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may be buried beside the bones of the ascendancy, even for a brief seathe Mammoth and the Mastodon, as son, of their political friends, has relics of a primeval age, which will closed for a century to come the pracnever return to the sons of men. tical application of their principles. Strange as it may appear to any one The Revolution succeeded in Pariswho is either versed in the annals of it succeeded in Berlin-it succeeded nations, or has read the book from in Vienna; and what has been the which they are all taken, the human result? Just what, under similar heart, these ideas are not only com- circumstances, might be expected in mon, but, with few exceptions, uni- London, Manchester, or Glasgow. versal, in our manufacturing towns. The Revolutionists, among all their Mr Cobden never expressed an opi- professions of love for peace, proved nion which met with a more cordial the most warlike of mankind in their response in the breasts of a great deeds; and armaments greater, and majority of his auditors in Free-Trade wars more bloody, and passions more Hall, Manchester, than when he said, violent, than had ever before arisen, two years ago, that all danger of followed immediately the triumph of war had now passed away; that no- the self-styled apostles of peace! And thing could now withstand commer- in what state is Europe, at this mocial interests and the influence of ment, four years after the first explocapital; and that our real wisdom sion of the revolutionary volcano by would be to sell our ships of the line, the overthrow of Louis Philippe ? disband our troops, dispose of all the Fifteen hundred thousand armed men stores in our arsenals, and trust en are arrayed round the standards of tirely to the Peace Congress for the the European sovereigns; the efficient decision of the disputes of nations. warlike force of the great military
If other governments and people nations on the Continent has been could be brought to take the same doubled ; and the military spirit deview of this subject, the doctrines of veloped in them all to an extent the Manchester School of politicians never witnessed since the fall of Nawould perhaps be well founded, and poleon. Such has been the result of the world in general, discarding all the political measures of the peaceidea of wars or rumours of wars, makers. might rest in tranquillity, in the If these vast warlike armaments well-founded expectation of perpetual were confined to Continental operaand universal peace. But if other tions, and destined only for mutual nations are not animated with the slaughter by the Continental nations, same ideas-nay, if their warlike pro- they might be, comparatively speakpensities are every day increasing in ing, an object of indifference to the ardour, while ours are declining, our British public; and valuable only to situation, it must be evident to every the historian, or the distant observer considerate observer, is daily becom- of events, as an example of the inevi. ing more alarming. Our wealth, table tendency of democratic revoluupon which we so much pride our- tions to awaken the warlike passions, selves, and to the increase of which and postpone, if not prevent, the reign we are willing to sacrifice everything, of peace upon the earth. But, unforwould then become the main source tunately, this is very far from being of our weakness-our fame, which the case; and if there is any one thing alone has hitherto protected us, the more certain than another, it is that greatest increase to our danger. The we ourselves are the principal object first would excite cupidity, from the of all these armaments, and that we prospect of gratifying it without dan- are more immediately threatened with ger; the second inspire revenge, from attack than any state on the Contithe hope of achieving it without dis- nent. The reason is, that we are at grace.
