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rous imitations of modern poets, particularly of their blemishes, had not thought fit continually to omit the definite article, from which cause his verse appears sometimes to be framed as much upon the model of Butler's, as of Spenser's.

"Minouscamina" is admirably adapted to set forth all the faults of the poetry of the present day, which seem to have adhered to our Author's memory like straws to amber. Here, Lord Byron, Campbell, Scots, and Wilson, may look, not for the reflection of their own excellences, but for what may be much more useful to them-those peculiarities which must be regretted in proportion to the merits with which they are so forcibly contrasted.

The smaller poems are not deserving of notice, and before the Author attempts any others of more importance, we would recommend him to endeavour to dismiss his memory, and wait for judgement.

Art. VIII. 1. Considerations sur une Année de l'Histoire de France. Par M. de F. 8vo. pp. 168. Price 5s. Dulau and Co. 1815. Considerations relative to a Year of the History of France. By M. de F. &c.

2. Letter to the Right Honourable Lord Erskine, on the present Situation of France and Europe; accompanied by Official and Original Documents. Second Edition, 8vo. pp. 128. Murray, 1815.

3. Carpe Diem; or the True Policy of Europe, at the Present Juncture, with regard to France. 8vo. pp. 44. Price 1s. 6d. Stockdale.

1815.

(Concluded from Page 434 of the present Volume.) THE character of Buonaparte is one of so unequivocal, so homogeneous a description, so free from any amiable inconsistency, and it has been so fully illustrated by circumstances, that, as an historic fact, it will not be easy hereafter to account for the degree of complacent admiration, with which the man has been regarded by numbers in this country.

There is a certain class of minds, in which an abject admiration of greatness, as a something utterly beyond the level of their faculties, is a mere instinct. They have, indeed, no distinct notion of that, in which real greatness consists, nor of any other species of greatness, than that which displays itself in great achievements. Such persons are, therefore, easily imposed upon by the attitude and theatric semblance of grandeur, by suddenness of movement, and fearlessness of enterprise. It is not then to be wondered at, that the splendour of the gigantic empire which, but a few months since, was annexed to the name Buonaparte, should, in certain cases, have so dazzled the intel

lects of some men, as to render them inseusible, not only to the fortuitous causes of his success, but to the crimes by which that success had been purchased.

And yet, we are not sure that this unintelligible admiration of his character, which falls in naturally enough with our school-boy notions of the Alexanders and Cæsars of antiquity, is a less enlightened, or less Christian feeling, than the blind and rancorous hatred with which our enemy - because he was our enemy--has been pursued by men of another mode of thinking, who have shewn themselves equally incompetent to appreciate those points in his character, which constitute it the proper object of deprecation and abhorrence.

It has, no doubt, provoked a great deal of what in the mildest terms we may style perverse liberality, in reference to Buonaparte, to have heard him execrated,-held up as an avatar of the civil principle,-by men of by no means the keenest moral sensibility on other subjects, evidently from political motives, and with regard to the political effects only of his ambition. It could not but occur to their minds, on hearing him stigmatized as upstart, Jacobin, or usurper, that some of the favourite names in history have been rendered illustrious in the eyes of posterity, by usurpations as lawless, by aggressions as unprovoked, and by conquests as sanguinary, as those which excite our execration in regard to him. Events in modern history, by furnishing precedents to his ambition, might seem to offer something in the way of palliation of his enormities;among which, the partition of Poland, the transactions in the Crimea and some of the glorious deeds of the Head of the House of Brandenburgh, would immediately force themselves on the recollection. Nor would the name of Bourbon, inauspiciously opposed to that of Buonaparte, at all assist in reconciling the perverse feelings of the persons alluded to, to the indiscriminate invectives poured upon the latter. The inad ambition of Louis the Fourteenth, the profligacy of his successor, the faithlessness, the cruelty, and the fanaticism, identified with the name of that family, in different countries, and through successive ages, might seem sufficient to weigh down all the crimes of Buonaparte; nor is it matter of surprise that, by those who are accustomed to form their estimates by no better criterion than that of comparison, a language approaching that of justification, should have been employed in speaking of him who must, nevertheless, be considered as the greatest of political aggressors.

Further: If the principles which were brought into opposition to the Machiavelian policy of Buonaparte, had obviously been of purer origin; if the defensive contest in which we were engaged, had had, from the first, a more intelligible and more

legitimate object, and if the systems which his ambition sought to counterwork, or to subvert, and for the upholding of which we found ourselves involved in a strange alliance, had been of a less corrupt nature; there would have been far less plausibility in the pretexts which have furnished the occasion on which the conduct of Buonaparte has found its advocates in this country. On the contrary, we have been told, with somewhat of flippancy in the sarcasm, that England has been fighting for Despotism and for Popery, for the Inquisition and the Jesuits,for abominations which Buonaparte seemed destined instrumentally to extirpate. Contemplating him in the light of a scourge of the Lord,' many who deprecated his tyranny, fostered the hope that he was to do the work of the tempest and the whirlwind, which purifies while it destroys; or, that, like the serpent into which the rod of Aaron was transformed, having destroyed the delusions and annihilated the power of the deceivers of mankind, he would again become a passive instrument in the Almighty hand, from which he derived his terrible power. If some persons who have indulged these hopes, have been too insensible to the distinctive enormity of the character of Buonaparte, they must not be confounded with those who have been blinded by the determined perverseness of party-feeling.

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.. But whatever good may be ordained to result from moral or physical evil, it is not for us to justify, or to connive at, either, as a means of producing that good. It deserves the serious consideration of those persons who have sought to palliate this man's heart-rooted wickedness, how far they may have incurred this charge, and how far in so doing they may have countenanced that perfect contempt for all moral obligation, which formed the most striking feature in his character. Buonaparte was really and thoroughly an infidel. No confused notions of rectitude, no secret misgivings of conscience, no weak relentings towards good, no bursts of human sympathy, appear ever to have disturbed the sullen inflexibility of his mind. He really seems to have attained a degree of philosophic coolness in his disbelief of all religious truth, that gives an air, of superiority to his wickedness. He did not appear to hate religion, for he despised it, and yet he had nothing in him that prevented his assuming the character of a believer in any creed that it was convenient to adopt. If, in some instances, he evinced a mind open to superstition, it was a superstition that had respect only to the possible chances of this world, not to the certain terrors of another. Nor was he an infidel with regard to religion alone: he had studied human nature deeply; but having no better key to the science than his own heart, he was acquainted with its darker passions only: there are better principles, which never entered into his calculations. He neither understood their operation, nor

believed in their existence. Expediency was to him the standard of morality, and the virtue of the stoic was the highest point to which he aspired.

Buonaparte is to be characterised as unfeeling rather than cruel. He has sacrificed thousands to his obstinacy; but the victims of his passions, excepting the master passion of ambition, have been few. He had all an infidel's contempt for the lives of others, as though they were nothing more than the perishable mechanism o the social system, as though they could serve no better service than that of furnishing food for 'the cannon but with all an infidel's tenacity he clung to life, as one who deemed that life his all. Crimes, such as spring from the infuriated passions of other men, such as have been committed with less apparent motive in the paroxysms of fear, or jealousy, or revenge, Buonaparte has perpetrated with all the coolness of calculation, without any of that conflict of feeling which gives external violence to the effort of resolve. We believe that the stories which have been told of his wantonly feasting himself upon individual suffering, have no authenticity. But he could sacrifice an army without a pang of compunction, and return to demand and to create another.

He is,' remarks the Author of the Letter to Lord Erskine, a modern philosopher in the strictest sense of the term. There is no individuality in his conceptions: if five hundred thousand men perish in a campaign, he regrets the inconvenience of his own loss, but never feels a moment's remorse for the sacrifice. If any individual is obnoxious to him, it is a sort of duty which he owes to his high situation to remove the nuisance. Whether it is a prince of the House of Bourbon, seized in the sanctuary of a neutral territory, or an itinerant vender of suspicious pamphlets, he signs their death-warrant with equal apathy' p. 40.

It is never to be forgotten in what school Buonaparte received his moral and intellectual education. His character was formed amid all the horrors of the French Revolution. These were surely enough to disgust any mind but that of a fiend, with mere cruelty, at the same time that they tended to extinguish every sentiment of humanity, to blunt every feeling of sympathy, to lessen the attractions of vice, but to destroy all perception of virtue.

It is not a question, whether the guilt which originates in excesses, or that which is committed by system, is the most monstrous, or evinces the most complete moral debasement. The latter characterizes, throughout, the conduct of Buonaparte. The sovereigns of Europe, it is conceded, have never been very faithful in the observance of treaties and of promises: a very slight pretence has sufficed as a veil for deeds of injustice and perfidy; and acts of the greatest enormity have been com

mitted by royal and ecclesiastical mandate. But Buonaparte was the first who, having taken the measure of the credulity of mankind, and aware of the force of opinion, as an engine of state, was base enough to proceed upon the principle, that falsehood will serve as well as truth, if it is only believed, and thus, systematically to make deception a fundamental principle of his government. No man ever poured so utter a contempt upon truth, or was better skilled in all the arts of delusion. The success of his falsehoods was at least equal to that of his other achievements: his pen and his sword shared the glory of his bulletins; and it must no doubt have supplied him with a frequent theme of secret exultation, to find that even his enemies were so far deceived, as to give him credit for truth, and that in this country also some were found to give him credit for virtue.

We have heard it contended for, as a rational probability, that adversity and a year's exile, might have wrought some reformation in him, and without possessing the smallest evidence of the fact, we have been gravely called upon to proceed upon the bare possibility of such a miracle as though it were actually credible. Reformation, as applied to such a man, must imply either a change of policy, or a change of principles. The first is a possible circumstance; it might originate either in better information, or in considerations of present interest: but the man that acts merely from policy, offers us no security for the continuance of his present conduct, nor can any reliance be with sanity reposed upon his professions. With regard to any moral change, as supposed to take place in such a character, it would be natural to inquire, what were his early principles and habits? Have his aberrations from rectitude been occasioned by strong temptation, acting upon a warm and yiling temperament? Have they been only the occasional forgetfulness of right principles? Have they exhibited the gradual deterioration of a mind that once gave the promise of virtuous achievement? Then the hope may be indulged, that in the silence of that sublime and solitary island, where every object seems calculated to reprove the littleness of human ambition, and to awaken solemn recollections of he vast unchanging, boundless realities of the invisible world,-that here better thoughts and better principles might find their birth-place. But the individual to whom these wild speculations pointed, wasNapoleon Buonaparte. Then, did those persons who indulged them, design to vindicate the possibility of a Divine transformation taking place in a mind so perfectly lackened and seared by crimes, and was it the thought of the glorious accession, which such a circumstance would form to the triumphs of Christianity, that made them dwell with fondness on the idea?

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