« AnteriorContinuar »
war commenced in Aragon, Catalonia, and An- organized under the name of the Sacrea Band dalusia, and Spanish blood soon dyed every Many generals presented themselves, also part of the Peninsula. The crisis which this offering their services and their swords; induced at Madrid, which finally laid the among this number were Ballasteros and throne prostrate at the feet of the Revolution- Riego. ists, is thus described :
· Negotiations and indecision continued for “ The session was about to finish, the clos- six days, during which the two parties reing was fixed for the 30th June, 1822. Great mained constantly encamped, notwithstanding fermentation reigned at Madrid, and every one, the tropical sun of the dogdays, venting re without being able to account for it, was aware proaches at each other sabre in hand, the that a crisis was approaching.
torches lighted awaiting only the signal of the “ The king seated himself in his carriage, af- combat. At intervals single muskets were ter closing the session. Cries of Long live discharged, which sounded like the distant the constitutional king,' were heard on all peals of thunder, which announced the apsides, mingled, in feebler notes, with the cry of proach of a frightful tempest. • Long live the absolute king.' The guards re- “At length the attack commenced. The pulsed with violence those who raised infiam- divisions of the guard at a distance from Mad. matory or seditious cries, and blood already rid, marched upon the capital, but they were began to flow. The tumult redoubled at the met and defeated at all points by the constitumoment that the king descended from his car- tional forces, and the fugitives in great numriage. The guard wished to disperse it; they bers fled for refuge to the palace. The militia experienced resistance, and had recourse to were everywhere victorious; triumphant and their arms. The exasperation was extreme victorious, they surrounded the royal abode, among the soldiers ; one of their officers, while Te Deum was celebrated on the Place of named Landaburo, desirous of restraining the Constitution, and the walls of the palace them, was insulted by his own men. He drew resounded with menaces against the king. A his sabre, but speedily fell, shot dead by a mus capitulation was proposed; but nothing but ket from the ranks.
an unconditional surrender would satisfy the "Landaburo was the son of a merchant at conquerors. Two battalions agreed to it; the Cadiz, and well known for his liberal opinions. others, conceiving that a snare was laid for His death became instantly a party affair, and them, fired a volley upon the militia, abanexcited to the last degree the fury of all those doned the palace, and rushed out of the city, who professed the same principles. The mi- where they were soon, cut to pieces by the litia were soon under arms; the troops of the popular dragoons and the incessant discharge garrison and the artillery united themselves to of grape-shot. This victory was decisive; their colours; the whole officers and non- the violent party now reigned in uncontrolled commissioned officers, who were at Madrid supremacy, and nothing remained to oppose detached from their regiments, joined their even the shadow of resistance to their domiranks. The artillery put their pieces in posi- nation.”—I. 420_424. tion; the municipal body declared its sittings Such was the state of the Revolution, and permanent; and everything announced the the prostration of the throne, when the invaspeedy approach of hostilities between the sion of the Duke d'Angoulême dissipated the court and the people.
fumes of the Revolutionists, and re-established “Had they possessed an able chief and a de- the absolute throne. termined will, the guards might have made Several reflections arise upon the events, of themselves masters of Madrid. They were which a sketch has been here given. more numerous, better armed, more inured to In the first place, they show how precisely war, than the constitutional bands which com- similar the march of revolution is in all ages posed the garrison. They occupied the bar- and countries; and how little national characriers and principal posts. Nothing was easier ter is to be relied on to arrest or prevent its for them than to have made themselves mas- fatal progress. The horrors of the French ters of the park of artillery, and the possession Revolution, it was said, were owing to their of the park would have rendered all resistance volatile and unstable character, and the pecuimpossible. Nothing, however, was attempt- liar combination of events which preceded its ed-nothing was thought of.
