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Napoleon's fame have become languid in their eulogies; and all accounts from the continent agree in representing the new men whom his Imperial Majesty made princes, and the fiue ladies whom he placed by their sides, as hastening in despair to abandon his cause. If so, and if it be true that it has at length become as difficult for opposition to contrive a parliamentary query with something of novelty in it, as it is for the royal physicians to hît upon a new bulletin, we humbly think they might, without the risk of any detriment either to themselves or the country, direct their attention to something else. It is plain that their combined operations against Lord Castlereagh have been unavailing. And they feel that they lately said rather too much to Mr. Vansittart. By exciting and keeping up the popular clamor against the Income Tax, they rendered the increase of other taxes extremely easy; and because they were ashamed of outraging common sense by trying to revive that clamor, they, as a party, submitted quietly to the continuance of the measure. The present juncture evidently invites to a change of procedure. Mr. Tierney has settled, as well as he could, the business of the Civil List-Mr. Whitbread has thrown Drury Lane Theatre off his shoulders—and the sitting member for Westminster has given his elector's the friendly meeting in Old Palace Yard. All therefore have time enough on their hands--and this is what we would propose. That (in imitation of the earlier French jacobins) the Prince Regent do appoint commissioners to repair
, to Belgium for the purpose of watching the political conduct of the Duke of Wellington-of controlling the expenditure of the commissariat-and of putting an end (happen what may to discipline) to every species of corporal punishment. It is need less to say who ought to be sent. Sir Francis would make a prime provost-marshal. More vigilant by far than Marshal Jones, 'he would take good care that even his colleagues should not go over to their friend Napoleon. This, however, would not be much to be apprehended—if their salaries were largesny 14,0001. a year each-Napoleon having scarcely any thing to spare to those whom he might wish to distinguish, except tite cordon of the Legion of Honor. What a valuable, what în inexhaustible stock of materials for parliamentary discussion,
would the commissioners, conjointly and severally, be enabled to bring back with them! Woe to the minister for full seven years to come!
Our view of affairs for next month will no doubt lead us to enter much into detail, and that detail cannot fail of being of a very grave cast. For the effects of the blow which Napoleon would long since have struck, had bis means and his confidence in those he governs been at all commensurate with his inclinations, will by that time be felt; and a practical solution be had of the vital question, whether or not the army be the sole prop of the tyrant's power.
If any crisis in the history of our country has excited feelings of inexpressible anxiety, and most imperiously demanded mature and deliberate investigation, it is that to which we are now brought, by a series of events, transcending in their sudden and marvellous combinations, all the fictions of romance. Scarcely a year has elapsed, since our attention was directed to the apparently decisive overthrow of the most gigantic military despotism that ever appalled and terrified the world.
Under its ambitious sway the boundaries of ancient kingdoms disappeared; the thrones of ages crumbled into dust. Above all the dynasties of the European Coutinent, it reared its tremendous height. It was a structure founded on the aggressions of war and conquest; it was cemented by singular policy; and it appeared to bid defiance to every hostile attack. Suddenly the astonished nations bebeld its seeming downfal. The infatuation of its founder conspired with the measures of its enemies to effect it; and from behind the thick darkness that bad long brooded over the world, we heard, or thought we heard, the voice of the Almighty interposing to break the spell that had enslaved the nations, and restore the blessings of universal peace. We rejoiced in the termination of a bloody and destruc
tive war; we admired at that tine, the moderation of thre Sovereigns of Europe; and would to God that no subsequent plans of aggrandisement, no practical violation of the principles so firmly avowed at the beginning of their successes, had ever transpired, to destroy our contidence in their wisdom, or diminish the lustre of their fame!
