The emperors of Russia and Austria were present in person, and with them were Counts Nesselrode and Capo d'Istria, Metternich and Baron Vincent; Prussia and France were represented by plenipotentiaries.
The arbitrary and absolutist government of Prince Metternich rendered all political action impossible in the lands ruled by the house of Habsburg.
To sovereigns whose nerves had been shattered by the vicissitudes of the revolutionary epoch these symptoms were in the highest degree alarming; and Metternich was at pains to exaggerate their significance.
He came boldly to the front in the middle of December as the champion of Saxony; and, as Russia and Prussia were still obstinate, Metternich and Castlereagh demanded the admission of France to the secret council.
But the Princess Metternich continued to befriend him, and by 1861 she had obtained a pardon for his political offences, with permission to settle in any part of Germany except Saxony.
The preoccupation of the sultan with Ali gave their opportunity to the Greeks whose disaffection had long been organized in the great secret society of the Hetaeria Philike, against which Metternich had in vain warned the Ottoman government.
At the conference of ministers which met at Vienna, on the 20th of November, for the purpose of developing and completing the Federal Act of the congress of Vienna, Metternich found himself face to face with a more formidable opposition than at Carlsbad.
The effect of the revolution in Vienna, involving the fall of Metternich (May 13) and followed by the nationalist movements in Hungary and Bohemia, was stupendous in Germany.
But the governments of Prussia and Austria were unaffected; and when the storm had died down Metternich was able,with the aid of the federal diet, to resume his task of holding the Revolution in check.
To Metternich he was a madman to be humoured.