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The ministers of Great Britain, he thinks, have all along misunderstood the nature of the French revolution,-have been misguided in their counsels by an unpardonable ignorance of the state into which time and events had brought the nations of Europe, and have employed means as weak and irrational in their 'combination, as unenlightened and unprofitable in their end. Little, in his opinion, was that man acquainted with the modes of thinking, and the state of government in the different kingdoms of this quarter of the globe, who could build any hopes upon a coalition of the old European powers against republican France. The first crusade, as he calls it, upon the fall of the monarchy, was, under the pretence of reestablishing the throne, a treaty of partition ;-the fortresses taken displayed the standard of Austria, not that of Bourbon. The jealousy of Prussia opened a secret understanding between her and the portentous republic; and the minister of Great Britain ought to have known, that out of these materials were not to be forged the arms which could subdue a great nation, combined by the real enthusiasm of liberty; though mistaken as to the means of obtaining it. The inhabitants of Holland and the Netherlands had, but a few years before, exhibited a republican spirit; and the internal commotions of those countries had been with difficulty quelled. Yet, without weighing these important circumstances, --without considering or understanding the corruption and degeneracy of the Austrian cabinet, the weakness of the government, the cabals of the court, the insincerity of her military officers,' these countries, with Great Britain, were forced into a coalition; and ' a mass of such discordant materials,' says our author, ' was mistaken for a combination of all the regular governments against anarchy.'
It was not enough for us to get into an evil course. We persisted in it with an obstinacy and infatuation which has no parallel. No sooner was one coalition baffled, than we formed another. We expended the resources of the most flourishing country in the universe, with a prodigality such as no age or nation had ever witnessed; while every fresh effort was attended with a new accession to the power of our enemy. Our whole conduct,' says Mr Leckie,' has been marked by indecision and weakness of measures. From the time that Pichegru invaded Holland, and drove the British from the Continent, hostilities on our side were never conducted on any regular plan, or founded on a general view of the state of the world' s
Our conduct abroad, however, was the natural result of the principles espoused at home. When to the fears, which were first excited by the doctrines of the French, was added the terfor arising from the success of their arms, well disposed men those corporations, instead of being elected by the people whom they govern, are annually appointed by the Tribunal of Patrimony at Palermo--that board erected by the king for the superintendance of his demesnial patrimony. The deputies whom the corporations choose, are generally their attornies at Palermo ; and as one man may be the attorney of several corporations, it very often happens that one man is the representative of two or three towns at once. These men are almost always dependent upon the nobles ; and the vote of the demesnial house thus follows that of the baronial as a thing of course.
consider what has become of the property of those degenerate nobles, who, in the various countries which the French have overcome, had made themselves the agents of corruption and despotism.
Among the various details into which our author enters in support of his general criticisms on the conduct of the British government in foreign affairs, he pays particular attention to the situation of Sicily. He appears, from long residence on the spot, to be better qualified for the task than most of our countrymen, by whom the government of Sicily has been most strangely overJooked. It is indeed of late only that it has become in any remarkable degree connected with our interests ; but now that it forms so prominent an object in our system of policy, it is not a little to be regretted, that there is not, so far as we know, a book in the English language which conveys a tolerable idea of the internal government and political situation of that island. We are extremely happy that Mr Leckie has afforded us an opportunity of performing, though in a very imperfect manner, this important service; and we give him our sincere and hearty thanks for the aid which he has contributed to us in the outline which we shall here present. We are happy that we shall be able to quote his authority for almost every statement which we shall find it necessary to make.
The distribution of the lands which was originally made by Roger, the Norman conqueror of Sicily, about the time of our William the First, still remains; and forms, in reality, the basis on which the government stands. He divided the lands into three parts; one of which he assigned to himself, as the demesnes of the crown; another he divided among his robles, on the common feudal conditions of military service ; and the third was bestowed upon the church, in the endowment of bishoprics, abbeys, convents, &c.
That portion of the lands which is held as the demesnes of the crown, is under the immediate management of the towns there situated. Each town, according to the estimated revenue of the land within its district, pays to the king a certain annual sum, denominated the King's Patrimony, besides maintaining the police, roads, &c.; and a Board, denominated the Tribunal of Patrimony, is established at Palermo, which takes cognizance of the whole. The barons, holding their lands on feudal conditions, are not permitted to alienate them; and no sale takes place but with the express permission of the king. The lands of the 'church are of course a 'fixed and unchangeable possession; and the towns on the demesnial lands having only an administrative wight, have no pretensions to any power of alienation. The whole
By this constitution it appears, that the parliament of Sicily is, properly speaking, composed solely of the nobles; and the power of levying the taxes is placed entirely in their hands. The consequence is remarkable and instructive. They have uniformly exempted themselves from the burdens of the state, and imposed them on the rest of the community. The supplies are distinguished into certain portions, called donatives, each consisting of a defined sum, but not all equal in amount. Of these there are eighteen ; thirteen of which are denominated ordinary, and five extraordinary. From the thirteen ordinary donatives the barons have voted themselves entirely exempt. The ecclesiastics, though not totally spared, approach to that happy point very nearly. They are entirely exempt, as well as the barons, from five of the ordinary, donatives; and, though they contribute to the remaining eight, it is only at the rate of a sixth, or rather less. The whole, therefore, of the ordinary donatives, with the trilling exception of about an eighteenth part, is laid upon the lower and middling classes of the people. Even with regard to the extraordinary donatives, the barons have preserved themselves almost equally free. They pay a small rate to four of them, which amounts to about a sixteenth only of the whole ; and in this they include the quota of those who bear titles without possessing fiefs ; so that their real share is considerably less. Of the extraordinary donatives, the parliamentary prelates contribute only to three, or nearly one nineteenth part of the whole. About one tenth, therefore, of the extraordinary donatives are borne by the nobles and the church; and the whole of these also, with the exception of this small proportion, is thrown upon the people. The nobles and the church possess two thirds of the lands of the kingdom ; yet they bear between them only one eighteenth part of the ordinary donatives, and one tenth of the extraordinary. The people who have no landed property, the farmers, tradesmen and labourers, are loaded with the buiden, while these contribute only their pittance. The mode in which these donatives are raised, is the next cir