NEWS OF THE WEEK.
OUR last accounts of the disturbances in th-Netherlands came clown to the 2nd. They described the entrance of his Serene Highness the Prince of ORANGE into Brussels on the 1st, and his reception, a la cavalier, by the people and the civic guard; by whom that town is still held. It appears from subsequent arri- vals, that the desire of the Princes to enter Brussels at the head of the Dutch troops which had accompanied them to Antwerp, and then to Vilvorde, was publicly announced to the people of Brussels by a proclamation dated the 31st ult. The Standard, from certain passages contained in the proclamation of the • succeeding day, drew a conclusion unfavourable to the popular cause; but a very slight comparison of it with the proclamation of the 31st would put this question to rest, even had no subsequent event done so. The instant the latter document was made known, a resolution was passed, that twenty-four of the principal citizens should again wait on the Princes, to procure a change in their determination. Next morning a notice was posted up by the deputation—which did not return until midnight, and which was compelled, in its passage along the streets, to clamber over the banicac:os that had been.eoected in its absence—that the Prince Hoyt:. .vs (mid enter without troops, that he wished the Civic Guard to me...I, hiaa at the gates;,a.nd. it was further added (which shows the state of the public mind very clearly), that the deputation had guaranteed his personal safety, and that he should be at liberty to retire when he saw fit. Another notice, from the commanding officer on duty, summoned the officers of the various sections immediately to assem- ble in the square of the town-hall, each with the whole of his sec- tion in arms and in the best state. The followinc, amusing account Of the Prince's entrance on the 1st is given in the Courrier des Pays Bas. Had we seen the notice of the difficulties experienced by the Burgher Guard in filing through the barricades, and the adroitness with which ever and anon they resumed their order of march, in any but a Belgian journal, we should have suspected the editor of indulging in a sly hit at the waddling awkwardness of his compatriots ; but in the Courrier we have no doubt the admi- ration expressed is sincere. The barriers, by the by, could not have been very formidable affairs, as the Prince contrived to get over them with such ease. Had he been less sympathizing, we should have concluded that his overleaping of the defences of Brussels was intended to mark his .contempt for them and their defenders ; but the Prince, from his tears and his exclamations, seems to have been quite as soberly in earnest as the Courrier des Pays Bas, and the Burgher Guard. The astonishment of the Civic Guard at the apparition of a whole horseman in the square of the Palais de Justice, and their turn-out at the call of the senti- nel—to charge him, we suppose—might serve as a hint to- CRUIRSHANKS.
"Wednesday," says the Courrier des Pays This "was, for the peo- ple of Brussels, a day which will be recorded in our annals, as the Fede- ration is in the history of France.
" At eleven o'clock, the Civic Guard assembled in order of battle in the square of the Town-ball. The Civic Guards of the faubourgs were also present at the call of the Commander.
"The whole of this guard, ranged by sections, with flags and standards of the Brabant tri-colours, covered the whole surface of the Grande Place. ' All the citizens composing it were dressed in their best clothes, with a tri-coloured riband at their button-holes, and the number of their sec- tion in their hats. These glittered in the clear sunshine, and the officers were busily occupied in ranging the guards in order of battle. An immense number of spectators blockaded the windows of the neighbouring houses, and filled up the streets which ran in the direction of the Place.
"At half-past eleven o'clock, orders were given for the guard to march to meet the Prince; and immediately the companies of the faubourgs in the front, and behind them the eight sections; in proper order, moved forward under their banners in platoons. In all directions the guards met with the barricades which had been raised, and they were. conse- quently often obliged to march in file through a narrow pa-ssage, which had been prepared on purpose; and the evolutions necessary for these cha2zges in marching were performed with remarkable order and precision. On reaching Lacken, the head of the column defiled into three ranks, and cOntinned to advance in that way along the grand road of Antwerp to
the place called La Perche, where the head of the column stopped to wait the arrival of the Prince.
"It was now half-past twelve o'clock in the day. The line of guards extended from the church of the Finisterre, all along the street of the Pont-Neuf, the Rue de Lacken, and the road of Antwerp, as far as La Perche, drawn up in form of battle, three men deep, and occupying the whole of the above-mentioned extent.
"At one o'clock, the Prince arrived at the Pont de Lacken, and soon reached the head of the column of the Civic Guards.
"The staff received him, and the Prince, in a general's uniform, and accompanied only by four of his officers, went towards the city, passing along the front of the line. The guards presented their arms to him, but not a single exclamation escaped from the ranks. "The Prince, on seeing thise great preparations for an energetic de- fence, this compact mass of soldiers, collected together and organized, as if by enchantment, and the streets partly unpaved, appeared surprised and astonished.
