely any of the voluminous literature of art
existing in Chinese and Japanese had been translated. On this side, too,
an added store of information has been made accessible, though still in
great part scattered in the pages of learned periodicals. Above all,
the marvellous discoveries made of recent years in China and Chinese
Turkestan have substituted a mass of authentic material for groping
conjectures in the study of the art of the early periods.

In preparing a new edition of this book and bringing it up to date,
Mr. Binyon has therefore been able to utilize a variety of new sources
of information. The estimates given of the art of some of the most
famous of the older masters have been reconsidered. The sections
dealing with the early art have been in great measure rewritten; and
the book has been revised throughout. In the matter of illustrations it
has been possible to draw on a wider range and make a fuller and more
representative selection.




_Crown 8vo._ =5s. net.=

The art of painting, which in the days of Gothic church-building
contributed so much both to the education and the pleasure of the
community at large, has admittedly come to appeal to ever-narrowing
circles, until to-day it cannot be said to play any part in popular
life at all. This book seeks to discover the causes of its decline
in influence. A brief review of the chief contemporary movements in
painting gives point to a suggestion made by more than one thoughtful
critic that the chief need of Western painting is spirituality.
Since this is a quality which those competent to judge are at one in
attributing to Eastern art, the author, in a chapter on Far Eastern
Painting, sets forth the ideals underlying the great painting of China
and Japan, and contrasts these ideals with those which have inspired
painters and public in the West. This leads to an inquiry into the
uses of imagination and suggestion in art, and to an attempt to find a
broad enough definition for "spirituality" not to exclude many widely
divergent achievements of Western painting. Finally, the possibility of
training the sense of beauty is discussed in the light of successful

Incidentally the book touches on many questions which, though of
interest to picture-lovers, often remain unasked; such, for instance,
as what we look for in a picture; how far subject is important; why it
may happen that the interest of one picture, which pleases at first,
soon wanes, while that of another grows steadily stronger; the value of
technique, of different media of expression, of mere resemblance, etc.

Without going into the technicalities of aesthetics, the author aims at
investigating certain first principles which are overlooked at times by
possessors of even the widest knowledge of individual schools.




_With Illustrations from the famous Boydell prints. Crown 8vo._

=5s. net.=

Miss Constance Maud is the author of "Wagner's Heroes" and "Wagner's
Heroines," two books on similar lines to these tales which have had a
great vogue among young people of all ages. In the present volume she
tells the charming stories of nine of the most famous of Shakespeare's
Tragedies and Comedies in prose of delightful and unstudied simplicity.
On occasion the actual text has been used for familiar passages and
phrases. These great world-tales, regarded merely as tales, with the
elemental motives and passions displayed in them, appeal strongly to the
imagination, and when narrated by a competent pen there cannot be finer
or more absorbing reading. In addition to this, he must be a dull reader
in whom they do not awaken a desire to make a closer acquaintance with
the plays themselves.

The book forms a companion volume to Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch's
well-known "Historical Tales from Shakespeare."




_With 24 Illustrations by_


_Fcap. 4to._ =3s. 6d. net.=

All lovers of humorous verse will welcome a fresh volume of lyrics by
the author of "Deportmental Ditties," "Canned Classics," and other
deservedly popular products of the Minor Muse. Readers of Captain
Graham's new collection of light verse will agree with the _Daily
Chronicle_ in describing its author as "a godsend, a treasure trove, a
messenger from Olympus; a man who really does see the ludicrous side of
life, a man who is a genuine humorist." Once again the author of these
amusing poems attempts to "shoot Folly as she flies," and genially
satirizes the foibles of the age in a fashion that will certainly add
to his reputation as a humorist; and his work is rendered still more
delightful by the drawings of Mr. Lewis Baumer, the well-known _Punch_
artist, with which it is lavishly illustrated. "It is a great and good
thing," as the _Pall Mall Gazette_ remarked with reference to another
of Captain Graham's books, "to have a man among us who is witty all the
time and lets himself go. We ought to be duly thankful. And we are!"




_8vo._ =5s. net.=

In this little volume Mr. Freshfield has put into final shape the
results of his study of the famous and still-debated question: "By which
Pass did Hannibal cross the Alps?" The literature which has grown up
round this intricate subject is surprisingly extensive, and various
solutions have been propounded and upheld, with remarkable warmth and
tenacity, by a host of scholars, historians, geographers, military men,
and mountaineers. Mr. Freshfieid has a solution of his own, which,
however, he puts forward in no dogmatic spirit, but in such a fashion
that his book is practically a lucid review of the whole matter in each
of its many aspects. To an extensive acquaintance with ancient and
modern geographical literature he unites a wide and varied experience as
an alpine climber and a traveller, and a minute topographical knowledge
of the regions under discussion; and these qualifications--in which many
of his predecessors in the same field of inquiry have been conspicuously
lacking--enable him to throw much new light on a perennially fascinating


By the Rev. Canon H. L. GOUDGE,


_Crown 8vo. Cloth._ =2s. 6d. net.=

These lectures were delivered at the end of May, 1913, at the Palace,
Gloucester, to the clergy of the diocese, and are now published in
response to the request of those who heard them. They do not constitute
a detailed commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, though a good deal of
detailed exegesis necessarily finds a place in them. The writer's aim
has been to collect and arrange St. Paul's teaching as to the work of
the Christian pastor, and to point out its applicability to modern
conditions and modern difficulties. The writer has often found, through
his experience in conducting Retreats, that the Pastoral Teaching of
St. Paul is of the greatest value to the clergy to-day, but that this
teaching is often obscured by the unsystematic character of St. Paul's
writing and by the passing controversies with which he has to deal. In
these lectures the First Epistle to Timothy is used as the basis, but
continually illustrated by passages from the other Pastoral Epistles,
and from St. Paul's earlier writings. The first lecture deals with the
pastor's aim, the second with the pastor's character, the third with
the pastor's work, and the fourth with the adaptation of his message to
men and to women, to old and to young, to rich and to poor. The ground
already covered by the writer's earlier book, "The Mind of St. Paul,"
has been carefully avoided, but it is hoped that the one book may throw
light upon the other. An index of texts has been added for those who
may wish to use this second book, as far as that is possible, as a





