Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

how or other, he identifies with the triumph of Jacobin principles. It is in vain to tell him, that Napoleon is an Emperor, and no friend of Jacobins. It is in vain to remind him, that he himself thinks, or, at least, says, that the Emperor of France is a military despot. Still he connects the idea of triumphant democracy with the success of Napoleon in war or in peace; and he does this even at the very moment, aand in almost the very same breath, that he asserts the people of Germany to be in arms against Napoleon as their oppressor.

-I would be a waste of time to attempt to account for the way of thinking of such a person. We know the fact; and the effect is an unqualified support of the war.

-The Aristocracy and the Church support the war upon more rational grounds, it being notorious, that the Napoleon system strikes at the root of both. A man, who is new to power himself, all whose nobles are new, whose system is that of making all honours grow out of personal merit and well-known services, cannot be regarded as other than the enemy of an hereditary nobility. His system strikes at the root of all pretensions founded on family antiquity; and the surprising talents which that system, which was borrowed from the Jacobins, has brought into action, gall the very souls of those, whose rank is owing to their birth.- -The Church naturally are hostile to a system, which has taken away its wealth, and made the land free of an encumbrance, which the mass of its occupiers, though through wrong notions, in some respects, endure with impatience. The Church must naturally fear the effects

""

a free communication with a country wherein tithes have been abolished; for, such communication could not fail to give rise to the publication of statements most injurious in their tendency to the establishment. Therefore, the Church, as we always see, is for "a vigorous prosecution of the war. Another reason why Napoleon is hated by all those, who enjoy the emoluments attached to the education of youth in the public schools and colleges, is, that he has, by his regulations, stripped their trade of its principal support. He has made a knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages unnecessary to the admission to degrees in his learned institutions, He has, in fact, destroyed the last remains of monkery, by showing the world, that men may be truly learned without its aid. For this reason is he held in abhorrence by the Clergy, who think, and very correctly,

the continuance of the war. A farmer,
who, while such vast improvements have
taken place in all other arts and sciences,
still continues to cultivate his land in pre-
cisely the same way that it was cultivated
when people believed that the earth stood
still, and that the sun and moon set in the
sea; a farmer, who does this, cannot be
expected to dive into questions of political
economy, and to perceive, that he may
thrive by selling his wheat at ten pounds
Joad, and be ruined by selling it at forty
pounds a load. The very confined views
of the mass of this description of persons,
and which views are utterly incomprehensi-
ble to persons unaccustomed to see their
effect and to trace them to their source;
these views are a main support of the Go-
vernment in the prosecution of the war.
Where will you find a farmer, who wishes
to put a stop to the export of oats, or grain
of any sort, to Portugal, or Spain, or Sicily,
or to any other place? And, what are we
to expect from Counties, while these false
notions of interest prevail? And prevail
they must, from the same cause, that it is
almost as hard for a camel to pass through
the eye of a needle as to induce a common
farmer to attempt any, even the slightest,
alteration in the mode of managing his
land, though he has what to any other set
of men would amount to demonstration of
the benefit of such alteration.--When to
this cause of support of the war we add the
interests, the real interests, of all the per-
sons in the Army, the Navy, the Barrack
Department, the Dock Yards, the Tax Of
fices; and all their families and friends;
when we look at the buildings at Black-
water, at Wycombe, at Woolwich, &c. &c.
and consider the thousands of young per-
sons here breeding up for the purposes of
war, and consider the hopes of their pa-
rents and relations, who have in this way
placed them; when we add this most
powerful cause to the former, are we
to wonder, that the war has so many
supporters?
The fund-holder, too,
though the war daily diminishes the
value of his property, has lurking in his
mind the notion, that a peace which should
ratify the power of Napoleon would destroy
that property altogether. Thus he, too,
the most timid of all, is for a prosecution
of the war. He hopes, and his hopes are
fed by the news-papers, that war may, at
last, put down Napoleon, and the funds
will then rise in value. While he groans
under the effects of war, his mind is haunt-
ed with the fears of peace, which, some

