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with the pulses of life. This decree is therefore remarkable as an interference with the internal affairs of a free nation, and may be regarded as the unfolding of another leaf of that system of combination among crowned heads so detrimental to the happiness of mankind. The sullen dislike of any member of the Holy Alliance to England can only speak out by acts like the present; secure in her own might, stronger specimens of enmity towards her freedom cannot be exhibited. Were her physical power deteriorated, and were she vulnerable to their attacks, they would overwhelm her green fields like locusts ; neither their tender mercies nor her past services in their support would delay her destruction an instant. She is the obstacle to their leagued ambition, the foe to their designs against liberty in the earth, and the only barrier in Europe against the return of a second night of the Vandals and Huns. Austria has not spared dungeons and chains; and jesuit teachers, inquisitions and excommunications, have been called in to aid the pernicious designs of these contenders with knowledge and civilization, who are too blind to perceive that commerce and riches, and consequently national power, follow only the march of constitutional freedom. But it can scarcely be questioned that if unbounded national power were to be purchased by this means, it would remain unbought by princes, who will make no sacrifice for the benefit of the realms they so preposterously govern of one iota of their absolute prerogative. It is not wonderful that Austria should take the lead in every display against the spirit of the time, because hers is the most oppressive of the allied States at home, and no ray of intellect penetrates the darkness of her appalling tyranny. The sovereign of Russia is more enlightened and subtle, and sees his own interest too clearly to commit himself on unimportant points ; and the king of Prussia found wholsomer laws established and a more enlightened people on his accession to the throne, over whom, though absolute enough, he rules with more respect for the national character. In Austria all is unbroken gloom, and every effort is exerted to keep it impenetrable. The Court of Vienna and its myrmidons are reckless of every thing but the preservation of an iron yoke, and the removal of whatever may by possibility interfere now or hereafter to break it. Hence while political discussion is proscribed, the press rendered useless, and the cultivation of the public mind checked as much as possible (for this Government has discernment enough to perceive that the spread of knowledge among its people would be fatal to its existence in its present amplitude of oppression), good morals are utterly disregarded. Vienna is the brothel of Europe, the capital where vice is most abhorrent, because it is most unblushingly sordid; where natural passion forms no venial excuse for excesses, but the execrable love of gain is the temptation which is allowed to sanctify all, where manly and independent feeling is unknown. Thus the government that punishes with remorseless severity the least tendency to the propagation of the sentiments of freedom, and those ennobling principles which have ever been the admiration of the wise and good, says tacitly to its people “Leave us absolute authority, and we shall not trouble our heads about the state of public morals; be not troublesome to us in our government, and you may live as ignorant and destitute of what in other countries is called virtue and manly feeling as you please."
This frantic conduct must in the end find its own level; it cannot endure for ever. Even the stupid Hungarian slave, and the half-savage
Croat, will see things at some future time in a different aspect from what they do now.. The descendants of the betrayer of his daughter's hus. band to his enemies, will be the sufferers for the more than royal obstinacy of their predecessor. A salutary change of measures in Austria must unfortunately be a work of time. Come when it may, it will be hailed with pleasure by every friend to the interests of humanity. To that time we should have been inclined to leave this enviable Government, and Francis might have reposed for us in the bliss of his own folly, had he kept within the limits of his authority, until we could hail its arrival; but he has gone out of his limits, and, feeble as our censure of such a potent autocrat must be deemed (would that like the mouse in the fable we could gnaw the net that entraps his people), we shall perform our duty, however insignificant it may be. He honoured the New Monthly * some time ago by his special hatred in a splenetic exclusion of it from his dominions, wherein few can read their own language and very few indeed a foreign tongue ; from which it may be gathered that the il est defendu did not arise from a fear of injury from its perusal, so much as from that imbecility which prompts inferior understandings to do things oftentimes from spite or caprice, which a mind of elevated character, equally hostile, would scorn to attempt if it could not effect more. But the act in question: might not have been the Emperor's, but the result of the deliberations of that council, with Metternich at its head, which keeps him surrounded by political wisdom and foresight like a halo, that interferes with insults, and bullies the weaker States of Germany into measures at which their rulers revolt, and is for ever projecting congresses for settling the affairs of nations with which it has no moral or political right to interfere. Be it master or mạn that advised the present powerless exhibition of spleen, it will lose him ground even among the advocates of arbitrary measures in this country, if we except perhaps his Grace of Buckingham. The injury attempted to be inflicted upon Lord Holland, who cannot fail to feel gratified at such a mark of animosity from the deadly foe of freedom and reason, is of so ridiculous a character in itself that were it not indicative that the spirit which dictated it wanted only the power to go much further, it might be passed over with a smile of utter contempt; but it developes the feeling with which this constitutional nation and the privileges which its subjects once conquered for themselves from their own oppressors, are regarded by the Holy Alliance, and, as such, it is too useful and important to be forgotten.
