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either in the Mediterranean, or in the plained away, the professed object of the West Indies, or else by being weak at Emperor was, to arrest a treaty which home, might contrive to be superior, if was commencing without him, by saying, they pleased, at least for a time, in one that he was willing also to treat: the if not in two of those important stations ; | Emperor, therefore, declared in substance, and as they had no commerce to defend, that he thought France might be treated they might, without much sacrifice of in- with. On every ground, then, he must terest, strike, even with their et, a suppose that the Emperor thought thus, temporary stroke. When the extent of and was sincere. What, then, was the our territories also was considered, which state of the confederacy? Our allies were it belonged to our fleet to defend, it cer- | vanishing away very fast. Whether the tainly seemed to be too much to say that Emperor signed the rescript in his quality in this respect we should be left harmless of head of the empire only, or in that of and untouched. He next adverted to king of Hungary, &c., he did not exactly toe general state of the allied powers; know: but at any rate, he was not two and particularly dwelt on the Emperor's separate men; and if peace was desirable late rescript, in which he tells the Ger- for the German empire, any one who man powers that he is ready to make cast his eye on the map, must see that it peace with France; a rescript which he must on the same ground be desirable for understood the Emperor signed on the the other possessions of the Emperor same day on which he signed the treaty also. The aid of Germany, and even of with this country for a loan for carrying a quintuple contingent, had been stated on the war. He had heard it said abroad, by many declarations of this very Emthat this rescript was only intended to peror to be absolutely necessary to the amuse the German powers; and that the general success of the war; and now if Emperor was not sincere in it, but wished Germany fails him, Prussia also having rather thereby to prevent a peace; a sup- withdrawn, his own territory being reposition which he would not so calum- duced, and his army shut out from crossniate his imperial majesty as to allow him- ing the Rhine, how could it be hoped self for one moment to make. What! that he would make farther head against could it be supposed, when the Emperor the French ? As to Spain, she likewise said, “ that he was ready to enter into was reported to be negociating, and her negociation,” that he meant in reality to known weakness was one ground of the avoid a negociation when he said that report. From Sardinia little was to be “ he would consult the general interests of expected. An alliance, indeed, with the empire,” that he meant not to consult Russia was spoken of; and certainly he their interest ? and when he spoke of felt disposed to commend the endeavours
permanent and secure peace with the of government to interest her in the war ; French Republic," and of " his endeavour- provided, however, we should not thereby ing to accomplish so desirable an end,” draw down upon us more enemies than that he thought a secure peace impossible would be compensated for by her assistor undesirable? If such were the Em
But even though his understanding peror's meaning, no language could suffi- should dictate a policy of this sort, still ciently reprobate such deceit. Besides, his feelings would follow very slowly ; for if this was the mode of doing away the he should find it hard indeed to wish sucmeaning of the rescript, and we were to cess to such a power as Russia had shown trust the Emperor's disposition to go on herself to be. with the war on such ground, we were to He next adverted to the state of France; trust him on the very ground of his being and here, he said, that some new consiunworthy of trust, on the ground of his derations came in, which the House had rescript being an act of duplicity to the never had the full opportunity of delibestates of Germany; and on this ground rating upon before. First, that she had we were to presume on his being faithful quieted those great internal insurrections, towards us ; and all this at the very time which had occupied some very considerwhen we refuse to make peace with able armies during the preceding periods France because she would be regardless of the war. Not only the allies were of her treaties, “ being incapable of main- lessened in numbers and in force; not taining the accustomed relations of peace only the king of Prussia had withdrawn, and amity with other nations."-But even and the Emperor seçmed likely to follow if the words of the rescript should be ex- his example; not only the British troops
were removed from the continent, while tended in like manner to increase their the line of frontier, both by the capture strength, by sustaining their reputation of Holland and the peace with Prussia, in Europe. "He here adverted to the comwas exceedingly narrowed; but, on the motions recently excited in Paris. This other hand, by the quieting of these insur- was an event which he was not particurections, a large accession of disposable larly surprised at, and if any member force had been gained to the French, meant to make it an argument against a which they might bring at once to bear motion for peace, he should object to on any new point. The advantage to the such use of it. We must not allow the French by the above-mentioned defection happiness of the people of England to be of our allies, and the accession to their the sport and play of these successive own strength, he computed at between 2 events. He had observed, on many ocand 300,000 men.