Slike strani

What was the answer to this reasoning ? | all the fascination of French principles ? Tliat, in fact, their cause and ours was Was it not likely, that under such a presthe same, and that the crown of George sure, undisciplined minds might be led 3d was not safe upon his head if they to cherish the idea, that that government were not reinstated in their country. could not be perfectly sound nor practiThus the die was cast; they were thus cally happy, which inflicted on so large a invited to join the fatal standard ; they proportion of its people so much misery. embarked in our cause, which they were It must be a matter of great consolation thus told was the same as their own, and to hear from his majesty's speech, that they were sent on that fatal expedition instead of any such refractory sentiment, which every feeling heart must deplore. a very general spirit of order and submisThough he could not entertain the idea 1 sion to the laws had been manifested by which some coarse and vulgar minds had his people ; and their pleasure ought to taken

up, that certain ministers in the cabi- be increased when they recollected the net, reflecting on the indiscretion they had dreadful and dark conspiracies which committed in thus charging themselves raged in the country a twelvemonth ago. with so many of these emigrants, had | These conspiracies had been quashed in sent them on this forlorn enterprise as a a most extraordinary way; they had been happy riddance, yet he must repeat, that quashed by the full, clear, and honourif the justice and indignation of the coun- able acquittal of all the conspirators; and try did not fix a censure upon the authors now this “ order and submission to the of that expedition, the disgrace of itwould laws" was a matter of exultation to his. eternally rest upon the character of the majesty, when the Habeas Corpus susnation. When he first moved for enter- pension act was in full force! ing into a negociation with France, it was Another most extraordinary argument said What! would you negociate with had been adduced for the war by an hon. men about to stain their hands with the gentleman opposite to him (Mr. Jenkinblood of their sovereign? Yet now, if the son); the war, he said, was quite necespresent speech from the throne meant to sary, in order to enable men of rank to say any thing honestly, it mcant, that inveigh with becoming spirit against with these very men ministers would have French principles, and the diabolical docno objection to negociate at a certain trines of Jacobinism. He was very ready crisis. The nature of this murder, then, to allow, that the philippics against was such as to be washed away after a French principles, in which gentlemen in two or three years purification. And that House and elsewhere so liberally even with Tallien, who, among others, indulged themselves, did require some dipped his hands in royal blood, they means to give them currency: but that would have no objection to treat; though they wanted a war to give them forces whatever was the conduct of that person that nothing less than au army of 200,000 on other occasions, the boldness with men, and a navy of 110,000 men, could which he came forward to destroy the make these philippics go down, he did tyranny of Robespierre did him great not know till now. He remembered it honour. It had always been his opinion, was an accusation against Roland, that that if we could not get men of pure in order to corrupt the public mind, by morals, and men of personal esteem to propagating his opinions, he had squantreat with, we must take the men we dered inuch of the public money. Roland, could find; taking care that our treaty in his defence, said, he had certainly not should be founded on such principles of squandered much of the public money, moderation and justice, as should not be he had only spent 30,000 livres Tournois; likely to vary with times or parties, and and that in assignats, in printing ; whereas which it should be the interest of both it had cost our ministers one hundred milcountries to maintain. Instead of this, lions sterling to circulate and support we had acted upon a set of unprincipled their harangues against the French ! A delicacies, by which this country had been more extraordinary means of publishing reduced to such a state of distress, as for their invectives could not have been the last six months to make almost every thought of. One would have thought, common man dependent upon charity for that having their civil list, their patronage, subsistence. Was not such a state more their places, their pensions, and their likely to undermine the loyalty and obe- newspapers, by which to spread and give dicuce they were desirous to cherish than currency to their abuse against the French, it was strange that they should hit upon name, by a shameful sacrifice of those to a war as the only means to recommend whom your majesty's ministers had held their invectives to the taste of the coun- out the hope of public protection : that try. If he could not entirely agree with amidst all these adverse and disgraceful the hon. gentleman as to the war being events, there has been an expenditure of begun only in aid of the intemperate lan- blood and treasure unparalleled in the guage and violent epithets which were history of former wars. Such being the thrown out upon the French, yet nothing result of the measures which have been was so certain, as that the inflamed pas- pursued, we cannot honestly discharge sions which gave rise to that language, our duty to your majesty, the country, gave rise also to the war; and that the and ourselves, without fervently imploring good sens; and manly feelings which your majesty to reflect upon the evident would have avoided the one, would also impracticability of attaining, in the prehave directed us to the rational course sent contest, what have hitherto becn which would have prevented the other. considered as the objects of it:-We The hon. gentleman spoke of the rights therefore humbly entreat your majesty no of man, among the reprobated French longer to act upon the opinion, that the principles. That all men hed equal rights, governing powers of France are incapahe would not stop to argue; it was a ble of maintaining the accustomed relatruth which the hon. gentleman himself tions of peace and amity. An opinion must feel. It was not the fallacy of the formerly proved to be unfounded by principles that had made the French Re- the situation of the states of America, volution disgusting, but its atrocities; it and of those nations of Europe who was the misapplication and misuse that have throughout maintained a safe and had produced so much turpitude and ruin. dignified neutrality; and recently by the Of those principles he was ready to de conduct and present condition of Prussia fend the greater part; the abuse of prin- and Spain, and the prices of the emGiples had, indeed, caused the mischief pire. But that your majesty will be in France ; but the principles themselves graciously pleased to take decided and remained still pure and unalterable. Mr. immediate measures for bringing about Fox concluded with saying, that for these a peace with France, whatever may be reasons he could not consent to vote for the present or future form of her inthe address which had been moved; he ternal government, and look for indemheld in his hand an Amendment, express- nity where alone indemnity is to be ing in short terms the facts he had enu- found; in the restoration of industry, merated, and drawing from them the plenty, and tranquillity at home :practical use that ought to be made of While we thus earnestly implore your them. He then read the Amendment, as majesty to consider, in your royal wisfollows:

