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co-operation of the Prussians at the moment when the affair was about to be decided. It was easy to foresee the consequences of this battle. No doubt was entertained that the allies would shortly be in possession of the capital of France. Nothing could henceforth arrest their victorious march. Although a part of the French army had collected in the environs of Laon and Rheims, it was too weak and dispirited to make head. Advancing by rapid marches, the allies soon, in fact, appeared under the walls of Paris, where they would have found no resistance, but for the arrival of the right wing of the French army. This corps, which had been looked upon as lost, had retired with singular good fortune by Namur. After having marched for eight days, in the midst of the allied troops, and parallel to them, it had, contrary to general expectation, and all probability, effected its junction with the rest of the surviving force, without having suffered much loss. Seventy thousand men were thus concentrated before Paris, and threatened to defend the capital. But what could such a force hope to accomplish, against the congregated troops of Europe, now rapidly approaching this central point!
After some days of hesitation, alarming to the inhabitants, whose safety it endangered to the highest degree, the obstinacy of the troops was overcome. They had not only determined to hold out to the last extremity, but were disposed to exact the heaviest sacrifices from the people, to attain their ob. ject. The capitulation into which they were gradually drawn, was, in fact, a victory of incalculable importance for France, and, per
haps, saved the capital from utter destruction. The battle of Mount St. Jean, by causing the occupation of Paris, and the restoration of a legitimate authority, put an end to the desperate struggle into which Bonaparte had dragged the nation. The loss of so many thousand men, is, no doubt, a shocking calamity; but when we consider it as the speedy issue of a dreadful war, to the ravages of which France would have been a prey for an indefinite period of time, we must be convinced, that it was, in reality, the least fatal event that could be expected, or have happened for us, in our unfortunate situation. It is evident, on whatever side we examine the question—even if France had been unanimous in her efforts, that she would have been incompetent to resist the combined forces of Europe; she would have been compelled to yield, after a defence, more or less protracted, more or less bloody, but, in any event, exceedingly disastrous. The decisive battle of Mount St. Jean, rescued her from a great part, at least, of the horrors and calamities, by which she would have been overpowered, had she become the theatre of an active and homicide war. In this cruel condition, there could be no distinction between friend and foe, the native and the stranger. Animated by that savage spirit, which has scourged Europe for five and twenty years, all would have conspired to sack and ruin our unfortunate country. Facts have undeniably proved, that the sacred tie of country is a nullity for men, whom force has elevated above all laws. If, as history teaches, by frequent and awful examples, the military are always prone to se
parate themselves from the rest of their countrymen, and turn against them the arms entrusted to their care, for the common defence, what could have been expected from an army who worshipped Bonaparte with undivided fealty, who, by delivering the nation into his hands, proclaimed themselves his devoted satellites, the blind instruments of his will.—This army, moreover, had been trained to a vagabond life, and disciplined in plunder; they had renounced country, and become cosmopolites; they breathed nothing but war, because war was for them every thing, and a return to that unbounded license of pillage, which had become a passion as well as a habit. After the ruin of all the countries which they had overrun, France presented to them a virgin mine; a rich harvest of spoil, upon which they would have preyed with equal avidity. The spirit of insubordination which they had carried with them every where, whether victorious or otherwise, had been communicated, not only to the foreigners who served under their banners, but also to the troops against whom they fought. Thus, our unhappy country would not have been able to escape the deplorable ills with which we had visited other nations at home. It must be confessed, that, although the French set the example of exaction and pillage, during their incursions into the nighbouring countries, they have been cqualled by some who formed themselves upon their model. One nation in particular, which had however some excuse for indulging in reprisals, is now competent to give lessons in this line. But this general demoralization is the inevitable consequence of the military systèm that Bonaparte had
