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welfare. This expression of the popular opinion is ridt yet, however, so general as it must be, in order to ensure success. On such a subject, therefore, the people must be addressed in a manner similar to that in which the Prophet addressed the Israel of Got) in their corrupt statei—Precept must hi upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little; as opportunity may offer. To enforce these sentiments we call in those of great men of different ages and nations. We earnestly wish that the admonitions expressed in the title of our present volume were gotten by heart, not only by every one of our readers, but by every one of our countrymen; and that they would constantly inculcate them on the minds of the rising generation. The gross apostacy of one of the statesmen referred to, so far from lessening, adds to the truth and importance of what he advanced. It would indeed be a most melancholy consideration, if the important interests of Truth and Liberty depended on the cdnsis^ tency of its professors, in a day of degeneracy like the present; when hypocrites abound in ail denominations both political and religious.
We have to make our acknowledgments for the support afforded to this work, and to request not only a continuance of that support, but the assistance of our literary friends, whose communications will be respectfully attended to. As our numbers are enlarged, we shall be enabled to increase the value of a work peculiarly devoted to the interests of political, civil, and religious liberty, a work which may be considered, as a compendium of the political history of the times, a register for the proceedings of parliament, and a repository for the preservation of many valuable documents, which confined to the diurnal prints, are often carelessly perused, and soon forgotten.
Harlow, July IS, 1809- B. F.
POLITICAL 1EVIEW. So. xxv.] Fob January, Woo. [Vol v.
. ■ -REVIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
AT-;- URS OF TOuTUGAL AND OF SPAIN—PROGRESS OS
THK FRENCH EMPEROR—RETREAT, AND RETURN
OF Tllh. BRITISH FORCES.
ALTHOUGH the French bulletins assured us, from official authority, of the almost uninterrupted progress of the French armies, ami of the Fmperor having taken complete possession of Madrid, there were so many accounts from Spain of a contrary description, that some of the editors of our public prints affected to doubt the truth of those bulletins: when their doubts could, however, be no longer sustained, the public were amused with a variety of Spanish reports of insurrections at Madrid, in which the inhabitants had massacred many thousands of the French, and expelled the remainder. These have been succeeded by accounts of the Duke of InFanta oo having, raised a large army of his countrymen, "who "flocked to his standard, and were enlisted under the express con"dition of their being immediately marched to Madrid;"—that taking advantage of the absence of those divisions of the French forces which were sent in pursuit of the British, the Duke's army had attacked, aud defeated the enemy with great loss, and regained the capital I The falsehood of all these Spanish accounts were apparent on the Very first perusal, to every person whose judgment was not blinded by his prejudices; and they have proved but a very short lived diversion to those who were deluded by them. The triumphs of France, the defeat and dispersion of the Spanish armies, wherever they were attacked, the harrassed retreat and discomfiture qf the British forces, who after a brave and bloody conflict, have been at length compelled to evacuate Spain, and to returu to their own country,— these are the melancholy events now impressing the public mind; and which conclude the fatal campaign of 1808, the fifth year of 'hat most unjust and unnecessary war, which this country, in violation of its own treaty with France, rushed into, with equal eagerness and frenzy f ■
A *oi. r.
The proclamations whicli have been recently issued by the Portugueze and Spanish governments, were thought by manyto indicate that awakened and determined spirit, whicli must animate a people who are duly impressed with a sense of the importance of personal freedom, and national independence; blessings which can scarcely exist, and which can never be secure, but as they are supported by each other: but these very proclamations, in our opinion, afford evidence that the true spirit of patriotism is, both in Portugal and Spain, almost extinct. The Portugueze regency, instead of holding out any object to the people to interest their hopes; instead of promising" them, any amelioration of that wretched state into which their old government had first plunged, and afterwards deserted them, promise nothing but a return of that despicable government, and the preservation of that vile abuse of every thing sacred, the established religion, t>r more correctly speaking, the established system of almost every thing disgraceful to human nature, and to real Christianity. Instead of arousing the people by the noble motives which actuate freemen to exert themselves, they affect to place their chief dependence on foreign assistance, intimidating and threatening, instead of encouraging and rewarding their countrymen. The British nation and our roost gracious sovereign, are thus curiously apostrophiscd.—" What Great Britain aims at, is only the restitution of all "countries [we suppose in Asia, as well as in Europe,] to their "lawful sovereigns. Ah! incomparable GEORGE 1 How great "will be thy glory in future times! Where is the sovereign in Eu"rope that does not at present owe his crown to thee 1* Thy name "shall for ever shine in the Portugueze annals. Excuse then, *• O Mighty King! the indiscreet zeal of a people who love their u sovereign, and whose feelings are partly analogous to thy views-"f Did not this proclamation rest on official authority, we should have suspected it to have been manufactured from the brain of some jacobin wag, whose impudent design was to ridicule both the country and the sovereign addressed. This wonderful display of " indis»« creet zeal," consisted, as it appears, in the riotmgs of a drunken mob; and as to the general disposition of the Portugueze, an insurrection is feared in the capital of the kingdom, in favour, not of the British, but of the French interest!
