In a personal interview Metternich offered to take him into the government service.
The Diet, which met in 1839, supported the agitation for the release of the prisoners, and refused to pass any government measures; Metternich long remained obdurate, but the danger of war in 1840 obliged him to give way.
From 1816 to 1818 he was Luxemburg envoy at the German diet, but was recalled, at the instance of Metternich, owing to his too independent advocacy of state constitutions.
To the north-east of Marienbad lies the small watering-place of KOnigswart; near it is a castle belonging since 1618 to the princes of Metternich, which contains an interesting museum, created by the famous Austrian statesman in the first part of the 19th century.
Not only did she govern Lombardy and Venetia directly, but Austrian princes ruled in Modena, Parma and Tuscany; Piacenza, Ferrara and Comacchio had Austrian garrisons; Prince Metternich, the Austrian chancellor, believed that he could always secure the election of an Austrophil pope, and Ferdinand of Naples, reinstated by an Austrian army, had bound himself, by a secret article of the treaty of June 12, 1815, not to introduce methods of government incompatible with those adopted in Austrias Italian possessions.
Thus, in spite of his academic sympathy with liberal ideas, he became, together with Metternich, a champion of political stagnation, and co-operated willingly in the reactionary measures against the revolutionary movements in Germany, Italy and Spain.
Little reliance can be placed on his subsequent statements (as, for instance, to Metternich in 1810) that the huge preparations at Boulogne and the long naval campaign of Villeneuve were a mere ruse whereby to lure the Austrians into a premature declaration of war.
Opinions were divided in the emperor's circle between a Russian and an Austrian princess; but the marked coolness with which overtures for the hand of the tsar's sister were received at St Petersburg, and the skill with which Count Metternich, the Austrian chancellor, let it be known that a union with the archduchess, Marie Louise, would be welcomed at Schonbrunn, helped to decide the matter.
Metternich, on visiting Compiegne and Paris, found the emperor thoroughly devoted to his bride.
Metternich thereupon wrote to his master: "He (Napoleon), has possibly more weaknesses than many other men, and if the empress continues to play upon them, as she begins to realize the possibility of doing, she can render the greatest services to herself and all Europe."
Napoleon began to suspect his father-in-law, and still more the Austrian chancellor, Metternich; but instead of humouring them, he resolved to stand firm.
At bottom the emperor Francis, perhaps also Metternich, wanted peace, but on terms which the exhaustion of the combatants would enable them to dictate.
Metternich persuaded the tsar and the king of Prussia to make a declaration that the allies would leave to Napoleon the "natural boundaries" of France - the Rhine, Alps, Pyrenees and Ocean.
His first sojourn was in Vienna, where the friendship of Gentz and the protection of Metternich opened to him the Venetian archives, of which many were preserved in that city - a virgin field, the value of which he first discovered, and which is still unexhausted.
The recommendations of Metternich opened to him almost every library except the Vatican; and it was during these three years of study in Venice, Ferrara, Rome, Florence and other cities, that he obtained that acquaintance with European history which was to make him the first historian of his time.
See also the Memoirs of Bausset, Mme Durand Meneval and Metternich; and Max Billard, The Marriage Ventures of Marie Louise, English version by Evelyn duchess of Wellington (1910).
In May 1912 he was appointed to succeed Count Wolff-Metternich as ambassador to Great Britain, but he had only been in London a short time when his health finally broke down.
In that year Wagner visited Paris for the third time; and after much negotiation, in which he was nobly supported by the Prince and Princess Metternich, Tannhduser was accepted at the Grand Opera.
But the Princess Metternich continued to befriend him, and by 1861 she had obtained a pardon for his political offences, with permission to settle in any part of Germany except Saxony.
For at the outset Metternich was not alone in maintaining that the war should be allowed to burn itself out " beyond the pale of civilization."
The acceptance of the principle of complete independence, once more warmly advocated by Metternich, seemed now essential if Greece was not to become, like the principalities, a mere dependency of Russia.
Beust was the only " imperial chancellor " in Austro-Hungarian history; even Metternich bore only the title of " chancellor "; and Andrassy, who succeeded Beust, styled himself " minister of the imperial and royal household and for foreign affairs."
Metternich especially ascribed this mainly to the "weakness" of the ministry, and when in 1819 the political elections still further illustrated this trend, notably by the election of the celebrated Abbe Gregoire, it began to be debated whether the time had not come to put in force the terms of the secret treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
Of Metternich, Stadion's successor, he had at the outset no high opinion, and it was not till 1812 that there sprang up between the two men the close relations that were to ripen into life-long friendship. But when Gentz returned to Vienna as Metternich's adviser and henchman, he was no longer the fiery patriot who had sympathized and corresponded with Stein in the darkest days of German depression and in fiery periods called upon all Europe to free itself from foreign rule.
Yet he never made any secret of these gifts; Metternich was aware of them, and he never suspected Gentz of writing or acting in consequence against his convictions.
At the Congress of Verona (1822) the Austrian chancellor, Prince Metternich, tried to induce Charles Felix to set aside Charles Albert's rights of succession.
After the Danubian campaign of 1809 and the divorce of Josephine, Talleyrand used the influence which he still possessed in the imperial council on behalf of the choice of an Austrian consort for his master, for, like Metternich (who is said first to have mooted the proposal), he saw that this would safeguard the interests of the Habsburgs, whose influence he felt to be essential to the welfare of Europe.
An offer from Metternich of Austrian arms to repress the discontent by force had been refused.
Metternich, though he had not yet completely established his position, acted as chief Austrian representative, and he was naturally in his capacity as host the president of the congress.
For Austria Saxony was really of more vital interest than Poland, but Castlereagh, despite a vigorous resistance from a section of the Austrian court, was able to win Metternich over to his views.
