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and of galley-slaves—such were the property, except for the public berewards which the gratitude of Fer. nefit, and for a reasonable indemdinand bestowed on the soldiers and nity. statesmen of Spain.
« The abode of every subject of While Spain exhibited a spectacle the king is inviolable. - which would have disgraced the dark- “ The right of petitioning, duly reest period of the dark ages, her an- gulated, is recognized by the law. It cient vassals, the States of the Nether- admits of no privilege in respect to lands, were wisely and rationally em- taxes. ployed in consolidating their new go- “ Every subject of the king is elivernment on the bases of rational gible to all employments, without disfreedom and order. It has been one tinction of birth, or of religious begreat advantage arising from the lief. French revolution, and the discus- “ The liberty of the press will have sions to which it has given birth, that no other restraint, than the responsisome well-chosen principles, or axi. bility of him who writes, prints, or oms of freedom, have been ascertained distributes. on all hands to be the fitting ground- “ The committee have placed among work of a new constitution. The the first duties of the government, Report, which the States of the Ne. that of protecting public instructherlands received from the commit- tion. tee appointed to draw up the plan of “ The most precious of all rights, a constitution, contained the following that of liberty of conscience, is guaimportant articles :
ranteed as formally as it is possible * All the guarantees, which the to be. first fundamental law bad given to “ The committee, after the lapse individual liberty and property, have of ten years, propose to consider as been retained.
definitive, and as making a part of the “ Every arbitrary arrest is forbid. tundamental law, the dispositions of den.
the statutes emanating from the king, " If, on an urgent occasion, the go- or approved by him, relative to the vernment causes an individual to be right of electing the members of the arrested, he must be brought, within several assemblies, and the right of three days, before the judge whom sitting in them. the law assigns bim.
“ The present number of deputies “ No one can, under any pretext sent by the northern provinces rewhatever, be withdrawn from the ju- mains unchanged. That of the southrisdiction of this judge.
ern provinces has been regulated in “ The unjust penalty of confisca- an equitable manner, paying particu. tion is abolished.
lar attention to their population, and “ All judicial sentences must be to the proportional number of depupronounced in public.
ties by which they have been already “ Those in civil causes, must con- represented.” tain the grounds on which they are The report then observes, that founded; in criminal causes, they there is a part of the States General must declare the circumstances of which ought not to be subject to the crime, and the law applied by the periodical elections, and proceeds judge.
thus :• No one can be deprived of his “ The possessors of a large for
tune vested in land, lent to the state, limits which may prevent the abuse or usefully employed in supporting of it, and remove all kinds of dan. the national commerce, will carefully ger. watch that none of these sources of “ We have no need, sire, to give public wealth may be obstructed or any reason for inserting in the project dried up. They would not be suffie of the fundamental law, the forms of ciently independent if they were lia. several oaths. ble to be removed. We propose to
“ Your Majesty reigns over a peonominate them for life. This nomi- ple who have a religious respect for nation must come from the king. the solemnity of an oath, who take The spirit of a monarchical govern- none but with due reflection, and faithment prescribes it; the interest of fully perform what they have sworn to the nation demands it. This
observe. gative will give the sovereign an in- “ The bases of the organization of Auence over the higher classes of the judicial power in the first fundasociety, which will be useful to all. mental law, nearly approaching the It has been the constant rule of ancient law of Holland, do not essenour conduct the inviolable guide of tially deviate from the ancient legisour labours, to bring our institu- lation of Belgium-we have retained tions to the essence of a limited mo- them. narchy,"
“ In civil causes, the judges in the Having thus provided for the con- first instance are placed nearer to those stitution of the States General, the under their jurisdiction. proposed constitution made provision “ The independence of the judges for the mode in which they were to is guaranteed; they receive from the execute their authority.
public treasury a salary fixed by the “ The king proposes to the Cham- law, and are named by the king, the ber elected by the provincial states, most of them for lifc, upon the prethe projects of laws which have been sentation of the provincial states, or deliberated upon in his council of of the Second Chamber of the States
General.” " This Chamber examines them; It was next provided, that the crown and having adopted them, sends should be hereditary in the family of them to the other Chamber, which the present king, with the command has to examine them in the same of the armies of the state, and the
power of making peace and war. On “ The Chamber, whose members this important point, the fundamenare chosen for life, receives and dis- tal law was recognised, as giving to cusses the propositions which the other the crown all due authority, yet unthinks it proper to make to the king. der such limits as might ensure the It never makes any itself.
