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feodality through the several furnaces of the despotism of subtlety (such as those of Louis XI., the elder Ferdinand, and Henry VII.), the tyranny of anarchy, and that which hath ever succeeded it, of military violence, before it could be qualified to bear the genuine stamp of civil liberty. The distracted jealousies of a haughty aristocracy rendered any concentration against the oppressors absolutely impossible; whilst the calm but energetic spirit of liberty, no less than the injured vanity of the associates of Napoleon in victory, would, had a similar outrage been meditated, have rallied every Frenchman round the national oriflamme, as at the youthful and vigorous era of the Revolution. Restraint, therefore, and coercion were the only resources.

Above all, the frontier of the Rhine was pointed out with plausibility as demanding the watchfulness of a military Argus. The Netherlands—which have, both from the nature of the country and their connexion with other Governments, been considered as the arena of Europe from the battle of Bovines to that of Waterloomight fairly claim an ample security not only against France, but also the more formidable and less civilised Powers beyond their northern frontier. But the former was alone thought worthy of attention. Prussia and Austria, and other Powers whose resistance might be supported by the force of Prussia and Austria, were intrusted with the most important fortresses on the Rhine ; and thus the road was at once opened to any future ebullition of despotic violence. The danger would not, however, have been imminent, since the resources of France and the Netherlands would at any time be sufficient to keep both Austria and Prussia in check; but in the distance lurked a much more powerful adversary. The wild ambition of Charles XII. first introduced the barbarous Asiatic hordes of Russia into Europe ; that of Napoleon has consolidated their power, and rendered them integral members of the great European commonwealth. Yet, notwithstanding that the influence of commerce has communicated the refinements of domestic life to the inhabitants of Petersburgh,—and this influence has diffused itself through a considerable part of the western territory of Russia,--that vast empire must as yet, even in its most favored portion, be considered as scarcely emerged from infancy. The feudal spirit yet predominates ; and the circumstances attending the deposition of the present Emperor's father, and his own accession to the throne, evince that want of stability in the Government which is a marked characteristic of society at such an epoch. Here, then, was required the vigilance of the statesman, and the generous solicitude of the philanthropist. Austria, at present, exhibits the transition from feudal turbulence to ultimate civilisation, although she has as yet advanced but one step towards the latter; and, if a more enlightened age be incapable of discovering a safer path, must force her way through troubled waters and blighting deserts ere she reach the promised land. Yet is her present state negatively favorable to the common cause of mankind. The despotism which has been acquired by the benumbing acts of policy will not readily allow the torpor, which is its only security, to be excited into action; whilst the restless spirit of a feudal subject must be directed on others, if the Sovereign would protect himself; and the turbulent baron must be allowed, or even encouraged, to dissipate his wealth among the more compliant commons, whose sluggish growth keeps not pace with the rapid downfall of the former, until they both sink beneath the oppressor. The mutual jealousies which ever exist between two neighboring states where the real principles of government are not understood, would have rendered Austria and Prussia fit curbs for the impetuous spirit which threatens us from the north ; but instead of even confining Russia within the bounds which limited her territory until the treaty of Tilsit, Austria and Prussia were compelled io submit, whilst their formidable neighbor traversed the Vistula, and, by taking possession of the duchy of Warsaw, commanded at once a direct road to Vienna and Berlin. By either of these routes, but more especially the latter, we may expect to see the Cossack hordes introduced at once into the heart of Europe. From the Oder to the Rhine there is nothing which can for an instant arrest their progress; and were the question proposed to Austria in her present condition, whether she would prefer yielding a free passage to the tide of barbarism to the glory she might obtain in hazarding a conflict in the behalf of civilisation, there can, I fear, be little doubt as to her choice. This concession of territory to Russia was not merely vicious in principle, and palpably injurious to the real interests of this country in its immediate consequences, but led to that disastrous and disgraceful train of compensations (as they were termed) which have stamped indelible disgrace on our country. Some pretext was offered for the spoliation of Saxony, by the firm adherence of its Sovereign to the cause which he had espoused; but the impolitic cession of the richest provinces of Italy to Austria, and the cold-hearted barbarity which sacrificed the unoffending and defenceless republic of Genoa, leave room for only one consolatory reflection, in the proof they have afforded of the sympathy existing between folly and wickedness, and the confirmation of our belief in the opposite union of wisdom and virtue.

The subject, my Lord, would become much too extensive, were I to pursue in detail the various errors which characterised the conduct of our Minister at the Congress of Vienna. I will there

fore only consider the bearing of that conduct on our future policy, and on the feelings of other nations towards us.

It was natural that the persevering coercion under which the French indignantly groaned should excite in them feelings of aversion towards the Allied Powers, and more particularly that nation which the vulgar still looked on as a rival, and in which the reflecting had been so bitterly deceived. Was it not natural for those pure friends of liberty, who at the brightest period of the revolution had longed with an almost filial reverence to receive at our hands the blessings of freedom and civilisation, and who had, even during the heat of a protracted contest, looked forward with ardent hope to a period when the madness of the people, bursting from their chains, should cease to be mistaken for an incurably depraved and exterminating fury? Was it not natural, I say, for such minds to expect that the sun which they had worshipped in their first awaking would, now that they were far advanced in their rapid path, visit them with the full illumination of its noontide splendor ? But, alas, they looked in vain ; clouds and thick darkness hid its beams. The pillar of fire now shone on the Egyptians, and impervious mist brooded over the land of promise. From that moment all connexion or sympathy with England was at an end : those who had been imposed on them as rulers were received with a coldness which inspired reciprocal disgust; and the return of Napoleon was hailed by the indignant youth of France, while not one voice could be raised in favor of the Monarch who had preferred the antiquated title of legitimacy to that which is registered in the hearts of a confiding people. The Allies again triumphed; and the success of Napoleon appears to have excited no more attention in that point of view,—at least under which it should have been examined, -than the faults of some escaped highwayman, and all was conceived to be extremely well-arranged by despatching the disturber to his new jail at St. Helena.

