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yards, stripped of their stores to make a show less spread of religion which has been dec reed of economy, and conceal a sinking revenue, by the Almighty. could no longer fit out those mighty fleets That Russia is the power by whom this which so recently went forth from their gates, great change was to be effected, by whose arm conquering and to conquer. The foreign his- the tribes of Asia were to be reduced to subtorians of the French revolutionary war de-jection, and the triumph of civilization over plored the final seal it had put upon the barbaric sway effected, has long been appamaritime superiority of England, and declared rent. The gradual but unceasing pressure that human sagacity could foresee no possible of the hardy races of mankind upon the effeextrication of the seas from her resistless do- minate, of the energy of northern poverty on minion: but how vain are the anticipations the corruption of southern opulence, rendered of human wisdom! The fickle change of it evident that this change must ultimately be popular opinion subverted the mighty fabric; effected. The final triumph of the Cross over a Whig ministry succeeded to the helm, and the Crescent was secure from the moment that before men had ceased to tremble at the thun- the Turcoman descended to the plains of Asia der of Trafalgar, England had become con- Minor, and the sway of the Czar was estabtemptible on the waves !
lished in the deserts of Scythia. As certainly From this sad scene of national degradation as water will ever descend from the mountains and decay, from the melancholy spectacle of to the plain, so surely will the stream of perthe breaking up, from revolutionary passion manent conquest, in every age, flow from the and innovation, of the greatest and most bene-northern to the southern races of mankind. ficent empire that ever existed upon earth, we But although the continued operation of turn to a more cheering prospect, and joyfully these causes was evident, and the ultimate as. inhale from the prospects of the species those cendent of the religion of Christ, and the instihopes which we can no longer venture to tutions of civilization, over the tenets of cherish for our own country.
Mohammed, and the customs of barbarism, The attention of all classes in this country certain; yet many different causes, till within has been so completely absorbed of late years these few years, contributed to check their efby the progress of domestic changes, and the fects, and to postpone, apparently, for an inmarch of revolution, that little notice has been definite period, the final liberation of the bestowed on the events we have been consider- eastern world. But the weakness, insanity, ing; yet they are more important to the future and vacillation of England and France, while fate of the species, than even the approaching they will prove fatal to them, seem destined to dismemberment of the British empire. We subject the east to the sway of Russia, and reare about to witness the overthrow of the Mo- new, in the plains of Asia, those institutions hammedan religion; the emancipation of the of which Europe has become unworthy. The cradle of civilization from Asiatic bondage; cause of religion, the spread of the Christian the accomplishment of that deliverance of the faith, has received an impulse from the vices Holy Sepulchre, for which the Crusaders toiled and follies, which she never received from the and bled in vain; the elevation of the cross on sword of western Europe. The infidelity and the Dome of St. Sophia and the walls of Jewirreligion of the French philosophers have rusalem.
