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that which M. Dumont has set before us. His oratorical power both of Chatham and of Mira Mirabeau, in particular, is incomparable. All beau. There have been far greater speakcra the former Mirabeaus were daubs in compari- and far greater statesmen than either of them; son. Some were merely painted from the ima- but we doubt whether any men have, in mogination, others were gross caricatures; this dern times, exercised such vast personal in is the very individual, neither god nor demon, fluence over stormy and divided assemblies but a man, a Frenchman, a Frenchman of the The power of both was as inuch moral as in eighteenth century, with great talents, with tellectual. In true dignity of character, in strong passions, depraved by bad education, private and public virtue, it may seem absurd surrounded by temptations of every kind, made to institute any comparison between them; but desperate at one time by disgrace, and then they had the same haughtiness and vehemence again intoxicated by fame. All his opposite of temper. In their language and manner and seemingly inconsistent qualities are in this there was a disdainful self-confidence, an imrepresentation so blended together as to make periousness, a fierceness of passion, before up a harmonious and natural whole. Till now, which all coinmon minds quailed. Even MurMirabeau was to us, and, we believe, to mostray and Charles Townshend, though intellecreaders of history, not a man, but a string of tually not inferior to Chatham, were always antitheses. Henceforth he will be a real hu- cowed by him. Barnave, in the same manner, man being, a remarkable and eccentric being though the best debater in the National Assemindeed, but perfectly conceivable.
bly, flinched before the energy of Mirabeau. He was fond, M. Dumont tells us, of giving Men, except in bad novels, are not all good or odd compound nicknames. Thus, M. de La- all evil. It can scarcely be denied that the fayette was Grandison-Cromwell; the King of virtue of Lord Chatham was a little theatrical. Prussia was Alaric-Cottin ; D'Espremenil was On the other hand, there was in Mirabeau, not Crispin-Catiline. We think that Mirabeau indeed any thing deserving the name of virtue, himself might be described, after his own but that imperfect substitute for virtue which fashion, as a Wilkes-Chatham. He had is found in almost all superior minds, a sensiWilkes's sensuality, Wilkes's levity, Wilkes's bility to the beautiful and the good, which insensibility to shame. Like Wilkes, he had sometimes amounted to sincere enthusiasm, brought on himself the censure even of men and which, mingled with the desire of admiraof pleasure by the peculiar grossness of his tion, sometimes gave to his character a lustre immorality, and by the obscenity of his writ- resembling the lustre of true goodness; as the ings. Like Wilkes, he was heedless, not only "faded splendour wan" which lingered round of the laws of morality, but of the laws of ho- the fallen archangel, resembled the exceeding nour. Yet he affected, like Wilkes, to unite brightness of those spirits who had kept the:r the character of the demagogue to that of the first estate. fine gentleman. Like Wilkes, he conciliated, There are several other admirable portraits by his good-humour and his high spirits, the of eminent men in these Memoirs. That of regard of many who despised his character. Sieyes in particular, and that of Talleyrand, Like Wilkes, he was hideously ugly; like are masterpieces, full of life and expression, Wilkes, he made a jest of his own ugliness; But nothing in the book has interested us more and, like Wilkes, he was, in spite of his ugli-than the view which M. Dumont has presented ness, very attentive to his dress, and very suc- to us, unostentatiously, and, we may say, uncessiul in affairs of gallantry.
consciously, of his own character. The sturdy Resembling Wilkes in the lower and grosser rectitude, the large charity, the good-nature, parts of his character, he had, in his higher the modesty, the independent spirit, the ardent qualities, some affinities to Chatham. His elo- philanthropy, the unaffected indifference to quence, as far as we can judge of it, bore no money and to fame, make up a character inconsiderable resemblance to that of the great which, while it has nothing unnatural, seems English minister. He was not eminently suc- to us to approach nearer to perfection than cessful in long set speeches. He was not, on any of the Grandisons and Allworthys of ficthe other hand, a close and ready debater. tion. The work is not indeed precisely such Sudden bursts, which seemed to be the effect a work as we had anticipated; it is more lively, of inspiration ; short sentences, which came more picturesque, more amusing than we had like ligntning, dazzling, burning, striking down promised ourselves, and it is, on the other everything before them; sentences which, hand, less profound and philosophic. Bat if spoken at critical moments, decided the fate it is not, in all respects, such as might have of great questions; sentences which at once been expected from the intellect of M. Dumont, became proverbs; sentences which everybody it is assuredly such as might have been ex stil knows by heart; in these chiefly lay the pected from his heart
LORD MAHON'S WAR OF THE SUCCESSION..
