Abbildungen der Seite

“ rope, that the vast hordes which have been France, according to which the allied ar“ poured out from her bosom to ravage all mies are to evacuate the French territory “parts of the Continent, should be restored by the 1st day of June; and, yet, in the

gradually and quietly to their country, face of this, this friend of your Majesty “ under such regulations and restrictions would fain have these armies remain lon“ as would ensure their return to the habits ger, to harrass and oppress the people of “ and pursuits of peaceful industry. We France. But, what are the alledged mo

earnestly hope that these considerations tives for this violation of a solemn comu will have their weight with the Allied pact, and that, too, while France has been “ Sovereigns, and induce them to adopt a fulfilling her part of it with all possible di“ cautinis system in replacing France on ligence? Why, to compel your Majesty “ a basis of social order. We read too to disband all your veteran soldiers; to “ much in the addresses to the French lay down your army altogether, and to aho“ Sovereign of the GLORY of the armies. lish the easy means of raising another! “ That glory has been in the majority of This measure, and upon such grounds, is “ instances an indelible disgrace to the openly recommended to the Allies, who enFrench name, and a source of misery to tered France with a declaration, that “ all that France possesses of virtuous or France ought to be great and happy!

truly noble. What glory was there in The writer says, that your soldicrs, when " the massacre of Madrid, in the destruc- they return, will be banditti. Who are tion of Saragossa, in the cruel persecution these soldiers ? The men raised by the “ of the brave Hamburghers? We do not conscription. They will not dig, it is as“ wish to revert to these scenes of horror; serted, and to beg they will be ashamed.“ but when we see them alluded to in so Therefore, he recommends, that the Allies

very different a light, IT IS TIME TO should, in the teeth of the Convention, keep “ SPEAK OUT.” These are memo- | them, and restore them gradually and rable words. When your Majesty considers quietly, and under such restrictions and whence they spring, they ought to make a regulations as shall ensure their return to deep impression upon your mind, and upon the habits of peaceful industry. -In the minds of all Frenchmen.If this truth, he is afraid of them. He has witman were asked why he has such an anti- nessed their valour. He wishes them to pathy to the Conscriptim ; why he is so rot in prison. He is not yet glatted uncommonly anxious to induce the Allies with their unheard-of sufferings, which to compel you to abolish it, I wonder what have all been unable to shake their fihis answer would be? -It is all out delity to their country and its cause. of pure regard for your Majesty ! - But, mark the hypocrisy of this man. Pure regard for you makes him so. He has been ringing in our ears, for months anxious about it! Pure regard 'for you and nionths, the cruelty of the Conscripwill not let him rest, day or night, till he tion; he has been, with Mr. Canning, givhas got all your army quietly disbanded !ing us the most pathetic descriptions of the Pure regård for you, too, as you are about weepings of the mothers and fathers of to see; pure regard for the happiness of these poor conscripts; he has been deplorFrance, has induced him to press upon the ing the fate of unhappy France, left to be Allies to remain with their armies in the cultivated by old men, women, and children,' French territory, and to take away with though, by the bye, she has always had then your statues and pictures ! If you corn to sell us. And now, behold! when doubt of the insincerity of such friends, the happy moment is arrived for the return your Majesty must be credulous indeed.

of these poor youths to their mothers, he will Thus have I produced proof of the truth not let them go! He is afraid that they of the 2d, 3d, and 4th charges; but, will become banditti! He has lost all rebefore I proceed to the others, I must collection of the tender parting scenes, and offer a few remarks upon the passages looks upon them as in love with a roving which I have here quoted, in order more fighting life! And he is willing still ta fully to expose the baseness of the writer, leave poor France to be tilled by old men, and the detestable motives whence his women, and children! What is the world publications have sprung.

to think of such a man? The truth is, he It is well known, and to this writer as knows how brave and faithful they have well as to others, that there is a Conven-bcen; and he wishes to see them die in tion, signed by our Minister and that of captivity. England, in proportion to her

population, has had more men in arms than tions of the kind. They were not conFrance. What does this man mean to do vinced, it seems. But, what are we to, with them? Are they made of such ma- think of the sincerity of these writers ? terials as not to make them at all danger- What are we to think of the compassion ous? Then there are, perhaps, two mil they expressed for the prisoners of war? lions of soldiers belonging to the Allies. What are we to think of their imputations Are they to be kept in prison; or what is against Napoleon, because he would not to be done with them? Is there no mili- | agree to our terms of exchange? What tary mania any where but in France. The are we now to think of all these profes, French soldiers are, it seems, neither to sions on the part of these writers and their be disbanded nor kept up. No; he would associates, when we see them doing all they have them stifled: he would have them can to prolong the duration of the cappine out their lives in prisons. I wonder tivity of these unfortunate Frenchmen, he does not propose, at once, the cutting even after peace has been made with of all their throats. —Your Majesty will France, and that, too, accompanied with kear of such sentiments with indignation the restoration of the ancient family? Is and horror.

there in France; is there in England ; is And, what reason has this man to sup- there in the whole world, one generous, pose, that tbe French prisoners of war will one huniane bosom, which will not swell not, if disbanded, be ready to fall into the with indignation at the suggestions of such habits and pursuits of industry. Expe- implacable and base malignity? rience would tell him to draw a contrary These writers, as your Majesty will perconclusion. For, was there ever heard of ceive, are angry that Frenchmen should in the world more industrious and ingeni- still talk of their glory. They find fault ous people than the Frenchmen in our pri- with the language that has passed between sons Sabots, list shoes, leather shoes, you and your Marshals, as calculated to lace, straw hats. In short, what did they flatter the vanity of the people. They call not make, as long as they were permitted, it insolence towards us and our Allies. in their prisons ? It was necessary to They say that such notions ought to be disrestrain them from working. I remember couraged by you, because they tend to one instance wherein a man and his son keep alive that military mania, which may · too, I believe, were punished for supplying be your ruin; and, lest this consideration them with straw for their manufactures should not have its weight with you, they As to the liberality of the nation where appeal to the wisdom of the Allies, and this took place, as to the wisdom and jus- call upon them to see your army reduced tice of the prevention, I have nothing to to National Guards, before they withdraw

It might all be very wise, just, and their troops from your territory. Now, liberal; but that does not disprove the what is the reason


people fact, that the French prisoners discovered, are not to talk of the glory of the French while in our keeping, industry surpassed army? Nothing that has happened can only by their fortitude and fidelity. What Iessen the renown acquired by that army. danger can there be, then, to their coun- Such prodigious feats of valour were never try; what danger can there be to France, before performed by any nation in the to send such men out of our prisons, and world. No nation erer carried its arms to from the wilds of Siberia, to their fathers such an extent of conquest. All the ca. and mothers in their own fruitful and plea- pitals of the Continent have been in the sant country? Your Majesty and the lands of Frenchmen. No nation ever had French nation will not fail to call to mind, the power to produce such wonderful that, for many years past, these same wri- changes in the state of society. The bare ters have been railing against Napoleon, on narrative of the great battles and victories account of his not consenting to an ex. of the French armies would 6!! many change of the prisoners of war. He was large volumes. Why, then, are the French represented as a most cruel and ungrateful not to be permitted to cherish the idea of monster, who suffered to die in prisons their military glory? Why is your Maand in hulks, those who had fought his jesty to be sneered at br these writers, bebattles. Means in abundance were em cause you rest upon those who have acployed, by these writers, to instil such quired this glory? Upon what ground is sentiments into the minds of the French this language in France denon inated vuprisoners, who had free access to publica- nity and insolence? What! de these mer


