« ZurückWeiter »
quisition of learning and the display of genius are not the ways to obtain it. Intellectual superiority is so far from conciliating confidence, that it is the very spirit of a democracy, as in France, to proscribe the aristocracy of talents. To be the favourite of an ignorant multitude, a man must descend to their level; he must desire what thưy desire, and detest what they do not approve ; he must yield to their prejudices, and substitute them for principles. Instead of enlightening their erroirs, he must adopt them ; he must furnish the sophistry that will propagate and defend them.
Surely we are not to look for genius among demagogues : the man who can descend so low, has seldom very far to descend. As experience evinces, that popularity, in other words, consideration and power, is to be produced by the meanest of mankind, the meanest in spirit and understanding, and in the worst of ways it is obvious, that at pres. ent the excitement to genius is next to nothing. If we had a Pindar, he would be ashamed to celebrate our chief, and would be disgraced if he did. But if he did not, his genius would not obtain his election for a selectman in a democratick town.'
THE SPANISH CAUSE.
THE fate of the British expedition to Spain, seems already to have silenced enquiry with regard to the ultimate destiny of that most unfortunate country. But the effects of the British expedition could never have singly been calculated upon in any event, as bringing the struggle of the Spanish people to a decisive issue. Forty thousand men were, to be sure, a very fortunate reinforcement to the Spaniards, but they did not form a junction soon enough to render their co-operation with the patriot armies of any permanent utility. It was easy to foresee, that unless the Spaniards could have joined them, with at least 60,000 men, all the bravery of the British would be lavished in vain. The Spaniards were quelled, that is, so as to destroy all their efforts at co-operation, before the English arrived, and we fear the delay of the expedition from the attention of the ministry to points of minor importance, has been one principal cause of its ill-success. One expedition is sent to Portugal, and another to Corunna, points as distant as possible from each other; of course, judging of the character of their adversary, be. fore they could form a junction, the fate of the first armies of the patriots must have been determined. If they had been successful, the Eng, lish would indeed have arrived in time to drive away the invaders ; but still they would not have saved Spain by their exertions. The brunt of the effectual fighting, would have been previously borne by the Spaniards themselves. As it has turned out, the most brilliant victory obtained by the English before Corunna, could have been of no material avail. Our hopes never rested upon the British troops, brave as they are, but upon the continuance of the Castilian spirit. The peninsula is nearly overrun but is that spirit subdued? If not, our hopes are not extinguished. At all events, it will result that the same Spain which has hitherto contributed her blood and treasure in supporting and maintaining the empire of Napoleon, will no longer exist. The enmity which the present struggle has been calculated to excite, will never be eradicated ; and neither the revenue nor the physical aid of the peninsula can ever again be expected by Bonaparte. The colonies too, are probably for ever alienated from all allegiance to him. The treasure, therefore, of the new world, will probably remain there, or be sent to England; and the emperour will be obliged to seek for other resources to maintain his armies. And extensive military establish. ments he will be obliged to maintain, even to keep Spain under, in the event of her present subjugation.
'The force of the example of Spain will not be spent here, but must reach over the other states of the continent. Admitting that no further successes should crown the Spanish arms, and that Bonaparte should, by overwhelming armies, beat down all opposition to his detestable projects; he has lost much, and must lose more, before the struggle is at an end. He has learned, and France has been made to recollect a lesson which she had of late years lost sight of; the powers of popular enthusiams, when roused by injustice and oppression. It is now to be apprehended, that similar acts of usurpation will be met by somewhat of the same resistance wherever they are attempted. There may now be other enemies to beat besides drill sergeants and imperial guards, before armies can march over the countries of unoffending al. lies. The feeling of power has been communicated to the people, in every part of Europe ; and any such shameless aggressions as those which first roused up this feeling in Spain, will in all likelihood give rise to revolutionary movement elsewhere. It can scarcely be expected, that while things remain quiet, the Germans will change their government; but it is no small improvement of their condition, that the enemy should have reason to dread an intestine revolution (the only forcible antagonist he has ever met with), as often as he attempts to shake, by any extraordinary efforts of usurpation, the existing order of things.
• Nor will the Spaniards themselves fail to reap the fruits of their valour and patriotism, however sorely they may be discomfited in their present struggle. That Bonaparte will ultimately succeed, we apprehend is highly probable ; that he will succeed without great efforts and losses, is absolutely impossible; and no man is frantick enough to suppose, that the utmost success of his arms can subdue the people of Spain into a nation of willing and peaceful slaves. This he knows as well as we do ; and we may be assured that he will not only offer them good terms, after the tide of fortune has begun to turn in his favour,
but will finally grant them such a capitulation as their gallant resistance at once deserves, and renders it absolutely gecessary for the conqueror to allow. He will rule Spain with a very light rod, if he ever rules her at all; because he knows, that there is no other chance of rulling her long. We ascribe here nothing to his virtues we only give him credit for some of that prudence which neper forsook him before the march into Spain, and of which, there is too much reason to dread, he has long ere now regained possession.
Quid est, quod negligenter scribamus adversaria ?--Cic.
