« ZurückWeiter »
(ised such animating language in his description of the festival of the day, that“ it is barely possible to imagine a more remarkable * moment than that which hailed the appearance of his excellency * in that country !" Whilst NAPOLEON is proceeding in his reforins in the papal states, annihilating the temporal dominion of.. that worst of despots, of that grand corruptor of the faith and morals of Christendom, the pope of Rome, under whose tyranny the world and the church through long, and successive ages groaned, and bled !-Whilst NAPOLEON is'issuing his decrees (we hope the
foreign prints will give them at length)“ abolishing the inguist** TION, also several special tribunals ; divesting the clergy both * secular and regular, of all temporal jurisdiction, and annulling “all clerical privileges :”—abolishing also “ the right of asylum for “criminals;" a right by which thousands of assassins, as well as other criminals, and their accomplices were sheltered every year:*_Whilst these grand reforms are effecting at Rome;—whilst TOLERATION is gloriously advancing through the greater part of Europe, what is the grand project pursuing by the ambassador extraordinary of that nation which once gloried in the title-THE FIRST PROTESTANT STATE OF EUROPE! T'he sentiments and wishes of the noble marquis are clearly indicated in his first toast " HIS HOLI*** NESS THE POPE, and may 'he be delivered from his actual state “ of bondage, as the children of Israel were from the land of ** Egypt,” which was drank with three cheers!
In a late Review we had occasion to make some remarks on the downfal of the papal see, observing, that although the pope was deprived of his temporal sovereignty, so far from being deprived of the comforts or the luxuries of life, he was left in the full possession of his personal estates, and of a revenue of nearly 100,0001. sterling per annum. To talk therefore of the old priest being in “ an actual state of bondage as the children of Israel were in ** Egypt,” is so consummately ridiculous, that one might have thought it impossible for any one to impose such language on the common sense of mankind. To what a mean and depraved state must the minds of tbe Spaniards be reduced, when such a toast could be grateful or even tolerable! But we all know the meaning which his excellency intended to convey on this occasion. By
deliverance from bondage,” he meant the restoration of the pope of Rome to that temporal and spiritual dominion he once possessed. Language is inadequate to express those mingled sensations of indignation and contempt, which we feel on viewing a British
of his per the luxurierereignty. so far although
* The crime of assassination was thought so lightly of at Rome, that a gentleman who visiteự that city a few years since, informed his friends, that he saw beggars on the steps of the cathedral chgrch of St. Peter, asking charity in the following words:--- Pray remember the poor assassin!"
ambassador employed as the tool of the see of Rome. We have. however, no fears that the wishes of his excellency will ever be accomplished. Divine predictions are rapidly fulfilling : the dominion of priests is submitting to the dominion of reason, and the influence of religion is prevailing over that of superstition. Why do the supporters of popery, and priestcraft,-Why do these baptised heuthen rage, and the people whom they still, delude, imagine a vain thing? The kingdom of the Messiah, that is the kingdom of reason and of truth approaches; and we trust the period is hastening when the prince of peace shall assume his sove. reign sway, and when all the systems of civil and ecclesiastical tyranny shall be broken with a rod of iron, and dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel!
The mixed army of British, Spanish and Portugueze under the command of Sir Robert Wilson in Spain, has been defeated ; and all the satisfaction we derive from the action is, the assurance that “it was well fought;" but at the same time we have additional evidence of the folly of continuing the contest in a country, where the mass of the people are contented with their new government, and who, notwithstanding the liberal supplies of money, ammunition, cloaths, and the large armies, sent from this country, receive our assistance with indifference, if not with aversion.
Our official gazette has given us long details of the operations of Sir JOHN STUART on the coast of Sicily, of victories obtained over the enemy, and of the capture of petty islands, which however, were shortly after relinquished. Of what use, it may be demanded, are such operations ? Sir Joho indeed informs us, “ that although " they should produce vo issue of achievement to ourselves, they "might still operate a diversion in favour of our Austrian allies, " under the heavy pressure of reverse with which he had learned " at the period they were bravely but unequally struggling.” The victories of France, and the armistice which so speedily followed, demonstrate to all Europe the great service our " diversions” have proved in favour of our allies ! A perusal of Sir John Stuart's dispatch must convince every one whose mind is open to conviction, that the blood and treasure of Britain has been as' wantonly lavished in Sicily, as it has been in so many other parts of Europe.
The internal affairs of Spain, we mean that part of the kingdom governed by the junta in the name of FERDINAND VII. wear much the same aspect as they have done from the commencement of the revolution. Of the inability of the junta to raise armies necessary for the defence of the kingdom, or to raise supplies equally necessary for the armies of their allies, the letters of Sir John Moore, and of Lord Wellington afford abundant demonstration. As to any renovation of the old despotic government,
t still heavy pressure of a but unequally stresdily follow
although the members of the junta have the example of Joseph Bonaparte immediately before their eyes, who has effected many useful reforms, more particularly in the ecclesiastical constitution, they seem to have no heart to set about the matter themselves, nor. to call in those who inay be better qualified for the purpose. We have heard much for these six months past of the assembling of that venerable representative body of the people of Spain--the cortez; but after all that has been published even in junta proclamations “ about it, and about it," there is no period yet named for its election. A royal order, as it is termed, has lately been issued, in which the convocation of the Cortez is recommended to the consideration of the junta, and the Marquis of Romana is required to “ separate himself from his troops," for the important purpose of assisting the junta in its deliberations. We augur no good to the cause of national reform, from the councils of the Marquis. Judging from the language of his proclamations, he appears to breathe the spirit of a tyrant when commanding, and of a slave when obeying. It is not long since that he issued a furious, despotic proclamation, in which he threatened bis countrynien, who would not first take up arms, and afterwards fight agreeably to hiş bumour, with the punishment of death ;-a singular mode of inspiring a people to rise in defence of liberty! In the last proclaniation addressed to his army, which he styles a body of“ immortal “ warriors, who without other assistance than their own valour, “ bave annihilated the proud army of the tyrant,” the Marquis takes his leave in the following vapouring address.“ Brave Spa“niards! in viewing you this day, I have no longer that serenity “ of mind with which I before have ever met you. I am no
longer your general ; his Majesty has called me to occupy a place '* in the supreme central junta. Had not this been his irresise
“ tible will, nothing should have separated me from you, nor '“ made me renounce the right I have to participate in your future
* victories under the command of your new chief, and the generals '“ who command you.” The “irresistible will” of Ferdinand, who appears, by his feeble and irresolute conduct whilst in his own country, scarcely to have had a will of his own; who for the past eighteen months has remained an insignificant prisoner in France, and who probably knows little or nothing of the various state documents issiled in his wame;—the.“ irresistible will" of this weak, unhappy young man, is the paramount principle of action in the bosom of the Marquis of Romana, the victorious general, on bis assuming the important office of regeverator of the government of bis country!
