Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

“We cannot advise that the license of bore the title of Counts of the Palatinate. marrying more wives than one be publicly But the son of the elector by Charlotte of introduced, and, as it were, ratified by law. Hesse succeeded to the throne without proIf anything were allowed to be known on test. Public opinion, meanwhile, had dethe subject, your Highness easily compre- clared itself strongly against the open bigbends that it would be understood and re- amy of Prince Charles Ludwig; and though ceived as a precept, whence much scandal morganatic marriages continued to flourish and many difficulties would arise. Your in Germany, his was the last involving a Highness should be pleased to consider the plurality of wives. Out of the empire, the excessive scandal, that the enemies of the custom was not more successful. Several Gospel would exclaim that we are like the Polish kings tried the practice of morganatic Ana-baptists, who have adopted the practice bigamy, but became very unpopular in conof polygamy, and that the Evangelicals, as sequence: and King Emmanuel of Portugal, the Turks, allow themselves the license of a who died in 1580, and left a son by a morplurality of wives. . . . But in certain cases, ganatic union, utterly failed in getting him there is room for dispensation. For exam- adopted by the states of the realm. ple, if any one detained captive in a foreign At the beginning of the eighteenth cencountry, should there take to himself a sec- tury, the matrimonium ad legem morganationd wife, for the good of his body and health. cam came to attract the attention of the highIn this and like cases, we do not know by est legal authorities in Europe, owing to an what reason a man could be condemned who attempt, on the part of a German prince, to marries an additional wife, with the advice destroy the civil consequences of such marof his pastor ; not with the purpose of in- riage-contract, and to give it the same value troducing a new law, but of satisfying his as that of the ordinary matrimonial union. own necessity. Nevertheless, even in this Duke Anton Ulrich of Saxe-Meiningen, in case, the marriage ought to take place the year 1711, united himself ad morganatisecretly, so that no scandal may arise.” The cam to Elizabeth Schurman, the beautiful upshot was, that Landgrave Philip of Hesse daughter of a captain in the army, a lady of kept his second morganatic 'spouse, and superior education, and exquisite tenderness induced others to do the like.

of mind. Becoming more and more enamThe above strange document, the genu- ored of his young wife, the duke after awhile ineness of which has been often doubted, but determined to make her his full and real with no show of reason, was published for consort, so as to lift her up to the rank of the first time in 1679, by the Elector Pala- duchess, and enable her and his children to tine, Charles Ludwig, son of the unhappy succeed him on the throne. As a first step “winter-king” of Bohemia, and brother of to this effect, he petitioned the emperor, famous Prince Rupert. Even at this period, Charles VI., to grant the title of Princess of the custom of marrying a morganatic spouse, the Empire to her; and while the appeal over and above the first wife, had not fallen was pending, he made such arrangements as entirely into abeyance ; but being in bad re- he thought would secure the succession to pute, the elector thought of propitiating pub- his children. Thereupon a violent storm lic opinion by an appeal to the Fathers of arose in the princely world of Germany, the Protestant Church. His Highness had every family protesting against the contembeen married for several years to the Prin- plated desecration of high-born privileges. cess Charlotte of Hesse, when he fell in love Loudest in their protests were the Princes with her lady of honor, Maria von Degen- of Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Anhalt, and Saxefeld, and resolved to unite himself to her in Eisenach, the nearest heirs to Duke Anton morganatic fashion. He did so with con- Ulrich, in the absence of legitimate offspring; siderable solemnity, notwithstanding the and seeing their advice to his Highness disprotest of his wife and her friends ; but regarded, they concluded a family pact maintaining to the last that his second union among themselves, declaring all morganatic was perfectly legal, according to the ancient marriages ineffectual, even if changed into laws of Germany in respect to princes. Maria ordinary alliances, and pledging each other von Degenfeld brought her morganatic hus- to oppose, if necessary, by arms, the advent band fourteen children, nearly all boys, who lof any of the children of Elizabeth Schurman. Against this decidedly illegal pact, place at Rome, in the presence of an Engthe duke appealed to the emperor, reiterat- lish clergyman, April 4, 1793, and, to leave ing at the same time his demand for the no doubt of its legality, was repeated at St. grant of a title to his wife. The emperor George's, Hanover Square, December 5, wavered long in giving his reply. The most 1794. The union, which only became known eminent lawyers of Europe were unanimous some time afterwards, was declared illegal in asserting for Duke Anton Ulrich the full and invalid by the English ecclesiastical power to marry either princess or commoner, court, as being contrary to the Royal Marand to install his consort in all the rights and riage Act of 1772 ; but the question having privileges of a real wife, as well as to give the been revived in later times, great doubts same rights to the children of such union. The were expressed by the most eminent jurists sovereign princes of the empire, on the other whether the annulment of the union was not side, energetically opposed this declaration the most illegal part of the whole proceedof principle, stating it as the basis of princely ing. The offspring of the duke's marriage law in matrimony that there should be Eben- were two children, Augustus Frederick, born bürtigkeit—equality of birth,—and protest- June 13, 1794, and Augusta Emma, born ing against any infringement of this law as August 11, 1801. The former entered the utterly pernicious to the welfare of the realm. army at an early age, under the name of The emperor, though leaning personally Augustus d'Este, and gradually rose to the towards the cause of Duke Anton Ulrich, rank of colonel. He lived at first a very rewas forced at length to give way to the tired life ; but the successive deaths of the pressure exercised upon him by the body of elder sons of George III. opening the perelectors and sovereign princes, and declared spective of the throne of Great Britain to the against the rights of succession of the duke's Duke of Sussex, he put his claim to legitichildren.