[ocr errors]

that a free communication with France | deceived?- -I do not blame the ministers much for not attempting to make peace during the last winter; because, as I have said before, my opinion is, that there can be no real peace in England, unless the power of Napoleon be first greally diminished, or, unless we have a total change of syslem. But, is it not reas ble to

could not long exist without giving a fatal blow to their pretensions to superiority in point of learning, as well as to the whole of those notions from which they derive their vast power. -These are the causes of the support invariably given to the war, and of the readiness with which every report of success against Napoleon is credited.suppose, that, if he now succeed, no terms Were it not for these causes, which all of peace so good as he last offered, will unite to make people hope for the destruc- ever be obtained by us?In my opinion, tion of Napoleon, and to make them be- the worst thing that could be done by lieve, like all other people, what they hope, us was done at the time of Napoleon's it would have been quite impossible for the retreat out of Russia. At that time the lanpress to gain belief in the statements guage of our press (which, I dare say, was about insurrections in France, about the faithfully given to the people of France) soldiers marching to the army in chains, was, that the only way to peace was over and now in the statements about Napoleon's the dead body of the Emperor. This was, defeat at Lutzen.-Reader (for let me very bad; but, it was infinitely worse, or, hope that I shall find one, at least, to listen at least, more unwise, to say, as the Times to reason); then, I ask you, reader, if newspaper did, that the whole French nayou, upon reflection, do really believe, tion ought to be punished. They were rethat the Allies are likely to be triumphant presented as a wicked, a base, a bloodyin this war? You, as well as I, were minded race; they were, we were told, the assured, that the Allies had wholly de- willing instruments of his cruelty and rastroyed the army of Napoleon; that it was pacity, though, only a few days before, he impossible for him to raise another; that was represented as having dragged them to the people of France were ready to rise his army in chains. As long as it suited against him; that they placarded the walls the purpose of these vile scribes to reprewith accusations of tyranny and cowardice sent the people of France as oppressed by against him; that he dared not quit France him, and as being an object of our pity, again.- We have found all this to be they so represented them; but, when these false. Every jot of it has been proved to corrupt conductors of newspapers thought be false. We are now quite sure of its it expedient to change their tone, then the falsehood. And, will you still place re- people of France, not only the army, but liance on what is told us through the same the whole nation, became his willing inchannel?—We were assured, in terms struments !· -The effect of this is too equally positive, that the people of Ger- obvious to need pointing out. The people many, having felt his grinding tyranny, of France, upon hearing this language, had risen every where against his authority; upon reading these denunciations against that they were embodying themselves into them, must have said: "So, then, while corps and legions and armies for the pur- you thought our chief so strong that nopose of waging war against him; that their" thing but our defection from him could fury against him was absolutely ungovern- afford you a chance of resistance, you enable; that Frenchmen were every where deavoured to produce that defection by murdered by them; that his troops would "calling us an oppressed people, and by be driven back, not only to the Rhine, but saying that we were dragged to his armies within the boundaries of the old territories" in chains; but, the moment you thought, of France. -Has not all this been now "that he was down, and that his power proved to be false? Has he not already" was destroyed for ever, you changed your traversed great part of Germany? Have" tone with regard to us, declared us to the people, in any one instance, risen "have been his willing instruments, and against him? Have not the allied armies" inculcated the justice of making us sharers retreated before him?- -And will you," in the punishment with which you menaccan you, sensible reader, confide in any "ed him."—If this was not the precise thing; can you put your faith in any as- language, it must of necessity have been surance, that shall reach you through the the feeling, of the French nation, who thus same channel? Will you join in calling saw their fate inseparable from that of their an enemy of his country the man who shall chief, and who, as it was natural to expect, endeavour to prevent you from being again made immense sacrifices to give him the

