Abbildungen der Seite

put forth such an assertion ? -The letters twenty-four hours, unless these Judges de de cachet; the game laws; the gabelles, cide for his commitment. Compare this the seigneurial jurisdiction; the arbitrary with the operation of “ the ancient Orditaxation; the accursed parliaments; the nances and Customs of the realm," and sale of Justice; the dominion and oppres- say, who can, that the people of France sions of the church; the cruel corvées; the are likely to wish for the return of the endless vexations of the feudal system; the Bourbons. I have read the Code murderings of the provincial judges. All Napoleon with great attention, and with are done away, not a trace of them remains. not less admiration. Till I readit, I had Where, then, are we to look for those no idea that it was possible for any Code of " ancient Ordinances and Customs,” which laws so effectually to provide for the secuare said to be revived in the Napoleon rity of property and of personal liberty. Code? Taxation, heavy as it may be, is -The man who has been robbed, now uniform ; it falls impartially upon the or otherwise injured criminally, has rich as well as upon the poor; all public no trouble, 10 plague, no expense, expenses are borne by the general purse to encounter in pursuit of the criminal. of the public; the law is the same in all It is the duty of the Attorney General to do parts of the country ; judges are not of every thing necessary to detection and conlocal origin, but proceed from the no- viction, and the expense is wholly borne mination of the crown; no man can be by the public. There is some sense in callpunished, or even imprisoned, for more ing such an officer an Attorney General.than twenty-four hours, without substan- What, then, are we to think of those men, tial evidence of his guilt being made appear who are daily telling the people of England, upon oath, to the satisfaction of, at least, that Napoleon has thousands of 'Bastiles? two inferior judges. No man can be Who daily assert, that his government is a punished until found guilty by a jury, military despotism; that he imprisons and imparlially taken, and not then, unless punishes people without any form of trial; three out of five judges concur in the sen- that no man's property or life is safe for a tence. No man can be kept, in any case, single hour : what are we to think of these more than three months in prison without men ? Why, doubtless, that they are being tried. The Judges of Assize sit wholly ignorant of the subject on which every three months, and are compelled to they write, or, that they knowingly make decide all cases and causes before they quit use of the press for the promulgation of the places of sitting respectively. The Al- the most daring falsehoods. Amongst fornies General, of which there is one in the consequences of the improved situation every district, are for the protection of the of France, as to her laws and government, people, as well as of the rights of the has been the wonderful progress of the Crown. If a house be robbed, for instance, sciences and the arts, in which respect it is information is immediately given of it to notorious that that country has, within the Attorney General, who is personally to these twelve years, surpassed, in the midst attend at the spot, collect the evidence, of war, 'all the other nations of Europe put cause search to be made for the offender, together, though many of them have, for a and, if he be found, to bring him imme- great part of that time, enjoyed profound dialely before an inferior tribunal with a peace. It is, therefore, not a little whimWRITTEN account of all the facts and of sical to hear the Allies holding out to the all the evidence on which he has proceeded. French people, that, by compelling their That inferior tribunal, consisting of not less Emperor to come to their terms, the arls ihan three Judges, are then to decide whe will be revived in France ! It is probable ther the evidence be such as to justify their that the quantity of skill in the sciences commitment of the accused. They are not and arts, at this moment existing in France, only to read the written account of the pro- greatly surpasses the aggregate quantity ceedings, but are to re-examine, upon oath, existing in all the rest of the world; a the several witnesses. If they find any dif- proof indubitable of the security of proficulty in deciding, they themselves are to perty and persons ; a proof of the wisdom proceed to the spot where the offence has of the laws and the discernment of the perbeen committed. And, after all, unless son at the head of the government. -Do Iwo out of the three are for the commit. I approve, then, of the sort of government ment, the accused is set at liberty; and, in established in France ? Is it the sort of 20 case, can any one be copfoed more than government that I, if I could have my wish,

