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formal renunciation of the emperor's prerogatives it had lost for more authority, and a declaration of in- than half a century, are sufficiently dependence, which have been fol- known. But since that time an lowed by an union of the different aristocratic party, equally inimical ftates, and the establishment of a to the liberties of the people and the regular government - distinguished conftitutional rights of the crown, by the appellation of “ The United have been gradually acquiring a Belgic States."
dangerous degree of influence and Such were the cause and progress power; the evil effects of which be. of this important revolution ; which came manifest on the commence. cannot, however, be deemed com ment of the war with Ruflia. Stiplete, fince the strong fortrefs of mulated by the intrigues, if not Luxemburgh is still in poffeffion of tempted by the bribes of the emthe Imperialists, and since the con- press, they refused their support to fent of foreign powers to acknow- the monarch, and determined to ledge them as an independent state, with-hold those fubfidies, without is still wanting. But unanimity of which, they well knew, he would be sentiment, among the individuals of unable to maintain the conteit. But this new republic, cannot fail to per- a timely exertion of vigour, on the fect what a generous spirit of free- part of the king, gave a seasonable dom has so happily begun. The check to these seditious efforts; have only object of serious apprehension, ing quenched the first sparks of reis the extensive influence of the volt, by committing the chief of clergy; who, though hitherto confi- these factious insurgents to prison, dered but as secondary agents in he proceeded to abolish the aristopromoting the general cause, begin craticinfluence, by the publication of to exhibit certain symptoms of a an edict, which gave an equal right fanatic and intolerant fpirit, appa- to all orders of the state to ferve their rently founded on claims which would country in any fituation for which infallibiy pollute the fair fountain they are qualified by their talents of liberty ; and might, if directed or knowledge. By the adoption of into a different channel, prove finally this prudent measure, and by the destructive of that noble fabric which consequent admission of several citithey have so effentially contributed zens to the honour of a feat at his to raise.,
council, he has effectually conciliated A revolution, of a very different the affections, and secured the supe nature, has taken place in the king- port, of ihe commons; thereby estadom of Sweden, where the people blishing his own power on the most owe their emancipation from a state folid basis. Thus the insidious at. of the most abject fervitude, to an tempts of Russia, have experienced important'extenfion of the royal au- a complete disappointment; and the thority. The changes in the go- empress may expect, in the ensuvernment of Sweden, from the death ing campaign, to be arracked with of Charles the Twelfth, when the that accumulation of force, and states compelled his fifter Ulrica that increase of spirit, which muft Eleonora to renounce all hereditary ever result from the cordial union right, and to convert an absolute of king and people. into an elective monarchy, to the re But the most remarkable event of volution of one thouíand seven hun- the present year-an event which dred and seventy-two, when the spi- will alone suffice to renderit a memorit and address of Gustavus the rable æra in the annals of history—is Third, restored to the crown those the revolution which has taken place
in the government of France. This which due restrictions are placed on fingular occurrence has overturned the fovereign authority, and the all the best-concerted plans of mo- people pofless that weight in the naparchical advocates, and destroyed tional scale which nature and reason the long-received maxims of politi- aflign them. The partial and opcal theprists ; but on the ruins of pressive dißribution of justice, as those fiinsy structures has this im- being the most sensibly felt, became portant truth been established the first object of complaint. The When the people, by an exertion of law-writings of Elie de Beaumont arbitrary power, are deprived of their and the president du Paty, and natural rights, without receiving a the inimitable pleadings of Targét, just and adequate return of civil - breathed a spirit of freedom, which liberiy, they will, sooner or later, would have done honour to any fhake off the degrading yoke, which country, but which, in the prefinks the man into the flave. ceding reign, would have proved
To investigate the causes, mediate the certain ineans of immuring those and immediate, of this revolution; friends of mankind in the horrid to trace its rise and progress, and dungeons of the Bastille.-Lettres de mark its probable effects, as well on cachet, those dreadful engines of the French themselves, as on the despotism, were next attacked, and general system of European politics; in investigating the dangers with would inevitably lead us into a train which they were pregnant, the prinof discussions, that would far exceed ciples of arbitrary power were, of the limits prescribed to this article course, exposed-and, of course, of intelligence. Without entering held up to universal detestation. therefore on those topics, we must Thus the seeds of discontent were content ourselves with observing, spread by degrees, and murmurs bethat it is probable the Atrict inter- gan to prevail throughout the kingcourse which, for these last twenty dom: but the space between muryears, has subsisted between the Eng- mur and action was vait, and appalish and French, and the extreme rently impassable ; being defended