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it has spent large sums on public works; it will soon open up the interior of the island, which is at present almost unknown to the dwellers on the coast; it is making Palermo an excellent commercial harbour, and a very considerable commercial centre. In the meantime, if it only will abolish trial by jury and give up all attempts to govern Sicily according to Sicilian ideas, then, as M. Louis-Lande says, there may be hopes for Sicily even in this generation. He invites his French readers to look at Ireland and see the happy effects produced there by Coercion Acts. Perhaps Irishmen would not think the comparison complimentary; but it is only when foreign critics examine carefully into the difficulties under which government is often actually carried on that they can recognize that measures must often be taken which Liberal Governments honestly regret.
From The Spectator. THE FUTURE OF ROYALTY.
The Confirmation of Prince Frederick William Albert Victor of Hohenzollern, the eldest son of the Crown Prince of Prussia, would hardly have been described in such detail, or by telegraph, but for the dulness of the season, but still it has an interest of a kind for all speculative politicians. The lad is the future heir of the greatest throne now existing in the world, but it may be forty years before he ascends it, and it is difficult to avoid a moment's speculation whether, when his turn has arrived, the throne will be there to receive him. In other words, will the extraordinary arrangement under which the control, or leadership, or presidency of most European States is entrusted to a minute hereditary caste, comprising at most only three families — the Catholic House, the Protestant House, and the House of Othman — endure through the active lives of two more generations 2 . It is the custom of the hour to think that it will not, as it is the custom of the hour to fancy that Christianity is dying ; but we are by no means confident that the belief is founded upon anything better than and Ariori assumption that the age, i.e., the general temper of Western mankind, is hostile to hereditary claims. No one knows or can know very much of the general temper of European peoples, for they have only to-day begun to have a
chance of displaying a political temper at all. The masses have only just begun to will about politics, and nobody can pretend to state accurately what their will is, – to assert that it is not conservative, or to maintain that the new depositaries of power will not come to much the same conclusions as the old depositaries did. We are always hearing of socialism and communism, and the like ; but Jacqueries have occurred before without much political result, and after all, outside England a heavy majority of the European peoples are in some form or other possessed of landed property. They have not shown as yet anything like a strong inclination to be rid of individual rulers, or except in France to eject the families which historic events have placed in the position of hereditary leaders. Even in France, if the eldest Bourbon had been a person of modern ideas — a man, for example, like the head of the American branch of the Braganzas, the sort of King Mr. Huxley would make, – he would be at this moment on a throne, with the acquiescence of a large majority of the effective males of France ; and that he is not is, after all, very much an accident. His cousin of Aumale in his place would have been Sovereign almost to a certainty. The peoples may show an active dislike to Royalty one day, possibly will show it, but they have hitherto been at most undecided, and a very little change might reawaken everywhere the loyalty which military success has reawakened in Prussia. It is hardly twenty-six years yet since belief in the Hohenzollern seemed extinct in Prussia, and now universal suffrage returns a nearly unbroken majority of loyalists. The disposition to make new dynasties is no doubt extinct, but then that indisposition tends to protect rather than to assail the caste which actually possesses sovereign power, the peoples when they elect turning to the old race with an impulse which is, we confess, to us almost unintelligible. Only one new family now occupies a throne, and that — the family of Bernadotte — has been, so to speak, adopted and absorbed by the “European family;” and in all Europe, with its roomful of Pretenders, there is not a new man who can be fairly said to be, even secretly, a pretender to a throne ; not a General, not a statesman, not a demagogue. Bismarck for King is as impossible as Castelar, Gambetta more impossible than the Comte de Chambord, Ricasoli as completely out of the running for that prize
as Marshal von Moltke. For all that appears, the caste may endure, if it does not perish by decay, and we do not remember a time when the signs of decay were less visible to ordinary eyes. By all the laws of physiologists, the Royal caste, which intermarries much, which is bred unavoidably in luxury, and which is at least as dissolute as any aristocratic group, ought to be losing its physical vitality, but it is not losing it at all. The Sovereigns, actual or potential, of Europe would make a formidable squadron of dragoons. The Emperor of Germany is perhaps the finest man physically who has reigned since Charlemagne. Any Colonel in the Guards would accept his son as a most hopeful recruit. His nephew, the Red Prince, is as formidable a hussar as ever rode. The Emperor of Austria is as stately of presence as an ideal King. The eldest Wittelbach is a wild rider, who delights in furious midnight galloping. The Prince of Wales, whose pedigree stretches, if not to Odin, far past Egbert, rides as straight to hounds as a professional whip. The King of Italy, the coronet of whose ancestor was closed before Charlemagne died, is a successful chamois-hunter, a good cavalry officer, and a man for whom danger has an actual charm. His eldest son is as strong as himself; and his younger son, Amadeo, a man of reckless personal gallantry. The eldest Romanoff is almost gigantic, and endures