done that for the downfall of Islamism which That this great event was approaching has all the enthusiasm of the Crusaders could not been long foreseen by the thoughtful and the accomplish. Their first effect was to light up philanthropic. The terrors of the Crescent a deadly war in Europe, and array the civilized have long since ceased: it first paled in the powers of the world in mortal strife against Gulf of Lepanto: it waned before the star of each other; but this was neither their only nor Sobieski under the walls of Vienna, and set in their final effect. In this contest, the arms of flames in the Bay of Navarino. The power civilization acquired an unparalleled ascendwhich once made all Christendom tremble, ency over those of barbarism; and at its close, which shook the imperial throne, and pene- the power of Russia was magnified fourfold. trated from the sands of Arabia to the banks Turkey and Persia were unable to withstand the of the Loire, is now in the agonies of dissolu- empire from which the arms of Napoleon rolled tion; and that great deliverance for which the back. The overthrow of Mohammedanism, banded chivalry of Europe fought for cen- the liberation of the finest provinces of Europe turies, and to attain which millions of Chris- from Turkish sway, flowed at last, directly and tian bones whitened the fields of Asia, is now evidently, from the rise of the spirit which at about to be effected through the vacillation and first closed all the churches of France, and indifference of their descendants. That which erected the altar of reason in the choir of Nôtre the courage of Richard Cæur de Lion, and the Dame. We are now witnessing the concluenthusiasm of Godfrey of Bouillon, could not sion of the drama. When England descended achieve; which resisted the arms of the Tem- from her high station, and gave way to revoplars and the Hospitallers, and rolled back from lutionary passions; when irreligion tainted her Asia the tide of European invasion, is now in people, and respect for the institutions of their the act of being accomplished. A more me- fathers no longer influenced her government, morable instance was never afforded of the she, too, was abandoned to the consequences manner in which the passions and vices of of her vices; and from her apostasy, fresh men are made to work out the intentions of support derived to the cause of Christianity. an overruling Providence, and of the vanity French irreligion had quadrupled the military wf all human attempts to prevent that cease- strength of Russia: but the English navy still existed to uphold the tottering edifice of Turk- | London, but it will resume its sway, at Antioch ish power. * English irreligion and infidelity Considerations of this kind are fitted, if any overturned her constitution, and the barrier can, to console us for the degradation and cawas swept away.
lamities of our own country: they show, that The British navy, paralysed by democracy if one nation becomes corrupted, Providence and divisions in the British islands, can no can derive, even from its vices and ingratilonger resist Moscovite ambition, and the pros- tude, the means of raising up other states to tration of Turkey is in consequence complete. the glory of which it has become unworthy: The effects will in the end be fatal to England; and that from the decay of civilization in its but they may raise up in distant lands other present seats, the eye of hope may anticipate ils empires, which may one day rival even the future resurrection in the cradle from whence glories of the British name. The cross may it originally spread its blessings throughout cease to be venerated at Paris, but it will be the world. elevated at St. Sophia: it may be ridiculed in
THE SPANISH REVOLUTION OF 1820.*
THERE is no subject with which we are more | under Napoleon, and the universal hatred completely unacquainted, or which has been which their presence had excited in every part more perverted by artful deception on the part of that desolated and blood-stained country? of the revolutionary press throughout Europe, Immense must have been the injustice, enorthan the convulsions, which, since the general mous the folly, ruinous the sway of the revolupeace, have distracted the Spanish Peninsula. tionary party, when it so soon cured a whole Circumstances have been singularly favour nation of a desire for change, which all at first able to the universal diffusion of erroneous felt to be necessary, which so many were views on this subject. The revolutionary throughout interested in promoting, and which party had a fair field for the adoption of every was begun with such unanimous support from kind of extravagance, and the propagation of all classes. every species of falsehood, in a country where The Revolutionists explain this extraordithe ruling class, who opposed the movement, nary fact, by saying that it was entirely owing had committed great errors, been guilty of to the influence of the priests, who, seeing that black ingratitude, and were totally incapable their power and possessions were threatened of counteracting, by means of the press, those by the proposed innovations, set themselves erroneous misrepresentations, with which the vigorously and successfully to oppose them. indefatigable activity of the revolutionary But here again historical facts disprove party party overwhelmed the public mind in every misrepresentations. It will be found, upon part of the world. Their exertions, and the examination, that the priests at the outset made success which they have met with, in this re- no resistance whatever to the establishment of spect, have accordingly been unprecedented; the constitution on the most democratic basis; and there is no subject on which historic truth that the experiment of a highly popular form will be found to be so different from journal of government was tried with the unanimous misrepresentation, as the transactions of the approbation of all classes ; and that the subsePeninsula during the last fifteen years. quent general horror at the constitutionalists,
