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, and his response was that if ever he came to America to hunt buffalo, he should demand my assistance. From Florence I went to Milan and Geneva, then to Nice, Marseilles, and Bordeaux. Assembled at Bordeaux was a convention which had been called together by the government of the National Defense for the purpose of confirming or rejecting the terms of an armistice of twenty-one days, arranged between Jules Favre and Count Bismarck in negotiations begun at Versailles the latter part of January. The convention was a large body, chosen from all parts of France, and was unquestionably the most noisy, unruly and unreasonable set of beings that I ever saw in a legislative assembly. The frequent efforts of Thiers, Jules Favre, and other leading men to restrain the more impetuous were of little avail. When at the sittings a delegate arose to speak on some question, he was often violently pulled to his seat and then surrounded by a mob of his colleagues, who would throw off their coat
January 18th (search for this): chapter 45
ty agreed upon beforehand. Nothing that could be called a disturbance took place during the march; and though there was a hiss now and then, and murmurings of discontent, yet the most noteworthy mutterings were directed against the defunct Empire. Indeed, I found everywhere that the national misfortunes were laid at Napoleon's door-he, by this time, having become a scapegoat for every blunder of the war. The Emperor William (he had been proclaimed German Emperor at Versailles the 18th of January) did not accompany his troops into Paris, though he reviewed them at Long Champs before they started. After the occupation of the city he still remained at Versailles, and as soon as circumstances would permit, I repaired to the Imperial headquarters to pay my respects to his Majesty under his new title and dignities, and to say good-bye. Besides the Emperor, the only persons I met at Versailles were General von Moltke and Bismarck. His Majesty was in a very agreeable frame of min
ies from the battle of Gravelotte to the siege of Paris, I may, in conclusion, say that I saw no new military principles developed, whether of strategy or grand tactics, the movements of the different armies and corps being dictated and governed by the same general laws that have so long obtained, simplicity of combination and maneuver, and the concentration of a numerically superior force at the vital point. After my brief trip to Versailles, I remained in Paris till the latter part of March. In company with Mr. Washburn, I visited the fortifications for the defense of the city, and found them to be exceptionally heavy; so strong, indeed, that it would have been very hard to carry the place by a general assault. The Germans, knowing the character of the works, had refrained from the sacrifice of life that such an attempt must entail, though they well knew that many of the forts were manned by unseasoned soldiers. With only a combat here and there, to tighten their lines or re
the convention at Bordeaux; learning of which stipulation from our Minister, Mr. Washburn, I hurried off to Paris to see the conquerors make their triumphal entry. In the city the excitement was at fever heat, of course; the entire population protesting with one voice that they would never, never look upon the hated Germans marching through their beloved city. Now when the day arrived they would hide themselves in their houses, or shut their eyes to such a hateful sight. But by the 1st of March a change had come over the fickle Parisians, for at an early hour the sidewalks were jammed with people, and the windows and doors of the houses filled with men, women, and children eager to get a look at the conquerors. Only a few came in the morning, however — an advance-guard of perhaps a thousand cavalry and infantry. The main column marched from the Arc-de-Triomphe toward the middle of the afternoon. In its composition it represented united Germany-Saxons, Bavarians, and the Royal
n very hard to carry the place by a general assault. The Germans, knowing the character of the works, had refrained from the sacrifice of life that such an attempt must entail, though they well knew that many of the forts were manned by unseasoned soldiers. With only a combat here and there, to tighten their lines or repulse a sortie, they wisely preferred to wait till starvation should do the work with little loss and absolute certainty. The Germans were withdrawn from Paris on the 3d of March, and no sooner were they gone than factional quarrels, which had been going on at intervals ever since the flight of the Empress and the fall of her regency on the 4th of September, were renewed with revolutionary methods that eventually brought about the Commune. Having witnessed one or two of these outbreaks, and concluding that while such turbulence reigned in the city it would be of little profit for me to tarry there, I decided to devote the rest of the time I could be away from hom