macy prominently forward. He did so parThe German kaiser having vanished from ticularly in the year 1830, during the season the world, and the empire being dead, this of general political agitation. The claim exdecision, though confirmed by the diet of cited great interest among continental jurists, 1747, is probably at present but a piece of on account of the involved succession to the waste paper.

The important question of kingdom of Hanover ; and a whole legion of the validity of morganatic marriages, as re- books and pamphlets were ushered into the gards the claim of children to the rank and world at the time, discussing the pretenproperty of the father, has in reality never sions of Colonel d'Este. Two of the most yet been definitely settled. George I. him- eminent German lawyers, Klüber and Zachself, it is certain, was married in morganatic ariä, declared themselves strongly in favor fashion to Fräulein Schulenberg, afterwards of the colonel's claim, and even assisted in Duchess of Kendal; and though the offspring bringing the question before the Frankfort of this union, represented in Lord Chester- diet, where, however, it was silently dropped, field's descendants, has no claim to legiti- in consequence of a hint from Prussia. When macy, the same cannot be said of other royal the Duke of Cumberland ascended the throne marriages of the same kind. Without speak- of Hanover, with no successor but a blind ing of the morganatic marriage of William son, the discussion was again revived, ColoHenry, Duke of Gloucester, with the Count- nel d’Este going so far as to present himself ess-Dowager of Waldegrave, September 6, before the Hanoverian chamber of nobles, in 1766, which is of no particular importance, 1834, with the demand to be admitted as or of that of his brother, the Duke of Cum- member of the royal family, and prospective berland, with Lady Ann Luttrell, on October heir to the crown. Threats of assassination, 2, 1771, which is scarcel more consequen- it is said, forced him to leave Hanover; wheretial, although in virtue of it a certain lady upon he went to Berlin, in 1836, to lay his continues to claim some ten millions sterling case before the King of Prussia, Frederick from the British crown, there remains the William III., himself morganatically marnotable match between the sixth son of ried. The king received him on the footing George III., the Duke of Sussex, and Lady of a prince, but did nothing for him ; and Augusta Murray, daughter of the Earl of so the affair gradually dropped, and was forDunmore. The marriage ceremony took gotten. Nevertheless, the Hanoverian lib

a

eral party-never reconciled to the arbitrary Danner, and the income of several large dorule of the house of Cumberland—are under- mains assigned to her. King Frederick was stood to have secret hopes that some change married twice before his union with the will take place one day in favor of the de- countess, and in both cases his consortsscendant of the Duke of Sussex.

the first, a Princess of Denmark, the second, The most notable morganatic marriages a Duchess of Mecklenburg—obtained a sepof recent years have been those of the late aration on account of cruelty. The matriKing of Prussia (just alluded to), of the monial action is said to be now reversed. King of Denmark, of Archduke John of One of the most curious morganatic marAustria, and of several princes of the royal riages of modern times has been that of the Bavarian family. The marriage of the King late Archduke John of Austria, the famous of Prussia with the Countess Augusta von Lord Protector of Germany during the Harrach, celebrated November 9, 1824, made stormy days of 1848. Archduke John, born considerable noise at the time, on account January 20, 1782, the sixth son of the Emof the bride being a zealous Roman Catholic, peror Leopold II. of Austria, distinguished and believed to be a pupil of the Jesuits. himself early in the anti-Napoleonic wars, The young wife, born August 30, 1800, soon during which he organized the insurrectionacquired an extraordinary influence over her ary movement of the Tyrol and the alpine aged husband, whom she seemed to govern countries of the Vorarlberg. Becoming thus entirely; and there were not wanting sinis- acquainted with popular life and manners, ter rumors that she intended to lead him he never lost his fondness for it; but at the over to the faith of Rome. The excitement end of the war retired to a small countrycreated by this rumor threatened to be dan- house near Grätz, there to enjoy the pleasgerous, and to allay it, the countess, in 1826, ures of rural life. He made frequent huntembraced Protestantism. She was created ing excursions, and in one of these had thereupon Princess of Liegnitz, and took occasion to require the services of the postpart in all official fètes and assemblies as master of Aussee, a little village in the the declared consort of the king. Even after mountains. It was late on a cold January His Majesty's death, in 1840, she was treated evening that he arrived at the postmaster's with the greatest respect by his successor humble dwelling, to ask for a carriage to and all the members of the royal family; take him a stage onward to his destination, and even had the honor of being inserted in The master, Herr Plochel, was not at home, the Almanach de Gotha, though only in the and all the carriages and horses were in use; rear of legitimate princehood, as veuve mor- nevertheless, the smart daughter of the house ganatique. Less honor has fallen to the volunteered to drive the humble traveller, share of another morganatic consort, the whom, by his dress, she held to be a pil. spouse of His Majesty of Denmark. King grim, in a two-wheeled cart across the hills, Frederick VII., now reigning, contracted, that he might not come to harm in walking on the 7th of August, 1850, a morganatic along the lonely road. So they set out, the union with Lola Rasmussen, whilom a mil-son of the emperor and the daughter of the liner's apprentice of Hanover, then a lady postmaster ; he silent and pre-occupied, she out of occupation at Hamburg, and finally, merry as a bird, chatting and singing alpine as the Gentleman's Magazine of October songs all the way long. Anna Plochel was 1850 quaintly reports it—“well known to not beautiful, but merely what people call the Copenhagen corps of officers.” Lola interesting; the archduke thought she was Rasmussen is said to have become ac- the most interesting creature he had ever quainted with the king, her husband, on the set eyes on. He shook hands warmly when occasion of a violent conflagration in one of set down from the humble cart; and the the main streets of Copenhagen, when she next day, to Anna Plochel's great astonishtook active part in working the pumps. ment, was again at Aussee. He stayed three She is not beautiful, but of great energy of days at the little village inn, had long chats mind, and is known to exercise considerable with little Clara, and at the end of the time influence in the government of Denmark. asked the postmaster the hand of his daughSoon after the celebration of the marriage, ter. Of course, the suitor was required to she was elevated to the rank of Countess of give his name and profession. “Johann,

