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the moment that he was going to trust the fate of himself, and that of the state to it, he sanctioned an example that struck at the root of all discipline. Soon after the meetof of the states-general, it was known that a large body of troops was to be collected in the neighbourhood of Paris and Versailles, as soon as the overbearing dispositions of the tiers etat began to appease, the officers received orders to join their regiments; the day after the lit de justice, the place of meeting was surrounded with troops; but, on the commons refusing to proceed to business they were removed; immediately after the King ordered the junction of the orders, Marshal Broglio was appointed to the command, in a few days the troops with a train of artillery began to assemble. A strong remonstrance was carried on the motion of Mirabean, to which the King gave for answer, that the diserders in Paris and Versailles were notorious, and that the troops were collected to preserve order and tranquillity; but, that upon the request of the states-general, he was willing to change the place of meeting to Neyon or Soissens. The remonstrances of the states happened most opportunely for the court, if they had taken full advantage of them. From the intercourse that had already taken place with Paris, it was certain that a motion to remove farther from that city would not come from them, but the remonstrances themselves were a sufficient ground for utting it in execution; if they complied, it carried them to a distance from that support which made them formidable; if part of them refused it divided them and destroyed the influence that they had by acting together. From the transactions respecting the French guards, it was highly necessary to order them out of Paris to restore discipline; if they obeyed it deprived the citizens of all military assistance, if they disobeyed, it furnished the most favourable opportunity that could have occurred for trying a question that it was evident must soon be brought to issue; whether government was to stand or fall; and one on which it must have received the support of every friend to order and military discipline. But they were allowed to remain in the town, and were held up by the citizens as an example to the other troops as they arrived : the army being left inactive was exposed to every species of seduction, the soldiers were enticed into the town, some desertions followed, and the discipline of the 'whole was affected. When Mr. Necker and his ministry were dismissed, nothing was done to give that measure effect, for unless
the states were removed, divided, overawed, dissolved, or means found to enable the government to go on without them, a change of ministry was to no purpose. If a commotion was not expected, why, collect an army 2 if it was expected, Paris was the only place where such a one as was to be feared could happen, yet no precautions were taken to prevent it. The agitation began there as soon as the news of Mr. Necker’s dismission arrived. There are not many, internal commotions that may not be easily crushed in the beginning; the actors at first are few, the crowd are merely spectators, but the first success converts the spectators into actors. A small number of troops, chiefly cavalry, entered the town, but were soon glad to retire. By some strange oversight the battalion of artillery at the Invalids had been withdrawn, the arms and artillery left, and no other troops sent to defend them. If the mob had been repulsed there, it is far from improbable, that they would have dispersed : even at the Bastile the force of the insurgents was not great, and had it been garrisoned only two days before by a few good troops, and a determined commander, it is to be doubted if the insurrection would have arrived at any height, for it was not till after their success there, that it assumed any consistent form. Though it then became an object of serious attention, it was by no means of such magnitude as to be decisive of public affairs; prompt and vigorous measures were no doubt necessary, and if they had been made use of earlier to resist the usurpations of the tiers etat, their success would have been easier; but, even at last, the insurrection was confined to the city of Paris, and had it extended much farther, if the King, as might have been expected, had put himself at the head of the army, and called the noblesse around him, there can be little doubt that the fidelity of the troops would have been secured, and that the cause cf government would have prevailed; for the army even after witnessing the humiliation of the King, protected the departure of those emigrants who thought it prudopt to fly from so weak a court, and afterwards obeyed the orders that were given them. Whether he succeeded in the undertaking or fell in the contest, it was the only determination.worthy of a King ; it is difficult to conceive how he could act otherwise, or without resistance resign the government of a great nation; but, such an excrtion was foreign to the character of Louis the XVIih., he rather chose to descend from his throne.
On the 15th day of July, 1789, when Louis the XVIth. walked to the national assem bly, and delivered himself into their hands, the French revolution was consummated, on that day the executive power expired; constitutions might be decreed, any name might be applied, any form might be affixed to them, but government was no more. Unless the supposition of an interior cabinet is admitted, the conduct of Louis the XVIth. is utterly inexplicable, measures apparently those of Mr. Necker were pursued for years after he was first dismissed from office; notwithstanding the opposition of the first meeting of the notables, and the disgrace of the minister, there was no varia. tion in the spirit of the administration; when he seemed to yield to the parliaments a plan was laid for their destruction; and, notwithstanding the defection of every man of rank and character from the ministry, the attempt was made ; from almost the first meeting cf the states-general, it was evident that there was a system within that of the ostensible administration, and whose principles he had ultimately tried. If such a cabinet there was, the number of thcse now in existence who are acquainted with its secrets must be small indeed. It would be imprudence or worse than imprudence to attempt to argue upon unconnected hints and unauthenticated surmiscs; but something there is unexplained in the latter part of the reign of Louis the XVIih., and the vacillations of his counsels between the two opposite lines of conduct, and his always failing both in the hour of trial certainly accelerated, and, it may be said, produced the catastrophe that followed. That the Sovereign of a powerful kingdom, who not three years before was supposed to be, and who actually was, in the plenitude of power, should be deprived cf his crown, not by a combination of men of rank and influence, not by men of great talents and clewated genius, not by a rebellion excited by oppression, not by great generals or victorious armies, but by an impulse of the populace, the principal instruments of which were attorneys, petty lawyers, and empty visionary projectors is unheard of in the
annals of history. It bears no analogy to
any former revolution, for every other re*... was a change from one form of government to another, or from one ruler to another; but the French revolution was the cessation of all government. It is in vain to search for the origin of so mighty an event in the frivolous causes that have been assigned; scribblers, false philosophers, illuminati, levelling clubs, and secret societies, are symptoms of the decline, not the causes (primary causes I mean) of the
destruction of government: as well might it be supposed that the sparks that preceded an irruption, had created the convulsive fires of Etna. Let the political quack and the fancied philosopher enjoy the selfcomplacency that they may feel in the flattering idea of their own penetration in having foreseen it. The statesman will say that he who foresaw the French revolution, must likewise have foreseen that Louis the XVIth was to be king. That there were predisposing causes will hardly be denied, but they were such as under an administration but moderate ability would not have been sensibly felt : to mature it required a continual system of administration that by always imperiously commanding, and always feebly yielding practically taught resistance from one end of the kingdom to the other; still it is incomprehensible; to compleat it, it was necessary that a man born to the most elevated
station, should tamely descend from that station to become the puppet, the toy, and
the victim of the despicable adventurers who successively attempted to seize the power he had abandoned. It is an awful warning to all governments; it was probably amidst the din of arms, and the career of victory, by being ablest in the council and foremost in the field, that the first foundation of that authority, called government, was laid; when arrived at maturity it does not require, and it is fortunate for society that it does not require, all the vigour of youth to preserve it from decay, but without a sufficient share of the vital principle
by which it was first animated, it feels the weakness of age, and the French revolution
has proved, that when no longer animated by that principle it may, like man himself, perish and sinkinto the grave.—CAM illus.
SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
SAINT Do MiN Go.—It appears that the blacks, after having become masters of every other part of the island, have made a regular attack upon the ancient city of Saint Domingo, the capital of that which was till the late treaties the Spanish part of the island. This place the blacks had not subdued when the last intelligence came away, and, it was stated, that a re-inforcement of the garrison was proceeding from the island of Cuba, which re-inforcement, however, the British ships were upon the watch to intercept. Thus, from the beginning to the end, our government have acted in a manner directly contrary to the principles which they prosessed, with regard to Saint Domingo, at the time when they permitted the fleets and armies of Buonaparté to sail thither. They have now proved to the world, that it was pusillanimity, and not policy as they pretended, which induced them to give that permission. The “black empire,” at the idea of which they affected to be so much terrified, is now established as firmly as ever it will be ; and towards that establishment they have contributed as much as it was in their power to contribute.--—it is possible, and even probable, that the city of Saint Domingo may hold out for a long title against the awkward attacks of the negroes, and, that it should so hold out is certainly very much to be desired by us, seeing that, till the conquest of the island is completed, our islands will not have so much to dread from the neighbourhood of a black emperor and his army. Yet, as if we lost sight of our own important colonies in the West Indies; as if their security, or, at least, their tranquillity were nothing when compared to the desire of doing mischief to Frenchmen, however situated, and in whatever cause engaged, we are employing our ships of war in endeavouring to prevent the arrival of those succours, which might protract the war in St. Domingo, and consequently occupy the attention of Dessalines and his blood-hounds, for, at least, several months longer. much better to employ in protecting our trade amongst the Leeward and Windward islands, where those wolves, the French privateers, are making dreadful havock in our flocks of merchant vessels, But, we are, in this respect, acting with perfect consistency; for such has been, during the whole of this war, and of the last war too, our miserable policy: if, indeed, it be proper to give the name of policy to the puerile conceptions of such minds as those which can exult in the conquest of Saint Pierre Miquelon, and in the success of co-operations with a band of revolted and murdering negroes. EMPER or of Austiti A.—The taking of this title by the Emperor (all the official document relative to which will be found in the next sheet of the Register) cannot be considered as a step of trifling importance with respect to the House of Austria itself, or with respect to the future relative state of the great powers of the Continent. The motive by which the court of Vienna may have been actuated it is not very easy exactly to ascertain ; but, it seems less difficult to conjecture what the effects of the measure may be as to the present war between England and France, and also as to the war that is kindling between France and the North of Europe. For, whatever may have been the motive of the Austrian cabinet in as
These cruizers of ours it would be
suming the hereditary title of Emperor, it is hardly to be believed that the assumption would have taken place until the acknowledgement of the title by France had been secured ; and, to secure such acknowledgement Austria would naturally be obliged to engage for the performance of a reciprocal good office towards the person and family of Napoleon. Those who are of this opinion, an opinion which events appear already to have confirmed, will entertain no very sanguine hopes of obtaining the co-operation of Austria in the present contest against France ; especially when they consider, that Buonaparté's taking the title of Emperor forms, perhaps, the better half of Alexander's grounds of quarrel. The court of Vienna has long viewed with jealousy the strides of the Russian Emperors: it is utterly impossible that it can have forgotten the part which Russia so lately acted in the new moddeling of the empire of Germany: and it is by no
means unnatural that the House of Austria
should rejoice at an opportunity of mortifying the pride and checking the ambition of its rival in dignity and in power, and who is, moreover, a neighbour from whose increase of influence and strength it has much more to apprehend than from the further increase of the strength and influence of France, by which (thanks to the new division of Germany) it cannot now be, as formerly, materially and suddenly affected. We, as well as Holland and the North of Europe, now feel, and shall every day more sensibly feel, the consequences of the House of Austria being driven back to its present position. At the time Russia was assisting France in newmoddeling the German empire, and that the lowers of “peace and a large loaf" were preaching all over this country the doctrine of political and belligerent self-sufficiency; at the time when Talleyrand was telling the nations of the Continent that they were too honest to have any connection with England, and when Mr. Wilberforce was telling his proverbially honest constituents, that England was too honest to have any