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[112] that Mole said afterwards he expected little less than a speedy demand to have Confalonieri delivered up to Austria, or something equally extravagant. Mole, however, is a cool and a cautious man, and did not commit himself by any decisive answer. Whereupon Von Hugel drove out the same evening to St. Cloud, and made similar representations to the King in person, who, less cautious than his Minister, declared at once that Confalonieri should be sent out of the country. . . .

Further and more strange developments soon followed. Von Hugel turned out to be deranged in mind, and his representations to the King and Mole were found to be wholly unauthorized by his government, were found to be, in fact, the first outbreak of his insanity. His recall was asked for by France, and he is just gone off to England, because, I suppose, they think, with the Clown in Hamlet, that it will not be seen in him there, where all the men are as mad as he. This made things bad enough. But Prince Metternich took care to make them worse. He felt his advantage instinctively, and used it with his inevitable shrewdness. He made no explanations or statements to France, for these might have been answered, and so the difficulty covered up, if not got over by diplomatic ingenuity. But as soon as Confalonieri was settled in Belgium he sent a despatch to the Austrian Minister at Brussels, written wholly in his own hand, and directing him to show it to Confalonieri, declaring that the Austrian government had nothing to do with the proceedings in France, and claimed no right, and had no wish, to prevent his residing there. . . . .

Meanwhile the King's enemies say, as V. did last evening, ‘Le voila! il a menti de nouveau, et pour si petite chose!’ or with the spirituel—‘Un fou l'a effraye avec un mourant.’. . . . In Brussels, the Belgian government, urged by Count Merode, gave Confalonieri to understand, at once, that he should not in any event be molested there. But this was not necessary; for it was impossible the French government should stand where it now stood. It must either go forward or go back. After some hesitation, therefore, and an attempt to persuade Confalonieri indirectly to ask for permission to return to France,—which of course failed,—Count Mole was obliged to write him a letter, offering him the leave he would not solicit.

Even now, however, the newspapers were full of misrepresentations. It was said ‘mistakes had been committed in consequence of Confalonieri's unexpected appearance at Paris’; that ‘in consequence of representations from his physicians he had received permission to go to Montpellier’; that ‘the Count had written from Brussels,’

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Federigo Confalonieri (7)
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