once the richest, the most inviting, and Now no man can look around him the most unprepared. Our immense and not see, not only that the chances riches, in great part centred in Lonof war are great, but that they are don in a form susceptible of immeI imminent. The peacemakers have diate seizure, both invite attack and undone the work of their own hands : hold out the prospect of impunity to the spoiler. There is no other capital conquered nation over its conquerwhich presents anything like the ors, when the national strength was prizes which London would afford to once fairly roused, tells them in a a conquering enemy, or could with voice equally loud and distinct the so much ease be reached by his risk they run, if advantage is not armies. Vienna and Berlin, com- taken of the defenceless state of a paratively poor and worthless as the particular moment to complete our objects of plunder, can only be reached ruin. The series of defeats subseafter long and fatiguing marcbes, and quent to the one and only triumph when the forces of a confederation, of Hastings, inflicted by the English which can array 500,000 admirably on the French through four centuries, disciplined troops around its stand- is unparalleled in military annals; it ard, bave been subdued. But London even exceeds those gained by the can be reached in three days from French over the Austrians. Michelet, the coast of Sussex: it could only be in his History of France, confesses defended at present by a force so with a sigh that all the great days of inadequate to the task of protecting disaster and mourning to France it, that future ages will be lost in subsequent to the battle of Hastings, astonishment at the infatuation of a even on land, have come from the nation which, with such resources at arms of England; and the fact that its command, has left its metropolis it is so, is so notorious that it is in so defenceless a state ; and the known to every tyro in history. battle of Hastings has taught us that Tenchebray, Cressy, Poitiers, Azina great disaster on the coast, even cour, Verneuil, Minden, Gibraltar, when the nation was far better pre- Egypt, Talavera, Salamanca, Vitpared than it is now, comparatively toria, Orthes, the Pyrenees, Toulouse, speaking, to repel aggression, speedily Waterloo, constitute a series of land renders further resistance in the triumphs, which the French, a miliinterior hopeless. There is no other tary nation, and passionately fond of nation but this which, within a day's military glory, can neither forget nor sail and three days' march, presents forgive. A French king has rode to the enemy a Bank with twenty captive through London; a French millions of sovereigns in its coffers, emperor been buried a state captive a metropolis from which double that in the English dominions. Twice sum might be levied by military con- bas Paris been taken by the armies tributions ; an undefended arsenal, of England; the English horse in one containing artillery and the munis age have marched from Calais to ments of war for 200,000 men, and Bayonne, in another from Bayonne to a military force at the very utmost of Calais. Can these things ever be for12,000 disposable effective men to given? When the lover shall forget bis defend the whole !
adored, the mother her child, France Add to this that England is the may forget them—but not till then. country against which the military The conduct of Prince Louis Napojealousy of France from the very leon, since he obtained the command earliest period has been most strongly in Paris, is sufficient to convince us directed, and on the head of which that he is perfectly alive to these disasters the most serious, and dis- views, and only prevented by prudengraces the most galling, have to be tial considerations from giving effect visited by our warlike, gallant, and to them at this time. Against whom thoroughly prepared neighbours, the was the great naval display and grand moment the hour for retribution is review at Cherbourg, two years ago, thought to have arrived. If the directed? Were the stately threeFrench, or rather the Normans, can deckers, the huge war-steamers with point with just pride to the battle of their sides bristling with batteries, Hastings as a proof of the compara intended as a demonstration against tive ease with which England, when Belgium or Prussia ? What was the taken unawares, and slumbering in object of the frequent great reviews, fancied security, can be conquered and late grand demonstration of miliby a single victory, a series of tary strength at Paris on the 18th of subsequent triumphs, gained by the May? Was it against the distant capitals of Vienna or St Petersburg, equally secure of it, if their reign were or the near capital of London, that inaugurated by a similar triomph. the 80,000 men then assembled on the Louis Napoleon has by seven millions Champ de Mars were directed ? of Frenchmen been invested with suWhich would they rather march preme power, because he inherits the against ? St Petersburg or Moscow glories of his uncle and represents his with their millions of paper roubles, principles; but what glory on his part defended each million by a hundred would be so great as that of destroythousand men ? or London with its ing the empire which destroyed his twenty millions of gold sovereigns, great predecessor? and what princidefended each million by one thou ple was so strongly impressed on sand? We acquit Louis Napoleon of that predecessor's vast mind as the every wish, so far as he is a free necessity of subduing the country agent, to engage in hostilities with which alone stood between him and this country. He is too well aware universal dominion ? Prince Louis of the spirit which would be roused Napoleon, like his uncle, is very superin England, if the national apathy stitious, and always carries an amulet was dispelled by the thunder-clap of taken from the tomb of Charlemagne London being taken. But is he a on his person. He is known to have free agent? Is he not the head of a said in this country, long before he left it great military republic, placed there, to accept the presidency of the French like his predecessor Clovis, by the Republic: “It may appear presump.acclamations of the soldiery, and, like tuous in me to wear that amulet, but him, constrained to yield to whatever I have an inborn conviction in my the voice of the soldiers in a decided mind that I am one day to be the manner demands of him? And what ruler of France. When I am so, I object could ever be so popular shall first extinguish the license of with the French army as that which the press in Paris, and then attack promised such plunder, such glory, England. I shall do so with regret, the wiping out of such disgrace, at for I have been kindly received there, so little serious risk to themselves, and it contains many of my best as a war with England in its present friends; but I must fulfil my mission, undefended state ?
