Ernest Alfred Vizetelly. The Anarchists: Their Faith and Their Record. Turnbull and Spears Printers, Edingurgh, 1911.
THEIR FAITH AND THEIR RECORD
CHAPTER 9: Barcelona Outrages - The Empress Elizabeth and Luccheni
The French Anarchists after Carnot's Assassination--The Anarchist Press--Attempts on the French Rothschilds--The Calle Cambios Outrage at Barcelona--Stern Repression--The Horrors of Monjuich--Canovas del Castillo and his Policy--He is assassinated --Course of Events in Spain--The Position in Italy--Marriage of the Prmce of Naples--King Humbert and the Anarchists-- Acciarito's Attempt on King Humbert--Disturbances in Rome-- Outrages in Paris--Francis Joseph of Austria, and his early Career--Libenyi attempts his Life--The Emperor's Marriage--The House of Bavaria and Insanity--The Empress Elizabeth--Her Differences with her Husband--Her Friendship for Ludwig II. of Bavaria--She denies that Ludwig is insane--Was she privy to his Attempt at Escape ?--The Tragedy of Crown Prince Rudolph-- The Empress's later Years--She is assassinated--Luigi Luccheni, his Trial and Sentence.
IMMEDIATELY after Carnot, M. Charles Premiership in Casimir- Perier, the assassination of Sadi Dupuy, who retained the France under the new President proposed to the Chamber of Deputies a number of stringent enactments which virtually placed every individual reputed to be an Anarchist beyond the pale of the common law. It was laid down that trial by jury should be abolished in all cases of Anarchist propaganda either by public speeches or writings, or by private conversation or letters, and that anybody charged with any such offence should be amenable to the judges of the Correctional tribunals whose powers of punishment were considerably increased. The definitions as to what should be deemed Anarchist propaganda were drafted so loosely that conviction and sentence might ensue in instances when the speaker or writer might really have no Anarchist leanings at all, and naturally a good many Radical and Socialist deputies protested against such enactments. But Dupuy would make no concessions he would not even consent that a time limit should be stipulated for the proposed lois d'exception, he demanded that they should be permanent, and, with a few unimportant amendments, they were eventually voted by large silent majorities.
The result was a most serious rupture in the Republican ranks. The Radicals abandoned the Government, which had to lean more and more on those Clericalists who professed to have rallied to the Republic, and who from this moment started on that campaign to destroy it which reached its apogee during the Dreyfus case. In the departmental General Councils there were many protests against Dupuy's panic legislation which was held to destroy almost all right of speech; and greatly to the annoyance of official circles, in Casimir-Perier's con I stituency, which had been faithful to him for many years, a Socialist candidate was now elected to fill the vacancy created by his elevation to the Presidency of the Republic. Nor was that all; for a sharp rebuff was administered to the Government when in a hasty and blundering fashion it summarily indicted some thirty persons on a charge of conspiring to diffuse subversive ideas and practices. Among them were Sebastien Faure and Jean Grave, with a number of other writers, often mere idealists, or else psychologists who had merely frequented the Anarchists in order to study them. The accused also included four married women, their husbands' alleged accomplices, and a trio of burglars who professed to be Anarchists. The lois d'exception not having actually come into force at this moment, the prisoners were tried by jury, and while the three burglars were rightly con victed of offences against the Common Law, all the others, including even Grave and Faure, were acquitted. The prosecution had reproached the former with newspaper articles which he had written as far back as 1883, whereas according to the law, prescription for press offences begins at the expiration of three years. Briefly, the prosecution was in itself a foolish one, and was carried into effect in a yet more foolish manner, in such wise that the jury resisted the pressure which the bench and the Procureur de la Republique tried to exercise upon it, and allowed all the accused, excepting the burglars, to go scot free. It must be said that the majority of those indicted were merely half- witted idealogues and crazy poetasters. worthy in some instances of being consigned to lunatic asylums, but by no means deserving of the galleys.
So far as public opinion was concerned, this affair considerably discredited the authorities, but they obtained more than one revanche in respect to the numerous prosecutions which they instituted in the Correctional Courts, where there were no juries. The judges showed no leniency whatever, and though it was only right that real apologists of Caserio's crime should be punished, the public was often surprised at the extremely severe sentences passed on foolish fellows who had made one or another stupid remark after imbibing too freely. Another feature of the moment was the official encouragement of deletion, and the constant presence of police spies in cafes and wine- shops, where they were ever listening to the conversations which went on around them. In that respect one seemed to have reverted to the dark hours which followed Orsini's plot against Napoleon III., when no two or three Parisians could meet and converse in any public place without immediately awakening suspicion. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the authorities were face to face with a difficult situation, and although it is quite impossible to say how many Anarchists there were in France at this time, 1894, it is certain that there were considerably more than at the time of the famous trial at Lyons in I882, for the number Of groups scattered through the country had largely increased These groups, however, often ceased to exist as suddenly and as mysteriously as they sprang into being. There was still no real organisation of any kind among the Anarchists; the earlier attempts at federation had entirely ceased; and the vigilance of the authorities prevented the holding of any Congress, in France, at all events. Such a Congress certainly contrived to assemble at Chicago in 1893, when the delegates, it seems, represented seven different languages and a larger number of nationalities. The subjects discussed, however, were mainly connected with the heterogeneous mass of workers in the United States, and the promotion of strikes among them; it being agreed that a general strike should be engineered in the event of any war.
In France at this time one found more or less numerous Anarchist groups in such cities and towns as Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Lille, Bordeaux, Le Havre, Reims, Nantes, Nancy, Roubaix, Toulon, Agen, Beaune, La Reole, Armentieres, Charleville and Sedan, as well as in a larger number of smaller localities. In Paris alone there were perhaps a score of groups, among the chief of which were Le Groupe Libertaire, L'Avant Garde, Les Enfants de la Nature, La Jeunesse anti- patriotique, Le Cercle international, Le Drapeau Noir, Les Gonzes poilus of Billancourt, and La Panthere of Batignolles. Suburbs like Saint Denis and Saint Ouen also had groups of their own. Two, three and even four groups might be found, too, in one or another of the larger provincial cities, among the principal ones known to the police being Les Forcat of Lille, Les Sans Patrie of Charleville, Les Indomptables and Terre et Independance of Armentieres, Le Pilori Of Sedan, and Les Parias picards, who, as their name implies also belonged to the north of France. Then came Les Toujours ours Prets of Blois, Les Sangliers of Chalons sur Marne, Le Groupe des Etudes sociales of Cherbourg, Les anti- Travailleurs of Bordeaux, Les Nivelleurs of Beaune La Dynamite of Lyons, Le Yataghan of Terrenoir, Les Amis de Ravachol of Saint Chamond, Les Quand- meme of Vienne, Les Vengeurs and Les Affames of Marseilles, La Revolte of Toulon, Les Paysans revoltes of Saint Pierre- les- Martigues, Les Resolus of Beziers, and Les Cceurs de Chene of Cette, which last Caserio may have frequented. We may also mention that one or two groups were to be found in Algeria.
These groups were formed for purposes of discussion and propaganda, two or three companions, or comrades as they called themselves, combining to gather a few friends of the cause together on one or another day of the week, at some given address, which might be that of one of themselves. Brief notices of these gatherings were written out and passed surreptitiously to friends or others who showed a disposition to adopt Anarchist views. For instance, such a notice might run: " The Anarchists of Batignolles inform their comrades that they are establishing a group which will be called The Panther of Batignolles, and will meet every Sunday at--. Comrades are invited to come and to bring with them reliable friends to hear and take part in the discussions."
We have previously said something about the Anarchist press, but may here give some further particulars of its position in 1894, the year of Caserio's crime. " Le Revolt," originally founded in Switzerland and transferred to Paris in 1885, was still in existence, though it bore the slightly different name of " La Revolte," which it had assumed after a condemnation in 1888. At the date we have reached it was the oldest of all the French Anarchist prints, many others having been killed by prosecutions or by the lack of funds. " La Revolte " called itself an " Organe Communiste- Anarchiste," and was published every Saturday at 140 Rue Mouffetard, its price being a sou per number. A much more scurrilous journal was " Le Pere Peinard," which issued a great number of roughly drawn caricatures in which Baron Alphonse de Rothschild was repeatedly represented as an enormous pig--the animal which is anathema to the Jew. Prosecutions rained on " Le Pere Peinard " to such an extent that at last, early in 1894, several months before the assassination of Carnot, it ceased to appear. Among other journals which were issued in Paris about this time, but none of which we think was long lived, one may mention " L'Idee libre," " L'Attaque," " La Revue Libertaire " (originally " La Revue Anarchiste "), and " Le Conscrit," the last, as its name implied, being especially devoted to anti- militarism. There was also the review called " L'En Dehors," to which and its more or less eminent contributors we have previously referred.] Then, too, a rather notorious Anarchist journal appeared at Marseilles under the misleading title of " L'Harmonie," and organs of the party might be found in other provincial centres. Their titles constantly changed owing to the legal proceedings which were instituted against them.
