Obrazy na stronie

intercourse, and withhold allencourage- quaintance with her literature and hisment, from the persons so employed. tory will enable them to appreciate on

The natives should be made to under what that religion rests. Here then stand that the missionaries act entirely is opened a vast field for the philanfrom the impulse of their own minds. thropic exertions of those who have

Not that there is reason to despair at heart the higher interests of their of seeing the light of Christianity dif. species. If the funds which are lafused through the Eastern world; it vished in useless missions were employ, would seem, on the contrary, that the ed in forming establishments for insame Power which at first planted our struction, the most beneficial and lastholy religion, has made visible and am- ing effects might be produced. The ple provision for its general diffusion, Indians would receive with pleasure at, perhaps no very distant period. and gratitude the fruits of such inThis provision consists in the decisive stitutions, even from hands which superiority in arts and knowledge to they might judge unhallowed. The which European or Christian nations manner in which so grand an object is have attained, and in the intimate to be accomplished must of course be communication which the instrumen- determined by a view of the actual cirtality of these arts has enabled Euro- cumstances of India. European teachpean nations to form with the mosters could not be supplied in any prodistant parts of the globe. America portion to the number required ; but belongs entirely to Europe; every there might be formed, at convenient port of Asia is crowded with her ves stations throughout British India, sesels, and even the wilds of Africa minaries for the instruction of native are beginning to feel her influence. teachers, who might afterwards diffuse Her knowledge cannot fail in time to among their countrymen the knowbecome universal; for there are natu- ledge which they had acquired. ral desires in the human mind which Much good may be done by the wise it tends to gratify. In imbibing the liberality of government, nothing but science and philosophy of Europe, mischief can be expected from the zeal more barbarous nations will insensibly of fanatics. imbibe her religion also ; and an ac

[ocr errors][merged small]

Spanish Affairs.Preparations made for opening the Campaign.Rapid Pro.

gress of the Allied Armies. --Bait e of Vittoria.


The obstinate and strenuous resistance courage which encountered every dan. first offered in the peninsula to the ger? Whence that noble spirit which ambition of France, has given to the declared eternal resistance to the inevents which occurred in this part of vader-baffled his plans, and rendered the world, an interest beyond even vain his calculations-prevented him that excited by the great efforts of from consolidating his power, and proother nations to support their inde- fiting by his conquests_and, finally, pendence. An eager curiosity has opened a way for the torrent, by been employed to discover the causes which, in the course of this memora. of that heroic spirit which burst forth ble year, the hordes of the invader were in a country where its existence was swept from this fine country? little suspected. Why did Spain, af. The causes which produced results ter its government had been dissolved, to the ambition of France, while conand its army annihilated, refuse that tending amid the mountains of Spain, obedience to the conqueror so long so different from those which had at. yielded by the states of Germany tended its efforts in Germany and other Why, in spite of all their outrages and countries, are imperfectly but juditriumphs, were the French unable to ciously assigned by one of the inva. subdue the spirit of the Spanish na. ders, who was himself the victim of tion, although they had ensured the Spanish patriotism. “We were calltemporary subjection of the most ed,” says M. de Rocca, a French officonsiderable states of the continent ? cer of hussars, “ from the sandy plains The Spanish authorities were indeed of the north of Germany, where we without those powers of combination had to do with people, subject, for the by which the invaders of their coun. most part, to governments whose forms try might at once have been over. were entirely military. The different whelmed ; yet neither flattery nor me. sovereigns who made up the parts of nace, neither suffering nor reward, the Germanic body had, for more than could degrade the rude peasant of a century, turned all their views toSpaio to submission, or make him for wards perfecting those military insti. a moment forget the wrongs, or be. tutions which might secure their autray the independence, of his country. thority, and serve their personal ambiWhence this virtue which triumphed tion; but in accustoming their subjects over every temptation--this patriotic to a minutely punctual obedience, they

[ocr errors]

had weakened the nationa character, tomed to a quiet and regular life, are the only invincible bulwark which na- only roused to make a desperate effort tions can oppose to foreign invaders. by the complete breaking up of all their

“When a province of Germany was former habits. conquered by the French, and could

“ The French had nothing to fear no longer receive the orders of its so. from the inhabitants of the countries vereign, the inferior classes, unaccus. conquered by their arms, and the war tomed to the exercise of their own free of Germany had been carried on solely will, dared not to act without the com- by armies of regulars, between whom mands of their governments or of their their exists rather rivalry than hatred. liege lords : These governments be. The success of a campaign depended came, by the very act of conquest, sub- on the aggregate of the military opeordinate to the conquerors; and the rations, on the activity and persevehege lords, long accustomed to witness rance of the commanders, and their the hourly vexation which the people skill in discovering and preventing the experienced from the soldiery, resign. plans of each other, and in bringing ed themselves the more easily to the with skill and celerity great masses evils which war brings in her train. down on the points of attack. All

“ The clergy in Prussia had but lit- these little partial actions were avoid. tle ascendency over the people; the ed, which, in war, only increase the Reformation has destroyed among the miseries of individuals, without con. protestants that power which the tributing to any important advantage ; priests preserve, even in our days, in and the talents of the generals were some catholic countries, and especial. never baffled by the exertions of indi. ly in Spain. The men of letters, who viduals, or by the spontaneous move. might have influenced public opinion, ments of the people. and made their wisdom subservient to “ In Germany the French had only the cause of their country, were but to subdue governments and armies; in rarely called to take an active part in the Spanish peninsula, the government public affairs. Literary reputation was and the army were already annihilated. the only end of their ambition, and they Buonaparte had invaded Portugal and rarely addicted themselves to occupa. Spain, put to flight, or reduced to captions or studies applicable to existing tivity, the sovereigns of those two circumstances. The real power of se- countries, and dispersed their military veral states in Germany rested on their forces. The French were not called military systems, and their political ex. to fight against troops of the line, but istence could not but depend entirely against a people insulated from all on the strength or weakness of their other continental nations, by their governments.

manners, their prejudices, and even “ In the plains of Germany, the lo- the nature of their country. The calcircumstances of the country did not Spaniards were to oppose to them a permit the people to escape so easily resistance 80 much the more obsti. from the yoke of their conquerors as nate, as they believed it to be the in some other countries of a different object of the French government to nature. Small bodies of troops kept make the peninsula a secondary state, a great extent of conquered country irrevocably subject to the dominion of in awe, and assured the French armies France. of subsistence. The citizens could “ With regard to knowledge and have found no secure retreats if they the progress of social habits, Spain was had tried partial revolts against the in- at least a century behind the other vaders ; besides, the Germans, accus. nations of the continent. The distant

and almost insular situation of the the people, and to employ the intera muntry, and the severity of its reli- vention of a monk, bearing a crucifix gious institutions, had prevented the in his hand. The court, which had Aed Spaniards from taking part in the dis- to Aranjuez, attempted afterwards to putes

and controversies which had a. send the Walloon guards against Magitated and enlightened Europe during drid : the people killed several, and the sixteenth century. They scarcely the cry was, “ If the Walloons enter, thought, even in the eighteenth, of the the Bourbons shall not reign.” The philosophical spirit which had been Walloons did not enter,—Squilaci was one of the causes of the revolution in dismissed, and order was restored. France.

At Berlin and throughout Prussia “ Although the Spaniards were ex- again, the inhabitants respected the soltremely indolent, and there were found diers of their king, as the soldiers them. in their administration, that disorder selves respected their military comand corruption which are the inevita. manders; at Madrid, the sentinels plable consequences of a long despotism, cedon guard, to attend to the execution their national character had not been of the orders of their sovereign, yielded sullied. Their government, arbitrary the precedence to the meanest burgess. as it was, bore no resemblance to the « The revenues of the Spanish crown absolute military power existing in were very scanty, and consequently Germany, where the constant submis- could maintain but a very limited numsion of all to the orders of one, con- ber of troops. The regiments of the tinually pressed down the springs of line, with the exception of some priindividual character. Ferdinand the vileged corps, were incomplete, ill Catholic, Charles V. and Philip II. paid, and ill disciplined. The priests had, it is true, usurped almost all the were the only powerful executive miprivileges of the grandees and of the litia whom the kings of Spain could Cortes, and they had annihilated Spa- command; it was by the exhortations cish liberty; but the weakness of go. of the ministers from their altars, and vemment, under their successors, had the presentation of pontifical ornaalways left to the people, notwith- ments and relics, that they repressed standing the despotism of the sove- and dissipated popular tumults. reign, a practical freedom, which was “ The Spanish priests hated the often carried even to insubordination. French from patriotism and from in

