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free people; and accordingly it is among the advocates of arbitrary power that such persons, after they have served their purpose by a pretence of patriotic zeal, are ultimately found to range themselves.

We positively deny, then, that the interests of the country have ever been sacrificed to a vindictive desire to mortify or humble a rival party; though we freely admit that a great deal of the time and the talent that might be devoted more directly to her service, is wasted in such an endeavour. This, however, is un-perior Happiness which it confers upon all avoidable-nor is it possible to separate those the individuals who live under it. The condiscussions, which are really necessary to ex-sciousness of liberty is a great blessing and enpose the dangers or absurdity of the practical joyment in itself.-The occupation it affords measures proposed by a party, from those which have really no other end but to expose it to general ridicule or odium. This too, however, it should be remembered, is a point in which the country has a still deeper, though a more indirect interest than in the former; since it is only by such means that a system that is radically vicious can be exploded, or a set of men fundamentally corrupt and incapapable removed. If the time be well spent, therefore, which is occupied in preventing or palliating some particular act of impolicy or oppression, it is impossible to grudge that by which the spring and the fountain of all such acts may be cut off.

With regard to the tumult-the disorder the danger to public peace-the vexation and discomfort which certain sensitive persons and great lovers of tranquillity represent as the fruits of our political dissensions, we cannot help saying that we have no sympathy with their delicacy or their timidity. What they look upon as a frightful commotion of the elements, we consider as no more than a wholesome agitation; and cannot help regarding the contentions in which freemen are engaged by a conscientious zeal for their opinions, as an invigorating and not ungenerous exercise. What serious breach of the public peace has it occasioned?—to what insurrections, or conspiracies, or proscriptions has it ever given rise?-what mob even, or tumult, has been excited by the contention of the two great parties of the state, since their contention has been open, and their weapons appointed, and their career marked out in the free lists of the constitution?-Suppress these contentions, in--But we must not forget, in the fifth and last deed-forbid these weapons, and shut up place, that there is nothing else but a free these lists, and you will have conspiracies government by which men can be secured and insurrections enough.-These are the from those arbitrary invasions of their Persons short-sighted fears of tyrants.-The dissen- and Properties-those cruel persecutions, opsions of a free people are the preventives pressive imprisonments, and lawless execuand not the indications of radical disorder- tions, which no formal code can prevent an and the noises which make the weak-hearted absolute monarch from regarding as a part of tremble, are but the natural murmurs of those his prerogative; and, above all, from those mighty and mingling currents of public opin- provi cial exactions and oppressions, and ion, which are destined to fertilize and unite those universal Insults, and Contumelies, and the country, and can never become danger- Indig ities, by which the inferior minions of ous till an attempt is made to obstruct their power spread misery and degradation among course, or to disturb their level. the whole mass of every people which has no political independence.

the importance it confers-the excitement of intellect, and the elevation of spirit which it implies, are all elements of happiness peculiar to this condition of society, and quite separate and independent of the external advantages with which it may be attended. In the second place, however, liberty makes men more Industrious, and consequently more generally prosperous and Wealthy; the result of which is, both that they have among them more of the good things that wealth can procure, and that the resources of the State are greater for all public purposes. In the third place, it renders men more Valiant and Highminded, and also promotes the development of Genius and Talents, both by the unbounded career it opens up to the emulation of every individual in the land, and by the natural effect of all sorts of intellectual or moral excitement to awaken all sorts of intellectual and moral capabilities. In the fourth place, it renders men more Patient, and Docile, and Resolute in the pursuit of any public object; and consequently both makes their chance of success greater, and enables them to make much greater efforts in every way, in propor tion to the extent of their population. No slaves could ever have undergone the toils to which the Spartans or the Romans tasked themselves for the good or the glory of their country-and no tyrant could ever have extorted the sums in which the Commons of England have voluntarily assessed themselves for the exigencies of the state. These are among the positive advantages of freedom; and, in our opinion, are its chief advantages.

Mr. Leckie has favoured his readers with

an enumeration of the advantages of absolute monarchy-and we are tempted to follow his example, by concluding with a dry catalogue of the advantages of free government-each of which would require a chapter at least as long as that which we have now bestowed upon one of them. Next, then, to that of its superior security from great reverses and atrocities, of which we have already spoken at sufficient length, we should be disposed to rank that pretty decisive feature, of the su

(April, 1814.)

