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ON NAPOLEON'S THREATENED INVASION OF
By a series of criminal enterprises, by the successes of guilty ambition, the liberties of Europe have been gradually extinguished: the subjugation of Holland, Switzerland, and the free towns of Germany has completed that catastrophe; and we are the only people in the eastern hemisphere who are in possession of equal laws and a free constitution. Freedom, driven from every spot on the continent, has sought an asylum in a country which she always chose for her favourite abode; but she is pursued even here, and threatened with destruction. The inundation of lawless power, after covering the whole earth, threatens to follow us here; and we are most exactly, most critically placed, in the only aperture where it can be successfully repelled, in the Thermopylæ of the universe. So far as the interests of freedom are concerned-the most important by far of sublunary interests—you, my countrymen, stand in the capacity of the federal representatives of the human race; for with you it is to determine, under God, in what condition the latest posterity shall be born; their fortunes are intrusted to your care, and on your conduct at this moment depends the colour and complexion of their destiny. If liberty, after being extinguished on the continent, is suffered to expire here, whence is it ever to emerge in the midst of that thick night that will invest it? It remains with you, then, to decide whether that freedom, at whose voice the kingdoms of Europe awoke from the sleep of ages, to run a career of virtuous emulation in everything great and good; the freedom which dispelled the mists of superstition, and invited the nations to behold their God; whose magic touch kindled the rays of genius, the enthusiasm of poetry, and the flame of eloquence; the freedom which poured into our lap opulence and arts, and 'embellished life with innumerable institutions and improvements, till it became a theatre of wonders; it is for you to decide whether this freedom shall yet survive, or be covered with a funeral pall, and wrapt in eternal gloom. It is not necessary to await your determination. In the solicitude you feel to approve yourselves worthy of such a trust, every thought of what is amicting in warfare, every apprehension of danger must vanish, and you are impatient to mingle in the battles of the civilized world. Go, then, ye defenders of your country, accompanied with every auspicious omen; advance with alacrity into the field, where God himself musters the hosts to war. Religion is too much interested in your success not to lend you her aid; she will shed over this enterprise her selectest influence. While you are engaged in the field many will repair to the closet, many to the sanctuary; the faithful of every name will employ that prayer which has power with God; the feeble hands which are unequal to any other weapon will grasp the sword of the Spirit; and from myriads of humble, contrite hearts, the voice of intercession, supplication, and weeping, will mingle in its ascent to heaven with the shouts of battle and the shock of arms.
While you have everything to fear from the success of the enemy, you have every means of preventing that success, so that it is next to impossible for victory not to crown your exertions. The extent of your resources, under God, is equal to the justice of your cause. But should Providence determine otherwise, should you fall in this struggle, should the nation fall, you will have the satisfaction (the purest allotted to man) of having performed your part; your names will be enrolled with the most illustrious dead; while posterity, to the end of time, as often as they revolve the events of this period (and they will incessantly revolve them), will turn to you a reverential eye, while they mourn over the freedom which is entombed in your sepulchre. I cannot but imagine the virtuous heroes, legislators, and patriots, of every age and country, are bending from their elevated seats to witness this contest, as if they were incapable, till it be brought to a favourable issue, of enjoying their eternal repose. Enjoy that repose, illustrious immortals ! Your mantle fell when you ascended; and thousands, inflamed with your spirit, and impatient to tread'in your steps, are ready to swear by Him that sitteth upon the throne, and liveth for ever and ever, they will protect freedom in her last asylum, and never desert that cause which you sustained by your labours, and comented with your blood. And Thou, sole ruler among the children of men, to whom the shields of the earth belong, gird on thy sword, thou Most mighty: go forth with our hosts in the day of battle! Impart, in addition to their hereditary valour, that confidence of success which springs from thy presence! Pour into their hearts the spirit of departed heroes! Inspire them with thine own; and—while led by thine hand, and fighting under thy banners-open thou their eyes to behold in every valley, and in every plain, what the prophet beheld by the same illumination chariots of Are, and horses of fire! “İ'hen shall the strong man be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark: and they shalí both burn together, and none shall quench them.”-ROBERT HALL.