breaking out. The Spanish Revolution, not“Of the six battalions of which it was com- withstanding their grave and thoughtful naposed, two remained to protect the king; the tional character, and a totally different chain four others, afraid of being shut up in their of previous events, exhibited, till it was cut barracks, clandestinely left the town during short by French bayonets, exactly the same the obscurity of the night; but this movement features and progress. Recent experience was executed with such confusion, that the leaves it but too doubtful, whether, in the first battalion, when they arrived at the ren- sober and calculating realm of England, simidezvous, opened a fire upon the others which lar passions are not in the end destined to prowere approaching,
duce similar effects. “On the other side, the constitutionalists of In the next place, the historical facts now all descriptions united to resist the common brought forward demonstrate how enormous enemy. The militia night and day blockaded is the delusion which the revolutionary party, the palace; the regular soldiers soon obtained by means of a false and deceitful press, spread a formidable auxiliary; this was a band com- over the world in regard to all the transactions posed of men without name, without charac- in which their projects are concerned. We ter; adventurers and enthusiasts, who were put it to the candour of every one of our read. ers, wherner the facts now detailed do not put nish Revolution; the speech of Mr. Brougham, in an entirely different point of view from any on the opening of the session of Parliament in which they had yet considered it, the Spa- in February, 1823, still resounds in our ears. nish Revolution ? Certainly these facts were We were told, and we believed, that the Spautterly unknown to us, not the least vigilant nish constitution conferred upon the people of observers of continental transactions, and the the Peninsula moderated freedom; that the march of revolution in the adjoining states. cause of liberty was at stake; and that unless The truth is, that what Jefferson long ago said we interfered, it would be trampled down unof the American, has become true of the Euro- der the bayonets of the Holy Alliance. And pean press; events are so utterly distorted, what is the fact as now proved by historical falsehoods are so unblushingly put forth, hos- documents? Why, that it was the cause of tile facts are so sedulously suppressed, that it Pure Democracy which we were thus called on is utterly impossible from the public journals to support; of universal suffrage, Jacobin to gather the least idea of what they really are, clubs, and a furious press; of revolutionary if they have the slightest connection with re- confiscation, democratic anarchy, and unbrivolutionary ambition. Till the false light of dled injustice; of the most desolating of tyrannewspapers has ceased, and the steady light nies, the most ruinous of despotisms. Such of history begins, no reliance whatever can is the darkness, the thick and impenetrable be placed on the public accounts, even of the darkness, in which we are kept in regard to most notorious transactions.
passing events by the revolutionary press of Lastly, we now see how inconceivably the Europe; and when historic truth comes to British people were deceived in regard to these illuminate the transactions of our times, the transactions, and how narrowly we escaped at Revolution of July, the Belgian Insurrection, that juncture being plunged into a war, to up- it will be found that we have been equally dehold what is now proved to have been, not the ceived; and that, by the use of heart-stirring cause of freedom and independence, but of recollections, and heart-rending fabrications, anarchy, democracy, and revolution. We all re- we have been stimulated to engage in war, to collect the vigorous efforts which the Move support a similar system of revolutionary cument party in this country made to engage us pidity and democratic ambition. in a war with France, in support of the Spa
PARTITION OF THE KINGDOM OF THE
It is related by Bourrienne, that it was dur- of this important station : all the resources of ing the visit of Napoleon to the shores of the art, all the wealth of the imperial treasury, ocean, by order of the Directory, in February, were lavished upon its fortification; ramparts 1798, to prepare for the invasion of England, after ramparts, bastion after bastion, surroundthat he first was struck with the vast import- ed its ample harbour; docks capable of holdance of Antwerp as a naval station to effect ing the whole navy of France were excavated, that great object of Gallic ambition. The im- and the greatest fleet which ever menaced pression then made was never afterwards England assembled within its walls. Before effaced; his eagle eye at once discerned, that the fall of his power, thirty-five ships of the it was from that point, that the army destined line were safely moored under its cannon; he to conquer England was to sail. Its secure held to it with tenacious grasp under all the and protected situation, guarded alike by pow- vicissitudes of his fortune, and when the Allies erful fortresses and an intricate and dangerous approached its walls, he sent the ablest and inland navigation; its position at the mouth firmest of the republicans, Carnot, to prolong of the Scheldt, the great artery of the Flemish even to the last extremity its means of defence, provinces of the empire; its proximity on the “If the allies were encamped,” said he in the one hand to the military resources of France, Legislative Body, on the 31st March, 1813, and on the other to the naval arsenals of the “on the heights of Montmartre, I would not United Provinces; its near neighbourhood to surrender one village in the thirty-second the Thames and the Medway, the centre of the military division.” Though hard pressed in power of England, and the most vulnerable the centre of his dominions, he still clung to point of its empire, all pointed it out as the this important bulwark. When the Old great central depot where the armament for Guard was maintaining a desperate struggle the subjugation of this country was to be as in the plains of Champagne, he drafted not a sembled, as the advanced work of French man from the fortifications of the Scheldt; and ambition against English independence. No when the conqueror was struck to the earth, sooner had he seized the reins of power than his right hand still held the citadel of Anta he turned his attention to the strengthening werp.
