« AnteriorContinua »
majesty's European dominions, du- The motion he was about to tube ring the winter, in the islands of mit,” he said, “ would give to his Guernsey and Jersey. And he mo- majesty a pledge of the unchanged ved, " that this meslage be taken and unalterable affection of that into consideration on the same day house, while the continued support with the first;" which was also of parliament would give energy agreed to.
and effect to such measures as might These two melages were brought be adopted to conduct the great down to the house of commons by contest, in which his majesty was Mr. Pict, and a day fixed of courlé engaged, to a safe and honourable for their confideration. Ou Tues- conclusion. The motion would be dav, January 28th, 1800, the order founded on two principles : The of the day, for taking into confidera- first was, that France still retained tion his majesty's meliage, relative to those sentiments and views which the overtures from France, being characterized the dawn, and contiread, lord Grenville made a variety nued to march with the progress, of of oblervations on the importance her rerolution : the second, that no of the question ander their lordips' fafe, honourable, and permanent confideration.
" It was not polii- peace could be made with France ble," he observed, “ to have made in her present situation. The French the tedy of the present condition of minifter, Talleyrand, had allerted in the world, as he had done, a prin- his note, 'That, from the commencecipal object of care, without per- ment of the revolution, the republic ceiving that a hostile mind still per. solemnly proclaimed her love of vaded the whole conduct of the peace, her disinclination to corn enemy. It was obvious that the quests, and her respect for the indefame proneness to aggression, the pendence of all governments. Yet fame disregard to justice, still aclu- she had been at war with all the aled the conduct of the men who nations of Europe, except two, rule in France. Under fach cir- (Sweden and Denmark,) and next cumkances there could be in fern- to being at war with Anerica. sity 10 Europe in peace. Peace, dud if war had not been formally with a nation whore war was made declared by France again't those against all order and religion, all livo northern powers, their fubjecis, morality, would be rather a celiation and the commerce that had been of reliliance to wrong, than a ful.. carried on by them, had feffered, pengon of arms in the nature of or- in aggravated instances, from the dinary warfare. It was in war that cruizers of the republic, whole deourselves, and the great civil comniu- predations found lanction from her nity of Europe, were to find security. laws, a series of injuries, of infults, To negociate with established go- and injustice: tolerable in war, bevernments was formerly not merely caule common to it; but most ineasy, bat, under most circumstances, tolerable in peace, becaule direally lafe: but, to negociate with the go- repugnant to the principles of any rernment of France Dow would be just peace, or recognized equaay. to incur all the risks of an uncertain With regard to the second principle, truce, without attaining one of the that no lafe, permanent, and hobenefits of even a temporary peace. nourable peace could be made with
France, in her present situation; conduct of the first consul can furevery power with whom the repub- nifh any grounds more satisfactory. lic had treated, whether for armi- to give us a favourable opinion of itice or peace, could furnish melan- his fincerity. When he arrived at choly instances of the perfidy of Malta, he held the same specious France, and of the ambition, injuf- promises of good faith, by which rice, and cruelty, of her rulers." he had so frequently succeeded in This position lord Grenville illus- betraying states and governments ; trated by a review of their conduct but he treated this isand as a con to the Swiss, the grand duke of quered country, and despoiled it of Tuscany, the king of Sardinia, the every thing that was valuable. I pope, the king of Naples, Spain, now come to his proceedings in Holland, Venice, Genoa, and other Egypt. It would be very unnecesImaller Italian states : and, lastly, fary in me to delain your lordships on this subject of the ambition and by details with which you are alinjustice of the rulers of France, he ready too well acquainted; but I mentioned the French invasion of cannot avoid calling your attention Egypt.
