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Art. 4.-THE LAST OF THE HABSBURGS.
1. Historische Aufsätze. By Heinrich Friedjung. gart and Berlin: Cotta, 1919.
2. Die Vereinigten Staaten von Gross-Oesterreich. Aurel C. Popovici. Leipzig: Elischer, 1906.
3. Im Weltkriege. By Count Ottokar Czernin. Be and Vienna: Ullstein, 1919.
I. THE EMPEROR FRANCIS JOSEPH.
IT has become the fashion in Austria and German rail against the 'cursed race' of Habsburgs and accuse them of every conceivable crime and wrongdo The foreigner who reads and hears this kind of th cannot but believe that the House of Habsburg was acme of inefficiency and wickedness; that, degener and corrupt, they ground down their people, thus bri ing the Empire to ruin; and that, above all, they w guilty of having brought about the world-war. foreigner who is not prepared to give unquestion credence to these accusations will, indeed, wonder h the people of the Habsburg Empire could have put with so depraved a race of sovereigns for so ma centuries, and how it came about that, under their r this Empire attained importance and prosperity; hov was possible for it to become a great Power and ev at one time, to take the lead on the Continent of Euro He will find an answer to these questions in history. so far as we are concerned with the last rulers of house of Habsburg-and it is against them, more pa cularly, that these accusations are aimed-an atten will be made in the following pages to give the foreig a sketch of their personalities to which he can sup the context for himself.
Franz Josef, the son of Archduke Franz Karl, one Kaiser Ferdinand's brothers, and of the Archduch Sofie, a Princess of Bavaria, was, by virtue of his wh personality, a living refutation of the reproach degeneracy which has been made against his race. reproach which was fully justified in the case of Kai Ferdinand alone. His father and uncles, with th
abnormally long faces, shapeless, box-like skulls, and drooping lips, gave the impression of degeneracy, outwardly at any rate, although they were in reality not degenerate-it is only necessary to recall Archduke Karl, the victor of Aspern, and Archduke Johann, the Viceregent. In contrast to them, however, Franz Josef was very well built, an advantage which he owed to his mother. His slim, elegant figure, with the upright military bearing and elastic step which he retained to an advanced age, was combined with a normally shaped head and a handsome, sympathetic face, in which the characteristic Habsburg lip was only slightly indicated. Not one of the many portraits of Kaiser Franz Josef taken in his youth betrays signs of degeneracy. Again, his iron constitution which, in spite of the terrible accumulation of misfortunes heaped upon him, enabled him to reach a patriarchal age and at the same time to retain a remarkably strong memory, emphatically contradicts the reproach of degeneracy.
Just as his outward appearance showed no sign of morbid degeneracy, so neither did his mentality. Even as a boy of eighteen, when he came to the throne, contemporary accounts show that he gave evidence by his bearing of a personal majesty which was quite unusual in one so young. Although he was not by birth the son of a ruler, he was, nevertheless, a born ruler. This majesty of bearing and conduct, which placed an impassable gulf between him and the rest of the world, was one of his most characteristic qualities; it adhered to him during the whole of his long life and in course of time developed ever more markedly. Once Kaiser, he remained at all times and to all men, even to his nearest relations, always the Kaiser.' He dwelt, as it were, on inaccessible heights, and only occasionally condescended to relax a little within the circle of his own family. His need to be sometimes not only Kaiser but also man was practically limited to his pleasures as a grandfather when in the company of the children of his daughter Valerie, and his intercourse with his friend of many years' standing, Frau Katharina Schratt, an actress of the Hofburg Theater, in whose house he was a daily visitor. But, however sharp and well-defined the gulf between himself and the rest of the world might be, it would be
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a mistake to conclude from it that his manner tow others was such as to cause offence. This was b means the case, for his strongly developed sense of dignity of royalty was combined with great distin of manner which could be, as occasion demanded, frie benevolent, and even charming. His courtesy tow women, in particular, was well known. Thus, the perial halo surrounding him not only caused no fe of resentment or even of estrangement, but serve strengthen the feelings of reverence and devotion to The public audiences, also, which he held every week to which the lowest labourer had as much right of e as the greatest magnate, so long as he had any reaso give for demanding it, must have helped to prevent people from resenting this distance between themse and the Kaiser. Those who had much to do with especially those in direct personal relation with regarded him with great devotion and affection, affection particularly marked in the case of his serv and household guards, among whom there was ha one who would have hesitated to give his life for him
Towards those far beneath him in the social scale could be particularly affable, because he was So removed from them that he had no need to fear any of dignity. His perfect tact and his long schooling self-restraint prevented him, also, from expressing consciousness of sovereignty in so loud and insisten manner as was habitual with Kaiser Wilhelm although this consciousness was no less strongly veloped in him. Nothing could have been furt removed from his distinguished nature, and, doubtl nothing could have been more repugnant to him t such demonstrations. Although he never referred the subject except perhaps in his most intimate circle can be safely assumed that the resounding trumpet to in which Kaiser Wilhelm liked to make himself he were repellent to him. No doubt he was unable understand how a monarch could allow himself to indu in such inordinate extravagance of behaviour. One justified, therefore, in assuming that he was but lit in sympathy with his ally's conduct as a whole, a that, on his part, the friendship between them v solely of an official nature, The contrast between t
characters of the two rulers was too great for it to have been otherwise.
