Imágenes de página
PDF

Vol. XIV. No. 27.] LONDON, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1808. [PRICE 10D.

* * **

This, it seems to me, is the point, upon which the fate of Spain will turn. Uncommon, unheard of, exertions are required ; new courage, new talents, new genius, are demanded. To call these forth, powerful snotives must make their way, at once, to the hearts of even the lowest orders of the people. of persons, to whom the people are to be slaves, appears to me to be no motive at all. clude, that, if the leaders in Spain persevere in making war for the restoration of their king, they will be defeated, and that Joseph Napoleon, though the son of a green-grocer, will stand at the head of their new family of sovereigns. God forbid that such should be the result; but, if the struggle be made for no better purpose, the failure of the Spaniards will be a subject of regret with those only, whose fears of the conquerot have deprived them of the power of reflection.”—Political Register, Oet. 8, 1808.

A choice Hence, I con

[ocr errors]

{{C}. In the present Number, which concludes the volume, I have not, as in the former volumes, inserted any Inder. I did not myself find the index useful, but the Table of Contents very useful. I have, therefore, made this Table much fuller than tisual, and have so arranged the articles, that any one will be easily found. The G FFIcIAL PAPERs stand first, the date of cari, being added to the title; next come the I-erre Rs FROM Correspons, ENTs, the subject and signature of each being specified; next the ART1c Les WRITTEN BY THE ED IT or, the several topics of each article being mentioned, in the order in which they follow each other ; and, lastly, come some Miscel, LAxous ARTICLEs, which were found not to come naturally under any of the former heads. This Table of itself will, I am of opinion, be found to be no very imperfect chronicle of the events of the half year; and, I am sure it will, as far as dates go, save a great deal of trouble in the way of reference.

SUMMARY OF POLITICS.

SPAN1sh Revolution. Yes, for a revolution it will be, in spite of all the efforts of the Central Junta and of John Hookham Frere.—Upon this subject there has been published in the Courier newspaper, of a few days ago, a long letter signed X. Y. containing accusations against Mr. Waithman, the Edinburgh Reviewers, and Inyself. The two former need no defence, seeing that the writer has inserted a passage from Mr. Waithman's speech, and also from the Review, which passages will do great good, and will be remembered to advantage when the accusation against the authors are forgotten. As to myself, I notice this writer because his letter opens the way for an exposure of those, by whom, in all probability he is paid, and affords me an opporfunity of placing in a new light many things, which cannot be too strongly imprinted apon the public mind. The accusation

[994 against me is this : That though I might like well enough to see the Spaniards in a state of revolution, I could not wish them success, when I considered that they were opposing Buonaparte, who had so often humbled the English government, and all the friends of the English constitution; that it went against me to applaud those who were hostile to one, who had so often gratified the feelings of the opponents of the English ministers, and especially, as the Spaniards were fighting for their lawful sovereign, and not for a rights-of-man government; that, accordingly, I set to work, on the 24th of June last past, to alarm weak persons in this country, lest England, should associate herself with a new race of Robespierreans; that, thus, at a moment, when all ranks and all parties were enthusiastic in the Spanish cause, when the few, who, from party feeling, were less warm than the multitude, dared not even murmur dissent, “ that good patriot Mr. Cobbett, truly in“stigated by the devil, stepped forth, with ‘ a hellish spirit, to throw the apple of dis“ cord amongst us;” and, that, if this writer could suppose it true, as he is firmly persuaded it is utterly false, that any person in this country, from the king to the cobler, dreaded the success of the Spanish patriots as tending to excite a spirit of revolution in this country, he should set down the shame of that delusion to the Patriot William Cobbett, who was the first to engender a factious feeling on a cause, respecting which this whoke nation was unanimous; a cause, on the success of which de

ended the dearest interests, not only of #. but of the world. Now, supposing, for argument's sake, all this to be true. Supposing, that, with the devil at my back, I did use, on the 25th of June last, and have continued ever since to use my utmost endeavours to persuade the people of England, that, to carry on war for Ferdinand was the way to sail, and that, by a different way of proceeding something

