Imatges de pÓgina

liver him to the person intrusted with the execution. It is perfectly understood that the Sieur Albert is not to propose or to use this last plan, but in the event of the Prince refusing, or not venturing to risk the first.

6 " The Sieur Albert will bring the Prince straight to Vincennes, persuading him that he is proceeding to the coast of Normandy, a little

way round.

“ In the event of the Prince refusing to fly, in order to repair to the coast, Albert will at least try to get from him an answer to the letter delivered to him.

"" As to every other point, the Sieur Albert will follow the directions which the governor is requested to give him ; for that purpose he will settle the mode of communicating with M. de Berthemy, so as that no one in the chateau shall have any suspicion of it. pp. 247, 248.

The most extraordinary paper, of all, however, is the cool and deliberate avowal of all this, made by this same Duke of Otranto, in answer to a categorical requisition which the Baron addressed to him after the first restoration of the Bourbons in 1814, and which he has now printed in the following terms.

• “ The Duke of Otranto attests and declares, that the Baron de Kolli, who was intrusted with a mission from the British government to his Catholic majesty, King Ferdinand VII., did everything to execute it, which honour, fidelity, and zeal could have inspired; that his arrest, which took place on the 24th of March 1810, at a house in the park of Vincennes, prevented him from repairing to Valençay; that a person named Richard was sent there under his name; that all his effects, money, and diamonds, were deposited at the office of general of police, as being the private property of Baron de Kolli. The duke of Otranto further certifies, that all that has been printed respecting the Baron and his mission is a fable, devised and purposely substituted for the true report which was made, and in which the duke of Otranto proposed, 1. That the affair should not be made public ; 2. That the Baron de Kolli should be sent back to the Marquis Wellesley, to whom the duke wished to show a mark of respect and confidence.

(Signed) “ The Duke of OTRANTO!' Paris, May 20, 1814.

We do not feel particularly proud of the figure which our Ministers and Princes of the Blood make in this publication. But we should blush indeed for the honour of the nation, if any detail so humiliating as this could really be extracted from the records of our Foreign, or even our Alien Office.

The rest of the Baron's book consists chiefly of the story of his imprisonment at Vincennes, and of his attempts to escape. These last remind us of Baron Trenck; and are scarcely inferior in interest. Like him, he mines through the massive walls of his cell, by the persevering labour of six long months, em

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ploying very nearly the same devices to get rid of the rubbish and avoid detection-like him, too, he gets clear into the open court, but is caught on the outworks, and remanded, of course, to a more safe and rigorous captivity. He was worse off than Trenck, however, in having to pluck out by the roots a huge beard of ten months growth the night before he attempted his escape, and in having to elude the vigilance of two watch-dogs in the court-yard, with whom he had sagaciously established a cordial intimacy some weeks before, by feeding them regularly with the fragments of his dinner. His imprisonment seems indeed to have been abundantly severe; being entirely secluded from the visits of his friends and children, or even any society with his fellow-prisoners, and denied the use of writing materials, or the amusement of books. We cannot say, however, that he submitted to those privations with meekness. On one occasion, when some of the turnkeys are approaching to search him, he stabs himself in several places with a pair of scissors; and on another, when a brutal attendant was long in coming with his meagre supply of food, he fells him to the ground with a billet from the fire-his nerves, however, having been disordered just before this last piece of violence by a frightful dream, in which this same keeper attempted to bite off his hand, with teeth like rolls of paper containing confectioners' mottoes! He is also extremely active in contriving the means of secret intercourse with his fellow captives, and is repeatedly detected both in this and in practising on the compassion or cupidity of his attendants-so that it is but fair to say, that he brought some part of the rigour with which he was treated on his own head.

Upon the approach of the Allies to Vincennes in 1814, an order is given by the Duke of Rovigo, then Minister of the Police, to remove the prisoners to Saumur, in which the Baron assures us, that he read with his own eyes, the following significant and ominous hint. • As the person named Kolli is one • of the most dangerous of the state prisoners, I should be bet

ter pleased to hear of his death than his escape!' We did not think it usual to put such perilous intimations in writing. The Baron, however, is safely conveyed to Saumur; where, after running infinite risks from the frenzy of the mob, and the desperation of his keepers, he is at last liberated in consequence of the entry of the Allies into Paris in March 1814; and immediately bestirs himself to recover the evidence of the tricks that had been played upon him by the Police in 1810, in the way we have already explained. He is less successful, however, in his attempts to recover the property which had been seized at the time of his arrest—especially the diamonds of which we have already spoken. The restored King of France, upon considering a memorial from him, having been pleased merely to order that the sum of 15,000 francs taken from him in money should be restored, with his horse and sword of honour, but that the diamonds, having been given by

a government then at war with France, must remain confiscat• ed.' The Baron is very angry at this decision; of which he has ever since been endeavouring to procure a reversal, but in. vain. Among other contrivances for effecting that end, he tells us, that he lately sent a copy of his present work, in manuscript, to the French ministers, with a letter expressing his regret at being obliged to state such a fact in it—but, getting no satisfaction, he now gives it to the world. He distinctly accuses the Minister of Police of having embezzled his diamonds --and complains that the Duke of Rovigo still retains his sword of honour, though ordered by the King to restore it.

