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tached, as an independent nation, to a country with which they were then at peace, was to be violently separated from Denmark, to which she had been united for ages, and annexed to Sweden, with which she had been for ages at enmity. Neither the partition of Poland, nor the purchase, in 1768, of the Island of Corsica by France, surpass this profligate compact, in insolent contempt for the restraints of international law. The British Ministry of the day gave in their adherence to it on the 3d of March, 1813. In the article containing our accession to the treaty, after various mutual stipulations, there is a proviso containing the following words : —And his Majesty the King of Sweden engages • that this union shall take place with every possible regard and . consideration for the happiness and liberty of the people of • Norway.' By the subsequent treaty of Kiel, concluded on the 14th of January, 1814, Denmark submitted to the dictation, and Norway was ceded. But, as may easily be supposed, the brave sons of old Norway did not passively submit to be turned over like cattle from one master to another. They rejected the hypocritical pretence that the intended transfer was for their benefit. They had no idea of a state of happiness that could be forced upon them by their hereditary enemies. They flew to arms. A diet was assembled, a constitution agreed to, and the Crown Prince of Denmark was, on the 19th of April, proclaimed king. The army of Sweden crossed the frontier; actions were fought. The British navy-then for the last time let us hope, the instrument of unjust aggression, and the assailer of national independence-appeared on the coast to perform the melancholy office of starving a brave people into submission by means of a blockade. When it was found that England had declared against them, the bope of successful resistance was abandoned. On the 14th of August a convention was signed at Moss, by which it was stipulated that the King of Sweden should accept the existing constitution; and that no alteration should be made therein but in concert with the Diet. On the 29th of October the Norwegian Diet resolved 'That • Norway is to be united to Sweden, with the preservation of its constitution, subject to sueh necessary alterations as the welfare
of the country may require, to be considered and determined on .by the Diet; and, on the 10th of November, oaths of fidelity were taken by the Diet, and the Crown Prince of Sweden delivered to the President the King's promise of governing according to the national laws.
In 1821 there were some indications of that promise having been forgotten. In the Storthing of that year, a bill had been introduced which had been twice refused by the King, but which
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would, on passing a third time, become law. It was for the abolition of hereditary nobility in Norway. The feeble remains of • that class were of foreign, and almost all of recent origin, and, * with few exceptions, had no property to maintain a dignified • station in society. Large bodies of military were moved towards Christiania, for the purpose of intimidation. The greatest excitement prevailed. The fate of the constitution hung on the decision. The bill passed and became law. · Propositions bave since been made, in the King's name, with as little success, in almost every Storthing, to establish a new hereditary nobilityto vest in the King an absolute reto, and to give him the power of naturalization; in other words, to enable him to fill all offices in Norway with Swedes. Further symptoms of jealousy were manifested during the past year. The Storthing was suddenly dissolved in July, to the great hinderance of public and private business; for the budget had not passed, and many bills were in progress. The Storthing took measures for asserting its dignity. By the ground law,' three days' notice must be given by the King, of his intention to dissolve. For the neglect of this preliminary step, the Count Lövenskjold, minister for Norwegian affairs, was responsible. Avoiding any collision with the Crown* itself, they impeached the minister. The trial took place in September; he was found guilty, and fined. An extraordinary Storthing has since been held, which we believe passed off amicably.
The reason of the hostility so perseveringly shown on the part of the Government of Sweden is plain enough. The remarkable prosperity of Norway—the elasticity with which her resources have sprung up under the invigorating influence of freedom-the developement of herindustry—the increase of her population—the surprisingly high state of her credit, manifested in some late loansall this has had its effect on the minds of the neighbouring people: and the Swedes seem to be fast hastening to the opinion, that the predominating power of their aristocracy is not the readiest way of obtaining the ordinary results of good government. Sinee 1815, the improvement in the condition of Sweden has been but slow. Accordingly, in 1834, numerous petitions were addressed by the middle classes to the King for various reforms—for the extention of the right of election-for the assembling of all the
* The King is popular. It is well understood in Norway that their enemies in Sweden are the nobility,
orders in one Chamber, and the formation of a second Chamber, as in Norway-for conferring eligibility on a large middle class of proprietor's not belonging to either of the Orders—for voting by ballot in the Diet-and for putting an end to mercantile monopolies, which still greatly fetter the action of industry. These petitions were also brought forward in the Diet, in the form of motions, and relerred to committees, but, of course, were all ultimately rejected. The example has been attended with a better effect in Denmark. In 1832, a committee was appointed to frame a system of representation. On the 28th of May, 1834, the result of their labours was promulgated. Four provincial states were created, with a representative Chamber in each. The members have the right of initiating: propositions, and of examining and deciding on those of Government. There is no appeal to any other Chamber. They are elected for six years, and meet every two. There is no feudal classification of orders, and there are other points of similarity with the Norwegian Asseinbly. The franchise and qualification are high; and as they are excluded from the - right of voting taxes, this scheme can be considered as little more than a mode of training the people to the management of the representative system; and, consequently, of preparing them for a greater share of power. The necessity of control on the executive is, however, but slightly felt in