RIGHT POLICY OF BRITAIN. The important end which I have always had in view, as the legitimate object of pursuit to a British statesman, I can describe in one word. The language of the philosopher indeed is diffusely benevolent, as it professes the amelioration of the lot of all mankind. I hope, too, that my heart beats as high towards other nations of the earth as that of any one who vaunts his philanthrophy; but I am contented to confess that the main object of my contemplation is the interest of England. Not that the interest of England can stand isolated and alone. The situation she holds forbids an exclusive selfishness; her prosperity must contribute to the prosperity of other nations, her stability to the safety of the world. But it does not follow that we are called upon to mix ourselves on every occasion, with a meddling activity, in the concerns of the nations around us. There are men, actuated by noble principles and generous feelings, who would rush forward at once, from the
sense of indignation at aggression, and deem that no act of injustice should be perpetrated from one end of the universe to the other, but that the sword of Great Britain ought to leap from its scabbard to avenge it. But, as it is the province of law to control the excess even of laudable feelings in individuals, so it is the duty of government to restrain within due bounds the ebullition of those national impulses which it cannot blame.
Still while we thus control our feelings by our duty, let it not be said that we cultivate peace because we fear, or because we are unprepared for war; on the contrary, if eight months ago, the Government proclaimed this country to be prepared for war, every month of peace that has since passed, has būt made us so much the more capable of exertion. The resources created by peace, are the means of war. In cherishing those resources we accumulate our
Our present repose is no more a proof of inability, than the state of inactivity which I see those mighty ships float in these waters, is a proof that they are devoid of strength, and incapable of being fitted out for action. You well know how soon one of those stupendous masses, now reposing on their shadows in perfect stillness,-how soon, upon any call of patriotism, it would assume the likeness of an animated thing, instinct with life and motion-how soon it would ruffle up its swelling plumage-how quickly it would put forth all its beauty and its bravery, collect its scattered elements of strength, and awaken its dormant thunder. Such is one of those magnificent machines springing from inaction into a display of its might-such is England herself-while, apparently passive, she silently concentrates the power to be put forth on an adequate occasion. But God forbid that that occasion should arise! After a war of a quarter of a century, sometimes single-handed, England now needs a period of tranquility. Long may we be enabled to improve the blessing of our present situation, to cultivate the arts of peace, to give to commerce greater extension and new spheres of employment, and to confirm the prosperity now diffused throughout this island !
HUNGARY AND GREAT BRITAIN. Three years ago yonder house of Austria-which had chiefly me to thank for not having been swept away by the revolution of Vienna, in March, 1848—having, in return, answered by the most foul, most sacreligious conspiracy against the chartered rights, freedom, and national existence of my native land-it became my share, with undisguised truth to lay before the Parliament of Hungary the immense danger of our bleeding fatherland. Having made the sketch-which, however dreadful, could be but a feeble shadow of the horrible reality-I proceeded to explain the terrible alternative which our fearful destiny left us after the failure of all our attempts to avert the evil-to present the neck of the nation to the deadly stroke aimed at its very life, or to bear up against the horrors of fate, and manfully to fight the battle of legitimate defence. Scarcely had I spoken the words, scarcely had I added that the
defence would require 200,000 men, and 80,000,000 forins, when the spirit of freedom moved through the hall, and nearly 400 representatives rose as one man, and, lifting their right arms towards God, solemnly swore, “We grant it; freedom or death!” There they stood with uplifted arms, in calm and silent majesty, awaiting what further words might fall from my lips. And for myself, surely it was my duty to speak; but the grandeur of the moment and the rushingwaves of sentiment benumbed my tongue. A burning tear fell from my eye, a sigh of adoration to the Almighty God fluttered on my lips, and, bowing low before the majesty of my people, as I bow now before you, gentlemen, I left the tribune silently, speechless, mute.
