Page images

“ qui ap

ing, in a man of such extraordinary them on paper, all the characteristic genius. We cannot do better than em- but evanescent varieties of their moploy, when they come to us, bis own tion and their repose. His ingenuity words. Not only, then, is every ob- is equal to his genius. ject, as a whole, of the natural size, It may be useful to mention here but also every portion of each object. the particulars of the plan of his The compass aided him in its delinea- work. The size is double-elephant tion, regulated and corrected each folio-as Cuvier says, part, even to the very fore-shortening. proche des doubles planches de la The bill, feet, legs, and claws, the Description (Denon's) de L'Egypte." very feathers as they project one be- The paper being of the finest quality yond another, have been accurately the engravings are, in every in

, measured. The birds, almost all of stance, of the exact dimensions of them, were killed by himself, and the drawings, which, without any ex. were regularly drawn on or near the ception, represent the birds, and spot. The positions, he observes, may other objects, of their natural sizeperhaps, in some instances, appear the plates are coloured in the most outré ; but such supposed exaggera- careful manner from the original tions can afford subjects of criticism drawings—the work appears in num. only to persons unacquainted with the bers, of which five are published feathered tribes, for nothing can be annually, cach number consisting of more transient or varied than the at- five plates, and the price of each numtitudes of birds. For example, the ber is two guineas, payable on deheron, when warming itself in the livery. The first volume, consisting sun, will sometimes drop its wings of one hundred plates, and representseveral inches, as if they were dislo- ing ninety-nine species of birds, of cated; the swan may often be seen many of which there are several floating with one foot extended from figures, is now published, accomthe body; and some pigeons turn panied by the volume from which quite over when playing in the air. we have given the above interesting The flowers, plants, or portions of extracts; but which is also sold by the trees which are attached to the itself, and cannot fail of finding a principal objects, have always been ready market. It is expected that chosen from amongst those in the other three volumes of equal size, vicinity of which the birds were will complete the work; and each found, and are not, as some persons volume of plates will, in like manner have thought, the trees or plants on with the first, be accompanied with which they always feed or perch. a volume of letterpress. These four We may mention, too, that Audu- volumes of letterpress will be most bon invented ways of placing birds, delightful reading to every body; dead or alive, before him while he and fit companions for those of Wilwas drawing them, so that he saw son, which we are happy to see are them still in the very attitudes he now in course of publication, in a had admired when they were free in cheap form, in Constable’s Miscelthe air, or on the bough; and, indeed, Jany, under the superintendence of without such most ingenious appa- that eminent naturalist, Professor ratus of wires and threads as he em- Jameson. In our next article on ploys, it was not in mortal man to Audubon we shall speak of Wilson, have caught as he has done, and fixed


No. VII.

What should the Peers do?

We have frequently had occasion which is the object of ambition. That to impress upon our readers the eter- the removal of disabilities, the repeal nal, and, in days such as the present, of obnoxious duties, the diminution vital importance of the observation, of burdens, being measures of relief that all popular movements are ne- producing immediate benefit, may be cessarily progressive: that those who relied on as producing beneficial concommence the agitation can maintain sequences; while the sudden contheir ascendency only by advancing cession of power may as certainly be with the stream, and that the moment expected to produce the most disasthey attempt to coerce it, they are trous effects. buried in the waves.

This truth, 3. That in France, at the comwhich the dear bought experience of mencement of the first revolution, a revolution has rendered perfectly both causes were in operation; but familiar to the Freneh, is only begin- that such were the ruinous results of ning to be understood in this coun

the sudden concession of power to try. It was for this reason, that in the people, that it overwhelmed all the beginning of this year we com- the beneficial consequences of the menced a series of papers “On Par. redress of grievances, and rendered liamentary Reform and the French Louis XVI.-a reforming monarch, Revolution;” foreseeing, before “the whose life was one uninterrupted bill” was either broached or pre- series of concessions to the peoplepared, that these two subjects were the immediate cause of the revoluinseparably connected; that the cry tion, and the most fatal sovereign to for Reform was nothing but the form the happiness of his country who which the revolutionary spirit had ever sat on the French throne. here assumed ; that those who pre- 4. That in Great Britain real grietended to guide would speedily be vances do not exist; or, if they do, mastered by it; and that the only les- they admit, through the medium of sons as to the mode of avoiding its Parliament, or of the freedom of the fury, were to be drawn from the ex- press, of open discussion and ultiperience of its effects in the neigh- mate remedy. That the ferment, bouring kingdom.

