Imagens das páginas

attempts to raise the supplies they sident of the congress, together had demanded, began to think it with the spokesman of the people, necessary to secure their own safety ran their swords into it as a sign of in time, by accepting the proffers defiance. This daring deed was inthat had been made to them by the tended to revive the spirits of the emperor, and to be guaranteed by people, and proportionably to disthe three allied powers. Many pro- courage an invasion by the Auspositions were made on the part of trians. Another ceremony, of a those who were the most zealous still more singular nature was pracopposers of the Austrian govern- tised for the same end. At another, ment, and who, could they have and one of the last meetings of conbeen seconded and supported, gress, Van Eupen entered the as.would have encountered any ha- sembly, dressed in his official vestzards, in order to prevent its res- ments, and holding a crucifix in his toration. Those, however, who had hand. This he placed in a chair of been most active in the late trans- state, and kneeling before it, proactions, apprehended that the se tested in the most solemn manner verity which had so long charac- that he would never pay allegiance terised the Austrian councils would to the emperor or bouse of Austria. not include them in this act of But neither this nor the former ce. oblivion : the benefit of which remony produced, the effect for might possibly be much restricted which they were both intended. It in the actual application, when was not until the very eve of the once the authority of the court of day appointed for their submission, Vienna should be again completely that they came to any specific dere-established and secured. termination. A proposal was then

In this state of the public mind, made, that the Archduke Charles, the congress assembled on the 5th third son of the emperor, should of November. The principal or. be acknowledged sovereign of the ders of the community, on so se Netherlands: the succession to rerious an occasion were admitted. main in his family, but not to re. The president made an animated vert to any branch of the house of speech to the whole of the assem- Austria possessing the sovereignty bly on the subject of the imperial of any other country. This plan of manifesto; requesting their formal reconciliation, which was wisely declaration, whether they would ac- calculated for the independence cept or reject it? To this it was and prosperity of the Flemings, replied by one of the heads of the and did not seem too humiliating people, who spoke in the name of to the house of Austria, was proihe rest, that “ having drawn their bably suggested by a precedent in swords in defence of their liberty, their own history. they would not sheath them till it After a long contest between the was obtained; and would not, Seven Provinces and their sove. therefore, pay any regard to the in- reign, Philip 2nd of Austria, the vitations of the emperor, to return sovereignty of the low countries under his government." These was formally transfered to the arch. words being spoken, the manifesto dukes Albert and Isabella. Had was laid on the table, and the pre- such an offer been made to the


emperor while the confederacy was draw on his boots, he would not yet in its strength, and the moment take them off again until he had he succeeded to his hereditary do- chaced them out of the Netherminions, perhaps considering the lands.” The time expired. The difficulties with which he was then Congress was silent. The General surrounded, he would have then ac drew on his boots, and marched racepted it. But the season for such pidly for Brussels. This city sura compromise was past. The im. rendered to the Austrians on the perial troops were now arrived, and 2d of December. Its example. in such force as to preclude all was followed by all the other cities hopes of successful resistance. The of Brabant and Flanders : and the new arrangement proposed was, whole of the provinces submitted however, carried to the Austrian again to the government of the head-quarters: but it was not only Austrians. rejected as inadmissible in the pre The members of the Congress sent situation of affairs ; but inti- and of the war department, and all mation was made to the chiefs, of who had been most active in the rethe confederates, that if the terms volution, consulted their safety by of the imperial manifesto were not Aight. Some escaped to Holland, complied with in their full extent, some to France, and others to Gerthe Emperor's Generals would many. The success of the Auscarry their orders into execution. trian cause was used with great moEven in this extremity of fortune, deration. General Bender mainsuch was the obstinacy and rash- tained the strictest military disciness of Congress, and such their pline among his troops, and prorepugnancy to the resignation of tected both the persons and the sovereign power, that they would properties of all men from military not probably have relinquished it violence: and by a convention without a desperate and fatal strug. between the ministers of the Empegle, if they could have found any ror and those of the allied powers considerable number of their coun- executed at the Hague on the 10th trymen mad enough to take up of December 1790, the Belgic proarms in their favour.