[EDINBURGH Review, 1833.]
The days when Miscellanies in Prose and Lord Mahon is also a little too fond of utter Verse, by a Person of Honour, and Romances ing moral reflections, in a style too sententious of M. Scuderi, done into English by a Person and oracular. We will give one instance: of Quality, were attractive to readers and pro- “Strange as it seems, experience shows that hitable to booksellers, have long gone by. The we usually feel far more animosity against literary privileges once enjoyed by lords are those whom we have injured, than against as obsolete as their right to kill the king's deer those who injure us: and this remark holds on their way to Parliament, or as their old re- good with every degree of intellect, with every medy of scandalum magnatum. Yet we must class of fortune, with a prince or a peasant, acknowledge that, though our political opi- a stripling or an elder, a hero or a prince.' nions are by no means aristocratical, we This remark might have seemed strange at always feel kindly disposed towards noble the court of Nimrod or Chedorlaomer; but it authors. Industry and a taste for intellectual has now been for many generations consider. pleasures are peculiarly respectable in those ed as a truism rather than a paradox. Every who can afford to be idle, and who have every man has written on the thesis “ Odisse quem temptation to be dissipated. It is impossible laseris.” Scarcely any lines in English poetry not to wish success to a man who, finding are better known than that vigorous couplet: himself placed, without any exertion or any “Forgiveness to the injured dnes belong ; merit on his part, above the mass of society, But they ne'er pardon who have done the wrong." voluntarily descends from his eminence in
The historians and philosophers have quite search of distinctions which he may justly done with this maxim, and have abandoned it, call his own.
like other maxims which have lost their gloss, This is, we think, the second appearance of to bad novelists, by whom it will very soon be Lord Mahon in the character of an author.
worn to rags. His first book was creditable to him, but was
It is no more than justice to say, that the in every respect inferior to the work which faults of Lord Mahon's book are precisely now lies before us. He has undoubtedly some those faults which time seldom fails to cure; of the most valuable qualities of an historian- and that the book, in spite of its faults, is a great diligence in examining authorities, great valuable addition to our historical literature. Judgment in weighing testimony, and great Whoever wishes to be well acquainted with impartiality in estimating characters. We the morbid anatomy of governments, whoever are not aware that he has in any instance wishes to know how great states may be made forgotten the duties belonging to his literary feeble and wretched, should study the history functions in the feelings of a kinsman. He of Spain. The empire of Philip the Second does no more than justice to his ancestor
was undoubtedly one of the most powerful and Stanhope: he does full justice to Stanhope's splendid that ever existed in the world. In enemies and rivals. His narrative is very Europe he ruled Spain, Portugal, the Nether. perspicuous, and is also entitled to the praise, lands on both sides of the Rhine, Franche seldom, we grieve to say, deserved by modern Comté, Roussillon, the Milanese, and the Two writers, of being very concise. It must be Sicilies. Tuscany, Parma, and the other small admitted, however, that, with many of the best states of Italy were as completely dependent qualities of a literary veteran, he has some of on him as thé Nizam and the Rajah of Berar the faults of a literary novice. He has no
now are on the East India Company. In Asia, great command of words. His style is seldom the King of Spain was master of the Philipeasy, and is sometimes unpleasantly stiff
. He pines, and of all those rich settlements which is so bigoted a purist, that he transforms the the Portuguese had made on the coasts of Atbé d'Estrées into an Abbot. We do not like Malabar and Coromandel, in the Peninsula of to see French words introduced into English Malacca, and in the Spice Islands of the Eastcomposition; but, after all, the first law of ern Archipelago. In America, his dominions writing, that law to which all other laws are extended on each side of the equator into the subordinate, is this—that the words employed temperate zone. There is reason to believe shall be such as convey to the reader the that his annual revenue amounted, in the sea. meaning of the writer. Now an Abbot is the son of his greatest power, to four millions sterhead of a religious house; an Abbé is quite a ling; a sum eight times as large as that which different sort of person. It is better undoubt- England yielded to Elizabeth. He had a standedly to use an English word than a French ing army of fifty thousand excellent troops, at word; but it is better to use a French word a time when England had not a single battalion than to misuse an English word.
