ページの画像
PDF
ePub

and chiefly for the sake of the matter of fact it contains. Speak. ing of the constitution of Canada after its conquest, in his letter to Sir H. Langrishe, he says, ' In that system, the Canadian Ca

tholics were far from being deprived of the advantages or dis

tinctions of any kind, which they enjoyed under their former • monarchy; and when we gave them a popular representation,

by the choice of the Landholders, and an aristocratic representration, by the choice of the Crown,--neither the one nor the o

ther was limited by a consideration of religion. It is true, that I some people here (and among them one eminent divine) pre. dicted, that, by this step, we should lose our dominions in A• merica. He foretold, that the Pope would send his indulgences " thither--that the Catholics would fall in with France--would • declare independence--and draw, or force, our other colonies in" to the same design.—The independence happened, indeed, ac

cording to his prediction, but in directly the reverse order ; all our Protestant colonies revolted ;--all joined themselves to • France ;--and it so happened, that Popish Canada was the only

place which preserved its fidelity, - the only place in which • France got no footing. ' Such were the fruits of the only full and complete toleration which this country has yet extended to Catholics. Let any candid person say what would have been the consequence, if all persons of that persuasion had been disabled and disconnected from the government in Canada, even as they now are in Ireland ?

From the recorded opinions of Mr Pitt or Mr Fox, it is need less to quote any thing ; but there is another testimony, upon which also Death has now set his seal, the import of which may not be so generally known. Mr Windham, in a letter to Sir J. Hippisley in 1808, expresses himself with his usual manliness and candour, in the following words.

6 The short argument is, that in this, as in other cases, you must chuse between opposite dangers; and that the danger to be apprehended from leaving the Catholics of Ireland in their present state, is greater than any that can be supposed to arise, in whatever length of time, out of the increase of their present privileges. The condi. tion of Ireland is, for the greater part of its population, that of a sort of semi-barbarism ; which not only keeps that country in a depressed state, deprived, for the greater part, of those advantages which nature seems to have intended for it, but renders it, in the present circumstances of the world, a source of continued and imminent danger to us. This depressed and disordered state seems to have been altogether produced by the system of laws and government adopted originally, perhaps necessarily, but since continued unnecessarily. With respect to the Catholics, without converting them, the only operation of these laws has been to brutalize and barbarize them, rendering them at the same time our enemies. Of

C 3

these

these laws, the grenter part have, during the present reign, been repealed; and, upon the same princiole, as also with a view to con. vey to the Catholics the real and practical benefit of what has already been done for them, it would be right, in my opinion, to repeal the remainder. Tire danger of such repeal, even at any period the mos: distant, I cannot per suadc myself to be any at all. If the Church of England is ever to be overturned or undermined, it will not be by the Catholics, b'il by sects of a far different description, or by persons of no religion whatever." p. 86, 87.

The li's Pi a nt bihop of Elphin, an Irish bifhop, speaks thus of the Citolies around him.

“ By far the greatest part of the population of my diocese are Roman Catholics. I know I cannot make them good Protestants ; I therefore wish to make good Catholics of them; and, with this intention, I put into their hands the works of Gother, an eminent Catholic divine.” He adds, that “ speculative differences in some points of faith were of no account. His Roman Catholic brethren and himself had but one religion, the religion of Christians ;--and that, without justice to the Catholics, there could be no security for the Protestant establishment” App. p. lxxix.

The opinions of Dr Paley are fortunately well known; and, we have no doubt, will ultimately produce much effect. Those of Bishop Watson, parhaps, are equally notorious ; but we cannot resist the temptation of copying the following advertisement to his charge to his clergy, delivered in 1805, but not given to the world till 1808. It is in these words.