"The Prince, in passing along the line of Guards, addressed a few words to several persons. He said= It is well, my friends ; it is well; your bravery has preserved the city 1' He said to M. Michiels, Captain of the 8th section, who formed part of the second deputation to Vilvorde, and had forcibly described the resolution of the people of Brussels to defend their town against the attack of troops= Well, M. Michiels, you see that I keep my word, and come and place myself in the midst of you!' "In the Place de la Menniere, cries of Vive le Prince,' 'Vive la Li- bert6," A has Van Maanen,' were raised. In the neighbourhood of the Poultry Market these cries became very frequent. Yes, my friends, long live liberty, and liberty you shall have,' the Prince replied, and burst into tears. "From the Grand lice the Prince proceeded with much speed, and accompanied only.hy 'iii aides-de-camp, and some horsemen of the Civic Guard, to the square of the Palais de Justice. In his passage he was often: obliged to spur on his horse,in order to clear the barricades: ; and as his escort could not keep up with dim, he arrived almost by himself at the Square du Palais de Justice. The Civic Guard stationed there, not understanding the reason of this unexpected arrival, got under arms at the call of the sentinel ; but the sergeant of the post soon recognized the Prince, and orderied the Prince advaffc towards them with extended ,ght, my friers, it is all right.' He then con-
arms to be presented, arms, exclaiming ' tinued his courselk .-e."
On the 3rd,. f* s Xer the Princes via; the d'enntation which had gOne to the 11---2,-ue, and whose return was so imp- tiently expected, published a report of their mission. The onliy fact which these gentlemen had to announce-to the fellow-citizens rwas, that the States.-General would be assembled on the 13th: the day of meeting has since, on urgent representation, been changed to the 9th. The King seems to have entertained a notion that he could not Concede anything to his subjects while they were in an attitude which enabled them to enforce their demands. He did not defend his Ministers, nor express the slightest displeasure at the charges against VAN MAANEN ; but to dismiss him wou1,1 be a derogation of the royal dignity—" it would appear as if he yielded with a pistol at his breast. "Unquestionably so long as the nation does not speak at all, or while it expresses itself but par- tially, the executive in the freest country must act to the best of its judgment ; and, having formed that judgment, it must not yield either to partial entreaty or partial threats. But when, in a free state, the whole or the majority of the nation speaks, the execu- tive has but a ministerial task to perform ; it ought then to look on itself merely as the machinery by which the national will is to be fulfilled. No doubt, it is at all times matter of difficulty to say what the wishes of the nation are, for in no state (in the Old World at least) has any sufficient means been devised for their correct expression; but when the capital of a kingdom rises in mass, it is a pretty strong symptom of the state of national feeling. There is no pistol to the breast in such a case, but a plain appeal to the understanding—it is not a robber who comes to demand a purse, but a creditor who comes, respectfully, but armed with full powers, to claim a debt. To say "I will not give you the money.," when the creditor is fully prepared and fully resolved to take it, and when it is acknowledged to be due, may be extremely digni- fied, but, rationally considered, it is extremely foolish.
In the evening of the 3rd, a proclamation, approved by the Prince Royal, was issued for the permanent organization of the Burgher Guard, which seems to have given more satisfaction than the report of the deputation. On the morning of the 4th, a deputation of young men from Liege entered the town, with an offer of assistance in case it were required to their brethren in Brussels. This deputation brought with it a quantity of arms, which were immediately distributed. The report of the Liegeois, who waited on the King at the Hague, on the 29th, was published on the 2d. We were led last week
to infer, from the resolutions passed by the inhabitants, that the demands made by their Commissioners were more numerous and pressing that those of Brussels, and were a little surprised in consequence at the report that they had met with so cordial a re- ception. It appears, however, that the Liege Commiss oner3 limited their representation to two points,—the assembling of the States-General, and the dismissal of the obnoxious Minister of Justice. To the latter demand, his Majesty's answer was the same its to the Bruxellois, "that his oath and his motto were to main- tain the fundamental law; and that he would not permit any body to dictate to him regarding the laws." On being strongly urged, however, he at length agreed to take it into consideration.
The indecision of the King, in his replies to the Brussels' depu- iation—or rather, his decision tci do nothing—produced the effect which such conduct invariably does : it produced prompt and de- cisive resolutions in the people ; and, as must always be the case where the petitioning party are aware of their strength, the refusal to grant a little was met by a demand for a great deal. No sooner had the deputation made their report, than the Commission ap- pointed by the Prince of ORANGE and the Duke D'URSEL passed a resolution calling for the entire separation of Belgium from Holland ; and the resolution being communicated to the De- puties of the States-General resident in Brussels, these gentle- men unanimously determined not to attend the ensuing ses- sions. The resolution of the Commission was announced to the Prince on the 3d. A correspondent of the Messager des Chambres supplies a graphic description of the scene that ensued at the Palace. The Commission was accompanied by the Staff of the Burgher Guard, the deputies of the several sections, and the members of the deputation from Liege, which, as we have stated, arrived the same day. When they had been ushered into the pre- sence of the Prince, he requested to be informed of their wishes. They replied, the separation of the two divisions of the kingdom ; and M. MOYARD added, in the name of the Burgher Guard, the immediate removal of the troops which still remained in the town. These were the troops which had been relegated to their barracks on the morning after the first rising.
