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the ranks of the usurper; each regardless of the fate of his country, regardful only of how great a share of it he could seize on as his spoil. The smaller princes went to the ground; and so soon as the evil hour of Napoleon arrived, so soon as the elements had smitten him in Russia, and England, having annihilated his power in Spain, was awaiting him in France,-then these princes rose at once, bit the hand on which they had so lately fawned, heaped on their benefactor the names of Robber and Usurper, and called on the people to help to drive him from their soil, and to establish the FREEDOM of Germany. It was an inspiring cry, and was nobly answered. The people freed Germany and the princes from the intruder, but how did the princes keep their faith as to the FREEDOM of Germany? It stands written in the history of the time by their own historian, in a chapter headed “ THE TREACHERY OF THE PRINCES." The ancient empire had been dissolved by Napoleon, and they took no step to restore it. Some had sprung out of grafs into princes, others out of princes into kings. The old empire and its constitution had expired; and there was not a prince of them who, by the ancient right and the ancient principles of the German people, had a title to sovereign power. They ought in this crisis to have turned to the old and only acknowledged source of power amongst the Germanic race—to the people, and have received constitutions from them. But on the contrary, they, who had been only the vassals of a limited monarch, the Emperor, claimed not only independencies, but a prerogative hitherto unknown in that country-that of absolute despotism. True, on the great battle-field of Leipsic, where, after a three days' fight, the Nations had enabled them to overwhelm the tyrant, the Allied Sovereigns knelt down and publicly thanked God. They thanked God, and promised FREE REPRESENTATIVE CONSTITUTIONS! But like the vows of sick men, these promises were soon forgotten. Had Napoleon continued a little longer in Elba, probably their fears might have wrung from them a compliance with the now loud demands of the people, for the fulfilment of their word; but Napoleon made his last unsuccessful sally, the English bore him away to St. Helena, and their fears and promises slept for ever.
The history of the struggles of the German people to rescue their ancient freedom from the grasp of these perfidious usurpers, since the peace of 1815, is a melancholy one. The dungeons of Austria, as described by Silvio Pellico, the persecution of patriots, who have been compelled to fly to Switzerland, France, England, and America, the suppression of the freedom of the press, the violent crushing together of churches, the absolute denial of free constitutions, and the jealous espionage of a universal police, are amongst its prominent features, The 13th article of the Confederation, made by these princes on the 8th of June 1815, declared, “That in all the confederated States, representative constitutions should be established;" the 16th, “That all religious bodies should enjoy equal civil rights and privileges ;” and the 18th, “guaranteed uniform freedom of the press.” Not one of these pledges, thus solemnly made, have been fulfilled ; on the contrary, a tighter hand has been laid on the reins of government; the press is held in the closest thraldom, and the violent suppression of the Lutherian church in Prussia is one of the foulest acts of religious persecution which modern times have to shew.
And do the Germans acquiesce calmly in all this ? No! their situation presents the most singular and most admonitory spectacle in all history. A people of sixty millions in number; a people, of all others most sensitive; a people singing brave songs, and using brave words, and cherishing brave thoughts of liberty,-yet without the daring and the moral firmness to set themselves free! The parents of liberty in Europe, and at the present day the most thoroughly enslaved. They have fallen from the high estate of the freest and most high-spirited people of ancient Europe, to the most pliant crouchers, to the yoke of the diplomatist of present Europe. One shout of actual resolve from these millions would scatter every throne, and make every bond crumble into dust; nay, closely woven as the net of diplomacy is around them, were there but the lion within it, a mouse were enough to set it free; but the habit of acquiescence has become the really enslaving chain of this great and intellectual people. Like other dreams, they dream of freedom, but feel that they have lost the power to move. The will to dare, to do or die, the only spirit by which a nation can assert or maintain its liberties, has evaporated; they have become accustomed to the shame of living without political freedom, and they find that they can live, in great bodily comfort, with the glory of their great ancestors behind them, and the hereditary bondage of their children before them. The padlock is on their mouths; they cannot speak; yet they are glad that it allows them to breathe. The arm is shackled, but they can walk about; and they are willing to walk, though it be with “ the iron in their souls." They fret and fume, but do not free themselves ! Miserable condition of existence! Let us take a nearer and warning view of it.
THE CENSORSHIP OF THE PRESS.
It is one of the very oldest practices of thieves to gag their victims. To plunder and prevent all outcry and alarm need but a bit of stick or a piece of rag. Despotic princes have very properly classed themselves as belonging to the generation of thieves, by universally adopting this practice. They have shewn that God has not left them without a living witness in themselves of what they really are,--the very greatest and most flagrant of their genus—of thieves and murderers. They rob not individuals, but nations; they murder not men only, but liberty and knowledge, and through these, men's souls. They demonstrate at once, that what they are about is not a thing agreeable to those whom they are set to govern; that is, in its proper signification, to serve and protect; that their intentions, any more than their actions, will not bear the light, and the voice of expostulation is confessed by the gag. But of all mouths which they most diligently close by propping open, if I may use an Iricism, is the mouth of that 'modern steel-clad champion, the Press. This is their most