« 上一頁繼續 »
its nal intrepidity; and when he proposed, eral during the dreadful riots of 1780, to ride ntul at the head of his guards into the midst anks of the fires of his capital, he did no Chey more than what his simple heart told -g in him was his duty, but what, neverthepon less, bespoke the monarch fitted to
had quench the conflagration of Europe. ortal Though quick in conversation, as kings wall generally are, he could not be said to hem have an acute mind; and yet the native tains strength of his intellect enabled him to Chest detect at once any sophistry which incrne terfered with the just sense he always and entertained of his public or religious
duties. When Mr Dundas, in the course of conversation on the Catholic claims,
previous to Mr Pitt's retirement on that sowy ground in 1800, urged the often repeathour, ed argument, that the Coronation oath
was taken by him only in relation to his e fac- executive duties, he at once replied
* Come, come, Vr Dundas, let us have o the
none of your Scotch metaphysics.'
ge of The firmness which he exhibited on Oc-
will mutiny of the Nore, in 1797, brought
gerous crisis of recent times. His in. obli. flexible determination, in 1807, to ado the mit no compromise with the Catholics sat regarding the Coronation oath, arerted
for twenty years that loosening of the
constitution in Church and State, under
after even his own ministers had become
aware that it was hopeless; yet even r the such a resolution had something magation nanimous in its character. It is now which well known, that, but for the incapa
dence; but I will be the first to support world would probably have been ch it, now that it has been granted,'— ged. The Whigs, fettered by their o were worthy of the sovereign of a great tinued protestations against the v empire, whose moral resolution misfor- could not, with any regard to consiste tune could not subdue, and whose sense have prosecuted it with vigour. TI of honour prosperity could not weaken. unvarying prophecies of disaster fi
“ Selecting, out of the innumerable the Peninsular contest, would have pa arts which flourished in his dominions, lysed all the national efforts in supi that on which all others were dependent, of Wellington; their continued de he concentrated the rays of royal favour mations on the necessity of peace, wc on the simple labours of the husband have led them to embrace the first man. Equalling Henry IV. in the bene portunity of coming to an accomme volence of his wish, and outstripping tion with Napoleon. Alexander, m both him and his own age in the justice ful of their refusal of succour after of his discrimination, he said he hoped to battle of Eylau, would have been sha live to see the day, not when all his sub- in his resolution after the battle of jects could merely read, but when rodino. Sweden, unsupported by E every man in his dominions should have lish subsidies, would not have venti his Bible in his pocket.'
to swerve from the French allia In his remarks on the situation of The occupation of Moscow would I public affairs under the Regency, and led to a submission destructive of especially on the death of the lamented liberties of Europe; or the retreat, Mr Perceval, the historian presses with threatened, from the north, would equal force and feeling on the perils been spared half its horrors ; at la of the contingency from which Eng. the French Emperor at Prague.
peace would have been concluded land and Europe just then escaped. lington would have been withdrawn The calamitous period of the war was
barren laurels from the Peninsula, passing away ; but, if the dreaded con
rope yet groaning under the yok tingency had been realized, the true
military power, and the dynasty of calamity would only then have been poleon still upon the throne. In beginning. The Whigs were in ne
templating the intimate connexion gotiation with the Regent ; nothing such marvellous results with the a but a petty dispute about three oflicers rently trivial question of household of the Household impeded their pos- pointments in the royal palace of G session of power. If they had been Britain, the reflecting observer, act Ministers of England, they were ing to the temper of his mind, wil pledged instantly to have changed the dulge in the vein of pleasantry o policy of England, to have reversed sentiment of thankfulness. The all the measures of defiance and de. ples of Voltaire, recollecting how a fence by which England had hitherto lar court intrigue arrested the cour been kept in safety, and the result Marlborough's victories in one age must have been the secure supremacy prolonged the popular rule in of Napoleon, and the inevitable ruin
Britain in another, will inveigh ag of the British cause. The peril came
the subjection of human affairs to so close to the point that the escape reigns, or the arts of courtiers;
direction of chance, the caprice of was scarcely less than providential.