In all former times, and centuries before the time when the French army, aided by the English fleet, to its importance, the Scheldt had been the
* Blackwood's Magazine, Dec. 1832. Written at the labour of Napoleon had added so immensely were besieging Antwerp
centre of the most important preparations for never saw a French fleet but as prizes, have the invasion of England, and the spot on witnessed the infamous coalition, and the unwhich military genius always fixed from conquered citadels of England thundered with whence to prepare a descent on this island. salutes to the enemies who fled before them An immense expedition, rendered futile by the at Trafalgar! Antwerp, with its dockyards weakness and vacillation of the French mo- and its arsenals; Antwerp, with its citadel narch, was assembled in it in the fourteenth and its fortifications; Antwerp, the outpost and century; and sixty thousand men on the shore stronghold of France against English indeof the Scheldt awaited only the signal of pendence, is to be purchased by British blood Charles VI.* to set sail for the shore of Kent. for French ambition! Holland, the old and The greatest nával victory ever gained by the faithful ally of England; Holland, which has English arms was that at Sluys, in 1340, when stood by us in good and evil fortune for one Philip of France lost thirty thousand men and hundred and fifty years; Holland, the bulwark two hundred and thirty ships of war, in an en- of Europe, in every age, against Gallic age gagement off the Flemish coast with Edward gression, is to be partitioned, and sacrificed in III.,t a triumph greater, though less noticed in order to plant the standards of a revolutionary history, than either that of Cressy or Poictiers. power on the shores of the Scheldt! Deeply When the great Duke of Parma was commis- has England already drunk, deeper still is she sioned by Philip II. of Spain to take steps for destined to drink of the cup of national huthe invasion of England, he assembled the miliation, for the madness of the last two forces of the Low Countries at Antwerp; and years. the Spanish armada, had it proved successful, Disgraceful as these proceedings are to the was to have wafted over that great commander national honour and integrity of England; from the banks of the Scheldt to the opposite far as they have lowered its ancient flag beshore of Essex, at the head of the veterans neath the degradation it ever reached in the who had been trained in the Dutch war. In darkest days of national disaster, their impolicy an evil hour, Charles II., bought by French is, if possible, still more conspicuous. Flangold and seduced by French mistresses, enter- ders, originally the instructor, has in every age ed into alliance with Louis XIV. for the co- been the rival of England in manufactures; ercion of Holland; the Lilies and the Leopards, Holland, being entirely a commercial state, the navies of France and England, assembled and depending for its existence upon the car. together at Spithead, and made sail for the rying trade, has in every age been her friend. French coast, while the armies of the Grande The interest of these different states has led to Monarque advanced across the Rhine into the this opposite policy, and must continue to do heart of the United Provinces. The conse- so, until a total revolution in the channels of quence was, such a prodigious addition to the commerce takes place. Flanders, abounding power of France, as it took all the blood and with coal, with capital, with great cities, and treasure expended in the war of the Succession a numerous and skilful body of artisans, has and all the victories of Marlborough, to reduce from the earliest dawn of European history, to a scale at all commensurate with the inde- been conspicuous for her manufactures; Hol pendence of the other European states. Mr. land, without any advantages for the fabricatPitt, how adverse soever to engage in a war ing of articles, but immense for their transwith republican France, was driven to it by port, has, from the establishment of Dutch the advance of the tricolour standard to the independence, been the great carrier of EuScheldt, and the evident danger which threat- rope. She feels no jealousy of English maened English independence from the posses- nufactures, because she has none to compete sion of its fortresses by the French armies; with them; she feels the