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illustration, and explained by the context, is upon the seas, which had not been claimed possible; but, that any gentleman of the by her in the best times of her history; and, university, has declared, from the pulpit, that, in the next place, I stated the exercise that the nations of the earth are to be consi- of a rigorous maritime sovereignty of the dered as so many wild beasts, and that the seas to be necessary to our defence, as long strongest, when it has the power, has also the as Napoleon should insist upon an absolute right to destroy the weakest, is what I do controul over all the sea-ports and naval arsenot believe, and what, I am convinced, will nals of the continent of Europe; and added,, not be believed by any one of your readers, that, in proportion as he was disposed to let whose ignorance, or whose sectarian preju- go his hold of those sea-ports and arsenals, dice and bitterness, do not disqualify him for in proportion as he was disposed to grant the the forming an impartial judgment in the former freedem to the land, we ought to be Case. Of me, you say that I have dared to disposed to relax in the exercise of our soveinsult the common feelings and the common reignty upon the waters. Was this a recom sense of mankind, by "asserting that might mendation to our government to shut up "constitutes right." This, in the naked the channels of the sea, against all other naway in which y you state the assertion, is ano- tions, merely because we were able to do it? ther falshood. I asserted, and still assert, Equally gross is your misconstruction of the that there is no law, to which nations im- meaning of that passage, in the king's declaplicitly bow; that there is no rule by which ration against Russia, wherein he says, that they are bound; that there is no common "it was time that the effects of that dread, tribunal amongst them; that there is no where any judge to decide between them and no where any power to enforce obedience to any decision; and that, therefore, it is, after all, amongst nations, might which constitutes right, and must constitute right in all cases, where the sword is the judge. But, is this a general and sweeping assertion, that "might constitutes right?" And is it moral right that is here spoken of? You must certainly know better. I use the word right, in the sense, in which you use it, when you tell your readers, that Hanover was ceded to Prussia by France, "who possessed it by the right of conquest." That is to say, by the right of force; that is to say by might; and, when you are speaking of the rights of France, dear harmless France, you seem to have no objection to the application of this doctrine, though it would, perhaps, be very hard to imagine any case, wherein right has been more completely founded upon mere might than in that of Hanover. But you proceed to complain of me for saying, that, "with the maritime power, which this "country now possesses, not a ship belong

ing to any other nation should be suffered "to pass the seas, but upon conditions pre"scribed by us." You are, Sir, without exception, the most flagrant misquoter, the most barefaced garbler, that ever 'appeared in print. Just as if I had founded the proposal of exercising this rigour at sea upon the sole circumstance of our having the pow er to exercise it. Just as if I had said: "Now, my boys, it luckily happens, that we are able to oppress and insult all the "world, therefore, let us do it." But, my readers will remember, that, in the first place, I claimed for my country no rights

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which France has inspired into the na "tions of the world, should be counteract"ed by an exertion of the power of Great "Britain." Thus," say you, "after having poured out accusations against the "policy of Buonaparté, we are, at length, "become converts to it, and confess it to "be right." Is there, Sir, in the declaration, which you have quoted, any such confession? On the contrary, is not the merc less policy of Buonaparté complained of, in that declaration? The meaning of the words quoted is this: "that France having, by the

dread which she has inspired, caused na"tion after nation to become the enemies "of England, whose lenity towards such "nations had only tended to induce others "to follow their example in yielding to "France without resistance, it was time to

put a stop to this, it was time to counteract the effects of a dread of France, by showing to such nations that they had something to dread from the exertion of "the power of England." And this you call a confession that the tyranny of Buonaparté was right. My neighbour, who is my enemy, has, by divers acts of severity, inspired such a dread amongst the cottagers of the manor, that they are induced, one after another, to assist him in his projects for my total ruin. I perceive, and say, that his conduct towards them is unjust, and wicked to the last degree; and I myself, though I have the power, refrain from using it against them; 'till, at last, their accumulated hostility threatens even my existence. There is one, who lives just close by me, who has more power to injure me than any of the others, who has, upon every advantageous occasion, shown a hostile disposition towards

