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tion of offensive opera ions; and that had in fome degree been the case ; but that observation applied equally to i ne present cafe. In the broken and degraded state of the Continent, a war was not ro'be maintained with such a power as Great Britain wilhout the pollibility at least of bringing on a continental war, and they must necessarily guard againt it as an event likely to grow out of such a conti1t. The treaty of Campo Formio was concluded in 1797, after which the French kep! a large force in the north of Italy. In 179€ they invaded Sw tzerland with a large army to act as a check on the Aus. trians, and, in the spring of 1799, hoftilities were recommenced. During the period bei ween the treaty and the renewal of the war, the French forces were stationed chiefly on the lett bank of the Rhine, in Switzerland, and in the north of Italy. But al present they have an arıy nust only in the north of Italy and in Switzerland, but a large army in the fouth of Italy, and an increasing army in the north of Germiny; and, iherefore, le coniended, that fo far as related to the occupation of other countries, the danger was not so great as at a former period. There was another circumliance, however, to which the hon Gentleman had nor adveried, and which had considerable influence on the question of invasion, the comparative state of the French navy. In 1797, there was a formidable fleet in the harbour ot Toulon, as we afterwards found at Alexandria ; and another at Breit, which rendered the danger of invasion considerably greater then than al present. He could not discover any circumitance in either period, though both called for the vigorous exertions of the counisy, which would not apply to the past as the present. Thus much he had thought it necessary to say, as the comparison had been alluded 10, and the observations had grown out of the discussion, in order that the House Thould not be influ. enced by any improper impresion. It was the duty of Mi. nisters to make every possible exertion for the security of the country, without reference to any former period. Having faid this, he should now say a few words on ihe object of the motion. He was ready to admit thar the thanks of the House thould not be given lightly, nor without great and adequate fervices being performed; but it was a fallacious seafoning turge, ihal because the ihanks of ihe House had never been vored to the army vill after some brilliant service, the House thould not agree to the motion that was then before it. The country was now placed in a fituation in which na


ordinary means would be sufficient for its security; in which neither the army nor ihe mililia would be adequate for iis defence. It was placed in a fituarion in which great and extraordinary exertions were necessary; exertions, which never before had been employed, except to a certain extent, during latt. war; exertions which perhaps thould never be resorted to in ordinary wars, and we had witneiled the spirit, unanimiiy, and zeal, with which all ranks had come forward; we had witnessed the patriotism with which every thing the exigencies of the couniry required, bad been accomplidhed. Under such circumstances, he thought it the duty of Parliament to record this vote as a monument of its feelings for the virtues and public spirit of the people. He should ask whether, in some future contest, if the people should not be inclined to come forward with the same zeal and enthufiaro, a glorious appeal may not be made to this record of Parliament, whether future legislators may not say to such a people, this was not the conduct of your ancestors, will you degenerate from their example, and thew less spirit than they did ? He thought the motion was founded in found policy, and that the House ought to thank the hon. Gentleman for having brought it forward. It was not for any partial success of military operations, it was not for the success of an expedition, but it was for an unparalleled display of patriotism and public spirit, arising out of the peculiar circumstances of the limes, and would confirm the generous feelings already excited, as well as encourage future exertions.

Mr. W. Smiih thought this motion premature, a kind of payment made in advance to men, which he hoped ihey would by future exertions deserve; but, if the contrary should be. the case, which, however, he did not apprehend, this entry on the journals would have an aukward appearance indeed. A's to the tenor of the levy en maile bill, he regrerred that from the manner in which ihe volunteers were raised, he could not approve of it; many of the older classes came forward from honest loyalty and zeal, and were in fact made the jest at drill, of idle worthless young fellows, who ought them. felves to be obliged to serve.

Mr. Sheridan sose to reply, and spoke in nearly the followe! ing terms:-By the courtesy of his House, any Member who brings forward a motion is allowed the right of replying 10 any arguments which may be offered against it; but of this right I fould not on this ocaasiun avail myself, if it were not for the very direct personal allusions which have been made


to me in the course of the debate. I confess that I feel great surprise that the appeal I have though, it my duty to make 10 ihe House for a vote of thanks to those gallant men who have stood forward fo gallanily in defence of all that is dearto us, should have provoked a diffentient voice, or produced a discussion of such length-now not less than five or fix hours. This helivation was not less surprising than impulitic ; but the conduct of the right hon. Genileman (Mr. Windham) did not by any means surprise me. That the man who required 24 hours to consider of the propriety of putting down rebellion in Ireland, should walte five or fix hours in investigating the policy of declaring our gratitude and admiration of the loyalty and exertions of those who stood forward to protect their country in the time of peril, was perfectly conlistent; that he should have been seconded, however, by the gallant Officer behind him, was rather a matter of astonishment. But before I proceed to remark on the observations of both those Gentlemen, I must take notice of the appeal which has been made to me by an hon. Friend of mine, namely, whether, before I confented to give my support to Ministers, I had obtained fatisfaction from hem upon two points, and made those the conditions of my support; first, asto i he appointment of a council of war which I fupported the other night, upon the motion of another hon. Friend of mine. With respect to this measure I confess that, though on the occafion I have alluded io, 1.strongly advised its adoption, I have since then, in consequence of information I received from the very highest authority, had my opinion very materially thaken, if not altogether removed; for from this authority I have heard such arguments as completely satisfied my mind that the eftablishment of this commission would be attended not only with disadvantage, but seriously injurious; I therefore am ready Very fully and frankly to declare that the sentiments I held upon this subject were erroneous.

