Page images
PDF
EPUB

But this object, so important in its spread a degree of prosperity through results, so interesting to humanity the country then unknown, and rarely from its tendency to alleviate human if ever since equalled in that ill-starred suffering, ere long yielded to the land.+ But the experience of the enlightened views of modern liberals. utter futility of all attempts, during a It was discovered that it was much century and a half, to leave the native more important to cheapen sugar for Irish Čelts to themselves or their own a time* than to rescue the African direction, had no effect whatever in race from perdition. Free trade in convincing our modern liberals that sugar was introduced, although it they were incapable of self-direction, was demonstrated, and, indeed, con- and would only be ruined by Saxon fessed, that the effect of it would be institutions. On the contrary, it left to ruin all the free-labour colonies, and no doubt in their minds that the absence throw the supply of the world into the of self-government was the sole cause hands of the slave states. Provided, of the wretchedness of the country, for a few years, you succeeded in and that nothing was wanting but an reducing the average retail price of entire participation in the privileges sugar a penny a pound, it was deemed of British subjects, to render them as of no consequence though we extin- industrious, prosperous, and loyal as guished the growth of free-labour the yeomen of Kent or Surrey. In pursugar-destroyed colonies in which suance of those principles, Catholic a hundred millions of British capital Emancipation was granted: the Whigs were invested, and doubled 'the had effected one revolution in 1688, by slave trade in extent, and quadrupled coalescing with the whole Tories to it in horror, throughout the globe. exclude the Catholics from the govern

It had been the constant policy of ment; they brought about another the British government, under all revolution, in 1829, by coalescing with administrations, for above a century a section of the Tories to bring them and a half, to endeavour to reclaim the in. In furtherance of the new system, Irish population by introducing among so plausible in theory, so dangerous in them colonies of English who might practice, of extending to all men, of teach them industry, and Protestant all races, and in all stages of political missionaries who might reclaim them advancement, the same privileges, the from barbarism. The Irish landlords liberals successively gave the Irish and boroughs were the outposts of the command of their boroughs, the civilisation among a race of savages; abridgment of the Protestant Church, the Irish Church the station of Christi- and the abolition of tithes as a burden anity amidst the darkness of Romish on the tenant. They encouraged slavery. So effectual was this system, agitation, allowed treason to be openly and so perfectly adapted to the cha- spoken in every part of the country, racter of the Celtic race-capable of and winked at monster meetings, till great things when led by others, but the community was wellnigh thrown utterly unfit for self-government, and into convulsions. Meanwhile, agriincapable of improvement when left to culture was neglected—industry disitself,—that even in the ruthless bands appeared-capital was scared away. of Cromwell, yet reeking with the The land was run out, and became slaughter of stormed cities, it soon unfit for anything but lazy-beds of

Observe, for a time! We shall see anon what the price of sugar will be when the English colonies are destroyed and the slave plantations have the monopoly of the market in their hands.

† “ Cromwell supplied the void made by his conquering sword, by pouring in numerous colonies of the Anglo-Saxon blood and of the Calvinistic faith. Strange to say, under that iron rule the conquered country began to wear an outward face of prosperity. Districts, which had recently been as wild as those where the first white settlers of Connecticut were contending with the Red Men, were in a few years transformed into the likeness of Kent and Norfolk, New buildings, roads, and plantations were everywhere begun. The rent of estates rose fast: and some of the English landowners began to complain that they were met in every market by the products of Ireland, and to clamour for protecting laws.”—MACAULAY's History, i., 130.

VOL. LXV.-NO. CCCXCIX.

B

potatoes. The people became agita- particular. The liberals, whether tors, not cultivators: they were always factious or moneyed, of the new school, running about to meetings—not fre- flattered themselves they were making quenting fairs. The potato-blight fell great advances in political science, on a country thus prepared for ruin, when they were merely yielding to and the unparalleled misery of 1817, the same spirit which made the Caland the rebellion of 1848, were the vinists stand up when they prayed, consequence.

because all the world before them had It would be easy to carry these il- knelt down, and sit still during psalms, lustrations farther, and to trace the because the Roman Catholics had working of the principles we have stood up. mentioned through the whole modern But truth is great, and will prevail; system of government in Great Britain. experience is its test, and is perpetuEnough has been said to show that ally contradicting the theories of man. the system is neither founded on the The year 1848 has been no exception principles contended for by the old to the maxims of Tacitus and Burke. Whigs, nor on any appreciation of, Dreadful indeed in suffering, appallor attention to, the national interests, ing in form, are the lessons which or the dictates of experience in any it has read to mankind! Ten months respect. It has arisen entirely from have not elapsed, since, by a well-cona blind desire of change, and an opposi- certed urban tumult, seconded by the tion to the old system of government, treachery of the national guard, the whether of Whig or Tory origin, and throne of the Barricades was overa seltish thirst for aggrandisement on turned in France-and what do we the part of the moneyed and commercial already see on the continent of classes, whom that system had ele- Europe ? Vienna petitioning for a vated to riches and power. Experi- continuation of the state of siege, as ence was not disregarded by this the only security against the tyranny school of politicians; on the contrary, of democracy: Berlin hailing with rapit was sedulously attended to, its ture the dissolution of the Assembly, lessons carefully marked. But it was and reappearance of the king in the considered as a beacon to be avoided, capital : Milan restored to the sway of not a light to be followed. Against the Austrians : France seeking, in the its conclusions the whole weight of quasi imperial crown of Prince Louis declamation and shafts of irony were Napoleon, with 90,000 soldiers in its directed. It had been the cri de capital, a refuge from the insupportquerre of their enemies, the standard of able evils of a democratic republic. Mr Pitt's policy; therefore the oppo- The year 1848 has added another to site system was to be inscribed on their the numerous proofs which history bamers. It was the ruling principle of affords, that popular convulsions, from their political opponents; and, worst of whatever cause arising, can terminate all, it was the system which, though it only in the rule of the sword; but it has had raised the country to power and taught two otherlessons of incalculable greatness, had for twenty years ex-. importance to the present and future cluded themselves from power. Thence tranquillity of mankind.

These are, the modern system, under which the that soldiers who in civil convulsions nation has suffered, and is suffering, fraternise with the insurgents, and such incalculable misfortunes. It has violate their oaths, are the worst enebeen said, by an enlightened Whig of mies of the people, for they inevitably the old school, that “this age appears induce a military despotism, which to be one in which every conceivable extinguishes all hopes of freedom. folly must be believed and reduced to The other is, that the institution of a practice before it is abandoned.” It national guard is in troubled times of is really so; and the reason is, it is an all others the most absurd; and that, age in which the former system of to put arms into the hands of the government, founded on experience people, when warmed by revolutionary and brought about by necessity, has passions, is only to light the torch of been supplanted by one based on a civil discord with your own hand, and systematic and invariable determina- hand over the country to anarchy, tion to change the old system in every ruin, and slavery.

Nor has the year been less fruit- tem began. Two years of free trade ful of civil premonitions or lessons and a contracted currency have unof the last importance to the future done nearly all that twenty years of tranquillity and prosperity of Great protection and a sufficient currency Britain. Numerous popular delusions had done. The great mercantile class have been dispelled during that period. have suffered so dreadfully under the The dreams of Irish independence effect of their own measures, that their have been broken ; English Chartism power for good or for evil has been has been crushed. The revolution- essentially abridged. The colossus ists see that the people of Great Britain which, for a quarter of a century, has are not disposed to yield their property bestrode the nation, has been shaken to the spoiler, their throats to the mur- by the earthquake which itself had derer, their homes to the incendiary. prepared. Abroad and at home, in Free trade and a fettered currency have peace and in war, delusion has brought brought forth their natural fruits, forth suffering. The year of revolunational embarrassment, general suf- tions has been the NINTH OF THERfering, popular misery. One half of MIDOR, OF LIBERAL PRINCIPLES, for the wealth of our manufacturing towns it has brought them to the test of has been destroyed since the new sys- experience.

FRENCH CONQUERORS AND COLONISTS.

The extraordinary deficiency re- after mad theories and empty names, cently exhibited by a great Continen- and riding down, in the furious chase, tal nation in two qualities eminently its own prosperity and respectaprized by Englishmen-in common bility. consistency, namely, and in common We repeat, then, that these great sense-has cast into the shade all pre- follies of to-day eclipse the minor ones vious shortcomings of the kind, mak- of yesterday. When we see France ing them appear remote and trivial. destroying, in a few weeks, her comA people of serfs, ruled for centuries merce and her credit, and doing herwith an iron rod, pillaged for their self more harm than as many years masters' profit, and lashed at the will repair, we overlook the fact, that slightest murmur, were excusable if, for upwards of fifteen years she has on sudden emancipation from such annually squandered from three to five galling thraldom, their joyful gambols millions sterling upon an unproducexceeded the limits prescribed by pub- tive colony in North Africa. France lic decorum, and by a due regard to used not to be petty in her wars, or their own future prosperity. They paltry in her enterprises. If she was might be forgiven for dancing round sometimes quarrelsome and aggresmaypoles, and dreaming of social per- sive, she was wont at least to fasten fection. It would not be wonderful on foes worthy of her power and reif they had difficulty in immediately sources. Since 1830 she has deroreplacing their expelled tyrants by a gated in this particular. A complicacapable and stable government, and tion of causes—the most prominent if their brief exhilaration were suc- being the vanity characteristic of ceeded by a period of disorganisation the nation, the crooked policy of and weakness. Such allowances can- the sovereign, and the morbid love of not be made for the mad capers of fighting bequeathed by the warlike republican France. The deliverance period of the Empire-has kept France is inadequate to account for the en- engaged in a costly and discreditable suing delirium. The grievances swept contest, whose most triumphant reaway by the February revolution, and sults could be but inglorious, and in which patience, prudence, and mode- which she has decimated her best ration, could not have failed ultimate- troops, and deteriorated her ancient ly to remove-as thoroughly, if less. fame, whilst pursuing, with unworthy rapidly-were not so terrible as to jus- ferocity and ruthlessness, a feeble and tify lunacy upon redress. Neverthe- inoffensive foe. This is no partial or less, since then, the absurdities com- malicious view of the character of the mitted by France, or at least by Paris, Algerine war. Deliberately, and after are scarcely explicable save on the due reflection, we repeat, that France supposition of temporary aberration has gravely compromised in Africa of intellect. Unimaginative persons her reputation as a chivalrous and have difficulty in realising the panor- clement nation, and that she no ama of events, alternately sanguin- longer can claim-as once she was ary and grotesque, lamentable and wont to do-to be as humane in vicludicrous, spread over the last ten tory as she is valiant in the fight. months. Europe the portion of For proof of this we need seek no it, that is to say, which has not been further than in the speeches and bitten by the same rabid and mis- despatches of French generals, of men chievous demon — has looked on, in who themselves have served and utter astonishment, at the painful commanded in Africa. We will judge spectacle of a leader of its civilisation France by the voices of her own sons, galloping, with Folly on its crupper, of those she has selected as worthiest

A Campaign in the Kabylie. By Dawson BORRER, F.R.G.S., &c. London, 1848.
La Kabylie. Par un Colon. Paris, 1846.
La Captivité du Trompette Escofier. Par ERNEST Alby. 2 vols. Brussels, 1848.

to govern her half-conquered colony, he took little pains to cloak his system, and to marshal her legions against a and is too great a blunderer to have handful of Arabs. More than one of succeeded, had he taken more. A these officers testify, voluntarily or man of greater presumption than unwittingly, to the barbarity of the capacity, his audacity, obstinacy, and system pursued in Africa. What unscrupulousness knew no bounds. said General Castellane, in his well. Before this African man-hunt, as M. known speech in the Chamber of Castellane calls it, he was unknown, Peers, on the 4th July 1845? “We except as the Duchess de Berry's have reduced the country by an jailer, as the slayer of poor Dulong, arsenal of axes and phosphorus and as a turbulent debater, whose matches. The trees were cut down, noisy declamation, and occasional ofthe crops were burned, and soon the fences against the French language, mastery was obtained of a population were a standing joke with the newsreduced to famine and despair." And papers. A few years elapse, and we elsewhere in the same speech : “Few find him opposing his stubborn will to soldiers perish by the hand of the that of Soult, then minister at war, and enemy in this war—a sort of man-hunt successfully thwarting Napoleon's old on a large scale, in which the Arabs, lieutenant. This he was enabled to ignorant of European tactics, having do mainly by the position he had no cannon-balls to exchange against made himself in Africa. He had ours, do not fight with equal arms." ridden into power and importance on Monsieur A. Desjobert, long a deputy the shoulders of the persecuted Arabs, for the department of the Lower Seine, by a system of razzias and villageis the author of a volume, and of seve- burning, of wholesale slaughter and ral pamphlets, upon the Algerine ques. relentless oppression. Brighter far tion. In the most recent of these we were the laurels gathered by the lieutefind the following remarkable note:— nant of the Empire, than those plucked “In February 1837, General Bugeaud by Louis Philippe's marshal amidst said to the Arabs, *You shall not the ashes of Bedouin douars and the plough, you shall not sow, nor lead corpses of miserable Mussulmans, slain your cattle to the pasture, without in defence of their scanty birthright, our permission. Later, he gives the of their tents, their flocks, and the following definition of a razzia: “A free range of the desert. Poor was sudden irruption, having for its object the defence they could make against to surprise the tribes, in order to kill their skilful and disciplined invaders ; the men, and to carry off the women, slight the loss they could inflict in children, and cattle.' In 1844, he requital of the heavy one they sufcompletes this theory, by saying to fered. Again we are obliged to M. the Kabyles, ‘I will penetrate into Desjobert for statistics, gathered from your mountains, I will burn your reports to the Commission of Credits, villages and your crops, I will cut and from Marshal Bugeaud's own down your fruit-trees.' (Proclamation bulletins. From these we learn that of the 30th March.) În 1846, ren- the loss in battle of the French armies, dering an account of his operations during the first ten years of the occuagainst Abd-el-Kader, he says to the pation of Algeria, was an average of authorities of Algiers, The power

one hundred and forty men per of Abd-el-Kader consists in the re- annum. In the four following years, sources of the tribes; hence, to ruin eight hundred and eighty-five men his power, we must first ruin the perished. The capture of Constantine Arabs; therefore have we burned cost one hundred men, the muchmuch, destroyed much.' (From the vaunted affair of the Smala nine, the Akhbar newspaper of February 1846.)" battle of Isly TWENTY-SEVEN! We These are significant passages in the well remember, for we chanced to be mouth of a general-in-chief. Pre- in Paris at the time, the stir produced sently, when we come to details, we in that excitable capital by the battle shall show they were not thrown of Isly. No one, unacquainted with away upon his subordinates. The the facts, would have doubted that extermination of the Arabs was al. the victory was over a most valiant ways the real aim of Marshal Bugeaud; and formidable foe. People's mouths

« PreviousContinue »