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ac vibicum messem reportant.' p. 64.-' pecuniosos istos negotiatores probè emunxit.' p. 65. Neither can we approve of the historian exclaiming proh dolor,' or uttering a sentiment hardly worthy of an epigram, Mortem Hylæ quàm Thersiti nihilò æquiorem expertus.' p. 106. But we would by no means insinuate that these faults are numerous.
On the contrary, we cannot take our leave of Dr. Whitaker without many acknowledgments for the pleasure which he has afforded us, by the perusal of a work written with so much learning and elegance. If it had possessed little merit, we should not have thought it deserving of that rigorous examination which we have here pursued; but the more authority the book is likely to possess from its good qualities, the more necessary is it to mark out those which it would be wrong to imitate. Indeed the attempt itself is one which fairly challenges severity: for according to the well known law of Horace, what is a needless luxury ought always to be excellent in its kind. We can do well enough without it; and therefore, if it be produced at all, let it be good. There is indeed a low and apparently a malignant disposition often manifested, to deride every attempt at this sort of literature: but why it should be less an object of taste to cultivate this region, than any other which is known to be productive of a pure and refined pleasure, we have never heard, and never could discover; while the difficulty of the undertaking must, according to every rule of judging, redound to the credit of the artist who succeeds. Nor should it be reckoned among the least of its advantages that it incidentally renders the scholar familiar with the best ancient writers, and makes him take an impression from their works more vivid perhaps and lasting, than any other learned exercise can communicate.
If Dr. Whitaker should be called upon for another edition, we would recommend the accompaniment of a map, a few explanatory notes, and an index of names, similar to that in Man's excellent edition of Buchanan, printed at Aberdeen.
ART. V. Brief Observations on the Address to his Majesty, proposed by Earl Grey, in the House of Lords, 13th June, 1810. By William Roscoe. Svo. pp. 44. Cadell and Davies. London. 1811.
IT is somewhat curious to trace historically the opinions of the noble person whose speech gave occasion to the pamphlet before us, and of that party of which he is now the head, relative to
the war. For many years it was the theme of their invective; 'unjust,' absurd,' wicked,' were among the epithets constantly bestowed upon it, and Mr. Grey, in particular, seldom suffered a session to pass without a vehement philippic against the whole foreign policy of Mr. Pitt, and a motion of which the tendency was to compel the government to make peace upon almost any terms. In the same pacific spirit he defended the treaty of Amiens, and opposed the renewal of the war in 1803. Not long after, however, both he and Mr. Fox formed a close union with a nobleman who had been always understood to carry the war principle farther, perhaps, than any other member of Mr. Pitt's cabinet, and who had been the avowed author and defender of the particular steps most loudly censured by his new allies.
From that moment a considerable alteration was observable in the tone of the Whig part of opposition in all that regarded the question of war and peace. It was necessary to make some sacrifices in order to preserve an union formed with a view to purposes far more important than either war or peace. Lord Grenville, too, was complaisant enough to meet them part of the way, and as they became much more warlike, he became a little more pacific, and the once formidable difference was soon reduced to a mere shade. This was quite natural. They thought it desirable to give us peace abroad; but they were too well acquainted with the due subordination of objects, not to feel that it was infinitely more important to give us a good government at home. Such was the state of things at the death of Mr. Pitt, when the combined forces took possession of the government.
No reasonable person expected, few wished for peace; but still something was to be done to save the consistency of Mr. Fox and his friends; and Lord Lauderdale was therefore sent to present our petition for peace, with due humility, at the gate of the Thuilleries. But the Earl of Lauderdale, though supposed to unite in himself all the Homeric qualities of an ambassador, and assisted, moreover, by a' sçavant' of the first order, was not more favourably received by Buonaparte than the emissary of Mr. Pitt, Lord Malmesbury, had been by the Directory some years before. After a few weeks of honourable confinement, and a great deal of clumsy negociation, which only served to puzzle, though it could not essentially weaken the best and clearest cause with which any country ever appeared before the tribunal of the world, Lord Lauderdale was recalled just time enough to save him from the disgrace of being sent away. The concluding part of this transaction had been conducted by Lord Grey, and the unfortunate termination of it appears to have completed his conversion.
In his speech upon the rupture of the negociation in the ensuing
session of Parliament, he poured forth all the vials of his wrath upon France and its Emperor, whom he assailed in terms of more bitter and personal invective than those which he had so much censured Mr. Pitt for employing against the same personage. Since that period Lord Grey has been a steady supporter of the war, and in a proposed address to his Majesty, last session, which is carefully and elaborately written, and understood to contain a summary of his political creed, he records his solemn opinion, that however desirable peace may be in itself, still both the character of the French Emperor, and the situation of the world, are such as would render all present attempts on our part to obtain it, worse than hopeless.
How far his latter opinions are consistent with his early doctrines, we shall not stop to inquire. We think, however, that we should find some difficulty in discovering why peace, which would have been safe with Robespierre, is not so with Buonaparte, or why Buonaparte himself is less to be trusted now than seven years ago, when Mr. Fox assured us that he had taken a pacific, and commercial turn. To us, republican appeared as dangerous as imperial France; and we thought the First Consul of 1803, as sanguinary, as perfidious, as unchangeably bent upon the destruction of the only remaining obstacle to his ambition, as Napoleon now seems to the eyes of Lord Grey.
