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of imagination in their description gling through seventy-four tangled of the possible shades, tints, and pages, which contain 451 extracts, delicacies of diplomatic style. One in eight European languages, and reads their meandering dissertations in Latin, Greek, and Turkish too, with a feverish but half-stupid awe, that the sole object of the author, and with a persistent curiousness as all the time, was to prove concluto what could have been the physi- sively, by the strongest arguments, cal aspect of the men who, with the and with the aid of all his friends and evident conviction that they were predecessors, that, from the beginrendering a service to mankind, ning, he had nothing at all to say. spent their lives in seriously con- What does appear, however, to posing such monstrous twaddle. It come clearly out of this, is that all would be useless to give their names, countries have always used whatfor nine-tenths of them are utterly ever dialect they pleased in their unknown to fame, and the owners of dealings with foreign courts, and the other tenth have long ago ceased that it is altogether an error to their labours; besides which, it suppose that there is, or ever has would be disagreeable to their fami- been, any special language generally lies.
accepted for diplomatic purposes. Having thus defined the different It is true that momentary prefercategories of talk, these word-refin- ences, resulting from temporary ers go on to say that “ the right of causes, have existed at certain perequality of nations extends to the iods ; it is true that in the time of choice of the language which their Castilian glory, Spanish was brought Governments employ for diplomatic into frequent use; that Latin was communications." Who would have a good deal talked and written down suspected that when our Foreign to the eighteenth century; and that, Office (which, itself, is disrespect- after the victories of Louis XIV., fully denominated F. O. by its re- French became rather generally emtainers) sends a telegram in Eng- ployed; but there are quantities of lish to the King of Dahomey, it is instances, at all these dates, of the exercising “one of the rights of simultaneous handling, by every the equality of nations”? And yet nation, of its own language alone for it is so ! How proud it makes one negotiations and for drafting treatfeel to learn, in this sudden way, ies. All the wars and all the conthat the simplest acts of life may quests which were then perpetually be manifestations of glorious prin- taking place in Europe left lanciples, and that possibly we can do guages unchanged, both in their nothing without implying something official and their domestic character. that we didn't know anything It is only during relatively recent about. But, after this bright be- years that conquerors have recogginning, the form-discussers go on nised the policy and even the necesto tell us, in mazy phrases, with sity of imitating the old Roman references, foot-notes, explanations, practice, and of rendering their own and quotations of opinions and au- tongue obligatory on the vanquished. thorities, that there is no rule at all If, then, the idea of utilising lanto guide either F. O. or the Minis- guage as a means of consolidating try of any other Power in the de- dominion was not resorted to by termination of the tongue which it great captains or great Ministers, it should prefer for its letters to neigh- follows, naturally, that they must bouring states. It is particularly have seen less advantage still in the disappointing to discover, after strug- choice of any special dialect for mere international relations. Accident her language. Examples of this or fashion appears to have been- stipulation will be found in the in this matter, as in so many others treaties of Rastadt (1714), Aix-la—the sole guides of diplomatists, Chapelle (1768), and in the final for there was, certainly, no kind of act of the Congress of Vienna. definitely adopted rule or habit. This last treaty says (Article 120),
If we select examples from the “The French language having been seventeenth and eighteenth centu- exclusively employed for all the ries—the very epoch when French copies of the present treaty, it is is imagined to have been becom- recognised by the Powers who have ing an almost universal tongue taken part in this Act that the
—we find the most hopelessly employment of that language is to contradictory evidence on the sub- produce no consequences in the ject. We discover that some of future ; each power reserves to the most famous treaties, those of itself the right of adopting, in Nimeguen, Ryswick, Utrecht (1713), future negotiations and conventions, Vienna (1725 and 1738), and of the the language which it has previousQuadruple Alliance, were all in ly used for its diplomatic relations, Latin ; that in 1752 the Austrian and the present treaty cannot be minister at Naples spoke Latin cited as an example contrary to officially to the king; that though established usages.” It will be Louis XVI. wrote in French to recognised that it is difficult to Leopold II. of Austria, the latter extract from such conflicting testireplied by a complaint that this act mony any sign of a real preference was contrary to the usage of the or of an established custom, and Courts, which required that all that the authors are right in saying communications between France and that there never has been any genGermany should be in Latin ; and erally admitted diplomatic tongue. that, though the treaty of Lunéville The same differences continue, with (1801) was written in French alone, even greater vigour, in our own the ratification of it by the German time ; for almost every nation now Emperor was given in Latin. But, uses its own language only for its in opposition to all these cases of the despatches. England habitually maintenance of Latin, there are employed French for diplomatic almost as many contemporaneous purposes down to the end of the examples of the adoption of French, last century, but in 1800 the not only by France itself, but- Foreign Office began to write in curiously enough — by German English to the Ambassadors resiGovernments between themselves. dent in London ; and, when Lord French was used for the purely local Castlereagh joined the Allied Armies treaties of Breslau and Berlin as representative of Great Britain, (1742), Dresden (1745), Huberts- he used English for all his commubourg (1763), and Teschen (1779). nications to his European colleagues. The value of this odd proof of the At a later period Mr Canning voluntary application of French by ordered several of the British foreign States is, however, upset Ministers abroad to adopt their again by the fact that, in other own language for their official cases where French has been em- communications to the Courts to ployed, a clause has been inserted which they were accredited, but in the treaty explaining that France authorised them to add a transhad no right to deduce any claim of lation. This latter permission was precedence from this admission of suppressed by Lord Aberdeen in
1851, on the ground that des- plements, and shapes and shades of patches ought to be laid before action which have been or still Parliament in the exact words in are employed by nations towards which they were presented. The each other? How many are there German Diet decided in 1817 to of us who can define, for instance, employ German (adding a transla- the exact difference between a Retion in French or Latin) for all its script and a Pragmatic Sanction; foreign communications.
between the Golden Bull and a Next to the choice of speech Placetum Regium ? or who can tell, comes the graver and far more com- without looking at a dictionary, plicated question of shapes of com- what are the diplomatic meanings position. This elementof the subject of sub spe rati, pro memoriâ, or in is so vast that the mere list of names petto; what is a Verbal Note, a of the documents in diplomatic use is mémoire, or a réversale; what is a long enough to provide reading for Firman and what a Hatti Sherif; a winter evening. Each country or what is the precise distinction has its own denominations for the between Federates and Confedervarious forms which it supposes to ates, and between a Nation and a be essential to the conduct of its State? It is true that many of the international relations; and it will things described by these half archbe conceived, without an effort, eological nomenclatures are of but that when all these descriptions are little use; that they mainly serve to multiplied by the twelve or thirteen show the vanity of nations, and are languages which possess them, and preserved, like ceremonial, for the when local practices are added to the greater glory of realms and soveaccount, it presents rather a start- reigns. But they constitute one of ling total. The French diplomatic the elements of Forms, one of the manual alone contains 416 separate manifestations of international pretypes and models. We English tensions : for this reason, and also have a tolerable collection of our because they are not altogether unown, enough to cause no small amusing, it is worth while to exworry to the servants of the Crown plain them here. It may be as who have to fill them up; but, well, however, to observe that taken as a whole, we are certainly scarcely any of the hard names less afflicted with this particular class which have just been interrogaof suffering than Continentals are. tively enumerated are employed or
The consequence of our compara- needed in the daily humdrum of emtive exemption from the tyranny of bassies or ministries: they only come red tape and rules is, however, that in exceptionally. The ordinary most of us remain totally unlearned labour of attachés includes no Latin in the mysteries and meanings of now; it is very much like work in the words which designate the an office anywhere, for-mournful various manuscripts employed in as it is to own it-copying letters foreign chancelleries. It is possible and the rule of three constitute its that we all may know (though, main elements. But still attachés frankly, it is scarcelylikely) the exact have to know-or rather, are supsignification of Bull, Brief, and posed to know—the answers to the Protocol, of Capitulations, Cartels, foregoing questions; if they are and Conclusums, of Exequaturs and ignorant, all they have to do is to Concordats; but how many are go into the library, look for the there of us who can explain off- right book (the librarian will tell hand the nature of all the im- them which it is), and inform their minds. But the public has neither It may be discussed, and therein lies the library, nor the librarian, nor its difference with an ultimatum, the time; the public may be pre- which must be accepted or rejected as sumed to be quite indifferent on it stands. The menu of a dinner is a the subject, and to possess, with conclusum in a friendly form ; it is, rare exceptions, no knowledge of essentially, a résumé open to discusthe rules which guide diplomatic sion. negotiations. It is probably una- A Mémoire or Memorandum is a ware that the most elementary of summary of the state of a question, those rules is to employ verbal, that or a justification of a decision is unsigned, notes for explaining de- adopted. Life is full of examples tails, resuming conversations, or for of it, particularly in conversations indications of possible proposals ; between wives and husbands. while signatures are generally re- A Lettre Réversale is a counter served for documents in which an en- engagement on a question, and is gagement is implied. A complete given usually in reply to a letter vocabulary of the technicalities of claiming that engagement: it used the profession would be a new to signify, particularly, a written language to nearly all of us, no declaration by which one Court matter where we may have been at recognised that a special concession school; and it would be so dull that granted to it by another Court in no nobody would look at it. We will way affected the anterior prerogachoose a few examples amongst the tives of either. Réversales were least solemn of the series, and will do also used to guarantee the mainteour best to be respectful, and not to nance of rights which were momentlaugh at all during our explanation arily suspended ; thus, when the of them.
