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applauding. A writer, unless he be higher orders of society can be ob of the first order of merit, can seldom tained or preserved only by pro be fairly estimated by foreigners. priety and consistency of demeanour. Every nation has its mode of thought The Count dwells upon the simplias well as of expression. The mi- city of the habits of the Spanish núte arrangements and subtle clas: peasant, his extreme abstinence, his sifications of German authors are self-denial, and, his almost entire ridiculous to the French; the florid destitution of furniture, of clothing, and declamatory style of French and of every object of accommodacomposition is meritricious to Eng: tion; and from this he argues that lish taste ; whilst the simple beau- war can bring no privation to the ties of some of our classic authors Spaniard, and that he is therefore are frigid and unattractive to our invulnerable. We doubt if this inGallic neighbours. Thus, a vast ference is consistent with any sound number of Count Pecchio's. obser- theory, or that it can be supported vations, which we are persuaded by a reference to historical facts, would appear attractive to his coun: There are causes of enthusiam and trynien, are jejune and trifling' to of temporary excitement, which may us, who, in our more sombre clime, render a people invulnerable without are accustomed to severer thought, any reference to their poverty or and to expunge those reflections luxury, but such cases are anomawhicli are not the result of greater lous to general principle; and we care and depth of inquiry. Many believe it may be laid down as a of Count Pecchio's similies, for the maxim that countries are defensible same reason, are rather trilling to in proportion to the value of the English readers. The comparison of objects to be defended; or that, the monster, despotism, to Polyphe- cæteris paribus, a rich country is mus, and the likening of the sweet always more capable of defending smelling shores of Italy to Sirens, itself than a poor one. A rich are to us far-fetched, and ridiculous country implies a larger population, conceits rather than similies worthy and that state of agriculture, with of the press.
a general use of machinery, which The Count's first letter is dated enables a few to support the many s Irun, in May 1821, and from thence and disengaging a great portion from he travels to Madrid viâ Burgos, the necessity of labour, supplies the and afterwards leaving that capital means of a more, numerous army.. for Cadiz and Lisbon, returns to In a rich country, science, that great Madrid, from which city his last source of strength, is always carried letter is dated in August 1822. The to a higher degree of excellence, author gives us a statement of the and is more generally diffused than extréme familiarity existing between in a poor que; and, finally, it may be the grandees of Spain and their in- taken as a general law of our nature, feriors: this is certainly very con: that man is disposed to defend, in tradictory to the notions entertained proportion to the value of the object in England of the haughtiness of to be defended. In writing thus, it the Spanish character ; 'but we can. must be clearly understood that we not agree with Count Pecchio that allude to that natural state of lux. such familiarity' is any proof of ury which is the necessary, conse: liberty or of liberality of opinions in quence of industry, of equal laws, the Peninsula ; for the fact is, that and of a wise and pure Government. in despotic countries, the relation There is another state of luxury between the poor and the rich is which is confined solely to: the upalways on the extreme of familiarity per classes, and is supported by or of oppression. The liberties the Government, extorting from the taken by a West Indian slavo with poor in order to pamper the privis his master are incredible to an Eng, leged orders. This state of luxury lishman ; such liberties are allowed exists more or less under all de. because the master can at any time spotic Governments ; and has inya: enforce the transition from familiariably been carried to its climax in rity to obedience by, the application the southern countries of Asia, and, of the lash, whilst in free countries we fear we may add, in the southern the respect of the lower for the peninsula of Europe. We need not
say that such a state of unnatural making the sign of the cross. ' In luxury invariably implies every spe letter the sixth the Count gives us cies of national weakness and de- a short sketch of Ballasteros, in generacy. In no country in the which we recognize the pride, the world perhaps were the comforts of prejudice, the lofty honour, and all life so generally diffused as amongst the other features of the Spanish the people of north America ; and we character. In the next letter we doubt if the destitute and needy have a circumstantial account of the Spaniard will be found to fight so manner in which Quiroga and Riego well, to endure so much, or to perse effected the 'revolution. We lament vere so long against bis present to see that the old leaven of religiinvaders, as the citizens of America, ous intolerance still" exists amongst in the war of their revolution, did, the Spaniards; but we can hardly against the attempted oppression of be surprised at this when we reflect Great Britain.
