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formerly excluded from the universities, and the only faculties cultivated at Salamanca were theology, scholastic philosophy, and canon law.
Thus, in a few years, the people who were the first to build ships, to work mines, to create manufactures, and to introduce a scientific agriculture, were tributary in all these respects to the intelligence and industry of strangers. Notwithstanding the natural sagacity and genius of her inhabitants, Spain retrograded, when she was refused the power of thought and expression -the power to examine and to investigate-to read and to print. It is not more than seventy years ago since Paul Anthony Olavides, the founder of the colony of the Sierra Morena in Andalusia, in which it was our fate, some years ago, to spend some happy days, was thrown into the dungeons of the Holy Office because he possessed a copy of the famous French Encyclopedie ; and forty years have not elapsed since a list of works prohibited by the Inquisition was placarded in all the churches of Madrid, among which were found the works of Pope, Locke, Blair, and the Abbé Mably. The odious tribunal to which we refer had certainly, in 1808, lost a great portion of its religious power, but it exercised, at the period we speak of, the political police of Spain; and it could pursue, as political criminals, those who had escaped its clutches as heretics. Con el Rey, con la inquisicion chiton, says the Spanish proverb. How, therefore, under such a system, could a newspaper press exist? It is no answer to say that, forty years ago, Spain counted twenty-two universities, whose origin dated from the sixteenth century ; probably some of these even from the twelfth. It as little meets our objection to state, that the capital possessed fifteen academies, thirteen colleges, four public libraries, of which the royal one contained 200,000 printed volumes. These institutions were made and modelled for times long since gone by, and of which modern society affords, even in Roman-catholic Spain, scarcely a trace. They were occupied in the study of the Liturgy, ecclesiastical discipline, and dogmatic theology, like the Greeks of the Lower Empire, when the Turks were battering down the gates of Constantinople. Neither the books in the national libraries, nor the teachers in the national universities, nor the system taught, were calculated to awaken the national intellect or to cause ideas to spring up which would fructify to the production of a patriotic spirit. As well might the Spaniard of forty years ago have consulted the hieroglyphics of Egypt, or the papyrus of the catacombs, for useful matter for present use, as to have consulted their professors or universities, or the class-books there in use. From the want of a
free press, the national spirit found vent in the songs and ballad poetry of Spain, and in the songs and ballad poetry it must be looked for, rather than in leading articles. The only education which the great mass of the people there received was from an ignorant and bigoted clergy, and all such priestly instructors taught had chiefly reference to religious duties.
Backward as England was at the period of the breaking out of the Peninsular war, she possessed sixty times as many institutions for public instruction as Spain; while France, then torn by war and revolution, possessed sixteen times as many. Even the kingdom of Poland, after centuries of calamities, possessed at that period five times as many educational establishments as the peninsula; and the only population equally backward and barbarous was the population of Russia. While London and Paris possessed, half a century ago, the one its five and the other its three or four daily journals, Madrid and St. Petersburgh contented themselves with two official newspapers, the Gaceta de Madrid and the Gazette of St. Petersburgh. The account which Don Manuel Godoy, Prince of the Peace, who aspired to the character of a Mecænas, gives, in the second volume of his Memoirs,* of the benefits which he conferred on Spanish literature, is the most amusing thing possible; but, amidst the long list of authors and translators aided by his patronage, he does not cite the name of a single journalist. During the period of the Cortes, in 1812, there was some glimmering of a spirit of free inquiry and of a free press, and some scintillations of a constitutional spirit were evoked by the speeches and reports of Munoz, Torrero, Augustin, Arguelles, Espiga, Mendiola, Jauregui, Oliveros, Garcia, Hereros, Ruiz, Padron, Toreno (afterwards minister), Villanueva, and O'Gavan, by whose efforts the Holy Office was abolished, as incompatible with the constitution. From 1812 to 1822 various journals appeared; as El Censor, a weekly print, La Miscellanea, a daily paper, which received contributions from the most enlightened of the Afrancesados, and more particularly from Cambronero, minister of justice to King Joseph. There was also El Constitucional, conducted with some ability by Don Joaquin de Mora, and the Minerva Nacional, modelled on the plan of the French paper, the Minerve, suppressed by the Censorship in the reign of Louis XVIII.; but all these addressed themselves only to sections of the public, and the result was that they were neither understood nor rewarded by the nation at large. In the last six months of 1822 many other journals glimmered like meteors for a moment
* Memoires du Prince de la Paix. Paris, 1836.
and were gone; but
them all none attained a European reputation, with the exception of the Zurriago and the Cartas del Pobrecito, Holgazan of Mignanos, and the Atalaya de la Mancha, the latter written in a servile spirit, and in favour of pure despotism. Some scientific journals undoubtedly existed in Spain from a much earlier period, as, for instance, the Diario de los Litteratos de España, which has appeared for more than a century, the Diario Curioso, the Memorial Litterario de Ciencias y Artes, the Miscellanea Instructiva y Curiosa, the Variedades de Ciencia, Litteratura y Artes; but none of these, though supported by some good names in modern Spanish literature, as Antillon, Blanco White, Tapia Gallando, &c., were political journals in the generally understood sense of the term.
The one or two political journals, originating in 1822, that survived till 1823, expired soon after the suppression of the Cortes, when everything again relapsed into the ancient system. The old plan of study and of university education was again revived. The Vulgate, the Breviary, and an epitome of sacred history, were marked out as the basis of instruction in Latin, and the works of St. Thomas Aquinas as the manual of theological students. Such was the narrow and bigoted system of the government that even students in law were forced to devote half their university course to the study of a book entitled De und Religione.
