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'O'Connell pointed out an island, on which he told me that he had ordered an ox to be landed that he might fatten on the rich and undisturbed herbage. After some days the animal took such decided possession of the island, that he was furious if any body attempted to land on it, and attacked and drove away even the fishermen who used to dry their nets on the shore. He was often seen, like Jupiter under his transformation, with uplifted tail and glaring eyes, bounding furiously along to reconnoitre the bounds of his domain, and to see if any intruder dared to approach. The emancipated ox at last became so troublesome and dangerous, that they were obliged to shoot him. This appeared to me a good satire on the love of liberty, which, as soon as it has gained the power it seeks, degenerates into violence and tyranny; and the association of ideas brought many comical images involuntarily before my mind.'
We acknowledge the charm of the Irish character even in its failings. It is a charm which the vices of the higher classes, and the crimes of the lower, cannot destroy. We excuse a stranger also for confounding together the past grievances and the actual miseries of Ireland. In this respect, the Prince's sympathies are right, even when his facts are most unfounded, and his reasoning most absurd. The present state of that divided country-the destitution and passions of its multitudinous pauper population-the indifference, selfishness, and intractableness of too many of their superiors-the still more unprincipled exercise of a more than rival power on the part of the popular apostles of perpetual agitation-constitute as difficult a problem as was ever submitted to the discretion of a government. Were either of the extreme parties, as represented by Lord Farnham and O'Connell, to become ascendant, they would rush from opposite points to opposite objects-but would arrive at the same result-the ruin of their country. A wise and honest government can side with neither, and must therefore be unpopular with both. As long as Irish rents are payable to an Aristocracy chiefly resident in England, and Irish tithe is levied to maintain a Protestant church, the Prince sees no hope for a better state of things. The cry for a local legislature, and for the havoc which poor-laws in such a community must make of the property of the rich, of the industry of the poor, and of the resources of a nation, completes the chorus. When such projects-all of difficult-some of impossible-application, are a few of the only remedies for accumulated disorders, it seems to be one of the strangest visions of our Prince, that on becoming a capitalist, he is bent on settling as a landed proprietor, and leading a patriarchal life in Ireland. The execution of this project would, we fear, tend grievously to disturb the frame of mind which the following reflections so gracefully express. There is about
VOL LIV. NO. CVIII.
them a soundness, a charitableness, and cheerfulness, which, if the feeling is genuine-and we see no reason to conclude it to be otherwise-will assuredly some day or other rectify most of his defects of understanding; replace his thoughtless illnature by a more uniform and kindly consideration of others; and give a concentration and dignity to those scattered and feeble elements, which seem floating up and down his character at present irresolutely enough. There is much in them of the great redeeming qualities, of the straight-forwardness, the real freshness and heartiness, by which the noble portion of German literature is so generously contrasted with the French.
What has often and bitterly vexed me, is to hear people lament the wretchedness of this life, and call the world a vale of sorrows. This is not only the most crying ingratitude (humanly speaking), but the true sin against the Holy Ghost. Is not enjoyment and wellbeing manifestly throughout the world the positive natural state of animated beings? Is not suffering, evil, organic imperfection or distortion, the negative shadow of this general brightness? Is not creation a continual festival to the healthy eye, the contemplation of which, and of its splendour and beauty, fills the heart with adoration and delight? And were it only the daily sight of the enkindling sun, and the glittering stars, the green of the trees, and the gay and delicate beauty of flowers, the joyous song of birds, and the luxuriant abundance and rich animal enjoyment of all living things,-it would give us good cause to rejoice in life. But how much still more wondrous wealth is unfolded in the treasures of our own minds? What mines are laid open by love, art, science, the observation and history of our own race, and, in the deepest deep of our souls, the pious reverential sentiment of God and his universal work? Truly we were less ungrateful were we less happy; and but too often we stand in need of suffering to make us conscious of this. A cheerful grateful disposition is a sort of sixth sense, by which we perceive and recognise happiness. He who is fully persuaded of its existence, may, like other unthinking children, break out into occasional complaints, but will sooner return to reason; for the deep and intense feeling of the happiness of living, lies like a rose-coloured ground in his inmost heart, and shines softly through the darkest figures which fate can draw upon it.'
The praise of Göthe, and the uncommon excellence of the translation, have induced us to take more notice of this work than it would otherwise have deserved. The author appears in it injudicious, precipitate, and theatrical-of fickle character, and sickly sentiment-but with some taste in the arts, and with considerable talent for sketching off dramatic, at least buffa, scenes. The most objectionable part of the book, after all, is its personality. Yet this, we fear, is the very part to which it
has been most indebted for its success. So much the worse for the miserable spirit of the public-of the class, at least, which forms the great body of indolent consumers, to whom our ephemeral literature is daily bread. The translator of the present volumes has been long desirous of devoting her singular accomplishments to the honourable object of naturalizing in our kindred idiom some of the classical and elevating works with which the literature of Germany abounds. But, alas for our vitiated taste, or rather appetite! Booksellers, like the managers of theatres, are obliged to consult their customers. Shakspeare, accordingly, makes way for Martin and his beasts. The masterpieces of Schiller and Göthe continue untranslated, whilst the Tour of Prince Pückler Muskau has been bought up in a month.
ART. VI.-1. Speech of Viscount Palmerston on the Affairs of Portugal: May 1, 1829.