therefore, which has arisen since the The principles which we have last French revolution is owing enendeavoured to illustrate have been tirely to the passion for power. That these:

this passion, like every other passion, 1. That public discontent springs is insatiable, and increases with every from two different causes; and, ac- successive addition made to its gracording as it arises from the one or tification; and unless vigorously rethe other, requires to be met by a sisted in the outset, will acquire fresh totally different mode of treatment. strength with every victory it gains, That these causes are experienced until at length, as under the Reign suffering, and desired power. That of Terror, it becomes irresistible. the first can never be effectually re- 5. That the appetite for power once medied but by the removal of the fairly excited among a people, can grievances which occasion the irri- never, in the present state of society, tation; while the second can never be satisfied, if once it is permitted be successfully eradicated but by the to acquire its full strength by graremoval of the phantom which has tification, till universal suffrage is inflamed the passion.

obtained. That in Lafayette's words, 2. That it is impossible, therefore, “every government is to be deemed to be too rapid in removing the real an oligarchy where four millions of grievances which have excited the men give law to six millions,” and discontent, while it is impossible to therefore, that it is impossible to stop be too slow in conceding the power short of universal suffrage, either in



point of principle or expedience, Has not the cry for Reform inwhen once the precedent of yielding creased an hundred-fold since the to the popular outcry for power is executive took the lead in the proestablished.

posal for conceding power to the 6. That universal suffrage is in people? Do not the Radicals triother words the destruction of pro- umphantly boast that the Tories perty, order, and civilisation ; im- might, three months ago, have frapracticable in an old and highly peo- meda plan of moderate Reform which pled state, and necessarily destruc- would have satisfied the country; tive of capital, industry, life, and but that the time for half measures is property.

now gone by, and that they will have 7. That history convinces us, that “ the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothe danger of adhering to the con- thing but the Bill ?”– What does this stitution, and resisting innovation, is prove, but that the prospect of conincomparably less in every free state ceded power has inflamed the

pasthan that of concession during a pe- sions, and that a total change in the riod of excitement. That the exer- constitution must be made to gratify cise of social rights necessarily begets their vehemently excited expectathe desire of perpetuating them; and tions ? that this was in an especial manner It was long ago said by Lord Burthe case in England, distinguished as leigh, that the English constitution it has been in every age by attach- never could be ruined but by her ments to old institutions. That the Parliament; and the event has now resistance of the cry for Reform, often proved the wisdom of the observaand vehemently raised, had never led tion. So long as the government reto any convulsion ; while the great mained true to itself, it shook off all rebellion, and the revolution of 1688, the assaults of its enemies "like dew were owing to illegal invasion of the drops from the lion's mane.” But constitution, or the imprudent and that which neither the decay of a sudden concession of power.

thousand years, nor the force of em8. That the history of France and battled Europe, nor the genius of England in 1793 affords the most de- Napoleon, could affect, is on the point cisive proof of the truth of these of being accomplished by the suicidal observations ; the former country bands of its own children. having, under the reforming sove- The prophecy of Montesquieu is reign Louis XVI., and the reforming likely to be inverted. England is administration of Neckar, tried the not in danger of perishing because system of concession, and in conse- the legislature has become more corquence brought on the revolution; rupt than the executive, but because the latter, under the non-reforming the executive has become more recksovereign George, and the non-re- less than the legislature. The poison forming administration of Pitt, re- which is now running through the sisted the demands of popular ambi- veins of the empire, has been inhaled tion, and in consequence saved the from the most elevated sources; it constitution.

