Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.
Sir: The French visitors have returned to Paris, after a most pleasant sojourn in Denmark, attended with much hospitality and many very marked attentions. Before their departure, the King conferred on the deputies to the French assembly the order of the Grand Commander. This has much pleased the people here; for it is alleged that in view of the relations between Denmark [Page 681] and Prussia, between Prussia and France, and in turn between France and Denmark, it required some decision and boldness to take the step.
There has been for some months much rumor of state or political marriages in northern Europe: first, between the Princess Louise, of Sweden, and the Prince Royal Frederick, of Denmark; then between the same princess and Prince Albert, of Prussia, cousin of the prince royal of that kingdom; and now again it is to be between Sweden and Denmark. I have never been acquainted with enough consistency or evidence of these things to make them of much consequence. Still they are interesting from the view taken ox them here. First, the Scandinavian or national party rejoiced at the prospect either of ultimate Scandinavian union, or at least of the greater probability of an alliance between Sweden and Denmark in any contest with Germany. Then followed some chagrin, and fear that the policy of Sweden had changed, and that the cabinet of Stockholm was looking to an alliance with that of Berlin, with the view of effecting the ultimate partition of Denmark. Then followed a little elation when it was semi-officially announced here that the Swedo-Prussian alliance was broken off; the “Emperor,” who is usually thought to be ubiquitous, was thanked and praised, and the devoirs of Prince Frederick are again supposed to be delightfully in the ascendant.
Of course I do not know what marriage will occur, and what will not; but the whole matter is of much less political importance than some have supposed, and much less than it might have been in times gone by. The time and the political system that gave importance to state marriages, so far as they affected alliances, seem in a great measure to have passed away, and I cannot regard such things as of much importance in countries where public opinion and constitutional government have made so much progress and obtained such foothold as they have in Sweden, Denmark, and Prussia.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.