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per cent. Such might and ought to be, the reasonable scale of graduation. The tax ought to bear most lightly on the smalJest income. Suppose a taxation for the support of government of one-eighth of every income indiscriminately. Then 750 dollars would contribute 94 dollars, and 7,500 dollars would pay 940. The first would leave the possessor 656 dollars only, the last would leave 6,560. Is it not manifest that the defalcation of necessaries and comforts in this case, would be felt ten times more severely by the smaller income than by the larger ? Yet the rule is reasonable, that the weight of taxation should fall in proportion to the ability to bear it. Suppose in each case, a man, his wife and two children: in the former instance, the tax payer must in consequence deprive himself and his family of some of the necessaries of life, in the latter case, it might cost the richer person, a carriage-horse extraordinary. This country of ours is a republic: and the poor have a right that their comforts should be carefully considered; and that is a bad government that neglects it. Either the greatest good of the greatest number is politically the rule of right, or the rule of right is something different. Take your choice.
In the next place, if taxation be indirect, every article of probable consumption reasonable for a person of 750 dollars a year should be wholly exempted, and the taxation be made to fall on the articles of consumptions of those who can afford to pay; and this in an increasing ratio as far as the articles will bear it. The whole of it will be light; for, after the national debt is paid, the expenses of government, among us, ought not to exceed ten millions of dollars a year: if they do, the people ought to ask, in peremptory language, the reason why.
Next and finally, and above all, the expense of education, of schools, teachers, apparalus, from the highest calculus of the abstruse mathematics, down to the teaching of the alphabet, ought to be furnished by government gratuitously to every citizen indiscriminately, willing to take advantage of the means, Every investigation of this subject, centers in the paramount expedieney of educating the mass of the people: if they will not acquire education at their own expense, they ought to be tempted, and if they cannot be tempted, they ought to be compelled to acquire it at the public expense. In Germany, the people are compelled to send their children to school, on the reasonable plea, that they have no right to turn an idle and ignorant youth into the mass of citizens; and that good morals are essentially connected with good education; and they are so. There is no object of legislation to be compared in importance with this. We are not inclined to defend the position, that it is the absolute duty of government to exonerate any citizen from the obligation and the expense of giving to bis children a reasonable education, adapted to the course of life they are intended to pursue; it is an obligation binding on every citizen who is a parent: but of the prudence and expedience of furnishing the means of education universally, that there may be no excuse for neglect--and the infinite value of knowledge diffused through a republican community, we cannot hesitate for a moment: we see the necessity plainly, we feel it sensibly in our own State, every day and every hour. Of all purchases, knowledge is the cheapest; of all protections to our republican institutions it is the safest; of all guards over our constitutional liberties, it is the most effectual. In South-Carolina, three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, or a dollar and a half per head per annum, for the whole white population, would furnish the means of the best possible education to every child of every citizen, as long as he found it convenient to keep them at the schools of instruction. Ignorance of our rights, and the difficulty of diffusing correct political information throughout an ill-educated community, have cost South-Carolina thirty millions of dollars within the last ten years. A full, gratuitous, system of education open to every one, during the next twenty years, will save us from the exorbitance of federal taxation, and place this Slate at the head of the Union. But the business must not be done by halves.
AR'r. VIII.--Annals of the Peninsular Campaigns, from 1808 to
1814. By the Author of Cyril 'Thornton. In 3 vols. 12mo. Philadelphia. 1831.
The author of Cyril Thornton (of which our opinion has been already expressed) has, recently, published his “ Annals of the Peninsular War.” From the species of talent displayed in his novel, we were induced to peruse this work with favourable anticipations of its merits: nor have we been disappointed in our expectations. The professioal student, who desires to enlarge the stores of his knowledge, by relations of campaigns and sieges conducted, and of battles fought, according to the principles of science and art, would, perhaps, be more gratified with the “ History of the war in the Peninsular, and in the South of France,” by Colonel Napier, and the “ Journal of the Sieges in Spain," by Colonel Jones; and the admirer of beautiful composition would, doubtless, prefer the glowing and brilliant “ History of the Peninsular War,” by Southey, to the volumes which we propose to review. But the general reader, who seeks to be informed of the military and political occurrences, and the usual causes, intimately connected with the downfall of Bonaparte, an event, which deeply and extensively influenced the fate of nations, will derive both pleasure and profit from the " Annals of the Peninsular War.” He will find in them a lucid narrative, neither too much amplified nor condensed, reflections judicious and illustrative, and an arrangement, which presents to us nuinerous and complicate transactions, distinctly and clearly.