Having settled these matters in the best way he could, and regained possession of his original credentials from the English Government, the magnanimous Baron determines, after all, to deliver the letters of our venerable Sovereign, according to his original undertaking, He therefore gets a magnificent portfolio prepared, studded with golden fleurs-de-lis, and orna

mented with the Spanish and English colours, with these • words richly embroidered-George III., King of Great Bria • tain, to Ferdinand VII., King of Spain and the Indies, Pri

soner at Valençay;' and, with the precious documents in . this brilliant envelope,' as he fondly terms it, he has at last the happiness of being presented before the restored Monarch at Madrid, in February 1815, and is received with such kindness as · fully indemnified him, he assures us, for his long sufferings at Vincennes.'

During the hundred days, the Baron was again engaged in support of Legitimacy-though in a way more unexceptionable, we think, than in 1810. Anxious to show, that the unjust de• tention of his diamonds had in no degree weakened his devo• tion to the house of Bourbon,' he leaves his retirement in Spain, and accepts a commission in a corps of volunteers, chiefly emigrants, which Ferdinand authorizes to be raised on his frontier, at the request of the Duchesse D'Angoulesme. His original bad luck, however, pursues him-his corps is defeated, and he, being made prisoner along with a number of emigrants, is in danger of being shot as a rebel along with them. He escapes this fate, however, on the representation of a Spanish general; and, being finally liberated by the result of the battle of Waterloo, resigns his military commissions, and retires to the tranquillity of a private station,

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• The Memoirs of the Queen of Etruria' have nothing to do with the adventures of M. de Kolli; and belong indeed to that higher department of literature to which we have already endeavoured to do homage in our article on Royal Authors, and especially of the house of Bourbon. The object of the present performance, which is by no means the worst of these family pieces, was something more substantial than mere literary glory -it having been prepared, as we understand, for the purpose of inducing the Allied Powers, in their first Congress at Vienna in 1814, to make some compensation to its illustrious author for the territories of which, by the new order of things, she had been despoiled. It contains little that can now be of any interest, being chiefly occupied with accounts of her different journies and bad accommodation in the various residences that were assigned her. In the vast importance that is ascribed to matters of personal comfort, it bears a striking affinity to the pathetic work of the present Sovereign of France, of which we have spoken in another article. Even on her first arrival at Florence in 1801, she is wonderfully distressed to find the palace very ill furnished, and is obliged to lay the nobility under contribution for plate, chandeliers, and other articles equally indispensable.' Even with their aid, however, she was actual

, ly reduced to the necessity of occasionally eating off Chinaan extremity which is thus touchingly recorded. • the first time that a daughter of the King of Spain, accus• tomed to be served in Gold and Silver, saw herself obliged to • eat off Porcelain'! In 1808, she is ordered to join her father at Fontainebleau, where she is much mortified at finding that, while her parents were settled in the palace-were al

lowed the whole service of the Imperial Court, and had all the gentlemen, ladies, and guards at their disposal-she had

only a paltry little apartment, scarcely large enough for her s family to sleep in,' &c. &c.; and so it goes on, from worse to worse, till she is at last shut up in a convent at Rome, with an allowance of no more than 2500 francs per month for her maintenance-which Murat, in the last days of his reign, afterwards enlarged to no less than 33,000. We cannot afford, however, to dwell any longer on the wrongs of this Princess which even the Congress of Legitimates do not seem to have been very eager to redress the only compensation they are understood to have made her, being a temporary right to Lucca, and a declaration that her son should be entitled to the succession of his father's hereditary states of Parma, Placentia and Guastalla, after the death of Napoleon's Maria Louisa, to whom they had been previously assigned.

This was


Art. XII. Observations on the Judges of the Court of Chancery,

and the Practice and Delays complained of in that Court. 8vo. London. Murray. 1823.

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'From this method of interpreting the Laws by the reason

of them, arises what we call Equity; which is thus de• fined by Grotius, “ the correction of that, wherein the law, • by reason of its universality, is deficient.” For since, in laws,

all cases cannot be foreseen or expressed, it is necessary that,

when the general decrees of the law come to be applied to par. ticular cases, there should be somewhere a power vested of de' fining those circumstances, which had they been foreseen) the

legislator himself would have expressed. And these are the

cases, which, according to Grotius, Lex non exacte definit, 6 sed arbitrio boni viri permittit.'

Such is the account given by Mr Judge Blackstone of the origin and business of the Court of Chancery in this country. And of a nature somewhat startling and extraordinary it is—when we recollect, that the most obvious and familiar notion of well-ordered jurisprudence implies that every thing is determined, fixed, and known before-hand; and when, moreover, we bear in mind what large and unmeasured commendation is habitually bestowed upon the wisdom of our ancestors, for having framed and handed down to us a certain rule of living, undisturbed by arbitrary discretion, and directed only by (what Lord Coke has been pleased to term) the golden metwand of the law.' Nor will the first feeling of surprise and uneasiness, to which this statement is calculated to give rise, receive any alleviation from the reflection, that the elevated and most powerful individual, in whom the trust is from time to time reposed, is, for the most part, the very centre and nucleus of the predominant faction in the state, and liable to all the predilections and dislikes which influence the possessors of Power :-That, whereas the other judges of the land are presumed (with whatever truth), from the first moment of their appointment, to be totally removed from the seductive influence of the Crown and the bias of party, this, the greatest of all the Judges, and the maker of the rest, is alone thwarted and traversed in his career by the hopes and fears, the jealousies and bickerings, the bustle and the distraction, of political controversy,—nay, that he is actually liable (we speak, of course, of the theory of the institution, without reference to any particular case) to the incalculable evil of removal, by the ordinary fluctuations of public opinion, or the veering and shifting of courtly caprice :-That, in the course of his judicial duty, he must incidentally come in contact with

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