Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

till the morning of the 17th of July, following day he appeared at the afwhen the magiftrates were alarmed sembly, introduced by a deputation by the report that a large body of of fixty members, and solemnly consefeditious persons were about to af- crated the affent which he had alreafemble in the Champ de Mars. Two dy given, and concluded with an oath of the magiftrates were sent to be “ to be faithful to the nation and to fuburb of St. Antoine, where they the law, and to employ the powers had the fatisfaction to find that every vested in him for the maintenance thing was quiet. At eleven o'clock of the constitution, and the due exehowever intelligence was brought, cution of the law." that in the quarter of Gros-caillou While the constitutional act was two persons had been murdered : in agitation an additional decree three inunicipal officers were there. was passed, importing that no branch fore dispatched, at the head of a bat- of the royal family could exercise talion of national guards, to seize any employment in the gift of the the murderers and disperse the in- people ; and on the 30th of Sepsurgents. At the same moment in, tember the constituent national as formation was received of an alarm sembly terminated an uninterrupted ing tumult in the Champ de Confé- feffion of two years and four months, deration. The mob attacked the na- and spontaneously diffolved itself. tional guard, and one man had the In treating of the different acts audacity to fire on M. la Fayette of the national assembly, we have himself. The man was seized, but freely criticised such parts of the new M. la Fayette, with a false genero- constitution as appeared liable to Gity, permitted him to escape. The objection. One general error, and red Aag was now displayed, and which may ultimately effect its demartial law proclaimed. The nation. Atruction, must appear on the perual guard was at length obliged to fire fal of it to moit readers; and that upon the people, who did not dif- is, the extreme weakness of the exeperle till about twelve were killed, cutive power,

Unless the agents and fifty or fixty wounded. It was of government be protected and supaflerted, with what truth it is diffi- ported in the execution of their lecult to say, that foreign emisfaries veral duties, their operations must were discovered among the populace necessarily be timid, feeble, and indiftributing money, and exciting effective. Perhaps the impeachment shem to rebellion.'

of ministers, which is a most folemn, The period now approached, a most important, and also a most when the constituent allembly were dangerous branch of legislative auto terminate their labours. A com- thority, unless exercised with great mittee had been for some time em discretion, ought to be subjected to ployed in compiling and digesting such formalities as might render it into a code the constitutional decrees, difficult upon frivolous pretences. and on the 4th of August it was Perhaps the concurrence of a cerread to the assembly by M. Thou. tain portion of the legislative body ret, and debated article by article ought to be required before an imon the following days. On the 3d peachment could be brought forof September it was presented to the ward or moved for ; since it appears king. He fignified his acceptance that, if a popular harangue from a ofit in writing or the 13th; and the fingle demagogue is sufficient to

displace

H 3

displace a minister, and even to sub- of the people, are certainly no longer ject him to a criminal prosecution, wanted. It is not a supply of pothese offices will never be executed liticians, but of mechanics, manuby men of spirit and character, facturers, and husbandmen, that must

Another observation will perhaps now give vigour and prosperity to not be considered as impertinent, as France; and it is better to rest relative to the present state of satisfied with even an imperfect form France. When the conititution was of government, than by a continued settled, it should have been the great 'pursuit of ideal perfsction to retain object of every friend to his country the country and the government in to labour for the restoration of tran- an unsettled and a divided state. A quillity, order, and industry. Those free government may sometimes expolitical associations, under the de- perience injury from too much connomination of Amis de Constitu, Edence; but it is certain to be detion, &c. &c, which might be use. Atroyed by a series of discord, diforful at firit in keeping up the spirit der, and faction.,

[blocks in formation]

W

State of Germany. Revolt of the Netherlands. Their Reduction. Turkijb

War. Conference of Reichenbach. Peace between Auftria and Rujía. Peare beicveen Ruim and Sweden. Taking of Ismail Disgrace and Death of the Vizir. Taking of Maczin, &c. Mediation of Prussia and Enge land. Peace between Raffia and the Porte. - Polish Revolution. Affairs of Liege.

HILE the empire of ful than that of the Prussian tyrant. the amazing change which had been tary of the pretended philofophy of stlected in its government, the Voltaire, and confidered every thing peighbouring countries of Europe as-reformation which was opposite were scarcely less agitated with fo. to established opinions. No people reign wars or with intestine com- are more attached to their religion motion. No sovereign could suc; than the Flemings; and the alteraçeed to a throne at a more difficult tions which Joseph attempted in the cuilis than that in which Leopold church and constitution of the Jl. was invefled with the imperial Lagic provinces, had kept them in purple. By the temerity of his pre- alate of agitation for a considerable deceffor, he found himself involved period. What was effected by vioin a distant and ynprofitable war ; hence was enforced by severity: The while the most flourishing part of unrelenting persecution to which all luis hereditary dominions appeared the opponents of Joseph were exfor ever alienated from the house of pored, lad depopulated the couns Auftria.

try by continued «migrations. The Joseph II. was the mimic of exiles in the mean while preserved a Frederic, who has been milnamed strict correspondence with each the Great ; but if his views were other; they had their agenţa in Jess selfish, his conduct was les art- every part of Brabant and Flanders,

and

[ocr errors]

ܪ

and it is generally supposed were the emperor, "was named prime minot deftitute of foreign fupport. nifter; M. Van-Euren, grand peni On different parts of the Auttrian tentiary of the cathedral of Anvers, frontier they attempted repeatedly was appointed leeretary of state; and to colle&t their fcattered forces ; but the baron d'Hore, commissary-gethey were as constantly dispersed by neral for the war department. applications from the court of vi- About the same period the other? enga to the states where they pre- ftates, vit. Flanders, Hainault," sumed to fhew themfelves. It was iiot Tournay, Namur; and Guelderland," till the latter end of the year 1789 that were convened, and formally difthey were able to take any effectual claimed their allegiance to the eni meafures. Then, as if by magic, an peror. The magistrates whom Joarmy of 40,000 men appeared in an seph had banished were at the famo instant of time, and over-ran the time recalled, and the courts of jufwhole of Austrian Flanders. As tice were opened under the new count Trautmandorf, the head of administration. General Van der the Austrian adminiftration, had ar- Mersch, who had distinguished him.' refted several of their friends at Bruf- felf in several actions, was appointed fels, the insurgents feized in the first to the chief command of the forces; instance the person of M.Crumpipen, envoys were dispatched to several fothe chancellor of Brabant, whom reign powers, and the states assumed they detained as a hostage. They all the prerogatives and functions of foon obtained poffeffion of the town sovereign authority.

? and citadel of 'Anvers, of Tournay, In the month of January 1790, and of Ghent. The leaders of the the outlines of a federal cónftitution, party formed themselves into a les consisting of twelve articles, were giflative body at Breda, where they formed by the Belgie fafes, for thatdeclared themselves the lawful states was the title which the new confedeof the provinces. Their proceed- rationafhumed. In these articles it ings at first were marked by an un-' was ftipulated, that cách province common fpirit of unanimity, and should retain its own peculiar constitheir success was correspondent. It tation, as well as the right of internal was not long before the whole of the legislation, but that a congress! Austrian Netherlands, the citadel of should be appointed, confifting of Antwerp and a few other strong deputies from each of the provinces, places excepted, was in the hands of for the conduct of all affairs relative the patriots. It was in vain that to the federative union, the general the emperor Joseph threatened, in defence of the republic, the coining vain he held forth the most flattering of money, the ratifying of treaties, and conciliatory language, in vain &c. The Roman catholic religion offered to restore their ancient con was' eltablished throughout all the ftitution, and even to endvw them states. The "civil and military emwith additional privile es. On the ployments were never to be united 22d of December the ftates of Bra-, in the same person ; nor were the bant afsembled; and in concert with members of the republie to accept? the deputies of the other provinces of sy military order or diftinétient proceeded to the appointment of a from foreign powin's. inimity. M. Henry Van-der' Noot, Mough the Belgic states exper a-popular advocate, who had diftini rienced no' direct support from the guished himfelf by his opposition to powers whleh wäre friendly to their

H 4

iuterelis,

interests, and which were supposed united in reclaiming the ancient con to have encouraged their revolt, yet Atitution, as more tolerable than the their armies were respectably in despotism of Austria ; ; but when creased by a number of foreigners, they had successfully contended, and particularly from England and purchased their liberties at the price France, who entered as volunteers of their blood, the enlightened part into their service, and performed the of the community conceived that, in molt gallant actions. That which establishing the new government, was termed the Belgic legion in fuch-alterations ought to be adopted particular was composed chiefly of as were agreeable to the present imBritish, and no body of military ever proved notions of civil policy, and distinguished themselves by more such parts of the old constitution faactive courage or more perfect dif- crificed as were actually oppreffive. cipline.

But what was their furprise, when It would be foreign to our pure they found that, instead of an impole minutely to detail the viciffi- proved system, the old acikocratical tudes of the war. The spirit of the government was every where adopted people, encouraged by their clergy, by the ruling powers, and even with and the good conduct of their offi- additional burthens on the people, cers, not only enabled them to fup- and additional indulgences to the port an unequal contest, but even privileged orders! . * * es vistosta inclined the balance of victory in So far from indicating any debre their favour, and soon wrested the for improvement, any genuine-afwhole of the Belgic provinces from fection for the cause of liberty, one the dominion of Austria.

of the firkt steps of the Belgic conThe unanimity which prevailed gress was a public declaration of inat the commencement of the revolu- tolerances the liberty of the press tion was unfortunately, not of lung was totally prohibited, and Itate li duration, The federal government cepfers appointed; arbitrary impriof the Belgic Itates appeared to be fonment was allowed, and feneral established on a basis not ill calcu- other Funpopular: measures were lated to support the fabric of a con- adopted. A general air of mystety federated empire; but, in the go- covered the proceedings of the convernment of the different states, there gress, which was foon found to be exitted enough of evil, to produce filled with the creatures and immediscontent, faction, and distrust. The diate connexions of Van der Noot conititutions of thefe provinces were, and Van Euren. Among the perlike most of the old governments fons, who professed themselves difof Europe, founded entirely upon fatisfied with the existing arrangefeudal and aristocratical principles. ments, and who wished that: fomeThe nobles and the clergy were in- thing more might be done for the vested with particular privileges, cause of the people, were fome of which like all others were so many the highest rank and the molti poinfringements on the general rights pular character. Of these it is only of the citizens. When Joseph Sub- necessary, to mention the prince verted the conftitution of these pro- d'Aremberg, the duc d'Urfel, the vinces, the privileges of the superior viscouat Walkiers, and general Van orders were involved in obe common der Mersch. A patriotic committee ruin with the liberties of the people. was formed at Bruffels for the pure All parties, therefore, were at firkt pose of effecting lorne reform in the 1

goverument. government. The constitution of civil and ecclefiaftical constitutions, England was the avowed object of the and promising a complete redress of majority of these reformers, which every grievance. While such were they wished to fue adopted as far as his proceedings in publie, he did not might be confiftent with republican neglect to treat in private with the government. But these were the views leaders of the two parties. Whether of a comparatively small part of the successful or not in gaining them to public y the great mass of the peo- his interests, one effect was certain to ple, the inferior orders, were di- follow this mode of negociation; it rected entirely by an implicit devo- was certain to increafe that distrukt tion to the will of their priests, and difunion which already existed: and in every respect subject to mo- each party in fact mutually confinaftic influence. The patriotic com- dered and represented the other as mittee was scarcely formed, than cold and devoted to the views of the most alarming riots were excited Austria ; but there is reason to bein Brussels and other parts; in which lieve that the monarch was moft the rabble, always governed by the successful with the prétended pátrimolt contemptible prejudices, ex- otic committee. daimed in favour of the existing The king of Hungary however oligarthy, and seemed anxiously in- did not entirely trust to the effects duttrious in forging fetters for them of his-negociation, nor to the diffelves. Ik Full on. union which prevailed in the pro+ Such was the inaufpicious crifis vinces themselves. He no sooner for Belgic liberty, in which Leopold afcended the throne than he secretly afcended the throne of his ancestors. determined upon a peace with the That crafty prince, less dazzled with Turks and he began gradually to false glory, lefs heated with the rage withdraw his troops from the Ottóof innovation, than his unfortunate man territories, to employ them predeceffor, was able clearly to dif- upon an object of superior profit and cern that his real intereft no longer importance.. Generał Bender, an confifted in reaping barren laurels in excellent officer, was 'fupplied with the unprofitable contest with the an immense reinforcement of choice Ottomans, but in conciliating or re- troops, and prepared to renew the ducing his revolted fubje&s, and in war with fresh activity and vigour. attending to the actual prosperity - In fuch an extremity, á union of and peace of his extensive hereditary parties could scarcely be purchased dominions. It was even said that at too large a ricei The Belgic the unfortunate Joseph, when hum- provinces were too weak, without bled and fubdued by the approach foreigó aid, to refift the immense of death, expressed the deepeit con- power of the houfe of Austria, had trition for this imprudent cooduct, the most perfect unanimity preand recommended to his fucceffor, vailed. But what must be our aitoin the strongest terms, 'the adoption 'wishment, to find that the diftrelles of pacific measures in treating with which threatened them seemed to his-Flemish subjects. One of the increase instead of reconciling their first steps therefore of Leopold was diffenfions! Adversity and perfecutoiffue a conciliatory proclamation, tion had måde Van der Noot apinviting the revolted provinces to pear more than a manpower and return to their allegiance, pledging profperity had converted him'into a hanself for the restoration of their child. There was nothing odious

and

« ForrigeFortsæt »