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for a march to Paris. With all that you that man is not dead he is only pausing! have gained, you surely will not say that Lord help you, Sir! they are not angry the prospect is brighter now than it was with one another ;, they have now do then. What have you gained but the re- cause of quarrel--but their country thinks covery of a part of what you before lost? that there should be a pause. All that One campaign is successful to you-ano- you seo, Sir, is nothing like fightingther to them; and in this way, animated there is no harm, nor cruelty, nor blood. by the vindictive passions of revenge, hashed in it whatever--it is nothing more tred, and rancour, which are infinitely than a political pause !-it is merely ta try more flagitious, even, than those of ambi. an experimento 600 whether Buona. tion and the thirst of power, you may go parté will not behave himself better than on for ever; as, with such black incen- heretofore; and in the mean time we have tives, I see no end to human misery. agreed to a pause, in pure friendship !" And all this without an intelligible motive, And is this the way, Şir, that you are to all this because you may gain a better show yourselves the advocates of order? peace a year or two hence! So that we You take up a system calculated to unciare called upon to go on merely as a spe- vilize the world, to destroy order, to trample culation-We must keep Buonaparté for op religion, to stifle in the heart, not merely some time longer at war, as a state of the generosity of noble sentiment, bu probation. Gracious God, Sir, is war a the affections of social natpre;, and in state of probation? Is peace a rash sys- the prosecution of this system, you tem? Is it dangerous for nations to live spread. terror and devastation all around in amity with each other?.. İş your vigi. you. lance, your policy, your common powers Sir, I have done. I have told you my of observation, to be extinguished by opinion. I think you ought to have given putting an end to the horrors of war? a civil, clear, and explicit answer to the Cannot this state of probation be as well overture which was fairly and handsomely. undergone without adding to the cata- made you. If you were desirous that the logue of human sufferings ? « But we negotiation should have included all your must pause!" What! must the bowels allies, as the means of bringing about a of Great Britain be torn out-her best general peace, you should have told Buo. blood be spilt-her treasure wasted--that naparté-so; but I believe you were afraid you may make an experiment? Put of his agreeing to the proposal. You yourselves-oh! that you would put took that method before, Aye, but," yourselves in the field of battle, and you say, " the people were anxious for learn to judge of the sort of horrors that peace in 1797." I say they are friends to you excite. In former wars a man might peace now; and I am confident that you at least, have some feeling, some interest, will one day own it. Believe me, they are that served to balance in his mind the im. friends to peace; although, by the laws pressions which a scene of carnage and which you have made, restraining the ex of death must inflict. If a man had been pression of the sense of the people, publie present at the battle of Blenheim, for in- opinion cannot now be heard as loudly stance, and had inquired the motive of and unequivocally as heretofpre. But 1 the battle, there was not a soldier engaged will not go into the internal state of this who could not have satisfied his curiosity, country. It is too afflicting to the bears and even, perhaps, allayed his feelings to see the strides which have been made, they were fighting to repress the uncon- by means of, and under the miserable trolled ambition of the grand monarque. pretext of this war, against liberty of every But, if a man were present now at a field kind, both of speech and of writing; and of slaughter, and were to inquire for what to observe in another kingdom tle rapid they were fighting—" Fighting!" would approaches to chat military despotism be the answer ;

they are not fighting, which we affect to make an argument they are pausing.". "Why is that man against peace. I know, Sir, that public expiring? Why is that other writhing opinion, if it could be collected, would be with

agony ? What means this implaca. for peace, as much now as in 1797, and I ble fury?" The answer must be, « You know that it is only by publie opinionare quite wrong, Sir, you deceive your not by a sense of their duty- not by the self-They are not fighting-Do not dis inclination of their minds that ministers turb them - they are merely, pausing !-- will be brought, if ever, to give us peace. this man is not expiring with agony-I conclude, Sir, with repenting what


Nors { Mr. Sheridan

I said before ; I ask for no gentleman's necessary to prove that it ought to be vote who would have reprobated the com- adopted. I profess, Sir, that in bringing pliance of ministers with the proposition this subject before the House, I do not of the French govenment; I ask for no consider it as a party question. It is one gentleman's support to-night who would that can admit of no party feeling. It is have toted against ministers, if they had a question that in the highest degree in come down and proposed to enter into a terests every feeling for the glory of the negotiation with the French ; but I have country, every sentiment of humanity a right to ask I know, that in honour, in for the loss our troops have sustained, for consistency, in conscience, I have a right the honour which they have to support. to expeet, the vote of every gentleman We are called upon by the sacred duty we who would have voted with ministers owe to our constituents, to investigate a in an address to his majesty, diametri- transaction, which on the face of it, precally opposite to the motion of this night. sents so much argument for inquiry; and The House divided :

which, in its consequences, has been atTellers.

tended with such a waste of blood, and The Lord Hawkesbury

expense of treasure. In treating of this YEAS Mr. Canning

265 question, I shall not proceed upon private

information, but upon the recorded acMr. Whitbread

64 counts of ministers themselves in their own

gazettes. I shall not consider the ad. So it was resolved in the affirmative. vantages of having

obtained possession of List of the Minority.

the Dutch fleet. That acquisition I view, Adair, R. Kemp, J.

perhaps, as less important than others do. Ansen, J. Leicester, sir J.

