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COUNT JOSEPH ALEXANDER HUBNER (1811-1...

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 847 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COUNT JOSEPH ALEXANDER HUBNER (1811-1892), Austrian diplomatist, was born in Vienna on the 26th of November 1811. His real name was Hafenbredl, which he after-wards changed to Hubner. He began his public career in 1833 under Metternich, whose confidence he soon gained, and who sent him in 1837 as attache to Paris. In 1841 he became secretary of embassy at Lisbon, and in 1844 Austrian consul-general at Leipzig. In 1848 he was sent to Milan to conduct the diplomatic correspondence of Archduke Rainer, viceroy of Lombardy. On the outbreak of the revolution he was seized as a hostage, and remained a prisoner for some months. Returning to Austria, he was entrusted with the compilation of the documents and proclamations relating to the abdication of the Emperor Ferdinand and the accession of Francis Joseph. His journal, an invaluable clue to the complicated intrigues of this period, was published in 189r in French and German, under the title of Une Annee de ma vie, 1848-1849. In March 1849 he was sent on a special mission to Paris, and later in the same year was appointed ambassador to France. To his influence was in large measure due the friendly attitude of Austria to the Allies in the Crimean War, at the close of which he represented Austria at the congress of Paris in 1856. He allowed himself, however, to be taken by surprise by Napoleon's intervention on behalf of Italian unity, of which the first public intimation was given by the French emperor's cold reception of Hubner on New Year's Day, 1859, with the famous words: " I regret that our relations with your Government are not so good as they have hitherto been," He did not return to Paris after the war, and after holding the ministry of police in the Goluchowski cabinet from August to October 1859, lived in retirement till 1865, when he became ambassador at Rome. Quitting this post in 1867, he undertook extensive travels, his descriptions of which appeared as Promenade autour du monde, 1871 (1873; English translation by Lady Herbert, 1874) and Through the British Empire (1886). Written in a bright and entertaining style, and characterized by shrewd observation, they achieved considerable popularity in their time. A more serious effort was his Sixte-Quint (187o, translated into English by H. E. H. Jerningham under the title of The Life and Times of Sixtus the Fifth, 1872), an original contribution to the history of the period, based on unpublished documents at the Vatican, Simancas and Venice. In 1879 he was made a life-member of the Austrian Upper House, where he sat as a Clerical and Conservative. He had received the rank of Baron (Freiherr) in 1854, and in 1888 was raised to the higher rank of Count (Graf). He died at Vienna on the 3oth of July 1892. Though himself of middle-class origin, he was a profound admirer of the old aristocratic regime, and found his political ideals in his former chiefs, Metternich and Schwarzenberg. As the last survivor of the Metternich school, he became towards the close of his life more and more out of touch with the trend of modern politics, but remained a conspicuous figure in the Upper House and at the annual delegations. That he possessed the breadtlr of mind to appreciate the working of a system at total variance with his own school of thought was shown by his grasp of British colonial questions. It is interesting, in view of subsequent events, to note his emphatic belief in the loyalty of the British colonies—a belief not shared at that time by many statesmen with far greater experience of democratic institutions. See Sir Ernest Satow, An Austrian Diplomatist in the Fifties (1908). HUC, EVARISTE RtGIS . (1813-1860), French missionary-traveller, was born at Toulouse, on the 1st of August 1813. In his twenty-fourth year he entered the congregation of the Lazarists at Paris, and shortly after receiving holy orders in ment 1900); Inscriptiones Britanniae Latinae (1873), I.B. Christianae (1876); La Arqueologia de Espana (1888); Monu- ments linguae Hibericae (1893). Hubner was also the author of two books of the greatest utility to the classical student: 1839 went out to China. At Macao he spent some eighteen months in the Lazarist seminary, preparing himself for the regular work of a missionary. Having acquired some command of the Chinese tongue, and modified his personal appearance and dress in accordance with Chinese taste, he started from Canton. He at first superintended a Christian mission in the southern provinces, and then passing to Peking, where he perfected his knowledge of the language, eventually settled in the Valley of Black Waters or He Shuy, a little to the north of the capital, and just within the borders of Mongolia. There, beyond the Great Wall, a large but scattered population of native Christians had found a refuge from the persecutions of Kia-King, to be united half a century later in a vast but vague apostolic vicariate. The assiduity with which Huc devoted himself to the study of the dialects and customs of the Tatars, for whom at the cost of much labour he translated various religious works, was an admirable preparation for undertaking in 1844, at the instigation of the vicar apostolic of Mongolia, an expedition whose object was to dissipate the obscurity which hung over the country and habits of the Tibetans. September. of that year found the missionary at Dolon Nor occupied with the final arrangements for his journey, and shortly afterwards, accompanied by his fellow-Lazarist, Joseph Gabet, and a young Tibetan priest who had embraced Christianity, he set out. To escape attention the little party assumed the dress of lamas or priests. Crossing the Hwang-ho, they advanced into the terrible sandy tract known as the Ordos Desert. After suffering dreadfully from want of water and fuel they entered Kansu, having recrossed the flooded Hwang-ho, but it was not till January 1845 that they reached Tang-Kiul on the boundary. Rather than encounter alone the horrors of a four months' journey to Lhasa they resolved to wait for eight months :till the arrival of a Tibetan embassy on its return from Peking. Under an intelligent teacher they meanwhile studied the Tibetan language and Buddhist literature, and during three months of their stay they resided in the famous Kunbum Lamasery, which was reported to accommodate 4000 persons. Towards the end of September they joined the returning embassy, which comprised 2000 men and 3700 animals. Crossing the deserts of Koko Nor, they passed the great lake of that name, with its island of contemplative lamas, and, following a difficult and tortuous track across snow-covered mountains, they at last entered Lhasa on the 29th of January 1846. Favourably received by the regent, they opened a little chapel, and were in a fair way to establish an important mission, when the Chinese ambassador interfered and had the two missionaries conveyed back to Canton, where they arrived in October of the same year. For nearly three years Huc remained at Canton, but Gabet, returning to Europe, proceeded thence to Rio de Janeiro, and died there shortly afterwards. Huc returned to Europe in shattered health in 1852, visiting India, Egypt and Palestine on his way, and, after a prolonged residence in Paris, died on the 3Ist of March 186o. His writings comprise, besides numerous letters and memoirs In the Annales de la propagation de la foi, the famous Souvenirs d'un voyage daps la Tartarie, le Thibet, et la Chine pendant les annees 1844–1846 (2 vols., Paris, 185o; Eng. trans. by W. Hazlitt, 1851, abbreviated by M. Jones, London, 1867); its supplement, crowned by the Academy, entitled L'Empire chinois (2 vols., Paris, 1854; Eng. trans., London, 1859); and an elaborate historical work, Le Christianisme en Chine, Fee. (4 vols., Paris, 1857–1858; Eng. trans., London, 1857–1858). These works are written in a lucid, racy, picturesque style, which secured for them an unusual degree of popularity. The Souvenirs is a narrative of a remarkable feat of travel, and contains passages of so singular a character as in the absence of corroborative testimony to stir up a feeling of incredulity. That Huc was suspected unjustly was amply proved by later re-search. But he was by no means a practical geographer, and the record of his travels loses greatly in value from the want of precise scientific data. See, for information specially relating to the whole subject, the Abbe Desgodin's Mission du Thibet de 1855 a 1870 (Verdun, 1872); and " Account of the Pundit's Journey in Great Tibet," in the Royal Geographical Society's Journal for 1877.
End of Article: COUNT JOSEPH ALEXANDER HUBNER (1811-1892)
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