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IN the Chamber of Deputies, on the 8th January, the Election Law, consisting of twenty Articles, was passed by a majority of 132 against 100. The main question for discussion was, Shall the Deputies be chosen by the electors directly, or shall the great body of electors name a certain number from among themselves, by whom the Deputies shall be chosen? By this law the Deputies are to be chosen directly by the electors in one single assembly, as in England. All Frenchmen who have attained the age of thirty, and pay 300 francs of taxes per annum, are to be allowed to
A royal ordinance, dated the 8th of January, contains the following article: "Every vessel, whether French or Foreign, which shall attempt to introduce into any of our colonies Blacks for sale, shall be confiscated; and if French, the captain shall be held incapable of holding a command."
The Houses of Lafitte of Paris, Barings of London, Parish of Hamburgh, and Hopes of Amsterdam, have taken upon themselves the advance of the loan wanted by France, which is 12,000,000 British, or 300,000,000 of francs. Report adds, that one half will be required in money, and the other half in provisions and clothing. The Gazette de France states, that this loan was finally signed on the 13th February.
On the 9th of January, M. de Serre brought up the report of the Committee on the law relative to personal liberty. It is a modification of that of last year, and enables the crown to confine, under specific forms, persons suspected of conspiring or attempting the overthrow of the established constitution. After a debate of several days this law was carried in the Chamber of Deputies by 136 to 92.
In the Chamber of Deputies the debate on the law respecting the public journals is terminated. It was voted by a majority of 128 against 89. All the journals of France are thus rendered dependent upon the king's authority, by which any of them may be immediately suppressed.
By the first April 30,000 of the allied troops, being one fifth of the whole, will quit the French territory. The official note of the four plenipotentiaries of Austria, England, Prussia, and Russia, declares, That the high personal character of the king, and the principles and conduct of his present ministry, together with the sanc
tion of the opinion of the Duke of Wellington, are the sole causes of the relief thus afforded to France.
In the Chamber of Deputies the ministers were left in a minority of 89 to 108, on the important question of what we would call the Navy Estimates. The minister of that department had calculated upon a grant of 50,000,000 of francs. He had already appropriated upwards of 48,000,000; but the commission appointed to report upon the loan recommended 44,000,000, and this sum was carried by the numbers above cited. The Chamber has at length finally agreed to the budget by a majority of 47. The total expenditure of that country is fixed at about £45,000,000 sterling.
Jan. 15. The king has created a large number of knights of St Michael, for the purpose of distinguishing men who have rendered themselves celebrated in literature, science, and the arts, or by useful discoveries. This does great honour to the king. It is the only order of knighthood, we believe in Europe, that pays such a tribute of honour and respect to those who may well be called the benefactors of mankind.
Application it is said has been made by the French government to our ministers, for issuing the usual orders to our settlements, for giving facility to an expedition under Mons. Freycinet, consisting of the Uranie frigate and a corvette, about to sail from France to finish their survey of New Holland.
The price of provisions at Boulogne is thus given, in a letter from an officer to his friend at Christchurch, dated the 5th March. A leg of mutton from 74d. to 8d. per lib.; beef and pork, 7d; inferior sorts, 5d.; poultry very dear; wild fowl cheap; a good widgeon or wild duck, from 6d. to 9d.; a pair of very good soles, 10d. which is considered dear; a turbot, from 8 lb. to 10 lb. for 2s 6d. or 3s. ; 26 eggs for 10d; vegetables very cheap: all articles of living are one-third dearer than in June 1816.
In the Chamber of Deputies, March 5th, 4,000,000 francs were appropriated from the revenue arising from the sale of the national forests for the support of the church. On the law respecting the customs, ministers had a majority of 134. This act is intended to exclude, by heavy duties, the import of cottons, sugar, and iron.
The Moniteur of the 22d March contains the new law relating to bills of exchange, as passed by the two Chambers, and sanctioned by the royal assent. It enacts, that the holder of a bill of exchange, drawn on the Continent or islands of Europe, and payable in the European territories of France,
Intelligence has been received at Amsterdam, that the Dutch commissioners received the island of Java from the English on the 19th of August.
On the 19th of February, at Brussels, the Princess of Orange was delivered of a son, who is to take the title of Duke of Brabant.
The States General have finally rejected a proposition for prohibiting the exportation of grain.
The Dutch papers communicate a measure calculated to injure, if not to ruin, the trade at Antwerp. A toll is ordered to be collected upon all vessels entering or leaving the Scheldt, in addition to the custom-house duties. Its weight is represented as incompatible, not only with any prosperous commerce, but with any other intention than that of destroying it, for the toll is seven times greater than the freight of goods brought from a short distance-England for instance. The king has been petitioned for its removal, and the latest reports give reason to believe that the application has been successful.
The episcopal Prince de Broglie at Ghent, still occupies the public attention, by refusing to acknowledge the temporal supremacy of the crown. Shortly after BONAPARTE assumed the imperial diadem, this prelate ventured to act upon the same principle; but the Emperor, as jealous as himself of his authority, conveyed orders to M. d'HouDELOT, the prefect, and to M. d'ERLABURATH, the general of division, to put the bishop under military arrest, and to compose a regiment of the numerous seminarists who embrace the orthodox tenets of their unbending pastor. This ridiculous scene really took place. The youths 66 un peu gauches," in their black robes, were marched to the place publique; and, in the presence of an immense multitude, were marched and countermarched, and taught all the evolutions of military discipline by corporals and serjeants of the national guard. In the night they were quartered in barracks, and VOL. I.