That Ferdinand VII. is a weak man; that, and the easy overthrow of their government, under the government of the priests, he has was owing to the madness of the popular rulers violated his promises, behaved cruelly towards themselves, to the enormous injustice which his deliverers, and been guilty of black ingrati- they committed, the insane projects of innovatude towards the heroic defenders of his throne tion in which they indulged, and the weighty during his exile, may be considered as histori- interests in all ranks, on which, in the prosecally certain. How, then, has it happened that cution of their frantic career, they were comthe Revolution has retrograded in a country pelled to trench. Spain, when the veil is where so much was required to be done in the drawn aside which party delusions has so long way of real amelioration, and the wishes of so spread before its transactions, will be found to large a portion of its inhabitants were unani- add another confirmation to the eternal truths, mous in favour of practical improvement? that the career of innovation necessarily and How can we explain the fact, that the French, rapidly destroys itself; that the misery it imin 1823, led by the Duke d'Angoulême, under mediately produces renders the great body of the weak and vacillating direction of the Bour- men at length deaf to the delusive promises by bons, traversed the Peninsula from end to end, which its promoters never fail to bolster up its without even the shadow of resistance, and es- fortunes, and that there is no such fata. eremy tablished their standard on the walls of Cadiz, to real freedom as the noisy supporters of deafter the heroic resistance which the peasantry mocratic ambition. of the Peninsula made to Gallic aggression The work, whose title is prefixed to this ar
ticle, is well calculated to disabuse the public & Vicomte de Martignac, Paris, Pinard, 1832. Black. The author is one of the liberal party in France,
* Essai Historique sur la Revolution d'Espagne, par mind in regard to these important transactions. wood's Magazinc, September, 1832.
and bestows liberal and unqualified abuse tivated and entranced his auditors; and who, upon all the really objectionable parts of Fer- in a time and a place where any thing apa dinand's conduct. At the same time, he un proaching to moderation was stigmatized as folds, in clear and graphic colours, the ruinous blasphemy, had obtained the extraordinary precipitance and fatal innovations of the Re- surname of the Divine. volutionists, and distinctly demonstrates that “ Nothing, however, could arrest the torrent it was not the priests nor the nobles, but their of democracy which had now broken through own injustice, and the wide-spread ruin pro- all its bounds. The Cortes had been convoked duced by their own measures, which occa- to overturn the foundations of the Spanish sioned the speedy downfall of the absurd con- monarchy, and consummate the work of the stitution which they had established.
Revolution, and nothing could prevent the We all recollect that the new constitution task being accomplished. From the day of of Spain was framed in the Isle of Leon, in their first meeting, they had proclaimed the 1812, when the greater part of the Peninsula principle, that sovereignty resides in the hawas overrun by the French troops. M. Mar- tion; and all their acts were the consequences tignac gives the following account of the origi- of that principle. The national and rational nal formation of the Cortes in that island, to party, whose conviction and good sense it outwhom the important task of framing a consti- raged, were far from adopting so extravagant tution was devolved:
a proposition, and in ordinary circumstances “The greater part of the Spanish territory they would have rejected it; but all their prowas at this period overrun by the French; testations and remonstrances were overturned, Cadiz, Gallicia, Murcia, and the Belearic Isles, by pointing to their young king, a aptive in alone elected their representatives: No condi- a foreign land, and incessantly invoking the tion was imposed on the electors, but every one who principle of popular sovereignty, as the sole presented himself was allowed to vote. The depu- method of awakening that general enthusiasm, fies from the other provinces were elected by which might ultimately deliver him from his an equally universal suffrage of all their inhabi- fetters. The peril of foreign subjugation was tants who had taken refuge in the Isle of Leon; such, that nothing tending to calm the public and thus the Cortes was at length assembled. effervescence could be admitted; and the firmSuch was the origin of the assembly which est royalists were, by an unhappy fatality, comgave to Spain its democratic constitution. pelled to embrace principles subversive of the