would like to see in that country?- chiefly be Republican's; and, it is impossible Plainly I say, NO. I should like to see to say how far their disaffection might carry the government of France that which the them in the hope of rebuilding the RepubConvention intended it to be. But I lic upon his ruin. They may, too, be more am speaking of what it is, compared with powerful, in a moment of alarm, than he what the old government was; and, if pru- supposes. It is possible, that his death, dence did not restrain my pen, I would and the meeting of a provisionary republispeak of

as compared with what some can government, may be announced to everother governments now are. We are not gaping London without a moment's previhere speaking about wishes, but about ous warning. But, if this be very unlikely, facls. Our wishes dught not to be directed it is, I think, many degrees more unlikely, in favour of this or of that man, or nation, that the people of France should declare for, exclusively. We may be excused for or in any way side with, those powers, wishing ourselves to be best off; but, our from whose success they must naturally next wish ought to be on the side of the dread the overthrow of their present laws, happiness of mankind.

With these which are the sole guarantee of their profacts, then, before us; with the view, which perty.--If, indeed, we believe what our we have now taken of the situation, past news-papers assert respecting Napoleon, and present, of the people of France; with we ought to suppose, that every man in this view in our eye, we have to decide, France has a dagger for his heart. If we not whether the people of France are likely believe, that he poisoned his own sick solto desire the return of the Bourbons (for diers, and that, upon another occasion, he that must be a point settled in the negative, buried some of them alive, and threw hotI think); but, whether they are likely to lime into the pits upon them; if we believe wish to put down Napoleon, and, as a na- these things, we must believe that all tural consequence, whether the allies are France holds him in abhorrence. But, com" likely to succeed ultimately against him. mon sense, to say nothing of the want of

It is said here, that there is no fear proof, and of the strong presumptive proofs that the Bourbons would endeavour to re on the other side, forbid us to believe store the old government. There is no fear those bloody tales, the fruit ofa desire to profit to us; but can the people of France see the from the credulity and the fear-begotten thing in the same lighi ? It is impossible. prejudice of the most credulous and duped

They must always associate the ideas of people in the whole world. Under the gabelles, corvées, and all the long list of op- name of Burdon, it is, in the Times pressions, with the restoration of that fa- news-paper, asserted, that Buonaparté mily; and, I imagine, that it will be very caused his wounded soldiers to be buried difficult to persuade them, that that resto- alive at a certain place in Italy; and the ration is not inseparable from the success way the publisher goes to work to establish of the allies, who, though they do not use the fact is this. The fact," says he, the language of the Duke of Bruoswick, do, " has been published, in this country, these as he did, invade France. Besides, the “ nine years, and has never yet been allies, though they profess to wish for the disprovid. Let it be disproved if it cm prosperity of France, do not shew any haste" be; and, if it be not disproved, it must, in making peace, while, on the other hand, of course, be admitted to be true. ThereNapoleon repeatedly declares, that he has " fore, Napoleon caused his wounded solactually accepted of the preliminaries, " diers to be buried alive." Now, which they have proposed to him.---The reader, what must that public be supposed people of France must, hence, naturally to be; in what a light must the public inconclude, that the Allies are not so mode- stellect and justice be viewed, when a pubrate in their views as they profess to be; lic writer can make use of such a mode they must conclude that some latent design of establishing an important historical exists of putting in execution schemes not fact ? What, in short, is the state of yet avowed; and, in this state of mind, it mind, to which that public is arrived, to appears to me very improbable, that they whom an interested writer, wishing to should aid the cause of the Allies by any please that public, could address such an rising against Napoleon, or by any unwill. article? - Is this the way that just men, ingness to repel the invaders. It is not to be that men impartial and 'not blinded by doubted, that France contains a great nun- prejudice, go to work to establish, or to ber of disaffected persons; but, these must verify, accusations? Upon this principle