the Christian philosopher, impr “ The negotiation with the Whigs with the direction of all earthly ti was broken off on the 6th June. On the by an Almighty hand, will discernin 13th of the same month, Wellington apparently trivial events the unobse crossed the Portuguese frontier, and
springs of Supreme intelligence ; commenced the campaign of Salamanca; conclude, that as much as royal pa while, on the 2311, Napoleon passed the ities may be the unconscious instru Niemen, and threw his crown and his
of reward to an upright and stren life on the precarious issue of a Russian they may be the ministers of retrib invasion. The expulsion of the French to a selfish and corrupted age.” from the Peninsula, the catastrophe of Moscow, the resurrection of Europe,
But what were the men, and were on the eve of commencing, when
must be the faction, whose princ the continued fidelity of England to the
were thus equivalent to the subve cause of freedom hung on the doubtful of the national success, and balance of household appointments. power would have been equivale
“If a change of Ministry had taken the inevitable triumph of the ene place at that time, the destinies of the of the country? These were
quate city of the generals in command of his liant armies, his firmness would have been reerit. warded with success; and all must admit,
that his first words to the American 1 re minister who came to his court after the
was peace, I was the last man in my doerso minions to acknowledge your indepen
Whigs, the remnant of the Foxites in
a country grow weary of any din when that day; but, if the remnant of a fac- it is rung in them for twenty years tion, degraded from even the hollow together. The legislature was tired patriotism to the avowed and unques. out—the folly of concession had its tioned bitterness of Lord Grey, could way—and every one of the measures then have endangered the empire, is now discovered to have been as abwhat must be its peril under the rem- surdly executed as it was hypocriti. nant of the Grey faction-divested of cally conceived ; and, instead of abating, the small portion of dignity, manli. to have desperately increased the evil ness, and firmness possessed by it in in question, or hazarded the safety of either of its original forms, and now the nation. No man doubts the fitness as signally destitute of political abi- of putting an end to the horrors of lity as either of its predecessors was of the slave trade. But what has been constitutional principle ? We have the result of the Whig operations? seen Whiggism in the worst form in They have swelled these horrors ten. which it has yet stood before the coun. fold by their rashness, their incompetry: allying itself with every popular tence; and in their eagerness to sacrifice passion for the sake of popular sup- all discretion to the dashing effect of port; submitting to be the slave abolition by a word, they have tripled of Popery for the emoluments of the trade, and doubled the misery, the office; exercising power without dig. vice, and the loss of life. nity ; living in favouritism, and taking Of the “ atrocious" Popish Bill of refuge from the national rejection 1829 we are now tasting the fruits; among the women of the bedcham- and they are poison to the Protestant, ber.
and intoxication to the Papist. But Mr Alison agreeably varies his nar- what has been the result of Romilly's rative by sketches of the chief charac. labours in the criminal law ? Setting ters of the period. Among these is aside the fact, that his personal efforts the late Sir Samuel Romilly ; and the produced scarcely any effect, and that especial ground of his fame is stated whatever has been actually brought to be his exertions, as a lawyer, in into use was the work of those who humanizing the course of law. We followed bim; is it not true that have great respect for Mr Alison's in. crimes have signally accumulated ? partiality, and we fully admit that an that a more atrocious spirit has exhistorian ought to speak with reserve hibited itself among the people that of all public men: yet Sir Samuel Ro- stabbing has become common ? that milly was a Whig; and with us that forgery has encreased to an extra simple fact sufliciently explains the ordinary degree, and that riot and unsubstantial nature of his reforms, rebellion have become the common and their feeble motives, and their shapes in which popular discontent utter failure. Every Whig enters on displays itself ?-all encouraged by a public life with professions of bound sense of impunity! We have as less liberality. All is virtue in his strong an aversion to cruelty and projects, and all is to be change in his punishment as any Whig that ever progress. No matter what the subject, talked of principle, and violated it. the Whig enlists himself at once on But laws are made for the protection, the side of change. Nothing is so not of villains, but of honest men; and high-sounding as harangues against all it is not the extinction of penalty, but restraint, and nothing is so cheap as the extinction of crime, that should be pledges which cost nothing but a ha- the praise of a legislator. By the rangue.
