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away, in the prime of life, activity, and intelligence, would have cultivated a province; the wealth wasted in the field, the very baggage and guns, would have covered many a district of the empire with fertility and opulence. Yet all was destroyed in a moment, without producing the most trifling advantage to any human be. ing. War must exist while there is the evil spirit that covets the possessions or envies the happiness of man. There must be defence where there is attack. But what an accumulation of crime must lie on the head of the man or the nation which makes a war of aggression! With what an eye must the great Father of all look upon the furious passion for blood or gold, or the still higher motive for personal vanity, which mutilates human happiness on so sweeping a scale which makes man known to man only as living by devastation-which perverts the arts and intelligence given for the general dominion of man over nature into the means of unspeakable wretchedness-which presents power to nations in the light of terror, vengeance, and agony-and turns preeminent genius, indefatigable ardour, magnanimous self-constraint, heroic scorn of difficulty, the noble desire to be honoured in life and remembered in death by all mankind—all the highest gifts of Providence to the human mind, into the deadliest instruments of human ruin! The crime and the punishment were never displayed with more memorable warning than in the example of the mighty Emperor of France. Erfurth and St Helena were the extremes of his career; human elevation and human overthrow
were never more widely separated, nor more summarily conjoined. If ever vengeance was judicial, it was in the sudden fall, the hopeless captivity, and the obscure end, of Napoleon in St Helena-an exile two thousand miles from the scene of his triumphs—a prisoner in the hands of his enemies-a byword to all nations!
But at the period of the Austrian campaign this extraordinary man was only ascending to his ultimate height.
"Unwearied by a rapid journey night and day for six successive days from Paris, he no sooner arrived at Donauwerth, than he began the incessant questioning and correspondence, which with him were the invariable preludes to great achievements.
His letters to his lieutenants during the next five days, would of themselves make a volume. His calculation of time was so exact, and the habits of precise obedience on the part of his generals so complete, that his divisions invariably arrived on the ground assigned them at the very moment on which he relied, and when their operation was required; and generally again marched and combated on the day following without any intermediate repose. By this means, though his forces were not, upon the whole, more numerous, at least at that period, than those of the Austrians, they were almost always greatly superior at the point of attack. Nor did the Emperor shun the fatigue which he thus imposed upon his soldiers; on the contrary, not one of them underwent any thing like the mental and bodily labour to which he subjected himself. From the morning of the 19th, when the battle of Abensberg began, till the night of the 23d, when that of Ratisbon terminated, he was on horseback, or dictating letters, at least eighteen hours a-day; he had outstripped his own saddle-horses by the rapidity of his journey, and knocked up those of the King of Bavaria by the fatigue they had undergone; and when all around him were ready to drop down with exhaustion, he began to read and dictate despatches;' and sat up half the night receiving reports from the generals and marshals, and completing the directions, from the preceding day. He has himself told us, that his manoeuvres at this period, in Bavaria, were the most brilliant of his life; and, without going the length of so extraordinary an eulogium, it may safely be affirmed that they never were excelled by the operations either of himself or any other general."
The description of the night which followed the first day of the battle of Aspern, is remarkably graphic and the attack with Napoleon at their natural. The French, who had made head, with the full confidence of vic
tory, and with Vienna before them as their prize, had been repelled with great slaughter, and both armies now prepared to sleep upon the field. But the feelings of the two mighty hosts were now widely different from those of the morning. On the side of the French, the confidence of victory had been succeeded by the chill of disappointment.
"The wonted shouts of the men were no. longer heard; a dark feeling of anxiety oppressed every breast; the brilliant meteor of the empire seemed about to be extin guished in blood. They could not conceal from themselves that they had been worsted
in the preceding day's fight. Aspern was lost; Essling was surrounded; the line in the centre had been forced back; the enemy slept among the dead bodies of the French; while the multitude of slain, even in the farthest reserves of their own lines, showed how completely the enemy's batteries had reached every part of their position. The Austrians, on the other hand, were justly elated by their unwonted and glorious success. For the first time, Napoleon had sustained a decided defeat in the field; his
best troops had been baffled in a pitched
battle; his position was critical beyond expression; and the well-known hazard of the bridges diffused the hope that, on the morrow, a decisive victory would rescue the country from the oppressor, and at one blow work out the deliverance of Germany. It is certainly highly to the honour of Austrian courage, that so great a battle should have been fought after the capture of the capital. But the fall of Vienna had already placed a power in the hands of the conqueror, which could be resisted by nothing short of a miracle."