uncomplainingly fatigues which try the constitutions of his aide-de-camps. The Bourbons seem more worn, but one of them, the Duc d'Aumale, is the very type of the cultivated, but over-stern General ; Don Carlos is six feet one ; another, Don Carlos's soldier-brother, is a Murat; a third, the Comte d’Eu, is believed in Brazil to be a General of unusual capacity; and a fourth served with distinction throughout the Franco-German war. It is very well to write about crétins, but there is no evidence whatever that the caste is crétin physically, and not much that it is wearing out in mind. It is badly bred, no doubt, particularly in Catholic countries, and has a certain liability to brain-disease, while it is mentally bothered by the clash between modern ideas and the ideas it is convenient for a reigning caste to hold ; but if the whole of it were shovelled into our own Upper House, the Peers as a body would be abler than they are. Few of the Royal Families may be able to compare with the great statesmen of the
world, who are with few exceptions the picked men of professions twenty er thirty times more numerous than the caste ; but if we remember the Emperor of Germany, his eldest son, the Emperor of Brazil, Archduke Albrecht of Austria, the late King of Denmark, the Duc d'Aumale, and King Oscar, it seems useless to assert that the caste is mentally worn out. They will have strength, if their people will let them be, to go on being; and as yet there is no proof quite beyond question that their people do not intend to let them be, that they are seriously prepared to supersede them by other Chiefs. On the contrary, the evidence, though too slight as yet for conclusions, points to the theory that they, these Hereditary Royalties, are the only chiefs large populations will endure; that the alternatives lie between them ani mere officers, selected almost by chance, and sent back by popular jealausy very quickly into obscurity. In the whole series of Republics now covering both Americas outside Brazil, there cannot be said to be a single figure occupying anything like the position that, for instance, Wellington occupied in this country; not one who is an accepted force, a personage whose influence will endure for life. Of course institutions can be made to take the place of men, but the masses now assuming power may not be more willing than the influential classes who preceded them to build those institutions up, may, on the contrary, be much less willing to take all the trouble and make all the sacrifices which impersonal institutions involve. The popular notion that they will, may prove to be an assumption, resting upon nothing better than the fact that for some years past the artisans of cities have been very eager for more comfort, and much inclined to think that they can secure it, by changing certain political and social arrangements which they think stand in their way. The artisans of the cities cannot govern Europe, and it is by no means proved yet that if their desire for more comfort were abated by circumstances, as has been the case to some extent in Great Britain, they would remain permanently desirous of a change the first steps towards which would intensify all the evils of their condition. May not, however, to exhaust the speculative possibilities, a movement break out within the Royal Caste itself, a sort of epidemic of Abdication, produced either by weariness, or discontent, or actual terror of the throne 7 Weariness was the solution of Monarchy'imagined many years ago by a clever novelist, who predicted that in the year 2,500, or thereabouts, a single capitalist would be owner, and therefore ruler of the world, and that the Kings would be hampered by constitutional etiquettes, till abdication would be a pleasant escape from an intolerable position ; and there is this to justify his idea, that thrones do go begging when their conditions are unpleasant. Belgium was refused, Greece was refused, Spain was refused, - the latter under circumstances which made the refusal but little creditable to the refuser. Leopold of Coburg refused Belgium for months because of her constitution; Prince Alfred of England refused Greece; and Ferdinand, Ex-King of Portugal, declined Spain, though probably the one man in Europe whom Spaniards would have cordially supported. But the abdication of a born King has yet to occur, though the last King of Denmark who also possessed SchleswigHolstein, threatened to run for President if the Hohenzollerns worried him too much. Nobody steps down voluntarily out of his caste, and Kings have quite as much pride of caste as other men, – more, because they are never in their own minds quite sure that their rank is not part of a Providential scheme, that their right of birth is not, on some interpretation or other and in some sense, “divine.” Kings hold on very hard, under all circumstances, and would hold on, we imagine, even if the Crown ceased to be sufficiently or even decently gilded, or if the work were exceedingly severe. We could imagine, indeed, a King compelled to do work which he could not accomplish, feeling as Lord Althorp used to say he felt, and resolving to abdicate; but before the resolution became fixed he would learn to trust some one with the work, and patiently to await results. The self-conceit of Kings, Prince Bismarck once said, knows no laws. Even Ferdinand of Austria thought himself fit to govern, and it is said, received in the Hradschin the news of the cession of Lombardy with the malicious remark, that after all his nephew had not made so much of his work. As to terror, Kings feel it like other people, but they do not often abdicate from fear. The certainty of assassination — and as De Quincey has shown, it amounted to that — did not diminish the number of candidates for the Caesarship of Rome, and the inces
sant danger in which Czars must live has produced no abdication. The caste will hold on, we imagine, until opinion is so modified, even in armies, that thrones are no longer possible, and the interval may easily be long enough to allow two Victors to become crowned rulers in Germany and Great Britain.