how very little of the trne and ex. Having thus, with candour, ar- tensive spirit of religious toleration gued against what we conceive to exists even in our own country, and be two great errors in Count Pec- that in some of our dominions we chio's views of Society, we may be are, perhaps, as intolerent as any allowed to indulge in the more people on earth. The work gives pleasing duty of praising the gene- us a summary of the various causes ral accuracy of his conceptions, and which are favourable, as well as the of expatiating upon the fund of in- many that are unfavourable, to the formation and of amusement which ultimate success of Spain in her his work has afforded us: The present struggle for freedom; and Count is remarkably impartial in we are happy to see the prepondehis opinions, and judges of actions rance considerably in favour of the by their real nature rather than by former. . their relation to the passing scene, In closing this amusing and in or to temporary convenience ; thus, structive work, we cannot but sus. with all his attachment to Spain and pect that there is some principle of Portugal, he very justly exposes slavery and of passive obedience in their want of principle and consisa herent in the very nature of man. tency in their endeavouring to im- We here see one of the finest por. posé upon the South Americans tions of the earth kept by religious those very doctrines, against the im. and political tyranny in a state that position of which, upon themselves would almost mar every object of by the French, they are now ready social aggregation. Idleness, poto appeal to the sword. The Count's verty, 'and vice afflicting the poor, letters, both directly and indirectly, wbilst the rich äre degraded by afford the most indisputable corro. meanness' and ignorance; and yet boration of the mass of evidence we when a few noble spirits have rescuhave had of the dreadfut corruptioned their country from bondage, and of the old Spanish Government, of broken the odious chains of slavery, the revolting vices of the King, and we find nearly one half of the clerof the dire etfects which these have gy and nobles anxious to crouch had upon the prosperity and happi- once more beneath the yoke, and ness of the people at large. In the planging their country in a civil Hall of the Cortes, allegorical and war purely to prevent her enjoying antique statuary have given place to the blessings of freedom. · But tablets and devises commemorating God giveth not the battle to the the patriots of the revolution ; the strong; and we trust that the righmembers appear in their ordinary teous cause of the Spaniard will costume, and, avoiding the French prevail over the unhallowed efforts example, they follow our's of speak- of the Gaul. ing extemporary, and from any part of the hall, instead of from a ros- Memorial de Saint Helene. trum. Great decorum and polite-. Journal of the Private Life and Conness appear to be observed in the · versations of the Emperor Napodebates; about one third of the leon at St. Helena. By the Count Cortes is composed of priests, and de Las Cases, 4 vols. 8vo. Lon. the close of every sentence of a don, 1823. speech is accompanied by the speaker
WHILST the Emperor Napoleon
was in the possession of his political late, as their title indicates, to Nasupremacy, the attention of mankind poleon during his confinement in was so completely absorbed by the Saint Helena, but they are not so grandeur of his actions, that the exclusively devoted to this period as people of Europe, or at least of this Mr. O'Meara's work; they, relate country, never thought of any other less to the minutiæ concerning Sir history of his life than his bulletins Hudson Lowe, and are, in all reor the public journals: except, in spects, more discussive, and of a deed, that some anxiety might have more general nature. The Count been felt for a candid portraiture of Las Cases, from a more intimate achis youth, from the age of his de. quaintance with foreign characters, veloping his faculties, to the period and with public events, had greater of his becoming the star of the polis facilities in eliciting facts and opitical horizon. No sooner, however, nions from Napoleon, and his vohad he yielded the grasp of his scep lumes therefore are, in many retre, and thrown himself upon the spects, of increased interest. generosity of England, no sooner A critic who attempted to form an had he ceased to be the one great opinion of these volumes by any abobject of attention, than we began stract or general notions of literary to feel something like astonishment merit, or by any general characteristhat nothing approachiug to authen- tics of intellect, would find himself tic biography, or even to memoirs exceedingly perplexed to come to (that species of writing for which any precise and consistent concluFrance is so celebrated) had yet ap- sion.' They exhibit so much of peared of a man who had 'for so seriousness and levity, of knowledge many years swayed the destinies of and ignorance, of ingenuity and Europe, and concentrated all atten, frivolity, of self-love and disinteresttion upon his military and political edness, in short of almost every op
After his transportation to posite and contradictory quality, Saint Helena, considerable surprise that it is difficult to be persuaded and impatience were expressed by that they are from the pen of the the people of England, that they same person. Some clue will be heard so little of their captive. Å afforded to the solution of these infew works had issued from the press consistencies: by considering the respecting him, but these were either Count not only as an individual, but of questionable authority, or desti- as a member of a very peculiar tute of merit. - At length Mr. school or sect. The Count as an inO'Meara's work was given to the pub- dividual is ingenious, and if not lic, and this production of the Eng. profound, he is at least intelligent lish surgeon is rapidly followed and sagacious; but then he is not by four volumes from Count Las only a Frenchman of the old school, Cases, with the Memoires pour ser- but the most perfect specimen of the vir à l'Histoire de France, by Gene- old school of French courtiers. He ral Gourgaud, and the Melanges is always serious upon trifles, and Historiques, by the Count de Mon- often trifling npon serious occasions. tholon. These, with some strictures He is devoted to his royal master ; upon, and a relation of the battle of but although the object of his deWaterloo, by. General Gourgaud, votion be worthy of his homage, are all the authentic documents that nevertheless he throws over it all have yet appeared of this extraordi- the air of that frivolous solicitude nary character, and the historian and indiscriminating, subserviency must anxiously hope, that many of which rendered the old courtiers of the great political coadjutors of the France always ridiculous, and so Tate Emperor may yet design to often criminal. Our latter obserpublish their accounts of those vation, however, must be considered scenes in which they bore so con- as applicable to the Count's manner, spicuous a part; to expose the in- for we strongly admire him for his trigues of the revolution, and to lay pure and devoted fidelity to his fallen open the arcana and secret springs nuaster, particularly as his attachof those great events which for ment to Napoleon was 'a conquest so many years kept Europe in a wrought over early
prejudices by his continued state of agitation. appreciation of the Emperor's powers'
The volumes now before us re- of intellect and goodness of heart.
It seems incumbent upon us before have received the same fate from entering into the details of this Carthage; or, to come nearer' to our work, to discuss the two points to own times, the same doctrine might which a considerable portion of the have been applied to Charles of Swevolumes has a constant reference; den, to Frederick of Prussia, or and one of which points indeed is even to our own Colonel Clive in the very basis of the reasonableness India, and to our Marlborough in and merit of the work itself: we Europe. It may he further argued allude to the right and to the mode that if an enemy's genias be so vast of detaining the person of Napoleon as Napoleon's, he must exert it by Great Britain. It is almost im- either compatibly or incompatibly possible at present for any periodi with justice; if compatibly with cal writer to enter upon such a sub- justice he docs us no injury! if inject without incurring the suspicion compatibly, he raises the indignaof political predilections and of the tion of mankind against him in the bias of party. In the execution of proportion of his injustice, and naour duties, however, we always con- tions, leaguing in common defence, sider the great interests of mankind, will at length restrain him within and of moral principles, as para reasonable bounds. The Deity, in mount to any objects purely nati- short, has, in his wisdom and mercy, onal, or to the subjects that agitate so constituted the human race; that nations for the period ; and, im- no man, however stupendous his in pressed with a deep feeling of the tellect, can be daringly vicious for usefulness and grandeur of history any length of time, and that Engand philosophy, we never suffer our land therefore had no occasion to functions to be intruded upon by violate the eternal principles of the “petty conflicts of statesmen, justice by resorting to the perpetual nor by the yet pettier attachments imprisonment of her enemy as a and antipathies of those who range means of self-defence. themselves under their banners. "'An argument less abstract and · In reviewing Mr. O'Meara's va- more contingent is, that all great juable work, we gave it as our opi- conquerors owe their success to the nion that it was the bounden duty vices of their enemies, and to their of this country to secure the person invention of some new principles of of Napoleon. We are aware that warfare, and that in the course of such a judgment arises more ex ne- their career their invention is caught cessitate rei than out of any general by their enemies, and applied against principles, and we must also acknow. themselves, at least to the extent of ledge that the doctrine of necessity checking their course. The former is always objectionable from the truth is remarkably illustrated by great liability of its being misappli- the histories of Haonibal, of Scipio, ed. Considering the stupendous of Charles XII. and of Frederick powers of Napoleon, and his insatia: the Great; and the whole of these ble ambition, his political existence truths are yet more strongly illusseemed inconsistent with our safety, trated by the life of Napoleon hinand that a permanent detention of self, and by the early history of the his person was therefore compatible French revolution. France, in the with the laws of nations, and of civi- commencement of her revolutionary lized warfare. The contrary doc- struggle owed her successes to the trine to this has been most ably excessive weakness to which politisupported by Count Las Cases and
cal vice and corruption had reduced others, and we must acknowledge the Governments opposed to her; that our premio leads to a conse- and Napoleon's meteor-like camquence that an enemy's imprison. paigns from 1798 to 1810, were owinent will always be in the ratio of ing to his new system of strategy his talents. On the same principle and of concentrated attack; but at thrat England justifies her detention length his enemies had learned his of Napoleon, Persia might have own system, and, although they thrown Themistocles into a dun- could not wield it with the power of geon ; the Gauls, had they captured the master, they, yet practised it Cæsar, might have doomed him to with sutficient skill to check the perpetual incarceration; Scipio might rapidity of his career, and to preEur. Mag, April, 1823.
vent any of those brilliant and over- peror of their side-arms. An order whelming results which had former- so revolting to generosity, and so ly flowed from his tactics. Napo- disgraceful to the nation, as well as leon therefore was really innoxious to the age, that the British Admiral in comparison to what he had been, (Lord Keith) refused to obey it, and our resorting therefore to a per- but took upon himself the responsipetual detention of his person was bility of disregarding it, and deas weak in policy as it was wicked priving only the attendants of their in principle. We have thought it side-arms, with the prouder feelings our duty candidly to give a recapi- of an English officer, held sacred tulation of the principal arguments the sword of a fallen hero. With that some of the most estimable respect to the other points, the characters in Europe. have urged treatment of Napoleon, if the moragainst the abstract injustice of the tifications that were imposed upon British Cabinet in their detention of him were not necessary, no lanNapoleon, and we leave these ar. guage can be too strong in reproguments to their own merit, confess-bating those who had the custody ing, however, that they have made of him; if they were necessary, that considerable impression upon our. necessity amounts to a proof of selves, and that no train of thought great incapacity, or of culpable neghas arisen by which we can have ligence in those who selected Saint been led to suspect their fallacy. Helena as the place of his deten
Upon the second point, that of tion. For when the enormous exthe mode of detaining the Ex-em- pense of keeping Napoleon at such peror, our opinions are confirmed a distance was so repeatedly urged, .by Count.Las Cases' work ; and we it was always answered that that have no hesitation in declaring that island had been selected because the the treatment of Napoleon was un. prisoner could be there detained with justifiable in morals, imbecile in safety, and without imposing upon policy, and highly derogatory to him restraints derogatory from his the character of our country. We former rank; now it appears to us, strongly reprobate the making of that subject to the restrictions and this point a vehicle of censure upon supervisions which were imposed on the executive Government, for it Napoleon at Saint Helena, he might ought to be treated as a question have been detained with equal safety concerning morals and posterity, at numerous places at home, and of and one in which ourselves have course at less than one quarter of comparatively less concern. But in the expense. We cau only add that whatever view the question is taken, the regulations adopted by that we think its decision a matter of able officer, Admiral Sir George great facility, and that it can be Cockburn, for the safe custody of resolved into the narrow compass of the Emperor, never gave him any three especial points. The animus
The animus permanent offence ; and it is thereof the captors, the facts of our fore for Sir Hudson Lowe to prove treatment of the captive, and the that those regulations were injudi. relation of those facts not to the cious or insufficient, or otherwise prisoner himself so much as to the his increasing the restraints upon general principles of morality and Napoleon in such a merciless ratio of warfare. As to the first point, will infallibly amount to a proof of the animus of the captors, it appears the charges made against him. We clearly to have been strongly mark- have gone into these questious at ed, and of a nature that the ill. such length because they really treatment of the prisoner might form the basis upon which the inerit have been foretold, a priori, with or demerit of the three great works the greatest confidence. In proof of O'Meara, Las Cases, and Monof this we need but mention one tholon must ultimately rest. It is fact, which will create a thousand not our custom to con painful sensations in every person
our memoirs from number to numof sentiment, or .capable of refined ber, but we have continued our feelings; we allude to the order sent Memoirs of Napoleon, in the predown to Plymouth to deprive the ceding division of our Magazine French attendants and the Ex-Em- through three successive numbers,
inue any of