Slike strani


Let us

lity towards the French emperor. I mean for defence. Could the présent ruler of not, and cannot be supposed to mean, any France obtain a verdict of aoquittal from such thing.–But in negociation with'fo- any charge preferred against him, proreign powers, as well as in the conduct vided he could shew that his accusers had and business of private life, if we cannot been guilty of a parallel crime, he would talk with confidence, we had better not talk have no great difficulty in standing clear at all ; a communication upon any busi- with the world. If, for instance, he were ness would be very injudiciously carried charged with violent and unjust aggression on by a party, who in the outset should by Austria, Prussia and Russia, he might tell the person with whom he is commu- answer in one word Poland. At all times nicating, that he has the worst opinion of the answer he could have given to Eng. him in the world. Such, however, is really land might have been—India; and now, the

way in which this government has al- unhappily, he might add the decisive ways conducted itself towards the present name of Denmark. I fear there is nothing ruler of France; and setting out with a arising out of the particular purity of this determination not to believe any thing country, which can justify us in saying, that is told us, we are surprised that our that we will have nothing to do with the communications have not come to a happy government of France. If France be loadissue.—Sir, I cannot help observing uponed with political crime, so are the nations the sort of personal hatred and antipathy she has conquered, and so are we. towards the French emperor, which ap- view the trespasses of France, with the pears to prevail in the minds of a large same indulgence we think due to those of part of the community, as if each man had other countries, or to our own. Or at the a personal quarrel with him. The origin least let us not set up an hypocritical reaof this feeling is to be traced to the various son for refusing to négociate with her. endeavours which have been made to ex- | Again, if we are in the high situation, cite the public hatred from the moment at times described in colours so glowing, he attained the consular power. It argues by orators on the other side of the a great degeneracy of national character, house, let us follow the example of Buoand it has given rise to many very disgraceful naparte, and seize the propitious moment publications. A national antipathy, found- of national elevation. In the zenith of ed upon the crimes perpetrated by the our strength, let us make one frank and chief of a government, whether crimes of generous overture for pacification. Sir, it state, or of a more private nature, can be will be objected that such is the inordinate no ground for a continuation of war be- ambition of Buonaparte, there can be no tween two countries. The murder of Don hope that he will be seriously inclined to Carlos by Philip the second, was never peace. That his ambition is great, nobody urged as a cause of war against Spain. can doubt; but it is an ambition much The execution of the Czarowitz Alexis under the guidance of prudence: he never by Peter the Great, was never considered fails to take every precaution for his seas a just cause of hostility against Russia. curity. He never proceeds without knowThe punishment of the crimes of princes, ing, in case of reverse, how he is to retire; is in the hand of the Ruler of princes; and and his ambition has never yet, as far as I it is not for us, to make them the cause of have been able to observe, tempted him to punishment to their guiltless people and go much beyond the true line of his inour own. Providence, in its inscrutable terest. In talking of inordinate or insawisdom, works by means, and often deigns tiable ambition, we mean that passion to produce the greatest good by the most when carried to such an extent as to preignoble and vicious instruments. I do not dominate over prudence and discretion. suppose

that any person will question the Such was the ambition of Charles the XII. advantage derived to this country from the which was truly insatiable, and disdaining introduction of the reformation. Yet by even the slightest controul, hurried him to the brutal lusts of Henry the VIIIth, was his ruin : but the ambition of Buonaparte that reformation introduced among us. has always been subservient to his policy. The advantage accruing to the cause of Previous to the treaty of Campio Formio, true religion, morality, and virtue, is the the Austrian capital was in his power: he same, whether he who effected it were the stopped because it was his interest to do so. most virtuous or the most picious of man- After the battle of Austerlitz, when in kind. Sir, it has been much the practice possession of the capital of the Austrian in this house, to substitute recrimination empire, did he make a peace with Austria Vol. X.


different from that which the coolest poli- and prince Eugene, reduced the power of tician would have prescribed? Did he dis- | her arms, and brought her to the lowest play the features of a savage ferocity, or state of humiliation. Let us not, however, did he gratify by acts of barbarity that forget that the cruel bigotry of Louis the disposition to vengeance, which is attribu- XIVth. materially embarrassed his military ted to him? Did he not rather conduct exertions, and blending domestic contenhimself towards the Austrian monarchy, tions with foreign war, heightened his its sovereign and his people, in a manner, own distress, and powerfully contributed, which, if it had been adopted by any among other causes, to effect the salvation other than Buonaparte, might have been of Europe. --But is it the power of France extolled as of exemplary moderation? the that we now contemplate ? Sir, I maintain same may be remarked of bis conduct sub- that it is not the power of France, but the sequent to the victories of Jena and of power of the French emperor. The mighty Friedland. If then, upon a review of the mass of dominion which you in your atwhole of his conduct, I perceive that his tempts to destroy him, have placed within policy has controuled his ambition, and has his grasp, he alone can wield: none but allayed if not extinguished his thirst for re- Ulysses can bend the bow of Ulysses. venge: and I at the same time perceive that But as in the course of nature, his life must it would be conducive to his interest, even at length terminate, God forbid it should now to make peace with England; my be cut short by any improper means! the hope of accomplishing such a peace is not power of France would then no longer be without foundation, and my desire that what it is now. Nay, even suspend for a ministers would attempt to open a nego- time the operations of war, and the power ciation, is not ill-timed or improper. Sir, of the French emperor would be no longer I am no apologist of any crimes which what it is now. By your resistance you he may have committed ; but I am aware created, and by continuing to resist, you that I may be represented, by my oppo- consolidate that power. It is the contest nents, as the apologist of the French of the wind and the sun; by urging the emperor; I know that I am not so. I tempest of war against him, you bind am endeavouring to do some degree of faster all those ties, which have placed the justice to the character of that extraordi- different powers of the earth under his nary man, in order that ministers may do controul; the genial influence of peace justice to the country.—Sir, I will again would tend gradually to disunite and todisshortly recur to the period of Louis the solve them. Look at the map of Europe XIVth. The power of France was then and see whether the arrangements that he almost physically as great as it is now. has made, and those which he is about to When a prince of the blood of France, make, are not such as must create in themwas placed upon the throne of Spain, and selves a division of interests, amongst the the Pyrenean mountains were no more, persons who obtain those possessions, Wm. the IIId. no longer filled the throne from whatever family sprung, or however of England: the French armies were still united by blood or otherwise. In process commanded by generals of the highest re- of time new combinations must" arise : putation. There was every prospect that and, there are upon the continent the elethe whole of Europe would be overwhelm- ments of great powers, which may at a ed by France! there was no obstacle in proper time be called into action. There the mind of the French monarch, arising will be the means of resisting the power of out of humanity, good faith, the ties of ho- France hereafter, provided France should nour, or the calls of justice. He had ex- shew herself incapable of maintaining the emplified his contempt of treaties, by suf- relations of peace and amity. Give them fering Philip to seize the Spanish crown : but time to breathe, and they may be beby his ravage of the Palatinate, he had neficially and effectually used. The exisshewn how callous he was to the miseries tence of one great man, at any period of of mankind. There remained notsing but the world, changes the whole face of hustrength to oppose to strength; and there man affairs. Great men have indeed did providentially arise at that period that existed in our day, but their warnings greatest and noblest bulwark of nations, have been disregarded. If the advice of men of transcendent talents, who eventually the gallant and patriotic Archduke Charles reversed the fortune of war. The potens had been taken, the last coalition would tates confederated against France, under never have been formed, and Austria the auspices of the duke of Marlborough would have remained that great power, which she was subsequent to the peace of I am the advocate of England. I want to Luneville. If the admonitions of Mr. Fox shew to England, that it is expedient on had been attended to, the bloody tragedy every account to make peace, and possible of the French revolution would never have to maintain it; and, that those who would been acted ; Buonaparte would never have still induce them to believe, that there is been emperor of the French,“ he would not any prospect of obtaining better terms have had kingdoms prostrate at his feet, and than we can now have, at any future period, the population of nations under his banners." grounded upon any of the common-place Having mentioned the name of Mr. Fox, I topics, which have been dwelt upou during willingly acknowledge myself his true and so many years, have no foundation for their genuine disciple. I am only feebly urg- assertions.-We are told that if peace were ing the sentiments which he would have made with France, she would immediately forcibly uttered, had he not been unhap- turn the whole or chief of her attention to pily taken from us. I trust that I am the restoration of her navy. Undoubtedly treading in his footsteps ; would to God she would do so, and France has always that his countenance were now upon me! done so, during any peace that has taken would to God, this humble effort over, I place between the two nations: and she has could feel myself as I have often done, se always so far succeeded, as very much to cure under the impenetrable egis of his improve the number and condition of her eloquence! How bitter is the reflection ! ships. The consequence has only been upon Had this country but hearkened to his the renewal of war, to give fresh triumphs prophetic voice, all the horrors which to G. Britain, and such I am confident have passed during the last fifteen years, would again be the case. But there is would have been averted; prophetic I may this difference: the French emperor is at truly call it, for there is not one of his pre- this moment, and has been for a considerdictions which has not been exactly veri- able time, as fully employed in the confied. The period of delusion is now at an struction of ships, as he could be in time of end. We can no longer entertain any the profoundest peace; but what he wants, expectation of intestine convulsion in and what France will always want, is saiFrance; we can no longer flatter ourselves lors. From the relative situation of the with the hope, that the moment Buona- two countries, it is utterly impossible parte quits Paris, some terrible commotion that as long as the commercial greatness will take place. We have seen the capi. of this country exists, the French navy tal, nay all France emptied of soldiers, and can ever become, by many degrees of the whole country tranquil. We can no comparison, equal to that of G. Britain. longer hope for a general revolt produced By the continuation of the war, you by the supposed misery of the people, risque the eventual loss, or at least the groaning under the oppression of his ty: serious diminution of your commerce, ranny. Sir, I believe that an impartial the foundation of your naval greatness. observer, in travelling through France, By peace your commerce will be restor(at least from all the information I have ed, enlarged; and your naval greatness received, it is so), would find that the si- will be proportionably augmented. It tuation of the inhabitants of the country, is therefore in my opinion a most chiis improved rather than deteriorated, since merical apprehension, that during any it fell under his dominion. We can no interval of peace, such a navy could longer hope, that the soldiery, discontent- be created by France, as would be at all ed with the distant expeditions to which formidable to the marine of G. Britain.he has led them, will be excited to a spirit Lastly, it has been said, that the French of mutiny against him. We can no longer emperor has sworn the destruction of this hope that the countries which he has country, and will therefore never allow conquered will rise in one general mass, you to be at peace. I would ask when, and vindicate their own cause by the mas- where, and how, was this tremendous oath sacre of his troops. The experiment in taken? not when he was created chief all these cases, has been made, and the consul of France, for at the moment of his predictions of those absurd and foolish pro- elevation he eagerly applied for peace. phets who foretold these and similar events Not when he was created emperor, for have been, completely falsified. The then he repeated in earnest and dignified union of the great powers of the continent language, his request for peace. Not in to defeat him is no longer practicable. I the course of the last summer, when victorepeat that I am not the apologist of France, rious over Russia, when he again attempt.