in constant pay. His ordinary naval force
consisted of a hundred and forty galleys. He • History of the War of the Succession in Spain. By has held, the dominion both of the land and of
held, what no other prince in modern times
LORD MAHON. London: 1832.
the sea. During the greater part of his reign claimed by the grave and haughty chiefs who he was supreme on both elements. His sol- surrounded the throne of Ferdinand the Catho. diers marched up to the capital of France; his lic, and of his immediate successors. That ships menaced the shores of England. majestic art, "premere imperio populos," was not
It is no exaggeration to say, that during se- better understood by the Romans in the proudveral years, his power over Europe was greater est days of their republic, than by Gonsalvo than even that of Napoleon. The influence and Ximenes, Cories and Alva. The skill of the French conqueror never extended be- of the Spanish diplomatists was renowned gond low-water mark. The narrowest strait throughout Europe. In England the name of was to his power what it was of old believed Gondomar is still remembered. The sovereign that a running stream was to the sorceries of nation was unrivalled both in regular and ir. a witch. While his army entered every me- regular warfare. The impetuous chivalry of tropolis, from Moscow to Lisbon, the English France, the serried phalanx of Switzerland, fleets blockaded every port, from Dantzic to were alike found wanting when brought face Trieste. Sicily, Sardinia, Majorca, Guernsey, to face with the Spanish infantry. In the wars enjoyed security through the whole course of of the New World where something Jifferent a war which endangered every throne on the from ordinary strategy was required in the continent. The victorious and imperial na- general, and something different from ordinary tion, which had filled its museums with the discipline in the soldier--where it was every spoils of Antwerp, of Florence, and of Rome, day necessary to meet by some new expedient was suffering painfully from the want of the varying tactics of a barbarous enemy, the luxuries which use had 'rendered necessaries. Spanish adventurers, sprung from the common While pillars and arches were rising to com- people, displayed a fertility of resource, and a memorate the French conquests, the conquer- talent for negotiation and command, to which ors were trying to make coffee out of succory, history scarcely affords a parallel. and sugar out of beet-root. The influence of The Castilian of those times was to the Philip on the continent was as great as that Italian what the Roman, in the days of the of Napoleon. The Emperor of Germany was greatness of Rome, was to the Greek. The his kinsman. France, torn by religious dis- conqueror had less ingenuity, less taste, less sensions, was never a formidable opponent, delicacy of perception than the conquered; but and was sometimes a dependent ally. At the far more pride, firmness, and courage; a more same time, Spain had what Napoleon desired solemn demeanour, a stronger sense of honour. in vain-ships, colonies, and commerce. She The one had more subtilty in speculation, the long monopolized the trade of America and of other more energy in action. The vices of the ihe Indian Ocean. All the gold of the West, one were those of a coward; the vices of the and all the spices of the East, were received other were those of a tyrant. It may be added, and distributed by her. During many years that the Spaniard, like the Roman, did not disof war, her commerce was interrupted only dain to study the arts and the language of those by the predatory enterprises of a few roving whom he oppressed. A revolution took place privateers. Even after the defeat of the Ar- in the literature of Spain, not unlike to that mada, English statesmen continued to look revolution which, as Horace tells us, took with great dread on the maritime power of place in the poetry of Latium; “Capta ferum Philip. “The King of Spain,” said the Lord victorem cepit." The slave took prisoner the Keeper to the two Houses in 1593, “since he enslaver. The old Castilian ballads gave hath usurped upon the kingdom of Portugal, place to sonnets in the style of Petrarch, and hath thereby grown mighty by gaining the io heroic poems in the stanza of Ariosto; as East Indies; so as, how great soever he was the national songs of Rome were driven out before, he is now there by manifestly more great. by imitations of Theocritus and translations