a

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

were,

Archduke of Austria, late field-marshal ; : a member of the illustrious family of Saxenow out of enzployment.” Herr Plochel, a Coburg, otherwise so high-soaring in matriserious man, did not like the reply, and an- monial alliances. Prince Leopold of Saxegrily bade the visitor to leave his house, and Coburg-Gotha, born January 31, 1824,

brother of the king-regent of Portugal, never show himself again. In vain did the nephew of the king of the Belgians, and stranger plead that what he had spoken first cousin of the late Prince-Consort, united was the truth, and nothing but the truth ; himself, in March, 1861, to Fräulein Conall his arguments had but the effect of mak- stance Geiger, a young teacher of music in ing the postmaster more and more angry. the town of Vienna. The marriage cereSo nothing was left for Prince Johann bút mony took place in public, and with con

siderable to go to Grätz to fetch some friends who

pomp, although with a total ab

sence of court carriages. The witnesses would vouch for his “respectability.” This

Herr Haslinger, music publisher and he did, then got the postmaster's consent, composer ; and Herr Streicher, pianoforte was duly proclaimed in church, and married manufacturer, both uncles of the bride. The to Anna Plochel on the 18th February, 1827, musical element was as strong on this ocexactly three weeks after he had made her casion as the morganatic. The Vienna paacquaintance in the two-wheeled cart. Prince pers, which gave all the details of the cereJohn did not in the least make a mystery of mony, state that the bride wore a dress of the union, but forthwith sent word to Vienna this morganatic marriage, is that of the sov

brown silk, “ quite new.” Even later than that he had been morganatically married, ereign Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and would give himself the pleasure soon of which happened on the third of November introducing his wife at the Hofburg. The last. The bride, daughter of a Prussian kaiser laughed, the empress got into a fury. physician named Schulz, is said to be only The upshot came to be, that Johann's hum- nineteen, and very beautiful and accomble spouse was made a Baroness of Brandhof plished ; His Highness is sixty-eight. and Countess of Meran, with a large annual Morganatic marriages are certainly on the pension. When Archduke John was Lord increase in Germany at the present time; Protector of Germany in 1848, his morga- the fact is generally admitted even among natic wife acted as mistress of the house, in high conservative writers, and held to be, the hall of the Old Emperors at Frankfort- on the whole, favorable to the existence of on-the-Maine. Several sons were the off- royalty. It has been remarked for many spring of the marriage, the eldest, now called years past, that those illustrious families Count of Meran, born March 11, 1839. The among whom intermarriage had become countess is still living, being at present in most common, were obviously declining in her fifty-sixth year.

physical and mental strength; and this evil, Two princes of the royal house of Bava- it is thought, will be remedied after awhile ria—Prince Charles, uncle, and Duke Louis, by those alliances now called morganatic. cousin of the present king--are married in Few doubt that they are the stepping-stone morganatic fashion. Prince Charles, the from the present unnatural order of things, only brother of ex-king Ludwig-famous as by which a small number of persons stand poet, artist, and friend of Lola Montez_has aloof from the whole world in which they united himself to a Fräulein Bolley, the live, pretending that they are of different daughter of a schoolmaster. The marriage flesh and blood. That kings and princes took place in the reign of King Ludwig, should address each other in epistolary comwho, with his accustomed liberality, placed munication as Mon frère seems pardonable no obstacles whatever in the way of the enough ; but that they should be all real prince and the Fräulein, but was present at brothers, uncles, nephews, and cousins, apthe ceremony, and at the end of it presented pears to be undesirable. Nature, to some the fair bride as a Morgengabe with the title extent, has put a veto upon it, as demonof Baroness of Beyersdorf, and a charming strated in the case of the Hapsburg and park and mansion on the banks of the Lake various other royal houses. Perhaps the of Tegern, in the Bavarian Alps. The other family of German sovereigns-a strict circle prince of Bavaria, living in morganatic of brothers, sisters, and cousins begin to union, Duke Louis, of the branch of Deux- be aware of this fact; and hence the greater Ponts, is residing with his wife, a trades- number of morganatic marriages in modern man's daughter, in great retirement near the times, eren among the leading princes. Alcity of Landau, in the Palatinate,

ready the growing intelligence of the age Besides the above named, there are some has had its effect in this matter, and must fifteen other German dukes and princes mar- make its impress ere long on the barbarous ried in morganatic fashion; among them is matrimonium ad morganaticam.

a

LITERALLY TRANSLATED.

66

From The Dublin University Magazine. | with other names. Thus the list in question A CHINESE CASE OF BREACH OF PROMISE runs : OF MARRIAGE.

Mr. Spooney, the plaintiff,

Mr. Luke Sharp, the defendant. THE case is entitled a “Refusal of Mar

Mr. More Sharp,

the person who caused riage on the plea of Poverty.” It is quoted

the misunderstanding in the “Chêng-yin-chu-hwa,” one of the

between plaintiff and books written for the purpose of teaching

defendant. colloquial Mandarin to the Southern Chi- Mr. Adam Sharp, the acknowledged head nese. It is stated to be an authentic ac

of the Sharp clan. count of a case which actually occurred; but Miss Juliet Sharp, the fair object in dispute. however that may be, we may safely aver

and that si non vero, it is at least ben trovato.

Mr. Matchem, the go-between. Such cases are rare in Ningpo in actual life, but are a frequent subject of theatrical rep- As a general rule the original has been resentation. The translation is perfectly closely followed, without attempting a strictly faithful.

verbal rendering, which would only lead to It may be as well to give here a short ac- obscurity. No attempt has been made at count of the Chinese court of law.

improving on" the original. In some inWhen a Mandarin tries a cause, he sits instances, on the contrary, as in the speeches the Ta-tang — court-room, reception-room, of the Mandarin, towards the end, in which etc.,—at a table covered with red cloth, on he indulges in a great deal of “chaff” and which are placed the documents connected badinage, sufficient justice has not been with the case, pencils, ink, black and red, done; and as for the good man's puns, no and the chien-tung, now merely one of the attempt has been made to translate them. insignia of office. The chien-tung is a cylin- But as the Mandarin is not more happy in drical case containing ten chien or slips of his witticisms than some of his brethren, bamboo with the Mandarin's title engraved on the ben in England, his fame will or written thereon. These slips were for- nothing by the omission. merly used as warrants of arrest, but now the warrants are usually written on paper,

Plaintiff examined. and in a prescribed form.

Mandarin.—You are Spooney ? The clerks and other officials stand round

Plaintiff.-I am. the Mandarin—they are not allowed to sit in his presence. The witnesses when under ex

Mand.-What age are you, and what is amination kneel below the step at the en- your occupation? How many years is it

since your marriage contract with the Sharp trance of the court-room, which is raised a little above the level of the open space in

family? Why did you vacate that contract ; front. In criminal cases the defendant kneels and, having done so, why do you go to law?

Tell the truth! during the whole trial : in civil cases, at least when they are unimportant, he is generally student by profession. During my father's

Plaint.--I am thirty years of age, and a treated like the witnesses-kneeling when

lifetime he requested Matchem to act as gobeing examined, and retiring when the examination is concluded. When making a

between. Written engagements and hororequest, the petitioner, already of course on scopes † were exchanged between the fami

lies. After my father's death the property his knees, knocks his head on the floor. A list of the witnesses similar to that old I borrowed thirty taels (about £10) from

was much diminished. When twelve years which follows is handed to the Mandarin before the commencement of the trial, to

* Reading, namely, for the Civil Service Examenable him to call them the more readily, inations, or in other words, for a degree—the legitand to recollect their names. In the pres

imate passport to office.

† Previous to the ratification of the marriage ent instance the plaintiff rejoices in the name treaty, notes of the year, month, and day on which of Lang-chin-hsio. For the sake of euphony tho male and female were born, are sent to their we have changed this to Spooney, and for a fortune-teller. The usage is not now so universal

respective families, and generally submitted to a similar reason have taken a similar liberty as in former times.

FIRST DAY.

« ElőzőTovább »