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me, who has very recently apologized for his hostility by alledging that he was unable to resist the commands of a neighbour less strong than my chief enemy (and who is now leagued with my chief enemy); to this cottager, now, quite exposed to the power of my chief enemy, who having long set all law at defiance, openly threatens that he will make him use his axes and billhooks and scythes for my destruction; to this cottager I go, and demand the surrender of these instruments of mischief, accompanied with a promise to return them to him, as soon as I have settled matters with my principal enemy. He refuses; talks of his independence, which he has before shown to be nothing; talks of the law, which he knows to be a dead letter. Well, say I, if you will not surrender without force, I must and will force you, for my very existence depends upon these your arms being kept out of the power of my great enemy. I lament the necessity, but this I must do, or I perish. Now, is this to follow the example of my enemy?" Is this to confess that his conduct towards the other cottagers was right?" We are now, you say, "apostates to the cause of "virtue, independence, and integrity, "which we pretend to have so long sup"ported, and openly acknowledge, that "it cannot contend with that of iniquity "and oppression." If a man attack me with a knife, and I, for the purpose of preventing him from destroying me, have recourse to my knife also, I thereby certainly acknowledge, that my naked hands are unable to contend with a knife; but, am I, for that, to be called an apostate to the principles of fair boxing? The difference between us is, that he, by choice, resorts to his knife, and I to mine from necessity; he for the purpose of destroying me, and I for the purpose of preserving myself. You have here the argument of my lord of Clackmannan (whose son is our Envoy in America), that is to say, that we began the war with revolutionary France upon the ground of her having set the law of nations at defiance, and that, therefore, we should, by no means, have acted in violation of those laws. But, Sir, in the course of this war, we have seen the several nations of the continent quietly submit to this violation of law on the part of France; we upheld what was called the law, as long as we found any nation willing to uphold it too; but, when we saw them all submit to its violation by our enemy, and even join their forces to that enemy against us, or, at least, refuse to join us against that enemy, or even to

remonstrate against his aggressions, were we still to adhere to the law? When we saw him respect no law, either of neutrality or of war; when we saw almost every nation in Europe, and the American States too, bow to his will; when all that had been called public law was, in fact, at an end, were we alone to be bound by it, merely because we began the war for its support? If a general be ordered to quell a rebellion, is he to be bound down to the letter of the settled law of the land, while his opponent sets it at defiance? But, as if you were afraid of leaving it to be supposed, that you attributed criminality to Napoleon, you hasten to let us know (or, rather, perhaps, to let him know), that, though you have, for a moment, supposed" iniquity" in him, in order to impute iniquity to us in following his example," you yourself are by no means satisfied, that he has ever done any thing wrong, with regard to neutral nations. The passage I allude to is curious: "Conquerors, in open war, have, indeed, "been cruel and unsparing to their ene"mics; governments which have displayed

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an open hostility to more powerful states, or which, after repeated remonstrances, "have persevered in maintaining alliances "supposed to be injurious to a belligerent "and successful power have been changed, "or extinguished; but...... ;" and, then follows your assertion that the affair of Copenhagen is infinitely worse than any thing of this sort. That you allude here to Buonaparté and his remonstrances there can be no doubt, and that, by the "persevering" government you mean particularly that of Portugal there can be as little doubt. Not a word of disapprobation escapes you. You do not justify Buonaparté in his seizure upon Portugal and his extinguishing of the government, merely because that government would not obey his orders in confiscating English property; in words you do not justify this act; but, your tone and manner are justificatory. You wanted the courage to say, that which your unnatural partiality could not refrain from insinuating. He made repeated remonstrances" did he, Sir, against the alliance between Portugal and England? What "alliance" was there? None. A treaty of peace and commerce, but no treaty of alliance whatever. Nay, the Portuguese were willing to shut their ports against English ships. This even was not enough; and the government was extinguished, the country seized upon, because the government would not consent to commit an act of fraud upon England. This you term " perseve