ed to open a negociation for peace. Not and political wisdom; that divine maxim, even in the beginning of the present which however the disciples of the school year; when he perhaps for the last time, of the new morality may, by their actions made advances for the samne salutary pur- contradict, and by their insinuations depose.

The recognition of the consular ride it, they will not in terms venture, to power, was at the time of his first pacific disown, that in all cases nations as well as overture of the utmost importance to him; men should do 'unto others, as they would that the recognition of the imperial dignity, others should do unto them. Sir, I propose, he would also I think, have purchased at: --).“ That it is the opinion of this house, a great price; but you have forced him that the conditions stipulated by his majesto appear personally in every part of ty's ministers for the acceptance of the Europe, and that title which he vainly at- Mediation offered by the emperor of tempted to obtain from your friendship, Russia, were inexpedient and impolitic.' or at least from your discretion, he has –2. That it is the opinion of this house, asserted and established at the point of that the conduct of his majesty's ministers his sword. Still, however, it would be on the subject of the Mediation oftered highly conducive to his interest, to have by the emperor of Austria, was unwise and that power acknowledged by this coun- impolitic, and not calculated to ascertain try. "In point of military reputation, he how far the restoration of the blessings has nothing to wish for, he stands pre-emi- of peace, might or might not have been nent in the history of past or present times; attainable through the means of such the primary object of his ambition must Mediation.-3. That there is nothing in now be the firm and durable establishment the present state of the war, which ought of his authority over France, and the other to preclude his majesty from embracing nations which are under his dominion. any fair opportunity of acceding to, or That he cannot accomplish except he be commencing a negociation with the, eneat peace with England. If peace then my on a footing of equality for the termibe his interest, and it be likewise ours, nation of hostilities on terms of equity and why should honour.” should any petuľance of temper, stand in Mr. Herbert rose and seconded the first the way of so desirable an object? I think | Resolution. I have shewn that to offer

