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Let her dread no more what man can say to her—

Vanguard of Liberty, ye men of Kent,
Now is the time to prove your hardiment.

When she stands firm for the liberty of the whole of Europe, she secures her own. Better to have one soul and perish to a man than that a people should have any other lord than its own reason and its own sword. These are the words he would cry to Crete at this sharp hour, and Crete has given her answer. But what would he say to the England of to-day P What answer would its Government give to him P Not that which the Government of England gave in 1806, when, after Austerlitz and Jena, it stood all but alone, in separate pre-eminence, among the nations of Europe, against the enemy of the human race; not that answer which Wordsworth embodies in the last Sonnet of the First Part of this book. In ourselves, he cries, our safety must be sought. We must stand unpropped or be laid low. He is a dastard whom such foretaste does not cheer. Wise, upright, valiant be our leaders, not a servile band

Who are to judge of danger which they fear,
And honour which they do not understand.

The Second Part is introduced by two Sonnets composed in 1810 on the proclamation of the liberty of Greece at the Isthmian Games by the Roman Conqueror. The Roman Commission, after Flaminius had overthrown Philip of Macedon, arrived in Greece in B.C. 196, to arrange the affairs of the country, to do for Greece what the Concert of the Powers wishes to do for Crete. And Flaminius proclaimed, having insisted first on the terms of the peace, the liberty, and independence of Greece. Wordsworth applies the story to the events of his time, and we may still more accurately apply it. Is the gift of liberty dear, he asks, when given by a conqueror P Is that a boon worthy of joy P. It cannot be given, he replies, by all the blended powers of earth and heaven; it must be won by a nation's independent effort. This the rough AEtolians said to Flaminius in bitter scorn, and Crete and Greece have said the same, with the same scorn, to the assembled Powers. Those who, from without, bestow autonomy on Crete insult her by the gift. It is a fresh servitude, a masquerade of liberty. An appeal to Germany—Sonnet iv., inculcates the some lesson in 1807. In 1808 came the Convention of Cintra. Against this instrument, which allowed the French under Junot to escape by a retreat, when England, as men thought, might have wholly emancipated Spain and Portugal, Wordsworth wrote his Tract on the Convention of Cintra, which Canning declared to be the most eloquent production since the days of Burke. “With detestation, I may say with abhorrence,” Wordsworth said, “I looked on that Convention”—not because, as at the present day, England had used her forces against a people desiring to be free, but only because she had not pushed her advantage against the oppressor to its utmost limits for the sake of the oppressed. “There was no hope,” he says (and we may read into his words Crete and Greece instead of Europe), “for the deliverance of Europe till the nations had suffered enough to be driven by a passionate recollection of all that was honourable in their past history, and to make appeal to the principles of universal and everlasting justice. These sentiments, he continues (and we may read the “Concert of Europe” for the “authors of that Convention”), the authors of that Convention most unfeelingly violated; and—as to the principles, they seemed to, be as little aware even of the existence of such powers (for powers they may emphatically be called) as the tyrant himself. As far therefore as these men could, they put an extinguisher on the star which was then rising.” This is an impeachment which fits our time. Nor does the rest of the Tract fail in this application. Wordsworth paints the “feelings of sorrow, astonishment, indignation, and shame” with which the Convention, which let the armies of the Curse of the human race escape, was received in England. What would he have said if he had then watched for many years the policy of England in support of a greater but a weaker Curse of mankind, who has now added to systematic misrule the savage murder in the last two years of more than Ioo, ooo men, women and children, butchered to make a Turkish holiday? What sorrow, astonishment, indignation, and shame have not the people of this country felt; yes, even those who have supported at various times and under various Governments the policy which defended the integrity of Turkey ! Whatever Wordsworth afterwards thought when “disturb nothing” became the motto of his sad downfall, in 1809 he defended, with words which ought to be read to-day, the rights of oppressed peoples to claim freedom and the duty of England to support their claim. This is the practical and the wisest policy, he thinks, for the true interests of all nations. In spite of all expediency, and in the teeth of diplomatists and statesmen, whose training disenables them from taking practical views of the greater questions and from encountering with practical foresight great emergencies, the support of freedom is always right and for the best interests and progress of the nation that supports it, and the support of oppression always wrong and always injurious to the health of the nation that supports it. And once at least—when the great Whigs had as their motto, Civil and religious liberty all over the world—England thought that, and acted on it in times which I trust may again be to us an inspiration. , Even the strong sentences of the Tract on the Convention “scarcely express the depth of feeling with which I entered,” says Wordsworth, “into the struggle , carried on by the Spaniards for their deliverance” from the French. Often, so late as two in the morning, he walked in the darkness from Allan Bank to the top of Dunmailraise to meet the carrier bringing the newspaper from Keswick. We catch a glimpse of him late at night, sitting in his summer parlour writing his Tract, while a great wind blew in the valley of Easdale. His pen has fallen from his hand, and he listens to the loud storm and the answering

torrents. The v. and vi. Sonnets of the Second Part record this hour of the passion of nature and of his own mind:

Here, mighty Nature I in this school sublime
I weigh the hopes and fears of suffering Spain.

Prose is unable to express his heart; he turns to poetry.

The Sonnets on the contest in Spain are not of Wordsworth's finest quality. They are numbered xiii. xvi., perhaps xxi., for Palafox was imprisoned at Vincennes, and xxii. to xxxi. They celebrate the noble defence of Saragossa, and the heroism of Palafox who directed it; they mourn over the imprisonment of Palafox with the same passion but with less poetry than Wordsworth had lamented the captivity of Toussaint, and they bid him think in his cell of the triumph of his country in the four lines of the close of the xxiii. Sonnet. The Biscayan Sonnets, save that on the Oak of Guernica, are below the just level of Wordsworth, and so are those on the Spanish Guerillas; but the best of them is that which is most applicable to our own day, when Greece and the Cretans are asked to confess the benefits, and bless the intervention of the Powers who are acting for their good. Napoleon told the Spaniards, as the Concert of the Powers has told the Cretans, that he came to deliver them; he declared, as the Powers have declared to Crete, that the time would come when Spain, enlightened by his wisdom, would bless his sway; he, too, imagined that national independence could be given

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