Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/443

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


426

FRANCIS TI.— FEANCIS-JOSEPH I.

and is author of the libretti of Mr. F. H. Cowen's cantatas, " The Bose-Maiden " and " The Corsair/' and of some uncollected poems, most of which have appeared anonymously.

FRANCIS II., ex-King of Naples, was born Jan. 31, 1836, and succeeded his father, Ferdinand II., better known by his sobriquet of " Bomba," in 1858. His first act was to liberate Poerio, Settembrini, and other Neapolitans, who had been incarcerated for ten years on account of their political opinions. Hopes at first entertained, that the young king would endeavour to correct the abuses of his father's government, were not fulfilled. In 1'860 an insurrection broke out in Sicily, and Palermo and Messina were bombarded. An expedition, headed by Garibaldi, landed in Sicily, and defeated the Neapolitan army in every encounter; Naples was soon after occupied, and the king, with his queen and family, were compelled to take refuge in the fortress of Gaeta, which, after an obstinate siege of six months, capitulated to the Sardinian troops, Feb. 14, 1861. Francis II. retired to Rome, where he was engaged for some time in organizing fruitless expeditions against the government of the new kmgdom of Italy. He married, in 1858, Caroline, daughter of Maximilian-Joseph of Bavaria, and sister to the empress of Austria. The courage displayed by her at the siege of Gaeta was the theme of general admiration in Europe.

FRANCIS-JOSEPH I. (Francis- Joseph-Chables), Emperor of Aus- tria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, &c., was born Aug. 18, 1830, and ascended the throne of Austria Dec. 2, 1849, on the abdication of his uncle, Ferdinand I. He is the eldest son of the late Archduke Francis-Charles (who stood next to the late emperor in the legal order of succession, and who died March 8, 1878) and of the I rincess Sophia. On mounting the tlrone he found

the empire shaken by internal sensions ; and his first step wa promise a free and con8tituti< government to the country, course of events compelled hiB close the National Assembly, an assume absolute power. At the s time he abrogated the Constita of Hungary, the people beinj rebellion against him, and i only brought to sujbjection by armed intervention oi Russia, w he owed his hold on Italy to skill of his veteran general Ra sky. Having at length obta internal peace and freedom governmental and legislative aci he promulgated the edict of Sol brunn, Sept. 26, 1851, in whicl declared the Government " res; sible to no other political authc but the throne." Assisted by Pi Schwarzenberg, and after his d by Coimt Buol and Baron B he centralised the govemmen his heterogeneous nationaHtie Vienna, and, aided by Herr Bruck, inaugurated a series of f and commercial reforms favour to the interests of the mi classes. In 1853-4, the Em; endeavoured, though in vain induce the Czar Nicholas to a don his ambitious designs age Turkey, and further excited autocrat's displeasure by refu to assist Russia against the Wes Powers, whose rulers also felt grieved because he resolved remain neutral, and not to tl the weight of his name into 1 scale . The policy of Austria on occasion will, however, be i fairly estimated by posterity, unwillingness to make com cause with the Western Powerj been severely pimished, for had joined the alliance against Ri in 1854, in all probability I Napoleon would not have crc the Alps and dictated the peac ViUafranca. It is, therefore, i than probable that her reluctan act against Russia in that war wa cause of her losing Lombardy t