and carry out that which I know my There is an additional reason why, uncle had most at heart-I owe that when the military spirit of France is to his memory." In pursuance of so high, and its armed forces so great, these views, he has just decreed 80,000 a war with this country, whatever men to his regular army; and while, dynasty gets possession of the throne, in the English Parliament, the greatmay be reckoned on at no distant est possible resistance is made by á period as a matter of almost certainty, factious Opposition to an addition of and that is this not only a throne, 80,000 Militia to a regular army in and that the greatest in the world, on the British islands of 60,000 men, this side of the water, but one on the France has no difficulty in adding other side, will be the prize of success 80,000 regular soldiers to its regular in it. There are now three families force of 400,000. bidding for the suffrages of the French Great as is the regular army at the nation; and whichever takes London disposal of the nominal French Presiis certain of the support of Paris. If dent and real French Emperor, it is either Louis Napoleon, Henry V., or rendered still more formidable by anothe Duke of Orleans, wrest the crown ther circumstance which is little known, from the brow of Queen Victoria, he and still less attended to, in the British is perfectly certain to fix that of islands. Tbis is the fact, that by the Clovis on his own. The French will constitution of the Freuch army, as forgive everything to the family which with the Prussian, a considerable part shall wipe out the disgrace of Water- of the troops are annually discharged loo, and retaliate upon their con- from the ranks, and their place supquerors the contributions of 1815. plied by conscripts, in like manner The throne of Louis XIV. is the entitled to their discharge at the prize of the contest: Changarnier, end of a stated period. In this way Lamoricière, Cavaignac, would be 70,000 men perfectly drilled and disciplined are every year discharged when they captured Berlin; what we from the ranks of the regular army; did in 1815 when we took Paris. In but as they retain their military habit the first case, they levied a contribuand experience, they are capable of tion of £24,000,000 on Prussia, a being by beat of drum recalled to its sum at least equal to £150,000,000 standards. In this way the French sterling on England with its wealth regular army of 500,000 is capable of and population; in the second case, being any day increased to a million of we ourselves levied a contribution of men, independent altogether of nearly £60,000,000 on France, equivalent to an equal number of national guards, to at least £100,000,000 on Great Britain. whom a great part of the home and Would the French not instantly regarrison service might on a crisis betaliate upon us the exactions we made safely intrusted. Can any one doubt, from them in the days of their mournthat if the “Army of England" were, ing? Rely upon it they would: their after the expiration of half a century, ambition, their revenge, their love of re-established on the heights of Bou- glory, would be alike gratified by it. logne, it would quickly attract multi. We attach no blame whatever to them tades of this armed nation to the for so doing; we ourselves, and all brilliant project, and that the pros. mankind in similar circumstances, pect of " beauty and booty" would would do the same. The persons we be as powerful in attracting armed do blame are our own countrymen,and disciplined adventurers to the who will not see the danger. They standard of Napoleon, as a similar will perhaps see it when the Lord project was in concentrating the mili- Mayor and Aldermen of London are tary army of France, eight hundred sent for, and told they must produce years ago, around the ensign of Nor- £20,000,000 in three days, in gold and man William ? And it is in presence silver, or the metropolis will be given of suCH A POWER, possessing such up to pillage; or when the magisresources, and actuated by such pas- trates of Manchester and Glasgow sions, that the Manchester School are dismissed by a French general at still go on dreaming about a Peace the head of 20,000 men, with the inCongress, which all mankind ridicule formation that £2,000,000 in hard except themselves, and the most vio- cash must be produced next morning, lent resistance is made to the minis. to save those cities from a similar deterial plan of raising 80,000 militia to vastation. aid the scanty array of 50,000 effec The gentlemen of the Manchester tive men, who alone are on foot, to School are great advocates for direct aid in the defence of the entire British taxation, but such enemies to Proislands, with the metropolis, seaports, tection that some of them have not and arsenals, by an Opposition in Par scrupled to declare, and they did so liament, whose conduct is an object in large meetings without interrupof mourning to every man in exist- tion, that they would rather see the epce except our enemies.