Very dif

(94 all the ill, asserted of any man, must be and thus, by risking his own life, overbelieved without any proof. What was came that fear which prevented his unforasserted, for example, against the Prince tunate comrades in arms from receiving the Regent by Messrs. Hunts, must, upon this assistance so necessary to their recovery. principle, be regarded as quite true, be. It is impossible to doubt of the truth cause it has not been disproved. If one of this fact. How invent it? Why invent man accused another of theft, the business, it? Why should the author, a man of at the trial, would not be to produce proof great talents and great literary reputation, of the guilt, but proof of the innocence. So, hazard his reputation in such a way? that this Mr, BURDON, whoever he is, is 'This fact stands upon a foundation to, accuse any one whom he chooses to pick ferent indeed from the facts of Sir Robert out of any crime that he chooses to name, Wilson, Mr. Burdon, and all that anonyand the accused party is to be looked upon mous and abusive rabble of writers, in this as guilly, until he comes forward and pro- country, who administer food to the prejuduces proof of his innocence.

Yet, upon

dice of a public, who, in the case of Napothis principle, it is, that the accusations leon, will bear to be told, that the burden against the humanity of Napoleon have ob- of proof lies, 'not on the accuser, but on tained a currency in this country. There the accused.--- If this fact be true, is it

is not, as far as I have observed, any one likely, that those of Sir Robert Wilson and of those accusations, which stauds upon Mr. Burdon are true? Is it possible? I proof, which would be thought sufficient think that any man of common sense and to commit a man on an accusation of steal common candour must answer in the

pegaing, turnips or robbing an orchard. It is tivé. -If we were not wilfully blind, we áll assertion, founded on mere hearsay, or must perceive, besides, that Napoleon has sent forth without even alleged 'hearsay to many qualities (qualities which no one de

The assertions respecting his nies him), calculated to make him an obheroic humanitý stand upon a different jéct of respect witli the people --Upon foundation. The facts are recorded in the all occasions he shares the toils and the danhistories of his campaigns ; ihey are pub-gers of his armies. His attention to public lished amongst a people, who could not be business is almost incessant. He is'sober. easily deceived"; they are accompanied with His associates, or those who appear to be precise dates, with the names of parties' most confided in by him, are inen famed present, with numerous minute details, for their talents, in their several stations, and they appeal to a great number of living for their wisdom, for their application to witnesses. Cretelle, in his history of business. His hours of recreation are not the Revolution, relates, that Buonaparté, spent at the gaming table, but in the mmily: during his campaign in Asia, and at a exercises of the field. And yet this is tine when many of his soldiers were dy- the man, whom our news-Writers denomiing with the plague, finding the soldiers in nate a monster, though he is the son-in-law health disinclined to attend the sick for fear of our august ally, the Emperor of Austria ! of the mortal contagion, went himself to This is the man, because they submit to the pest-house, and, in the presence of his whose sway, these writers call the people aids-du-camp and others, went up to the of France base slaves, deserving the severbeds of those who were in the worst est chastisement ! If, indeed, Napoleon stages of the malady, took them by the were a half-mad tyrant; if he were a sort hand, saluted them in the kindest manner, of malignant idiot, who, while he kept



[ocr errors]

his own worthless carcass safe within the such a case to boast of being under his palace of St. Cloud, made it his sport to sway would call, with irresistible voice, send forth armies to butcher or be butcher- for our hatred, and not only for the

if he were a drunkard, a sot, a gam hatred of this nation but for that of all bler, a swindler, a man, who, if in mankind; for, in such a case, the people common life, would be kicked out of France would be a dishonour to the name of every hotel in Paris ; if he were and form of -But, if Napoleon be an emaciated creature, incapable of any none of this; if he be precisely the consort of exertion bodily or mental; if his trary of the imaginary character that I have mornings were spent in bed, his noons at drawn, with what justice do we, or some the toilette in the midst of washes, pastes, of us, revile the people of France ; with and baubles; his nights, sometimes amongst what justice do we abuse them, load them that description of battered females who with every epithet and term expressive of would condescend to flatter the loathsome contempt, for submitting to be ruled by impotence from which youth and beauty him? --I have now done with my prowould turn with disdain, though approach- posed subject; and I have only to add, ing them in a shower of gold, and some that, if what I have said, contain any times amongst roaring drunkards, professed force, whether in the facts or the arguments gamblers, blacklegs (if there be any such that I have advanced, it will require, to in France), rotten rakes, parasites, and answer it, something more than mere cenpimps..If