has flowed down through the arteries 9. That the recent convulsion in of the state from its highest memFrance-originating in violent and bers. The "corruption" which has illegal usurpations by the reigning proved fatal to the ancient and venesovereign, and terminating in such rable fabric, has not been the flatdisastrous consequences to the finan- tery of courts, the seductions of ces, the industry, and the happi- wealth, or the selfishness of prosness of the country-should prove a perity; it has been the tumult of lasting warning both of the ruinous popular applause, and the vanity of consequences of deviating from the plebeian adulation. Borne forward constitution, and giving any ascend- on the gales of democratic ambition, ant to popular violence.

the administration have inverted the Have we, or have we not, been usual order of national decline.true prophets? Has not every step Symptoms of ruin have appeared, which has been taken demonstrated while yet the political body was in the justice of these principles ? Shall the vigour of youth ; and long before we go on in a course from which such its extremities had begun to feel the consequences have already been ex- decay of Time, the whole system perienced ?

has been thrown into conyulsions


from the vehement passions of the are now more fearful, the progress heart. Like the American Indians, of democratic ambition more rapid, they have lighted a forest to dress a than in France in 1789. We have scanty meal—but the fire has proved got, by the effect of six months' contoo strong for those who kindled it; cession, farther on in the career of and, like them, they are now driven revolution and spoliation, than the before the flames, and dare not stop, French in many years. It was not lest they should be enveloped in the till 1798, nine years after the revoluconflagration.

tion commenced, that the funds in What can be expected from a that country were attacked, and an continuance of the system of conces- “equitable adjustment" carried, by sion? Where are we to stop ? Ob- the confiscation of two-thirds of the serve the astonishing progress which public debt of the country. How democratic ambition has made in the long will a reformed Parliament, the last six months. What a change of delegates of the L.10 tenants, conideas, of language, of expectations ! tinue to pay L.29,000,000 a-year to Already, what a host of republican the holders of the 3 per cents ? The writers have sprung up, and how ra

confiscation of ecclesiastical properpidly have the concessions which ne- ty was only adopted there under the cessity has wrung out of the conser- pressure of immediate and overbearvative party augmented! The Times ing necessity; the annual excess of declares, that if the House of Lords the public expenditure over the nawill not pass the Bill, means must tional income, which was L.9,000,000 be taken to make it part of the law yearly in 1789, was increased by the of the land, without giving their deficit of the revenue, consequent Lordships much trouble.”

A new

on the public convulsions in 1790, to paper, " the Republican,” price one L.16,000,000, and no resource rehalfpenny, has already a circulation mained but to lay their hands on the of 20,000 copies; in every page of property of the most defenceless which, the cause of republican insti- parts of the community. Here the tutions is strenuously advocated. same measure is advocated without The leading Ministerial journals de- any necessity, when the late adminisclare that the Cambridge election has tration left a clear excess of income opened the eyes of all men to the above expenditure of L.2,900,000; necessity of ecclesiastical reform; in and even under the severe infliction other words, the confiscation of the of the Whig Budget, Lord Althorpe whole property of the church. A promises the nation a surplus revenew journal, “ the Englishman,” de- nue of L.300,000. Titles of dignity voted apparently to writing down were not assailed in France till 1791, the national debt, vehemently urges two years after the revolution was the adoption of that “ equitable ad- established: the House of Peers is justment” with the public creditor, already threatened with destruction which has been seriously recom- the moment they exercise their conmended by a leading Member of Par- stitutional rights of rejecting or moliament, in his pamphlet on the cur- difying the Reform Bill, the first step rency. The adherents of administra- in the English changes. Utter ignotion make no secret of their deter- rance of history, or wilful blindness mination, early next session, to carry to undisputed facts, can alone conthe repeal of the corn laws through ceal the painful truth, that since the a reformed Parliament. Not a whis- prospect of power excited democratic per of all this was heard of six months ambition in this country, the march ago. It has all sprung up like the of revolution has been much more pestilence, that walks in darkness, rapid than that which preceded the since democratic ambition was ex- Reign of Terror. cited by Reform; in other words, What arrested this fatal progress since the prospect of power was con

in Great Britain in 1793 ? Was it the ceded to the people.

