Imatges de pÓgina
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sively privileged merchants could not feed the country. The ordinary sluggish channel into which their trade had settled was that of sending certain quantities of goods at certain prices, and bringing back certain quantities of fish at certain prices; the prices being fixed for the season previously by themselves. There was neither spare capital nor competition to supply these provinces with the necessaries of life. The Russian government is awake to the advantages of this trade,—for the considerable body of excellent seamen which it is rearing, and the prospects of naval power immediately connected with it. By an ukase published in August 1835, at a time when the Russian cabinet apparently was occupied only with the affairs of the East or of Spain, and its negociations at Kalish and Toplitz, the important step was taken of declaring the trade to and from Finmark and Nordland free to all ranks and classes of Russian subjects in the districts of Archangel, Cola, and other trading places on the White Sea; and granting a reduction in their favour of the import duties payable in other parts of the Russian empire on salt fish and other commodities. The ukase not only grants this reduction to the subjects of Russia, but also to the people of those two provinces of Norway who may trade to the White Sea ; thus placing them in a more favoured situation with regard to trade than their fellow-subjects in the rest of the united kingdoms of Norway and Sweden. What would our government say, if a foreign power were to grant special immunity or favour to the trade of any portion of its dominions which, like Ireland or Canada, might happen to be but loosely connected with the body politic? If it be allowable to draw any inference from public measures, none other can be drawn than that Russia is preparing, by the most judicious and unobjectionable means, for any change in the connection of these two provinces with Norway which political circumstances might at any future period enable her to carry through.

Besides this, the disproportionate military establishment kept up by Russia in the islands of Aland in the Bothnian Gulf, almost within sight of the Swedish coast, and the disproportionate naval force of twenty-two sail of the line kept up in the Baltic,--disproportionate as compared with any possible call for military or naval defence on that point of her dominions, -clearly show that she is prepared for aggression, as well as for defence, on that point,, and is ready armed to act, upon the spur of the moment, if just and reasonable grounds should be presented, either from the political state of Europe in general, or of Sweden in particular. It is to be remembered that, according to the principles of legitimacy, there exists a dormant, but not extinguished claim in the Vasa family to the Swedish throne. If the constitutional and legitimate principles should come into active collision throughout Europe, and if the Spanish peninsula should ultimately be settled upon the constitutional principle, it is obvious that a counterbalance on the opposite principle would be sought for in this

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peninsula. It is no absurd conjecture that the price of such a restoration of legitimacy would be the provinces north of the 62d degree of north latitude, or of the natural mountain boundary of the Dovre Fjelde, Fille Fjelde, and Lange Fjelde, which divides Norway into north and south divisions at that parallel of latitude ; and while Sweden as a legitimate instead of a constitutional monarchy would be more than compensated for the loss of Jemteland by the acquisition of South Norway, as an integral part of her dominions, the other legitimate monarchs of Europe, by rearing up at once a Russian naval power on the coast of the Atlantic, able, with its existing fleets and resources, to cope instantly with Britain on the high seas, from that position, would gain an ascendency in the affairs of the world which it is evident they must either now in this age attain, or they must lose their present power in the legislation of their respective governments, and submit to be constitutionally limited, as the Kings of Great Britain and Norway are, to executive functions only.

If these views of the political position of the Scandinavian peninsula be not altogether visionary, there is but one course for the Swedish monarchy to take : it is, to place itself in advance of the liberal governments of Europe, to engage on its side the sympathies of all nations which have or desire to have free constitutions. It would not be to uphold in Sweden the universally decaying feudal structure of government, that other people would arm in her defence : it would not be to

support a constitution of king, lords, and clergy, in which the nation has in effect as little weight as it would have under the Russian government. The world is so far enlightened, that the advantages to mankind and the ultimate effects on civilization would be weighed against the evils of a transfer of power and territory, where, as far as regards the condition and rights of the people, the transfer is but a name. If the short-sighted policy of the Swedish cabinet had proved successful in the attempt to overturn the institutions of Norway, and to amalgamate her constitution with their own, public opinion would prevent in Great Britain any effectual and popular intervention in aid of a government which had shewn so little respect for constitutional rights. It is from Great Britain alone, that interposition or aid from without can ever reach these kingdoms; and it is not from the British cabinet of the day, but from the public opinion and feeling of the British nation, that these must come to be effectual.

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CHAPTER VII.

EMIGRANTS OF SMALL CAPITAL.-NORWAY BETTER THAN CANADA.

-LAND CHEAP.-LABOUR CHEAP.-HOUSES GOOD. MODE OF PURCHASING LAND. - BANK OF NORWAY. PECULIAR SYSTEM OF BANKING.MORAL CONDITION AS AFFECTED BY THE GENERAL DIFFUSION OF PROPERTY.PHYSICAL CONDITION.-LODGING COMPARED TO THAT OF THE SCOTCH PEASANTRY.-FOOD-LIVING IN A NORWEGIAN FAMILY OF THE MIDDLE CLASS.USE OF SPIRITS.-TEMPERANCE SOCIETIES, GRAVESEND SMACKS. BOTHY FOR FARM SERVANTS.-BED-CLOTHES.-FOREIGN LUXU. RIES.CHEAPNESS, BONDING SYSTEM.-CLOTHING.-HOUSEHOLD MANUFACTURES.-ADVERTISEMENT OF A FARM TO BE SOLD-VALUE OF MONEY.-CLIMATE.

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Levanger, May 1835.—THERE is class of emigrants from Great Britain, for whom I conceive this country is better adapted than Canada. All that land or water produces there is produced here, with the addition of good roads, good houses, an easy communication with Britain ; and society in the country itself, with all its institutions and arrangements, in a advanced state, than it can reasonably be expected to have attained in newly peopled countries. It appears also, from the accounts given by Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Stewart, Captain Hall, and other travellers, who have recently visited various parts of North America, that cleared habitable land, with good dwelling houses and farm offices on it, and in a state of cultivation to support the purchaser's family immediately, without the privation and misery of the back-settler's existence, but with a

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