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An interesting debate took place in the Cortes at the latter end of December, in which Señor Castelar distinguished himself by a long and powerful speech on the state of Spain and the policy of the Government. He said that the Government“ have abused their authority, exceeded the faculties conceded to them, trampled laws under foot not touched by the suspension of individual rights, and violated guarantees we believed secure not only by written sanction, but by the unwritten and higher sanction of right divine. Το this there have been added a struggle between the political and ecclesiastical power, the disappearance of the Conservative element from the Government, to the reinforcement of the Radical element therein, all confounded with the pending clerical reforms and the election of the Monarch. ... We who were wasted by Bourbon oppression, but who became the dead revived, the dumb who had recovered speech, the paralytic who had recovered movement-we yet carry the servitude in our habits and the might in our consciences so far that we prefer intrigue in silence, secret sessions, and discussions in the lobbies, to debate in the Cortes and to the light of liberty. ... There you have discussed and resolved the most arduous and gravest problems, as if you were conjurors instead of legislators ! There you sought to renew the last days of the Convention, and to drive away from here an important political party. There you abdicated one of your most essential faculties, and, renouncing interference in the trial of the Republican Deputies, you decreed the delivery of the chosen of the people to the council of war! There, finally, you introduced the question of questions, the advent of a King, and proposed a member of a family who have been the eternal enemies of our country, who twice, first at the foot of the deathbed of Carlos II., and then in the dying moments of Felipe V., lay in wait for the chance of taking a piece out of the Spanish Crown—that Crown which now you throw, as if it were a fragile toy, to a boy-king, destitute of moral stature to represent our liberties or to understand our Revolution !”
After denouncing the conduct of the Government in suspending personal liberty, Señor Castelar continued, “I know not how it is, but as often as I pronounce those words, the Revolution of September,' I feel a bitter pain enter into my soul! Ah, Señores, this Assembly should be converted into a temple, and this House of political business into a House of Prayer, the eloquence of politics into the eloquence of religious fervour, and one should be able to borrow the inspirations of Jeremiah to lament appropriately the fate of a revolution engendered yesterday in the purest fire of the new ideas, and agonizing to-day in the cabinets of monarchical diplomacy, to die to-morrow in the barracks! It was said fundamental rights should be inviolable,-and all have been violated; it was said the magistrate, and not the police, should enter our dwellings,—and our homes have been invaded; it was said that under the empire of our Constitution no citizen should be transported more than 250 kilometres from his domicile -- and multitudes have
been taken so far beyond that radius that their feet scarce touch the soil of their mother country, but the solitude of ocean has begun; it was said that the Press should be entirely free,--and the military authorities have suppressed and insulted the newspapers; it was said the rights of meeting and of association should suffer no eclipse,-and they have suffered a night of two months long ! Gentlemen, in France the Revolution of February is called the revolution of contempt; and I, in Spain, call the Revolution of September the revolution of disappointment.
“What, then, have you done with the soldiers of the people? What had they to do with the horrible assassination of the Secretary of the Civil Governor of Tarragona ? Not content with disarming them, you dishonoured them in the eyes of the world by making them appear implicated in that event! What had the volunteers of Tortosa to do with those of Tarragona ? What had the volunteers of Barcelona to do with the protests of a few of their chiefs? Yet you disarmed them, and exposed the liberty of Spain to a bloody struggle in the streets of that capital. What did you do to the volunteers of Zaragoza ? They had obeyed their chief, the Alcaid, and maintained order; yet you disarmed them, and by that act caused another struggle. What did you do to the volunteers of Valencia ? After your own military authority had entrusted to them the custody of the most important posts of the city, you ordered their disarmament, and thus provoked a struggle which ended in a bombardment, and filled that Paradise of our country with desolation, and that beautiful city, which is the Eve of that Paradise, with tears and blood. . .
“This setting up the Duke of Genoa proves to me you do not understand one word of monarchical theology. Your king reminds me of that fantastical being created artificially by Wagner, the disciple of Faust—who came out of an alchemistic composition of acids, phosphorus, and other substances, in the midst of grand cabalistic words, and in conjunction with I know not how many stars; and the very first thing he did on bursting the retort was to fly off in the arms of the devil, and leave his padre scientifico in abandonment and despair. Yes, your artificial king differs from natural kings as the creation of Wagner differs from the grand creations moulded in the bosom of the universe."
