« VorigeDoorgaan »
most attention, from the time when he first had the superintendance of it. The visitors of St. James's might be deploring with each other the intelligence of a bulletin, at the very moment when the doctor discovered the first symptoms of reco
The ministers, however, could give hopes of convalescence: but the subsequent bulletins by no means, in the apprehension of the multitude, favoured that sentiment. For our own part, we did not place the least confidence either in the bulletins or the words of the ministers. The disorder, we know, must have its course: and it would require time to ascertain whether it had taken permanent possession of the patient, or would leave him subject to similar and fequent returns. The age of the patient, the number of the attacks he had already experienced, rendered a recovery less probable; and this conjecture would be strengthened or weakened by the force of the present disorder, and the power of the body to meet it. A difference of opinion would naturally be entertained of the manner in which government should be conducted on such an occasion: but common sense seems to point out, that, whatever might be the decision, it ought to be on an examination of the physicians.
The source of the disorder was generally, but very improperly, traced to a melancholy event, which at the same time afflicted the royal family. The Princess Amelia had, for a considerable time, been lying in a very deplorable state, the crisis was approaching, and every day discovered fresh symptons of dissolution. The royal mind would naturally sympathise highly with the amiable sufferer, to whom every branch of the family was affectionately attached, and for whom all, who had known or heard of her, entertained the sincerest regard. Some time before the dissoTution of the Princess, a degree of irregularity in the royal mind was very apparent, and an instance of affection on the part of the daughter was supposed to have overpowered it. But, in a case of this kind, we are not to look to a particular fact. When a person is subject to this disease, it is
brought on by a variety of causes, and any thing dwelling tong on the mind will produce it. The anxiety for the fate of the Princess, joines to the usual kingly cares, was suncient, and, in fact, the laurer of themselves are perfectly competent to sccount for the disorder. How far the gard for the royal per on will o; e te to fix on him a continuance of those cares, time will discover.
The month has been distinguished by one of those natural events which, owing to our insular situation, bring at times very great calamity on the parts adjacent to the sea, or to tide rivers. A dr adfui storm of wing from the east drove on the tide, with considerable violence on our eastern shores, and Lincolnshire in particular was a very great sufferer. Near Boston, the sea-banks were broken, and a vast district of the rich marshy country was laid under water. In other parts of the island were inferior inundations; and in the interior of the country the ravages of the storm were seen by whole avenues of trees lying prostrate on the ground. Occurrences of this kind are not unfrequent in our history, and a detail of them might possibly be the means of suggesting proper precautions against the violence of wind and water. A small obstacle may prevent the violence of the waves, which, if removed, would leave an opening to the waters, and over whelm a country with desolation.
We have had frequent occasion to notice events in the life of the deposed King of Sweden, and a short time back, he could hardly have thought that England would be his refuge. Yet we have now to set this down in the history of the times. The deposed king, under the title of Count Gottorp, has been wandering on the north of Germany and the confines of Russia, and from the confines of the latter country he found means to get on board an English vessel, in which he was brought to England, and landed at Yarmouth. He was of course received with that hospitality and courtesy, to which a person of his birth and former quality is entitled; and he left the place for London, where he may live in that kind of honourable privacy, which is suited to his copdition. We have now in
our country two of the ex-kings of were specious enough. Either the Europe, and a brother of the success- Speaker's warrant is legal or illegal. ful Emperor is expected. Such is the If legal, then the Serjeant can be revolution of human affairs. king deposed by this country found limits of his jurisdiction: if illegal, it The punished only for exceeding the an asylum on the continent of Eu- is a point of such consequence, that rope; it is but right to return the it ought to be solemnly argued before compliment, when the nations of Eu-, the judges, and to be previously derope follow our example. with him in opinion, and the causes termined. The Judges coincided are deferred till the merits of the demurrer are tried. Of course the legality of the warrant will be argued first before the Judges, and a vast display of legal knowledge will occupy the short-hand writers. To us the question appears to lie in a nut-shell, and we are exceedingly sorry, that its merits were not brought before the twelve sworn men in the plain form of an action for damages against the Serjeant.
