Page images
PDF
EPUB

With what indignant contempt would Somers have spurned such an ignominious proposal! Could he have lived to see the day when a foreign potentate offered to take England under bis protection, how would that great inan's soul have glowed for his country's honor! Never, never let it be recorded in the page of history, that, after having fought the baitles of Europe, after having discomfited the hostile myriads of France, and having broken the bonds of the nations ;-after having beamed forth as a star of redemption to reviving empires, but a few brief years had elapsed ere we were so sunk, lost, and degraded, as to enjoy our liberties, at the mercy of foreign bayonets. In vain was King William placed upon the throne--in vain have been all our exertions, all our efforts, if they are thus to terminate. I hope and believe that there is not an individual in the Cabinet who would approve of such a measure, nor a single Member of the Legislature who would hesitate to arraign the Minister who dared to approve of it. When such proposals are tolerated, England is no more! The skeleton of her Constitution may remain, the formalities may be gone through with unmeaning mummery, but the spirit of independence which has hitherto distinguished the English character will be gone for ever. For ever will be fled those high attributes, those spirit-stirring sentiments, those upright and manly qualities, which more than all our fleets and armies bave raised this country to such a boasted eminence! There will be no riotous mobs, uo seditious leaders ; there will be perfect security from popular commotion. But it will be such security and such quiet as German slaves enjoy, in the stead of the rational Government of England. With the extravagancies of freedom we shall have lost the spirit itself; and, instead of being pointed out as the co-patriots of Russell and of Chatham, we must be ranked as the myrmidons of foreign power, and bow our necks in servitude !

The next point to which I shall allude is the omission of the British Ministry to remonstrate against the invasion of Naples. It behoved the Ministers of this country to make such an effort in behalf of a people whose crime it is to have acted as our ancestors acted, and in conformity with our own recommendations in 1814. Whatever might have been the effect of the remonstrance, it should have been made. If it had been unsuccessful, yet it would have been an assurance to the world and to posterity, of our detestation of the conduct of the Allies.

It has been intimated by some, that war must have been the necessary consequence of a remonstrance, and that this country is hot able to sustain a war. But, however great may be the difficulties by wbich we are encompassed, I feel contident that we are fully able to maintain our principles. War should be the last

prove tever make the spars is, to

resort of the wise and virtuous, but there are circumstances which supersede the ordinary motives of prudence and caution. And what circumstances should be more efficient to do so, than those of a nation fighting for independence ?

There is too much reason to fear that the Neapolitans will not be able long to withstand the invasion of the Allies. Yet we may be allowed to cherish a hope of the contrary, when we call to mind the names of Marathon, Platæa, Salamis, where infant freedom dawned upon mankind. May Naples have her plains of victory for future generations to contemplate; and may her valor prove pot unworthy of the sacred cause in which it is enlisted ! Whatever may be the issue of the contest, the attenipts of the Allies to stifle the spirit of the age must prove abortive. The progress of liberal ideas is, to use Lord Bacon's words, " a spark of fire that flies in the faces of those who seek to tread it out.”

If there were a probability of the success of the Allies, the prospect before us would be dreary and dismal. The extinction of liberty has always been followed by the decay of genius and prosperity. Bear witness, Greece! In thy full flower of freedom, the glory of the earth, and the queen of wisdom, thy poets struck the string whose weakest note could wake the soul to high aspirings; thy sages reared the chaste and mighty structure of philosophy; thy orators

“ Shook the arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece,

To Macedon and Artaxerxes' thrones;" thy heroes dared those wondrous feats which have been canonized in deathless verse! But when the constellation of thy freedom set, its satellites set with it. Thy orb of glory became extinct, and rude barbarians tread thy hallowed soil. Bear witness, Venice! The world gazes with delight at the works of art reared in the days of thy independence! Then, too, thy wisdom and thy valor made thee formidable to the foreign foe. But when the heaven-engendered thoughts of freedom were no longer' thine, the arts quitted their once favored abode, and now thou art prostrate and disconsolate in bondage. · Do, then, the members of this Holy Alliance think it consistent with the principles of the religion of which they profess themselves the champions, to stifle the noblest sentiments which ever find place in the heart of man, and to blast the germs of talent? Do they consider the disregard of private rights, and the enforcement of absolute monarchy by military violence, to be precepts of Christian ethics ? . · Let the world be on its guard against these specious pretexts ! Let it not be deceived by the mask of hypocrisy, nor be blind to the odious designs which are entertained ! May Naples triumph,