preservation of the rights of the sub“ It adopts the proposition, and ject. transmits it to the king, who gives or It must give pride to the British refuses its sanction.
heart to observe, how carefully the “ We have thought that to pre. principles of our own invaluable conserve this precious advantage, it was stitution have been adopted by this necessary to render the sitting of new government, as if our oak had the States General public; restrain- afforded a scyon to every land which ing, however, this publicity within the desired its powerful shelter. The
VOL, VIII. PART I.
clergy of Belgium alone, a class who to the catholic faith is stronger and somewhat resemble those of Spain, in more lively than in
any their love of power and narrowness in Europe. of principle, saw, in the article which “ Already the proclamation of your stipulated a general toleration, the majesty, which announced that the downfall of their Great Diana. A new constitution should ensure the
remonstrance to the king, liberty of religion, and give all equal July 28. subscribed by the bishops of favour and protection, filled every
Ghent, Namur, and Tour. beart with consternation. It is known nay, and the vicars-general of Liege that this dangerous system is one of and Malines, spoke the language of the main articles of the modern phithe ages of intolerance, rather than losophy, which has been the source of that of the nineteenth century. so many misfortunes to us—that evi
“ We most respectfully take the dently aims at exciting indifference to liberty to lay before your majesty an all religions—at lessening their influarticle of the new constitution, which, ence from day to day, and at destroyin securing the same protection to all ing them in the end entirely." religions, would be incompatible with But the moving cause of this bigotthe free and entire exercise of our ted clamour is distinctly and honestly official duties.
confessed to be the exclusion of the “We are bound, sire, incessantly clergy from their right to be representto preserve the people entrusted to ed in the national councils, and the our care, from the doctrines which allegation that they did not enjoy that are in opposition to the doctrines of influence and consideration which they the Catholic church. We could not expected and desired. We believe release ourselves from this obligation that the mere perusal of their own Mewithout violating our most sacred du- morial will satisfy most rational perties; and if your majesty, by virtue sons, how very ill, men capable of arof a fundamental" law, protected in guing in a manner so narrow and ilthese provinces the public profession liberal, are filled to hold political and spreading of these doctrines, the power. From the language of their progress of which we are bound to remonstrance, it seems certain that oppose with all the care and energy they do not want the will to give diswhich the catholic church expects turbance to the newly settled govern. from our office, we should be in formalment; but although the lower rank of opposition to the laws of the state, to Flemings are strict catholics, and as the measures which your majesty such, under the sway of their priests, might adopt to maintain them among the clergy, possess too little influence us, and in spite of all our endeavours over the better classes, to be in any to maintain union and peace, the pub- degree formidable to the tranquility lic tranquillity might still be disturbed, of the state.
“ We dare not conceal from you, The King of the Netherlands next sire, that such regulations, if they communicated to the States General were confirmed by your majesty, could a message and law project, relative to only tend to a renewal of the troubles the marriage of the Prince of Orange which desolated these provinces in with the Grand Duchess Anne of the 16th century; and that they must, Russia. The politicians, who remem. sooner or later, alienate the hearts of bered that the breaking off the match your faithful subjects in this part of between the Princess Charlotte of vour kingdom, where the attachment Wales and this young Prince of Orange was, amongst other causes, autocrat of Russia unitës to his nu. imputed to the influence of the Duc merous titles that of King of Poland, chess of Oldenburg over our princess, a sound at which his barbarous predenow applauded their own penetration, cessors were wont to tremble. and declared the private motives of Little of an important nature octhe adviser were but too evident. The curred in Germany during this year. alliance, which took place shortly af. All hopes and fears-all hearts, and terwards, was indeed highly desirable, almost all hands, were engaged in in a political point of view, both to France, and bent on the issue of that Russia and the Netherlands. But for awful conflict. A singular discussion Britain, we must own, that a connec- took place betwixt the King of Wirtion with the continent, of a nature so temberg and his subjects, assembled very intimate, seemed to us to threa- as States-general. The king (in imiten consequences which almost coun. tation of Buonaparte, perhaps,) subterbalanced the personal qualities of mitted to this convocation a scheme the Prince of Orange; and the Prin- of a constitution, of which he required cess Charlotte having since found a their acceptance. The States husband of a suitable rank, and high- gave him to understand, that Jan. 12. ly gifted with the personal qualities they were attached to the necessary to secure her domestic hap- ancient constitution of their country, piness, as well as the love and esteem and desired that it should be retained, of the country, we cannot regret that with such alterations and modifications he has no continental dominions to di- as the new lights of the times should vide his affections from the country and seem to render necessary. The king destined kingdom of his consorti procrastinated, adjourned the conven
