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liberty? We know the ready answer which will be offered by the few who soothe their own prejudices, or seek to carry their purposes by maintaining this extravagant proposition. They take a distinction : Buonaparte, according to their creed, fell a tyrant in 1914, and revived a deliverer in 1815. A few months' residence in the Isle of Elba had given him time for better thoughts, and had mortified within his mind that gorging ambition for which, Russia was not too great, nor Hamburgh too small a morsel; which neither evaporated under the burning sun of Egypt nor was chilled by the polar snows; which survived the loss of millions of soldiers and an incalculable tract of territory, and burned as fiercely during the conferences of Chatillon, when the despot's fate was trembling in the scales, as at those of Tilsit, when that of his adversary had kicked the beam. All the experience which Europe had bought by oceans of blood and years of degradation ought, according to these gentlemen, to have been forgotten upon the empty professions of one whose word, whensoever or wheresoever pledged, never bound him an instant when interest or ambition required a breach of it. Buonaparte assured the world he was changed in temper, mind and disposition; and his old agent and minister (Fouché of Nantes) was as ready to give his security as Bardolph was to engage for Falstaff. When Gil Blas found his old comrades in knavery, Don Raphael and Ambrose de Lamela, administrating the revenues of a Carthusian convent, he sbrewdly conjectured that the treasure of the holy fathers was in no small danger, and grounded his suspicion on the old adage . Il ne faut pas mettre à la cave un ivrogne qui a renoncé au vin.' But Europe—when France had given the strongest proof of her desire to recover what she termed her glory, by expelIing a king whose reign was incompatible with foreign wars, and recalling Napoleon to whom conquest was as the very breath of his nostrils-Europe, most deserving, had she yielded to such argu. ments, to have been crowned with the diadem, hight foolseap,' is censured for having exerted her strength to fix her security, and confuting with her own warlike weapons those whose only law was arms, and only argument battle. We do not believe there lives any one who can seriously doubt ihe truth of what we have said. If, however, there were any sin ple enough to expect to hail Freedom restored by the victoricus arms of Buonaparte, their mistake (had Lord Wellington not saved them from its consequences) would have resembled that of poor Slender, who, rushing to the embraces of Anne Page, found himself unexpectedly in the gripe of a lubberly post-master's boy. But probably no one was foolish enough to nourish such hopes, though there are some-their number is few—whose general opinions concerning the policy of Europe are so closely and habitually linked with their party preju
VOL. XVI, NO. XXXI.
dices at home, that they see in the victory of Waterloo only the triumph of Lord Castlereagh ; and could the event have been reversed, would have thought rather of the possible change of seats in St. Stephen's, than of the probable subjugation of Europe. Such were those who, hiding perhaps secret hopes with affected despondence, lamented the madness which endeavoured to make a stand against the Irresistible whose military calculations were formed on plans far beyond the comprehension of all other minds; and such are they who, confuted by stubborn facts, now affect to mourn over the consequences of a victory which they had pronounced impossible. But, as we have already hinted, we cannot trace in Lord Byron's writings any systematic attachment to a particular creed of politics, and he appears to us to seize the subjects of public interest upon the side in which they happen to present themselves for the moment, with this qualification, that he usually paints them on the shaded aspect, perhaps that their tints may harmonize with the sombre colours of his landscape. Dangerous as prophecies are, we could almost hazard a prediction that, if Lord Byron enjoys that length of life which we desire for his sake and our own, bis future writings may probably shew that he thinks better of the morals, religion, and constitution of his country, than his poems have hitherto indicated. Should we fail in a hope which we cherisha fondly, the disgrace of false prophecy must rest with us, but the loss will be with Lord Byron himself.
Childe Harold, though he shuns to celebrate the victory of Waterloo, gives us a most beautiful description of the evening which preceded the battle of Quatre Bras, the alarm which called out the troops, and the hurry and confusion which preceded their march. We are not sure that any verses in our language surpass the following in vigour and in feeling. The quotation is again a long one, but we must not and dare not curtail it.
And all went merry as a marriage-bell;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
slad ntarer, clearer, deadlier than before !
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,
The stirring memory of a thousand years,
Of living valour, rolling on the foe
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
just habitual scorn of men and their thoughts,' too publicly and rashly expressed, or as he has termed it in a note, the continued obtrusion on mankind of his want of all community of feeling with or for them,'-we conceive him to be under a material error. Far from being deficient in that necessary branch of the politician's art, which soothes the passions and conciliates the prejudices of those whom they wish to employ as instruments, Buonaparte possessed it in exquisite perfection. He seldom missed finding the very man that was fittest for his immediate purpose; and he had, in a peculiardegree, the art of moulding him to it. It was not, then, because he despised the means necessary to gain his end that he finally fell short of attaining it, but because confiding in his stars, his fortune, and his strength, the ends which he proposed were unattainable even by the gigantic means which he possessed. But if we are to understand that the projects of Napoleon intimated, too plainly for the subsistence of his power, how little he regarded human life or human happiness in the accomplishment of his personal views, and that this conviction
heated his enemies and cooled his friends, his indeed may be called a scorn, but surely not a just scorn of his fellow-mortals.
But bidding adieu to politics, that extensive gulph whose eddies draw every thing that is British into their vortex, we follow with pleasure Childe Harold's wanderings up the enchanting valley of the Rhine :
• There Harold gazes on a work divine,
And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells
From gray, but leafy walls, where Ruin greenly dwells.' These ruins, once the abodes of the robber-chivalry of the German frontier, where each free count and knight exercised within his petty domain the power of a feudal sovereign, call forth from the poet an appropriate commemoration of the exploits and character of their former owners. In a softer mood, the Pilgrim pours forth his greetings to one kind breast, in whom he can yet repose his sorrows, and hope for responsive feelings. The fall of Marceau is next commemorated; and Harold, passing with a fond adieu from the Rhin-thal, plunges into the Alps, to find among their recesses scenery yet wilder, and better suited to one who sought for loneliness in order to renew
* Thoughts hid, but not less cherished than of old,
Ere mingling with the herd had penn'd “him” in their fold.' The next theme on which the poet rushes is the character of the enthusiastic and, as Lord Byron well terms him, ' self-torturing sophist, wild Rousseau,' a subject naturally suggested by the scenes in which that unhappy visionary dwelt, at war with all others, and by no means at peace with himself; an affected contemner of polished society, for whose applause he secretly panted, and a waster of eloquence in praise of the savage state in which his paradoxical reasoning, and studied, if not affected declamation, would never have procured him an instant’s notice. In the following stanza his character and foibles are happily treated.
But he was phrenzied by disease or woe,