Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

join with those who fatter themselves ercised his reasoning powers, might have that a peace with France, in the present foreseen as well as me, has actually hapstale of things, will prove a blessing to pened. Napoleon has forced the combined this country. Much, very much indeed, army to fall back to Troyes, 111 miles froin must be done in the way of reform, be Paris, and 75 miles frem the point which fore any of the comforts which many look they had previously reached.' This fact for, in a suspension of hostilities, can be was first ascertained by the receipt of dis.. realized

Meanwhile, it does appear to patches from our military agents who ac. me, that a general peace is neither so company the allied army, the last of which near nor so easily to be obtained as most is dated Troys the 17th ult. These dispeople are inclined to believe. The multi-patches fully confirm the leading facts tude of interests involved; the extent of stated in the previous French bulletins, territory to be adjusted ; the continental and clearly show, that the object of the and maritime rights of the belligerents, | Allies, the capture of Paris, had completely which have been rendered complex by the failed. Since then French official papers long endurance of the contest, and the dif- have been received to the 25th, in which ferent pretences, and arrogant assumptions it is stated, that Buonaparte's head-quarof ambitious individuals; are points not to ters were at Nogent on the 20th, and that be settled in a day, or a month, perhaps his advanced guard was “ half way becween not in a year. As a preliminary point, 1" Nogent and Troyes ;" that is, within 25 think Napoleon may insist upon the evacu. miles of the latter place ; so that it is more ation of the soil of France by the Allies. than probable, as Napoleon was bringing It was while they were on the other side of forward his troops on all sides, and the Rhine, that he agreed to the terms actively preparing for new and offensive which they proposed as a basis of a peace. operations, that another battle may have They refused to give bis ambassador a pass- been fought, unless hostilities have been port, though fully empowered to enter upon suspended by an armistice. The latest an immediate negociation; and followed up official intelligence which, by the last acthat refusal by an invasion of the territory counts, was received at Paris from the of France. Napoleon even suspended all army, was dated the 20th. If a battle military operations, till they had penetrated had been fought on the 24th, or even the into the heart of his kingdom. Confer- 26th, sufficient time has elapsed for the parences were no doubt held at Chatillon, said ticulars to have reached this country.to be of a pacific nature; but it was a That no advices have been received, can strange way of settling the terms of peace only be accounted for upon the supposition by cutting each other's throats. It was im- that some pacific measure has been adopted, possible both parties could be sincere. or that the French papers, containing the Now that the Emperor of France has low- details of another engagement have been ered the presumption of those who would kept back here, as I believe they have often listen to no terms until they were in pos- been, to serve stock.jobbing purposes. Be session of his capital, I am inclined to this as it may, I think it cannot be long think he will not treat with the enemies of ere intelligence be received of a decisive France till they re-assume the position nature froni one quarter or another. which they occupied when he signified his

OCCURRENCES OF THE WAR.-I have acquiescence in their original proposals. little to add, under this head, to what I He may meet the views of ihe Allies so far stated in my last. The storming of Soisas to consent to a suspension of hostilities ; sons by the Russians, who, it was said, but I am persuaded he will not go into took 3,000 prisoners, 13 pieces of cannon, discussions respecting a definitive treaty, and killed and wounded between 6 and unuil the whole of the invading arıny has 7,000 of the enemy, is represented in the re-crossed the Rhine. If this should be French bulletin to have been a very paltry his plan, and the Allies refuse to accede affair. The garrison, it is there stated, co it, we may then, instead of an immedi- consisted only of 1,000 men of the national ate peace, have war in perpetuity.

guards. The redoubtuble Winzingerode 1 THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON AND HIS considered it the safest way, after the Army.----What I foresaw in my last, mighty achievement of surprising this forwithout pretending to the spirit of pro- midable garrison, to decamp from Soissons, phecy, and which any other man, who ex-l 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 1s.

case.