The fate of Poland, that is of the tion of the states, and, in the meanDuchy of Warsaw, was finally deci. time, endeavoured to raise taxes by ded by the powers assembled in Con- his own authority. The subjects, ungress. It was united to Russia, but derstanding the full value of reserving with a constitution of its own. The to the representative body the com-ancient Polish laws were preserved, mand of the supplies, refused to pay with some modifications, bringing them the taxes thus imposed. The States nearer to the constitution of 1791. having met again in the middle of OcThe general diet, or national repre- tober, their dispute with the sentation, granted taxes or imports, king was renewed on a fresh Oct. 15. and before any new law or alteration ground, his majesty alleging, of the old system can be enforced, it that whatever rights the inhabitants must receive their sanction and that of Old Wirtemberg might claimi unof the sovereign. Some regulations der their former constitution, none are made for protection of personal such were competent to his dominions liberty, and for bringing accused per- in their extended state. This princisons to speedy trial. The ancient ple was stoutly opposed by the States, Polish capital of Cracow is the only who alleged, that the incorporated terpart of the kingdom which still re. ritories, having lost their own proper tains its independence, being declared rights, had, in fact, become an integ. a free city by the Congress. The restral part of Wirtemberg, and entitled of this fine kingdonız as a separate to a full share in its immunities. Ne. and independent state, is now blotted gociations were entered into for a fifrom the map of Europe. But the nal accommodation of the points of
difference, for which purpose there Prussia being thus enlarged and was a nomination of royal commis- strengthened, the king proceeded to resioners.
lax the reins of despotism, which had The Prussians seized on their pound been drawn so tight by Frederick the of flesh, cut out of the bosom of Great and his father. He proposed to Saxony, nearest the heart; the por. introduce national representation, the tion ceded, contained Thuringia, both liberty of the press, and other arrangeLusatias, and Henneberg. The King ments favourable to public freedom of Saxony, from whom these domi. and happiness. Whether these enactnions were rended, took leave of his ments will be so effectually carried into late subjects in an affecting valedic- exercise as to qualify in a very matetory address.
“ All my efforts,” he rial degree the military despotism said, “ to avert so painful a sacrifice which has hitherto been the moving have been vain. I must part
principle in Prussia, time alone can and the bonds which your fidelity determine. and attachment to my person render By an important act of so dear to me, the bonds which have confederation, signed at Vi- June 8. formed for ages the happiness of my enna, the German states enhouse and of my ancestry, must be for deavoured to substitute a new form of ever broken." A final peace, of which alliance for the dissolved bands of the this cession was the hard purchase, ancient empire. All the sovereign was then signed between Prussia and states and free cities united in this Saxony. Another accession fell to league, and committed the managePrussia in the course of this year. ment of the general affairs of the emSwedish Pomerania, it may be remem- pire to a diet, in which there are to bered, had been ceded to Denmark, be seventeen votes, several of the inin lieu of the kingdom of Norway, ferior states joining together to form which was united with Sweden. But a single vote. The representative the King of Denmark, finding this of Austria is to preside in the Diet, equivalent lay too much divided from and Frankfort on the Maine is named his other dominions to be of any great as the place of meeting. This Amadvantage, bartered Swedish Pome- phictyonic council is designed to rerania and Rugen with Prussia, in con- gulate and adjust such differences as sideration of receiving the Duchy of may arise in the confederation, and Lauenburgh, ceded for that purpose guarantee the independence of the by Hanover, and a certain sum of inferior states. It is also announced, money. The king, at the same time, that the Diet shall lay down regulaentered into possession of his former tions concerning the general rights of Polish provinces, to the inhabitants Germans to enjoy landed property, or of which he promised a full share in enter into military service in any state all the immunities and privileges of of the empire without distinction ; also his other dominions. Thus the energy to lay down leading rules concerning of Prussia was recompensed by reco- the freedom of the press, and general vered and extended territory, and, rai. toleration all through Germany. The sed from the condition of a seconde plan is, no doubt, wise and patriotic rate power by her own exertions, she in its outset, and if persevered in on was once more in a capacity to rank disinterested and steady principles, among the first sovereign states in may do much to give the German emEurope.
pire an unity and consolidation which