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bound behind his back; his last words drowned by the roll of the revolutionary drum-had perished in the presence of silent, if not sorrowing witnesses.

The philosopher, deeply deploring the many vicissitudes, the varying process through which Opinion has to pass in order to be refined to Truth, but calmly aware that the sense of a people never ultimately retrogrades the philosopher might have seen through the clouds of dust which followed the mobs of September, shouting for blood-or which gathered round the conqueror's car, whose military empire succeeded the sanguinary Republic-the brighter period when a more sobered intelligence would necessarily triumph; when a warlike despotism, founded on a feverish desire for internal security, would wear out the principle of its existence; and a system of liberty, still, perhaps, imperfect, but supported by law, and sanctioned and confirmed by a long previous disposition of thought, would realise those views of the Revolution of 1791, with which some of the most generous and enlightened spirits that ever appeared amongst mankind then embraced it.

This the philosopher might have seen, and did see. Nor were the short-lived horrors of the reign of Republican terror to be compared with the much longer, if more silent sufferings, under which the people had been groaning beneath the partial and oppressive sway of the ancient regime. Great changes in government cannot be made without those mighty and fearful shocks which upheave the foundation and confound the elements of which society has been previously composed. Even when sovereigns have themselves undertaken revolutions, they have found no less vulgar and cruel means for effecting them than those of the mob. Here, however, (the glory and the guilt being blended and concentrated in one and the same individual,) the greatness of the end attained obliterates the memory of the crimes through which it has been pursued. But more ordinarily it is by various successions of men that the different parts in these great crises are consecutively performed, and those whose lives fall in the worst passages of such alternations, leave a name for execration and wrath. Yet the massacres of Robespierre and Marat were hardly worse than the cruelties by which the Russian Empire was regenerated. The life and career of the French Revolution, if it could be personified, would bear no unjust comparison with that of Peter the Great.

These are the views which the philosopher in his cabinet might take --such the reveries which he might in solitude pursue. But the men who are living and acting with the world, those who have friends and relations, whose lives they value; those who have properties which they are most unwilling to lose-such persons will naturally look in alarm at the immediate consequences of a social movement, from the destructive effects of which no class or system seems secure. The ancient regime and its nobility had passed away for ever at the emigration of the Comte d'Artois and the Comte de Provence; the bourgeoisie and the Constitution were lost with Lafayette; the purest republican blood that ever was spilt on a scaffold flowed shortly after from the veins of the eloquent and noble Gironde; the mob orator, the public-house politician, came finally beneath the stroke of the guillo

tine; nor could even the sacred rights and reminiscences of insurrection preserve the ruffian hero of the 10th of August from the same fate as the Imperial daughter of the house of Hapsburg.

It was natural, we repeat, to shrink in terror from the example of a nation which seemed to be under the influence of a horrid and mysterious delirium-which found the massacres of September necessary to the victory of Valmy; which flourished by the terrible force of bankruptcy, assassination, and proscription.

But, that we should make war on it because we saw it in that fearful state, is a little more unaccountable. Where could be the morality of bringing fresh horrors into a country where so many were already raging? Where the policy of concentrating and consolidating so formidable a system by an act of foreign aggression? It was the confederates of Pilnitz, and not the members of the Legislative Chamber in France; it was the anti-revolutionary war, and not the Revolutionwhich lighted up a fire that will one day blaze above the thrones of the antique monarchies of Europe. From that time the struggle between nations was destined to be succeeded by the still more violent struggle between opinions; from that time kings ceased to contend among themselves, and a new conflict was opened between kings and their people.

It was to the Diet of the German Empire, assembled at Ratisbon, that the eloquent Isnard addressed himself when he said :—

"Disons à l'Europe que le peuple Français, s'il tire l'epée, en jettera le fourreau; qu'il n'ira le chercher que couronné des lauriers de la victoire; que si des cabinets engagent les rois dans une guerre contre les peuples, nous engagerons les peuples dans une guerre contre les rois." Daring words, delivered with a prophetic enthusiasm!

But if this war, engaged in at the most favourable moment, would have been unjust and impolitic, what have we farther to say to the time of entering upon it? There are two courses to take with a state in the situation of France, if we wish to check its crimes, or to keep ourselves without the sphere of its extravagances. The one is to attack it when the contending parties are first at issue, and pretty equally balanced, as the friend of one of these parties; the second, to allow the spirit which rises up as the cause and consequence of great changes, to be evaporated by time and wasted in internal commotions.

The well-known maxim of Machiavel, repeated by Montesquieu, that a nation is never so strong against a foreign enemy as when it is agitated by civil divisions, is especially true when it is not so much divided in general opinion as split up into factions, debating on minor points, and contending for party power.

If, when Louis XVI. was still at moments a popular king; when a constitutional and loyal party existed in the Assembly and the nation; and the army, under a constitutional General, was uncertain in its political creed, weakened by the defection of its officers, and wanting in the nerve which it afterwards acquired by success, or was forced to display from fear-if, when the troops under Theobald Dillon took flight at the sight of the enemy, and little Robespierre was laughed at as "an insignificant incendiary," and the eloquent Girondists had only vaguely and distantly indulged in their favourite dream of a Republic, we had then inspired the Confederates on the frontiers with more

moderation in council, and greater vigour in action-if we had then induced the Duke of Brunswick to display his spirit in marching boldly to Paris, instead of in publishing that memorably inane and pompous proclamation-if we could, at that critical time, have persuaded him to have fought for the modern King of the new Constitution, instead of launching out a military bull in favour of the antique tyrant of the demolished Bastille, we might possibly have succeeded for a time in establishing Louis XVI. on the throne, under the sanction of the same Charter which was afterwards octroyed by his brother at the Restoration.

What was our object in going to war? To save Louis XVI. and to check that spirit of propagandism, announced in the French Chamber, from being formidably maintained and spread by the troops of France. To effect this, we took up arms when Louis XVI. had gone to his ancestors, and when the Republican armies, flushed with victory, and threatened with the guillotine in the event of defeat, were become, from raw recruits, desperate and veteran soldiers. We reserved our defence of the monarch till he had perished on the scaffold-our defence of the monarchy, till the French Republic was declared "a besieged city, and France a vast camp." Then we commenced a war with allies who were become anxious for peace, and who, in taking our money, reserved it to pay the expense of the campaign they had finished, without any consideration for the violent inclination for fighting which we had just been seized with.

This was the policy which Mr. Pitt asked Mr. Canning if he approved of this was the policy which Mr. Canning came into Parliament to defend, and which he did defend on every occasion, and which he always boasted having defended to his dying day.

On the 11th December 1788, Mr. Tierney made a motion respecting peace with the French Republic. It was time. The negociations at Lisle, never cordially entered into, were broken off. We had formed a new alliance with Russia and the Porte, shortly to be augmented by Austria, who opened the campaign at Ratstadt, by the assassination of the three French Commissioners. We were about to carry on the struggle with new energies, certainly not under very encouraging auspices. The coalition of 1792-3 was completely broken up; Prussia had for three years been at peace with France; nor had the cabinet of Vienna seen any objection to signing a treaty, which, disgracefully to both parties, sacrificed the remains of Venetian liberty. These were poor assurances of the fidelity of our subsidized confederates.

France, in the mean while, still distracted at home, had notwithstanding enlarged her empire by Belgium, Luxembourg, Nice, Savoy, Piedmont, of which she had assumed the Protectorate-Genoa, Milan, and Holland. The arguments of Mr. Tierney were such as a reasonable man might be supposed to urge; the uncertain friendship of our allies, the increased force of our enemy, and the withering drain we were encouraging upon our own resources.

"In six years," said he, "we have added 150 millions to our debt, by which we have created the necessity of adding to our annual burthens eight millions, a sum equal to the whole of our expendi

ture when the present monarch (George III.) came to the throne." Mr. Tierney was answered by Mr. Canning.

It is only a person well acquainted with the House of Commons who could believe that Mr. Tierney was listened to in apathetic silenceMr. Canning cheered on by enthusiastic applause. There never was a collection of more glaring contradictions, more gaudy sophisms, than the youthful orator's declamatory harangue. The war was to be pursued because we were victorious; peace was to be refused on account of the successes of the enemy; France was too weak to be respected-too formidable not to be opposed. As for the sums we were expending, they were insignificant when compared with the objects we had in view. Our ancestors, whose immaculate wisdom Mr. Canning was at that time so fond of citing, would certainly have been astonished to find that those objects were the re-establishment of Spain in its ancient power, and the subjugation of Rome to the authority of the Pope!

Our sworn enmity to France and to French principles encouraged an ardent attachment to both in those who thought they had any reason to complain of ourselves. The Directory in Paris and the Catholics in Ireland had, therefore, formed a natural and legitimate league: the result was a rebellion, artfully planned, for a long time unbetrayed, and which, but for treachery and accidents, such as could not have been counted upon, would most probably have been successful. Mr. Pitt, taking advantage of the fears of a separation between Great Britain and Ireland, which this rebellion, in conjunction with the difference between the two legislatures respecting the Regency, had created, announced, in a message from the Crown, a desire still farther to incorporate and consolidate the two kingdoms; language which the Administration confessed meant to convey a desire for such a union of Ireland with this country as that by which we were already connected with the independent kingdom of Scotland. Whatever may have been the result of that Union-the promises under which it was held having been long so treacherously denied, so disgracefully broken-it certainly did, at that time, afford reason to suppose that a fairer and less partial system of government might thus be established in Ireland than that which had long existed. As for the wail which was then set up, and which has since been re-awakened for the independent legislatures which that measure blended with ours, the facility with which they were purchased, is the best answer which can be given to the loud assertions that are made of their value. The times of the good old Sir Robert Walpole afford no examples which might justify a comparison between an English House of Commons and these rotten and revered Irish Parliaments. The part, therefore, that Mr. Canning adopted on this question—if with the sincere and honest views of conferring the rights of citizenship on our Irish Catholic fellow-subjects, and not with the intention (which it would be harsh to presume) of winning and then betraying them-is one, however it might be opposed at the time, highly honourable to an English statesman. But the conduct of the Ministry of that day has not yet been properly explained. That Catholic Emancipation was frequently promised as the principal boon of the

Union, has never been disputed.-As such promises were made in Parliament in the face of day, the King could not be supposed ignorant of them. If he had such insuperable objections to this act of political justice, why did he not then declare it? If he was silent on that subject to his advisers in the cabinet, he was betraying them; if he was candid, they were betraying the Irish people. Mr. Canning's language was not ambiguous :

"Here, then, are two parties in opposition to each other, who agree in one common opinion. And surely if any middle term can be found to assuage their animosities, and to heal their discords, and reconcile their jarring interests, it should be eagerly and instantly seized and applied. That an union is that middle term, appears the more probable, when we recollect that the Popery code took its rise after a proposal for an union, which proposal came from Ireland, but which was rejected by the British Government. This rejection produced the Popery code. If an union were therefore acceded to, the re-adoption of the Popery code would be unnecessary. If it was in consequence of the rejection of an union, at a former period, that the laws against Popery were enacted, it is fair to conclude, that an union would render a similar code unnecessary—that an union would satisfy the friends of the Protestant Ascendancy, without passing laws against the Catholics, and without maintaining those which are yet in force!"

In 1801, not being able to prevail on the King to carry into effect the conditions which the King had allowed him to make-a disposition on his Majesty's part, which, if unanticipated by the Minister, ought to have been still more severely resented-Mr. Pitt resigned his situation to Mr. Addington, of whose Administration he professed himself the supporter. Not so Mr. Canning, who, on obtaining a seat in 1802, by his own means, (i. e. his own money,) entered into violent opposition against the existing Government. Nor was what he did in Parliament all Mr. Addington had to thank him for: to the numerous political squibs of the day, Mr. Canning was thought pretty largely to have contributed. Nor ought we here to pass over those other light effusions of his pen which are generally known as his, and which possess peculiar facility and grace.

"The Knife-Grinder," and "The Loves of Mary Pottinger," are exquisite in their way, and will become part of our standard literature of that description. This vein Mr. Canning continued to cultivate for his own amusement, and that of his friends.-It accorded peculiarly well with the boyishness of his disposition, and was kept as a kind of relaxation amidst his graver pursuits. We remember an instance of this: we think it was when Sir Charles Bagot was at the Hague that there arrived a very mysterious despatch. Every thing was quiet and peaceable at the time, and the bags had, for some months past, been filled with the ordinary exchange of London gossip and Brussels lace. What could be the matter? The despatch was in cipher. The Secretaries and attachés were set to work, and, after much statesmanlike misgiving, produced a letter in verse, for the profound consideration of the Ambassador of the Netherlands.

In 1804, on the downfall of the much-abused and ill-treated Mr. Addington, Mr. Canning became Treasurer of the Navy. Why do not his many biographers explain the reason, if every thing was fair and straightforward, for his quitting office in 1801, because

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