Whig code, all discretion is taken out The Slave-Trade, the Criminal of the hands of the judge, with the Law, and the Restrictions on Popery, virtual effect of enabling the felon to -the professional patriotism of every calculate the strong temptation against Whig aspirant adopted them all; the feeble punishment.
On this and, if they had been ten times principle, we every day see murder the number, would have adopted the softened down to manslaughter, and whole at once. They were the stock assault to accident. The highest questions of party, the stamped badge penalty, with a few exceptions, is of political beggary, the vocabulary of transportation, which is regarded only imposture. The Whigs at length suc. as an amusing change of scene-or a ceeded in carrying them. The ears of brief confinement in a penitentiary,
-xites in a country grow weary of any din when of a fac- it is rung in them for twenty years
hollow together. The legislature was tired anques. out-the folly of concession had its , could way—and every one of the measures empire, is now discovered to have been as abne rem- surdly executed as it was hypocritiested of cally conceived; and, instead of abating,
manli. to have desperately increased the evil hy it in in question, or hazarded the safety of nd now the nation. No man doubts the fitness al abi. of putting an end to the horrors of was of the slave trade. But what has been
have the result of the Whig operations: orm in They have swelled these horrors ten. coune fold by their rashness, their incompeopular tence; and in their eagerness to sacrifice I sup- all discretion to the dashing effect of
slave abolition by a word, they have tripled ats of the trade, and doubled the misery, the at dig. vice, and the loss of life.
aking Of the “ atrocious" Popish Bill of ection 1829 we are now tasting the fruits; cham- and they are poison to the Protestant
, and intoxication to the Papist. But
what has been the result of Romilly's harac. labours in the criminal law? Setting ese is aside the fact, that his personal efforts ed the produced scarcely any effect
, and that stated whatever has been actually brought er, in into use was the work of those who
We followed him ; is it not true that s in. crimes have signally accumulated? it an that a more atrocious spirit bas es. serve hibited itself among the people: that
Ro- stabbing lias become common? that that forgery has encreased to an extra
the ordinary degree, and that riot and rms, rebellion have become the common their shapes in which popular discontent es on displays itself?-all encouraged by a unde sense of impunity! We have as
his strong an aversion to cruelty and - his punishment as any Whig that ever ect, talked of principle, and violated it.
But laws are made for the protection,
not of villains, but of honest men ; and all it is not the extinction of penalty, but
the extinction of crime, that should be ha- the praise of a legislator. By the
Whig code, all discretion is taken out mal of the hands of the judge, with the ry, virtual effect of enabling the felon to ry calculate the strong temptation against l; the feeble punishment. es principle, we every day see murder he softened down to manslaughter, and ck assault to accident. The highest re penalty, with a few exceptions, of transportation, which is regarded only C. as an amusing change of scene-or a of brief confinement in a penitentiary,
where the incarceration is accepted as any other time since the Reformat a clever exchange for the labour of Yet crime has remarkably accu procuring bread by the sweat of the lated. And what other source ca brow. Such are Whig reformers: discovered but the Whig encroa always useless, because always insin- ments on the ancient code?
We cere—always rash, because always this in illustration of our fixed be unprincipled--and always pushed to that no reform proceeding from W the verge of national danger, because gism can be worth the paper on w nothing is easier than to be equally it is written ; that, with the W loud and hollow in the cause of a humanity is a party cry, and hor pretended humanity.
an artifice ; that his primary objeThe charge of severity in the ad. office, and that in his progress b ministration of the law in its present ready to go all lengths :-in state, is tolerably well answered by word, that self is every thing the fact, that—though death was the the whole faction; and that until appointed penalty for the larger faction is stript of all power, a number of 600 different offences—"out is naked of all truth, the country of 1872 persons, capitally convicted perpetual peril. Sir Samuel Romi at the Old Bailey in the seven years memoirs, lately published, settle from 1803 to 1810, only one had been question of his merits.