dom, how fruitless the pursuit of the “ We beg leave humbly to intreat your war is become, and how idle and ima. majesty to review the events of the three ginary the supposed obstacle to peace, last years, and to compare the situation we declare, that if the existing powers and circumstances of the belligerent in France were to reject a pacific nepowers at the period when hostilities com- gociation proposed by your majesty menced, and at the present moment; upon suitable terins, and to persevere to consider that a great majority of the in hostilities for their own aggrandize. numerous allies, on whose co-operation ment, or with a view to the establishyour majesty chiefly relied for success, ment of their system of government in have abandoned the common cause, and other countries, we would strenuously sought for security in peace, while others support a vigorous prosecution of the have been unfortunately thrown into alli- war, confident that the spirit of the ance with the enemy: that our foreign nation, when roused in such a cause, will possessions in the West Indies have, in still be able to accomplish what is just many instances, been over-run, pillaged, and necessary, however exhausted and and destroyed, and the security of all of weakened by the ill-concerted projects of them put in imminent hazard : that the those who have directed your majesty's expeditions to the coast of France have councils." proved either disgraceful or abortive; Mr. Pitt said, that the Amendment coniending, without any rational prospect of tained a proposition so extraordinary in public benefit, to tarnish the British itself, that he could not belicve the right


per cent.

hon. gentleman was serious in making it. | ther or not the means of the enemy were It was neither more nor less than this. reduced for carrying on the war. At After observing the supposed state of the commencement of the last session, universal degradation and disappointment the value of assignats was from 20 to 25 to which we had been reduced in conse

