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ism gained the strength which enabled it to turn the consequences of that invasion to its own advantage, organize its leading principles into a fundamental law of the kingdom, and raise itself above a king in fetters, which they artfully concealed under the trappings of the constitutional throne.
From the preceding sketch, our readers will, we hope, be able to form a pretty accurate notion of the character and dispositions of the two parties into which Spain is divided. The bulk of the people are still the same Spaniards who howled ' Long live the Faith!' around the flaming scaffolds of Philip II. Those who began to rally them against the constitution under the name of soldiers of the faith well know their own country. Nor is it from ignorance of the real state of opinion that the opposite party ventured to establish a system in perfect contradiction with whatever is truly national in Spain. The legislators of Cadiz were fully aware that even the tempting offer of sovereignty would be rejected with horror by the people, were it not closely followed by a law which binds the faith, in perpetuity, on the neck of the sovereign nation. It is not, let it be observed, Christianity, not the Bible, but the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman faith, 'which the nation protects by wise and just laws, forbidding the exercise of any other whatever.'* The simple fact of attempting to foist an almost republican constitution upon a nation that will not go one step with reformers, whom, in perfect ignorance of their views, chance and distress placed at her head, unless they engage to leave her undisturbed in the exercise and enjoyment of its proud religious bigotry, stamps the liberal party with rashness, and shows their utter want of sound practical knowledge on moral and political subjects. An answer has been suggested by the leading Spanish liberals, which betrays the thorough want of judgment which prevailed among them, when they undertook to erect the Spanish monarchy upon a new foundation. 'The constitution,' they say, ' would not have been received without the declaration that there is no true religion but that of Spain, and that, therefore, the exercise of any other worship must be forbidden by law; but have we not contrived the rest of the code so as to destroy the source of intolerance?' In what manner? By making that very intolerance a fundamental law of the state; yet so as to be brought in contact with principles which, from their opposite tendency, must cause an internal struggle, where, by your own admission, the party who awed you then, must naturally obtain the victory! Wise master-builders indeed! who being determined to raise a palace in the vicinity of a gun-powder maga
* Spanish Constitution, ch. ii. art. It.
zine, zine, contrive a train from'the nearest fire-place, trusting'that it will soon remove the nuisance. •
We would not, however, offend' a whole description of'rBetf, comprising some for whose talentsAve feel respect, and some whose mistaken efforts in a cause which bears that most engaging of names—liberty—^we sincerely both admire, and regret. Our sympathy for all who; ma Country so long oppressed by an unlimited despotism, lose sight of every object but that-of opposing its restoration, provided their zeal be' pure, is as real as an intimate and painfully acquired acquaintance with its evils caw make it. Yet truth must not be disguised; nor shall we, from a mistaken tenderness suppress our perfect conviction that, as there are not two sorts of beings so differing in their ideas and sentiments as those who, in Spain, bear the names of liberals and serviles,tib men are worse fitted1 to produce a'fljoral1 and pdrtica?'improvement in the mass of the country than 'the fortndr:. Their knowledge is narrow, superficial, exotic. It has been Acquired by stealth; in nooks and corners, under the constant apprehension of danger; a poor crop almost choked with'the weeds of spite and' anger1. The liberals themselves hardly know what they are agreed upon", except the destruction of whatever opposes certain generat'vteWs of the party, whose tendency is to" upset ;jCh6; Whole 'stHidWfeMofr the monarchy. The Spanish -wdifoW'is-deeidedty against1 them. 'The only measure which for a time swelled their ranks, the oWy lure which could gain them proselytes, i$ one s6 utterly iMmical'tO the peace and existence of all government, thatis has shakennhe very foundations of the Cortes' themselves. We meaii the pldl ideal maxim which, in letters of gold, has been graven to face the throne in the Hall of the National Congress» thepretended axiom from winch, as from a geometrical' 'defaitti6n,Jtfeei/&eVd& have, with childish pedantry, deduced the details ofJtbecotlWitu*tion; in a word, the sovereignly of the people ;"&#&>oF tHeiseVoiU temptible sophisms, which by the apparent- simplicity' of "their, enunciation, and the delusive vista into an unlimited field of kno\v-ledge which they present to the mind, are apt to dazzle and'delude the ignorant, while, by the prospect of shaking off subordination, they entice and spirit up the vain and the proud. ''" 'Jll;i'f"'i
'The sovereignty resides essentially in Ihe'hation^Buch'are the words of the third article of the Spanish constitution. But what is the meaning of sovereignty in this proposition? Theidefc of sovereignty is inseparable from that of govern most* r tbe'pebson or persons, who have the supreme command in a pdliweal body, are called the sovereign. The proposition asserts,1'UreTerfore, that supreme command resides essentially in' the nation. Supreme command, over whom? Is the nation its own subject,Hke
