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ers, by setting forth the reasons of their conduct, necessarily open the lists for a controversy, in which they have all the disadvantages of dogmatists against sceptics.-The liberales, for the sake of showing their wit on this subject, lost, like James the Second, all the benefits of the hypocrisy they had hitherto assumed with regard to religion. In vain they had declared their abhorrence of toleration; in vain they had pronounced in favour of putting heretics to death after another method; in vain they had hitherto abstained from attacking the corruptions of the hierarchy. All the measures they now proposed, however innocent, were supposed to hide a secret poniard against the true faith.

Though the army was by no means generally devoted to the interest of the Cortes, yet amongst the troops were found the greatest number of persons attached to that cause. As nearly every regiment had been organized at Cadiz, they had learnt the language of the place. They were the more willing to imbibe the new doctrine, as they had always been dissatisfied with their treatment by the old Government, and indignant at the wealth of the lazy friars. The constitution, notwithstanding, did not quite agree with their ideas of perfection; for it always met them in the offensive shape of remonstrances against their requisitions and disorders. Some officers hinted that the law ought not to be in force in that part of the country which was the seat of war.

The general mass of the people received the constitution with an indifference, which is as fatal to a constitution-giver, as to a lover or an author. Nobody praised; nobody blamed; nobody huzzaed when the charter of their liberties was proclaimed, or knew why Plaza de la Constitucion' was written up in their principal squares. If the state of the people be such as we have described it, it is sufficient to account for so cold a reception;even were it otherwise, much enthusiasm was not to be expected. In most countries, the people are too much taken up with their immediate wants, to attend to questions of state. What then must be the case in a country where the people are reduced from ease to beggary by a foreign invasion ?-where two harvests have been carried away by the enemy, and they are watching with anxiety the produce of a third? The people of Spain, in reality, could think of nothing, talk of nothing but the war: All their fears were occupied by the French army, all their hopes by the Duke of Wellington. During this painful interval, the only rule for judging their own government, was to ask if they had made the greatest exertions possible against the enemy? And as they uniformly answered the question for themselves in

the negative, they declared that their laws might be very good, but they had abandoned their country to its oppressors. It were in vain for a philosopher to have quoted to them from Montesquieu, the distinction between the Legislative and Executive powers; they had neither time nor comprehension for such a discussion: and as to the new laws, they openly said, that no doubt they were wise and good, but they had felt no benefit from them;-the oppressions of the powerful had not ceased in their part of the country. Nor was this wonderful; for the functionaries of the Spanish Government have never been much accustomed to obey its decrees: And when a vicious rule replaced by a new ordinance, the village Dionysius immediately searches for a flaw in the deed, where he may gratify his love of oppression. The extent of a new power, too, is generally unknown to the multitude; and they often continue to suffer from prohibited abuses, from not knowing how to apply for redress, or where to make a stand against the tyrant. Those who hold high offices, are generally too idle or too selfish to make any inquiry on the subject. Thus, the misrule and caprice of a mayor or a constable, which was never attributed to the arbitrary Monarch, becomes a subject of complaint as soon as the vaunted remedy fails of success. The Cortes, in giving the village corporations the assessment of taxes, and the superintendance of the conscription, gave them a large authority, very open to abuse. We know, in point of fact, that in some places the whole taxes were levied upon two or three of the inhabitants, with a vague promise of better arrangements in future. The right of appointing their own officers, now restored, was less grateful to the villages, as it had been previously granted by the French.

Thus we find that, with the exception of Cadiz and a part of the army, the measures of the Cortes met with general reprobation. The nobles had lost substantial revenues; the people had gained only abstract rights:-those were deprived of what they valued, and these had obtained what they never desired. Some were shocked in their opinions; some curtailed of their authority; some attacked in their interests. Amongst the nobility, the Cortes were Levellers; with the clergy they were Atheists; and by the common people they were coarsely called Traitors. The objects of such defamation, in the mean time, were far too much elated with the idea of the great figure they were making, to be aware of the sentiments they had excited. It has been said of the French tragedians that they paint passions, and not characters. The Spanish liberales considered opiniors, and not passions. They opposed the definitions of liberty and despotism.

to a host of prejudices; and thought they had destroyed the power, when they had logically refuted the reasonings of their antagonists. They fondly counted upon every victorious division as a step in the history of Spain; and proceeded to put the last finish to the dignity of human nature in the Peninsula, by a decree, that no schoolboy should undergo the degrading punishment of flogging!-Thus the Constitutional Cortes ended where Tom Thumb begins.

