Page images



The revolution has been well finished in Portugal, and every thing bids fair to crown the hopes of the patriots who began it. The two Juntas of Oporto and Lisbon are united, and all is harmony and concord. This affair has given us a fine illus tration how ridiculous are the mandates of those creatures called Kings, when opposed to a people who will themselves free. Lord Beresford went out to Rio Janiero to intrigue a little with the King, and to obtain an absolute authority over the army and navy of Portugal. He returns with a commission in his pocket, and a considerable sum of money to scatter among the troops: but lo! the revolution has taken place, and his lordship is not allowed to set his foot ashore; and instead of being King of Portugal, is actually obliged to return to England in a packet boat! The beauty of such a revolution is, that it elevates the truly noble, or those who are noble by nature, and all that spider species of nobility which exists under corrupt monarchies, is swept away as a



The Spanish Cortes proceeds in an admirable manner, rooting np the seeds of corruption, and placing the necessary institutions of the country on a firm and respectable basis. We have seen more real patriotism, liberality, and love of genuine freedom, in this country, than our most sanguine hopes had led us to expect. We see a military, which last year were in the most wretched condition, as the slaves of an absolute master, now invigorated with freedom, a genuine love of liberty, and a true sense of patriotism. Such noble examples as have been displayed by the troops of the peninsula, cannot fail to be followed by the troops of other countries as soon as a convenient time offers. Liberty is like the electric fluid, it invigorates. whatever living substance it pervades. Let an army be once filled with a due sense of what its country stands in need of, and it will not shrink from its first of duties. It is as natural for an army collected from the people of the same nation to co-operate with the people of that nation, as it is for a man to defend himself when attacked. It is a species of self-love, or self-interest, which predominates in every rational, and almost every irrational creature. For instance, had a portion


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of the Spanish or Portuguese army desolated either of those countries, it would have been the very first to feel the effects of that desolation. Such a portion of the army, or every individual member of it, would have been exposed to the execration of the surviving inhabitants, and could not have associated with any portion of the citizens, in the character of a citizen. What is the case now? Those countries are free without bloodshed, and as an acknowledgment that this freedom without bloodshed has been obtained by the good sense and conduct of the army, every member of it is to be made a freeholder: to have a cottage and a certain number of acres of land, with the means to commence agriculturist; and here at once he is made an independent and a respectable member of society, in which, if he be industrious, he has every opportunity to increase his property and to become a man of wealth and substance. This is as it should be. It is ridiculous to talk about giving soldiers double pay, or a pension for life. No; give them a spot of land to cultivate, with the means of building a cottage and procuring all the implements of agriculture, and then you ease their minds of all dependence, and rescue them from a degraded state of life-which is that of a pensioner. No pensions should be allowed, unless it be in cases where a man had become disabled in the service of his country. Here it is natural and necessary; but to give a strong and healthy man a pension, and encourage him to live in idleness, is quite unnatural, and would be as bad a state of society as the present. Far better to make him independent by a grant of land and the means of cultivating it, and there is waste land enough in all countries for this purpose. The advance of two or three years pension would set him" going, and would place him in a much better condition, if he were industrious, than a continual pension would; which could produce nothing but idle and bad habits. It is essential to the interests of all societies, that as many of its members should be as well and fully employed as possible. Idleness, of whatever kind, or however encouraged, engenders vice; which goes on to accumulate to the great injury of the industrious classes. It is this that renders an aristocracy a pest in society. An aristocracy will assume power if it can, and if it can assume power, it will go on to extract the profit and property of industry, and to accumulate the wealth of the country into its own hands, without rendering the country the least service; till at last, it assumes the assurance of being an essential part of the community, and domineers with brutal arrogance overs

[ocr errors]

whatever is valuable or useful. The industrious classes are called a mob, a rabble, the base populace, whilst the philosopher can perceive, that those epithets are most applicable to these who use them: to those who live upon the public plunder without adding an iota to the common stock of property in the country. However, revolutions are becoming fashionable, and there is nothing wanting in England but a good understanding between the soldiers and the people. It was thought that the revolution in America, which gave independence to the United States, was a most important object and example, and the English goverment had never lost sight of reducing those States to colonies again, until within this last year or two. But now the examples of Spain, Naples, and Portugal, are beyond all parallel. The most sanguine lover of universal liberty could scarce have made a calculation that Spain, Naples, and Portugal, would have been free within the next ten years. All our hopes have been anticipated, and the year 1820 will be hailed as a glorious year in the annals of universal history. It is the year in which tyranny, bigotry, and superstition, have received their death blow.

The revolution of Naples has been, in a great measure, scandalized by the events of Palermo. It is a stain upon Naples that cannot be overlooked, even though she be surrounded by the allied despots. We admire the conduct of the Palermitans. It is grand-it is noble! They have a second time manfully fought the Neapolitan troops, and have beat them off with a great slaughter, so much so, that General Pepe was glad to make them offers of independence: if they would consent to an armistice, and give him an opportunity of treating with his government for them. But we have heard that the Neapolitan parliament, instead of ratifying the agreement of General Pepe, has pronounced it null and void, and has sent 6000 troops, with another commander, for a third carnage! We sincerely hope that the Palermitans will destroy every man of them, if they fall to a man themselves. We pity the poor dupes of Neapolitan soldiers, and if they felt a genuine love of liberty they would not fire a shot at the Palermitans. What liberal minded man, but would rejoice to see Ireland independent of Britain, and possessing a free government of its own? Sicily stands in just the same relation to Naples as Ireland does to England, and it is not to be doubted that if a revolution took place in England, an effort would be immediately made for independence in Ireland. We should re

VOL. IV. No. 11.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

joice to see Ireland free from the despotie sway of this country, and equally glad shall we be to see Sicily carry her independence in spite of the efforts of Naples. After the conduct of Naples towards Sicily, are not the Austrians equally justified in asserting their right to regulate the Neapolitan go vernment. But for the success of despotism, we could not repine to see Naples receive a chastisement from Austria for her insolence and misconduct towards Sicily.

If the same spirit had ran throughout Sicily as has been displayed by the Palermitans, she would have carried her independence in spite of all that Naples could have done. It is not a sufficient excuse for the présent Neapolitan government, that the former one had pledged itself to the continental despots, that Sicily should not become a Republic. If the change in the Neapolitan government had been anticipated, the allied despots would have made an article in the treaty that there should be no such change, without the interference of their several powers to put it down. Every island that has sufficient strength for self-defence is entitled to a free government of its own choosing. And as liberal ideas proceed, it must come to this in spite of all custom and precedent.

The revolution of France and England is absolutely necessary to turn the scale of power against the despots of Russia, and Austria. We could wish those revolutions to come on much quicker: as soon as one is complete another ought to begin somewhere, so as to have no delay, nor any apparent void in the mind. From what has lately happened in Poland, there seems to be a spirit of opposition against him who said, "I will not negociate about my principles." The Poles have refused the code of laws proposed to them by the Russian despot, but the latter is too powerful, to hope for a revolution in Poland, at least, it would produce no other effect than a dreadful carnage. For our parts, we shall continue to pray for revolutions until every society of men, or every distinct country, has a free and representative system of government. Whilst a vestige of monarchical despotism remains we shall not think enough is done.

Every thing is silent as to what is going on in Prussia, we have heard nothing from that quarter lately, but a condemnation of the proceedings in England against the Queen. This latter affair seems to have stagnated all other feeling throughout Europe: it has become the pole of attraction for three quarters of the globe. A meeting of the allied despots is now passing at Troppau, to take into consideration what shall be

[ocr errors]

done in consequence of the recent changes in the South of Europe; and it is very probable that this meeting will terminate in a declaration of war against the further progress of liberty. The renegade, Canning, is understood to be the representative of England at this Congress, and wehave nothing to expect from this pauper but that he will do all he can to fan the flame of war.

In South America, the cause of liberty prospers. That blood-thirsty assassin, Morillo, has sought to obtain a cessation of arms, but the Republican Patriots have refused to listen to any thing that does not recognize their sovereignty and independence. It is probable the present year will close all further fighting in that quarter, unless it be in the Brazils. It is impossible that monarchy can ever revive on the continent of America either South or North: and it requires but a few years to make the whole a string of Republics, or in other words, one grand Republic, which will be able to cope with all the world, if the fiend of monarchy be disposed for war. Monarchy is a species of political superstition or popery, that will decline in the same ratio with the decline of religious superstition and popery. The eyes of mankind are beginning to open, and as soon as they feel awake, they will begin to meditate the means of ridding themselves of all this nonsense called church and state. It is vain to talk about glorious constitutions, or venerable institutions, when nothing but universal misery proceeds from them: they must all be brought to the touchstone of reason, and stand or fall by an attested utility or non-utility. A grand and universal moral revolution will and must take place, to correspond with the flow of knowledge that has lately inundated mankind. It is vain to raise up barriers against it, or to expect to impede it by dykes: it will overflow every impediment, and triumph in its nativè strength. The despots of the world would study their own happiness if they were to make the continual necessary concessions, to encourage the force of knowledge, but their attempts to impede it will be but as a madman fighting with straws. In England nothing but a revolution is talked of from East to West, and North to South, and even our villagers begin to tremble, lest they should see this terrible change as, they have been taught to believe it. But let every man do bis duty and fear not, and it will be but a holiday.


« PreviousContinue »