" In the annals of the German states, terest ; for they well knew that the to names had hitherto been heard, intention was to abolish their privi. but those of the sovereign and his ar- leges, and to deprive them of their mies. But since Ferdinand the Ca- riches and temporal power. Their tholic had united the different king- opinion swayed that of the greater doms of Spain, scarcely a single reign part of the nation. Every Spaniard had passed in which the people had regarded the public cause

as his own not given sensible proofs of their ex. private quarrel, and the French liad, istence and power by imposing con- in short, almost as many individual ditions on their masters, or by ex- enemies to fight as the Spanish peninpelling the ministers or favourites. sula contained inhabitants. When the inhabitants of Madrid re- “ The high and barren mountains volted, and demanded from Charles which surround and intersect Spain, III. the dismissal of his minister were peopled by warlike tribes, al. Squilaci, the king himself was obliged ways armed, for the purpose of smuge to appear, in order to compound with gling, and accustomed to baffle the


regular troops of their own country, known in this country, at least to which were frequently sent in pursuit government, that Russia was laying of them. The untamed character of the foundation of that great effort the inhabitants of the peninsula—the which she afterwards made for secumildness of the climate, which admits ring her independence. It was known of living in the open air almost all the also to be her object to establish such year; the inaccessible retreats of the a system of resistance, as that, if the inland mountains; the sea, which French should persevere in their plans washes such extensive shores; all the of conquest and aggression, they might great circumstances arising from the not only be expelled from Russia, but national character, the climate, and lo. followed by her victorious legions into cal situation, could not fail of secu. other countries. As the known cha. ring for the Spaniards numberless faci. racter of the French government prolities for escaping from the oppression mised an obstinate perseverance in its of their conquerors, and for multiply. aggressive policy, so there was every ing their own forces, whether by trans- reason to look for the most important porting them rapidly to those points consequences from the new system on which the French were weak, or in adopted by Russia. It was the duty securing their escape from pursuit." therefore of the British ministers to

These observations may account in prepare for the crisis which was apsome measure for the unexpected diffi. proaching ; and as the efforts of Rusculties which the French encountered sia terminated not only in the expula in their attempt to subdue the penin- sion of the French from her own ter. sula. But even French vanity will ritories, but in the revival of the inde. find it difficult to ascribe to such pendence of Prussia, while an opporcircumstances the overwhelming dis- tunity was at the same time afforded asters which, in the course of the


to Austria to assert her rank among 1813, drove their conquered armies the nations of the continent, the from this fine country. The splendid moment seemed the most favourable and decisive triumphs of this year be- which had ever occurred for the liberalong to England alone ; and a rapid tion of Europe. The successes of sketch of the circumstances which en- the last campaign in the peninsula abled her thus to put forth herenergies, besides were such as to encourage the will be no unsuitable preface to the ac- most sanguine hopes in future, and count of this memorable campaign. even the circumstances in the situation

The important changes which had of the French which had so greatly con. taken place in the affairs of Europe, tributed to these successes were still since the beginning of the last year, farther calculated to excite expectaprescribed an alteration in the politics tion. of this country towards Spain, and While the efforts of the British in rendered it an imperious duty on the the peninsula had been thus vigorous ministers to make the most signal and successful, an unaccountable failure effort for the liberation of the penin. in the means of the French had besula. Many statesmen of great emi. come apparent. The French governnence thought that there were grounds ment in Spain, under Joseph Buonafor such a change of policy even during parte, was remarkable for imbecility the last campaign. We shall briefly and the efforts of the army were of recapitulate the circumstances on course without unity either of coun. which this opinion was founded.

cil or action. The central governSo early as April 1811, it was ment under the intrusive king seemed

« PoprzedniaDalej »