vinces were not only restored to But General Bender, after a con- the rights and privileges which they tinued series of successes in various enjoyed antecedently to the death skirmishes, and carrying everything of the late emperor, but obtained before him on the frontiers, pene- several advantages, tending to rentrated into Brabant, and advanced der them more secure in the enjoytowards Brussels. He sent a mes. ment of their ancient constitution. sage to the Congress, assigning a Among other articles for securing short number of days on which the liberties of the people, there they were to determine on the ques was one prohibiting in a special tion, whether they would accede to manner the levying of armies or the conditions proposed by the me- taxes, or the establishment of laws diating powers? Assuring them at without the consent of the states: as the same time, and confirming it by also, the employment of the solan oath," that if, at the expiration diery against the civil subject, unof that term they obliged him to less in support of the laws, and at


the formal requisition of the magis- fermenting ingredients produced so tracy; so that this convention may quick an explosion. The modern be considered, in some measure, as Belgians, in the first movements toa new charter obtained by the Fle- wards a revolution of government, mings, through the good offices and breathed the same fierce spirit of inedium of England, Holland, and liberty which distinguished their rePrussia,

mote ancestors, and exempted them If we shall appear to any of our from the most grievous of those readers to have allowed a more taxes which the victorious Romans than proportionate space in our Re- imposed on their subjected neighgister to these transactions in the bours. And they would assuredly Netherlands, we have to say, by have defied the power of the Cæsar's way of apology, that these trans- of Vienna, if the catholic priests actions form an episode in the po- had possessed as absolute and undilitical epopeia of Europe, uncom- vided a sway over the minds of monly interesting and instructive. their countrymen as the ancient We have an opportunity of con- druids in the time of the first emtemplating the revolution as perors. But there was an irrecon. whole, in its beginning, progress, cileable repugnancy between the and end; and exhibiting in its short spirit of general improvement and duration, a miniature picture of the that of bigotry and superstition. usual humours and vicissitudes of The most transient gleams of sucgovernments in their round through cess disunited these and other jardemocracy, oligarchy, monarchy, ring spirits, held together for a time despotism, and the chaos of anar- only by the pressure of common chy. Never perhaps was there and extreme danger. And interany political struggle in which nal discord, which has sometimes there was so great a diversity of proved fatal tolong-established emcontending principles and passions: pires, nipped in the bud the nasand never one in which the various cent Belgian Republic.



Peace on the Ground of the Status quo, rejected by the Empress of Russia.

Ambitious Designs of the Empress, opposed by Prussia and Great Britain Heroic Courage of ihe King of Sweden. Means for gaining over the Nation at large lohis Views, and raising the necessary Supplies for the War. The King puts himself at the Head of his Forces, and enters Russian Sa. volar. His successes. Ten Thousand Russians defeated by Three Thousand Swedes at Carnakoski. Reduction of the Russian Fort Valkiala. Other Advantages. The King of Sweden, at the Head of his Gallies, takes or destroys the Russian Galley-Fleet, in the Harbour of Frederickshań. Engagements between the Swedish Fleet under the Duke of Sudermania, and the Russian Fleet.

The Swedes prepare to make an Attack on the Town and Harbour of Wybourg. Perilous Situation of the Swedes, Escape with immense Loss to Sweaborg. Defeat of the Russian Fleet, under the Prince of Nassau, by the Swedish Fleet under the Command of the King. Inclination to peace on the. Purt of Russia and Sweden. Peace between these Powers concluded.

The King


of Sweden prepares to attack the ruling Powers, and to restore the Monarchy of France. Meeting at Pilnitz. This the Centre of the Affairs of Europe, 1791. Real Object of the Meeting at Pilnitz. Substance of a Circular Letter from the Emperor Leopold to the Sovereign Powers. Russia and Sweden the first Powers that openly declared an Intention to succour the Royal Family of France. Speech of Gustavus to the Swedish Diet. Reflections on the Importance of Hereditary Wealth ạnd Honours in a State. These a Barrier against Monarchical Encroachments on the one hand, and the levity of the People, on the other. Plan of the King of Sweden for a Descent on France. Discouraged by the Emperor, but persevered in by the King. Assassination, Illness, Death, and character of the King of Sweden. THE great hinge on which the sions, declared the haughty pride

affairs of Europe at this pe- and ambition of the Empress. A 'riod turned, was the convention at mind like hers could not indeed eaReichenbach. This important sily abandon such splendid schemes treaty had an influence greater or of ambition which she is known to less, more immediate or more re- have formed, and which she kept mote, and gradually extended its steadily in view in every political pacific circle over all the . bellige- connection that she formed. These rent powers of Europe.