... He keepeth a navy armed to impeach all from Menander. trade of merchandise from England to Gas- In no modern society, not even in England coigne and Guienne, which he attempted to do | during the reign of Elizabeth, has there been this last vintage; so as he is now become as so great a number of men eminent at once in a frontier cnemy to all the west of England, as literature and in the pursuits of active life, as well as all the south parts, as Sussex, Hamp- Spain produced during the sixteenth century. shire, and the Isle of Wight. Yea, by means Almost every distinguished writer was also of his interest in St. Maloes, a port full of ship- distinguished as a soldier and a politician. ping for the war, he is a dangerous neighbour Boscan bore arms with high reputation. Garto the queen's isles of Jersey and Guernsey, cilasso de Vega, the author of the sweetest and ancient possessions of this crown, and never most graceful pastoral poem of modern times, conquered in the greatest wars with France.” after a short but splendid military career, fell
The ascendency which Spain then had in sword in hand at the head of a storming party. Europe, was, in one sense, well deserved. It Alonzo de Ercilla bore a conspicuous part in was an ascendency which had been gained by that war of Arauco, which he afterwards cele. anquestioned superiority in all the arts of brated in the best heroic poem that Spain has policy and of war. In the sixteenth century, produced. Hurtado de Mendoza, whose poems İtaly was not more decidedly the land of the have been compared to those of Horace, ana finė arts, Germany was not more decidedly whose charming little novel is evidently the mo. the land of bold theological speculation, than del of Gil Blas, has been handed down to us by Spain was the land of statesmen and of sol- history as one of the sternest of those iron pro diers. The character which Virgil has as- consuís, who were employed by the house of cribed to his countrym en might have been Austria to crush the lingering public spiri: of
Italy. Scope sailed in the Armada ; Cervantes | less bigots. The glory of the Spanish pench was wounded at Lepanto.
had departed with Velasquez and Murillo It is curious to consider with how much awe The splendid age of Spanish úterature had our ancestors in those times regarded a Spa- closed with Solis and Calderon. During the niard. He was, in their apprehension, a kind seventeenth century many states had formed of demon, horribly malevolent, but withal most great military establishments. But the Spasagacious and powerful. “They be verye nish army, so formidable under the command wyse and politicke,” says an honest English. of Alva and Farnese, had dwindled away to a man, in a memorial addressed to Mary, “and few thousand men, ill paid and ill disciplined. can, thorowe ther wysdome, reform and bry- England, Holland, and France had great navies. dell theyr owne natures for a tyme, and applye Bui the Spanish navy was scarcely equal to their conditions to the maners of those men the tenth part of that mighty force which, in the with whom they meddell gladlye by friend time of Philip the Second, had been the terror shippe; whose mischievous maners a man of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The shall never knowe untyll he come under ther arsenals were deserted. The magazines were subjection: but then shall he parfectlye par- unprovided. The frontier fortresses were unceyve and fele them: which thyßge I praye garrisoned. The police was utterly inefficieni God England never do; for in dissimulations for the protection of the people. Murders were untyll they have ther purposes, and afterwards committed in the face of day with perfect im in oppression and tyrannye, when they can ob- punity. Bravoes and discarded serving-men, tayne them, they do exceed all other nations with swords at their sides, swaggered every upon the earthe.” This is just such language day through the most public street and squares as Arminius would have used about the Ro- of the capital, disturbing the public peace, and mans, or as an Indian statesman of our times setting at defiance the ministers of justice. would use about the English. It is the lan- The finances were in frightful disorder. The guage of a man burning with hatred, but cowed people paid much. The government received by those whom he hates ; and painfully sensi- little. The American viceroys and the farmers ble of their superiority, not only in power, but of the revenue became rich, while the mer. in intelligence.
