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CONTENTS OF No. 205.
Art. I. - Hansards Parliamentary Debates. (New Series.) The despotic Governments of Europe, as they now exist, are THE
not characterised, under ordinary circumstances, by measures of violence and injustice. The law is administered by regular tribunals; person and property receive an efficient protection; cruelties, such as those practised by the Roman emperors and oriental sovereigns, are rare and extraordinary exceptions. The Government, if it is provoked by some act of insubordination, may, at times, resort to severe measures, beyond the law; but in the common course of events, it does not proceed to extremities. The main characteristic of European despotisms at present is, that they suppress all manifestation of opinion adverse to their acts and policy — that they permit no unfavourable criticism of their proceedings, either by speech or by writing, either in parliamentary bodies, in public meetings, or through the press. If, in a despotic country, the people do not approve of the acts of their Government, they must simulate approbation, or at least they must suppress disapprobation—though they may be in fact discontented, they must appear to be contented; though there may be a difference of opinions, they must make it seem as if there was perfect unanimity. The Inquisition of the Church of Rome is now a comparatively inert and lenient tribunal; but the political inquisition of the despotic Governments has taken its place; and by its spies, its private information, its secret procedure, its torturing imprisonments, and its unhealthy banishments, it as
VOL. CI. NO. CCN.