Imatges de pÓgina
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commonwealth should have seemed almost to efface the recol·lections of Louis XIV. and the War of the Succession; the • Bourbons on the French Throne might still claim a sort of pri‘mogenitary right to protect the dignity of the junior branch, .by interference with the affairs of Spain ; and a late posterity • of those who witnessed the Peace of Utrecht might be en. tangled by its improvident concessions.'*

M. Mignet winds up the historical introduction to these negotiations, with an exposition of the geographically dependent character of Spain, and of the benefits she has derived from her connexion with France. The first point is argued with a dis

. regard for national rights, which, from the pen of an official writer, contrasts remarkably with the Polish paragraph in the annual addresses of the late Chambers; and on this, it

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be enough to say, that the severest blow ever dealt to the independence of the Peninsula was the aid which Louis afforded to Portugal, thereby forcing Spain on the Pyrenees. For the second point, when M. Mignet looks to his own great and famous country, with its organised society, its unrivalled army, the elastic spirit of its statesmen, and the majestic unity, in spite of every convulsion, impressed on all its splendid civilisation, we can scarcely think he will seriously challenge a comparison between what France has developed for herself, and what she has crippled and thwarted in Spain. The dependent helplessness of Philip V. has clung, like a curse, to the dominions which his posterity have ruled. It has been equally fatal to their Monarchy of the last century, to their Revolution of yesterday,—to their Constitutional Government of to-day. Not only has the spirit of the Family Compact infatuated and compelled Spain to be the handmaid of every French aggression, and to bear a heavy share of the losses incurred in every war with England; but it has worked yet more fatally in reducing Spain to a condition of diplomatic tutelage, in which the destinies of the nation are not entrusted to its own energies, but made dependant on the struggles of rival ambassadors for influence. To the imbecility of the Austrian, the Bourbon Princes superadded the corruptions of French despotism; but they imported no admixture of its high spirit, its national pride, or of its vigorous centralisation. Hear M. de Marliani, himself a Spanish Diplomatist, and an official of the House which M. Mignet delights to glorify. Partout ailleurs, la mauvaise or

* ganisation sociale a vécu à côté d'un gouvernement mauvais aussi, mais agissant régulièrement dans le cercle de principes organiques d'administration, tels que la civilisation des temps

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* Const. Hist. iii. 293 VOL. LXXXIX. NO. CLXXIX,

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« les comprenait. En Espagne, au contraire, à aucune époque

et sous aucune forme, il n'a existé de gouvernement, autre que * l'arbitraire et ses erreurs. L'administration publique n'a ja

mais eu d'autre règle que le caprice de ceux qui commandaient. • Ce mal invétéré n'a subi aucune modification ; et il atteint * l'époque actuelle avec l'autorité que donne la force des tra• ditions.?* Nor did the national character gain in gentleness what it lost in independence. While French manners, and art, and literature were eating at the very roots of Spanish nationality, in the single reign of Philip V., the victims of the Inquisition were no fewer than 9992, of whom 1032 were burnt alive.t

With the outlying portions of the Empire it has fared yet worse. Humboldt gives us a memorial from the Bishop and Chapter of Mechoacan, presented to the Spanish Court in 1799, which singularly illustrates the misgovernment of Mexico. $ The Viceregal Administration was mainly bent on separating the various races of inhabitants; as if it sought actually to train them for such ferocious feuds and outbreaks as disgraced Peru at the end of the 18th century. With Naples and Sicily, which, though not ceded by the Treaty of Utrecht, have been governed by Bourbon Princes for a hundred years, it is the same. The Government here

« is only an additional cause of disorder,' writes the President Du Paty in 1785. Count Orloff, a warm admirer of the Bourbons, dwells at length on the accumulation of all those abuses which a moderately wise Administration has in its power to remove; on the fetters which the concurrent claims of the Crown and of the feudal proprietors imposed on agriculture; on the flagrant system of the corvées ; on the baneful ingenuity with which the tithe system reached even to the instruments of labour. § It is curious that the only benefits which the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies received from its French Government, were derived from its revolutionary rulers, and infringed by the House of Bourbon. The Governments of Joseph and Murat did much towards organising the administration, reforming the law procedure, and abolishing feudal rights. The only alteration introduced by the restored Bourbons formally authorised a secret trial on a Secretary of State's warrant. || M. Mignet was writing in 1835; and it would be unfair to quote against him more recent in

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* Marliani, Histoire Politique de l'Espagne moderne, i. 8.
† Ibid. i. 116.
| Nouvelle Espagne, i. 435.

Orloff. Mémoire Politique, &c. sur le Royaume de Naples, iii. 179.

By the new code of 1819. Sce Lord Brougham's Political Philosophy, i. 617, 618.

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stances of Neapolitan misgovernment: but the testimonies we have already referred to are at least those of not unfavourable witnesses; and we are content to rest on them for a decision of the question which M. Mignet has raised. They will enable us to estimate justly that system of dynastic suzerainship on the part of France, and of subserviency on that of her Allies, the revival of which it has hitherto been the scarcely concealed aim of M. Mignet's book to advocate.