and may she teach sovereigns to be cautious how they venture to trespass on the rights of freemen! i The transactions relating to it are of very great importance when considered by themselves. But when we reflect that they are combined with principles which are spread throughout Europe; when we cast our eyes around, and perceive in every quarter the same violent spirit in the rulers, and the same free and liberal potions diffused amongst the people, we cannot but be deeply impressed with the awful crisis. Whatever may take place, I pray God that England may not prove unworthy of the reputation which she has already obtained! Let not trivial differences and the instigations of private ambition distract our attention at such a moment. Let us remember that this is that great and glorious land which has not sanctioned the ideal theories of speculative republicans, nor owned the authority of imperial edicts. But, in the stead of these, she can boast of the noblest system of government, which secures to us all the liberty of a republic without its licentiousness—all the wisdom of an aristocracy without its feuds--. and all the strength and despatch of monarchy without despotism. Let us remember that we tread the land of patriot heroes, who bave preserved this hallowed island unpolluted by foreign conquest. Be it not forgotten, that this is the country of upright statesmen, whose justice and whose integrity have shed around their native land bright and lasting rays

“And shall these labors and these honors die ?” Shall we prove unworthy of our immortal forefathers, and regardless of those blessings which they have consigned to us? It must Dot be- it cannot be!

We have, indeed, of late lost many of those eminent men, whose assistance would have been invaluable to us at the present time. Horner, arrested by the hand of death in his mid-career of. virtue; Romilly, who consecrated the most splendid talents at the shrine of the purest humanity; Grattan, whom nor the shouts of the people nor the influence of power could allure from his country's service :- these are no more! But let us hope that their examples are not left to us in vain. Distant be the day when England shall be destitute of statesmen worthy of herself!

We have still left many men of great talent and unquestionable integrity. Let us hope that they will be succeeded by others of equal ability, and that there may not be wanting those who can hand down unimpaired to posterity our liberties and honor. I could mention one illustrious youth, who, descended from a long and renowned ancestry, has already obtained a distinguished academic honor, and who seems destined to shed fresh lustre on his hereditary rank by his personal merits. But I forbear to VOL. XVIII.

NO. XXXV.

Рат.

[ocr errors]

dwell on this topic, lest I should offend the modesty which I respect.

May the tutelary angel of this isle, which forsook us not when Spain sent forth her vaunted Armada, nor when, more recently, France threatened us with ruin, pot now be absent! May that angel inspire us with fortitude to meet the dangers with which we are encompassed, and animate us with a determination to preserve our rights uninjured, and our renown unsullied !

FOR

A REFORMATION

IN THE

SYSTEM OF PROVINCIAL BANKING,

BY WHICH THE NOTES OF COUNTRY BANKERS MAY BE RENDERED AS SECURE AS THOSE OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND,

AND THE
AGRICULTURISTS, MANUFACTURERS, &c. &c.

RELIEVED FROM THE
DISTRESS AND INCONVENIENCE

OCCASIONED BY
THE WANT OF A SECURE CIRCULATING MEDIUM

WITH AN ABSTRACT OF
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER’S BILL

TO AUTHORISE BANKERS, IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND, TO ISSUE
AND CIRCULATE PROMISSORY NOTES, SECURED UPOX
A DEPOSIT OF PUBLIC FUNDS, OR OTHER,

GOVERNMENT SECURITIES.

“I will tell yon what must be the end : The Gentlemen of Estates will all turn off their tenants for want of payment: the Farmers must rob, or beg, or leave the conntry: the Shopkeepers must break, or starve: for it is the Landed Man that maintains the Merchant, and Shopkeeper, and Handicraftsman." ,

SWIFT.-Drapier's First Letter.

[Revised and Corrected for the Pamphleteer.]

LONDON:

« PreviousContinue »