Imatges de pàgina

while, as we have had occasion to ob- er, he tenders only gentle and polite serve, the impulse cannot come from advice, the rejection of which is not the other side, without entirely sweep- productive of offence, or even colding away the sovereign authority. ness; while, when the latter offend, Neither is it to us a very serious ob- army after army is poured in, to comjection, that in such a constitution, pel them, at the point of the bayonet, the royal power is apt to enter as too to return within the sphere of their copious an element. When the peo- supposed duty. ple have once obtained a place in the Another, and not unplausible charge legislature, their influence, backed by against the new system is, that they the natural force of public opinion, were chiefly produced by military inseldom fails insensibly to extend it- terference. The irregularity of this self; and the danger, in the first pe- is admitted. A constitution imposed riod of change, is lest this increase by an army upon their reluctant felshould proceed with too accelerated low-citizens, is incompatible with any rapidity. But the question which idea of freedom, or even of regular seems to have escaped the framer government. But there is a wide difof this manifesto, is, supposing it ference in the case, where the sentito become evident that they might ments of the great body of the people wait till doomsday before the sove- have become so powerful and univerreign, left thus entirely to his own sal, as to reach and be shared even free will, would grant them a single by the army; when the troops and privilege, (and the case, we presume, people act in strict concert ; and when will be that of ninety-nine out of a the former,after the first effervescence hundred) in what manner these in- is over, return into their natural state stitutions, admitted to be desirable, of subordination. Such has been deand even necessary, are to be ever ob- cidedly the case, both in Spain and tained ? His Majesty, indeed, boasts Naples. The constitution being once much of his recommendations to the established, the soldiers, unless in a sovereigns in alliance, to pursue a li- few short and easily suppressed inberal policy towards their subjects. stances, assumed nothing of a prætoWe are ready to admit the existence rian character, nor attempted to dicof such recommendations, but the tate the proceedings of the legislative people were either ignorant of them, bodies, whose assemblage they had or they must have clearly seen, that procured. These governments were they had been made without the not the very best possible, but they smallest effect. Ferdinand bad con- did not bear any character of mili. tinued, during six years, to pursue tary governments. a system diametrically opposite, and Such considerations not having had was still pursuing it ; while Naples any weight on the mind of Alexander, had bound herself by treaty to Alex. Austria soon found that she might ander's most intimate, ally, not to calculate on his entire concurrence make any change of the nature which in the measures which she contemhe boasts of recommending. Indeed plated. To enable them to proceed in it is impossible not to remark the dif- concert, a grand Congress was fixed at ferent manner in which Alexander Troppau, a town of Silesia, situated visits the conduct of kings and of near the Polish frontier. The two people, when both depart from his Emperors arrived between the 18th standard of propriety. To the form and 20th October, but the King of Prussia was delayed by illness till the In Naples, meantime, great prepa. 7th November. The ambassadors of rations were making for war, or at France and England, the Count de la least strong resolutions passing to Ferronays, and Lord Stewart, were that effect, though not executed in a allowed, probably invited, to be pre- very efficient or judicious manner, sent. The three sovereigns were not On the 1st December, a great emolong of coming to a full understand- tion was excited in the Parliament, ing. France assented, but without by a royal message, in which the choosing to enter into any active con- King, referring to the menacing atticurrence. The British ambassador tude of foreign powers, held out the alone opposed, though ineffectually, hope of averting the calamities of the design of having recourse to arms. war, particularly through the media, Towards the end of December, it was tion of France, provided certain moannounced in a demi-official form by difications in the constitution were the Austrian Observer, that “the high agreed to. These were, 1st, The monarchs have taken the firm resolu, formation of a House of Peers--2. tion of employing all their energies, in The abolition of the permanent de order that the actual

state of things in putation of the Parliament—3. The the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, pro- election of the counsellors of state by duced by revolt and violence, may be the King—4. An unlimited royal destroyed.”

veto-5. The proposition of the bud. As a preliminary to future active get, and of new laws to originate measures, the monarchs took a step, with the King—6. The King to have the motives of which became after the right of dissolving the Parlia. wards sufficiently apparent. On the

On the ment. 20th November, the Emperors of The Parliament was not of a comRussia and Austria, and the King of position, or in a temper, to be at all Prussia, wrote each a letter to the likely to listen to such propositions, King of Naples, inviting him to re- especially when recommended on a pair to meet them at an adjourned ground so little compatible with naCongress to be held at Laybach, on tional independence. After a warm the frontier of Northern Italy. No debate, in which scarcely any one atdefinite object was stated. The let- tempted to support the royal propoters only expressed their deep anxie- sitions, a decree was passed, stating ty for the welfare of his Majesty, and that the Parliament could take no the repose of Europe, and their ear- concern in negociations which lay nest wish to treat with himself in per- entirely within the sphere of the royal son on the subject of the present prerogative; but that, however great state of his kingdom. His presence, the dangers with which the kingdom they assured him, would form the su- was menaced, they were determined rest means of conciliation would en. to brave them all, in order to preserve able them to afford new proofs of untarnished the adopted Spanish contheir friendship-and would promote stitution. the best interests of his kingdom. A few days after this proceeding, The King of France wrote, on the 3d the King received the letters of the December, a letter, in which, both three sovereigns, and immediately as a relation and as a member of the determined to comply with their inHoly Alliance, he strongly urged vitation. This intention he announcompliance with this invitation. ced in a message to the Parliament,