to that part of his conduct which is His lordlip then proceeded to diplomatic. I shall, of course, pass an investigation of the degree of over his deceitful professions, his racredit to which the prefent charac. pacities, and the cruel maslacres ter of Buonaparte could be confi- which were perpetrated by his dered as justly entitled : “ We shall troops, and by his immediate orders. Dot be deftitute," said his lordship, He solemnly declared to the Porte, " of fufficient grounds for judging that he had no intention to take what degree of reliance is to be possession of Egypt; he declared to placed on his present promises and his own generals, that his object and professions, from considering his was to take posseslion of that counpast actions, if we trace general try; and he assured the people of Buonaparte from the period when, Egypt, that he had taken pufleffion in the third year of the republic, of it with the consent of the Porte. he imposed upon the French people, What can we think of his blaspheby the mouth of the cannon, ibat mies, his hypocrifies, his repeated very conftitution which he has now acts of perfidy, his multiplied vio. destroyed by the point of the bay- lations of all religions and moral onet." He enumerated many in- ties? Did he not declare, in the Itances in which Buonaparte had rnost unqualified terms, that the violated the treaties which he him. French were true Muffulmen ? Is it self had made.- Even the atfili- in that country that he has laid the ated republics," he said, “ foundation for us to rest with fecu. equally the victims of his destruclive rity upon the good faith and finceperfidi. The constitution of the rity which he now professes? HavCisalpine republic, which was the ing, therefore, such bases for us to work of Buonaparte, was over- form a correct opinion of his policy, thrown by the hands of his general, can it be thought inconsistent to beBerthier. But this is not all, my lords; lieve that he has no intention of fullet us now pals from the continent filling his engagements? Can we so of Europe, and try if the subsequent foon forget his delicate apprehen
fons, with respect to the lives of his convinced that it might be the inremaining soldiers, after his flight, terest of general Buonaparte to conand his directions to general Kleber folidate his power; but it could not to propose preliminaries of peace to be forgotten, that whenever any the Porte; to enter into a treaty of aởs of atrocity were to be commitpeace, and to defer the execution ted by the French, they had been of the articles ? “You may; (says he, usually effected by a lilpenfion of in his official letter,) [ign a treaty to The proposed negociation evacuate Egypt; but do not execute would relieve France from the prethe articles, as you may observe, fent pressure of numerous and alarmwith great plausibility, that it must ing difficulties, and could not rebe sent home, in order to be submit- lieve England from any. The ports ted to the inspection and ratification of France, now blockadet byour fleets of the directory.'-Thus, my lords, and cruisers, would be thrown open, we are in complete pofleflion of his for the purpose of introducing naval system of politics, a lystem as frau- ftores : fleets too would be sent to dulent, perfidious, and destructive, bring back the troops which were as ever was practised, to the disgrare now deprived of all intercourse with and milery of human nature. Thus the republic.-From a negociation are we provided with unquestion- Buonaparte would derive considerable pledges of his future integrity. able advantages to the commerce In the correspondence which ap- and manufactures of the republic, pears upon your table, his motives whilft this country, with respect to are open and undisguised; and there any beneßt, would be left merely in is not the least neceflity for having its present situation. He would also secourle to conjecture to ascertain enjoy the satisfaction and the trithat he has a double object in his umph of lowering the tone and the communication. The one is to character of a people who had hiamuse Great Britain, and the other therto proved ihe great and the efto induce her to give offence to her fectual barrier against the encroachallies. I hope I shall not be ac: ments of republican policy, and incused of entertaining any unfounded fuse into our allies, and the other jealousy of such a man, who, having powers, a distrust of our resolution done nothing to redeem his good and integrity.-His lordfhip obserfaith, la often violated, but the ved, that, in turbulent republics, it overturning the government of his had ever been an axiom, to preserve country by the terror of military tranquillity by constant action; this despotism, now comes forward with axiom had uniformly been the standpreposals of pacification. When ard by which the system of the polie we are fully satisfied with the share tics of France had been regulated. which he has had in previous ag- Buona parte lad made strong progrestions and depredations, can we fellions of a defire of peace, and he be too flow in giving him credit for had laid ihat the prelent overture profeftions of fincerity?"