greatest disposition and the event soon proved the wisdom of his to receive the English goods, because all foresight. The surrender of the Low Coun- those which are sent to her add to the riches tries, arising from the insane demolition of its of the United Provinces. Belgium, on the fortresses by the Emperor Joseph, soon brought other hand, is governed by a body of manuthe French armies to Amsterdam; twenty facturers, who are imbued with a full proporyears of bloody and destructive war; the tion of that jealousy of foreign competition slaughter of millions, and the contraction of which is so characteristic in all countries of eight hundred millions of debt by this country, that profession., Hence, the Flemish ports followed the victorious march of the French have always been as rigorously closed as the armies to the banks of the Scheldt; while Dutch were liberally opened to British manuseventeen years of unbroken rest, a glorious factures ; and at this moment, not only are the peace, and the establishment of the liberties duties on the importation of British goods of Europe upon a firm basis, immediately suc- greatly higher in Flanders than they are in ceeded their expulsion from them by the arms Holland, but the recent policy of the former of Wellington.
country has been as much to increase as that Before these sheets issue from the press, an of the other has been to lower its import burEnglish and French fleet will have sailed from dens. Since the Belgian revolution, the duties the British shores to co-operate with a French on all the staple commodities of England, coal, army IN RESTORING ANTWERP TO FRANCE. woollens, and cotton cloths, have been lowered The tricolour flag has floated alongside of the by the Dutch government; but the fervour of British pendant; the shores of Spithead, which their revolutionary gratitude has led to no such
measure on the part of the Belgians. * Sismondi, Hist. de France, xl. 387.
This difference in the policy of the two Hume, ii. 230.
states being founded on their habits, interests
and physical situation, must continue perma- | ated to the principles of iniquity, to have been nently to distinguish them. Dynasties may accustomed, as in revolutionary France, to rise or fall: but as long as Flanders, with its have spoliation palliated on the footing of exgreat coal mines and iron founderies, is the pedience, and robbery justified by the weak: rival of England in those departments of in- ness of its victim. We have not yet learned dustry in which she most excels, it is in vain to measure political actions by their success; to expect that any cordial reception of British to praise conquest to the skies when it is on manufactures is to take place within her pro- the side of revolution, and load patriotism vinces. The iron fürgers of Liege, the wool- with obloquy when it is exerted in defence of len manufacturers or cotton operatives of regulated freedom. We are confident that the Ghent or Bruges, will never consent to the free British seamen under any circumstances will importation of the cutlery of Birmingham, the do their duty, and we do not see how Holland woollen cloths of Yorkshire, the muslins of can resist the fearful odds which are brought Glasgow, or the cotton goods of Manchester. against her; but recollecting that there is a But no such jealousy is, or ever will be, felt moral government of nations, that there is a by the merchants of Amsterdam, the carriers God who governs the world, and that the sins of Rotterdam, or the shipmasters of Flushing of the fathers, in nations as well as individuals, Flanders always has been, and always will will be visited upon the children, we tremble desire to be, incorporated with France, in or- to think of its consequences, and consciender that her manufactures may feel the vivify- tiously believe that such a triumph may ultiing influence of the great home market of that mately prove a blacker day for England, than populous country; Holland always has been, if the army of Wellington had been dispersed and always will desire to be, in alliance with in the forest of Soignies, or the fleet of Nelson England, in order that her commerce may ex- swallowed up in the waves of Trafalgar. perience the benefit of a close connection What is chiefly astonishing, and renders it with the great centre of the foreign trade of painfully apparent that revolutionary ambition the world.
