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that conquest constituted right of dominion upon land, where Englishmen could scarcely gain any conquests, and that there could be no such thing as dominion at sea, where alone, in all human probability, England could make conquests. They were told, I dare say, that their claim of sea-dominion was making might constitute, right; but, they would readily answer, that experience and reason joined had taught them, that, as to the affairs of nations, it was might alone, in fact, that did constitute right; and, this they would avow without any fear of being thought the advocates of despotism. Upon various occasions, when I, for my part, have had to speak of the conquests of Buonaparté, I have always said, that he had, in all cases where not plohibited by a previous positive compact, to which he was a party, a right to make what conquests he pleased; and, that it was perfect childishness in us to rail against him for his conquering. He has now conquered the land of Europe. We have, long ago, conquered the seas. He may maintain his dominion, and we shall, I hope, always be able to maintain ours. My friend of the Independent Whig, ** if he will allow me to call him so.” (as the people at St. Stephen's say), just as if he anticipated a sinecure office in over-setting every thing that I should be able to say. upon the subject of our paramount rights upon the seas, has voluntarily undertaken a defence of the people of America against what he calls my “ unmerited abuse of the whole of them.” . I abused none of then ; and it never entered into my heart to speak even slightingly of them as a whole. Upon all occasions, when I have spoken ill of the Americans, I have excepted, first and more particularly, the Quakers of Pennsylvania, who, after all my experience, and I have now had not a little, I believe to be the, take the whole of their character and manners together, the best people in the world. Of the people in general, descending from the old settlers, to the Northward, I have always spoken with respect ; and, if, generally speaking, I have had, and have, a very bad opinion of those to the Southward, I have always observed, that there were many exceptions there also. But, l have said, anu this I say again, that, owing to the emigration of rogues and fraudulent debtors and sharping adventurers, from all parts of the world; and owing to the introduction of a system of impunity for moral offences, working in conjunction with about 300 news-papers, supported by advertisements and by the passions of those


who feed upon falshood, America is, upon the whole, in my opinion, become the most unprincipled country in the world. I have said, that, as to affairs between men and their families, there is no shame or reproach

attendant upon a breach of fidelity, on the

part of man or of wife ; and I have prov

ed the frequency of elopements to be

such, that the printers of even provincial

papers, keep, cut in type-metal, the figures

of a wife escaping from her husband's

house, just as the printers of commercial

papers keep the figures of ships, to place at the head of their ship advertisements. As to their juries, he who knows the jurors and the parties, must be very little gifted, if he be at a loss to know what will be the result. I have said, that, while I was in America, a judge was caught thieving in a shop ; and, I have asked, what the people of England would say, if a similar act, on the part of a judge, was to pass with impunity here. I have said, that, in such a state of morals, there can be no real public liberty ; and, that the fact is, that though the name is in great vogue, I would, if compelled to choose, rather be a subject of Napoleon than a citizen of America. My adversary (for, Iain afraid, he wishes not to have me for a friend) says, that the Ameri

cans showed invincible courage, in a war

for their liberties. I deny that the war was undertaken for their liberties ; but, that, though the designs here might be unjust and tyrannical, the war there principally arose from the easy means which it offered to American debtors to cheat their English I never denied them courage. They are, I believe, as brave as any people