ourney. In the Eternal City we saw picture-galleries, churches, and ruins in plenty, but all these have been so well described by hundreds of other travelers that I shall not linger even to name them. While at Rome we also witnessed an overflow of the Tiber, that caused great suffering and destroyed much property. The next stage of our tour took us to Venice, then to Florence — the capital of Italy — for although the troops of the King of Italy had taken possession of Rome the preceding September, the Government itself had not yet removed thither. At Florence, our Minister, Mr. Marsh, though suffering with a lame foot, took me in charge, and in due course of time I was presented to King Victor-Emmanuel. His Majesty received me informally at his palace in a small, stuffy room-his office, no doubt-and an untidy one it was too. He wore a loose blouse and very baggy trousers; a comfortable suit, certainly, but not at all conducing to an ideal kingliness of appearance. His Maj
September 4th (search for this): chapter 45
though they well knew that many of the forts were manned by unseasoned soldiers. With only a combat here and there, to tighten their lines or repulse a sortie, they wisely preferred to wait till starvation should do the work with little loss and absolute certainty. The Germans were withdrawn from Paris on the 3d of March, and no sooner were they gone than factional quarrels, which had been going on at intervals ever since the flight of the Empress and the fall of her regency on the 4th of September, were renewed with revolutionary methods that eventually brought about the Commune. Having witnessed one or two of these outbreaks, and concluding that while such turbulence reigned in the city it would be of little profit for me to tarry there, I decided to devote the rest of the time I could be away from home to travel in England, Ireland, and Scotland. My journeys through those countries were full of pleasure and instruction, but as nothing I saw or did was markedly different from
ding the time up to the approximate date of our return to Paris; and deciding to visit eastern Europe, we made Vienna our first objective, going there by way of Dresden. At Vienna our Minister, Mr. John Jay, took charge of us-Forsyth was still with me-and the few days' sojourn was full of interest. The Emperor being absent from the capital, we missed seeing him; but the Prime Minister, Count von Beust, was very polite to his, and at his house we had the pleasure of meeting at dinner Count Andrassy, the Prime Minister of Hungary. From Vienna we went to Buda-Pesth, the Hungarian capital; and thence, in a small, crowded, and uncomfortable steamboat, down the Danube to Rustchuck, whence we visited Bucharest-all who travel in eastern Europe do so-and then directing our course southward, we went first to Varna, and from that city by steamer through the Black Sea to Constantinople. We reached the Turkish capital at the time of Ramadan, the period of the year (about a month) durin
ly no other termination. As I have previously stated, the first of these blunders was the acceptance of battle by MacMahon at Worth; the second in attaching too much importance to the fortified position of Metz, resulting in three battles-Colombey, Mars-la-Tour, and Gravelotte-all of which were lost; and the third, the absurd movement of MacMahon along the Belgian frontier to relieve Metz, the responsibility for which, I am glad to say, does not belong to him. With the hemming in of Bazaine at Metz and the capture of MacMahon's army at Sedan the crisis of the war was passed, and the Germans practically the victors. The taking of Paris was but a sentiment-the money levy could have been made and the Rhine provinces held without molesting that city, and only the political influences consequent upon the changes in the French Government caused peace to be deferred. I did not have much opportunity to observe the German cavalry, either on the march or in battle. The only time I
he Count and Countess of Flanders. A day or two in Brussels sufficed to mature our plans for spending the time up to the approximate date of our return to Paris; and deciding to visit eastern Europe, we made Vienna our first objective, going there by way of Dresden. At Vienna our Minister, Mr. John Jay, took charge of us-Forsyth was still with me-and the few days' sojourn was full of interest. The Emperor being absent from the capital, we missed seeing him; but the Prime Minister, Count von Beust, was very polite to his, and at his house we had the pleasure of meeting at dinner Count Andrassy, the Prime Minister of Hungary. From Vienna we went to Buda-Pesth, the Hungarian capital; and thence, in a small, crowded, and uncomfortable steamboat, down the Danube to Rustchuck, whence we visited Bucharest-all who travel in eastern Europe do so-and then directing our course southward, we went first to Varna, and from that city by steamer through the Black Sea to Constantinople.
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