It is difficult for men of other countries to speak calmly of that system. To our mind it possesses fewer redeeming features than any other policy that, like it, has sacrificed individuals, and trampled on nationalities. The civilisation, for example, which the heroic genius of Alexander suddenly created, or that which was steadily advanced by the majestic line of Roman Consuls and Dictators, pleads irresistibly in defence of its promoters. For posterity feels nothing of the throes and struggles which usher every new form of society into being. We are accustomed again to relent, in judging the Mahomedans of the 7th century, the Crusaders at the close of the 11th, or the Revolutionary armies of France at that of the 18th, when we remember the absorbing fanaticism, the high faith in their mission, with which all of them in their turn triumphed over the powers and dominions of the ordinary world. But there are no such compensating points in the remorseless policy which built up the magnificent fabric of the Bourbon Monarchy. That policy derives its sole interest from its consistent unity of scheme, and from the spell which bows our imagination before any display of an unflinching, individual will. In these, indeed, no period is richer than that which we have been examining; nor shall we find them any where more completely illustrated than in the great King whom we have followed nearly to his grave. However History may have qualified the profuse adulation of his contemporaries, enough remains, after every deduction, to secure him a position among the ablest Rulers of his country,-by the side of Henry IV., of Richelieu, of Napoleon. And whatever political or social changes France is destined to undergo, we do not anticipate that she will ever cease to look back with respectful admiration upon Louis XIV. as alone representing and embodying a very brilliant epoch of her development,-an epoch, however, which has passed utterly away, and which, fortunately for mankind, it is for ever impossible to recall.

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ART. V. -1. The Case of Mr. Shore. London: 1848. 2. Apostacy. A Sermon in reference to a late Event at St. Paul's,

Knightsbridge. By the Rev. W. J. E. BENNETT. London:

1847. 3. A Reply to' A Statement of Facts' made by Mr. Alexander

Chirol, B. A., in reference to a late Event. By the Rev. J. E.

BENNETT. London: 1847. HENRY VIII., who spared neither man in his anger, nor

woman in his lust, had not intended to spare that child of the Church of Rome— the Canon Law. He silenced its professors at the universities, forbade the granting of degrees in it, and nominated a commission for its reform. But, beati possessores! is a maxim of the law. Its masters of the science of defence have always been excellent in their own behalf. ·Hal, • thou knowest my old ward !' Westminster Hall wore out Cromwell; and Henry VIII. was baffled by Doctors' Commons. For commissions sometimes came to nothing, even under the Tudors. If ecclesiastical law had been looked into once in a hundred years for that most important of all reforms — the purpose of accommodating it to the intelligence and spirit of the times—it would have been impossible that there should have existed at this day such a case as that of Mr. Shore. And, even in the present state of things, such a law would never have rushed out like a spider from a cobweb upon its prey, in case

, episcopal authority had always the good fortune to be placed in prudent hands.

Mr. Shore was a clergyman of the Church of England—and, unluckily for him, in the diocese of Exeter. He seceded from the Church : and on his proceeding to officiate as a dissenter, his bishop turned the tables on him, proceeded against him as a deserter, and put him in the Ecclesiastical Court.

Under these circumstances, the Delphic oracle of Doctors' Commons has been consulted; and the following response in the name of the advocate-general, Sir John Dodson, has gone the round of all the newspapers.

• 1. I am of opinion that a priest in holy orders of the Church • of England, although styling himself a seceder from that • Church, and being, in fact, a voluntary seceder therefrom, may • be committed to prison for contempt of court in preaching as a dissenting minister, contrary to the lawful monition of the court. 2. It is quite obvious that neither deposition from holy orders, degradation, or excommunication, can confer on a clergyman a legal right to officiate or preach as a dissenting

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minister. 3. I think that if the bishop were to degrade and • depose a clergyman from holy orders, he might be liable to * the penalties imposed by the statute 41 Geo. 3. c. 63., if he attempted to sit in the Commons House of Parliament. 4. I am of opinion that excommunication would not entirely release • a clergyman from his priestly character, so as to give him the * status of a layman. - Doctors' Commons, Aug. 24, 1848.'

Nobody who has read the parliamentary proceedings in the case of Horne Tooke will question this opinion. The debates upon his eligibility to sit in the House of Commons, and afterwards on the bill to prevent persons in holy orders from sitting there, appear conclusive. (Parl. Hist. vol. xxxv. 1349.

. 1542.) But, what the law is, is one thing; what it ought to be, is another. On the legal question we willingly accept the authority of Sir W. Scott and of Lord Eldon. (1395. 1414. 1544.) On the political question we infinitely prefer the authority of Fox, Lord Grey, and Lord Holland, as intimated on that occasion.

The reasonable part of the clergy will not thank the Bishop of Exeter for reviving a discussion of this description under circumstances so much resembling intolerance and oppression. Lord Thurlow objected, we think unreasonably, to the bill for preventing clergymen from sitting in the House of Commons. He called it a bill of disfranchisement. But in his disapprobation of the law of indelibility we cordially agree. Lord Thurlow observed, that if it were the law that the character of a

clergyman was indelible, it was a little hard because a person • had been in orders thirty years ago, but had ever since left • off discharging the functions and enjoying the privileges peculiar 'to priests or persons in orders, to tell him that he should belong * to no other profession, but should still remain a clergyman; although he might from conscientious motives have felt it repugnant to his feelings to continue a clergyman any longer. • That several persons who had been ordained clergymen in their

early days, and were in possession of lucrative benefices, had at a subsequent period conscientiously laid down those benefices • and quitted the profession, was a fact which must have come within the knowledge of most of their lordships.'

The same indulgence which their diocesans have shown to clergymen falling off into Unitarianism, and latterly to clergymen relapsing into the Church of Rome, why could not the zeal of Dr. Phillpotts extend to Mr. Shore? Mr. Lindsey * was allowed

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* Mr. Lindsey having resigned the living of Catterick, in Yorkshire, was the minister of Essex Street Chapel for about fifteen years.

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