“We cannot now read without surprise, throne. mingled with pity, the annals of that assembly, “ The Cortes, therefore, was compelled to and the monuments it has left for the instruc- advance in the career on which it had entered, tion of all nations, a prey to the same passions, deliberating on the great interests of Spain and the victims of the same fury. The bloody under the irresistible influence of a furious and annals of our Convention can alone give an democratic press, and under the pressure of poidea of it; but to the revolutionary fanaticism pular speeches delivered by the visionary and which they shared with us, we must add, the enthusiastic from all the provinces, who soon influence of a burning sun over their heads, made Cadiz their common centre. and the force of implacable animosities, nou- “It was in the midst of that fiery furnace rished by the Moorish blood which flowed in that the constitution of Spain was forged: in their veins. All the recollections of our dis- the bosom of that crisis, the centre of that ferasters were there cited, not as. beacons to be mentation, in the absence of all liberty of thought avoided, but examples to be followed: all the and action, from the vehemence of the popular party, men whose names are never pronounced that the solemn act was adopted which was to amongst us but with an involuntary feeling of regulate the destiny of a great people.”—I. horror, were there cited as heroes, and pro- 94-97. posed as models; all the measures of proscrip- A constitution struck out in such a period tion and destruction which vengeance, inspir- of foreign danger and domestic deliverance, ed by hatred, could suggest, were there pro- under the dread of French bayonets and the posed and supported. One declared that in his pressure of revolutionary fury, could hardly eyes the hatchet of the executioner was the be expected to be either rational or stable, or sole argument which he would deign to propose adapted to the character and wants of the peoto the logic of his adversaries; another, and ple. It was accordingly in the highest degree that was a priest, offered to take the axe into democratical; not only infinitely more so than his own hands; a third, indignant at the scan- Spain could bear, but more so than any state dal which Spain had so long exhibited, ex- in Europe, not excepting England or France, claimed, “We have been assembled for six could adopt with the slightest chance of safety. months, and not one head has as yet fallen. Its leading articles were as follows:-
“ In the midst of these manifestations of a “1. The sovereignty resides in the nation. furious delirium, some prudent and sagacious “2. The Cortes is to be elected by the univoices were heard, and united among each versal suffrage of the whole inhabitants. other to moderate the popular effervescence, “ 3. It possesses alone the legislative power, which such pains had been taken to excite. which comprises the sole power of proposing Among those who executed with most success laws. It votes the taxes and the levies for the this honourable task, the voice of Arguelles army; lays down all the regulations for the was especially distinguished; of that Arguel- armed force; names the supreme judges; les, whose mind, chastened by reflection, and creates and institutes a regent, in case of mi
nlightened by study, had subdued these ex- nority or incapacity, of which last it alone travagant ideas; whose eloquence at once cap- l is the judge, and exercises a direct control wer the ministers and all other functionaries, tionary madness, in a country so little accuswhose responsibility it alone regulates. Dur-tomed to bear the excitement, and so little ing the intervals of its sessions, it is repre- aware of the duties of freedom as Spain, might sented by a permanent deputation, charged with easily have been anticipated. Its early recepthe execution of the laws, and the power of tion in the different classes of the community convoking it, in case of necessity.
is thus described by our author :“4. The king is inviolable. He sanctions “To those who are aware of the true spirit the laws; but he can only refuse his assent of that grave and constant nation, and who twice, and to different legislatures. On the were not blinded by the passions or the excitathird bill being presented, he must give his con- tion of political fanaticism, it was easy to foresent. He has the right of pardon; but that see the reception which a constitution would right is circumscribed within certain limits receive, by which all the habits of the nation fixed by law.
were violated, and all their affections wounded. 65. The king names the public functiona- “At Cadiz, Barcelona, and, in general, in all ries, but from a list presented to him by the council the great commercial towns, the party who of state. The whole functionaries are subject had urged forward the Revolution readily preto a supreme tribunal, the members of which vailed over the adherents of old institutions, are all .