From The Examiner. OUR RELATIONS WITH MOROCCO.
THERE is scarcely a country on the face of the globe concerning which we seem to know and care less than we do about Morocco. It is high time, however, that a new leaf be turned over in this matter, and a little of the public attention demanded for a country which, from the value of its natural resources, proximity — within two hours' sail of a British port — and other causes, ought to be of the greatest importance to us. The advancement of commerce and the suppression of slavery have hitherto been the two chief objects of all our dealings with African nations, except Morocco. It is true, though probably little known, that we keep up a costly ambassadorial and consular establishment in that country, but as yet we have kept it up for nothing. The splendid field for commerce which Morocco should afford to our mercantile enterprise is practically closed against us, while the trade in human flesh flourishes there unheeded under the very shadow of the English flag.
A short statement of the present condition of our commercial and other relations with the Moorish empire will plainl show the necessity that exists for a radical alteration in the policy we pursued in our dealings with Sidi Mohammed, and have hitherto continued with his son and successor. By our present treaty — made some eighteen years ago — British subjects in Morocco are entitled to the same privileges that “are enjoyed by the subjects or citizens of the most favoured nations.” . These privileges are more amply defined in the treaties since made by Morocco with France, Spain, the United States, &c. But though by these treaties trade is nominally permitted, it is placed under restrictions that in reality keep it at a complete standstill. For instance, Morocco is a grain-growing country, and from its great fertility in that respect might be made to produce wheat enough to supply all Europe —
and yet the exportation of wheat is altogether prohibited. It is known that gold, silver, copper, lead, and quicksilver, exist in the country in large quantities, but no attempt to reach this mineral wealth by the opening and working of mines will be permitted. Besides wheat, several other valuable articles of commerce are placed under prohibition — notably palmetto, which grows in Morocco in the greatest abundance. But even with the trade that is allowed, difficulties are thrown in the way, so great, as to be completely interdictory. Chief of these is, that it is not allowed at all with several, and some of these the best, of the Moorish ports. Santa Cruz, the finest port in the Empire, is altogether closed to Europeans, whilst at others, where it is permitted, the anchorage is most insecure ; some also being faced by reefs of rocks, which often prevent vessels communicating with the shore for many weeks at a time. Some of these ports might be greatly improved at a small outlay, but the late Sultan would neither undertake this himself nor allow it to be done by foreigners. For example, at Tangier the foundations still remain of the moles constructed by the English in the reign of Charles II., but afterwards destroyed on our evacuation of the place. These might be made serviceable again at a trifling expense, but the Sultan had always refused to permit it as it would interfere with the profits of those of his subjects who now make it their business to carry goods and passengers from vessels on shore on their backs. Another and most serious impediment to trade is the fact that the supply of lighters for unloading ships' cargoes is kept as an imperial monopoly. A very few are placed at each port, and vessels have to wait, in some cases for weeks, to take their turn to be loaded or unloaded. But even such as these treaties are, it has been found that the Sultan has not hesitated to break them. For instance. By one treaty-stipulation subjects of foreign powers were allowed to trade with any Moorish subjects, and they were empowered to recover debts from them. Acting on this, many European merchants advanced money or goods to governors of Moorish provinces, on the security of legal and official acknowledgments of the debts, and written promises for their repayment at the time of harvest or sheepshearing, when the governors would collect the tithe-taxes from the people. When, however, the debts be
came due the debtors for the most part repudiated them, and on the mater being laid before the Sultan by the diplomatic representative, he supported the debtors by saying that the treaty clause did not apply to Government officials, such as the debtors were. Yet it was on the strength of their being men in official position, and, as such, men of standing and substance, that the European merchants had made the advances. After some negotiation the Sultan consented that the claims of the merchants (amounting to a very considerable gross sum) should be adjudicated upon by a legal tribunal. But in this tribunal the law was administered by Shraa, the law of the Koran. By this law of Shraa no evidence is admitted from witnesses of other than the Mohammedan faith; and as in this case the claimants were all of them either Christians or Jews, their evidence was not received, and no fair decisions were arrived at. The claims are therefore for the most part still outstanding, and in all probability will never be settled. The following affords another instance of evasion. By treaty the goods of European merchants are not liable to pay any tax or duty after they have passed through the custom-house and paid the import duty. According to this stipulation a European merchant might remove his goods from one port to another by land without additional impost. But the Moorish Government has lately evaded this by charging