2

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

would be brought about that I wished to see brought about. Supposing this, and all the rest of it. What harm have I done * My advice was not followed. The ministry, and all those whom, upon such occasions, they call forth to address the king, and praise them, have set their faces against my wicked council. They have made war for Ferdinand; they are still at it ; and, as they will have all the benefits of such a line of policy; as the cause will not have been injured by me and the devil, why set up a whining complaint against us ; Had we indeed, succeeded in persuading the ministry, or any part of this besotted nation, to follow our hellish advice, and had the cause then failed, there would have been some ground of complaint against us ; but, the wise and godly were upon their guard against us; they have made, and are making, war for Ferdinand. “Great luck" to them, again I say , but, if they fail, let them not throw the blame upon the devil and me. - I feel little disposition to justify myself against the false charges of this assailant; for, any one, who can believe me to have a friendly feeling towards Buonaparte, and that I mourned at the thought of seeing him defeated; any such person is beneath my notice, and must be too foolish and insignificant a creature to have any weight in society, more than a n:ouse. But, there is one passage of this charge that I cannot refrain from noticing in a manner somewhat more particular ; and that is, the passage, wherein this writer speaks of the “ English constitution,” which he, according to the invariable custom of the hirelings, identifies with the English ministry, and which constitution it is my wish, and my constant endeavour, to assist in restoring and preserving. But, I must be excused, if I differ from this writer as to who are the great enemies of that constitution ; he will, I hope, have the goodness to excuse me, if I do not clearly perceive any harm that Buonaparte has done to it, while I can see,

that much harm has been done to it, and is

[blocks in formation]

Every Christmas sees a kingdom or two fill beneath the conqueror. Still the hircling crew change not their tone. Still they can discover no fault in the old system of opposition to him. Still they cling to the rotten stump that is crumbling away before him. Still they continue to excuse all those, who recommend that, cut of which alone could spring the means of effectual resistance of his terrible power, and still more terrible policy. And, still the cowed-down, the confounded, the besotted nation, lends but too favourable an ear to their crafty misrepresentations. Nothing can better discover the character of this writer, complaint, which he makes against the Edinburgh Reviewers, on account of what he calls “ their infamous attack upon Ce“ vallos.” I am obliged to the Courier for the extracts from this Review, my copy of the number which contains it, not having yet reached me. I do not, therefore, know what these celebrated Reviewers have said of Cevallos ; but, I am not a little pleased to find, that men, of such talents as they are, should have taken up an exposition of him, and his barefacedly lying publication. No matter with the peculators, however. Cevallos is now for the sch, me of things that suits them ; and, therefore, though he served the three kings successively; though he deserted each of them, the moment they were deserted by power; though he was, by Buonaparte, thought worthy of the highest confidence; and though he actually took a post under, and went to Madrid with king Joseph : notwithstanding all this, he is, amongst the peculators, a most respectable person ; every word he says is to be believed; we are to look upon him, and speak of him, as a pittern of loyal and fidelity; and, if we care to think or’act otherwise, we are to be set down as men “truly instigated by the devil,” and, which is worse, as men ‘‘ who do not “ sincerely hate Buonaparte.” Verily, this loyalty of Cevallos is a pretty good specimen. Under similar circumstances, in other kingdoms, there would be a great It has always been so; and, I dare say, that the writer of the jetter, upon which I am now commenting would, as far as his station and capacity would allow, be a faithful imitator of that loyal gentleman, though he would new assist to imprison or to hang any man, who should call for a reform of abuses, and whom, for that reason alone, he would accuse of disloyal intentions. Portugal. —- From a proclamation, which will be sound in another Part of this Number, it appears, that our troops, in Portugal, have become an object of dislike, at least, if not of hostility, with the people of that country. The proclamation fairly warrants this inference; for, otherwise, why call upon the people to restrain their fury, and assure then, that the English are not become French 9 The INTEND ANT, whose name is to the proclamation, assures the people, that the English are not come in the character of conquerors; but to free the Portuguese from slavery ; and, then, he enters into some general reasoning, in order fo show, that what he states must be true. Now, though I am not at all disposed to controvert the statements, and still less the reasonings, of the Intendant, I must be allowed to ask, how it came to pass, that any such assurances were thought necessary? How the Portuguese, or any considerable part of them, came to suppose, or to appear to suppose, or act as if they supposed, that the English were come as conquerors Or, how they cane to need any assurances, that the English came to free them from slavery I should, I must confess, like to have an answer to these questions; because, to me, it appears to be of vast moment to ascertain the causes, which led the people to be in a state of uncertainty as to these very material points. There were persons in England, who, the moment they saw them, appre- . inended serious michiefs from our “ ardentminded " proclamations in Portugal, and amongst these persons were the editors of the two principal Euglish daily prints, the Morning Chronicle and the Times ; but, there must, I think, be some cause more remote than this ; for, those proclamations, would hardly, one would suppose, have been issued, unless something like discontent had already made its appearance. At any rate, we appear to be in a difficulty; for, if the proclamations, just referred to, were not necessary, then, there is room to suppose, that they have led to the present state of discontent; and, if necessary, that necessity, considering the tenor of them, is a proof, that we were not at any time, or, at least, after the Convention, very welcome guests in Portugal. It is, I fear, in Portugal, as we have seen it everywhere else, the fact, that the great mass of the people feel little concern about the ejecting of the French, to whose wild and heroic sway they submit with more patience than to the sway of their old governments, which sway I need not describe. Need we ask what is the cause of this Need we ask, why Napoleon meets with little or no resistance ; and that, when once he has got possession s