- Next, as to the casions, a disposition in the House, as French resources. Their paper-money well as in some people without doors, to was much depreciated, and had fallen be on the watch, as it were, for some still more very lately: nevertheless, every new event, and to rest almost the whole thing went on as before. In America, ground of going on with the war on somepaper-money had been depreciated during thing future, which they could not define. the war far below the present depreciation Every little incident was magnified by in France, and yet new resources had persons of this description, and turned after that been opened; and the fallacy into an argument against making peace. of supposing that a nation's pecuniary What would be the consequence, if France means must end with its paper credit, had were to act in the same manner. What if been evinced. In point of subsistence, her government were to urge the high he had received information from persons price of provisions as a proof that we who had arrived from France within these were nearly exhausted? What if the two or three days, that, generally speak- vast bounties given to man our navy, or ing, they were in no sort of distress; that increase our army should there be urged ; in Paris, indeed, bread had been scarce, but and what if the risings which had taken it was now less so than before; and in most place in this country should be magparts provisions were cheaper than in nified : the account of them being conEngland. In the French armies there veyed by persons the least favourable to had been no sign whatever of disaffection. Our government ? Would not a very erroA general satisfaction prevailed in the neous judgment be formed in France concountry, on account of the termination cerning as to resources, and the probable of the troubles of La Vendée and of the period of our terminating the war, if Chouans; and some hope of peace was these alone were the grounds on which excited by the treaties already entered the French government should argue on into ; and whatever partial or temporary the subject? With regard to the probatumults might arise in Paris, the idea of ble consequences of pursuing the war, he a general rising in the country seemed considered them to be in their nature unnow to be over. The general circum- certain: Heretofore it might justly be stances of the war also tended to make said to be carried on in order to prevent them think their troubles nearly at an the progress of French principles ; but end; for peace seemed to them not far now there was much more danger of their distant. The conduct of foreign nations being strengthened by a general disconto them tended to confirm this sentiment. tent, arising from the continuance of the The duke of Tuscany's treaty with them war, than from any importation of the was a small matter, when considered in principles themselves from France ; for the light of an additional strength gained; the nature of them had now been seen but it was very important in another view, through; the spirit of Jacobinism and franamely, as a symptom of the sort of confi- ternization had subsided, even in that dence which foreigners placed in them. country, and a gradual change in this resHere was a shrewd Italian prince, who pect had taken place. One bad effect of some time ago thought himself safer under the war was, the drawing off so great a the wings of the confederacy, but who part of the people to a military life. This now thought it was time to commit him- was a very serious evil, tending to hurtesself rather to the protection of France. sentially the morals of the people, and to The French
peace with Prussia, and Swe-detach them from the habits of civil life ; den's recognition of the French republic, and though no present consequences might
be felt, yet very material ories might, at accustomed relations of peace amity, the some distance of time, follow.-As to the present motion would not oblige govern effects of the continuance of the war on ment to treat; it would merely prepare France, he was persuaded that the war
for it. tended, under the present circumstances, He then proceeded to answer what rather to prevent a counter-revolution probably would be the arguments advance than to forward one. Suppose the most ed against the measure he recommended, successful events of war to happen ; sup- particularly adverting to the objectious to pose Austria to penetrate into France : peace urged by government in former desuppose some new Russian allies, fresh bates. It had formerly been urged as a from the capture of Poland, to be united reason for continuing the war, that if we with them, and to march into that coun- would not continue it while we had the try, would not the people of France, unit- advantage of so many allies, we should in ing against these fresh invaders, forget the end have to make war alone. That their internal animosities, and be again argument would not be pressed in the compressed into resistance? Or, suppose same degree at present; because that very these animosities to continue, we had seen event was approaching, not through our already that France, though weak and dis making peace, but through our too long turbed in her center might still be terrible in continuance of the war ; and if we wished her extremities. Anidea had prevailed, that to secure a future co-operation of allies, if peace should be made with one party in the way would be to dissolve what reFrance, and that party should be dispos- mains of the confederacy by consent, besessed, the succeeding one would of fore it entirely dissolved itself, as the only course, not abide by it. This supposi- chance ofresuming it, if hereafter it should tion seemed to him extremely ill-founded. be necessary. Another argument hitherto If the people were for peace every new used, would not now be repeated, viz. party would court the popular favour by that we could not make peace with France the preservation of it. The party at pre- without acknowledging the republic; and sent in power was peculiarly favourable without acknowledging it as founded on to peace, and consequently more likely to the principles of liberty, equality, and the negociate on terms that would be honour. Rights of Man. But had the Emperor, able to both countries.
