« ElőzőTovább »
was sent to jail for a good six mouths, in merating all the complaints about the order to " restrain the licentiousness of the language of the parliament and the press, “press, and thereby to preserve its free- that the first Consul " did not,' on that ac“ dom?" . 'I wonder, Sir, that you, who count, entertain a doubt of the continuance have made some voise with your talk about “ of peace." Now, Sir, either Mr. Anliberty, do not feel a little bąshful at re. dreossy, who was charged to express to us peating, as your bavn, these words of Mr. the sentiments of the first Consul, must Blackstone; that you are not ashamed to ap- have been wrong, must, in fact, have said plaud a forot of prosecution, which prohibits what was false; or you must now be wrong. the person prosecuted from pleading, in his One or the other you must ackuowledge, delence, the truth of the words, to have unless, which is not very improbable, you uttered which is imputed to him as a crime. should choose to say, that Buonaparté, upon I wonder you are not ashamed of this; you, whose sincerity, on all other occasions, you who so inordimately rejoiced at the French have an unbounded reliance, did; in this revolution, as the dawn of liberty upon the one litue instance, play the hypocrite.continent of Europe?; you, who have always | I, for my part, scruple not to say," that the belonged to that party, whose claim to pub. | attempts of Buonaparte to restrain the liberty lic favour was founded solely upon their at- of speech and of the press would have been, tachment to the cause . of freedoni, and if not 'speedily atoned for, a sufficient ground whose constant cry; until they were in office, tof war; but, our poor tame ministers of was “the liberty of the press." But, this that day were very far indeed from demand. inconsistency does really appear to me, to ing satisfaction for so gross an affrout upon have arisen, in you, at least, out of an at- the country. Nay, they not only suffered tachment to France generally, and to her him to make his attempts, but flattered him ruler in particular. For his sake it is, that with success, and actually began, in the peryou would extend the operation of the law son of Mr. Peltier, to offer up sacrifices 10 of libel 'to publications relating to foreign this arrogance. You, Sir, seem to regret, princes and states ; for, though yoa speak that they were not more expeditious, and of foreign states,".. in the plural number, that the war came to rob Buonaparté of a it is quite evident, that your eye is fixed on victim. But, without a new law for the France alone, and, however angry it may purpose, they could not proceed quicker; make you, I cannot belp expressing my and, it is liardly 10 be supposed, that he opinion, that the care which you have had not some friend in this country to intaken to disguise the fact, that the speeches form Mr. Andreossy, that, as matters stood in parlizement were complained of by Buona: just then, unfurnished as we were with a parté not dess ihan the pamphlets and news. Cayenne Diligence, the good Addington papers, and that the intinite pains you have ininistry were doing all that lay in their bestowed in order to produce a belief, that power to accommodate things to his liking. the war had no other efficient cause than the In short, the press was fast falling under the publications of a few interested and un- clutches of Buonaparte, and, though you
principled individuals," ought to be consi- seem to have forgotten it, the members of dered as a strong presumptire proof of your parlianient had received a hint, " that, if entertaining an ummatural partiality for the i och reproachful language, with respect enemy, whose cause you have pleaded in "I to the head of the French government, the true spirit of a professed advocate.--* verc indulged in, it would be impossible But, Sir, it is not true, that the publications " to maintain the relationships of peace and in England, or that. the speeches in parlia- amity." So that, if any thing short of ment, were the original cause of the present the Cayenne Diligence would have satisfied war. Mr. Andreossy says, when speaking hin, he was in a fair way of being perfectly of the publications in the Moniteur (which, satisfied. It was not the press, then, observe, were acknowledgedly the act of that was the cause of ihe war. There were the government of France,) « they are of several oiler causes, though you, Sir, have “ an order too secondary to be capable of thought proper, to keep them wholly out of
influencing such a decision" (that of war]. 1 siglit. You speak of the " impeclinents". “ Are we, then, to return to the age of to the evacuation of Holland and of Malta, « tourpanients? Motives of this nature az if those impedimerits were the whole that “ might lave authorized, four centuries ago, had occurred, as matter of ditference, bea • the combat of thirties; but, they can- tween the peace of Amiens and the breaking
not, in this age, be a reason for war be out of the war. Is it possible, that you can
tween the two couutries.”. He says, have overlooked the famons procceding, in another part of his lester, after eau called the Germany Indemnities," in whiek
France assomed to herself the right of divid- | Talleyraud's instructions to these curious ing and parcelling out the territory and the envoys, one was to ascertain the soundrevenues of the several states of Germany ? ings of the port in which they were Is it, indeed, a fact, that you have forgot- stationed and the bearings of the land.from ten, that one of her first acts in peace was tlle place of entrance; that another was, to to make Savoy, which was to remain inde- come at the extent of the population near ! pendent of France, a department of France ? the coast; another, to take an account of the Can you, such an ardent a-lmirer of liberty, naval and military force, and to sound the have forgotten, that another act of peace, disposition of the people. You forget, that on the part of Buonaparté, was to send an several of these agents were destined for the army to invade Switzerland, to place one of ports of Irelard, where one of them, if I his own creatures at the head of the govern. am not in inistake, had Actually arrived, s ment there, and to make that conntry, as and had begun his “commercial" inquiries, i to all practical purposes, another department when the whole of them were ordered tai of France? Sebastiani's mission and report decamp. All these things you have forgote ! you have noticed; but, you have done it, ten : no, you have not forgotten any one of nerely for the purpose of shewing, that we, theni ; for you have shewo us, that you have 100, could complain of foul language, when recently read the dispatches, and, having directed against ourselves, totally omitting, read them, it is impossible, that you should however, 10 draw the distinction between not bave been reminded of all the causes of publications, in pamphlets and news papers, war, which I have here enumerated. These by unauthorised individuals, and a report causes co-operated in producing the war. nade by an accredited agent of the govern- There was nothing so dear the hearts of the ment, made to the government by that then ministers as the preservation of peace, agent, and published by that government, upon almost anyterms. Ifthe silencing of the under its own name, having, from these cir- small part of the press (for it wasa mere trifle) cumstances, just the same character and which held a warlike language, had been weight as if it had been a note, delivered by all that was necessary, they would very soon ? the French Embassador to Lord Hawkes. have accomplished that,
and would have been bury. This you have onitted to do; and, applauded for the act by three fourths of you have,,,100, whether from want of prin- the parliament, by ninety nine hundredibs ciple, or not, I. slall leave the reader to of the press, and by a like proportion of judge, omitted to state, that the publication the people, in their then disposition to sink w!sich gave most offence to Buonaparté; was quietly beneath the domineering spirit of that of Sir Robert Wilson, whom, though France. But; the ministers, though willing you may, perhaps, include him amongst to go almost any length in the way of those a
hirelings, who fatten upon the ca- concession and humiliation, save that all, “ Jamities, but the nation," you have not, concession and humiliation would finally amidst all your avowed contempt for un- fail ; and, day after daya admonished them, manliness, ventured to name, though there that time was only adding to the weight was, it appears to nie, much more necessity of their responsibility. They saw Buona for naming him, than' for naming Mr. Pelo parté making bolder strides of conquest no tier. - But, it was not on account of the peace than he had made in war ; they could abusive language' of Sebastiani's report, that look in no direction without seeing marks it was made, by us, a subject of complaint. of his restless ambition ;.; and, they justly Thpt report disclosed, in the usual way of dreader, that, taking advantage of sone fas: the French, the views which they meant to vourable moment, he would, in the midst 1 act! upon, with respect to Egypt It dis- of peace, accomplish, or at least, attempt,... covered the intentions of Buonaparte with some act of open bostility against Englando i regard to those territories of the Turks; or Ireland. It was in this state of mind, 1 and, added to the other considerations of that they resolved sipoa war.; and though the time, was one principal cause of the se. Malta stood in the fore-ground, there was a newal of the war. You appear, Sir, 10 combination of causes, which really produce have quite forgotten, too, the dispute rela- ed the event ; a combination not very easy tive to Mr. Taleyrand's " commercial com- to be described, and, therefore, Mfr. Adding"missaries," coming from a country, ton, cutting the matter short, emphatically with which we had no commercial con- answered those who inquired into the causes: Dection's and furnished with maps, chiarts, of the war:'"We are at war, because we and mathematical instruments, instead of cannot be at peuce." And yet, Sir, you, Jaws of shipping and tables of custom by the means of garbled statements and house duties: You forgety that, it Mr, forced constructions, taking advantage of the
