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single body, which was to be entirely forced upon the de facto Queens (if and at once changed every second Queens de facto they still are) of Spain year. [This view of the Legislative and Portugal. Body, of the National Assembly as a We thought to have here terminat. despotic sovereign in opposition to ed our extracts; but we cannot refuse the debilitated and helpless Executive ourselves the pleasure of here insertPower, is just, and strikes us asing this enlightened foreign Republic original.]
can's view of the English Constitu“ In 95, the sovereign power was
tion, to which we alluded some pages divided between two bodies, one-fifth back. of which was annually changed. Now “ In England, I have seen how what is the concentration of the so- well a really constitutional monarchy vereign power, whether in an indivi- suits a great nation. We here bedual or a body, but despotism? What hold, if not the best, yet a good and is the frequent and complete change of happy Republic, not in a programme, the depositary of this sovereign power, but in practice and in morals,—the whether an individual or a body, but legislative power, wisely divided anarchy ?
amongst three authorities, each of “ The constitution of 91 was which exercises unshackled its proper confused medley of despotic and an- prerogative, --- the executive power archical principles. It merely trans- possessing full latitude for doing good, located the despotism or legislative neither having nor seeking any for unity. It changed a hereditary for a doing evil,--the judicial power so inbiennial master. The new master dependent, that the obscurest perwas more absolute than the old, be- son, like the greatest wealthiest lord, cause he had not been opposed by like the meanest or the most illusparliaments (French), by nobility, by trious continental exile, feels perfectclergy, or by provincial states. On ly secure under the guarantee of the the other hand, the biennial change jury, which no sacrilegious touch can of this absolute sovereign kept every pervert, of domiciliary inviolability, question unsettled, at least incessantly which no villany may profane. The mooted anew. We might every se
elective branch of the legislature, cond year pass from a monarchy to a chosen by eight hundred thousand republic, from a republic to a mo- electors out of a population of twentynarchy. A burst of enthusiasm, a five millions, which, if far from uni. decree extorted by fear, was all-suffi- versal suffrage, approaches five times cient for the change.'
nearer to it than our electoral law. placed a baseless, unsupported throne, Lastly, the House of Peers, accessible in opposition to an omnipotent, ever- to every citizen, too powerful and too changing sovereign. It gave to the enlightened to yield to the allurements shadow of a king neither the initiative of the Court or the clamour of the mula of new laws, nor the right of dissolv- titude. These hereditary magistrates ing the legislature, whilst the suspen- have for a century and a half been the sive veto for two years could only en- defenders of the charter, the immortal able him to incur the vengeance of work of their ancestors. Their tutethe absolute master."
lary supremacy will long remain the And this constitution of 91, so palladium of British liberty, provided clearly and argumentatively condemn- they cease not to resist inflexibly the ed by Lucien Buonaparte, is the con- overflowing torrent of popular opi. stitution par ercellence which the nions, which nothing short of a social Spanish Extraordinary Cortes of Ca- convulsion could satisfy ; provided diz, after having seen its failure in they do not forsake their own approFrance nearly copied in 1812, which priate territory to defend themselves Portugal and Naples imitated at se- weakly upon that of their adversaries, cond hand, and which, after a second but, influenced by state reasons, consifailure, though in an inverse sense, der every new law proposed relatively in all those countries, has been reviv- rather to its probable action upon the ed with but little modification, and constitution, as a whole, than to that
Its first appearance ending in anarchy, its second in the restoration of absolutism,
* * * *
theoretic perfection, which often de- first of those returns, whether preconceptiously insinuates into the body certed and expected, or not, for the politic a fatal germ of dissolution, purpose of overthrowing the Direcmasked under the seductive appear tory, if not the Directorial Constituance of a salutary amelioration. tion, as inefficient, and the like. But Should the patrician robe ever be less we have already said, to review Lurevered than the kingly crown, than cien Bonaparte's Memoirs, in such a the elective chamber were not fragment as this first volume, is imthat to deny Old England, and de- possible. We confidently look for a molish the very basis of that charter, second, because we are convinced that yet unrivalled in the Old World, the idle complaints of disappointment, [hear this ye modern scoffers at Mag- uttered by those who were silly enough na Charta], the vital force of which to expect a second edition of the gosresides in the equal independence, the sip of Madame Junot, and the Prefect equal respectability, and the equal in- du Palais, in the memoirs of a philoviolability of King, Lords, and Com- sophical republican statesman, must be mons."
