Imatges de pÓgina
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that the ADied sovereigns can listen for a moment to any proposition for allowing the sceptre of that country to remain in the polluted hands that now hold it. Great indeed will that negociator's faith be, who shall hereafter put confidence in the promises of Napoleon ; and little must he be acquainted with the history of modern times, who shall consider the peace of mankind secure, while such a being is permitted to walk the earth. He and his equivocal race, with all his perjured ministers and marshals, must, if by any means it be practicable, be swept completely from off the theatre of Europe as intolerable pests and nuisances.

This incipient war with France points out the extreme importance of preserving peace with other countries. It will call for the most dextrous management of the Prince Regent's ministers, as well as for the appropriation of much of the disposable means of the kingdom. To suppose that a niggardly application of these will be sufficient, would be folly of a shameful kind. The public will not be justifiable in expecting more than that they be applied to the best purposes, and without profusion. Men and money, and able counsels, are the desiderata of the crisis; and if they be not found promptly as well as plentifully, they had much better be withheld. Napoleon does not, like the States General of Holland, take matters ad referendum; nor does he proceed with his expeditions, like the ardent spirits at the head of affairs in Spain, who give those they mean to attack, though situated on the opposite side of the globe, a full twelvemonth's notice of their hostile intention.

It has never been proved, though the proof has been attempted, that the object of the Congress at Vienna was not the general tranquillity and happiness of Europe. It has however been said, that the course they have pursued, is not merely unwise in some respects; but, upon the whole, contrary to that which the world had been led to expect they would prefer. The re-establishment of all ancient thrones-the reinstating of all princes and illustrious families in the verferated mansions of their progenitors-together with the restoration of all their former privileges to all free states —these are the events which some people expected would distinguish the commencement of the second golden age : instead of which, some sovereigns are not restored at all, others only with impaired rights—while princes are kept in ignorance of their doom —and free states, celebrated in history, desired to avoid disappointment by expecting nothing. This is the shady side of the picture : it is an aspect in which it ought never to have been viewed. For who warranted the public in forming such expectations ? Not the Regent's ministers, not the ministers of any friendly power, and least of all the Congress itself: but the Parisian dealers in delusive inuendoes, and the editors of English Journals, who could at no time know one whit more of the intentions of the Allies than the most secluded of their fellow subjects.

The members of the Congress were aware from the hour they first met, that it became them to seek the promotion not of partial, but of universal good. They accordingly contemplated Europe as one great field, no part of which had a proprietor. None of them needed to be reminded that it had frequently been trodden by unhallowed feet, and deeply tinged with the best blood of the species ; and accordingly they prepared to do their utmost either to render the recurrence of enormous guilt impracticable, or to provide adequate means for repressing and punishing it. This momentous question then presented itself: shall we, scrupulous about the rights of all considered separately, suffer the great European commonwealth to be as unhappy as it was twenty or thirty years ago—when one ambitious potentate could with impunity transgress every lawful boundary; or, shall we rather, by abstracting from the claims of some, render the practice of injustice by one power towards another, if not absolutely impracticable, at least perilous in the extreme? The latter principle was adopted; and if through its application, the peace of mankind shall be effectually insured, future ages will not impute to that in which we live as a heinous crime, the simple fact of having, from motives every way benevolent, assigned to Europe one or two sovereign princes less than it once contained.

In this way, one may reason both for and against the measures discussed at Vienna. As for ourselves, we think that the outline of those measures is equally correct and bold; and that they will in no great space of time, exhibit the characteristic features of wisdom, especially if it should please the great Disposer of events to call Napoleon Bonaparte to another world: may it be a better

one! But should he be spared and left at large, the effects of the grand system proposed by the Congress, will be comparatively unimportant. For those princes and states, whose entire claims it has been found impossible to grant, may, consulting their feelings more than their reason, take part, in some future enterprise, with him who is known to have a talent by which he can defraud and delight at the same instant. In the present contest, the worst that can be expected of Norway, Poland, and Saxony, is that some of their disappointed chiefs will feel chagrin, and express it warmly. And if some sacrifices have been required in Italy, for the purpose of defeating the projects of France, the greatest gainers by those sacrifices will be the very nations of whom they have been required: the Lombards, for instance, will henceforth possess their iron crown, without being bruised with Napoleon's iron rod.

