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ble, those daring and blood-thirsty incendiaries who have made the distresses of a high-spirited and ill-governed people the tools of their malicious passions. Some of these, are, we strongly suspect, men above the common order, for in several parts, proofs of regular and extensive insurrectionary organization, such as the taking up of defencible positions, stopping the mails by large bodies of armed men, seizing hostages, &c. are unhappily exhibited. In some of the disturbed districts, we are happy, however, to learn, that the deluded peasantry have delivered up their arms, and received certificates of amnesty for all but very gross outrages; whilst the atrocities practised in others have very properly subjected them to the operation of the late insurrection acts, of the necessity of whose provisions we have elsewhere spoken.
FRANCE is still far from tranquil. Some insurrectionary movements have taken place at Brest and Rochefort by the troops in garrison there, from the latter of which a detachment of 200 men marched to Soubise, and mounted the tricoloured flag, whilst the former attempted to gain possession of the principal fort of the town, but were frustrated, principally, it is said, by a disagreement amongst their leaders. The simultaneous operation of these two garrisons, the
appearance of their emissaries at Bourdeaux and other places, and the detection, about the same time, of a conspiracy at Nantes, in which some officers of rank were implicated, demonstrate but too unequivocally that the restless spirit of the Buonapartists survives, and we fear long will survive, the death of their idol. The new ultra ministry have demonstrated themselves as hostile to the liberty of the press as any of their predecessors, or even more so; and a law has accordingly passed, taking away the right of trial by jury in cases of libel, and prohibiting the publication of any journal or periodical writing, without the King's authority. The censorship is also to be renewed during the recesses of the chambers, should the King think such a step necessary; and journals against which any proceedings are instituted for libels, are liable to be suppressed at the will of the judges, in whose court such proceedings are adopted.
We now pass to those countries which we were compelled to omit in our last Retrospect. In Spain, we regret to find that parties run so high, as to be likely, from words, ere long, to proceed to blows. Societies have been organized, but too closely resembling in their principles and practices the jacobin clubs of the French revolution; but, bold as have been some of their measures, we entertain strong hopes that the constitutional government will be able to repress them. General Riego, who was at their head, was dismissed the service, and sent into retirement, which has, however, been considered a popular triumph; whilst, on the other hand, the gallant Captain-General Morillo was compelled to resign by the outcry raised against him by the mobocracy, on his attempting to prevent the singing of seditious ballads in the streets of Madrid, when his life was with difficulty saved by the interposition of the military. Affairs seemed to be arriving at a crisis on the nomination of a new minister of war, and very tumultuous proceedings have since disgraced the capital, Cadiz, and some of the principal towns of the kingdom. The clubs, the trades, and even the artisans, are dictating to the King who shall be ministers; but in spite of their lawless dictation, Morillo was with proper firmness replaced in his important post. This distracted country has also had added to its distresses a severe
visitation of that fierce minister of wrath, contagious fever, which, in Barcelona and its neighbourhood, swept thousands to an untimely grave: but at length this pestilence is stayed. The political commotions are not, however, yet at rest, though raging with a somewhat abated fury. The army and the people seem to be united against the ministry; and instead of pursuing the peaceful and constitutional mode of procuring their dismissal by petitioning for their removal, which would be adopted in England, they have entered into what would here be justly styled treasonable combinations not to obey their orders. These determined measures, added to the more constitutional declaration of the Extraordinary Cortes against them, has procured their virtual removal, under the form of the suspension of their functions, until they shall be called upon to render an account of their conduct to the Ordinary Cortes, when they shall again assemble. The Spanish journals in the patriotic interest, as it is styled, are confident in expecting that the important theory of ministerial responsibility will then be reduced to practice, as we heartily wish it may, if they have neglected their duty to their king and country. There have, however, we are apprehensive, been too many faults on both sides, to render punishment on one onlv, either equitable or expedient. Seville and the other cities, which exhibited but too unequivocal marks of a revolutionary spirit, bare returned to their allegiance ;-an amnesty for the past, and secarity for the future, would, we think, be the safer and wiser course for both parties to pursue. We cannot but hail with satisfaction the resolution of the Extraordinary Cortes, which has submitted her priesthood to the jurisdiction of the temporal courts, to the same extent as other citizens, with the sole and very proper exception of offences against ecclesiastical discipline; nor have we less satisfaction in learning that a law has also been passed confiscating all Spanish vessels engaged in the Slave Trade, and condemning their owners, fitters-out, masters, and officers, to labour for ten years on the