« הקודםהמשך »
a drain upon her resources, and at all events would distract attention from her ambitious schemes in the North of Europe. We think it impossible, looking back upon the condition in which King William found himself, to doubt that there was political prudence in the arrangement which he made. Probably, however, the union of Spain and France under the same crown was by no means so dangerous a result as it has been thought, either in those or in later time. We have ourselves seen Spanish marriages which threatened the same result, but they did not bring with them the amount of aggrandisement which those who schemed and planned for them expected. Experience has shown that it is no source of power to a monarch to have a relative on the throne of a neighbouring country; and if in the end France and Spain had come to be united under one crown, we have evidence enough of the spirit of the Spanish people at that time to make it quite certain that the only result would have been a revolt and a revolution. As the Castilians said afterwards in their fury at the notion of their kingdom being partitioned, they were ready to go to the duke or go to the Devil, provided they all went together.
The stars, however, were not propitious to this sagacious and well planned scheme. Two things occurred to prevent its execution. The treaty transpired too soon. We do not know that it can be said with truth, that King William was under any obligation to support the Emperor's claims to the kingdom of Spain, but it is a subject which admits of remark that he was hardly entitled to leave the Emperor so entirely out of his counsels before the treaty was concluded. This, however, he did quite deliberately, and with full knowledge of its necessary result. He says in one of his letters, It is certain that the 'Emperor is not to be moved by persuasion to accept either of
these alternatives, so that he must be compelled.' The dilemma was considerable, but the course proved fatal; for the treaty came to the knowledge of the Emperor, and from him to the King of Spain. The Spanish nobles were frantic at the liberty which had been taken with their kingdom, and in the end, after consulting the Pope, the King of Spain made a will by which he devolved the crown of Spain upon the Duke of Anjou in the event of his decease.
Probably had the King of Spain died immediately after the execution of the first Partition Treaty, it was the intention of France to have fulfilled it. But the second Treaty became known before the King of Spain died, the Court of Madrid was torn by the intrigues of the French and Austrian factions, the will was made in favour of the Duc d'Anjou, for the express
purpose of preserving the unity of the Spanish dominions. Louis XIV. could not resist the temptation, and not without hesitation accepted the dangerous gift; the Partition Treaty was flung to the winds, and thus began that long war of bloodshed which was graced by the laurels of Blenheim and Ramillies, and which ended by leaving France in a state of exhaustion, but placed the Bourbons on the Spanish throne.
It is, however, doubtful whether the English nation would have been prepared again to embark upon a continental campaign merely to redress the balance of power; but before the time arrived, they had another incentive which stung them to the quick. By an unaccountable mixture of arrogance, compassion, and impolicy, the French King took occasion at the death of James II. to recognise the title of his son to the throne of England. The account of it in Macaulay is very fully given, and we shall not transcribe to our pages passages with which the public must be already familiar. The scene is not more graphic and striking in the living pages of St. Simon than in those of the English historian : that stately but impudent exhibition was the true cause that roused the peace-loving people of England to renew the efforts of the war, and terminated at once the narrow policy which had thrown a gloom over the later years of the reign of William. But it is instructive, especially to students of the Jacobite class, who persist to this day in representing the Jacobites as something more than a very small minority, to see how the nation bent on peace, jealous of its foreign allies, coldly disposed enough to their foreign king, and thwarting him in all his military attempts with a dogged and stubborn perseverance, sprang to their feet at the insult thus offered to their constitution, and at the prospect of the return of the Stuarts. No warning voice that William could raise had affected them in the least. They would have no standing army, they would vote no money for soldiers; but when the news came that the French King had acknowledged the pretensions of the son of James, these precautions were flung to the winds, and they went into the new campaign with an amount of heartiness and earnestness which far exceeded anything that had been exhibited in the previous war.
But King William's mission was completed; his end was at hand; he did not live to see the first opening movements on that field to which his troops were hastening at his death. The picture of the death-bed scene of William is elaborate and striking, yet simple. It has no great rhetorical effort about it, but it comes to us at a time and in a way which renders it doubly pathetic. The great monarch's task was over, and before these lines were printed, his illustrious historian had followed him. William had laid the foundation of a great political constitution, or rather he had presided and moderated, and controlled, while our forefathers laid these foundations for themselves. It was a mighty task, and it was performed with an amount of vigour, power, foresight and prudence, without which it must have failed in the midst of difficulties which to most men would have been utterly insurmountable. In this last volume Macaulay abates somewhat of his excessive laudation of his hero, and reduces him in some degree to a more sober level. Even he can hardly forgive him for the sombre aversion with which he viewed everything English, and the keen sense of admiration he had for everything Dutch; but his portrait was finished, and the lineaments which he has drawn will never be forgotten by posterity. That part, all events, of his history is perfect. He has rescued the reputation of the great monarch from the cobwebs which a century of servility had hung around it, and has paid back to his memory the debt of gratitude which the nation has been so slow to acknowledge.
This labour completed, the pen falls from the hands of the historian. He, too, had a great work to do; he has nobly performed it, and in the great temple of English liberty no name will be more deeply or more honourably engraven than that of Macaulay.
Art. II.--1. Les Moines d'Occident, depuis Saint Benoit jusqu'à
Saint Bernard. Par le COMTE DE MONTALEMBERT. Tomes
I. II. Paris : 1860. 2. The Monks of the West, from St. Benedict to St. Bernard.
By the Count DE MONTALEMBERT, &c. Authorised Trans
lation. 2 vols. Edinburgh: 1861.* AT T a time when the representative of Gregory the Great and
of Hildebrand is clinging with a desperate tenacity to the shrunk remnant of his temporal power, M. de Montalembert has given to the world a history of the Monastic Orders, to whom the more vigorous predecessors of Pius the Ninth were almost wholly indebted for the greatest of their victories. Few lessons can be more impressive than that which is furnished by the position, both of the author and of the Pontiff to whom his pages are dedicated. The grand vision of a sacerdotal empire which to the fervent longings of the first Gregory far outweighed all merely temporal power—the image, less beautiful though more colossal, of an infinite dominion over all kings and rulers, which stirred the heart of Gregory the Seventh, has no kindred charm for their
Without the power of comprehending the real greatness of the men who raised the fabric of Papal Supremacy, the Vicegerent of Christ, whose standard was borne on to victory by Jerome and Augustine, by Benedict and Bernard, is risking his true inheritance of spiritual authority for the maintenance of an earthly state which would scarcely place him in the third or fourth rank of secular princes. Contradictions not less momentous are exhibited in the personal history of M. de Montalembert. In England his name is as highly honoured as it is widely known, for his determined opposition to a rigid and centralising despotism; but, born in an age of experiments, in which revolution has given place to legitimacy, and a monarchy set up by the people bas been swept away in the flood of republicanism, he has failed to apprehend the true nature of that freedom to which he clings with the most passionate devotion. It could hardly indeed have been otherwise. No constitution such as that of England has ever sprung from mere theory. The idea which Englishmen have of liberty could never have been realised by
* The following pages were already in type when the translation reached us. We have therefore not been able to avail ourselves of it; but it appears to be executed with spirit and accuracy.
the experience of a single generation. To this atmosphere of theory and experiment must be traced that inconsistency in word and action, which marks the career of M. de Montalembert. The defence of monasticism comes from the unflinching admirer of English liberty: nay, in this monasticism he professes to discern that very principle of freedom which was uprooted by the overthrow of the Ancien Régime. With such contradictions as these, we cease to wonder that the writer who seeks in England a purer air than the tainted atmosphere of French servility, should accept unreservedly the social results of the first Revolution, and that his adhesion to the doctrine of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity should have been followed by the ominous welcome with which he hailed the advent of that despotism, of which he has since felt the sting.
On the minds of Englishmen the idea of monasticism leaves the impression, not of obedience to a principle of law, but of servile prostration before an idolised rule. It exhibits to them a system which rigidly limits the exercise of mental powers, while it is the grave of all natural affection; a system which fostered the keenest intellectual subtlety the more effectually to crush the slightest movement in any forbidden direction. Yet it is no subject of regret that M. de Montalembert should come forward as the advocate of a system which in its legitimate results we hold to be fatal to the true growth of the mind, as well as to all genuine political freedom. The examination of first principles may be dull or wearisome ; but there is a hope of detecting the fallacies, perhaps of weakening the convictions, of a writer, when he lays bare the secrets of his philosophy. Whatever inconsistency we may see in M. de Montalembert, may also be found in every page of monastic history. Freedom and oppression, the love of truth and the dread of investigation, the thoughtful search after living laws, and the barren enunciation of traditionary dogmas, appear to us to characterise in a larger or less degree all the great monastic heroes. If the attempt to trace out these contradictions fail of carrying conviction to M. de Montalembert, it may at the least show that a true appreciation of the idea of freedom as understood by Englishmen, and a real knowledge of their constitution, cannot be attained by one whose mind is preoccupied by the principles of monasticism. . Meanwhile, his pages will serve to overthrow some errors prevalent amongst ourselves, and to bring out in ciearer light the real strength and weakness of the monastic orders, and of that system of Latin Christianity, of which they were pre-eminently the pioneers and champions. His volumes, in the judgment of friend and foe alike, must be allowed to up