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which is not only an unfair exchange, but as far removed from the seat of government, as it is untenable in point of frontier, and as likely to be detrimental to her branches of industry, as ever the ceded Polish provinces were; and before they can recover this indemnity out of Saxony, they present to this very Saxony what justice demands for Prussia, and even at her expense !
But they must go still farther. Even should Prussia receive back, to the last village, all her Polish provinces, a claim, on the part of Prussia, to some partition of Saxony must still be admitted, and which will be entitled to mature consideration, before Saxony, out of pure generosity, and as a free gift, receives back what is really the property of others.
Anspach and Bayreuth are not even yet restored to Prussia, and she can undoubtedly take possession of them with as much justice as she has Magdeburg and Halberstadt, and her old Westphalian provinces. No cession of these provinces by Prussia was ever heard of: the treaties by which they were placed at the disposal of
France have been annulled by the treaty of Paris. If Prussia, therefore, should think proper to resume the possession of these fine countries, to watch over the interests of their present inhabitants; it will then belong to Prussia to specify the indemnity for which alone she will make the sacrifice; and Prussia will then act precisely in the spirit of legitimate policy, if she now demands, as an indemnity for it, what Austria and Bavaria, with Saxony herself, by the Teschen treaty of 1779, destined for her in the event of her not taking the Franconian principalities; namely, the Lausitz. In this case the Lausitz, as part of Saxony, will be an indemnity for the Polish provinces ; while the indemnity for Bayreuth and Anspach must be found a'mong the other conquests of the Allies.
Prussia can at last solemnly declare, that she will content herself with the restoration of her whole provinces ; and this is so much in unison with the moderation which she has hitherto shown, and with the unassuming character of her sovereign, that it would have been done long since, if all her old provinces had been entirely at her disposal. But such a declaration cannot be expected on any ground, when it is recollected that Prussia did not give them freely away.
But by what law can an upright and fair-dealing state, which has always respected the possessions of others, and suffered patiently all the injuries which a conqueror and his allies have inflicted upon it;--after encountering all the calamities of war, thinking itself fortunate, if, after many years of suffering, it sees at last a happy termination by what law, we say, can such a state be compelled to purchase back, at the expense of much blood and treasure, its rightful possessions ?
An indemnity for all these sufferings, and a better security for the future, cannot be denied to it even by the most rigid interpretation of the law of natiovs. Prussia, in fact, has been solemnly promised such an indemnity by the higher Allied Powers; and it is the more natural that she should now put in her claim, since all the allied states have long since insisted upon being placed in a more secure and better situation, politically speaking, at the end of this victorious war, than they were at its commencement. Most of them have been already put in possession of their respective additions of territory. · If Prussia should barely reckon up the damage which she has suffered from her liberal treatment of the King of Saxony, who has for seven years done every thing in his power to her prejudice ; even in this case it would require the cession of the greater part of Saxony to make good the loss; and thus would the demand of Wittenberg, which more immediately threatens Berlin, be with still more justice regarded as the best security for the future.
Prussia has bitherto made no public declaration wherein she has set forth her claims of indemnity for losses, or her demands of security against Saxony--a moderation which is another proof of her anxiety to place matters on the most amicable and equitable footing.
Although it is far from our intention to sow dissensions, we may perhaps be permitted to hint, how little it will tend to the security of Germany to replace a sovereign house again upon the throne, one of whose ancestors, after embracing the Protestant faith, and obtaining for it the protection of the German Diet, basely renounced it to gain a foreign, and, as it happened, a most precarious throne;' and a house, also, which twice, in latter times, has obstinately contended for aggrandisements which could only be obtawed by stirring up the most violent commotions in the East of Germany; and which, since 1806, has labored in the same dishonorable career, partly effecting the grand object, and partly preparing the way for its final attainment. But it is impossible to enter further upon this subject, without inflicting a deep wound on the feelings of the brave Saxon nation, who would discover that it was in vain that they had lavished their blood and treasures, and exerted their noble qualities to support the splendor of the Saxon court—it is impossible to go farther without adding poignancy to the sorrows of a Prince, whose perverseness will be fully forgiven the instant that justice, which is more sacred than generosity, shall
have been done.' A further explanation would also necessarily give birth to comparisons which, as they would only “bruise the broken reed,” shall be consigned for the present to oblivion.
The party who wish to restore to the King of Saxony only a part of his dominions, including Dresden, on the principles of generosity and moderation (setting aside all idea of right) desire something which is as contrary to the interests of the Saxon nation, as it is to the interests of the unfortunate Royal Family themselves.