Perhaps the most violent periodical of all was one called " L'International," which bore no imprint whatever, but was currently said to be printed in London, though we doubt if such was the case. At all events, judging the type employed by its face, it appears to be either French or Belgian, and the paper also seems to be of continental make. It will be remembered that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries many French works were issued with the imprints of Amsterdam, Cologne, London, and other foreign cities, when, in reality, they were surrep titiously printed in France, and this may have been the case with regard to " L!International At all events it had its chief circulation in France. It appeared inter_ mittently, at no fixed dates, but as a rule about twice a month, being composed of either eight or twelve octavo pages, some of which were devoted to attacks on Prince Kropotkin and Jean Grave of " La Revolte," whom it denounced as being mere doctrinaire Anarchists. The writers of " L'International " favoured much more militant methods, and ended by producing an Anarchist guide (" L'Indicateur Anarchiste ") in which appeared recipes and instructions for the compounding of explosives and the construction of bombs. At an earlier date a Lyons journal, called " La Lutte " (which for a while took the place of " L'Etendard Revolutionnaire " had given somewhat similar recipes and instructions assembling them together under the significant title of " Anti- Bourgeois Products."
We have said that " L'International " bore no imprint, and such was also the case with respect to many of the pamphlets and placards which were issued; while in other instances merely a fictitious imprint was given. One pamphlet might bear the name and address of some eminent firm which would not have printed Anarchist " literature " at any price; another declared in jocular fashion that it was " Printed by Casimir- Perier at the Ministry of the Interior," while on a third appeared some such mention as " The Deliverance Printing Works, Revolution Street." Those jests, as we may perhaps call them for lack of a better word, often figured on the numerous Anarchist placards and broadsides of the period, or on the many party songs which issued from the more or less secret Anarchist presses. Several of these songs were written by a woman, a certain Louise Quitrine, who, believing in free- love, celebrated it in verse, and also penned some Anarchist plays, none of which, however (if we remember rightly), was ever staged, even at Montmartre Another prominent lady Anarchist was a Mme. Moreau, a bootmaker's wife, who was given to oratory, in which she imitated the style of the unfortunate Louise Michel. They were somewhat like each other physically. There were also a few Austrian or German women associated with the French Anarchists at this same period.
In London, during the early nineties, the Anarchists were represented by three journals printed in the English language--" Freedom," " The Commonweal " and " The Torch." There was also a periodical called " The Worker's Friend," printed in Hebrew characters, and a German organ with the title of " Der Lampen proletarier." In Germany itself one found " Der Sozialist " of Berlin, which, in spite of its title, had marked Anarchist tendencies; whilst in Austria there was " Die Zukunft " of Vienna, to which we have previously referred.] Switzerland had " L'Avenir " of Geneva; and Belgium " La Societe nouvelle," " Le Libertaire " and " Le XXe Siecle." In Italy and Sicily there were several Anarchist organs, such as the " Sempre Avanti " of Leghorn, " L'Ordine " of Turin, " La Favilla " (spark) of Mantua, ' I1 Pensiero " of Chieti, " L'Articolo 248 " of Ancona,
" I1 Riscatto " (redemption, deliverance) of Messina and "L'Uguaglianza sociale " (social equality) of Mazsala. For the Anarchists of Spain there were such publications as " El Rebelde " of Saragossa, " Tierra y Libertad " and " La Conquista del Pan " of Barcelona, " El Corsario " of Corunna, " La Revancha " of Reus, " El Oprimido" of Algeciras, and " La Controversia of Valencia Portugal already had an Anarchist organ in " A Revolta " of Lisbon; Holland possessed one also. In the United States one found quite a variety of journals for Anarchists, whether they were American- born or of foreign extraction. " Liberty " and " Solidarity " were as their titles imply, in the English language; but Anarchists of German origin had at their disposal such periodicals as " Freiheit," " Der Anarchist " and " Der Brandfackel," all issued at New York, where also German Jews belonging to the cause were provided with " Die Freie Arbeiter Stimme," printed in Hebrew characters. Then Chicago had the " Verbote " and Detroit " Der arme Teufel " and somewhere in the States there appeared an Anarchist organ in the French language, " Le Reveil des Mineurs." For Italian Anarchists New York supplied " I1 Grido degli Oppressi "; for Spanish ones, " El Despertar," and for those of Bohemian origin, the " Volne Lista," which, by the way, was also the title of a journal issued in Austria. To finish with the subject we will add that one found in the South American States such Spanish and Italian journals as " E1 Oprimido," " E1 Perseguido," " E1 Derecho a la Vida," "La Riscossa," " L'Asino umano," " La Tribuna operaria," and " Demoliamo." There was also the French journal, with which, as we previously related, Vaillant had some connection while he was residing at Buenos Ayres. The list we have given is probably incomplete, but it will serve to show that the Anarchists had numerous organs in many parts of the world. Some of them, doubtless, were very short lived, but when they succumbed to prosecutions it often happened that others were started in their place.
Let us now return to our narrative. About the time of the execution of Caserio (August 1894) there was an alerte at Berlin where the discovery of some explosives led to the arrest of a large number of Anarchists; and in November that year a doctor of Liege and his wife were injured by an explosion on their doorstep. But that affair may have been inspired by private animosity. In parts' in January 1895, a bomb was found on the windowsill of a house near the Parc Montceau, and on being cast into the street exploded there, doing considerable damage. It was surmised at the time that an Anarchist outrage had been intended, but the affair may have been Of the same character as that at Liege. It was partly Anarchism but also partly anti- Semitism (which was soon to become rampant in Paris) that inspired two outrages there in the ensuing month of August. On the first occasion when a packet addressed to Baron Alphonse de Rothschild was opened by his confidential secretary, it exploded, injuring the secretary most severely. Several arrests ensued, but the sender of the package was not discovered. Less than a fortnight afterwards, however, a bomb was thrown into the doorway of the Rothschild banking- house in the Rue Lafitte, luckily without bursting, and on this occasion the culprit was caught and sent to prison. Towards the end of the year the members of the Chamber of Deputies experienced some momentary alarm on hearing two revolver shots which were fired just as the Chamber was about to rise for the day. It appeared, however, that only blank cartridges had been used, so there were no ill effects, though the delinquent, a young fellow named Lenoir, whose head had been turned, it was said, by the perusal of Anarchist literature, was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment.
In the following year, 1896, the Spanish Anarchists were again to the front. In February some bombs were exploded near the royal palace at Madrid, but nobody was injured by them, and very little damage was done. In June, however, there came a horrible outrage at Barcelona. On the evening of the Sunday following Corpus Christi day the ecclesiastical, military and civil authorities of the city set out in procession to offer their devotions at the ancient church of Santa Maria del Mar The Bishop of Barcelona and his clergy headed this pro cession, prominent in which was General Despuyols commander of the 7th Army Corps, who had already made himself very unpopular among the Barcelona Anarchists. The cortege had reached the Calle Cambios nuevos, when all at once somebody threw a bomb, or possibly two bombs, with the most deadly effect. It has been surmised that the explosives were flung from a window; in any case they were not thrown until al the chief dignitaries had passed by, in such wise that none of them were injured. On the other hand, the havoc was terrible among the people following in the wake of the procession, and those who were watching it. Eight persons were killed on the spot, four others subsequently died, and about forty- five were more or less severely injured, among them being several children and also a few soldiers.
General Despuyols interpreted this dreadful outrage as an attack on the army, and military law was at once put into force. It may be, however, that an attempt on the Bishop and the clergy had been chiefly intended, though, as we have already indicated, the bombs were thrown under such circumstances that one can hardly say what was the actual purpose of the crime. The most plausible conjecture seems to be that the author-- or perhaps it is best to say the authors of the deed were from some cause or other unable to throw the explosives at the very moment when the authorities passed, or else hesitated to do so until it was too late. Some Revolutionary writers have put forward the theory that good care was taken in order that no high official should be injured, and that the only victims should be mere citizens They assert indeed that the outrage was not an Anarchist one at all, but was engineered by the Barcelona Clericalists, for the express purpose of giving the authorities an opportunity to proceed against all who were in any way opposed to Clericalist ascendancy. In support of that view it is pointed out that the Clericalists alone profited by the crime. That is true, but as there is no evidence of any such Clericalist conspiracy it is difficult to adopt the views of the Revolutionary writers.
On the other hand it is only too certain that the Clerical party turned the outrage to account. Some four hundred arrests ensued, arrests often of the most unjustifiable description, for among those who were lodged in one or another prison of the city, or on board a man- of- war which was then in the port--prior, in most instances, to being removed to the fortress of Monjuich--were many people who had no connection whatever with Anarchism even of a theoretical kind. General Despuyols and his acolytes became, indeed, the mere agents of the Bishop and his clergy, and lawyers, professors, civil engineers, schoolmasters and respectable tradesmen, whose only crime was that they were not submissive sons of Holy Church, were arbritarily consigned to durance. It was as if the Inquisition had suddenly been restored.
