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Hormayr, in these volumes, the most discursive of men, not only sweeps over the whole range of German, and (in many important incidental points) European politics, during the important period mentioned, but dives every now and then with a plunge familiar to himself, though strange to his readers, into the far corners and remote springs of local history in past centuries. There are not a few parts of his book also which we might fitly call ' verhaltene Zeitungs-Artikel-articles that ought to have been written on the hot impulse of the moment in newspapers, if there had been papers of that description in Germany; just as Goethe remarked on Byron, that much of his poetry was in reality verhaltene Parlements reden,' speeches that ought to have been delivered in Parliament, had his lordship chosen to be (what Nature with so much bile certainly meant him for) a stout blaster and a thunderer there. When we state further that the Baron von Hormayr has been all his life a zealous and indefatigable investigator of historical documents, and writer of historical books, that he has for many years held situations of the highest trust and dignity in the Austrian first, and latterly in the Bavarian government, we shall understand at once how such a work as the 'Lebensbilder' from his pen must have fallen like a Jupiter's thunderbolt among the crowd of sorry political paper-blotters in Germany; and how, amid the known scarcity of good German memoirs, every intelligent student of history in England will greedily seize upon it as a quarry of most ill-ordered, indeed, and strangely huddled, but most substantial and most nutritive materials.

As the Baron von Hormayr is a writer who has the highest claims to be regarded as a distinct and independent historical authority in a quarter where historical authorities of any kind are rare and unsatisfactory, we shall here, for the sake of those readers who may not have the 'Conversations-Lexicon' at hand, sketch a short outline of his career. From that admirable encyclopædia of practical and public interests, and from some notices in the 'Lebensbilder,' we derive the following facts: Born in the year 1781, of an old and distinguished Tyrolese family, Hormayr studied law at Innspruck in the years 1794-97; but showed, at an early period, such a decided predilection for historical studies, that, by his thirteenth year, he had published a 'Geschichte der Herzöge von Meran.' His legal studies were accordingly, we presume, never carried to any great extent: for in 1799-1800, we find him first captain, and then major in the Tyrolese militia; and immediately thereafter in 1801, when the peace of Luneville was negotiated, he is in Vienna, forthwith to be employed in the foreign office, under the new minister, Count Cobenzl. In 1803 his German title at Vienna was 'actual court-secretary;' and in

The Baron von Hormayr.


1805, after the bungled campaign of Ulm and Austerlitz, he followed Prince Lichtenstein to Presburg, his profound historical knowledge having now rendered him an assistant of the highest value in every diplomatic negotiation of the empire. In the famous year 1809, we find him in his native Tyrol again performing the principal part in that mighty rising of the mountaineers against Napoleon, which, as the baron, with a justifiable boasting, repeatedly asserts, was the only completely successful episode in the whole blundered epos of the Austrian wars. As the main originator and leader of this noble insurrection, the name of Hormayr will descend to posterity indissolubly linked with that of Hofer, Speckbacher, and so many other heroes; honest Andrew, indeed the good host of the Passeyr, has to thank accident in some measure, and the cruel muskets of Napoleon at Mantua, for his celebrity; he appears to have been neither a very brave soldier, nor a very wise 'king of men;' only a very honest, very patriotic, and very pious Tyrolese Bauer, whom God, magnifying his strength in man's weakness, chose to make a centre of union (as we see so many kings and petty kings every day) to many men better and braver than himself. Andrew Hofer was no hero, except in so far as all the good Tyrolese, man, woman and child of that day were, and we doubt not still are, heroes; the great military hero of the triumphant liberation war of 1809, was Speckbacher; the great civil organizer, Hormayr.* After the prostrating peace of Vienna (which had Hormayr been Kaiser Franz, he certainly never would have signed), the baron seems to have retired from public life at Vienna, as if unwilling to act where the generous inspiration of Count Stadion was no longer present to purify the choking atmosphere of a court; and from that time we find him busied at Innspruck with profound historical investigations, publishing among other things an Austrian Plutarch,' to sustain the fine national spirit that Stadion had so successfully roused at Aspern, and preparing a Universal History of Europe from the Death of Frederick the Great' (published in Vienna, 1817), which should set before Germany the full extent of that debt of gratitude which it owed to the sturdy obstinacy of Austria during the revolutionary wars. From these patriotic avocations the next jump in the life of Hormayr is strange enough; we find the fellow-countryman and fellow-worker of Hofer, the beloved national historian and favourite' of the devoted Tyrolese, anticipating the fate of an Italian Gonfalonieri


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Alison somewhere (vol. vii.) calls him General Hormayr. This is surely a mistake. The baron in 1809 did not act in a military capacity, and he has always been a civilian.

