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The busy part enacted at Congresses" is an idle word, unless it be shewn, which is impossible, that at these Congresses England permitted any thing to be done, or participated in any thing, injurious to the interests of England.
And now a few words upon those angry remarks, which the Monthly Reviewer has directed against me.
It is said that "my comments are those of an individual, having a strong personal interest in making out his case, of one sensitively anxious that his political character should not be deprived of the semblance of consistency, in consequence of his having supported, with equal energy, Lord Castlereagh and Mr Canning, and the Duke of Wellington."*
I know not, I really know not, whether the writer of this passage was aware of the name of him to whom it was applied; but since, in thirty years of occasional engagement in political controversy, I never wrote a line affecting personal conduct or character, of which I concealed the authorship; since I have unreservedly avowed these two articles, it would be as inconsistent as it would be useless in me to deny, that I did, in subordinate and secondary stations, support Lord Castlereagh, Mr Canning, and the Duke of Wellington.
I was in office before Mr Canning joined Lord Liverpool and Lord Castlereagh in 1816, and had attached myself, more by my own determination, than by any overt act, peculiarly to Lord Castlereagh. I presume that the "friend of Mr Canning" has no quarrel with me, for not quitting office, when the powerful co-operation of Mr Canning was given to the government which otherwise remained unchanged. I feel equally confident of his approbation, although I did not quit office, either when Mr Canning resigned on the affair of the Queen, or when he returned upon the death of Lord Castlereagh-occasions upon neither of which there was any change of men, or (as even he has admitted) any avowed change of measures.
If my critic thinks that it will
strengthen his personal argument, he is welcome to the additional fact, that while Mr Canning was the colleague of Lord Castlereagh, I had opportunities, to which I shall always look back with pride and gratification, of obtaining a liberal share of his favour and his confidence.
And as, moreover, I had voted with him in every division on the Catholic Question, throughout the administration of Lord Liverpool, I presume that I may stand excused for continuing to hold office, when he formed his own government in 1827.
It is indeed not very obvious, why the names of Lord Castlereagh and Mr Canning are brought together in the charge framed against me for supporting successive Ministers. Whe
ther the accuser knows whom he accuses, or attacks at random, it is clear that he can found no serious charge of inconsistency upon the successive support of these two Ministers. The most sensitive of politicians would not have resigned on account of a posthumous controversy.
The real offence is, the support of the Duke of Wellington. I avow, that when, after Mr Canning's death and Lord Goderich's abdication, the government was re-formed under that personage, comprising the leading friends of Lord Castlereagh and of Mr Canning also, I did not volunteer a resignation, which, while it would have had no plausible ground in any difference of opinion with the new administration, would have thrown me among Whigs, from whom I had differed all my life.
As for foreign affairs, if I had been disposed to differ-which I was not
from the Duke of Wellington, I should have differed also from him whom Mr Canning selected as his successor in that department.
I do not believe that on any one of the changes hitherto noticed, a subordinate person like myself could have resigned, without making himself ridiculous-and, I fairly own, I never thought of it.
I avow, with equal plainness, that I did not resign on an occasion when retirement would have had more plausible reasons, the resignation of Mr Huskisson and his friends in
* P. 34.
1828; there is no occurrence at which I feel greater reason to rejoice, than the resolution not to follow these gentlemen, (to whom I owed no political allegiance,) when they thought proper to separate themselves from the Duke of Wellington and Mr Peel, on a question, where upon Mr Canning's friends adopted a line, assuredly not sanctioned by his authority.
I do indeed rejoice, not to have placed myself in the situation in which I might have been exposed to the temptation to which Lord Palmerston and Mr Grant have yielded; and thus to have become the associate and partaker with those "who have LET LOOSE AGAIN, WITH RASH HAND, THE ELEMENTS of our cONSTITUTION, AND SET THEM ONCE MORE TO FIGHT AGAINST EACH OTHER."*
My antagonist has now my whole history; I doubt whether he will find in it much to support his apprehension, that I write from personal considerations, and that I " argue more for victory than for truth." The nature of my present communication, occasioned as it is by a pretty severe rebuke, not always in very courteous language, has given to it, I fear, more of a controversial tone than is consistent either with my intention or general habits. But I assert, with much confidence, that these critics alone have traced a similar fault among the many which are doubtless
to be found in the Reviews.
It is, it seems, another of my faults, that "I brag, rather ostentatiously, of what I know." The ostentation, I venture to say, is in the writer's fevered imagination; but I will explain the meaning of the expression, several times repeated, in the Reviews
"We know." All that is thus mentioned-all, I believe, without exception, is derived from personal
communication with Mr Canning himself; the style of a review hardly admitted of any other mode of mentioning facts introduced on the authority of an individual.
The concluding sentence of the letter would induce me to believe that the writer does not know my name. When he learns it, he will know that the expressions," anger of
disappointment" and "cavilling of detraction," are quite thrown away; and that I am as good a friend to Mr Canning, as he who subscribes himself by that honourable title. I trust that my relation of some passages of his early life, and my sketch of his political history, illustrates the strength and independence of his character, and the conformity of his policy with the principles which he avowed. I have many apologies to make for the mention which I have made of my own concerns. I felt compelled to it, by the insinuations of the critics. Indeed if it had been consistent with my feelings to shelter myself from such attacks by preserving an anony. mous character, the public mention of my name, as the author of these Reviews, would have rendered it impossible. It is therefore in the full assurance that I have not written a line which is not warranted by Mr Canning's public acts, and by the personal communications with which he frequently honoured me; in the consciousness of having earnestly laboured to defend him against interested misrepresentation, and injudicious praise, and in the confidence that his fame will not be sullied by an association with the less brilliant, but equally admirable, name of Castlereagh, that I subscribe myself,
His sincere and faithful admirer, THOMAS PERegrine Courtenay. London, Feb. 16, 1832.
* Mr Canning's Speech of 30th April, 1823.
THE PAPAL GOVERNMENT.
THE extraordinary tumults which have lately taken place in the Papal States, the not less extraordinary influence which Austria is developing in the Papal councils, the movements of her troops for the evident purpose of making that influence paramount, and the general spirit of insurrection in the central provinces of Italy, naturally turn the eyes of politicians on the Popedom.
It is now loudly pronounced, that the temporal dominion of the Papacy is on the eve of perishing,-that her financial weakness, her territorial exposure, and her popular discontent, render recovery impossible, and that the European world, so long agitated with fears of the predominance of Popery, may now abandon those fears, as it abandoned the fear of ghosts and the laws against witchcraft.
We doubt the truth of the prediction. The most memorable features of the Popedom are its independence of the ways of human power. It arose in defiance of all human probabilities, it acquired dominion in equal defiance of the ordinary means of empire, it was sustained in the midst of the clash and convulsion of the great military powers of the centre and south of Europe; and, debilitated as it may be by time, and bearing in its frame many an unhealed wound from the sword of the Frenchman and the Austrian, we look for its fall from no systematic aggression of imperial cupidity, or insurrectionary violence. Fall it will: but not to aggrandize Austria, nor to lay a foundation with its ruins for the throne of a Republican dictator. It owes a higher lesson to the world. It will sink in no squabble of speculating cabinets or plundering mobs; its fate is reserved for a time when all may tremble alike, and when the throne of Austria, proud as it is, and firm as it seems, may be shivered into fragments by the same blow.
The rise of the Popedom was in defiance of all human probabilities. It was utterly improbable that a Christian priest, the disciple of Him who declared that his kingdom was not of this world, should be a king of this world, or should be more-a
King of the kings of this world; that the priest, whose master had commanded the most utter self-denial, abjuration, and restraint of every impulse of domination over the flock of Christianity, should have aspired to the most absolute power ever invested in the hands of man; that a priest, commanded to use the most perfect simplicity and singleness of heart among men, to abjure all violence, and to be all things to all men, "that he might save some," should place himself at the head of a sovereignty, the most memorable for intrigue of any in the annals of state stratagem, the most merciless in revenging dissent from its opinions, and the most fiercely contemptuous of the feelings, opinions, and happiness of mankind.
The Popedom rose on the division of the Roman Empire under Con stantine. The absence of the Emperor in his Eastern capital left no rival to the influence of the Bishop of the Western. Sanctity first, superstition next, and finally the fears of Roman turbulence and barbarian invasion, gave the Bishop of Rome a high authority in the eyes of the Eastern Emperors. It was found essential to the safety of this deserted portion of the Empire, to conciliate the zeal of the monk who ruled the Roman populace. The fall of the Western Empire, in the year 476, made it still more important to conciliate the man, who, in all the shocks of war and spoil, still held his station; for on his influence depended the single hope of reconquering Italy from the hands of the barbarians. Every change of power threw some additional share of supremacy into the Papal hands. A quarrel for precedency with the Bishop of Constantinople, elevated without fixing his rank. The council of Chalcedon declared the Patriarchate of the five Bishops of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Palestine. The decision pleased no one; it was looked upon by the Eastern Bishop as an injustice, and by the Western Bishop as an insult. Both prepared for furious hostility, and both long maintained that hostility with the bitterness of human passions, But the time was approaching when
Phocas, an obscure and profligate adventurer, made himself master of the throne by the murder of the Emperor Mauritius. The disgust and horror of the people alarmed him for his guilty prize; and the authority of the Bishop of Rome was solicited to give a sacred sanction to his title. The usurper received the benediction of Rome, and the Bishop received in return a confirmation of his long-disputed supremacy Phocas sternly repressed the rival claim of the Bishop of Constantinople; and, in the year 606, Boniface the Third
as his John had been. He was now Universal Bishop of Christendom,tuulik dead of taxit noiita19qua T boa esiten lo mobosit sdt ave Anastat, Hist. Eccles
churches red Head fas all the
The eighth century was the era of the temporal power of Rome. The spiritual supremacy had been revived by an alliance with treason and usurpation. The temporal sovereignty was now to be created by an alliance with treason and usurpation. Pepin had seized the throne of Childeric, King of France. Like Phocas, he felt himself insecure, and he demanded the Papal benediction. Pope Zachary pronounced the deposition of the unfortunate king, and crowned the usurper by the hands of his missionary Boniface. The Lombard invasion gave Pepin a sudden opportunity of displaying his sense of the obligation. He broke the power of the Lombards in battle, and gave to the Pope in full sovereignty the spoils of the Lombard kingdom, the territories of Ravenna, Bologna, and Ferrara, with the Pentapolis. The Lombards made a last attempt, and were finally ruined by Charlemagne, who marched to Rome, was received in triumph by Pope Adrian, and was crowned as the successor of the Roman Emperors, the new master of the world.
This service had its reward. The Emperor, in the exultation of the moment, made over to the Popedom the whole sovereignty of the fallen Exarchate. But the ambition of the Holy See had now learned to look to higher objects. A decree was produced from the Romish archives, which was declared to be by command of the first Constantine, and which assigned to the Popedom the sovereignty of Rome, Italy, and the West. The instrument was a forgery; its falsehood is now notorious to all historians. But those were not the times of investigation. Such learning as had survived the furious shocks of the Gothic and Greek wars, was limited to the Romish priesthood. The Pope asserted his right derived from the first Christian Emperor, and from that hour he proceeded to establish and enforce it by the sword and the torch in every region of the civilized world.
The Papal power was the power of opinion acting on the singular ignorance of mankind, in a period when military violence had alternated with superstition, first to break down the freedom of nations, and then to enslave their minds. The
VOL. XXXI, NO. CXCII.
actual territory has, at all times, been small; and one of the most unaccountable circumstances in the history of this pre-eminently ambitious and intriguing government, which, for many an age influenced every revolution of Italy, and which openly arrogated dominion over the princes of the earth, is, that its provinces have scarcely received any addition since the donative of Charlemagne. They are still confined to the Three Legations, which the Austrians now seem on the point of protecting for his Holiness, St Peter's patrimony, Umbria, Spoleto, Peruzia, and some other unimportant districts. But their position is promising. They stretch across the Peninsula, and have ports on the two seas. They ought to have long since shared in the commerce engrossed by the Venetians, their neighbours on the north, and the Tuscans, their borderers on the west. The climate is fine, the soil fertile, the popular mind subtle, susceptible, and ingenious. But, by some problem in the Papal government, all the advantages of nature seem to have been thrown away in every age. The aspect of the country strikes the traveller at once, as afflicted by the double evils of tyranny and ignorance. The land lies in sterility, the climate is poisoned by neglected marshes, and the people are proverbially among the most beggared, discontented, and disheartened population of Italy.
But the prodigious power which this government has exercised upon Europe, and the power which it is still capable of exercising, and which it will inevitably exercise in the first public crisis of opinion in Europe, make the details of the Papal government one of the most curious studies in political science. The whole system is marked by strong contradictions. One of the weakest of European States in point of territory, it exhibits an extraordinary influence over some of the most important portions of the Continent. One of the poorest in point of revenue, and with a population almost totally destitute of trade and manufactures, a people of monks and mendicants, no treasury of Europe steers so clear of bankruptcy. One of the most despotic of all governments, in fact, a government almost wholly depen