He wa executed.” We think that Sir Samuel successful lawyer, and
a labor Romilly could not have had much to partisan, and no more; a boast complain of in the cruelty of this independence, yet a struggler administration of the law; and the place; an ostentatious patriot habits of the people would, undoubt- effected nothing for his country ; edly, have resisted any unnecessary
an oratorical champion of the co recurrence to cruelty, if the judges tution, clinging to the skirts of had been so inclined.” Still the by whom it was corrupted, until tr “ friends of humanity—the philan- ferred to the skirts of his followers thropists par excellence---the Whig whom it was overthrown. monopolizers of all humane feeling It is no pleasure of ours to pu must chaunt their song; and the very the mingled absurdities and brav men who applauded every step of which constitute the “public sp France, when every step was knee-deep of faction; but facts force the c in gore, and who had no language deration on us. And if ridicule abject enough to express their homage disconnect itself from disgust or to the bloodiest tyrant that even France high questions of imperial safety ever saw, were all thrown in attitudes know nothing more ridiculous of tragic agony at the whipping of a the predictions of Whiggism in felon for housebreaking, or the hang- great war which decided the fa ing of a ruffian for a forgery that Europe. We have but to liste broke the fortunes and hearts of an the ominous declarations of the v honest family. Mr Alison justly party, and wonder at the patien observes, that with the diminution of Parliament in 1810 and 1811. its sanguinary enactments, the English are to remember also, that those criminal law has felt the difficulty of dictions were confidently made at a secondary penalties. The multitude when Wellington had proved the of the convicts who require transport- lantry of the British soldiers in S ation has caused the evils and suffer, when Russia was writhing with i ings of the penal settlements to in- nation at those chains which sh crease in an alarming degree; the preparing to burst, and when flood of juvenile delinquency is pro- whole Continent was either ble ducing similar alarms at home. And with intolerable oppression, or p we are to remember that all this in- up secret prayers for the dov crease is in the teeth of the most of European thraldom. What powerful exertions to ve a moral was the conduct of the faction ? education to the people, in the pre- find those " highpriests of liber sence of a highly improved police, round the globe" heaping new in and, what is of very high considera on the altar of the despot ; tion, in a period when a tone of virtue champions of the negro joinin and piety among the leading ranks of the abject cry of submission t the country is more general than at great slave-master of Europe ;
clamourers for popular resistance to soldiers, and be capable of acting with all legitimate authority at home, depre regular troops. But when the corrupcating all resistance to the universal tion, weakness, and imbecility of the oppressor, depressing the noble spirit Government are taken into view, every which bore the nation full against the
one must be convinced of the total imfury of France; and, as far as words possibility of obtaining any native force could go, counselling a base surrender, capable of active co-operation with the to a people whose only safety was in
British army. What assistance have we the determination to conquer or die.
ever obtained from the Spanish armies, This was their recorded and undeni. notwithstanding the high-sounding proable language in the senate.
mises with which they have deluded
the English troops into their territories? “ Is there any one who in his conscience
To expect any thing better from the believes, that even the sacrifice of the Portuguese, is to put all experience at whole British army would secure the defiance. They may be useful as light def nce of Portugal ? If such a man there
troops, but cannot act with regular solbe, it may with confidence be affirmed,
diers. Portugal, instead of being de. not only that he is unfit to be intrusted fensible from its mountains, is perhaps with the government of the country, the most indefensible country in Eubut even incapable of transacting public rope. The experience not merely of the business in any deliberative assembly.
last seventeen years, but of the last few ««« In a financial point of view, the cau e
months, has amply demonstrated the of the Peninsula is utterly hopeless. Can total inefficacy of mountain ranges as a any man who looks at our immense ex
barrier against the vast forces and bold ertions for the last seventeen years, as tactics of modern war. What defence sert that the annual expenditure of from has the Sierra Morena proved against three to four millions in its defence, has
the invasion of Soult ? It is not by any not been absolutely lost to Spain, fruit such defences that Portugal is to be less to Portugal, and of no advantage saved from the fate which has overtaken whatever to this country? In fact, so all the military monarchies of Europe. utterly hopeless is the cause, that no
Disguise it as you will, the real question thing short of a divine miracle can ren.
at issue is, wh ther the army at this moder it effectual to its proposed object. ment in Portugal is to be sucrificed, as But there are higher considerations than those under Sir John Moore and Lord those of mere finance, which call upon Chatham have been; and unless the House us instantly to abandon this sanguinary
intervenes, from a just sense of its own and unprofitable struggle. The uttro
duty not less than of the national hoimpossibility of defending Portugal with
nour, disasters yet greater than either of the British army, aided by the Portu
these, and probably irreparable, await guese levies, is so apparent, that it is a
the British empire. mockery of common understanding to “« Our victories are perpetually held argue on the subject. Is there any man
up as monuments of our eternal glory, bold enough to assert that the British
and Maida, Corunna, Vimeira, and Taarmy in Portugal, aided by the native
lavera, are everlastingly referred to as force, maintained by our subsidies, will
the theme of undying congratulation. be sufficient to resist an attack? What
But what have any of these boasted reliance can be placed on this subsidiary triumphs done for the people of the force, unpractised in the operations of country where they were won, or for war, and wholly ignorant of military the general issue of the war? Maida discipline, except what they may pick up handed over the Neapolitans to the ten. from their British officers? That Por
der mercies of an irritated and cruel tugal can be defended by such a force,
enemy; Corunna sacrificed Moore only is a thing absolutely impossible : if our to deliver over Gallieia to the Gallic troops do not take refuge in their ships, armies; Vimeira was immediately folbefore six months is over, not a British lowed by the disgraceful convention of soldier will remain in the Peninsula ex
Cintra; and Talavera was at best but cept as a prisoner of war.'
an exhibition of rash confidence and
victorious temerity. Honours have been These oracles next decide on the fate conferred upon Sir Arthur Wellesley, of the Portuguese army. They are
for whom and for his country it would chaff before the wind of Whig wisdom. have been much more honourable if he
had never changed his name.
His con“The Portuguese levies, upon whom duct in Spain seemed the result of infa80 much reliance is placed, might in tuation.
After defeating Soult, he retime, perhaps, hereafter become good crossed the Douro to form a junction
ce to soldiers, and be capable of acting with epre. regular troops. But when the corrup
ersal tion, weakness, and imbecility of the Epirit Government are taken into view, every t the one must be convinced of the total ima #ords possibility of obtaining any native force nder, capable of active co-operation with the
as in British army. What assistance hare we - die.
ever obtained from the Spanish armies, deni.
notwithstandi the high-sounding promises with which they have deluded
the English troops into their territories! ience
To expect any thing better from the the Portuguese, is to put all experience at
the defiance. They may be useful as light there troops, but cannot act with regular solmed, diers. Portugal, instead of being deinted feasible from its mountains, is perhaps ntry, the most indefeasible country in Eu
rope. The experience not merely of the lv.
last seventeen years, but of the last few
months, has amply demonstrated the Can
total inefficacy of mountain ranges as a barrier against the vast forces and hold tactics of modern war.
What defence from has the Sierra Morena proved against
the invasion of Soult? It is not by any ruits such defences that Portugal is to be utage saved from the fate which has overtaken
all the military monarchies of Europe. Disguise it as you will, the real question
at issue is, wh ther the army at this moject. ment in Portugal is to be sacrificed, as than those under Sir John Moore and Lord Lipon
Chatham have been; and unless the House nary intervenes, from a just sense of its own aittir duty not less than of the national hoarith
nour, disasters yet greater than either of ortu. these, and probably irreparable, await is a the British empire.
