Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

result of this movement: “Whatever (says he) may be the ultimate result of the operations in progress, however brilliant they appear, the Sovereigns who are present, and the Prince Field Marshal who leads their armies, will have the proud and consoling reflection, that by their intrepid manoeuvres, they have acted right by their countries, their people, and the great cause.” Now why speak, why even think of ultimate results, when, according to their own sentiments of the matter, as echoed by the Courier, the possession of Paris has given the death blow to all Bonaparte's hopes 2, Why use desponding language when this great and glorious event has “signed the death-warrant of his fame and his power?” One would be apt to suppose that the Allies were in fact really apprehensive for their own safety; and that the “destroyer of nations” may actually intend, “by moving to his fortresses of Metz, &c. toprolong the war by resisting on a new line, while he placed them in the center of France.” This would indeed be striking a blow which they were not prepared for; this, unfortunately for them, would be cutting off all their supplies and reinforcements; and, supposing this same “terrible destroyer” were to succeed in collecting an army, amounting to double the number of the Allies, and at the same time to bring the army en masse, which has been organizing of late, into action; I consess there would be some small grounds at least for alarm. O ! but then, says my Lord Burghersh, “By an intercepted letter of Bonaparte's, the objects of his move. ments were discovered.” Were they so? How then came Sir Charles Stewart to intimate, in a subsequent dispatch, that Napoleon might have three objects in view; and to evince, as he did, a total want of information as to which of these the enemy meant to adopt. Either the Allies had discovered Bonaparte's plans, or they had not. If they had, how came they to place themselves in a situation, where circumstances rendered it at least possible they might afterwalds regret, the step they had taken 2. But if, as Sir Charles Stewart seems to insinuate, the Allies were unacquainted with the real object which Napoleon had in view, it is very clear they must have been deceived by their “arch enemy;” who, having very likely heard of the late hoax on the Stock Exchange, had resolved to try the effect of a similar ruse de guerre on his unwary PPPonents. But whatever view may be

taken of this, the reader cannot have forgot the many tricks which have been played off by the belligerents upon each other during the contest. We have the recent, and highly applauded example, of a Spanish commander, who obtained possession of two fortresses by counterfeiting the cypher of the enemy. What is worthy of praise in our Allies, cannot surely be censured in Bonaparte, supposing he has resorted to a similar stratagem. After all, it does not appear to whom this letter, which contained such important information, was addressed. Some of our hireling prints say that it was “a letter to Bonaparte's wife.” But can any one, possessing ordinary penetration, believe a tale so absurd as this? Is not silence one of the leading features of Napoleon's character? and are we to suppose that a man, who is known to mature all his projects in the closet, and never to have discovered these even to his most favourite generals, would sit down on this, or on any other occasion, to gratify his vanity (for it could be nothing else) by disclosing these important secrets to the Empress? We must adopt a new view of human nature, and of human intellect, before we can bring ourselves to admit an idea so ridiculous. Napoleon knew well, as his army was situated, that there was a chance at least of his letter being intercepted; he could easily give directions that the bearer should allow himself to be taken. To judge of him, therefore, as we have always judged of great military characters, and particularly of his own acting hitherto, we must suppose that he dispatched the letter in question, for the purpose of falling into the hands of the Allies, in order to mislead them as to his ulterior views. A very short period, perhaps a very few days, will determine how far I am correct in my supposition. While I write this, it does appear to me, notwithstanding what has happened, that those favourable chances, which the Allies seem to have calculated upon, of ultimate and full success, have no real existence. Connecting the above circumstances, particularly the uncertain and desponding language of Sir Charles Stewart, with other facts, which will occur to the reader, it does seein, that the French people, whatever they may do in future, have not yet declared against Bonaparte. Had any symptoms of this kind appeared, even among the Parisian mob, we should have heard of it long before this. The gazette; nay, all our lying journals, are silent respecting an occurrence, which, if it had happened, would have formed the most prominent and constantly recurring theme of their disgusting strictures. Until, therefore, I see the PEOPLE of France declare against their Emperor, I never can persuade myself that 200,000 men, or even four times that number, will be able to shake the stability of his throne.

