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and shows for the gratification of a body of moustachioed nobility as officers, numerous enough to command all the armies of a first-rate power, and to exhaust the finances of such a third-rate power as Sweden, even without men to command?

public, to doubt that This writer broadly

This writer seems to depend upon the gullibility of the English nation, its proverbial ignorance of all foreign countries, and its good-natured readiness to believe whatever is told it by those who are in a situation to know the truth. It enters not into the conception or character of our a broad assertion can be false. asserts, that the Swedish people enjoy a free representative constitution; yet at this very moment, the committee of the diet itself recommends the abolition of the present constitution, if such a thing as the diet can be called a constitution, and, instead of it, that a fair representation of the people of all classes, and not merely of nobility, clergy, burgesses, and a small portion of peasantry, be given to the nation. He asserts that the press in Sweden is free: if so, why was Captain Lindenberg condemned to death? Why is Mr. Crusenstolpe suffering imprisonment in a fortress? Why is the newspaper the most generally diffused bearing on its title the Twenty-fifth Aftenblad, that is to say, it has been suppressed twentyfour times by an arbitrary censorship? Gullible the English public undoubtedly is; and, in the eyes of diplomatists of a third-rate order, it may be a virtue to deceive the public; to give an importance to small things and little minds in kingly station; to confound the right and the moral in political affairs for the purpose of supporting a poor faction of nobility in a systematic oppression of the people.

But the public seldom errs in its judgment, when it has the means of judging: the means of judging are before the British public: viz. the analysis of the Swedish diet, the historical facts of the conduct of the Swedish nobility in their surrender of Finland; in their court intrigues, by which Charles XIII. seized the throne of his brother's children; and in their transfer of the crown from a native race of kings, to a foreigner of second-rate military reputation in this age, ignorant of the language, people, and institutions, and without any other real recommendation to the throne of the Vasa dynasty than that he would be a more convenient tool in the hands of the faction that disposed of it, than its legitimate heir.

These are the means of forming a judgment, which, in this country at least, are before the public. "The Foreign Quarterly Review" has lately, in an able article, recapitulated the historical facts. "The Annual Register," and the numerous other collections and narratives of the public affairs and documents of this eventful century, give the British public, at least, the means of forming a judgment upon the statements and opinions of Mr. Laing's work, which this writer controverts with his bare unsupported assertion. The consistency or inconsistency of Mr. Laing's political opinions are as unimportant to the public as Mr. Laing is himself. This poor tool of a faction of Swedish nobility cannot understand, it seems, how a man can advocate liberal opinions, and, at the same time, legitimate opinions. He does not comprehend- and how should the noble who sees only his party, and his small partyobjects or advantages, in every public question, and

not the moral and political right or wrong, the social good or evil, how should he comprehend that the liberal is far more conservative than the aristocrat? The liberal seeks only the preservation of each power in the state-the executive, the legislative, the administrative-by confining each to its legitimate province. He would strip the executive power of legislative authority, because the usurpation endangers the safety, and destroys the utility of the executive itself: he would purify the legislative authority from the admixture of executive with legislative influence exercised by the oligarchy of a nobility: he would establish the throne upon its proper rights, and make it, as the executive power in the state, independent of factions of nobility, and of military power: he would respect the legitimate succession to the legitimate rights of sovereign power; and if, unhappily, any individual in the line of succession should break the original contract with the people, he would resist, depose, bring to trial, and even to the scaffold, the individual monarch guilty of such misgovernment; and would establish such a constitution as would render the personal character of the future sovereigns of little importance in the government of the country, for any evil to the community; but he would not alienate and sell the crown of his native land, and his native race of sovereigns; nor suffer a faction of nobility to dispose of it to a foreigner alien in religion, alien in language, alien in habits, for their own interests and advantages. The liberal is the real conservative of the monarchical principle in Europe: the aristocrat is only the conservative of the influence, privilege, and power of a faction around the throne, as dangerous to the monarch as

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it is useless to the people. The history of Sweden, since the usurpation of the late deposed king's uncle, Charles XIII., is a memorable instance, in modern history, of the working of a government called into existence by an aristocracy, and conducted by an aristocracy for its own advantages and interests as a privileged class it shows the legitimate sovereigns of Europe what they and their families have to expect from their conservative nobility, where the voice of the people is not heard, and their right to a share in the legislature is usurped by the factions of the privileged orders. Had the voice of the Swedish people been heard, the race of its ancient sovereigns, under constitutional restrictions on the abuse of monarchical power, would at this day have been on the Swedish throne. The Swedish nation would as soon have thought of electing Tom Thumb the Great for their sovereign, as a French general, whose name not one in a thousand had ever heard of in Sweden, and whose whole life and career, however distinguished, whether great or little, had been totally unconnected with Swedish interests or honour, and were connected only with a few needy intriguing Swedish nobles in Paris who had no stake at home. Sweden, in this age, is as badly defended by her nobility in the fields of literature, as of war.

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The other statement of Mr. Laing, which it would be interesting to the public, and important to political science, to see fairly met and refuted, or else fairly admitted, is that Sweden, with a population almost entirely agricultural, not manufacturing or commercial, with a powerful church establishment undisturbed by dissent or sectarianism, and with national education, as far as regards reading, writing,

and the first principles of religion, very widely dif fused, is notwithstanding in a more demoralised state than any country in Europe - more demoralised even than any equal portion of the British manufacturing population - stands, in short, at the very bottom of the scale of European morality. The conclusion which Mr. Laing draws from this is, that bad government, bad laws, bad social arrangements, unjust or unequal political rights and civil condition enjoyed by privileged classes at the expense and to the oppression of the great body of the people, the want of free agency as moral beings, by the interference of a military government with the time, labour, industry, and doings of the people, reducing them to the state of a soldiery in country quarters, are such demoralising influences in civil society, that even a powerful church establishment, and an effective system of national education, cannot counteract their tendency. Mr. Laing's conclusions must depend upon the truth of his statements. His statements are clearly and distinctly made. They do not rest upon his personal observations, or experiences as a traveller. He justly, it is conceived, observes, that the merely personal observation of the traveller, however good his opportunities, or long his experience of what he remarks in his own confined circle, as a stranger, is of no value whatsoever, either for establishing or refuting such a statement as he ventures to make respecting Sweden. Mr. Laing states that he makes it upon documentary evidence, upon the official returns of the Swedish minister of justice, of the crimes committed within a given year, 1836, compared with the official criminal lists of other countries for the same year. Here, one would surely say,

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