To tamper with a constitution that had so proved its quality seemed not so much a sacrilege as a folly.
The satrap revolts, moreover, assumed more and more formidable proportions, and the Greek states began once more to tamper with them.
Bismarck realized that, in the struggle with Austria which he foresaw, Prussia could only be weakened were she to take up an attitude of opposition to the prevailing Liberal sentiment, and that to tamper with the constitution would not only be inexpedient, but useless, since special measures could always be resorted to, to meet special circumstances.
Of recent years there have been signs of an attempt to tamper with the use of German as the common language for the whole army.
Instead of acknowledging its inferiority as in former times it had claimed to be the higher power; it had eyen attempted to dispose of the imperial crown as if the Empire were a papal fief; and it had found out that it could at any time tamper, and perhaps paralyse, the imperial authority by exciting internal strife in Germany.
The fate of the Habsburg empire depended upon the issue of the campaign in Italy, which would have been lost by the withdrawal of the Magyar and Croatian regiments; and the Hungarian government chose this critical moment to tamper with the relations of the army to the monarchy.
And thus, though he was strong enough to maintain what he had established and finish what he had begun, he was not strong enough to tamper seriously with the national liberties or to crush altogether Catholic aspirations.