and a French Andriané; we find Hormayr, in the year 1813, at Munkats in Transylvania, an Austrian fortress! This is a very characteristic and very Austrian incident. The same thing happened in Prussia some half dozen years afterwards, at the time of the congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle and Verona, when Arndt and Jahn, and so many others of those very men to whom the late Frederick William III. owed his throne, were apprehended and suspended, and harassed with every paltriest annoyance upon the mere breath of a slander as vague as it was base. Such infantine politicians are they in Germany, that when small kings and cabinets in sore need and great desperation have, at length, driven by sheer necessity, betaken themselves as a last refuge to popular enthusiasm, they straightway, as soon as the dreaded crisis is over, fall into fainting fits at the imagined consequences of their own boldness, and stand quaking and convulsed in every heart-string at the magnitude of the liberal horror which they have raised. So at least it seems to have fared in 1813 with "good Kaiser Franz." Rumours were afloat at that time, amid the most wretched indecision of the Austrian court and cabinet, that the Tyrolese, mindful of what wonders they had achieved in 1809, were on the point of rising in arms spontaneously against Napoleon, and forcing the vacillating Kaiser into the Russo-Prussian alliance against the common enemy of Europe and Germany. The idea of a popular insurrection was at any time sufficient to stir the autocratic monomania of jealous old Franz; so, according to the account which Hormayr gives, he listened to the eagerly whispered slanders of a person of the name of Roschman, and gave honest credit to the absurd fabrication that the friend of Hofer, and the head of the loyal Tyrolese, was engaged in an extensive and nefarious conspiracy to revolutionise Tyrol, and make the Archduke John the head of a new mountain-kingdom of Rhætia!-Hormayr was accordingly apprehended and imprisoned, and remained imprisoned for thirteen months without any public reason having been rendered either then or since for the procedure. It seems, however, that after the battle of Leipzic, and the successes that followed, the heart of Francis relented; somebody at a happy moment having dexterously chosen one of the mollia tempora fandi' which are omnipotent with capricious autocrats, procured the release of the suspected Tyroler; Hormayr was not merely released from durance, but his services received the most honourable acknowledgment possible, by the conferring on him the title of historiographer to the emperor. Thus reinstated into favour, he lived at Vienna, continuing his historical researches; but whether he found the political air at Vienna disagree with him (Metternich, with all his virtues, being evidently, in Hormayr's

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estimate, no Stadion), or whether he wished to see a little more of the diplomatic world, he, in 1828, accepted an invitation from the King of Bavaria, to honour the court and cabinet of Munich with his presence. Since that time he has served his Majesty of Bavaria in various capacities; and in 1832 we find him (always getting farther from Vienna) resident minister from the court of Bavaria, at Hanover. Here he made the acquaintance of the celebrated Count Münster, the friend of George IV., and the continental telescope of Lord Castlereagh;' and his connexion. with this man, so notable in the recent annals of German diplomacy, was the immediate occasion of his publishing the remarkable volumes which we are now attempting to bring before the history-reading public of Great Britain.

Count Münster, after his dismission from office as Hanoverian minister, by William IV., in 1831, retired to his estate of Derneburg, which had been presented to him by George IV.; and there, amid the otium cum dignitate of domestic enjoyment, of a wide-gated hospitality, and the elevated converse of ancient and modern books, began to conceive the idea, so natural to a man in his situation, of jotting down the principal events of his varied public life, in a shape that might delight the present generation and instruct the future. Hormayr, who, as an active German patriot, had long known the count by reputation, and as a truth-searching historian, was fully aware what a treasure of written and unwritten reminiscences of the last half century were concentrated in Münster, no sooner observed this idea springing up in the mind of his friend, than he did all that he could-made it, indeed, a regular business-to effect its happy realisation. The old adage, however, dimidium facti qui cœpit habet, did not prove itself good in this case. Münster began the delicate work of personal history; but encountering more difficulties than he had anticipated, had not, at the period of his death in May, 1839, advanced further than his embassy to Petersburg, in 1801, and the first beginnings of the third coalition against France, which came to a head in 1805. There Münster stopped in despair, as it would appear, of getting satisfactorily through the mass of perplexed materials that now began to crowd upon him. The autobiographic attempt was abandoned, and the arrangement of his papers left to the posthumous care of his friend, Hormavr. These papers, accordingly, form the nucleus of the Lebensbilder; but the editor has added a superabundance of extrinsic materials from his own rich sources, some of which, in our opinion, as independent and original historical testimony, far exceed the value of what he has communicated sparely, and with a wise discretion, from the multiform papers of his friend.

The formal and leading text of the work, as thus put together, is a life of Count Münster; but the life of a plain, sensible, shrewd diplomatist, and a juste milieu, somewhat aristocratic politician, possesses, as will be readily seen, no body and mass of sufficient prominency to make an interesting biography strictly so called. The consequence is, what is formally the life of a Hanoverian nobleman, becomes in the hands of Hormayr a sketch of the history of Europe during the revolutionary wars; through which the name of Münster goes like a secret thread, known to exist rather than felt, appearing now and then on the great stage of European life, like a scene-shifter rather than an actor. We shall not, therefore, concern ourselves further with this person for the present; his general public career and political character are too well known in this country to demand any special exposition here: and as for the various bitter attacks from political opponents, by which the closing calm of his days was not a little ruffled, those who wish to see him vindicated by a hand equally able and friendly, may be referred for their private satisfaction to the first volume of the Lebensbilder.' For ourselves the interest is but faint and forced that we can at any time bring ourselves to feel in the ephemeral pro's and con's of a personal squabble, whether political or ecclesiastical. After all the accusations that Herr König and others with such wrathful preparation have thundered against the Hanoverian minister, the head and front of his offending may have been merely this, that as a juste milieu man, he was more slow in forwarding certain necessary improvements than the swiftness of eager-spurred hopes could brook; he was an aristocrat also-though by no means an absolutist-and did not wish to see the ante-chamber,' (so he was fond to phrase it), 'rush all at once into the saloon,' with red caps on their heads, and no breeches. But be this as it may, we find ourselves drawn away from the petty kingdom of Hanover and its late minister, to the great wars which the inexhaustible' Austria maintained against the impetuous Napoleon, and specially to the noble struggle of 1809. This part of the Lebensbilder' comes in a great measure from Hormayr's own portfolio; here he appears not as an industrious compiler merely, and a learned editor; but stands out prominently amid a mass of tame figures and dumb dogs,' as a decided articulate-speaking man; as a sturdy independent citizen in a country where sturdiness is a vice, and independence a crime; as the noble chief of the brave brotherhood of peasant-heroes that people the central mountain fortress of Europe; as the intelligent European representative of the democratic monarchy' of the Tyrol.

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In one of the notes to the second volume of the 'Lebensbilder,'

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