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sitting and voting in the assembly the British nation to consider a of the states is confined to the ab- perpetual parliament exercising a bọts of male convents, to about direct power over the people, withtwenty-seven out of a numerous out any control, as an object of pobility, and to a few deputies from terror. The partial, summary, and the different trades or corporations iniquitous proceedings of the Engof the chief cities. Anciently, the lish parliament in the time of smaller cities or towns, and even Charles I. which serve as a beacon the villages, were possessed of fran- to the British, ought also to forechises, which entitled them to seats warn the Belgic nation of the cain the third estate of the national lamities lo be apprehended from assembly: but from the natural despotic power,whether it be lodged process of delegation and sub-dele- in the hands of one man gation in all popular power, the re- many The states-general are in presentatives of the people of Bra- the situation of a chamberlain or bant, were limited at last to depu- steward, who, on the death of his ties from Louvain, Brussels, and lord,continues,without any express Antwerp. Thus the constitution commission, to manage affairs for of the states-general of the Nether, the benefit of his lawful heir, to lands is the most aristocratical that whom he gives an account of his can be well imagined. This as- conduct; or of a character known sembly of men, in the constitution to the Romans and the Roman law, of which the public voice has scarce- under the name of negotiorum sistor. ly any share at all, can never be re- “The states-general are therefore garded as the representation, or ge responsible to the people for all nius, if we may say so, of the na- that they have done and advised tion. But if they had indeed a title since the deposition of the Empeto be regarded in this light, still the sooner that they call a they would not have any title to as- national assembly, the more effecsume the reins of government, and tually will they secure their own to convert a subordinate, or if they safety, and the tranquillity and sewill, for the sake of argument, a co- curity of the commonwealth. If ordinate, into an absolute power; the Belgic provinces are not yet the parliament of the catholic pro- ripe for å civil constitution, framed vinces would, at best, be in the on the mode of that which is in predicament of the parliament of the act of being reared in France, Great Britain during the interreg- at least let a successor be appointed num occasioned by the late indis- to Joseph II.; at least let the conposition of the King. Though this stitution, such as it was before the assembly was more popular than the dismission of that ambitious man, states-genera!, and had fairer pre- be restored; and let improvements tensions to be considered as the be made afterwards as opportunivoice of the people, they never ties may invite, and as the spirit of conceived the idea of governing the the times may bear or require. nation, even for a time, by their Till the old constitution be restored, own authority, but proceeded with- or a new one established on the out delay to the declaration of a basis of liberty and justice, it would regent. Experience had taught be the greatest madness in the triple alliance, or in any other power, public by means of the priests, to enter into a treaty with the Ca- they took care, as far as was posa tholic provinces."

or of

alliance,

ror:

sible, that the eloquence of the Such principles and pretensions priests should suffer no counteracwere highly offensive to the two tion from that of the press; which upper orders, who foreseeing that, by a decree passed on the 12th of by the admission of these the influ- January, 1790, two days after the ence which they had hitherto exer. declaration of independency and cised with so little control, would the formation of the new governbe greatly diminished, laboured to ment, was to remain under the same quash them, together with the spirit restrictions as formerly; that is to inwhich theyoriginated. For thisend say, that all publications whatever, they employed the Curés, or parish. without exception, should contipriests, of the towns and villag?s of nue as usual, subject to the previous the provinces, to visit their respec. examination and judgment of cletive parishioners, and to use their rical, or lay-censors, according to utmost influence for inducing them the nature of the matter treated of to sign a counter-address, request- in such publications; and that all ing the states to seize and punish, printers, booksellers, and hawkers, in an exemplary manner, all those should be answerable for the matdisturbers of the public tranquillity, ter contained in the books, pamphwho wished to introduce innova- lets, or papers, which they should tions and changes in the religion, publish. in the constitution, or in the pre