Don Antonio Canovas del Castillo, who was then Prime Minister, hastened to lay before the Cortes a bill punishing Anarchist propaganda with death, and any attempt to defend or shield Anarchists with penal servitude for life; and this measure was speedily adopted, with the proviso that it should remain in force for four years. Meantime, the Premier made no attempt to check or repair the blunders which were being committed by the authorities at Barcelona. He even helped to make them worse by demanding of France the extradition of one and another "suspected person " who, on being tried., was acquitted. And although the horrible treatment which was meted out to the prisoners at Monjuich was repeatedly denounced to him, he did not even con descend to inquire into it.
We should hesitate to believe most of the statements which were subsequently made by a number of prisoners if we had not ourselves seen, a few years previously how even the inmates of ordinary Spanish prisons were treated. Now and again, perhaps, there may have been some exaggeration, but if only a quarter of the stories told of the horrors of Monjuich were true, the government which permitted such things deserved the reprobation of mankind. Nothing worse was ever done in any dungeon of King Bomba, nothing worse in any dungeon of any Czar. And yet the de facto sovereign of Spain was at that time a woman, Queen Christina, Regent for her young son, the present King. To be fed on salt cod and denied water, to be whipped continually, to be fettered and ordered to pace your cell for thirty, forty hours and longer at a stretch, with the whip again in readiness should you dare to halt, those things were nothing compared with some of the treatment which was inflicted on the unhappy prisoners in order to force them to confess or to make so- called revelations.! One prisoner, a Revolutionist certainly, for he had edited the journal called " Tierra y Libertad," committed suicide in order to escape further torture.
But what made the affair so particularly abominable was that many of the prisoners were perfectly innocent men. When they were arraigned before the military court which tried them, several related how they had been tortured, and formally withdrew the " confessions " or " denunciations " which they had made under such terrible pressure. The judges were amazed, some of them quite ashamed, on hearing these revelations, and shrank from Obeying the behests of the prosecution which demanded that out of eighty- seven prisoners who were arraigned, twenty- eight should be sentenced to death and fifty- nine to hard labour for life. The Court's decision was that only eight should be executed, and as for the others it sentenced forty to twenty years hard labour apiece, and twenty- seven to various periods of solitary confinement' the remaining twelve securing acquittal. But, fortunately for the convicted men, those decisions were liable to revision by the High Court of War and Marine, which increased the number of acquittals to sixty- one sending only a score of prisoners to penal servitude or imprisonment, and reducing the number of those designated for execution from eight to five ! Those figures are very significant. The prosecution had begun by demanding twenty- eight lives, it had to be content with five; and it is very doubtful whether any one of the five men sentenced to the capital penalty deserved it, for to this day it has never been fully ascertained by whom the bombs of the Calle Cambios nuevos were thrown. Some Spanish writers assert that the outrage was really the work of a foreigner, and it is certain that foreign Anarchists were suspected by the authorities, for they issued warrants against three Italians, two Russians and a Frenchman, all of whom, however, contrived to escape, whereas scores of people, whose only crime was that they were agnostics, Republicans or merely Liberals, endured the tortures of Monjuich.
There can be no doubt that the final and more lenient decision of the High Court of War and Marine was due to the outcry which had arisen in other countries, particularly France, with respect to the treatment of the prisoners. But although sixty of them were acquitted and ought therefore to have been allowed all constitutional rights and liberties, Canovas del Castillo would not tolerate their presence in Spain. He regarded them as dangerous characters, or rather he feared that they would be for ever testifying against the regime under which they had been persecuted if they should be allowed to remain in their native country. So, availing himself of the state of siege, he resolved to deport them to Rio de Oro. But again protests arose abroad, and the minister thereupon graciously allowed these acquitted men to choose between Rio de Oro and England. They naturally preferred to repair to this country, and it seems to us that we were morally bound to grant asylum.
Spain was in a very unhappy position at that time The Carlists were again showing activity, and over yonder in Cuba, where rebellion had long been rife, affairs were going rapidly from bad to worse. Martinez Campos had been replaced there by General Weyler, whose treatment of the insurgents provoked a loud outcry in Europe as well as in the United States. In the autumn, when Queen Christina and her young son returned to the capital from San Sebastian, there appears to have been a plot to blow up the royal train with dynamite while it was passing through the province of Guipuzcoa. The affair was discovered in time to prevent the design from being put to execution, but it naturally increased the severity of the authorities towards the Anarchists and other Revolutionaries. At the end of the year, however, matters were worse than ever, owing to the great unrest which was provoked by the failure to stamp out the Cuban rebellion, in respect to which the attitude of the United States towards Spain was becoming more and more threatening It is just possible that matters might not have come to a crisis between the two countries, for there were undoubtedly a good many Spaniards who disapproved of the Cuban policy of their Government, but they could not make their voices heard effectively until it was too late to hope for a pacific solution; for, early in 1897, Canovas, angered by the attempts to criticise his administration, began to suppress the newspapers which were hostile to it, provoking in that respect a collision with the judges of the Supreme Court, who claimed jurisdiction in the matter But nothing could restrain him. He even threatened the imposition of military rule throughout the country by proclaiming it to be in a state of war. Quos vult Jupiter perdere dementat prius.
Amidst all this the Clericalists of Catalonia, whom the Prime Minister had striven to propitiate by his severity towards the Republicans and Free Thinkers as well as the Anarchists of Barcelona, gave proof of their Carlist proclivities, and a rising was even attempted. It was speedily quelled by General Augustin, but Canovas, confronted by increasing difficulties on all sides, now thought of retiring. He tendered his resignation to the Queen- regent, who refused it, however, unwilling as she was to depart from a strictly conservative policy and to summon to office the so- called Liberals who were ready and willing to assume authority in the hope--a vain one, perhaps--of being able to pacify Cuba. The increased taxation, due to the many costly attempts to quell the insurrection there, and to the necessity of providing in some degree, at all events, for contingencies foreshadowed by the evergrowing hostility of the United States, now led to still greater unrest throughout Spain. There were strikes, riots, and demonstrations in many cities, including the capital, the situation becoming worse and worse while the summer of 1897 went by.
In the month of August the Prime Minister was staying at the baths of Santa Agueda, between Vergara and Mondragon, in the Basque Provinces. These baths, which have been known,. for more than three centuries, are efficacious in cases of partial paralysis, chronic catarrh, and herpetic affections, to one of which last Senor Canova was subject. Born at Malaga and therefore an Andalusian he was at this date about sixty- nine years of age, and i was well known that for some time past his health had beer greatly tried by the innumerable difficultie of his position Still, so far as his physical condition was concerned nothing indicated that his end was near. But in broad daylight on Sunday, August 8, he was shot dead at Santa Agueda by an Italian Anarchist, who fired on him three times with a revolver. The name of the assassin was Michele Angiolillo, and his motive for com mitting the crime was, said he, to avenge the tortured prisoners of Monjuich. We have no desire whatever to defend assassination, but it is allowable to say that even as President Carnot became virtually a doomed man after the execution of Vaillant, so Don Antonio Canovas del Castillo retained but a precarious tenure of life from the time of the Monjuich excesses. An exceptionally clever man, of modest parentage, he had begun life as a journalist and an historian, and owed his rise to political eminence almost entirely to his great abilities. It has been claimed for him that if he did not save Spain from great disasters he at least saved the junior branch (as it is) of the Bourbon dynasty, and that is largely true; though the point might be put in another way--for instance: that he too often placed the interests of that dynasty before those of his country.
The news that he had been assassinated caused a deep impression but no surprise in Spain. People were shocked, but it was as though the inevitable had come to pass. The Liberals, who now hoped to secure office were again disappointed, for the Queen- regent requested the War Minister, General Azcarraga, to assume temporarily the premiership of the existing Conservative Administration The General set about his task with all the arbitrary vigour of a soldier. The press was immediately muzzled, the telegrams of foreign correspondents were subject to a stringent censorship, and for days and days world scarcely knew what was happening in Spain deceased Prime Minister was buried with great pomp at Madrid, while the trial of his assassin, who had been removed to Vergara--the scene of the famous Convent between the Carlists and the Constitutionalists Espartero's time - was hurried on, in such wise that the eleventh day after his crime Angiolillo was garroted in the courtyard of Vergara prison.
Before long the irrepressible city of Barcelona age evinced rebellious tendencies. An Anarchist named Barril fired on the Chief of Police there and wounded him and there were several conflicts between the military and the working classes. Amidst these occurences General Azcarraga thought that he might improve the; situation by deporting all characters whom he regarded as obnoxious, but he found other countries unwilling to become " dumping grounds " for Spanish Anarchists an/ Socialists. At last, in October, Queen Christina was com pelled to transfer authority to the Liberals, who, in spit' of their name, held in many respects precisely the same views as those of the Conservative party. Still, Don Praxedes Mateo Sagasta, who now became Prime Minister was a shrewder man than his predecessor, and did what he could to pacify Catalonia by restoring the liberty of the press, raising the state of siege at Barcelona, and releasing from Monjuich many untried prisoners who had been confined there since the previous year. For a time then, the ebullient and resentful Catalan capital was quieted; and Sagasta even imagined that he might also save Cuba for Spain by an offer of self- government. With that object General Blanco was sent out to the island but the change of policy came too late.
