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Ciiap. and succeeded so far that he died king of France. The
— secret of his success was, that he entirely accommodated
• himself to the temper of the times. He was the man of the age—neither before it, like great, nor behind it, like little men. Thus he succeeded in steering the vessel of the state successfully through shoals which would have in all probability stranded a man of greater or less capacity. The career of Napoleon illustrated the danger of the first, that of Charles X. the peril of the last.
In addition to this tact and judgment which enabled
12.5. . . .
iiis private him to scan with so much correctness the signs of the »ndw!»k- times, and choose his ministers and shape his measures "essa- accordingly, he had many qualities of essential value in a constitutional monarch, who must always be more or less guided by others. His intellect was clear, his memory great, his observation piercing. Though he formed strong opinions from his own judgment, he was ready to listen to considerations on the opposite side; often yielded to superior weight in argument, and even, when unconvinced, knew how to yield when circumstances rendered it expedient to do so. He was humane and benevolent; few monarchs surmounted so many rebellions with so little effusion of blood; and the rare deeds of severity which did occur during his reign were forced upon him, much against his will, by the strength of the public voice, or the violence of an overwhelming parliamentary majority. He had his weaknesses, but they were of a harmless kind, and did not interfere with his public conduct. Though oppressed in later years with the corpulence hereditary in his family, and the victim of gout and other painful diseases, he was abstemious in the pleasures of the table, and generally dined amidst the sumptuous repasts of the Tuileries on two eggs and a few glasses of wine. A constitutional coldness, and the infirmities to which he was latterly a victim, preserved him from the well-known weaknesses to which his ancestors had so often been the slaves; but he yielded to none of them in appreciation of the society of elegant and cultivated Chap. women, and devoted all his leisure hours, perhaps to a xu" blaraable extent, to their society, or the daily corre- 1823, spondence he kept up with them. But he did not permit their influence to warp his judgment in affairs of state, and never yielded to it so readily as when employed in pleading on behalf of the unfortunate.
The final issue of the Spanish revolution affords the clearest illustration of the extreme danger and inevitable Political tendency of the military treachery and revolt in which from the it took its rise. No one can doubt that the cause of spunUf r. freedom in the Peninsula, and in Europe, was essentially volutlonand deeply injured by the revolt of Riego and Quiroga in the Isle of Leon in 1820, which at the time was hailed with such enthusiasm by the whole friends of freedom in the Old and New World. It was not merely from the strong and general reaction to which it of necessity gave rise that this effect took place; the result was equally certain, and would have been still more swift, had the triumph of the revolutionists continued uninterrupted. Military treason, Prsetorian revolt, even when supported at the time by the voice of a vast majority of the people, can never in the end terminate in anything but destruction to the cause for which it is undertaken, for this plain reason, that, being carried into effect by the strongest, it leaves society without any safeguard against their excesses. This accordingly was what took place in Spain; it was the triumph of the revolutionists which, by destroying liberty, rendered inevitable their fall. The Royalist reaction, and desolating civil war to which it gave rise, preceded, not followed, the invasion of the French. It arose from the oppressive measures of the Government appointed by the military chiefs, who had been the leaders of the revolt. It was Riego, not the Duke d'Angouleme, who was the real murderer of liberty in Spaiu. It was the same in England. No one supposes that either the Long Parliament or Cromwell were
the founders of British liberty; what they induced was,
"Vormcss sich korncr untugendlich,