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ring, after repeated remonstrances, in alliances supposed to be injurious to a belligerent and successful power." Well, but, there was just the same sort of "alliance” existing between Denmark and France as between Portugal and England, We remonstrated with Denmark repeatedly, as will be seen by a reference to the dispatches; but, we could not prevail on her to break with France. At last we see her completely at the mercy of France and our new enemy Russia. And what do we ask her to do? Not to confiscate French and Russian property; not to give us a farthing; but to place in our hands, until the end of the war, that fleet, which, as she had before asserted, she was obliged to employ against us, when Russia alone commanded her so to do. She refuses, and we seize the fleet, making war upon her for the purpose. But, we attempt not to change or to extinguish the government, as France did in the case of Portugal, though, in this case, we might take to ourselves the title of << conqueror" and successful belligerent" with full as much propriety as you have applied those titles to Napoleon. Add to this, that we are notoriously in a state of great peril from the combination formed against us, and that France is in no peril at all; that we act from necessity and she from choice; that we seek for safety, and that she openly declares her intention to destroy us. Yet, you say not one word in disapprobation of her seizure upon Portugal, you allude to that act in a tone apologetic; while you ransack your poetical vocabulary for terms of reproach wherewith to describe our seizure of the Danish fleet. After this, nothing that comes from your pen, need surprize us, and we naturally look for passages such as the following. "That, if Denmark was weak, "we should have supported her." But, she would not let us support her. Read the dispatch of Lord Howick, and you will find, that she would, upon no account, suffer us to send to her assistance, which we repeatedly offered to do." Thus we should, at the "same moment, have converted a neutral "into an ally, and raised that ally to impora part of the policy of Buonaparté, which it would be much better for "this country to have imitated, than to "have contended with him in that course of "conduct, by which he is stated to have inspired so much dread into the nations.dition, you once more bring the assassin

war against England." This was very unfortunately chosen as one of the consequences of the expedition, seeing the fact is now notoriously false, though you might not be apprized of it. The correspondence between Prince Stahremberg and Mr. Canning fully proves, that the Emperor of Austria (poor man!) did not only not declare war on account of the Danish expedition; but that he has, since that event, been made the miserable instrument, in the hands of France, to propose au opening of a negociation for peace between us and the latter power, in order to save that power the mortification of having made the proposition itself. Our ministers treated that proposition in the manner that it deserved. They did not sneak into a nociation under beggarly pretences of "attachment," either to Napoleon or Mr. Talleyrand. They expressed their readiness to treat, but they would correspond upon the subiect with no one but the enemy; and despised the trick of an invented assassin. You, however, are so fond of this invention, that, in winding up your attack upon the Danish expe

"tance,

of the world." Why do you say "he is "stated ?" Is it not so, my good attorney? Or, are you afraid, that he will take the law of you? I observe, that, all through your pamphlet, when you have to speak of

on board, and that, too, in a manner, which is worthy of particular notice. Having spoken of the principle, upon which the ministers, in their declaration, justified the Danish expedition, you proceed thus:

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his acts of violence, you always put the assertion into the mouth of somebody else. He" is accused" of so and so; it" is pre"tended" that he has done this and that

we impute" such and such motives to him; "the supposed" views and conduct of Buonaparte. But, from the beginning to the end, not one bad act or bad motive do you impute to him. Leaving you, however, to hug yourself in the imaginary safety which conduct like this will provide for you, in case the worst should happen, let me ask you, Sir, where you have been able to discover those neutrals, whom, "by supporting them," Buonaparté has "converted "into allies?" And where have you found out those allies, so converted, whom he has "raised to importance ?" Have you found them in Holland, in Prussia, at Hamburgh, in Switzerland, at Genca, at Naples, in Portugal, in Spain? Good God! What an impudent assertion, and that, too, from a person, who quotes Scripture as glibly as a methodist preacher, and who, therefore, ought to have remembered, that

lying lips are an abomination to the "Lord." Austria you tell us, was so indignant at our proceedings against Denmark, that" she is said to have declared

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"The assertion of such a principle is the |
more unpardonable, in the British minis-
66 try, as they had before them the recent
"example of one of their predecessors,
"who, in rejecting the proposition made to
"him to assassinate the ruler of France, has
placed this important subject in the most
"striking point of view. It was, indeed,

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but too apparent, from the observations "to which this circumstance gave rise in "the House of Commons, on the part of 66 some of those who now direct the affairs "of this country, that the conduct of Mr. Fox on that occasion was beyond their "comprehension, and consequently not likely to be the object of their imitation." Why, no. The sham assassin had not succeeded in imposing upon any person of common sense, and, therefore, it was not like-your ly that the trick would be imitated. But, you, Sir, who anticipate complaints against you upon the score of partiality towards France, because you have used no harsh language towards her or her ruler; you, who beg to be excused from joining in the abuse of Napoleon; you, mild and modest gentleman, scruple not to accase your political opponents of a disposition to employ assassins, if the occasion were to offer itself, though those opponents are the persons to whose hands the affairs of the country have been committed by the king, for whose person and authority you profess so much respect. It was but too apparent, that they would not have imitated Mr. Fox." That is to say, that it was but too apparent, that they would have accepted of, and rewarded, the services of the assassin. Now, what were the circumstances that made this So very apparent? Why, Mr. Perceval blamed the word "attachment," which Mr. Fox made use of in his letter to Talleyrand. That was all that was said about the assassin part of the correspondence; and, as no one, whose heart is not made of the very basest materials, can, in my opinion, entertain any sincere " attachment" towards Talleyrand, I must, of course, believe that Mr. Fox was not sincere in his use of the word; and, so believing, I also blame him for using the word. I am not speaking of personal affection. That was out of the question between Mr. Fox and Talleyrand. It must, ifexisting at all, have been an attachment from a similarity of thinking; an attachment founded upon Talleyrand's character or conduct; and, if Mr. Fox did entertain such attachment, I am sure he was unfit to be entrusted with the confidence of either the king or the people of England. And yet, according to you, Mr. Perceval's

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having expressed his disapprobation of this
phrase is to be considered as a proof, that he
and his colleagues would, if the occasion
were to offer, hire an assassin to take the
life of the Emperor of France. Here you
are excessively bold; here there is no marks
of the meek, unoffending philanthropist.
You are timid and tender hearted only to-
wards Napoleon and his allies. The poor
king of Prussia you abuse without mercy;
the Prince Regent of Portugal you repre-
sent as 56
persevering" in his attachments
hostile to France, :6
in spite of all remon-
strances; the editors of the English
press you call interested and unprincipled
individuals;" and the ministers you clear-.
ly accuse of a disposition to employ assassins
to take off their enemies. It is not, then,

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want of the faculty of abuse; it is nothing of mildness and moderation in your nature that disqualified you for joining in "recrimination against the French people "and their ruler;" bat, the cause is to be sought for in your partiality for that people and their ruler, of which, indeed, you appear to have been conscious, when you were protesting, by anticipation, against such a charge. And, Sir, if it be glaringly inconsistent " in those who have been uni

formly hostile to the cause of rational iberty, and the constitutional rights of the subject in this country, now to abuse the despotism of France," is it not equally inconsistent in you, who have been so loud in your professions in favour of liberty here, and who, with such unbounded joy, hailed the dawn of liberty in France, now to discover so decided a partiality for the despotism established there? You do not say, indeed, that you love that despotism; but it is quite impossible that you can have any great aversion to it, otherwise you could not discover such cautious tenderness towards the person, who is known to be its founder. Not only do you discover a tenderness towards him; but you miss no opportunity of bestowing your praises on him; and, though all that you have said of him were true, instead of being, for the most part, false; or, supposing you to think it true, still, had you been a hater of despotism, at the bottom of your beart, you would have been more sparing of those praises. We are often struck with admiration at the bravery and hardihood of highwaymen. There were few persons who were not so stricken, upon reading the account of the man lately killed in the woods in Sussex, who had lived in those woods, in the dead of winter, many days and nights with scarcely any covering upon any part of his body, who,

