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cause of liberty in Europe, by withdrawing the powerful support of England from those who endeavoured to suppress all liberal opinions.
The propositions contained in the summary thus corrected, Mr. Stapleton, one would have thought, had established beyond controversy, if they had not been controverted by the Reviewer, whose comments are those of an individual having a strong personal interest in making out his case; of one sensitively anxious that his political character should not be deprived of the semblance of consistency, in consequence of his having supported with equal energy Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Canning, aud the Duke of Wellington. Into the latter branch of the subject, however, he has not yet entered. It is to prove that there is no essential difference between the Foreign Policy of the two first-mentioned Ministers, that all his labours have been directed. In the first place, if this were true, we must believe that both Mr. Canning's widow, and Mr. Canning's confidential secretary, knew nothing whatsoever of Mr. Canning's policy: in the second, the present Lord Londonderry must have been equally ignorant of his brother's policy; for he, on the 2nd of May, 1827, declared in the House of Lords, that he opposed Mr. Canning because he had departed from the political principles and diplomatic relations of his late brother." Again, Lord Grey must also have been ignorant of the policy of both; for he, on the 9th of August, 1831, avowed that Mr. Canning's "Foreign Policy met with his approbation, as far as it went to recover the country from the effects of the policy to which he had been alluding," (viz. that of Lord Castlereagh,)" and the establishment of another system."
Against the opinions of all these individuals, of adverse parties and opposite interests, the Reviewer sets up his own; and, for the sake of getting something like an authority on his side, he drags into the controversy the late Lord Liverpool:
"The allegation," it is observed, "of a fundamental difference of policy between Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Canning, includes a charge of inconsistency against Lord Liverpool, who co-operated with both. He approved cordially, as Mr. Stapleton says, of the policy of Mr. Canning. Who has a right to say that he did not approve of the policy of Lord Castlereagh
The answer to this question is, that it is an undoubted fact, that some time before Lord Castlereagh's death, Lord Liverpool was uneasy at the state of Foreign Affairs. But it must be remembered, that diplomacy is, in a great degree, carried on in personal conferences between the Secretary of State and the Foreign Ambassadors; that in those conferences a tone may be given calculated to change entirely the aspect of the matter in discussion; that to lament the necessity of deference to national feeling might be a safeguard to a foreign government; that its measures would not be efficiently resisted, although they might be publicly condemned; and thus an anti-liberal character might be given to the diplomacy of the country without the knowledge of the First Minister; and this especially of one in the position of Lord Liverpool, whose Government was confessedly a Government of departments, in consequence of his having been elected Premier by his colleagues. Not, therefore, feeling himself as free to interfere, as an ordinary head of an Administration, he might have been uneasy at the state of Foreign Affairs without being able exactly to define the reason; and without inconsistency, he might have cordially approved Mr. Canning's system without sufficiently disapproving, or being cognizant of Lord Castlereagh's, to induce him to break up his Government, in order to rid himself of the responsibility of sanctioning it.
But whether Lord Liverpool acted consistently or not, cannot alter the question at issue, which can only be decided by an examination of facts.
The first position which the Reviewer undertakes to make out, in order to invalidate the correctness of Mr. Stapleton's views, is, "That Mr. Canning came into office in 1822, not only without any avowed disapprobation of the policy of Lord Castlereagh, and intention to change it, but with the decided and unéquivocal recognition of it, as the principle of his own Administration."
Foreign Quarterly Review, No XVI.