chants broke, while the peasantry starved, But how art thou fallen from heaven, oh while the body-servants of the sovereign re. Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou mained unpaid, while the soldiers of the royal cut down to the ground, that didst weaken the guard repaired daily to the doors of convents, nations! If we overleap a hundred years, and and battled there with the crowd of beggars look at Spain towards the close of the seven- for a porringer of broth and a morsel of bread. teenth century, what a change do we find! Every remedy which was tried aggravated the The contrast is as great as that which the disease. The currency was altered; and this Rome of Gallienus and Honorius presents to frantic measure produced its never-failing the Rome of Marius and Cæsar. Foreign con- effects. It destroyed all credit, and increased quests had begun to eat into every part of that the misery which it was intended to relieve. gigantic monarchy on which the sun never The American gold, to use the words of Ortiz, SA Holland was gone, and Portugal, and was to the necessities of the state but as a Artois, and Roussillon, and Franche Comté. drop of water to the lips of a man raging with In the East, the empire founded by the Dutch thirst. Heaps of unopened despatches accufar surpassed in wealth and splendour that mulated in the offices, while the ministers were which their old tyrants still retained. In the concerting with the bedehamber-women and West, England had seized, and still held, seule- Jesuits the means of tripping up each other. tlements in the midst the Mexican sea. The Every foreign power could plunder and Insult mere loss of territory was, however, of little with impunity the heir of Charles the Fifth. moment. The reluctant obedience of distant Into such a state had the mighty kingdom of provinces generally costs more than it is Spain fallen, while one of its smallest depend. worth.
encies—a country not so large as the proEmpires which branch out widely are often vince of Estremadura or Andalusia, situated more flourishing for a little timely pruning. under an inclement sky, and preserved only by Adrian acted judiciously when he abandoned artificial means from the inroads of the ccean the conquests of Trajan. England was never —had become a power of the first class, and so rich, so great, so formidable to foreign treated on terms of equality with the courts of princes, so absolutely mistress of the sea, as London and Versailles. after the loss of her American colonies. The The manner in which Lord Mahon explains Spanish empire was still, in outward appear- the financial situation of Spain by no means ance, great and magnificent. The European satisfies us. “It will be found,” says hc, “that dominions subject to the last feeble prince of those individuals deriving their chief income the house of Austria were far more extensive from mines whose yearly produce is unceriain than those of Louis The Fourteenth. The and varying, and seems to spring rather from Anerican dependencies of the Castilian crown fortune than to follow industry, are usually still extended to the north of Cancer and to the careless, unthrifty, and irregular in their ex south of Capricorn. But within this immense penditure. The example of Spain might tempt body there was an incurable decay, an utter us to apply the same remark to states.” Lord want of tone, an utter prostration of strength. Mahon would find it difficult, we suspect, to An ingenious and diligent population, emi- make out his analogy. Nothing could be more nently skilled in arts and manufactures had uncertain and varying than the gains and losses been driven into exile by stupid and remorse-l of those who were in the habit of putting into
the state lotteries. But no part of the public had been stirred to its inmost depths. The income was more certain than that which was hold of ancient prejudice had been somewhat derived from the lotteries. We believe that loosened. The Church of Rome, warned by this case is very similar to that of the Ameri- the danger which she had narrowly escaped, dan mines. Some veins of ore exceeded ex- had, in those parts of her dominion, assumed pectation, some fell below it. Some of the a milder and more liberal character. She privale speculators drew blanks, and others sometimes condescended 10 submit her high gained prizes. But the revenue of the state pretensions to the scrutiny of reason, and depended not on any particular vein, but on availed herself more sparingly than in former the whole annual produce of two great conti- times of the aid of the secular arm. Even nents. This annual produce seems to have when persecution was employed, it was not been almost constantly on the increase during persecution in the worst and most frightful the seventeenth century. The Mexican mines shape. The severities of Louis the Fourteenth, were, through the reigns of Philip the Fourth odious as they were, connot be compared with and Charles the Second, in a steady course of those which, at the first dawn of the Reformaimprovement; and in South America, though tion, had been inflicted on the here:ics in many the district of Potosi was not so productive as parts of Europe. formerly, other places more than made up for The only effect which the Reformation had the def ciency. We very much doubt whether produced in Spain had been to make the InLord Mahon can prove that the income which quisition more vigilant and the commonalty the Spanish government derived from the mines more bigoted. The times of refreshing came of America fluctuated more than the income to all neighbouring countries. One people derived from the internal taxes of Spain itself. reinained, like the fleece of the Hebrew war