In 1896, the year of the outrage in the Calle Cambios nuevos at Barcelona, there was no great activity among the militant Anarchists in France, where Felix Faure was now President of the Republic. It is true that he was fired at whilst he was on his way to a review at Longchamp on July 14, the day of the National Fete, but the culprit, a young man named Eugene Francois, was a lunatic. Meantime, the Franco- Russian alliance was being concluded, and when, late in the year the Emperor Nicholas II. and his consort paid a visit to Paris, the greatest possible precautions were taken to prevent any revolutionary outrage. Thanks to the unremitting vigilance of the authorities none occurred.
Very unsatisfactory at this period was the condition of Italy, which had passed through a great crisis since we last referred to it. Crispi had resorted to the most drastic measures after the assassination of Carnot, dis solving no fewer than 271 working- class, unions or societies, fifty- five of these being in Milan, a city which had always given the Government considerable trouble. We have already mentioned the assassination of the editor of the " Leghorn Gazette " for condemning Caserio's crime; and we may add that another person of note was murdered about the same period, this being Count Luigi Ferrari, deputy for Rimini, who had repeatedly de nounced the Anarchists and their propaganda. Before then (we ought to have mentioned this earlier) Crispi had experienced the greatest difficulty in checking the persistent agitation carried on by the Sicilian " Fasci del Lavatori," which were distinctly revolutionary organisations. He decided at last to prosecute their chief organisers and leaders, notably a deputy of the island named De Felice, and on the very day (March, 1894) when an application was made to the Chamber for leave to institute proceedings against this demagogue a bomb was exploded outside the Parliament House on Monte Citorio. Two persons, who were passing, were killed' and others were wounded by this explosion. The perpetrator of the outrage was never discovered, and some time later, when De Felice was sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment two more bombs were thrown at the Camera dei Deputati. The author of the deed again managed to escape; but on this occasion the explosions had no serious result.
Some scandals connected with the Banco Romanc proved damaging to Crispi's reputation towards the end of 1894; nevertheless he and his officials continued to rule the country in a very high- handed manner. This often tended to increase the general discontent. Some years previously, as we related in an earlier chapter circumstances had drawn Italy into the Triple Alliance, to which, however, a considerable number of Italians, particularly in the north of the Peninsula, remained violently opposed on account of the " Italia irredenta " question. These headstrong patriots--with whom one can in a measure sympathise--gave Crispi incessant trouble, and he was for ever exerting himself to keep. It was however, an unjustifiable proceeding to strike their names off the electoral lists, a course which was successfully adopted in numerous instances when these lists were revised in view of a general election appointed to take place in May 1895. Moreover the officials and partisans of the Government were not content with adopting this course with respect to known Irredentists; in several localities they acted in the same manner towards all whom they regarded as enemies of the existing Administration. Great agitation and grave excesses ensued in some parts of northern Italy However, the result of the elections enabled Crispi to retain office, and, in fact, he seemed secure in his position as the virtual dictator of the country.
But Italy had embarked in a hazardous adventure on the African coast washed by the Red Sea, where it had acquired a strip of territory called Erythrea, and in December 1895 the hostilities which had broken out there between the Italians and the Abyssinians resulted in the former being surprised and worsted at Ambo Alaghi. The national pride was deeply hurt by this affair, but matters became infinitely worse, for at the end of February in the ensuing year, at a moment when the economic situation was so bad in Italy that bread- riots had broken out in various regions, the Shoan tribesmen gained a complete victory over General Baratieri, who, in a sanguinary battle at Adowa, lost several thousand men, apart from 1500 who were taken prisoners. Italy reeled under the blow, and no wonder: An Italian army had been cut to pieces by savages !
Crispi could not resist the storm which swept through the country, but resigned, and was replaced as Prime Minister by the Marquis Antonio Starabba di Rudini, whose cabinet set itself the double task of ending the Abyssinian war in an honourable fashion, and of pacifying parties at home. With the latter object amnesties for political offences were granted, and the state of siege which Crispi had decreed in Sicily was raised. These measures and others certainly had a good effect, but economic conditions remained unsatisfactory. At one moment Rudini had to reconstitute his cabinet owing to a parliamentary defeat, and considerable unrest still prevailed among the working classes.
The question of the succession to the throne had long offered matter for discussion. King Humbert had married his cousin Margherita, daughter of the Duke of Genoa' in 1868, and in 1896 their eldest son, the Prince of Naples (now Victor Emmanuel III.), was in his twenty seventh year. Repeated attempts had been made to induce him to marry, but had proved unsuccessful, and it was currently asserted that his refusals were due to a fear lest he should be the means of perpetuating a misfortune which had been hereditary in his house for several centuries At every two or three generations, indeed, a Prince or Princess of Savoy had come into the world hunchbacked That had not happened in the case either of Victor Emmanuel II. or his son, King Humbert, but it had occurred in that of the Duke of Genoa, father of the beautiful Queen Margherita, and it was generally held that the Prince of Naples feared lest this misfortune of his race should be perpetuated in his offspring. However, in 1896, his scruples were finally overcome, and he espoused the Princess Helen of Montenegro. In the previous year his cousin, Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Aosta, had married the Princess Helene d'Orleans, and thus there seemed every prospect that the succession of the House of Savoy would be ensured.
Meantime King Humbert, now fifty- two years old, continued very hale and vigorous. Giovanni Passanante's attempt on his life in 1878 may have marred the poetry of the House of Savoy, even as Queen Margherita remarked at the time, but it had made no difference in the King's habits. His tastes were very simple, and he delighted in going about unattended. When he was enjoying his favourite villeggiaturs at Monza he would often drive over to Milan in a phaeton, attended merely by an aide- de- camp; and those who were solicitous for his safety could only in some measure provide for it by telegraphing to the Carabinieri that the King was on his way to the city, where, indeed, it was possible he might run some risk, there being revolutionary tendencies among many of the Milanese.
However, from the time when Passanante had tried to stab the King at Naples to the date we have now reached, 1897, there had been no attempt on his life, for it seems that we must dismiss as a fable an alleged plot to blow up a special train in which he was travelling from San Rossore to Rome on the night of February 16, 1884 According to a statement then made by a Carabiniere named Varicchio, who was guarding the railway line near a river between the stations of Corneto- Tarquinia and Montalto, he was attacked about 2.30 A.M. by four men, one of whom fired upon him, a bullet passing through his cloak, and another through his cap. If one were to believe his own account, he returned the fire, and drove off the men who, as they hurried away, dropped a glass jar containing chemicals. When this story at first became known, the authorities highly praised the courage of Carabiniere Varicchio, who was congratulated on having saved the King's life, but after various inquiries one of the ministers of the time declared that Varicchio was merely a visionary, and that the bullet holes in his cloak and headgear had probably been made by himself. For our part we should scarcely have called the man a " visionary." Assuming his story to be false, it might be better to set him down as an " artful dodger," intent on gaining promotion for something he had never done.
Dismissing that affair then, it follows that King Humbert had enjoyed some nineteen years of immunity from regidical designs when the spring of 1897 came round. April 22 was the anniversary of his marriage, and as usual there was a family lunch- party at the Quirinal Palace. Races were to be held during the afternoon on the Capannelle course, south- east of Rome, and it had been arranged that the royal family should attend them, the more especially as the principal " event " on the card was a so- called " Royal Derby," the winner of which was to receive 24,000 lire nearly [[sterling]]1000, given by the King. The first of the royal personages to start for the course were the Duke and Duchess of Aosta, and then the King set out, leaving Queen Margherita and others to follow. The carriage used by the King on this occasion was a pair- horse victoria, with coachman and footman in plain liveries; and the sovereign was accompanied by the minister of his household, General Ponzio Vaglia. Leaving Rome by the Porta San Giovanni the carriage proceeded at a moderate pace along the Vicolo della Marrana and the Careggiato dei Vallona, and it had gone about a mile and a quarter beyond the city gate when a young fellow, after hastily quitting a group of four or five suspicious looking individuals, darted forward and sprang on the carriage step, at the same time raising his right hand in which was a dagger partially concealed by a red rag. With great presence of mind King Humbert sprang up, and the carriage cushion received the thrust which had been intended for him. Realising the failure of the attempt, his would- be assassin jumped into the road again, dropping his dagger, and seeking safety in flight. Little, however, as the King liked to be attended by police officers, a detective inspector named Galeazzi was following the royal carriage in a hired vehicle, which being at no great distance at the moment of the attempt was within call; there was also a mounted Carabiniere named Gerla, patrolling the road, in such wise that the King's assailant was speedily pursued and arrested.
Meantime King Humbert, after remarking to General Ponzio Vaglia: Sono gli incerli del mestiere!--''Those are the risks of the calling ! "--imperturbably ordered his coachman to drive on. Something of the affair had been witnessed, however, by a young bicyclist who reached Capannelle a few minutes in advance of the royal carriage, it thus happening that on the latter s arrival a rumour of the attack was already spreading among the race- goers. When the monarch appeared he received a most enthusiastic greeting which plainly touched him. Scarcely had he informed the Duke of Aosta and the Marquis di Rudini of the circumstances of the case when Queen Margherita also arrived, whereupon he hastened towards her and told her what had happened, at the same time kissing her on the brow in the presence of all the cheering spectators. That same evening there were demonstrations of loyalty throughout royal--we do not say papal--Rome.