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when hard pursued, and, at last, closely beset by a troop of horsemen, sunk himself under the water, all but his head and one hand, there remaining, for several hours, keeping his fire-arins ready to discharge upon his pursuers, and who, when finally overpowered by numbers, rejected the offer to spare his life, and was killed in the act of defending himself to the very last extremity. There were few persons who could read this account without feelings of admiration; but, I will venture to say, that, in the thousands of conversations, to which it gave rise, there was not one, wherein detestation of the robber and the murderer was not almost the only feeling that was expressed. You, however, a philanthropist by trade, seem to be of a different taste. You are lavish in your praises of the valour, the skill, and the wisdom of Napoleon; upon all these topics you speak for yourself; but, when you have to speak of any of his misdeeds, though the fact be notorious, you take care to put the words into the mouth of somebody else; and, in all cases, where it is possible to make an Old-Bailey-like defence for him, that defence is made by you, with as much apparent earnestness and zeal, as if, at the several paragraphs of your pamphlet, you had received a refreshing fee. I do not mean to insinuate, that you have received, or that you expect, any fee at all; but, I think, the public will agree with me, that this conduct of yours is a pretty good proof, that you have no very deeply rooted hatred to despotism, and that all your cry about liberty must be regarded as merely poetical.

I should here have proceeded to the concluding and most important subject treated of in your pamphlet, the main object of which might be dismissed in a few pages; but, there are so many misrepresentations and falsehoods to expose, as I proceed, that another letter will be necessary for the purpose. In the mean while, I remain, Yours, &c. WM. COBRETT.

Botley, 23d Feb. 1808.

POST SCHIPT. The following letter, Sir, it appears to me to be your duty to answer; for, again I beg you to believe, that this let ter expfesses the opinions of the public in general." Sir, in your last, you have some pertinent remarks, respecting the assassin <<< who offered to Mr. Fox to put Buonaparté "to death. On this point both Mr. Fox and Mr. Roscoe attacked you, as instigating the assassination of Buonaparté, in saying, that, if you were a Frenchman, you would attack him by another instru

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person, did say, soon after the publication "of the Negociation Papers of Mr. Fox "with France for peace, about a year ago, "that no one ever could discover, that there

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was any such person as the one described by Mr. Fox; that he, the messenger, had inquired of all the other messengers, and "that they had made every inquiry, but that no one could find that such a person had "been in custody, and they were all per"suaded that no such person ever appeared "before Mr. Fox. Neither at the Alien of"fice could any account be found of such a

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person. It would, indeed, have been 66 strange, if any such person had offered "himself to Mr. Fox, after the notoriety of "Mr. Fox's abuse of those, whom he, by a "strained construction, pretended had ex"cited assassination. Mr. Fox, I am

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persuaded, fabricated the story, in order "to commence a correspondence with the "French government for a negociation for

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peace; and had he succeeded in making "" peace, and the fact been known, he would

have been praised for his ingenuity, as he "is now, by Mr. Roscoe, for his humanity. "In either case, the trick was to tell to his

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advantage.Mr. Fox was sworn Secretary of State, Feb. 7, 1806, and gazetted the 8th. On the 20th, he wrote the "letter to Talleyrand about the assassin, saying a few days ago" the assassin "" came, &c. &c. Mr. Fox could not have "been a week in office when the assassin "addressed him; and it is singular, that

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during the half year he afterwards lived, "though his conduct to this assassin was a "profound secret, no other assassin offered "his services. But, pray look at the letter! "The assassin came to his house, not to the

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office, and was with Mr. Fox alone in his "closet. He would not be in custody of a police officer, but a king's messenger, as "it is such the Alien office employ.-How "far did Mr. Fox, by this step, reflect on "the general character of the English go"vernment? And what becomes now, of "Mr. Roscoe's half dozen pages on Mr. "Fox's humanity and morality? I repeat

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my belief, Sir, that the whole story was a pure fabrication; if it was not so, the contrary not only admits of proof; but of 66 easy proof, unattended with any circum-. stance that can possibly be injurious to any one upon earth, not excepting the as"sassin himself, who, seeing that he was so. very lucky in escaping from, France to England and from the justice which he

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