66

"

1

means of warding off that punishment with | which both were menaced.I am not certain, indeed, that the people of France ever heard of these denunciations of our press; but, they might hear of them, and our children may have to rue the consequences. It was manifest to me, and to some others, from the time that Napoleon was compelled to retreat out of Russia, that his future fate depended, not upon the disposition of the Poles or the Germans, but upon that of the people of France only. If they were still on his side; if the love of glory, or any other passion, would still give him a French army, there appeared no good reason, why he should not again cross the Vistula.Those who expressed an opposite opinion reasoned thus: They said, that the people of Germany and Poland would now be against him; and, it was not unpleasing, at the end of a series of years, during which they had treated the people as nothing, to hear them rest their hopes upon the disposition and voluntary exertions of the people, and thus to make the people every thing. But, at any rate, this was their new doctrine. They said, that, on former occasions, the people had not risen against him; though, by-the-by, they, at the time, told us the people did rise against him to a man. However, this was their new doctrine, that the people were deceived by him before; but, that, now, having felt the grasp of his tyranny, they were no longer to be deceived; that they now abhorred him, and were all ready to shed the last drop of their blood in order to prevent the return of his authority, or that of his deputy sovereigns.- This reasoning was conclusive enough if the premises were left out of consideration; and, in such cases, men seldom embarrass themselves with premises. I have no means of knowing what was the precise difference between the operation of Napoleon's governments in Germany, and that of the governments existing there before; and, therefore, I could not positively assert, that the people might not wish for a counter-revolution. But, I must confess, that I took the non-resistance of the people upon the former occasions to be but too strong a presumptive proof that they were still disposed in his favour. For, as to his deceiving them; how was such a deception to be practised? He was then an Emperor as much as he now is. His government was well known. The sort of sway that he exercised in France was no Difcountsseret in Germany. He did not advance, as he formerly had done, with Liberty and

Equality inscribed on his banners. To compel the sovereigns of Germany and Russia to aid him in a war against England was his avowed object. And, if he met with no resistance from the people then, why was he to meet with it now?-As to the people feeling the grasp of his tyranny, we are to consider what sort of people it was, who must have felt that grasp. Those who had been most opposed to him, if any had been conspicuous in that way, would naturally feel it the most. He would assuredly not squeeze his friends, or those who became his friends. Besides, his exactions of money would fall upon the rich, and it is not the rich who fight ballles. It is very certain, that, if you injure the rich, the poor, for a while, at least, must be injured too. But, they do not see the real cause of their new sufferings, and are, as all experience proves, always ready to ascribe these new sufferings to their old masters. If, indeed, the old governments of Germany were so very mild and just, and the people so free and happy under them that any change must have been for the worse, I allow that the people must naturally be disposed to resist him now; and I cannot say, that they were not such excellent governments because I never was in Germany; but, then comes this difficulty, that, if the people were so very per verse as to fold up their arms and suffer him to over run their country before, in spite of the excellence of their governments, why are we to believe, that they will shed their blood now for the restoration of these very governments? And, if, on the other hand, the old governments were of a somewhat different description, what reason have we to believe, that the people will now die to the last man, rather than relinquish their endeavours to procure their restoration?This is my grand difficulty, and I should be very much obliged to any of the enlightened editors of our press, if they would condescend to get me out of it.- -In the mean while I do really see no signs of any resistance to Napoleon on the part of the people of Germany. I read, indeed, about the volunteer corps and the levy-en-mass in Prussia; but, I read about them before, not many days previous to the arrival of the news, that Napoleon had gone to the theatre at Berlin amidst the acclamations of the peo ple. I have no faith, therefore, in these accounts. I every where see volunteers and levy-en-mass until he approaches, and then I hear no more of them. I have