Another important project for ameliorating the condition of Spaip, is mentioned in the Spanish papers,-namely, the dissolution
of the junta, and the present government, and the formation of a regency at the head of which is to be placed the Archbishop of TOLEDO; a man of whom we know nothing but that he is in possession of an immense revenue arising, principally, from those ecclesiastical abuses which have so long enslaved and impoverished the people at large. What sort of “regeneration” under the auspices of his episcopal lordship is likely to take place we leave others to judge; but surely there is not one of our countrymen who, after the experience of the two last campaigns, but must be fully convinced, that whether the Spaniards are governed by the BOURBONS, or BONAPArtes, by the “ irresistible will" of Ferdinand, or that of the junta; or of the Marquis de Romana, it is high fine the Spaniards were left to themselves. If a kingdom ,with a population amounting to twelve millions cannot, more especially after the repeated, and liberal assistance afforded them by this country, furnish a sufficient number of men of ability, integrity, and courage, to assert and secure the national independence, it must be the height of infatuation to engage in any further attempts to help a people, who, to repeat the language of Sir John Moore, are destitute “ of ability or inclination to help themselves."
WAR IN THE BRITISH CABINET !-CHANGE OF MINISTRY, .
The total failure of all the plans of ministers ; the disasters which have befallen their foreign expeditions; the accumulation of national distress in consequence of the heavy weight of taxation ; the increasing power and influence of France; the little prospect of Utaining any one professed object of a war now in its seventh year--the political horizon covered with clouds ;— These complicated evils have not only excited a spirit of general discontent throughout the nation, but have at length overwhelmed their authors in confusion, and effected a complete revolution in the cabinet. Two of the secretaries of state, no longer able to conceal their bickerings, have declared open war against each other, and in defiance of the laws of God and of their country, have, by recurring to the gothic and savage practice of duelling, committed a scandalous outrage on both. The account given of the duel between Lord CASTLEREAGH and Mr. CANNING, merely states the circumstances--that it was fought on Putney heath, on Thursday the 21st instant, at seven in the morning—that after firing two shots each, Mr. Capuing was slightly wounded; onwhich the seconds interfering, the parties retired from the field; and that the wounded hero is since nearly recovered.
The public are not yet informed of the immediate cause of this pbameful occurrence: the reports circulated one day are contra
dieted the next; it is, however, generally understood, that the differences in the cabinet are not confined to the two secretaries, both' of whom, together with the inajor part of their colleagues, have, sent in their resignations; and that they only hold the seals of office #ill a new adıninistration can be arranged. Attempts, it is added, were repeatedly made by some members clinging to office, to reconcile their jarring brethren; but these attempts failing, his MAJESTY, after having had a conference with the PRINCE OF WALes on the subject, sent for Lords GRENVILLE and Grey, for the purpose of forming a new administration; it is not yet, however, known of what materials this administration will be forined; and a week or two is expected to intervene before the arrangeineot is completed. Thus have we a prospect of some change of system, por resulting from the strength of opposition, or from popular exertions, but in, consequence of a new leaf turning over in the chapter of accidents, unforeseen and unexpected,
The people have been so often deceived by the professions of public.men out of place, who have forgotten those professions as soou almost as they were in place, that although a change, as it relates to the conduct of the war, and in certain inferior points of domestic policy, may naturally be expected, yet, with respect to a radical cbange in the long established system of corruption openlyavowed, and vindicated even in the senate, and which has contaminated almost every department of government, very slender hopes can be entertained. The people indeed cannot reasonably, expect that a ministry should possess the virtues of disinterestedness, integrity and patriotisi in any considerable degree, whilst the same virtues amongst themselves are almost perpetually overpowered by sices of a directly opposite description. So long as the people manifest such an indifference to their rights as to neglect the exercise of those which are at all times in their own power, and until they generally, and in the most explicit and public manner demand the restoration of other rights confirmed to them at the Revolution, and more particularly those relating to pure, and frequent parliamentary, representation;m till they with one voice demand the removal of that execrable innovation, 'the Septennial Act,-an act which, by enhancing the price of boroughs, and seats in parliament, has been the chief cause of that corruption and profligacy which so notoriously reigvs over both the electors and the elected :-till, in short, the people are resolutely determined to look after their, qwa affairs, it will be in vain to expect any administration to per, form the task for them. If the events which have taken place during the past twelvemonths, do not awaken the people more generally, and throughout the nation, to a consideration of their besi iuterests, we have little expectation from any change of