A Song of Triumph. By W. SOTHEBY, Esq. 8vo. London: 1814.
L'Acte Constitutionnel, en la Séance du 9 Avril, 1814. 8vo. Londres: 1814.
Of Bonaparte, the Bourbons, and the Necessity of rallying round our legitimate Princes, for the
Happiness of France and of Europe. By F. A. CHATEAUBRIAND. 8vo. London: 1814.*

Ir would be strange indeed, we think, if | many high and anxious speculations. The feelpages dedicated like ours to topics of present ings, we are sure, are in unison with all that interest, and the discussions of the passing exists around us; and we reckon therefore on hour, should be ushered into the world at such more than usual indulgence for the speculaa moment as this, without some stamp of that tions into which they may expand. common joy and anxious emotion with which The first and predominant feeling which the wonderful events of the last three months rises on contemplating the scenes that have are still filling all the regions of the earth. In just burst on our view, is that of deep-felt such a situation, it must be difficult for any gratitude and delight,-for the liberation of one who has the means of being heard, to re- so many oppressed nations,-for the cessation frain from giving utterance to his sentiments: of bloodshed and fear and misery over the But to us, whom it has assured, for the first fairest portions of the civilised world,-and time, of the entire sympathy of all our coun- for the enchanting, though still dim and untrymen, the temptation, we own, is irresisti- certain prospect of long peace and measureless ble; and the good-natured part of our readers, improvement, which seems at last to be openwe are persuaded, will rather smile at our ing on the suffering kingdoms of Europe. The simplicity, than fret at our presumption, when very novelty of such a state of things, which we add, that we have sometimes permitted could be known only by description to the ourselves to fancy that, if any copy of these greater part of the existing generation-the our lucubrations should go down to another suddenness of its arrival, and the contrast generation, it may be thought curious to trace which it forms with the anxieties and alarms in them the first effects of events that are pro- to which it has so immediately succeeded, all bably destined to fix the fortune of succeed- concur most powerfully to enhance its vast ing centuries, and to observe the impressions intrinsic attractions. It has come upon the which were made on the minds of contempo-world like the balmy air and flushing verdure raries, by those mighty transactions, which of a late spring, after the dreary chills of a will appear of yet greater moment in the eyes long and interminable winter; and the reof a distant posterity. We are still too near freshing sweetness with which it has visited that great image of Deliverance and Reform the earth, feels like Elysium to those who which the Genius of Europe has just set up have just escaped from the driving tempests before us, to discern with certainty its just it has banished. lineaments, or construe the true character of the Aspect with which it looks onward to futurity! We see enough, however, to fill us with innumerable feelings, and the germs of

We have reason to hope, too, that the riches of the harvest will correspond with the splendour of this early promise. All the periods in which human society and human intellect have been known to make great and memorable advances, have followed close upon periods of general agitation and disorder. Men's minds, it would appear, must be deeply and roughly stirred, before they become pro

64

This, I am afraid, will now be thought to be too much of a mere Song of Triumph;" or, at least, to be conceived throughout in a far more sanguine spirit than is consistent either with a wise observation of passing events, or a philosophical estimate

of the frailties of human nature: And, having cer-lific of great conceptions, or vigorous resolves;

tainly been written under that prevailing excitement, of which I chiefly wish to preserve it as a memorial, I have no doubt that, to some extent, it is so. At the same time it should be recollected, that it was written immediately after the first restoration of the Bourbons; and before the startling drama the Hundred Days, and its grand catastrophe at Waterloo, had dispelled the first wholesome fears of the Allies, or sown the seeds of more bitter ranklings and resentments in the body of the French people and, above all, that it was so written, be

and a vast and alarming fermentation must pervade and agitate the mass of society, to inform it with that kindly warmth, by which alone the seeds of genius and improvement can be expanded. The fact, at all events, is abundantly certain; and may be accounted for, we conceive, without mystery, and without metaphors.

A popular revolution in government or re

fore the many lawless invasions of national inde-ligion or any thing else that gives rise to pendence, and broken promises of Sovereigns to general and long-continued contention, natutheir subjects, which have since revived that dis- rally produces a prevailing disdain of authortrust, which both nations and philosophers were ity, and boldness of thinking in the leaders then, perhaps, too ready to renounce. And after of the fray,-together with a kindling of the all, I must say, that an attentive reader may find, imagination and development of intellect in a even in this strain of good auguries, both such traces of misgivings, and such iteration of anxious warn great multitude of persons, who, in ordinary ings, as to save me from the imputation of having times, would have vegetated stupidly in the merely predicted a Millennium. places where fortune had fixed them. Power