in the disappearance of gold, and the The country is too much interested substitution of paper promises in its stead, not to take part in the discussions which it has occasioned. The report of the Bullion Committee has try, to the immense profits of the bank, opened the eyes of many in this counand the consequent losses to every individual by the new system, which it has been our misfortune to experience. Mr. Huskisson, who was on the in which he has shewn the injury done committee, has published a pamphlet, to us all in a very plain manner. bank note means something, and this A something is the promise to pay that quantity of coin which the note designates according to law. Now the law has fixed forty-three guineas and weight of bullion: but if a person a half to be made out of a pound goes now to buy a pound weight of gold at the goldsmiths, he must give fifty-six pound notes for it, and when guineas, and carried his guineas to he has got the pound coined into the bank, he will receive forty-five pound notes and thirteen shillings and sixpence. Thus he loses by the new system ten pounds six shillings and sixpence, that is about a fifth of the sum he first laid out, and this is the rate of the depreciation of our bank notes. The fact is too clear. The promise of the bank can refer only to our coin, or if it refers to any thing else, this should be settled by law.
An arrival from America may be considered as of greater importance. The unhappy man, who was exposed on a desert island, for whom great search had been made, was found to have survived the attempt against his life, and to be living in America. How he was brought from that place, aud by what inducements, it is not known; but it is said, that the family of the accused captain, who has exposed himself to so much animadversion, have made ample compensation to the poor sailor for his sufferings. He received his discharge from the Admiralty, and went down to his friends; and the steps taken by Goverument, on this occasion, will of course be made known during the present session of Parliament.
When we think of the poor sailor on the deserted island, the name of Sir Francis Burdett naturally occurs to us, and the return made to him for the interest he took in the sufferings of his countryman. Sir Francis, seized by an armed force The cause of of Englishmen, conveyed to the tower, and imprisoned there, was expected to come to a decision before a judge and jury, on the 20th: but the law is known to have its delays, and a terrible demurrer, as they call it, is an obstacle not easily got over. Francis brought actions against the Sir Serjeant of the House of Commons, and the Constable of the Tower, who were evidently the first persons with whom he had to do. broke into his house, seized his perThe former son, and the latter kept him in custody. It was their business, in the course of the trial, to plead their excuse, if any in the Speaker's warrant, and on this the jury would decide. This appears the way to set the quesTwelve sworn men are under the direction of the Judge, the best friers of causes in the world. But the Attorney-General started his objections, and the arguments he used
tion at rest.
heretics only were intended to be proscribed, and that the fathers of the first ages of the church cried out for liberty of writing, printing then being unknown': and the greatest enemy to that liberty was Julian the apostate, who prohibited all their books. There was sufficient good sense in the as sembly to get over the folly and prejudices of the bigots and their idle appeals to stupid or wicked councils; and if the Cortez should have power, it will be curious to see the effect of their liberty regained. In Spain will be a political free press: in France there is a religious free press: in
Now the law has not changed its designation, but only deferred the fulfilment of the promise: and we, who are obliged to use these promises, cannot expect them to have the value they used to have, when they were performed on presentation.
On the continent of Europe, next to the situation of Lord Wellington's army, the Cortez at Cadiz excites our attention. Spain has so long been disgraced by its priests, and their enmity to freedom of enquiry, that any attempt to establish the liberty of the press, must shew that their influence is on the wane. The subject could not but occur, and the political liberty England the press is free in both respects to a certain degree, but its freedom is incomplete: for no advantage should be given to an accuser over the accused, in matter of libel.
