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was feverely cenfured and annulled by an order of the king in council on the twenty-third of Auguft. This was done to fhow, that, while government was compelled to yield to the neceffities of the times, it was not however infenfible to the unceremoniousness of the treatment and novelty of the maxims offered on the part of the courts; or rather it fhowed in the moft ftriking light the impotence of the monarchy, defirous but not daring to refift, fraught with internal refentment and defiance, but obliged to exhibit an exterior of submission.
The chamber of accounts, in vindication of their refolution from the cenfure paffed upon it in the council of ftate, appealed to the votes of the parliament of Paris, which exhibited fimilar principles, but which had failed to draw down the exprefs indignation of the executive govern ment. Adminiftration was roufed by this infinuation, and to vindicate their confiftency an order of council was made on the fecond of September, the day upon which the king delivered his conciliatory anfwer to the courts of ids, annulling the moit confiderable hoftile refolutions of the parliament of Paris of the preceding month. In this order the edict of November 1774, by which the king foon after his acceffion had reftored the parliaments to their functions, was particularly cited. That regulation provided, that, when the king fhould think proper, after having replied to the remonftrances of the parliaments, to caufe any ordinances, edicts or letters patent to be publifhed and registered, in his prefence in the parliament of Paris, or in the prefence of perfons commiffioned by him for the other parliaments, nothing fhould be permitted to fufpend their execution; the right 1789.
of farther reprefentations being referved to the courts, with an exprefs faving that the force of the edicts could in no refpect be infringed.
In the prefent ftate of affairs a great part of the nation feemed to proceed with a total indifference, bordering upon contempt, for the continual fluctuations of minifterial policy. Addreffes poured in from the inferior jurifdictions in the diocese of Paris to the parliament, as the martyrs of the public caufe, nor was their feries for a moment fufpended by the partial conceffions of the execu tive government. In the mean time the language adopted by oppofition upon this occafion, the imperfect accents of their rifing liberty, did not fail to be ftrongly tinctured with the, remains of defpotic adulation. The harangue of the deputy of Chateau Thierry deferves to be cited upon this account. "Charged, as I am," faid he," to lay at the feet of this auguft fenate the tribute of our veneration, fidelity and unalterable attachment, together with our most earneft wishes in its behalf, what expreffions can do justice to my theme ? Charged to dilate upon that meritorious conduct which has won to you the hearts of your country, what eloquence can be worthy of the fubject? The eloquence, gen tlemen, that lives in my bofom. In that bofom I find concentred the admiration and the love of France, thofe altars which time can neither pollute nor deftroy. The capital, the nation looks up to you as its tutelar divinity; the bowels of our common father are moved; his good. nefs can no longer be withheld from appearing. I think I hear the voice that calls you! Why cannot I, like
neas of old, bear you upon my fhoulders, and replace you in that fanctuary, which fo many oracles deс
monftrate that justice has chofen for her favourite habitation?"
As the period approached when it feemed probable that government would be compelled to acknowledge its error, there appeared fymptoms of a contention and rivalship between the members of adminiftra tion, which of them fhould fucceed in throwing upon the other the blame of having advised the exile of the parliament. It was induftriously reported by the friends of the archbifhop, that the measure had originated with Mr. de Lamoignon, keeper of the feals, and had been fuggefted by motives of perfonal refentment and vengeance againft certain members of that body; as if it could be more injurious to the prelate to fuppofe that he had been prompted to an impolitic proceeding by an erroneous judgment, than to fuppofe that he confented to what he knew to be wrong, from a criminal complaifance to his colleague in office. Meanwhile Mr. de Lamoignon, who had probably not been averfe to the measure, was induced to fit down in filence under the imputation, and to take upon himself the task of revifing and retracting the counfel he was fuppofed to have given.
. It was this moment of humiliation and weakness that was chofen by the archbishop of Touloufe to decorate himself with a new title, and he was promoted on the twenty-feventh of Auguft to the dignity of principal minifter of the king of France. This elevation appeared to him the
proper folace and compenfation of an imbecil adminiftration, ruined finances, a diftracted nation and the annihilation of political confequence among the ftates of Europe. It was fpeedily followed by feveral other, promotions; the count de Brienne, the minifter's brother, having fucceeded marshal Segur as fecretary of ftate for the war department; the count de la Luzerne fuperfeding the marfhal de Caftries, who had long laboured under a dangerous malady, in the marine; and Mr. Lambert being appointed controller general in the room of Mr. de Villedeuil. Thefe refignations might probably be in part occafioned by the etiquette of the French court, no member of the cabinet having a right to an audience, when there is a principal minifter, unless that minifter be prefent.