and distinction, and all the higher prizes in
the lottery of life, are then brought within the
reach of a larger proportion of the community;
and that vivifying spirit of ambition, which is
the true source of all improvement, instead
of burning at a few detached points on the
summit of society, now pervades every por-
tion of its frame. Much extravagance, and, in
all probability, much guilt and much misery,
result, in the first instance, from this sudden
extrication of talent and enterprise, in places
where they can as yet have no legitimate
issue, or points of application. But the con-
tending elements at last find their spheres,
and their balance. The disorder ceases; but-of matchless activity indeed, and boundless
ambition, but entirely without principle, feel-
ing, or affection;-suspicious, vindictive, and
overbearing;-selfish and solitary in all his
pursuits and gratifications;-proud and over-
weening, to the very borders of insanity;—
and considering at last the laws of honour and
the principles of morality, equally beneath his
notice with the interests and feelings of other

folly. History, we think, will not class him
quite so low as the English newspapers of the
present day. He is a creature to be dreaded
and condemned, but not, assuredly, to be
despised by men of ordinary dimensions. His
catastrophe, so far as it is yet visible, seems
unsuitable indeed, and incongruous with the
part he has hitherto sustained; but we have
perceived nothing in it materially to alter the
estimate which we formed long ago of his
character. He still seems to us a man of
consummate conduct, valour, and decision in
war, but without the virtues, or even the
generous or social vices of a soldier of fortune;

the activity remains. The multitudes that
had been raised into intellectual existence by
dangerous passions and crazy illusions, do not
all relapse into their original torpor, when
their passions are allayed and their illusions
dispelled. There is a great permanent addi-
tion to the power and the enterprise of the
community; and the talent and the activity
which at first convulsed the state by their men.-Despising those who submitted to his
unmeasured and misdirected exertions, ulti-pretensions, and pursuing, with implacable
mately bless and adorn it, under a more en-hatred, all who presumed to resist them, he
lightened and less intemperate guidance. If seems to have gone on in a growing confi-
we may estimate the amount of this ultimate dence in his own fortune, and contempt for
good by that of the disorder which preceded mankind,-till a serious check from without
it, we cannot be too sanguine in our calcula- showed him the error of his calculation, and
tions of the happiness that awaits the rising betrayed the fatal insecurity of a career which
generation. The fermentation, it will readily reckoned only on prosperity.
be admitted, has been long and violent enough
to extract all the virtue of all the ingredients
that have been submitted to its action; and
enough of scum has boiled over, and enough
of pestilent vapour been exhaled, to afford a
reasonable assurance that the residuum will
be both ample and pure.

Over the downfal of such a man, it is fitting
that the world should rejoice; and his down-
fal, and the circumstances with which it has
been attended, seem to us to hold out three
several grounds of rejoicing.

In the first place, we think it has established for ever the impracticability of any scheme of universal dominion; and proved, that Europe possesses sufficient means to maintain and assert the independence of her several states, in despite of any power that can be brought against them. It might formerly have been doubted,—and many minds of no abject cast were depressed with more than doubts on the subject,-whether the undivided sway which Rome exercised of old, by means of superior skill and discipline, might not be re

If this delight in the spectacle and the prospect of boundless good, be the first feeling that is excited by the scene before us, the second, we do not hesitate to say, is a stern and vindictive joy at the downfal of the Tyrant and the tyranny by whom that good had been so long intercepted. We feel no compassion for that man's reverses of fortune, whose heart, in the days of his prosperity, was steeled against that, or any other humanising emotion. He has fallen, substantially, with-vived in modern times by arrangement, acout the pity, as he rose without the love, of tivity, and intimidation, and whether, in any portion of mankind; and the admiration spite of the boasted intelligence of Europe at which was excited by his talents and activity the present day, the ready communication and success, having no solid stay in the mag- between all its parts, and the supposed weight nanimity or generosity of his character, has of its public opinion, the sovereign of one or been turned, perhaps rather too eagerly, into two great kingdoms might not subdue all the scorn and derision, now that he is deserted rest, by rapidity of movement and decision by fortune, and appears without extraordinary of conduct, and retain them in subjection by resources in the day of his calamity. We do a strict system of disarming and espionage— not think that an ambitious despot and san- by a constant interchange of armies and staguinary conqueror can be too much execrated, tions and, in short, by a dexterous and alert or too little respected by mankind; but the use of those very means, of extensive intellipopular clamour, at this moment, seems to us gence and communication, which their civilto be carried too far, even against this very isation seemed at first to hold out as their dangerous individual. It is now discovered, surest protection. The experiment, however, it seems, that he has neither genius nor com- has now been tried; and the result is, that mon sense; and he is accused of cowardice for the nations of Europe can never be brought not killing himself, by the very persons who under the rule of one conquering sovereign. would infallibly have exclaimed against his No individual, it may be fairly presumed, will suicide, as a clear proof of weakness and ever try that fatal experiment again, with so

