Imatges de pÓgina

hope to myself of accomplishing the object by the means of continental league." The noble Lord says there are symptoms of confederation ; symptoms, my Lords! we want more than fympcoins; we must have founcthing more express, something more folid to rely upon before we can expect that Europe can be delivered from its dangers, and the world have redress: We are told of the vigour manitested by Kuflia and the Porte. It is impossible, my Lords, to hear this presented to the people of England as a ground of confidence and hope without aftonishment. What! a conjunction between the Rullians and the Turks? it is impossible to speak of so moofirous an idea without ridicule. We all know that their mutual diftrust and jealousy exceed that of all other nations. It is hereditary; the child sucks it in with his mother's milk; it is made a part of their education, and becomes a habit of their vature. We all know that the family upon the throne of the Rusias, have uniformly cherished the notion, that Conftantinople is to be a part of their inherifance. With this view what is the name they have given to the second fon, the brother of the present Emperor? It has always been their politics, and I fear that it is not likely to be abandoned at a moment the most favourable to its views. And is it from a coalition of this sort that we are to derive hopes of vigorous operation against France? We do not argue like politicians, if we yield ourselves to fo false an imagination.

If Russia be in earnest, why do not we hear of the other : northern powers coming forward and joining in the league ;

that might render it formidable. As to the Grand Signior, what is the Ottoman Porte? Do we not know that the most helpless of all the countries upon earth is Turkey. The united concurrence of every historian the most recent, and the more convincing testimony of facts, prove that they are not merely incapable of all external operations, but even of domeitic des fence, and in a state of universal insubordination. Have they not been even now defeated in more than thirty attacks upon one rebellious Pacha? They are incapable of resifting the rebellion of a subject ! Is it from such a country that we can look for vigorous co-operation, or is it upon such a league that we can fately repoie? My Lords, the experience that we have had ought to teach us diftrust; it ought to impress upon our minds a conviction of the hollow principle upon which combinations of this kind are formed. When we fee a Court so little actuated by motives of honour and justice as to forfeit its obligations, can we afterwards have confidence in its fidelity ? In private life what would you say of a man who was even tardy or negligent in discharging his debts? If any of your Lord

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Thips thould advance to a man in neceffity, a sum of money to enable him to carry on a just claim to estates that were withheld from him, and by such succour he succeeded in his law-luit, would you not lay, that his first duty was to repay the noble Lord ihe sum he had borrowed with gratitude for the aid by which he had heen saved from ruin, and what term of reproach would not be his due, if he should fail in this act of justice? My Lords, what is true of an indiviual is true of a Court. You have affisted the great powers of the Continent; one of them contracted large engagements with you, and was enabled, through your means, to make valuable acquisitions. I do not find from his Majesty's speech that that" power has come forward to discharge its obligations. I do not find that that power has given any assurance that he will repay the loan which he railed under the guarantee of the Britila Government, and therefore I lay again, my Lords, that even if a new combination should be made with Courts that have only hitherto looked to their own distinct and individual ob. jects, and who have deferted the cominon cause the instant that they had obtained tome iniserable acquisition to themselves, we can have no prolpect of advantage from such a league. Nay, my Lords, if the jealousies of these great powers should again be stifled for the moment, I should not think it all that was necessary to the combined move.nent of Europe against France. I should demand the concurrence and the exertion of the northern powers also. It is material that the powers of the Baltic should join in the confederacy; but I see nothing of all this, and yet we are told, that we are to continue the war upon the ground of hollow and disjointed combination, and that combination neither general nor disinterested. Are they lefs sensible of their danger than we are? Are they lefs liable to feel the atrocity of the French system? It surely will not be faid that they are. The protection that we derive from our marine, from our infular situation, from public opinion, make us certainly more secure than any kingdom on the Continent; and when we see that they make use of us only for their own ends; that, however folemn their engage ments, they desert us without a firuggle of conscience, and make their peace whenever they have made their acquisition, can we again entangle ourselves with such confederates? Ian ticipate the reply to all this, “How can we made peace? After repeated trials it hias been hewn that it is imposible to negociate with the French Directory." Your Lordships know my opinion upon this; I do not defire that his Majesty's Government should humiliate itself; I have always given my opinion on


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what I conceive to be the proper and becoming manner for a great country like this to act. I do not know what may now be the disposition of the French Directory towards peace ; I have no means of knowing it. When I had reason to believe there was a disposition and an opening, I did not fail to give my opinion and advice. Their repeated trials, they say, have failed; they know best whether they ought to have failed.

I do not wish to exasperate; if they were fincere, I only lament they did not take the most dignified course, nor that the most likely to obtain the end. If the advances hitherto made by ministers were sincere, I must say they were ill imagined and worse conducted; and if insincere, this country was involved in disgrace, and laid open to the reproaches of all Europe. The course that I have always reço:nmended is that which is open and unequivocal. I would have your Lordships to thew by your conduct, that you feek for no other object than security and peace; that you will support the Government, who shall act upon this fingle principle; and let it be made manifcst to all the world, that England looks to nothing elfe. It is particularly dignified to make this declaration in the moment of conquest. I have faid, that I do not know how the French Directory may be now disposed; but I know that it can never be unsealonable to make the avowal of your system. Political situations are always changing ; every six months produces a new æra, and gives rise to new ideas in states, as well as in individuals. The France of this day, is not the France of three years ago, or even of last year; and therefore, however disposed they were upon the last experiment, it is now worth the trial. I do not mean that you thould send to beg, or to offer it, but choose the moment of victory to make it manifeft, that you look to nothing else ; and that you are constantly ready and prepared to make it. After such declaration should they refuse it, our course is clear and safe. Let us lay aside all idle plans of conquest and acquiGtion which we cannot maintain, witness Corsica and St. Domingo, which we had captured and found it expedient to give up, and let us only think of cheap and economical defence. Let us refuse our assent to all Continental intrigues, in which it is likely that the French will out-manæuvre us, for it is clear, that in all the progrefs of their system, they have gained full as much by intrigue as they have by arms. To all such intrigues this country ought to be a stranger, and all combinations which have intrigue for their origin, are as much against the interest of Great Britain, as they are against those of humanity. The powers that combine with you før felőfh purpoles, are only true to their engage


ments against France until they have succeeded in their views, and then they become French in their turn. The Directory know this, and take their advantage of it; they are not weak enough to dread the confederacies that are made of such materials, for that which has been accomplished by corruption and bribery, they know may be counteracted by the fame means. We ought to be above the meanness of this crooked course. No man feels the high situation of this country more than I do; and we ought to reap the advantages of that situation. Let us display a disinterested fpirit in our system ; and above all, mark our character by moderation. It is the policy, and it ought to be the pride of this country. At home the Crown has gained every thing; it carinot, and it ought not to look for any further accession of power. Opposition has disappeared, fome say it is dead and buried, and that Opposition, as a party, is no more. I am told so, but I speak of it without any perfonal knowledge. I never was a party man; but if Oppolition be dead and buried, it is a great opportunity for the Crown to take such high and advantageous ground, as by fecuring popular opinion, to prevent the growth of all party again. The prefent is a most favourable moment for securing the unanimity which now prevails. To conciliate popular opinion ought to be the great object. The attachment of the people is stronger and more valuable than a hundred parties. By keeping down the expences, by introducing economy and order into every department of the fate, by putting an end to corruption and influence, you can prevent the revival of party, you will reap the true advantages of your present situation. I shall certainly think it my duty to give my support to cvery vigorous measure that shall serve to put the country into a ftill more advantageous polition. I think it right and political, that by one great operation of finance, you thall keep down those irksome, petty, and unproductive exactions which fret and disturb mens minds, and create an irritation which would again favour the views of faction. It is your duty, my Lords, to support a great and liberal plan that thall let the Government above the necessity of petty thifts. You ought to be swilled with patronage; it has gone more than its proper length, and in order to preserve the union which the course of events has so happily brought about, you ought to join in any extensive and dilinterested plan, by which the country shall learn that you are actuated by a zeal proportionate to your high condition in the state. I shall certainly think it my duty to support the Government in this course, always reserving to myself my longing after peace. Rumour has talked of vari


ous strong measures, that were likely to be brought forward; among oihers an union with Ireland. Strong as that meafure would be, I may be brought to give it any support. It depends altogether upon wliat principle fuch an union is built. Every, even the pooreit politician knows, that two bodies bronght together and made to act as one man, has more Atrength, and can effed more than two that are separate; but it relis nevertheless on the principle of union, whether two bodies can be brought to act as one. If built on public opinion, every advantage of such a junction may reasonably be expected. If it were to be a Government of Influence, corruption and all ii's consequences muit necessarily be the refult, and God knows Ireland has severely felt such consequences alieady. I throw out this to ibew, that I am ready to give Ministers any fupport to extricate the country, and to carry on a defenfive war, and to prove that I am conscious that strong measures must be taken. I repeat my recommendation of moderation, and of that which I consider as the wifeft means of ufing our laie victories, viz. in the obtainment of a speedy peace so much wanted by the country, since whatever may be said to the contrary, our resources notosiously fand in need of repose to recover themselves. I think that we are come to that point in our hiitory, when we must refume the good fenfe of our ancestors, and govern by public opinion, not by bribery, patronage and corruption. When initead of looking merely to great families, we must louk to the people, and when, instead of the grasp and range of influence, we must trust to the economy with which every branch of the Government is administered. So much for our home affairs. With respect to our external pofition, I repeat it, my Lords, that you have but one practicable course; and it is, to declare thai you will steadily, through a cheap defensive fyftem, look only to attain a folid, perinanent, and honourable peace.

Lord Remney rose to remark, that thc Noble Marquis had in the course of his speech made fome adverse obfervations, which he did not think the occasion or the day warranted. He could not see why it was necessary to diminish the exultation which Lord Nelson's glorious Victory mult excite in every breast, by fevere reflections on the conduct of Miniiters. He thought his Majesty's servants deferved the grateful thanks of their Lordihips and the Country, for the wile, vigilant, and able manner in which they had conducted the war during the summer, an) was surprized to hear a word said that day to their disadvantage.


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