But different degrees of proof are required to produce conviction on different understandings; and, to do Lord Grey justice, the same change which has taken place in his mode of thinking on this question occurred, nearly at the same time, in a class of persons too large to allow us to ascribe it to any of those motives, which in an uncharitable view of his Lordship's conduct, might be imputed to a statesman. The bulk of the Foxite party (in and out of Parliament) is, we believe, now convinced that peace could not be made, or if it could be made, that it could not be maintained. Even Mr. Whitbread, whose opinions are not easily shaken, and who had long adhered to peace with a constancy which would seem due rather to an eternal and immutable principle, than to a question of necessarily varying policy, appears at last to have begun to suspect that Buonaparte's ambition is of a nature not to be appeased by any slight sacrifices; and that the present state of the world is not, of all others, the most propitious to negociation.
With respect to Lord Grey, however, we are glad to have his aid on almost any terms, whether against our foreign or domestic enemies-whether on the subject of peace or reform. Provided we have him substantially with us upon these important points, provided we have the benefit of his character and eloquence, we are perfectly willing to allow him the benefit of any little salvos and explanations
explanations that may be necessary, in order to prevent his present warlike and constitutional creed from standing in too glaring a contrast with that which he professed as a mover for negociations and a friend to the people.' It has never been the practice of the church-indeed prudence and mercy alike forbid it-to enjoin a severe penance to an illustrious proselyte; and if Lord Grey's faith is sound, we shall neither be desirous to reproach him with his early heresies, nor to inflict upon him the pain of a formal recantation.
The bulk of the party, as we have already said, have changed their doctrine after the example of their leader-or, to say the least, have yielded to a course of events which made those doctrines inapplicable to the actual state of the world. But opinions it seems, like fashions, travel slowly into the country. Mr. Roscoe, of Liverpool, finally retired, after a short parliamentary career, to his native town, continues to indulge in speculations about universal peace and philanthropy. With an amiable simplicity, he is surprised, as well as grieved, that Lord Grey has ceased to move for negociation; and still more, that he should advise the House of Peers to pledge itself in the strongest terms to support the King in prosecuting the war and he has chosen to give vent to his wonder and lamentation by the customary mode of a pamphlet. We know not what may be done for them by their humbler artists in dress and furniture; but we can take upon us to assure the good people of Liverpool, that their philosopher and politician is at least ten years behind in the form of those public articles, which he manufactures chiefly (we imagine) for their use.
Our expectations from this performance were not unreasonable; but moderate as they were, they have still been disappointed. What we knew of Mr. Roscoe's former works had not taught us to expect much vigour of reasoning upon political subjects; and we were too well acquainted with his prejudices, to imagine that his views upon the great question of peace and war were likely to be very accurate or very comprehensive. But we did expect some argument and some novelty, and we took for granted that he would consider the question with reference to the present state of the world, that he would point out some dangers from the war of which we have not been already warned, and open to us some securities in peace to which those who had written and spoken on the subject had not sufficiently attended. We thought he would offer some reason for supposing that Buonaparte was at present inclined to give peace to the world-that he would explain the way in which (in his apprehension at least) we might venture to treat, without casting a fatal damp upon that spirit of resistance which still exists in some parts of Europe, and of which we should be anxious again to avail ourselves if the negociation ended unfavourably. Above all,
all, we wished to know in what manner the friends of immediate peace proposed to extricate us from that complicated system of relations in which we have been unavoidably engaged with powers whose existence Buonaparte refuses to recognize. Our readers will probably be surprised to hear, that on no one of these subjects has Mr. Roscoe deigned to touch. His philosophy will not descend to investigate such minute points. The greater part of his pamphlet might have been written, and for any thing we know, was written a dozen years ago. He deplores and reprobates (as in a former publication or two, of which we have some faint recollection) the conduct which engaged this country in the war-a war occasioned (as all the world knows) by the wickedness and rapacity of kings and ministers; who, by their insolent manifestos, exasperated the gentle and unambitious people of France, filled their hearts with projects of aggrandizement never before entertained, absolutely compelled them, in their own defence, to overrun three parts of Europe, and in a barbarous and unchristian man→ ner forced them to plunder their Church, exile their Nobility, murder their King, and abolish their Religion. He shews with great pathos and irresistible power of reasoning, that the prosperity of one nation is not necessarily founded upon the depression of another; and that if France and England would but agree, they would be a great deal richer and happier than in their present state of warfare. All this is very edifying, but not very new. We come, however, at last (p. 22) to a passage, which both by the novelty of its opinion, and the singularity of the reasoning on which it is made to rest, more than compensates for the triteness of the preceding pages. Having shewn, in the first place, that France is not likely to acquire a navy in time of peace, (which we have often heard before,) he proceeds to prove (a doctrine which we take to be exclusively his own) that she is more likely to accomplish that object in war. He reasons thus: The allied powers made an army necessary to France by invading her, and she formed an invincible army--we are now making a navy equally necessary; (by destroying her commerce, and subjecting her to many painful privations ;) therefore France will have a navy.'
Lest our readers should suspect us of misconceiving his argument, we shall give his own words:
That France should ever arrive at such a degree of maritime power as to become formidable to this country, there is but one chance, and that is, by our continuance of the present war. In the early periods of her revolution, France was not less inferior to her numerous adversaries in military strength, resources, and experience, than she is now in naval power to this country; but being driven on by her enemies, either to subinission or resistance, she has, amidst dangers and calamities,