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who know him to be a sham and an impostor, who, availing themselves of the inscrutable accidents of his fortune, are now merely using him as a tool to serve their immediate purposes, and who, out of a tender regard for their own interests, will zealously devote themselves to the object of keeping him where he is. They will not trust him out of France, if they can help it. They will make the most of him while they have him; and, secure in the non-intervention of other countries so long as he confines his diablerie to his own, they will continue to spread a chaos about him that will furnish him with ample occupation at home. While there are préfets to be dismissed and new agents of tyranny to be provided in their places, imaginary traitors to be banished, journals to be suppressed, salons and cafés to be watched, prisons to be filled, and fictitious émeutes to be crushed by street massacres, it is highly improbable that Louis Napoleon will venture beyond the confines of the work he has carved out for himself in Paris and the departments. His hands are too full of constitutions and the still more congenial details of social and political espionage to suffer him to meddle at present with his neighbours.
For these reasons, and others— not the least of which is the disin
elination of the sovereigns of Europe assist at a general convulsion, for purpose of abetting the designs
usurpation based on the ruins w, order, and established auority, and which it is their obvious interest to shut up in its own territories-we do not apprehend that we incur much risk of an invasion. On the contrary, it cannot be doubted that the bare announcement of such a project would be immediately followed by a coalition of the great powers, who have a common stake in the maintenance of peace, for the protection of their own institutions. They have nosympathy in the razzias of an adventurer who has commenced his career by violating all the obligations upon the integrity of which the safety of every state depends; who sets at defiance the verdict of universal opinion, and outrages with impunity the most ordinary sug
gestions of public morality private honour. Russia and Austra may be suspected of regarding w complacency a crime which seeksis pretended justification in the bl it has struck against revolution and anarchy; but they turn with aversin from the criminal, who is himsel the offspring of a revolution, who has risen to power through scenes of the most appalling anardy the world has ever witnessed.
But while we express our doule of the near approach of the dange which is said to menace us, we not insensible to the effects of the alarm it has excited. Whether the alarm be well or ill founded, it equally entitled to grave consider ation. The very existence of such an apprehension is reason sufficie for looking with promptitude and anxiety to the precautions it imposes upon us. We are not in a conditio to treat with neglect the demani which has been raised on all sides for the adoption of adequate measure of defence. The danger may be purely speculative and problematical; b the emotion it has awakened, and the disclosures to which it has led constitute a danger in themselves which it is indispensable to provid against. The prophecy often pr duces its own fulfilment; and the feelings of irritation inseparable from international distrusts may no distant period ripen into open mis understandings. It is possible that the present uneasiness of the popu lation of this country-for it is not the uneasiness of a party, it repre sents the impression of all parties may be considerably in advance of impending calamities, in which Eng land cannot be implicated without involving the rest of Europe; but it is not the less ominous and urgent on that account. What Fox said of Burke's book on the French Revo lution, may be applied with equal truth to the premature alarm that prevails on this subject. Burke, he observed, is right, after all; but Burke is often right-only he is right too soon. The alarm may be right, after all; and certainly, if we are to choose the alternative, we would rather be right too soon than too
We know that there are operating causes at work all over the continent,
of from which some, perhaps not very remote, disturbance may be predicated, although it is impossible to foresee in what quarter it will start jup, or what alliances it will dissolve,
has ever w
ile we en
We are not
been ra on of sie The dang
We know that the total failure of but the Hungarian war has sensibly reetarded the progress of constitutional ing di liberty, and given renewed vigour to arbitrary government; that Kosthema suth's crusade for sympathy in England and America has damaged the cause he so eloquently but injudiciously advocates, and given an impetus to reaction in the wrong dible teatrection; that the forcible restoration of the Pope against the will of his well it people is a direct violation of the neutrality which has been hitherto observed by common assent amongst the states of Europe, which may be said to have passed into a maxim of international policy, and which cannot in the nature of things continue to be outraged with impunity; that the influence attempted to be exercised by France over the internal independence of Belgium and Switzerland must ultimately open up quesprtions of the deepest importance to the rights of nations; and that the imputed interference of the Northern Powers with the protection extended by our government to the political he pro exiles who seek an asylum on our shores, whether it take the form of reprisals on English travellers abroad, or ministerial interpellations, must lead to explanations and demands, the issues of which are dim and uncertain. These facts are patent. We see a variety of elements in commotion which the slightest collision might explode. We know that a breath might draw down the avalanche. But should such a crisis arrive, it will not be developed in an est of E expedition for plunder, or the lawless