many extraordinary advantages, and chances of success, as he in whose hands it has now finally miscarried. The different states, it is to be hoped, will never again be found so shamefully unprovided for defence-so long insensible to their danger-and, let us not scruple at last to speak the truth, so little worthy of being saved-as most of them were at the beginning of that awful period; while there is still less chance of any military sovereign again finding himself invested with the absolute disposal of so vast a population, at once habituated to war and victory by the energies of a popular revolution, and disposed to submit to any hardships and privations for

and by new aggressions, and the menace of more intolerable evils, drove them into that league which rolled back the tide of ruin on himself, and ultimately hurled him into the insignificance from which he originally sprung. It is for this reason, chiefly, that we join in the feeling, which we think universal in this country, of joy and satisfaction at the utter destruction of this victim of Ambition,-and at the failure of those negotiations, which would have left him, though humbled, in possession of a sovereign state, and of great actual power and authority. We say nothing at present of the policy or the necessity, that may have dictated those propositions; but the

a ruler who would protect them from a re-actual result is far more satisfactory, than any condition of their acceptance. Without this, the lesson to Ambition would have been imperfect, and the retribution of Eternal Justice apparently incomplete. It was fitting, that the world should see it again demonstrated, by great example, that the appetite of conquest is in its own nature insatiable;and that a being, once abandoned to that bloody career, is fated to pursue it to the end; and must persist in the work of desolation and murder, till the accumulated wrongs and resentments of the harassed world sweep him from its face. The knowledge of this may deter some dangerous spirits from entering on a course, which will infallibly bear them on to destruction;-and at all events should induce the sufferers to cut short the measure of its errors and miseries, by accomplishing their doom at the beginning. Sanguinary conquerors, we do not hesitate to say, should be devoted by a perpetual proscription, in mercy to the rest of the world.

currence of revolutionary horrors. That ruler, however, and that population, reinforced by immense drafts from the countries he had already overrun, has now been fairly beaten down by the other nations of Europe- at length cordially united by a sense of their common danger. Henceforward, therefore, they show their strength, and the means and occasions of bringing it into action; and the very notoriety of that strength, and of the scenes on which it has been proved, will in all probability prevent the recurrence of any necessity for proving it again.

The second ground of rejoicing in the downfal of Bonaparte is on account of the impressive lesson it has read to Ambition, and the striking illustration it has afforded, of the inevitable tendency of that passion to bring to ruin the power and the greatness which it seeks so madly to increase. No human being, perhaps, ever stood on so proud a pinnacle of worldly grandeur, as this insatiable conqueror, at the beginning of his Russian campaign.He had done more-he had acquired moreand he possessed more, as to actual power, influence, and authority, than any individual that ever figured on the scene of European story. He had visited, with a victorious army, almost every capital of the Continent; and dictated the terms of peace to their astonished princes. He had consolidated under his immediate dominion, a territory and population apparently sufficient to meet the combination of all that it did not include; and interwoven himself with the government of almost all that was left. He had cast down and erected thrones at his pleasure; and surrounded himself with tributary kings, and principalities of his own creation. He had connected himself by marriage with the proudest of the ancient sovereigns; and was at the head of the largest and the finest army that was ever assembled to desolate or dispose of the world. Had he known where to stop in his aggressions upon the peace and independence of mankind, it seems as if this terrific sovereignty might have been permanently established in his person. But the demon by whom he was possessed urged him on to his fate. He could not bear that any power should exist which did not confess its dependence on him. Without a pretext for quarrel, he attacked Russia-insulted Austria-trod contemptuously on the fallen fortunes of Prussia

Our last cause of rejoicing over this grand catastrophe, arises from the discredit, and even the derision, which it has so opportunely thrown upon the character of conquerors in general. The thinking part of mankind did not perhaps need to be disabused upon this subject ;-but no illusion was ever so strong, or so pernicious with the multitude, as that which invested heroes of this description with a sort of supernatural grandeur and dignity, and bent the spirits of men before them, as beings intrinsically entitled to the homage and submission of inferior natures. It is above all things fortunate, therefore, when this spell can be broken, by merely reversing the operation by which it had been imposed; when the idols that success had tricked out in the mock attributes of divinity, are stripped of their disguise by the rough hand of misfortune, and exhibited before the indignant and wondering eyes of their admirers, in the naked littleness of humbled and helpless men,-depending, for life and subsistence, on the pity of their human conquerors,and spared with safety, in consequence of their insignificance.-Such an exhibition, we would fain hope, will rescue men for ever from that most humiliating devotion, which has hitherto so often tempted the ambition, and facilitated the progress of conquerors.-It is not in our days, at least, that it will be forgotten, that Bonaparte turned out a mere mortal in the end;-and neither in our

days, nor in those of our children, is it at all | likely, that any other adventurer will arise to efface the impressions connected with that recollection, by more splendid achievements, than distinguished the greater part of his career. The kind of shame, too, that is felt by those who have been the victims or the instruments of a being so weak and fallible, will make it difficult for any successor to his ambition, so to overawe the minds of the world again; and will consequently diminish the dread, while it exasperates the hatred, with which presumptuous oppression ought always to be regarded.