It has long been obvious, that France is the quarter from which the greatest danger to the independence of nations is to be apprebended. But the necessity for warding off that danger has arisen, before the guardians of mankind could arm and take their ground: they are surprised in their tents- although it ought to have been present to their minds, that there is a man to whom scarce any thing is impossible except the practice of virtue.—They know the arduous task which they have to perform. They also know their own means; and no doubt have calculated the value of the co-operation they may expect from surrounding nations—from those whom they have been able to gratify; as well as from others in whose bosoms some unkindly feelings may be supposed to rankle. We would hope that the circumstance of some of the former being under the influence of the Inquisition, or of personages who once were French Marshals, is not alarmingly ominous; and that if any of the latter should be disposed to lend no aid, they will at least attempt no resistance. King Ferdinand's having sent to Elba some Merino sheep and thorough bred mules, imports nothing fairly applicable to the present case. Napoleon, it ought to be remembered, had long afforded his dearly beloved cousin the rites of French hospitality; and, of course, had a powerful claim on his gratitude.

Next to the lamentable posture of public affairs, occasioned by

Napoleon's unexpected return to France, the means and the mode of that event are the circumstances which now create the greatest interest. Nobody ought to have supposed that that restless, faithless being, could long be detained in any place which he disliked. Elba was the retreat selected by himself: but its being so was not a proof that he would ever like it. It was, however, a substantial reason for not placing him there ; and it will long be matter of sincere regret, that Lord Castlereagh's opinions were not permitted to influence that part of the negociation. Napoleon never entertained the humiliating idea of coming to England, to be the scorn of honest men : Caulincourt's having repeatedly declared that he did, ought to have satisfied every body that he did not. He chose Elba, not for the happiness he expected it to yield him; but because he could there, better than any where else, mature the plans already laid with his marshals ; and, as a sovereign, enjoy an uninterrupted epistolary intercourse with bis brother Joachim, and the sympathising females who had been waltzing and singing duets in Switzerland, with the Empress Maria Louisa. Add to this that he could, with the old mathematical books of which he made so ostentatious an exposure when about to quit France, perfect his knowledge in dynamics; and, at the same time, fix on the rock to which he seemed condemned, the lever which was to move Europe.

To have left the tyrant his head and the choice of his residence, was, as we all know now, more than could consist with the welfare of mankind. Yet there was, perhaps, nothing very in provident in the treaty of Fontainebleau. Lord Castlereagh, who, by being nobly solicitous to shield the exalted character of the Emperor of Russia, affords to those of our countrymen who foresaw but did not choose to foretel all that has happened, daily opportunities of throwing the odium of the measure on himself—Lord Castlereagh has publicly stated, that it was not the habitual humanity of Alexander, nor yet the paternal tenderness of Francis ; but the urgency of circumstances arising out of the relative condition of the contending powers, that induced the Allies to suffer their eternal enemy to place himself where he could overlook Italy and France -still rich, and furnished with the nucleus of another armed host. At such a critical juncture, considerations purely humane were

not admissible. And had the daughters of Francis been as numerous as those of Danäus—and all of them wedded to the Napo. leoni-it would ill have become him as the father of nations, to yield to an ordinary impulse.

Napoleon's unheeded departure with an armed force from his epitome of an empire, his uninterrupted march over more than half the extent of France, in the presence of troops sent against him by the reigning sovereign ; his peaceful entry into the capital, and quiet occupation of a throne which he had lately abdicated; would form no unfit subject for romance, were they not historical facts as solemn as they are real.

And could neither the love of virtue, nor the detestation of vice, raise one patriot arm against this bold intruder? Ove would imagine, that the story of his matchless guilt were already either forgotten or forgiven in France. Be this as it may, two important questions present themselves : If almost every arm in France has been stretched out to receive Napoleon, and hardly one to oppose him, is he not the choice of the people ? And will not any foreign interference in the affairs of France be a crime?

Napoleon may indeed be the choice of those ferocious men whom he had trained to war; and whom, while fortune smiled, he led to victory, and enriched with the spoils of unoffending nations. But he is not the choice of the unarmed population of France-of the peaceful cultivator of the field, the industrious man of business, or the ingenious promoter of the humanising arts. They have had no opportunity of expressing their will, and least of all could they express it either by words or deeds, during his march to the capital. For then the forces which had been called out to oppress him, regardless of the solemn oath they had just before taken, opened an easy route for him, and covered, according to the best rules of Adjutant General Ney's tactics, both his flanks and his rear-repelling every approach of loyalty, and suffering no voice to be heard but such as uttered treason. Never was refined deception carried to such a pitch. The armies sent to oppose Napoleon had been augmented, disciplined, and officered by the minister of war in such a way, as to insure a friendly reception to the invader, whose appearance, though hastened by the apprehension of some unfavorable step being soon taken at Vienna, was by no means

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