Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/285

This page needs to be proofread.


METROPOLITICUM


245


METTERNICH


(6) Lastly, in the matter of honorific rights and priviU'tjes the metropohtan has the paUium (q. v.) as the ensign of his jurisdiction; lie takes precedence of all bishops; he may have the archiepiscopal cross (crux gestatoria) borne before him anywhere within his province, except in the presence of a papal legate; he may celebrate pontifically (saving such acts as constitute an exercise of jurisdiction, e. g., ordination), may wear his rochet and mozetta uncovered (not hidden under the mantelletta, like a bishop of another diocese) ; may bless publicly, and may grant an indulgence of 100 days (S. C. Indulg., 8 Aug., 1903). He ensigns his arms with the double archie- piscopal cross and the hat with ten tassels on either side.

Fekrahis, Prompta Bibliotheca, b. v. Arckiepiscopus; Sag- Mi'LLER, Lehrbuch des kathol. Kirchenreckti (Freiburg, 1909), 391; BoDix, De Episcopo, I (Paris, 1S59), 441.

A. BOUDINHON.

Metropoliticum. See Metropolitan.

Metternich, Klemens Lothar Wenzel, Prince VON, statesman; b. at Coblenz, 1.5 May, 177.3; d. at Vienna. 11 June, 1859; son of Count Georg, Austrian envoy of the Court of Vienna at Coblenz, and Maria Beatrix, nie Countess von Kageneck. He studied philosophy at the University of Strasburg, and law and diplomacy at Mainz. A journey to England completed his education. Metternich began his pul> lie career in 1801 as Austrian ambassador to the Court of Dresden. Though he had for several years prepared himself for a diplomatic career, he was especially fortunate in being immediately appointed to so prominent a position. Only two years later he was made ambassador to Berlin. The emperor considered it very important to have a minister at Berlin who could gain the favour of the Court and the principal Prussian statesmen, and who knew how to combine " great powers of observation with a moderate and agreeable manner ". Metternich had al- ready proved that he possessed these qualities. Na- poleon was then emperor with the new empire at the zenith of its power. The Emperor Francis needed his ablest ambassador at Napoleon's Court, and in May, 1806, he sent Metternich to Paris. Metternich found himself in the difficult position of representing Austria in the face of the overweening threats and ambitious plans of Napoleon at the height of his power. He did so with dignity and firmness, as his report of his impor- tant audience with Napoleon on 1 .5 Augast, 1808, shows. The year 1809 is marked by the great war betv/een Aus- tria and France. The German (States were called upon to join her, but only the Tyrol responded. On 13 May Vienna was besieged by the F'rench, but eight days later Napoleon was defeated by the Archduke Charles at Aspern. Metternich, treated as a prisoner of state by Napoleon, was finally released in July in exchange for members of the French embassy. After the battle of Wagram Austria's position was hopeless. Its army was cut off from Hungary and compelled to retreat to Moravia and Bohemia. A great statesman was needed to save the situation. (I)n 4 August the Emperor Francis appointed Metternich as minister of state to confer with Napoleon, and on 8 October, minister of the imperial house and of foreign affairs. By the treaty of Schiinbrunn (14 October), Austria was greatly re- duced in size, and reached the greatest depths of its humiliation. But the moment of its degradation saw the beginning of its rise. The two-headed eagle soared to the loftiest heights, and it was Metternich who gave it the strength for its flight. For nearly forty years he directed Austria's policy. His first concern was to establish tolerable relations with the French Emperor. Napoleon desired by means of a new marriage to ally himself with one of the old European dynasties in the hope to raise himself and to provide an heir for the imperial throne. He olitained a divorce from Jose- phine Beauhamais, and through the mediation of Metternich married Maria Loui.se, daughter of the Em-


peror Frances of .\ustria. Though at present it seems to become more and more prol^alile that Napoleon's imion with Josephine was a valid marriage, neverthe- less it is certain that when Napoleon wedded Maria Loui.se (11 March, 1810) the Court of Vienna and the Papal Curia were absolutely convinced of the unlaw- fulness of Napoleon's first alliance.

Napoleon's connexion with the imperial family of Austria had no influence on politics. Fate led the French Emperor, after ruining so many others, to ruin himself. At Schonbrunn he pronounced the ' temporal sovereignty of the Roman .See to be at an ' end, and in reply to the pope's excommunication he remarked: "This will not cause the arms to drop from the hands of my grenadiers. " Although he im- prisoned the pope, in the Russian campaign on the Beresina the arms did drop from the frozen hands of his grenadiers. As the crLsis ap- proached the de- cision lay with Austria. From a quarter past eleven in t he morning until half past eight in the evening Metter- nich was clo.scti'd with Napoleon (Dresden, 26 June, 1813). "Our con- ference consisted of the strangest farrago of hetero- geneous subjects, Klemens Lothar Wenzel von characterized now Metternich by extreme friend- Painting by Sir Tliomaa Lantence liness, now by the most violent outbursts of fury ". Napoleon raged, threatened, and leaped up like a chafed lion. Metternich remained calm. Napo- leon let his hat, which he was holding under his arm, drop to the floor. Metternich did not stoop to pick it up. The emperor also tried persua- sion. " Your sovereigns", he said, " who were born to their thrones cannot comprehend the feelings that move me. To them it is nothing to return to their capitals defeated. But I am a soldier. I need honour and glory. I cannot reappear among my people devoid of prestige. I must remain great, ad- mired, covered with glory. " For that reason, he said, he could not accept the proposed conditions of peace. Metternich replied, " But when will this condition of things cease, in which defeat and victory are alike reasons for continuing these dismal wars? If victori- ous, you insi-st upon the fruits of your victory; if de- feated, you are determined to rise again. " Napoleon made various offers for Austria's neutrality, but Mottprnichdcclined all bargaining, and Napoleon 'soft- repeated threat, "We shall meet in Vienna", was his farewell to Metternich. Metternich gave the signal for war, and Schwarzenberg led the decisive battle of Leipzig. The Emperor Francis raised his " beloved Count Metternich to the rank of Austrian prince. "Your able efl'orts in conducting I he department with which I entrusted you in diliicult times are now, at a moment highly decisive in the world's destiny, happily crowned with success. "

Metternich reached the height of his power and re- nown at the Congress of Vienna (1S14-1815). No idea can be ha<l of the difficulty of the problems that were to be solveil. The very first conference of the representatives of the powers previously allied against France (.\ustria, Pru.ssia, Ru.ssia, and England), held on 10 September, 1814, at Mettemich's villa on the Rennweg, ended in a discord over the Polish question.