The other point to which my honourable Friend referred, but not quite in the friendly tone to which he has been in the habit of addressing himself to me, was with respect to the offer of service from his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. That, however, is a subject of delicacy into the discussion of which I shall not enter. I believe there is no man who knows me will doubt for an instant the respe, attachment, and veneration I entertain for the virtues and public spirit of that illustrious personage ; but I am not to be luiored or schooled by any man as to ihe way in which

I should

I should manifeft my feelings and discharge my duty towards
his Royal Highness. I am not to lie tuld, that unless the
offer, which has done him the highest bonour, shall be created
in a manner farisfaciory to my honourable Friend and me, I
thall decline to fupport his Majesty's Government on this
trying occafion. Of my respect and regard for his Royal
Highness as a Prince, and as a man, I dould think iny
hunourable Frien, firmselt is tully aware. Il is not neceflery
for me to make any parade or profeffion of my zealous withis
for his interest or character. it is juftly due in that
character, to state that which must constirure iis highest
praise, that he has offered, in the nobleft manner, 10 iland
forward for the na jou's dete..ce; and I am fully cerfuaded
* that that offer was not less gracioully received by ihe persins

to whom it was made, than it is telt with graiiude by the
country at large. I am, however, confident, that whatever
might have been the effect of that offer, his Royal Highness
would not be triendly to any observations.calculaied to excile
public discontent, or to disturb public unanimity ; on the
contrary, I am fully persuaded, thai, according to the len:in
ment o his dignified friend, Lord Moira, his Royal Highness
would rather enter as a private in the ranks of his arined
countrymen, ihan coun:enance any discullion which could
tend to divide the feelings of the people. With respect 10
the remarks of the honourable Officer, upon the manner in
which military lectures are received in this House, I mult
fet the honourable Gentleman righi, if he all..ded 18 me I
beg him to understand that I never did say that this House
was not a proper place for military men in stare their opi-
nions; but I did lay this, that as a Member of Parliament
I would noi abandon my opinion in compliment to the affer.
tions of military authority, for which, generally speaking, I
profefs not to entertain a very profound respect, at least so far
as it is displayed in this House; and indeed it wou'd be rather
surprising, it from the manner pursued such authority thould
he much respected. I can colled no information from it.
One Officer vises and lays down a certain plan, another pro-
poses one of quite a different nature, but neither follows up
his ideas. There is a kind of confusion and irregularity in
their movements. They do noi march clo'e upon each o her
with the lock fep, but they run about and scramble in such a
way as to be scarcely intelligible, and when in elligible of
very little use, and not at all tending to elucida'e thi fubject,
or to enlighten the House. The honourable Officer in.
Vol. IV. 1802-3.


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whom I refer rells, in be sure, some military anecdotes,
with which any man that has read some very well known
books cannot be unacquainted ; and another honourable
Officer at times entertains us in the same way. But of what
value 10 the Houle is the repetition of those matters of faa?
If these gallant Officers can tell us nothing more than whar
ca: be seen in Plutarch's Lives, Cæsar's Commentaries, or
Vauban, or how such a division mived ai Malplaquet or
Blenheim, they can render vry liule fervice to the country.
Indeed, for the credit of these Officers themselves, I deprecate
such discusions, and would advise them to abstain from fuch
ftatemenis. But, as to the murion before she House, the
honourable Colonel asks why thank the voluptcers for
merely doing their duty ? His new acquaintance and right
hon. Friend below hini ought, however, to be the last to op-
pofe a motion of thanks to them for doing their dily; be
who has been so long and so loudly lainenting the bale
spirit which, according to his description, exilted in the
country, in consequence of the treaty of Amiens and the
characier of the present Ministers. If the right bin Gen-
tleman did really wish to remove that lowness of mind which
he fo ofien deplored, his language this night was itrange
indeed; but it he regretted to find his opinion miltaken, it
is of course quite consistent to selilt the exprellion of our
gratitude to the band of patriots who have broken through
that slumber of apathy, and thook of that thade, off de lp'.
dency which he has so frequently pictured to the House,
but which in reality never exifted The honourable Colone!
lias described the motives which ought to actuare the people
of this counity to take up arms al preleni, end he contends
that their having obeyed ihele motives, namely, the defence
of their own families and the call of public duty, dues not en-
riile them to the gratitude of Parliament. I regret that the
honourable Colonel has in the courlesf his observacions en.
tered into any contrast between the volunteers and any other
description of the public furce. Such comparisons are in-
vidious at any time, and particularly imprudeni at present;
I can see no good purpose that it can answer. Although the
wisdoin of the honourable Colonel's right honourable Friend
(Mr. W.) has given the fan&tion of his anthority to the
practice, I did flatter myself that in the observations with
which I prefaced this motion I had abitained from every
topic that was likely to provoke deba e or diffenfion, and
that was my with. I declined to lay one word as to the con.


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