“« Our victories are perpetually held man -itish
up as monuments of our eternal glory,
and Maida, Corunna, Vimeira, and Taative lavera, are everlastingly referred to as will
the theme of undying congratulation, What
But what have any of these boasted iary triumphs done for the people of the s of
country where they were won, or for tary the general issue of the war! Maida кир
handed over the Neapolitans to the ten; Por- der mercies of an irritated and cruel
enemy; Corunna sacrificed Moore only
to deliver over Gallicia to the Gallic rips, armies; Vimeira was immediately folritish lowed by the disgraceful convention of
Cintra ; and Talavera was at best but an exhibition of rash confidence and
victorious temerity. Honours have been fate
conferred upon Sir Arthur Wellesley, for whom and for his country it would
have been much more honourable if he om. had never changed his name. His conom
with Cuesta, and when that was effected might find a partial apology, in he remained unaccountably inactive, till earlier periods of the war, in Soult was so far recovered as to be able ignorance, « this only showed, to paralyse all his efforts, by descending they were not gifted with the hig into his rear after the battle of Talavera; political quality, that of seeing futi and when forced to retreat, he retired to throngh the shadows of pre an unhealthy province at an unhealthy
Yet their subsequent con season, where he remained some months
showed that they could not sbtill his army had lost a third of its
themselves, even under this b amount from malaria fever. If these
covering of the foolish or the i are the consequences of your triumphs,
“ When the tide had obviously tu
- when success had in a durable This now sounds like the language crowned the British arms, and the v of idiots, but it was not fatuity. The
of Gallic ambition had permanent! men who used it were as well ac
ceded from the rocks of Torres Ve quainted with the true state of things their conduct was of a more repre as the men who refuted their argu- sible cast ; it became the fit subje ments, exposed their absurdities, and, moral censure. With slow and un by excluding them from all power, ing steps they receded from their fa rescued the honour of the empire. ite position, as to the impossibili Whiggism knew perfectly well, that defending Portugal : they still he the British troops had beaten every abuse upon Ministers for their con enemy whom they encountered in in the contest, although it was c Spain; that the Spanish population blameable, in time past, from ha abhorred the invader, and that the last been too much framed on their ad hope of Europe hung on the war. At it was a cold and reluctant assent the moment when they were deriding they yielded even to the merits of the allied strength in the Peninsula, lington himself. This insensibili they knew that Wellington had under national glory, when it interferece his command a British force of nearly party ambition—this jealousy of in 30,000 of the finest troops in the
dual greatness, when it obscured world; with 35,000 Portuguese, com
renown-proved fatal to their hof manded by British officers, and grow
accession to power during the lifeti ing hourly into excellent soldiers.
the generation which had grown
manhood in the revolutionary Their common knowledge of the re
Doubtless it is the highest effort sources at home, told them, that
triotic virtue to exult at successes within the compass of the British is
are to confirm an adverse par lands, there were upwards of 640,000
power,—doubtless no small share of soldiers in the national pay, with a po. nanimity is required to concede me pulation which but a few years before an opponent who is withering the had furnished 600,000 volunteers on the of individual elevation : but na first threat of invasion ; that England from men acting on the great t engrossed the commerce of the world, of the world, have a right to expec that her domestic wealth was enor disinterestedness ; it is the wisest mous, and her credit so powerful that in the end even for themselves; an she had only to speak the word, and perience has proved that in ever see pouring into her treasury every really generous hearts are capa ounce of gold in the world. The
such conduct.” motives which actuated faction we do It is even now interesting, not condescend to develop; it is record of the resources which enough for us to remember and to land has in her bosom for the rejoice, that whiggism gained nothing danger, to give a slight recapit by its labour of prophecy but scorn ; of the means exerted by a c. that it was thrown into deeper disgrace which faction at that moment de by every increase of national honour; to have no hope but in submiss and that the common feelings of the be utterly exhausted, and as nation not merely flung it hopelessly sunk in spirit as undone in fi from its height, but trampled on it, The parliament of this bankri at every step of its advance to victory. tion voted the following asto The historian with equal truth and amount in men and money E eloquence observes, that if opposition year 1811
duct in Spain seemed the result of infain tuation. After defeating Soult, be repod crossed the Douro to form a