The King's assailant was named Pietro Acciarito, and his calling, at least nominally, was that of a blacksmith. At this time twenty- six years of age, he had come into the world at Artena in the Roman Campagna, an ancient spot mentioned by Livy in connection with the wars of the AEgui and the Latins, and not far from Velletri and Sequi. The folk of the region are quick tempered, and crimes of violence are frequent among them. It was, we think, the King's coachman or footman who informed the authorities that Acciarito had been conversing with other men a moment before jumping on to the carriage - step, and this circumstance seemed to indicate that he might not be the only party guilty in the affair. The police therefore made a number of arrests, going as far afield as Ancona and Ravenna in their search for Acciarito's alleged accomplices. But they found it impossible to prove any connection between the crime and the persons whom they apprehended. As for Acciarito he at one time tried to make the magistrates think that he had acted simply on the spur of the moment, having been angered by the sight of all the well- dressed gentlefolk driving to the races in smart equipages, when he was out of work and penniless. Then, changing his System of defence, he admitted that he had assailed the King intentionally, well knowing who he was, but that he had done so with the design of striking a blow at the institution of monarchy which King Humbert represented and not with that of injuring him as an individual. Finally, still freely acknowledging premeditation, Acciarto declared that he would just as soon have " stuck that old monkey the Pope (Leo XIII.) " but that, as the latter hid himself away in the Vatican, he had been obliged to confine himself to the King. He was tried at the Rome Assizes on May 28 and 29, and on being convicted, was sentenced to imprisonment for life. He was certainly both an Anarchist and an atheist, but whether he had accomplices or acted solely on his own initiative is doubtful. Some time after his arrest he made sundry denunciations to the Governor of the Ergastolo di Santo Stefano, where he was imprisoned, with the result that several men were arraigned at the Rome Assizes in June in which the proceedings had been conducted, and the case was transferred to Teramo where it was tried during the following year. Acciarito, who was brought up to give evidence, then withdrew some of his allegations against the prisoners and was unable to substantiate others, and they were thereupon acquitted. The truth appears to be that he had indulged in denunciations with the object of making his own guilt appear less great and thereby securing more lenient treatment.
During the autumn of the year which witnessed Acciarito attack on King Humbert a very unfortunate affair occurred at Rome, where increased taxation pro yoked great discontent. The Ministers at last Consented to receive some delegates of the commercial class at the Palazzo Braschi, where the Minister of the Interior is installed, but a number of Socialists and Anarchists joined the procession and disorder ensued. It was said that stones were thrown at some troops on guard Outside the Ministry, at all events the soldiers fired on the procession and the attendant crowd, killing three people and wounding several others. This affair aroused general indignation. The Government, in its alarm, ordered the tax- gatherers to proceed with the greatest moderation, and the King, who, of course, was in no wise responsible for what had happened, contributed [[sterling]]6000 towards relieving the distress which prevailed in the capital.
In this same year, 1897, there were various outrages in France. About the middle of June a bomb was thrown at President Faure's carriage, fortunately without effect, and a few days later there was an explosion near the statue of Strasburg on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Again, in August, when the President left for Russia to return the Czar's visit of the previous year' a bomb exploded near the Gare du Nord. This occurred, however, a quarter of an hour after the train by which Faure travelled had quitted the station. No arrest was effected in connection with any of the above cases. On the first occasion the culprit fled and made good his escape, while in the other instances the police had no clue whatever as to the identity of the guilty parties.
In the following year, 1898, there was plenty of agitation in France, but it was due to the famous Dreyfus case, in which real militant Anarchists were well pleased to see so many bourgeois of conflicting views trying to devour one another. That was a spectacle which gladdened their hearts, and they were content to give the " Propaganda by Deed " a rest, feeling, perhaps, that they could not improve on the work which others were doing. To some extent they sympathised with the partisans of Dreyfus, for, like the Socialists, they naturally approved of an attack on military men; and here and there, indeed, one found writers and speakers with Anarchist proclivities exerting themselves to transform the campaign into one against the whole army, whereas the original Dreyfusards were in no wise antagonistic to the army itself, but were only concerned respecting the doings of a certain clique of officers. Unfortunately an excessive esprit de corps was displayed on the military side. Most officers regarded any charge brought against a few foolish, prejudiced, incompetent, unveracious or unscrupulous colleagues, as being directed against themselves. Moreover, the anti- Republicanism of a good many officers, particularly those educated by the Jesuits, became manifest, and thus the situation was greatly envenomed, much to the delight of both Socialist and Anarchist scribes, who never wearied of expounding their Anti- Militarist doctrines. On the other hand, they regarded the Jews with almost as much hatred as they regarded the army, for Jewry was only too often synonymous with Capital. As we have already said, however, the Anarchist Propaganda by Deed ceased for the time being, and one might have thought one would hear nothing more of it when, all at once, in the month of September, the world was shocked by the news that the Empress of Austria had been assassinated by an Anarchist at Geneva.
Francis Joseph of Hapsburg- Lorraine became Emperor of Austria on December I, 1848, when he was in his nineteenth year. The revolutionary turmoil of that period had led to the abdication of his uncle, the Emperor Ferdinand; and his father, the Archduke Francis Charles, had refused to assume the imperial dignity. The youthful Kaiser was faced by a stupendous task. Sedition was rife in many parts of the Austrian dominions, and for several months past Hungary had been in an open state of rebellion, which was not quelled until the autumn of 1849, after Russia had come to Austria's assistance The reign began with a solemn pledge on the young Emperor part that he would give free constitutional government to all his subjects, but nothing of the kind was accorded and after the subjection of Hungary and the Italian provinces of the Empire, certain Edicts were issued from Schoenbrunn by which it was declared that all the Ministers of State would henceforth be responsible to one authority only--that of the throne (September 1851 Many organic changes ensued. The government of the heterogeneous Austrian States was centralised at Vienna, and a series of fiscal and commercial reforms was undertaken, these often being good in their way, and rallying to the throne the support of many of the middle- classes, on whom Prince Schwarzenberg, then principal Minister, earnestly counselled his Sovereign to rely for his chief support. This view was so far adopted that the power of the Austrian aristocracy was crippled, if not entirely destroyed. Schwarzenberg, however, died suddenly in April 1852, when in mid- career, and Count Buol succeeded to his post, though only to a portion of his authority, for the Emperor, who was now two and twenty, had become conscious of his strength, and from month to month, so to say, took a larger and more direct part in the government.
Unrest was again evident in Hungary, which had suffered so cruelly during the suppression of the rebellion, when in February 1853, a young Magyar, named Joseph Libenyi, made an attempt to assassinate the Emperor whilst the latter was walking on the fortifications which encircled the old city or central part of Vienna. Approaching Francis Joseph from behind, Libenyi stabbed him with a dagger in the back of the neck. The young monarch was in uniform, however, and the thick collar of his military cloak mitigated the effect of the blow. Nevertheless a nasty wound was inflicted, and some time elapsed before it healed. By way Of commemorating the Emperor's lucky escape from death, a sum of 1,300,000 florins was raised by public subscription for the building of what is known as the Votive Church, dedicated to St Salvator.
One effect of Libenyi's attempt was to hasten the Emperor's marriage, with the object of ensuring the direct succession of the throne. The young autocrat was fairly good- looking, vigorous, extremely manly, and more than one beautiful woman had thrown herself at his head. According to la chronique scandaleuse he had already had several mistresses, but there had been as yet no serious attempt to marry him. His mother, the Archduchess Sophia, now conceived, however, the idea of providing him with a consort in the person of a member of her own house, which was that of Bavaria.
She was a daughter of King Maximilian Joseph I. of that country; and a step- sister of hers, named Ludovica, had married another Maximilian Joseph, who represented a junior branch of the House of Wittelsbach, and bore simply the title of " Duke in Bavaria." This couple had three sons, the eldest of whom became infatuated with an actress named Henrietta Mendel, and renounced all his rights in order to marry her. The second one, named Charles Theodore, became a distinguished oculist, and the third married a Saxe- Cobourg Princess, sister of the present ruler of Bulgaria. The girls were five in number, and were named respectively, Helen, Elizabeth, Maria, Matilda and Sophia. Only the two elder ones, Helen and Eliza. teeth, were of a marriageable age at the date we have reached, 1853, and, indeed, the second was very young for matrimony, having not yet completed her sixteenth year. It was therefore decided by the mother of these girls and the mother of the young Austrian Emperor that he should marry Helen, the eldest one; and in order to bring about the alliance it was planned that there should be a meeting at Ischl in August 1853.
Here let us open a parenthesis. It is a melancholy fact that since the latter part of the eighteenth century more than twenty members of the House of Bavaria have become more or less insane. It has been contended that there was no insanity in the younger branch in which the Emperor Francis Joseph was to choose his bride, but that is an absurd error. The father of Duke Maximilian Joseph, and therefore the grandfather of the girls we have enumerated, was a certain Duke Pius Augustus, whose reason was overclouded for many years. Duke Maximilian Joseph, moreover, had married a Princess of the elder branch in which there had been numerous instances of insanity. Further, the Austrian Emperor's mother belonged to that same elder branch, and thus his marriage with a Bavarian Princess was assuredly attended by serious risks.