The first half of this assertion may readily be admitted. Not so the latter half, even if the accuracy of the premises on which it is founded is not disputed. With respect, however, to these premises, Mr. Stapleton and his Reviewer differ as to a matter of fact. The point in dispute is as follows. There were two circulars issued by the Foreign Office in the time of Lord Castlereagh; the first before Mr. Canning quitted the Government in 1820; the second subsequently to his resignation, in 1821, after the Congress at Laybach. In alluding to the one or the other of these state papers, Mr. Canning observed, that in it "The principles on which the Government were acting were reduced to writing ;" and that "upon the execution of these principles, and upon that alone, was founded any claim that he might have to credit from the House." And subsequently, speaking in explanation of these remarks, which he said had been "much misunderstood," he observed, again alluding to the same document, that" it laid down the principle of non-interference, with all the qualifications properly belonging to it, as broadly, clearly, and
definitively, as it was possible for any statesman to wish to lay it down."t According to Mr. Stapleton, these words refer to the circular of 1820, which, there is little doubt, was corrected by Mr. Canning. According to the Reviewer, they refer to the circular of 1821, with which Mr. Canning had no concern. They are, therefore, triumphantly cited as an irrefragable proof of the precise similarity of the two systems. Now, admitting, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Canning did allude to the circular of 1821, the Reviewer gains nothing for his cause. For, supposing that Mr. Canning did adopt the principle of noninterference, as laid down by Lord Castlereagh, and did bona fide apply it in respect to the invasion of Spain by France, still it is not sufficiently fundamental to establish the fact of similarity of policy. Mr. Stapleton describes the fundamental principle of Mr. Canning's system as being to make England preserve "the balance, not only between contending nations, but between conflicting principles," -a maxim at once comprehensive and intelligible, bearing upon every measure of foreign policy, and serving as a test by which all might be tried. But the principle of non-interference with the internal concerns of foreign states, is one which obviously will not bear upon many of the most important measures; and, so far from identifying one system with another, may be common to those which are directly opposed to each other. Abstinence from interference in the case of Spain would have been beneficial to the cause of liberty. In the case of Poland it has benefited the cause of despotism. How absurd is it, then, to argue, because Mr. Canning adopted one of Lord Castlereagh's principles, that therefore he adopted all of them, so that the general course of their policy had exactly the same direction.
In the last chapter of the third volume of Stapleton's Life, (pp. 477, 478,) it is shown how materially the progress of events may be varied by the "bias" of the British Foreign Minister, who may assist one side of the question "without aught being able to be proved against him." The work imputes to Lord Castlereagh a leaning towards arbitrary principles so strong as to make him sympathise in all the proceedings and principles of the Holy Alliance, and ascribes the formidable power of that Alliance as arising from the good-will which Lord Castlereagh manifested towards it. Of Mr. Canning the work affirms, that he looked with disfavour on the measures and doctrines of that Alliance, and attributes the dwindling away of its strength, and its final extinction, to that disfavour. The Reviewer does not deny that the prosperity of the Alliance coincided in time with the Administration of Lord Castlereagh-its decline and fall with that of Mr. Canning. But nevertheless he contends, somewhat perversely, that these were curious coincidences, and not the causes and effects resulting from the character of our policy, which he maintains was unvaried. He admits, however, that
"Mr. Canning was dissatisfied with the growing intimacy between Lord Castlereagh
Foreign Quarterly Review, No. XVI. pages 400 and 401; and Stapleton, Vol. 1. pages 399 and 400.
and some of the Continental Ministers; that he became averse to congresses and meetings of sovereigns; and that his indisposition to the proceedings of the Allies extended to their forms, and created in him an almost morbid antipathy to protocols. For some time before he quitted office, he was uneasy at the state of foreign affairs. The management of Lord Castlereagh, and the courteous deference which he paid to the Allied Sovereigns, did not entirely suit his temperament; and, conscious of his own powers, he thought that he could have pursued the interests of England with equal effect, and more dignity, by measures of a different style."
It is curious that the writer of these sentences did not perceive that they are in direct contradiction to his main argument, and that he blunders into admitting all that for which Mr. Stapleton contends, viz. that Mr. Canning's" measures were of a different style" from those of his predecessor.
Mr. Stapleton's criticisms on this circular of 1821 must next be examined— criticisms which the Reviewer describes as "heedless and unfair," and in no way authorized by Mr. Canning, with whose sentiments they are directly at variance, always supposing that it was the circular of 1821 to which Mr. Canning referred. In order to prove this, all that Mr. Stapleton says in commendation is not "heedlessly," but most "unfairly" omitted in the Review, in which the condemning sentence is alone quoted, as if it were a single commentary standing by itself. Mr. Stapleton's observations are as follows-(p. 41, vol. i.)
Long, therefore, before this circular was sent forth, Lord Castlereagh must have been aware that principles, according to his own admission, in direct repugnance to the fundamental laws of this kingdom, and such as could not be safely admitted as the foundation of a system of international law,' were the principles which the Congress were about to make the foundation of all their measures. But still, notwithstanding this knowledge, he made no remonstrances against them; and when at last they are forced upon his observation by a written communication, he begins his circular reply (viz. that of 1821) to that communication, by deliberately declaring, that if it had not been made, he should have thought it unnecessary to have offered any remarks whatever upon the nature of the discussions which had occurred at Troppau.' The answer, however, was in some respects worthy of a British Minister-since it condemned in strong and energetic language the most preposterous of the doctrines of the Alliance. Had, indeed, the opinions expressed in it been avowed at so early a period as would have proved them to have been a spontaneous declaration of genuine sentiment, instead of, by the very tardiness with which they were circulated, exposing them to the suspicion that they were merely a sop, as it were, thrown down to pacify the rising indignation of the British Parliament and nation, and above all, had there not been to be found amongst them a saving clause of justification for Austria in her meditated attack on Naples, then there would have been no reason to complain of this document."
In these criticisms there is certainly nothing inconsistent with Mr. Canning's praise; for on a reference to the circular, it will be seen that at the same time that it lays down the doctrine of non-interference, "with all the qualifications properly belonging to it," it likewise volunteers to admit that the position of Austria with respect to Naples came within the exception, and justified a forcible interference. Mr. Canning confined his praise to the rule and its exceptions. Mr. Stapleton does the same-going, however, a step further, and condemning the sanction of a deviation from the principle, in a case which could not fairly be included within either the letter or the spirit of the qualification.
It may now, therefore, be confidently asserted that the Reviewer has failed completely in making out his position that "Mr. Canning came into office with the decided and unequivocal recognition of Lord Castlereagh's policy as the principle of his own administration."+
Nor is he more successful in his comparison of Mr. Canning's measures respecting Spanish America and Portugal, with Lord Castlereagh's principlesa comparison by which it is sought to be shown that, had Lord Castlereagh lived, he would have adopted them all. It cannot, however, be denied that
• Foreign Quarterly, pages 398 and 399.
+ This proposition, the only one of real importance in the Review, is worded so ingeniously as to be, in reality, nonsense. Mr. Canning never did any thing so absurd as recognizing a course of "policy" as a "principle" of action.
when Spain was under her Constitutional Government, Lord Castlereagh did talk of recognizing, sooner or later, the independence of the Colonies," if Spain neither by her councils or by her arms could effectually assert her rights over her dependencies so far as to enforce obedience:" but when the absolute Monarchy was restored in Spain, the question of recognition assumed a totally different character, and it is strange that the Reviewer, who brags rather ostentatiously of what he "knows," should be ignorant that in consequence of this change, the question became one on which the two parties in the Cabinet maintained a severe struggle for the mastery; and that on its decision the Holy Alliance and their agents well knew that the nature of their intercourse with the British Government depended.
The observations of the Review with respect to Portugal, labour under the same error which has been already pointed out. It is evidently thought allsufficient, to establish comformity in principle between the two Ministers, to show that Mr. Canning in his dealings with Portugal, adhered to the non-interference principle, a position which Mr. Stapleton, so far from denying, proves to be strictly true. The article throughout bears manifest symptoms of having been written by a person arguing more for victory than truth: for occasionally there are slips of the pen, which betray a consciousness in the writer that the truth is on the side of Mr. Stapleton. For instance: In page 408, it is asserted that "the political opponents of Mr. Canning, afterwards so forward in maintaining, perhaps in originating for purposes of their own, the notion of a difference, saw none in the negociations with France and Spain in 1822." And then three lines after we find, "It is true that even at this early period, they (Mr. Canning's opponents) attempted to make a distinction beween Mr. Canning and
his less liberal associates."
Again, at page 428 it is said, "To restore or maintain England's influence in Europe, was a part of Mr. Canning's policy ;" and page 431, the article emphatically concludes with this sentence-"Mr. Canning upheld, he did not retrieve, the honour of his country." How then could it have been "a part of Mr. Canning's policy to restore England's influence in Europe," if she were really left by Lord Castlereagh in a situation in which there was nothing to retrieve?"
Again, page 408, the Reviewer puts forth as "one of his favourite positions, that it was in the mode only that Mr. Canning's policy varied from Lord Castlereagh's," a variation, according to the Private Secretary, amply sufficient to change the character of the whole.
Of Lord Castlereagh's "mode," the circular of 1821 contains a specimen, which, when compared with a sentence of Mr. Canning's, affords a striking example of the variation between the two " modes" of proceeding. The circular in question thus concludes" The difference of sentiment which prevails between them (the Allies) and the Court of London on this matter,* CAN MAKE NO ALTERATION WHATEVER in the cordiality and harmony of the Alliance on any other subject." Mr. Canning, when adverting to a similar difference of principle, observed that he would persevere in refusing " even though a dissolution of the Alliance should be the consequence of his refusal."
If the Reviewer chooses to call this variation in "mode," there can be no ob jection; for whatever it may be called, the public voice of Europe ascribes to Mr. Canning a course of policy so essentially different from that of his predecessor, that no juggle of argument which the anger of disappointment or the cavilling of detraction can invent, will be able to alter a conviction resting on such firm foundation.
I am, Gentlemen,
A FRIEND OF MR. CANNING'S.
• Viz. the principle of interference.
ASMODEUS AT LARGE.
A visit to a Quack Doctor-The Mysterious Voice-Asmodeus introduces himself—The reason why the Doctor's lotions were so powerful -The Demon's offer-His liberator's reserve-The Devil's visit— The advantages of a good exterior-Our severities to the shabbyMyself and Asmodeus go to the Play-Remarks on the English Drama-The Garrick Club-Our frankness in sinning-Anecdote of a damned Farce-Our Actresses-The difficulty of teaching one of them to be diffident-Braham's improvement-Trip to France -Dialogue on the Reform Bill-On Satirical Poetry-Its declineLays for the Lords-Tuuroboliad-Tale of Tucuman--The Devil grows metaphysical—Apologizes-Apostrophe to Boulogne-The Spirit of Change-Difference of excitement in England and FranceOur moral condition compared to our soil-Paris-The change in its Salons-Chateaubriand and his pamphlet-Ignorance of the English on Foreign Literature-The Rocher de Cancale.
I PUT on my hat, and walked at once to the Doctor's house. "Yes," said I, musingly, "I am certainly in a consumption. I may as well, like Colonel Jones, leave my poor remains to the surgeons at once, and enjoy the newspaper credit of my generosity before I die. The cholera, however, which is terror to others, is consolation to me. If I were not dying of a consumption, I should certainly die of the cholera; it is something to escape six bottles of cajeput, and a lamp of spirits of wine between the sheets, by way of a steam bath. Nevertheless," I resumed, after a pause, and I buttoned up my coat as I spoke, "Nevertheless, consumption is a slow and heavy road out of the world. Short journeys are the pleasantest, and it is the greatest of earthly bores to hear oneself styled for eight months the interesting invalid.' I will try then this great operator with a cheerful confidence. If he cannot rub me into health, he will rub me a little sooner into my grave. Next to a long life, what blessing like a quick death!"
With this aphorism I knocked at my quack's door, and was admitted. A visit to a quack is a very pleasurable excitement. There is something piquant in the disdain for prudence with which we deliver ourselves up to that illegitimate sportsman of human lives, who kills us without a qualification. There is a delicious titillation in a large demand upon our credulity; we like to expect miracles in our own proper person, and we go to the quack from exactly the same feelings with which our ancestors went to the wizard. In what age has not the human mind its darling superstition? It so happened, that I was ⚫ the last visitant that morning to "Nature's Grand Restorer." One after one my predecessors in the waiting-room dropped into the Doctor's study, and out of the Doctor's house, and at last I found myself alone. While I was indulging in a reverie and a patent chair, I was suddenly aroused by a low clear voice in the room, uttering these words "We meet then again." I started. The voice seemed feminine. I looked round. No one was present-not even a stray article of woman's dress betrayed that a woman had been there. "It must have been in the street," said I, and resettled myself in the patent chair.