« ForrigeFortsett »
welfare. This expression of the popular opinion is not yet, however, so general as it must be, in order to en
success. On such a subject, therefore, the people must be addressed in a manner similar to that in which the Prophet addressed the Israel of God in their corrupt state :-Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line ; here a little and there a little; as opportunity may offer. To enforce these sentiments we call in those of great men of different ages and nations. We earnestly wish that the admonitions expressed in the title of our present volume were gotten by heart, not only by every one of our readers, but by every one of our countrymen; and that they would constantly inculcate them on the minds of the rising generation. The gross apostacy of one of the statesmen referred to, so far from lessening, adds to the truth and importance of what he advanced. It would indeed be a most melancholy consideration, if the important interests of TRUTH and LIBERTY depended on the consistency of its professors, in a day of degeneracy like the present; when hypocrites abound in all denomina: tions, both political and religious.
We bave to make our acknowledgments for the support afforded to this work, and to request not only a continuance of that support, but the assistance of our literary friends, whose communications will be respecifully attended to. As our numbers are enlarged, we shall be enabled to increase the value of a work peculiarly devoted to the interests of political, civil, and religious liberty, a work which may be considered, as a compendium of the political history of the times, a register for the proceedings of parliament, and a repository for the preservation of many valuable documents, which confined to the diurnal prints, are often carelessly perused, and soon forgotten. Harlow, July 13, 1809.
AFFAIRS OF PORTUGAL AND OF SPAIN-PROGRESS OF
OF THE BRITISH PORCES.
LTHOUGH the French bulletins assured us, from offcial authority, of the almost uninterrupted progress of the French armies, and of the Emperor having taken complete possession of MADRID, there were so many accounts from Spain of a contrary description, that some of the editors of our public prints aftected to doubt the fruth of those bulletins: when their doubts could, however, be no longer sustained, the public were amused with a variety of Spanish reports of insurrections at Madrid, in which the inhabitants had massacred many thousands of the French, and expelled the remainder. These have been succeeded by accounts of the Duke of IN. FANTADO having raised a large army of his countrymen, “ who "flocked to his standard, and were enlisted under the express cod"dition of their being immediately marched to Madrid;"-that taking advantage of the absence of those divisions of the French forces which were sent in pursuit of the British, the Duke's army had attacked, and defeated the enemy with great loss, and regained the capital ! The falsehood of all these Spanish accounts were apparent on the Tery first perusal, to every person whose judgment was not blinded by his prejudices; and they have proved but a very short lived diver. sion to those who were deluded by them. The triumphs of France, the defeat and dispersion of the Spanish armies, wherever they were attacked, the harrassed retreat and discomfiture of the British forces, who after a brave and bloody conflict, have been at length compelled to evacuate Spain, and to return to their own country, these are the melancboly events now impressing the public mipd; and which conclude the fatal campaign of 1808, the fifth year of that most unjust and unnecessary war, which this country, in violntion of its owo treaty wiib France, rushed into, with equal eagerness and frenzy! Ά
The proclamations which have been recently issued by the Portugueze and Spanish governments, were thought by many to indicate that awakened and determined spirit, which must animate a people who are duly impressed with a sense of the importance of personal freedom, and national independence; blessings which can scarcely exist, and which can never be secure, but as they are supported by each other: but these very proclamations, in our opinion, afford evidence that the true spirit of patriotism is, both in Portugal and Spain, almost extinct. The Portugueze regency, instead of holding out any object to the people to interest their hopes; instead of proinising them any amelioration of that wretched-state into whick their old government had first plunged, and afterwards deserted them, promise nothing but a return of that despicable government, and the preservation of that vile abuse of every thing sacred, the established religion, or more correctly speaking, the established system of almost every thing disgraceful to human nature, and to real christianity. Instead of arousing the people by the noble motives which actuate freemen to exert themselves, they affect to place their chief dependence on foreign assistance, intimidating and threatening, instead of enconraging and rewarding their countrymen. The British nation and our most gracious sovereign, are thus curiously apostrophised.--"What Great Britain aims at, is only the restitution of all « countries (we suppose in Asia, as well as in Europe,] to their u lawful sovereigns. Ah! incomparable GEORGE! How great “ will be thy glory in future times! Where is the sovereign in Eu" rope that does not at present owe his crown to thee ?" Thy name u shall for ever shiwe in the Portugueze annals. Excuse then, "O Mighty King! the indiscreet zeal of a people who love their
sovereign, and whose feelings are partly analogous to thy views." + Did pot this proclamation rest on official authority, we should have suspected it to bave been manufactured from the brain of some jacobin wag, whose impudent design was to ridicule both the country and the sovereign addressed. This wonderful display of " indis
creet zeal," consisted, as it appears, in the riotings of a drunken mob; and as to the general disposition of the Portugueze, an insurrection is feared in the capital of the kingdoin, in favour, not of the British, but of the French interest!