Mr Alison here makes some very striking remarks on the necessity of fortifying the great European capitals, or at least of giving them citadels capable of containing twenty or thirty thousand soldiers, and serving as a deposit for the national archives and stores, till the national strength can be fairly roused for their rescue. He justly observes, that, had Austria possessed such a fortress, either in or adjoining to Vienna, the invasions of 1805 and 1809 must have ruined the invaders; that, had Berlin been as strong as Dantzic, the French would have been detained round it until the arrival of the Russians, and thus six years of misery and plunder would have been saved to Prussia; that, had the Kremlin been capable of holding out six weeks, the terrible sacrifice of Moscow would not have been required. The examples on the other side are equally strong. Torres Vedras, the gigantic work, less even of the labours of the British army, than of the genius of Wellington, saved Portugal. In earlier days, the fortifications of Vienna saved not only Austria, but perhaps Christendom, from the Turks. In still more remote times, the fortunes of the West lay within the walls of Rome. "If," as Burke says, "the conqueror of Cannæ had not been frowned away by the armed majesty" of the Republic on his advance to these walls, the history of the Repub
lic, the empire, and the world, would have been changed. A dusky dynasty of African merchants would have ruled Italy, until some of their own mercenaries would have subverted their narrow and selfish sovereignty, and some fierce Ethiopian, with his horde of fellow savages, would have been lord over the temperate zone.
There must be difficulties, as the writer himself remarks, in attempting tals by fortifications. Their enormous to circumscribe any of the great capiextent, the consequent expense of formation and repairs, the almost necessary weakness of some part, and the infinite mischief to be produced to the citizens and the state by exposing the metropolis to a siege, are serious obstacles. But, to the project of erecting a great citadel near enough to be regarded as the protector of the metropolis, yet not involving it in the chances of assault or bombardment, no objection can be easily foreseen. The power of withdrawing the most important materials of the national strength, the essential property of the state, all that constitute the actual instruments of the general government, from the chance of seizure by the first rush of invasion, must be of the very highest importance. In fact, it must generally decide the question whether the nation is to be conquered or saved; because, from the magnitude of the present European king. doms, the actual population is always adequate to destroy any hostile force that in the existing circumstances can be thrown into any kingdom of Europe, with, perhaps, the exception of Denmark. Even Sweden has four millions of people. And what invading force could resist the fourth part of this population, a million of men, armed, disciplined, and determined to fight for their own fields, and in their own fields? The true point is the time to prepare and summon the whole population; and this time is to be given only by providing the means of retarding the advances of the invader, and of securing the government from being seized, and forced to compromise the national cause by closing the national resistance. England, our constitutional jealousy might justly prohibit the erection of a great fortress in sight of London, and the nature of our true force, the Fleet, renders this hazardous precaution unnecessary. But how the great
despotisms of the Continent, with nothing to fear from public jealousy, and every thing to fear from external force, or even from popular tumult, have delayed erecting those places of security, is not easily to be accounted for. In the final remarks of this chapter, we fully agree.
"Let no nation imagine that the magnitude of its resources relieves it from this necessity, or that the effulgence of its glory will secure it from ultimate danger. It was after the battle of Austerlitz that Napoleon felt the necessity of fortifying Paris. England now slumbers secure under the shadow of Trafalgar and Waterloo; but let not her infatuated children suppose that they are for ever removed from the chances of disaster, or that the want of citadels to defend the arsenals of Woolwich, Chatham, and the Tower, will not erelong be bitterly felt against either foreign or domestic enemies." He however adds, with a just estimate of the contemptible spirit in which public men are now content to bargain for power, that ideas of either public precaution, or public greatness, are not likely to be adopted in the present age, "with which foresight is the least cultivated of national virtues, and in which the democratic character of the legislature has tinged the government with that disregard of remote consequences which is the inevitable characteristic of the masses of mankind." This is expressed in the stately style which belongs to a great history. But the plain truth is, that men who are content to purchase place by stooping to the populace, must keep it only by submitting to their passions. The love of money is the passion of the lower orders, in every land and in every age, alike from necessity and from the want of any higher object. To this passion the demagogue always appeals, and it never fails him. Let him be the most notorious of swindlers, the most wasteful of spendthrifts, the most corrupt of profligates in private life; in public, he is always the economist. The virtue of saving the public purse, of relieving the people from every thing in the shape of public payment, and of cutting down every thing in the shape of pub. lic salary, is the charm of his perpetual song. We could name a crowd of first-rate patriots, to whom individually no man in his senses would
trust a single shilling, or, if he trusted, would ever see it again, every one of whom has the virtue of an Aristides where he can neither gain nor lose; and proudly erects himself into a guardian of the popular farthings. against the rapacities of national demand. And the game is always sure. It is this, and nothing but this, which has raised a race of solid blockheads, whom every man knows, into name--a shelf of living ledgers-a file of Parliamentary indexes-a case of arithmetical automatons-a Babbage's machinery of calculators; men with no more feeling for the people than a pawnbroker's duplicate, and no more sense of honour than a forged bank-note, into the actual disposers of the popular influence. This is the first operation of the first stage of our boasted Reform. The struggle of our patriots is now to plunge the state into a second grade, and give us voters at five pounds, the next will go still deeperin the lowest depth a lower depth, until, wherever the cabinet may sit, the true council will be in the hovel. The questions of national existence will be disposed at the pleasure of the venders of shoes and patchers of raiment; and fleets and armies will be dismantled and scattered at the will of administrations who depend on the will of Mr A-, the Radical member for a suburb, stocked with patriots of as much virtue and property as himself, and no more-the living mirror of bankrupts of the purest principle, and beggars of the most delicate respect for property; or Mr B--, the oracle of five thousand huts, in which ten times the number of kindred spirits nurture themselves deep from day and the eye of the policeman, for the ripening emergencies of Chartism. This decides on
