H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub

conducted with all the care with which the desire of promoting the good of my people can inspire me. With the same view I have issued orders for facilitating the commerce of my subjects in all parts of the world.

The late exhibition of works of industry at Haarlem produced a display no less flattering to national pride than gratifying and honourable to the industry of my people, and satisfactory in regard to the general good of the nation. All the productions which luxury as well as the common wants of life can require, were there collected, and there could the Netherlander convince himself that in that respect he need not envy any other people.

The general attention is directed to the opportunity which the nature and position of many countries afford to the development of our national industry, through which I hope she will see the channels for the fruits of our industry, and our lands, multiply, which the plans of the trading company has already begun to

open.

The spirit of forming associations, so advantageous to great undertakings, has spread itself more and more, and has extended its influence to the most useful objects; the devoting of considerable capitals to ship-building has given a new life to our docks, and has occasioned the laying down of innumerable keels.

The salt-herring fisheries, which have for many years been a losing concern, will, from all appearances, prove most profitable for this last year.

But with regard to the Greenland and Davis' Straits fisheries, my Netherlanders will, I fear, par

ticipate in the general unfavourable result common to all who have this year undertaken them.

Schools for instruction are now almost universally established throughout the kingdom, and have in many instances shown their utility, especially those of recent es tablishment.

The Universities have lately been much improved and enlarged, and have in many branches of learning had additional facilities afforded for the attainment of knowledge, and they now furnish the most liberal means for the study of the various sciences. One institution, devoted to the wants of my Roman Catholic subjects, will afford to the young people appointed to study for the church the opportunity of obtaining that knowledge which the present state of civilization requires; and I hope I may promise myself the best consequences to the honour of that church in my kingdom.

Through the beneficence and liberality of the nation, through the strenuous co-operation of your high mightinesses, and through the praiseworthy exertions of the authorities and officers, I am happy to say, that the disasters which were caused by the late floods are already materially repaired, and the dikes will soon be placed in a state of security against the weather.

The commissioners who were appointed by me to examine the best courses for rivers have fulfilled their very important task, and will ere long lay before me the result.

The formation of new plans of improvement is carried on with vigour.

The plan adopted for the prisons developes itself more and more, and will soon be established.

The regulations respecting the meetings of provincial states, and the government of cities, and of country places, have undergone an investigation. The dispositions in those regulations, which concern the right of voting, and the qualifications to take part in the provincial and local government, were, by the end of the tenth year, after the notice of our fundamental law, to be a part thereof; it was therefore of importance to introduce those improvements which experience has shown to be desirable as early as possible.

Our foreign possessions are the subject of my peculiar attention; and my endeavours have been particularly directed to the furthering of their internal prosperity, in order to render them of the utmost advantage to the Netherlands and its industry. The expenditure in several of those possessions has, in consequence of wars and expensive measures in their government, been augmented to too great an amount, which has produced unfavourable consequences in the condition of the finances. I have adopted measures to moderate them, and have further considered it prudent to send a special commissioner thither, in order that the orders already given for economy in the expenditure sho .ld be most strictly observed. There is ground to hope that the injurious consequences already mentioned will soon be remedied. It will, nevertheless, be necessary that the mother country should, by means of its credit, come to its support, and I hope that I may reckon on the co-operation of your high mighti

nesses.

The various branches of the revenue have, taking them in general, been completely competent to

our wants.

The late alterations in the indirect taxes have answered to all expectations in the increase of their produce, independent of the real relief which has thereby been secured to commerce and agriculture. All difficulties in the collecting of the personal taxes and excise have, as is seen from experience, almost completely vanished. They were, at the introduction of the new plan, unavoidable; the doing away with them has, nevertheless, been the subject of my most anxious cares; it is with that intention that, after having consulted the states of the provinces, and having made use of the power given me by law, I have more generally introduced the farming of the excise on the grinding of corn; the manner in which this arrangement has been received, gives ground for supposing, that it will, in all respects, fully answer the objects I have in view.

It is most satisfactory to me that I am not obliged to lay before your high mightinesses a more unfavourable statement of the finances of the kingdom, notwithstanding the extraordinary expenditures which are the necessary consequence of the disasters which befel us at the beginning of the year. The accounts of the revenue which will, ere long, be laid before your assembly, are such as will justify me in giving a further relief to my beloved subjects by reducing the taxes.

The operations of the sinking fund will, without doubt, in a short time further the possibility of completely liquidating the national debt.

The Netherlands mint supply is regular.

The calling in, and the putting out of circulation of the French

coins, are brought to a close by the last regulations, without on any point having given real cause for complaint.

The issuing of new coins goes on steadily; and, for the greater convenience of common use, and much wishing it, I propose to lay before you a plan for increasing our series of gold coins, by adding one additional kind.

The industrious application of the states' commission to the framing of the National code of law, will afford me an opportunity of again laying before your assembly an important measure of legislation.

open

Several other subjects will require the attention of your high mightinesses during your present sitting. I it with the persuasion that it will not in any degree tend less to the good of the country than former sessions. I experience the most heartfelt satisfaction at the manner in which our countrymen confide with true love in us, and support the throne of the Netherlands; and thus supported, high and mighty Sirs, our united efforts, under the support of God, and the continued blessing of peace, cannot fail to promote the glory of our beloved country.

SPEECH of the EMPEROR of AUSTRIA to the HUNGArian Diet on September 16, 1825.

With the greatest joy I hail the long-wished for moment when I could assemble the people of my much-beloved kingdom of Hungary about my throne, to consult with you on the best means of promoting the welfare of the country, and by the solemn coronation of the queen, my most beloved consort, to unite a faithful people, as it were by a new bond, still closer to my heart.