want of that information which must genes which took place, at the time referred to; rally prevail upon such subjects, would that the union of Lord Grenville and Mr. fajn make the people believe, that Buona- Fox with that of their friends, encouraged parié was sincerely disposed 10 preserve the hope of a speedy termination of hos; the peace, and to desist from all encroach- tilities; but, you do not give us any reason, ments ; and that the sole cause of the war, or produce any indication of public feeling, in which we are now engaged, arose not upon which this assertion is founded. Diffrom any opiirion entertained by our minis. ficult indeed would it be for you to do either. ters that it was Specessary to our safety, but The new ministry was composed of Mr. merely froor the irritation produced by the Fox and three others, who had approved of
uojust and offensive aspersions against the the peace of Amiens, besides Mr. Adding“ 'ruler of France," written and published ton and Lord Ellenborough, who were in by“ venal demagogues," by “ wercenary office when that peace was made; but, in
'scribblers," by " a few interested and this same ministry were Lord Grenville, “ unprincipled individuals, who fatten upon who was at the head of the whole, Mr. " the calamities of the nation ;" than Windham who was at the head of the war sich attempt to impose upon the unwary department, and, in one post, or another, and to excite discontent in the distressed, every lord and every comnioner, with, I be, I am inclined to believe that few readers lieve, the sole exception of Lord Folkestone, will be able to form an idea of any thing who had voted against the peace of Amiens, more completely unprincipled, especially your delightful peace of Amiens, the nonwhen they come hereafter to compare your preservation of which you so pathetically present exertions with that profound silence, lament. Nay, sir, in this ministry were, which, while in parliament, you observed, without exception, all those noblemen and upon the sabject of the negociation of 1806. gentlemen, whose speeches in parliament
II. Before I speak of the Negociation of had given so much offence to Buonaparte, 180ộ and of ihe views then manifested by / previous to the commencement of the war; Napoleon, I cannot help making a remark and who, moreover, had, from time to time, or two upon the manner, in which you taken special care to convince the nation, introduce that part of your subjuct, reserva that their opinion of his character and views ing, however, the pretty story about Dr. had undergone no material change. Pray Fox and the assassin for a letier of lighter tell us, then, sir, how their elevation to matter. " The reins of government," upon power (of which, observe, they were at the the death of Mr. Pitt, you say,
* fell from very head) could, in any sane mind, "en“ the hands of liis panic-stricken colleagues courage the hope of a speedy termination " in office. A change in the administra- “ of hostilities." " Yet, when you coine af~ tion of the country took place, and the terwards to speak of the termination of the
union of Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox war between France and Russia, and of the " with that of their friends, encouraged the second change in the ministry, which had
hope, not only of a speedy termination of taken place in the interim, you again advert " hostilities, but of that steady and gradual to ibis disposition in the late ministry, and " amelioration in our domestic concerns, that, too, for purposes so evidently of a
which, without alarming the fears of the factious pature as not to leave them the pos. " weak, miglit satisfy the resaonable ex- sibility of their being misunderstood. “In “pectations of the country.” Now, Sir, “ the mean time," say you,“ a change it appears. to me, that if your wisdom had, “ had taken place in the British ministry, upon this occasion, been equal to your “ founded on one of the most extraordinary zeal, you would 1300 bave said a word about popular delusions ever practised on the the reins íalling from the hands of the panic- credulity of a nation. As the new mistricken colleagues of Mr. Pitt; seeing that “ nisters consisted chiefly of those, who bad those very men liave, and that, too, in a supported, with undeviating pertinaci'y, nionient of the war still more calamitous " the war system, it was not to be expected,
“ that , ing the Duke of Portland to the liead of the Then you proceed to speak of the offer of ministry, have not only defeated their po- , Russian mediation, and to ascribe its rejecHitical opponents, but have adopted measures, tion to this pertinacious love of war, in the which have made the enemy, though now present ministers. This is'a point of great become the conqueror of all the continent importance with you ; it is the foundation of Euripe, lower his tone with respect to work of : the false notions, wbich your England. ----You tell us, Sir, that this change paniphlet is calculated to inculcate ; and,
grasped the reins of government, and, moist « toa pacification, was likely to take place."