I inay

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 feHowwar. 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 einployed, 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 then. I say, I hope and trust this is the Germans, or any other suffering people on 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 interference in behull of Christian, to feed the hungry and clothe the Germans, is not altogether so disinierestthe naked of his own particular nation or ed as they would have the world believe. sect, but it inculcates universal benevo- Have they no wish, 110 desire, in this age of lence. It does more ; it commands us to universal palrintism ; 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 rope is in every one's mouth, to appear as form to the Father of All, and by him will patriotic as their neighbours ? Ai teast, 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 tpass show that they do not wrslı, in this loyal of the community, who are just now so ac age, to be suspected of incivism? tively engaged in promoting the subscrip-l be mistaken ; but when I look into the histion for the suffering Germans ? Among 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. Sull I adinit I may be but those which arise from the benevolent wrong in my 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 lead; which must serve as a consideration, and who give their money louchstone to try the sincerity not only of for the relief of the miserable victiins of this extensive class of religious professors, war in Germany, not because these unfor- but of innumerable 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 io 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 clain 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 enurephilanthropic 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 conduct of many a worthy member of bouring states and kingdoms so recently that association.—I should hope they are groaned, and which excited tbe corpusenot 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 suffer

L

ings arisen, that they have attracted the only one to which it has been thought pruparticular notice of the Municipality of dent to give an English dress; and which, Paris, who have held several public meet though limited in the information it conings for the purpose of receiving the retains, I have given here, because I consiports of the Deputies employed to collect der it calculated to lay a foundation for the information as to the extent of the evil. exercise of that benevolence, of that general These reports, says the Courier, “which philanthropy, which is so much in vogue in are given at length with the signatures of this country. all the Deputies, in the Monileur and other papers, are too long, and too revolting to report to his Ercellency the Minister of the be given entire. They present a series of

Interior, by M. Desprez Crassier, Auditor pictures, which may serve as companions

to the Council of Stale, dated March 2, to those of the alrocilies of the French

1814. themselves in those unhappy corentries “ I now lay before you the heart-rending which have witnessed the retreat of their piclure of the calamities and outrages which discounfited armies." It is not my inten- the inhabitants of the communes I have vition to make any reinarks upon the impor-sited have experienced from the enemy. It tant fact here admitted by the Courier, that will be an abstract of the subscribed depoif the French armies committed alrocilies sitious taken by verbal examination, and an in the countries which they lately overrun, abridged detail of the havoc which I have these have been since equalled, have since seen with my own eyes. -That 'part of found companions in the interior of France. the enemy's army which caused all these The fact, indeed, 'was sufficiently known evils was chiefly composed of Russian before, by the proclamation of Marshal troops, a small number of Bavarians and Blucher, who found it necessary to threaten Wurtembergers, and some Hungarian bushis soldiers with military execution on the sars. -At Nangis the inhabitants genespot, if they persisted in their depredations rally had to complain of pillage; their perapon the inhabitants. What I wish prin-sonal outrages leave frightful recollections ; cipally to remark upon the above passage is, pillage itself was always accompanied wish that the sufferings of the French people are menaces, very often with ill-treatment; admilled to be at least as great as those of and it was with pistols at their breasts, and the Germans. The details of them are re. The sabre over their heads, that these bripresented to be extremely “revolting," gands compelled the unfortunate inhabitants and the miseries of both nations are aptly to declare where their money and valuable described to be fit " companions." But effects were concealed. -The 1st and 2d why the extent of these sufferings, and the depositions state, that a female received enormity of the “ atrocities” committed, from these miscreants a blow on the loins, should have been considered a reason for with the flat side of their sabre, which suppressing these details, I cannot discover; deprived her of sense ; that they held a uuless, indeed, those who have the manage- knife to the throat of another, to compel her ment of these matters were afraid that a pe- to disclose where her inoney was ; that the rusal of these revolling accounts, inight ex- two husbands of these women were cruelly cite a kindred feeling to that which exists struck, and that one of them, after being on behalf of the Germans. Every circum- bealen in his own house, was driven to the stance connected with the sufferings of the enemy's camp, with blows of the fist, and latter has been ransacked from all quarters; the butt ends of muskets : there the briand, as appears to me, without proper at gands compelled him to strip, and were tention to the sources whence the greater about to shoot him, when an officer forpart of the information has been drawn, tunately came up, and delivered him out of obtruded upon public. notice with an un: the hands of these barbarians.-At the justifiable degree of anxiety; whereas the house of the man of landed property, who details whicli have been furnished of the makes the sixth deposition, they perpetrated great extent of French suffering, and of the most horrible excesses. With blows of French misery, on the authority of men of the fist and the butt end of their muskets, ficially employed for the purpose of draw they demanded his brody and money. I ing them up, and whose reports have been myself saw the bloody marks of the blows authenticaled by their appearance in the which he received; but their fury did not Moniteur, are considered too long for pub- stop there ; four females from the commune lication ! Of all these numerous and highly of 'Bailly, and canton of Mormant, bad important documents, the following is the taken refuge with this proprietor ; two of

them were girls from 12 to 13; the others ing to the system of warfare now introduced were women from 28 to 35. These unfor- into civilized Europe, is a point entirely fotunate creatures were the victims of the bru- reign to my present purpose, and which can talily of these ferocious men; and an eye- in no shape affect the question, whether the witness, who wished to prevent their out- French people, who are confessedly as great rages, was himself severely beaten.[The sufferers by the war as the Germans, report, after describing a variety of similar have not the same claims as the latter outrages on the persons of individuals, pro- upon our Christian charity. All that is ceeds as follows :) — There is not a generally required to induce an exercise of farmer, an innkeeper, or an inhabitant, this benevolence, is the making out of a who has not seen his catile, his imples case; is a statement of facts sufficient to ments of agriculture, his properly, his remove all doubts as to the persons being furniture, carried off, wasled, or burnt. proper objects of our compassion. Here The churches and ministers of religion then, ye professors of a religion, charachave not been spared, more than others. terized by the purest system of morality

The strongest language "would fail established amongst men, is a case made in describing the mournful aspect which out to your satisfaction, which even the these ravaged habilalions present. The most inveterate political enemies of France Secretary of the Mayor of Rampillon, who have not dared to question. Here are obhas been a soldier, declared to me, that he jects upon which to exercise that charity never saw troops deliver themselves up to which you so much extol, because its opepillage with such horrible rage, even when ration is not confined to any particular time, licensed so lo do.--At Nangis I visited people, place, or circumstances; because it a number of farm-houses, which had been embraces the whole human race in its be-' previously well furnished; but now in all nigo circle ; and because it is only necessary the apartments nothing was 10 be seen but to give a nation or individuals a claima upon fragments of broken and half-burnt furni- your bounty, that they are suffering dis

lure, sealher-beds and mallresses lorn 10 tress. Here you have a picture of the pieces, and the feathers and wool scattered "heart-rending calamities' of a people about. Il was with the wood-work of this who have been deprived of every thing furniture, of waggons and ploughs, and they possessed on earth, even of their hawith the fouil-trets of orchards and gar- bitations during a long and dreary winter, dens, that they lighted their fires at their by the rude hand of ferocious war. Here bivouacs, and roasted the callle which they you bave the young and the old, the infirm had carried off and killed. In all the as well as the healthy, the matron and the places I have passed through, the inhabi- virgin, imploring relief from the hands of tunts have declared that these banditti spoke those who are far removed froin this dreadonly of pillaging and burning Paris. I ful scourge, and who have it in their powhave been assured that each of them had er to give them that relief. Where then, a torch slung at his back; and when asked ye philanthropic Dissenters; where, ye what use they meant to make of it, they pious and charitable Churchmen, are your universally answered, that it was to set fire bowels of compassion for suffering hato Paris, where they calculated on arriving manity? If you do not step forward inby the 18th of February. This fact was mediately and afford relief as liberally to confirmed to me by M. Grabwisky, Mayor the French sufferers, whose case is so powerof Mormant, a Pole by birth, who under- fully recommended to your notice, as what stood their language. The picture of the you have done to their neighbours the Gercalamilies which these unforlanate people mans, you will belie all your professions have suffered, and which are reserved for of universal benevolence; you will fully all those of the other departments into justify the suspicion, that you are actuated which the enemy may penetrate, must by motives' very different indeed from those rouse the indignation of all Frenchmen, which your religion inculcates. In short, and give them the courage and energy re- if, after the appeal which is now made to cessary to repel those hordes of barbarians your humanity in behalf of the French beyond the frontiers, and force them, by a people, you should nevertheless turn a deaf peace glorious for France, at last to give ear to that call, it will no longer remain a repose to all Europe."