the king of Prussia, the king of Sweden, turned our view, the most evident advan- or the duke of Tuscany in this sense tages seemed likely to result from peace. acknowledged the republic? Had they If, then, peace was so desirable what ob- signed, or proposed to sign (as all who structed it? If they should see govern- acknowledged the republic were said to ment treating for peace, would the nation do), their own deposition ? No; the treafeel disappointed? Were the allies unwil- ties entered into had been mutually signed ling? The chief doubt was, whether, if as other treaties usually were, and it had we pursued the war they would continue been shown that no impediment of this to join us. Were the French unwilling? kind had existed. Again the safety of He was persuaded, that if any such paci- Europe had been declared to be a prinfic language was held out, as that which cipal ground of war; but if Europe was his motion conveyed, means would be determined to make peace as the best taken to try by some neutral powers, the means of consulting its safety, did it be. effect of a negociation. There had been long to Great Britain to fight her battles in France a growing spirit of moderation. for her, and to fight them alone, or almost In Bourdeaux, British property to a great alone ? The declining resources of France amount had lately been suffered to be taken had been stated as another encouragement though known to be British, and that part to go on with the war; but when was the of it which the Convention had taken for destruction of them to arrive? Their arits own use had been restored in value. mies did not want fresh requisicions, and Hitherto our language had been, that every thing went on much as heretofore. though we would not refuse to make | There was one view of the subject, which peace with France, even under the form seemed so highly important that he must of a republic, yet we were decidedly touch upon it. He alluded to the pros. against making peace with the present men pect of a general war in Europe. Russia in power, and with the present republic ; | it might be supposed would take part with for we have implied, that the present go- us. Turkey, on the other hand, and other vernment is incapable of maintaining the powers with France; and a new scene of
the most extensive hostilities might in Such an offer on her part could only prothat case follow. Humanity shuddered ceed from a strong presumption of British at such a scene : but even putting huma- credulity. He considered the present nity out of the question, it seemed to him motion as a call upon ministers to put a in the view of dry policy, that such a stop to the scene of misery and calamity course of events must be highly prejudi. which was now going on; to conciliate cial to Great Britain. Who could say what the public mind, by adopting measures to might be the consequence of strengthen- bring about a peace, and to preclude the ing Austria and Russia, as their suc- necessity of making any addition to those cesses might do; or of the irruption of burthens which had already increased to French troops into almost all Europe, if such an extent, that they could not much the other side should prove superior. The longer be borne. very opposing armies might catch the Mr. Windham (Secretary at War) said, spirit of French democracy; and when it that the House had now heard the reasons was considered that the French revolution urged by the hon. mover and seconder, in owed its rise to a great pressure on the support of a motion so extraordinary, both lower orders of the people in that country in itself and in relation to the sentiments what might not be the consequence on the and declarations which had formerly been minds of all the lower orders of people in adopted by those gentlemen, in conjuncEurope, if a destructive war should prevail. tion with a great majority of that House. In his opinion, the true line of policy for He agreed as to the propriety of bringing this country would be, to cultivate our forward questions at different periods domestic resources, to consult the happi- of a war, whether, under any change of Dess, the good morals, and the comfort of circumstances that might have taken the lower orders of the people ; and to place, it was advisable to proceed in the excite their confidence in administration ; 1 prosecution of the contest.
The point, to keep, on the other hand, as much as then, to be discussed was, whether any may be, from continental connexions, on such change had taken place? He affirmed account of the general uncertainty of them, that no such change had taken place, or the character of foreign princes, and the at least none which rendered peace in the situation of the affairs of Europe. He then present moment preferable to the prosemoved, “ That it is the opinion of this cution of the war. He remarked that in House, that the present circumstances of every argument, it was necessary to conFrance, ought not to preclude the govern- sider those with whom we were arguing. ment of this country from entertaining In the present instance, then, it was neproposals for a general pacification ; and cessary for him to consider whether he that it is for the interest of Great Britain was arguing with those who, in its comto make peace with France provided it mencement, had considered the present can be effected on fair terms, and in an war as just and necessary, or, in other honourable manner.”
words, as just, because it was necessary Mr. Duncombe seconded the motion. who had reprobated the doctrines of the He adverted to an argument that had French, and wished the destruction of often been urged, that it was impossible the system, which they were attempting to have a permanent peace with the pre- to establish ; or with those who had opsent government of France; and asked, posed the war from its outset ; who had whether we ever had a permanent peace approved the doctrines of the French; with France, or whether, during the last who had held out the example of their re. half century, we at any time had a peace volution as most glorious ; who had wished that had lasted for more than seven years? success to their exertions, and had even The fact was, that we had been continually openly professed that the establishment embroiled in wars, from the ambition of of the republic was an event desirable to that very monarchy which we were now mankind. It was evident that the quesso anxious to restore. He remarked only tion, as taken in relation to those opposite one difference in our present situation ; for- opinions, must be argued upon grounds merly, we were at war with the kings and entirely different, and it was only to the ministers of France, now we were at war latter description of persons that he with the people. Heremarked on the state of meant to address himself
. In every questhe confederacy against France, and on the tion respecting peace, two things were to absurdity of any reliance on the proffered be considered, which the hon. mover had assistance of the empress of Russia. not kept sufficiently distinct in the course of his argument; first, what sort of peace / ings of the government. It was moderate, was to be gained; and, secondly, what; it was true; but how was it moderate? It were the means of gaining it? The hon. was moderate only in comparison with mover seemed too much to consider peace the preceding plans of terror, murder, and as peace. He seemed to think that the proscription. Compared with other gomoment the treaty was signed, we should i vernments, the government of France was be at liberty to disband our armies ; that still distinguished for injustice, violence, prosperity would of course return; and and insult; or admitting, for the sake of that we should immediately enter upon a argument, that it were not so, was it poscareer of tranquillity and affluence. On sible to prophesy how long it might be that subject (said Mr. Windham), I differ before such a system might return? from him most widely: he thinks peace, But here let us examine in what manner in the present moment, safe and honour- this change was produced. They had able; I think it neither safe nor honour- been brought down to talk the language able. But here I cannot help remarking, of moderation; and therefore their mothat the hon. gentleman is a sort of con- deration was the result of necessity. stitution-monger, and that he declared, They were relaxed in their circumstances; upon former occasion, that he would their vigour was weakened, and their give to France the same constitution as courage crippled. If they had the desire that of America. The hon. gentleman to revive their former atrocities, they had would give them a constitution, as if it not now the power, and it was our duty to was a ready-made house which could be prevent them. Their fortune had reached transported without inconvenience from its flood, and was now ebbing fast away. one place to another, and as if every go- The symptoms of decay were manifest, vernment did not grow out of the habits, and the pulse that raged so violently would the prejudices, the sentiments, and the af- soon no longer beat. He remarked, that fections of the people. He would give though the hon. mover had demanded a them a constitution, as children who had precise answer, he had not encouraged it surrounded a twig with a quantity of dirt, by bringing forward any thing precise in would think that they had planted a tree. his own statement. He had given it as Some questions he wished to ask, as to the his opinion, that the distress in the intemeans of attaining peace. And first, he rior of France was not great. He had would ask, was to express a desire of thought, that since the communication peace on the part of this country the best had begun to be open, there was such a means of attaining it? How far ought body of evidence, with respect to the exthe inclination for peace manifested by istence of that distress, as could not well France to operate as an inducement to have been resisted; and that the confesthis country to come forward, and mani- sions of the extreme hardships suffered fest its dispositions for the same purpose from the depreciation of assignats, and the How far would this inclination for peace scarcity of provisions, were too frequent in France be likely to grow and increase and notorious to be in any degree invaliin consequence of our keeping aloof, and dated. The hon. gentleman talked of reabstaining from any declaration that might cent reports as to disturbances in Paris, indicate a reciprocity of sentiment? What of the truth of which he seemed to intichange had taken place in the state of mate some doubt. They might not, inFrance, since the subject was last under deed, be true to the extent to which they consideration, which tended to render any had been stated; they had, however, now negociation for peace more secure? Å been reported upon the authority of great change had indeed taken place, but public papers, and the hon. gentleman none which rendered any prospect of who called their existence in question, peace permanent; the government was might as well dispute the accounts of the not become more durable, nor was the massacres at Paris, or the ravages of the character of the people changed: he did guillotine. Was it to be treated as a not at present see any reason why they matter of slight report, that the mob had might not return to the spirit of domina- broke into the august body of the Contion and of proselytism, which had for- vention-that the members had been merly rendered them so dangerous. The forced to fly—that the head of one of present boasted system of moderation ac- their number had been cut off—and that, quired all its praise only from being con- with the head in their hand, the mob had trasted with the former infamous proceed- addressed a speech to the president of