The three ladies, Bourke, Oxford, and Hutchinson, being travellers on the Continent, might, perhaps, approach the frontiers of the Hapsburgh empire. There might be some danger to the stagnant tranquillity of the Austrian dominions, in case they passed the frontier, which remains to be explained, and which it is probable would have been explained had there been the slightest ground to justify it, or had the only facts which could be stated, not been too ludicrous to meet the eyes of the world, thereby exposing the Austrian Government to ridicule. As it stands, we must believe that the ladies in question, either by some joke at the intrigues of Metternich and his hoary gal lantries, or a sneer at his arbitrary schemes and eternal congresses, or it
See New Monthly Magazine in the small print of the number for June 1824 under the head · Foreign Varieties.'
may be at Francis himself, in the hearing of some of his spies, or a little scandal in their correspondence at the post-offices, (where it is the honourable custom to violate all correspondence for the benefit of the high allied powers,) have caused the gates of the happy empire to be closed upon them. Whatever the real cause may be, the prohibition will shew us the nature of the Austrian Government. It exhibits to us the apprehension and cowardice of an arbitrary rnler with an army of half a million of men, spies innumerable, and a police only one degree removed from the Inquisition itself in severity, when three helpless females can thus arouse its vigilance. Thus the fear that lurks within is made glaring and palpable. Is this mighty prince, this baughty monarch, this holder in Gothic chains of the finest part of Italy, this king of the Romans, surrounded by whiskered hussars, filthy Croats, and most humanized pandours, to be so easily disturbed by two or three of the weaker sex? This is hardly credible; yet if it be not thus, there remains but one alternative how to characterize the actthat it is the most mean, impotent, contemptible specimen of monarchical malice, that has appeared before society for a long time, even in these days of depreciated regality. That the chief of one of the first nations in Europe should issue such a decree is a proof of paltry spleen and narrow intellect unworthy a country Dogberry. In respect to Lady Morgan, it shews us how much the pen is dreaded by the most sanctified allies. Her writings had been before prohibited in Austria ; and the right to prohibit books and their authors from entering his dominions by the sovereign of a Continental state, because they may record the truth respecting hm, we will not dispute. He is accountable only to God for his actions; and all beings and things in his dominions were made for him, and breathe only by his sufferance ! But we, who have different sentiments and a different belief upon this subject, can only learn from similar acts that the contempt so often attempted to be shewn for the truisms that have been published in this country by others, as well as Lady Morgan, respecting the Austrian Government, was all pretended :--that in reality it was cut to the quick; it writhed under the wounds inflicted by the free press, and its magnanimity was all pretended :—that the clank of the grinding chain of the Italian, the exactions and oppressions of the Austrian authorities, from the highest to the lowest, have become heard out of the country which they en. slave, and have excited the commiseration of mankind.
Finally, the prohibition of Francis can be of no disadvantage to the objects of his enmity, while it exposes his own infirmity of mind, unless he supposes his royal censure of sufficient importance to cast a shadow over them in society, in which case his imperial majesty is altogether mistaken. The censure of an Emperor of Austria, or that of any sovereign, can only be current in this country, in proportion to its justice, and therefore goes for no more than that of a private individual. As royal favour is often bestowed without regard to talent or virtue, it would be singular, on the other hand, if its enmities were unexceptionable. In the eyes of the English people the present marks of royal resentment are ludicrous, and will tend to raise rather than depress those who come within the sphere of their operation. The ladies who are its object will laugh at the Austrian's expense, and be joined by their fair countrywomen. Lady Morgan, finding how much more
deeply than she expected she has struck home, will not avoid an opportunity of striking again. The noble peer, whose intrepid perseverance in the cause of civil freedom has excited the animosity of the Austrian satrap-the enlightened statesman and personal friend of his own sovereign, and an object of respect with the British people--well knows how to repay with interest this impotent decree;-be will know again how to express sentiments friendly to liberty and inimical to despotism, whether Turkish or Austrian, in the senate of his country, however displeasing they may be to the House of Hapsburgh. Nor will the prohibition of entering the Austrian dominions, which offers sights most disgusting to any free man, turn him aside from his past course of conduct. Every individual with true English feeling will be of opinion he has received one of the highest compliments he can have offered him the marked displeasure of a despot for the support of rational freedom in his native country.
And it gave out piercing light,
Whence its lightning struck the sight.
A city of comely array;
Rose over its towers grey-
Are bubbling in the sunny air,
Sparkle and drop like dew;
And trees of the freshest hue;
And its ceilings with gems are starrd ;
Is a basin of adamant hard,
In which a quicksilver fountain plays,
If pamper'd with too much care,
Good fortune is hard to bear;
Though her waywardness he might see;
To heighten his love's intensity;
That he never might enter there;
His victim, “ she did not care,
* Abdalzamin the Second of Cordova.