• "The Prince—But then do you promise to remain faithful to the dynasty ? The Assembly, with enthusiasm—We swear it. "The Prince—If the French entered Belgium, would you join them ? "The Assembly—No, no. "The Prince—Would you march wfth me for our defence ?
"The Assembly—Yes, yes, we would. "The Prince—Will you say with me, ' Vive le Roi ?'
"The Assembly—Not till our wishes are attended to—but Vice le Prince! Vire la Liberte ! Live la Belgique!'" The Prince, it is added, shed tears at this burst of popular affec- tion; and such sensibility does him credit—although he seems rather "used to the melting mood." The Prince set off in the afternoon' to report on the resolutions and feelings of the people. As he had been sojourning for some days under a new flag (the old Brabant flag, which is a tricolour as well as the French and Dutch, though not the same three colours), the inhabitants of the Hague seem to have thought that they too must receive hint under a new banner. They accord- ingly hoisted the Orange colours ; and it appears that the Orange cockade is to be immediately assumed by all true Dutchmen. Al- though we have no John Bull affection for one colour more than another, we could have wished that the "Orange boven," and the black, red, and yellow, had been spared : such badges of party .often lead to disputes, and disturbances where more important differences do not. In the mean time, the resignation, as these things are always termed, of the unpopular Minister VAN MAANEN, which had been repeatedly tendered, has been accepted ; a sacri- flee to public opinion which will do more to subdue the Belgians than the Orange flag or cockade. This worthy, who has gone far to destroy the peace of the kingdom, and we might say, eventually of Europe, has, it seems, held office—of what kind we know not— for more than thirty-five years. Tenzpus abire art—it is time his accounts were made up. A contemporary- describes him to be "as unlit a Minister as a Constitutional King could fix upon : cold, stern, obstinate, despotic, listening to no reason, warmed by no sympathizing emotions, disposed to revenge, and implacable," and adds, "he would, in a country like England, have been handed over to ignominy." It occurs to us, that we have seen, in this country, Ministers, "cold, stern, obstinate, despotic, listening to- no reason, warmed by no sympathizing emotions," who, instead of being handed over to ignominy, have had clubs instituted to per- petuate their principles, and to hand over, as far as they could, to Ignominy all who refused to adopt them.
The latest accounts leave Brussels and the other towns in estate of resolute composure. The sentiments of the Bruxellois seem to be sympathized in more or less by the whole of the towns in the Netherlands. Ghent, which was at one time alleged to be actuated by petty feelings of rivalry, appears, from a private letter that we received yesterday—and though it contains no new fact, amply corroborates the account previously received—to be influenced by the same patriotic spirit as the rest. On the 5th, the day after the Prince Royal's arrival at the Hague, the following document appeared in the Government Ga- zette. It speaks calmly, moderately, and sensibly, on the condi- tion and prospects of the kingdom ; and proves ithat if the King had unhappily selected one foolish Minister, he has some wise ones to compensate.
" We, William, by the Grace of God, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange Nassau, Grand Duke of Luxemburg, 86c. to all whom these presents shall come, greeting ;
"Divine Providence, which has deigned to accord to this kingdom fifteen years of peace with the whole of Europe, internal tranquillity and increas- ing prosperity, has just visited the two provinces with numberless cala- mities, and the quiet of many adjoining provinces has been either troubled or menaced. At the first news of these disasters we hasten to convoke as extraordinary meeting of the States-General, which, according to the terms of the fundamental law, represent the whole people of Belgium, in
order to concert,with the nobles measures which the state of the nation and the present circumstances require.
" Attbe same time, ourtwo beloved sons, thePrince of Orange and Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, were charged by us to proceed to those pro. vinces, as well to protect, by the forces plkeed at their disposition, persons and property, as to assure themselves of the real state of things, and to propose to us the measures- the best calculated to calm the public mind This mission, executed with a humanity and a generosity of sentimen. which the nation will appreciate, has confirmed to us the assurance that even when it is the most agitated it will _preserve and proclaim its attacht ment to our dynasty, and to the national independence; and however on- heart may be afflicted by the circumstances which have come to our knowr ledge, we do not abandon the hope that, with the assistance of Divin- Providence (whose succour we invoke upon this important and lament- able occasion), and the cooperation of every well-disposed man, and the- good citizens in the different parts of the kingdom, we shall succeed in restoring order and re-establishing the agency of thelegal powers and the dominion of the laws.
" With this view we calculate upon the assistance of the States-Ge- neral. We invite them to examine whether the evils of which the coun- try so loudly complains arise from any defect in the national institutions; and if it is possible to modify them, and particularly if the relations esta- blished by treaties and the fundamental law, between the two grand divisions of the kingdom, should, with a view to the common interest,- be changed or modified.
" We desire that these important questions should be examined with care and perfect freedom ; and we shall think no sacrifice too great, when i we have n view the fulfilment of the desires, and to insure the happiness of the people, whose welfare has been the constant and assiduous object of our care.
" But, disposed to concur with frankness and fidelity, and by the most comprehensive and decisive measures, we are, nevertheless, resolved to maintain with firmness the legitimate rights of all the parts of the king-
dom, without distinction, and only to proceed by 6 methods, and conformably with the oaths which we have taken and received.
"Belgians! inhabitants of the different divisions of this beautiful coun- try—more than once rescued by Divine favour and the union of the citi- zens from the calamities to which it was delivered up—wait with calmness and confidence for the solution of the important questions which circum- stances have raised. Second the efforts of legal authority, to maintain internal tranquillity and the execution of the laws where they have not been disturbed, and to reestablish them where they have suffered any obstruction. Lend your aid to the law, so that in turn the law may pro- tect your property, your industry, and your personal safety. Let differ- ences of opinion vanish before the growing dangers of the anarchy, which in several districts, presents itself under the most hideous forms;. and which, if it be not prevented or repressed by the means which the funda- mental law places at the disposal of the Government, joined to those furnished by the zeal of the citizens, will strike irreparable blows at indi- vidual welfare and the national prosperity. Let the good citizens every- where separate their cause from that of the agitators, and let their gene- rous efforts for the reestablishment of the public tranquillity in those places where it is still menaced, at last put a period to evils so great, so that every trace of them may be effaced.
"The present shall be generally published and posted up in the usual way, and inserted in the official journal.
"Done at the Hague,the 5th of September, of the year 1830, and of the 17th of our reign.
(By the King) " Wittaam." "J. G. DE MEY DE STREEFEERK."
• There was at first some doubt whether the separation of the two portions of the kingdom could be gone about without the con- currence of the Powers by which they were joined: but this, it appears, was soon got over, by. a declaration of the "diplomatic body," that the proposed separation is no wise inconsistent with the arrangement of the allies. Prussia was the Power which caused most uneasiness, and most unnecessarily. Prussia has enough to do at home ; and even had she leisure and opportunity to extend her protection to her neighbour the King of Holland, as she did thirty years ago to his father, she would not be permitted. The Continent is not all absolute now. Free France will inter- meddle with no nation for the purpose of supporting the people, but she will allow none to intermeddle for the purpose of putting down the people. Let a single Prussian pass the Dutch frontier, and fifty thousand French will march into the Netherlands next morning. Our Belgian neighbours may sleep sound on this assurance.
On the subject of the separation, a strong representation was made to the King, on the 6th, by the people of Liege ; and on the same day, a resolution was signed by seventeen De- puties of the States, calling for a meeting of the Deputies at Brussels, until a definite answer was received to the propositions submitted to the King through the Prince Royal. Both these documents seem, however, to have been drawn up before the tenour of the King's Proclamation was known. In separating the Netherlands from Holland, and assigning to each its own in- stitutions, legislative and judicial—as was the case of Scotland and England- up to the commencement of the last century, and of Ireland and England to the commencement of the present—the States-General are only undoing what ought never to have been done. Setting aside all other points of difrerence—whiclt though numerous, are not important, at least not so important as to call for a review of the settlement of 1814-15—the a- ference of language, now as then, calls imperatively for a separation of the two kingdoms. There is something exqui- sitely absurd in calling on the legislators, the judges, the tadha - vocates, every Belgian who is connected with the Senate or Courts, to abandon the use of his own language, and to essay to convince or to persuade an audience in Low Dutch ! In the sepa- ration which the diversity of language imperatively demands, evea had it not been called for by other circumstances, there is no diffi _ culty to be encountered that was not encountered in England with reference to Scotland before the year 1707, and in Great Britain with reference to Ireland, before the year 1800. True, our pro- gress has been towards assimilation • and so perhaps may that of the Belgic and Dutch portions of WILLIAM FREBERICICS domi- nions, when they have been as long associated as the Scotch. Irish, and English parts of the United -Empire were before they were ranged under one Parliament.