Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
835
BEUTHEN—BEVERLEY, W. R.

Germany, and his public career seemed to be closed, but he quite unexpectedly received an invitation from the emperor of Austria to become his foreign minister. It was a bold decision, for Beust was not only a stranger to Austria, but also a Protestant; but the choice of the emperor justified itself. Beust threw himself into his new position with great energy; it was owing to him that the negotiations with Hungary were brought to a successful issue. When difficulties came he went himself to Budapest, and acted directly with the Hungarian leaders. In 1867 he also held the position of Austrian minister-president, and he carried through the measures by which parliamentary government was restored. He also carried on the negotiations with the pope concerning the repeal of the concordat, and in this matter also did much by a liberal policy to relieve Austria from the pressure of institutions which had checked the development of the country. In 1868, after giving up his post as minister-president, he was appointed chancellor of the empire, and received the title of count. His conduct of foreign affairs, especially in the matter of the Balkan States and Crete, successfully maintained the position of the empire. In 1869 he accompanied the emperor on his expedition to the East. He was still to some extent influenced by the anti-Prussian feeling he had brought from Saxony. He maintained a close understanding with France, and there can be little doubt that he would have welcomed an opportunity in his new position of another struggle with his old rival Bismarck. In 1867, however, he helped to bring the affair of Luxemburg to a peaceful termination. In 1870 he did not disguise his sympathy for France, and the failure of all attempts to bring about an intervention of the powers, joined to the action of Russia in denouncing the treaty of Paris, was the occasion of his celebrated saying that he was nowhere able to find Europe. After the war was over he completely accepted the new organization of Germany.

As early as December 1870 he had opened a correspondence with Bismarck with a view to establishing a good understanding with Germany. Bismarck accepted his advances with alacrity, and the new entente, which Beust announced to the Austro-Hungarian delegations in July 1871, was sealed in August by a friendly meeting of the two old rivals and enemies at Gastein.

In 1871 Beust interfered at the last moment, together with Andrássy, to prevent the emperor accepting the federalist plans of Hohenwart. He was successful, but at the same time he was dismissed from office. The precise cause for this is not known, and no reason was given him. At his own request he was appointed Austrian ambassador at London; in 1878 he was transferred to Paris; in 1882 he retired from public life. He died at his villa at Altenberg, near Vienna, on the 24th of October 1886, leaving two sons, both of whom entered the Austrian diplomatic service. His wife, a Bavarian lady, survived him only a few weeks. His elder brother Friedrich Konstantin (1806-1891), who was at the head of the Saxon department for mines, was the author of several works on mining and geology, a subject in which other members of the family had distinguished themselves.

Beust was in many ways a diplomatist of the old school. He had great social gifts and personal graces; he was proud of his proficiency in the lighter arts of composing waltzes and vers de société. His chief fault was vanity, but it was an amiable weakness. It was more vanity than rancour which made him glad to appear even in later years as the great opponent of Bismarck; and if he cared too much for popularity, and was very sensitive to neglect, the saying attributed to Bismarck, that if his vanity were taken away there would be nothing left, is very unjust. He was apt to look more to the form than the substance, and attached too much importance to the verbal victory of a well-written despatch; but when the opportunity was given him he showed higher qualities. In the crisis of 1849 he displayed considerable courage, and never lost his judgment even in personal danger. If he was defeated in his German policy, it must be remembered that Bismarck held all the good cards, and in 1866 Saxony was the only one of the smaller states which entered on the war with an army properly equipped and ready at the moment. That he was no mere reactionary the whole course of his government in Saxony, and still more in Austria, shows. His Austrian policy has been much criticized, on the ground that in establishing the system of dualism he gave too much to Hungary, and did not really understand Austrian affairs; and the Austro-Hungarian crisis during the early years of the present century has given point to this view. Yet it remains the fact that in a crisis of extraordinary difficulty he carried to a successful conclusion a policy which, even if it was not the best imaginable, was probably the best attainable in the circumstances.

Beust was the author of reminiscences: Aus drei Viertel-Jahrhunderten (2 vols., Stuttgart, 1887; English trans. edited by Baron H. de Worms); and he also wrote a shorter work, Erinnerungen zu Erinnerungen (Leipzig, 1881), in answer to attacks made on him by his former colleague, Herr v. Frieseri, in his reminiscences. See also Ebeling, F. F. Graf v. Beust (Leipzig, 1876), a full and careful account of his political career, especially up to 1866; Diplomatic Sketches: No. 1, Count Beust, by Outsider (Baron Carl v. Malortie); Flathe, Geschichte von Sachsen, vol. iii. (Gotha, 1877); Friesen, Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben (Dresden, 1880).

 (J. W. He.) 

BEUTHEN, or Niederbeuthen, a town of Germany, in the north of Prussian Silesia, on the Oder, the capital of the mediatized principality of Carolath-Beuthen. Pop. (1900) 3164. The chief industries of the place are straw-plaiting, boat-building, and the manufacture of pottery; and a considerable traffic is carried on by means of the river.

BEUTHEN, or Oberbeuthen, a town of Germany, in the extreme south-east of Prussian Silesia, on the railway between Breslau and Cracow, 121 m. S.E. of the former. Pop. (1905) 60,078. It is the centre of the mining district of Upper Silesia, and its population is mainly engaged in such operations and in iron and zinc smelting. Beuthen is an old town, and was formerly the capital of the Bohemian duchy of Beuthen, which in 1620 was ultimately granted, as a free lordship of the Empire, to Lazarus, Baron Henckel von Donnersmarck, by the emperor Ferdinand II., and parts of which, now mediatized, are held by two branches of the counts Henckel von Donnersmarck.

BEVEL (from an O. Fr. word, cf. mod. biveau, a joiner’s instrument), the inclination of one surface of a solid body to another; also, any angle other than a right angle, and particularly, in joinery, the angle to which a piece of timber has to be cut. The mechanic’s instrument known as a bevel consists of a rule with two arms so jointed as to be adjustable to any angle. In heraldry, a bevel is an angular break in a line. Bevelment, as a term of crystallography, means the replacement of an edge of a crystal by two planes equally inclined to the adjacent planes. As an architectural term “bevel” is a sloped or canted edge given to a sill or horizontal course of stone, but is more frequently applied to the canted edges worked round the projecting bands of masonry which for decorative purposes are employed on the quoins of walls or windows and in some cases, with vertical joints, cover the whole wall. When the outer face of the stone band is left rough so that it forms what is known as rusticated masonry, the description would be bevelled and rusticated. The term is sometimes applied to the splaying of the edges of a window on the outside, but the wide expansion made inside in order to admit more light is known as a splay.

BEVERLEY, WILLIAM ROXBY (1814?-1889), English artist and scene-painter, was born at Richmond, Surrey, about 1814, the son of William Roxby, an actor-manager who had assumed the name of Beverley. His four brothers and his sister all entered the theatrical profession, and Beverley soon became both actor and scene-painter. In 1831 his father and his brothers took over the old Durham circuit, and he joined them to play heavy comedy for several seasons, besides painting scenery. His work was first seen in 1831 in London, for the pantomime Baron Munchausen at the Victoria theatre, which was being managed by his brother Henry. He was appointed scenic director for the Covent Garden operas in 1853. In 1854 he entered the service of the Drury Lane theatre under the management of E. T. Smith, and for thirty years continued to produce