This section is from "The American Cyclopaedia", by George Ripley And Charles A. Dana. Also available from Amazon: The New American Cyclopędia. 16 volumes complete..
Friedrich Von Gentz, a German diplomatist and publicist, born in Breslau in 1764, died in Vienna, June 9, 1832. He was considered a dunce until, in his 21st year, he attended Kant's lectures at Konigsberg, when his mind was awakened, and he became familiar with the Greek and Roman classics, and mastered French and English. Returning to Berlin, where he had previously studied, he became a favorite in the highest circles, and commenced a career of gallantry, adventure, and authorship. In 1793 he published a translation into German of Burke's Essay on the French Revolution," with copious notes. In 1794 he translated and annotated Mallet du Pau's book on the same subject, and in 1795 Mounier's. In 1799 he visited England, and for 20 years he was in correspondence with leading members of the British ministries, for whom he drew up many papers on taxation and finance. In 1802 he visited Vienna, and on Sept. 6 of that year was engaged by the emperor Francis as a councillor. He was sent to England to negotiate an alliance, and drew up the Austrian manifesto of 1805. Gentz was furiously assailed in Napoleon's bulletins, and as the court of Vienna was fearful of being compromised by his further presence, he was directed to leave the capital, and for a time he used his skilful pen in combating Napoleon in Prussia. He was recalled to Vienna by Metternich in 1809, wrote the Austrian manifesto of that year, and subsequently proved himself merely the tool of his employer.
He took an active part in the congress of Vienna, assisted in framing the treaty of the holy alliance, and acted as secretary at the congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle, Trop-pau, Laybach, and Verona. He wasted his talents in sophistical pleas for reaction and political quietism, and his means in extravagance and dissipation. His diaries were found among • the literary remains of Varnhagen von Ense and published in 1861 (complete ed., 2 vols., Leipsic, 1874). His Briefe an Pilaf, a contribution to recent German history, was edited by Karl Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, with a biographical notice (2 vols., Leipsic, 1868).