I cannot suppose, that it will be contended Astley, J. Lemon, sir W.

that there has been no failure. I caonot Aubrey, sir J. Lemon, colonel conceive, that the corrupt and clandestine Barclay, G. Lloyd, J. M.

surrender of the Dutch fleet will be viewed Biddulph, R.

Martiu, James as the attainment of all our wishes. Yet Birch, J. R:

Milner, sir W. I see, that the lord lieutenant tells the Bird, W.W.

Nicholls, John Irish parliament, that the expedition to Bouverie, hon. E.

North, D. Bouverie, hon. W. H. Northey, W.

Holland will prevent the invasion of Ire. Brogden, J. Plomer, w.

land. He speaks as if the main object of Pulteney, sir W.

our policy was not the deliverance of the Byog, G. Richardson, J.

Dutch from the yoke of France; not the Cavendish, ford G.

Robson, R. B. restoration of the house of Orange to Collioun, W.

Russell, lord John their rights; not the protection of reliCoombe, H.C. Russell

, lord William gion, or the defence of social order ; but Copley, sir L. St. John, bon. St. A. che capture of a few Dutch ships of war! Courtenay, J. Shakespeare, A. as if for such an acquisition we have Denison, W.J. Shum, G. Edwards, B.

subsidized tlre mercenary magnanimity of Smith, w. Erskine, hon. T. Stanley, lord

Russia, for this called into action our mi. Fletcher, sir H. Sturt, C.

litary strength, and strained our financial Fox, hon. C. J. Taylor, M. A. resources. What other advantage than Green, J. Tierney, George

this have we obtained from this famed Grey, C.

Townshend, lord J. secret expedition? Secret, indeed, it

"Tufton, hon. H. was called, till the term became absolutely Harrison, J. Vyner, R.

ridiculous. Never was an undertaking Heathcote, J. Walwya, J.

conducted with such ostentations mystery Hill, sir R.

Winnington, sir E.
Howard, H.
Western, C. C.

--never did the object of a secret expediJeffreys, N. Wigley, E.

tion obtain such universal notoriety. "The Jekyll , J.


only thing secret in the expedition was Jolliffe, w.

Sheridan, R. B. the favourable disposition of the Dutch Knight, R. P. Whitbread, S. people to our cause; a secret so well kept,

that to this hour it lias never been disDebate in the Commons on the Failure of covered. the Expedition to Holland.] Feb. 1o. But the gentlemen opposite are of opiMr. Sheridan rose and said : -As to the nion that the Dutch fleet is not the only inquiry which I shall have the honour to thing we have gained. It may be so, to propose, few arguments will, I think, be be sure, in a certain way. It was an ex

Burdett, sir

Hare, J.

