The King’s Health.
It will be seen from our private letter, that unfavourable accounts respecting his Majesty’s health were circulating in London at 7 o’clock on Wednesday evening. In our last we alluded to the suspicions which the non-appearance of bulletins for four days after the first, gave rise to. On Monday a second bulletin appeared, certainly not of a character to remove the public anxiety, and this has been followed by two days’ silence. Every one naturally puts the question, “If his Majesty is better, why not state this in a bulletin, that the thousand discouraging rumours in circulation may be put to rest?” The Morning Chronicle says, that the high officers of State are not much better informed on the subject than others, and that a knowledge of his Majesty’s real condition is confined to the very few immediately around his person. In the absence of correct information, inferences are drawn from every passing circumstance. It was observed that Sir Henry Halford very shortly after his return from Windsor on Tuesday morning had a long interview with the Duke of Wellington ; and it has not escaped notice, that his Majesty’s sister, the Duchess of Gloucester, had been sent for to visit him. The Globe says, that according to reports which are circulated in high quarters, his Majesty’s illness excites considerable alarm, and that gout in the stomach is complicated with dropsical symptoms. What credit may be due to these statements, we cannot tell; but whether they be true or false, they furnish a reason for the publication of official intelligence. The King’s health is a matter which concerns the public deeply, and all mystery and deception on the subject are most reprehensible. We refer to our London head for a variety of articles upon the subject ; and if this night’s mail bring any additional information of importance we shall publish it in a secoond edition.
The two Houses of Parliament meet again on Monday.
We publish the address of the Birmingham Union to day, and meant to accompany it with some remarks, but have only time at present to express out regret that so masterly a paper, dealing in great and immutable principles, should have its value lessened by being so much mixed up with ephemeral matters, and with false or questionable doctrines respecting currency.
The passion for emigrating to Swan River has not received any check. There are four ships now at London, and as many more at other ports, which are preparing to sail for the settlement with passengers. Indeed the numbers who are flying from the country at this moment who are, we believe, quite unprecedented. Within the last ten days we have seen notices of fifteen ships that were loading with emigrants at Hull, twelve at Waterford, and several at Bristol, Liverpool, and Greenock, all destined, we think, for the United States, or British America. The exportation of human beings from the British Isles, to different quarters of the world, must now be proceeding at the rate of one or two thousand per week.
It will be remembered, that according to reports from India received some time ago, Lord William Bentick had issued an order, abolishing those horrid human sacrifices, the Suttees. Doubts were thrown upon this intelligence when the subject was lately talked of in Parliament ; but we are happy to say, that its accuracy is confirmed by the arrival of the official document. It is disgraceful to the British Indian Government, that it has been hitherto either so callous, that it overlooked this enormity, or so ignorant of its own resources, and the true state of the people under its authority, as to believe that it had not power to effect its abolition.
The report of a revolution having taken place in Chili, is confirmed in letters from Bogota. The constitutional Director, Pinto, has been driven out of the capital by General Prieto with an armed force, and great excesses are said to have been committed.
A small fleet sailed lately from Cadiz for Havannah, with 2000 soldiers on board. The expedition is supposed by some to be intended for the invasion of Mexico ; but it is more likely to find employment in keeping down the elements of insurrection in Cuba– The plot to which we alluded in our last, seems to have excited much alarm. Some of the most opulent families in the island, with several lawyers and official persons, were concerned in it. Their object was, as we conjectured, to convert the island into an independent republic.
From a detailed list published in the French papers, it appears that the expedition against Algiers is to be composed of 34,000 men, infantry, cavalray, and artillery.
Farther intelligence has been received from the capital of Colombia to the 14th of February. A warm address had been presented by the Congress to Bolivar, entreating him not to abandon the republic at a moment when its existence was menaced by conspiracies; and he seems to have once more consented to remain in office. Commissioners had been appointed to proceed to Valentia, and endeavour to accomodate the differences between the people of Venezuela and the central government, by peaceable means. If these failed it was determined to employ force. The Congress was in session at Bogota, and was proceeding to fulfil the object for which it had been assembled, by drawing up a new constitution. The bases are published, and though the present only an imperfect sketch of its plan, they disclose one or two features which seem to be characteristic. The government is to be central, as it has hitherto been, not federal like that of the United States, which has served as a model to Mexico, Guatemala, and La Plata. In the one case the supreme authority is vested in a single legislature, which meets in the capital ; in the other it is divided among a number of local assemblies, while the general congress representing the whole, wields no other powers than what is necessary to hold the separate members in a state of union. The federal system, which leaves to every province the management of its own concerns, has advantages for a settled and enlightened community ; but whether it is equally adapted to the circumstances of an ignorant people newly escaped from political convulsions, is very questionable. There seems, however, to be a partiality for the federal system in the new world ; and to humour this feeling, the new constitution provides, that “Chambers of Districts” shall be established, with powers to decide on all municipal and local affairs. The difficulty will be, to give these bodies the powers necessary to develope the industry and resources of the country, without permitting them to impose taxes, and exercise other legislative functions, which will interfere with the business of the general government. Another articl state, that the members of the Senate and House of Representatives are to hold their seats for a considerable time, in order ” to avoid the inconveniences resulting from frequent changes, or the repeated election of the same person.” In the mouth of an English statesman, we should consider this vile sophistry ; but allowance must be made for the res dur? novitas regni, in a new state like Colombia, formed of heterogenous elements, among which it is not easy to establish any principle of cohesion. One the same grouns, the Columbian legislators may be pardoned for resolving that the Catholic religion is that of the state, and that no other shall be permitted. This is merely a concescession for the sake of peace, to prejudice which the government is not strong enough to subdue, and cannot defy without great danger. Nothing is said about the mode of election, or the power of the President, two points of vital consequence, which may give a new complexion to the whole scheme. We have made these remarks on the proposed constitution, because it probably holds out the last chance of composing the trouble of Columbia. If it does not satisfy the people other provinces will soon follow the example of Venezuela, and all the address and influence of Bolivar will not prevent the republic from splitting into four or five independent communities, whose mutual jealousness and wars will crush the librties, and destroy the prosperity of the whole.
Private Correspondence. London, Wednesday Evening. The King’s Health
We are sorry to state that the private accounts received from Windsor this afternoon, do not speak so favourably of his Majesty’s health as the Court Circular, and most of the assertions of the papers published this afternoon. There having, however, been no bulletin issued up to the present hour (7 o’clock) must
Citation: Scotsman (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 24 April 1830, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/216.