system of concession--the doctrine Where, in the name of God, is all that mobs are irresistible that the this to terminate ? By yielding to the good-will of the people must be condemands of the people, we have ciliated by yielding to their demands brought them on, even faster than - that public opinion, in other words, the fatal career of the Constituent the clamour of the newspapers, must Assembly. The doctrines broached finally prove triumphant? Was it



the sudden concession of unlook. in which the Constitution was placed ed-for-unhoped-for-power to the by the successful result of the second meanest of the householders of great French revolution, and he took the towns? Was it the complete de- only course, which, in such circumstruction of the whole constitutional stances, became a wise statesman or influence of the conservative party an experienced soldier. It was not in the Lower House? If these mea- by conciliation and concession that sures had been adopted, where should he resisted the invasion of Portugal we have been now? They were in 1810. The Whigs then strenuously adopted on the other side of the recommended the same submission channel, and the rule of Marat and to the French which they have since Robespierre was the consequence. made to the Radicals; but the British

It was not thus that the British Hero, disregarding all their prophearistocracy of 1793 fronted the dan- cies of defeat, resolutely took post ger. The march of intellect had not at Torres Vedras, and from beneath as yet taught them that peril is to be its iron ridge beheld the tide of invaevaded by weakness, and that pusil- sion roll back. He was prepared to lanimity in presence of an enemy is have done the same when Parliament the best way to avoid a defeat. They met in November last. He would had not then learned that concession have bravely headed the friends of to an insatiable opponent is the only order in resisting, the assault of mode of buying him off; and that anarchy. He would have gloriously the nation which gives a gratuity to its brought them through the struggle; invaders, to persuade them to retreat, but at the first appearance of danger is most likely to be secured from one half of his troops deserted to the future insult. They did not adopt enemy! The friends of Mr Huskisson the pusillanimous conduct of the united with the Ultra-Tories in joinRoman emperors, who raised vast ing the ranks of innovation; domestic sums to persuade the barbarians to dissension, the fatal heart-burnings retreat, fondly trusting that when consequent on Catholic emancipatheir backs were once turned, they tion, paralyzed all the efforts of the would never see their faces again. conservative party. Mr Sadler, Sir They proceeded on the antiquated R. Vyvyan, Sir E. Knatchbull, Mr C.

, principle-sanctioned indeed by the Grant, Lord Palmerston, voted on Roman republic, adopted by all the the same side with Sir Francis Burgreatest of mankind, the parent of the dett and Mr Brougham. Had the long line of British greatness, but Duke of Wellington been deserted in wholly unworthy of modern illu- the same manner in presence of Namination—that in moments of peril, poleon, where would have been the the most resolute course is the most deathless glories of the field of Waprudent; and that the danger of re- terloo? Had such a defalcation taken sistance is incomparably less than place from Mr Pitt in 1793, where that of exciting the passions of the would now have been the British enemy by symptoms of intimidation. constitution ? Had Mr Burke and the Acting on this principle, that the pas- Whigs united with Mr Fox, turned sion for democratic power grows out that intrepid statesman, and conwith every gratification it receives, ceded sovereignty to the people, the British aristocracy resolutely what would have been the subsefaced the danger: the great bulk of quent fate of England ? Revolutionthe Whig nobles, acting under the ary anarchy, a sceptre of blood, mili

, direction of Mr Burke, joined the tary subjugation, and a British Naadministration; the threatened dis- poleon. turbances came to nothing ; popular It is painful to think how different ambition, like every other passion, might have been the present state being deprived of its only food, hope, and future destinies of this country, gradually declined; and in a few had the friends of order rallied, as in years the island exhibited a' more 1793, round the illustrious hero, who united people than it had ever done had the magnanimity in a moment since the Norman conquest. of peril to unfurl the flag of the Con

The Duke of Wellington on the stitution, and nail her colours to the next crisis was fully aware of the mast. The British Lion would not danger. That sagacious and intrepid then, as now, have quailed before the

. man saw at once the perilous state tricolor ensign; the crown of Ala

« PreviousContinue »