Speaking of the Spanish Monarchy, he said, “It descended from the Capetos of San Luis. It was founded by the great Henry IV., who raised his little throne of Navarre to the immense throne of France, and was anointed at Versailles, the Vatican of royal authority, which it had inherited from the Escurial. For the advent of this family we employed twelve years of war of succession ; for its aggrandisement, to place Prince Carlos on the throne of Tuscany and Felipe on the throne of Parma and of Placencia, we armed the half of Europe against the other half-Charles XII. against Germany, Peter the Great against Poland and Denmark, the Stuarts against the Oranges, and England against all and for
all! To secure this dynasty we signed a compact, called “The Compact of Family,' which for a certainty cost us America. Its favourites engendered wars like the War of Independence, its greed gave us years tormentous and horrible, like those of Ferdinand VII., and the question whether a Prince or a Princess of this family should succeed to the throne lit up the fires of civil war, which licked up the riches of a century and the blood of 300,000 Spaniards! What has been the fate of this family? Where are the French descendants of Henry IV.? In exile! He who had been anointed by the hand of the Church was struck down by the hand of the assassin ! Where are the Italian descendants of Charles V.? In exile ! Even now they pass amid the ruins of Rome like the ignis fatuus in the cemeteries and by the tombs! Where are the Spanish descendants of Felipe V.? In exile ! Many times I have figured him passing through the marble palaces of Versailles, and I have asked myself, if he could see that temple of his dynasty in the hands of a foreigner, of a plebeian, of a Corsican, would he be convinced how times change and the human spirit becomes transformed ? What does all this say—this, which has had the splendours of history and the elegies of art, but which has passed away ? Do events come of themselves, and of the will of men ? Certainly not. As, when we see the splendours of nature, we think on God, so, when we see the grand catastrophies of history, we see the providence of God. What does it all mean? It means that the prestige of monarchy is dead in Spain. It is the same, gentlemen, as if the Koran died in Mecca. "Yet you have employed all your forces—all these wars, all these circulars, all these disarmaments, all these illegalities, and covered all with blood --for what? In the vain effort to restore the monarchical prestige which has died. And under what name do you seek to restore it? The Duke of Genoa! I scarcely could have believed you were so demented. There is not one monarchy-even those which have most fugitively passed over our century—which has not had some reason for its existence. The monarchy of the Bourbons in France had tradition. Where are the traditions of the Duke of Genoa ? The monarchy of Napoleon had the prestige of glory. Where are the glories of the Duke of Genoa ? Where are his Marengo, his passage of the Alps, his fabulous return from Egypt, after having his name transfigured in Tabor, and written by the rays of the sun of the desert in the Pyramids. .
“What signifies the monarchy of Victor Emmanuel himself ? At one time it did signify something,-it signified the unity and the independence of Italy; but now it signifies nothing, for they are lost! We of Spain need no foreign king for our unity and our independence. Our forefathers raised them in spite of foreign kings ! What are the records of the family of the Duke of Genoa in Spain? Traverse the soil of the country, and stop when you come to Cadiz, -Cadiz, the ancient asylum of our liberties, the cradle of our Revolution. See the bones of the Liberals which even yet bleach in the Trocadero, and the bombs which are even yet visible on the shore, and say, ' These bombs thy grandfather threw upon Cadiz, to restore the infamous authority of Ferdinand VII. and the horrible power of the absolute monarchy ! But, gentlemen, what a curious
' coincidence it would be if the will of the first Bourbon should be fulfilled in the Revolution of September! When the peace of Utrecht approached, when Louis XIV. desired to satisfy Europe, then united against him--for Europe would never tolerate the Crowns of France and Spain being on one head, for it would have been the restoration of the Roman Empire and the death of the nationalitieswhen Ferdinand V. found himself in the midst of these anxieties, he made a will, in which he provided that in the event of his family being extinguished, the throne of Spain should pass to the second branch of the family of Savoy, the branch of the Carignanos, and to its legitimate representative, Prince Tomas. Why did he name him ? Simply because he belonged to the House of Savoy ! Gentlemen, what adaptation for Spain has the family of Savoy? What can it invoke for the Revolution of September? A feudal family, like that of the Duke of Borgoña, has done nothing but disturb France, Switzerland, and Italy, the three martyr lands of liberty. Geneva even yet preserves the marks of the wounds opened by this theocratic family, who have tried a thousand times to suffocate religious truth with their inquisitors and executioners ! Savoy, now in its poverty and its ignorance, has been delivered by the chief of this family to a foreign Prince! Savoy is proclaiming that the