, indeed, Napoleon were a sure of me, or than the impulalion of bad man,

if man such a wretch might be call. molives. I have not the vanity to hope, ed; if he were a man of this description, that what I have said will produce much then might we justly accuse the people of effect; but, I am of opinion, that, unless France of baseness in patiently submitting the people of this country, by their disto his sway; then, indeed, when we heard countenance thereof, put a stop to this inthem cry, Vive l'Empereur! and thus cessant torrent of outrageous abuse against glory in their shame, we might justly call the French Emperor and nation, they will them the basest of slaves. In such a case in vain look for that peace which they ap, every expression of praise, bestowed on pear so anxiously to desire, and which him or his house, would stamp him who is so necessary to the prosperity of all used it with the character of slave. In Europe.

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

VOL. XXV. No. 4.] LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 1814. [Price 1s.





ertion in that way, in which alone it was The Number, containing the INDEXES, Tables, &c. necessary to complete the last wished' to make exertion in this work. Volume, that is to say, Volume XXIV, is But, 'a new and most interesting 'change now ready for delivery.

having taken place in the affairs of Europe;

a'reverse of fortune with him who has, for NOTIFICATION. For some time past; indeed, for some

so long a time, been the terror of European years past, the state of this country, and kings ; a great,' and almost general concusof all Europe, has been, as to politics, such sion being, according to all appearances, as to offer but very meagre materials for upon the eve of breaking out; a multitude discussion. On the one side we have seen kind, starting now, every hour, forth for

of new topics, deeply interesting to mannothing but the boundless dominion and influence of France on the land, and, on ihe discussion, an irresistible désire to také


thereini. has led to a determination to devote other, a similar dominion and similar inflyence of England on the sea and sea-coasts

not only more time and attention to the of Europe. The discussions, or, rather,

Register than it has had bestowed on it the remarks " (for there has been little room

for some years past, but more than it has for discussion) have been confined, in this had bestowed on it at any former period. country, to mere invectives against France,

There are times, when it becomes the duty on the one side, and, on the other, to such of men to make, in part 'at least, a' sacrifice slight efforts as some few persons have

of their taste for retirement; and, such a. dared to make, in order to check the growth

time the present seems to be. of the prejudices which such invectives

But, besides time and labour, there re were calculated to propagate and to nourish, quires, in order to give effect to the intenpot against France only, but against every

tion above spoken 'of, space; more space known principle of freedom. To meddle than this work, as now conducted, will alwith our own internal state, in a way that lov. 'It is,'therefore, intended, to erclude, the conductor of this work wished to do, in future, at the Priblic Papers and other no man has dared; nor does any man now official documents, except those of very dare. To notice cursorily any public great and general interest, and the insertion wrong; to censure in a mild manner; 10 of which is absolutely necessary to a clear express a thousandtha part of what the case understanding of the discușsions relating to calls for, and that, too, almost in parables, them. This will give room for that origi, is to beggar'one's feelings; is to rob one's nal matter, which the crisis promises to call indignation; is to desert, and almost be- for; it will enable one to catch the subjects tray, the sacred cause of Truth, by making, as they rise; and to leave very few of great in her name, claims so far short of her just importance wholly unnoticed. demands.

In times like ihe present, when the great In such a state of things, there seemed questions, not only of peace and war, but little hope of again seeing any room for ex- of liberty and slavery, with all their rami


[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »