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NELL, and others. Second Edition
I. Comparison between the Powers of England and Russia, as they
II. On the Suppression of Public Discussion in India, and the Banish-
III. The Opinions of Mr. Ricardo and Mr. Adam Smith on Political
IV. On the Censorship recently established in France. By Viscount
V. On the Disturbances in the Southern Districts of Ireland. [Original.]
IX. The Non-Establishment of Liberty in Spain, Naples, Portugal, and
CHAP. I.--The influential division of Europe between England
and Russia—the motive and design of this work. The continent of Europe is at this moment under the dominion and influence of two great powers; and however the national pride of the other states, into which Europe is divided, may vaunt and endeavor by outward appearances to prove their independence, yet so great is the disproportion of the forces of those two powers with the strength of the other continental states, that, in point of fact, it has become impossible for the latter, in the conduct of their affairs, to move totally uninfluenced by the former. In future we shall bear no more of the independence of nations, for these two powers will exercise supreme control over the other kingdoms, until all are more completely absorbed under their overwhelming rule, than even at present; and no independent banners shall flout the air save those of Russia and England.
In the plenitude of its greatness, Rome was the only asylum where the injured or oppressed could find security from domestic convulsions, and receive protection from external aggressions. But in our days a double « protectorate” has reared its colossal form in Europe ; and although the modes of intercourse adopted by civilised nations may, to a certain degree, conceal the traits of this vassalage of the less powerful states, the yoke of tacit submission is not on that account the less firmly riveted on their respective governments. Of these two powers, the one, namely England, possesses the means of attracting to its own coffers the riches of other nations, while the other, Russia, may at any time menace their separate existence. The former, by its essential interests, its
laws, and its manners, is limited to a certain line of policy; whereas the latter knows no such impediments, because the nature of the government is autocratical. There are still two other powerful states on the continent, France, and Austria ; but they are very inferior to the two former in strength and independence, the first elements of which Nature has bestowed on England and Russia, while she has refused them to Austria and France. In every question of European politics, however little important, the general inquiry now is, what may be the views and determinations of the Russian or British cabinets. Under every circumstance it is their
visa," or authoritative permission, which prescribes the rule of action to the other governments. It was thus that, in the time of Napoleon, the whole of continental Europe followed with anxious eye all the movements of the great ruler, and listened with attentive ear to every word which fell from his lips. The scene is only transferred from Paris to Petersburg; the dictator, it is true, is changed, but the existence and the pressure of the dictatorship remain. By this extraordinary concurrence of events, the labors of Henry of France, of Gustavus of Sweden, of William of England, of Richelieu, and Oxenstiern (provident and mighty geniuses) bave entirely failed in establishing the liberties of Europe by founding them upon the balance of power. Where is that political equilibrium, the favorite object of their wise combinations ?-On one side Russia, whose name not an hundred years since was scarcely known as a power in Europe, has been silently, advancing to gigantic strength, veiled by the impenetrable darkness of barbarism ;-on the other, England, effecting with difficulty her religious and political reformation, had at that time hardly tried her power ou the ocean. India and America were as yet unknown to her ; at present she includes nearly the whole world under the strong force of her arm, and the extent of her foreign empire seems only to be equalled by the apparent permanency of her dominion.Frenchmen! Spirits of departed warriors, whose remains have fertilised the Russian soil ! "Ye conquerors of a military race; but, alas ! inglorious victims of northern inclemency, how doubly bur-, densome must be to you the weight of that earth, since your blood, shed in vain, hath not received its merited reward; and the barrier, which Europe demanded, has been denied to your labors! Fruitless regrets! Alas! . the day propitious to unrestricted and salutary combinations for the liberties of Europe has long since passed away from us!
The natural result, however, of the vast extent of dominion conquéred by England and Russia has been to establish a rivalship between them. Do but let us imagine two mighty rivers proceeding from one common source, flowing along in parallel lines, con
tiguous, as it were, to each other, and yet“ asymptotically” refusing to blend their waters. Thus, united in counsel and effort against Napoleon, by his death, which was the common work of both, the interests of England and Russia are separated for ever. His tomb was the point of their estrangement from each other; the allies of Leipsick and of Waterloo are henceforward essentially opposed to each other in every political circumstance. Never did Rome and Carthage watch each other's movements with more vigilant jealousy; never with more fervid envy did Cæsar and Pompey behold the metropolis of the world divided between them, than those two modern empires display in their dealings with each other. Both are daily laying claim to the good opinion and the admiration of the other states, and each demands to have the honor of protecting the weaker against the stronger power. We might fancy that upon the two extremities of the European Continent two heralds were placed, vauntiug aloud the pretensions of the “double Protectorate," and urging the merits of either to become the protectress of the world!
A work, whose object is to guide the European choice between these two high protecting powers, by making completely manifest the elements which have combined to cause their political elevation, seems to be the grand desideratum of the age. Circumstances contribute to render such a production absolutely indispensable. It has no limited character, no confined tendency; it is general, not particular, not local ; in short it is European, and embraces the consideration of all its various interests ! Suggested by no motives of resentment; without any view to the advancement of private views; impartial, and balanced by regard to truth alone, this work is destined to analyse in the face of Europe and the world their most essential and dearest interests ! It is too common to hear it remarked of a book ;“O! that is an English work—a French, or a Russian production;" hut of this let it be said, that it is, in the most extensive signification “ European.” In discussing questions of such great and infinite importance as these, our first duty is to throw out of the way all consideration of men, who are merely transient creatures, in order to have our undivided attention fixed on circumstances the nature and effect of which
permanent. In taking this great cause in hand the author has had no higher ambition than to prove himself the faithful and impartial narrator. Readers will judge how far he has entitled himself to their credit. Free in his researches, and sincere in his statements, he has conceived it to be useful and proper, in the first instance, to give a succinct account of the separate parts of which the British power is composed; from which it will be seen, that the increasing civilisation of the globe has progressively and mainly contributed to the