Pardon me my emotion, gentlemen; the shadows of our martyrs, whose names I see here, pass before my eyes, and I hear the millions of my nation once more shout out, Freedom or death!” As I was then, so am I now. I would thank you, gentlemen, for the generous sympathy with which you honoured, in my undeserving person, the oppressed, the bleeding, but still not broken, Hungary. I would thank you for the ray of hope which your sympathy casts on the night of our fate. I would thank you, warmly as I feel, and as becomes the dignity of your glorious land. But the words fail me, not only from want of knowledge of your language, but chiefly because my sentiments are deep and fervent and true. The tongue of man is powerful enough to render the ideas which the human intellect conceives; but in the realm of true and deep sentiments it is but a weak inter preter. These are inexpressible, like the endless glory of the Omnipotent. But, could I dare to say something about my humble self without becoming presumptuous, I would
state that it is not only from to-day, but even from my early youth, I have been spiritually connected with Britannia. I was yet young, sir, under rigorous circumstances, almost unconsciously preparing my soul for the duty which is a common one to us all, -to be useful, as far as possible, to fatherland and to humanity. The great things that have sincé occurred I could not then anticipate. The sphere of activity which was then open to me was narrow as my faculties and modest as my condition. Ambition never troubled the peace of my mind. I knew that it is not given to man to choose his position in the world, but I knew it is given to him honestly to fill the place which Providence has assigned to him. So I rested contented with the idea that the great Architect above knows best what use to make of the meanest nail; and endeavoured to prepare myself to become a feeble instrument in the hands of Providence. In this my endeavour I had for my teacher the book of life-history. The great examples of the classical past warmed the susceptible young heart to noble aims and instincts; but the thirst of scrutiny pushed on the mind to look around for some other master than the ruins of vanished greatness, those monuments of the fragility of human things. I looked around, not for ruins, but for life, and to teach my nation how to live; and my regards turned, with admiration, to the Anglo-Saxon race—the living wonder of both hemispheres. My attention was drawn to glorio Albion by the striking resemblance and coincidence of institutions which the observer cannot fail to mark in the history of the past; by the fact that the propensity to centralise every power and to govern the people like an imbecile, even in his domestic concerns, has not yet extirpated the germ of municipal public life, without which I believe no practical freedom to be possible; and for the loss of it, all Ministerial responsibilities, all Parliainentary perogatives I believe to be a pitiful equivalent.
Above all, my attention was forcibly drawn by the wonderful greatness of your country. And I found the source of it not alone in your institutions because these, as every human thing, can nowhere be entirely perfect-but I found it, together with these, in that public spirit which pervades every fibre of your nation, like the Spirit of God spreading over the waves on the day of Creation. I found England not free because mighty, glorious, and great; but I found her mighty, glorious, and great, because free. So was England to me the book of life, which led me out of the fluctuation of wavering thoughts, to unshakeable principles. It was to me the fire which steeled my feeble strength with that iron perseverance which the adversities of fate can break, but never bend. My heart and my soul will, as long as I live, bear on itself the seal of this book of life. And so has England, long ago, become the honoured object of my admiration and respect; and so great was the image of Britannia, which I cherished in my bosom, that lately, when the strange play of fate led me to your shores, I could scarcely overcome some awe in approaching them, because I remembered that the harmony of great objects wants the perspective of distance; and my breast panted at the idea that the halo of glory with which England was surrounded in my thoughts would perhaps not stand the touch of reality; the more because I am well aware all that is human in every age will have its own fragilities. I know that every society which is not a new one has, besides its own fragilities, to bear the burden of the sins of the past, and I know that the past throws such a large shadow into the present and upon the future, that to dispel it entirely the sun must be mounted very high. But so much I must state, with fervent joy, that, upon the whole, the image which the reality in England presents, bears upon it at every step such a seal of greatness, teeming with rich life, and so solid in foundation, that it far exceeds my expectations. And the thing which most strikes the observer in the midst of your glorious country, is that he meets, in moral, material, and political respects, such elements of a continual progress towards perfection; these elements display such a mighty, free, and cheerful activity; and these activities are so lively, so pervaded by the public spirit of the people, that (however great the triumphs may be which England already has to show to the astonished world, in comparison with which the things called wonders in past histories shrink to pigmies) every man instinctively feels that all these triumphs of progress are but a degree-gigantic certainly, but still only a degree-to what it will be the happy and glorious lot of posterity to see in this great country.-Kossutu.