pedition of discovery, and not altogether taining these sentiments, I can as little unsuccessful in that view. We have, in approve the mode in which the Dutch the first place, discovered, that there is fleet was gained, as I can enter into the no reliance to be placed in the chancellor views of those who represent the acquisiof the exchequer's knowledge of human na- tion as of so much importance. Take ture;—2ndly, that Holland is a country in into consideration the whole of the case; tersected by dykes, ditches, and canals; and weigh what you have lost and what you 3rdly, that the weather there is not so good have gained, and you will find that there in October as it is in June! Information, is a fearful balance against you. The rehowever, may be purchased too dear. If sult of the late expedition has thrown diswe consider the number of lives which credit on your councils, and dishonour on have been lost; and reflect, that the your operations. You cannot again attenth of every man's income has been tempt to restore the house of Orange; squandered, and all by the misconduct of you have left the pretensions of that fa. ministers, we shall have little reason to mily more desperate than ever. The conboast of our discoveries. We took pos- fidence of their enemies is confirmed; the session of the Dutch ships in the name of hopes of their partizans are overthrown, the stadtholdır. Are they to be manned After this review, I confess I cannot con. with the mutinous crews who surrendered ceive how any man can contend, that the them, and employed in the name of the result of the expedition has in any degree stadtholder? If so, they are no addition repaid our sacrifices, or realized our exe to our navy. When I reflect upon the pectations. mode in which this acquisition was gained, As to the object of the expedition, in I consider it as of the most perilous ex- so far as it aimed at the rescue of Holland ample. I tremble to see a deliberating from the dominion of France, and the pavy in the face of the naval force of restoration of the house of Orange, I England; a navy deciding upon the cause most readily agree, that it was a legitiof their country, instead of fighting its mate British object. In proportion, how. battles. I do not like to see mutiny re- ever, as the object was wise and good, commended to our sailors by any example must be the criminality of those to whose or any approbation. I hope there is no- misconduct its failure is to be attributed. thing in the temper of our navy to catch If, by their gross negligence, their ignothe infection. I wish to see the spirit of rance, and their presumption, we have Blake prevail, who told his sailors, that failed in an undertaking so dear to every it was their duty to fight for their country, British heart, the value of the prize for in whatever hands the government might which we contended only augments the be. If ministers promoted a spirit of mu. mortification of our disappointment. That tiny amongst the Dutch sailors they ill the house of Orange has strong claims understood the interests of their own coun- upon the gratitude, nay, upon the justice try. They departed from a great principle of Great Britain, I do not deny. - They to serve a particular purpose. To gain a well deserved that hospitable asylum partial advantage, they introduced a most which they enjoy in this country. Their dangerous precedent. Suppose admiral expulsion from their hereditary authority Story had resisted the spirit of mutiny and in Holland, is in a great measure to be disobedience; suppose he had done what ascribed to their deference to British De Ruyter would have done in his situa- councils, perhaps their devotion to the tion-endeavoured to maintain his autho- views of British ministers. The restorarity and perished in the attempt--would | tion of that family was, therefore, in it. you have permitted your seamen to wel. self an honourable motive for our intercome the Dutch sailors besmeared with ference. At the same time I cannot agree the blood of their admiral and officers ? | in the opinion, that we had any particular Would you have sanctioned such a deed ? claim to the attachment of the Dutch, Would you have applauded the doers? It is long since any cordiality prevailed Would you have allowed your seamen to between the two countries. The French become their allies and associates? Yet faction had been increasing, and possessed was it only the want of vigour in the a very powerful interest in the United officers that prevented this catastrophe; Provinces. In this situation, grounds of the example is the same ; and we all dispute have arisen at no very remote know how dangerous such a violation is period. In the American war, the Dutch to the principle of discipline. - Enter complained bitterly of our aggressions, In answer to their complaints, we repre- under their ancient government; but it sented them in speeches and proclamations says not a word of the Cape of Good as a dull and stupid people. A noble Hope, of Ceylon, of Trincomalée. We lord, then in administration, used the address the Dutch, a people cold, consiextraordinary expression, that the Dutch derate, phlegmatic, as if they were a namust be “stunned into their senses.” By tion of religious fanatics or chivalrous such treatment the influence of France warriors. Religion is dragged in upon all was increased in Holland. Perhaps too, occasions; but why it is so I cannot unthe Dutch, in the mere view of promoting derstand. The French did not interfere their own interests, might conceive a con- with the religion of the Dutch. They do nexion with France more beneficial to them not seem, indeed, to have prevented relithan one with England. At the breaking gious worship in any country where their out of the present war, the Dutch, against arms have prevailed; but least of all, had their own wishes, were compelled to they any temptation to interfere with the abandon their neutrality, and to take a poverty and simplicity of the religious inshare in the war. They were engaged in stitutions of the Dutch. What influence, the contest by our influence, but we were then, could such topics produce in Holnot able to protect them in the moment of Jaod? Every thing that could have no difficulty. From being our allies they effect was urged-every thing that might became our enemies. But, previous to engage them in our favour was omitted. this change, what were the symptoms of We tell the Dutch to “ forget and forgive cordiality

and good understanding when the past." But, how will they understand we were endeavouring to defend Holland ? this advice? Will they not consider it as Did not our troops leave that country a recommendation to forget that they ever complaining of the people, and irritated had colonies, and to forgive us for iaking by their