The French invasion of Spain in 1823 was a model of Great merit combined energy and moderation, and affords an apt French illustration of observations made in another work as to "to s'patn tue consequences which might have resulted from a more in 1823. vigorous action on the part of the allied powers in their >Hi»t. of invasion of Champagne in 1792.1 Denied and passed Ms'tra,'" over in silence by the Liberal and Napoleonist historians, 67, who had an object in keeping out of view its merits, it was in reality an expedition which reflected equal honour on the government which planned, and the generals and soldiers who executed it. Undertaken in support of Royalist principles, and to overcome a revolutionary convulsion, it partook of the dangerous character which more or less belongs to all wars of opinion; and had it been conducted with less vigour and moderation, it would infallibly have lighted a flame which would have involved Europe in conflagration. Jealousy of France is inherent in the Spanish character: it burned as fiercely in the breasts of the Royalists as the Liberals; a spark might have set the whole country on fire. A cruel massacre, such as that of Murat at Madrid, on 2d May 1808—an act of perfidy, like that which has for ever disgraced the memory of Napoleon at Bayonne—would at once have caused the entire nation to run to arms. England, iu
* " Scatheless held by virtue's shield,
such an event, could never have remained a passive Chap. spectator of the strife, and probably a new Peninsular XIL war would have arisen, rivalling in blood and devastation 1821 that which Wellington had brought to a glorious termination. But by advancing with vigour and celerity at once to the capital—by paying for everything, and avoiding the execrable system of making war maintain war—by disclaiming all intention of territorial aggrandisement, and generously proclaiming an entire amnesty for political offences, they succeeded in detaching the revolutionary party from the vast majority of the nation, and effecting that which Napoleon, during six campaigns, sought in vain to accomplish. Little blood was shed in Spain, because the wisdom of the measures adopted required little to be shed; and never was eulogium more just than the generous ff one pronounced on it by Mr Canning, who said, " Never vi.480,48U was so much done at so little cost of human life."1
So great was the advantage gained by the government of the Restoration, in consequence of the glorious issue of ithadnearthis campaign, that it went far to establish it on a lasting foundation. But for the blind infatuation which, under STMKrtothe direction of the priests, guided the Government ofration' Charles X., it in all probability would have done so. The prophecy of Chateaubriand had been fulfilled to the letter. The Royalists and Republicans had forgot their animosities under the tent; the reign of Louis XVIII. terminated in a state of peace and unanimity which could not possibly have been hoped for at its commencement. So strong is the military spirit in the French people, so ardent and inextinguishable their thirst for war, that when these passions are once roused, they obliterate for the time every other, and unite parties the most opposite, and feelings the most discordant, in the eager pursuit of the ruling national desire. Napoleon himself could not have preserved his throne but for the whirl in which his incessant wars kept the minds of his people. Louis XIV. was, till he became involved in misfortune, the most
VOL. II. 3 A
Chap. popular monarch who ever sat upon the throne of France; XI1' and if circumstances had admitted of either Charles X. 1823, or Louis Philippe going to war, and emerging victorious from its dangers, it is not going too far to assert that the family of one or other of them would still have been in possession of it.
No doubt can now remain that the French invasion of
The Kiinch Spain, against which public feeling in this country was spalnwaf so strongly excited at the time, was not only a -wise justifiable. measure on the part of the Bourbon government, but fully justifiable on the best principles of international law. The strength of this case is to be found, not in the absurdity and peril of the Spanish constitution, or even the imminent hazard to which it exposed the royal family in that country, and the entire liberties and property of the country ;—it is to be found in the violent inroads which the Spanish revolutionists and their allies to the north of the Pyrenees were making on France itself, and the extreme hazard to which its institutions were exposed in consequence of their machinations. Ever since the Spanish revolution broke out* France had been kept in a continual ferment: the second in succession to the throne had been murdered, and his cousort, when enceinte of an heir to the monarchy, attempted to be murdered, by political fanatics: military conspiracies in great numbers had been got up to imitate the example of the soldiers in the Isle of Leon, and overturn the government; Paris had been convulsed by an attempted revolution; France was covered with secret societies, having Lafayette, Benjamin Constant, Manuel, and all the Liberal leaders in the Chamber of Deputies, at their head, the object of which was to overthrow the Government by means of murder, treason, and revolt; and a band of desperadoes had beeu collected on the Pyrenees, under the tricolor flag, who openly invited the French soldiers to fraternise with them, throw off the yoke of the Bourbons, and rally round the standard of