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our hopes? We leave it to the estates themselves to decide; a father has a right to put this question to his children.
"We hope that these words, proceeding from the bottom of our heart, will attain, where they ought to have their full force, the object which our benevolent intentions proposed. We have spoken thus, because we wish to have no reproach to make either to ourself or our kingdom." Austria could not have much upon her conscience in relation to the Slave-trade. She had neither colonies in which slaves might be employed, nor a commercial navy to seek gain by shipping them as a profitable cargo. Her flag was scarcely known out of the Mediterranean: her slavery was confined to the civilized nations of Europe; and in no country could the slave-trade be more safely denounced with a certainty of injuring no one existing interest. In August, an imperial decree was issued, which, after proudly proclaiming that "every slave becomes free from the moment he touches the soil of Austria, or even the deck of an Austrian ship, and the slave of a foreigner recovers his liberty the instant he is given up, on whatsoever account, to an Austrian subject," provided, that every Austrian subject, who should oppose any obstacle to the personal liberty of any slave conveyed to him, or alienate anew any slave so conveyed, whether in the territories of Austria, or elsewhere — also every captain of any Austrian vessel, who should charge himself with the transporting of slaves, or directly or indirectly, interpose any obstacle to the enjoyment of personal freedom, acquired by such as might come on board his vessel— SlM>uJ.d. be ]bi?ld gujjty of a breach.
of the public peace, and be punished with close imprisonment, from one to five years. If a captain of an Austrian vessel, or any other Austrian subject, should engage in any continued commerce of slaves, or any thing relating thereto, the penalty was to be augmented to imprisonment for ten years, and where the circumstances were aggravated, for twenty years. Ill usage of a lighter character was to be punished with a fine, and an imprisonment varying from three days to three months, to which, in cases of repeated offences, were to be superadded fasting andrigorous seclusion. These measures proved the existence of good dispositions, indulged without the sacrifice of any interest, or the conquering of any resistance. They were chiefly directed to the war in the Levant between Greece and Turkey; they wereexpressly extended to prisoners of war who had fallen into the hands of an enemy that treated its prisoners as slaves; and going directly, therefore, to prevent Austrian vessels from being employed to transport prisoners of war, they were the first symptoms which Austria had displayed of looking with one eye, at least, of mercy upon the Greek cause. In the dispute between Spain and Portugal, likewise, she shewed a wise and pacific disposition. France was unwilling to move in defence of rebellion against legitimacy: Austria herself, Russia, andPrussia, were too distant from the scene to act with any effect: Don Pedro, whose authority was attacked, was the emperor's son-in-law, and the young queen, who was to be.deT:throned, was the emperor's granddaughter. The Austrian cabinet, therefore, very wisely kept Don Miguel quiet at Vienna, while, the.. insurgents were, running wild in
his name on the frontiers of Portugal, and persuaded him to insure the crown by accepting it with a wife, rather than risk its loss, and his own destruction, in attempting to grasp it by rebellion against his brother and his niece.
In Prussia, part of the inquiries which it had been found necessary to institute into the practices and constitution of certain secret associations of fanatical friends of liberty, were brought to a conclusion. Almost from the very conclusion of the war, the notice of the German courts had been dixected to these mischievous societies, composed of men, or rather of raw youths, whose only striking qualities were hot-headedness, an utter ignorance of the world and its affairs, an unconquerable attachment to chimerical schemes for establishing what they called liberty, and deemed an amelioration of the condition of mankind, and no small disregard for the ordinary rules of morality in the pursuit of their projects. For a long time, the more liberal, but still rational thinkers of Europe, had believed these plots to be imaginary, or that they were at most merely the pranks of a set of madcaps, exaggerated into formidable conspiracies by the fears of despotic governments who felt public opinion tottering beneath them, or wilfully misrepresented, to furnish a pretext for crushing every spark of manly freedom; but the discoveries effected by the police, year after year, the investigations now instituted in Prussia, and still more those of the commission appointed to inquire into the conspiracy which broke out in St. Petersburgh on the death of the emperor of Russia, rendered scepticism either as to the existence, the objects, or the rami-.