Important events have taken place since we last met here. The most sanguinary wars had to be waged in order to obtain for Europe the enjoyment of the peace which it had so long desired in vain. During the whole continuance of this struggle, I, for my own person, have thought no fatigue too great-have shunned no cares no exertions which I thought calculated to protect the rights of my kingdom, and to leave the honour of the monarchy, in

[ocr errors]

herited from my ancestors, and the dignity of the crown which I wear, unimpaired to my successors.

And my honest exertions were not fruitless-they were crowned by happy victories, and the wishedfor termination of the evils of war. I openly declare, that this must be ascribed first of all to God, the arbiter of all fates, and then to the love and fidelity of my people— the unshaken perseverance of the allied monarchs-the valour of my armies-and, lastly, the sacrifices which my subjects have made with so much perseverance, and to their eternal honour.

What share Hungary took, with what zeal it has proved its fidelity, its attachment, and that innate elevation of mind which has always been distinguished as the support of the throne, and the inheritance of your fathers, is proved by deeds which gratitude has engraven on my heart in imperishable characters.

But while by the happy success of my arms the monarchy was preserved and the possibility obtained of re-uniting with the kingdom of Hungary the countries that had been torn from it, the people subject to my sceptre have, in the most recent times, obtained a glorious victory of another kind -a victory which will produce for them and their posterity the most salutary fruits. All of them, and among them my Hungarians, have repelled from them that dangerous spirit which has plunged several countries in Europe into the greatest distresses; justly considering that hope built on the wisdom of the Almighty, and inviolable fidelity to the sovereign, confirmed by reciprocal confidence, and the scrupulous observance of the ancient institutions, which are consecrated by age and the experience of many centuries, constitute their true fidelity and an immoveable barrier under all circumstances.

It is evident to every body that the finances of the state must have made many and great sacrifices in the vicissitudes of the late years. Bat a system matured by long discussion introduced with firmness, and prosecuted with unwearied zeal, has in a manner now created and confirmed public credit, and already healed many wounds. It remains for a prudent legislation to heal the remainder, and to consolidate the permanent welfare of Hungary.

I ask from you nothing but zeal for your own good; but I expect from your wisdom, fathers of the country, that you will propose the means best adapted to obtain it, which will not fail either of producing their desired effect, or of gaining the entire approbation of me, your king. If, animated solely by zeal for the general good, you will join your efforts with mine to promote the lasting prosperity of the kingdom, and thus to merit the grateful remembrance of posterity. The certain hope of continued peace greatly favours those salutary deliberations: there is besides another reason for engaging in them without delay. My age advances, and the days of mortals are in the hand of the Almighty. But I ardently wish to live long enough to enjoy the happy confidence that I leave to my successors, and to the Hungarians themselves, my dearly beloved children, your prosperity increased by civil laws and ordinances, which shall at the same time strengthen the constitution of the kingdom.

Lastly, the faithful estates will perceive, from the propositions which I herewith present to them, that my paternal views are solely directed to the good of the state, and to the interest of all the inhabitants of my kingdom of Hungary; and I assure you of my imperial and royal favour and affection.

SPEECH of the EMPEROR ALEXANDER delivered at the first sitting of the Chambers of the KING of POLAND.

Representatives of the kingdom of Poland,-When I parted from you four years ago, lamentable

events had produced a general agitation in Europe, which threatened the welfare of all nations. I have

desired to have time for opinions to become fixed, and for the passions to become more cool. Your third meeting has been deferred; but this delay I am certain will have the good result of more effectually preparing your labours, and it is with real pleasure and with feelings of that regard of which I have already given you so many proofs that I am now again among you. In the period that has elapsed since the last diet, faithful to my duties, and to the resolutions which I announced to you, as soon as I perceived the germ of destruction, I have opposed its developement. In order to consolidate my work, to ensure its duration, and to afford you the peaceable enjoyment of the fruits expected from it, I have added an article to the constitution of the kingdom. This measure, which prevents every necessity of exercising an influence in the elections of the deputies, or in your deliberations, proves the interest I feel in the consolidation of your constitution. This is the only object that I aim at attaining by the measure I have adopted; and the Poles, I am convinced, will duly appreciate this object and the measures employed to attain it.

My minister of the interior will lay before you an account of the state of the kingdom, as well as of the measures of administration that have been employed in the last four years. You will enjoy the rapid progress of industry, and acknowledge that if the public welfare has not reached the point to which my wishes and the care of the government might hope to bring it, the cause is to be entirely attributed to the general stagnation of commerce in the productions of agriculture. In other re

spects, great results have been attained. The national debt is near to being wholly paid. Two conventions determine the share of this debt which is to be borne by Austria and Prussia. A new law on the finances will soon determine all revenues and expenditure of the state. A ruinous deficiency had endangered your dearest interests: it has vanished. The excess of the revenue shall be spontaneously employed in paying off the national debt.

Negotiations with the court of Berlin to regulate the commercial relations between Poland and Prussia have been crowned with the happiest success by a series of friendly regulations, which serve as the basis of my relations with my ally. The convention ratified by me opens new channels to your foreign commerce. Your trade with Russia daily becomes more active and extensive. The facilities afforded to trade are doubly salutary, by the mutual prosperity which it promotes, and the new bonds which it creates

to unite the two nations.

My special attention has been directed to the debts with which private estates are burthened. A plan will be laid before you for an association of the land-owners. It is the result of many discussions, and of the opinion of your Waiwodes.

Religion, the source of all virtucs, the indispensable basis of all human institutions, seems to require the revisal of a part of your civil code. A committee chosen from among yourselves has undertaken this important task, and the project of the first book which it has discussed will be communicated to you.

My thoughts will accompany

« TrướcTiếp tục »