Imatges de pÓgina

no circumitance which more entitles ministers to the thanks of the country than their having allowed no forms to impede the negociations at Paris and Lifle. I will not, therefore, argue upon any distinction of form respecting making offers of peace and receiving them. I conceive it in substance to be the same thing, because if circumstances ought to induce you to receive the offer, they would juftify you in making it. What then is the object of this motion. It seems to invite you, not indeed to speak to the French direcily, but to speak at them. It is as it were holding a dialogue with yourlelves, in which you say to France, loud enough to be heard, “We wish France would make an offer to us.' In this fubter fuge, however, there would be no real distinctfon from a dia rečt offer. If then it be proper to offer peace, let the hon. Gentleman fairly propose to do so; let us have an opportunity of fairly discussing the subject. I will frankly confess, however, that to me it does not appear to be a fit moment for inaking or receiving such an offer. If the hon. Gentleman entertains a contrary opinion, let him bring the matter forward, but let it not be in the equivocal shape of the present motion. Let us not by a declaration like that which he calls on us to make, announce to France that she has no oppofition to dread ; and to the rest of Europe that they must resign themselves to their fate, and renounce the hope of allir tance. Yet proud as every man must feel of the splendid vic. tory obtained by our fleet, conscious of the high pre-eminence which it entitles us to assume, we must not impute the station we now occupy folely to that great and glorious event. Previous to that victory, our confidence in our strength was as high as it could stand. The feelings we had in expectation of news from the Mediterranean, were thofe of impatience, not those of apprehension. Our situation is not the fruit of that victory; it has been confirmed by it. The question then is, whether we shall allow that wealth, which the country has accumulated, to remain useless to be hoarded without advantage, or by a judicious loan to have it Teturned with interest? It is not our own safety which we are immediately called upon to establish and to secure. It is the safety of others that now calls upon us for a generons effort. It may be said, indeed, that the other powers of Europe, save us, engaged single handed, and refused us their aid, and that we might refuse that allistance which they could have no claim to demand. I hope, however, that we hall take a nobler vengeance on those who left us alone. We



thall fay to them, “ You left us to encounter the danger, and we now offer you our security ; you left us to fight the battle, and we are now willing to share with you the benefits of the victory." Were any man to tell me what no human authority could induce me to believe) such a paradox as that, in proportion as the enemy plundered and amassed the property of other states; in proportion as they extended their icrritories, the more tranquil, the more secure, the less exposed to danger and disturbance of any kind, from such neighbours, it would be the only argument, which could induce us to abandon the rest of Europe to its fate, and those interests, with which the cause of Britain has even been fupposed to be connected. If, however, directly the reverse be The fact ; if the exactions, the usurpations, the violence, the ambition of France, of which so great a part of Europe is the vi&tim, be confistent with the existence of those interests which involve our own safety; we must feel ourselves bound to oppose a motion, the principle of which contradicts the policy upon which our ancestors glo:iously acted, which degrades our national honour, endangers our national Safety, which must spread dismay over Europe, and communicate exultation and joy to France.

Mr. Jekyl. I expected, Sir, that the motion which has been this night proposed by my hon. Friend in so plain, but in fo able a manner, would have been attended with at least this advantage, that it would have procured to the House the fatisfaciion of knowing the precise object of the war. My hon. Friend over the way, (if he will permit me to call him by that name), however did not, in the course of his speech, afford us any certain grounds of judgment upon this point. From some parts of his argument we should have been led to imagine that we were now to wage a war of vengeance against the atrocities which the French have committed; Sometimes it was to be for the deliverance of Europe ; but arter all, we are still left in the dark whether it has


definite objed at all. The subject was indeed handled by my hon. Friend opposite to me in a speech of no less ability than of preparation, and to the talent which it displayed I am ready to pay a juíl tribute of ap; lule; but I muít take the liberty to animadvert upon fome of the arguments which he employed. Vylon. Friend alluded to the apathy with which the motion has bien received by this fide of ihe House on the print occasion. Where he discovered this apathy I ain uit lennot tell. It is true, induei, that our organ is rather



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thin; we are but few performers, and we are not very con-
fident in the support of our audience. We have not indeed
the well disciplined phalanx by which the hon. Gentleman is
fupported. In the present military disposition of the country,
it is no wonder that the Gentlemen opposite should be cor-
rect in their evolutions, and that they thould be fo trained,
that the whole of the front ranks fhould move together. As
to the principle of a defensive war, upon which the hon. Gen-
tleman was so facetious, and the sentiments of an eminent
statesman, I shall perhaps say a few words by and, by. The
hon. Gentleman thought proper to state that my hon. Friend,
in making his motion, had no reference to peace. On the
contrary, the motion had so far peace in its contemplation as
it was the direct purpose of it; to avoid all engagements
which could tend to impede a peace on secure and honourable
terms. The hon. Gentleman alluded to the victory of the
Nile-a subject upon which every Englishman must have
but one opinion. He afks, what was the fenfation which
this glorious atchievement produced? I will tell the hon.
Gentleman then, that the sensation of joy which it occa-
fioned was combined with the hope that it might tend to the
restoration of peace between this country and France. Now,
however, it is thrown out that not peace but war was the
great consequence to which it led, and we are called upon to
rejoice, not in its pacific effects, but in its tendency to give
new vigour, and extension to schemes of warfare and coali-
tion. If the moment in which we stand on the proud enni-
nence of such a triumph be not the moment to think of peace,
in what state of our affairs can we turn our thought to this
great object with propriety? I do not speak of offering terms
of peace in the way of solicitation, which the hon. Gentleman
ridicules; I would not recommend any such compromise,
because the occalion does not require so shallow a device.
I see no ill consequence that could result from making offers
of peace frankly and directly. This country, however, is
again to be embarked upon the ocean of continental politics;
we are again to enter the lists without knowing the purposes
for which we are engaged, or the extent to which we may be
involved. The hon. Gentleman thinksthat no man can sleep
with roses on his pillow, unless he can say that he has taken
a share in rescuing Switzerland from the tyranny of France,
What, then, are we to engage in a continental war to revenge
the wrongs of the Swiss, and to punish the perfidies of
France? What does the hon. Gentleman fay of the

