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A BLACK EAGLE IN A BAD WAY.

AUSTRIA, in this present year of grace,
1851, looks to me very much like a translated
version of England under the Stuarts.

I am a resident at Vienna, and know Austria
pretty well. I have seen many birds before
now in a sickly statehave seen some
absolutely rotting awaybut I never saw one with
such unpromising symptoms upon him as the
Black Eagle of Austria.

The Court of Vienna is perhaps the most
brilliant in Europe; the whole social system
in Vienna is perhaps the most thoroughly
unsound in Europe. Austria is weighed
down by a numerous and impoverished
nobility, by unjust taxes, and by a currency
incredibly depreciated. Her commerce is
hampered by all manner of monopolies, and
is involved in such a complex network of
restrictions, as only the industrious,
gold-getting fingers of a few can unravel. Nearly
the whole trade of Austria is in the hands of
this busy, persevering few. Out of the
immediate circle of the Government, there is
scarcely a satisfied man in the Austrian
dominions. The nobles feel abridgment of
their privileges, and decrease of profit by
the abolition of their feudal rights, succeeding
the late revolution. The merchants feel
that in Austria they suffer more vexatious
interference than it is in the nature of man
to bear quietly. The people, a naturally
good-humoured race, have learned insensibly
to clench their fists whenever they think of
their absolute and paternal Government.

The position of the nobles is ridiculous.
They swarm over the land;  increase and
multiply, and starve. Not more than a few
dozen of them can live honestly without
employment; while not one of the noble
millions may exercise a trade for bread: may
practise law or medicine, or sink down
into authorship. The Austrian patrician
cannot feed himself by marriage with a
merchant's daughter; if he do, his household
will not be acknowledged by his noble
friends. The he-noble must marry the she-
noble, and they must make a miserable, mean,
hungry, noble pair.

A celebrated Viennese Professor dined one
day in England with a learned lord. " Pray,
how is Baron Dash? " inquired a guestsaid
Baron Dash being at that time an Austrian Minister.

"He is quite well," said the Professor.

"And his wife? " pursued the other. " I
remember meeting her at Rome; they were
just married, and she was a most delightful
person. She created a sensation, no doubt,
when she was received at your court?"

"She was not received at all," said the
Professor.

"How was that?" asked many voices.

"Because she is not born."

"Not born " is the customary mode of
ignoring (if I may use a slang word of this
time) the existence of the vulgar, among
the noble Viennese. At the present moment,
the family of a Minister, or of any of the
Generals who have saved the Throne, may
be excluded from society on this pretence.
Two recent exceptions have been made in
favour of the wives of two of the most important
people in the empire. They were invited
to the court-balls; but were there treated so
scurvily by the "born" ladies, that these
unborn women visited them only once.

What is to be done by these poor nobles
shut out from commerce, law, and physic?
Diplomacy is voted low; unless they get the
great embassies. The Church, as in all
Catholic countries, is low; unless a nobleman
should enter it with certain prospect of a
Cardinal's hat or a bishopric. The best
bishoprics in the world (meaning, of course,
the most luxurious) are Austrian. The
revenues of the Primate of Hungary are said
to be worth the comfortable trifle of sixty
thousand pounds a year.

But there remains for these wretched
nobles, one road to independence and
distinction; and this is the army. To the
army, it may be said, the whole body of
the Austrian nobility belongs. The more
fortunate, that is to say, the highest in rank,
add to their commissions places about the
court. Cherished titles are acquired in this
way; and a lady may insist on being seriously
addressed in polite Austrian society as,—
say for example, Frau-ober-consistorial-hof-
Directorinn.

In the army, of course, under such a system,
we see lieutenants with the hair gone
from their heads, and generals with no hair
come yet on their chins. A young man of

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