Since writing the above, I have been favoured, by a friend, with the following very pertinent and sensible remarks, on the subject of

Box APARTE AND THE Allies.--— In war the greatest events arise sometimes out of the slightest causes—The interception of a letter, or any thing equally trifling, may decide the fate of a capital. Yet, had Bonaparte, two years ago, marched to Petersburgh, instead of going to Moscow, Alexander would not at this moment have been in Paris. Had Bonaparte, instead of making kings, converted the many countries he overran into republics, they would have secured him from royal ingratitude; they would have furnished him with troops to fight his battles, instead of suddenly starting up against him as foes and invaders. But the Allies are now in Paris, and the grand question is, what is to be the result 2 The mask is now completely thrown off: the man who, but the other day, for the first time in this metropolis, was officially styled the Emperor of The FRENch : the man with whom, under that title, long ago, by other nations, solemn treaties have been entered into : that man is now to be hunted down as a mad dog, and the Bourbons are to be set up in his stead. Even his father-in-law, and one of his quondam officers who owes him every thing, now join in the exterminating chase. Such are the ties of affection and gratitude among some crowned heads. For this purpose the Allies are in Paris, and we understand that Louis the XVIIIth has actually been sent for ' So far then are the Allies successful. But Bonaparte is not yet killed: he is not yet taken : he is still at large, enjoying the affections of the people for whom he has done so much; and he is at the head of a large and powerful army, with others at his disposal, and having in his possession a chain of fortified and well garrisoned towns, which forbid exit to the invaders now in France. No such large body as the allied army is reported to be, can long remain stationary, or cooped up in a town; they must shortly

bestir themselves, and think of going home again; 'when, having to encounter Bonaparte's well disciplined, well formed, and healthy armies of his different numerous garrisons, however they themselves may be loaded with plunder; with what is termed the soldier's legitimate harvest; yet encumbered with this plunder, and enfeebled by want and sickness, it is possible that, though they have made their way to the capital of France, they, on their return, may have sorrowfully to exclaim with the caged starling, mentioned by Sterne, “I can't get out.”

A wide-spreading torrent may devastate the neighbouring country; but the land it overflows, absorbs, in its turn, the widespreading element; the only remaining traces being stench and mud. Bonaparte's position is critical.—Not less so is the position of Alexander. Bonaparte is in his own country, and surrounded with friends. —Alexander is far from home, bewildered perhaps by flattery and foreign gold; in the country of an enemy from whom retaliation is every hour to be expected 2 Should a levy en masse take place, not merely the Allies, but our brave Wellington and his army would stand a chance of extermination. —While thus stating our ideas on the

| possible results, let us not be misunder

stood as casting the slightest censure on the cause in which the Allied powers are engaged. The contest is the more meritorious, that it is carried on by crowned heads, who, contrary to what has taken place in former times, are now combating, not for, but in fact, against themselves. They are, according to their own repeated declarations, fighting not for the paltry purpose of destroying an Emperor, to set up a King in his stead; but for the noblest of all purposes;–for that for which every man ought to arm—namely, for the purpose of restoring liberty to groaning Europe.— Often have they given us their royal word, that they are fighting for the liberties of Europe, and against despotism: this, therefore, implies that if they conquer, their intention is to render all Europe free: —to abolish despotism in every shape, and in every country; and to restore universally, to the long oppressed inhabitants of Europe, those rights to which they have an undoubted claim. The Autocrat of Russia will then restore freedom to his vassals.—The King of Prussia will then abolish all Tyrannical proceedings in his dominions, if any exist. —The Emperer of Austria will not wink at assassinations, nor suffer any victims to be entombed in dungeons; and the petty powers will no longer sell their subjects like Bullocks —while, in England, we shall have only to put an extinguisher upon corruption, and a spunge upon the National debt. Others may, o with a malign eye, view this Royal Alliance in an unfavourable light, and maliciously suggest, that they intend monopolizing that for which they have been fighting—the Liberties of Europe. But many circumstances prevent us from being of this sentiment. Among others, the fre: quent appeals to the people made by the Allies, in our opinion, serve to show the consciousness of crowned heads that nothing can be done without the people :-that the people are not only respectable, but also formidable, and that, with the people, resides the foundation of all power.— The Allies are in Paris:—the white-flag may be unfurled, and the white cockade may be worn by a small number of individuals. –But the Allies have not yet safely got out of France;—the Bourbons are not yet peaceably seated on the throne: -Bonaparte is not yet exterminated:— neither is the French nation yet prostrate.— The fate of war is various:–the conqueror of to day may be the captive of to morrow.

Bon ApARTE AND the Bouabons.

Mr. Editor, Having observed in your invaluable Register of the 12th of March, an article entitled “Magnanimity of Bonaparte,” in which there is an extract from Anne Plumptre's narrative of a three years' residence in France; I beg leave to direct your attention to the following remarks of the same able writer on the Character of the French Emperor, which at this eventual moment, when the restoration of the Bourbons is so much spoken of, may be deemed acceptable to your numerous readers. Speaking of the accusation of moroseness of temper, which the enemies of Napoleon have brought against him, Miss P. observes : ** But even ...; Bonaparte's manners ever so violent and unconciliating, he has a hold upon the public opinion of another kind, so forcible, that, while supported by that, it is difficult to