The Cortez has exercised a great act of authority by establishing a new regency, which has been installed: but the act has given rise to a circumstance, which shews that Spain is far from being united in its opinion of this assembly. A gentleman was elected to supply the place in case of necessity, of one of the regents, and
of the press has been in consequence voted, but to what extent is not clearly ascertained. The religious liberty of the press seems to have been too delicate a subject for discussion; but, as the Cortez has made a beginning, it may see the propriety of curtailing the impudence of the priest in some measure, and taking from him the right of hood-winking the nation according to his pleasure. The arguments used were such as might be expected; the favourers of liberty referred to the example of England, in consequence was under the neces the opposers of it to France, which sity of taking the oath appointed to they contended was ruined by philoso- be taken by the other regents. To phers, whose writings attacked equal- this however he demurred, by making ly the throne and the altar. Tur- a salvo of conscience for the rights of Biers was the boldest champion against the king Ferdinand. This naturally this liberty, which he contended in- excited a great ferment, and the gen troduced a thousand errors. He tleman was sent into custody, and in thought that the universities, the the deliberation on his crime, it was bishops, and the holy tribunal should thrown out, that he spoke not only be consulted. This fatal liberty had, his own sentiments, but those of a he said, introduced into England a considerable number of adherents. variety of sects, which filled the island On the next day he was permitted to and the throne with horrors, and go to his house under a guard, and to would one day destroy the constitu- be there in custody, and another was tion; that it was much better to be elected in his room. The question is rude and good, than knowing and not so clear as may be generally ima bad; that the executive power always gined, though a divine threw out, that had the greatest influence on the the salvo of conscience was inappress, though it was free, so that the plicable in this instance. The first press and its liberty would be as its point, however, to be settled, is, whe government: Morales contended, that ther Ferdinand has any right at all, as as the Council of Tient had pro- it does not by any means appear that nounced against the liberty of print- the resignation of his father Charles ing books of politics and the fine arts, has been constitutionally recognised. and the Council of Loteran every What a field for a dispute is thus kind of book without a previous re- opened! Charles, Ferdinand, the visal, it did not become the Cortez to present Cortez, consisting of deputies violate these sacred decisions. Against only from a small part of the king, this it was observed, that books of dom, may all claim their rights, and
the French are preparing red-hot balls, which if care is not taken, may settle the question, by dispersing his majesty the Cortez.
No reliance can be placed on the accounts from the interior of Spain. The Gallic King, in spite of the Cortez, retains his authority, and he anticipates their resolutions, by granting his subjects more liberty than it is to be feared they are likely to have from the representative body,
In Portugal is the brunt of the war, and of the real state of the armies little can be said; for both sides boast of victories, and the generals contradict the statements of their opponents. One fact remains certain, that Lord Wellington has his position to the north of Lisbon in very strong passes; that Massena with his famished army is to the north and east of him. It is asserted, that Massena has only the ground on which he stands: but what it is that prevents him from drawing supplies from the east of him, we confess that we do not see. From the appearance of things, one would judge that the British was a besieged army, the French the besiegers: that the latter had a wide extent of country to range in, whilst the former was confined within very narrow limits; and that, if what is reported be true, it is surprising that Lord Wellington does not leave his post, and drive the miserable wretches, or skeletons of men in arms, who oppose him, into the Tagus.
may decree, and decrees put money into the pockets of those who are to see to the execution of them. Commerce must suffer under these fetters, and his own subjects will feel the injury. It is however a singular state of things, and will bring people on both sides of the water to enquire into the grounds of the continuance of warfare, and perhaps a plan may be devised, as soon as the affairs of Spain are settled, for the restoration of peace and good neighbourhood. For the present war must go on, and the trade of the soldier will flourish.
Something seems to be brewing against Denmark. The King is said to have given leave of absence to thirty thousand of his troops, at the same time that they talk of thirty thousand Frenchmen passing through his dominions by three thousand at a time into Sweden. But if the force of Denmark is weakened, what security will its king have against the French? They may indeed he wanted in Sweden, where the Crown Prince now is, and by accounts, he has been received with great appearance of cordiality; and as the king is in an infirm state, it is not impossible that he may resign the government to his adopted heir. Nothing can be worse than the state of Holland. All confidence is lost. The decrees of the French are enforced; and if the war continues, Holland must cease to be a commercial country.
The hopes entertained of the Turks being able to make a stand against the Russians, are by no means sanguine; reports are circulated of the
Bonaparte is pursuing his war against commerce with indefatigable industry. It seems to approach almost to madness: but the confederate kings seem to join heartily in his victories of the former; but the measures. Even the Princess Royal Grand Signor, with his holy standard, of England has the mortification of has not yet left Constantinople, and seeing the goods of her countrymen the number of troops collected in burnt under the walls of her palace; that city, produce very great tumults. and in every place similar measures Every thing seems to portend, that the are pursued with the utmost rigour. Russians will maintain their ground, The French emperor is determined and proposals are said to have been that nothing of English produce or made on the part of the Turks to cede manufacture shall appear upon the Moldavia and Wallachia to their enecontinent. Branding in the face with my. Spanish America is very much an iron is a punishment of those who unsettled, and in one place opposite infringe his decrees: and it is ex- parties have met in battle, both pected that he will speedily issue the fighting under the standard of king penalty of death against those who Ferdinand. maintain any kind of correspodence with this country. But despotism
Africa has sent very unpleasing intelligence, and such as must excite
UNIVERSAL MAG, VOL. XIV.
melancholy reflections. A mutiny parate without recording the fact of took place, it is said, at Senegal, when, the necessity under which they acted, at a drum-head court martial, twenty- although not legally opened as a parfive of the mutineers were condemned liament.-Lord Stanhope was of the to be shot, and twenty-five to be ba- same opinion with the last speaker, nished to Sierra Leone. The dread- but would not oppose the motion, as ful sentence of the former was exe there had not been time for the arrival cuted on twenty-four, who declared of all the members who were in Scot that they had no other ground of com- land and Ireland.-Lord Liverpool plaint, than that they could not bear conceived the adjournment to be prothe thoughts of being detained in per in every respect, but allowed that Africa all their lives. It may not be the two estates of the realm were bound unadviseable to consider how far it is before they proceeded to business to consistent with either humanity or ascertain, by real evidence, the state policy to shut out the hopes of returu of the King's health, and the extent of to these unhappy men; and whether, his incapacity to perform the duties of after some years good behaviour, they his high office.-Lord Grey would not might not be drafted into other regi- interrupt the unanimity of the House, ments, and gradually be restored to but he stated that the two estates of their native country. the realm can have no legitimate existence, no ability to legislate, no authority to act, when unaccompanied at their assembling by the crown, or its appointed representative-Lord Sidmouth said a few words in favour of the motion, which passed unanimously.
Proceedings in Parliament.
The two Houses met on the 1st of November, and in the House of Lords the Chancellor stated the fact of the King's illness, and moved an adjourn ment of a fortnight. Lords Liverpool and Holland spoke a few words, and the motion passed without opposition. -In the Commons the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated the reasons for business commencing without the usual speech, gave hopes of the speedy recovery of his Majesty, and moved an adjournment for a fortnight. In this he was seconded by Mr. Sheridan, who approved of every word said by the mover, and the motion bere passed also without opposition. In consequence the two Houses met again on the 15th, when, in the House of Lords, the Chancellor moved a further adjournment of a fortnight, stating his trust in God, from the favourable symptoms of his Majesty's indisposition, that there would be no necessity to adopt any proceedings to supply the
In the Commons, a motion of a similar nature, with similar assurances of speedy recovery, was made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.—Mr. Whitbread followed him, and could not allow that, in such a crisis, there was sufficient ground for such a mo tion. The assertion of an individual, unsupported by the evidence of phy sicians or a meeting of the privy council, was not, in his opinion, a justification of the measure. Besides, they were going to adjourn for a fortnight, to do without the kingly office for that period, and all this with their eyes open to the present alarming state of things, and their probable conse quences. Viewing the measure in so unfavourable a light, he would not, however, divide the House upon the
defect of the royal authority. En- question. But Sir Francis Burdett, couraged by these assurances, Lord seeing the impropriety of the measure Moira acquiesced in the motion: but in the true constitutional point of Lord Grenville, though he would not view, could not testify his disappro oppose it, stated, as an objection, that bation in so tame a manner, and de they had not constituted upon their clared, decidedly, that he would not journals the act of necessity, in conse- suffer such a motion to pass without quence of which they were assembled. dividing the House upon it. The pro With all the respect for the noble position appeared to him to be irra mover, he could not be satisfied in tional and unconstitutional; and had such a case with the assertion of any he been present on the first day, be subject in the realm, and he contend- should then have opposed an adjourn ed that they could not consistently se nent. The constitution was sus