Of the ordinary Cortes which followed we know little, but that it was chiefly composed of ecclesiastics, and that the liberales were rapidly losing their influence. By the injudicious steps that were taken, we may presume, however, that they still preserved their majority. In the midst of the general joy at the restoration of the Sovereign, they were busy devising new conditions to annex to their offer of the Crown:-and the people became the more anxious to free him from all restrictions. At his first entrance into Spain, which was carefully directed by the French to the opposite quarter from that in which the Duke of Wellington commanded, the King met General Elio and some of his old servants. By their advice it is supposed he issued a proclamation, dissolving the Cortes, and passing an eulogium on the old government of Spain. This was supported by an army which struck terror into Castile. The Cortes instantly dispersed; and Ferdinand entered Madrid amidst the shouts of his own praise and that of the Inquisition. The people broke the statue of Liberty to pieces; and the mob having forced its way into the Hall of Cortes, two men climbed up to the highest part of the wall to eraze the word Liberty, which was written up in large letters, with the names of other constitutional virtues. We are rather disposed to ascribe this appearance of enthusiasm for slavery, to the joy excited by Ferdinand's return, than to any other passion. The people, we believe, were merely indifferent about liberty, of which they understood nothing;-but they keenly felt the triumph of their native prince over a French usurper. It is certain at least that the country submitted very quietly to the new orders that were issued. One of the armies, we believe, was disposed to resist; but seeing the tranquillity of the people, adhered to King Ferdinand. The commander of another army is said to have found that the support of his friends would be dangerous, and not likely to be attended with suc

-cess.

Considering the natural history of princes, we are not disposed to be very angry with Ferdinand, for his love of tyrannical institutions, or his turn for despotic language. But we cannot restrain our indignation when we find him imprisoning,

and menacing with a trial, all who had spoken in favour of limitations upon his authority. It has been said, we hope not truly, that some of his victims have already suffered a violent death. We are more inclined to believe another report, that he has offered to liberate them, but that they disdain to owe any thing to his clemency. Indeed the smallest spark of gratitude would have enabled him to recollect that these were the very men, who upheld his cause, when he and his vile nobility had abandoned their country, and forfeited all right to its protection. Had they not then exerted au unconquerable fortitude, it might never have been in his choice to be cruel or merciful. The weight of the obligation may perhaps be the reason for disclaiming it. Many courses were obviously open to a King of Spain that which has been adopted is, of all, the most profligate, and we are inclined to believe the most imprudent; when a prince violates the common rules of justice and honesty, he not only forfeits the esteem of all that is respectable amongst his subjects, but becomes an object of contempt and suspicion to those who support his administration, as well as to those who suffer his displeasure. Had this way of thinking been popular at our Court, Ferdinand the VIIth would hardly have received the Order of the Garter. We have but a word or two to add on the moral of this strange drama.

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We subscribe unreservedly to the doctrine of Mr Hume, that every people, not absolutely subdued by foreign force, must be governed by opinion; or, if the admirers of Mr Paine object to that word, by prejudice. Government is founded,-not on divine right, not on a social contract, but on the general consent and tacit agreement of the people, as at the moment subsisting. But we are not to conclude, because power is derived from the people, that all governments in which they do not reserve a portion for themselves, are illegitimate. For it is very clear (notwithstanding what has been written), that the people can as easily give the right of raising taxes on themselves to one hereditary officer, as to five hundred, renewed every seven years. The supreme governor may gain his situation by address; but he can only keep it by a conformity to the habits and manners of the people who live under him. The Turks have no objection to the spectacle of their neighbour's heads upon spikes; and the nobility of Georgia are happy to have the honour of prostituting their young daughters to their master. It is very true, that as good laws help good morals, bad laws increase depravity: but all improvement must be gradual. It is not to be believed, that a people situated, as we have shown the people of Spain to be, should pass at once to the comprchen

sion of Locke and Rousseau. Had their government depended upon force, they might have broken their chains long ago; as it depends upon opinion, they are not likely to do so for some time to come. It requires years of inquiry, under great captains in philosophy, before men can be brought to change their speculative opinions, turn their reverence into jealousy, and despise the qualities of which they have hitherto been proud.Such a progress, however, or great practical injuries, can alone raise a nation against its government. If we look to the French Revolution, which the Spanish patriots weakly attempted to imitate, we must instantly see that the circumstances were totally different. A violent desire of change; continual discussions on the theory of government; a great competition for the honours of a patriot, and an universal enthusiasm for liberty in the midst of profound peace, were the circumstances of France. But in Spain there was a silent, satisfied calm: and the very name of freedom was unknown in the nation, till it was uttered by an insignificant party in the midst of a destructive war.

Perhaps we are too severe, when we give the epithets of mean and dastardly, to those nations who have not the happiness to live under a free government. We ought rather to ascribe extraordinary merit to those who do; for, in order to be permanently free, men must be possessed of many rare qualities. They must have a spirit of exertion,--not for sudden efforts, but for a constant struggle against the abuses which lead to despotism. Every individual must be animated with a determination not to consent to a single infringement of his freedom. This energy is so far from forming a part of the Spanish character, that they display none of it even in their most urgent pecuniary concerns; nor did it animate them to make any general effort to rid themselves of the nation they hate most upon earth. In order to be free, it is also necessary that the principles of justice should be generally understood, and impartially administered in the tribunals. In the earlier periods of our own history, while justice was irregular, liberty was precarious; but when justice was steadily established, liberty grew up under its shadow. In order to esta blish real justice, it must have the support of public opinion; and when the general voice agrees with that of the law in awarding punishment to crime, a patriot may look to the support of his countrymen in defining an oppressive prerogative, or pursuing a wicked minister. But in Spain, the feelings of the people always run counter to the verdict which condemns a malefactor; and there is not, nor did the Cortes establish among them, any one good court of justice.

Another quality is eminently necessary, and that is modera

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