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other person of the party there, would have appeared to us quite natural. General Bertrand always talked of coming home in a year. Gourgaud has mentioned two as the term of his service. M. and Madame Montholon have, we believe, expressed the same sentiments; but we are convinced that the return of Las Cases at this season is a part of the system. Buonaparte sends him as Noah did the raven from the ark, to see if the waters have subsided, and whether the time approaches when the chief of the sacred family' may descend from his rock in the midst of the waters.
Las Cases will arrive with the crown of martyrdom on his head, and a budget of Buonapartiana at his back-he will invoke all the morbid sensibility of all the enemies of all the governments of Europe, in favour of unfortunate greatness and persecuted fidelity. Hearts that were not so weak as to sigh at the murder of the Duke d'Enghien, or the more obscure, but not less certain fate of Palm and Wright, will bleed for the exile of the faithful Las Cases, and the culinary privations of the Great Napoleon; and the restricting his table to twenty bottles of wine a day will excite the commiseration of those who witnessed with unmoved placidity the calumnious and cowardly persecution of the Queen of Prussia.
We here pause.-Impressed as we are with a deep sentiment of the consistency and strength which the revolutionary party have obtained, and are hourly increasing throughout Europe, we shall not fail to recur to the subject whenever we see the press of this country called in aid of the schemes of Buonaparte, or of Buonaparte's auxiliaries, and we shall contribute our mite to the resolution of that famous problem, whether, in a free press, the force of reason and truth, and the principles of order, good morals, and true religion, are a match for the adroitness and the audacity of the philosophers of the Revolution and their disciples-the loose in morals, the factious in politics-the preachers of liberty, the practisers of despotism-the weak and the wicked, the giddy and the godless.
ART. X.-1, Report of the Secret Committee.
2. On the present State of Public Affairs. Anon. 8vo.
3. A Proposal for putting Reform to the Vote throughout the Kingdom. By the Hermit of Marlow. 8vo.
THAT HAT was an unhappy state of society in which every citizen was so closely interested in public affairs, that it was declared criminal by the laws for any one to be neutral in times of public com
VOL. XVI, NO. XXXII.
motion. The poets and philosophers, as well as the divines, have ever reckoned an exemption from cares of this kind among the first blessings to be desired by those who would live well and wisely; and truly it is no light evil to men who would fain live for posterity and for themselves in the worthiest sense, when these cares break in upon them, to interrupt their labours, and disturb the tranquillity of their meditations. The course of ordinary politics is to them like the course of the seasons, to be regarded with no greater anxiety, in sure belief that the same Providence which disposes the seasons will dispose the events of the world also in such manner that they shall work together for good. Such things require only that calm and pleasurable attention which is necessary for obtaining a competent knowledge of current history; and the violence with which party-matters are agitated, and the occasional gusts of popular passion are to them like the wind, which bloweth as it listeth. But when questions are at stake in which the great interests of mankind, or the safety, honour, and welfare of their own country are nearly concerned, it is no longer fitting that they should look on as indifferent observers. By the fundamental laws of England every man is bound to bear arms against an invading enemy; and when worse dangers than invasion are designed and threatened, it becomes the duty of all those who have any means of obtaining public attention, to stand forward, and by resisting the danger endeavour, as far as in them lies, to avert it.
It is unnecessary in this place to adduce proofs that such designs are actually existing: we have too much respect for the judicious part of our readers to employ their time upon this topic, and too little hope of the factious, to mispend our own in attempting to produce an effect upon schirrous hearts and distempered intellects. There is an admirable print among George Wither's Emblems, having for its motto, Cacus nil luce juvatur: it represents an owl standing, in broad sunshine, with spectacles on its beak, a lighted candle on each side, and a blazing torch in each claw; and the more light there is the less is the owl able to see. No happier emblem could be conceived for a thorough-paced oppositionist of the present day
For what are lights to those who blinded be,
Some of this class deny the existence of any combination for overthrowing the government, of any treasonable practices, or any seditious spirit; and they deny it in good faith: for they have so long been accustomed to the use of inflammatory language, to argue in favour of the enemies of their country, and to wish for the success of those enemies, in pure obstinacy of party-feeling, that
they are perhaps incapable of understanding the object which their own conduct has constantly tended to promote. There are others who, being a little more accessible to conviction, admit that a conspiracy has been formed, but affect to despise it because the persons who are implicated are of low condition; as if in these days rank and fortune were necessary qualifications for a conspirator! But let it be remembered, that of all the shocking diseases to which the human frame is liable, the most shocking and the most loathsome is that in which it is devoured by the vermin which its own diseased humours have generated: and to despise the present appearances in the body politic for this cause, would be as absurd as to disregard the first symptoms of that frightful malady by which Sylla was consumed. The error of these persons proceeds from inattention to the great and momentous change which the public press has produced in the very constitution of society. Formerly the people were nothing in the scale-we are hurrying on towards the time when they will be every thing. Like the continental physicians, such statesmen would pursue the expectant system, and trust to the vis medicatrix. Where the danger is imminent, strong remedies must be applied; if the bones are tainted, they must be searched till the joints are loosened-how else should the poison be expelled?
