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profound policy, and rather ascribe their conduct to the cause which has already exercised a fatal influence upon the fortunes of this country, and may finally occasion its destruction, — the influence of a factitious public opinion, founded on ignorance, which impels a minister to act in contradiction to his own judgment. It is impossible to anticipate the disasters and mischief which may be the result of that morbid appetite for popularity which now influences an English minister, and that fatal and false shame which prevents him from pursuing a wise policy, when its wisdom can only be appreciated by the well-informed and judicious, and is, consequently, not obvious to the blatant million, whose huzzas are his trumpet of fame. There is no subject on which, as a society, we are so misinformed as our Foreign Policy. Every man can be a political economist : he reads a few articles in a Review, and iinmediately babbles about the currency, jests at our colonies, and sneers at the balance of trade. Every man can be a political philosopher : let him read but a few more articles and the title pages of Jeremy Bentham ; -- who ever read farther? and he is prepared to destroy every institution of the country. But Foreign Policy is more easily brought to the test, and requires a somewhat
deeper study, longer observation, personal acquaintance with the states and statesmen of Europe, and, above all, a really philosophic mind, - a mind above prejudice or passion — that will survey every thing with a comprehensive and enlightened spirit, and never forget that the main object of all its workings is to increase and to maintain the glory, and the wealth, and the happiness of one's country. The great statesman is one who, despising a facile but false Popularity, would render his country prosperous, even in spite of itself.
Foreign Policy, being a study thus difficult to acquire, has of late been conveniently voted of very subordinate importance. To my mind, who am of the old school, it is of primary, of paramount importance: upon our foreign policy the safety as well as the glory of this country, as a great empire, depends. A few more years like the present, and we may in good time become the rivals of Ceylon or of Cyprus. *
* Nothing more clearly evinces the ignorance of the English public on the state of Europe, than the idea which they entertain in this country of the King of Spain. Every where
you hear described, as the most cruel of tyrants, and the darkest of bigots, a monarch who, if he ever be deprived of his crown, may assuredly ascribe the loss to the very contrary opinion entertained of him by his own subjects, with whom his liberalism is far from being popular.
Whenever the question of Irish government be examined with that unimpassioned research which the present age will not permit, we may perhaps trace the continued anarchy of that unhappy country, in a great measure, to the forced introduction of English institutions. What blessings the English form of government has produced in the green vales of Erin may be best answered by its bloody and flaming annals of massacre and incendiarism for seven centuries. Government after government has postponed the evil reckoning-day with Ireland, like the prodigal who, every hour more conscious of approaching ruin, drives the infernal thought from his agonised conscience, and seeks a short respite from despair in the excitement of increased profusion. France has recently felt the results of the constitutional studies of Louis XVIII. in the groves of Hartwell. His country and his family have been sacrificed to his ignorant admiration of the English Con" stitution, and to his blind confidence in the glowing superficialities of M. Delolme.
The example of France, acting on Spain and Naples, needs merely to be alluded to. The great body of the people in both these countries soon expelled the exotic novelties; and all that this
political buffoonery occasioned, has been an afflicting sum of individual misery.
Bavaria and Wirtemburg, Baden and Hesse, - these are the constitutional bantlings of the , liberalism of that Congress of Vienna, to which the Liberals have been so inexcusably ungrateful. And what have been the results? You may
view them in a happy, industrious, and intelligent population, transmuted into secret societies of mystical intriguers. You may view them in the corrupted youth of Germany, who, ignorant of the commonest details of life, muse in their crude reveries over a new organisation of society, or conspire in their wild revels to effect the perfection of their kind; the slaves of an inflated imagination, whose only practical idea of liberty is to assassinate a sovereign.
And last of all Portugal. In justice to the memory of a statesman, with whose motives I was well acquainted, let me acquit Mr. Canning of any
share in the indiscretions of Lord Stuart de Rothsay. They occasioned him, at the time, the bitterest anger, regret, and mortification.
Don Pedro has a passion for sketching Constitutions from the great English model; as M. le Marquis de la Fayette has a republic, in his pocket, for every people. Don Pedro is, for the nonce,
above all others, the liberal monarch, — the great Gog of liberalism; but so abhorred by his own proper subjects, that he has recently been banished from his empire, without even a single domestic shedding a tear for his departure, or a single chamberlain of his household raising his wand of office in his defence. What could have induced an English diplomatist — and an English diplomatist of the rank and character of Lord Stuart de Rothsay — to compromise his own government, by becoming the bearer to Portugal of the crude constitutional abortion of the Emperor of Brazils, we have yet to learn. When severely rated by Mr. Canning, who instantly foresaw the results, his Excellency could only reply that he had been “requested by the Emperor.” A choice reply, and a strong claim for a peerage !
Mr. Canning was a truly English minister; of which the French were probably aware, since they commemorated his death by striking a medal. Assuredly no man ever fulfilled the duties of the Foreign Office, who was better acquainted with the interests of this country, and more devotedly opposed to the supremacy of our neighbours. Had he lived to this day, we should, perhaps, have been exempted from the events of July, we certainly should from most of their fatal consequences.