expect, that, because their eye-balds are the French, and in our invasion of France. seared at the sight of the pages which re- We make Dukes and Lords of those who cord, and which will for ever record, the have been fighting against France. We valour of the French arms, in so many have made more Lords than France has battles against all the nations of the Conti- made Marshals. And, even in our war, nent; do they expect, that you and your now to be carried on against the Ameripeople are to burn this record, that you cans, the fleets and armies are reminded of are to efface all the means of calling to the glory they have gained in the war mind the heroic deeds of Frenchmen ; do against France. Perhaps all the battles they expect, that, because we very natu- that we have been engaged in during this rally wish to drown the recollection of war of twenty years do not, in point of Corunna, the Helder, and of many other magnitude, amount to one battle like that things, you and your people are to have the of Austerlitz, or of Marengo. And yet we same wishes ? Do they expect that you are to talk of our military glory; we are above all others, are to act as if you to talk of it eternally; and the French, the thought your kingdom disgraced in the poor insignificant French, are to be as sieyes of the world? Do they expect you lent as so many mice; you and they are to to acknowledge yourself as the sovereign of be accused of vanity, and even insolence, if a fallen people, and to endeavour to stille you open your lips upon the subject of the in their bosoms that feeling, which alone achievements of the armies of France.can preserve your country from being par- Whatever else your Majesty may think of celled out amongst invaders? This they these writers, you will certainly allow them do not now expect; and their rage pro- to be the most modest of all mankind. ceeds from their disappointment. They Your Majesty is called upon to look blame your Majesty for preserving the coldly upon your army of veterans. You Legion of Honour. They call it the crea- are told, that their military notions are ture of rrime. They say, to maintain it is mischievous. You are assured that they to sanction immorality. They forget, good are banditti, vagabonds, robbers; and that mora! souls, that our august and magnani- they ought by no means to be encouraged; mous Allies are all honorary members of that they, and even their profession, ought thai Order. Good moral souls, they for- to be held in abhorrence, as tending to naget, that the Emperors of Austria and tional immorality. You will not fail, howku aja, the King of Prussia, the Crown ever, to observe, that this opinion of these Prince of Sweden, the King of Denmark, writers does not prevent them from apthe Prince Regent of Portugal, the King proving of the honours and the pensions beof Bavaria, the King of Wirtemburgh, the stowed (I say not unjustly) on our fighters ; King of Saxony, the Grand Duke of Ba- and that they extol by anticipation the inden, together with the greater part of their tention of our Government to make an adprincipal Ministers and Generals, belong dition to the peace-pay of our military and to this Legion of Honour. The good naval officers. These good moral men see moral souls surely forget this, or they no danger in all this. They see no danger would not blame your Majesty for main- in keeping alive, by all possible means, the taining it. They surely would not call it love of a military life and of the military the creature of crime, and the symbol of profession here. They can see no danger, immorality.

indeed, of this being done in any country But, it will strike your Majesty as except France; a view of the subject, something worthy of attentioil, that, while which would seem wholly irreconcileable to thesc writers, who, it must be observed, are conimon sense, if we did not recollect, that not so very singular in their opinion as I the same persons have told us to look upon could wish: it must strike you as worthy France as being radically and systematiof attention, that, while these writers are cally our en my ; thun which your Majesty 80 zealously endeavouring to dissuade your will surely want no other explanation of Majesty from giving the smallest degree of this seeming inconsistency. oncouragement to the army of France; If, after what has been produced and while they would even forbid you and your observed, your Majesty could entertain people to talk about French military glory; the smallest doubt, that these writers and they discover no such dislike to the thing their associates wish you to adopt a line at home. We are permitted to talk about of conduct that would cripple France; the glory that we have acquired in fighting make her a feeble and contemptible nation ;

sink her for a century in the scale of " puted fact with posterity, by leaving it power. If you could entertain the smallest robed in all its unprincipled acquisitions. doubt, that their first wish is the degrada “ Neither in liberality nor in policy, is it tion of France, as the means of giving“ a matter of mean consideration, that the England a complete preponderance against “ princes and nobles of the plundered her. If you could entertain the shadow “ kingdoms should be remitted to the bare of a doubt, that this is the main drift of " walls of the ravaged temples and gutted. all their present efforts, the proofs I am “ palaces. What is modern Italy without now about to produce, must remove even “ her monuments ? To the grave Italian, that shadow.

