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with respect to the body of the laity; but among the high clergy, ■whose prejudices and interests combined in the support of the ancient system, there existed all the former repugnance to admit a principle equally hostile to both. The operation of these combined motives was remarkably manifested by the publication of an address from certain of the Belgian prelates to the King of the Netherlands, dated July 28th. Beginning with the king's assurance in his proclamation of confirming to the catholic church its. establishment and privileges, they affirm that these are inconsistent with an article in the plan of the new constitution, by which equal favour and protection are promised to all religions. They next endeavour, historically, to prove the incompatibility of such a toleration with the canonical laws and fundamental principles of the catholic church. They say, "We are bound, Sire, incessantly to preserve the people entrusted to our care from the doctrines which are in opposition to those of the catholic church. We could not release ourselves from this obligation without violating our most sacred duties; and if your Majesty, by virtue of a fundamental law, should protect in these provinces the public profession and spreading of these doctrines, we should be in formal opposition to the laws of the slate." In a kind of menace, they proceed to inform the king, that such regulations, if confirmed, could only lead to a renewalof the troubles which desolated these provinces in the sixteenth century, and that they must, sooner or later, alienate the
hearts of his faithful subjects in this part of his kingdom, "with whom, attachment to the catholic faith is stronger anil more lively than in any other country in Europe." From these purely religious complaints, they turn to another of a civil nature. "The clergy of these provinces have observed, not without pain, that your Majesty has been persuaded to exclude them from the assemblies in which the great interests of the state were discussed; that the plan of the new constitution contains honourable distinctions for the nobility; and that the clergy, one of the first class in the state, are deprived of them j that they will not even have the right of being represented in the provincial assemblies; that their influence on the acceptance of the new constitution is carefully removed, so that the most distinguished members of the clergy arc not, according to the expressions of your Majesty's proclamation, among the persons most worthy of the confidence of their fellow-citizens; lastly, that they are not allowed to inscribe their dissentient votes on the lists of the notables." This address, which contains many other remarks of a similar nature, was signed by the bishops of Ghent, Namur, and Tournay, and the vicars-general of Liege and ef Malines. An ecclesiastical protest of this kind was capable at a former period of lighting up a dangerous flame. At the present, it was more likely to throw discredit upon the religion of which it was the advocate, as being radically intolerant, and admitting no union with other forms of Christianity. Christianity. It does not appear to have produced any alteration in the resolutions formed by the ruling powers relative to the system of religious affairs for the Netherlands. The King, on September the 10th, issued an ordinance, with the following preamble: "Considering that it is just and expedient to recur to the advice of functionaries professing the Catholic religion, for every measure of administration relative to the public exercise of this religion, and especially for what regards the relations between the clergy of our kingdom and the holy see, and desiring to confirm, by a special and permanent institution, our resolution to remove every thing which might tend to weaken the real guaranty which the constitution secures to the liberty of all forms of worship, or which might in any degree affect the dogmas and the discipline of the Roman-catholic religion, or hinder those who profess it from freely exercising their faith as heretofore, we have decreed, &c." From this formula, it will appear, that only protection, and not mastery, and still less an exclusive power, is given to the Roman church in Belgium. The subsequent articles contain the appointment of a committee of the Council of State, consisting of three or four Catholic members, to which is to be referred every thing relating to Catholic worship.
On September the 21st, the ceremonial of the inauguration of the King of the Netherlands was performed at Brussels with all due solemnity, and with every external mark of general satis
faction. His Majesty in his speech took notice of the union, under the same Sovereign and laws, of the seventeen provinces in the reign of the Emperor Charles V.; and congratulated the assembly on the prospect of its renewal after a separation of nearly three centuries. He was replied to in an appropriate speech by the President of the First Chamber; after which, the constitution was read, and the King pronounced the oath with peculiar energy. The procession then repaired to the church of St. Gudule, at the door of Which the King was received by the very Reverend M. Mille, entitled chief priest and pleban, who addressed to him a discourse entirely free from any of the sentiments of the prelatic address above mentioned, and claiming only the protection for the Catholic religion guaranteed by the constitution. The first sitting of the States-general, at Brussels, opened on the 25th, and • one of the earliest of its acts was a dotation to the Duke of Wellington, as Prince of Waterloo, of an estate on the very theatre of his triumph. The Sessions, in which every thing passed witli unanimity, was soon after closed.
In October, was officially pub* lishedthe boundary treaty between the King of the Netherlands and the Emperor of Austria, concluded at Vienna, on May the 31st. It marks out topographically all the limits between the seventeen Belgic provinces and their neighbours, comprising also a part of the ancient Duchy of fLuxemburg, to be possessed in perpetuity by the Sovereign of the Netherlands, as a compensation
[H S] • for for some principalities in Germany, which are to form one of the States of the German confederation. The King of the Netherlands also renounces for himself and his successors, in favour of the King of Prussia, the sovereign possessions of the House of Nassau Orange in Germany.
The Session of the States-general at the Hague, was opened on October the 16th by a speech from the King, the principal object of which was, to prepare the public mind for those great financial sacrifices which the unforeseen events of the year had rendered necessary, and which darkened the favourable prospects of the former year. In a short space of time it had been requisite to arm whole lines of fortresses, to double the national army, and to maintain the still more numerous armies of the allies. It was intimated, that the means of providing for all these expenses would be the most serious subject for the assembly's deliberations; and a hope was expressed, that an introduction of taxes of the same kind throughout the kingdom, would put an end to the difficulties at present experienced. Some consolation was derived from the revival of various branches of industry in consequence of the return of peace, and the renewed connection with the colonies ; and hope for the future was suggested, as a result of the new guarantees for general tranquillity, to be expected from the treaty of the associated Sovereigns. The address in answer to the speech, drawn up by the Second Chamber, and approved by the First, expressed entire satisfaction with all
the measures suggested by his Majesty to recover the nation from its difficulties, and promised their cordial co-operation in bringing his plans to effect. At a sitting of the Second Chamber, a report was made by the Minister of Finance, in which the deficit was stated at forty millions of guilders, for which it was proposed to provide by an issue of exchequer bills, to be liquidated during the course of ten years by an additional 15 per cent, upon a number of existing taxes. At the sitting on October 24, a communication was made to the Chamber of a convention concluded between the Kings of Great Britain and of the Netherlands, relative to the ceded Dutch colonies in the West Indies, in which various advantages were stipulated for the trade of the Netherlands. The Belgians were at this time highly gratified with the recovery of their valuable works of art from the museum of the Louvre.
On the discussion in the Second Chamber of the proposed war tax, those differences appeared which are always to be expected in a representative assembly amidst opposing interests. The Members of the southern provinces particularly declared against it, as highly unjust with respect to those districts which had suffered so much from the war,- and a voluntary loan, and the sale of national domain?, -were proposed in its stead. When, however, the question was put to the vote, the tax law was carried by 77 to 27
A very important event to the new kingdom of the Netherlands was announced to the States-general, en December 13, in a message sage from the King. This was, a contract of marriage between the Prince of Orange, heir apparent to the crown, and the Grand Duchess Anna Pawlowna, sister of the Emperor of Russia. His Majesty, among the desirable consequences of such an union, mentioned the new support which it offered to the interests of the commercial part of the nation in the north of Europe; and the guaranty it afforded to the whole kingdom, of the durable kindness of a court, which had so powerfully contributed to its foundation. The plan of a law was annexed, ex
pressing the consent of the States to the marriage, as required by the constitution. This was unanimously given, and the union took place. The extent of its political consequences time alone can determine; but it is obvious that the crown of the Netherlands will obtain a strong additional security by its connection with a court apparently destined henceforth to tuke the lead among the continental powers of Europe, whilst Russia will acquire an augmented weight in the general balance of political influence.
CHAPTER AS the final settlement of the affairs of Germany depended on the resolutions of the congress of Vienna, which had not concluded its deliberations till nearly the close of the year, the political condition of that country for the most part remained in an indeterminate state which afforded little matter for historical record. No longer the seat of destructive ■wars, it was gradually recovering from its wounds, and returning to the exercise of peaceful industry; and although speculation on the forms of government under which they were hereafter to subsist must have been active among the enlightened classes of society, its effects were in general confined to literary discussion. Some examples, however, were given of contests of a more important kind; and the kingdom of Wurtemberg, in particular, was the theatre of political events, which will be regarded with interest, as elucidating the spirit now prevailing in the mixed constitutions of the Germanic system.
Germany.—Affairs of Wurtemberg.—Contest between the King and the States.—Saxony: Note of the King to the Allied Powers.—Mutiny of the Saxon troops in Blucher's army.—Final Treaty with Prussia, and Dismemberment of the Saxon Terrritory.—Hanover: Speech of Count Munster to the States.—Prussia: the King's Pmclamation to the Inhabitants of Posen, and of Dantzic and Thorn.—Royal Decree on the representation of the People in Prussia.—Organization of the Prussian Monarchy.—Act of German Confederation.
On January 12th the King of Wurtemberg having convoked his
ministers and council, announced his intention of introducing into his kingdom a constitution with, states-general; and to this effect published a memorial addressed to all his "subjects, servants, and vassals," in which he notified that hp had sketched out a constitution of this nature, which he meant to lay before the states-general to be assembled in March following.
The states accordingly met, consisting of representatives chosen by the people, joined with others who sat by right of birth as former states of the empire, and with members appointed by the king. The general expectation was, that the ancient free constitution of Wurtemberg, which circumstances had abrogated, would be restored, with modifications rendered necessary by the change of times; but the king's speech on opening the session expressed a different intention. No mention was made of the former constitution; and a new act, in the formation of which the states had no share, was laid before them, as the only organic, law of the state sanctioned by his Majesty. The assembly, fondly attached,