_Crown 8vo. Cloth._ =6s.=

The scene of Maxwell Gray's new story is laid in London and in Italy,
where the gradual unfolding of an elaborate but absorbing plot holds
the reader's attention until the very last page of the book. This is a
tale of heroism, of self-sacrifice, of romance, full of incident and
adventure, illumined by those tender and imaginative touches, that vivid
portrayal of character, which the public has learnt to expect from
the author of "The Silence of Dean Maitland." From these pages we may
learn that there is "something afar from the sphere of our sorrow," the
highest aspiration of the lover, the artist, the poet and the saint,
which, beautiful beyond all that man's heart can divine, is yet within
the reach of every one of us.


A Comedy of Middle Age.



_Crown 8vo._ =6s.=

This extremely interesting story, of which the title gives a most apt
description, is written in a lighter vein than the author's previous
work. It is a love story, and while the tale itself is enthralling,
it depends in great measure for its charm on the attractiveness of
the characters who figure in the drama and who are all very pleasant
company. The book is essentially human, the note is never forced, yet
the interest goes on increasing right up to the end. It is actual life
with its comedy and tragedy so closely intermingled that it is not
always easy to distinguish one from the other. The scene is laid abroad,
partly in Bruges, and partly in Italy, but the characters are, with one
or two exceptions, natives of that part of Ireland with which the author
is most familiar, and they lose none of their individuality by being
transplanted to those beautiful old-world cities where we follow their
varied fortunes. Mr. Reid's previous novels have already secured for
his work the warm appreciation of some of the best judges of literary
values, and the present novel may be confidently stated to exhibit his
undoubted power as a writer of fiction in an advanced and progressive



From Fumes, Gases, and Poisons of Manufacturing Processes.



Translated and Edited by Dr. T. M. LEGGE,


_Fully Illustrated. Demy 8vo._ =12s. 6d. net.=


And Feigned Sickness.



Assisted by ARTHUR H. SPICER, M.B., B.S. (Lond.), D.P.H.

_Illustrated, xii + 340 pp. Demy 8vo._ =10s. 6d. net.=

In this work Sir John Collie, whose wide experience has eminently fitted
him for the task, has given an interesting and lucid description of the
methods and peculiarities of the malingerer. He describes fully and in
detail the methods of examination for the detection of malingering and
the diseases usually simulated, and discusses the attitude required by
the medical attendant towards unduly prolonged illness.


Its Care and Treatment in Health and Disease.



_320 pp._ =7s. 6d. net.=

No English writer having recently dealt with this subject, it has
been felt that there is room for a book which should bring together
the various contributions made to it in modern times, including the
results of the author's extensive experience during forty years of
medical practice. The author discusses the principles of health, by
due attention to which healthy old age may be attained. The diseases
to which the aged are especially liable are fully described, their
causes are clearly indicated, and the author shows in a practical way
by what means they may be avoided and how they may be appropriately
treated. Special attention is given to such important subjects as
diet, exercise, etc. Suggestive dietary tables are given, both for
use in health and in particular diseases, while the chapters devoted
to methods of exercise most suitable in advanced age will also prove
of value.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

    |                                                              |
    |       Transcriber notes:                                     |
    |                                                              |
    | P.30. 'Chiselhurst' changed to 'Chislehurst'                 |
    | P.42. 'Gortchakoff' changed to 'Gortschakoff'                |
    | P.88. 'attribute' changed to 'attributed'.                   |
    | P.268. 'Commerical' changed to 'Commercial'.                 |
    | P.277. 'Commerical' changed to 'Commercial'.                 |
    | P.294. 'futher' changed to 'further'.                        |
    | P.358. 'in in' changed to 'in'.                              |
    | P.376. 'Débats' changed to 'Débuts'.                         |
    | P.378. 'the the' changed to 'the'.                           |
    | P.388. 'Agenu' changed to 'Agence' as in Agence Havas.       |
    | P.397. 'radicle' changed to 'radical'.                       |
    | P.401. 'Schraebelé" changed to 'Schnaebelé'.                 |
    | P.417. 'D'Israeli' changed to 'Disraeli'.                    |
    | P.419. 'holdiay' changed to 'holiday'.                       |
    | P.432. 'Amabssador' changed to 'Ambassador'.                 |
    | P.437' 'Gortchakoff' changed to 'Gortschakoff'.              |
    | P.440. 'Maréchal' changed to 'Maréchale'.                    |
    | P.440. 'Malot' changed to 'Malet'.                           |
    | P.442. 'Caroina' changed to 'Carolina'.                      |
    | P.443. 'Pasquior' changed to 'Pasquier'.                     |
    | P.443. 'd'Audiffrot' changed to 'd'Audiffret'.               |
    | P.445. 'Stowart' changed to 'Stewart'.                       |
    | P.446. 'Secreatry' changed to 'Secretary'.                   |
    | Fixed Various punctuation.                                   |
    |                                                              |
    | Please note, text surrounded by =this= is bold, and          |
    |     text surrounded by _this_ is italics.                    |
    |                                                              |

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