THE RIGHT OF DUKE FBEDERICK OF SCHLES-
Tris following abstract, written by a celebrated German professor of law, may be of interest to the general reader as it gives in a short space tba prominent opinion enter- tained in Germany regarding the Schleswig-Holstein qest- tion in its legal bearing:-
The right of Duke Frederick, of. Schleswig Holstein is comprehended in that of the country ot Scbleswig-Holstein, It bas been loudly re-echoed by the whole German nation it has now become a national affair. Here and there, doubts have been expressed, not merely by opponents in forelgn countries, hut also amongst ourselves, and aa it would ap pear chiefly by those who have the eonduotof .public affairs In some instances if, would, almost seem as though reasoni were eagerly, sought to avoid doing that which is demandât both by honour' and'justice. 'Doubts more futile hayi scarcely ever been raised. We will not tonoh opon eventi buried deep.in history. t Tho right ,kas its foundation ii them, and if this bas .been disputed, we have abundan! proof that it has been done upon wrong principles. Ac cording ,to the ancient law, tb> duchies of Sobleswiganc Holstein are inseparably united (by a real union) bot witt Denmark they stand only in a personal union the male lim alone having right to rule therein. ' The relationthio is pre oisely,the same SB that which fb'merly, existed ba'tweei England arid Hanover.' l'.Thé'next'rîght of succession bj the ma'e branch is vested in the house of Schleswig H6J stein Sonderburg-Aogustonbnrg.^ But whoever aoknotv'' ledges thia might say that things are obsnged now, or thai Duke Frederick, is unable to make good bia personal claim, Three prinolpal reasons are'alleged, and they are all equallj weak.. '.,'; ..,'.';""'... . '.',';. '..
I. Th» London Protocol.-lu the london protocol o: the trans lotions of. the five great. Powers, and. Sweden, ol the 8th of Muy, 1852, it is deolored that in consideration of the fact that the integrity of. the Dan¡Bh > monarchy 'was of great importance for the preservation of paace, and that the bett means to thU end would be the introdaotion of a new common entail,'the said l'liwers agreed to acknowledge that Christian, of Schleswig-Holstoin-Sonderbnrg-Qluoks burg, selected successor by the.King of Denmark, should became heir to the collective lands thea uni'od under the mle of the King. The protocol itself testifies that what it aims at was not law before. . We therefore ask : Could the Powers havo.intended, or could.they have thought, to create new rights by such a declaration, and nullify.existug ones ? Treaties of the great J?swei8 may aonfirm a new ' law, or may recognise what has been oslled into existence I by; tba foroe of avesta or by, the will - of the people. But lhere is nothing of the kind in the present i case,. 1 be act itself refers simply to the intention and wishes of the King, 'that the right of succession should be trmsferred to Prince Christian. This intention required to be reallied,'and the law had first to be esta- blished which the Powers prorolseto ratify. This occurred in Denmark, bnt not in Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauen bnrg. In Denmark the legal hoirs resigned their rights. Those in Schleswig- Holstein, however, and also in Lauca burg-we will not now ?' folly discusa the latter-did not waive their rights ; some expressly protested. The Danish parliament, the legitimate representatives of the Danish people,'eave their consent. The diets of the duchies of Sohleswig and Holstein have never been asked for theirs, bat hare, in fact, remonstrated, in deolded terms, against any obange in the old law of descent. Can matters be measured by this unequal standard ? Shall not that be granted as aright to the German territories which was granted to the Danish ? The duchies are certainly not con- quered próvineep, of .whose rights the Danish'parliament can dispose. When a similar change was once about to be I carried out in the states of the Home of Austria, the Prag- matic aanotion was laid btforo all thoso parts cf tho restira where diets existed, and was accepted by them. Without this it would _not have become law. Can ' Aaitria now, ia oar tithes, think that less Is njcessarr in tins case? - King Frederick IWof Prussia; in his well-known letter to the Duke of t Augustenbarg, clearly recognised the right of the male line in Schleswig-IioUtein. Can-tho King, by a sabsocjaent protocol, act aside what he formerly regarded as law? Can be impose upoa -his encoessor and his state an obligation to deny what is really la», and to reoognise what ia no law ? This right of' agnates is especially reserved In the résolution of the German Federation of the 17th Sep- tember; 184 G. No part of thia has been'changed. The Federation never assented, to the terms of the London protocol They are nothing to the Federation, and thia sufficiently invalidates them. Hence the conditions of the Londol protocol and its necessary presuppositions aro un- fulfilled. The very obligation laid upon King Frederick VU. by this treaty to fulfil the existing engagements to the German Federation has been violated. ' The Federation has been compelled to threaten him with Federal execution. This circumstance alone frees all the German states from whatever may have been conceded to tho King or to the kingdom of Denmark. The Grand Duko of Oldenburg ls then perfectly justified in having repudiated the recognition which he, among others, formerly made of the London protocol. A German government which should act difleiently, would accuse him of breach of good faith. Bat this cannot possibly happen. Tho London treaty gave no new hw to the duchies, cor did it nanni their ancient law or that of tho ducal hon-e. It is diametrically opposed to the wishes of the people ; it is a violation of all natara! interests. No German state is bound hy it, or can recognise
it without a violation of all law.