partiality evinced by the latter for by an army of two hundred thouthe language and literary works of sand men, whose devotion to the the former, tended to confirm that despot who governed the state was taite for liberty, and to diffuse that proverbially enthufiaftic. This obknowledge of the rights of man, ítruction, however, which indifferent which the writings of Montesquieu, spectators deemed infurmountable, Rousseau, and Voltaire, had origi- was fortunately removed; and as nally imparted. The perfidious part the alliance with America had alwhich the French embraced in the ready inspired the will, so it now American war, supported by the furnished the means, to effect a revoshort-lighted policy of M. de Ver- lution in the established governgennes, (w.ho had no rational claims ment. It is well known, that the to the ample conimendations he has ambition and munificence of Lewis received, either as a man or a mi- the Fourteenth misnamed the nister) introduced a spirit of difcuf- Great--involved the nation to deepfion on political topics, the most ly in debt, that the utmost exerdangerous that could possibly be to- tions of his successor were inadelerated in an arbitrary state. Hence quate to repair the fatal ravages of they naturally proceeded to a com- his reign; and at the commence. parative view of their own fituation ment of our dispute with our Amewith that of other kingdoms, in rican colonies, the French finances
were still in a state of derangement. had therefore every motive of justice But this consideration was inade- and reason, to support with energy quate to restrain the count de Ver- the propofals they had made. The gennes from pursuing the dictates great buliness of the nation being of that pitiful and mistaken policy, thus retarded, the king, on the which seeks the depression of a rival, twenty-eighth of May, wrive to the at the risk of its own welfare. He president of the commons, recome rushed headlong into the American mending a speedy adjustment of the war, heedless of the consequences ; differences lublilting between the and by that means encreated the na- different orders ; in confequence of tional' debt lo confiderably, that the which, a deputation waited on his augmentation of imposts, though majesty, to inform bim, that all the great, proved infufficient to dif- impediments to a friendly and effec. charge the intereft; nor have all the tual union, originated with, and endeavours of the most skilful finan-· were ftill supported by, the nobility ciers been hitherto able to prevent a and clergy. The king, in answer, gradual encreate of expenditure, repeated the exhortations he had which has constantly exceeded the urged in his letter; and the deputaTevenue, from one to between two tion having returned to the commonand three millions sterling. This hall, the commons fent a summons inability compelled the king, how- 'to the two first orders to meet them, ever reluctantly, to assemble the for the purpose of proceeding to states of the kingdom, which had a verification of their refpective not been convened since the last cen- powers. This ciration produced a tury, and thereby to afford an op- nieeting of the whole body of the portunity to the people, to affert commons, together with some few those rights which they had so re- individuals of the nobles and clergy, cently learned to appreciate. who were attached to the popular
The first meeting of this import. cause. This meeting they formally ant assembly, destined to decide on pronounced to be the National Af the future fate of twenty-fix mil. sembly of France; and resolved, that lions of people, was productive of the non-attendance of the majority * tumuits and divifions, which seemed of the nobles and clergy Thould not
likely to defeat the grand object of be suffered to operate as an impeditheir convention. It was ftrenuously ment to public business. They next contended, by the nobility and the proceeded to verify the elections, clergy, that every question should be and then took into contideration the fubmitted to the separate decision of state of the nation, paffing several each of the three orders ; when the resolutions, which they declared to commons, by an union of the two be the voice of the assembly of the first orders, would have been left in fates general of France, and ordered A constant minority, and have con, them to be registered accordingly. fequently remained as mere cyphers These proceedings, however, as in the national assembly; whereas they tended to destroy that aristothey insisted, on their part, that the cratic influence which formed the three orders should form one con- chief fupport of arbitrary power, junct body, and every question be were highly disagreeable to the king, decided by a majority of voices. who remonftrated with the prelident This was a contest of the greatest on their irregularity and improimportance, as the commons were priety. But the commons perfe, equal in numbers to the two orders vered in the same line of conduct, of the pobles and clergy united, and with that firmness which should
ever distinguish the supporters of a with the constitution of the kinggood caute; and perceiving that dom; in consequence of which the some violent ineasures were about to king annulled the resolutions of the be adopted for the purpose of in- commons as unconstitutional. He timidation, they bound themselves ordered all deliberations relating to by a folemn oath to pursue their general affairs and to taxes, to be in deliberations, and to preserve the common between the three orders ; strictest union among themselves, but all discussions relative to the until the conftitution of the king- constitution to be deliberated by each dom should be ettablished on a folid order separately. He likewise preand permanent batis.