*: the

conceive wer of anything else to shake him. Military glory is, ofever has been, the idol of the French nation;

and the greatest .. heroes among their

kings, Francis the Fitst, Henry the ourth,

and Louis the Fourteenth, are thase, who

were the most adored by their subjects. The misfortunes of the late king may have

excited compassion in many a boson, but

not a note of admiration is ever uttered when he is mentioned. He is called le pauvre Louis seize, le malheureux Louis seize, while the names of the others are never mentioned but with enthusiasm, as François le grand, Henri le grand, Louis le . grand. If such their fondness then for military glory, with what sensations must they not behold the emperor Napoleon'— Is it possible that he should not be the object of their admiration?—I have more than once observed, that if in the midst of repining and discontent with the revolution, and the present government, the days of Arcole, of Lodi, or of Marengo, have been mentioned, a glow of enthusiasm in an instant animated every countenance, and seemed to, inspire every bosom ; all other feelings were immediately absorbed in the idea that it was by the victor at Arcole, at Lodi, and at Marengo, the nation was governed, and the two following lines from one of their most celebrated tragic poets, were immediately applied to him:

Lo premier qui fut roi futun soldat heureux;-
Quisert bien son pays, n'a pas besoin d'ayeux.
CoRNeille.
A lucky warrior was the first of kings;--
Who serves thestate, nomatter whence he springs.

Will the days of Ulm, of Austerlitz, of Jena, of Friedland, of Aspern, and of Wagram, have contributed to lessen this enthusiasm?—If among those who were the most forward in expressing general dissatisfaction and discontent with Bonaparte's government, inquiries were made into the reasons of their discontent, it appeared that these were not very easily explained. Was he addicted to gallantry? No.—To the pleasures of the table? No.—Was he a gambler? No.-Did he squander away the money of the country in gratifying idle fancies of his own? No.—Had not all his expenses some great public object in view? Yes.—Had he not restored the nation, harassed by faction, to unanimity and tranquillity!, Yes.—Had he not extinguished the dreaded flames of civil war? Yes.—Had he not restored the emigrants to their country? Yes. HHad he not restored their religion to all? Yes-Were not religious opinions free and unshackled? Yes.--Did he neglect the duties of his station? did he leave to others the business which he ought to attend to himself? 0h parbleu non;

He was always at business, he would hardly allow himself time to eat or sleep; nay, he would scarcely even allow those about him a moment's respite from their labour. His private secretary was kept so hard to work that he was obliged one day to remonstrate against it, and beg that a second secretary might be employed, to take some of the burden off his hands: but Bonaparte, instead of yielding to his remonstrance, answered, that he certainly should not take a second, that he only regretted the being obliged to have one; he wished nothing so much as that it were possible to do all the business himself. “Let Bonaparte restore us our lawful “king,” say some, “ and we will then “confess that he is a truly great man.” These are of those zealous royalists, “who, “seated comfortably by the fire-side, with “ their feet upon the fender, declaim in “very severe terms upon the dastardly be“haviour of their countrymen towards “ their monarch; and who, it might there“fore be supposed, had done prodigious “things for him themselves; but who had ** in fact deserted him on the first approach “of danger, and left him to scuffle through “his difficulties as well as he could; the “consequence of which was, that he could “not scuffle through them at all; yet now “ they are very zealous for the restoration of “ his heir.” But would Bonaparte do a real service to the French nation in restoring to them their lawful king? . This certainly may be made a question. What sort of a service did Monk render to England in restoring the two sons of Charles the First? A very sorry one indeed;—one which occasioned the necessity of a second revolution only twenty-eight years after. And is there a better prospect in the restoration of the Bourbon princes?—have any of them ever evinced the talents requisite for guiding the helm of a great nation?—are they so exalted by their virtues above the rest of mankind, that they hence derive a just claim to command and rule over them 2– or is it to be expected that in returning to wer they would bury all their animosities in oblivion, and not execute what they would call retributive justice upon the authors of their sufferings? Nothing, that has hitherto appeared in any part of their conduct, gives reason to answer these questions in the affirmative. What then would be the prospect of the country in seeing them restored, but to become a prey to fresh scenes of carnage and desolation? The conduct to be expected from the ad