• How admirably would it have illustrated the language of the Portngueze regency, had they subjoined to their proclamation a list of the ■crowned heads of Europe, as it stood fifteen year since. After that period »peat in war, it may be fairly .naked—Where are now.their crowns,? But Mrhop* the regency meant to iuginuate, that the Emperor Napoli:om is indebted to the wars excited, supported and persevered in by the" incoio"parable" British cabinet, for his crown, his titles, his vast empire, and extensive power and influence!
f Pol. Reg. Vol. V. p. 16,17.
The menaces of the Portuguese regency evidently discover their opinion of the popular spirit. Alter presenting a hideous caricature of Napoleon, they " order all the male inhabitauts, without e*> "ception, from 15, to tiO, to arm, and to defend themselves vigo"rously against the enemy." To invigorate, them on such an important occasion, they add—" Every person refusing to take up "arms shall sutler the punishment of Death, and every village uot "defending itself against the enemy shall be burnt and levelled with "the ground." The Portuguese regency appear by this proclamation, to possess powers equal to those of the renowned Glen Do Wee, who could " call spirits from the vasty deep;" but the question put in the one case may not be inaptly put in the other—" Will thej ** come at your call.''' The effects of these proclamations were just such as rational people might have expected: they are heard with disgust or apathy. To threaten men with death, their families with > destruction, and their dwellings with conflagration, if they do not arm, may be judged by some of the "old, regular, governments of "Europe," to be the most powerful inducements to arouse the popular spirit; but some may be apt to suspect, that when such a people are armed, they may entertain doubts whether it may be their interest to use their arms iu favour of their old oppressors, or their new invaders. What is now passing in Portugal, will, .it is not improbable, throw farther light on this subject. ,.. ■■
The Supreme Junta of Spain appear to be seriously alarmed at the progress of the French arms, and not improperly remark to their countrymen, that—" Honour, union, fraternity, forgetfub^s "of injury, a disregard of what is, or what we may fancy, due to, tw, "internal and mutual peace and concord amongst die citizens, and "in a word, all the virtues which constitute true patriotism—these •' are the planks which alone can save us from the threatening ship"wreck." It is, however, to be lamented, that the men who,use this language, and who have set themselves up for the regenerators of their country, and the restorers of its independence, should, instead of suggesting suitable motives to enkindle the sacred flame of patriotism, and to cherish " aJI the virtues," in the breasts of tinpeople, confirm them in all those prejudices to which they - owe their present state of depression. We repeat what we have had such frequent occasion to remark.(hiring the present revolution, that the Spanish leaders have not held out any object to the people of sufficient magnitude to impel them to take up arms, or seriously attempt to repel their invaders. The late decree for the formation of a legion, •f honour, contains nothing interesting to the body of the people. It indeed " orders the enlisting of 260,000 warriors, who are to be "organised and instructed in arms, and which his Majesty Ferdi"stAND vil," (who very probably knows nothing about the mutter)
"flatters himself, will, with the forces furnished by his English and "Portugueze allies, drive out and destroy his mortal enemies/' But alas! whilst the members of the Junta are spending their time in planning measures which ought to have been executed six months since, their enemy is in the heart of the country, and discomfiting and expelliug the forces of their allies. The junta appear to have given their principal general, the Marquis de la Romana extraordinary powers, and which lie has attempted to enforce, by issuing proclamations ordering a general arming of the people; but these proclamations contain such bitter complaints, and severe reproaches, as evidently prove that the majority of the Spanish nation, have all along, been indifferent respecting the dynasty by which they are to be governed—the Bourbons or the Bonapartks; yea, that many are more attached to the latter than the former. '« In the "provinces," (the Marquis complains) "which the enemy unfortu"nately occupy, the inhabitants supply them punctually with rations *' of bread, meat, wine, &c. with carriages and mules for theiir "transport, with money and necessaries for their comfort, and ser"vice of their hospitals; without the least prospect of remuneration
"While to the army who labour to preserve our holy reli
"gion, and to defend the rights of our august King and Lord "Don Ferdinand to the throne of Spain, no assistance is given, "even when surrounded by famine, and their nakedness and misery "h viewed with the utmost indifference V' ■
It is not only the general indifference of the people, but the wretched conduct of the armies which form the subject of reproach. The Marquis adds —" The shameful disorder with which the army "of the left has retired from Espinosa to this city (Corunna1) the "multitude of chiefs, and of officers who have abandoned tlieir "troops the robberies and disorders which many have authorised and tolerated to their troops, to the irreparable loss of "good citizens who have assisted us; and finally the feebleness with "which discipline and subordination have been maintained, impe"riously oblige me to ordain and command, under the most signal • pains, as follows.'1 Then follow a number of articles somewhat similar to those we have noticed, drawn up by the Portuguese Regency, which hold out nothing but threats, and are calculated rather to hinder men from taking up arms, than to encourage them. Men can never be made patriots by compulsion; and it is im|>ossible to raise an " armed nation" by mere proclamations, and denunciations of severe punishment.'
Whjlst the Spanish junta and their allies, have been trifling, blundering, and vapouring for these six months past, the Emperor NaPoleon, after calmly, deliberately, and firmly laying his plan', has proceeded to carry them, -into execution. With large and well