in the world ; but, as to their justice in that

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of the Independent Whig one specimen of the American liberty of the press, and that, too, not, as he will, probably, anticipate, in my own person, but in that of a man, who, about eleven years ago, left Scotland, in order to enjoy the liberty of a free press in America. This man published in Scotland a pamphlet called the political progress of Britain, for which he was obliged to flee, and which he re-published in America. While he wrote against his own country as well as its rulers, he was wonderfully caressed ; but, it took him in the head to write against the rulers there also. What was the consequence 2 An action ? No. An indictment 2 No. A criminal information ? No. But, as a mere prelude to these, a warrant, under a tortured construction of a statute of Edward III. (for the American rulers preserve all these handy things by them) to take him up, to bind him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, under a heavy bail; so that, this bond might have been kept over his head for years, without any conviction, or even any trial. The man remonstrated against this act of injustice; he refused to give bail ; he was committed to prison, and in prison he died, a tolerably striking instance of the effect of the liberty of the press, as enjoyed in America. Were I to proceed to the extent of my own bare recollection, this letter would surpass in bulk that of a letter e. Lord Wellesley, who, quite unconcernedly, refers the court of Directors, in one letter, to the 735th paragraph of another letter, which be sends them by the same conveyance. I had no desire to say what I have said ; but, when I see the persons, interested in the American commerce, combiuing together for the avowed object of forcing the government (which, if P am to judge from the Past, is but too much inclined that way) to abandon the great protecting rights of our country; and when I see the views of this combination, aided by a public writer, who (for want of information, without doubt) holds forth America in false colours, and bespeaks your partiality towards her upon the score of her being the patroness and the guardian of liberty and of public virtue, I think, that to refrain from speaking would be a shameful neglect of my duty. In conclusion, suffer me, Gentlemen, once more to press upon your minds the important distinction between the rights of nations, as considered with respect to other nations, and individual., as considered with respect to other individuals of the same nation. . In the latter case all ought to be upon *perfectlevel in the eye of th: law. The

law comes in to the aid of natural weakness. It says to the strong man, “ you shall have “ all the advantages which your own “strength can give you, as far as the em“ ployment of that strength does in nowise, “ bear down those who are weaker than “ you are.” But, nations acknowledge no law ; and, though there are men, who have written upon what they call the law of nations, their writings are merely the opinions of individuals, and the history of what this and that nation has, at different times, done. The fact is, that, in the concerns of nations, from the very nature of the thing, it must be, that power, in the end, under whatever shew of law or usage, will have its way. It does not hence follow, that it is just for a strong nation to oppress a weak one. The moral considerations of right and wrong are not to be left aside; but, the only check that can possibly be found to national ambition, accompanied with power wherewith to gratify it, is, the combination which, first or last, will naturally be formed against any nation, which uses its power for the pu";ose of oppressing other nations. The only question, therefore, for us to determine, in the present case, is, whether the exercise of those powers, which our real mastership of the seas enables us to exercise, be now exercised for the purposes of oppression, or of self-defence. I contend, that, in the particular case, which has given rise to this discussion, they have been exercised for the purposes of self-defence. There may return a state of things, when we may safely forego that exercise; and then it will be proper to do it ; but, at the present time, all men, I should think, must be couvinced, that, if England be not to become an appendage of France, she must maintain, with more rigour than ever, her rights of dominion upon the sea. For you, Gentlemen, to give your sanction to the abandonment of those rights, upon any ground, would be to falsify that patriotic character which you have so justly acquired ; and, for you to do this upon the ground of favour due to those nations, who are set up as the friends of liberty, would expose your understandings to the contempt of the would. Much of our liberties, as Englishmen, has been lost. Let us, by all the lawful means within our power, continue our efforts to recover those liberties; and, if we resolutely and wisely and patiently procced, recover them we shall, in spite of the swarms of prostituted hirelings and of public robbers, against whom we have to contend. But, Gentlemen, it is Euglish liberty that we want. It is not

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French liberty nor American liberty. It is such liberty as our forefathers fought for and obtained. It is freedom from oppression, whether from tyrants great or petty ; and this is such liberty as neither Frenchmen nor Americans have yet tasted of. It would behove you well to stand forward, at the

resent moment, and to make your voice heard, and through that voice the voice of the people of England, against the selfish mercantile combinations that are now forming for the purpose of sacrificing the honour and the security of our country to their paltry private interests. No small portion of the fruits of your labour has gone, and still goes, to the furnishing forth of armaments, the sole, and even the avowed object, of which is, to support commerce, that is to say, 'as, I think, I have proved to you, to furnish the means, whereby a few hundreds of men are made immensely rich, without adding, in any way whatever, to the national resources of security. And now, when a part, when one class ( : these men, perceive that their interests are likely to receive some injury by the assertion of our rights of sea-dominion, or superiority, they begin to combine, in order to force the, probably, too willing government, to abandon those

punish the officers who have had the spirit to assert them. Against such a combination as

this, it behoves you to raise your indepen

dent voice. You have no interests but those which are inseparable from the welfare of