This marked solicitude to keep sent form in which the nation is the minds of men under control, represented by the three orders of only served to excite the greater the state, wþich it has chosen for dissatisfaction on the part of all its representatives. The Curés, ha- who aimed at a more popular form bituated throughout life to the of government. These might be greatest intimacy and friendship reduced to three classes : Ist, The with their parishioners, reluctant burghers and inhabitants of towns, to press a

measure which they reckoning in that number the tradknew to be contrary to the senti- ing and manufacturing parts of the ments and inclinations of so great community, whether living in a portion of them, and sympathiz- towns, villages, or any part of the ing perhaps more with the third country. 2d, That numerous and estate than the higher orders of still increasing class of men, of vathe clergy and the nobility, do not rious situations and professions, seem to have been very zealous who were smitten with what began in performing the task assigned to about this time to be called the them : certain it is, at least, that French Contagion. 3rd, Some of they were not very successfuli the lower nobility, and their deThe counter-address received but scendants, who served in the Belgic slow and scanty support: nor is army; a great portion of the mithere any certain information that litary men in general, and parti, it was ever presented. While the cularly of brave officers mostly of united Belgic states endeavoured the third estate, and without whose to recommend their cause to the bold spirit and extraordinary exer, Vol. XXXIII.

E

tions

sitting and voting in the assembly the British nation to consider a of the states is confined to the ab- perpetual parliament exercising a bọts of male convenis, to about direct power over the people, withtwenty-seven out of a numerous out any control, as an object of pobility, and to a few deputies from terror. The partial, summary, and the different trades or corporations iniquitous proceedings of the Engof the chief cities. Anciently, the lish parliament in the time of smaller cities or towns, and even Charles I. which serve as a beacon the villages, were possessed of fran- to the British, ought also to forechises, which entitled them to seats warn the Belgic nation of the cain the third estate of the national lamities to be apprehended from assembly: but from the natural despotic power,whether it belodged process of delegation and sub-dele- in the hands of one man gation in all popular power, the re- many The states-general are in presentatives of the people of Bra- the situation of a chamberlain or bant, were limited at last to depu- steward, who, on the death of his ties from Louvain, Brussels, and lord, continues without any express Antwerp. Thus the constitution commission, to manage affairs for of the states-general of the Nether, the benefit of his lawful heir, to lands is the most aristocratical that whom he gives an account of his can be well imagined. This as- conduct; or of a character known sembly of men, in the constitution to the Romans and the Roman law, of which the public voice has scarce- under the name of negotiorum sistor. ly any share at all, can never be re- “The states-general are therefore garded as the representation, or ge responsible to the people for all nius, if we may say so, of the na- that they have done and advised tion. But if they had indeed a title since the deposition of the Empeto be regarded in this light, still ror: the sooner that they call a they would not have any title to as- national assembly, the more effecsume the reins of government, and tually will they secure their own to convert a subordinate, or if they safety, and the tranquillity and sewill, for the sake of argument, a co- curity of the commonwealth. If ordinate, into an absolute power; the Belgic provinces are not yet the parliament of the catholic pro- ripe for a civil constitution, framed vinces would, at best, be in the on the mode of that which is in predicament of the parliament of the act of being reared in France, Great Britain during the interreg- at least let a successor be appointed num occasioned by the late indis- to Joseph II.; at least let the conposition of the King. Though this stitution, such as it was before the assembly was more popular than the dismission of that ambitious man, states-genera!, and had fairer pre- be restored; and let improvements tensions to be considered as the be made afterwards as opportunivoice of the people, they never ties may invite, and as the spirit of conceived the idea of governing the the times may bear or require. nation, even for a time, by their Till the old constitution be restored, own authority, but proceeded with- or a new one established on the out delay to the declaration of a basis of liberty and justice, it would regent. Experience had taught be the greatest madness in the triple alliance, or in any other power, public by means of the priests, to enter into a treaty with the Ca- they took care, as far as was postholic provinces.