Denmark,—so mild has been the government; and the sovereigns of that country can now boast of this further and remarkable distinction, that having received from the people, seeking shelter from the tyranny of an aristocracy, the voluntary surrender of their privileges, and having exercised unchecked power with great forbearance and liberality, they have freely undertaken to qualify them for a restoration to their rights, by establishing such institutions as shall teach how to use these rights wisely. But these are only parts of that great system of constitutional government, which is gradually forming throughout Europe, and which the old feudal, or more recent military governments, cannot be expected to look upon otherwise than with disfavour. The French Revolution, rushing, if we may so speak, 'over the feudalism of the continent with the rapidity and intensity of an American forest-fire, scorched or destroyed the ancient growth, and quickened the seeds of a new vegetation. Since that period, but especially between the years:1810 and 1820, the peasantry in many of the continental states have been freed from arbitrary exactions and sundry badges of feudal servitude; in others their burdens have been much lightened, and their general condition improved. To the limited monarchies of France, Belgium, and Hollayd, have been added six German states, whose constitutional forms seem to exist more for the purpose of reminding the nations of promises yet to be fulfilled, than for their own intrinsic utility. Spain, Portugal, and even Greece, after ages of slavery, are going through the difficult ordeal of learning how to govern themselves. Germany, so enlightened, thoughtful, and prudent, and consequently so much more ripe for freedom, cannot long remain in the background. Italy must one day again raise her head from the dust, though it must be confessed that neither there, nor throughout the Austrian dominions in general, does the germ of political improvement show any signs of speedy activity. That the absolutists, and those who side with them, should feel hostility towards those states where limitations are placed on undue authority, is most natural; and this feeling towards Norway, on the part of Sweden, is not likely to be diminished as long as the preponderating power of that Government continues in the hands of the nobility and the clergy.
But, to return to the country, which has perhaps outstripped all others in the difficult art of combining the greatest degree of public liberty, with the greatest amount of individual happiness:The press is perfectly free. There is no duty on newspapers; and it was anticipated that the post-office would soon be burdened with the free conveyance of all periodical publications;—a measure which was lately negatived, only because the post-office revenue had been appropriated to certain specific purposes for the three years next ensuing. Upwards of twenty newspapers are published, six or seven in Christiania alone. In type and paper they are superior to the French and German, and are conducted with considerable ability. There is no tax on advertisements. From the importance attached to little local affairs, it is evident that the mass of the people, and not merely the educated few, are the purchasers. Mr Laing adds,—The most entire freedom of discussion exists. • Public men and public measures are handled freely, but I can‘not say injuriously or indecorously. A watchful eye is kept • over the conduct of men in office. No neglect or abuse passes ' unseen or unnoticed; and the temperate but firm spirit with · which controversies are carried on, the absence of any outrage on the private feelings of public men, even when their conduct
is attacked and exposed, do honour to the good taste and good * sense of the nation, and prove
as that of the United States may exist, without scurrility or brutal violation • of the sanctity of private life. Such newspapers as the Ame• rican people read would not find editors or readers in this country. The people are advanced beyond that'state, in which
nothing is intelligible to them that is not mixed up with party • and personal feelings. This sound state of the public mind ' and of the press, may be ascribed in a great measure to the • influence of the leading newspapers.'
On the subject of education, Mr Laing says, that it is widely diffused, but not carried far. It is provided for in the
country parishes by an arrangement similar to that of Scot• land. There are parochial schoolmasters, of whom some have • fixed houses, others live six months in one locality and six in • another. In some of these little communities there is a great • degree of intelligence; but it is impossible, from the great • extent of country, and its being inhabited in valleys or districts • separated by uninhabitable, and often impassable ridges, that + instruction can be equally brought to the doors of all. The * means of providing it are good. A small tax is levied from each • householder, besides a small personal payment from each adult.' An earnest attention is also paid to this object by the clergy, of whose duties and position in society. we will now proceed to give Mr Laing's account.
The Norwegian Church is in principle and doctrine Lutheran ; and remains as it was originally moulded after the subversion of Popery. It is essentially ceremonial; almost as much so as the Roman Catholic. The altaris decorated with crosses and images, and the priest, arrayed in embroidered robes of velvet, celebrates
High Mass' under that name. To maintain ihe ceremonial with decent splendour, and the clergymen in a suitable station in society, it is necessary that the parishes should be large. The incomes of the clergy are derived from tithes, commuted into a payment of grain-glebe farms, one of which the widow bas for her life-offerings, and dues. There are five Bishoprics. The patronage is in the hands of the Bishops and the Norwegian Council of State, of which a committee has charge of all the affairs of the church. The Bishop recommends, and the coun* çil presents to the vacant livings; but every appointment, with • all the applications and certificates of the candidates, with the
grounds of preference of the party to whom the living is given, must be inserted in the protocol of the committee, which is ex.amined and revised at each Storthing by a committee appointed ' for church affairs. There is a superintending power in Nor
way, also, of the public, exerted through the press, which checks any abuse of patronage in civil or clerical appointments. There being po party spirit, as in England, confounding right and wrong, opinion is decidedly but temperately expressed on public questions, which no individual in office, however high, can