Abbildungen der Seite

besides, so abridged me of the use of par- perhaps, unqualified to judge. When we ticles, that though I am not particularly see such arts employed, I think it pretty attached to the sound of an if or a but, I strong proof that Jacobinism is not exa would be much obliged to him if he would tinct. I am no enemy to peace: but I give me some others to supply their think that the danger of patching up a places. Is this, however, a light matter, peace without any probable ground of that it should be treated in so light a its permanency, is greater than that of manner? The restoration of the French carrying on a war. With respect to the monarchy, I consider as a most desirable negotiation at Lisle, I believed at the moobject, because I think that it would ment, that the prosecution of the war was afford the best security to this country fraught with more danger to the country and to Europe. But this object may not be than the establishment of peace, if

peace attainable ; and if it be not attainable we could have been concluded on such terms must be satisfied with the best security we as were then proposed to the enemy. It can find independent of it. Peace is most was the result of a comparison between desirable to this country; but negotiation the farther prosecution of the war, and may be attended with greater evils than the then existing state of the country; a could be counterbalanced by any benefits state different from that in which, I am which would result from it. And if this be happy to say, it finds itself at this mofound to be the case; if it afford no pros- ment. I am free to say, that the preva. pect of security; if it threaten all the lence of Jacobinical principles in France evils which we have been struggling to does not at present allow me to hope for avert; if the prosecution of the war a secure peace. As I declared upon a afford the prospect of attaining complete former occasion, without that attempt to security: and if it may be prosecuted with obtain peace, we could not have made increasing commerce, with increasing those subsequent exertions which have weans, and with increasing prosperity, proved so successful. But because of our except what may result from the visita- present increased means for carrying on tions of the seasons; then, I say, that it the war, I ask the hon. gentleman, is it is prudent in us not to negotiate at the fair to argue that I was insincere in la- , present moment. These are my buts and bouring for peace at a time, when the cir. my ifs. This is my plea, and on no other cumstances of the country. dictated the do I wish to be tried, by God and my expedience of attempting it?-We are country.-The hon. gentleman says, that told, however, that our policy ought to we reduce our own means in the same be changed, as the Russians are no longer proportion that we exhaust those of the to co-operate with Austria. But may not enemy. Is this, indeed, the conclusion the Russians be employed with advantage which we must draw from a survey of the in the common cause, though they no longer respective situations of France and Eng. act immediately in conjunction with the land, since the negotiation at Paris, and Austrians ? If, however, the Russians particularly those at Lisle? Does the are not to assist the cause by their efforts hon. gentleman really think, that the upon the continental frontier of France, means of this country have been ex. does it not become the policy of England hausted in the same proportion with those to employ every means to supply the loss of the enemy? Does he think that the which their departure will occasion? expense of a new campaign will produce The measure in question aims at that obthat effect? On these grounds of com. ject? It is for the House, then, to deparison the question is to be decided, and cide whether, in supporting this mea. not upon those topics which are adduced sure, we have judged on good grounds. to create a prejudice against the war, and If any man thinks he sees the means those insidious representations employed of bringing the contest to an earlier to render it unpopular. It is, indeed, to termination than by vigorous efforts and become the allies of Jacobinism, to con- military operations, he is justified in opnect, as some affect to do, the present posing the measures which are necessary scarcity with the subject of the war. It to carry it on with energy. Those who is, indeed, to resort to its most destructive consider the war to be expedient, cannot, weapons, thus to appeal to the feelings of with consistency,refuse theirassent to mea, the multitude and call upon them to de- sures calculated to bring it to a successful cide, on such a ground, upon a question, issue. Even those who may disapprove of of which, in their coolest state, they are, the contest, which they cannot prevent by

their votes, cannot honestly pursue that the councils of France, then, and not till conduct which tends only to render its then, should he be ready to treat for termination favourable to the enemy. peace. God forbid I should question the freedom Mr. Sheridan said :- The right hon. the of thought, or the liberty of speech, but I chancellor of the exchequer has spoken cannot see how gentlemen can justify a with great eloquence, I may say irritalanguage and a conduct which can have tion; but never was eloquence so misno tendency but to disarm our exertions, applied. He has shown his dexterity in and to defeat our hopes in the prosecution driving the subject from its basis; he of the contest. They ought to limit guides, urges, and inflames the passions themselves to those arguments which of his hearers on Jacobinical principles; could influence the House against the war but he does not show how they bear on altogether; not dwell upon topics which the present question. He has not dared can tend only to weaken our efforts and to say that, so far as respects the restorabetray our cause. Above all, nothing tion of the Bourbons, we have suffered by can be more unfair in reasoning, than to the defection of Russia. What that power ally the present scarcity with the war, or may still do with regard to La Vendée, or to insinuate that its prosecution will in- reconciling the people of Ireland to the terfere with those supplies which we may union, I do not inquire ; but with regard require.

