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that it contains the word "Allies" in every paragraph. Who are these "Allies?" Are we "still at Chaumont ?" He had supposed that the war was over. They hastilymuch too hastily-assure him that it is a mere form or phrase, and he continues to read about treaties and agreements that had been concealed or were supposed to be concealed from him. "I don't understand it," he says, returning the papers. "I don't know of anything being done on these dates." only date he knows anything of is October 1st, when the Congress is to begin. The other ministers, thrown off their guard by his unforeseen tactics, abandon their protocol as unimportant, and it is not seen again. They then produce a document regulating the procedure of the Congress, and invite him and Labrador to sign it. He reads it, hesitates, and says it needs leisurely consideration. It may be that only the Congress itself can give the representatives of the four Powers the faculties they have assumed. Castlereagh and himself, he points out, are responsible to their nations, and must proceed cautiously. Castlereagh rather assents, and the Prussians fume. Something is said of "the King of Naples." "Who is he?" asks Talleyrand. Humboldt ventures to say that the Powers have guaranteed Murat his territory. "But they could not, and, therefore, they did not," insists Talleyrand.
The conference broke up amid a general air of embarrassment. I have taken the account of it from Talleyrand's memoirs and his report to the King.
But the Secretary of the Congress, Gentz, who soon formed a profound admiration of Talleyrand, describes it as a scene he could never forget, and says that all the intrigues of the ministers were defeated. Like Napoleon, Talleyrand believed in setting ajar the nerves of his diplomatic opponents, but he had also made a substantial attack on the plot to exclude France. The minutes of the previous meetings were destroyed, and no more meetings were held to which the French Minister was not invited.
The next morning he followed up his advantage by submitting a note on the procedure of the Congress. He claimed, plausibly enough, that the representatives of the eight Powers who had signed the Treaty of Paris (where the Congress was decided on) should appoint a commission to prepare its programme. This would let in Portugal and Sweden, as well as France and Spain. Baron Humboldt described it as "a torch flung amongst
Metternich and Castlereagh beg him to withdraw his note. Talleyrand explains that this is impossible as it has somehow leaked out, and the Spanish Minister has unfortunately (but at Talleyrand's secret suggestion) sent a copy of it to his Court. Metternich threatens that the four Powers will act by themselves. Talleyrand amiably replies that in that event he will not feel called upon to attend the Congress. Nesselrode bluntly protests that the Tsar must leave Austria by the 29th, and Talleyrand suavely assures him he "is very sorry, as in that case the Tsar is not likely to see the end of the
Congress." Castlereagh endeavours to talk over Talleyrand with British common sense. The objects of France can be secured, he is explaining, when Talleyrand interrupts him with an expression of lofty amazement, and says France is there to represent principles, not to secure objects. They have to answer to Europe, which has suffered so much from the neglect of good maxims of conduct. Von Gagern, representing Bavaria,, said : "Is it not extraordinary that, when the French speak of principles for the first time since the world began no one will listen to them?" Gentz admitted to Talleyrand at dinner that night that the other Powers knew he was right, but did not like to retreat. He wished Talleyrand
had arrived earlier.
The Tsar had already granted him the interview he had asked on arriving at Vienna. In answer to Alexander's inquiry as to the state of France he gave a very cheerful (and totally untrue) account. He had just received pitiable reports from Fouché and D'Hauterive. When the Tsar spoke of needs or interests deciding what was to be done in Europe, Talleyrand reminded him that right came before interest. "The interests of Europe constitute right," said the Tsar. Talleyrand raised his head and dropped his arms, ejaculating: "Poor Europe!" When he remonstrated with Alexander for using the word "Allies," the Emperor explained it away as being due to force of habit. A few days afterwards he saw Metternich, and humorously alluded to "the Allies."