2 The Renunciation of the Duke of Augustenbnrg.-But farther, it ia asserted that the Dnkeof Augastenburg, the head of his house, has renounced his own claim and that of his family. He never renounced it. He executed a deed promising not to oppose any resolutions whioh King Frederiok VII. adsptcd, or might adopt, in reference to the order of succession. Af ter. long negotiations, and urged by Prnssia, ho consented to receive a moderate compensation for having been illegally deprived of kia large possessions in the Duchy sf Schleswig, in order not to bereave himself and his family of all means of living suitably le his rank of prinoe ; his consent was given to this form-but expressly to this only. He alone U personally bound thereby, no one else. The claim of bis family is not mentioned. He made the declaration on behalf of his family as well, but he bad not the power to prejudice their rights ia the least, nor has be done so. Two sons then of age did not gire their con- sent. Tho present dukp,-it is confidently ? asserted; has reserved bis claim. His brother did the same in the most dsoisive and publio manner. He laid his protest against this act before the Queen of England, in London, and thereby before the eyes of the subscribers to the protocol, and, so ' to speak, before the whole world. The rights of the house
of Augustenburg-that is, of Dnke Frederick-thus remain unimpaired.
? 3. Descent from Unequal Marriage.-But lastly, it is said Duke Frederick is debarred by inequality of birth from ruling; ia a German principality. Were lt so it would in- jure no law of the lana.- His uncle, Prince Noer, the son of a Danish. Princess, would be Mle rightful heir ia his stead. Bat suoh is not the case._ So far from it, that gross igno- rance alone could assort it, nor could it bo advanced in good faith by any one cognisant of tho foots. The home of Oldenburg never required parity of birth In aconBidorablo number of instances the issues of marriages contracted with the lower gradea of the nobility oame lo ike succession, and in moBt casts without doubt or dispute, in ons instance by special recognition. A Danish King raised a Countess Re ventlow to the throne with every honour and right. Her ohildrea were princes and princesses'of tho royal, hooae. This fast is so well known and acknowledged that a leading teacher of jurisprudence, Eichhorn has repeatedly cited lt as an instance in IIÍB lectures. The children of the Duke
of Angustecburg, especially the Grown Prince, the present Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, uniformly rooeived from the head of the bouse then King Frederick VI. of Denmark, the fell honours due to them ai princes of the house, and these honours have never been infringed or called iota ques- tion by succeeding tings.' Christian IX. will bo the last to do so, for his grandmother was a Countess Sohlioben, his great grandmother a Countess Dohna. And can his olaim to succeed to.tho Gannan,duchies be better than Dake Frederick's ? Let u< Bee their pedigrees : -
Frederiak Christian', Dake of Aaguatenbnrg, married Charlotte, the daughter of the Duke ot Pion.
Frederick Christian, Dake of Auguitmburg, married Louisa, daughter of the King of Denmark
GbriBtinn Charles Frederick August, Duke of AgoBten burg married Louisa, daughter of Count Djinneikiold Samaoe. 1 '
l)uke Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein.
Charles Anthony AngustuB, Duke of Beck, married Frederika, daughtor of Count Dohna.
Frederick Charles Louis, Dake of Beck, married Frederika Amelia, daughter of Count Schlichen.
Frede, ¡ck William Paul Leopold, Duke of Back (Gluoks burg), married Lousia, daughter of the Landgrave Charles
King Christian IX, of Denmark.
Wc may venture to assert that no reigning house in Germany can show a claim so . well founded as Dake Frederick's. If this be not granted there ÍB an end to all legltimaoy, and in this case, with the rights of the Prince, those of the land and of the people would bs violated, i The rights of the Frinco, and tho right! and wishes of the people have never been in greater, unison. ; . But upon their union depends tho preservation of order: in the state. By tho violation of one order is disturbed ; by the nealeot of both, ita foundations aro removod; . To prevent thia is tho interest af all nations and princes.
j Mr. Murray, among other ' publications about to appoar, I bas anew edition of the works Of Alexander Pope, by tho I Ilev. ffbi^fJl Blwin.J ; . . . 1