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THE "FIGHTING TMRAIRE" TUGGED TO HER LAST BERTH TO BE BROKEN UP, 1838. The difficulty which Buonaparte had created for himself by the usurpation of the thrones of Spain and Portugal, had the direct result which his wisest counsellors foresaw. Austria immediately began to watch the progress of the Peninsular struggle, and the resistance of the Spanish people; and the stepping of Great Britain into that field induced her to believe that the opportunity was come for throwing off the French yoke, and avenging her past injuries and humiliations. She had made arrangements by which she could call out an immense population, and convert them into soldiers. But in determining to declare open war against Buonaparte, Austria displayed a woful want of sagacity. To compete with a general like Buonaparte, and a power like France, it needed not only that her armies should be numerous but thoroughly disciplined. Nothing could have been lost by a little delay, but much might be gained. If Buonaparte succeeded in putting down the insurrection in Spain, he would then fall on Austria with all his victorious forces; if he did not succeed, but his difficulties increased, then every day that Austria waited was a day of strength to her. Russia, which was nominally at peace with Buonaparte, but which at heart was already determined on breaking the connection, saw, with just alarm, this precipitate movement of Austria. If she rose at once, Alexander was bound by treaty to co-operate in putting her down; if she deferred her enterprise for awhile, there was every probability that they could issue forth together against the common disturber. If Austria made a rash blow and were prostrated, Russia would then be left alone; and Alexander knew well, notwithstanding Napoleon's professions, that he would lose little time in demanding some concession from him.

Immediately on the rejection of his terms Frederick William concluded a treaty with Alexander on the 28th of February, and Austria was invited to join the league. Alexander had joined his army himself on the 22nd of December, and had marched along with it through that horrible winter. On the 1st of March Prussia concluded its alliance with Alexander, offensive and defensive. On the 15th Alexander arrived at Breslau, and there was an affecting meeting of the two sovereigns, who had been placed in outward hostility by the power of Buonaparte, but who had never ceased to be friends at heart. The King of Prussia was moved to tears. "Courage, my brother," said Alexander; "these are the last tears that Napoleon shall cause you."