plenty of Cevalioses.

than a

of a country, the people, notwithstanding all the pillaging that we hear of, make no efforts to get rid of him, and, if deiivered by a third power, appear to feel very little pleasure at the event Courtiers affect to be surprised and indignant at this. “Curse “ on the base rabble, not draw a single trig“ger against the Corsican " Not so passionate, gentlemen. Base rabble will do nothing that is high-minded, so long as they are base rabble. Buonaparte, believe nie, has no secret allurements. He does not, like Pol Ns, carry love-powder about him ; or, if he does, why do not you order your famous Apothecary-General to send cut a large packet with each of your generals 2 You scorn, I suppose, the use of such means ? You prefer making love after the manner of the Muscovites ? No : there is no witchcraft in the matter. Napoleon has no trouble but to enter the several countries he means to conquer. The rest is done ready to his hands. – Here I shall insert a short paragraph from the Morning Chronicle, and another from the Courier, the latter being an answer to the former, and this latter requiring some observations from me, containing, as it does, some of those wicked opinions, which have already produced so much mischief, and which, I fear, will finally lead to something bordering npon total ruin. “ This state of things sug“ gests the most serious reflection. If we “ have not only to deliver the subjugated “ nations from the yoke of France, but af“terwards to employ our army in forcing them to submit to a government of our establishment, which they detest equally with French domination, no wonder that the work of deliverance advances but slowly. So the secret comes out at last, why, to the astonishment of every one, our army loitered so long in Portugal, after having apparently atchieved the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

“It will perhaps puzzle most of our readers to discover in the above events cause for censure against this country. But what is too difficult for Opposition ingenuity ? They consider these disturbances as having been produced by the establishment of a Regency, which we are said to have forced upon them. The Regency was appointed by the Prince Regent himself. As soon as Portugal was released from the French

yoke, we, who came to assist the Portu

guese against the French, who had put down the ancient and legitimate Government, did that which, as the friend and ally of the Prince Regent, it was our duty to do; we recognised the authority which the Prince had appointed to govern the country in his absence. What would the Opposition have had us do 2 Would they have had us tell the people to throw off their allegiance, put themselves in a state of revolution, and new cast and model the whole form of government? They might then have exclaimed indeed with some justice, “ Oh miserable policy “ most vile occupation " But we are told, that were the whole British army to be sent, it would be insufficient to defend Portugal till we had first gained over the people to our side—and therefore it is meant to be recommended, we suppose, that we should abandon Portugal altogether—for as to gaining over the people, if delivering them from the French does not produce that effect, nothing that we can do besides is calculated to produce it though the Opposition seem to think that if we were to take part against the Regency, that is against the authority of the legitimate Sovereign, we should attach the people amazingly to uS. These revolutionary counsels our Government, we do not think, will le much inclined to follow—But the people

