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“ the Alliance of the States united against “France, we have in this instance been “ successful. We have given up the three “islands situated opposite to Naples, and “our whole fleet: but for this we are to “ have a sufficient compensation. We are “going to take possession of the South of “Italy, as far as to the right bank of the “Po. We shall always remember our “ duty; and those persons in office who “ have always performed their's, and who “ have made no opposition to our measures, “may assuredly reckon on our protection, “ and on keeping their respective posts.” From this document it is sufficiently clear, that Murat was obliged, from “sun“dry weighty causes” not explained, to solicit an alliance with the powers “united “ against France.” It requires very little penetration to discover what these causes were. He could not be ignorant of the recent disasters of France, on which alone Naples can depend for assistance in the hour of danger. Surrounded on all sides by the enemies of that sovereign to whom he owed every thing, it was, indeed, a wise and profound policy on the part of the Neapolitan king to avert the threatening storm by conciliation. Whether this was the result of Buonaparté's schemes or not, it seems to me that terms have been obtained by Naples, much more favourable than she had any reason to expect. These, indeed, have excited the indignation of the Courier, which exclaims, “A sufficient “compensation with a vengeance! for as “ the Po, having its source in the Alps in “Savoy, flows into the sea, north of Co“machio, Murat would, besides Naples, “ have all the Papal States, Tuscany, “Modena, Parma, Bologna, &c. : :"— It is no way surprising to find our hireling press venting its spleen in this way; but it is somewhat singular, if we can believe Buonaparté serious, to see him censuring the conduct of Murat, recalling, as he has done, all Frenchmen from Naples, and denouncing them defaulters, who would be “pursued by the agents of the public go“vernment,” if they did not “return into “ the territory of the empire within the “space of three months.” Napoleon is either acting a double part in the business, or he is become quite unreasonable if, as Murat says, he was actually obliged to adopt measures for being admitted into the alliance. By that step he has not only preserved Naples from being invaded by the Allies, but all Italy to the south of the Po; and young Beauharnois has shewn by his late successes, that the rest of Italy
may safely be left to his care. Should Murat, however, have been influenced by motives really hostile towards Buonaparté, of which the latter, it must be acknowledged, is the best judge, he has only himself to blame for confiding so much as he has done in his generals, and showing so great a partiality for the craft of kingmaking. He may, perhaps, at this moment, be accusing himself, and repenting his illplaced confidence; but he should recollect, that kings are but men, whose vices and propensities do not always change with a change of circumstances. He should also remember, that he is not the first sovereign who has had to struggle against the treachery of friends. King Henry the Vth had much to complain of in that way; and although I never was a great admirer of Shakespeare, I cannot resist the temptation, for once, of giving an extract from the above play, which, I think, contains a pretty apt illustration of the point under consideration: - - - - - - - - - - - But oh! Whatshall I say to thee, Lond Scroor, thoucruel, Ungrateful, savage, and inhuman monstert Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels, That knew of the very bottom of my soul, That almost might'st have coin'd me into gold. Would'st thou have practis'd on me for thy use? May it be possible that foreign hire Could out of thee extract one spark of evil That might aunoy my finger? 'Tis so strange, That though the truth of it stand off as gross As black and white, mine eye will scarcely see it. Treason and murder ever kept together As two yoke-devils, sworn to either's purpose, Working so grossly in a natural cause, That admiration did not whoop at them; But thou 'gainst all proportion didst bring in Wonder, to wait on treason and on murder; And whatsoever cunning fiend it was That wrought upon thee so preposterously, Hath got the voice in hell for excellence: And other devils that suggest by treasons Do botch and bungle up damnations With patches, colours, and with forms, being fetched From glittering semblances of piety; But he that temper'd thee bade thee stand up, Gave thee as instance why thoushouldstdo treason Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor. If that same denom that hath gull'd thee thus, Should, with his lion-gait, walk the whole world, He might return to vasty Tartar back, And tell the legions, I can never win A soul so easily as I won his. King Henry the Wth, Act the 2nd.