We have now brought down our narrative to the period of the Dutch revolution, and the view we have given of the internal fituation of France, will enable the reader to understand the conduct obferved by the government of that kingdom in this memorable tranfaction. France was at this time too deeply embarraffed in the conception of her own illuftrious and immortal revolution, to be at liberty to watch over and protect the liberties of foreign nations. We pafs from the fcene which has fo long and fo defervedly engroffed our attention to the general-affairs of Europe.
CHA P. III.
Projected Exchange of Bavaria. Germanic League. Death of the King of Pruffia. Policy of his Succeffor. Affair of the Princefs of Orange. Military Interference of Great Britain and Pruffia to adjust the Diffentions of the United Provinces. Alliances and Treaties.
T the moment that we are writing Jofeph the Second emperor of Germany has clofed his political career. During a certain period he was regarded, at least by the generality of obfervers, as a prince of fplendid talents and a virtuous propentity. He had the appearance of comprehending and imbibing ideas of no common magnitude, and his heart feemed alive to generous and Liberal feelings. But it was not long that he put a deception upon mankind. The verfatility and inconftancy of his character foon found an opportunity to difplay itself. He prefents us with a copy of the emperor Caligula without his atrocious cruelties. Reftlefs, perturbed and impatient, active to no end, mutable from a pure averfion to regularity, he was ever engaged in a thousand projects, each of which in its turn was deftructive of its predeceffor, each of them deferted for fome new idea of a more fplendid and captivating figure, and not one through the whole courfe of his reign carried into complete execution.
A character like this in the humbler walks of private life would be wholly unworthy of a moment's attention. But a throne has the privilege to render its poffeffor in all cafes an object of enquiry, provided his meafures, as thofe of Jofeph did, originate principally in the features of his own mind. The prince, of
whom we are speaking, lived in a period of the hiftory of Europe un'commonly critical and interefting; and it is to be hoped that his ftory will furnish an interefting leffon both to princes and to people. Monarchs may be taught, by the example of a man, who acquired the hatred of his fubjects in a degree almoft unparalleled in modern ftory, that caprice is of all defects the greateft that can exit upon a throne, and that nothing can atone for the want of found, confiftent and uniform principles in the fcience of government. Nations may learn, that the bafis of authority exifts only in opinion, and that, when their grievances are so confiderable as to deftroy that foundation, it requires little effort indeed to fhake the loftieft throne, however defended by guards and protected by innumerable armies.
In our preceding volumes we have treated of many of the emperor's earlier tranfactions and defigns, the revolutions and reforms he meditated in every part of his dominions, the confifcation of monafteries, the claim of the Schelde, the creation of a new electorate and the election of a king of the Romans. We alfo mentioned the project of the exchange of Bavaria; but this undertaking, as having occafioned the league of princes for the prefervation of tha Germanic conftitution, and feeming fufficiently calculated to influence in
fome degree the future tranfactions of Europe, is entitled to a more confiderable fhare of our attention.
The first public notice, that was taken of the proceeding, originated from the duke of Deuxponts, nephew and heir to the elector of Bavaria, who in the month of January 1785 communicated to Frederic the Second king of Pruffia the refult of a conference he had held with count Romanzow, minifter plenipotentiary of the court of Ruffia to the diet of Frankfort, in which that nobleman had acquainted him with the nature of an agreement that had been entered into by the emperor Jofeph and his uncle the elector. The fubftance of this agreement was that the elector should cede to the house of Auftria the provinces of Upper and Lower Bavaria, the Upper Palatinate, the landgraviate of Leuchtenberg, and the duchies of Newbourg and Sultzbach; and that the emperor fhould cede in exchange the Auftrian Low Countries together with the advantages expected from Holland, with the exception of the duchy of Luxembourg and the county of Namur, and a referve in his favour of the artillery and national troops both of Bavaria and the Nether lands, together with a perpetual right of negociating loans in the latter. The emperor farther ftipu lated, in favour of the elector and the duke of Deuxponts, a gratuity of 1,715,000l. and a promife that he would exert his influence to procure the title of king of Burgundy to be annexed to the new dominions of the elector.