served the privileges and veto of the On the twenty-third of June, the clergy in all matters of religion. king having previously made known After these preliminary regulations, his intention of going to the hall, followed a prohibition to make any the commons, mixed with the greatest change in the laws, taxes, or other part of the clergy, were affembled parts of administration or legislation, in the anti-chamber by nine o'clock. during the fitting of the states; and The apartment not being sufficiently an express reservation to the king, of capacious to contain the whole num- all exclusive power and authority ber, many of the members remained over the armies and police. To ren. without, where the murmurs were der these orders more palatable, the loud and the impatience was general. king permitted the states to establish In the interval, part of the clergy, the liberty of the press, and to proand all the nobility, entered at op- vide for the suppression of lettres de pofite doors, and took their seats in cachet. When the keeper of the the hall; where they were at last seals had gone through the whole of joined by the commons, whom they the articles, the king concluded his received standing and uncovered. speech by what he termed a commu
The king, being placed on the nication of his will; which was, that throne, made a speech; in which he no tax should in future be levied observed, that though the states-ge- without the consent of the states; neral had been assembled more than that neither old nor new imposts two months, they had not even ad- Mould be in force longer than from juited the preliminaries of their one sessions of the states to the next;
operations; that inttead of that har- that he would never make any loan -mony which should arise from the without consent of the states, ex- love of their country, the most fatal cept in case of necessity, war, &c. divisions had ensued, and the feeds and then the loan Mould not exceed of alarm been universally diffused; one hundred millions of livres; that that he came, as the common father the states fhould examine the acof his people, to dilipate those dan- counts both of receipts and expengerous divisions, to recal to their ditures; that the expences of each memory the true fpirit of the con- department should be fixed and institution, and to resist the infidi- variable; and finally, that the creous attempts which had been aimed ditors of the fate should be put on against it. When he had finished the faith of the public. his speech, the keeper of the feals The king then departed, after orread a royal declaration, containing, dering every one to retire and to thirty-five articles; the first of meet again the next day, in the which enforced the distinction of or. chamber of orders. A thout of Vive ders (contended for by the nobles le Roi! was heard froin the nobles, : and clergy) as effentially connected and the majority of the clergy; but
the commons observed a profound fi The utmost confusion now prelence; nor could they be prevailed on vailed, both at Paris and Versailles. to quit the hail; where,in conjunction The fpirited conduct of the comwith about fity of the clergy, they mons had rouzed the people, and on immediately proceeded to diicuss the the night of this memorable day, merits of the king's speech and de an immense multitude of all ranks claration. Four times did the king afsembled at nine o'clock; and being fend an officer to order them, on informed, that the king had dismified their allegiance, to adjourn ; and as M. Neckar, they forced an entrance often did they deny, in the most into the inner court of the palace decisive manner, his authority to at Versailles, and with loud excla. command their feparation ; till, by mations, accompanied by menaces, their firmness, they at length carried infitted that he should continue mitheir point. M. le Camus, one of niiter. The alarm in the palace the members for Paris, then moved, was inexpressibly great; the princes, That the National Afembly do perhit the count d'Artois in particular, in all its preceding refolutions; and called to arms: but when the troops this fpirited motion was unanimously were collected, and ordered to fire, carried. Another was made by the they unanimously refused to draw a count de Mirabeau, for the purpose trigger on their countrymen, though of securing the personal liberty of beneath the very windows of the the members, their freedom of opi- palace. nion, and their right to investigate On the succeeding day, M. Neckar and censure all kind of abufes and appearing in his usual station with obitacles to the public welfare and the king, it was supposed that the liberty. This was likewise carried cabinet had adopted a different line by a majority of four hundred and of conduct, and meant to comply forty-nine voices.
with the wishes of the people. The But the most important and poli- commons continued their deliberatic resolution paffed by the states, tions, and were joined by the duke was that of an address to the king, of Orleans, at the head of more than that the pay of the national troops of forty of the principal nobility, and France fiouid be raised to the same two hundred of the clergy, who lubfum as that of the foreign troops in fcribed the oath which the commons the French service; viz. from four had previously taken, and gave their fols and a half (two-pence farthing unanimous affent to the several reEnglish) per diem, to fix fols and a solutions they had passed. Their half (three-pence farthing). By the example was fpeedily followed by adoption of this sagacious measure, the remainder of the two first orders; they effectually secured the favour which important accession of strength of ihe foldiery; and removed the rendered the victory of the commons oniy barrier which could possibly be complete, and enabled them to pur. opposed to their patriotic exertions fue their measures with vigour and in the cause of freedom. If the effect. king complied with their request, The king, in the mean time, apthe troops would ascribe the whole pears to have been in an aukward merit of it to them; and, if he refuled predicament; which, considering it, they would naturally thank them the native imbecillity of his mind, for the attempt, and affix an odium was rather calculated to excite pity, where it was their interest it should than to rouze indignation. be affixed. The event fully justified one side, ftrenuously exhorted by their conduct.
Neckar, and such of his minifters