Emperors of Germany, who were A Protocol is, in its first meaning, bound by the Golden Bull to go to a document by which a fact is de- Aix-la-Chapelle to be crowned, scribed with all its attendant circum- decided to perform the ceremony stances, or by which an authentic elsewhere, they always sent a Réverand exact account of a conference or sale to Aix declaring that the change a deliberation is given. The report- of place in no way affected the ers of the “Daily Telegraph'do not privileges of that city, and was to probably suspect that when they create no precedent for the future. write soul-enthralling histories of a A Proposal is taken by an ambascricket-match at Lords', or of a meet- sador ad referendum when it lies outing of the Shareholders of the Patent side his instructions or his powers; Submarine Respiration Company when he expresses no opinion on it, (Limited), they are, in fact, compos- and simply refers it to his Governing protocols. The word has, of late ment: but if he thinks it of a years, acquired a second signification nature to suit the views of his emon the Continent; it is now often ployers--if he wishes to prove, by taken to indicate a convention which his own action, how desirous he is of is not subject to the formalities of seeing it adopted—then he provisionratification. Subsidiarily, protocol ally accepts it sub spe rati, “in hope means also the science of the shape of of ratification," and writes home for official letters; we shall understand permission to definitely say yes. this better when we reach that sec- A Cardinal is named in petto tion of the subject.
when the publication of his nomiA Conclusum is a résuméof the de- nation is deferred in consequence mands presented by a Government of the advisability of temporarily maintaining him in a diplomatic any Minister, whereas the latter is post which, according to etiquette, approved by the Sultan himself, he could no longer hold if he had with his special mark, and is thereactually received the Hat. All fore supposed to be irrevocable. The nominations in petto are contained distinction is as real as between a in a sealed letter, which the Sove- love letter and a marriage settlement. reign Pontiff produces in consistory, Capitulations is the name given and then deposits in his archives; to the immunities and privileges and if a Pope should die before granted three centuries ago to France giving force to a promotion thus . by the Ottoman Porte as an act of effected, his successor is bound to temporary and voluntary generosity, open the sealed letter and to carry but which have been since convertout the nomination. The last ex- ed, by degrees, into a series of oneample of an appointment under sided engagements which now abthese conditions was that of Car- solutely bind the Porte towards all dinal di Pietro, nuncio at Lisbon, the Powers. The same appellation who was named in petto in 1853, was also bestowed on the convenand did not receive his Hat till tions with the Swiss cantons, by 1856.
which Holland, Spain, the Popes, Bull was originally the name of the kings of Naples, and all the the ball-shaped leaden seal annexed kings of France, from Louis XI. to to letters from the Emperor or the Charles X., have taken Swiss regi. Pope ; it is now applied exclusively ments into their service. to documents issued in the name of A Concordat is a treaty with the the Holy See. The seal bears the Holy See on religious questions ; it image of St Peter and St Paul on is strictly limited to the settlement one side, and on the other the name of relations between Church and of the reigning Pope: the writing State. The name is never given to is in Gothic letters, and is inscribed purely political conventions conon the rough side of the parchment. cluded by the Pontifical GovernBulls of grace are fastened with silk ment (as, for instance, the treaty of cords, and bulls of justice with Tolentino), which are regarded as hempen strings; while bulls of ordinary diplomatic acts in which which the effect is intended to be the Pope stipulates as a temporal permanent begin with the strange sovereign. In Concordats, on the phrase, “ In futuram Dei memori- contrary, he appears as Sovereign am." Briefs are less important: Pontiff, as chief of Catholicity. they are written on the smooth side, It has become rather difficult to in modern characters; they are not draw any certain line between a signed by the Holy Father, but by Congress and a Conference: in thea special secretary ; they are sealed ory, however, a Congress has the with the Pope's own ring, the fisher power of deciding and concluding, man's signet.
while a Conference can only discuss A Cartel is an agreement between and prepare. Thus the Conferbelligerents as to the conditions of ences of Moerdyk and Gertrudenwar; it now applies especially to burg simply prepared the way for conventions for the exchange of the treaties of Utrecht, while the prisoners.
Congresses of Munster, Aix-la-ChaThe difference between a Firman pelle, Rastadt, Erfurt, Prague, Chaand a Hatti Sherif is, that though tillon, Vienna, Laybach, and Verona, both are edicts of the Turkish Gov- were all more or less direct in their ernment, the former is signed by action and results. There are, how