established. We have reason to fear, that it has taken deep root in Europe, and will with difficulty be eradicated. In its very nature subversive of all principles of morality, destructive of all justice and laws, the avowed enemy of civilization, this military system is the greatest possible scourge of governments and society; or rather,
neither governments nor society
any longer exist, when it becomes exclusively established. It gives rise to continual wars, because interest actuates the world, and the desire to rule is natural to all men. Hence the military, who, considered as fiduciaries charged with the defence of their fellow citizens, are eminently entitled to respect, are too apt to forget that it is this object alone, together with the preservation of social order, that can render their strength legitimate and themselves honourable. Substituting their own particular interest for the general good; seduced by the desire of monopolizing the honours and emoluments of the state, they too often, when the opportunity offers, pervert the public force to the attainment of their private ends. Their desires increase, as the means of gratifying them are multiplied. The season of war is that of their harvest; and war, therefore, must necessarily be their incessant aim. The exclusive preponderance of the military power is the heaviest calamity that can separately afflict a state, and inevitably brings on its ruin. All conquering nations have been subjugated in their turn: oppressed by the same power which they had employed for the extension of their sway,+bowed beneath the iron yoke which they had imposed upon the vanquished. Alas! no nation has had a more fatal experience on this head than France. She can best appreciate that military government which has cost her so many sacrifices, and the pretended advantages of conquests, and glory in arms.-Has not each one of her numerous triumphs diminished her intrinsic force? and have not all those brave and brilliant armies, acknowledged to be the best in the world, conducted her from victory to victory, almost to her ruin? Who does not distinctly perceive that this deplorable system of military despotism was carrying us back with rapid strides to the night of barbarism? Already, as in the times of anarchy at Rome, factious troops acknowledged no law but their will, and raised to the throne of an oppressed people a favourite leader; or, as among the Asiatics, audacious janissaries made or deposed the sovereign according to their caprice. We were approaching fast, not under the auspices of the Bourbons, but those of Bonaparte, to the feudal state in its essence.— The feudal system originated with military communities, and was nothing more than martial laws applied to civil purposes. Military chiefs, who had raised themselves to supreme power, granted to those who had rendered them important services, entire domains peopled with vassals reduced to servitude by the laws of war. Conquerors, from the same motive, stripped their victims of their lands, and parcelled them out among their soldiers. It was thus that Caesar often rewarded his legions. But, what were Bonaparte's dotations to his officers and troops, is not rewards of a similar description and tendency? Were not the towns and villages included within these dotations subjected, or
very nearly so, to the law of vassalage? was not, in fact, this degrading feudality realized all over France? were not the citizens, in many respects, the real vassals of that vast horde of soldiery whom they supported—who devoured the produce of their property, and the fruit of their toils? If the power of the new proprietors had been consolidated, would they not have enjoyed all the seignorial privileges which they chose to exact? We have all history attesting, that military governments are the most oppressive, the least in accordance with a state of enlightened civilization, and the best adapted to bring us back to the ages of darkness. Servitude had its origin in the midst of the military ranks, and it was only by gradually freeing themselves from the yoke of military despotism, that nations were enabled to advance towards a more tolerable condition of society. It is therefore incumbent upon us, to unite all our efforts against that spirit which threatens to plunge us again into barbarism. It is time that order should succeed to anarchy, and the reign of law be substituted for that of force. If Europe has assumed her military and truly alarming attitude, only to repel the unjust and perpetually impending aggressions of France, directed by the most ambitious and unprincipled of conquerors, the cause existing no longer, the effect should likewise cease. We have a right then to hope that these late events will restore to all nations that repose which they all invoke with equal fervour; and that admonished by so many convulsions and disasters, Europe will hasten to reduce those vast armaments, the continuance
of which will only give birth to i fresh revolutions.
ENGLAND AND ENGLISHMEN.
From the French of J. B. SAY, Author of a Treatise on Political Economy.