At the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, the celebrated convention was entered into, which, but for the confidence reposed by a great capitalist in the immense resources of France, could only have been carried into effect in the shape of an absolute partition that is to say, could never have been carried into effect at all. The enormous sum of 700 millions of francs was imposed on the French nation; and however trifling this may appear to us, who for a long time have been trying to what extent the safety-valve of the political machine may be loaded without risking an explosion, the total impossibility of raising the amount within the prescribed time of five years, without mortgaging or absolutely sacrificing a large proportion of the territory of France, would in all probability have terminated the experiment at once in that country. Add to this the annual charge of 50 millions of francs to be paid to foreign troops, who were to be the conciliating supporters of a constitution conceded by the Sovereign, and a tolerably correct idea may be formed of the feelings towards this country which would be inspired by such a system of grinding and vindictive oppression. We recognise in private life the wisdom as well as the magnanimity of mild forbearance and conciliatory conduct towards our enemies. The desolating effects of vengeance portrayed by the great novelist in his masterly delineation of the uncontrolled passions of the Highlanders excite our commiseration for the ignorance, no less than our horror for the crimes of the wretched victims of this destructive passion. And yet, in the cool deliberation of the Cabinet, the ebullition of inconsiderate passion and the insolence of victory are to be dignified with the names of vindicated honor and national glory. The same spirit of unkind suspicion and ungenerous hatred has operated almost to the present hour. In every year since the conclusion of the late war, the Duke of Wellington has made periodical visits to the fortresses on the Rhine. The object of such visits, made by the victor of Waterloo, could not be a subject of doubt to the French nation; and instead of promoting an interchange of good offices between the people of France and the nations bordering that frontier, which is to us of the utmost importance, we were merely directing the attention of an enemy to the quarter in which they perceived an attack was most dreaded. Truly may we say with the Satirist

Everlere domus totas optantibus ipsis

Di facilesFrom the final downfall of Napoleon until the overthrow of the Constitution in Spain, a continually retrograde movement discouraged the real friends of social order. The reproach of Anglomanie in France was no longer uttered solely by the partisans of absolute monarchy; for there existed on all sides such a detestation of the part which England had taken in the soi-disant settlement of Europe and in the convention of 1815, that those who dared to hope for better fruits from a soil once so fertile were regarded as traitors to their country, and open advocates of the enemy. The Crown availed itself of this temporary discouragement of the liberal party to make rapid inroads in the Constitution. The most unholy purpose of the soi-disant Holy Alliance was not only publicly avowed without any remonstrance on the part of England, but secretly encouraged both by the past and continued tendency of our own Government to the suppression of public spirit in every quarter. At length the more flagrant acts of Ferdinand of Spain occasioned the violent reaction which nearly hurled him from his

throne. Naples attempted to follow the example of Spain; and the changes effected in Piedmont threatened Austria in her most vulnerable as well as most valued principality. But the inert mass of ignorance and superstition which weighed down both Spain and Naples, rendered these efforts as abortive as the convulsive struggles of Emeladus beneath Ætna. Industry and the neighborhood of France and Switzerland had done more for the Piedmontese; but the imposing attitude of Austria, and the hopelessness of assistance from any other power, damped every effort. I do not join with many of the most ardent friends to freedom in regretting that England was not actively employed in supporting these ineffectual struggles : for, although, had we from the first pursued a different course, the mild influence of civilisation might, by the united zeal of England, France, and other constitutional Governments, have diffused itself over south and western Europe; yet in the situation to which our misconduct had reduced us, distrusted by our natural friends, and watched with jealousy by our natural enemies, any appeal to arms in favor, be it observed, of people as yet incapable of discerning their own real interests, might have been fatal to this country, and have extinguished at once the hallowed flame which we are, I trust, destined to cherish for centuries to come. Our policy, however, was vacillating ; until, at length, the feelings of the people of England became openly opposed to that of the Minister, when the disastrous consequences of his negotiations with the most despotic Powers were palpably manifested. Englishmen felt their most generous indignation awakened at the melancholy fate of the Spanish and Italian patriots. Our alliance with Austria and Russia, after the resolutions taken at Troppau, Laybach, and Verona, was felt to be as unnatural as the conjunction of the dead and the living; and we shrunk with invincible repugnance from the connexion into which we had been forced by our diplomatic Mezentius, whose death opened to our wishes a new and enlightened era.

The gradual decline of the alarmist faction, after the death of Lord Londonderry, and the ascendancy acquired by the more liberal portion of the Cabinet, supported by the suffrages of the youthful members of the community who had now grown up to maturity, with minds unshackled by the prejudices and fears of their parents, allowed a full scope to the efforts of national improvement. In our domestic policy the amendment of the law, which had long been steadily resisted on the plea of unnecessary innovation, was sanctioned by the general applause bestowed on the minister who thus, at length, adopted the measures urged in vain by a Romilly and a Mackintosh. The principles of free-trade opened a new career for the development of talents hitherto content to slumber in the em

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