or of

alliance,

sible, that the eloquence of the Such principles and pretensions priests should suffer no counteracwere highly offensive to the two tion from that of the press; which upper orders, who foreseeing that, by a decree passed on the 12th of by the admission of these the influ- January, 1790, two days after the ence which they had hitherto exer- declaration of independency and cised with so little control, would the formation of the new govern. be greatly diminished, laboured to ment, was to remain under the same quash them, together with the spirit restrictions as formerly; that is to inwhich theyoriginated. For thisend say, that all publications whatever, they employed the Curés, or parish. without exception, should contipriests, of the towns and villag as of nue as usual, subject to the previous the provinces, to visit their respec. examination and judgment of cletive parishioners, and to use their rical, or lay-censors, according to utmost influence for inducing them the nature of the matter treated of to sign a counter-address, request- in such publications; and that all ing the states to seize and punish, printers, booksellers, and hawkers, in an exemplary manner, all those should be answerable for the matdisturbers of thepublic tranquillity, ter contained in the books, pamphwho wished to introduce innova- lets, or papers, which they should tions and changes in the religion, publish. in the constitution, or in the pre- This marked solicitude to keep sent form in which the nation is the minds of men under control, represented by the three orders of only served to excite the greater the state, wþich it has chosen for dissatisfaction on the part of all its representatives. The Curés, ha- who aimed at a more popular form bituated throughout life to the of government. These might be greatest intimacy and friendship reduced to three classes : Ist, The with their parishioners, reluctant burghers and inhabitants of towns, to press a measure which they reckoning in that number the tradknew to be contrary to the senti- ing and manufacturing parts of the ments and inclinations of so great community, whether living in a portion of them, and sympathiz- towns, villages, or any part of the ing perhaps more with the third country. 2d, That numerous and estate than the higher orders of still increasing class of men, of vathe clergy and the nobility, do not rious situations and professions, seem to have been very zealous who were smitten with what began in performing the task assigned to about this time to be called ibe them : certain it is, at least, that French Contagion. 3rd, Some of they were not very successfuli the lower nobility, and their deThe counter-address received but scendants, who served in the Belgic slow and scanty support: nor is army ; a great portion of the mi. there any certain information that litary men in general, and partia it was ever presented. While the cularly of brave officers mostly of united Belgic states endeavoured the third estate, and without whose to recommend their cause to the bold spirit and extraordinary exer, Vol. XXXIII.

E

tions

tions in bringing undisciplined to engross the sovereign power in encounter and io vanquish disci. their own hands. These two par. plined troops, the revolution could ties, in point of strength and prenot have been accomplished. This tensions, seemed to be pretty equally class of men thought it hard that balanced. On the side of the notheir eminent services, and the bility were large inheritances in dangers they had undergone bad land, derived from high antiquity not contributed, in any respect, to of family; the reverence which better their condition; and that these circumstances have ever been the Austrian yoke was to be ex- found to inspire in every country changed only for a similar despot- and age; but which in the Netherism placed in the hands of a few, lands was carried even beyond its of their own countrymen. On the usual pitch; the virtues which whole, the third estate suspected adorned several of the principal that the two higher orders, without nobility of the present day; the any consideration of the commons, great share which they had in the or regard to either their rights or accomplishment of the revolution, interests, meant nothing more than and the extraordinary stakes they to engross all power to themselves, had hazarded and risks they had whether as orders or individuals. run on that occasion. But the But this order, if we may call it so, lower and most numerous class of of democracy, was divided into two nobles were influenced by hatred classes, by a very important distinc. and envy of the higher : separate tion. The greater and more opulent views were entertained by both : partof the burghers, andafew others, the order in general was loose and who would have been contented disjointed, incapable of unity, of with a more equal, yet moderate design and action, of co-operation, share in the representation ; and energy, and effect. men, whose ideas led them to ob- In favour of the clergy, we have jects far beyond those which the to reckon that extraordinary degree leaders of the revolution or the of power which they had possessed sober part of the burghers had in in the provinces from time imview, or even what they had in memorial; and which, until the view themselves; and who, ex- late attacks by the restless and actly in the spirit of the revolu- mischievous Joseph, had continued tionists in France, were in a train unimpaired ; large landed possesof continued innovation.

sions, and not a little personal As the third estate, intermixed wealth ; the peculiar and extreme and supported by numbers of de bigotry of the Flemings, and atmocrats, were united for the pre- tachment to every thing relating sent in opposition to the two higher to the church ; and the advantages orders, so these orders were united which the priests possessed on all only by a common opposition to occasions of contest in the practhe third estate with their demo- tice of auricular confession; their cratical adherents ; for each at bot- union and discipline; the secrecy tom wished, and in the progress of their councils; the closeness of the revolution exhibited une- and constancy with which they quivocal symptoms of a design to pursued their object; and, above

all,

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