Peace or WAR 2–If we are to judge from the altered tone of that vile press, which has, for twenty years, sacrificed every principle of justice, of honour, and of humanity, to its interested clamour for interminable war, the great question is now about to be settled, and Europe once more restored to a state of peace. Not many days have elapsed since we were told in the Courier, that the Allies had determined not to make peace with the Emperor of France until they were in possession of his capital. This insolent language was doubtless suited to the narrow views of those who had been all along endeavouring to persuade the country; that France was sunk in a state of apathy, and unwilling to continue the contest any longer in support of its present government. It was language quite consistent with the assurances they gave their readers, that the Allies were actually in possession of Paris, and were about to “dethrone the tyrant,” and restore to France the “mild and virtuous sway of the house of Bourbon.” In fine, it was language every way becoming men who talked and boasted thus in the absence of the intelligence of Napoleon's victories, which, like a powerful talisman, has in one instant overthrown their vain and towering hopes, and converted their imperious exultation into dolesul lamentations. Those, in particular, who were the most active in sounding the everlasting war-whoop, and who piously told us that “to make peace with Buonaparté would be to make war against virtue and against God,” are now the most forward in proclaiming their expectations of an immediate peace. It has been this expectation, they say, which has led to another prorogation of parliament to the 21st instant, before which day, they confidently assure us, the preliminaries will have been signed; not merely by the ministers of Russia, Prussia, and the other continental powers, but also by Lord Castlereagh in behalf of this country. This is what the newspapers, who pretend to be in the secret, and who, only the other day, told us a very different story, would now have us to believe is the state of the negociation for peace. It is possible that what they say may at last be true; these lying oracles may for once have spoken the truth, and many of their former dupes, notwithstanding the repeated proofs they have had of their total disregard of all honest principle, may credit every iota of it. For my Part, however, I confess that peace, ageneral peace such as these newspapers have described, is an event which does not appear to me so very near. The recent disasters of the Allies, may have disposed the minds of those who manage our affairs at home, to pursue more peaceable measures with the French Emperor than we were lately taught to expect; and this may have superinduced a persuasion in some minds, that nothing now stands in the way of an
amicable termination of the negociation. With such shallow-minded people, Great Britain is every thing; she is the fulcrum which moves and directs all the proceedings at Chatillon; she is the pivot upon which the whole must turn. To say nothing of France, with a population of 30 millions of people, who are now in a condition to dictate terms to their invaders, Russia, Austria, Prussia, and the whole of the confederates must, according to these sage politicians, submit to be controlled by the whim and caprice of this country; must prosecute the war if England resolves on war; must make peace if it suits her pleasure. Highly absurd and ridiculous as this must make us appear in the eyes of other nations, it is a sort of language not only to be found in the mouths of thousands who can neither read nor write, but, to their eternal disgrace, of thousands more who have received a liberal education, and, of course, ought to know better. In fact, the same false ideas with regard to national importance and national superiority, perwades all ranks, and disgustingly obtrudes itself upon our notice in every news-paper and political pamphlet which issues from the press. The period is fast approaching when the eyes of mankind will be open to this horrible delusion, and when they will be made sensible of the folly of treating every other nation with contempt that does not bow to the mandates of an unjust and imperious domination. But let peace come when it may, it will be found, to our sad experience, that it would have been more to the advantage of Great Britain if, instead of assuming a dictatorial tone, and bein
the prime mover in the greater part, if not in all the coalitions that have been formed against France, she had confined her views to the improvement of her manufactures, to her agricultural pursuits, and to the encouragement of the other useful arts. Then, indeed, she might have been great; then she might have had reason to be proud of her superiority. But she preferred a state of ruinous warfare, which has had the effect of giving to the people against whom a she fought, the pre-eminence she might
have enjoyed ; and caused herself to tremble
at the prospect of peace, which she dreads
because it must be fatal to millions, and
place, the country in a situation in which
it will poignantly feel all the pernicious
effects consequent on the destructive system