" A numerous and respectable part of the clergy of my diocese requested me, at the time it was delivered, to publish the Charge now submitted to the world. I excused myself from complying with their request, because I considered the Catholic Question to have been then settled, at least for a time ; and I was unwilling to revive the discussion of a subject, on which I had the misfortune to differ in opinion from a majority in each House of Parliament. I have still that misfortune ;-but, looking upon the situation of the empire to be abundantly more hazardous now than it was three years ago, I have thought it a duty to declare publicly my approbation of a measure, calculated, I sincerely believe, above all other measures, to support the independence of the country, to secure the stability of the throne, to promote peace among fellow subjects, and charity among fellowChristians; and in no probable degree dangerous to the Constitution, either in Church or State.” App. p. lxxix, lxxx.

Another testimony, more honourable and more unequivocal, has still more lately bien borne from the same Venerable Bench.

The Right Revered Dr Bathurst, Lord Bishop of Norwich, in the · Jast debate upon this great question, delivered a specch, in sup

port of the motion for going into a committee, so full of sound reasoning, candour, and conciliation, as to make a sensible impression on the whole of his noble auditory, and from which we

would

would gladly make a large extract, if our limits did not now impose upon us the necessity of drawing to a conclusion.

To these names we fhall add another, which we believe was nepas coupled with them before--the name of the Right Honourable Dr Patrick Duigenan! This learned person, who has lately maintained, that to admit Romanists into Parliament, would be to call ' traitors to the sovereignty ;' and described the Catholics, in general, as persons taught by their religion to renounce and disobey ' the legislature of their country; and thus to allay superstition

with treason, and to sanctify rebellion :'--this very zealous and charitable person, in a printed letter addressed by him to Mr Grattan in 1798, when his employers were canvassing in all quarters for the Union, is pleased to give it as his opinion,

-" That were we one people with the British nation, the preponderance of the Protestant Body in the whole empire would be so great, that all rivalships and jealousies between Protestants and Roa manists would cease for ever ; and it would not be necessary to curb Ro. manists by any laws whatever.” p. 59, 60.

This is enough for D. Duigenan: nor should we have thought it worth while to bring the incon Gftencies of such a writer into notice, if the passage now cited did not prove how very openly and clearly the avowed agents of government held out the promise of entire emancipation to the Catholics, when their aid was fupposed to be necessary to render them and the English Protesta ants 'one people.' That great event has now been accomplished for ten whole years; and our readers have already seen, in the recent language, and the recent honours of Dr Duigenan, how scrupulously his promises have been kept, by himself and by his constituents.

ART. II. Mémoires du Prince Eugène de Savoie, Generalisseme

des Armées Autrichiennes. Ecrits par lui-même. 8vo. Paris,

1810. An acquaintance with the general facts of modern history, is,

after all, but an introduction to that accurate knowledge of affairs which can only be gained from the study of Biography. Into this all the details of the annalist, and much of the speculation of those who write the philosophy of history, resolve themselves. In very long periods of time, or in certain critical conjunctures, the operation of general causes may be traced with considerable certainty; but, in the details of particular events, the opinions and actions of a few eminent individuals are generally quite decisive ; and, while the eyes of the multitude are fixed on the great movements of politics or war, the governing springs are generally corccaled from their view. To remody this defect, the historian

somerimes

sometimes ventures to interpose the efforts of his own sagacity, and to supply, by conjecture, the want of actual information. Hence the number of contradictory theories and extravagant in maginations with which we are daily presented under the name of historical compilations, and which seem calculated for no other purpose than merely to exasperate the animosity, or to gratify the eagerness, of party feelings. To a ceriain extent, both sides 2gree, in matter of fact; but doubt, dissension, and mutual revilings arise, when the causes and the minuter details of great events are to be analyzed. It is then that we wish for the power of Gulliver, to call up the illustrious dead, and to interrogate them respecting their secret counsels and transactions. Fortunately, a regard for the opinion of posterity, has induced some of them to leave memorials of this nature, deposited among their families or friends; and we are now to notice one of the most curious and instructive monuments of this kind that ever found its way into public notice

We are admitted, in these memoirs, into the confidence of a statesman and hero, with whose life a very important period of our his:ory is closely connected. We are instructed by the candid recitals of a powerful mind, viewing every object in a great and miasterly style; disclosing the most secret causes of events; simplifying the apparent mysteries of Court intrigues; doing justice to neglected or injured merit; and throwing the broad light of genius over the obscurest parts of his career.

