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panion of infidels. Voltaire himself was long the object of his idolatry. He had no fear of God, and no love to man, although it served the purpose of British policy to consider him as a Protestant hero, fighting for the cause of religion and liberty, and to form with him a subsidiary treaty, commencing with a payment of little less than a million sterling! The blood and the treasure wasted in military enterprise by Frederick, and those Powers whom his wrongs roused to resistance, had sufficed to civilize the bulk of the nations of Europe. How great was the guilt that rested on his head as he descended to the grave! Nor did the mischief end with his death. Your Grace needs not to be reminded, that he was not only a consummate master in the art of human slaughter, but that he also formed his principles into a system, and published it in a volume, which acquired a fatal celebrity, and became the detestable instrument of advancing the cause of bloodshed and barbarism.
The instances here specified may serve both as ancient and more modern illustrations of the regal military character in general, and of the nature and tendencies of military enterprise in different ages of the world. Could I remember a case of any warrior of distinction which would present the matter in a more favourable light, I would certainly state it ; but I believe there is none. I therefore come at once to our own age, where the eye is instantly met by the blazing star of Napoleon, who, even if he stood alone, would sufficiently illustrate the whole question of military enterprise. Would that he had thus stood! The appearance of such a man in the midst of a world which had never known, and never heard, of war, would have been as the breaking forth of a dreadful volcano in the midst of a fair and fertile country. Men would have gazed upon hiin with wonder and terror, and, even after the tomb had received him, would have been unable to mention his name without
awe and horror! But, unhappily, the name of warriors is Legion ; and Napoleon was only one of a multitude, of whom, if he was not the worst, the difference arose from circumstances, and not from any superiority in virtue. He was entirely void of all moral principle ; and, if he was not more wicked, it was only because the objects of his ambition did not require the perpetration of greater enormities. In the career of conquest, he spurned all laws, human and divine.
He was a law to himself, and aspired to make his will the rule of mankind. The military crimes of Charles XII. were limited to a comparatively small circle and a brief period ; those of Frederick II. were much larger, both as to time and space ; those of Napoleon, although less than Frederick's in point of time, were threefold greater in point of space. It is not easy to conceive of a single military power working a greater amount of mischief in the same period. The chief business of all the nations of Europe was war, of which he was the prime
If these wars were meritorious, the praise is mainly due to Napoleon : and, if otherwise, his, too, is the demerit. I am far from insinuating that he had no high qualities. In common with all men, I have often felt the fascination of his marvellous genius, and been frequently betrayed for a moment into a foolish, a culpable admiration of his powers and feats, and a sympathizing regret at his disasters. Nor do I deny that his tyranny and his wars have already led to much good for the nations of Europe, and, that good will result to generations yet to come. But, granting all this, nothing is granted in behalf of military enterprise. The submersion of England would be a source of commercial gain to some other portions of the earth ; but who could calculate the loss to the world at large ? Were such an event within the compass of human power, and that power exerted to effect it, would he by whom it was put forth be entitled to rank as a benefactor of man
kind ? It is thus, I submit, that we must test the merits of Napoleon. The problem to be solved, is, the effect of Buonaparte's wars upon Europe. What has been the effect of those wars on its peaceful arts, its agriculture, its commerce, its science, its literature, its laws, its liberties, its morals, its religion, its happiness,-in a word, on every thing that constitutes civilization? Your Grace is competent to answer most of these questions. Would that their solution might occupy your hours of leisure! It would be the best service that you can now render to mankind. What a narrative might your pen produce! No such period is known to European history as that comprised between the years 1794 and 1814. In no period of its history were there such waste of blood and treasure, such violence and robbery, such commotion, fear, flight, distress, and misery. These calamities were confined to no one European country: in turn, they extended to all ; and, in some, they were continual. What was the result at the close of the frightful era ? Civilization had not advanced, but retrograded. Barbarity had become naturalized. All was confusion and desolation. Had the same measure of intellectual, moral, and physical energy been put forth, and the same amount of pecuniary means been employed to promote civilization, these countries which were deluged with the blood of their own citizens, and overspread with ruin, from which even now they have scarcely recovered, might have been raised to such a pitch of real greatness and true grandeur, as they cannot reach for centuries to come. How exasperating, how afflictive, is the consideration! These baleful and accursed wars, however, affected the Continent and Great Britain in a very different manner, the latter, happily, never being the theatre of conflict. Here, therefore, those things which constitute civilization, were but indirectly influenced by the sanguinary struggle. It bore upon Britain in another way, yet all
the more destructive, because not direct and immediate. Our calamity is as extensive as the British empire, and it will be as permanent as the British throne. There is not a labouring man among the millions of England who feels it not; and, like the fall of man, its consequences will extend through our posterity to the close of all things. The positive mischief to the nations of the Continent may be fully repaired in the space of a few more years; but Britain's wound is incurable.
The largest understanding supplies no thoughts adequate to represent the evils of Napoleon's military enterprises. To have run, during a space so limited, a career so full of havoc and horror, so various in its iniquities, so fraught with injustice, cruelty, atrocity, and all kinds of misery, might have satisfied the most enlarged malignity of the most depraved spirit in hell !
But, my Lord Duke, these wars have had their bearing-a bearing tremendous beyond expression or conception on the eternal well-being of myriads of myriads ; and, before that bearing, whatever is merely secular and sublunary, shrinks into insignificance. With all these facts before us, can we hesitate as to the light in which Napoleon should be viewed ? I submit that, as patriots, it behoves us to denounce his spirit and his principles, -as philanthropists, to execrate his memory, -and, as Christians, to lament his existence, and even shudder at the sound of his name !
My Lord Duke, I am now led to your own character and history; and the transition is a happy deliverance. After the scenes which we have contemplated, it is truly refreshing to the eye of the understanding and the imagination, to turn to the Duke of Wellington. But by me this pleasure is enjoyed at the expense of freedom and facility. Justice to your Grace, and still more to my subject, demands a license of speech, a latitude of observation, scarcely comporting with the delicacy due to your illustrious person. There are
cases, however, your Grace will allow, when considerations of delicacy must give place to considerations of public good. Through your Grace, I am anxious to address an important class of the community on the subjects of this letter ; and it is indispensable to my success, to prove to that class, that, although the earnest advocate of missions, and the inveterate adversary of war, yet I am as sensible as any man can be to the claims of your Grace's character, which, indeed, I may, without presumption, assert, I have investigated with industry, candour, and veneration. To form a full and a correct estimate of such a subject, I confess to be a difficult undertaking. I do not forget that Alexander forbade any one to paint him but Apelles; but while I keep in mind that your Grace's portrait has already been drawn by some of the greatest masters in English literature, still I conceive that their performances do not preclude this further attempt. Some of the chief features have, indeed, been brought forth but very imperfectly in most of these portraits, and in others they have not appeared at all. At any rate, so far as my knowledge extends, no man has hitherto investigated your Grace's character by the lights of Revelation, and contrasted it in its main points with that of the Christian missionary, which it is my principal object to do. That as much as possible I may avoid the embarrassment arising from the dread of opriety, let me be considered, in discussing the personal part of the subject, as speaking not to, but of the Duke of Wellington. The judgment will be grounded principally on a minute scrutiny into your opinions and actions, history and character, as developed in your own Despatches, General Orders, and Official Letters. Of all evidence, documentary is the most valuable and satisfactory, whether for judicial, historical, or moral ends. By your own writings, therefore, posterity will be chiefly guided in forming their estimate of your Grace's character and