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with the ground. I do not recognise, in this view of things, the despotism of Turkey. Nor do I discern the character of a government that has been, on the whole, so oppressive, or so corrupt, or so negligent, as to be utterly unfit for all Reformation. I must think such a govern. ment well deserved to have its excellences heightened, its faults corrected, and its capacities improved into a British Constitution."
not lead prosperity and plenty in her train."
The first attempt of the Revolutionists had been, as it always is, to destroy the Church; the second was, as it always will be, to destroy the Nobility; the Throne is the last plunder, but it is to the full as determined a purpose, and will always inevitably follow the ruin of its great bulwarks in both. Burke powerfully exposes the false pretences under which the constitutional character of the national nobility was libelled. "Had your nobility and gentry, who formed the great body of your landed men, and the whole of your military officers, resembled those of Germany, when the Hanse Towns were necessitated to confederate in defence of their property; had they been like the Orsini and Vitelli in Italy, who used to sally from their fortified dens to rob the trader and traveller; had they been such as the Mamalukes of Egypt, or the Nayres of Malabar, I do admit, that too critical an enquiry might not be advisable into the means of freeing the world from such a nuisance. The statues of Equity and Mercy might be veiled for a moment. The tenderest minds, confounded with the dreadful exigence in which morality submits to the suspension of its own rules in favour of its own principles, might turn aside, while fraud and violence were accomplishing the destruction of a pretended nobility which disgraced, while it persecuted, human nature. The persons most abhorrent from blood, treason, and arbitrary confiscation, might remain silent spectators of the civil war between the vices!"
In all instances, Jacobinism is but a pretext for robbing the rich and pulling down the high. Its whole fabric is built upon two passions, the basest and bitterest of our na ture;-Envy and Malignity. The Jacobin's whole creed is comprised in the two commandments of a rebellious heart-Exclude providence from the conduct of its own world, and hate your neighbour as you love yourself. Disown the one that you may be entitled to disobey him-and libel the other, that you may be entitled to plunder him. Thus, disburthening his conscience, that he
With this fine and unquestionably true statement of the general operation of the monarchy on the public force, wealth, and activity of France, he contrasts the palpable evils brought upon her by the very first movements of change. The disappearance of coin, the loss of employment, a hundred thousand people being thrown out of work in Paris alone, the sudden, repulsive, and ruinous overflow of mendicancy, demanding, even in the last exhaustion of the treasury, an advance of fiftyone millions of livres, or upwards of two millions sterling! the reduction of the population of the capital by a fifth; and pronounces, that these evils, of themselves, show that there is something hollow in the triumph of their liberty. "In the meantime, the leaders of your legislative clubs and coffeehouses are intoxicated with admiration of their own wisdom. They speak with the most Sovereign contempt of the rest of the world; they tell the people to comfort them in the rags in which they have clothed them, that they are a nation of philosophers! and sometimes, by all the arts of quackish parade, by show, tumult, and bustle; sometimes by the alarms of plots and invasions, they attempt to drown the cries of indigence, and to divert the eyes of the observer from the ruin and wretchedness of the state. A brave people will certainly prefer liberty, accompanied with poverty, to a depraved and wealthy servitude. But, before the price of comfort and opulence is paid, one ought to be pretty sure it is real liberty which is purchased, and that she is to be purchased at no other price. I shall always, however, consider that liberty as very equivocal in her appearance, which has not wisdom and justice for her companions, and does
of evils, and come out into the open air. There we see the sky and the earth free from tempest, none of the congregated clouds and murky atmosphere of the Jacobin canvass; we see the old shapes of commerce, and manners, and legislation, the whole vigour of the civil state alive, the huge and healthy limbs of the body politic in full movement. Still the Jacobin is at work, fabricating discontent, and distorting his own intellect, and that of every student of his school, into a hatred of the forms of truth and nature, into a love for the fantastic mingled with the furious, into scenes of passion without feeling; of power without dignity, of vengeance without justice; a wild, yet deliberate, letting loose of all the crimes and fiercenesses of the heart, for the purpose, grovelling and individual as it is, of exalting himself, and himself alone, into the means of exercising all the oppres sions, corruptions, pampered epicu rean selfishness, and long treasured, remorseless retribution, that he had so contemptuously charged upon the ruling orders of the country. "Did the nobility," exclaims Burke, with natural indignation, "who met under the King's precept at Versailles in 1789, or their constituents, deserve to be looked on as the Nayres and Mamalukes of this age, or as the Orsini and Vitelli of ancient times? If I had then asked the question I should have passed for a madman. What have they since done that they were to be driven into exile, that their persons should be hunted about, mangled and tortured, their families dispersed, their houses laid in ashes, their order abolished, and the memory of it, if possible, extinguished, by ordaining them to change the very names by which they were usually known. Read their instructions to their representatives, they breathe the spirit of liberty as warmly, and they recommend reformation as strongly as any other order. Their privileges relative to contribution were voluntarily surrendered, as the King from the beginning surrendered the right of taxation. Upon a free constitution there was but one opinion in France-the absolute Monarchy was at an end. It had breathed its last, without a groan, without struggle, without convulsion. All