“6. The king cannot leave the kingdom enthusiasm; but in the smaller boroughs in without the leave of the Cortes; and if he mar- the country, and, above all, in the provinces ries without their consent, he is held by that of the interior, where the new ideas had not act alone to have abdicated the throne.
yet made any progress, this total prostration 67. There is to be constantly attached to of the Royalty--this substitution of a new the king's person a council of forty members. power instead of that which had been the Three counsellors are for life, named by the object of ancient veneration, was received king, but from a list furnished by the Cortes, with a coldness which soon degenerated into in which there can only be four of the great discontent and open complaints. nobles, and four ecclesiastics. It is this coun- “In vain the innovators sought to persuade cil which presents the lists for all employments the people, whose dissatisfaction could no lonin church and state to the king, for his selec- ger be concealed, that the new constitution tion.
was but a restoration of the ancient principles of “8. No part of the new constitution is to be the monarchy, adapted to the new wants and revised in any of its parts, but by the votes of exigencies of society; in vain had they taken three successive legislatures, and by a decree care, in destroying things, to preserve names; of the Cortes, not subject to the royal sanction." | this deceitful address deceived no one, and I. 97-99.
abated nothing of the public discontent. Such was the Spanish constitution of 1812, “ The clergy, discontented and disquieted at to the restoration of which, all the subsequent the prospect of a future which it was now easy convulsions of the Revolutionary party have to foresee-the great proprietors, who were been directed. It was evidently in the highest subjected to new burdens, at the same time degree democratical ; so much so, indeed, that the that they were deprived of their ancient rights President of the American Congress has fully the members of all the provincial councils as much real power. The Cortes was elected which were despoiled of their ancient jurisby universal suffrage ;. there was no upper cham- dictions, added to the public discontent. The ber or House of Peers to restrain its excesses; creation of a direct tax, unknown till that day, it was alone invested with the right of voting appeared to the inhabitants of the country an the taxes, raising the army, and establishing its intolerable burden-a sacrifice without any regulations; it controlled and directed all the compensation; and as the burden of the war public functionaries, and its powers were en- became more heavy as it continued in durajoyed, during the periods of its prorogation, tion, these two causes of suffering worked the by a permanent committee, which had the power discontent of the people up to perfect fury.” at any time, of its own authority, to reassemble 100, 101. the whole body. By means of the Council of The universal discontent at the new constiState substantially elected by the Cortes, and tution broke out into open expressions of dethe lists which it presented to the king for the testation, when the king, liberated from the choice of all public functionaries, it was in- grasp of Napoleon, entered Spain in 1814. vested with the power of naming all officers, “ The king entered Spain in the midst of the civil, military, ecclesiastical, and judicial; and, transports of public joy at his deliverance, and to complete this mass of democratic absurdity, advanced to Valencia, where he was prothis constitution could not be altered in any claimed by the army under General Elio. of its parts but by the concurring act of three “ From the frontiers to Valencia, Ferdinand successive legislatures, and a decree of the heard nothing but one continued anathema and Cortes, not subject to the royal sanction. It is malediction against the constitution. From needless to say any thing of this constitution; all sides he received petitions, memorials, adit was much more democratical than the con- dresses, in which he was besought to annul stitution of France in 1790, which was so soon what had been done during his captivity, and overturned by the Revolutionists of that coun- to reign over Spain as his fathers had reigned. try, and was of such a kind as could not, by There was not a village through which he possibility, have failed to precipitate the Pe passed which did not express a similar wish, ninsula into all the horrors of anarchy. subscribed by men of all ranks, and even by
The ultimate fate of such a mass of revolu- the members of the municipalities created by the constitution. The army held the same tion in favour of monarchical institutions, the language; and those who had shed their blood base ingratitude which he evinced to the popufor the defence of the throne, demanded, with lar supporters of his throne during his exile, loud cries, that the throne should be pre- and the enormous iniquities which were pracserved pure, and without spot; and that, as tised upon the fallen party of the liberals, are formerly, it should be powerful, firm, and ho- universally known. These excesses gave the noured.
revolutionary party too good reason to com“ The minority of the Cortes joined their plain ; they pointed out in clear colours the voice to the many others which met the king's perils of unfettered power; they awakened the ears, and presenteå the same wishes and peti- sympathies of the young and the generous in tions. These members with that view signed every part of the world, in favour of the una petition, since well known under the name happy victims of regal vengeance, whose of the Protestation of the Fathers. Sixty-nine blood was shed on the scaffold, or who were deputies, named by the constitution, suppli- languishing in captivity ; and therefore, if any cated the king to destroy the act to which all events could do so, they left a fair field for the classes had so recently been bound by a so- efforts of the constitutional party. Yet, even lemn oath."-I. 107-109.