The Lord Mayor, with his usual discretion, has assured the public that no plot or conspiracy has existed against the government, and that the Report of the Secret Committee is, to his own knowledge, incorrect: for it states that an attack had been made upon the magistrates, and this was not the fact; the people had not attacked either himself or any other magistrate-he had only been fired at by some wanton and drunken individual. Common sense will allow of such a distinction as little as common law. The story is well known of a duellist who proposed to mark out his own lean dimensions upon the waistcoat of a corpulent antagonist, saying, that if he did not hit him between the lines it should go for nothing: the Lord Mayor's reasoning has all the absurdity of this proposal without the wit. Does he believe that the shot was fired because the individual was wanton and drunk, or because that individual was engaged in an actual and fore-planned insurrection, having in all likelihood made himself drunk for the work? For what purpose, does he imagine, had the rioter provided himself with firearms, either before the insurrection, or in the plunder of the gunsmiths' shops? It was no attack, because the man was drunk! By the same reasoning, no attack was made upon Mr. Platt; and it has indeed more than once been remarked in extenuation of that atrocious act, that the assassin was intoxicated:-he was so; and what was the remark of one of his associates upon that point—that 'the KK 2 drunken
drunken dog had spoiled all!'-because in his drunkenness he had precipitated the execution of a plot which was soberly laid. His lordship also tells us that he is a member of the Union Club, and vouches for the loyalty of that association. It would be well if he called to mind that Petion, who, like himself, was a popular mayor, was, like him, also a member of a club of reformers, which club would have brought him to the guillotine, if he had not escaped that fate by perishing of hunger in the open fields! The Lord Mayor is a most active magistrate; no man pursues a thief with more alacrity, or collars one with greater spirit; in the language of the fancy, he is game. Nor is this his only merit-he goes through his business with decision and dispatch. But when he meddles with state-affairs, he reminds us of the old adage, Non ex quovis ligno Mercurius-it can never be carved into the bust of a statesman, though it may do very well for the sign of the patriot.
Men engaged in parties, says Bishop Burnet, are not easily put out of countenance. The Lord Mayor denies that he was attacked, though he was shot at; and he would persuade the public that there are no symptoms of a revolutionary spirit in the deluded multitude, though Sir James Shaw, in his presence, seized a fellow bearing the tricolour flag in the Royal Exchange! The Livery of London, in per fect conformity with the opinion of this magistrate, resolved to petition Parliament not to pass any laws restricting the rights of the subject, without allowing the people to ascertain the truth of the alleged grounds upon which such measures had been proposed.' Such a resolution could hardly have been expected from the mayor, aldermen, and livery of Gotham! Information which it is not prudent to lay before Parliament otherwise than through Secret Committees, because, if it were prematurely made public, the guilty would have warning to elude the pursuit of justice, and the persons who had given evidence for detecting them might probably be murdered, the Common Hall would submit to the people, that they may ascertain its truth: they petition Parliament to let the question be tried and decided by the whole people, instead of putting it in train to be brought before a jury! They take no notice of the great retrenchments which have been made; on the contrary, they imply that no such measures have been taken, as far as it can be implied by words without uttering a direct falsehood; and they avow the opinion that there is a settled design in the present ministers of the crown to trample upon the liberties of the people, and to establish a despotic government.' Mr. Favell, in proposing these resolutions, so remarkable for their moderation, their wisdom, and their truth, trusted that the Livery would be willing to die in the last ditch in defence of their rights! Brave Mr. Favell!-did
he mean Fleet Ditch, or Shore Ditch? And Mr. Hunt the Orator, pathetically, yet heroically observed, that if the Habeas Corpus were suspended, ministers would have a right to drag him to a dungeon and imprison him until the act expired. They might torture his flesh, he said,—they might impair his constitution, but he gloried in the idea that they could not destroy a noble mind! Heroic Mr. Orator Hunt! But these magnanimous patriots may calm themselves. The worthy members of the Livery are in no danger of dying in a ditch, provided they do not walk too near one on their way home from a Reform dinner; and Mr. Hunt will not have bis flesh punished if he appoint no more pugilistic meetings, or keep them no better than his appointment with mine host of the British Coffee House.
When God only intends the temporary chastisement of a people,' says Cowley, he does not raise up his servant Cyrus, (as he himself is pleased to call him,) or an Alexander, who had as many virtues to do good as vices to do harm, but he makes the Massaniellos and the Johns of Leyden the instruments of his vengeance, that the power of the Almighty may be more evident by the weakness of the means by which he chuses to demonstrate it. He did not assemble the serpents and the monsters of Africa to correct the pride of the Egyptians, but called for his armies of locusts out of Ethiopia, and formed new ones of vermin out of the very dust.'
The thing which has been, it is that which shall be!' How greatly might it profit the people if they would look back upon the demagogues who in other generations strutted their hour as lords of the ascendant, and were drawn in triumph by the deluded populace through the streets of London! Such a retrospect, beginning with Titus Oates and ending with Colonel Wardle, might teach the Londoners a little to distrust their own sagacity. The Turks preserve a saying of their prophet, If you are perplexed in your affairs, look for assistance from the inhabitants of the tombs:' but alas! for the multitude, the experience of their fathers is buried with them, and the lessons of history, dearly as they have been purchased, are in vain.
The invincible attachment which the French bear to their country is one of the best traits of the French character. No distance, no time, no wrongs, can diminish it. Wherever they may be placed, whatever injuries they may have sustained, though their property should have been confiscated, their family butchered, and themselves proscribed, we have seen that the honour of France was still dear to them; insomuch, that for this cause the emigrants were often known to rejoice at victories which prolonged the time of their exile, and seemed to render it perpetual. In this respect they greatly excel us: for, melancholy as it is to confess the dis