صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني



It is as certain that the English Government will be overthrown, as that it is God's sublime purpose to emancipate long-fettered world, unless she shall cease her obstinate and blind opposition to the progress of freedom, and grant the people justice. No man who feels in his own soul the lofty spirit of the age, and tracks the progress of the car of Liberty as it rolls among the nations, can believe that England will be able much longer to breast herself up against the advancement of humanity: the majestic movements of God's Providence can be clearly seen; a train of causes are in operation too mighty to be resisted by the crumbling thrones of despotism. No; England can do all mortal man can do; she never vacillates, is never faint-hearted: but she cannot successfully oppose the spirit of the age. She has rife within herself the fiercest elements of disorder, revolution, and decay. These are her internal foes.



UT, more than this, a deep-seated indignation against her is manifesting itself throughout the world. Ambition and injustice have made up the history of her diplomacy for centuries past; and her navy has been the grand executor of her will. By it, she has acquired her foreign power; and through it, for nearly three centuries, she has possessed facilities for visiting every country to which wind and wave can bear; and these facilities have been most actively improved. She has become familiar with every point of great commer. cial advantage, and appropriated to herself all the solitary and unclaimed islands, and many of the claimed ones, she has found straggling at a convenient distance from the mainland. By discovery, conquest, and usurpation, she has reared an empire upon which the sun never goes down; and this she has accomplished by being able to traverse the ocean without fear or molestation.

Distance had hitherto formed a limit for conquest; and Alexander himself would have been a harmless assailant


against an island standing off a few leagues at sea. A few months have sufficed to transport her armies to the most distant countries; and that, too, frequently in an unexpected hour for her enemies. The naval supremacy of England once established, her political supremacy followed as a matter of course. By various devices she has extended her acquisitions alike in peace, and in war; and whatever she has acquired she has steadily retained. Thus, by discovery, silent assumption, or conquest, her claims have continued to grow; and when open plunder would not do, she has tried her hand at private filching. Accordingly, we see her asserting some new pretensions almost every day.




UT her navy can no longer secure to Britain, the same supremacy as in former times. The rivalships of nations. are not now, as once, of a warlike character-they are struggling for the mastery in commerce. The motive of national glory has in a measure given way to that of interest; and the acquisition of wealth is the principal advantage a nation now promises to itself in diplomacy. A great struggle has commenced in those arts which humanize mankind. This, it is true, is not yet the full result; it is only the tendency of affairs. Preparations for war are still made; national antipathies are still indulged; but these are hourly growing feebler and less rancorous. Such enterprises are looked upon with coldness and disapprobation; and the madness of plunging nations into war for trivial causes, is constantly becoming more and more palpable.

It is therefore to be hoped, that the extensive possessions of Britain will be made only the means of extending civilization, and enhancing her commercial importance; that they will no longer be turned into pretexts for quarrels and wars; that her grasping ambition will stop before she shall have kindled against her universal exasperation. The political equality of


nations, was recognized long before the political equality of men; and in attempting, therefore, to overshadow and trample upon the kingdoms around her, England is violating an older and longer established principle, than when she dresses one man in gold and sends him to the House of Lords, and another in rags and sends him to the workhouse. But this last practice may prove sufficiently dangerous, as the first may prove sufficiently fatal.




NGLAND is glorious by reason of her age, her ruins, her power; her commerce, which has extended over the world; her Christian missionaries, who are calling the pagans from their idols; and her bards and orators, whose names stand bright on the records of mankind. But we cannot admire the spirit of that policy which, in giving the nation power and consideration abroad, leaves it weakened and wretched at home; which, in providing the rest of the world with the elegancies and luxuries of civilized life, leaves the crowded masses of its own poor, in ignorance and starvation; which, in its efforts to keep up the nation's outward pomp and display, takes no heed of its sickness and suffering within.

Let her remember that no sadder aspect in the decay of civic society can be presented, than when honest laborers, by millions, are perishing with want, while an aristocracy around them are rolling in voluptuousness; that while the great middle class of her citizens are clamorous for their political rights, the lower classes at the same time are clamorous for bread; that her provinces are held by a frail tenure; that the branches of her power are already grown too large for the parent tree that the heart of an empire may decay, while a distant dependency continues to flourish. Let her remember, too, that a Power greater than her own, has left no traces of its political existence in Italy; and that the barbarian's steed long ago made his manger in the Golden House of Nero!




"That power whose flag is never furl'd—

Whose morning drum beats round the world."

"THE future historian of a decline and fall hereafter, not less memorable than that of Rome, will probably commence his work with a corresponding account of the power and extent of the British Empire under William the Fourth and Queen Victoria. What Rome was in its influence over the destinies of mankind in the 1st Century, England is now in the 19th; while not merely in regard to rank in science and civilization, but also in the territorial extent of its possessions, on which the sun never sets, England occupies a prouder position than ancient Rome.” Westminster Review, Ap. 1842.

« السابقةمتابعة »