In marked contrast to Kaiser Wilhelm, Franz Josef avoided any expression of opinion in public which might have far-reaching consequences. Statements such as the notorious 'Sic volo, sic jubeo,' or, 'Whoever is against me, him will I destroy' (Wer wider mich ist, den zerschmettere ich), were quite unthinkable as coming from his lips. Rather did he anxiously avoid giving any definite character to remarks made by him in public, so that they appeared colourless, conventional, insignificant, even sometimes ridiculous. But the derision which they occasionally excited was not in the least justified. It is true that he did not give an impression either of intellect or distinction when, at the innumerable exhibitions and ceremonies which he considered it his duty to open or to attend, he invariably made use of the same words: 'It was very fine,' or 'It has given me great pleasure.' But the mockers, had they been in his place, would in all probability have had nothing more intellectual or significant to say, if they had been opening and inspecting exhibitions and fêtes for more than half a century and had been obliged thousands of times to make gracious remarks to the exhibitors or the organisers of these shows. No doubt the Kaiser himself would often have preferred to say something quite different, even to express the wish to have done with such things for ever, and doubtless he often had grounds for expressing dislike or disapproval. But his tact and sense of duty prevented him from doing so, because he knew that to every word uttered by him great significance was attributed, and for this reason he wished to avoid causing injury to any one by making disparaging remarks. Even when an exhibit was quite contrary to his taste, as for instance the crazy daubs of the secessionist painters, he confined the expression of his opinion to a smiling: "That is too extreme for me.'
Where he did not feel himself to be, as it were, a guest, but on duty, above all in his capacity as Supreme War Lord at manoeuvres and parades, he did not refrain From criticism, and let fall many an emphatic remark. His extraordinary quickness of vision where military ormalities such as precision of movement and accuracy
in drill were concerned, seldom failed to observe f in this direction, and for this reason was very n feared by the officers. The so-called 'Kaiser-Parade the Vienna garrison, which was held every spring on 'Schmelz' parade-ground, cast many an ominous sha before it. Not infrequently, on such occasions, an perial storm burst over the head of one or other of regimental commanders; but it should be added as a rule, these outbreaks had no further conseque for the victims.
It was not therefore lack of temperament, as m be supposed, which caused Kaiser Franz Josef to ref from such expressions of opinion as were often utt by Kaiser Wilhelm ; but he always had his temperan so well under control that it never played him tricks. Indeed his excessive reserve in speech and mar alienated many people, and even in Austria Kaiser helm was held to be by far the more distinguis monarch; this was especially the case in Ger nationalist circles and among the Magyars. There w indeed plenty of people who were not a little impres by Kaiser Wilhelm's pompous manner and loud-sound phrases, and who, because he spoke on every imagina subject, considered him to be gifted both as man ruler, which was in fact very far from the truth. Bes this loud and glaring personality, Kaiser Franz Jo from whose lips a notable word was never heard to and whose sphere of interest was so much more restrict did indeed appear pale, impersonal, even insignifica quite apart from the fact that the great difference age was to his disadvantage. Those, however, who not permit themselves to be dazzled by Kaiser Wilhel versatility and excessive self-assertion, had to admit t he was something of a braggart, whereas Kaiser Fra Josef had a genuine individuality and was certainly better and wiser ruler of the two.
It is indeed incontestable that he was lacking originality; his was a more conventional nature wh travelled along the well-worn grooves of tradition a carefully avoided any divergence from that path. Nev theless, it would seem that, in his youth the Kaiser b a more definite personality, which was worn down 8 obliterated in the course of time by the many experien