In the following year, 1824, a famous decree of Ferdinand suppressed all the journals, with the exception of the Diario and Gaceta of Madrid, the Gazeta de Bayona, and the provincial newspapers, exclusively devoted to commerce and the arts and sciences. On the death of Ferdinand VII., and after
, the establishment of constitutional government, a vast number of newspapers started into existence, representing various parties and fractions of parties. The editors and contributors, like children that had been long restrained by severe control, proceeded to use their arms and pens with more vehemence than discretion, and the result has not been very creditable to the taste or literature of Spain.
To any man who is in the habit of reading the Spanish papers even for a single month, it must be very apparent that the people are still in their constitutional infancy. The wordiest and the most wearisome discussions are continued for days and weeks on the veriest trifles, in the most stilted style and the most sounding language. If it were to be assumed that a country were enlightened in proportion to the number of its daily and evening 'best possible instructors, Madrid would stand, in morning papers, on an equality with London or Paris, and in even
ing papers above either ; for it has its six morning and seven evening papers; but when we state that the whole twelve or thirteen journals do not circulate as many copies as one morning London journal, it may be conceived how paltry and insufficient must be the profits of the most popular organs among them. In Spain, as in France, and as in America, the influence of the press has been lessening from the increased number of journals.
The Americans, a practical and business-like people, who value things at their money worth, have a resource in the profits of their multitudinous advertisements, and can make a livelihood out of a journal of a tolerable circulation. But in Spain no such resource offers, for the number of advertisements may be generally counted by fives, sixes, and sevens, and rarely exceed a dozen. The Faro, of one of the last days of September, a paper expressing the opinions of the most numerous section of the Moderados—that headed by Mon and Pidal-is now before us, and though the establishment has adopted a new system of advertising in large letters, lowered the price to halfa-real a line of seventy letters, yet the number of advertisements just amounts to one dozen. The Postdata, Imparcial, Neutral, existing during the past year, very often contained not a single advertisement, and this constantly happened also in the Conciliador, the Catolico, and Pensamiento de la Nacion. The Gaceta, combining the government with the legal and judicial announcements, often published but nine ads, as advertisements are called, for short, we believe, in England, lamong the makers-up of London journals. The organ of the late premier, Pacheco, seldom contained above half-a-dozen advertisements. Considering, therefore, the smallness of the circulation, the numerous journals, and the few advertisements, newspaper property cannot, as a commercial speculation, pay at Madrid. Editors, and leading article writers, and contributors of all kinds, are therefore obliged to look to parties and factions for reward and promotion; and as many of them have succeeded in getting into publio employments of trust and emolument, and as some of them have even forced their way into the ministry, the calling is looked on with some sort of awe and admiration. This is true more especially since 1837, for since that time Martinez de la Rosa, an old and a feeble newspaper writer, Lopez, Gonzalez Bravo, Mon, Pidal, Ayllon, and the present finance minister, have all been connected in one way or other with newspapers. Mon and Pidal, both advocates when in the ministry, occasionally wrote to the Postdata in a poor, stiff, inelegant style, which would be scarcely tolerated even in the humblest section of our own provincial press. Since they have been excluded from NO. XII.
power they have set up an organ of their own, called the Faro, in which is daily found either some abusive or some Jesuitical article of either one or other of the brothers-in-law.
Salamanca, the present Minister of Finance, though incapable of writing himself, established a newspaper, called the Universal, edited by Escosura, his Minister of Gobernacion, at the close of 1815, and now he has also an organ, called El Correo, in which his opinions are put into decent Spanish by some clerk or secretary. The fact, therefore, that newspaper writers sometimes arrive at the post of minister, ambassador, and political chief, causes deputies to turn their attention to the press as a political speculation, and induces many young men to embark in the career of journalism. Though newspaper writers do not exercise in Spain so great an influence on the public mind as in France, for the simple reason that journals are less powerfully written and less read, yet they are looked up to with more admiration and respect than in Paris by the million, and are more frequently elected to the Cortes, and presented to places of high honour and emolument. One instance of this is presented in the history of Gonzales Bravo, a man of a character so questionable that he could have risen to eminence in no other country than Spain. This person, distinguished in his youthful career by excesses and irregularities of no commendable kind, became, in his early manhood, proprietor and editor of a journal, El Guirigay, more infamous than the Age or the Satirist, was elected to the Cortes, gathered a party around him of more than forty deputies, became Minister of State and President of the Council, and for three or four years filled the high office of Spanish Ambassador in Portugal. That he possessed some smartness and shrewdness as a writer and a speaker cannot be denied; but he was as scurrilous as unscrupulous, and as unprincipled as the late Theodore Hook; and who in his senses, in England, ever thought of such a man as minister, minister's secretary, or for any berth whatever under the government after his connexion with the John Bull ? Yet Hook was a man of infinitely more talent, and a thousand times more acquired knowledge than Gonzales Bravo. The difference between England and Spain is this—that in England we look to character and conduct in public men, while they are more lax in these points in the Peninsula.
The official paper of Madrid is the Gaceta de Madrid, which is published at the Imprenta Nacional, and which may be obtained at every post-office throughout the kingdom. The price of subscription by the year, in Madrid, is 260 reals, and by the month 22 reals. In the provinces and colonies the subscription is higher-out of Madrid, but within Spain, the journal