If the downfal of Bonaparte teach this lesson, and fix this feeling in the minds of men, we should almost be tempted to say that the miseries he has inflicted are atoned for; and that his life, on the whole, will have been useful to mankind. Undoubtedly there is no other single source of wretchedness so prolific as that strange fascination by which atrocious guilt is converted into an object of admiration, and the honours due to the benefactors of the human race lavished most profusely on their destroyers. A sovereign who pursues schemes of conquest for the gratification of his personal ambition, is neither more nor less than a being who inflicts violent death upon thousands, and miseries still more agonising on millions, of innocent individuals, to relieve his own ennui, and divert the languors of a base and worthless existence :-and, if it be true that the chief excitement to such exploits is found in the false Glory with which the madness of mankind has surrounded their successful performance, it will not be easy to calculate how much we are indebted to him whose history has contributed to dispel it.

distinction of having kept alive the sacred flame of liberty and the spirit of national independence, when the chill of general apprehension, and the rushing whirlwind of conquest, had apparently extinguished them for ever, in the other nations of the earth. No course of prosperity, indeed, and no harvest of ultimate success, can ever extinguish the regret of all the true friends of our national glory and happiness, for the many preposterous, and the occasionally disreputable expeditions, in which English blood was more than unprofitably wasted, and English character more than imprudently involved; nor can the delightful assurance of our actual deliverance from danger efface the remembrance of the tremendous hazard to which we were so long exposed by the obstinate misgovernment of Ireland. These, however, were the sins of the Government.-and do not at all detract from the excellent spirit of the People, to which, in its main bearings, it was necessary for the government to conform. That spirit was always, and we believe universally, a spirit of strong attachment to the country, and of stern resolution to do all things, and to suffer all things in its cause;— mingled with more or less confidence, or more or less anxiety, according to the temper or the information of individuals,-but sound, steady and erect we believe upon the whole,-and equally determined to risk all for independence, whether it was believed to be in great or in little danger.

Next to our delight at the overthrow of Bonaparte, is our exultation at the glory of England. It is a proud and honourable distinction to be able to say, in the end of such a contest, that we belong to the only nation that has never been conquered ;-to the nation that set the first example of successful resistance to the power that was desolating the world, and who always stood erect, though she sometimes stood alone, before it. From England alone, that power, to which all the rest had successively bowed, has won no trophies, and extorted no submission; on the contrary, she has been constantly baffled and disgraced whenever she has grappled directly with the might and energy of England. During the proudest part of her continental career, England drove her ships from the ocean, and annihilated her colonies and her commerce. The first French army that capitulated, capitulated to the English forces in Egypt; and Lord Wellington is the only commander against whom six Marshals of France have successively tried in vain to procure any advantage.

Of our own sentiments and professions, and of the consistency of our avowed principles, from the first to the last of this momentous period, it would be impertinent to speak at large, in discussing so great a theme as the honour of our common country. None of our readers, and none of our censors, can be more persuaded than we are of the extreme insignificance of such a discussion—and not many of them can feel more completely indifferent about the aspersions with which we have been distinguished, or more fully convinced of the ultimate justice of public opinion. We shall make no answer therefore to the sneers and calumnies of which it has been thought worth while to make us the subject, except just to say, that if any man can read what we have written on public affairs, and entertain any serious doubt of our zeal for the safety, the honour, and the freedom of England, he must attach a different meaning to all these phrases from that which we have most sincerely believed to belong to them; and that, though we do not pretend to have either fore seen or foretold the happy events that have so lately astonished the world, we cannot fail to see in them the most gratifying confirmation of the very doctrines we have been the longest and the most loudly abused for asserting.

The last sentiment in which we think all candid observers of the late great events must cordially agree, is that of admiration and pure

The efforts of England have not always been well directed,-nor her endeavours to rouse the other nations of Europe very wisely and unmingled approbation of the magnanitimed-But she has set a magnificent ex-mity, the prudence, the dignity and forbearample of unconquerable fortitude and unalter- ance of the Allies. There has been someable constancy; and she may claim the proud | thing in the manner of those extraordinary

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