At the same time it may be pointed out that the prepotency of the blood of the Hapsburgs has been conspicuous in all their matrimonial alliances. We know that the present King of Spain is physically far more of a Hapsburg than a Bourbon, and that in like way Napoleon's son by Marie Louise was far more of a Hapsburg than a Bonaparte. If the " Pretender" Naundorf had been the real Louis XVII. he, also, would probably have been a man of the Hapsburg type. Some of the latter's hereditary traits were apparent in Louis XVI in spite of the grossness of his physique, and they were most marked in Marie Antoinette. Her daughter, who became Duchesse d'Angouleme, was essentially a Hapsburg; and had Naundorf been her son one would have expected to find in him similar characteristics, which, however, he did not possess. On the same basis it has been argued that the famous Don John of Austria, the reputed illegitimate son of the Emperor Charles V. (whom he in no wise resembled), was simply palmed off as such by his dissolute mother, Barba Blomberg. Briefly, several eminent biologists hold that whenever a Hapsburg of either sex has contracted a matrimonial alliance with another family, the Hapsburg heredity, even when represented on the female side, has always proved the more powerful; whence it has resulted that other Princes, in espousing Austrian Archduchesses for the purpose of perpetuating their own race, have in reality more particularly perpetuated the race of the Hapsburgs.
At the same time it would probably be excessive to say that the Hapsburg prepotency must always triumph over any flaws occurring in those with whom the Austrian house might become allied. Outward physical characteristics may still be repeated from generation to generation, but mental characteristics may well become modified by frequent marriage with a house in which insanity has existed to more or less extent for several generations. Such houses are those of Bavaria and Hesse- Darmstadt which have infected one another by their alliances. At the same time the repeated marriages between Hapsburgs and Wittelsbachs have already imparted marked eccentricity to many members of the former family. Indeed, one can no longer count the eccentricities of Austrian Archdukes and Archduchesses. In the Bavarian house insanity has been more or less intermittent, skipping a generation here, a generation there, then at times reappearing with greater intensity than before. In the intervals there has generally been eccentricity of one or another kind, allied with a pre disposition to the romantic and a florescence of the artistic temperament. Substitute great talent for genius--for we do not think that any Wittelsbach has been exactly a genius--and one will find this house exemplifying the close relationship that exists between high intellectual gifts and insanity. The father of Duke Maximilian Joseph (one of whose daughters Francis Joseph of Austria was to marry) had become, as we already mentioned insane; Maximilian Joseph himself, however, was merely an eccentric, with a strongly developed artistic nature A first- rate musician, expert as a player on the zither, he also set up a private circus, travelled widely, wrote poems and tales' as well as an attractive record of his wanderings in Asia and Africa.
It was, of course, possible that his offspring might escape the hereditary taint, and also possible that they might not. In any case the young Austrian Emperor betook himself to Ischl in August 1853, for the purpose of meeting the Princess Helen whom it was desired that he should marry. But it so chanced that he first set eyes on her younger sister, the almost juvenile Elizabeth, fell in love with her on the spot, and decided that she, and not her elder sister, should be his wife. He intimated this to her parents, and in spite of the slight which was thus cast upon their daughter Helen, they assented to the match, unwilling as they were to decline so high an alliance. When Elizabeth was told of the young Emperor's choice she was seized with amazement, it is said. " It is impossible ! " she exclaimed, " I am only a child."
According to most accounts Elizabeth was born on December 24, 1837, at her father s favourite estate of possenhofen, on the west bank of that Lake of Starnberg in which her cousin, the unfortunate Ludwig II. of Bavaria, was afterwards drowned; but she really came into the world at Maximilian Joseph's palace in the Ludwigs- strasse at Munich, where the family always took up their quarters in the winter. Much of the Princess's girlhood was undoubtedly spent, however, in the vicinity of the Starnberg See, and she became known as the young Rose of Possenhofen. She delighted in an outdoor life, free from restraint, went hunting and shooting and boating with her brothers, and was by nature unsuited to the station to which her marriage called her. But how could a girl of sixteen resist such an offer ? The marriage may have been a mistake, but if so, the mistake was assuredly not hers.
History tells us what a triumphal progress the Archduchess Marie Antoinette made through Germany and France when she repaired to Versailles to become the wife of the future Louis XVI. Quite as triumphal was the progress of the young Princess Elizabeth through the Bavarian and Austrian dominions when in the spring of 1854 she betook herself to Vienna to marry Francis Joseph. The ceremony took place with great splendour at the church of St Augustin on April 24 and there seemed at first every prospect that the union would be a happy one. Many people rejoiced at it, for it was attended by the pardon of hundreds of political offenders, and followed by the abolition of flogging in the army and some notable hospital reforms all of which were attributed to the influence of the young Empress. On July 12 1856, a first child was born, the Archduchess Gisela; and in the first months of 1857 the Emperor and Empress made a long tour through the Austrian possessions in Italy, this being signalised by an amnesty for all political offences, a measure which certainly produced a good momentary effect, though, not unnaturally, it failed to check the Italian aspirations for independence. In a letter we possess which was written from Milan at that period, we find it stated: " The young Empress of Austria is as beautiful as any Virgin painted by any artist of the Italian schools. She has an abundance of brown hair which gleams here and there like gold. I am told that when it is unbound it falls almost to her knees. But if she is as beautiful as a creation of Raphael's, she is also as mute. She is said to be well educated; but she does not speak Italian, though she took lessons from Signor Bolza for a considerable time. She speaks, too, but little French. She evinces little interest in any ceremony. She looks on, but remains impassive to the compliments which are addressed to her. It appears that she lives solely in the love of her husband, who, on his part, seems to be passionately devoted to her."
After the Italian visit the Emperor and Empress repaired to Hungary where the latter was well received. In the following year, 1858, she gave birth to a son the unfortunate Crown Prince Rudolph. It might be thought that such an event as the birth of an heir to the empire would have drawn husband and wife yet more closely together. But on the contrary there now came increasing coldness between them. All accounts agree in asserting that this was due to the Emperor's im pressionable nature in regard to women. There were many beautiful ones at the Austrian Court, and even as some had flung themselves at his head prior to his marriage, so others did the same now that he had a wife.
At last, in 1860, an incident occurred, which the Empress deeply resented. Abruptly quitting Vienna she repaired to Trieste and sailed thence in her yacht to the Ionian Islands. Francis Joseph started in pursuit, but Elizabeth was unwilling to be reconciled to him. She repaired to Minorca and then into the Atlantic, visited Norway, fell ill' and finally, under medical advice, betook herself to Madeira, touching at Southampton on her way (1861). Some years were given up almost entirely to roaming. On a few occasions the Empress was compelled to return to Austria by some important official requirements, but her sojourns at Court were extremely brief. There can be no question that she cordially detested Court life. A wilding in her youth, she remained one in her womanhood. But whilst she was going hither and thither her children were left without the maternal supervision which she should have bestowed on them. In 1865 the young Crown Prince fell ill, and the Empress, being summoned at once, returned home. In January the following year we find her accompanying the Emperor to Buda- pesth . then, in the autumn, came the memorable war between Austria and Prussia, and the disasters which then befell the Austrian arms tended to bring Elizabeth closer to her husband once more. In the ensuing month of June (1867) they again returned to Hungary, this time to be crowned as King and Queen at Presburg. Early in July Francis Joseph lost his youngest and favourite brother Maximilian, who was shot at Queretaro by the Mexican Republicans, after a brief space of so- called imperial rule. This misfortune brought about a complete reconciliation between the Kaiser and his consort, and on April 22, 1868, the latter gave birth to the Archduchess Maria Valeria.
Nevertheless, before long she again began to travel about, confining herself for a while, however, to the Austrian dominions, exploring Carinthia, roaming over the Hungarian Puszta, or else secluding herself in her handsome chateau at Lainz. She and her husband still met fairly frequently, but she seldom attended the Court festivities at Vienna. In the first years of her married life the Empress had participated in the MaundyThursday function of the foot- washing of the poor, and had also walked in the Holy Sepulchre and Corpus Christi Processions; but she had afterwards altogether ceased to appear at any such ceremonies which, although she was a Catholic, did not appeal to her, perhaps by reason of their pomp and vanity mingled with a mock humility. She was even but little at Vienna in 1873, that year of the great International Exhibition held in the Prater. It was then that we first saw her : right beautiful in the maturity of her six and thirty summers, imperial in her bearing, and effulgent like an idol with all the glitter of the diamonds and emeralds which she wore in such profusion. That, however, was but a fugitive vision, granted to the Court in deference to high requirements. Beside the Empress stood a tall, commanding, soldierly figure, at which one gazed with equal interest, for it was that of Alexander, Czar of all the Russias. We remembered how Berezowski the Pole had fired on him in the Bois de Boulogne six years previously; we knew that he had come to Vienna closely guarded in his ironclad railway train, and that day by day he ran the risk of assassination. But who could have imagined that the beautiful and resplendent woman who entered the great Rittersaal of the Hofburg by his side was threatened, or similar fate ?