All the causes of the decay of Spain resolve rior, dry in the midst of that benignant and themselves into one cause-bad government. fertilizing dew. While other nations were putThe valour, the intelligence, the energy, which ting away childish things, the Spaniard still at the close of the fifteenth and the beginning thought as a child and understood as a child. of the sixteenth century made the Spaniards Among the men of the seventeenth century he the first nation in the world, were the fruits of was the man of the fifteenth century, or of a the old institutions of Castile and Arragon- still darker period-delighted to behold an auto institutions which were eminently favourable da-se, and ready to volunteer on a crusade. to public liberty. Those institutions the first The evils produced by a bad governm princes of the house of Austria attacked and and a bad religion seemed to have attain almost wholly destroyed. Their successors ex- their greatest height during the last years o piated the crime. The effects of a change from the seventeenth century. While the kingdom good government to bad government is not was in this deplorable state, the king was fully felt for some time after the change has hastening to an early grave. His days had taken place. The talents and the virtues which been few and evil. He had been unfortunate a good constitution generates may for a time in all his wars, in every part of his internal survive that constitution. Thus the reigns of administration, and in all his domestic rela. princes who have established absolute mo- tions. His first wife, whom he tenderly loved, narchy on the ruins of popular forms of go- died very young. His second wife exercised vernment often shine in history with a peculiar great influence over him, but seems to have brilliancy. But when a generation or two has been regarded by him rather with fear than passed away, then comes signally to pass that with love. He was childless; and his constiwhich was written by Montesquieu, ihat des- tution was so completely shattered, that at little potic governments resemble those savages who more than thirty years of age he had given up cut down the tree in order to get at the fruit. all hopes of posterity. His mind was even During the first years of tyranny is reaped the more distempered than his body. He was harvest sown during the last years of liberty. sometimes sunk in listless melancholy, and Thus the Augustan age was rich in great minds sometimes harassed by the wildest and most formed in the generation of Cicero and Cæsar. extravagant fancies. He was not, however, The fruits of the policy of Augustus were re-wholly destitute of the feelings which became served for posterity, Philip the Second was his station. His suíferings were aggravated the heir of the Cortes and of the Justiza Mayor, by the thought that his own dissolution might and they left him a nation which seemed able not improbably be followed by the dissolution to conquer all the world. What Philip left to of his empire. his successors is well known.
Several princes laid claim to the succession. The shock which the great religious schism The king's eldest sister had married Louis 'he of the sixteenth century gave to Europe was Fourteenth. The Dauphin wonld, therefore, in scarcely felt in Spain. In England, Germany, the common course of inheritance, have muc Holland, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Swe- ceeded to the crown. But the Infanta ha 1, at den, that shock had produced, with some tem- the time of her espousals, solemnly renounced, porary evil, much durable good. The princi- in her own name and in that of her po: cerity, ples of the Reformation had triumphed in some all claim to the succession. This renuncias of those countries. The Catholic Church had had been confirmed in due form by the Crtes. maintained its ascendency in others. But A younger sister of the king had been the firs: though the event had not been the same in all, wife of Leopold, Emperor of Germany. She, all had been agitated by the conflict. Even in too, had at her marriage renounced her claims France, in Southern Germany, and in the Ca- to the Spanish crowu, at the Cartes had no wholic cantons of Switzerland, the public mind sanctioned the renunciation, and it was there