may give a loose to his passions, he proceeds, under the banner of athe ism and treason, to consummate his work in the extinction of morals and the overthrow of society. This consummation is not yet ripe among ourselves, but the principles are vigorously disseminated; and unless the providence which it scorns shall vindicate itself by the timely extinction of the scorners, the harvest will be gathered in in due season. We have the whole progress of Jacobinism laid before us in France; the whole seven ages of public revolt, almost in the graphic succession of the great Poet of life and nature, the smiling infancy, the ingenuous boyhood, the fierce, abrupt, and fiery youth, the stern and martial manhood, the harsh and frowning maturity, until the principle sinks down into natural decay, and exhibits a spectacle of emptiness, and feeble senseless decrepitude to the world. But Jacobinism is, like its parent, essentially a liar. It seeks no reform, it desires no renovation; with the good of mankind eternally on its lips, it has a rankling hatred of human prosperity in its heart; it has the sagacity to know that its element is disorder, and this disorder it must keep alive, let the means be what they will. What man of common sense but must be astonished and disgusted at the language which takes the lead in all our popular meetings at this moment? If we follow the democratic pencil in the picture of our time, we see nothing but monsters; a parliament, even after its fatal delivery into the hands of those new artists of governments and nations to model according to their wisdom, teeming only with corruption; profligate and pernicious; suffered to exist only till the national justice shall have leisure to grasp it and extinguish the national nuisance; a clergy fit for nothing but exile or extermination; a nobility of proud pensioners on the Crown, or insolent oppressors of the people; commerce perishing in our ports through the corruption of our Legislature; manufactures shut out of every part of Europe by the visions of our Ministry. Ruin in the four corners of the land, and the only remedy, general combustion! We leave the painter and his gallery
the struggle, all the dissension arose afterwards, upon the preference of a despotic Democracy to a government of reciprocal control. The triumph of the victorious party was over the principles of a British Constitution."
At some distance, but connected with the argument, a passage of remarkable beauty, and of no less dignity and wisdom, follows:-" All this violent cry against the nobility, I take to be a mere work of art. To be honoured and even privileged by the laws, opinions, and usages of our country, has nothing to provoke horror and indignation in any man. Even to be too tenacious of those privileges is not absolutely a crime. The strong struggle in every individual to preserve possession of what he has found to belong to him, and to distinguish him, is one of the securities against injustice and despotism, implanted in our nature. It operates as an instinct to secure property, and to preserve communities in a settled state. What is there to shock in this? Nobility is a grace ful ornament to the civil order. is the Corinthian capital of polished society! Omnes boni nobilitati semper favemus,' was the saying of a wise and good man. It is indeed one sign of a liberal and benevolent mind to incline to it with some sort of partial propensity. He feels no He feels no ennobling principle in his own heart, who wishes to level all the artificial institutions which have been adopted for giving a body to opinion, and permanence to fugitive existence. It is a sour, malignant, and envious disposition, without taste for the reality, or for any image of virtue, that sees with joy the unmerited fall of what had long flourished in splendour and in honour. I do not like to see any thing destroyed, any void produced in society, any ruin on the face of the land."
The singularly happy image of the nobles as the consummate decoration of the great social column, excited universal admiration on the first appearance of the Reflections, as uniting equal appositeness and elegance. It was at once ingenious, forcible, and true. His vindication of the ruined French clergy has an additional value to us, from its close, prospective, penetration into the
spirit, which, in all times of conspiracy against the state, will first rage against the church. The vindication is general, not of the doctrines or professional observances of an establishment so totally distinct from that which he revered as his own, but of the common principles of human honour, assailed by the common principles of rapine and revenge. "It was with the same satisfaction I found that the result of my enquiry concerning your clergy was not dissimilar. It is no soothing news to my ears, that great bodies of men are incurably corrupt. It is not with much credulity I listen to any, when they speak evil of those whom they are going to plunder. I rather suspect that vices are feigned, or exaggerated, when profit is looked for in their punishment. An enemy is a bad witness, a robber is a worse. Vices and abuses there were undoubtedly in that order, and must be. It was an old establishment, and not frequently revised. But I saw no crimes in the individuals that merited confiscation of their substance! ***** If there had been any just cause for this new religious persecution, the atheistic libellers, who act as trumpeters to animate the populace to plunder, do not love anybody so much as not to dwell with complacence on the vices of the existing clergy. This they have not done. They find themselves obliged to rake into the histories of former ages, for every instance of oppression and persecution by that body, or in its favour, in order to justify, upon every iniquitous, because very illogical, principle of retaliation, their own persecutions, and their own cruelties. After destroying all other genealogies and family distinctions, they invent a sort of pedigree of crimes. not very just in man to chastise men for the offences of their natural ancestors; but to take the fiction of ancestry in a corporate succession, as a ground for punishing men who have no relation to guilty acts, except in names and general descriptions, is a sort of refinement in injustice belonging to the philosophy of this enlightened age.'
It is thus among ourselves that the mob orators look into the history of the Romish supremacy for the
crimes of the British establishment.
BY A LADY."
historical, not contemporary.. Its
which proved to me very provoking, as they were confidential and careless communications, never intended for the public eye. Indeed, during the years 1815-16-17, the craving and mania for anecdotes of the prisoner of St Helena were so great, that people seemed not to be at all scrupulous how or where they obtained them. I remember well, that, when we landed at Portsmouth, in September, 1817, and it was known that our regiment had been two years in surveillance of the Ex-Emperor, persons of all ranks seemed ready to tear us in pieces for information. We had not been two hours there, at the Crown Hotel, before several portraits of him were brought by strangers for our inspection, and to wait our decision as to their resemblance to the original.
This delirium has passed away-
the hero is no more-new monarchs sway the different sceptres of Europe --and many chances and changes have occurred in the conduct of human affairs, since the astonishing events of 1815 seemed to have come like a new avatar on the world. The things of those days are now quite of the past, and I can with safety, and without any doubt of propriety, indulge my friends with a sketch of Bonaparte, as I myself saw him. Of course I make no allusion to party or politics. The truth is, I have no genius that way; besides, I consider them as away from the female character. I shall carefully keep within the sphere which Bonaparte himself allotted to the female sex; else I will outrage one of his favourite axioms, which was, "Let women mind their knitting," i. e. their domestic concerns. -My first introduction to Bonaparte was in the Island of St Helena, at the place called the Briers, in the month of December, 1815, about six weeks after his arrival at the Island.
This introduction was by chance, and through the means of two young and lively English ladies, who had lately returned from a boarding school in England, daughters of the proprietor of the Briers.
We went, by invitation, to dine at the Briers, where Bonaparte resided for some weeks after his arrival, until the house at Longwood was put in order and prepared for his reception. I was walking with my little daughter (eight years of age), and the two young ladies before mentioned, in the garden before the Briers, when Bonaparte came forth from his tent (which was pitched on one side of the house), accompanied by his secretary, Count Las Casas.
Bonaparte was a little man, stout and corpulent, of a dark olive complexion, fine features, eyes of a light bluish grey, and, when not speaking or animated, of an abstracted, heavy countenance. But when light ed up and interested, his expression was very fine, and the benevolence of his smile I never saw surpassed. He was particularly vain of a small and beautiful hand, and handsome little feet; as vain nearly (I dare say) as having conquered half the universe. Bonaparte laid a great
VOL. XXXV. NO. CCXVII.
stress on the beauty of hands in ladies, and frequently enquired of me, during our residence in St Helena, respecting the hands of the ladies he had not seen; and seemed to think a pretty and delicate hand the ne plus ultra of beauty and gentility.
Napoleon was dressed, on the day of my first introduction to him, in a green coat, silk stockings, small shoes, large square gold buckles, and a cocked hat, with a ribbon of some order, seen through the button-hole of his coat.
The two young ladies, who were respectively about thirteen and fifteen years of age, were quite familiar with the Ex-Emperor, ran playfully towards him, dragging me forward by the hand, and saying to him, "This lady is the mother of the little girl who pleased you the other day by singing Italian canzonets."
Upon this he made me a bow, which I returned by a low and reverential curtsy, feeling, at the same time, a little confused at this sudden and unceremonious introduction.
"Madame," said he, " you have a sprightly little daughter; where did she learn to sing Italian songs?"
On my replying that I had taught her myself, he said "Bon." He then asked me what country woman I was?" English."-"Where were you educated?"—" In London.”"What ship did you come out in to St Helena? What regiment is your husband in? And what rank has he in the army?" And a variety of like questions, as quick as possible, did Bonaparte make to me, and all in Italian. I then ventured to request he would speak to me in French, as I was more conversant with that language than with Italian. All this time the two young ladies and my little daughter were running to and fro around us, and chattering to the Great Hero, who seemed to delight much in their lively and unsophisticated manners. After walking some time in the garden, Bonaparte requested me to go into the house at the Briers, where a pianoforte stood open, to sing some Italian songs. Accordingly, we all entered the drawingroom, which was ground floor, when my playful little daughter, perceiving me agitated and trembling at the idea of