In the following year, 1874, the Empress's health again began to decline, and she once more took to foreign travel. Repairing to England she visited Queen Victoria at Windsor and afterwards stayed for a time on the Isle of Wight. She was an expert horsewoman, and being much attracted by foxhunting she subsequently came to this country on several occasions for the express purpose of indulging in that sport. In 1879 and 1880 she was in Ireland, and in the following year in Cheshire, where she rode to hounds. There were also many journeys to other countries, the Empress becoming more and more restless under the nervous disorders which gradually fixed their hold upon her. When she was in Austria she still usually secluded herself in her castle of Lainz, south of Vienna, which was beautifully decorated in the Renaissance style. She had artistic leanings like her cousin Ludwig II. of Bavaria--Wagner's patron-- and after acquiring the Villa Braila in Corfu she turned it into a sumptuous palace profusely decorated with paintings and statuary. Among the principal features were a Pompeian dining- hall and a Byzantine chapel.
In connection with King Ludwig it should be mentioned that the Empress Elizabeth always refused to believe in his insanity, and regarded his dethronement and sequestration as positive crimes, carried out in order to gratify the ambition of Prince Luitpold, who was appointed Regent as soon as the King's person had been secured. It is certain that when Ludwig was drowned in Lake Starnberg, the Empress was sojourning in the neighbourhood, and although, according to the official account, she had no knowledge of the tragic affair until the following morning, when the news filled her with the utmost grief, there are many in that part of Bavaria who hold that she was privy to the unfortunate monarch's desperate and fatal attempt to escape from his custodians. There are even those who aver that on the night when he and his medical attendant, Dr von Gudden, perished in the lake, she was seen waiting in a posting- carriage in the near vicinity of the spot where the fatality occurred. There are, to our thinking, some elements of plausibility in the story. The official account of King Ludwig's death has always seemed to us un- - satisfactory in various respects. It appears certain that the King's object on that fatal night was to effect his escape, and if that view be adopted it is not unlikely that Elizabeth, who sympathised with him so keenly, had arranged to give him some assistance.
Time sped on while she flitted hither and thither, her health gradually becoming worse and worse. At last on January 30, 1889 she experienced another great shock--the suicide of her son, Crown Prince Rudolph. He had espoused the Princess Stephanie, one of the daughters of the second Leopold of Belgium, but the marriage had proved very unsatisfactory. At last, in 1888, the Prince met Marie Vetsera, a very beautiful girl, whose mother, a Baltazzi, was of Greek origin. An entanglement ensued, and was brought to the knowledge of Princess Stephanie by a certain Countess Larisch, the daughter of the Empress Elizabeth's eldest brother by his marriage with Fraulein Mendel the actress. Great trouble ensued, and in the end the lovers died together at Prince Rudolph's hunting lodge at Mayerling, a beautiful sylvan spot not far from the famous monastery of Heiligenkreuz, at no great distance from Vienna.
There are so many contradictory versions of the affair that it is difficult to disentangle the most probable from the others. But we cannot agree with a statement made in that anonymous work " The Martyrdom of an Empress," to the effect that the tragedy was brought about by a revelation which the Emperor Francis Joseph made to his son on the very eve of the tragedy's occurrence. The Emperor, it is asserted, told Prince Rudolph that Marie Vetsera was really his (Francis Joseph's) illegitimate child, whereupon the Prince rushed off in absolute despair to Mayerling. But it so happens that he spent the evening in question at the Vienna Opera house, where he was seen by all the spectators, and where we cannot imagine him to have been, had he only just quitted his father with the revelation which had been made to him still ringing in his ears. When the performance was over he certainly betook himself to Mayerling, travelling in a posting- carriage which he entered outside the theatre. This was a not uncommon practice of his whenever he went off for a few days' shooting, but as we all know, it was on this occcasion followed within four and twenty hours by the death of the Prince and that of his mistress. He appears to have shot himself, whilst Marie Vetsera took poison--strychnine according to the more probable reports. One account says that Rudolph's friend, Count Hoyos, who was staying at Mayerling at the time, was also found dead, but that assertion is ridiculous, for it was precisely Count Hoyos who hurried to Vienna with the terrible tidings that the heir apparent to the Austrian Empire had committed suicide. It is said that the news was first conveyed to the Empress Elizabeth, and that she communicated it to her husband. Certain it is that she stood staunchly by him in that hour of mourning in spite of the great shock which her son's death gave her. A few more years elapsed, and another blow was dealt at her heart when in 1897 her sister, the Duchess d Alencon, perished in the flames which consumed the Paris Charity Bazaar Two other sisters then remained to her, the ex- Queen of Naples and the Countess of Trani, and during her frequent roamings she was often in their company, particularly in that of the latter, whose general disposition corresponded with her own.
The Empress spent her last Christmas, that of 1897, with them both. At that time her health had quite given way. Rheumatism, sciatica, neuritis, were in turn bringing her to the grave. Her sufferings seldom ceased and were often intense. Early in 1898 she was at San Remo, following the treatment of Dr Nothnagel, but at the end of February she betook herself with the Countess of Trani to Territet in Switzerland where they separated. Six weeks later the Empress repaired to Kissingen where she met the Emperor whilst undergoing fresh treatment there. Two months later we find her in Vienna, still suffering from sciatica and neuralgia which soon compel her to shut herself up at Lainz. A course of treatment at Nauheim in Hesse is then recommended, and in July she set out for that spa, first travelling, however to Ischl with the Emperor and her daughter Valeria.
At Nauheim her health improves very much, indeed; and at the end of August she departs for Switzerland, deciding to instal herself at Mont de Caux. Here she continues in such fair health that she is able to rise early, walk out, and even take part in some little climbing. Not far from Geneva, on the slopes overlooking the lake, stands the chateau of Pregny once the property Of Joseph Bonaparte, and subsequently that of Baron and Baroness Adolphe de Rothschild, by whom it was greatly beautified. Baron Adolphe had at one time established a banking- house at Naples, but on the fall of the Neapolitan monarchy he removed to Paris, where, no further troubling about business, he led the life of a grand seigneur showing himself a lavish entertainer and a liberal patron of the arts. He and his wife greatly befriended the exiled King and Queen of Naples, for which reason we have always considered the picture of the latter's financial straits given in Alphonse Daudet's " Kings in Exile," to be extremely exaggerated. The services in question (the Queen of Naples being her sister) had drawn the Austrian Empress towards this branch of the Rothschilds, and whilst she was at Mont de Caux she resolved to pay the Baroness Adolphe a visit at Pregny. She did so on September 9 (1898) and afterwards left for Geneva intending to spend the night at the Hotel Beaurivage, where Dr Kromar, one of her attendants, had engaged rooms for her.
On her travels the Empress usually assumed the name of Countess of Hohenembs, but she was so well known that this practice quite failed to conceal her identity. Wherever she went the police had orders to watch over her, but she repeatedly objected to the presence of plainclothes officers, and owing to her frequent remonstrances in that respect a surveillance which might well have prevented her from coming to any harm, became extremely perfunctory and at times, indeed, ceased altogether. Geneva having long been the abode of many Revolutionaries of various categories, often dangerous men, the Empress was strongly advised not to repair thither without taking adequate precautions. We doubt, however, if anybody in her entourage imagined that she ran a risk of assassination; the thought was rather that she might be insulted, and perhaps grossly, as had happened once or twice during her travels.
Those readers who are superstitiously inclined may note the following. A day or two before the Empress's visit to Pregny, while she was out of doors in the company of Mr Barker, her English reader, a raven (bird of ill- omen) suddenly swooped down and struck out of her hands a peach which she was peeling. Further, when she reached the Hotel Beaurivage, bringing with her a number of choice orchids the gift of Baroness Adolphe de Roths child, she found her rooms decorated with mauve and white asters, which in many continental countries are regarded as " flowers of death."
It was early in the evening of Friday, September 9, when the Empress arrived at Geneva. She afterwards took a short stroll along the quay, beside the lake, and early on the following day, attended by the Countess Sztaray, her lady- in- waiting, she went into the city to do some shopping. On her return to the hotel she dismissed her women- servants who were to take the train to Territet, she herself having arranged to return to Mont de Caux by the lake steamboat- service. The time for her departure having arrived, a valet quitted the hotel in advance, carrying a cloak and a travelling case towards the steamer, " The Geneva." After him, and slightly in advance of her mistress, went the Countess Sztaray, and as the Empress followed, entirely by herself, a man who had been seated on one of the benches of the Quai du Mont Blanc, where a short time previously he had been conversing with an elderly individual, who may have been a confederate, suddenly rose up, went swiftly towards her, and dealt her a blow which brought her to her knees. She was, however, almost at once on her feet again, and the Countess Sztaray, turning back, threw her arms about her to give her support, and at the same time raised a cry in order that the assailant, who was already hurrying off along the Rue des Alpes, might be arrested. At that moment neither the Empress nor the Countess imagined the man to be an assassin. They thought him a common thief whose aim had been to steal the Empress s watch. He was pursued, however, by a couple of cabdrivers and a boatman; and an electrician named Saint Martin, who saw the chase and barred the way, was able to secure the miscreant and hand him over to a police- officer.
