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divided, may, by themselves, precipitate the settlement of the long agitated question. The French party, in their districts, may raise the tricolor flag of France; the Nassau party, in their strong holds, may again shout “Orange Boven!” the moderate party, who are only desirous of order, and the disappointed party, who are only desirous of place, will join the strongest; and Leopold, the Protestant King of the Belgians, who is now only supported by the Catholic priests for their purposes, may find himself, some morning, without a kingdom, and without subjects. Under such circumstances, how are we prepared to act? Can we, without shame, leave in his desolation the unhappy husband of a daughter of our Kings, herself once almost Queen of Britain ? This state of affairs is possible, it is probable, unfortunately it is, perhaps, certain.
There appear to be three modes by which the Belgian question may be settled :
1st. On the basis of Separation, originally laid down by the States General, and which, had it not been for the intrigues of the French Propagandists, would have satisfied the Belgian people, with whom the Prince of Orange was so popular that he incurred for a time the jealousy of Holland.
2dly. By War between the two countries.
3dly. By Dismemberment occasioned by the different parties.
For myself, I confess that when I think of . “ the Belgium business,” I fancy I see M. de Talleyrand busying himself with a great political problem, which he is soon about to solve. This problem is nothing less than the discovery of a combination which will satisfy at the same time both France and Holland. No one can admire more than myself the skill, and especially the experience of the Ex-Prince of Benevento. It is one of many great names, ecclesiastical and civil, French and Italian, which that gentleman has successively borne.
This man of many names and many oaths will fill a large page in the political annals of our century; - but my admiration does not reach that point of uttermost enthusiasm which can induce me for a moment to believe, like others, who consider his bon mots to be only equalled by his benevolence, that when this eminent personage busies himself at the great machine, he ever works for the interest of any other nation than his own. I do not blame him ;
- I wish I could see an English Minister as devoted and half as skilful. M. de Talleyrand is a Frenchman, he is essentially a Frenchman; and could we but read the innermost recesses
of his heart, we should need no microscope to discover the disgust of his Highness at all the mean and melancholy events that have recently happened and yet occur in their sad and silly course. He who has so often regulated the destinies of the universal and political world ---the prime fabricator of peace and war--the arch-Machiavel of the Great Captain--he, to be the servant of an usurper without genius, without talent, and to receive instructions from a second-rate speculator of the Bourse! Ah! he must experience some cruel moments of contemptuous remorse.
Yet, although the other night he remarked with his usual felicity, that he did not ever expect to see Belgium belong to France, which, considering he was a Bishop fifty years ago, is highly probable, he may receive some consolation in the solution of the great problem on which he is now intent, - the ruin which he is preparing for the commerce of England, and the alternative in which our absurd policy is about to place the King of Holland.
In Politics we must calculate all chances, and dwell on the probable ones. If then, on some fine morning, a national government be established in France, - a government which, existing not by the indirect support of a foreign administration, but by the power of the national will, and therefore
acting in compliance with the general wishes, — if this government be established, — and why may it not be established to-morrow ?- it will say to the King of Holland, thus cruelly deserted by his oldest and most natural allies,-“Come over to us: we will support you, and fairly divide Belgium between us. Namur and Hainault we must have; and we will find a compensation for you in Holstein; or, if you like, in Hanover; and the rest of Belgium is at your service. We will find a slice somewhere for Prussia, say Luxemburg. Fear nothing. Let us have a treaty of commerce, and an offensive and defensive alliance, and the peace of Europe is built on a rock."
And why should not the King of Holland accede to this combination with eagerness and sincerity? It would be advantageous to the interests of his realm; it would be gratifying to his just and personal vengeance. If England have deserted him for an unnatural alliance with her hereditary foe;- if Austria have deserted him for her own purposes, and aggrandisement in Italy; - if Prussia have deserted him from a fear of Propagandism in the Rhenish provinces ; - if Russia have deserted him, because she requires repose, to settle “ the Polish business;” why should not the King of Holland — the universal
scape-goat of Politics - at length consult his own interests? The Dutch are a nation capable of making any sacrifice for principle. Had we been faithful to them, they would have died in their dykes for our common cause: but that glorious tie is over. Great principles of policy are sent to the winds in this cowardly age of base and shortsighted expediency. Let, then, the King of Holland act for himself ; - let that enlightened and injured monarch of a virtuous, devoted, and admirable people, laugh at that pretended Balance of Power, those fraudulent scales which have been only used to cheat him. Let him at length discover, that, owing to the state of circumstances which England has herself produced, it is even, in a commercial point of view, more important to Holland to form an alliance with France than with Great Britain.
And in thus desiring the maintenance of the power of the House of Orange, let me not be suspected of giving utterance in a moment of irritation to an anti-national wish. It may be, that they who share my feelings upon the subject see farther than those political sciolists who tamper with the imperial fortunes of our country. Already we are indebted, for our freedom and our religion, to that house of heroes; and the time may yet arrive,