[ocr errors]

dated 7th December. He strongly modification, except what they should protested, that his only object was to themselves propose. The King, thus give a new proof of love to his peo- driven out of every evasion, at length ple, and to do every thing in his declared, by a rescript of the 10th, power to enable them to enjoy a wise that his only object in going to Layand liberal constitution. In the view bach, was to support the Spanish of forming it, he enumerated indivi- constitution, as generally sworn to. dual liberty, the imposition of taxes, He then solicited a permission, in exand the passing of laws by a national press terms, for his departure. After representative body--the liberty of two days' consideration, the Parlia. the press, and the independence of ment passed a decree, granting to the the tribunals, as bases from which he King the permission which he sought, would on no account depart. The te- and appointing the Duke of Calabria nor of the message, however, clearly Regent in his absence. The King had indicated, that he contemplated the already written to the Emperor of formation of a new and modified con- Austria, accepting his invitation, in stitution at Laybach, under the aus- terms so humble and grateful, as pices of the allied Sovereigns. clearly shewed, that he considered

An extraordinary ferment was ex- his interposition as one of personal cited by this message, Loth in the kindness to himself. Parliament and the city. Without It appears to us very clear, that doors, the public sentiment was the Parliament, in granting this perstrongly pronounced, both against mission, were guilty of 'extreme and 'any change in the constitution, and almost inexcusable weakness. Noagainst the projected departure of thing could be more manifest, than the King. The Parliament, after a the extreme reluctance with which, stormy debate, framed a special com- from the beginning, the King had mission to draw up an answer. On acquiesced in the new system. What the following day, a decree was trans- benefit, then, could ever be expected mitted to the King, in which, refer- from cntrusting it to his sole guarring to the different decrees and acts diauship? Could they dream, that he upon which the constitution had been would exert any strenuous efforts in founded, they declared the impossi- support of a constitution, which they bility of admitting any modification had seen him abdicate his crown raupon it, except those which they ther than sanction? The sentiments themselves had proposed. The King, of those to whom he was going, had in reply, expressed his deep grief at been expressed in a manner still more the light in which some persons had unequivocal. What could be expectviewed his resolution. He never had ed from the union of these parties, or the idea of violating the constitution what motive could there be for sepato which he had sworn, but having rating the King from his subjects, then reserved the right of proposing but projects the most inauspicious to modifications, he hoped to obtain the the cause of Neapolitan liberty? consent of the allied powers, only to The King Jost not a moment in such, however, as might be agreed availing himself of the imprudent upon by the nation, and by himself. permission which he had thus wrung The Parliament, still dissatisfied, on- from the Parliament. On the 13th, ly reiterated, in an address of the after receiving a deputation of that Ah, their determination to support body, he embarked at three o'clock the Spanish constitution, without any on board the English ship of the line

Le Vengeur, commanded by Captain 19th. From Leghorn he proceeded Maitland. He immediately began his to Florence, where he arrived on the voyage, big with the fate of Naples. 28th. After being detained for two days by At this critical moment closes the a calm off Baiæ, a favourable wind year 1820. Our next Volume will enabled him to reach Leghorn on the narrate the final catastrophe.



Organization of the German Diet-Its powersWirtemberg-Baden-Hesse

Darmstadt-PrussiaThe Netherlands Denmark-Russia-Meeting of the Polish Diet-Turkey-Expedition against Ali Pacha.

The Congress, for organizing the competent to interpose. There were Germanic Confederation and the certain grounds of interference, howDiet which was to direct its move- ever, to which the great monarchical ments, of which the great powers had states eagerly looked, as the means of procured the assemblage at Vienna, maintaining their own security. In after six months of deliberation, pro- the case of formal resistance, and, still duced, on the 17th May, 1820, their more, of revolt, the Diet may interfinal act. To maintain peace in the pose, either upon formal application interior of the Confederation, and to from the head of the state, or spontadefend it against foreign oppression, neously, in case the latter is not in a are stated as the two main objects in condition to apply. Should there also forming it. The first again divides exist in the heart of several confedeitself into two branches;

the mainte- rate states, associations or combinanance of peace between state and tions dangerous to the general safety, state, and the maintenance of peace the Diet is authorised to concert with in the interior of states.

the heads of these states the means of When differences arise between suppressing such machinations. This states which are members of the Con- article was not without a special refederation, the Diet is first to recom- gard to the actual circumstances of mend to them some mode of agree- Germany. ment or of arbitration among them- The question relative to the interselves. If this fails, it is to appoint a nal constitution of the German states, commission to treat between the par- was treated of with very peculiar inte ties, and endeavour to bring them to rest. Austria declared herself openly a good understanding. Should this against all those changes which inalso fail, the question is referred to cluded any popular elements, and had tribunals, formed in bordering neutral used her utmost efforts to obstruct states, whose decisions are to be en- the constitutions of this description, forced by the Diet.

which had been formed in the southWith regard to the internal con- ern states. On the other hand, the cerns of states, it is admitted as a ge- constitutional system, within certain neral principle, that the Diet is not limits, was supported, not only by

« AnteriorContinua »