Meantime, in reply to the anxious inquiries of her lady- in- waiting, Elizabeth declared that she was not hurt, or at least only slightly. She had no notion at that moment that she had actually been stabbed, but imagined that her assailant had merely struck her with his fist. She walked firmly towards the steamer and crossed the gangway, but, that accomplished, she suddenly fell on the deck, fainting. She was at once carried into the captain's room, and laid on some cushions there; and smelling salts, water and vinegar were employed to revive her, there still being no idea that she was dangerously--nay mortally--injured. At the same time the captain of the steamer, well knowing who his passenger was, did not wish to start, but the Empress, who had just recovered consciousness, sent word for him to do so, and thereupon the boat slowly quitted its moorings.
A moment afterwards, in order that her mistress might breathe more freely, the Countess Sztaray unfastened her corsage, and it was then that she discovered, near the left breast, a small puncture from which a few drops of blood had exuded. This alarmed her, and there being no medical man on board she at once requested the captain to turn back. A stretcher was formed with the help of some rugs and cushions, the former being secured to a pair of oars, and by this means the Empress was removed from the boat to the Hotel Beaurivage and carried to the room which she had lately quitted. On the way across the Quai du Mont Blanc a tremor passed over her face, she raised her arms towards the heavens and gave a little sigh. Doctors were speedily in attendance and exerted themselves to save her, but the Wound she had received was mortal, and though she 1ingered for a while and was able to take the last Sacrament, at ten minutes past two o'clock her spirit departed.
It was afterwards ascertained that the weapon with which she had been stabbed was triangular, tapering to a fine point, with a circumference in its thicker part of only 2.5 millimeters It had penetrated to a depth of 8 .5 centimetres, entering above the fourth rib (which was broken by the violence of the assassin's blow), passing through the pericardium, and then reaching the left ventricle of the heart. So small, however, was the puncture, that the blood flowed very slowly into the pericardium, and for this reason the Empress survived for a few hours. She was sixty- one years old at the time of her assassination.
The news of her tragic end aroused feelings of pity and sympathy throughout the world. It seemed monstrous that so inoffensive a woman as the Empress Elizabeth should have been struck down by a murderer. The Countess Sztaray telegraphed the terrible news to Count Paar, chief aide- de- camp to the Emperor Francis Joseph, and four days later the Empress's remains were removed to Vienna. They lay in state there for forty eight hours, and on the I7th, a dark stormy September day, came the obsequies, at which the stricken Emperor was supported by his daughters, Valeria and Gisela, and all the Archdukes and Archduchesses of his house. The German Kaiser came specially from Berlin, and the Kings of Saxony, Roumania, and Servia, and the Regent of Bavaria were also among those who went in the solemn funeral train through the crowded streets of Vienna, where rose and laurel and palm were mingled with sable drapery, and where the bright national colours were generally replaced by black flags. And thus the E:mpress's remains were borne to the Church of the Capuchins and deposited in that mortuary vault where Napoleon's son, the King of Rome, reposes near Maria Theresa.
And what of the assassin ? His name was Luigi Luccheni, and he was born in Paris on April 2 1873, so that at the time of his crime he was twenty- five years and five months old. He was an illegitimate child, and it is not known whether his father was an Italian or a Frenchman. In the entry of his birth in the register of the Second Arrondissement of Paris he is described as the son of Luigia Luccheni, daughter of Giovanni Luccheni and Maria Macelli of Albaceto, unmarried, and following the calling of a laundress. Not long after her boy's birth Luigia quitted France, and on August 9, 1874, she placed him in the poorhouse of Parma, where he was registered as number 29,239 Thrown on the world at an early age he became a labourer, then served a term of military service, chiefly at Naples, his company being commanded by Captain Prince Vera d'Arazona, who, when the time of his discharge arrived, engaged him as a servant. Three months later, however, Luccheni took himself off to lead henceforth a roving and somewhat haphazard life. He had become infected with Anarchist ideas through reading all the " literature " advocating Anarchism or Nihilism that he could lay his hands on. In 1894 his wanderings carried him to Buda- pesth where he for the first time set eyes on the Empress Elizabeth. He did not then conceive the idea of assassinating her, but after his crime, he declared freely to M. Auberty, the investigating magistrate who dealt with his case, that he had come to Switzerland for the express purpose of striking down some important personage of royal blood. For instance, he had thought of attacking the French Pretender, the Duke of Orleans, but had missed him; and afterwards some report had reached his ears to the effect that an English Prince, the Duke of York (now King George V.) would be visiting Baroness de Rothschild at Pregny that autumn, even as he had done several years previously in the company of his brother the Duke of Clarence. That rumour was false however, and in the end Luccheni resolved to satisfy his hatred of royalty by assassinating the Austrian Empress.
He denied that he was affiliated to any secret societies, but it is certain that his intentions were known to others, notably to two Anarchists, his compatriots, named Pozzio and Barbotti, and to the former's mistress, a certain Lina Zahler. This woman, indeed, purchased at Lausanne a knife such as Luccheni said he required for his purpose. But it cost twelve francs which was thought an extravagant price to pay for a weapon which would serve once only. Accordingly, on some pretext or other, the cutler was induced to take it back; and for less than a franc Luccheni obtained a long slender file which he set in a wooden handle and sharpened like a stiletto.
He did not hesitate to glory in his deed. At the time of his arrest he exclaimed: " I dealt her a good blow. I hope I have killed her. It will be [Kingl Humbert's turn next. All the other sovereigns will follow. Long live Anarchy ! Long live the Revolution ! " Again, while denying to the investigating magistrate that he had any accomplices, he repeatedly declared that he had taken every possible step to ensure the success of his attempt. From the prison of Saint Antoine, near the Palais de Justice of Geneva, where he was incarcerated pending his trial, he wrote a letter to the Federal Council at Berne asking that he might be tried at Lausanne where capital punishment was still in force, whereas it was abolished in the canton of Geneva. That request was not granted, however, and he appeared before the Geneva court. Strongly built and inclined to be rather good- looking, in a coarse kind of way, his demeanour at his trial was for the most part self- satisfied and impertinent, and he treated Maitre Moriaud, the counsel assigned to him by the authorities, with no little disdain. It came out during the proceedings that he was of fairly industrious habits, and that during his wandering life he had constantly obtained work as a navvy or something similar. This drew from the judge a remark that he had never really known want and the sufferings which it entailed. " What ! I have never known suffering ? " Luccheni retorted. " My mother deserted me when I was an infant. Was not that suffering enough to wreck all my life ? "
The jury found him guilty of premeditated murder without any extenuating circumstances, and he was thereupon sentenced to solitary imprisonment for life. " Long live Anarchy ! Down with all the aristocrats ! If there were only two hundred brave men like myself all the thrones would soon be vacant ! " he cried as he was led from the court. Transferred to the Prison de l'Eveche, where he became merely " Number 1144," he was there lodged in an underground cell, reached by a flight of twenty steps. There was no window to it, only a port- hole, as it were, in the upper part of the barred door, to allow of a little light and ventilation. And by way of " furniture " there was, we are told, merely a sack filled with some straw, to serve as a seat in the daytime and as a bed at night. The rules provided that the prisoner should be taken from his cell for an airing within the prison precincts once a fortnight. Every week he would be visited by the chaplain, and four times a year he might receive relatives. Such then was the fate to which Luigi Luccheni was consigned and which he has ever since endured in expiation of his senseless crime. It will be noted that he had no personal greivance against the Empress Elizabeth. If she fell a victim to his improvised stiletto it was because she happened to cross his path at a moment when, carried away by his Anarchist ideas, he was bent on assassinating as a matter of principle any royal personage whom he might conveniently meet.
About a month after Luccheni's crime there was a plot against the German Kaiser, while he was travelling in the East, and nine Anarchists, who were found in possession of bombs, and all of whom were Italians, were arrested at Alexandria. This affair--following the assassination of the Empress Elizabeth and Acciarito's attempt on King Humbert--induced the Italian Government to propose an International Conference respecting the best means to be employed to prevent or punish Anarchist outrages. The invitations to this conference were very generally accepted by the powers, and Great Britain appointed as her delegates Sir Philip Currie, then Ambassador to the Quirinal, Sir Godirey Lushington of the Home Office, and Sir Howard Vincent of the Criminal Investigation Department. The proceedings, over which Admiral Canevaro presided, lasted from November 24 to December 21 but proved abortive; and although they were held in camera it became known that their failure was due to the attitude taken up by Great Britain, Belgium, and Switzerland, whose Governments refused to accept a proposal urged by the great Continental States that all Anarchists should be surrendered on demand to the authorities of their respective countries, to be dealt with as might seem fit. This proposal clashed, of course, with the so- called Right of Asylum, it meant the surrender of refugees who might merely be suspected--and erroneously suspected--and it included no guarantees of a fair and open trial. Doubtless pressure might have been brought to bear on Belgium and Switzerland, had they alone resisted the proposal, but the opposition of Great Britain was an obstacle not to be overcome.