When the stress came, and he retreated to the British legation, he took an active part in the defence, and spared neither risk nor toil in his exertions.
In 1897 he became military attache at the American legation in Madrid.
His conduct upon that legation was afterwards severely criticized; for his political antagonists accused him of betraying the true interests of the commonwealth, and using his influence for the restoration of the exiled house of Medici to power.
He not only re-established the Prussian legation to the Vatican, suppressed since 1874, and omitted from the imperial message to the Reichstag (17th November 1881) all reference to King Humberts visit to Vienna, but took occasion on the n9th of November to refer to Italy as a country tottering on the verge of revolution, and opened in the German semi-official press ~ campaign in favor of an international guarantee for the independence of the papacy.
The young lady's relatives ultimately became reconciled to the match, and procured him an appointment as attache to the British legation at Turin.