amongst all those, whose aggrandizement have tended to oppress you, this description of persons stand pre-eminent, upon which ground alone, it appears to me, that they claim a right of dictatring to the government. You should always bear in mind, that it was the commercial interest, that placed Pitt up-. on his throne of power, and enabled him

too sorely feel the effects. Through all his career, they clang to him. He talked of no greatness but commercial greatness; he sacrificed everything to the interests and the whimsies of commercial men; he was made for a counting-house himself, and he delighted in the society of merchants. His followers are in power, and there is but too much reason for us to expect, that they will tread in his steps ; but, it is for us to put in our protest against this mercantile combination, and thereby to deprive the ministers of the pretence of leaving sacrificed our security in obedience to the voice of the people. I am, Gentlemen, your faithful friend, and obedient Servant,


- LETTER_XXIII. GENTLEMEN, - * Thinking it proper to offer to the public some observations upon the question of PEACE, which is, at present much agitated, I have, for the reasons stated at the out-set of the preceding letter, thought it right to address those observations more particularly to you. . First, Gentlemen, let me beg of you to come to the consideration of questions of this sort with your minds divested, for the moment at least, of reflections upon the intermal corruptions, of which we complain, and which, sooner or later, we shall be able to eradicate and annihilate, without exposing our country to subjugation, and ourselves and our children to the just contempt of the world. As I observed to you before, Gentlemen, the corruptors and the corrupted are not those, who would most suffer by the conquering of our country. They would easily accommodate themselves to the business of raising contributions upon us. Sycophants, be assured, are not nice, as you may probably.have perceived, in the objects of their subserviency. ... The toasts, songs, and sentiments, which they have now in use would suit very well, in a new state of things, with a mere change of names. It is the profits that they love, and not the patrous. They would, you would soon see, find many and most admirable reasons for throwing us into prison, or hanging us, if we expressed our discontent at the exactions of Napoleon. When a country is conquered, individual safety depends upon readiness in submission; and, it were folly in the extreme for us to suppose, that, in a race of slavery, the base wretches, whom we now hate, would not out-strip us. No, Gentlemen, a remedy for our evils is not to come from without... That, as well as the defence of our country, lie soiely in our own hands. The question of Peace has been much dwelt upon by the editor of the Morning Chronicle, in an article, which I shall presentiy insert for your perusal. But, I would first beg leave to observe, that, though, for the reasons, which I shall hereafter submit to you, I am of opinion, that, at present, there is no chance of our deriving benefit, of any sort, from peace, I am by no means an advocate so a war, grounded merely upon a hatred of Napoleon, and, above all, for a

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war carried on now for what has been called the deliverance of Europe, and which “deli

verance” Europe itself has not seemed to

wish for, having, as I verily believe, very little reason to entertain such a wish. We should also guard our minds against the conclusion, that, because the wars, in which we have been recently engaged, have been conducted in so foolish a manner, and have produced such fatal consequences to all those, who became our allies ; we must guard our minds against concluding, that war continued now, would be productive of similar effects; and, that peace would put an end to the evils which have arisen amongst us during war. Would peace put an end to, would it at all lessen, any of the abuses or corruptions, of which we complain 2 You must be satisfied that it would not now, any more than it did in 1802. On the contrary, finding our attention diverted, for a while, from these corruptions, the corruptors would take advantage thereof, and do against us that which they otherwise would not have attempted. Was the march of the heralds of peace and the illuminations and the drawing of Lauriston and the feasting of Otto ; were these followed by any benefit to us? No ; but the birelings gathered new strength, and stoutly put forward “ the blesongs of peace” as the justifiable grounds of fres, plunder Be assured, Gentlemen, that every thing tends to deception, which would mike you believe, that a remedy for the evils of England is to be found any where else than in an annihilation of the various Sources of corruption. The pacific a tigie, in the Morning Chronicle, of worth I have spoken above, and w: , , t find in that paper of the 15th inslot, is, as you will perceive, a commentary up on to kiss's speech, delivered, last week, to tie (orises of Parliament. —“ Parlia“ on was yesterday prorogued, and the Speech delivered by the Commissioners in his Majesty's name, will be found in another part of our paper. It was expecued that the Speech would have made some allusion to the proffered mediation of Russia, but there is nothing except the customary general paragraph, taken from the file, about readiness to treat with ho nour and security. It says—“And while his Majesty commands us to repeat the assurances of his constant readiness to entertain any proposals that may lead to a secure and honourable peace, he commands us at the same time to express his confidence that his parliament and his people will feel with him the necessity of persevering in those vigorous efforts which alone can give the character of honour to

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which leads them to believe that the Emperor of Russia may support the new principles which Buonaparté endeavours to introduce. There is no particular allusion to the state of our relations with America. Upon the whole, this Speech does not hold forth any thing VERY ENCOURAGING to the country. The generality in which the desire of peace is couched, leaves no room to doubt that ministers persist in the extravagant opinions of those who represent negociation as disgrace, and peace as destruction. Those, indeed, who consider peace as an evil, naturally consider negociation as disgraceful; because it must be presumed, that they who would make war if they could, only talk of peace l, cause they cannot. The sentiments of most of the present ministers have been so often expressed on this su'ject, that if they are reduced to negociation, it is a confession that they are practically con. vinced that the war has no rational object, and no chance of success. Those who have held such lofty language on the subject of peace, indeed, can be supposed to look to peace either as necessary to the

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that they have abandoned those frantic expectations, so inconsistent with the state of the world, which, while they prevail, must render the attainment of peace impossible. War may be necessary, if we cannot get out of it upon suitable terms, and in that case it must be carried on with courage and fortitude. But ministers seem to consider it as itself an active remedy, instead of an evil to be endured, and think it calculated to improve our situation. In that view of it we cannot concur. The most we can gain by its continuance is, that after much erertion and

vast erpence, we are not swallowed up.

To reduce the power of our enemy by a

maritime war, is now the most hopeless of projects, and after so much experience,

those who still think it reasonable, are incapable of being taught, either by arguments or by facts. Then what is gained by a protracted war, in which, let it be

ranted that we keep all we have? Is

rance, in her present situation, likely to be sooner or more exhausted by a lengthened war, than England 2 Is the ruler of that country likely to be affected by commercial pressure, could we inflict it in its utmost extremity; or even by an universal blockade, were it practicable? He cares for none of these things, and will never yield upon such considerations as are calculated only to influence those who see all things through the medium of trade. We apprehend, therefore, that after the lapse of several years, and the favourable supposition of keeping all we have, we shall have, in the comparison, lost much more than France; and that even during the interval, we are not likely to bear with patience the privations and burdens which the war must occasion. A defensive war, therefore, is the worst of evils, because it does not even promise, what is the greatest incentive to military effort, as well as the greatest consolation in passive suffering, that at the expiration of any given time, or after any series of cxertions, we shall be better than we are at this moment. Time may inspireus with that moderation of temper, and with that resignation in that unfortunate order of things which Europe is destined to endure for a season ; but it were better’ that wisdom should now save us the distress of being schooled by adversity. The power and predominance o arc, unquestionably, a great evil; and it is impossible that England should not, though herself unsubdued, feel some share of the calamity which has spread


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in the affairs of Europe; and we say too, that all the efforts of England cannot in the least impair that ascendant—and therefore it is our policy to yiela to that turn of affairs which we cannot change. It rarely has happened that an intire equality among the Nations of Europe has existed. The house of Austria, Spain, France, in former times, and likewise England, have had a decisive and admitted superiority. It is in vain to struggle against the occasional fortune, ability, and success of particular nations, found: ed on various accidents in their internal situation. It is laudable to resist the tendency towards inequality, and to reduce the pretension, in any shape, to universal monarchy. But that resistance must be bounded by reason and by prudence. In the present case France has obtained a decisive superiority in Europe, and experience has shewn how vain it is at this time to attempt by force of arms to reduce hnr to what it is desirable she should be. We ought, therefore, with the rest of the world, to acquiesce in the decision obtained by an appeal to arms, which there is no probability of our being able to reverse. France must have

great advantages, in consequence of her

success, but that is no argument against

peace when war is not likely to deprive her

of those advantages. We may negociate on

the footing of equality with France; but

however unpalatable the admission is, we

must admit, that France is relatively gre"

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