Sidebilder
PDF
[blocks in formation]

lake Oejorn to Frederickstadt. It charges the Danish officers with being the cause of keeping up the hostility of the Norwegians, who, nevertheless, are said to desert the army in numbers, and that the inhabitants of the towns and villages come in crowds to take the oath of allegiance. This unequal contest was now rapidly drawing to a conclusion. The next Swedish bulletin mentioned that General Alderereutz had forced the strong osition of the Norwegians at sebro on the 10th; that on the 11th the abandoned port and batteries of Sleswig had been taken possession of; and that General Vegesac had defeated, with great loss, the enemy, who had 6,000 men and 10 pieces of cannon. On the 12th preparations were made for passing the Glommen, and on the next day the bombardment of Frederickstein was commenced. The passage of Kgolberg was forced after a brave resistance, and the Crown Prince made dispositions for surrounding, with a very superior

force, the army of Prince Chris

tian, posted near Moss. Further resistance would now have been mere desperation and an useless sacrifice of lives. Christian made proposals, which the Crown Prince accepted. He resigned the government, and gave orders for the surrender of Frederickstein, that famous fortress of Frederickshall before which Charles XII, lost his life, just as orders were about to be #. for planting the scaling lad

ers. A convention was signed on August 14th, at Moss, between the Crown Prince, in the name of the King of Sweden, and the Nor

wegian government, of which the following are the articles : 1.

Prince Christian shall, as soon as

[blocks in formation]

offices with the king of Denmark.

to obtain a revocation of all ordinances promulgated since January 14, 1814, against the public funetionaries and the kingdom of Norway. A convention was at the same time concluded between the Swedish and the Norwegian troops, by which were declared a cessation of hostilities, and the raising of the blockade of the Norwegian, ports, with various regulations as to the disbanding of the Norwegian national troops, four regular regiments excepted, to the number of the Swedish troops to remain in the kingdom, the line of demarkation, &c. with a particular stipulation that, in order to secure the freedom of deliberation in the diet, no troops of either country should approach within three miles (Swedish) of the place of its sitting.

This convention was ratified by the Danish and Swedish princes. Prince Christian, on August 16th, issued a proclamation to the Norwegians, in which he informed them of the steps which brought on the war, of the circumstances attending the Swedish invasion, and of the events which had rendered necessary the acceptance of the conditions proposed in the armistice and convention. He farther mentioned having, by a rescript, summoned an extraordinary diet to meet at Christiana on the 7th of October next; and concluded with assuring them, that nothing but imperious necessity could have induced him to act as he had done, and that their welfare had always been the object which he pursued. Although it was evident that the Danish prince had not given up the cause of Norwegian independence until its maintenance was placed beyond all human probability, there was still the remnant of a party which, in the disappointment of their eager hopes, regarded the termination of the contest as the result of perfidy. Some persons, who in the Swedish account are qualified as “ professing the principles of Jacobinism,” excited on the 19th a popular tumult in Christiana, in which the house of General Haxthausen, the friend and confident of Prince Christian, was attacked, and its windows and furniture destroyed. The General being at that time at his country-house, the mob pursued him thither, and his life was saved only by the speedy arrival of a body of Norwegian cavalry. The Crown Prince, informed of this occurrence, intimated to the council of state at Chris

tiana, that if they did not possess sufficient authority to preserve the public tranquillity, he should be obliged to order his troops to pass the line of demarkation, in order to protect the peaceable inhabitants of the capital. , Haxthausen, it appears, was charged with having suffered the Norwegian army to be three days without provisions. Among the circumstances preceding the convention of Moss, it is mentioned that the commandant of Frederickstadt gave up his fortress without a shot; that two generals behaved so ill that they were cashiered; but that the commandant of Frederichstein, General Ohme, had declared that he would defend himself to the last extremity; and that Colonel Kreds had assembled about 10,000 peasants near. Kongsvinger with the intention of falling upon the rear of the Swedish army. But this would have been a fruitless attempts against such regular troops as the Swedes, and such a general as the Crown Prince. Further, if the war had been protracted by drawing it to the northern parts of the kingdom, the blockade of the ports would have involved those steril regions in the miseries of famine. The mercantile part of the nation deserted the cause of independence as soon as they found that England had declared against it. The Diet of Norway having assembled, Prince Christian, whose health and spirits had been affected by the mortifications he had undergone, sent in his resignation; and on the next day set out for Lauwig, accompanied by General Haxthausen and several others of the late ruling members who would not quit him. Although a British sloop of war was in waiting to convey him wherever he pleased, he refused the offer, and meant to embark in a Danish cutter. He declared that he would not go to Copenhagen, but would be landed at Sandeberg in the Belt; and thus terminated his short-lived royalty, the assumption of which, whether dictated by patriotism or ambition, was an indication rather of spirit than of political wisdom. On October 20th, the Norwegian Diet, by a majority of 74 voices to 5, came to the following resolution. “ Norway shall, as an integral state, be united to Sweden under one king, with the preservation of its constitution, subject to such necessary alterations as the welfare of the country may require, having at the same time regard to the union with Sweden. These alterations, which his Swedish Majesty has recognised in the convention of Moss, are to be considered and determined on by the Diet as speedily as possible; and as soon as this has been done, the Diet will solemnly elect and acknowledge the King of Sweden, his Majesty Charles XIII. as the constitutional King of Norway.” This resolution was made public in a proclamation of the representatives of Norway to their countrymen. The election of the king by the Diet took place with entire unamimity on November 4th, and seven of its members were deputed to convey the intelligence of this event to the Crown Prince of Sweden. His Royal Highness, accompanied by his son Prince Oscar, set out from Frederickshall for Christiana on the 8th, and on the 10th repaired in state to the hall of the

Diet. He delivered a speech, which was repeated in the Swedish language by Prince Oscar; after which the assembly took the oath of fidelity to the king, and his Royal Highness delivered to the president his Majesty's promise of governing according to the national laws. On the following day Fieldmarshal Count d'Essen was invested with the dignity of Stadtholder of the kingdom of Norway. On the 13th a solemn Te Deum was celebrated in the cathedral church of Christiana, and an eloquent discourse composed for the occasion was delivered by the Bishop of Aggerhuus. Thus the great national act was completed, in a manner which at lesst bore every semblance of being free and voluntary.

The Diet was closed on the 26th with a speech frem the Crown Prince, the following paragraph of which affords an intimation of what may have occurred in the discussions on the constitution: “If, in passing rapidly from an absolute government, to one founded on the laws, the wishes which }. have sometimes expressed ave been mixed with fears and disquietudes, they must be ascribed to the recollection of times and of relations which no longer exist. You were animated with the zeal of defending the rights of the people; the king was desirous of recognising them, and he was induced so to do, as much by his particular sentiments, as by the free constitution of Sweden.”

For the articles of the Norwegian constitution we refer to the State Papers.

w

CHAPTER W.

Entrance of Louis XVIII. to Compeigne and Paris.-His Declaration respecting the Constitution.—His Address to the Nation on the Armies of the Allies.—Funeral Service for Louis XVI. &c.—Military Promotions of Princes of the Blood. Buonaparte's Departure to Elba.Peace signed with the Allied Powers, and Conditions.—Constitution presented by the King to the Legislative Body –State of Parties in France.—Discussions on the Liberty of the Press.-Exposé of the State of the Nation.— Legion of Honour continued.—French Budget. —King's Debts.—Emigrant Property, and Debutes thereon.—

Clerical Education.— Civil List.