which has so long desolated Europe. No
one can suppose me an enemy to peace,
without supposing me destitute of the com
mon feelings of humanity. But I cannot
sto) politicAl REGISTER.—The Emperor Mapoleon, &c.—0ccurrences, &c. [320
join with those who flatter themselves that a peace with France, in the present state of things, will prove a blessing to this country. Much, very much indeed, must be done in the way of resorm, be: fore any of the comforts which many look for, in a suspension of hostilities, can be realized Meanwhile, it does appear to me, that a general peace is neither so near nor so easily to be obtained as most people are inclined to believe. The multitude of interests involved; the extent of territory to be adjusted; the continental and maritime rights of the belligerents, which have been rendered complex by the long endurance of the contest, and the dif. ferent pretences, and arrogant assumptions of ambitious individuals; are points not to be settled in a day, or a month, perhaps not. in a year. As a preliminary point, I think Napoleon may insist upon the evacuation of the soil of France by the Allies. It was while they were on the other side of the Rhine, that he agreed to the terms which they proposed as a basis of a peace. They refused to give his ambassador a passport, though fully empowered to enter upon an immediate negociation; and followed up that refusal by an invasion of the territory of France. Napoleon even suspended all military operations, till they had penetrated into the heart of his kingdom. Conserences were no doubt held at Chatillon, said to be of a pacific nature; but it was a strange way of settling the terms of peace by cutting each other's throats. It was impossible both parties could be sincere. Now that the Emperor of France has lowered the presumption of those who would listen to no terms until they were in possession of his capital, 1 am inclined to think he will not treat with the enemies of France till they re-assume the position which they occupied when he signified his acquiescence in their original proposals. He may meet the views of the Allies so far as to consent to a suspension of hostilities; but I am persuaded he will not go into discussions respecting a definitive treaty, until the whole of the invading army has re-crossed the Rhine. If this should be his plan, and the Allies refuse to accede to it, we may then, instead of an immediate peace, have war in perpetuity. The Emperor NApoleon AND his ARMY. What I foresaw in my last, without pretending to the spirit of prophecy, and which any other man, who ex
ercised his reasoning powers, might have foreseen as well as me, has actually happened. Napoleon has forced the combined army to fall back to Troyes, 111 miles from Paris, and 75 miles frem the point which they had previously reached. This fact was first ascertained by the receipt of dis-, patches from our military agents who accompany the allied army, the last of which is dated Troys the 17th ult. These dispatches fully confirm the leading facts stated in the previous French bulletins, and clearly show, that the object of the Allies, the capture of Paris, had completely failed. Since then French official papers have been received to the 25th, in which it is stated, that Buouaparté's head-quarters were at Nogent on the 20th, and that his advanced guard was “half way between “Nogent and Troyes;” that is, within 25 miles of the latter place; so that it is more than probable, as Napoleon was bringing forward his troops on all sides, and actively preparing for new and offensive operations, that another battle may have been fought, unless hostilities have been suspended by an armistice. The latest official intelligence which, by the last accounts, was received at Paris from the army, was dated the 20th. If a battle had been fought on the 24th, or even the 26th, sufficient time has elapsed for the particulars to have reached this country.— That no advices have been received, can only be accounted for upon the supposition that some pacific measure has been adopted, or that the French papers, containing the details of another engagement have been kept back here, as I believe they have often becn, to serve stock-jobbing purposes. Be this as it may, I think it cannot be long ere intelligence be received of a decisive nature from one quarter or another.
Occurrences of the WAR. I have little to add, under this head, to what I stated in my last. The storming of Soissons by the Russians, who, it was said, took 3,000 prisoners, 13 pieces of cannon, and killed and wounded between 6 and 7,000 of the enemy, is represented in the French bulletin to have been a very paltry affair. The garrison, it is there stated, consisted only of 1,000 men of the national guards. The redoubtable Winzingerode considered it the safest way, after the mighty achievement of surprising this formidable garrison, to decamp from Soissons, and follow the fortunes of Blucher.
Published by G. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden. LONDON: Printed by J. M'Creery, Black Horse-Court, Fleet-street. ---------------------------→
COBBETT's WEEKLY PoliticAL REGISTER.
vol.xxv. No. 11.] LONDON, SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 1814. [Price is.