of Portugal are said either to dislike or to

[blocks in formation]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

reason—but we should have thought, that any dislike or indifference they may feel would have disappeared, may, would have been converted into love and attachment, when the question was, whether they should submit to such a Government, or to the Government of the French? Why have Prussia, Naples, and Italy been conquered 2 we are asked ; and we are answered that it was because the people either felt dislike or indifference about their governments! And what has been their reward That they have been placed under a government compared to which their own was perfect happiness and freedom. So far then from Prussia, Italy, and Naples furnishing examples which the Portuguese might be desirous of following, we should have thought they would have afforded incitements to them to cling to ANY government, rather than, by being indifferent to it, suffer their country to full under the yoke of France. — Since writing the above, we are informed that the affairs to which the proclamation of the intendant general of police refers, was by no means a very serious affair, and was soon put an end to. It was occasioned by seme regulation adopted respecting the market.”—

[blocks in formation]

less hireling holds up to us as the consequence of disturbances arising out of a regulation about the market at Oporto It is seldom that I have met with anything so impuded: as this.--—This writer tells us, that we recognized the government of tire Prince Re

[blocks in formation]

ble to defend the country against the French, “

[blocks in formation]

ed them, and that effect has not been pro

duced. Will you, then, persevere in defending Portugal without the aid, and even against the will, of the people Will you attempt to keep out Buonaparte with one haad, and to keep down the people of Portugal with the other? The minister who, should so apply the lives of an English army, would deserve to be hanged.—This writer next tells us, “that he should have thought, “ that any dislike or indifference the Portuguese might have felt respecting their former government, would have disappeared, nay, been converted into love and attachment, when the question was, whether they should submit to such a government, or the government of the French.” Aye, he might think so; and many others might think so, and so they

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

may think with respect to the people of other countries, where the French have not

yet been. But, what says erperience 2 Alas ! that which has, heretofore, made fools wise, has now, as far as relates to governments, lost its power of inculcation Expe. rience has proved, has proved in numerous instances, that the sway of France has no such terrific power; and that, where the people dislike, or are indifferent about their old government, they are not to be made to love it by a dread of its being succeeded by the government of France. The Morning Chronicle did not hold up the conduct of the people of Prussia, Hanover, and Italy as an example to those of Portugal; but, as examples, whereby we might judge of how the people of Portugal were, under similar cir

cumstances, likely to act; but, indeed, we wanted no other example than that, with which we were furnished by Portugal herself. We need not inquire into the truth of the assertion, that “ compared with the “ French government, established in Hano“ ver, Italy, and Naples, their own was “ perfect happiness and freedom;” because, whatever may be the fact, we know that the people have made no exertions in behalf of their own government against the French. . We should have thought,” says this writer, that the fate of Hanover, Italy, and Na

“ ples would have afforded incitements to

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

this is the execrable opinion, that has so long and so widely and so fatally prevailed. Oh! then you think, do you, that, as long as there can be kept up, in any oountry, a dread of the French “ yoke,” the people. may be harrassed and insulted, that their very entrails may be squeezed out, without . danger to their rulers This is your opinion, is it? Others have proceeded upon it, and they are now smarting under the richly-deserved consequences. Others have said : “ no ; there is no occasion for a reform of abuses; a dread of the French will do; we can go on in the old way; a dread of the French is your only true specific for silencing all complaints, for keeping all “ quiet.” Others have thus thought, and they have been most justly punished. This has been the doctrine, which has bent the continent beneath the feet of Buonaparte; and this doctrine, persevered in, will yet lead him to conquests, of which the editor of the Courier does not appear to have dreamt. Botley, 28th Dec. 1808.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »