Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

tveason, that may cut both ways. foreign colour; so that we would The weakness of France may pro- have all the expense of keeping up duce a desire for negociation for the a large force, without the power of purpose of gaining line, recruiting exercising it. Would not a peace her tirength, and atiuning a more engage us to refrain from all hofiiformidable attitude; but it afford lity against France, leaving her at no proof of detere, (when her pri. liberty io act against the different tate vie:vs fhall be a' tained) to governments of Europe, while our conclude the regociation when en hands were fed up, and we foaki tered upon, or to observe it when be held back froci cvery thing but orcludeil. Are we then, I ath, the expenie. Under these circum10 stretch out our han's to nurle tances he did not think that this and uphold the userpation of Buon government would act wisely, were taparte, to atlil liin to coniclidate it how to enter into negociation. his power, and become the indt: 12- Nir. Whitbread o!lerred, that mucni of his firength, that we may had it not been for the interference, tee it, when opportunity fail o. the folly, and the ambition of the tury turned againit the powers that other powers of Lurope, the French created it? Sir, before this line of rerolution would, at this time have conduct shall be nilopted, I hape borne a very different complection : ministers will pause and weigh wel buit that every attempt to repre's its the consequences to which it would evils had only dilleminated them least.

wider. A worfe effect had followMr. Dundas admitted that within ed; the extincion of liberty in thele ten years part, this country every country of Europe, under the had twice entered into ixgociation pretext of counteracting the licenwith France! but he contendel, tious principles of France. Mr. that there'was no part of adminif Dundas had fail, that from the comtration that was not deeply im- mencement of the revolution, France pressed with a lente of danger al had mewn a lovereign contempt of the time in the event of such ne- treaties, and within these ten years gociation proving fuccesful. He patt, had been at war with almost put the following qucftions: Whe- every state of Europe. In faying ther in the event of a peace having this ile right lionourable gentlema: been concluded at Lille we foould had only pronounced his own panenot be now at war? Whether the gyric ; for he had informed the correlpondence with the Irish re- houle, that he thought it his duty hellion would rot have gone on to invite every power in Europe to just as it has fince done? Could unite in one common cause ayainst there be a doubt that the expedia France, the common enemy of tion to Egypt would have taken mankind. In this he had fucceeded. place? I a treaty of peace were But the views of the allied powers actually signed, would Britain ven- lad been fulirated. The want of eure to difarm? How did Profiia good faith bad been alleged as a itand? She had to maintain a larve reason for not entering into a nearmy to pre crve her line of de- gociation with France. Mr. Whitbarcation: how could we stand? bread aiked if liis majesty's minifWe could have a garrison in every ters had always acted on principles

+

of good faith in their former nego- ftance had he ever observed a treaty ciations with France? During the or kept an armistice. It was well mission of lord Malm bury to Paris, known, Mr, Whitbread observed, the jacobin government, then ex- that the preliminaries of Leoben ilting, was no obstacle io negocia- were not broken, or the peace with tion in the estimation of them who Auftria infringed by Buonaparte ; fent liim. He was not commilioned for, before these events took place, to infift on a renunciation, on their he had left Europe. The conduct part, of existing principles, or on ac- of Buonaparte, al Venice, Mr. knowledgments tending to their Whitbread did not attempt to de: crimination. Yet, without there fend any more than that of Austria, esentials, these preliminaries, his As to the charge of misconduct to: lordhip expected good faith on their wards the Cilalpine republic, thọ part to any treaty that might have ground of accufation was the entire been concluded:'otherwise their at- act of the executive directory:tempi at negociation could not have With regard to what had becn ?uid been fincere. In the fecond nego of treachery on the part of Buongciation at Litle, one let of negoci- parte in ordering general Kleber to ators were recalled, and a more pegociate with the Porte, but to dejacobinical fet lent in their places. lay the completion of the treaty till Still no objection was started to far- luch time as be bould hear from ther pegociation. His majesty de France, the completion of this clared, in the face of all Europe, treaty was the cvacuation of Egypte that he was ready to conclude a which Kleber might have been treaty with them, if their overtures very well toid to delay, without had been at all reconcileable to the any reafonable charge of treachery honour and interests of his fubjects on the side of Buonaparte. It was and allies. To discountenance ne- said that he who could have inraded gociation, many arguments had Egype ought never to be treated heen drawn from the character of with. To leize ani colonize that the first conful, who was repre. country, Mr. Whitbread oblerved, sented both as an intractor of trea- had always been a favourite scheme ties, and an unprincipled blal- of the old government of France, phemer. Every topic that could The only difference between the rerile, and every art that could two wae, that the new government blicken, had been resorted to for of France had executed what the the purposes of political ilander: old bad only planned. Treachery, and he was very fory to see that however, of that kind, was nog the intercepted correspondence, confined to France. For Prullia firengthened with notes, had made could leize Silela, and three of the it: appearance, with a view to preju- first povers of Europe, while Eng. dice the country against the first lood was a tame ipectator, could consul, and thereby to set every divide and appropriate to themselves bope of negociation at a distance. the unfortunate kingdom of Poland. It had been taid by Mr. Dundas Yet Autria' and Rusli, the chief that fince Buonaparte had been agents in this transaction, were fill kyown to mankind, in no one in- our good and true allies; and with

this contradiction staring them in the desirous of peace, and that they face, ministers refused to treat with would negociate if we would let any one whom they deemed trea- them. cherous and unjust. " Buona- Mr. Canning was very much difparte,” said Mr. Whitbread," is pleased at Mr. Whitbread's attempt full as good as they are. If he has to justify the enormities of the broken treaties, so have they : if he French, by taying, that we onre has killed his ten thousands, Suwar- selves and our allies had been guilty Tow also has killed his ten thou- of others little less flagrant. As a fauds." Mr. Whitbread having proof of this polition, he had stated, enumerated many instances of the that our conduct was unwarrantable treachery, perfidy, and injustice of both towards the republic of Genoa the kings of France, asked whether and the grand duke of Tuscany. it could really be supposed that it Had the Genoefe performed the was really the with of the people duties of neutral nations, their rights of England to lavish their blood and would never have been infringed; treasure, for the purpose of re- but they had sent to the French ftoring to the throne of France the clothes, provisions, military stores, family of Bourbon ? Could it be and supplies of every kind. As to the fupposed that it was the duty of an grand duke of Tuscany, lord Hervey Engliliman to refore a banished had taken measures for the preferraking to his throne, or a hope to his tion of British property at Leghorn, tiara?

and to prerent, as far as was in his Mr. Whitbread, then insisted, power, the government of Tuscany that we were now contending for from aslisting the French; but he had one or the other of these two things: done nothing which he general practo reinstate a Bourbon on the throne, tice of nations did not entitle him or to exterminate the rest of those to do. The court of Florence had persons in France who held jacobi- complained; but small states werenical principles. If the former always irritable, and sensible that was the cale, we were fighting, he they were liable to insult, apt 10 thought, for an unattainable ob- think themselves insulted.

Great ject, and the contest must be end- 'stress had been laid on the declaless : if for the latter, we were ration of his majeliy after breaking fighting for an opinion; and both off the negociation of Life; but were equally absurd. Mír. Whit-, because he was willing to negociate, bread recommended it to the house, 'on certain terns then, did it follow to consider the relative situation of that he ought to be so pow? Must a this country with her allies. The declaration be, eternally binding, allics did not appear to enter at all notwithstanding the greatest change into each others views. There of circunstances. The new conftiseemed to be no regular points of tution, as it was called, of France, union between them: no commu- was more despotic, and more denity of interests. This position Mr. testable than any that had gone beWhitbread illustrated. He was fore it; and unless it could be upfully perluaded that the prelent held by fome supernatural power, French government were sincerely like that of the Weird Sisters, in

Macbeth

1

Macheth, it must be foon over- peace were a curse, and the dethrown. By entering into any ne- mand of negociation an insult; and gociation now, we Mould only throw held fast to war, as if war were an a damp on the minds of our coun- inseparable adjunct to the prospe. trymen, introduce discord into the rity of nations. The question was, councils of our allies, and consolidate not whether the original or present a power, which would afterwards effects of the French revolution were be employed for our destruction. beneficial or dangerous, but what

Mr. Erikine, having read over was our own policy and duty as his majesty's message, faid, it was connected with their existence. plain that they were called upon The American revolution when it not to advise his majesty on the fit- firft broke out, was inveighed ness of an armistice, or of an im- against by ils opponents in the mediate negociation, but to ratify' fame extravagant and useless declaor condemn the policy and fitness mations. But it had been asked of the specific answers which mi- very properly by an eloquent memxifiers, on their own authority, had ber of that houle, Mr. Burke, previously sent to France.

is His “ What, in God's name, are your majesty entertained the fullest con- to do with it?" Had minifters yet fidence that those answers will ap- been able, by eight years invective, pear to this houle to have been con- to mitigate the evils of the French formable to that lineof conduct which revolution? On the contrary, afwas required from his majesty on ter, in a manner creating the worst this occalion, by his regard to all of them, they had prevenied them the most important interests of his from subliding, and provoked most dominions.” No materials had been of the excesses which now furnislied laid before the honse to enable it to the pretexts of perpetual and unjudge of the fitness of an immediate availing war. What Mir. Erikine armistice, or even of an unqualified wished principally to impress on the acceptance of an immediate ne- house, as a caution not to let flip gociation, because the one and the the prefent auspicious period, was, other might depend on our engage that when ministers, at various ments with other countries, and periods of the war, had been prelthe actual position of the war. But, sed not to repel peace by general to judge of the unfitness of the ane objections to the capacity of France fwer, the answer itself furnithet a to maintain the relations of peace fufficient foundation; because, un- and amity, they had, by perfiftirg in der no circumstances, and at no that irrational system, produced the time, could such an answer be either very evils which the war was enterwile or decent, from the ministers ed on to avert. Our enemies uniof any nation, to any posible pro- formly increased in strength, keepfeffion of conciliation and peace. ing pace, on their fide, with the It was raih, insolent, and provoking, hostile mind on our's, and which without necessity. It was danger- every day became more levere and ons, as a precedent, to the univer- unrelenting. In this manner we fal interests of mankind. It reject- conducted ourselves till Holland was ed the very idea of peace, as if overrun; the Netherlands annexed

to

to the republic; our principal allies If Buonaparte's government, faid detached from the confederacy; Mr. Erskine, became established some of them connected in alliance and confirmed in its authority, it with the enemy; and, what was was adınitted, that, after some unworle than all, schemes of exten- defined period of probation, we fion and aggrandirement avowed were, in the end, to consent to and acied upon, which not only peace; but was it certain that had not existed before the war, but France would then be as willing, which the war had positively court- as at prelent, to be at peace with ed. If Buonaparte found ihat his us? Fatal experience has taught interest was served by an arrange- us the contrary; for, after every inment with England, the same in- terval, when 'peace had been repelterest would lead him to continue led by us, we had seen France in a it. If lincerity in a foreign govern- more formidable aspect, and with a ment was a thing which could ever more alienated spirit. If, on the be correctly estimated or acted upon, other hand, the government of Buoas a basis for listening to, or reject- naparte gave way to an interval de ing peace, there was more reason mocratic revolution, additional difnow than formerly for considering ficulties presented themselves : mithat Bnonaparte was sincere. Sur- nisters, upon their own principles, founded with perils ; at the head must put that new government upon of an untried government; menaced a similar state of probation, and to by a great confederacy, of which in infinitum any other ellablishment, England was at the head; compel- which might succeed in a revoluled to press heavily on the resources tionary system. But what internal of an exhausted people, whose power revolution might be expected to of renovating riches and prosperity destroy Buonaparte's government were suspended by war, it was his from within, if ever it should be interest undoubtedly to be at peace destroyed ? From whence could its with England. But though it was destruction poflibly come, but from thus his interest to negociate a the revulfion of democracy, overpeace, it might be no less his inte- awed by armies, and chained down rest to accept it. Buonaparte, by the complicated forms of the prelooking to himself, and to his own fent complex government? In the power, would make national facri- event of such a revolution, all our fices to preserve tranquillity, and panics would return upon us: the England would thus acquire an ad- terror of French principles would ditional influence in the scale of again become predominant, and Europe; becaule, no man in his war would be perfifted in, though fenses, in the circumfiances of Buo- ruinous and hopeless, to prevent taparte, at that moment, having the more dangerous contagion of once reconciled, by wife policy, lo opinions to be engendered by a mighty a power as Great Britain, peace. But was it Buonaparte we would run the rich of oversetting his objected to: Was it the man and own authority, by throwing her not the government we mistrusted? back again into the war, without Were we to make war then till his the most unlooked-for provocations. place was taken by some new con

« AnteriorContinua »