herents of the Bourbon cause, if they should ever again obtain the ascendancy, is sufficiently demonstrated in the outrages committed by the Sabreurs at Marseilles. They plainly showed that they had no objection to license and anarchy, when they were themselves at the head of it; they only objected to it when they became its victims. To restore the family of Bourbon to the throne would now be only to sacrifice one faction to another; whereas the way to promote the general peace and prosperity of the country is to keep a vigilant eye over them all. But there is yet another question to be asked, Is it in Bonaparte's power to restore this lawful king?—would the nation at large permit his restoration?—I am firmly of opinion, not. However attached these zealous champions of the royal cause may be to the ancient dynasty of their kings, it is by no means clear that the sentiment of the nation, taken in the aggregate, corresponds with theirs. Bonaparte might overthrow his own power in attempting to restore Louis the Eighteenth; but it is far from certain that he would seat him on the throne: the nation, which has delegated to him the task of governing it, would scarcely choose that he should delegate that task to another, without their opinions being consulted upon the subject; but, if he proposed to quit his station, would reserve to themselves the right of deciding who should fill it. Such an immense mass of interest against the return of the Bourbon family has been created by twenty years of revolution, that even if Bonaparte were as great a tyrant as he is represented, and his tyranny should become ever so insupportable to the nation, though they might make him descend from his present eminence, they would not invite a Bourbon to be his successor. In the time of the League, a priest of that party once, when he was to preach took for his text the passage in the sixty-ninth psalm, which in our translation runs, “ Lord, deliver us out of the “mire " which he translated, Seigneur debourbonnez nous !-In such a prayer I believe ninety-nine out of every hundred, or perhaps nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand, among the French, would now join. “Let Bonaparte restore me all that I have lost,” say others, “ and I will then acknowledge him truly the friend and benefactor of the country.” This is modest; it is identifying the public good with their own individual ease.—One triflin

objection, however, stands in the way § accomplishing what these gentlemen, who

are indisputably of the faction of the impatient, require, that the thing is impossible. Supposing Bonaparte ever so well disposed to comply with their wishes, yet where is all that they have lost to be found? —But have they forgotten that many of them were once strangers in foreign lands, wanderers on the face of the earth; and that they have now a home and a country, with the means of subsistence, though not of living in their ancient luxury? To attempt the restoration of all their possessions, would be to plunge the country into worse calamities than those from which it has recently been rescued; to relume in its bosom the flames of civil war. Instead then of murmuring and repining at petty inconveniences, which they find personally, and attributing them to the present government, they should reflect, that a very great length of time is necessary to correct the numberless abuses to which such a period of anarchy has given rise; and consider that the work of destruction is the operation of a moment, while that of regeneration is of necessity extremely slow. The one is the impulse of a hasty movement executed without reflection, under the guidance of a heated imagination; while every thing relating to the other, must be poised in an exact scale, weighing deliberately the advantages and disadvantages which may result from any measure proposed, without suffering passion or prejudice to give the least preponderance either to the one side or the other; and recollecting always that the general good is the main object to be kept in view, not the particular convenience of this or that individual.”—I am yours, &c. Aristides. Edinburgh, 4th April, 1814.

Oxford UN i v ERsity.

Two letters having already appeared in the Register, on the abuse of the Procuratorial power in the University of Oxford, the subject, which certainly is of great importance to the inhabitants of that celebrated place, appears to have excited a considerable degree of interest, and to have given rise to a discussion which, it is to be hoped, will lead to a radical reform of the abuses which are said to belong to the procuratorial office. In giving publicity, however, to these letters, it is not my intention to pledge myself for the accuracy of the statements which they contain. The writers are unknown to me; but, as truth will probably be elicited between them, and the

result be beneficial to the inhabitants of Oxford, , the liberal and philanthropic mind, it is hoped, will not be disposed to object to the publication of this correspondence, merely because it is of a local nature. The two letters formerly given, were confined to one side of the question. The following, which I have since received, is intended as an answer to the one that appeared in the Register of 26th February.—It has already been published in an Oxford paper, together with the subjoined reply, from the able pen of the writer of the first letter: *

MR. Editor, I will not intrude upon so large a portion of your valuable columns as has been occupied by the writer of a letter from this place, which I have read in your paper. I have only to observe, that it is utterly false that the Proctors of the University exercise or possess any right whatever of being judges in their own causes; and I need not say that this is the main hinge upon which all your Correspondent's subsequent observations turn. It is equally false that the statute cited by your Correspondent conveys the power of a general search-warrant; inasmuch as the power of entering the houses of the inhabitants is given to those Officers of the University, solely and expressly for the necessary purpose of ascertaining whether any of their own body are therein; and cannot therefore, authorize them to proceed in the manner in which they would be entitled to act under the authority of a search-warrant. It is absolutely false that any prostitutes have been apprehended “for merely appearing in the streets, though walking orderly and quietly in the day-time;” they are at no time put into confinement without suitable warning, nor without the most earnest endeavours to reclaim them from their vicious mode of life; and it is especially false, “that an instance is well known to have occurred in Oxford, of an unfortunate prisoner being driven into a state of insanity, from which she never recovered.” The discipline and authority of the University, which are of vital importance to the interests of the State at large, cannot be impaired by the sophistical argumentation of your Correspondent; but it is perhaps due to a cause, however strong, to shield it from wilful misrepresentation of facts. Of such misrepresentations I have selected only some of the most glaring specimens; but I may safely assert, that there is scarcely a sentence in your Correspondent's letter, which does not contain some

« ZurückWeiter »