LORD GRENVILLE'S SPEECH. THE editor of a certain democratick-paper in this town introduces Eörd Grenville to our notice as the Chatham of Great-Britain. The obliquity of some people's minds is astonishing: they can see a parak lel in a contrast ;
• Opticks sharp it needs, I ween,
*** To see what is not to be seen.' Whether the peculiar eloquence of Lord Chatham and that of Lord Grenville, their sentiments, or their actions be compared, they will be found as entirely contrasted as Bonaparte and George the third. Mr. Pitt began a patriot, and ended in the hospital of incurables ;' after he was made Lord Chatham, as Chesterfield very pertinently remarks, he was no longer Mr. Pitt, in any respect whatever. Lord Grenville began the most decided of monarchists, and is now united to the Foxites.Lord Chatham's eloquence was sublime, figurative, sentimental. Lord Grenville's is acute, argumentative and didactick. So much for propriety of comparison. We are then delighted with a flaming introduction to his Lordship's celebrated speech, even before it is made known in this country ; a speech which is called very elegantly to be sure, 'an illustrious monument, muscular, strong and full to every point of truth, justice and honour. Its strength and symmetry is lost by abridgment, we therefore present it entire.'
Really the editor of this paper seems willing to introduce a novel system of logick and composition; he never thinks of appealing to common sense; but we have no doubt he makes a great display among those who admire splendid similes, and the reasonings of Martinus Scriblerus. Such persons will very readily comprehend the meaning of a strong, muscular monument. And can easily imagine such a monument full to every point of truth, justice and honour ;' and if they read Lord Grenville's speech they will be convinced that the
strength and symmetry of this muscular monument,' • is lost by abridgment.
The editor then declares that the famous letter of Mr. Canning which he admits was suppressed by our government, when he elegantly remarks, * it did not see fit to blab from its own cabinet the gross calum. ny of the British minister till it should be confuted by our own. The phrase “ not see fit to blab, conveys a vindication of the turpitude of Mr. Jefferson, equally original and ingenious. The editor very wise. ly remarks of this very letter, that it now becomes a suppressed document in Englapd. The evidence of its existence cannot be found in parliament, except in an American newspaper; while our diplomatick correspondence' (without the suppressed letter which is contained in a newspaper) are produced and lie upon the table in the British House of Peers.' We cannot but admire this new instance of obliquity. This editor says that Mr. Canning's letter is sappiessed in England, and that the eviçlence of its existence cannot be found in parliament. It would be very strange indeed if Mr. Canning had ordered the correspondence to be published before parliament convened, or before the papers were called for ; but it seems much more strange, how a docu.. ment can be said to be suppressed before any authority to publish it, had been given. This kind of reasoning, however seems congenial to the mind of certain writers;
All is infected that the infected spy,
ORATION ON DUELLING.
The success which átttended him on this occasion was decisive. He possesses taste, fancy, method, and an uncommonly attractive manner in delivery.. His arguments, upon the subject which he discussed, were closely, logically, but eloquently reasoned, and illustrated by the most vivid colourings of imagination. His descriptive faculties are singularJy adapted to aid him in denouncing such a practice, as that which employed him on this occasion ; but, we apprehend, all the thunders of eloquence will be insufficient to terrify' men from the perpetration of such a crime, or to reduce the frequency of its commission. The exertions of Mr. Ogilvie merit reward ; and we are confident to predict that he will obtain a very extended reputation, if, in his subsequent essays, he evinces equal powers of thought and elocution, to those which have occasioned the present acknowledgment of their superiority.
* The pretension of visiting ships of war has never been brought forward, so far as we know, except accidentally in two cases; and in these it was given up, before time had been allowed for discussing the subject, This is the reason why no direct authority can be found upon the point in writers on the law of nations, and no stipulation respecting it in treaties. But all the general principles which are recognized, both by authors and negociators, most uniformly and positively exclude such a pretension.Ed. Rev.
THE AMERICAN REGISTER, &c.
Concluded from page 246. THE discussions of the questions produced by the affair of the Chesapeak and Leopard were for a short time suspended by the expectation of the arrival of a special minister from Great-Britain upon the subject ; so that when Congress met in October,' the American gove ernment was still uninformed of the state of the controversy. In the VIIth chapter our author informs us of the discussions which took place in Congress before Mr. Rose's arrival, the state of parties, and the measures adopted by Congress in consequence of the President's mes. sage, at the opening of the session. We find nothing in this relation which is repugnant to our own views of the subjects be mentions, excepting the following observation respecting France, to which we cannot prevail upon ourselves to assent. Such is the influence of party zeal, that the transactions in the Chesapeak seemed to be hastening to oblivion in the minds of one class of the people, while a deeper animosity was expressed against France than ever, though no very gross and fiagrant injustice had been recently committed by that state against us.'
Our author does not presume to hazard any political reflections on the various topicks, which the singularly unfortunate situation of our foreign affairs naturally produced ; but seems contented to offer an abstract of the arguments used by others, and leaves his readers to form their own conclusions. Whilst an historian should be scrupulously attentive to truth in his narrative of circumstances, yet we think he sinks into a chronicleer, when he proceeds on his course of description with. Vol. 1.