How soon has the scene been reversed! The exiled Napoleon has resumed his power; and the scattered fragments of his former greatness are again replaced with amazing rapidity and unparalleled success! We are at peace with the French-we accise them of vo violated treaties in reference to ourselves they are forming no suspicious schemes of aggression against us —the re-modelled constitution under the restored Emperor approximates more entirely to the principles and genius of our own, than even that which was formed by the provisional government, accepted by the hereditary monarch, and afterwards pared down and modified, till its original elements disappeared. It is a fact, the proofs of which no sophistry can invalidate, that Bonaparte is the chosen Sovereign of the French; and the only question on which peace or war depends, is one of a most simple and definite nature :-it is, whether or not we shall allow the French people to retain the Sovereign of their unquestionable choice. The moral and political character of that Sovereign may be as dark and atrocious, as his most malignant enemies represent it; but at the present crisis, that subject, on which little contrariety of opinion exists, affects not the question that now occupies and absorbs the thoughts of every reflecting mind. We may speculate as we please about the probable causes of the restoration of Bonaparte, and refer it to the condition and character of the French-to the administration of the government under Louis the XVIIlth-to the fears of the people-to the force of the army-to one, or to all of these causes combined: but however we account for it, it is obviously not the wish of the French people that the House of Bourbon should reign any longer. Had that been the case to any important extent, how easily might the progress of Napoleon have been impeded; and what innumerable facilities and opportunities were there for effectually preventing its intended consummation!
It is customary on this subject to consider a reference to the army, as at once determining the point. I am fully disposed to consider the operation of this cause as the most important. But the fact contended for is virtually involved in this decision. The army, recruited and invigorated by the thousands and tens of thousands who were liberated from the prisons of Britain and Russia—the army, comprehending in it a large portion of mental as well as of physical strength-the army, connected with the whole population of the country, and diffusing its peculiar and characteristic feelings through the entire mass of that population, may actually be considered as representing and expressing the general state of sentiment throughout the French empire.
In thus adverting to the army, it is impossible not to be reminded of the inevitable injury that must result to the character and liberties of a people, from the encroachments and influence of military habits : and a most powerful argument against the renewal of hostilities is founded on prospective views of that injury to ourselves in particular, and to Europe in general. It is thus the world is cursed by war, not only when its tremendous inundation passes over a country, but by the slime and pollution it leaves behind it. It breeds “all monstrous, all prodigious things ;” and nothing but time and tranquillity can destroy them. Another war will revive them abroad, and tend to engender the same state of society at home. It will create and continue the necessities of war by identifying with its operations the very being of millions of the human race, depending on it for their present subsistence, and all their hopes of future advancement. Now it is unspeakably desirable that something should be done towards the subversion of this unnatural condition of things. War in itself must always be contemplated as an evil of immense magnitude, which nothing can palliate, and for which nothing can be pleaded as its legitimate and justifiable cause, but its absolute necessity to the ultimate security of peace. In order to the satisfactory vindication of any particular war, it should be distinctly proved, that it is unavoidable—thut the points at issue are incapable of being determined by any other method, and that those
methods have been actually resorted to, without success. Unless these facts can be clearly established, a war is unjust and unnecessary, whatever authorities may be pleaded in its favor, and whatever eloquence may be employed in its support. I am aware indeed, that in determining these points, the ultima ratio of kings and of governments is much sooner arrived at, than it would be, if calm and disinterested inquiries preceded it. Magnified through the delusive medium of the passions, and distorted by the clamors of faction, “ trifles light as air” become insurmountable obstacles; and the quiet and unresisting part of the conmunity are hurried along by the interests and the violence of their neighbours. Whatever may be said about the wars in which this country has been engaged for the last fifty years, with little intermission, not the shadow of sound argument has ever yet been produced, for a renewal of hostilities against France. Do we allege in vindication of war the character of Napoleon ? That catmot be a reason for not continuing at peace, which prevented not on the part of our government former attempts at négociation. Do we fear the French army, and view it as containing the elements of another explosion which may endanger the safety of Europe? War will be the direct and immediate cause of that danger; it will kindle the train, while peace will gradually dissipate the inflammable materials, and by its moral influence, in counteracting the evils of war, proportionately increase the security of the world. indulge suspicions of the treachery of Bonaparte, and are we unable to confide in his professions ? I reply, our national safety depends not on the sincerity of any of the sovereigns of Europe; if it did, I should soon tremble for the consequences. It arises from our physical resources, and the moral strength which results from the principles of our constitution, and the character of the people. If overt acts of aggression commence on the part of Napoleon ; if he violate the solemn protestations he has published to the world ; if he renew his ambitious
"Non est inter artificia bellum, imo res est TAM HORRENDA UT EAM NISI SUMMA NECESSITAS, AUT VERA CARITAS HONESTAM EFFICERE QUEAT. Grotius. De Jure Bell.