has produced its usual effect in confounding Every one practically acquainted with these and undermining all the moral feelings of man . matters, knows that Holland is at this moment kind in this country, is the perfect indifference almost the only inlet which continental jea- with which the partition of Holland is regarded lousy will admit for British manufactures to by all the Movement party, as contrasted with the continent of Europe. The merchants of the unmeasured lamentations with which they London know whether they can obtain a ready have made the world resound for the partition vent for their manufactures in the ports of of Poland. Yet if the matter be impartially France or the harbours of Flanders. The ex- considered, it will be found that our conduct port trade to France is inconsiderable; that to in leaguing with France for the partition of Flanders trifling; but that to Holland is im- the Netherlands, has been much more infamous mense. It takes off 2,000,0001. worth of our than that of the eastern potentates was in the exports, and employs 350,000 tons of shipping, subjugation of Poland. The slightest historical about a seventh of the whole shipping of Great retrospect must place this in the clearest light. Britain. Were it not for the facilities to Bri- Poland was of old, and for centuries before tish importation, afforded by the commercial her fall, the standing enemy of Russia. Twice interests of the Dutch, our manufactures would the Polish armies penetrated to the heart of her be well nigh excluded from the continent of empire, and the march of Napoleon to the Europe. The Scheldt, when guarded by Kremlin had been anticipated five centuries French batteries, and studded with republican before by the arms of the Jagellons. Austria sails, may become the great artery of Euro- had been delivered from Turkish invasion by pean, but unquestionably it will not be of Eng- John Sobieski, but neither that power nor lish commerce. The great docks of Antwerp Prussia were bound to guaranty the integrity may be amply filled with the tricolour flag; of the Polish dominions, nor had they ever but they will see but few of the British pen- been in alliance with it for any length of time dants. "In allying ourselves with the Belgians, The instability of Polish policy, arising from we are seeking to gain the friendship of our the democratic state of its government, the natural rivals, and to strengthen what will perpetual vacillation of its councils, and the soon become a province of our hereditary weakness and inefficiency of its external conenemies; in alienating the Dutch, we are duct, had for centuries been such that no losing our long-established customers, and lengthened or sustained operation could be exweakening the state, which, in every age, has pected from its forces. It remained in the been felt to be the outwork of British inde- midst of the military.monarchies a monument pendence.
of democratic madness, a prey to the most But it is not the ruinous consequences of frightful internal anarchy, and unable to resist this monstrous coalition of the two great re- the most inconsiderable external aggression. volutionary powers of Europe against the Its situation and discord rendered it the natural liberty and independence of the smaller states prey of its more vigorous and efficient military which are chiefly to be deplored. It is the neighbours. In combining for its partition, shameful injustice of the proceeding, the pro- they effected what was on their part an fligate disregard of treaties which it involves, atrocious act of injustice; but will ultimately the open abandonment of national honour prove, as Lord Brougham long ago observed,* which it proclaims, which constitute its worst the most beneficial change for the ultimate features. We have not yet lived so long un. der democratic rule as to have become habitu
* Colonial Policy
nappiness of its people, by forcibly repressing | nary robber, they have superadded the abandone their democratical passions, and turning its ment of a friend and the partiality of a judge. wild but heroic spirit into the channels of It is this lamentable combination of unprincipled regulated and useful patriotism. In dividing qualities, which makes our conduct in this Poland, the three powers incurred the guilt of transaction the darkest blot on our annals, and robbers who plunder a caravan, which, from will ultimately render the present era one for internal divisions, is unable to defend itself; which posterity will have more cause to blush Austria was guilty of black ingratitude in than for that when John surrendered his doassailing her former deliverer; but Russia minions to the Papal legate, or Charles gifted violated no oaths, broke no engagements, be- away to French mistresses the honour and the trayed no treachery-she never owed any thing integrity of England. to Poland-she was her enemy from first to The Revolution of the Three Glorious Days, last, and conquered her as such. We attempt which has, for the last two years, steeped no vindication of this aggression; it was the France in misery and Paris in blood, having work of ruthless violence, alike to be stigma- excited the revolutionary party in every part tized in a monarchical as a republican power. of Europe to unheard-of transports, Brussels, We observe only how Providence overrules in order not to be behind the great centre of even human iniquity to purposes finally bene- democracy, rose in revolt against its soveficent.
reign, and the King of Belgium was expelled But what shall we say to the partition of the from its walls. An attack of the Dutch troops, Netherlands, effected by France and England ill planned and worse executed, having been in a moment of profound peace, when its do- defeated, the King of the Netherlands applied minions were guarantied by both these powers, to England to restore him by force to the throne and it had done nothing to provoke the hostility which she had guarantied. This took place of either? Can it be denied that we, in com- in October, 1830, when the Duke of Wellington mon with all the allied powers, guarantied to was still in power. the King of the Netherlands his newly created To have interfered with the land and sea dominions? The treaty of 1815 exists to dis- forces of England to restore the Dutch king to prove the assertion. Has Holland done any the throne of Belgium, would, at that juncture, injury to Great Britain or France to justify have been highly perilous. It was doubtful their hostility? Has she laid an embargo on whether we were bound to have afforded such their ships, imprisoned their subjects, or con- aid,--the guarantee contained in the treaty of fiscated their property ? Confessedly she has 1815 being rather intended to secure the dodone none of these things. Has she abandoned minions of the Netherlands against foreign us in distress, or failed to succour us, as by aggression, than to bind the contracting parties treaty bound, in danger ? History proves the to aid him in stifling domestic revolt. “At all reverse: for one hundred and fifty years she events it was certain that such a proceeding has fought by our side against our common would at once have roused the revolutionary enemies; she has shared alike in the disaster party throughout Europe, and would have of Lafelt and Fontenoy, and the triumphs of afforded France a pretext, of which she would Ramillies and Oudenarde, of Malplaquet and instantly and gladly have availed herself, for Waterloo. Has she injured the private or interfering with her powerful armies, in favour public interests of either of the powers who of her friends, among the Belgian Jacobins. now assail her? Has she invaded their pro- The Duke of Wellington, therefore, judged yinces, or laid siege to their fortresses, or wisely, and with the prudence of a practised blockaded their harbours? The idea of Hol, statesman, when he declined to lend such aid land, with her 2,500,000 souls, attempting any to the dispossessed monarch, and tendered the of these things against two nations who count good offices of the allied powers to mediate in above fifty millions of inhabitants in their an amicable way between the contending parties. dominions, is as ridiculous as it would be to The proffered mediation coming from such suppose an infant in its nurse's arms to make powers as Russia, Austria, Prussia, France, war on a mounted dragoon of five-and-twenty. and England, could not possibly have been reWhat then has she done to provoke the par- sisted by the Dutch States; and the offer of tition of the lords of the earth and the ocean? their good offices was too valuable to be deShe has resisted the march of revolution, and clined. They agreed to the offer, and on this refused to surrender her fortresses to revo- basis the London Conference assembled. This lutionary robbery, and therein, and therein alone, was the whole length that matters had gone, she has offended.
when the Duke of Wellington resigned in NoBut this is not all. Unprincipled as such vember, 1830; and most unquestionably noconduct would have been, if it had been the thing was farther from the intentions of the whole for which this country had to blush, it British ministry at that period, as the Duke of is but a part of the share which England and Wellington has repeatedly declared in ParliaFrance have taken in this deplorable trans- ment, than to have acted in any respect withaction. These powers were not only allies of out the concurrence of the other powers, or to the King of the Netherlands; they had not only have made this mediation a pretext for the solemnly guarantied the integrity of his domi- forcible partition of the Dutch dominions. nions, but they had accepted, with the other But with the accession of the Whigs to allied powers, the office of mediators and arbiters power commenced a different system. They between nim and his revolted subjects; and at once showed, from their conduct, that they they have now united to spoliate the party who were actuated by that unaccountable partiality made the reference. To the violence of an ordi- for French democracy, which has ever since