fixations of these confederacies, any longer impossible, and freed the governments from much of the odium which had been cast upon them, except, perhaps, the odium of having contributed to the continuance and the growth of this dangerous spirit by their pertinacious refusal to admit into their political institutions, any sprinkling of public opinion, or popular forms. In the month of May, the inquiries regarding a society named "The Association of the Youths," were terminated; and, of twentyeight members of it who had been seized, eleven were condemned to imprisonment and hard labour for fifteen years, two to the same punishment for thirteen years, two for twelve years, and twelve for various terms, from eleven down to two years; all of them were deprived of the national cockade, and honorary distinctions; and those, who held any office, were cashiered, and declared incapable of being employed in future. At the head of these intrigues, so far as could be known from authentic sources, was the Association of Men, whose ramifications were said to extend beyond Germany, and to be connected with factions in other countries. Immediately subject to it, and bound by an oath of unlimited obedience, even to the assassination of enemies of the Association, was the Association of the Youths, the members of which were scattered throughout Germany. This Association divided Germany into twelve circles, and appointed a chief in each. There was a supreme chief, by whom, and some others, the general affairs were directed, and the connexion with the Association of the Men was conducted. Its object was, to overthrow existing institutions, and excite discontent and rebel-*
• lion. The members were trained to arms, and were subject to the control of unknown superiors. Immediately under this were the Secret Associations, over which members of the Association of Youth presided } but the mass of their members were ignorant of the existence of the Association. These met several times in a year, and Germany was divided by them into three main divisions. Under them was the Burschenschaft, and under that, the reading societies and clubs. It is surprising that the young men who entered into these criminal associations, should, after all they had seen, have been so deaf to experience. The precautions which had so long saved their university-clubs from discovery and destruction, seemed to lose their virtue when applied to these more dangerous unions. It was plain from their history, either that they could not so contrive their arrangements as to exclude spies from their very bosom, or that amongst their members some were always to be found, willing, when imprisoned on suspicion, to make their peace with government by revealing whatever was known to them. This was no doubt perfectly natural in associations so widely extended, and including so many varieties of head and heart, especially when the volatility and rashness of youth and enthusiasm combined are taken into account; but the almost absolute certainty of detection was unable to crush the flame; and the young men still continued to train themselves, by unruly and seditious conduct at the universities, for founding new confederacies, and planning new rebellions. At Halle the behaviour of the students was so bad, that, at the end of the first session of the year, an ordonnance was
issued, directing, that every one of them who should make himself liable to punishment, should be expelled; that a list of them should be returned every six months, to the royal commissioner over the University, to be by him communicated to the Consistories, provincial colleges, and other public bodies, with orders to admit no person contained in it to any public employment, or to the examinations which it might be necessary to undergo, before commencing the practice of a profession. The departments of justice and finance were likewise to be shut against them.
The unexpected events which had occurred at St. Petersburgh in the endof 1825, left behind them, within a few days, scarcely any trace of their existence, except what was to be found in the trials and punishment of the conspirators. Although it was the army, the most formidable foe when disaffected, and when faithful the only trustworthy support of absolute power, which had excited the revolt, and dipped its hands in loyal blood, the rebellious movement did not extend beyond the daring attempt made at St. Petersburgh in the north, and the more abortive one at Kiev in the southern part of the empire. The rest of the troops submitted peacefully and willingly to the new emperor; the resignation of Constantine, from whatever cause it might have originally proceeded, whether from an improbable disinclination to the cares of imperial power, or a reluctant assent to the will of another, was now certain and final; and, if he possessed the power, he shewed by the frankness and sincerity of his conduct, that he had not the
but she persisted in continuing her journey, contrary to the remonstrances of her physician, and her suite. Her situation became so alarming, that an express was sent to the empress mother, who had already arrived at Kalouga, acquainting her with the danger, and requesting her to come to Beleff, a town between Kalouga and Orel, the empress being unable to proceed further. The former immediately set out; but before she could arrive at Beleff, the empress had expired on the l6th of May.
Insurrections have been produced in our West-Indian colonies, by the negroes being imbued with a belief, that government had decreed their emancipation, and that they were deprived of its benefits by their owners suppressing the fact. A similar belief had gone abroad among the serfs and peasants of Russia, although it displayed itself as yet only in murmurs and petitions. Alexander had abolished the personal servitude of the peasants of the crown, and, with the consent of the greater part of the land-owners, had extended the benefit of the measure to the peasantry of the German provinces of the empire, Livonia, Esthonia, and Courland. But the same freedom could not be used with the less enlightened proprietors of old Russia: to have emancipated their serfs would have been to injure too many interests, or rather, to wound too many prejudices, which the emperor found it necessary to respect. He was compelled, therefore, to rest satisfied with preparing the way for such a measure, and, as one important step, he had prohibited the proprietors from making a traffic of their serfs, whom they had hitherto been in the habit of selling like