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CONSTITUTION. By LEWIS CORNARO. [Trans-
The Declaration of England against the Acts and Projects of the Holy Alli-
Reflections on the Conduct of the Allies.
III. Sketch of a Plan for a Reformation in the System of Provincial Banking.
On the Dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies, and on the possible consequence
VI. Two pairs of Historical Portraits : Octavius Cæsar, and William Pitt, (reprinted);
IX. On the Poetical Character of Pope; further elucidating the "Invariable Princi-
Phocion in Reply to Cato, in Defence of the People of England, and in Vindi-
XI. On the present Deal and Timber Trade, as regards Europe and the British
American Colonies. [Original.]
WHEN War broke out in Europe in consequence of the French Revolution, the People of Great Britain were led to take part with the combined Sovereigns against France, under various pretexts. A breach of treaty was alleged. The preservation of our properties, the defence of our establishment against Republicans and Levellers, and many other reasons, were urged for persevering in a contest once begun; they were strengthened by appeals to the national pride, to our sense of moral and religious duties, to our sympathy for a suffering world, and to every noble and generous quality of the human heart. These motives prevailed. Touched by the sentiments of honor, and persuaded by plausible expositions of the national interest, we followed the leaders of our public councils in the course prescribed to us, with implicit deference and with unextinguishable ardor. We stopped at no sacrifices, We gave them the Revenue of the State, and the principal of its wealth. We surrendered to them our Constitution. We shared with them in every vicissitude of good and of evil fortune during a period of twenty years-deserted, and occasionally attacked, by those very Sovereigns for whom we had first embarked in the contest-until it pleased Providence to interpose for our common preservation, and by destroying the armies of Napoleon, to open the way for a general peace.
Delivered from all danger affecting ourselves, we saw with satisfaction the opportunity return to Europe of repairing its many losses, and of regaining the liberties of which its People had for so long been deprived; and it was not without the hope that, having so largely contributed to the fall of the French power by the uniform
resistance of our chief Statesmen, of all parties, to the most dangerous of its pretensions, and especially to that of separating us from all continental interests and concerns, the British Government would exercise a preponderating influence in the new settlement of Europe, as well in negociating its terms, as in procuring solid securities for their observance.
These hopes were disappointed. Treaties indeed were made, with more or less regard to an imaginary standard, by which the territorial possessions of certain great states were to be balanced against each other; smaller and local interests were provided for ; much diligence was exerted by the negociators in adjusting the relative proportions, and the times of payment, of the contributions imposed on France; but neither in settling the treaties of 1814 or 1815, nor at the subsequent congresses at Aix-la-Chapelle' and Carlsbad, does it appear that any regard was had to the only basis on which, in the present condition of the world, the Peace could be consolidated, to the solemn promises of the Sovereigns in the hour of their necessity, nor to the Rights which the People of Europe had acquired for themselves at the expense of so many sacrifices and sufferings.
And with regard to the influence of the British Government in the negociations for the general Peace, it appears to have been unavailing, whether for the protection in general of the weaker states, or for the maintenance of its own engagements with the People of Italy.
The arrangements then preparing for the world were conducted, on the contrary, on principles the very reverse. Public opinion was disregarded. National feeling was despised, and the expression of it harshly repulsed. Whole countries were transferred from one Prince to another, without any consideration for their wishes or habits, or the ancient prejudices under which they had lived happy and become great. Convenience, with a view to the re-establishment in its integrity of their own absolute Power, was alone consulted by the Sovereigns in their transactions with each other.
It was not long before a new System for the internal government of Europe, with an express view to the consolidation of this Power, was formed by the Sovereigns and openly proclaimed. The development of this system displayed the most extravagant pretensions. Treaties were entered into inconsistent with the rights of all independent nations, and with the foundations of all lawful authority. Giving to their new compact the name of a HOLY ALLIANCE, they proceeded to institute a Council, or Court
of High Sovereignty, arrogating to themselves a jurisdiction over the people of all countries, and assuming a right to determine all questions in any wise relating to the changes, or remedial laws, which any state might think fit to introduce into its civil code; while they professed to be themselves governed in their decisions by no law, other than their will, measured out according to a new, arbitrary, and capricious rule of their own invention, and called by them "THE MONARCHICAL PRINCIPLE." According to this rule, no remedy to the most palpable and crying abuses, no alteration of the most inconvenient forms, no resistance to the most grinding oppression, no improvement by the adaptation of old institutions to new wants and new interests, could be attempted by the mass of the population in any state, without incurring the guilt and penalties of rebellion; but all people were ordered to wait the will of their Sovereign for such institutions as he might choose to grant, and for assigning such limits to his authority as he or his favorites might find convenient.
In order to secure obedience to the mandates emanating from this council, a large military force, utterly disproportionate to the means of their subjects, or to their respective necessities as a defence against aggression, was kept up by the three chief members of the alliance. Upwards of one million two hundred thousand men were held in constant readiness to execute the common will.
Europe thus saw extinguished her last hopes of freedom, and even of tranquillity. The arbitrary sway of Napoleon was in fact succeeded by a system of fresh exactions, generating still more extensive demands on the industry and submission of the People. Ancient, and almost forgotten abuses, were sought out and restored; and as if in emulation of the worst part of the reign of liberty and equality, a new code of civil obedience was every where set up, supporting itself by THE ARMED DOCTRINE OF LEGITI MACY, and disposing no less arbitrarily than the governments of the wildest theorists of the French Republic, of the lives and resources of its subjects, for the accomplishment of its criminal purposes.
In pursuance of their common views, the Sovereigns have assembled at various times, and have never separated without adopting some new measures for the abridgment of the liberties of mankind.
Within the kingdom of France, their accredited agents had maintained a correspondence with, and admitted into their councils on the footing of a regular power, a faction openly embodied against the throne and constitution of that country as by law established.
! Berlin Gazette article.