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Jean Bon St. André at Tunis.
66 He formed a club of brothers,
So this is the way
Let no more be said,
But bring me his head :
And proved from Vattel,
But the Moors, they did
As they were bid,
There was more than one occasion, in which men ordinarily in their sober senses thought to have acted on this precedent. In the Pieces of Irish History, published in America by Emmett, it is said that when they published a denial of the truth of some extracts from the report of the secret committee, a distinguished member of the Irish House of Commons proposed that the agreement with them should be regarded as at an end, and that they should be then tried, and if found guilty, as they necessarily must, be executed. Another had before this suggested, but this was, we believe, before the negotiations between them and Government, that military executions should have a retrospective operation, and that the State prisoners should be summarily disposed of.
“ Lord Castlereagh, with becoming dignity and humanity, vehemently discountenanced so shocking a proposal."*
We cannot award any very high praise to the work as far as it has
gone, and we trust that the future volumes may carefully put together. The book is not without a certain kind of value, and if it be not quite as much in the hands of students of history as a letter of Mr. Alison's predicts, it yet ought to have a place—a high place—in the public libraries.
Life of Curran, vol. ii. p. 44.
ART. VIII.--1. Stenographische Bericht über die Verhandlungen
der Deutschen Constituirenden National-Versammlung zu Frankfurt am Main. Vols. I. III. Frankfurt : 1848. 2. Verhandlungen des Vorparlaments. Frankfurt : 1848. 3. Verhandlungen des funfziger-ausschusses. Frankfurt : 1848. 4. Verhandlungen zur Vereinbarung der Preussischen Staats Ver
fassung. Als Beilage zum Preussichen Staats Anzeiger.
Berlin : 1848. 5. Protokolle der Sitzungen des Esterreichischen Constituirenden
Reichstags. Als Beilage zur Eesterreichischen Allgemeinen
Zeitung Vienna : 1848. 6. Deutsche Staats und Rechtsgeschichte. Von KARL FRIEDERICH
EICHHORN. Vols. I.-IV. Göttingen : 1821-3. 7. Statistische Übersicht der wichtigsten Gegenstände des Verkehrs
und Verbrauchs im Preussischen Staate und im Deutschen Zollrereine. Aus amtlichen Quellen dargestellt. Von Dr. C. F. W. DIETERICI. Erster Theil. Berlin : 1838. Erste Fortsetzung.
Berlin : 1842. 8. Denkschriften des Ministers Freiherrn von Stein über Deutsche
Verfassungen. Herausgegeben. Von G. H. PERTZ. Berlin :
1848. 9. Verhandlungen des Bundes Tages 1830-1845. Frankfurt :
The character and importance of the German revolution of 1848 has been inadequately appreciated by the mass of English political writers. The more recent of the French political revolutions are mere continuations, or after-claps of the first; and in the course of more than half a century, the multitude of documents illustrating it which have come to light, and the sagacity and acuteness which its influence in the domestic affairs of almost all European States have compelled minds—developed under the most varied circumstances, and occupying the most diversified social positions—to bring to bear upon it in the way of commentary, have imparted form and consistency, if not truth, to its theory. But the German revolution is new to European, and, above all, to English political speculators. Its preparatory workings exercised in 1813 a decisive influence on the fortunes of Napoleon, but a transient and episodical one on the general relations of Europe. Its progress since has had interest only for Germans; and the shackled press of Germany was unable to throw light upon that progress. Hence the events which, since the first of March, have in Germany followed each other in such rapid succession, wear to foreigners an impromptu appearance,
Beginning of March and end of August.
Their very form and pressure is imperfectly known; tl:eir motives are unappreciated.
These events have, indeed, been sufficiently startling. In February 1848 there were, according to the opinion current among politicians, two great powers in the north-east of EuropeAustria and Prussia. With these were connected, in some not very clearly understood relations of alliance or dependence, a number of second and third-rate States, called the German Confederation. A German literature was much cultivated,-a German Zollverein had occasioned considerable speculation; but in European politics there was no Germany. Austria and Prussia alone were recognised as existing powers by the politician; and these from their well-known anti-revolutionary tendencies and assumed military strength caused many an anxious look to be turned their way, when the Parisian émeute of February shook down the Orleans dynasty like an over-ripe apple, by all who feared the entanglements and atrocities of a general European war, in which principles, not nations, should be opposed to each other.