Prussia can leave Saxony in full possession of her own constitution; she can respect all her claims to nationality; she can promote all the improvements which the nation itself wishes, and, under its own inspection ; she can continue Dresden, the pride of Saxony, in possession of all its privileges, while the smallest of the Saxon towns shall retain their peculiar advantages also. It would be absurd to anticipate every measure which the Prussian government may think advisable when it takes possession of Saxony. But we cannot avoid briefly pointing out what may in all probability be done, in order to give Saxony the full advantage of her new situation.
A prince of the Prussian family will hold a court as stadtholder, in Dresden ; the land colleges will remain as before, as well as one of the former garrisons. The Saxon universities, Leipzig and Wittenberg, may be united together at Dresden, and their revenues may be placed under the administration of the Dresden authorities. The diet will also meet at Dresden, and consist, as formerly, of a due proportion of the nobles and citizens. The old divisions of the country with all the institutions founded thereon, may remain unaltered. On no account shall any tie be broken through, which the manners of the age have rendered necessary.
The reverse would be the case, if Saxony were partitioned: Dresden contains the court, the colleges, the garrison, the diets, &c.
The population of Dresden amounting to nearly 50,000 souls, is already very respectable for the metropolis of a state containing two millions; no other German city, Vienna and Berlin excepted, has so much; and Munich only, which is now the residence of the sovereign of three millions and a half of subjects, comes near it. The city of Dresden is neither a place of manufactures or trade; but it has fallen to its lot hitherto to florish, by supplying with the elegancies and necessaries of social life, the rich and numerous visitors who flocked to it as a splendid and fashionable seat of government. Dresden, however, would necessarily be greatly im. poverished, if the provinces around it, from which it draws its wealth, were diminished in size, or wholly taken away from Saxony,
The Saxons in the ceded districts would be estranged from those which remained with the king. The ancient land-marks of the countries would be removed by the new frontier lines. Trade, manufactures, family connexions, public offices, the whole state of society, in short, would be turned upside down, and every one would be compelled to seek out a new way of livelihood and new pursuits. Those who remained, and those who emigrated, would alike experience changes. In both ways the ancient nationality would be destroyed, and many experiments of new laws and regulations in place of the old, must necessarily be made, ere the losses of both parties could be compensated.
A Prussian court may not be permittéd, it is true, to occupy the capital of Saxony, but the greater part of the country, in the event of a partition, must necessarily be administered by Prussia : the Saxon, therefore, who falls under the Prussian government, will always be considered as a stranger; he will feel much uneasi, ness from the total changes which must necessarily take place in a country whose institutions have not been disturbed for a hundred and eighty years, and he can only attach himself to the new arrangements after a long course of time and usagé. By this breaking up of old institutions, an immense load of dissatisfaction will be created, without the government being at all to blame. The disaffected will crowd to Dresden, the central point of Sasony, to annoy the court with their complaints, and wounds will daily bleed afresh, which, under other circumstances, would have been closed for ever.
The Saxon court will find in Dresden a constant recurrence of circumstances, which will remind them of their former grandeur. Men who have fallen from dignified stations, in consequence of the misfortunes of their patrons; appointments which can only be half filled up, because they are too costly for their present finances, or too great for their present wants; palaces which appear empty and desolate, because they were erected for more extensive establishments ; every thing, in short, will renew the melancholy recollection of the splendor of better days. All the consequences to which such recollections may lead, are not to be foreseen; but it is no empty anticipation to predict, that circumstances might arise from such causes, as to threaten not only the tranquillity of neighbouring states, but the happiness of the royal family, and the welfare of the Saxon nation themselves.
This unfortunate family will doubtless carry with them painful recollections, also to the place out of which their dotation is to be assigned to them. But when the generation has died away which has been accustomed to better days, when Saxony shall have calmly passed under the Prussian sceptre, without any violent change of its customs or usages, and has, at least, in the second generation, conceived an attachment to its new sovereigns; when it appears worse than foolish to expect a new change of things, when the Saxon court finds its condition, which was at first painful, now become supportable, and even agreeable; then will the time arrive, when the descendants of Frederic Augustus will live as splendidly, as German princes, as the descendants of John Frederic do now.
The unaccountable generosity, which would replace the King of Saxony in Dresden with a part only of his dominions, must therefore appear hereafter as a crying injustice against the Saxon nation, which would lose by this restoration all that is dear to them as a people and as men: it would be like the miser's boon, which has been so nibbled and reduced, that it can be expected to produce no balm in future for their wounded hearts.
In short, the principles upon which people would insist upon sparing what is now not worth sparing, are far severer in their consequences than the specious cruelty of the false philosophy of the Necessarians, which coldly excuses all the bad consequences resulting from human actions, from a conviction that Divine Providence, in the natural order of the universe, has provided the most natural, and on that account, the safest remedies for all the evils which the errors committed against his ordinances occasion.