a duty on every camel, or mule, or donkey's load of goods which enters the gates of a Moorish town. It declares, however, that the duty is paid on the animal, not on the goods he carries, and that it is charged to the driver, who, being a Moorish subject, may be taxed ad libitum. But of course the camel or mule driver has to charge the duty to his European employer, and this is virtually equivalent to the merchant’s paying an additional duty. The last instance which we shall give, though not concerned with trade, is an equally unfair and vexatious proceeding on the part of the Moorish Government towards the subjects of foreign nations. By treaty the Sultan of Morocco engages that “British subjects residing in his dominion shall enjoy their personal security in as full and ample a manner as subjects of the Sultan are entitled to do within the territories of her Britannic Majesty.” But now the Moorish Government declares that no foreigner shall travel anywhere outside of a Moorish town unless accompanied by a Moorish soldier, or, if he does, he does it on his own responsibility. So that if an Englishman were robbed in the market-place of Tangier—just outside the gates — he could obtain no redress, unless he were under the charge of a Moorish soldier, the cost of which escort is from four to eight shillings a day ! That England, through her representatives, should meekly submit to such flagrant violation of the rights of her subjects as this, shows a spirit of gentleness and long-suffering for which, judging from her ordinary dealings with African potentates, few would have been inclined to give her credit. In another matter, that of slavery, generally supposed to arouse the deepest feelings of horror in the English mind, we have shown ourselves equally complacent and forbearing in . Morocco. There negro slavery is one of the most cherished of domestic institutions, the slaves being mostly brought from Timbuctoo and Soudan, but sometimes from the East, and sold in open market in the towns. Now it might not be possible, nor if it were would it probably be expedient, for any European Power to get the Sultan of Morocco to suppress the traffic in slaves throughout his dominions. But England has quite sufficient power and influence—if she chose to exercise it — with the Maroquine Court to obtain the introduction of many salutary restrictions in this trade, the only one which at present appears to be quite free in Morocco. The sale of slaves in open market in those towns where English diplomatic establishments are maintained, might be prohibited. A firm insistance on such a restriction as this would only be consistent from a nation like ours, which has lavished millions for the suppression of the slave trade in other parts of Africa. But so far from any attempt of the kind having yet been made, it would appear as if as regards Morocco we took a different view of the matter, and rather approved of slavery than otherwise. The efforts of the late Mr. Richardson, who was commissioned by the Anti-Slavery Society to present a memorial on the subject to the Sultan, received neither assistance nor sympathy from our chief representative; on the contrary, the project was speedily drowned in the profusion of cold water thrown on it. But worse than this, slaves have actually been brought into Morocco in English vessels. Mr. Richardson, in
his “Travels in Morocco,” quotes a case in which slaves were brought from Gibraltar to Tangier in the English mail boat, and like instances have occurred quite recently. The reason for this excessive submissiveness on our part to the violation of our treaty rights by the Moorish Government, as west as our complacent attitude towards slavery and slave traffic in this part of Africa, is not far to seek, and is a very mean one when found. The fact is that we keep up an enormous garrison at Gibraltar, which we feed chiefly and cheaply from Tangier; so in order to save a few pounds yearly in butcher's meat for our soldiers we sacrifice our honour and our principles, and make “peace at any price" our motto in Morocco. So long as our government can get as much cheap beef as it wants for Gibraltar, our merchants may be thwarted, and bullied, and cheated in their commercial transactions as much as the Moorish Sultan pleases; and not even by a frown or a shake of the head will we infer that we see anything to disapprove of in the good old custom of slavery. To show the importance — over all else — which is attached to this matter of buying cheap meat for Gibraltar, it is enough to say that at Tangier — the port from which the meat is shipped — we have a Minister Plenipotentiary and a Consul, both receiving high salaries and each with his staff of paid assistants; whilst at all the other ports of the Empire there are only unpaid vice-Consuls, or Consular agents; and at , Mogador the British Consular business has been transacted since last August by the French Consul, nor up to a recent date had the Foreign Office taken steps to appoint any one to relieve him of the duties. And yet Mogador is the most important trading station on the Coast, both on account of the number of English merchants resident there, and also because it is the chief port for the exportation of all native produce — other than fresh provisions. That such a state of things is not creditable to England will be readily admitted ; and that the sooner it is remedied the better will be the natural conclusion. But the remedy must consist not only in a new treaty — though the need for that is imperative too — but in such an unflinching insistance on the observance of its stipulations on the part of our chief representative as will inspire the Moorish Government with respect, instead of, as now, contempt for our