peace, would be Mr. Ponsonby, expressed his sense of the neither humiliating nor discreditable. I disadvantage under which he rose, after have shewn it, from reasoning upon the na- the admirable speech of his hon. friend. ture of the offer itself, and from the exam- As to the two first Resolutions, he perfectly ples which I have produced, both at home, concurred with him ;, and in the third likeand abroad. I have shewn by review- wise he agreed as to the letter, but differed ing the situation of our own country, the as to the spirit and effect, and as to the difficulties and dangers attending a conti- propriety of passing such a resolution at nuation of the war; and they are such as the present moment. With regard to the it would be the most unpardonable pre- two first, no man who considered the consumption to encounter without an adequate duct that had been displayed by ministers, necessity. If I should be successful in as to the Russian and Austrian mediation, persuading the house to adopt the three could doubt that they manifested a tone, a resolutions, which I shall have the honour temper, and a language which were wholly to propose, and that an offer to negociate adverse to peace. The right hon. secretary should be made by this country, I would had demanded an impartiality from Rusthen remind those who make it of the rule sia, which it was impossible to attain or to laid down by Mr. Fox, which I have be- expect; but it was needless for him to enter fore quoted in this house, namely, that in upon that point, after what had been said conducting a negociation, far from display- by his hon. friend. It was the most silly and ing an eager and inordinate ambition we absurd idea that could possibly be entershould be moderate in the extreme; that tained, that because a power whose dispowe should fairly and impartially place sition was known to be friendly had sufferourselves in the situation of France, when- ed a niomentary depression, its mediation ever engaged in any great political trans- ought not to have been accepted. Russia action with her: that is, that we should was our friend ; Austria was also our sinabide by a maxim, which as a disciple of cere friend. Because events had reduced the old morality, I am not ashamed to them to a low condition, could we believe avow to be the corner stone of all moral, that they loved. Buonaparte more than



us, or would prefer his friendship to ours ? He ought to understand whether peace It was amazing, with the events of the war could be attained or not. If it could not, before them, that they could have indulg- then the same effect would be produced ed in such ungenerous 'suspicions, and in as had been produced in Holland in the such irritating language." Holland had time of king William. Entertaining these been, ever since the year 1794, under the sentiments, it became him to state the readominion of France; and yet, as the dis- sons why he differed from his hon. friend position of the maritime part of that coun- on this occasion. The third resolution, if try was hostile to the French, they had adopted, would bind ministers to take imnever been able to produce more than one mediate steps towards a negociation. Now, effort against this country. The engage- although he agreed, that this was the true ment of De Winter with lord Duncan was policy of the country, he was not prepared the only one of any consequence, and in to say that it was so at the present moment. that battle they had only seven ships. In The motion must produce one of these two the East Indies their fleet surrendered—In results :- having tried the inclination of the Helder, too, their whole fleet surren- our enemy, ministers would come back dered; and the indisposition of the Dutch to the house, and say, We have tried him, to fight the battles of France, rendered and find him cold and averse to negoher powerless at sea. Why, then, should ciation, or in such a state of irritation, it be supposed that we had lost the affec- that it is in vain to expect him to treat on tions of our allies? He did not say that any thing like honourable terms.' This, we ought to have proceeded to a treaty; of course they would assert, was the effect all that he said was, we had lost an oppor- of the passing of this resolution. Or, again, tunity of trying whether France was dis- if they did go into terms, and a dishonourposed for peace, and had irritated those able peace was concluded, this would be nations who were willing to befriend us. No giving ministers an opportunity of saying, step had been taken by ministers to get the We could not get a proper peace, on accountry out of the difficulties with which count of this Resolution;' and if it should their own conduct had contributed to in- be a very bad one, which he was afraid it volve us. How did they mean to continue would be, they would say, · The reproach the war? Did they mean to allow Ireland to does not lie on us; blame yourselves. remain as it was, without taking a singlestep You were too impatient. It is to you, thereto secure the attachment of that country fore, not to us that the stigma must attach. The inhabitants of this country could not You are the authors of the calamity. He beled away by any machinations of France, was averse, therefore, to any thing which and here we were secure. But though he could force ministers into negociation. was willing to hope the best of Ireland, His hon. friend, however, had said, that yet he could not conscientiously say that the petitions for peace had put an end to we were equally secure there as here. If the American war. He did not think that we conciliated the people of that country, case applicable to the present. Every

, we should be enabled to look France more person knew, that it was foolish to contiboldly in the face: but, unless we did nue a contest which was no longer attainthis, Ireland would be a source of weak- able. The object was to induce France ness to us, and a source of confidence to and Spain to abandon the contest against our enemy.

Could we make any impres- us, conscious that America, urged on as sion on France, under the commercial regu- she was by the spirit of enthusiasm, would ations of ministers, by which they had ef- never yield, and that no force we had to ected the object which France had in view employ could compel her. We had, thereIf this was the way to contend with France, fore, some advantages to expect, and little why was it not tried before ? Why was it risk to run, in attempting to get out of that not resorted to before our allies on the contest. Another consideration weighed continent had fallen? But they' would extremely in his mind. He confessed, he not produce the smallest impression on the had no opinion that ministers were anxious enemy. He agreed with his hon. friend for peace; of which his conviction they that a negociation ought to be entered up had exhibited most satisfactory symptoms on if possible: if this could not be done, in the two offers of mediation, which they the country ought to know it, and then had already slighted. Was the country they would bear their privations with com- insensible of its state? Did not the house parative patience. The poorest man in every day receive petitions for peace, not ihe country ought to know its situation. only not encouraged by any political cha


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