connection with the Continent; at that time, when the demons of France and the saints of England seemed to have united their efforts for the purpose of destroying even a desire of future co-operation between this country and Austria; at that time an endeavour was made, in the pages of the Register, to prepare the public for the dangers, which, from this cause, it bad in future wars to apprehend. The letter (a letter addressed to Lord Hawkesbury) to which I more particularly allude, and from which I shall take the liberty to make a short extract, was dated on the 10th of October, 1802, and will be fougă in Yo!. II. p. 440. “ Sir Frederick Moreton Eden, “ in his defence of the peace of Amiens * has, indeed, observed, that, notwithstand“ing the various changes in the states on “ the Continent, Britain has long flourished “great and free the dread and envy of them “ all, and he has surther stated, that the “French may possess the Rhine and yet not * annihilate the commerce of the Thames, “ and that England may be free though Huff. “ land is in chains. Alas, my lord l it is “ not the repetition of the threadbare cho. “rus of a vaunting hyperbolical song ; it is “ not assertion upon assertion, conveyed in “ a strain of flippant antithesis, and totally “ unsupported by facts or by argument; it “ is not a treasury pamphlet, never read, “ though circulated gratis, and though so “ earnestly recommended by those sapient, “independent, and impartial reviewers, the “ editors of the British Critic; it is not any “ or all of these, my lord, that will overset “ the wisdom of a system of policy, inva“riably pursued by the statesmen of Eng“land fom the reign of the Tudors to the “ administration of Mr. Addington ; much “less is it by means like these, that we “shall be able to defeat the hostile regulations and armaments, which will be di. “ rected against us from the coasts of Flanders “ and of Holland, when Austria is completely “ removed, as she now will be, not only from “ the French frontiers, but from all the west “ of Europe; when little republics or states “ of some sort or other, are placed as bar“ricadoes between them, when, in short, the key of the whole German empire is finally and irretrievably lodged in the hands of France." Lord Hawkesbury snickered at this, and feasted away upon his porcelaine de Seve. The time is already come, however, when the nation has dearly to pay for his having possessed power : for this cause, and others of a similar nature, the na ion has already smarted severely; but, of its sufferings not one thousandth part have yet been experienced. How the war will end in other respects, it would be impossible to divine ; but, it will be strange indeed if it ever does end without events that will, for ages and ages to come, make Englishmen remember what it is to be committed to the rule of such men as Lord Hawkesbury and Mr. Pitt. Austria, unless Russia is ready to assist in undoing the work of the German indemnities, has no interest, nor indeed, any apparent object in joining Russia in a war against France ; and, as to England, Austris has nothing more to do with her, at present, except to repay Mr. Pitt the amount of his loan In short, such has been the
management of our foreign affairs, that it appears next to impossible, that Austria or Prussia should now join us in the war; and, without the active and the hearty co operation of one of them, at least, an alliance with Russia will afford us no relief from our immediate dangers, while it may probably add to those which are not so immediate, by augmenting the quantity of bank notes and by giving to Russia a fast footing in the Mediterranean. It is, therefore, necessary to guard the people against the indulgence of any hope founded on the assistance to be afforded by Russia, or any of her little neighbours of the north, of whose power France has no dread, and whose hostility, unless she could unite them in a neutral war against us, would, in the present state of things, be full as serviceable to her as their friendship : it would in fact, give her one more national bank to draw upon; it would render one more kingdom tributary to her, without forcing her to add twenty thousand men to her army. Nothing is so dangerous to a country, situated as England now is, as the indulging of fallacious expectations of foreign aid; because such indulgence has an unavoidable tendency to prevent those measures of precaution and preparation, to slacken generally, all those exertions, which it is the duty, and which it is at present the inclination, of the people to make in their own defence. To preserve and cherish the patience of the people is, too, a principal consideration; and, every one must know (for the observation must be common to every rank and state and stage of life), that patience is exhausted so soon and so radically by nothing as by a succession of expectations and disappointments. FINANce Resolutions.