“ his country has no existence but in her V.-I charge these writers with sug " annals. Why take from him the congesting to the Allies the idea, and, indeed," solation of beholding the proofs of what actually recommending the measure, of “ he has been? Why break away the fine stripping the Museums and Galleries of associations of every classic and cultiParis of the statues, pictures, and other“ vated mind, which connects the once invaluable curiosities brought by the French “ estimable treasures of the Vatican with armies from countries which they had “ the antiquity of letters and of arts, while conquered.-My proof of the truth of this “ in Florence it delights to meditate their charge is in the following extract from the “ revival ? It may, to be sure,

hurt someTIMES newspaper of the 2d of May.- “what of the Parisian vanity, to find the After noticing, that the Emperor of Russia“ Louvre dissected by its emigrant Gods. had expressed the intention of the Allies “ The hall of the Apollo may affect the to be, to leave Paris in possession of all“ French connoisseur and savant with its curiosities ; after censuring this, and “ sombre feelings, when the Belvidere paadding a suitable quantity of observations“ lace has recovered its immortal guest. on the “ robberies,” the “ rapacity,and “

--The Hall des Hommes illustres,' the “ vanityof the French nation, the " the Hall · des Romains,' the Hall du writer proceeds thus :" As.the coalesced “ Laocoon,” the Hall of the Muses, may “ Powers have fairly conquered all the “ have fewer admirers, when these splen“ armies of that nation, who had so long “ did appellations become terms of ridi“ indulged themselves in every species of “cule, as they now are of reproach. But “rapine throughout Europe-and since let us hope that cur Allies may r.ot imi“ these victorious Powers, by the capture “tate our enemies, by confounding the \ of Paris, have, at their absolute disposal, “ good and bad passions of mankind. Let " the whole magazine of revolutionary " us hope that, for the sake of the French "plunder, wrenched by fraud or violencepeople themselves, an act of high and im“ from its just possessors, who can avoid“ perious justice may not be set aside from “ asking, how that plunder is to be dis“ regard to their unworthy vanity to that

posed of? Can any man doubt, tha if “ sentiment, by pampering which, more Bo the public and private property of France“ mischief has resulted to France and to the “ be respected by the conquerors,

the “ world, than centuries of pence and peconquerors are bound, by a ten-fold obli- “ nitence can repay; that sentiment to

gation, so far as to respect the public “ which we may fairly trace the paroxysmas fs and private property of Flanders and of their military ambition, their fever of “ Venice, of Florence and Rome, as to “empire, and prodigality of blood." “ demand it peremptorily from those who Here there is no disguise. There is s have stolen it, and give it back to those nothing crafty. The design and the mo“ from whom it was so iniquitously stolen? tive are openly avowed. But, le the event Not even a statue, not a medal, not a pic- what it may, what must be the envy, the “ ture capable of removal, ought to be hatred, the rancour ; bow inveteratr, how Is left where it can only serve to reward diabolical, the malice of the minds, in “ the systematic robberies of the French which such advice to the Allies could ori“ Government, and to stand the glittering ginate? Your Majesty will, probably, “evidence of successful crime. It is as not have forgotten the glee of these same “ the advocate of consistency, that one persons, when they saw a prospect of "might call upon the triumphant defen- Paris being burnt to ashes. It is the ” ders of public justice and honour, not to samo spirit that is at work here. Jt is "" leave their triumph incomplete, not to a spirit of envy and of rialice, that ** leave the downfall of oppression a dis- robs the mind of its reflecting powers. It