therefore, it is necessary to remove it. The, Spence, he does by no means maintain that persons, now alive, who had most pertina- | foreign commerce is injurious, ar that it ciously supported the “war system," were shonld be either at once, or gradually given Lord Grenville, late first lord of the trea- up. He says only shat the loss of it would sury, Mr. Windham, late secretary of state not be so hurtful as is generally imagined, for the war department, Mr. Grenville, late which under our present circunıstances is first lord of the admiralty, Lord Fitzwilliam, consoling, and I think he has is a great late president of the council, Lord Spencer, measure proved it. But if I understand, late secretary of state for the home depart. you, Mr. Cobbett, you are for applying the ment. Here were five cabinet ministers, axe to the root completely, and without ceall of whom had voted against the peace of remony. You maintain that natural wealth Amiens; all of whom had undeviatingly cannot arise from foreign commerce. Now contended, that no peace with Buonaparte, let us take the instance of Holland. You under circumstances, such as existed at the will not surely deny that Holland was a rich time when that treaty was made, could be country. Though her commerce is almost sate; all of whom had contended, that, annihilated she is still a rich country. Her merely as a trial against time, the chances riches were not at the former period, much of war were better than the chances of more than now, adventitious or floating. peace. Now, look at the present cabinet, They were fixed, permanent, realised. How and you will find, sir, that there are some were these riches acquired but by foreign comwho were in office when the peace of merce? Her territory, though fertile and Amiens was made ; that almost the whole cultivated to the utternuost, was small and of them, not then in office, spoke in favour never could afford subsistence to half of the of that peace ; and that there is not amongst inhabitants. Her riches could not therefore
tbem, nor, I believe, in any of the subal- arise from agriculture or her own produce, • tern post of the ministry, ore single man, or the internal consumption either of it or who either spoke or voted against that poace. her manufactures. ---I conceive only one I do not say this in commendation of their way of surmounting this example and still conduet; for, my opinion is, that that peace adhering to your doctrines as applied to this was injurious as well as disgraceful to Eng- i country. It may be said that the Duch land; but, I say it for the purpose of show- were merely Carriers. The gain, of ide ing, that the cause, to which you are de- i Carriers though sinall. is steady ani certain. sirous of attributing the rejection of the And are not we also Carriers, though not offer of Russian mediation has no foundation in the same proportion as the Dutch, regardin fact, and is a pure invention of your own. ing the extent of our commerce and theirs, I must say, too, that I look upon it as an because we have a great country to supply, invention proceeding from a motive, which, and a luxurious people, while they were a without the least exaggeration, may be small country and an osconomical frugal called “ unprincipled ;" for, that notive people. When we send bullion and our evidently is to endeavour to obtain ven- manufactured goods to the East ludies, and geance on the ministers for your defeat at bring back teas and other luxuries, or articles Liverpool, by representing them as being we might do without, are all these consumed $0 pertinaciously attached to a system of by ourselves? Do we pot send a surplus to war, that, while they remain in office, the other countries, and from thence derive a country, whatever its sufferings may be, profit which is an addition to the natural and however useless and hopeless may be wealth? Bostancing the trade to the last, the continuation of the contest, has not the the most unprofitable commerce we follow, smallest chance of a restoration of peace. is giving you every advantage.-Till I am
---Having cleared up this point, I should beller iostructed, I shall hold my opiniou now proceed to the Negociation of 1800 ; that while the balance of foreign commerce but, not having room to conclude it in the is in our favour, bowever siuol) that balance present sheet, I shail postpone it to my may be-it the trade of export and insport next, remaining, in the mean while, were precisely at par-ii is highly advanta-,
geous for the country to preserve it, were'it Polley, 11th Feb. 1808. W». CUZZETT merely because it supports a multitude of
industrious people, I don't speak of the PERISH COMMERCE."
merchants or the capitalinis, but the actual Sik;-Such is the motto you bave adopt- manufaç'urers. I consider ji a mere fallacy Ćed to several of your late speculations, buit or sophistry, to say these are really paid · before I coneur ia tle sentiment, I require from the produce of our own soil. Weic more explanation. ..If I. understand Mr. it so, the country would luug.ago have felt
the burden of excessive population. But fending their country, should be animated these manufacturers purchase the produce with the zeal of a Nelson, and feel no satisfrom the wages which commercial men are faction greater than that of “ shaking-off able from the surplus gain to afford. They this mortal coil," in so dear and honorable are in truth maintained in a great measure by a cause. But, sir, that these purposes should foreigners, and thus commerce and agricul- be answered, it is essential that the inditure mutually tend to the support and en- VIDUAL should not conflict with the PUBLIC couragement of one another. --I.
interest. Self-love, however quaintly at:
fected to be despised by some, is the great LEGISLATIVE REGULATIONS.
masterspring of the human machine, and Sir, There are two subjects affecting statesnien and philosophers must invariably the politics of this country, which, though regard its operations, both in their speculathey have by no means escaped your notice, tions and practice. To effect therefore the have not been immediately placed in a point advantages which result from true allegiance, of view as calling for legislative interference; the subject in all his interests must be conthough I confess, that to my humble appre. nected with his country ; he must have all hension, they seem to demand the early con- his nearest and dearest objects insulated withsideration of parliament. The first of these in her territories : by this means the subject subjects relates to the liberty, which by our and the state are identified in point of beJaws are given to subjects of this country, neft, and to defend and protect the latter is of becoming the proprietors of funded to preserve the treasures of the former. But landed property under the dominion of a when the subject is unwisely permitted to foreign power. The second regards the pro- become a fundholder or land proprietor in a priety of a naval or military commander foreign territory, his interest is immediately being directly, or indirectly, interested in divided, and the Hercules, which but for the traffic of any merchandize, or other com- this would have been of inestimable benefit mercial speculation. No vation has ever to his native state, becomes a mere useless yet depended for its support on the volon- Colossus, striding the vast ocean, with one tary allegiance of its citizens. Litws have foot on either territory, but of utility to always been enacted to enforce allegiance, neither. But what if the interest of ihe suband to punish those who have withheld it : ject should preponderate against his native and though that nation must be weak ir- country? We may be told that a hero would deed, whose subjects are kept in a state of offer up
all private interest at the shrine of obedience purely by means of force, and its patriotism ; but let it be remembered that existence must continue extremely preca- all men are not heroes. However we may sivris, yet have such compulsory laws, even boast of integrity and inflexible justice, we in republics, been ever lield essential; not should reflect, that only one Lucius Junius as implying that the affections of the people. Brutus has been met with in thirtecu cenwere to be doubted, but to correct that turies; and that the conduct of this man (1 :: aberration from duty, which no state can be chief magistrate !) in punishing his two sous entirely free from, and 10 prevent the mis- for treason agzinst the state, has been the chievous effects which the example of one subject of unceasing panegyric by all his. disatfected citizen might produce, by con- torians, from that period to the present : taminating the minds of others : such being a sufficient example to prove how few are the frailty of buman nature, that even error
the instances in which public duty triumphis has at all periods found ils votaries. If then over private feeling. It is not, however, allegiance be so esseutial to the welfare and during the immediate period of a war that existence of a stale in times of tranquillity, this distraction of interests in the subject is how much more important does it become to be regarded; the most material consis in those unfortunate periods, when the dis- deration, is the conduct of such a man pendtracted ambition of one nation, or the petu- ing a negotiation, to preclude the necessity Jant arrogance of another, threatens her of a war. What concessions, were such an with near approaching hostility. It is then one minister, is it to be supposed that he that allegiance, which before vas scarcely would not make, to prevent that hostility, more than a name, is called upon to assume which would deprive him of a property * palpable existence. It is then that a state upon which the splendour of his family imperiously calls for her Nestors and ber might possibly cepend! And with what ag. Ulysseses : for the most vigorous and able vantage would that enemy treat with us, ia : counsels of her subjects. It is then that whose power should be placed a consideram she expects that those who are delegated ble mass of the property of our subjects.' with the great and important trust of de- Indeed view the subject as dispassionatelyhov