The strict prohibition of journals published in England or the Netherlands, which had for some time been suspended, is renewed with great severity, probably on account of the popular discontent manifested at some late acts of the government. The frequent arrest for political offences is said to be regarded with particular disgust.
Letters from Spain of the 4th Feb. state, that in consequence of a new impost levied on charcoal at Valencia, which bore very hard on the poor in the winter season, the people murmured, and at last deputed commissioners to wait on the governor (Elio) with their complaints. Instead of listening to them, Elio put the commissioners in prison; the people rushed to arms, and liberated them; and the governor, in his turn, was obliged to fly to the citadel. The insurgents kept possession of the city all the 17th January; but on the 18th, sup plies of troops arriving, they were overpowered, and the governor liberated. He attempted to put to death some of the rioters without trial, but the judges of the High Court of Justice declared, they could allow no citizens to be executed without a trial. The governor threatened to imprison the judges. The citizens were emboldened by this vigorous conduct of the judges, and affairs wore so serious an aspect, that Elio posted off to Madrid to lay the matter be fore the king.
The report of some commotions having arisen in Valencia, agrees very well with what we know of the present state of popular feeling in Spain, viewed in connection with such instances as the following, of the cruelty of their semi-barbarous government. -"Pamplona, Feb. 10th. On the 2d, 3d, and 4th of this month, and in the prison of this city, the torture was inflicted on Captain Olivan, who for this purpose was brought down from the citadel, where he had been confined during eight months, merely because he was suspected of disaffection to government. Amidst the most excruciating pangs, no other than energetic declarations of his own innocence were heard, as well as of that of more than thirty other officers confined with him under similar circum
The English government lately solicited, that a field in the neighbourhood of Tarragona, in which 300 English soldiers and some officers fell gloriously defending that fortress, should not be cultivated, or otherwise disturbed, offering to purchase it: but the city of Tarragona, emulating the feeling of our government, nobly made a present of the ground.
Previous to the 18th Feb. a great number of persons had been executed at Madrid, under charges of treason against the person and authority of the sovereign. Nothing yet has transpired concerning the fate of the unfortunate Arguelles and his companions, who have been transported to a desert island of the Mediterranean. To those who know the true character of the present Spanish government, it will be no matter of surprise if this notice conclude their history.
An edict for the prohibition of certain books, divided into two principal classes, was published at Madrid on the 2d of March. In the first are comprehended those which are prohibited, even to the persons to whom the Inquisition may have granted licenses or particular permissions; the other comprises works which are only prohibited to such persons as have not obtained those licenses. The works of the first class are eight in number, and are prohibited as defamatory of the supreme authority of the pope and clergy.-The second prohibition falls upon forty-seven works, which are described as full of a corrupt and revolutionary spirit. In this last class, M. De Constant's Principles of Policy--La Croix's Elements of the Rights of the People-Blanchard's Felix and Paulina-and Adelaide and Theodore, or Letters on Education, are included.
On the 15th of December, a catholic priest proceeded on foot to the cathedral of Adria, in Lombardy, and rèturned thanks for having attained his 110th year, without infirmities or sickness! He was accompanied by an immense concourse of people, and chanted the cathedral service in a firm, manly, and dignified voice.
The German papers have brought us a document of greater importance than usual, in the shape of a new constitution for Sicily. That interesting portion of Europe has lost nothing by the restoration of the legitimate Sovereign to the throne of his ancestors. The king of Naples, unlike his namesake and cousin the sovereign of Spain, has signalized his restoration by confirming and extending the blessings of a free constitution.
The emigration of our countrymen to Italy is so extensive, that 400 English families now reside at Naples alone.
Between 500 and 600 English are now resident at Rome, including branches from the noble families of Devonshire, Jersey, Westmoreland, Lansdown, Beresford, King, Cowper, Compton, Dunstanville, Denbigh, Carnarvon, and Breadalbane.-The dutchess of Devonshire gives parties every week, and is a great patroness of the fine arts.
Canova. The pope had attached to the title of Marquis of Ischia, which he conferred on the sculptor Canova, an annual pension of 3000 crowns, This celebrated artist has disposed of this revenue in the following
manner: First, a fixed donation to the Roman academy of archeology of 600 crowns. Second, 1070 crowns to found annual prizes, and a triennial prize for sculpture painting and architecture, which the young artists of Rome and the Roman states only are com petent to obtain. Third, 100 crowns to the academy of St Lue. Fourth, 120 crowns to the academy of the Lynx; and fifth, 1010 crowns to relieve poor, old, and infirm artists residing in Rome.
Foreign papers, dated in March, reckon above 800 English families to be resident in the three cities of Florence, Leghorn, and Pisa. The number of young English who are receiving their education in various schools in Italy may be estimated at 1500.
By the latest accounts, the present go. vernment of this country appears to stand on very slippery ground; and something more than even all the characteristic prudence and worldly wisdom of Bernadotte will be required to support him on the Scandinavian throne.-Stockholm, March 18: alarming reports of a political nature have arisen. One Lindhorne, a publican, denounced, on the 13th, certain seditious language which he had overheard. The affair, of which the object was no less than a total subversion of the present order of government, has immediately given rise to the strictest investigation, and has appeared sufficiently important to induce all the high colleges (or public boards), and deputations of the armed force,-the nobility, the citizens of Stockholm, and the peasants,—to wait on the Crown Prince, and assure him of their fidelity and attachment.