country conquered than a Protection The great objection always made ministry for six weeks in power. to any increase, however small, to our Well, take them in their own view National Defences, is that it adds of the case. Let us put national to the expense of the army, and that independence, honour, and security, the nation is not in a condition to entirely out of view, to be consia bear it. Take it in that view ; con- dered as antiquated prejudices, never sider it as a matter of mere pounds, to be resuscitated so long as the shillings, and pence. The additional sun shines upon the earth. By alt outlay required is £400,000 a-year- means consider the matter, in & call it half a million, or a whole mil. pecuniary point of view, as an affair Jion; the strength of this argument of pounds, shillings, and pence only. will, as Malthus said of the arithme- Sappose the preliminary war-contritical and geometrical progression, ad. bution of £100,000,000 levied in a mit of any concession. What do the single year on Great Britain, (for Manchester School suppose the French even the French could extract little would do, if they took London or Man- from Ireland,) and got over-What chester? Just what they did in 1806, would follow this foretaste of the sweets of conquest ? Would they Free-Traders when they are descanttreat us better than they do them- ing on the state of the nation, the selves ? Unquestionably they would blessings of their system - not the not. The very best we could hope expense reqnisite to insure their conwould be, that they would put us tinuance. Never was anything so on their own level, and treat us in prosperous ; never were the rich so every respect the same. Now, the affluent, the middle class so thriving, French all pay an impôt foncière, or the working classes so contented, well land-tax, which, as rated according fed, and happy. We are thriving on to the cadastre or valuation, amounts every side : the emigration of 300,000 to fully a property tax of fifteen, every year is nothing but a happy sometimes twenty, per cent; and the exodus, alike beneficial to the counpersonal contribution, or income-tax try, the landlords, and the emigrants on trades and professions, is five per themselves. Be it so. We are all cent. These charming burdens would contented and happy. Agriculture is at the very outset, and to a moral thriving, manufactures in full activity, certainty, be instantly laid upon us. commerce prosperous ; it is hard to But perhaps the Manchester school say whether the profits made on our would be consoled for their weight import or export trade are most conby seeing that odious thing Protec- siderable--whether our merchants are tion entirely abolished ? Undoubt the most rich, our farmers the most edly they would do so: it would be prosperous, or our labourers the best buried in this country alone, and fed and contented. Such being our kept up in all others. ALL PROTEC- fortunate condition, and such the TIVE DUTIES WOULD BE ABOLISHED. boundless riches at our command, That of twelve or fifteen per cent, where is the ground for all this cry which, amidst all their declamations about the necessity of economy in about universal Free Trade, the Man- the national expenditure ? During chester gentlemen have contrived to the war, when the nation was under keep on the articles of their own the ruinous systems of Protection manufacture, would be at once swept and a plentiful currency, a populaaway. They would be too happy if tion of eighteen millions in the they could retain an ad valorem duty British islands, without difficulty, and of two and a half per cent, with which without driving more than a few they make the mockery of protecting hundreds or thousands a-year into the farmer. French silks, gloves, exile, had a million of men in arms, cotton goods and cambrics, jewellery of whom nearly 300,000 were regaand cutlery, would be sent in upon us lar soldiers or regular militia ; and ad libitum, with no protective duty; the national expenditure rose to while our exports to them would be £72,000,000! How has it happened saddled with a protective duty of at that then, when we were on all least thirty per cent. We think we sides impoverished by bad governsee the faces of the Manchester gen- ment and a ruinous mercantile systlemen when, amidst this prostration tem, eighteen millions of British subof our own, and deluge of foreign jects raised such stupendous armaindustry, the tax-gatherer coolly calls ments, and provided, by taxation, for for payment of the land-tax of so immense an expenditure?- and fifteen, or the personal tax of five now, when we have for twenty years per cent.
been blessed with the good governWhat makes this insensibility to ment of a reformed Parliament, and certain pecuniary danger (for, in argn- for six enriched by the true mering with these opponents, we lay all cantile policy, a population of twentyother considerations aside) the more eight millions should have the utmost extraordinary is, that it occurs at a difficulty in raising fifty millions antime when, according to their account nually by taxes, and the most violent of the matter, the country is in a resistance should be made to adding state of the most unbounded pros- 80,000 militia to a regular army in the perity, and better able to bear addi- British islands of only 60,000 men, tional taxation than in any former and adding only £400,000 to army period of its history. Listen to the estimates-the whole force on foot