public works—a sentence which their inhuman cupidity amply merits. The transatlantic dominions of Spain are rapidly severing from the parent country. Carthagena has been for some time in the possession of the Republican army; and into Lima, the capital of Peru, Lord Cochrane and General St. Martin have made their triumphal entry, ere long, we doubt not, to obtain possession for the new government, of the whole of this most valuable of the Spanish provinces. Venezuela and New Grenada now form an independeat Republic, under the name of Columbia ; whilst, in Mexico, the Royalists and their opponents have come to a compromise, by erecting their country into a separate empire, under a constitutional monarch, for which office its present sovereign, the King of Spain, is destined, on the improbable condition of his fixing his court at Mexico; which, if he refuse to do, such member of the reigning family is to supersede him, as the Cortes shall prefer, though liable himself to be superseded by a convention of an Extraordinary Cortes, at once to fix on a sovereign of their choice, and to limit his power in the government. This is making kings and constitutions about as easily as the former are made in gingerbread, and the latter spun in Jeremy Bentham's, or any other speculative politician's brain. We learn, however, that the Infant Don Francisco Paulo, brother to the King, is about to embark for Mexico, with a carte blanche of untimited powers for settling the affairs of that colony. In the mean
while, reports have reached Europe, of Iterverbe, the commander of the popular troops, having anticipated the object of this Prince's journey, by assuming to himself the title of Emperor of Mexico. He is said to be a man of great energy of character, and unbounded popularity; he may therefore become the Buonaparte of South America, and leave the Bourbons as little there as the ambitious man, whom he seems to imitate, left them on this side the Atlantic. In the West Indies, the Spanish monarchy is also losing ground, the part of St. Domingo which acknowledged obedience to it having shaken off its allegiance, and proclaimed a republican government, whose first acts have been to seek a strict union with the new Columbian states, and to form an alliance, offensive and defensive, with the government of Hayti, in the French part of the Island, on which we do not apprehend that there will for very many years exist two independent states.
From PORTUGAL the Russian and Austrian Ministers retired, some time since, in disgust, owing to the windows in their hotels, at Lisbon, having been broken by the populace, on their refusal to illuminate them on the anniversary of the King's acceptance of the constitution, when every other house in the city was brilliantly lighted. This affords an additional proof, if any can be wanted, of the rooted antipathy of the two imperial courts to all constitutional governments. That of Portugal seems indeed to be getting too democratical; or rather the soldiers and people are endeavouring to render it so, and will probably succeed in the attempt. The King, some time since, was compelled to apologize to the former, for having unintentionally turned his back upon them at a review, on which he was saluted with groans of “Off! Of!” as loud and boisterous as those used at the theatre to get rid of an offending actor, or unpopular piece, though considerably more alarming, from the circumstance of their baving been uttered by legions of armed men, encouraged in this insubordination by their officers, even those of the highest rank. The opening of the dreary caverns of the Inquisition to the inspection of the people, that they may see from what they have escaped, is, however, a feature in the new order of things in this country, upon which we can look with unmingled delight. Never, we trust, will the creaking doors of these dreary caverns close upon human victims more. In other respects, we cannot but fear that the revolutionary spirit will carry its abettors too far; as we can augur little favourable from a national representation, which, ere its plans can be any thing like maturely digested, acts so absurdly, as to declare all attempts to change the constitution, now established, a capital treason against the state. Her transatlantic dominions were, in our last Retrospect, represented, it may be recollected, as having caught the revolutionary spirit of their neighbours, and of the parent country; though we hope that the prudent and conciliating conduct of the Prince Regent, who is active in investigating and correcting abuses, will have a strong tendency to avert the impending storm. In the mean while, the King of Portugal has been the first to recognize the independence of the new government of Chili, upon a principle but too seldom acted upon by kings, that the obedience of a people is a proof of the legitimacy of a government. His majesty is said also to have expressed his willingness to adopt the same conduct towards the other states of South America, should they be placed in similar circumstances.
We wish that he could be induced to act in a manner equally worthy the monarch of a free people, in prohibiting all his subjects, under the severest penalties, from engagining the Slave Trade, which is carried on to a more fearful extent, and under circumstances of greater atrocity by the Portuguese, than by any other European nation. A day of reckoning will, however, come, and fearful will be the vengeance taken for the cruelty which, in two vessels alone, could doom 360 human beings to a lingering death. The establishment of trial by jury in criminal as in civil cases, promises well for the continuance of the liberties of the Portuguese people; we only fear for the liberty of the King, whose situation seems not to be a very enviable one.