* How admirably would it have illustrated the language of the Portegueze regency, had they subjoined to their proclamation a list of the crowned heads of Europe, as it stood fifteen year since. After that period spent in war, it may be fairly asked Where are now their crowns? But perhaps the regency meant to iusinuate, that the Emperor NAPOLEON IS indebted to the wars excited, supported and persevered in by the “incom" parable" British cabinet, for his crown, his titles, his vast empire, and extensive power and influence !
+ Pol. Reg. Vol. V. p. 16, 17.
Affairs of Portugal, and of Spain &e. gr.
ji The menaces of the Portugueze regency evidently discover their opinion of the popular spirit. After presenting a hideous caricature of NAPOLEON, they " order all the male inhabitants, without ex "ception, from 15, to 60, to arm, and to defend themselves vigo" rously against the enemy." To invigorate them on such an important occasion, they add—“Every person refusing to take up "arins shall suffer the puqishment of DEATH, and every village not " defending itself against the enemy shall be burnt and levelled with " the ground.” The Portugueze regency appear by this proclamation, to possess powers equal to those of the renowned GLENDOWER, who could " call spirits from the vasty deep;” but the question put in the one case may not be inaptly put in the other—Will they " coine at your call?” The effects of these proclamations were just such as rational people might have expected: they are heard with disgust or apathy. To threaten men with death, their families with destruction, and their dwellings with conflagration, if they do not arm, inay be judged by some of the “old, regular, governments of “Europe," to be the most powerful inducements to arouse the popular spirit; but some may be apt to suspect, that when such a people are armed, they may entertain doubts wbether it may be their interest to use their arms in favour of their old oppressors, or their new invaders. What is now passing in Portugal, will, it is pot improbable, throw farther light on this subject.
The SUPREME JUNTA of SPAIN appear to be seriously alarmed at the progress of the French arms, and not improperly remark to their countrymen, that—" Honour, union, fraternity, forgetfulness " of injury, a disregard of what is, or what we may fancy due lo us, "interual and mutual peace and coucord amongst the citizens, and " in a word, all the virtues which constitute true patriotism--these " are the planks which alone can save us from the threatening ship " wreck." It is, however, to be lainented, that the men who use this language, and who have set themselves up for the regenerators of their country, and the restorers of its independence, should, instead of suggesting suitable motives to enkindle ihe sacred fame of patriotism, and to cherish all the virtues,” in the breasts of the people, contirm them in all those prejudices to which they' que their present state of depression. We repeat what we have had such frequent occasion to remark during the present revolution, that the Spanish leaders have not held out any object to the people of suthcient magnitude to impel them to take up arms, or seriously attempt to repel their invaders. The late decree for the formation of a legion of honour, contains bothiog interesting to the body of the people. It indeed “orders the enlisting of 250,000 warriors, who are to be "organised and instructed in arms, and which bis Majesty Ferdi
NAND VII,” (who very probably knows nothing about the matter)
“ Aatters himself, will, with the forces furnished by his English and “ Portugueze allies, drive out and destroy his mortal euemies." But alas ! wbilst the members of the Junta are spending their tine in planning measures wbich ought to have been executed six months since, their enemy is in the heart of the country, and discomfiring and expelling the forces of their allies. The junta appear to have given their principal general, the Marquis de la ROMANA extraordinary powers, and which he has attempted to enforce, by issuing proclamations ordering a general arming of the people; but these proclamations contain such bitter complaints, and severe reproaches, as evidently prove that the majority of the Spanish nation, have all along, been indifferent respecting the dynasty by which they are to be governed—the BOURBONS or the BONAPARTES; yea, that many are more attached to the latter than the foriper. "In the “ provinces,” (the Marquis complains) " which the enemy unfortu"nately occupy, the inhabitants supply them punctually with rations " of bread, meat, wine, &c. with carriages and mules for their “ transport, with money and necessaries for their confort, and ser
vice of their hospitals; without the least prospect of remuneration "..... While to the army who labour to preserve our holy reli"gion, and to defend the rights of our august King and Lord * Don FERDINAND to the throne of Spain, no-assistance is given,
even when surrounded by famine, and their nakedness and misery " is viewed with the utmost indifference!”..
It is not only the general indiffereuce of the people, but the 'wretched conduct of the armies which form the subject of reproach. The Marquis adds --" The shameful disorder with which the army " of the left has retired from Espinosa to this city (Corunpa) the "multitude of chiefs, and of officers who have abandoned their " troops ..... the robberies and disorders which many have au** thorised and tolerated to their troops, to the irreparable loss of "good citizens who baye assisted us; and finally the feebleness with " which discipline and subordination have been maintained, impe" riously oblige me to ordain and command, under the most signal « pains, as follows." Then follow a number of articles somewhat similar to those we have noticed, drawn up by the Portuguese Regency, wliich hold out nothing but threats, and are calculated ra'ther to binder men from taking up arms, ihan to encourage them. Men can never be made patriots by compulsion ; and it is impossible to raise an “ armed nation” by mere proclamations, and denurrciations of severe punishment.
Whilst the Spanish junta and their allies, have been trifling, blundering, and vapouring for these six months past, the Emperor NAPOLEON, after calmly, deliberately, and firmly laying his - plans, has proceeded to carry them into execution. With large and well