felt by the Princc of Canino, as a mere There is much curious matter in topic for ridicule ; such murmurs canthis volume besides our extracts; such not possibly damp his inclination to as the Prince of Canino's acknow- prosecute a work, the value of which, ledgment of Mr Pitt's great abilities making due allowance for the probaas a statesman ; his assertions that bly unconscious colouring of partialiboth Napoleon's returns to France, as ty and prejudice, is, and must be, well for the 18th Brumaire as for the duly appreciated by all historians and Hundred Days, were altogether uncon- reasoning politicians. For our own certed with, and unexpected by, his part, we anticipate with some pleasure partisans at home ; his frank avowal, and much impatience, the offering our apparently without much sense of readers such a review of these memoirs shame, of the manæuvring, the factious as they deserve, when we shall obtain, trickery, practised by himself and in the second volume, a complete porfriends in the councils, prior to the tion of the whole.
TO THE CONDUCTOR OF BLACKWOOD's MAGAZINE.
Edinburgh, 9th December 1836. SIR,- In Blackwood's Magazine for this month there appears a letter froin Mr Henry Cranstoun, in which he calls attention to an inaccurate statement, and to an omission which he had found in a book published by me nearly six months ago, called Schloss Hainfeld.
The inaccuracy consists in my having ascribed to the late Lord Ashburton some pecuniary assistance, for which, it appears, the late Countess Purgstall was indebted to her own family, at the period of her son's death, the distressing circumstances of which are alluded to at page 37 of my work.
The omission relates to my not having mentioned Mr Cranstoun's name in my narrative, nor adverted to the nature and extent of his intercourse with his sister, the late Countess.
There are other topics dwelt upon in Mr Cranstoun's letter ; but as they relate to remarks in a publication which is not mine, and to opinions for which I am not responsible, I shall confine my observations to the above two points.
With respect to the pecuniary aid lent to the Countess, I have only to remark that, in the conversations with her from which I drew my information, I was quite unconsciously led into the above mistake, by confounding her descriptions of the distress and difficulties she went through at the time of her son's death, with those she had to struggle with at subsequent periods of her life, when the considerable legacy, mentioned by Mr Cranstoun as having been left her by Lord Ashburton, proved of such importance to her.
As to the omission, I have to observe, that as my purpose was merely to give an account of the visit which I and my family, at her own earnest entreaty, paid to the late Countess Purgstall—and as I had no intention whatever of giving a history of her whole life still less of entering into the details of the private in. tercourse which took place between her and her connexions in this country-I felt that it would be more delicate not to touch at all upon those purely domes. tic topics, which had reference to the surviving members of her family in Seotland.
So far, indeed, was I from imagining that, by adopting this course, I should displease Mr Cranstoun, I was, until very lately, under the fullest conviction that he would give me credit for proper delicacy in maintaining this reserve. Accordingly, I learned, only towards the end of last month, and greatly to my surprise, that in thus confining my narrative strictly to the details of my own visit with my family at Hainfeld, my purpose had been misapprehended. I then learned—also for the first time—that i had inadvertently been led into the error above alluded to respecting pecuniary affairs.
Immediately upon obtaining this information (which was some days before the Magazine appeared, and before I had any knowledge of its contents), I cancelled the page of my book in which the inaccuracy occurred, and substi. tuted, in all the unsold copies, another page, containing the note given below,* in which the error pointed out to me was corrected, and the omission, which I understood was complained of, supplied.
I need scarcely add, that I regret exceedingly having been led, however unwittingly, into statements or omissions which should have given a moment's uneasiness to any one connected with the late Countess, to whom I became so deeply attached, that it will ever be a source of happiness to me that, by a train of such unlooked-for circumstances—by her considered quite providential—I was enabled to watch over the latter days of so estimable a person.
I regret also that nearly a month must elapse before I can set myself right with the public. But I conceive it better to make use of the widely-circulated and enduring medium of communication selected by Mr Cranstoun for his appeal, than to print my answer in the transient journals of the day,
I have the honour to remain
*“ After a considerable portion of this edition had gone into circulation, I was made aware that the above statement contained a material omission, which I hasten to supply.
“ It ought to have been mentioned that, at the trying period of her son's death, the Countess's two brothers not only went from this country to cheer her by their presence, but by pecuniary aid essentially relieved her embarrassments at that moment; while the assistance derived from Lord Ashburton, above alluded to, was due to a legacy left her some years afterwards.
“I was led unconsciously into the above error, by confounding the Countess's description of her difficulties, at the time alluded to, with those which took place at a later period of her history."-Schloss Hainfeld, 2d Edition, p. 37.
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.
The Frenchman has the happiest glory of the rencontre ; but we do art of any man alive, of taking the not hesitate to say that we regard pleasant part of any matter to his those removals of ancient monuments bosom, and totally dismissing the as an offence to good taste, good remainder. The rage for Egyptian sense, and good feeling, and that there trophies is the very last that we should we are not sorry to find them turn out conceive a national taste in France. in disappointment. The obelisk, Egypt once might have been a land while it stood among the ruins of the of promise to the “ Grande Nation,” ancient Egyptian palace, was a strikwhen M. Savary wrote every Parisian ing memorial of memorable times. It coterie into raptures with its rosewater, was appropriate to the spot-it gratipavilions, and poetry, and every Pa- fied the sense of fitness—it stood a risian cabinet into frenzy with its fine monument of great, wise, stirring, gilded prospects of superseding all the and strange things that had occurred British colonies, and stripping Eng- actually around the spot where it land of India by a march across the stood. It virtually formed a part of isthmus of Suez: or when M. Bona- the historic evidences of the country, parte carried his thirty thousand and to the man of science, scholarship, braves to found an empire in the and cultivated imagination, it fur. East, take the Grand Turk by the nished the feelings which belong to beard, and give every barber in Paris the actual view of any relic of the the choice of a harem and a throne, mighty past, in the scene where all Egypt might have sounded well in the the living evidences of its greatness native ear; but since the days of old have gone down to the dust. But Abercromby, and his style of manag- what can those feelings have to do ing the braves,-it might be presumed with the “ Place Louis Quinze" in to have lost some of its attractions. Paris ; the solemn solitude of the Quite the contrary. Egypt in France desert with the bustle of fiacres and is still “ Notre Egypte.' Aboukir, fishwomen—the sacred characters of the 17th of March, the fate of the science and religion with the jangle invincibles, and the finale of the of hurdy-gurdies and the prattle of "Armée de l'Orient," are completely holiday pedestrians -- the dim and wiped out of the picture, and Egypt time-bleached record of the dead of and victory, the land of romance, of thousands of years ago with the Napoleon and the savans, is as fresh spruce impertinences of plaster-walls, and favoured in the national fancy as and the flattering sculptures of a Pait was on the day when the grand risian palace-garden ? charlatan himself left Toulon to exhi- It is true that England has brought bit his cups and balls before Turk away Egyptian monuments, but it is and African on the classic shores of to be remembered that those monuAlexander and Cleopatra.
ments were actual captures from the The obelisk of Luxor is now at French-Egyptian army, and were allast erected in Paris—in the centre of ready removed from their original the finest square in Paris—which position. It is true that she has the square it entirely disfigures, and for Elgin marbles ; but let it be rememwhich disfiguration we are by no bered that if she did not possess them means grieved. Let no Parisian they would probably be not now in savant practise the small sword for existence, as the Turks were daily our bosom on reading this. We have shooting them down with their musno possible desire to throw him into a kets, breaking them down for their state of belligerency. Let no hero of buildings, or burning them into lime. the demisolde curl up his mustaches If England have gone beyond this, on hearing our opinion, and threaten we as freely protest against the prinus with his pistol for our liberty of ciple in her case as in any other. speech. We have not the slightest But France has led the way, is the intention of going to war for the great remover, and has not yet learn
VOL. XLI. NO, CCLV.
ed, keen as the moral lesson was, the raising scaffolds, compiling machipropriety of leaving the great works nery, and piling stone upon stoneof past genius, power, and wisdom to and all in vain.