reproaches ? After the success them ? The minister seems to have underof the French invasion, was our conduct stood very little of Dutch human nature, calculated to increase the number of our if he expected such proclamations could friends ? Was it right, after the stadt- have any success among them. If, inholder had taken refuge in this country stead of all the fine reflections upon reto consider him sovereign of Holland ligion, social order, and their former go(which he never was), and to require his vernment, he had said, We will give you consent to the seizure of so much Dutch back all your colonies, the argument property? Were such measures conci- would have been understood, and the liatory? Did they tend to promote the effect might have been favourable. Ininterest of the stadtholder? In the ne- stead of this, what did we tell them, in gotiation at Lisle, what was the conduct other terms?-Be a nation without trade; of ministers? The negotiation was broken take back your old government; be a prooff, because the French refused to vince dependent upon England through allow us to retain the conquests we had the stadtholder. These are the blessings made at the expense of the Dutch who which we promise you, and which you had been involved in the quarrel by our must co-operate with us to obtain. obstinacy and violence. Must not the These considerations I have adduced, Dutch have considered us as gross hypo- to show that ministers had not truly calcrites, when we lately affected such a zealculated the temper and views of the peofor their interests, which, in the instances ple of Holland ; that they had no reason alluded to, we had rendered completely to flatter themselves with the support of subservient to our own? These are cir- that country; and that they did not purcumstances which could not fail to pro- sue the course by which it was to be duce a powerful impression upon the cool obtained. It was, to the last degree, arand calculating Dutchman. But on en. rogant and presumptuous to involve this tering upon the expedition for the deli nation in the expense of such an armaverance of Holland, what means did we ment as was employed in the late expeemploy to efface the prejudice that must dition, upon vain speculations. The right have existed against our disinterested- hon. gentleman should not have put his ness! Look at the proclamations which theories of human nature to such a costly were issued on our landing in Holland. experiment. He ought to have acted, in Read that distributed by sir Ralph Aber- matters of such high moment, upon au. cromby: it holds out to the Dutch, to be thentic information and upon practical sure, delightful visions of future happiness grounds,

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There is another very traterial pointtion that it was embraced and pursted which I caonot pass unnoticed. If the upon any uniform views of policy. The plan proposed had been attended with powers of the hereditary prince of Orange, success, was it the intention of ministers given in his proclamation to the Dutch, to establish the old government of Hól. are đated in December 1798, from which land? I confess I have doubts on this a presumption arises that the expedition subject. A noble and vigorous statesman was in agitation at the time of the first in another place, in arguing upon the treaty with Russia. The declaration of Irish union, represented the old govern- the emperor Paul points at this attempt ment of Holland ás feeble, inefficient, in- for the deliverance of Holland. If it was competent to its own defence and to any then planned and agreed that Russian useful exertion, from the want of unity in troops should be employed, what was the its executive authority. Was it, then, for policy of ministers? Though they had the re-establishment of this piece of imbe- themselves admitted that the scheme must cility, that our blood and treasure were be a coup-de-main, the landing in Holto be applied? or was it intended to land was not effected till the 27th of Austrengthen the government, to give it the gust 1799. It appears that expectations vigour of despotism for the purposes of had been formed of inducing Prussia to self defence and useful alliance? If this enter into the common cause against was their intention, they meant an usur- Prante. In June 1799, however, all hopes pation; and I trust that the stadtholder of drawing Prussia from her neutrality would have been an unwilling usurper. were abandoned. A treaty is concluded, Can we conceive that ministers concealed in which 17,000 Russians are to be emthis design, if it was really entertained ; if ployed in the expedition against Holand. they did not communicate the intention The emperor Paul, too, agrees to employ to the partisans of the house of Orange, some of his own ships to transport the they were guilty of a shameful fraud in forces to England, upon condition of his inviting them to contribute to the restora- being allowed ample indemnification for tion of the ancient government, while they fitting out the vessels in question for anowete, in fact, to risk their lives and for- ther expedition. The landing at Helder cunes for a new constitution. If they did was at length effected. No blame whatcommunicate their design to improve the ever attaches to the royal commander in former government by an infusion of ad- chief, or to those who served along with ditional strength, were they sure that the him. The expedition was planned upon Dutch would agree to changes which vio- such sanguine calculations of co-operation lated those principles and those forms to from the inhabitants, that 'the military which they were obstinately attached? efforts were made dependent upon the After the differences, then, which sub- political views of its authors. sisted between this country and Holland was sent to Holland as to a friendly during the American war; after the ex. country. A summons was sent by general perience of the campaigns on the conti-' Abercromby to the Batavian commander, nent in which we were engaged along with in a style of haughty menace, which clearly them against France; after the known proved that it was not the production of views of domestic parties in Holland; after that gallant officer. The answer of the we had forced Holland into the war, and Batavian officer was spirited. Did sir showed, after all, a desire to indemnify Ralph find the Batavian troops disposed, ourselves for the continental conquests, like the sailors, to surrender without a by the possession of her colonies ; had we blow? Did he not meet with the most any reason to infer a welcome reception?" vigorous resistance, even before any Ministers had no right to calculate upon Frenchmen appeared in action? Our very the dispositions of the Dutch. They are first success was purchased by the loss of guilty, therefore, of having squandered a great number of our brave countrymen. the blood and resources of this country Why, after the landing was effected, was upon a plan,

' undertaken without a proper no attempt made to follow up the first attention to the circumstances on which advantage? Was oor general prevented its success necessarily depended. Con- | by his orders, or by the want of necessasidering the scheme of tliis expedition, ries? The faet was, that the army was from its first conception to the period of destitute of the means of moving forward. its execution, we find in it such variation The army was left without baggage-wagand uncertainty as preclude the supposi gons? they were first cleared with the

The army

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