The NEAPOLITANS complain, and not, it would seem, without abundant reason, of the influence of Austria at their Court, to wbich several rigorous measures, lately resorted to, are principally ascribed. The troops of the Emperor in Italy have not been reduced, but, on the contrary, are expected to be increased. Naples and Sicily have followed the example of the Austrian Government in Italy, in forbidding any of its subjects to join the standard of the Greeks. The King has, by a royal decree, re-established the order of Jesuits, which his predecessor, or rather the usurper of his throne, bad rather more wisely suppressed throughout his dominions. We do not anticipate any great benefit from confiding the education of the Sicilian youth chiefly, if not entirely, to this crafty order.
The Papal Territories seem likewise to be placed under the protection of the Austrian Government, a treaty having been entered into for the occupation, for an indefinite period, of the city of Rome, by three thousand of the Imperial troops; who are also, it is said, to garrison in the same manner some other towns of the Papal dominions. The utter insufficiency of this anomalous State to preserve any thing like order, even amongst its own subjects, may render such a measure desirable ; but we question much, whether in suggesting or acceding to it, Austria has not an end to answer, which it would not be politic to avow. The Pope, it will be remembered, is an old man, almost on his death-bed; one of the Archdukes of Austria is a Cardinal, and we doubt not, but that a strong effort will be made to exchange his hat for the tiara ; a measure which this occapation of the Papal capital by his brother's troops, will materially facilitate, should the other Catholic States oppose his election, as their own interest, and the fear of the aggrandisement of Austria in Italy, will, we should imagine, naturally prompt them to do.
In the Italian Dominions of the House of Austria, proceedings have been taken against several individuals, accused as having been concerned as Carbonari, in conspiracies against the Government of Lombardy ; and their sentences give us additional reason to rejoice that we are Englishmen, and subjected to a very different code of laws. Under the strange misnomer of a pardon, three of them, who had been condemned to death, are sentenced to 21 years' imprisonment in irons in the castle of Spielberg, a fate to which, we should apprehend, their former condemnation was merciful. Austria is still pursuing measures of the most despotic character. All journals, whatever their political opinions, are prohibited entrance into ber dominions; and the Emperor is said to be employing the whole weight of his influence to procure the adoption of a measure so destructive of every liberal sentiment of government, in all the German
States; though we hope that they will have the spirit to resist such
PRussia has as yet profited little or nothing by the important lessons read to some of the despotic Governments of the South of Europe. The censorship of the press is there rigid, almost beyond example, officers being appointed to inspect the works published by particular booksellers ; and all books brought into the Prussian dominions undergo a fresh inspection, from the censorship of other States not being considered sufficiently vigilant.
The King of Sweden has, with the concurrence of the Norwegian Diet, abolished in the latter kingdom all hereditary nobility, after the death of the present possessors of that rank; establishing, in lieu of the old regime, a new nobility, inheritable, as with us, by the eldest son only, and not descending to all the children. Would the other European Courts but follow so good an example, they would not be pestered by so many penniless marquises and counts, little better than vagrants and vagabonds on the face of the earth. A good old English? squire is worth a dozen of them.
The Russians and Turks are prepared for war, but still seem inclined for peace. The Empress Dowager, the Archdukes, and Cabinet of Russia, are said to be for war; but the Emperor has declared his own earnest desire for peace; which seems to be met by a correspondent spirit in the Turkish Divan, by whom the navigation of the Dardanelles has again been freely opened to the corn vessels of the European nations. A firman has also been directed to the civil and military authorities, regretting, that in suppressing the late insurrections, popular indignation had not sufficiently distinguished between the innocent and the guilty; and commanding, for the future, not only forbearance, but protection to be extended to such of the Greeks as are not actually implicated in them. The other great Courts of Europe are acting the part of mediators, and seemingly with suc
Austria has rigorously prohibited the inhabitants of her extensive territories, from taking up arms in the cause of Greece, with whose revolted provinces all intercourse seems about to be prohibited. Prussia has, however, given permission to her subjects to join the Greek standard; but the Austrian course has been too closely adopted in the Ionian Isles, in some of which, for the public demonstration of a spirit, natural and honourable at the present crisis to Greeks, martial law has, we regret to find, been proclaimed and acted upon, by the English Commissioner. Such protectors, we fear, the Ionian Islanders would rather be without, than with. After the manifestation of so favourable a disposition towards the Porte, we wonder not at our Ambassador being in high credit there, and only hope that his influence will be successfully exerted to preserve the peace of Europe, without leaving the poor Greeks at the mercy of their tyrannical oppressors. But, even should the present desultory warfare between these unequal parties be speedily terminated, we have no doubt but that the Turks will have work
VOL. IV.-NO. 8.