"THE long interruption of the communications between France and Great Britain, has rendered very valuable the few moments elapsed since the peace. We have been at liberty to seek, on the other side of the channel, an explanation of several phenomena, the results of which only were known to us; and to measure the lever which more than once has raised Europe. The prodigious influence exerted by the British nation on the continent is not to be traced to her military force, or indeed to her navy. Nor is it to be attributed to British gold; for, ever since the year 1797, Great Britain has had no other than paper money, which does not rest upon any metallic security; and perhaps of all the nations in the world, England, considering every thing, owns the least quantity of the precious metals. The wealth and the credit of this nation have worked the wonders which we have witnessed, and as those powerful arms are the result of her whole public economy, it is the system of her economy which is her characteristic feature, and which deserves to fix our attention. N 2. Until the year 1814, France who had the ascendancy on the continent, and Great Britain who had the same ascendancy at sea, could not fairly be said to have come to a direct, close contest, and as neither their existence, nor indeed
their power, was endangered by the numerous engagements which they had with each other on both elements, however much humanity may deplore the effect, those engagements can be considered in no other light than as skirmishes. But their total result has been to deprive England for nearly twenty years, of her easy and regular communications with the continent, and France of almost all her maritime relations. The colonies separated from the mothercountry, have either rendered themselves independent, or become a prey to the British; and all the commerce beyond seas has fallen into their hands. And, if we except a small number of straggling vessels, most of which even could not escape them, it was in their ships, or at least by their permission, that the merchandise of Asia and America was brought to our quarter of the globe, and that the produce of the European soil and industry found its way to the other parts of the world. Whether this preponderance have been confessed or not, whether this commerce was carried on by smuggling or licenses, in disguise or openly, still such is the fact. What have been the consequences of this monopoly? The commercial profits of Great Britain have increased in a wonderful degree. More than twenty thousand vessels of all nations, have entered every year the ports
of Great Britain. The wealthiest merchants of Holland, Bremen, Lubeck, and Hamburgh, terrified at the approach of a conqueror, who advanced not only with cannon but systems, took refuge in England, and carried with them their capitals Commercial enterprises multiplied; a greater number of agents of every description, from the supercargo to the porter, found employment; and as families augment in proportion to the means afforded to procure a livelihood, the population of the maritime cities of Great Britain increased in a very remarkable degree. London is no longer a city: it is a province covered with houses. Glasgow, which in the year 1791, contained a population of only 66,000 inhabitants, has now 110,000: Liverpool, which in 1801, reckoned 77,000 inhabitants, contains now 94,000: Bristol in the same space of time has advanced from 63 to 76,000 souls. The establishment of docks and warehouses free from custom house duties, in all these ports, facilitated the distribution throughout Europe, of the goods which arrived there from every corner of the world, and the exportation of the produce of the interior was encouraged by the drawbacks. But another cause which had never been thought of, favoured this immense commerce still more. After Bonaparte had succeeded at last, by gradual encroachments, in usurping all power in France, his restless activity, the gigantic project of universal domination, made every people of Europe, one after another, an enemy to France. Republican France had no enemies but kings. Under Bonaparte, nations became her adversaries. Those who appeared to be the allies of Bonaparte, were his secret
enemies. The abominable system by which immense armies are made to subsist at the expense of the country which they occupy, whether friend or foe, had by degrees heightened this enmity into rage. But Europe exhausted by long and obstinate wars, compelled, when she dared to resist, to oppose a whole population under arms, to an invading population, could not support the expenses of so difficult a defence. Nothing but the most prodigiously active industry, could produce annually, the means of defraying the immense cost of wars, such as those which have been waged for fifteen years past. All the countries already invaded, and those threatened with invasion, without being partial to England, were yet compelled to look to her for subsidies. British agents spread over every accessible part of the continent, and in the allied armies, in Portugal, in Spain, in Germany, forced to procure either in kind, or in cash, all the succours which Great Britain had engaged to furnish, offered their drafts on London, an operation which rendered bills of exchange payable in England, abundant on the continent; and this lowered the exchange to such a degree, that a pound sterling, which at first was equal to twentyfour francs, could, for a while, be bought on the continent, at from sixteen to seventeen francs." /
* It is an error to suppose that the depreciation of exchange on London, originated in want of confidence in bank notes, the only currency with which a bill of exchange on England can be paid. Twenty-three francs are now given for one pound sterling, which formerly sold for not more than sixteen francs. Still we all know, in 1816, that the bank of England is now no more