At the present moment for quence of the war, we were advised at one hundred assignats of nominal value, this moment to sue for peace, without only one and a half were received ; conbeing informed how the negociation was sequently, they were now only about to be conducted, or what indemnity this one-sixteenth of the value they were ten country was to receive. That amendment, months ago. At present the French had therefore, only held out the mockery of assignats in circulation to the incredible returning to a state of security and peace. amount of 720 millions sterling. The He wished to confine his attention to the number of assignats was still increasing : Address moved, and to contrast it with so that the enemy had to face another the amendment. The first proposition campaign under these circumstances. He to be proved was, that on considering believed in his conscience that farther the relative state of the belligerent powers resources could not be raised unless by since the commencement of the present the restoration of the system of terror. war, notwithstanding our reverses, the Was he to consider all this as nothing? prospect arising out of the general situa. Most certainly not. But there were some tion of affairs, had been materially im favourable circumstances in the situation proved. The period comprised in this of the enemy, and he had no desire to proposition included the space between conceal them. He had no difficulty to the opening of the last session, and the state the equivocal conduct of the king moment at which he was then speaking of Prussia. The French could also disHe wished to ask every candid man, with band the two armies which they had withwhat feelings they entered that House at drawn from Spain. On account of the the commencement of the last session ? peace they had concluded with Prussia, He then desired them to ask themselves, &c. they might do with a much smaller what were their impressions, with regard army than when they had to oppose the to general security, at the present mo- whole of the confederacy. Yet it must ment? He hoped, when a fair compari. be observed that for every pound sterling son was made between these two periods, that was formerly paid to each man in no candid man would suppose that he such an army, they must give 161. at the meant to insult the people of England, commencement of the ensuing year. The when he used the word “ satisfaction." depreciation of assignats was constantly He declared, that on a general review of inereasing, in a compound ratio. The the state of this country ten months ago, only question was, whether, as these asand at the moment when he was speaking signats would very soon, in all probability he felt no small degree of satisfaction. be totally inefficient, there were any other His grounds of satisfaction were these : means of maintaining their operations. allowing for all the victories the enemy Without pretending to give an opinion on had gained in different quarters; allowing a subject so complicated, he had no diffifor every advantage they had obtained ; culty in stating, that he saw the perallowing, also, for all the calamities which plexities arising from this depression of might have befallen this country or our assignats pervading every individual in the allies, he begged of the House to look at state, and bringing nothing, as the present principles of the war, to exa- French themselves had said, but misery mine it in all its parts, and they would and paper into every corner of the country; easily observe the grounds of his satis. To supply the place of assignats, it had faction. They could not fail to perceive been proposed to introduce metallic pieces the enemy's reduced means of prosecuting into circulation ; but it had not been ex

The enemy was now in a situa- plained whether these were to pass for tion in which they felt a greater necessity more than their intrinsic value, which if for peace, and had a much stronger they did they were only metallic assignats disposition for it. If he was right in instead of assignats made of paper. If that proposition, was it to insult the coun- those metallic pieces were to pass at their try to express the satisfaction which he value, no mention was made how they felt from these circumstances? The first were to be procured. A nation destitute question that presented itself, was, whe- of gold and silver could only procure those precious metals in exchange for the expor- said, that the king's ministers were not tation of those productions it had raised sincere in their professions of a desire for from its own soil, after leaving at home peace. He said he was willing to submit sufficient for its necessary consumption; to the imputation of insincerity ; to any and after procuring all the other articles imputation, however harsh, rather than to of consumption, which its own soil did sue for a peace that must inevitably bring not produce. The eternal law of things disgrace on the country. If peace with proved that this was the only mode of the present government of France should procuring the precious metals. Now their į be the termination of the business, he commerce was ruined. Their loss by the should regret that the efforts and resourdestruction of the commerce of their co- ces of the principal nations of Europe, lonies, of the Levant, and the loss of their contending against a country in a tempointernal manufactures, particularly those rary delirium, and exposing others to of Lyons, had been estimated at many destruction, had not been more vigorously millions sterling - He was ready to admit and effectually employed, for the purpose their successes on the Rhine. At first view, of restoring social order, exiled law, moit appeared impossible they could have rality and religion. But being under the faced the Austrian army which was so for- necessity of submitting to those things midable in that quarter. The expedition which he could not control, he was disto Quiberon bay, and the hard face of the posed to look with gratitude to the many unfortunate emigrants who were fighting favourable circumstances which then ex. for their lawful monarch, must be consi- isted. If we were but true to ourselves, dered by us as a calamity, independent of much might yet be done for the honour its effects. Every man's personal feelings and security of the country. Much had were interested in that event. He would been done to destroy those destructive admit that the enemy had been only kept principles that had so long prevailed in on the defensive on the side of Italy ; but France, and laid waste that tine country. if the House would look at the enemy dur. The resources of a brave and free people. ing the course of the present campaign. living under a mild and well-regulated they would clearly see, that though their government, and supported by individual successes had been great and many, the industry, were infinite. They had enabled internal situation of France was most de. us to defray the heavy expenses of the plorable.--Taking, therefore, into the ac- war in which we were engaged, while count all the victories obtained by France, France had been living on the capital of when he considered the state of their in- the country. After the payment of our ternal resources, and their inability to carry taxes, though in some degree burthenon the war for another campaign, he had no some, every man in this island, could say doubt but the situation of things was mate- his personal liberty and private property rially improved. — There were certainly were secure, under the protection of the many circunstances in the present situa- law. In France, all the natural rights of tion of France, favourable to peace, though mankind had been grossly violated.--He it might still be a question, whether it came next to the high price of corn in were advisable or practicable for us to this country. He agreed, that nothing treat. They now universally reprobated was more difficult as a subject of legislathat system of oppression under which tion. It required the immediate attention they had so long groaned. They now ex- of the House, to see if any measure pressed their detestation of that system could be adopted for relieving his majesof government, which in this country had ty's subjects from the heavy pressure met with such enthusiastic applause. The under which they now laboured, and for new constitution had been ushered in with preventing similar calamities in future. a denunciation of all the other systems of According to the best information governgovernment which had been devised in the ment were in possession of last year, course of the revolution. They seemed there was no reason to apprehend that now to be satisfied that they must renounce grain would have arisen to such a price. their desperate projects, and build a sys- One circumstance that contributed to it tem of peace on more solid and durable was, the lateness of the last harvest, by grounds. It was still a question with him, which means there was a difference of whether the French could put in execution near one month's consumption. Gentlethe constitution which they had decreed. men talked of the great quantities of The right hon. gentleman opposite had corn that had been sent abroad for supplyNoes Mr. Grey

the war.

ing our fleets and armies. Before such He loved the constitution of this country, remarks were made, gentlemen would do because in practice he found it to be well to inform themselves how much grain good, and this, with him, was the only had been removed from domestic con- criterion of a good government. sumption, how much had been imported, The Address was then agreed to. and how many ships loaded with grain had been stopped, and which in time of The King's Answer to the Commons Ad. peace would have gone to other countries. dress.] To the Address of the Commons He concluded by observing, that minis- his Majesty returned this answer: ters would use every means in their power “ Gentlemen ; I thank you for this very for reducing the high price of grain and loyal Address. It affords me the greatest for rendering the situation of the poor satisfaction to learn that you concur in more comfortable.

the view which I entertain of the general The question being put, “ That the situation and prospect of affairs, and to words proposed to be left out in the Ad. receive the assurances of your firm and dress, stand part of the question," the decided support in those exertions which House divided :

are most likely to ensure and accelerate Tellers.

the restoration of peace on such grounds

as the justice of our cause, and the situa. Yeas

S Mr. Jenkinson
Mr. John Smyth

} 240 tion of the enemy, may entitle us to ex

Mr. Whitbread

} 59

Attack on his Majesty.] Two masters On the main question being put, Mr. in Chancery presented a Message from Windham took occasion so censure Mr. the Lords desiring a present conference Fox's panegyric on the French constitu. in the Painted Chamber. tion of 1789, as well as his approbation The Speaker informed the House, that of the destruction of the Bourbon family, this message was informal and irregular, and insinuated, that Mr. Fox had a par- as it had always been the usual practiee tiality for making constitutional experi- of either House, when it requested a con. ments.

ference, to state upon what subject the Mr. Fox justified his former expres- conference was requested. sious respecting the French revolution. Mr. Pitt then moved, “ That a mes. He had asserted, that the subversion of sage be sent to the Lords to acquaint the French monarchy in the Bourbon fa- them, that, the House having received a mily, was an event favourable to the li- message from their lordships, whereby berty of Europe, and that the fall of that they desired a present conference it is family would be looked on by posterity not agreeable to the usage and proceedwith admiration, because with it fell the ings of parliament, for either House to reign of despotism. But at no one time send for a conference without expressing had he given an unqualified opinion of the a subject matter of that conference.” The governments which succeeded that event; motion being agreed to, the messengers much less would he stand pledged to give were called in and acquainted therewith. the least countenance to the scenes of Shortly after, the said messengers returnblood and cruelty which had been the al. ed with a message from the Lords demost inseparable attendants on the varied siring a present conference on a subject governments that followed one another. materially affecting the safety of his maHe formed his opinion of government by jesty's person, and the honour and digthe test of practice, and not by theory nity of parliament. and on paper. He disclaimed experiments Mr. Pitt then moved that managers be and innovations, and he did not know on chosen to attend. The managers being what principle innovation could be im. returned, Mr. secretary Dundas reported, puted to him. He had, it was true, sup- that they had held a conference with the ported the projects of Mr. Pitt as to a re. Lords in which they had been informed form in parliament, because he believed that their lordships, in consequence of those projects to be good; and if the in- having examined several witnesses, had sinuations went to this point, he readily agreed to address his majesty, and that acknowledged them to be just. If they they desired the concurrence of that went to any other object of his opinions House in the address. The address was or practice, he did not comprehend them. ordered to be taken into consideration

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