to the great object, the restoration of Mr. Wilberforce said, he would confine monarchy in France, we are minus the himself to the main question, which emperor of Russia; that power may be was, being at war, whether we should considered as extinct. Is it then to be conduct it with vigour, or not? and whe- endured, that the minister shall ask for a ther that vigorous resistance could not be subsidy under such circumstances ? If more effectually made by foreign troops, Germany possessed these wonderful forces subsidized by this country, than by Bri- before, why were they not called into actish troops? He was surprised how any tion; and if not, why are we to subsidize gentleman who had voted for the war the posse comitatus, the rabble of Gershould take exception to this mode. Did many? But who is the person that applies his right hon. friend at any time deny that for this subsidy? It is the emperor of the pressure of the war would be severe? Germany. Is there any thing in his conCertainly not. It was a misrepresenta- duct or character to incline us to listen tion to state that the war was carried on to him? I think not; and for two reasons: for the restoration of the Bourbons. The first, he applied once on a false pretence; war was carried on for just and weighty and, secondly, he failed in performing his considerations. The government of France stipulated engagement. Now, if to this was such as no man could calculate on we add " experience and the evidence of with any degree of certainty. The most facts,” when he dared, though bound to ambitious monarch that ever filled a throne this country, to break faith with her, and afforded infinitely more grounds for secu- make a separate peace, does it not furnish rity than its present usurper. Buonaparté a rational cause for declining to grant a was connected with the Jacobins, who subsidy to such a power? - The minister hitherto distracted France; they in- is offended at our connecting the present fluenced of course its councils, and ren- scarcity with the question of war. Now, dered all intercourse extremely dangerous. I see no more objection to state the presThe old system of Jacobinism prevailed; sure in this particular from the contiand who could tell but, at the very time nuance of the war, than there would be of negotiation, a powerful force might be to advance the increase of the public brought against this country? This was debt, the situation of the finances, or any a solid objection to entering on a prema- other of those reasons so often assigned, ture negotiation. We ought not, then, to without its having been ever objected that be told, that the object of the war was to they were of an improper kind. What place the Bourbons on the throne. The has my hon. friend said ? We see an opuopposition made to the vote of this night, lent commercial prosperity ; but look over was an opposition made to the principle the country, and we behold barracks and of the war, on purpose to impede the broth-houses, the cause and its effect, the powers of administration, and force them poverty and distress of the country. That into a disadvantageous negotiation. When the war is unnecessary, as being useless, there was any appearance of security in is self-evident. But, say they, we do not

object to peace, but we have a jealousy man, arguing from experience of human of concluding one, except with the House nature, tells us, that Jacobin principles of Bourbon: in a peace concluded with are such, that the mind that is once in. it we should have confidence, but we have fected with them, no quarantine can none in the present government of France. cleanse. Now, if this be the case, and I say, were that event arrived, and the that there are, according to Mr. Burke's House of Bourbon seated on the throne, statement, 80,000 incorrigible Jacobins the minister ought to be impeached who in England, we are in a melancholy situawould disband a single soldier ; and that tion; the right hon. gentleman must conit would be equally criminal to make peace tinue the war while the present generaunder a new king as under a republican tion remains, and consequently we cannot government, unless her heart and mind for that period expect those rights to be were friendly to it. France, as a repub- restored to us, to the suspension and relic, may be a bad neighbour ; but than strictions of which the right hon. gentlemonarchical France à more foul and man attributes the suppression of these treacherous neighbour never was. Is it, principles. A pretty consolation this, then, sufficient to say, let monarchy be truly! Now I contend that they do not restored, and let peace be given to all Eu- exist in France to the same extent rope?- What security have we, that a as before, or nearly. If this, then, be change of principles will take place in the the case, what darger can we appre. restored monarch? But if this security is hend? But if this then be true, and effected by maiming France, would the that Buonaparté, the child and champeople of France submit to it? With re- pion of Jacobin principles, as he is called, gard to the practicability of the course to be resolved to uphold them, upon what be pursued, the right hon. gentleman says, ground does the right hon. gentleman prehe is looking forward to a time when there sume to hope for the restoration of the shall be no dread of Jacobin principles. house of Bourbon? So far I have argued I ask whether he does not think, from the on the probability of the object; but the fraud, oppression, tyranny, and cruelty, right hon. gentleman goes on, and says, with which the conduct of France has there is no wish to restore monarchy withmarked them, that they are not now nearly out the consent of the people. Now, if dead, extinct, and detested? But who are this be the case, is it not better to leave the Jacobins? Is there a man in this coun- the people to themselves ; for if armies are try who has at any time opposed minis- to interfere, how can we ascertain that it ters, who has resisted the waste of public is a. legitimate government established money and the prostitution of honours, with the pure consent of the people? As that has not been branded with the name? to Buonaparté, whose character has been The Whig club. are Jacobins. Of this represented as marked with fraud and inthere can be no doubt, for a right hon. sincerity, has he not made treaties with gentleman (Mr. Windham) on that ac- the Emperor, and observed them? Is it count struck his name off the list. The not his interest to make peace with us? Friends of the People are Jacobins. I am And can you suppose, that if peace were one of the Friends of the People, and con- made, he has not power to make it be obsequently am a Jacobin. The right hon. served by the people of France? And are gentleman pledged himself never to treat not the people of France aware that an with Jacobin France. “ Toto certatum infraction of that peace would bring with est corpore regni.". Now, he did treat it a new order of things, and a renewal of with France at Lisle and at Paris; but those calamities from which they have perhaps there were not Jacobins in France escaped ? But, Sir, on the character of at either of these times. You then, the Buonaparté I have better evidence than Friends of the People, are the Jacobins. the intercepted letters. I appeal to CarI do think Jacobin principles never ex not, whether the instructions given with isted much in this country; and even ad- respect to the conduct to be observed to mitting they had, they have been found so the emperor, were not moderate, open, hostile to true liberty, that in proportion and magnanimous ?-[Here Mr. Sheridan as we love it, we must detest these prin- read an extract from Carnot's pamphlet, ciples. But more; I do not think they in support of his assertion). With regard even exist in France: they have stung to the late note, in answer to his proposal themselves to death, and died by their to negotiate, it is foolish, insulting and own poison. But the right hon. gentle. undignified. It is evidence to me, that the hon. gentlemen themselves do not be enquire farther into the subject.-Now, lieve his character to be such as they de- Sir, let us come to matter of fact. Has scribe it; for, if they did, they must know not France renounced and reprobated their language would irritate such a mind; those Jacobin principles, which created the passions will mix themselves with rea- her so many enemies? Are not all her son in the conduct of men, and they can- violent invectives against regular governnot say that they will not yet be obliged ments come into disesteem? Has not the to treat with Buonaparté. I am warranted | Abbé Sieyes, who wrote in favour of moin saying this; for I do believe in my narchy-has not Buonaparté-condemned heart, that since the defection of Russia, the Jacobinical excesses of the Revoluministers have been repenting of their tion,—the very men who have had so answer. I say so, because I do not con- large a share in the formation of the presider them so obstinate and headstrong as sent government? But I maintain that to persevere with as much ardour for the Buonaparté himself is also a friend to restoration of monarchy as when they peace. There is in his correspondence were pledged with Russia. There was not with the ministers of this country a total a nation in Europe which ministers have renunciation of Jacobinical principles. not endeavoured to draw into the war. In the dread, therefore, of these, I can On what was such conduct founded, but see no argument for the continuance on Jacobinical principles ? Indeed, mi- of war. A man who is surprised at the nisters, by negotiating at one time with a revolution of sentiment in individuals Jacobinical government in France, plainly or nations shows but little experience. proved they were not so hostile to its prin- Such instances occur every day. Neiciples as they wish to appear. Prussia ther would a wise man always attach and Austria, as well as this country, have to principles the most serious conse acted also on Jacobinical principles. The quences. Left to themselves, the ab. conduct of this country towards Ireland surd and dangerous would soon disappear; has been perfectly Jacobinical. How, and wisdom establish herself only the then, can we define these principles, when more secure on their ruins. I am a friend persons who would disavow them fall by to peace at this time, because I think some fatality into an unavoidable acknow. Buonaparté would be as good a friend and ledgment of them? The objections that neighbour to this country as ever were have been raised to peace have been en- any of the Bourbons. I think also that tirely Jacobinical. If we seek for peace, there can be no time when we can hope it must be done in the spirit of peace. We to have better terms. If the king of are not to make it a question, who was the Prussia should join France, such an alfirst aggressor, throw the blame that may liance would greatly change the state of attach to us our enemy. France, things; and from her long and honourin the beginning of the revolution, had able neutrality (in spite of the entreaties conceived many romantic notions; she was of this country), an event of that kind is to put an end to war, and produce, by a by no means unlikely to happen. It must pure form of government, a perfectibility be considered also, that the first consul of mind which before had never been must feel no little portion of resentment realized. The monarchs of Europe, see towards this country, arising from the ining the prevalence of these new principles, dignity with which his overtures of negotrembled for their thrones. France, also, tiation bave been treated; it is not imperceiving their hostility to her projects, probable that, to satisfy his revenge, he supposed she could not be a republic with would make large sacrifices to the House out the overthrow of thrones. Such has of Austria, that he might contend more been the regular progress of cause and successfully against this country. Such effect; but who was the first aggressor, are my fears and opinions; but I am un. with whom the jealousy first arose, need happily in the habit of being numbered not now be a matter of discussion. Both with the minority, and therefore their the republic, and the monarchs who op- consequences are considerably dimi. posed her, acted on the same principles : nished. But there have been occasions the latter said they must exterminate Ja- when the sentiments of the minority of cobins, and the former that they must de- this House have been those of the stroy monarchs. From this source have people at large: one, for instance, when all the calamities of Europe flowed; and a war was prevented with Russia cosit is now a waste of time and argument to cerning Oczakow. The minority told


the minister, that the sentiments of the may weaken the great military confede. country were contrary to those of the ma- racy now happily renewed against France. jority: the fact justified them in the as- Two years and a half ago, when Buonasertion, and the dispute was abandoned. parté was at the gates of Vienna, what In 1797, the opinions of the minority on was the conduct of gentlemen opposite ? peace were those of the people, and I be- When France appeared to be in her lieve the same coincidence exists now exultation, did they wish to depress her ? upon the same subject.

Their conduct was quite the reverseMr. Windham said :-Sir; in rising to they opposed the giving of supplies, and deliver my sentiments on the question were willing to leave France to turn all before us, I cannot avoid remarking, that her force against Austria. The language the opinions of the House, and those of gentlemen is, if you continue the war, opinions of the gentlemen opposite, have we will try to cripple you in all your eflong been in direct opposition. The forts, and to render them ineffectual. I House wishes that an end may be put to gentlemen acted impartially and fairly, the calamities which have afflicted Eu. they would examine whether there was rope, arising from revolutionary princi. not some important end to be answered ples. Gentlemen opposite seem to wish worth all the trouble and expense which that those principles, which are called ministers would wish to bestow on its atthe rights of man, may be invigorated tainment. If such an end existed, it and flourish. The House wishes either would then be the height of absurdity to the restoration of monarchy to France, refuse the means of accomplishing it. But or some government not tinctured with on this subject we have heard very

little revolutionary principles. Gentlemen on said. — As for the reasons alleged for the other side wish for a republic, such as not granting the supply required, I am we now see exist. The House wishes for glad to observe that they seem to make a government in France that may be a very little impression on the House. If pledge to this country of a safe and ho. gentlemen can show that the money is nourable peace. Gentlemen, in confor- not likely to produce an effect adequate mity to their principles, wish the present to the expenditure, or that it can be laid coalition of powers may be broken, or out in some other way more to the advanthat their united endeavours may not tage of this country, ministers will be succeed. They have pleaded the neces- much oliged to them. But gentlemen sity for a negotiation, without consider. opposite do not appear to be decided in ing that it affords very little prospect of their plans ;-sometimes they would put leading to peace; while at the same time an entire stop to the war--and sometimes we know that it would have the certain they would only obstruct it. Some would effect of countenancing and consolidating go great lengths to carry on the war, but the power of Buonaparté: it would also object to the extensive lengths to which produce jealousy among the coalesced others are led, and therefore endeavour powers, and might ultimately tend to to paralyse the efforts which they want break the existing confederacy. Seeing, the spirit to approve. Another contrathen, all those immediate dangers to diction is seen also. They are attached which the coalition is exposed by a nego to the republic of France while a republic tiation, it requires but little sagacity to exists, and to individual despotism when conclude for what reason it was at first fresh circumstances have created that set on foot; it was an instrument to an. change. Can feelings of the rights of swer the political purposes of Buona- man approve of such revolutions ? That parté. If a man were to ask what would the House in general should differ from open an oyster ? he would answer a knife them, can be a matter of no surprise. of a certain thickness and dimensions : Gentlemen accuse ministers of having no so, if a man were to ask what would determinate object in the war. Somebreak up a coalition? he would answer a times they say it is the restoration of negotiation; it is the apple of discord, monarchy: sometimes the surrender of meant to disunite only, and not to pro- Belgium has been a sine qua non of peace; duce pacification. But the object of this but the explanation of the grounds of the country should be to counteract the war, and its continuance, have been so schemes of our enemy, and this can only often repeated, that it is folly to dwell be done by guarding, with the most scru- any longer upon them; it must be intellipulous care, against every thing which gible to all mankind. If we cannot gain

« ZurückWeiter »