of a pa
sinister purposes too transparent to require exposure, that the press of this free country has acted rashly and imprudently in denouncing to eternal infamy the coup-d'état of the 2nd of December. Who are they that have proclaimed this, and why have they proclaimed it? Is not the source of this cautious reproach as apparent as its base and timeserving motive? And if it should turn out that Louis Napoleon, when he shall have got his machinery of secret councils and parasite senates into full work, should use with discretion the power he has acquired by perfidy and slaughter, the authors of this wary reproof will no doubt claim credit to themselves for their sagacity and discrimination. in that case, how shall they be able to separate what is due to fear and necessity, from what is to be attributed to reason and justice, and to tell us how much of his moderation (should he ever discover so unexpected a virtue) is to be ascribed to the indignant protests of English opinion through its unfettered and intrepid organs? It is not only the high privilege, but the sacred duty of the people of this country, to assert upon all occasions, without caring to be very choice in the selection of opportunities, their sympathy with the oppressed, and their abhorrence of such acts of sanguinary fraud as have made the avatar of the French President so conspicuous in the annals of despotism. This is a very different thing from interference in the affairs of other countries. We have no right to interfere, and we scrupulously abstain from interference. The French have a right to debase themselves before any idol they please; to shatter the fruits of their industry under the hooves of military cohorts, who recognise no law but that of the sword; to witness without a struggle the humiliating spectacle of deportation which banishes from their capital and their provinces the genius, the patriotism, and the statesmanship of the landall that has hitherto made it respectable and respected; they have a right, if they choose, to forge the chains by which they are bound hand and foot to the chariot of their unsightly Juggernaut, besmeared with the blood of indiscriminate
excursions of an organized banditti; it will take a more intelligible shape and a wider reach. If we are to have a war, it will be a war of principles, in which, as was said on a not dissimilar occasion, the discontented populations of Europe will be ranged on our side, and the New World will, for the first time, practically enter the arena 'toredress the balance
of the Old!'
During the pause of suspense in which we are now awaiting these results, it has been proclaimed, for
victims; but we, the people of a free country, have an equal right to vindicate the claims of humanity by proclaiming aloud .the indignation with which these scenes inspire us. It is no more than the legitimate action of that opinion by which, and not by arms, England desires to influence the civilization of the world.
We are, indeed, told that the energetic conduct of Louis Napoleon, (and nobody denies his energy,) irreconcileable as it is with our insular ideas, was the only practical course he could have adopted with any hope of success; that the French are a peculiar people; that the constitutional measures which in similar emergencies would be resorted to in other countries, are wholly inoperative in France; that so fickle and mercurial a race must be taken by surprise, just as you fascinate the imagination of children by a burst of fireworks; and that nothing short of a decisive demonstration, at any cost of good faith on the one hand, and of suffering on the other, could reduce them to tranquillity and obedience. But we must venture to think, that right and wrong are not questions of climate or temperament; and that the simple principles of justice and fair-dealing, and the obligations of ratified contracts, however circumstances may modify their action in cases of extremity, are not so variable in their effects as to produce totally different results within three degrees of latitude; and we are inclined to suspect that they who make such an elastic use of the other side of the argument, will find out, by and by, that they have committed a grievous blunder in setting up a political morality for France so diametrically opposed to the political morality of all other countries. The strong hand is one thing, when it is rendered salutary and imperative by particular events; but strong wickedness, strong treachery, and strong chicanery, are things of a different colour. And this is exactly what we protest against in France, now bleeding under measures similar in atrocity to those which she herself formerly inflicted on the Cisalpine Republic. Who can forget the image of that helpless power writhing under the hands of an operator, who is imitated only in mischief, as the
monkey imitates the man, by be pigmy successor? Are we to look exclaimed Mr. Canning, for attac ment in the Cisalpine Repub whom, in preference to the othe France appears to have selected a a living subject for her experimen in political anatomy; whom she ha delivered up tied and bound to s series of butchering, bungling, ph losophical professors, to distort, an mangle, and lop, and stretch limbs into all sorts of fantastin shapes, and to hunt through its par pitating frame the vital principle & Republicanism? Now, this is a accurate picture of what has recently happened in France; a sample that political morality which w; are called upon to sanction, as supplying the maxims of the only co upon which the French people en be governed.
Already an experiment of this kind has been attempted on t fears of Belgium. The small end d the wedge has already been drive in, and the rest will follow in d time, if the new reign of terror be suffered to dictate conditions to the weaker powers on its confines. The pregnant phrase of General St. Arnaud, hinting at a possible extension: of territory, has doubtless alarmed King Leopold, and induced him to | submit to demands which are fatal to his independence. It was currently rumoured, a few weeks ago, that his Majesty had prohibited the residence of any of the political exiles at Brussels; and it was said that General Changarnier had, in conse quence, located himself at Malines and Colonel Charras at Mons. Subsequent movements have, to some extent, discredited these rumours; but other circumstances, such as the sudden departure of M. Van de Weyer from London, are calculated to cast an ominous shadow over the deliberations of the Belgian cabinet, and to suggest conclusions which may be more easily foreseen than averted. So far as Belgium is concerned, much as she may dread the hostility of France, her ultimate safety lies in her alliance with England. If, like Denmark, when her navy was seized at Copenhagen and carried into the harbour of Portsmouth, she should hesitate between France and England, she cannot hereafter look for succour to that
as at la ts ha
quarter whence she has hitherto derived encouragement and protection. Even the very last commercial treaty we entered into with her gave her a balance of advantages of no inconsiderable importance to her trade; and we have at all times evinced an interest in her progress which has contributed largely to her prosperity. We have no misgivings about the spirit with which Belgium will meet any difficulties that may arise in her relations with France; but when reports are flying about which point to armed inroads upon Sardinia and Switzerland Switzerland which, in the days of his adversity, afforded a retreat to Louis Napoleon, and refused to give him up, or to expel him from its soil, it is full time that we should look with forethought to the worst contingencies of the future, and by being amply prepared against them, perhaps prevent their occurrence.
We certainly do not anticipate that the mock Napoleon of 1852 will attempt to emulate the European exploits of the real Napoleon of 1798. We do not anticipate that he proposes to shut up the King of Sardinia in his own capital, to overrun Italy, to carry fire and sword into Holland and Belgium, to overawe Spain, to hunt down the spirit of liberty in Switzerland, and to distribute crowns amongst the De Persignys and the Cassabiancas. But, knowing what a vast amount of evil the meanest reptile in creation has the power of inflicting, (Holland was once nearly undermined by an insect!) we recognise the necessity of adopting such precautions as the fickleness of impending circumstances may appear to demand.
troops. It is true that experienced men have endeavoured to set the public mind at ease on this point, by showing the difficulty of such a descent with the certainty and celerity necessary to its success; to which consolatory information may be added the probable fact, that not one of the invaders would return alive to tell the tale of their enterprise, although it must be admitted that we should purchase our redemption at a heavy cost of carnage, pillage, and all the other horrors of war. We believe, however, that we are not quite reduced to that condition which it has been the earnest desire of Mr. Cobden and his disciples to bring about, and that, notwithstanding the culpable neglect of the official departments, whose duty it is to watch over our defences, and the ignorance, carelessness, and stubborn prejudices with which they have resisted all improvements in our effective services by land and sea, the weakness of which we have a just right to complain is not so much in the numerical means at our command, as in their defective organization and wasteful distribution.
The total military force of Great Britain at the opening of the present year amounts to 130,000 men, besides 140 regiments of militia in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and the Channel Islands, the staff of which only is kept up in time of peace, some fifty regiments of yeomanry cavalry, and a reserve of 40 or 50,000 out-pensioners and battalions. These forces are scattered abroad and at home, it is true; but sufficient remains within reach for present purposes, if their training and appointments enabled us to extract from their numbers the full advantages we have a right to calculate upon. If this view of the case be correct, as we have reason to believe it to be, we have suffered the prevailing alarm to take a wrong direc tion. It is not so much that our danger lies in the paucity of troops, although it is indispensable to effect a stronger combination at home than our present contingencies presentas in the inefficiency of their discipline and arms. We do not hazard this opinion rashly, nor do we put it forward as being intended to diminish in the slightest degree the jealousy and vigilance with which the country
And the first consideration is the state of our defences. It was one of the national foibles in former times to exaggerate our naval and military resources, and to boast of the possession of a power equal to the most fabulous perils. But it seems we have latterly run into the opposite extreme, and shown a disposition to underrate our actual strength. If the alarming statements which have been made on this subject are entitled to implicit credit, England is at this moment at the mercy of any foreign power able to equip on the sudden, and to effect a landing on our coast of forty or fifty thousand
look to the government for prompt and decisive measures of security. The real road to reformation,' says The Times, lies not in the increase of our force, but in making that which we possess useful. Our soldiers should be expert marksmen, our sailors accurate gunners, our arms, our steamers, our provisions, of first-rate quality; and when this has been accomplished, we shall be able to decide to how many of such efficient guardians we can entrust the public safety. If our force be good of its kind-well organized, well handled, and well disposed shall probably be able to reduce, rather than forced to augment, our military and naval expenditure. Till that be done, no force, however large, can effectually guarantee us from invasion and insult.' Agreeing as we do in the soundness of this view, we are not insensible, at the same time, to the ulterior consideration it forces upon us. If the danger be imminent, as some people suppose it to be, the process suggested by The Times will prove utterly unequal to the exigency of the situation. With a French fleet in sight, there would be little leisure for training our soldiers at targetfiring, or for gun-practice on board our ships; we should be compelled to use our muskets as they are, without waiting for a fresh supply on improved principles, and must take our chance for the skill of eye and hand upon which we are to rely for protection. What is to be done, therefore, must be done quickly. That is our position, and that is exactly our difficulty. If out of our consciousness of this difficulty, and the remedies to which it directs our attention, should hereafter arise well-trained and well-organized armaments, so much the better; but what we want now is the immediate and successful concentration of such resources as can be brought promptly together to bear upon the points at which danger is apprehended.
In this emergency the country cannot be expected to regard with composure the wanton expenditure in men and money to which it is subjected for the maintenance of the Caffre war. While we are in lack of soldiers for urgent need in England, we are literally wasting them by hundreds and thousands in a
series of hopeless campaigns agains a horde of savages. The Caffre w costs 38007. a day; and this entr mous outlay does not include the incalculable cost of compensation a the colonists for the injury inflicted on them by the marauding warfare to which they are exposed. B even this expense, as has been tray observed, is not without its e since it has disclosed to us the ineffective state of our troops. The knowledge, no doubt, is purchased at a high price; but it is vainsbe knowledge after all, and comes i good season to compel us to look a little more carefully after our army, The British soldier, it appears, can not fight the Caffre. The Caffre picks him out at his will and ples sure, and at a safe distance. The Caffre penetrates with impunity to the heart of our camp, and carrie off the oxen from our baggage wa gons before our eyes. He butcher our soldiers at his leisure, and not withstanding their reluctance to be shot down in that irregular manner by mere barbarians, they have not the power of helping themselves. Not only are their equipments heavy and unmanageable, but their muskets are unfit for their work They are immeasurably inferior to the muskets of France and Prussia, and do not possess even the last inprovements of the double pipe and swivel lock with which every sporte man is familiar. Nor is this the first time our deficiencies in this respect have placed us at a disad vantage; nor is the Caffre the only uncivilized enemy that has shown marked superiority over us in this respect. The firing ceased,' says Mr. Kaye, the historian of the war in Afghanistan, speaking of one of the actions arising out of that dis astrous expedition, the firing ceased, and the British musketeers were left to do their work alone. Little could they do at such a time against the far-reaching Afghan matchlocks. The enemy poured destructive fire into our squares, bud the muskets of our infantry could not reach the assailants. The two forces were at a distance from each other which gave all the advantage to the Afghans, who shot down our men with ease, and laughed at the musket-balls, which never reached their position.'