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ciples, and confirm tempers amongst the people, which will preclude the two sovereigns from the possibility of holding what they acquire, or even the dominions which they have inherited. It is on the side of the ecclesiastical electorates that the dykes, raised to support the German liberty, first will give way.
The French have begun their general operations by seizing upon tliose territories of the Pope, the situation of which was the most inviting to the enterprise. Their method of doing it was by exciting sedition and spreading massacre and desolation through these unfortunate places, and then, under an idea of kindness and protection, bringing forward an antiquated title of the crown of France, and annexing Avignon and the two cities of the Comtat with their territory to the French republick. They have made an attempt on Geneva, in which they very narrowly failed of success. It is known that they hold out from time to time the idea of uniting all the other provinces of which Gaul was anciently composed, including Savoy on the other side, and on this side bounding themselves by the Rhine.
As to Switzerland, it is a country whose long union, rather than its possible division, is the matter of wonder. Here I know they entertain very sanguine hopes. The aggregation to France of the democratick Swiss republicks appears to them to be a work half done by their very form ; and
it might seem to them rather an increase of importance to these little commonwealths, than a derogation from their independency, or a change in the manner of their government. Upon any quarrel amongst the cantons, nothing is more likely than such an event. As to the aristocratick republicks, the general clamour and hatred which the French excite against the very name, (and with more facility and success than against monarchs) and the utter impossibility of their government making any sort of resistance against an insurrection, where they have no troops, and the people are all armed and trained, render their hopes, in that quarter, far indeed from unfounded. It is certain that the republic of Berne thinks itself obliged to a vigilance next to hostile, and to imprison or expel all the French whom it finds in its territories. But indeed those aristocracies, which comprehend whatever is considerable, wealthy, , and valuable, in Switzerland, do now so wholly depend upon opinion, and the humour of their mul- Old French titude, that the lightest puff of wind is sufficient to maxims,
the security blow them down. If France, under its ancient of its indie
pendence. regimen, and upon the ancient principles of policy, was the support of the Germanick constitution, it was much more so of that of Switzerland, which almost from the very origin of that confederacy rested upon the closeness of its connexion with France, on which the Swiss Cantons wholly
reposed themselves for the preservation of the parts of their body in their respective rights, and permanent forms, as well as for the maintenance of all in their general independency.
Switzerland and Germany are the first objects of the new French politicians. When I contemplate what they have done at home, which is in effect little less than an amazing conquest wrought by a change of opinion, in a great part (to be sure far from altogether) very sudden, I cannot help letting my thoughts run along with their designs, and, without attending to geographical order, considering the other states of Europe so far as they may be any way affected by this astonishing Revolution. If early steps are not taken in some way or other to prevent the spreading of this influence, I scarcely think any
of them perfectly secure. Italy.
Italy is divided, as Germany and Switzerland are, into many smaller states, and with some considerable diversity as to forms of Government; but as these divisions and varieties in Italy are not so considerable, so neither do I think the danger altogether so imminent there as in Germany and Switzerland. Savoy I know that the French con
sider as in a very hopeful way, and I believe not at Lombardy. all without reason. They view it as an old mem
ber of the kingdom of France which may be easily re-united in the manner, and on the principles of the re-union of Avignon. This country communicates with Piedmont; and as the king of Sardinia's dominions were long the key of Italy, and as such long regarded by France, whilst France acted on her old maxims, and with views on Italy; so, in this new French empire of sedition, if once she gets that key into her hands, she can easily lay open the barrier which hinders the entrance of her present politicks into that inviting region. Milan, I am sure, nourishes great disquiets—and, if Milan should stir, no part of Lombardy is secure to the present possessors—whether the Venetian or the Austrian. Genoa is closely connected with France. The first prince of the house of Bourbon has Bourbon
princes in been obliged to give himself up entirely to the Italy. new system, and to pretend even to propagate it with all zeal; at least that club of intriguers who assemble at the Feuillans, and whose cabinet meets at Madame de Stahl's, and makes and directs all the ministers, is the real executive government of France. The emperour is perfectly in concert, and they will not long suffer any prince of the House of Bourbon to keep by force the French emissaries out of their dominions; nor whilst France has a commerce with them, especially through Marseilles, (the hottest focus of sedition in France) will it be long possible to prevent the intercourse or the effects.
Naples has an old, inveterate disposition to republicanism, and (however for some time past
Ecclesiasti. cal state.
quiet) is as liable to explosion as its own Vesuvius. Sicily, I think, has these dispositions in full as strong a degree. In neither of these countries exists any thing which very
well deserves the name of government or exact police,
In the states of the church, notwithstanding their strictness in banishing the French out of that country, there are not wanting the seeds of a revolution. The spirit of nepotism prevails there nearly as strong as ever. Every Pope of course is to give origin or restoration to a great family, by the means of large donations. The foreign revenues have long been gradually on the decline, and seem now in a manner dried up.
To supply this defect the resource of vexatious and impolitic jobbing at home, if any thing, is rather increased than lessened. Various well intended but ill understood practices, some of them existing, in their spirit at least, from the time of the old Roman empire, still prevail; and that government is as blindly attached to old, abusive customs, as others are wildly disposed to all sorts of innovations and experiments. These abuses were less felt whilst the Pontificate drew riches from abroad, which in some
measure counterbalanced the evils of their remiss and jobbish government at home. But now it can subsist only on the resources of domestick management; and abuses in that management of course will be more intimately and more severely felt.