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

It

lately read of the patriotic stir in Hanover; | pers, any abuse of our King or of any of the but the map shows me, that Napoleon has Royal Family. Those papers do not call not been afraid, "coward" as he is be-them monsters, nor do they revile them in come, to leave that patriotic and inestima- any degree. They very seldom say thing ble Electorate in his rear; and I am not personal of any body in this country. without my apprehensions, that he will would, surely, be wise to follow their exhave the insolence to treat many other re- ample. They seem not to be in a passion. spectable seats of patriotism in the same They seem to take things coolly. The truth way. In my opinions upon this sub- is, they have not to gratify readers who are ject I may be deceived; I am by no filled with rage because they are afraid of means sure that I am right; but, I am not the resuit of the contest. While we storm, willing to dupe myself, and wish to prevent they smile. And this is the effect of a my readers from being duped. There is war, begun twenty years ago against the nothing which so degrades a nation, in my Republicans of France.In speaking of eyes, as its being the dupe of designing the prospects of the war, I forgot to take knaves. The abuse which is heaped into the account, against Napoleon, the upon Napoleon is very odious, and can- presence of the Duke of Cumberland with not do any good. If, indeed, the calling the allied army, though a circumstance of of him "the monster on the banks of the no small importance. It was reported, Elbe" would drive him back from that that His Royal Highness was about to take river, or, better still, plunge him into it, out the German Troops with him; but, it there might be some sense in the use of appears, it was thought much better lo such appellations; but, as they can be of leave them here. I have long wished to see no use, either to us or to our magnanimous some one of our Royal Family pitted Allies, it would, surely, be better to re- against Napoleon. We have seen German, frain from the use of them. If they ever and Russian, and Italian Princes often enough reach him, they cannot fail to make him pitted against him, but, never until now laugh at us. This is, however, taken for an English Prince of the blood Royal, and a mark of patriotism in this country, though we shall now see the effect that it will proit seems very difficult to find out the rea- duce. We now see a Royal Duke in the son. Any fool may call Buonaparté a mon- field against the Dukes of Napoleon, the ster. Nothing is easier; but, let any one greater part of whom were farmers' or shew me what valour or what sense there shop-keepers' or labourers' sons. We is in such reviling.For my part, I saw shall now see, whether these low-born a man prosecuted and found guilty of a men will be able to stand before him. Libel for abusing this same Buonaparté, But, I protest before hand against any atand, from that moment, I resolved never tempt to make us believe, that he has not to speak of him again in any other terms been in this or in that battle. We have than they would allow me to speak of any been assured, that he is with the allied other sovereign, whether at peace or at army, and, in that light we must constantly war with us; for, what a base thing must view that army. I consider him as a printhe press be, if it is to be muzzled or let cipal person in that army; I consider loose, as to the very same person, accord- him as carrying with him the spirit ing to the varying circumstances of peace of England to that army; and, I must or war!LORD CATHCART, I perceive, beg the gentlemen editors of the newscalls Napoleon "the Ruler of France." papers not to suffer him, by any means, to If this could check him in his march to- drop out of sight in their details.wards Petersburgh, it would be very right When his Royal Brother, the Duke of to use it; but, as it cannot do that, I see York, was engaged in the celebrated cam

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

no use in these nick-names. In all the ca-paign with the Russians, against a man lendars of Europe, not excepting those of whom Mallet-du-Pan called "a printer's England, he is styled an Emperor; and, boy of Limosin," I remember what a hartherefore, if I were in the place of Lord vest of glory was anticipated; and, I have Cathcart, I would not have made use of been very respectably assured, that, if it this phrase of affected contempt, which, I had not been for the baseness of the Dutch, repeat, can do no good, -The best way, who fought like devils against us instead of I believe, is to be civil. Good manners for us, the convention of the Helder would are due towards enemies; and, by a con- not have graced the Republican ammals. trary conduct men only show that they are But, we are not, according to our newsstung.We never see, in the French pa- paper, and, indeed, our official accounts,