were, to drive the Turks entirely When a proposal of peace with out of Europe, and to place her the Ottoman Porte was made to grandson, Constantine, upon the the Czarina by the allied and me- throne of the Greek emperor." diating powers, agreeably to what Another object scarcely less dear to had passed at Reichenbach, on the her, and to be pursued if the others basis of the status quo, she rejected should fail, was, to erect the noble it with disdain, and in terms more provinces of Moldavia, Wallachia nearly approaching the language of and Bessarabia, into an independent insult than the friendly and conci- sovereignty for her great favourite liating style usually adopted in ne prince Potemkin. But the kings gotiations between independent of Great Britain and Prussia prepowers, and claiming an equality of pared, by land and sea, to reduce condition. “ The empress makes her imperial majesty to peace, on war and makes peace when she the terms that had been proposed. pleases, without consulting any It appeared like death to abandon other power. She is not to be her grand designs; but she was so dictated to. She will not permit far intimidated, as to make peace any interference whatever in the with the king of Sweden ; whose management or government of her heroic character could scarcely fail affairs." These, and similar expres- of engaging in some degree her


The empress's second grandson was born in January 1779. He was named Constantine. Greek women were given him for nurses ; and he sucked in with his milk the Greek language ; in which he was afterwards perfected by learned Greek teachers. His whole education was calculated to fit him for the throne of Constantinople: and the design of all this could not be doubted. Vol. XXXIII.


sympathy and personal regard, determined to act upon it, by the even while it thwarted her projects appointment of several persons of of ambition.

different orders to the same public Gustavus, whose energy of mind departments. He thus incorporatand daring resolution are not to be ed the whole mass of the people estimated by the common standard into a kind of general council, of heroic courage, undaunted by bound by subscription and oath, like the disasters and alarms of last cam a Roman army under its consul, to paign, or the mighty force of the co-operate in maintaining the inRussian empire, determined to re- terest and honour of the nation.trieve if possible the fortune of war: By this bold innovation, the king and against the overbearing supe- attached the people at large to his riority which it was his destiny to person and government, to a deencounter, found resources in his gree beyond what even he himself own genius. The success of his had expected. The nation granted attempts, he was aware, would prin- bim supplies to the utmost extent cipally depend on an union among of their abilities : and he found an his own people; without which, he unanimity respecting the designs could not expect constant and ef- he had in view, which had not for fective support. Knowing that he many years been experienced in was generally detested by the nobi- Sweden. The assessments were lity; who had indeed for a long very general and comprehensive; series of years been in the habit of extending to articles of consumpselling their country to the highest tion as well as of luxury, and to all bidder ;-in order to counter. ranks and conditions of life. balance and controul the opposi- Horses, oxen, and all animals capation of that order, so formidable ble of affording profit or pleasure, for their numbers, possessions, and were taxed. The nobility, at the lofty spirit, he determined to con same time that they were obliged ciliate by the most signal acts of to furnish quotas of horses for the favour, the affection of both the army,were subjected to a heavy tax commons and the clergy. On his of 21. 6s. for every horse though return from Finland, he issued a de- thus devoted to the king's service. claration, that all orders of the state The supplies, exceeding very consihad an equal right to serve their derably any of those granted by country, in all situations for which, preceding diets, amounted to no by their abilities and virtues, they less a sum than 1,640,0001. a year, should be found duly qualified. On Provision was made, that the recent this principle of equalization, he extraordinary grants should not be summoned an equal number of per considered as precedents in future. sons from each order of the state: The means adopted by the king and shewed at once that he was for, conciliating the affections and


The double oppression, for such it would undoubtedly be considered, of degrading the nobility, by raising the lower orders to a participation in all their privileges, and of so heavy an extra tax, could scarcely have been expected by any other man than the king of Sweden, to pass away without some such tragical consequences as in fact ensued.

« AnteriorContinuar »