was the lecond proof of his wish to Lord Grenville, had heard it re- effectuate a general pacification. ported, as a matter of opinion, that But lord Grenville was at a lols to it was the peculiar interest of the find any proof of his having enterfirst consul to make peace. He was tained such a deaire. Did he allude
to the treaty of CampoFormio? When sented to his majesty, thanking him official intelligence of that transac- for his gracious message, and exi tion was sent by bim to the direc- presling the concurrence of that tory, Mongé, speaking in his name, houle, in the sentiments which it and delivering bis acı, his acknow- contained. ledged instrument and confidential The duke of Bedford rose to give agent, declared, that the French re- the address his decided negative. public and England could not exist The noble secretary had attempted together. So that, if he even were to defend the conduct of his maallowed to hare an evident interest jesty's ministers in refusing to accede in promoting peace, would not their to overtures for peace, from the imlordships be perfectly justified in poffibility of any government that pausing and reflecting on what de France had, since the revolution, gree of faith should be given to the affording a fufficient guarantee for interest and power of such an indi- the luccess of any negociations that vidual? They had been lately told, might be entered into. But all the by the prelent government of objections now advanced to preFrance, that there existed no fe- clude negociation might have been curity, no guarantee for the preser- urged when the negociations were vation of peace in the republic opened at Lille. This argument from 1793, to November, 1799. the duke placed in various points of So much did the aciors in the last view, and urged it with much abirevolution believe the statement of lity.--It was clear that the wild Boulay de la Meurthe,* that they scheme of restoring the French mofounded their claims to the appro- narchy was the fine qua non, if not bation and allent of the people of of peace, at least of negociation. France, on the declaration that What hopes there were of such an their government was founded on a event ever taking place by the exjust view of those vices and defects, ertions of this country, he would which were to siop the revolutions leave their lordlips to determine : of the republican order. What but of this fact he was certain, that ouer courle then would wisdom in proportion as this country opbid Great Britain a lopt, but awit preiled France, in the same proporthe crent of things, to await the tion did its government become vioresult of future experience, and not lent. When a country was kept to enter on negociation at a time in a state of warfare, it was always when no advantage could he fairly able to adopt and carry on more expected from it? If they abandon- violent mealures than in times of ed the manly and energe ic conduct peace.-If the restoration of the which had' bitherto distinguished monarchy were not the object of their proceedings, they would de- ministers, what was it? Were they fcend from a nation which they had contending for a more favourable filled with lo much honour to them- opportunity of entering on negociafelves, and advantage to their coun- tion? How, if that was the case, try. On these grounds he moved, was a more favourable opportunity " That a humble address be pre- to be attained? Was it by railing at * See his fpeech in the committee of elders, in chap. III. page 32.
Buonaparte? Buonaparte? He could not, in terms that what was said by Boulay de la Jufticiently ftrong, censure that little- Meurthe was the same as proceednels of mind which prompted his ing from Buonaparte: but his remajeity's ministers to attack the cha- port was no more to be used by the racter of Buonaparte, with a view people of this country as an arguł. to ruin him in the esteem of the ment against the lately abolished French nation; as if; by doing lo, constitution of France, than a report they would be able to negociate of any violent jacobin upon the anwith more effect, or gain a fairer cient government of Louis XVI. prospect of peace.-His grace ad- He referred also to the reports of mitted that there might be occasions Mongé, upon presenting the treaty when it might be neceflary to de- of Campo Formio to the directory; cline the negociation : but no such and maintained, that his declaration occasion esilled at the present mo- in that report was far from complete ment. He referred to former de- evidence; that it was the general clarations of the noble secretary, opinion of the French nation that wherein he had Atated that his ma- England and France could not exist jesty would never suffer the enemies together. With regard to the chaof the country to posiels that advan- racter of Buonaparte, he did not see tage which they necetarily muli de- any use that could be drawn from Tive from his refusal to discuss their going into it. He, like all staterovertures for peace. In fact, every men, no doubt, wished to make a thing he had advanced, as reasons peace, advantageous to himself, and for entering into the former nego: the nation over which he presided. ciation,' was. at variance with what Like all other statesmen, his mohe had said to-night. It had, in the tives in wishing to make a peace note to Barthelemy, been asserted, were not influenced by humanity; that England would always be wil. it was to be supposed that he would ling to treat, when its enemies Mhew- not make any peace, but such an ed a difpofition to that effect. If one as would satisfy the French this dispoîtion was not a mockery, nation. He believed him sincere, why did it not treat now. France becaule France wished for peace, had hewa a pacific difpofition, and and peace alone could consolidate the only way to ascertain whether his power. The events of war fe was fincere, and whether Buo- were uncertain ; and, whenever a naparte was willing to do these acts, leader failed, and was deserted by by which he could guarantee the fortune, the people deserted him Security of this country, was to en- likewife. If Buonaparte Thould ter into a negociation. To deter- experience reverles, he would, no mine to perfiit in the war after the doubl, be destroyed, and lome concessions on the part of the French other idol substituted. It was for government, was neither open, man. their lordships to consider, whether ly, nor characteristic of the British they would continue the war for the pation. He next referred to the purpose of establishing some other report of Boulay de la Meurthe, person in the rocm of Buonaparte. relative to the government and litu- As to the abule which ministers ation of France and its rulers for had thrown upon the character of the last seven years, and adınitted, that man, he felt no concern upon VOL. XLII.