Imatges de pÓgina

lands, and annexing them to the republic; by the invafion of Italy; by the wrongs of Switzerland; nor did Afia and the Porte afford mean fpecimens of the unambitious fpirit of France. Her refpect for the independence of other governments had been manifefted by arming governors against the governed; and, when it fuited their politics, ftirring up the governed against their governors in Italy the whole fcheme of civil fociety was changed, and in Switzerland violated. The Netherlands alfo exhibited fome monuments of the veneration with which the republic regarded the independence of ftates; and they acted on the decree of November 1792, when they dethroned kings, plundered princes, accumulated province on province, and destroyed the laws and conftitutions of other nations.


that city imprifoned, his fubjects in a ftate of rebellion, and himself about to be exiled from his dominions. It was to this prince, however, that the republic repeated her affurances of attachment. very republic which fought not conqueft, which declared she would not interfere with the government of other ftates, depofed the fovereign, and gave a democracy to the Florentipes!

His lordship, having ftated the queftion in various views with much force and eloquence, affirmed that the affertions of the French minifter were proved to be false by the hiftory of the war, and the whole progrefs of the revolution.

He proceeded to fhow, that no fafe, honourable, and permanent peace could be made with the prefent rulers of France. Every power with which he had treated could furnish melancholy inftances of the perfidy, injustice, and cruelty of the republic. If he agreed to a fufpenfion of arms, it was in order to be admitted into the ftate of the negotiating prince, that he might then undermine his throne by corrupting the principles of his fubjects. The duke of Tuscany was among the early fufferers by a treaty. He firove to conform his conduct in every respect to the views of France; but at the moment when the pledged her honour for the fecurity of his ftate, he saw the troops of his ally eater his capital, the governor of

The king of Sardinia opened the gates of his capital to the republican arms; and, confiding in the integrity of the French government, expected to find his poffeffions guarantied by the treaty which recognifed his rights, and fecured to France adequate advantages. He was obliged to refign his continental dominions, while the city of Turin was treacherously feized by the republicans. The change of papal government was fchemed by Jofeph Bonaparte in his palace; and, after that ambaffador had excited an infurrection, we faw the revolution effected by him at the head of a Roman mob. In the example of Naples was difplayed the fame contempt of the laws of war, and of the rights of peace. Reverting to the intercourfe of the republic with the States of the Empire, the fame want of faith was difcoverable. The armiftice concluded by the archduke, with the general of the republic, was fucceeded by the treaty of Campo Formio; and was this better obferved than others? It generated the caufes of the war which now raged for the fecond time over Europe. After the armiftice with the emperor, the French directed their arms against Venice. Here they proclaimed themfelves deliverers, who came to release them from the yoke of Auftria, which, according to the French, had oppreffed the republican Venetians: out it was miere proclama

tion; for in no long time after was that republic annihilated, and Venice fold to that very emperor whose vaunted aggreffions afforded the original pretext for the French invafion.

Genoa received them as friends; and, that the debt of gratitude might be paid in the style of the new school, Genoa was revolutionifed, a new government was hurried up, while, under the authority of a mock revoJution, we faw the people plundered, and the country pillaged. If injuftice towards prinees and ariftocrates forms part of the creed of the modern rulers, why was not juftice better obferved towards republics raised especially under the wings of France, her own offspring, and affiliated with her?

Switzerland concluded a truce; the republic excited infurrections there; overthrew her inftitutions; oppreffed her people with contributions; degraded, depofed, or exiled her magiftracy; feized her ftrong places; affumed the command of her armies; and, to give permanency to the ufurpation, impofed a new government, not only in form but name.

From which of thefe facts could we expect fecurity in any peace? But it would be faid, thefe were not the acts of France more than they were inevitably the refult of a state of war. This was answered by the report of Boulay de la Meurthe (a principal member of the new government), who told the council of elders, that neither the revolutionary nor conftitutional government was capable of maintaining the relations of friendfhip and peace with the powers of Europe; that treaties were made to be broken; and that there was no fecurity in the republic hself, whilst fuch a mafs of abfurdity, of folly, and of error, continued to

form the bafis of the government. If then the declarations of the rulers of France fo entirely fupported all that his majefty's minifters had from time to time stated on the fubject of war and peace, what other courfe would Great Britain adopt (if he were wife) than wait the event of things, and not enter on negotiation at a time when no one advantage could fairly be expected from it? To negotiate now would be to impeach all former decifions, libel the paft declarations of the house, and, above. all, betray the interefts of our allies, at a moment when the world bailed with impatience our vigorous refiftance to the aggreffions of France, and which, under Providence, might yet lead to the deliverance of Europe.

