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Sacred writers have justly described-profane writers beautifully sung, the erroneous judgments which mankind often form of what they ought to desire of Providence. To say, as we sometimes do, that Heaven can be wearied with mortal en treaties, is to speak incorrectly; for nothing can for a moment interrupt the serenity of the divine mind. The object of the petitions of the good is often granted before they are heard; the petitions of the presumptuously wicked are not heard at all. But it is quite correct to say, that the priests in Portugal and Spain have often been wearied, nay sometimes entirely exhausted, in one place with deprecating what they blindly thought a serious evil; in another with imprecating what they ignorantly supposed a real good; while the former has proved an unquestionable blessing, the latter no ordinary curse. The general results have, in such cases, been found the very reverse of those on which their auditories calculated. We speak of the audis tories of the priests, in contradistinction to themselves, who, in having their inquisition and monasteries restored, have obtained the objects the dearest to their hearts. sd
In Portugal they importuned heaven with endless penances and processions, matins and vespers, and masses at noon-day, and at midnight, not to suffer their prince to be removed from them. But the French came, and Sir Sydney Smith (although he had sojourned for a season in the holy land) heeded not the vows of a whole nation, but insisted upon the necessity of im mediate embarkation. The prince obeyed with reluctance, and not till he had joined his people an imploring heaven to grant him a speedy return. The French invaders are gone most of them to the grave; and the revolutionary spirit which flits around Brazil detains the prince. He is in short where he and his people so fervently prayed he might never be and mark the consequences: Brazil has been saved,band all Europe pres served from a degrading vassalage. To perceive the truth of this paradoxical assertion, we have but to attend a little to the
well-known progress of events. It was in Portugal that the first noble stand was made against the dreaded foe; whom, for a time, none but the Omnipotent durst defy to arms. The means then employed by England were comparatively inconsiderable; and so, of course, were the results. Both, however, were equal to the occasion; and they grew, and expanded, till the whole peninsula, and France itself, saw and felt them. Nor was this all the splendour of our achievements enlightened other cabinets; their renown animated distant armies Vast combinations of wisdom and power were formed, and the will of heaven executed. But this glorious result could not have been experienced, had the supplications of an undiscerning people availed. Had the regent remained in Portugal, the cowardice of some, the treasons of others, and the gross ignorance of all, would effectually have insured the sovereignty to Napoleon.
The Spaniards too, like their neighbours, followed us to the field, and sometimes fought, and sometimes fled. They have, however, even outdone their righteous neighbours, in earnest invocations of all the saints. They did not, indeed, deprecate the surreption of their king by his imperial visitor; but they would have done so with their whole hearts, had not the latter's craft greatly exceeded their perspicacity-little aware, that that base transaction was to be the source of the only enviable enjoyment they were to have for years an imperfect taste of public freedom. With an ignorance of futurity more profound than that usually manifested by nations, they could not content themselves with the superintendence of the Cortes, but supplicated, without intermission, for the return of their beloved Ferdinand. That ill-omened event was happily delayed by the failure of an attempt by Sir George Cockburn, now Napoleon's principal keeper, to restore Ferdinand to the out-stretched arms of his people. But he has been restored-and the good that was done during his absence, he has already succeeded in completely
undoing. The Cortes is no more: South America spurns his authority; and the few who were capable of giving dignity to his sway and tranquillity to his subjects, are trodden under foot by a race of asses. It thus appears, that his captivity, which they lamented as a serious mischief, was, however, the greatest of national benefits; and that his liberation has blasted their sublunary hopes for many years. On the whole, the Portuguese are happy because all they asked from above has been denied : the Spaniards are cursed-although nothing has been withheld which they ignorantly desired. "The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate"-insomuch, that the utmost sagacity cannot divine the more important general consequences of the restoration even of Louis le Desiré.