any and all demands for the service, however pressing. We differ from Mr Alison in attributing the penurious absurdity of our time to the mere carelessness of the future, belonging to the masses of mankind. This is too favourable to our folly, it is above the truth. The history of popular power in all lands is a history of popular meanness. All democracies, however violent in the seizure of their neighbour's property, have been miserly in the expenditure of their own. The orator who tells them that he will take their sixpences this year, that the
rican, or Swedish, or Danish, or Greek
saving may be nine the next, is the man of the people. The rival orator, who will promise them to let half the sixpences remain in their pockets, will supersede the former. And thus were swept away all the colonies of all the republics of the ancient world-and thus were swept away all those of the modern-and thus will England, the more republican she grows, pay the penalty of her "reform" in saving her sixpences and losing her millions, in conciliating the economists of an age of meanness, malice, and hypocrisy, and leaving her shores naked, her arsenals at the mercy of chance, her colonies to the knavery of faction; and her hopes, her glories, and her freedom, to the clamour of obscure millions, who ought long since to have "fattened the region of kites with their offal." If we have empire we must pay for it. If we choose to shrink within the borders of our two islands, we may. But how long, then, shall we be able to save even the sixpences?-where will be the sources of our strength?—where the outworks which have so long kept the battle from our walls?-where the channels which have poured gold from every quarter, with one vast convergent tide into England? And in the day when some Russian fleet, or Ame
for such policy creates contempt, invites enemies, and makes every enemy formidable-shall be seen sweeping our seas, and burning our harbours; or, like the old piracies of the north, throwing swarms of flying robbers on our shore, and ravaging the land, what small consolation shall we have in hanging the "economists " wherever we can find them?-in exterminating the breed like their kindred rats and vipers?-and, before we die, avenging the land at once on the meanest and the most mischievous of its enemies?
But we must come to a close. The remainder, and the still more interesting portion of the volume, leads us through the early period of the Spanish war, the most romantic, chivalric, and gallant scene of arms displayed in Europe since the days of the Paladins. Mr Alison's style is as much fitted as his feelings for this magnificent period of national energy. He has one volume yet to write-it is for England and the great crowning triumphs of her war. We envy him his theme-this war of the giants of England and France-Wellington and Napoleon; Europe the field; the prize the world.
Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work, Edinburgh.
No. CCLXXXVII. SEPTEMBER, 1839. VOL. XLVI.
THE CHARTISTS AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE.
THE distracted state of the country, and the evident peril which has arisen to the property and institutions of the empire, from the discontent of the working-classes, have at length attracted the notice of Government, and strongly aroused the attention of both Houses of Parliament. It is evident that the people of the country must now make up their minds not merely how internal tranquillity is to be preserved, and property protected from spoliation, but how the Constitution, such as it is, is to be maintained, and we are to be saved from the horrors of a convulsion similar to that which, fifty years ago, spread desolation and misery through the whole of France. It appears now, from the statements in Parliament of the Home Secretary, that a large proportion of the workmen in the manufacturing districts are banded together in illegal associations-the object of which is, by terror, intimidation, and violence, to bring about a fundamental change in the Constitution; to obtain Universal Suffrage in the first instance, and a universal liberation from taxation and division of property in the next. The persons engaged in these detestable and criminal objects, it is true, though perhaps a majority in particular districts, are but a minority of the whole community, and that too composed for the most part of the lowest, the most ignorant, and the most desperate of the kingdom. But every body knows that it is by such despicable and abandoned mino
NO. CCLXXXVII, VOL. XLVI.
rities that most Revolutions recorded in history have been brought about, in opposition to the wishes of overwhelming, but timid and disunited, majorities. And even if such a catastrophe is to be averted by the awakened energies of the English people, still unbounded local distress would be occasioned in the conflicts which may ensue; and the numerous bodies who now urge on the second stage of the revolution, will be the first to perish in the distress which they themselves have created.
When the country is now beginning to reap the fruits of that popular agitation, which for party and selfish purposes was so strongly promoted by the Whigs seven years ago, it is now of little moment to point out with what signal justice the day of retribution has come upon the real, though perhaps not intentional, authors of these results. It will little avail us now to observe that Lord John Russell, who, in 1831, corresponded with the Birmingham Political Union when they were organizing the menaces of physical resistance throughout the country, and boasted that the "whisper of a faction could not prevail against the voice of the people of England," is now compelled to take the lead in the suppression of the revolt which his own conduct had been mainly instrumental in producing; and that he is indebted to the support of that very party whose voice he denominated a "whisper," for the means of suppressing that very Reform party whom he then