His lordship then reiterated, with great ability, the arguments of minifters, to prove that France, reípecting England, had been the aggreffor; difclaimed all alliance and connexion with any powers for the purpofe of overthrowing their government, efpecially the pretended treaties of Pavia and Pilnitz; and ob ferved, that fo far was the emperor from meditating fuch interference, that he exprefsly notified to all the courts of Europe, that he regarded the new French conftitution by the king as the proper act of the king. The emperor too foon felt the effect of his declaration; for, when the French invaded his dominions, in 1792, he was fo unprepared, that the Netherlands fpeedily fell into the hands of the republic. England not only did not mean to interfere with the internal affairs of France, but actually authorifed her minifters on the continent to become the mediators between the powers at war. Even M. Chauvelin and M. Talleyrand admitted this: and, in fact, the latter in his declaration as an


ambaffador contradicted his declaration as a minifter.

Lord Grenville, after taking a view of the negotiation at Lifle, and maintaining that the reception of our ambaffador there, and at Paris, were proofs of the impracticability of negotiation, commented on the note of the French minifter, dwelling upon that affertion in it, "that the powers of Europe had originally provoked the republic to the exertion of her own ftrength, and of the courage of her citizens." There was more meant in the original phrase than could be expreffed by a tranflation. It was an artful infinuation, that the republic, being dragged into the war, carried her arms into neutral states to make her claims valid against nations at war. In other words, if a neutral ftate would not commit aggreffions on states at war with the republic, or fupply the wants of her foldiers, fhe was to refort to the exertion of her ftrength, and fubjugate and plunder them. It was in this fpirit they had invaded and feized on Egypt, and in the same spirit might England expect to be invaded, if, unlike the other powers which furround the republic, we were not feparated by a channel, which, under Providence, would ever be impaffable. His lordship proceeded to an investigation of the character of Bonaparte.

ratified and annulled with Modena, and the other petty ftates of Italy, they were ratified and annulled by Bonaparte: if that ancient republic Venice was first drawn into a war, and compelled afterwards to conclude a treaty, it was, that Bonaparte might more eafily overthrow her conftitution, and annihilate the political fyftem by which he had exifted with glory and fecurity for ages paft: if the government of Rome was fubverted, it was fubverted by Bonaparte: if Genoa was reduced to the fame humiliating fituation, her wealth and her independence were facrificed to Bonaparte: if Switzerland, deluded by offers of peace, was induced to furrender up her rights and liberties, fhe was deprived of them by Bonaparte. But to examine that part of his conduct which is diplomatic, and paffing over his rapacities, and the cruel maffacres which were perpetrated by his orders, let us review his profeffions to the Porte: he folemnly declared that he had no intention of taking poffeffion of Egypt, whilft he declared to his own generals that this was his intention; and to the people of Egypt that it was with the confent of the Porte. He had multiplied violations of all moral and religious ties; he had repeated acts of perfidy; his hypocrifies were innumerable; and in that country where he had affirmed the French to be true muffulmen, he had given us a correct idea of his fincerity and his principles.

Being thus provided with fo many unquestionable pledges of his fu ture integrity, was it illiberal or impolitic to fufpect a man who, having overturned the government of his own country as well as that of others, now came forward with offers of pacification? If the intereft of Bonaparte were deeply concerned,

General Bonaparte, in the third year of the republic, impofed upon the French, by the mouth of the cannon, that very conftitution which he had now deftroyed by the point of the bayonet. If a treaty was concluded and broken with Sardinia, it was concluded and broken by Bonaparte: if peace was eftablished and violated with Tufcany, it was established and violated by Bonaparte: if armiftices were

profeffed principles of anarchy had heen raised to places of confidence and power, and thofe who were judges in the fanguinary tribunals of Robespierre were now exalted to a diftinguifhed rank in the republic. Whilft, therefore, the jacobin fyftem prevailed in France, there was no fecurity in England but by a vigorous profecution of hoftilities.

The laft fubject of his lordship's animadverfion was, minifters being accufed of determining to restore monarchy in France. This, he faid, had been often and publicly and folemnly difclaimed; difclaimed after the capture of Toulon to the prefent moment. He did not pretend to deny that monarchy was confidered as the best, the furest, the fpeedieft, but not the only means of reftoring peace, and we merely wifhed for a government capable of preferving the cuttomary relations of amity; nor would his majefty hesitate to treat with any form of government, whether republican or monarchical, which could preferve these facred ties of order. But to commence any negotiation which would not be likely to terminate in peace would be dishoneft, it would be unwife, and it would be fruitlefs. His lordthip ended with moving an addrefs of thanks to his majesty.

The duke of Bedford gave his decided negative upon it; instead of going into detail in answering the noble secretary's arguments, he meant, he faid, to difcufs the principles of the war, and the bafis upon which negotiation was to be founded. All the objections advanced against it now might have been urged when the negotiations were opened at Lifle; the conduct of the French government prior to that period had been amply futh


concerned, he might be fincere, and there was no doubt but it was his intereft to confolidate his power: but it ought not to be forgotten, that whenever any acts of atrocity were to be accomplished by the French, they had been ufually effected by a fufpenfion of arms; the propofed negotiation would relieve her from the prefent preffure of alarming difficulties, and could not relieve England from any; the ports of France, which were now blockaded by our fleets and cruizers, would be thrown open to introduce naval ftores, and a variety of neceffary articles of which the country was in want; fleets would be fent to bring back the troops which were now deprived of all intercourse with the republic, and which might then be employed in augmenting the number of the French armies. To us, a fufpenfion of arms could not be productive of any benefit whatever; our ports were not blocked up, our commerce was not interrupted; and it also should be confidered, that there would be no fecurity for the maintenance of fuch a fufpenfion. Was Bonaparte now prepared to fign a general peace? If he were not, he could not be fincere in his offers; it was neceffary for him to keep an army of fixty thousand men to preferve tranquillity in the interior of France: every act of his government was fupported by force; and if he even were fincere, it was ha zarding too much to hazard all on his fingle life. What reliance could be placed on the unanimity of the French people? We were deftitute of hope, from the change which had recently taken place in the perions employed in public offices; men of the blackest characters had been appointed to fituations of the greatest trust; men infamous for

cient for the manifeftation of their principles; and though his majefty's minifters were fo well acquainted with thefe vile principles at that time, they fent an ambaffador to treat for peace; and now, on this very account, we were told that we ought not to think of treaty." But the French defended their conduct in commencing and carrying on the war." Far was he from withing to defend it, any more than the conduct of our allies, or of this country when it first established itself in India. The details in all these inftances would be equally repugnant to humanity.

The paper tranfmitted by our minifters called upon the French government to vindicate their na tion at large in purfuing the war. Did it not exprefsly fay, that if France would again revolutionize itfelf, reftore its ancient line of princes, this country would treat with her? Was this the conciliatory paper which it was a crime in France to anfwer as he had done? Was it extraordinary that the French should deny that they were the aggreffors, when our minifters not only endeavoured to prove that they were fo, but that they had acted infamously and atrocioufly? Had the republic made ufe of any language fo provoking? The ftyle of their government had been the direct contrary: yet, without the leaft neceffity, his lordfhip had thought fit to load them with every degrading and infulting epithet. Whether Eng land or France were the firft aggreffors was a queftion to be referved to pofterity; it was natural for each country to throw the imputation off their own fhoulders, and avoid not only the execration of the prefent age, but the curfe of pofterity. The wild scheme of reftoring the French monarchy was

the fine qua non, if not of peace, of negotiation; for, notwithstanding the noble fecretary had denied the charge, whilft he pointed out the impoffibility of treating with the French government during all its ftages to the prefent, and infifted upon vigorous hoftilities being the only means of our fecurity, there was no inference to be drawn but that the war must be continued till monarchy was established. What profpect remained of such an event taking place, his grace faid, he would not pretend to determine; but this fact was certain, in proportion as this country oppreffed France, in the fame proportion did the become violent; our attempts to destroy jacobinifm promoted, and, if we perfevered, would eftablifh it. If the refloration of monarchy was not the object, what was it? Were minifters contending that we ought to wait for a more favourable opportunity of entering into negotia tion? Was it to be attained by railing at Bonaparte? There were no terms fufficiently strong to cen fure the littlenefs which attacked his character, in order to ruin him in the eftimation of the French nation, as if by fo doing we could negotiate with more effect, or gain a fairer profpect of peace. It was alfo moft contemptible to publish what was called "The intercepted Correfpondence of the Enemy;" thefe were paltry fhifts, reflecting more difgrace upon minifters than on the writers of thefe fabricated letters.

Could we depend on our allies? Was there one of them who had not shown, in the courfe of the prefent war, that he would obtain a feparate peace if he could obtain it advantageously? Had not Austria proved herself actuated by views of aggrandifement? Did minifters them

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