THE King of France made his entry into Compeigne on April 29th, under different military escorts, the Marshals Ney and Marmont riding by the side of the carriage in which were his Majesty and the Duchess of Angouleme. Six other marshals, of France, Moncey, Mortier, Lefebvre, Jourdan, Brune, and Serrurier, with Prince Berthier, were in waiting for him at that town, so generally had these great officers conformed to the new order of things. They all had the honour of dining with the king. On the same day he received a deputation from the legislative body, the president of which addressed him in a congratulatory speech. One of its sentences declared the political expectations eutertained by that body: “By you will be cemented the bases of a government wisely and prudently balanced. Your Majesty, wishes only to enter into the exercise of rights which suffice for the royal authority; and the execution of the general will, intrusted to your Paternal hands, will thereby beVol. LVI.

come more respectable and more assured.” Similar sentiments were expressed in an address by the president of the senate. On May 3rd, the grand and interesting ceremonial took place of the solemn entrance of Louis XVIII. into his capital. He was attended by a great concourse of people who had gone to meet him, to the gate of St. Denis, whence he slowly proceeded to the metropolitan church of Notre Dame. He was there seated under a canopy, over which was the figure of St. Louis; and having on his knees devoutly kissed the relic of the . true cross, and received the holy water, he was addressed by the vicar-general, M. Lamyre, as the organ of the Parisian clergy. “The God of St. Louis (said he) has re-established your throne, you will re-establish his altars. God and the king, such is our motto ; such has ever been that of the clergy of France.” Te Deum , was then celebrated, in the presence of the senate, the legislative body, *: vast assembly of distinguishe

[ocr errors]

spectators; after which his Majesty, with the Duchess of Angouleme, proceeded for the Thuilleries. At the palace he was met by Monsieur, and the two brothers tenderly embraced, amidst the repeated acclamations of the multitude. We shall not attempt a detail of the public decorations and displays of rejoicing on this memorable day. It has been hinted by observers that the tokens of satisfaction were not so lively and eneral as might have been wished; the idea of receiving a sovereign imposed on the nation by hostile arms, probably intruding to damp the patriotic feelings that ought tobe excited by the restoration of peace and a mild system of government. The most perfect order and tranquillity however prevailed throughout Paris; and the behaviour of his Majesty in the whole scene was such as did honour to the sensibility and humanity of his character. On the preceding day, Louis published a declaration respecting that most important subject, the future Constitution of France. He said, “After having read attentively the plan of the Constitution proposed by the Senate in the session of the 6th of April last, we have recognized that the bases were good, but that a great many articles, bearing the appearance of the precipitation with which they have been digested, cannot, in their existing form, become the fundamental law of the state.” He then mentioned having convoked the present senate and legislative body for the 10th of June next, in order to take into consideration the result of the labours of himself in conjunction with a commission chosen out of those two bodies, in

framing a constitution, of which the following are to be the bases: The representative body to be maintained as it exists at this day, divided into two bodies, the senate, and the chamber of deputies of the departments; the taxes to be freely granted; public and individual liberty to be secured; the o of the press respected, saving the necessary precautions for the public tranquillity; the liberty of worship guaranteed; property to be inviolable, and the sale of national estates irrevocable; the ministers responsible; the judges irremoveable, and the judicial power independent; the public debt guaranteed ; the pensions, ranks, and honours of the military, and the ancient and new nobility, to be preserved; the legion

of honour maintained; all French- .

men to be admissible to employments, civil , and military: no individual to be disturbed for his opinions or votes. This declaration appears to have given general satisfaction; indeed, the bases, if liberally construed, contain all the fundamental points of free government. The two legislative bodies, who were presented in ceremony to the King on May 6th, expressed by their presidents the most respect. ful sentiments of attachment to his person, and confidence in his assurances. The impatience of the French to be freed from those armies of foreigners which had been their conquerors, and could not be otherwise than burdens to the country, was not put to a trial longer than necessity required. Some difficulties having been experienced with regard to É. cession of the administration of several provinces in France occupied by the allies,

« ForrigeFortsett »