is a raneour against France and against STILL THE SAME; that she is raFrenchmen, which knows no bounds ; dically and systematically our cnemy; which leses sight of all consequences; which and that suspicions and jealousies of thinks nothing of wars, or of civil strife, in France ought FOR EVER to be awake the pursuit of its gratification. Was there in the breast of a Brilon. ever before heard of, in the whole world, Ample proof of the truth of these will be such a thing as confounding baoły in war found in the following article from the with highway, or any other robbery? And, COURIER newspaper of the 6th of May, did ever any nation in the world make which article, from the whole of its appearwar for the recovery of such booty? The ance, became worthy of particular notice. Allies, in their treaty concluded at Chau- It is written in a style above that of the ordimont, no longer ago than the 1st of March nary style of the Paper. It had a distinct 1::st, stipulate in these words :---" The tro- and conspicuous place allotted to it. Its “ pbies and booty taken from the enemy, tone is such as to induce one to believe, "shall belong to the troops who take them.” that it was intended to give a decided diAnd yet have these malignant writers the rection to public opinion upon the importimpudence to advise the stripping of the ant subjects of which it treats. It would Muscums of Paris, upon the ground, that seem that the writer was afraid, that, in their contents were the fruit of robbery, the hurry of the late scenes, public feeling though the terms of the capitulation of had carried people away too far, and had Paris expressly forbid any such act of spo led them, in their joy at the fall of Napoliation.-However, it is not so much for leon, to forget that antipathy which he the purpose of exposing the want of reason wished to see kept alive against France, at in these writers, and their associates and all times, and under any dynasty, or any approvers, that I have noticed this part of possible order of things.-“ Most of our their efforts, as for the parpose of clearly " cotemporaries are talking of the prepashewing, that the main object of this de- “ rations for the celebration of the gescription of persons is to degrade, to beg-neral peace. That a general peace is gar, to cripple France. They see in these “ indeed a subject for congratulation we do famous Museums, and Libraries, and Gd- “ not of course mean to demy; but let us leries, the source of an immense and con “ first have an insight into the terms. We stant 'resort to Paris; they perceive that “ know enough to be able to state thať resort will tend to the advantage of France" they will be founded upon the bases of in a pecuniary way, at the same time that the ancient limits of France, so far as it cannot fail to extend and perpetuate the "they relate to France upon the Continent; fame of the French armies. And, so bit-“ France as she was in 1789 or 1792. ter is their malice, that they would, I “ But is this principle meant to be extend: verily believe, plunge us into another long “ed to her Colonies? This is what con. and bloody war, rather than leave this ad

Russia will get an extenvantage to France. The exclusive pos “ sion of territory, Prussja get back her session of all the trade of the world is not“ own with additions, so will Austriasuficient for them. The means of paying

6 But what are we to have. It may perall the armies in Europe to fight against “haps appear somewhat ungracious to sug France is not enough. A twenty years “gest a single thought which might damp alliance against France, even that does “ the general joy, or awaken a single fear, not glut these men. They wish to leave 66 where the reins are so fully given to her absolutely nothing but rags and dirt; "hope. The line of discussion we have and even of her soil we shall, I dare say, pursued, does, however, on this occasion, see, by and hye, that they wish to have all require us to express some fears that the the fruit for nothing. Your Majesty will“ glow of generous feeling which has been surely admire their generosity, whatever “ excited by so many important, and, as to you may think of their prudence.

many of the circumstances, unlooked-for We now come to my two last charges, occurrences; the satisfaction which a namely:

“ virtuous people feels on the fall of ele: VI. Endeavouring to prevent, in the pend“ vated villainy, and the pleasure which

ing negociations, the restoration of the “ the restoration of a legitimate and re

oli French Colonies to Fiance. And, “ spectable sovereign to his throne could VII. Inculcating the doctrine that France, not fail in this country to excite, may

though Napoleon is overthrown, is ["have tended to lull those suspicions and


[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »