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construction on the actions of others, if not perfectly in unison with their own mode of thinking.
The Editor has recently visited Germany; he has observed the extraordinary sensation created by the fate of M. Kotzebue, and has been very forcibly struck by the great degree of involuntary sympathy every where so eagerly manifested in favour of the perpetrator Sand, whose portrait he frequently saw exhibited in frames containing those of the most distinguished German patriots; while various pamphlets, and numerous elegiac stanzas extolled his early virtues and deplored his melancholy fate. It was natural for him to feel the utmost surprize at these circumstances, and that too, in a country whose inhabitants are above all others, least likely to advocate or approve the dreadful crime of assassination.* Concluding, therefore, that this singular state of the public mind, must have originated in some
* Robberies and murders, are less frequent in the German states, than in any part of Europe.
cause arising from the peculiar nature of the times and condition of the people, he determined to extend his inquiries; and although the more minute results of the information he obtained, are reserved for a future occasion, he is yet unwilling to omit the present opportunity of stating a few of the most prominent facts; because they have an immediate connection with that simultaneous desire for reform and improvement, now so unanimously felt throughout the whole European commonwealth.
The high sense of religion, turn for deep thinking and simplicity of manners, by which the second and third classes of society are distinguished in Germany, have been already illustrated by several writers; but by none so ably as Madame de Stael, in her admirable work entitled DE L'ALLEMAGNE : for, to the exact veracity of her assertions, and the solidity of her reasonings, with the exception of some trifling inaccuracies, all those who have any knowledge of the country, including the natives themselves, bear
ample testimony. Whoever reflects on those qualities, and the amazing intellectual advances made by Germany during the last century; when he recollects, at the same time, that an ardent love of freedom was the marked characteristic, and has invariably, however studiously repressed, appeared to be the instinctive passion of the people; cannot wonder that after having witnessed the innumerable abuses eradicated by the late struggle for public liberty in France, the Germans should now pant for a removal of those evils, civil and political, which still continue to impede their own happiness and prosperity.
Owing to the fatal direction taken by the politics of France, when that country was given up to the inexorable sway of sanguinary demagogues and unprincipled factions in the early part of the revolution, and by which the hopes anticipated from the event, were blasted for a time at least; a long series of uninterrupted warfare and reciprocal aggression, suspended the progress
of liberal principles to the north of the Rhine. But they were revived on the restoration of peace in 1814, and greatly augmented, when, notwithstanding their unheard of sufferings, and endless sacrifices, the people saw, that instead of performing often repeated promises, and establishing a social system, more conducive to the interests of the Germanic confederation, and consonant to the improved spirit of an enlightened age; the congress assembled at Vienna, for the avowed purpose of consolidating the peace and happiness of nations, seemed only to think of aggrandizement and partition, transfer and spoliation!
It seems, however, that a war of twentyfive years, was insufficient to expiate the sins of Europe, or glut the insatiate idol of dépotism; consequently, when the violation of the treaty by which Elba was allotted to the Emperor Napoleon, and the non-observance of the charter, led to the return of that sovereign,* the nations were once more
*For an account of the circumstances attending the
called upon to rally round the standard of legitimacy. Without stopping to inquire by what combination of circumstances, that call was obeyed, so fatally for the interests of liberty, it is a well known fact, that when the Austrian and Prussian cabinets succeeded in persuading the people that their political independence was again endangered, the long tried zeal and native enthusiasm of the Germans induced them to come forward with more alacrity than any other nation, forming a part of the disastrous coalition. In fact, the people of Germany did that almost spontaneously, to produce which it became necessary to exert all the influence of ministerial corruption, and court intrigue in a
return of Napoleon, see the LAST REIGN by MR. HOBHOUSE, the only work that has any pretensions to historical accuracy, relative to that extraordinary period, which posterity will doubtless regard as one of the most important epochs in modern history: so that the able and enlightened author has conferred a favour on future times, and acquired no inconsiderable degree of literary celebrity, by this departure from the too general rule, which makes history little more than the vehicle of misrepresentation, prejudice, and party spirit!