Afier Bonaparte's return to France from Egypt, in 1799, his political and military career, during a long period, was spleodid and triumphant beyond example. As first-consul, consul for life, and emperor, his success was viewed with astonishment and dismay by the European world. Accurately observing the signs of the times, profoundly, penetrating the character of his subjects, and conscious that power could not be maintained, though it inight be acquired, by force, he addressed himself to the ruling passions and feelings of the great mass of those over whoin he presided. Sensible of the influence which religion exercises, even in a licentious age, one of his first measures, after assuming the imperial purple, was the restoration of that church, of which the followers were the most numerous in his dominions, whilst he, scrupulously secured every civil and religious right, to those who dissented from its peculiar doctrines. Resolved, that no obstacle should exist, which could oppose the supremacy of his will, he annihilated political liberty; whilst he laid open to all, the avenues which led to honours and emoluments. Nor was this a mere nominal provision ; it was, practically, acted upon; and the hunblest individuals, exhibiting extraordinary valour or talent, were raised to the highest commands and digoities. The great principle of the government of Bonaparte, was political equality. This was the lever by which he moved the einpire of France. By it, he rendered himself the monarch of the people, and acquired popularity, the only stable foundation upon which power can rest. It was this policy, which caused him, when possessed of the attributes and VOL. Vill.-N0. 15.
pageantry of royalty, to be, emphatically, called by Mr. Pitt, ss the child and the champion of democracy."
The formidable continental enemies of France, were Russia, Austria, and Prussia. Bonaparte, in his first campaign, after being elected emperor, overthrew the forces of the two first of these powers, at Austerlitz; and in the humbled condition of the emperor of Austria, after that signal defeat, he exacted from hin the treaty of Presburgh, in 1805. By that treaty, Austria gave up her Venitian territories, both in Italy and Dalmatia, with the islands in the Adriatic. She acknowledged Bonaparte as emperor of the French and king of Italy, and also acknowledged the new royal titles of the princes of Bavaria and Wurtemberg. Soon after the ratification of this treaty, Louis and Joseph, the brothers of the French emperor, were placed upon the thrones of Holland and Naples; and the Confederation of the Rhine was established under his protection. The single victory of Jena, gave to him almost the complete possession of Prussia. Her sovereign attempted to negociate; but the terms offered to him, were so humiliating, that he preferred trusting to the chances of fortune, and the aid of his Russian ally. On the 14th of June, 1807, was fought the desperate and sanguinary battle of Friedeland, between France, on the one side, and the combined armies of Russia and Prussia, on the other. The combined forces were routed, and in the succeeding month of July, the treaty of Tilsit was concluded. By the treaty of Tilsit, Prussia was deprived of all her territories on the Elbe, and of all her recent acquisitions in Poland. Dantzic was created an independent town; East Friesland was added to Holland; the ceded Prussian possessions in Germany were erected into the kingdom of Westphalia, the sovereignty of which was conferred upon Jerome Bonaparte; the emperor Alexander recognized the titles of Jerome, of Louis and of Joseph, and of the kings belonging to the Rhinish Confederation; and by secret article, he conveyed the Ionian isles to France, and engaged to enforce her continental system, by excluding British vessels from the ports of Russia.
Until this period, perhaps, the wars of France were unavoidable, and, essentially, defensive; for the bloody contests in which she had been involved, did not originate in the ordinany motives of ambition or cupidity. By their issue, it was to be decided, whether the spirit of aristocracy or democracy should predominate: whether these principles should be established, which supported thrones, or those, which rendered their tenure insecure and perilous. The imperial democracy prevailed in this mighty struggle. The legitimacy of Bonaparte, and of his royal relatives and adherents, who owed their elevation to his arts and arms, was acknowledged. He conquered a peace from the continental potentates, which they dared pot to interrupt, so long as be chose to preserve it. He had declared, that he desired peace, in order that he might turn his attention to those civil improvements and reforms, which would ameliorate the condition and advance the prosperity of his country. But with these occupations, though he devoted himself to them with pre-eminent wisdom and sagacity, he was soon satiated. In his brightest hour, when he was enjoying the sweets of popularity, and when his military fame was the theme of universal eulogy, he rashly provoked hostilities. From thence he ceased to be the favourite child of fortune; for, amidst some splendid achievements, he sustained defeats, which tarnished his martial renown, and, ultimately, deprived him of his dominions, and even of bis personal liberty.
The first link in the chain of his disasters, was the invasion of Portugal and Spain. He might have retained Portugal in subjection, with Spain as an ally; but when he attempted the prostration of Spain he raised up a nation as his enemies, and afforded to Great-Britain, his inveterate and powerful foe, the means of assailing him, under circumstances, peculiarly favourable to the undisputed mistress of the ocean. The imbecile and disorganized government of Spain had hitherto been so passive an instrument in his hands, that he had held all her resources at his disposal. But as he had already giyen kings to Holland, and Naples, and Westphalia, he flattered himself, that Spain, by his political management, would consent, that her timid and lethargic monarch, should be replaced by a branch of the imperial family. To prepare the way for this revolution, he caused the flower of the Spanish army, to be sent into Germany and 'Tuscany, and concluded a secret treaty with Spain at Fontainbleau, by which the northern provinces of Portugal were allotted to the king of Etruria ; the centre division was to be held in sequestration, until a general peace, when its fate was to be decided; and the southern provinces, under the investiture of the king of Spain, were to form a principality for Godoy, the Prince of Peace, the paramore of the Spanish queen, and the possessor of the friendship and unbounded confidence of her husband. Under the pretence of carrying this treaty into execution, seventy thousand disciplined French troops were introduced into the North of Spain, and placed in the fortresses which commanded the roads and the most important positions.
Portugal, which had, for years, submitted to the exactions and dictation of France, without daring to resent them, was