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the “Roman Antiquities,’ was then chaplain to the English factory at Leghorn, the only place in Italy where English service is tolerated by the government; which favour had lately been obtained from the Grand Duke at the particular instance of Queen Anne. This gentleman requested Mr. Berkeley to preach for him one Sunday. The day following, as Berkeley was sitting in his chamber, a procession of priests in surplices, and with all other formalities, entered the room, and, without taking the least notice of the wondering inhabitant, marched quite round it, muttering certain prayers. His fears immediately suggested to him that this could be no other
than a visit from the Inquisition, who had heard of his officiating before heretics, without licence, the day before. As soon as they were gone, he ventured with much caution to inquire into the cause of this extraordinary appearance, and was happy to be informed that this was the season appointed by the Romish calendar for solemnly blessing the houses of all good catholics from rats and other vermin; a piece of intelligence which changed his terror into mirth.”—Life of Bishop Berkeley, by Rev. Dr. Hoek, 1776, Lond. p. 6.
LVIII. TRAITS OF LOUIS XIV.
Louis XIV. issued an edict concerning duels, in 1679; in which it is said that “whereas it has been reported to us, that there are men of ignoble birth, and who have never borne arms, who have, nevertheless, the insolence to call out noblemen, and when these noblemen refuse to give them satisfaction, on account of the inequality of their respective conditions, the said challengers engage other noblemen to fight on their behalf; which fights often terminate in murder, the more detestable that it proceeds from an abject cause: we will and ordain that, in such cases of challenge and duel, especially if followed by serious wounds or death, the said ignoble persons or roturiers, convicted of having excited and provoked similar disorders, shall, without remission, be hung and strangled, and all their property, moveable and immoveable, be confiscated; and with regard to the noblemen who shall thus have taken the part of ignoble and unworthy persons, they shall be also put to death in the like manner.” This edict was confirmed under the regency, in February 1723. Five centuries before, in times comparatively barbarous, and when the institutions of the country and the system of society were essentially feudal, Louis IX, on the occasion of an accusation by a vilain against a noble, allowed them to try the truth of the charge by single combat, in which the nobleman should fight on horseback, and the vilain on foot; but he ordered at the same time that the loser, whichever he might be, should be immediately suspended to the gallows. The French feudal nobility, from the oldest times of the monarchy, were essentially fond of war through vanity, ignorance of the arts of peace, restlessness, or want of money. This ruling passion caused the crusades, the never-ending Italian expeditions, and the civil and religious wars in France itself. “The French,” says Brantôme, and in his time the French meant the French nobility, “have always been ready to come to blows either against foreigners or against each other. For which reason, the Burgundians and the Flemings are wont to say that when the French are asleep the Devil is rocking them.” Louis XIV, broke the power of his mobility, and made courtiers of them ; but, at the same time, he imbibed their prejudices and tastes. In his “Instructions for the use of the Dauphin,” he says, that “the sight of so many gentlemen around him ready to fight in his service, urged him to find employment for their valour.” He adopted the principle that “a King of France is essentially military, and that from the moment he sheathes his sword he ceases to reign.” In his letter to the Marquis de Villars, dated January 1688, he says, “that the noblest and most agreeable occupation of a sovereign is to aggrandize his territory.” Accordingly, he was, during the greater part of his long reign, engaged in destructive war, in which he was generally the aggressor. His father left him an army of fifty thousand men, which he raised to four hundred thousand. He gave the first example, which he compelled other powers to adopt, of those immense standing armies which have cost Europe so dear ever since. He kept, likewise, foreign legions, in which he enrolled Irish, Germans, Piedmontese, Corsicans, Poles, Hungarians, and even Swedes, all the malcontents and the runaways of the rest of Europe. While he smothered all liberty in France, he excited revolt in Ireland, in Hungary, in Transylvania, in Sicily, and even in England against his submissive ally, Charles II. “I encouraged,” he says, in his Instructions to the Dauphin, the remnant of Cromwell's party, in order to excite through it some fresh disturbances in London.” He looked upon the words of treaties as “forms of politeness which ought not to be taken to the letter.” Such was the “Great King,” and such his policy, which Napoleon adopted a century later, and carried on on a much larger scale. “I am the state,” said Louis XIV: “I am the representative of France,” exclaimed Napoleon. The influence of Louis XIV. on the politics of our own days has not been sufficiently noticed. The ruling demagogues of the French Revolution, the men of the Convention and of the Directory, were disciples of that overbearing and unprincipled school founded by Louis XIV; they followed the same principles of policy, under the name of liberty and republican forms. Their boasted equality was the equality of despotism, the equality of Turkey.
The sensual and the dark rebel in vain,
LIX, NOTES ON NAPOLEON.
We have often been struck at the excessive warmth of Frenchmen whenever the merits of Napoleon were discussed by foreigners; and yet, Napoleon's reputation does not belong exclusively to France, and the French need not assume the task of doing justice to it as their monopoly. Other nations in Europe feel an equal interest in it. Italy is surely entitled to claim some share of Bonaparte's fame. But Napoleon, emperor, we consider as belonging to Europe at large. The broad basis of his power stretched over the territories of half-a-dozen nations,—French, Italians, Belgians, Dutch, Swiss, Germans, Poles: the gigantic structure of his empire was raised by the arms, not only of thirty millions of Frenchmen, but of eighty millions of people of different countries. At the zenith of his power, just before the Russian campaign, he had a hundred thousand Italians, eighty thousand Poles, sixteen thousand Swiss, and a hundred thousand Germans and Dutch, serving in his armies, besides those Spaniards and Portuguese who still followed his banner. France, therefore, even in its extended sense,