2. Speech of Hyde Villiers, Esq., M. P., on the Commercial Relations of England and Portugal: 15th June, 1830.
3. Exposé des Droits de sa Majesté tres Fidèle Dona Maria II., et de la question Portugaise; avec des pièces justificatives, et documens.
4. Papers relative to Portugal, and to the British and French demands upon the Government of that Country. Printed by order of the House of Commons: 1831.
AT the close of the war in 1814, Portugal was left rich in military glory, but poor in all those blessings which constitute the happiness and prosperity of a nation. Her king, and many of her nobles, were absentees, forming a court in one of those many dependencies which, in the days of her splendour, she had scarcely considered as the most important of her possessions. Her agriculture had been nearly destroyed by the desolating presence of contending armies, that had torn up her groves of oranges, her vineyards, and her olive grounds-that had trampled down her corn-fields, and by too frequently depriving the husbandman of the ripening fruits of his labour, had driven him in despair to join the ranks of war, while his tenantless farm and barren fields were left to await the return of peace. The opening of the ports of South America, though a measure just in itself, dried up the last remaining peculiar source that fed the slender commerce of Lisbon. The few manufactories that had existed before the war, were destroyed or deserted. Education was less attended to, and the control of the laws even less effi
cient than before the struggle, while the restraints of social and domestic intercourse were paralysed or disregarded. Meanwhile, too, many of the frank, hospitable, loyal peasantry of the country had, by the exercise or the sufferings of war, become hardened, sanguinary, profligate, and unsettled in their habits and dispositions. Such are the cankerous and fearful scars that war, glorious war, leaves on the faces of those countries on which it inflicts its visitations. Happy in our insular position, our acquaintance with this badge of the world's curse consists only in a superficial notion of daring achievements, brilliant illuminations, a few tears, and a memorable load of debt. In Portugal, the melancholy knowledge was far deeper and more intimate; but while there was much of misery, still there was something of good. If evil passions had been let loose, counteracting ennobling sentiments had been implanted. There was the national self-applause of a flagitious invasion nobly repelled; there were sown the hardy seeds of valour, endurance, self-possession, and discipline; there was the individual proud consciousness of having deserved well of one's country; and, if it seem not like prejudice and arrogance for Englishmen to say it, we may add, there were the benefits of many years close connexion and co-operation with English armies and English officers, -with English probity, judgment, honour, and independence.
The kings of the continent, when at length they warred successfully against Bonaparte, banded together in the name of freedom; their conquering cry was national independence, coupled with the promise of free constitutions in the place of despotism. With these wings they flew onwards from Dresden to the capital of their enemy. He was deposed, and, after a second struggle, sent to perish on a rock in the Atlantic. Qualified charters of liberty were bestowed on France and the Netherlands; a few, still more restricted, were dealt out with a niggard hand to one or two of the German states; while others, as that of Poland, were proclaimed only to be infringed ere the ink which wrote them was dry; and many were withheld altogether. These evasions, infractions, and denials of royal pledges, caused troubles in every part of the continent. There was deepseated, though little active discontent in Germany. The more lively temperaments of the south broke forth into rebellion, and successively proclaimed the free constitutions of Naples, Turin, Spain, and Portugal.
In 1820, Portugal followed the example of Spain. She was ripe for revolt. The minds of the more intelligent portion of the nation had, at the close of the war, looked forward, if not to a change, at
least to a less corrupt administration of the institutions of their country; while those whose fortunes and estates had suffered by the war, regarded peace as the harbinger of reviving prosperity. Both parties were miserably disappointed. Meanwhile those whose fortunes had been made, and whose early life had been spent amidst the changes and peculations of war, anticipated from a revolution a rich harvest for their evil propensities. There was no restraining power save the clergy. The Regency was despised, and justly. The absent court and nobles were known only by the rents and dues which they drained from their parent country, to feed the ill-considered splendour of Rio. The peasantry were poor and oppressed; the idlers of the large towns were vicious, and without employment; the judges were corrupt; and men's minds universally unsettled. And thus, without morals, without a court, with a despised ministry and an absentee nobility, Portugal was found listening to the approaching surges of revolution, restrained only by her bigoted church: For the discipline and affections of that glorious army which had repelled the invader were lost; and that which would have been the rallying point, around which the scattered elements of order might have been formed, became the very axis of anarchy. No one can deny the benefits which Marshal Beresford conferred on the Portuguese army, by the high state of discipline to which he brought that gallant body of men, who, when they were first placed under his command, were little better than a brave and ill-armed mob. But his love of discipline carried him too far. In peace the Portuguese regiments never quit their peculiar districts; they become in fact little more than constantly embodied local militia. Lord Beresford sought to change this national system; and by rigidly enforcing a new code of discipline, unfitted to the habits, and a successive change of quarters, ruinous to the finances of the ill and unpunctually paid men and officers, rendered himself particularly unpopular. His fellow-countrymen zealously seconded his orders. But this zeal separated them from their Portuguese comrades, their companions in many a hard-fought field and nightly bivouac.
The attempt utterly failed; for Lord Beresford succeeded only in making his army factious, and throwing down the one sole remaining pillar, the only well organized and efficient branch of Portuguese authority; and, by rendering himself and his countrymen extremely unpopular, he deprived Portugal of the benefit she might have received during the coming events from their probity and experience. We have been reluctantly compelled to mark this fatal error of Lord Beresford's, because