Selkirk in his little island I It rnigljt befSo if this ideal sovereign had but one will: such as he really is, he must reduce some part of himself to obedience. When, by some means or other, subordination is established, a government exists, in whose hands the sovereignty must reside. Hence it is, that a people considered numerically and without a definite political system, cannot possess that essentially which is the yfiryesseftcp^of fchat government which it wantHiH j;.,i : ..,.)<> n r« 10 trial? oc-l ,ffi«iJ>;iiK*i' ■'■mil", Were we not able to detect t.he vejbal fallacy which the proposition involves, the habits a#d potions of the Spanish reformers would have putrus in the wayof.dis.cpveringit. . The;uncontTolled despotism of, tfie,|crAW)u,,wlKSftvfljJjt exists, leads to the habitual association of /i^rBiVvithiisupi^inAmwthorit^. HJA« the, autocrat is ,so»ere^«,b«cpuse,,he\C*injB)aBdSii^e:w,bolft:%ce of, the state, sp,ve«eigptiy.awA ,<;ha>,iJforee,1wlych.ire/5i4e9 djstributively in every individual and icoUe^vetylin^be flagon, have, naturally enough, jb>«ffiicqnfoundwjf,..-It .migh^certpinly be/sajd., tj»*t the want of a soy*seigii,.pow«rr.Wd,they(W-fiftrtl»at supports it, are essentially in thft"(#ahpp. JBut; ,tlu»s to give,ifh« peculiar denomination of a definite object to the occasiaujiajpdi the means of its existence is a^^awge pervasion AU\H)S»mZi> By the logic of,,;the, Spanish Aegisl^tor*vvemighttoe aMth.pvi*ed to assert that medicine, or the aflt,pf bealjnj, wesides,«sseptia)lj,jn,t^e€ollec.niv(e body of patients* /w.pbys.WJaB* #Wt bfiqawsei^hei: patients want them, and the wtofaiiwcnUy would disappear if Jtbejrnbsdrridden subjects<agreed ip,s*MpendJth#irrfe«|S, .m.aidf'-.i. u ■■> /■jirui.ymic Jh**\ ,<■.> -itilC^e Vpibal;Srr,qv once detected, we need only substitute the ^rffce^pres^ioBiofHtihe thing designated in ^ie,, Spanish, article by the word sovereignty, and the absurdity of such a declaration, ja,tat}w5ybe#d.o£,fl, political constitution, will stand confessed. It .Yf0^d(KKUj«1it4>us.pn>/,flfCft.f resides, essentially iiVitbe, nation -r and tfee 4-igUtiofjpn%?iMOg Us fundamental laws belongs exclusively*© . i^roiB, the Pa,ny?(pr njeiple,! The Spanish legislators fell, indeed, iofiui»ely sluorti^.^hetrne inference. Force, however, cannot Originate, rights I M g}ne*.pofeer only. They should, therefore, have declared, what is unfortunately too true, that as force resides essentially in the.iwwtytude, they have consequently the power of enforcing or,destroying.(laws, supporting or subverting governmepts,,wjthw»t any conceivable limitation, unless it should arise &fem #H exfeewal fpj|C,e,mior6: powerful than their own. But we sUqngly suspectitliatthje, qualification of the broad principle contained in the article was not so much a logical inference as a precautionary measure against any inclination of the sovei eign, to interfercWith the Cortes in future; and it is really to be wondered why the eKercise of-the essential sovereignty did not suffer another
wise wise curtailment by being declared to exhaust itself in the production of the first code of fundamental laws. Such a declaration would give a certain degree of consistency to the opprobrious epithets of factions and traitors which have been lavished on that part of the Spanish sovereign, who are striving to have a fundamental code in conformity with their wishes.
We should, indeed, be trifling with our readers' patience, if, considering the proposition in question as an unmeaning flourish of political pedantry, we stopped to weigh its terms with dialectical precision, in order to expose the strange confusion of ideas which it betrays in its authors. But we have long watched the operation of this assumed principle of government, especially since it was picked up from the bloody dunghill of the French Revolution, as a pearl which could not be allowed to be swept away from the eyes of mankind with the hideous mass into which it was cast at that fearful period. We have observed its workings in Spain and Portugal; we have seen it break out in Italy, marring and blasting, as is its nature, every tender bud of social improvement which might in time have raised the condition of those interesting portions of the European family; and we cannot close our eyes against the proofs which daily crowd before us, of the baneful activity which it exerts over the civilized world, cankering the peace and contentment of millions, perverting their best feelings, and giving a fatal direction to their courage; while, by a natural reaction, it renders imperfect governments suspicious and intractable, urges even the best to harsh and unpopular measures of security, and makes bleeding and deluded nations turn back their eyes in despondency to the deadly repose of despotism.
A mere spark of practical wisdom would have been sufficient to warn the authors of the constitution from the use of these intoxicating, these maddening doctrines. The proper topics for rousing Spain out of the indolent slumbers of a prolonged degradation were the inherent right of every free people to be governed according to fixed laws; the necessity of re-establishing such institutions as had been devised by their forefathers to balance the powers of the state. Nor were the authors of the Spanish code so blinded by the love of the French theories as to have any excuse in the fulness and vehemence of an erroneous conviction. The report which they made to the Cortes, when the new code was presented to their sanction, is exclusively intended to recommend it as a transcript of the old constitution of Spain! The authors, it appears from that document, were anxious to obviate the charge of innovation. They had, if we believe them, only restored the constitutional laws to their primitive purity.