We are particularly struck, in this work, with the candour and warmth of heart, displayed by Prince Eugene, in speaking of the French Generals to who'n he was opposed, and by he simplicity with which he relates his own actions, as well as the severity with which he judges his own mistakes. It is in this respect, perhaps, that we feel the strongest and the most humiliati: g contrast to the habits of modern times, when, instead of this chival. sous tone of magnanimity, modesty and candour, we meet with nothing, even in the narratives of great commanders, but specimens of that vulgar, boasting, and degrading rancour, which used to be the characteristic of the lowest of the people. Of his friends and colleagues, the Prince generally writes, or rather speak3, with enthusiasm : for he appears to have dictated the greater part of the book to a secretary, in consequence of which, perhaps, it has all the ease and poignancy of private conversation. We consider it, indeed, as a treasure of anecdote, and shall make preity free with its contents; though few of our readers will probably neglect to give the original a place in their libraries.

The editor of this work is a French emigrant who chuses to conceal his name; but he has given a full account of the manner in which the manuscript came into his hands. It was originally

lens lent by the Princess of Hildbourghausen, niece to Prince Eugene, and his heiress, to the Count de Canales, who contrived not to return it. From him it came into the possession of the Comte de Guasco, and, upon his death, into that of M de Ferraris, who gave it on his deathbed to the editor. It was originally published at Weymar, in 1809: and several names and dates are given, by which the account here presented may be verified in all its particulars.—The work, however, bears internal marks of authenti. city. It is written with great brevity, great carelessness, and great vivacity-in a tone of levity and occasional hardheartedness, that marks the man of the world-and with so much of the gay, familiar, and sarcastic manner of the genuine French wits, as frequently to remind us of the brilliant Mémoires de Grammont.-But it is fair that the reader should now have a few specimens. The short Preface of the author, we think, is very characteristic.

[graphic]

« Some historians, good or bad, will probably take the trouble of entering into the details of my youth, which I no longer remember, At all events, they will speak of my mother ; a little too intriguing, to be sure ; driven from the Court, exiled from Paris, and suspected, I believe, of sorcery, by people who were no great conjurers. They will tell, too, how I was born in France, and how I left it, burning with fury against Louis XIV, who refused me a company of cavalTy, because, he said, I had too weak a constitution; and an abbey, because he pretended (on I do not know what stories respecting me, current in the gallery of Versailles) that my vocation was rather to pleasure than piety. But, however that was, no Huguenot, banished by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, ever cherished a stronger ha. tred against him; and when Louvois said, on hearing of my departure, “ It is all the better, he will never see France again,”-I vowed that I never would, except as a conquering enemy--and I KEPT MY WORD. I have seen it on more sides than one ; and it has not been my fault if I have not penetrated farther. But for the English, I should have given law in the capital of the Grand Monarque, and shut up his MAINTENON in a convent for life!

This personal pique againit Louis XIV. is apparent throughout the work. In this flight manner did that politic monarch create his molt formidable adversaries !

The Memoirs begin, in 1683, with a smart farcasm against Louis, for his connexion with the Turks, in spite of his devotion; and with an account of the author's first military fervice at the battle of Vienna, where, he says,

• The confusion of the day can only be confusedly described. The Poles, who had clambered up to Leopoldsberg, nobody knows why, came down again like madmen, and fought like lions. The Turks, not knowing which way to front, having neglected the advantage of the ground, behaved, as usual, like idiots.'

We omit some fpirited pictures of different actions with the Turks, to quote a chara:teristic paffige, relpecting the all:ult on

« 前へ次へ »