liable to the same obstacles now, the people | to me (and I have observed them very narof Germany being all for the Allies. rowly) to be as stout "anti-jacobins" as His Grace of Cumberland has, therefore, any going. I have read their speeches for fairer play. Indeed, if only a quarter part a year past, though I have not remarked of what we have heard be true, His on them; I have noted their toad-eating Grace stands a good chance of pursuing Na- toasts; and I am glad to see them defeated. poleon to the borders of Old France, at the very least.The Duke is a General, and, of course, must be well skilled in the science of war. There is no man in this country, no public writer, at least, who will attempt to call in question either his skill or his courage. That being the case, I say, that we have a right to put his presence with the allied army into the scale against Napoleon, who has before fought the King of Prussia and the Emperor of Russia, but who never, until now, saw opposed to him an English Prince.I conclude, therefore, this long article by observing, that we ought, all of us, to keep our eye steadily fixed upon this important circumstance.

-Perfectly ready at all times I am to join my feeble voice to that of any man who shall ask for the placing of all dissenters upon a level with the people of the church in all respects. But, I am for no partial boons to this sect or to that sect. I am for no caballings of religious parties, by which the people are kept in a divided state, while the government gains strength. One sect comes after another, and is ready to give up the great cause of freedom, if those in power will but humour them in their religious whims, -I have no objection to the religion of the Catholic. I think a Catholic priest just as well qualified to forgive sins, and to have just as good authority for it, as our priests, who are authorized so to do by the Rubric. Eng. land was great and free when our fathers were Catholics. But, what I dislike is, that this description of dissenters from the church should come and demand a partial boon; and, more especially, that they should pretend, that it is for the good of all the sect, when they well know, and we know too, that it is only for the sake of gratifying a set of place-hunters.—I repeat, that I have observed in their proceedings nothing in favour of public liberty: and I do firmly believe, that, if the door of place had been opened to them, we should have found them amongst the most active and zealous of our persecutors. And, for this reason, that they are hungry. They want to share in the good things; and they very well know the only way to obtain their object. The Speaker objected to them upon precisely the opposite ground with me. He was afraid, they would range themselves in opposition to the Government: I think they would have been amongst the most ready and most useful of all its instruments. Morning Chronicle seems to think, that now we ought to have a parliamentary reform, and that we ought to have it, too, consequence of the rejection of this Bill.

-The

-The article is very curious, and I will insert it." After the Speaker had re"sumed the Chair on Monday night, we rejoice to learn that Lord Rancliffe gave notice of a motion on the subject of Par"liamentary Reform, for the 11th of June next. Every day's experience shews the necessity of such a reform as shall restore

CATHOLIC BILL.-As I expressed my opinion it has turned out. This Bill has been rejected. On Monday last, upon the motion of the Speaker to leave out the Clause giving the Catholics seats in Parliament, there was for the motion a majority of four, upon which the partisans of the Bill gave up the rest.- -I am, for my part, glad of this result. The Bill would really have done nothing at all for the great body of the Catholics, while it would have opened the way for a new and hungry set of placemen.. There are Protestant barristers enough aspiring to big wigs, without adding three or four score of Catholics to the number. I have quite enough of the hundred Protestant members of parliament from the "sister kingdom.” And, as to the army and navy, if any one doubts of our having generals and admirals enough, let him look at the lists. My firm belief is, that we have twice, if not thrice, the number that Napoleon has.It is a scandalous abuse of words to call the partisans of such a Bill, the "friends of civil and religious liberty." They should be called the friends of a new drove of placemen. The Bill would have given not one particle of liberty to any Catholic, or to any priest; but, on the contrary, would have taken some of the liberties of the latter away, for the sake of putting some of the laity into places. I never could discover, in any of the proceedings of the Catholic boards or other bodies, any thing in favour of public liberty. On the contrary, they appear

60

in

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Farm

evider

800,0

into

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »