Page images
PDF
EPUB

structions which it had transmitted to the been louder, but for the intense desire to Count La Garde, and the government of hear what followed. The assembly, taking Spain thought they could do no less than it altogether, seemed struck with surprise follow its example. It was not generally at the light in which this note represented known that these important documents the Spanish revolution. When they heard would be read to the Cortes ; and in con- it said that the principal instruments of the sequence the public galleries were not Spanish revolution had excited Naples and crowded, though rather well attended. Sir Piedmont to follow the example of the PeWilliam A'Court was in the ambassador's ninsula, Riego, Galiano, Arguelles, and tribune, to which also several English gen. others, smiled at the assertion, wondering tlemen were, by his politeness, adınitted. at the hardihood of Metternich, who could The attendance of the Deputies was full, put forth such a falsehood. Yet it was soon

“ The Cortes had been previously en- evident, that this note was drawn up with gaged upon a question relating to ecclesi- tact, and knowledge of human nature, for astical property ; but from the manner in before the general indignation was raised which it was treated, it was easy to perceive to its height, it was wonderfully softened that the minds of the Deputies were full of by that appeal to national pride, which was anxiety and fervour upon another subject. so artfully wrought up in the allusion to Now and then this sentiment broke out, the peculiar position of Austria. • The and there was a partial cheer, when Senor House of Austria, looking to its own hisVelasco, a clergyman, said, I have learn- tory, cannot but find in it the most powered to suffer privations ; but there is no sa- ful motives of friendship, solicitude, and crifice which I can deem too great for the sympathy for a nation, which is able to benefit of Spain ; and even though I were record, with just pride, ages of glorious reabout to become the victim of indigence, collection, during which the sun never set still my last resources should be exhausted upon her dominions ; and which, possessfor the Constitution and the liberty of the ing respectable institutions, hereditary virnation. This discussion was suspended tues, religious sentiments, and love for her when the Secretaries of State entered the kings, has distinguished herself in every hall of the Cortes, about two o'clock in the age by a patriotism always faithful, always afternoon, and M. San Miguel appeared in génerous, and very frequently heroic.' This the rostrum. Upon the instant every person just and eloquent passage had an electric present was breathless with attention, and effect. You saw that the men were for a the silence that pervaded the hall, the tri. moment subdued ; for flattery, so finely cobunes, and galleries, was as profound as if it vered and directed, could not fail to touch were a desert.

every chord of national feeling. But this “After a short preface, he proceeded to result was only for the moment; for alread the note transmitted by the French though the remainder of the note was government to Count la Garde, which ha- framed in language alternately soothing ving been already familiar to the deputies and severe, the terms in which the King and strangers, excited little attention. San was spoken of as a captive, and the authors Miguel's enunciation is bad. He gave no of the constitution represented as acknowemphasis to those sentences, even in the ledging its impracticability, excited unquaanswer to the French note, which was un- lified hostility. When the note was conderstood to be from his own pen. Yet no cluded, however, there was no very geneaid of elocution was necessary to render ral expression of indignation, as its effect every word that fell from him impressive was in some measure qualified by the in the highest degree. When he came to friendly and admonitory tone in which it that passage of his answer, which says that ended. Spain was indifferent as to the results of “ After pausing a few minutes, San Mi. the Congress of Verona, because secure guel proceeded to read the note from Prusof its principles, and firm in the determi. sia. Everything depends upon the manner nation of defending, at every hazard, its in which it is done. There was a great deal present political system, and national in- of Aattery in the commencement of the dependence, there was a general burst of Prussian note ; but it sounded hollow. enthusiasm, many of the deputies and spec. The consequence was, that it was laughed tators clapping their hands. These ap- at. The dignity of the assembly could plauses were renewed at the close of almost scarcely be preserved when that passage every subsequent paragraph ; and, when was read, which stated that the Cortes this paper was concluded, they were con- presented nothing more than a conflict of tinued for several minutes.

opinions and objects, and a struggle of in“ The Austrian note was heard in si. terests and passions, in the midst of which lence, until the Minister came to the words, the most foolish resolutions and proposi• and a military rebellion never can form tions have been constantly crossed, combatthe basis of an auspicious and permanent ed, and neutralized.' This picture of the government;' but there was then a short Cortes, and its debates, if not false, was at mummur of indignation, which would have least well calculated to excite laughter. The remainder of the note, which is full of sent, they will not permit that any alterainvectives against the constitution, was re- tions or modifications shall be made in the ceived with indignation, not unfrequently constitution by which they exist, except by interrupted by strong expressions of con- the will of the nation, and in the manner tempt.

which the laws prescribe. The Cortes will “ But all the rage of the Cortes, or ra- give to the government of his Majesty every ther I might say of the general assembly, means for repelling the aggression of those (for the spectators in the gallery seemed to powers who may dare to attack the liberty, form an integral part of the meeting,) all the independence, and the glory of the he. the rage of this anxious assembly appear roic Spanish nation, and the dignity and ed to be reserved for the Russian commu- splendour of the King's constitutional nication. The sentence commencing the throne.' second paragraph, .When in the month of." This well-timed reply was received March, 1820, some perjured soldiers turn- with a peal of vivas that lasted for several ed their arins against their sovereign and minutes. The deputies all rose in a confatheir country,' &c. was frequently inter- sed manner, and shouted • Viva la Constirupted by murmurs from the galleries and tution ! Viva la soberania national !' in the deputies ; and, amidst these, the former which they were enthusiastically joined by exclaimed more than once, “ Abaxo el Tin the people in the galleries.” rano !' (Down with the Tyrant !) uttered The effect of these discussions upon with a fierceness of tone peculiarly Spa- the populace is characteristically told. nish.

" During the time the minister was “ The following day, a detailed account reading this paper, the agitation among of the debates, and copies of the notes and the deputies was extreme, some turning answers, were published in the principal from one side to the other, as in a state of journals. From an early hour of the mornpainful suffering—some raising their hands ing, the offices of the Universal and Especin astonishment_some looking intently on tador, and the streets leading to them, were the minister, their faces fired with ven- crowded with applicants for papers. Dugeance, &c.

ring the whole day the demand was so “ It was observable that frequently the great, that it was impossible to satisfy it ; deputies fixed their eyes attentively upon but a plan was adopted which in some mea. the ambassador's tribune, in which Sir sure compensated for this defect. When a William A'Court and several English gen. lucky patriot succeeded in getting a paper, tlemen were seated. When, in the notes, he posted to the Puerta del Sol, or the ara sentence of peculiar despotisin was read, cades of the post-office, and here, as soon many an eye was raised to that box, to read as he produced his prize, a crowd collected the impression which it made there. Sir round him, and he read aloud the whole of William A'Court's countenance gave them the journal, from the beginning to the end. neither hope nor despair, but several of his The remarks which the listeners occasion countrymen took no pains to restrain the ab. ally made were short and pithy. Hear,' horrence, which these documents must ever said one, hear the Prussian' King, who excite in the breasts of men who know what once promised a constitution to his own freedom is. These expressions of sympathy subjects.' And who never gave it,' add. were anxiously looked for by the deputies, ed another. Only observe how tender he and afforded them evidently great satisfac- is of the Catholic Church, himself a here: tion. They remarked upon them, one to tic.'_This caused a laugh. Now for the the other, and occasionally smiled. Russian bear,' remarked another.- Down

“ San Miguel concluded with reading with the parricidal race ! Down with the the copy of a circular note, which was to be tyrant !' they said, as the reader proceedsent to the Spanish ministers at each of the ed.” three northern courts; and in which it was stated, that the dispatches transmitted by The debate on the message is then those courts were so full of distorted facts, detailed with passing indications of the injurious suppositions, unjust and calum- character and manner of the chief nious criminations, and vague demands, speakers. Saavedra, young, poetical, that they required no formal answer ; but fuent, and enthusiastic-Canga, old, that the government would take a more con

eloquent, learned, and wise--Galiano, venient opportunity for publishing to the metaphorical, spirited, and full of picpation its sentiments, principles, and reso. lutions.

turesque gesture-- Arguelles, par excel“ As soon as the reading of these docu. lence the Orator, argumentative, viments was over, the President of Cortes vid, bold, and rapid in his transitions said, “ The Cortes have heard the commu- from reasoning to irresistible appeals nication which the government of his Ma- to the heart. While he spoke, every jesty has just made. Faithful to their oath, one of the deputies appeared to be enand worthy of the people whom they repres tranced by his eloquence; and when he concluded, there was a general look notices are drawn up with grace and up to the ambassador's tribune, to see intelligence. The writer followed the what effect it produced there. He King to Seville, and a curious account spoke for an hour and ten minutes; of the royal progress and reception is and when he first rose, often during given. The course of the magnificent his speech, and when he sat down, he Guadalquivir, and Cadiz, are touched was cheered by the populace, and even upon, which, with the writer's return by the deputies, in the most lively and through the French army, then marchaffectionate manner.

ing on Madrid, make up a narrative of After all, these men deserve a better peculiar interest at the present time; fate than to be the slaves of the Bour- and for its general manliness and simbons and the Inquisition. Their first plicity, its truth-telling spirit, and its experiment has been crude, and it de- clearness of political view, it is unquesserved to fail. But honest lovers of tionably a safer guide to the feelings of monarchy may join in the wish that the Spanish people, as well as a more the Spaniard shall“ be a man yet.” honourable testimony to individual au

The volume closes with some gene- thorship, than any work that has hiral views of the arts, amusements, ha- therto appeared on the Peninsular Rebits, and costume of the people. These volution.

LAS CASES' JOURNAL. Las Cases is a well-meaning, easy, Napoleon's private life and conversasilly, old gentleman, whom we really tions, that it was afterwards overlooklike, in spite of all the lies with which ed and revised by the Emperor's self, Iris volumes are crammed. Indeed he lest anything unfavourable but true seems himself de bonne foi, literally be should have escaped the pen of the oflieves all the nonsense dictated to him, ficious, but not over-prudent, jackall. and has just the credulous and obse- In the minor details, we dare say the quious swallow necessary for a follower volumes are correct. We have no doubt of Napoleon. There could be no work that the Emperor tore his stocking, which we would have been inore glad put on clean ones, coughed so many to possess, than the one which this pre- times a-day, and burnt his coxendix tends to bema Journal of Napoleon's with his bath-spout. Nay, we will go freeand unmade-up conversations. But, farther, and believe, with the Count de first of all, when the Ex-Emperor Las Cases, that he was a good-natureil, knew that M. Las Cases was taking amiable man in his interior, and, like down every word that dropt from his Sir Anthony, “ the easiest man led in mouth, that the Docteur O'Meara was the world, when he had his own way.” doing the same, and every one else that llis pulling the cars of all his housecame near him, we may conceive how hold, as was his custom, we believe a naturally, how much without a motive joke; nay, more, or, as Las Cases calls he spoke, and how much the detail of it, a tendresse, though, for ourselves, these theatrical conversations unmasks we should have dispensed with it. him. In fact, the great man seems to That he pulled the Pope by his grey have been kept at St Helena in a con- locks (if old Chiaramonte had a single tinual state of pleading—no matter lock about his tonsure,) around the Corwhat he was doing, what time of the ridores of Fontainbleau, is another story day, dined or undined, in bed or in bath, not to be swallowed. And, by the by, there were ever his eternal companions, it is to be remarked, that all these cathe Grand Marechal, or Count this, or lumnies were not propagated by the Count that, with pencil and ass-skin, English ministry, as Buonaparte himready to note down his crudities. And self always said ; but, from Las Cases' had they kept him at it, (for at times own admission, they were fabricated we have whole continued pages of his by those around his person ; so that pleading,) how faithfully reported by even his counsellor of state, poor Las Las Cases, who never, perhaps, belong- Cases himself, had acquired a false and ed to the “ glorious company,” we horrible idea of the Emperor. Whatleave that learned body to determine. ever Napoleon's own counsellor of state Nay, so impartial an account is this of may have credited, we certainly do not

Count Las Cases' Journal of the Private Life and Conversation of the Emperor Napoleon at Saint Helena. 4 Parts. 8vo. Colburn and Co. London. 1823. VOL. XIV.

Y

believe that he lived in incest with bis merit-Massena, his fils cheri de la vicown sister:-themurder of D’Enghien, toire, he speaks slightingly of in these the massacre of prisoners, and pois volumes--Soult, he says, would make soning of the sick at Jaffa, with respect merely a good ordonnateur, a proper mia to which he sought to brave public nister at war_Moreau and Bernadotte opinion, much more than to plead ex, we have already mentioned. But with cuses before it, are sufficient, and respect to his enemies, to those who strongly enough attested, to blast his foiled and conquered him, nothing can moral character in public acts. equal his spite and malice. His plead.

In private life, we think him to have ing against the Duke of Wellington for been amiable. Passion of any kind winning the battle of Waterloo, is very he had none all his scoldings and serious, and most ridiculous; and his talking big to his Marshals and lac- exposure of the faults of the English queys, were, by his own confession, put general, shews only with what odds of on.

An hundred times in Las Cases, fortune against Wellington he yet conwe hear him confess that all his bursts trived to beat the Emperor. The first of passion were preteuded, and calcu- gravamen of Napoleon is, that the lated for a purpose. No doubt those Duke was surprised in his intrenchtowards Sir Hudson Lowe were as real, ments—the more wonderfuland praiseand with as much calculation called worthy, then, the talent that could forth. Passion, indeed ! - What busi- change a surprise into a victory. But ness had he ever to be in one?-the whose fault was it, that Wellington luckiest dog in Christendom, and out was surprised ? Buonaparte can anof it--that ran the most glorious career swer, that it was that of the Prince of that ever modern ran, and was set down Saxe-Weimar,“ who, if he had sent with nothing to trouble him, in good an aid-de-camp direct to Brussels, he dry lodgings for the rest of his days, would have arrived there, with news to write his Memoirs, and pinch the of Napoleon's approach, at six in the lugs of Counts and Marshals. Be- evening, whereas it was not till eleven sides, physically, how could he be pas- that his approach was known to Wel-, sionate—a fellow without an ounce of lington.” His next complaint against, bile in his composition, so snugly lard- the Duke is, the arrangement of forces, ed upon the ribs, that he never once and the want of artillery or cavalry felt his heart beat, as he confessed to among the English at Quatre Bras. To Las Cases, nor ever experienced pain this we may oppose Napoleon's own either in head or stomach ? No-he words :—"Ney received orders on the had not even the excuse of hasty tem- 16th to advance with the 43,000 men per for one of his crimes, to save his which he commanded, forming the left morality, nor yet the same excuse for wing of the army, before Quatre Bras, one of his blunders, to save his cha- and there take up his position, &c. racter for talent.

The Prince of Orange, with only 9000 The most, indeed the only interest- men, preserved this important position ing parts of these volumes, are those against Ney till three in the afterdictated by Napoleon himself, giving noon." This, from Buonaparte's own an account of the battles of Ariole, Ri- mouth, shews that the Duke knew his voli, and that period of his Italian cam- men, and what they could effect; 9000 paigns; as also the anecdotes and re- of them, headed by the young Prince marks on the leading characters of the of Orange, against 43,000, led by the revolution and consulate. The cha- veteran Ney. The next accusation of racter of Sieyes is finely developed ; Napoleon against the Duke of Wellingand mostly all his Marshals are por- ton commences thus :-" The Engtrayed in lively traits ; his hatred of lish general gave us battle at Waterloo Moreau and Bernadotte is undisgui- on the 18th. This act was contrary to sed; he cannot allow them even talent. the interests of his nation,” &c. &c. Nothing surprises one so much in Na. We believe that this article of impeachpoleon, as the total want of liberality ment needs no very elaborate answer. towards his enemies. We look for But what ought the English general to something above envy and petty pas- have done, in the opinion of the Emsions in a being whom his own genius peror Napoleon ?-Hear it, good Mocertainly had placed on such an unpa- mus, if thou knowest the French diaralleled eminence. Even of his own lect, for we should be ashamed to put generals, those who had acquired fame such stuff into English. us tacticians, he never would allow their " On demandera que devait donc faire

le general Anglais après la bataille de east, south, and west, by the MediterraLigny, et le combat de Quatre Bras ? La nean and the Adriatic. On the side of the posterité n'aura pas deux opinions : il de- Continent, it is bounded by the chains of rait traverser, dans la nuit du 17 au 18, la the Alps," &c. &c. forêt de Soignes, sur la chaussée de Char. leroi ; l'armée Prussienne la devait égale

Pretty information this of the Emment traverser sur la chausée de Wavres; peror Napoleon's, for us to be paying les deux armées se reunir a la pointe du

our half-guinea a volume for. But the jour, sur Bruxelles ; laisser des arrière- fact is, Napoleon never wrote or dicgardes pour défendre la forêt ; gagner tated one line of such nonsense. And, quelques jours pour donner le temps aux in proof, just read the following senPrussiens, dispersés par la bataille de Lig- tence:ny, de rejoindre leur armée, se renforcer “ De l'autre côté, le Saint-Gothard est de quatorze régimens Anglais, qui étaient plus haut que le Simplon ; le Simplon plus en garnison dans les places fortes de la Bele haut que le Saint Bernard ; le Saint Ber. gique, on venaient de debarquer á Osténde, nard plus haut que le Mont-Cenis ; le de retour d'Amerique, et laisser manæu- Mont Cenis que le Col de Tende."-Las vrer l'Empereur des Français comme il Cases. Journul, Tom. 3. Sixieme Partie. aurait voulu."

Why, the blockhead! we did not The plain English of which is, that think there was a man in Europe, who the Duke of Wellington was, in duty did not know, that the St Bernard, inand propriety, bound to run away stead of being, as here represented, through Brussels on the night of the lower than the Simplon, was nearly 17th, and “ leave the Emperor of the double its height. Napoleon, who had French to maneuvre as he pleased.” crossed both, and had run his road We think this is quite sample enough over the Simplon as the lowest and of his pleading and liberality.

most feasible of the two, could never Esteeming Napoleon, as we do, one have uttered such ignorance. And the of the first characters of modern times, Count de Las Cases to write this !-a one is indignant at meeting these pages counsellor of state ! one that went on of spite, ignorance, and absurdity, as

missions to Illyria! a geographer-go coming from his pen, or even as slip- to! and the immortal author of the ping from him in intemperate moments. never-to-be-enough-lauded, but neThe only refuge for the great man's ver-once-heard-of Atlas Historique ! character is, in doubting the veracity

If you find as much brains in his of M.de Las Cases ; and there are proofs head as would clog the foot of a flea, scattered through the volumes to shew we'll eat the rest of the anatomy.' that that egregious blockhead has palm- There is another sentence of Bonaed no small portion of his own pre- parte's pleadings, which we will quote, cious compositions on us for the ge- and leave to our readers to judge, whenuine produce of the imperial head. ther it was written before or after the One thing, at any rate, is pretty evi- death of theunfortunate Lord Londondent, that all those profound disqui- derry, and the accession to the minissitions on geography and topography, try of Mr Canning, which will decide put by Las Cases into the mouth of whether it be Napoleon's, as asserted, Napoleon, came from the same source or Las Cases's. as Mon Atlas Historiquesome Tur

“ Le ministre Castlereagh passera, et ner's Geography of an affair, by which, celui qui lui succédera, heritier de tant de it seems, the noble Count de Las Cać fautes, deviendra grand, s'il veut seulement ses made his fortune. How can any

ne pas les continuer. Tout son genie peut one for a moment suppose that Napo

se borner uniquement à laisser faire, à obéir leon, in St Helena, would seriously Castlereagh, il n'a qu'à se mettre à la tête

aux vents qui soufflent; au rebours de sit down to dictate to any one a geo- des idées libérales, au lieu de se liguer avec graphical account of such a well-known le pouvoir absolu, et il recueillera les bénécountry as Italy?-what Las Cases

dictions universelles, et tous lest torts de calls un très-bien morceau de geogra- l’Angleterre seront oubliés.” phie politique :” and that this beauti- But the most notable humbug of ful morceau should be nothing more all, is the pretence of the Ex-Emperor than what is to be found in every and his suite to literary taste. They child's “Geography, made Easy for the talk of reading Homer to amuse them, use of Schools. ' -e.g.

selves of evenings; to be sure, they read “ Italy is one of the tinest parts of the the “ Charlemagne” of Lucien Bonaglobe. li is a peninsula, surrounded on the parte with it, comparing the two epic

« PreviousContinue »