pra Vol. I. 1798.



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cability of the attempt, and how will he reconcile his warm and generous feeling for the unfortunate with any pradical policy, or justify it by a reasonable chance of success? He tells us too, that the allies of France are hollow, that they are ready to defert her. This argument, however, perhaps will be found, if it proves any thing, to prove too much. Spain is dissatisfied with her haughty ally-Holland is weary of her oppreffor! What, however, has been our fortune with our allies? Have we misused our allies, have we oppressed, plundered, or insulted them? They, too, have left us. We find that allies who have been treated with generosity, are as little to be relied upon as those who are the victims of injuftice. On a subject like this, perhaps, the hon. Gentleman might have directed us to a safer guide than even his own powerful reasoning. Experience has distinctly and recently taught us what we have to expect : Prullia, after receiving 1,200,cool. of our money, deserted us; the Emperor, after so many loans and advances, likewise abandoned the common cause; the King of Sardinia, after receiving 200,cool. for several years, withdrew from the contest. After these 'proofs of the temper of our allies, had we any reason, as ftatesmen, to place any more dependance on their fidelity to a new coalition? Shall we desert our experience, and cherish the hope that new sentiments will actuate so many

powers by whom we have already been deceived? The hon. Gentleman says, however, that the faith of treaties with France is not to be trusted. If there be any thing in such an objection, it must be an objection to all peace; it reduces us again to the bellum internecinum. He says, that although the negociations of Paris or Lifle had concluded in a treaty, the expedition to Egypt would nevertheless have taken place. On this principle then we are never to make peace, because treaties may be broken. On this principle the wars which have been waged between this country and France inust have been eternal, because certainly we could not be sure that treaties would not be violated. Thus we are again brought back to the war of extermination, which I thought has now been exploded on both sides of the House. But it seems, as the phrase is, we are to rouse Auftria and Pruflia to second the magnanimity of Ruffia, and the vigour of the Porte on this occalion. Is there any man, however, who understands even the grammar of politics, that can look for any thing of efficient cooperation towards any great object of general concernient to Europe? Who does not know the schemes of aggrandisement which Ruflia meditates at the expence of Turkey? Who did not apprehend that when a Russian fleet was ala lowed to pass the Dardanelles, the Ottomans had, as it were, consented to their own destruction? Of the Ottoman Porte, I am fure, I wish to fay nothing offensive, and I am sure my honourable Friend behind me, in alluding to its spoke of the Turks with as much gravity as any man could disa play on such a subject. I was indeed' surprised to observe the tone of ridicule which, in allusion to the Turks, pervaded the honourable, Gentleman's speech. He alone eona sidered the Turkish aid as matter for merriment. He told us of their gowns and beards, and their sinoking their pipes, and in his defence exposed them to a ridicule with which they had not been affailed. Indeed, if I may employ a vulgar expression, he seemed to be in a humour to quiz the Turks. Surely the embassy of a noble person, who is said to be going to Constantinople, is not intended to quiz the Grand Seignior. We have heard of conversations between Buonaparte and the Imans and Muftis of Egypt in the Pyramids, but surely we are not to expect that the noble person to whom I have alluded is to perform any farce of a similar nature, or to quiz the gowns, turbans, beards, and tobacco pipes of the Muffulmen ; circumstances which must have Itruck the hon. Gentleman as very likely to produce division, But seriously, what kind of vigour do we expect to be displayed by the Ottoman Porte in this new scheme of coaliiion? Does not every body know, that however grave and respectable personages the Turks, nay individuals, be in {pite of their gowns and beards, as a nation the Turks are the most inert, the most ignorant, the most sluggish people on the face of God's earth? Have we not proofs before our eyes of their debility and impotence? Do we not see that i hey have been baffled and defeated by one of their own rebel Pachas? How then can men of common observation and understanding talk to us of the importance of the Turkish cooperation for any efficient attack upon the power of France? They may make a shew with a daihing manifesto, drawn up in the style and Ipirit of more lettered cabinets and statelmen; they may be mighty civil with their presents of Pellices and Aigreties, and perfectly respectable in spite of their gowns and bcards, but as important and efficient allies how can they be considered? What part can they perform in the great schemes which are to be attempted for the deliverance of Kurope?



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