But Metternich wavered on the question of Saxony, and December saw the allies hopelessly at difference.
As Castlereagh and Metternich began to regard the position as hopeless they began to look upon him as a possible ally.
He came boldly to the front in the middle of December as the champion of Saxony; and, as Russia and Prussia were still obstinate, Metternich and Castlereagh demanded the admission of France to the secret council.
In 1814 it was given by Francis, emperor of Austria, to Prince Metternich, in whose family it still remains.
It must be admitted that, in pursuance of his "system," Gertz displayed a genius for diplomacy which would have done honour to a Metternich or a Talleyrand.
But his incapacity was so notorious that the conduct of affairs was entrusted to a council of state, consisting of Prince Metternich (q.v.) with other ministers, and two archdukes, Louis and Francis Charles.
Here Wellington supported the proposal for the immediate evacuation of France, and it was owing to his common-sense criticism that the proposal of Prussia, supported by the emperor Alexander and Metternich, to establish an "army of observation" at Brussels, was nipped in the bud.
The reactionaries in power put off their promised reforms so persistently as to anger even Metternich; nor did the replacement of Bernetti by Lambruschini in 1836 mend matters; for the new cardinal secretary of state objected even to railways and illuminating gas, and was liberal chiefly in his employment of spies and of prisons.
To these regions the Napoleonic regime had given a certain measure of unity; but Metternich, dominant after 1815, held Italy to be merely a geographical term.
He covered his defection from Hardenberg's liberal constitutionalism by a series of "philosophical" treatises on the nature of the state and of man, and became the soul of the reactionary movement at the Berlin court, and the faithful henchman of Metternich in the general politics of Germany and of Europe.
Ancillon had convinced himself that the rigid class distinctions of the Prussian system were the philosophically ideal basis of the state, and that representation "by estates" was the only sound constitutional principle; his last and indeed only act of importance as minister was his collaboration with Metternich in the Vienna Final Act of the 12th of June 1834, the object of which was to rivet this system upon Germany for ever.
The estates, indeed, were summoned in March 1815, but the attempt to devise a constitution broke down; their appeal to the federal diet at Frankfort to call the elector to order in the matter of the debt and the domains came to nothing owing to the intervention of Metternich; and in May 1816 they were dissolved, never to meet again.
In this quarter of the town, too, is the Liebfrauenkirche, a fine church (nave 1250, choir 1404-1431) with lofty late Romanesque towers; the castle of the electors of Trier, erected in 1280, which now contains the municipal picture gallery; and the family house of the Metternichs, where Prince Metternich, the Austrian statesman, was born in 1773.
His triumph seemed complete when, on the 11th of October 1807, Metternich signed at Fontainebleau, on behalf of Austria, a convention that conceded all his outstanding claims, and seemed to range the Habsburg monarchy definitely on his side.
Where on the 8th of October 1809 Metternich had become minister for foreign affairs and the dominant influence in the councils of the empire, some timely concessions were made to the various populations.
Metternich had been allowed to take the initiative in negotiating with the princes of the Confederation of the Rhine, and the price of their adhesion to the cause of the allies had been the guarantee by Austria of their independent sovereignty.
The guarantee had been willingly given; for Metternich had no desire to see the creation of a powerful unified German empire, but aimed at the establishment of a loose confederation of weak states over which Austria, by reason of her ancient imperial prestige and her vast non-German power, would exercise a dominant influence.
It was the work of a special committee of German the congress, presided over by Metternich; and, con federa- owing to the panic created by Napoleons return from lion.
The diet, then, properly controlled, was capable of being converted into an effective instrument for furthering the policy of stability which Metternich sought to impose upon Europe.
The mass of the people, as Metternich rightly observed, wished for rest, not constitutions; but the minority of thoughtful menprofessors, students, officials, many soldiersresented the dashing of the hopes of German unity aroused by the War of Liberation, and had drunk deep of the revolutionary inspiration.
To Metternich they were wholly unwelcome.
In October, after a preliminary meeting between Metternich and Hardenberg, in the course of which the latter signed a convention pledging Prussia to Austrias system, a meeting of German ministers was held at Carlsbad, the discussion of which issued in the famous Carlsbad Decrees (October 17, 1819).
The king of WUrttemberg, ever the champion of German particularism, gave expression to his feelings by issuing a new constitution to his kingdom, and appealed to his relative, the emperor Alexander, who had not yet been won over by Metternich to the policy of war ii outrance against reform, and took this occasion to issue a fresh manifesto of his Liberal creed.
At the conference of ministers which met at Vienna, on the 20th of November, for the purpose of developing and completing the Federal Act of the congress of Vienna, Metternich found himself face to face with a more formidable opposition than at Carlsbad.
Metternich realized the situation, and yielded so gracefully that he gave his temporary defeat the air of a victory.
On the vexed question of the interpretation of Article 13 Metternich recognized the inexpediency of requiring the South German states to revise their constitutions in a reactionary sense.
In fact, secured for Metternich all that was necessary for the success of his policy: the maintenance of the status quo.
But the governments of Prussia and Austria were unaffected; and when the storm had died down Metternich was able,with the aid of the federal diet, to resume his task of holding the Revolution in check.
But the universal historian Gervinus, refuting this opinion of the specialist historian, tries to prove that the campaign of 1813 and the restoration of the Bourbons were due to other things beside Alexander's will--such as the activity of Stein, Metternich, Madame de Stael, Talleyrand, Fichte, Chateaubriand, and others.
This power cannot be based on the predominance of moral strength, for, not to mention heroes such as Napoleon about whose moral qualities opinions differ widely, history shows us that neither a Louis XI nor a Metternich, who ruled over millions of people, had any particular moral qualities, but on the contrary were generally morally weaker than any of the millions they ruled over.