——The two letters, inserted some weeks ago, upon the subjects of the Finance Resolutions have not yet been noticed by me, because, as will be perceived, other matter more urgent has presented itself; and, to notice those letters in a manner suitable to their merit and the importance of the subject they treat of would require a considerable space. As to the main object, however, that I had in view, no answer to those letters is required. I only meant to show, that, if Mr. Pitt did mean to cause it to be believed that the old taxes had not fallen off since 1792, he was either deceived himself, or intentionally deceived, or endeavoured to deceive the parliament and the people. Both these gentlemen acknowledge (indeed it is impossible to deny it), that the taxes have fallen off. They differ from me as to the degree, and as to the meaning and intention of the minister's statement; but as to the point which I was anxious to establish, they say nothing that I am desirous to con. tradict. And, I beg leave here to observe, that I entertain no hostility to the finance system, merely because it is the minister's ; my dislike to it arises from a conviction, an experimental conviction, of its ruinous effects. In a late Register the financial system, the enormons debt and taxes, were referred to as the chief cause of the overthrow of the monarchy of of France; and I must confess that I am greatly flattered by the confirmatlon which that opinion has received from an essay, in the present sheet, proceeding from the same able and admired writer, whose essays on the State of the Continental Powers, and on the Foreign Policy of Mr. Pitt, were inserted in Vol. V. pp. 422 and 705. Great folly, inconsistency, indecision and imbecility are obvious in the conduct of the cabinet of Versailles previous to and during the first stages of the revolution; but, upon analysing the several parts, it will be found, that the disorders in the finances was the great, the standing, the ever-prevalent, the efficient cause. The effects of all the other causes might have been overcome: but this was not to be over-come, and the monarchy sunk under it. I am afraid, too, that, in more than one respect, a most striking resemblance will be discovered in the political conduct as well as character of Mr. Neckar and Mr. Pitt: the same constant desire to put off the evil from day to day; the same shifts and expedients; the same love of projecting, the same want of all fixed principle ; the same attempt to keep all parties at variance with each other in order the easier to command the whole, the same means of obtaining popularity with the selfish part of the nation; the same knack at resigning and resuuling his place; and, . . . . . . but here the comparison must stop for the present, and every one must hope, that events will never enable us to pursue it further. In some points however, we may, to the honour of our country, insist upon a wide difference. The French financier was a sad golemn personage, who, when a project was hissed, fell into the vapours, took quite a religious turn and wrote godly books. Our gentleman has more elasticity in him : if he sinks under the reprobation called forth by one project, you instantly see him rising with another. He is more lively, active, and diverting, and has infinitely more resource than the French operator, who, had a scheme like that of the military project failed him while a considerable part of the
kingdom was compelled to have recourse to paper-representatives of half/ence and while the whole kingdom was hastening towards the same state, would have lost all his spirits and thought about preparing his coffin; whereas ours appears to rise with his difficulties, dashes into new scenes, casting his cares behind him; and, what with his processions of military car-, his grand reviews, his sham-fights, and his other exhibitions, instead of being hooted off the stage, he has certainly divided the attention and the plaudits of the summer with Mrs. Thornton, and bids fair not to be driven quite out of the field even by the “Il fant Rescius' himself. French FIN AN ce. —— I he following statement, upon this subject, is taken from the Moniteur of the 29th ultimo “From “ the official financial statements, recently “ submitted to the Emperor, it results, that “our position is satisfactory; that however ‘ great our expenses may be, our resources “ are still more so; in fine, that the state “ will be in no need of extraordinary suc“ cours, nor of any new taxes. The state“ ment has been made in the supposition of “ peace. — Each of the two years which “ have just elapsed, has seen our army aug‘ mented by the ordinary contingents of “ the conscription: it is now more nume“rous than it was in Nivose, year 9, the “ period when our armies inundated Ger• many and Italy.—It is true that our ex‘ penses, on account of the state in which “ our land army has been maintained, and the efforts which have been made for cur “ navy, amount to upwards of seven bundred millions; but our receipts for the ear 12 have exceeded seven hundred and “ fifty millions, and those of the year 13 “ are insured for more than seven hundred “ millions.—From this may be seen, the “ wisdom and foresight of the adolinistra“tion. Although we should even have to “ support a continental war, like that of “ the coalition of the year 7, no extraordi“nary measure of the finances, nor any “extraordinary levy for the army, would “..be necessary. The ordinary contingent “ of the conscription already decreed, would “amply suffice.—In no period of the his“tory of France, was there so much money “ever spent in constructing ports, canals, bridges, and roads; yet, to complete this picture, the taxes have been diminished, “ and are less heavy than they have ever “ been. This latter circumstance will not “ escape the eyes of the historian." This representation is very much in the manner of Lord Auckland, Mr. Chalmers, and George Rose: the main object seems to be