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by step. When at length the Reform Bill had passed, the Dundas family still made a stand for their old privileges; but the Conservatives were thoroughly defeated, both in the city of Edinburgh and in the county. The Dundas influence had ceased. When the first general election under the new Act was completed, it was found that the Scottish counties had returned twenty-one Whigs and nine Tories; that the burghs had returned twenty-two Whigs and one Tory. The conclusion cannot be told better than in Mr. Omond's own words.
The highest hopes of the Whigs and the worst fears of the Tories had been realised; and with this election the long-continued supremacy of the Tory party in Scotland came to an end. Few could have supposed, on the formation of the Duke of Wellington's Administration, that within the short space of two years the whole of that elaborate structure of political power, which had been erected and maintained with such distinguished ability by the leaders of the ruling party, and, above all, by the members of the House of Arniston, was to be shattered to pieces. But nothing less had taken place. The old system had completely disappeared, and its place had been taken by a new system, the results of which, then unforeseen, politicians are, perhaps, now only beginning to realise.'
ART. IX.-Mémoires du Prince Adam Czartoryski et Correspondance avec l'Empereur Alexandre I. Avec Préface par M. CH. DE MAZADE, de l'Académie Française. 2 vols. Paris 1887.
JHEN Prince Adam Czartoryski died in Paris, in July 1861, he was more than a nonagenarian, having been born in Warsaw in 1770, two years before the second partition of Poland. In his family longevity is hereditary, and sorrow and exile and disappointment do not always kill their victims. At the time of his death the whole Polish party, at home and abroad, was agitated, and men, according to their different temperaments and their more or less clearsightedness, either welcomed or dreaded the outbreak of civil and insurrectionary war, and the passionate drama of a campaign. Not only had the Hôtel Lambert at that moment its own share of personal trials, but there existed many valid public reasons why these memoirs should not, on the death of the writer, be given directly to the world. In 1862, one long fragment was, however, allowed to appear. It referred to the famous conversation with regard to Poland which occurred at the palace of La Tauride, between
Alexander-Pavlovitch, then under the tutelage of his grandmother the Empress Catherine, and Prince Adam Czartoryski, then a subaltern in the Imperial Guard. Among the papers collected by Prince Ladislaus Czartoryski was this famous extract, intended to remind the world of 1862 that the Polish question had once been leniently viewed even by a Muscovite czar, and to show that Poland had once had advocates more worthy than the socialists, doctrinaires, and adventurers who had just hurried her into another unequal struggle. This book, arranged as it was by M. Charles de Mazade, did attract some attention, but since then another quarter of a century has elapsed, another generation has grown to manhood, and it is to us that M. Charles de Mazade now presents the early portrait of Prince Adam Czartoryski, as drawn by himself.
The book is in two volumes.
The second is entirely
composed of the pièces justificatives, of the drafts of state papers, and of the letters that passed between AlexanderPavlovitch and his Polish friend. The period covered is from 1801 to 1823, two years before the death of the Emperor, but when Prince Adam had already experienced the supreme and irreparable deceptions which closed at once his official career and his intimacy with the Emperor. The first volume is only a fragment, covering the years between 1770 and 1809. Quantities of rough notes for a further autobiography exist, but M. de Mazade says that they are too fragmentary to be built into anything like a consecutive narrative. As regards Polish matters it is perhaps as well. They could only discover secrets better veiled, and sorrows which death has come to heal. The narrative, had it run on, must have stirred bitter memories, and perhaps for this reason the prince never elaborated his notes about the years of Poland's greatest anguish. Birds sing only in the spring; and if men after the loss of all their illusions lapse into silence, it is because, like Wordsworth's heroine, they
'have no more to say Of that perpetual weight Which on their spirit lay.'
It is none the less tantalising to have this autobiography close at Austerlitz. We should have wished to follow Adam Czartoryski beyond the end of the Coalition, called in Russia' the War of the Forty Nations,' and to have had his sketches of Tilsit and of the campaign in Russia, still spoken of as its Holy War.' These themes have just inspired Count
Lyof Tolstoï's 'Peace and War,' a book so varied and so complicated in its interest that it is rather a Summa or a Commedia than a mere historical novel. How far more delightful would it have been had Prince Adam sketched those eventful years! He could have given pictures even more faithful. He might even have rivalled the Souvenirs of the young Lithuanian maid-of-honour, Mademoiselle de Tiesenhäusen (Comtesse de Choiseul-Gouffier) in her pictures of life at Wilna, when Napoleon was not only at its gates, but had stirred the hopes of the Lithuanian gentry, whom not all Alexander's blandishments could win from seeking to reconstitute their country through the help of French victories. Prince Adam has sketched the statesmen of the Coalition. We wish that he had gone on to portray Paulucci and Rostopchine, whose strategy, along with the snows of a most rigorous winter, have left to Alexander the prestige of being not only the most amiable of European sovereigns, but the only adversary before whom Napoleon succumbed.
While regretting its briefness, let us examine the fragment we have got. We shall assuredly not be disappointed. The style is delightful, and the high breeding and sweet temper of the writer give a charm to every page. Associated with the statesmen and generals of this epoch of really titanic strife, we see two human creatures of the most singular qualities, and of still more singular positions. Of this pair of friends, one is the heir to the crown of All the Russias; the other is the heir of Polish palatines and the kinsman of Polish kings. One is heir presumptive to an autocratic sovereignty; the other is a hostage, put into the Guard, as an Israelite of old might have been put into the priest's office, that he might eat a 'piece of bread,' and purchase for his family some measure of pardon or indemnity. This situation is a moving one, and it would seize on the imagination even if there were not already, in the person, lineage, character, and accomplishments of the young Pole, many of the elements which a novelist would select for his romance. Novels are after all only the histories of what might have taken place; and history is not a mere collection of facts, multiplied and multiplying themselves as materials accumulate, but owes its most undying charm to its human interest. In these memoirs the human interest reaches a high degree of pathos.
Born in Warsaw in 1770, Adam was the eldest son of Prince Adam-Casimir Czartoryski, Starost-General of Podolia. Warsaw and Cracow were then rivals for the dignity of being
capitals of Poland, and Warsaw was full of the palaces of the Poniatowsky, Radzivill, Brühl, and Zamoyski families. Yet, assuredly, among these proud and insubordinate families the Czartoryskis were second to none in pretensions, in lineage, and in wealth. Descendants of the Jagellons, they had for three hundred years borne the style and title of prince, and this Adam-Casimir, covetous of a closed crown, actually offered himself for election to the throne of Poland when the other competitor in the field was his relative, Stanislaus Poniatowski. Surnamed the Mæcenas of Poland, he was not unfit to fill the public eye. He was accomplished and generous, received foreigners with a stately courtesy, and gave to his children an education adapted to their great station and to their greater hopes. Of course he had seen some military service, but it had been under the Austrian flag, and in his political leanings he was intensely anti-Muscovite. He led a large party. His brother, Michael, was Chancellor of Lithuania; his sister was married to Prince Lubomirski; while of his daughters, one was given in marriage to Count Stanislaus Zamoyski, and the other to Prince Louis of Würtemberg, brother of the Empress Maria of Russia.
Such was the house. Yet on the birth of its heir fortune could not have been said to smile. Poland was torn by factions; its diets and dietines were hotbeds of intrigue; the nobles were impracticable, the feud between them and the peasantry had become envenomed. Adam-Casimir Czartoryski saw only one thing plainly-the ambition of Catherine and its consequent danger to Poland. He sided accordingly with Stanislaus Leczinski, that king of Poland who owed his election to the invasion of Charles XII. (1704), and his re-election to the fact that his daughter Marie was the wife of Louis XV. and Queen of France. Russia, on the contrary, was ever inimical to him, and Russian influence prevailing, he was sent to end his days in Lorraine, where Nancy owes to him, even to this day, the many ornaments of her stately streets and squares.
Poland now stood on the brink of the precipice over which she was soon to be hurled, and the election of Augustus III. was so much the work of a party that for some years he was not universally acknowledged. Moreover, he was at heart a Saxon and not a Polish prince, and, whenever the wars of Frederic the Great allowed of it, he resided in Dresden far more willingly than either in Warsaw or in Cracow. But if he was an indifferent absentee, there was another eye fixed day and night on this expiring majesty of Poland.
Russian statesmen are like vultures. They do not wait till their victim has rendered his last sigh, but they scent from afar the taints of weakness, instability, bankruptcy, and decay in any country or government. They mean eventually to tear the carcase piecemeal, and to pick its bones, but they begin by hovering overhead. Before indicating conquest they make tributaries, clients, debtors, and partisans; and before proceeding to partition and to the annihilation of race, language, and creeds, they will offer freely sympathy, subsidies, and help. They intrigue, they foment insurrection, they remove landmarks, separate families, abduct rulers, browbeat regents and palatines, suggest candidates, bribe electors, and sow the land with Russian roubles, which are as dragon's teeth; so that in the end they reap the crop they had long desired, red ruin, and the breaking up' ' of treaties, if not of laws. Catherine, whose policy was of this stealthy sort, had her left hand busy in Georgia. One struggle more, and hers would then be the sceptre of the famous Queen Tamara, and hers the inheritance of the oldest Christian dynasty in the world. Nor was one such intrigue sufficient for her ambition. With the right hand she had for long manipulated Polish elections, and she it was who in 1764 procured the nomination of her sometime lover, Stanislaus Poniatowski.
To Adam-Casimir Czartoryski that election was every way antipathetic. He at once proposed himself as a rival, and failed; but four years later the Catholic, national, and anti-Muscovite party, to which he belonged, and which was headed by Krasinski, formed itself into the so-called Confederation of Bar. Its first act was to ignore Catherine's nominee, and to declare the throne vacant. A civil war was inaugurated, and on it followed what is termed the first partition of Poland. From that moment the sorrows of the Poles have become matters of European interest. Stanislaus Poniatowski made some futile efforts to reorganise the fragments of the country, but his hand was eminently unfitted for the task, and the Diet of Grodno, like the Confederation of Targovice, provoked fresh expressions of the antagonism existing between the two parties. A second war led to a second partition (1772), and, after the triumphs of Souvaroff and the abdication of a king who was one in name only, Poland was, in 1793, finally dismembered.
To none of these scenes had the Czartoryski and their heir, Prince Adam, been strangers. The young man was present at the diet of 1782. There he saw the power of his family