The speech of Mr. Madison, at the opening of Congress, breathes peace and good will to this country. But he is an American who has been tried, and we must take care how we trust him. His love of peace, like his St. Helena friend's, is not such, as, at any time, to prevent him from engaging in war, if he see that any thing is to be got by it. It is plain, that our late irregular warfare with the States, has made some impression on his mind, although it is also plain, that we have succeeded but imperfectly in giving a tone to it. He talks bigly about the war, and erects his crest as if he had never seen us at the federal city. There is a treaty of commerce, it seems, which is to enrich both countries. We hear (January 19th), that it is in town, and shall, of course, see it soon. In the mean time we trust, that it does not compromise any of the rights of the Indians. It is unnecessary to add, that there is a treaty still depending, the object of which is more important than that of the one now mentioned, namely, the fixing of the boundary line between our possessions and the United States. Both are of great moment; and we wish that both were satisfactorily concluded, having a sort of presentiment that, in conducting the latter, our negociators will be outwitted.
Before these pages can meet the public eye, Farliament will be assembled, and then there will be no want of topics calcu lated to attract attention. Whatever is foreign, whatever is domestic-cvery thing, in short, which the people of England ought to know, and a good many things (as usual) which it would be better for them did they not know at the times when they will be brought forward, will be subjected to discussion, The Opposition reduced, as they now are, to a very moderate peace establishment; and the more active for being but a small body, will do all this in virtue of their acknowledged privileges; and the results of their exertions will be-not that either they or the public will be benefited, but only that they will be enployed, and the public amused.
The foreign connexions of the country necessarily render the exterior movements of the great frame of Government perceptible; the finances, however, are its heart and soul. The former have, in almost every recent case, been ably managed; the latter have been well administered to the present time; but the necessity for judicious administration exists, and will for ever exist, because no time can arrive when money will not be wanted, and when prudence in the expenditure of it will not be requisite. When the expenses of the war are ascertained and defrayed, will the savings from the reduction of the forces. be taken in lieu of the Income Tax? Mr. Pitt, who, regardless of what others might think, always did what he thought best, would probably have given the surplus to his sinking fund: but he was the founder, not the follower of systems. The gradual reduction of the public debt will henceforth be the principal object of every administration and happily the attitude and. aspect of nations are such, as to promise favorable opportunities. for proceeding in the work.
The best security, as again and again stated, for the preservation of peace, will be found in the complete humiliation of the French regicides and traitors: and, we beg to add, in the es
pousal of a Russian Princess by the hereditary Prince of Orange. We consider it to have been highly fortunate for the country, that the P. C. of Wales happened to be much out of humour with every body, when Government was so anxious that she should forthwith fall deeply in love. Had the proposed match taken place, and the prince-consort eventually been found a man on all occasions solicitous to support the wise measures of his spouse, he would have become popular, and she would, of course, have enjoyed only a divided empire in the public mind; now this she foresaw and dreaded. But His Royal Highness might have chosen à la mode Angloise to have a system, and a party of his own; a choice, the pernicious effect of which the illustrious female's knowledge of the history of her own family had taught her to abhor above all other horrible things. She therefore resolved to remain in a state, in which she could suffer neither embarrassment, nor diminution of her influence; and her doing so has prepared for the foreign union to which we attach so much value. Again, had the Prince and Princess been married, and always lived together, i. e. in the same country, both the English and the Dutch would have been dissatisfied. Ideas of undue partialities between the two Governments would have arisen, and little suspicions, and misunderstandings, more unworthy than unusual in great nations, would have ingendered such animosities as frequently render professed friends more intolerable than declared enemies. Men of rank in the Netherlands, jealous of their honor, commercial men of their interest, the people of that country would have been disposed to turn their backs upon us on the first convenient occasion. Matters willy however, be found every way different under the alliance with Russia. It will imply no alternation of residence. Russia has nothing to do with colonies; nor has she any commercial parsuits that can give umbrage in Holland. The people there will therefore be on very good terms with the Russians. But we also shall, in all probability, be on good terms with them;