This communication is ftated by the king of Pruffia as having been accompanied by a declaration from count Romanzow to the duke of Deuxponts, that the treaty was in fuch forwardnefs, that it was deter
mined to carry it in execution, whether they obtained his confent to the exchange or not, the count at the fame time allowing the duke only eight days to form his determination. Thefe latter facts are exprefsly denied by the emperor and virtually by the czarina.
Neither the emperor nor his new ally feems to have been at all prepared for the univerfal alarm, which the difclofure of this project occafioned through Germany and Europe. Politicians had already conceived a very ill impreffion of Jofeph the Second. He had begun his political career, even before his acceffion to his hereditary dominions, by a very extraordinary and unprecedented claim upon the fucceffion of Bavaria in 1778; and he appears to have profecuted this claim in oppofition to the inclinations of his mother and fovereign, whom the fucceffion moit naturally concerned. His demand of the navigation of the Schelde was of a very bold complexion; and, whatever were the original merits of the queftion, had certainly been purfued with an unreafonable portion of defpotifm, dogmatifm and haughtinefs. He had for fome time alfo been known to have meditated and difcuffed with the czarina the daring fcheme of the conqueft of Conftantinople, and the entire partition of the Turkish dominions in Europe. A prince, who was neither reftrained by the prepoffeffions of his fubjects nor the original projects of his own mind from perpetual and useless innovation, could not be expected to pay much regard to the rights and interefts of his neighbours.
His prefent treaty with the elec tor was ftated by the king of Pruffia as of the fame character with the treaty he had concluded with that
prince on the third of January 1778, in which the latter had been unaccountably prevailed on to yield two thirds of Bavaria without any compenfation, rather than encounter the prompt hoftilities of his Auftrian rival. The hoary veteran of Berlin had upon that occafion affumed to be the affector and umpire of the Germanic conftitution; and, though age and infirmity had fince advanced upon him with rapid progrefs, he was not lefs ready than before to affume a lead in the public caufe. He ftated the exchange to be in the highest degree iniquitous and unequal. The population on both fides was indeed nearly upon a par; but the extent of territory on the fide of Bavaria more than doubled that of the Low Countries, and their refpective revenues were equally difproportioned. In Bavaria agriculture, commerce and finance were notorioufly neglected; in the Auftrian dominions on the other hand thefe refources were extended to their ut moft pitch: fo that, while the former was capable of the moft confiderable improvements, the latter, in which the influence of the provincial states was confiderable, might rather be expected to decline in political refources. But the circum, Atance of moft confiderable import ance was ftated to be its vicinity to the great body of the Auftrian dominions; fo that, while the poffeffion of the Netherlands was a confi deration of little moment to the Germanic conftitution in: general, the propofed exchange would fecure to the emperor a chain of territory from the banks of the Rhine through a great part of the courfe of the Danube, and give him a preponderation altogether deftructive of the political balance.
The king of Pruffia and the duke of Deuxponts were exceedingly induftrious in propagating thefe ideas, and they feem to have been received with cordiality and approbation by the princes of the empire. The alarm that was conceived and the cenfure that was expreffed against the project of exchange produced its full effect upon the negociating par ties, and both the emperor and the elector exprefsly difavowed their hav ing conceived it, the former in the Munich gazette, and the latter by an inftruction to his ambaffadors, declaring that he had never made any propofal to the duke of Deuxponts for the exchange of Bavaria, and that he had at no time enter tained, did now or ever should enter. tain any fuch views as were imputed to him.
It happened however, unfortu nately for the honour and character of these fovereign princes, that there were other parties concerned in the negociation, who either did not act upon the fame principles as their German allies, or who had not been fufficiently inftructed refpecting the conduct they intended to purfue. The treaty had been concluded under the aufpices of Ruffia and France ; and to them the king of Pruffia ad dreffed his remonftrances, as having been guarantees of the treaty of Tefchen in 1779, în which the dominions of the elector palatine had been particularly fecured against the encroachments of the emperor, Neither of these courts appears to have conceived the idea of denying the exiftence of the negociation and contented themselves with anfwering, that the exchange had been propofed as depending upon the voluntary arrangement of the parties, and that as the duke of Deuxponta