a policy of this family is nothing different from the policy of the Bourbons and the Austrians. The founder of this throne, Victor Amadeo II., is the most faithful mirror of royal tyranny. He asked Louis XIV. for the hand of one of his princesses, and then he abandoned his patron for the Elector of Bavaria and for William of Orange, the enemies of Louis XIV. Taking the command of the Sardinian-Austrian army, he sold it to Louis XIV. He intrigued with Louis XIV. to obtain a piece of our Crown from the coffin of Charles II., and then passed over to the Allies. In 1705 he had not an inch of land; in 1713 he had recovered every thing. Of him truly one might use the words of Tacitus, 'omnia pro dominatione serviliter. And even to-day the dynasty of Savoy is ungrateful to
' liberty. The obscure gallo-cisalpine Victor Emmanuel has mounted the throne of Italy, thanks to the propaganda of Mazzini and the sword of Garibaldi. It is said he represents the unity of Italy, but between the unity of Italy and his throne is the Pope of Rome. It is said he represents the independence of Italy, and between his throne and the independence of Italy is the Cæsar of France. He has impoverished Italy, he has enslaved the press. He has degraded the right of public meeting with the presence of spies. He has the patriots of Marsala in the prisons, the same as in the times of the Austrians. And yet, representing all this, and being on the eve of a coup d'état, now, at this moment, you ask from him a boy, educated in his policy, and you will give to this boy, as a plaything,
the Crown of Spain, and you will bring him here to renew the same errors and to commit the same offences against democracy and liberty!”
Señor Castelar declared that the policy of the Ministry was a policy of enigmas,” and concluded his speech, which was received with loud applause, in the following words:
“Save us, in the interest of all, from this enigmatical policythis policy of illegality. If you wish the people to obey you, you must yourselves obey the law. My friends and myself are resolved to contribute as much as we can to a normal epoch of order and peace. We don't wish a pessimista policy. We don't wish to combine with the enemies of the Revolution. We don't wish to combine against you. We only wish liberty, and the government of the people by the people. if you would win us to your banner do not offer us commands, nor appointments, nor portfolios, for we do not wish them ; do not offer us positions, for we despise them. Offer us the government of the people by the people; offer us the separation of the Church from the State, the reduction of the army, and the formation of a national reserve ; offer us a diminution in the taxes and the self-government of the municipality and the province, and then you will see we will not coalesce with any of the ancient parties, but we will coalesce with you in all grand ideas. Gentlemen, enough of the belief that the sword is the only lightning-rod against social tempests. The sword, like all other metals, instead of repelling, attracts the lightning. Place at the summit of the social edifice the lightning-rod of England, Belgium, Switzerland, and the United States—the lightning-rod of civil power and legality. If you wish to take from the people their violent character, the Government must abandon their illimitable assumptions. Enough of suspensions of Ayuntamientos; enough of falsifying the constitutional guarantees; enough of dissolving militias; enough of sophistical circulars. Create a Government just and free, otherwise power may pass fugitively from the hands of the Liberals, and you may be condemned to a long opposition, and to-morrow may be wanting in the liberty and the justice which to-day we seek.”
ROME-NORTH GERMANY AND PRUSSIA-TURKEY AND EGYPT.
ROME-Opening of the (Ecumenical Council of the Vatican-Papal Bull—Question of
Infallibility of the Pope-Bull Latæ Sententiæ. NORTA GERMANY AND PRUSSIA.—Opening of the North German Parliament
Speech of the King of Prussia-Close of the Session-Opening of the Prussian Chamber-Speech of the King-His Reply to a Deputation of the Brandenburg Synod.