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ment, and roused to life by the manly eloquence of its patriotic members. If the spirit of the Baden Chamber do not spread, the case of Germany is hopeless.
There may be those who may think that I have pronounced a somewhat severe judgment on the political subserviency of the German people; but what said the representative Sander in the Chamber on the 15th of April last: "From the French Revolution came storm on storm; and never has a nation we speak it with shame and sorrow, yet without reproach against individuals—more ignominiously conducted itself; for nothing more ignominious can be found than when brothers suffer themselves to be led by a conqueror into battle against brothers. Let us not, then, deceive ourselves! Nothing but misfortune can come, if, through the repose of peace, through a too great contentment, we suffer ourselves to fall asleep, and forget that which maintains the rights and dignity of the country. It was exactly this which was then forgotten, and therefore the Empire fell. If we forget this now, the Confederation, and many of its eight-and-thirty states will fall. The Minister has consoled us with the assurance that Germany is respected and honoured abroad. I lament that in this respect I am of a totally opposite opinion. That the same Minister, Peel, in England, who, with eloquent tongue at public dinners, and in Parliament, lauds the Northern Autocrat, also praises us, and that all Britons do this when we
continue in the position that they wish us to do; namely, that we do not prosecute the interests of trade and the Zoll-Verein with vigour and zeal, is very comprehensible. But, on the other hand, I read in both the French and English newspapers that we are the most obsequious and slavish people in Europe. I remind the Minister of the article which The Times has published on the condition of the press in Prussia; and this paper is confessedly a Tory paper. A people that allows its frontiers to be menaced, a people of eight-and-thirty millions, which formerly played the chief rôle, yet which now is so little considered in international treaties that it is not able to assert the freedom of its two great rivers, and which must submit to many other disadvantages,—a people which does not know how to protect its internal freedom,—cannot permanently maintain the respect of other nations."
Here Sander then goes on to shew how far superior to their present condition was that under the Empire up to 1806; and refers to a particular of the most vital consequence, yet which, in describing the fetters imposed by the present Princes on the nation, I had forgotten, or but briefly touched on,—that is, that every thing like a public meeting to complain of any grievance is utterly forbidden. Nay, the very collecting of signatures to a petition is equally so. He says that under the Empire the Press was for the most part free; the University presses were wholly so. The Professors were then called by the colleges them
selves, and might freely lecture, but that now if they utter a free word they are dismissed; and he very properly asks, whether, under such circumstances, science and real learning can be promoted or maintained? He says that even the peasants up to 1806 could meet and prepare petitions to the Imperial Parliament, and could print what lay upon their hearts.
These are statements singularly confirmative of those made in this volume; but still more striking are the observations of the representative Welcker, a popular historian, on that dreadful secret penal system to which I have devoted a chapter. On the 19th of April just past,* in the debate on the established system of penal jurisdiction, Welcker contrasted in a most able manner the wide difference between public and private trial. "If," said he, "I were at the very beginning dragged into secresy and darkness, where I had the natural right to be openly tried; if here secresy operated in so subtle a manner, as for whole years to separate me from my connexions and from a defender; if, as in our Baden law, a judgment merely on suspicion could take place; if, as in many countries at the present time, torture were regularly combined with this proceeding; and, in a great part of Germany, a much worse torture than the ancient still exists, through secret martyrdom, cudgelings, and yet greater sufferings; if, in the nature of this proceeding lie such things as those which have in a printed
Allgemeine Zeitung, April 26th, 1844.
document been laid before this chamber, no less than twenty cited cases of prison and legal murders, in states which boast especially of an excellent administration of justice; if the Prussian minister state from his own country the cases of six innocent men who had been condemned to death, on their own extorted confessions, and yet in all these cases the clearest alibi had been afterwards proved; if I have produced here examples of unfortunate people who have languished in prisons eight years, were finally condemned to death, and then whose innocence came to light,-let no one say that I have painted these horrors in too vivid colours."
The whole of this splendid speech teems with corroborations of what I had already written in this volume. "Publicity and sworn jurors," he says, "are human institutions, but they bring all unjust judgments to the day; but by our secret proceedings in Germany, it is an actual miracle, an exception, if an unjust judgment come to the day, since the man either dies on the scaffold, or in the house of punishment; and the whole process lies buried in the dust of the archives."
He represents" the dreadful anomaly, that, while civil causes can in many places be tried openly, in those cases in which all that is dearest to the citizen is concerned, his honour, his life, his freedom,— the whole is transacted in chambers of darkness. But," added he, "how much more fearful this became from the fact that all these secret courts were under the direct influence of the government,
and every judge and officer of its appointment!" He reminded the Chamber of the practice of the Empire, where the judges were nearly, if not wholly, independent, but were now quite dependent, and not only so, but were placed in the position of the most absolute suspicion as to the impartiality of their judgments. "Think only," exclaimed the orator, "of the monstrous contrast! Formerly Grolman declared, that it was but cabinet justice if the minister only during a trial communicated to a judge his view of the case; now, there stands the Attorney-general, instructed and directed by the government, constantly before the judge, delivers the accusation, demands the trial, demands at every step of it, in the name of the almighty power of the government, that the judge shall so and so decide. How must it go under such circumstances with the poor accused in the secret chambers? If the antagonist power of publicity, the control of their fellow-citizens, the light of the sun and of public opinion, do not step in, they who make themselves, politically or unpolitically, unwelcome or hated, are lost beyond redemption."
I am proud to produce such eminent testimony to the accuracy of the statements in this volume, which will not fail to astonish the mass of English readers, who are little acquainted with the actual state of things in Germany. They who are really well informed of this state of things have long ceased to wonder, they only deplore.