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Notes of a Traveller, on the Social and Political State of France, Prussia, Switzerland, Italy, and Other Parts of Europe

Notes of a Traveller, on the Social and Political State of France, Prussia, Switzerland, Italy, and Other Parts of Europe

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Excerpt from Notes of a Traveller, on the Social and Political State of France, Prussia, Switzerland, Italy, and Other Parts of Europe: During the Present Century

In 1836 Mr. Laing published A Journal of a Residence in Norway, and, in 1838, A Tour in Sweden. These works were much read. The views they gave of the physical and moral state, and comparative well-being, of two nations living in the Scandinavian peninsula, under totally distinct social systems, were considered very curious and interesting. They directed the atten tion of political philosophers to singular results developed in Nor way upon the multiplication, well - being, and morality of its isolated population, by the great diffusion of property and of legislative power, and by the perfect political equality of all classes in the social body; and to equally singular results in Sweden, arising from a social structure altogether the reverse of the Norwegian. Tri?ing as/these works were as literary productions, they awak ened the public mind in Europe to the unprincipled attempts of the Swedish cabinet to subvert the liberal constitution of Norway, although virtually guaranteed to the Norwegian nation by England and the other allied powers, and formally accepted and sworn to by the Swedish monarch himself; and they had the effect of raising around the Norwegian constitution the impregnable bar rier of the European public opinion, which the Swedish monarch and his cabinet are forced to respect. When the last of these two works appeared, a semi-official notice was given in the govern ment newspaper of Stockholm, that a refutation of the statements and reasonings contained in them would be published - that is, observed the other newspapers, provided they can be refuted. Two years, and much diplomatic wisdom, have been expended in doing into. English those Swedish ideas on government and national morality which constitute this official long-promised refa tation. It has at last dropped unnoticed into the world, in the shape Of a two-shilling pamphlet of sixty-five pages, On the Moral State and Political Union Of Sweden and Norway, in answer to Mr. S. Laing's Statements. Two shillings are not much money, yet a pamphlet may be very dear at two shillings.

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