In this way they their original possessors, or to the land built an inclined plane large enough which covers their graves. To re- for the rampart of a first-rate fortifistore the obelisk to its old and natural cation, and costly enough to have site in the palace of Luxor is now, made Louis Philippe sick of his enof course, hopeless. Yet to that site terprise. Yet no sooner was all brought it ought to be restored. It is only to the test, than machinery refused to there that it can ever suitably stand, move, ropes to pull, steam-engines to can ever add to the grandeur of the drag, and the obelisk to get upon its surrounding scene, or can ever call up feet. Some awkward accidents, too, any one of that host of thrilling and befell the populace, who had crowded true ideas which belong to the sight too near, for the pleasure of giving of noble monuments on their own soil. their opinions on the performance.
The disappointment of the Pari- Some were killed by the fall of ladsians, on the whole, might be antici- ders and pullies, some were mutilatpated. The expense of bringing the ed; and the whole affair was rapidly obelisk from Egypt was immense, and falling into disfavour, when, after the stone cuts but a poor figure after about three weeks of toil and tribulaall. The hieroglyphics go for little tion, the pillar was at last got up. in the citizen eye, to which they are The populace had a day of gazing ; merely grotesque scratches covering a and the monument, if the spirit of its long brown mass of unconth form. It sculptor haunts its sad and sepulchral is about seventy feet high, and about height in our days, may have the saseven feet in diameter at the foot. It tisfaction of knowing, by the neglinow looks bare and barbarian, and, in gence of the passers-by, that its quarthe eyes of the French, would have rel with the spoilers is more than been infinitely outdone by a briek pil- avenged. lar well plastered over, with a fawn or a fiddler at the top. At Luxor, how- Ireland was once the land of bards. ever, it once stood on a porphyry base, But its harps have twanged deplorably covered with suitable sculptures of out of tune since the rebellion of the Ammon, the Nile, Anubis ; and with ever glorious 98," the rout of Vinegar its sister monolithe, for there were Hill, and the hanging of priests Murtwo, and this, the smaller, probably phy, Roche, and the other embryo carcaught the approving gaze of many a
dinals, who expected to take the short lotus-cating philosopher of the days of way to Rome, by getting on horseback Egyptian renown. Moses and Aaron pike in hand. That period was fatal to may have marked the hour by its sha- thewhole generation of patriot rhymers. dow as they stood waiting in the
The Inishowen stills have vainly tried courts of the great king; and Pharoah to keep up the national genius by the himself
may have taken an oracle or spirit of the bogs; the Corn Exchange an omen from it before he let loose is content with prose gone mad; the his cavalry on the frightened multi- Trades' Unions regard the faculty of tude of Israel. But now it is a mere talking nonsense, as quite equivalent impediment to the erection of a May- to either reading or writing. And since pole, and will probably make wäy Captain Rock sings no more, the highin the next revolution for the statue waymen, pickpockets, and patriots of of Lafayette or some other charlatan Ireland are condemned to perish withwho will tell the Parisians that they out their fame. How many load the are the finest people on the surface of prisons, the prison-ships, or the scafthe globe. A little mortification, too, fold, thus defrauded of their honours, is occurred in the attempts to raise the beyond our calculation. stone. The French engineers of every kind have a habit of pronouncing
“ Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona multi." themselves the first in the world; yet, And doubtless many of those who have in the face of the world, and, what finished their career in Sydney, or in was much worse, in the face of the the hulks, have wanted only opportuidlers of Paris, all the élite of the en- nity to rival the laurels of the Great gineers were hard at work for weeks Agitator himself. In the unadorned