doubt, that the part which you have taken Whether the calamities, the misery, the as to the German sufferers, is altogether wretchedness, which is depicted in the pre-political; that you have been impelled to ceding narrative, are justifiableor not accord this from the mete selfish consideration of

L2

wishing not to be behind in demonstrating blame the inhabitants of that country, for your loyalty at a moment when so much being at war with us? or why ought they stress is laid upon this mode of showing to be punished, by being left to starve, on one's patriotism. You may by such con- account of the misdeeds of their governduct escape the charge of jacobinism, if ntent? To me, it appears, quite clear that, this be your object; but it never can instead of this deplorable and helpless conprocure you the respect of the virtuous, dition, affording a reason for visiting them nor satisfy your own minds, that you are with additional calamities, they are entitled acting a consistent part; whereas, by ex on that account salone, to more commiseration tending your benevolence to all ; by re- than the Germans, who, we are positively Jieving the distresses even of your enemies, assured, have enjoyed the most perfect liber(supposing you consider the people of France ly ever since the French were driven out of in that light) you insure the applause of all their country. It is entirely fallacious then good men, and the approbation of your own to refuse pecuniary aid to the peaceable consciences. Those who object to giving inhabitants of France, who are suffering the money for the relief of the sufferers in horrors of war in an equal degree with, if not France, for no other reason than that we in a greater, than their neighbours, merely are at war with that country, are to be because the French government chooses to looked upon as mere politicians, who have continue liostilities. Indeed, if there is any no pretensions to Christian benevolence, thing at all in the arguinent, it applies with and wbo, of course, cannot be moved by equal force to the Germans as to the French; any of the foregoing remarks. These cold- for are not both their governments proseblooded, these flinty, these steel-hearted mor- cuting the war with the same resolute de. tals, would do well to recollect, that though termination ? and are not the miseries which we are at war with the French government, at present overwhelm so large a portion of that it is not in behalf of any of ils mem- continental Europe, the result, (as stated by bers, nor even of its wounded soldiers, that the Courier) of the ravages of the soldiers we are called upon to interest ourselves. of both the opposing armies ? Away then It is in behalf of the suffering inhabitants, with those hypocritical pretensions, with who, it is clear, take no part in the war; it those senseless clamours about benevolence, is in behalf of the aged and the infirm; it philanthropy, and Christian charity, which is in behalf of the youth of both sexes; it is are founded on so unhallowed a base. He in behalf of the farmer and the artisan, who only is the true philanthropist, who exwere pursuing their lawful occupations in the tends his arm to succour distress wherever bosom of peace, and who, till lately, were re- it appears, whether the object of it be a mote from the din and horrors of war, that Turk or a Pagan, a Jew or a Christian, a the appeal is made. Like the inhabitants of worshipper of Bramah, or an adorer of the Germany, who were following similar pur- terrible Odin. He only can be called suits, they have been suddenly and unex- | benevolent, who seeks out the victim of pectedly deprived of comfort and ease, and misfortune, regardless of peace or war, and thrown upon the wide world to seek even raises him froin the dust, whatever may be the bare means of subsistence. Like the his place of residence. Germans, therefore, they have an undoubted claim upon our humanity. Besides, if it be true, as these natural enemies of France WAR OF EXTERMINATION. tell us, that the people there are groaning MR. COBBETT.—The strength, clearness, under a disgraceful and despotic tyranny: and accuracy of your reasoning, whether that they are the unwilling instruments in your discussions relate to political or relithe hands of an arbitary government, of gious topics, cannot but procure you many perpetuating the scourges of war; that they admirers among your numerous readers. are at all times liable to be dragged from their. But much as I am disposed to concur in homes, to fill up the ranks of the armies of this general sentiment, and much as I am the man, who thus lords it over them, and inclined to subscribe to the greater part of who can check and restrain every disposi- your opinions, there are some particulars in tion towards emancipation, by the powerful which I find I cannot bring myself exactly military force which he always has at his to your way of thinking; some points as to command. if, I say, this is a true picture which you appear to me to have reasoned of the situation of the people of France, how wrong, and to which, I am rather afraid, cally chose men, who give us these represen- you have not given that attention which tations, and wlio vouch for their accuracy, their great importance demands. One of

« ZurückWeiter »