321] - - [322 SUMMARY OF POLITICS. a profession of philanthropy merely, that FRENch Sufferers.- If the accounts, this numerous and respectable body of my
with which the French official papers have fellow. citizens are satisfied. I trust it lately been filled, of the sufferings of the is not a few of them who are alive to the people of France, in consequence of the misery and wretchedness of their fellowwar. be true, which I see no reason to men, but that they all feel alike on this doubt, it appears to me that they are as subject, and are all employed, as far as much the objects of compassion, and have they have the means, in administering the as great a claim upon the charitable bene- comforts of life to those who are in want of volence of this country, as the suffering them. I say, I hope and trust this is the Germans, or any other suffering people on case. But, I do confess, I have my fears earth. The religion which we profess does upon the subject. I entertain strong doubts not only enjoin it as one of the duties of a that their present interserence in behalf of Christian, to feed the hungry and clothe the Germans, is not altogether so disinterestthe naked of his own particular nation or led as they would have the world believe. sect, but it inculcates universal benevo- || Have they no wish, no desire, in this age of lence. It does more; it commands us to universal patriotism; when the cry of gelove our enemies; and, in conforming to neral liberty and the emancipation of Euthese precepts, it assures us that we con- |op. is in every one's mouth, to appear as form to the Father of All, and by him will patriotic as their neighbours? At least, be rewarded in due time for these virtuous does not the very active part which they deeds. What other impulse; what other have taken in raising money for our Allies, motives than these influence the great mass show that they do not wish, in this loyal of the community, who are just now so ac- age, to be suspected of incivism? I inay tively engaged in promoting the subscrip- be mistaken ; but when I look into the histion for the suffering Germans? Aluong tory of the Quakers, I am very apt to these I observe the names of the great bulk | think that their present decided conduct is of the people called Quakers, who utterly somewhat tinctured with the feeling which disclaim all motives of action in this case I have mentioned. Still I admit I may be but those which arise from the benevolent wrong in Iny conjecture. The moment, maxims of the religion which they profess; however, is arrived, which must remove all who say they are actuated by no interested doubt on this head; which must serve as a consideration, and who give their money touchstone to try the sincerity not only of for the relief of the miserable victims of this extensive class of religious professors, war in Germany, not because these unsor- but of innulnerable other classes, all over tunates have a higher claim upon their the country, who boast, as much as the purse than others who may be equally un- Quakers do, of their universal venevolence, fortunate, but because they hold it to be and who point to their names in the subthe duty of all. Christians, and, indeed, of scription list for the suffering Germans, as all mankind, whatever may be their reli- proofs of their philanthropy. The hour, gion, to contribute towards the amelioration I say, is come, which must either confirin of suffering humanity, whether the call be the claim of these numerous sects to the made by an Englishman or by a German, genuine character of Christians, such as by a Frenchman or by a Spaniard. These they themselves describe it to be, or en rephilanthropic principles are what I have |ly overthrow all their pretensions. The often heard avowed by the Quakers, and I people of France are now afflicted with all have often witnessed them exemplified in the horrors of war under which the neighthe conquct of many a worthy member of bouring states and kingdoms so recently that association.—I should hope they are groaned, and which excited the colourisenot confined to the narrow circle of my ob-, ration of this country in their behalf. To servation. I should hope that it is not with so great a height, indeed, have these sufferL.
ings arisen, that they have attracted the
only one to which it has been thought prudent to give an English dress; and which, though finited in the information it contains, I have given here, because I consider it calculated to lay a foundation for the exercise of that benevolence, of that general philanthropy, which is so much in vogue in this country.
Report to his Ercellency the Minister of the Interior, by M. Desprez Crassier, Auditor to the Council of State, dated March 2, 1814.
“I now lay before you the heart-rending picture of the calamities and outrages which the inhabitants of the communes I have wisited have experienced from the enemy. It will be an abstract of the subscribed depositious taken by verbal examination, and an abridged detail of the havoc which I have seen with my own eyes. That part of the enemy's army which caused all these evils was chiefly composed of Russian troops, a small number of Bavarians and Wurtembergers, and some Hungarian hussars. At Nangis the inhabitants generally had to complain of pillage; their personal outrages leave frightful recollections; pillage itself was always accompanied with menaces, very often with ill-treatment; and it was with pistols at their breasts, and the sabre over their heads, that these brigands compelled the unfortunate inhabitants to declare where their money and valuable effects were concealed. The 1st and 2d depositions state, that a female received from these miscreants a blow on the loins, with the flat side of their sabre, which deprived her of sense; that they held a knife to the throat of another, to compel her to disclose where her money was ; that the two husbands of these women were eruelly struck, and that one of them, after being beaten in his own house, was driven to the enemy's camp, with blows of the fist, and the butt ends of muskets: there the brigands compelled him to strip, and were about to shoot him, when an officer fortunately came up, and delivered him out of the hands of these barbarians. At the house of the man of landed property, who makes the sixth deposition, they perpetrated the most horrible excesses. With blows of the fist and the butt end of their muskets, they demanded his brandy and money. I myself saw the bloody marks of the blows which he received; but their fury did not stop there; four semales from the commune of Bailly, and canton of Mormant, had taken refuge with this proprietor; two of