Thus stood affairs, or rather thus they were believed to stand, in the beginning of March last. Before the middle of August they were entirely changed. Both in Austria and Prussia the Governments stood paralyzed in presence of incessantly and irresistibly encroaching popular movements. Their enormous and admirably organized armies were there still, but they dared not use them. At the bidding of the popular voice, they were compelled reluctantly to convene elective constituent legislatures, to nominate cabinets from the popular party. Every attempt at evasion or counter-action was jealously looked for, instantly met, and baffled. Four several revolutions—the German, Italian, Magyar, and Sclavonian-at once engrossed and distracted the attention of Austria. Prussia, more entirely identified with Germany, was sucked into the vortex of the German revolution, which it could neither resist nor lead, though apparently willing to do either. Prussia and Austria, in fact, appeared to be blotted from the list of Governments, while a new and seemingly improvised authority
—the central Power of Germany—had been organized at Frankfurt; had there a local habitation and a name," in the persons of an elected Vicar of the Empire (Reichs-Verweser,) with a Cabinet of Ministers, responsible to a Parliament of one House elected by universal suffrage, who issued orders to the Princes of Germany to make their armies do homage to the new order of things, and sent ambassadors to all the Courts of Europe.
Such an entire and unexpected change, bursting upon a European public utterly unacquainted with the circumstances and events which had prepared it, has been naturally regarded with stupified wonder and scepticism as to its reality. The
German revolution of 1848, especially in England, has been hastily assumed to be a mere causeless imitation of the French revolution of the same year. It has been attributed to the influence of bookish theorists working on a moment of popular cxcitement, and attaining to a transient show of success by having taken Governments at unawares.
It has been set down as an ephemeral and unreal movement, which will disappear as rapidly as it exhaled. Thus prepossessed politicians have disdained to make it a permanent element in their calculations; have spoken and written about it slightingly; have made it matter of allusive expressions of their pre-conceived opinions and sentiments, instead of seeking to ascertain its character and calculate its consequences.
We find, however, that the few, whether natives or foreigners, who have been brought into personal and practical contact with German society, regard the revolution of 1848 in a more serious light. Whether friendly or hostile, they admit it to be a reality, and augur from it, according as their prepossessions dictate, a new era of greatness and happiness for the German people, or an age of anarchy, of bloody and aimless contentions. If this more serious view of recent events in Germany be correct, it is important that the great social movement, of which they are the superficial and isolated phenomena, should be understood aright; for it cannot but deeply and permanently affect, not only the internal arrangements of that country, but its relations to the rest of the civilized world; and to the solution of this problem, as far as materials exist for the purpose, we propose to devote a few pages. Of probable or possible consequences we will of course speak with that modest scepticism which becomes those who have to treat of novel relations, in which men for the most part new to public life have been called upon to take the leading parts; and even of actual events we shall speak in that guarded tone which their recent occurrence, and the partial and imperfect accounts which have transpired, warrant. Our object is not to subserve partisan interests—not to promote any cause, however worthy—but simply to contribute towards an impartial and true estimate of events which must go far to constitute the history of Germany for the present year.
The publications enumerated at the head of this paper form but a small proportion of the sources of information that have been consulted. Had it even been possible, within any reasonable space, to have named all our printed materials, still the catalogue would have been defective; for much has been derived from manuscript, and even oral communications. But the works named will serve to indicate the nature of our authorities. The official stenographic reports of the proceedings of the three
Our Sources of Information.
constituent assemblies now actually in session in Germany, and of the preparatory assemblies at Frankfurt, contain not only authentic information of what has been transacted in these bodies, but of incidents for which we must otherwise have been left to rely upon newspaper or epistolary reports. The work of Eichhorn contains the most condensed philosophical and generally trustworthy accounts of the historical development of German society, and of that body of law which regulates the relations of man to man in it, that have appeared. The author's constant and careful citation of his sources render them at the same time a sort of catalogue raisonnée and Chrestomathia of the historical literature of Germany. Dieterici's Statistical Notices are valuable as contributions to the history of the Zollverein-a union whose influence will probably prove hereafter to have been infinitely less important in commercial than in political respects. The collected memorials of Von Stein are invaluable as a record of the rise and progress of that yearning after unity which is quite as proininent a feature of the recent German movement as its democratical tendency. By showing with whom the idea of German unity originated, and with what pertinacity it has been clung to, they go far to vindicate it from the imputation of being the visionary and powerless fancy which so many conceive it to be. Lastly, the selection from the records of the Frankfurt Diet between 1830 and 1845, illustrate forcibly the oppression exercised by Austria and Prussia, in the name of that shadow of a government. The multitude of personal memoirs which throw light on the past and present history of Germany is so overwhelming, that we have been compelled to desist even from a specimen enumeration. In the autobiography of Göthe, in the correspondence of Schiller and Körner, and in other publications relating to the same period, invaluable contributions to the history of the immediate past abound; while the memoirs of Arndt, Luden, Varnhagen von Ense, Henckel von Donnersmark, and others too numerous to name, materials more or less valuable, abound for connecting it with the present.
Our first object is to trace distinctly the progress of events in Germany from the middle of February in the present year to the present time. To this end we commence with M. Bassermann's notice of motion in the Baden Second Chamber. That motion is of consequence, inasmuch as it contemplates the organization of such a central authority as has since been instituted at Frankfurt, and was the first of the many almost simultaneous public declarations of opinion which led to its institution. The date of this motion vindicates at least the German movement from the charge of being a mere imitation of