with such advantages, and the immense addiThe result of this unanimous feeling was tion of power consequent on the defection of the famous decree of Valencia of May 6, 1814, the army, the revolutionary party, after being by which the monarch annulled the constitu- again called to the helm of affairs, again petion which he had recently accepted in exile. rished under the weight of their own revoluThe Cortes made several efforts to resist the tionary passions and absurd innovations. change, but the public indignation over- The events which soon followed; the insurwhelmed them all.
rection of Riego, the revolt of the troops as“Resistance to the royal edict was speedily sembled in the Island of Leon for the South found to be a chimera. The torrent accumu- American expedition in 1820, and the compullated as it advanced, and no person in the sory acceptance of the democratic constitution state was able to stand against it. After the of 1812 by the absolute king, are familiar to publication of the Edict of Valencia, the king all our readers. The effects of this complete marched to Madrid; and he found, wherever and bloodless triumph of democracy are what he went; the people in a state of insurrection chiefly concern the people of this country, and against the constitutional authorities, the pil- they are painted in lucid colours by our author. lars of the constitution overturned and broken, “As soon as the constitution had been acand the absolute king proclaimed. Everywhere cepted of by the king, its establishment expethe soldiers, sent by the Cortes to restrain the rienced no serious resistance in the kingdom. transports of the people, joined their acclama- The great nobles, accustomed to follow the ortions to theirs. It was in the midst of that ders of a master, hesitated not to follow his cortege, which was swelled by the population example. In the principal towns, all those enof evary village through which he passed, that gaged in commerce, industry, and the liberal Ferdinand traversed the space between Va- professions, testified their adherence with the lencia and Madrid ; and it was surrounded by most lively satisfaction. The army expressed a population more ardent and impassioned its devotion to the constitutional standard even than that of the 13th May, that he made which it had erected, and evinced its determione of those memorable entries into his capi- nation to support it by the formidable weapons tal which seemed to promise a long and tran- of force. The needy and idle; all who were quil futurity.
bankrupt, in labouring circumstances, or des“Thus fell this imprudent and ephemeral titute of the industrious habits necessary to constitution, cradled amidst troubles and war, secure a subsistence, flew with avidity to the prepared without reflection, discussed without support of a system, which promised them the freedom, founded on opinions and sentiments spoils of the state. The dignified clergy and which were strangers to the soil, applied to a the monks beheld with grief the triumph of the people for whom it was neither made nor theories which they condemned; but nevertheadapted, and which could not survive the cri- less they obeyed in silence. The magistracy sis in which it had been conceived.”-1. 120, followed their example. As to the people pro
perly so called, that is to say, the industrious Thus terminated the first act of this unhap- inhabitants of the towns, the peaceable cultipy drama. From the rash and absurd innovators of the fields, they regarded the change vations, the democratic invasions and total with disquietude and distrust, took no active destruction of the old form of government, by share in promoting it, and awaited the course the revolutionary party, the maintenance even of events to decide their judgment.”-I. 203. of moderate and regulated freedom had become The usual effects of democratic ascendency impossible. In two years the usual career of were not long in proclaiming themselves. revolution had been run; liberty had perished “ The sixty-nine deputies of the old Cortes, under the frantic innovations of its own sup- who had signed the address to the king recomporters ; its excesses were felt to be more mending the overthrow of the constitution, formidable than the despotism of absolute were everywhere arrested and thrown into power, and for shelter from a host of vulgar prison. This was the first indication of what tyrants, the people ran to the shadow of the the constitutionalists understood by the amthrone.
nesty which they had proclaimed. The cruel and unjustifiable use which the “Whilst at Madrid, the royal government, de. absolute monarch made of this violent reac-prived of all moral force, feebly struggled