Mr. Campbell to Mr. Seward.
Sir: The two chambers of the Swedish diet, according to the change in the organic law adopted at the last session, met on the 19th instant, in the grand hall of the palace, to hear the address from the throne. The members of the diplomatic corps were present by invitation. The address (of which No. 1 enclosed is a copy, and No. 2 a translation) was read by the King in person. Its most noticeable feature is the distinct ground taken against interference with continental questions, and the policy expressed of maintaining the present limits of Sweden and Norway, which the King regards as the natural boundaries of the united kingdoms. This is looked upon by those who favor a union of all the Scandinavian countries as a distinct declaration that the government will not countenance any such project. The administration has unquestionably adopted the most prudent line of policy, and in the long run it will be found more safe than intermeddling with Danish and German questions. The elections, under the altered condition of the law, were conducted without popular excitement, and indeed, it appeared, without popular interest. This may be owing to the absence of questions of a local or political character sufficient to create interest in the public mind. Contrary to general expectation, the nobility have one-third of the representation in the reconstructed chambers, the peasants rather more than one-fourth, and the remainder is divided between the burghers and the clergy. Thus it appears the nobility and peasants maintain their ground, while the principal sufferers by reform, so far as the exclusion from representation is concerned, are the clergy and burghers. It is claimed that the liberals, or progressive party, who inaugurated the new order of things, have a decided majority in both branches. The chambers elect their respective committees. The King appoints the presiding officers. But reforms, like revolutions, never go backwards, and already the press and members of the diet demand that the officers shall be elective by the bodies over which they shall be called to preside. Nothing of more than ordinary local interest, it is thought, will come before the chambers at this session. At present they are occupied in perfecting their organization under the changes recently adopted.
The winter thus far has been unusually severe. Great quantities of snow have fallen, and railroad communications are frequently interrupted.
The mails arrive irregularly, and at this time I have been two weeks without mails from America.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.