Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

pentous contest upon the principles double our efforts for the prosecuhere's expressed, and having fully tion of war. He observed, that confidered, examined, and weigh our resources were adequate for ed the arguments offered to induce this purpose ; our exports for the i dereliction of them, confcienti. last year had exceeded by two ously adhering to, and firmly abid. millions fterling the amount of ing by them, I thus record them in the last, and commercial projuitication of my own conduct, sperity had risen to a high degree and in discharge of the duty I owe during a period of war: he conto my king, my country, and the cluded with moving an address, to general interests of civil society. affure his majesty, that they reflect

We have inserted this extraor- ed with satisfaction on the state of dinary protest in the body of our commerce in this country, on the historical detail, contrary to our continuance of our internal traausual practice, not only because of quillity, on the happy effects of the ability with which it is drawn the wildom and energy of our laws up, but because it contains a close in repressing anarchy, and that he and well-digested summary of the might rely at all times on his comarguments for the continuation of mons for such supplies as might be the present war. Notwithstar. Jing necessary for the service of the the fingularity of its contents, it is year, and on the support of bis undoubtedly a very able itate-pa. parliament for those exertions diper, and throws much light on the rected to defeat the designs of the present aspect of European poli. enemy. tics. It is fupposed by some to Sir' w. Lowther, in a short have been the production of an speech, seconded the address. eminent literary character lately Mr. Fox, declining to give a fideceased.

lent vote, left it might be subject The address to his majesty was to misconstruction, said, that his moved in the commons by lord majesty had at length been advised Morpeth. He said, whatever the to do what it had been his lot opinions might have been respect to advise his majesty's minifters to ing the origin of the war, it inuit do the lait three years, namely, give the gentlemen of that house to open a negotiation. But howsatisfa&ion to concur in a motion ever he miglit lament that this which had for its end an honour measure had not been taken before able peace; they must rejoice that a hundred millions were spent, and the period was arrived in which thousands of lives loft, in this cruel a negotiation might be entered into; contest, yet it had his warm apthat there now existed in France probation now that it had been a government which might be safely adopted; that he would not retreated with, and that a passport had collect, much kfs retaliate, the been obtained for a minister from personal invectives against himself, this country to proceed to Paris. the insinuations that an attempt to He hoped the negotiation would negotiate with fuch a people was terminate favourabiy; but he also a degradation to the dignity of hoped we should thow, whilst we Great Britain ; that it was to file were defirous of peace, that we for peace, and lay his majesty's were in a state to continue the con. crown at their feet. teft, and could, if necellary, re There were some expressions,

however,

however, of which he fhould take lemn protest against the whole of potice: and first, that every en the affertion. He never had beers deavour had been used to open a convinced that there had been any negotiation. Now, unless thefe persons in this country worth atwords alluded to the endeavours tention, desirous of anarchy and made fince the close of the last confusion; nor could law's, which year, he Nould animadvert upon were calculated to excite terror and the ministers for their former want abhorrence, produce tranquillity. of endeavours to brirg it about. Such laws night produce a false He much approved of their having quiet, which he considered as a left out in the speech the words to real alarm: could we rejoice in which they were so bigoted before, fuch tranquillity where discuffion of the war being undertaken for was to be stined, and men were to the cause of humanity and religion : brood in secret over the grievances - neither bad they come forward which they felt? No: such a tranwith their constant and unfounded quillity alarmed him more than tu : phrase, that it was necessary : they mult; it was a tranquillity which had acted wisely in abstaining from every man who loved freedom intemperate language, when they ought to fee with pain, every man were to negotiate for peace. But who loved order, with terror. there were other parts of the speech To the conftitution no man could which demanded explanation; such feel a ftronger attachment than himas the flourishing state of our trade self; but he would not sport with and commerce, by which our re- the word; die would not use it sources are said to be adequate to without explaining it: his attachthe crisis in which we are involved: ment was to the constitution under he most hesitate in giving credit to which he was born, under which an assertion so little supported by he was bred ; not to that of the the public appearance of things: last parliament, which did more ta when he looked at the price of the main and disfigure the ancient funds of the country, the state of conftitution of England than any the transferable securities of go. former parliament which ever fat vernment, the monstrous discount within those walls. To the proon the enormous quantities of pa- tection of the ancient conftitution per which they have issued, with alone he ascribed that tranquillity the seliemes to relieve the pecu- which the country enjoyed. He niary embarrassments of trade, he would not join in this infinuation was led to think our resources were of praise upon those abominable in a less favourable situation than laws, nor attribute to them effects the ministers had chosen to repre- which he believed inapplicable ; sent them ; nor could he with-hold and, much as he wished for general some remarks upon the tranquillity approbation of the endeavours to of the country in which we are made procure peace to this country, he to rejoice; a sentiment, indeed, in thould thinkit purchased at too dear which he concurred, for tranquil- a rate if coupled with approbation lity was at all times desirable; but of these abhorrent laws. It was his when he heard it ascribed to the duty, he thought, to say so much, wisdom and energy of the laws that his vote might noi be misin. pafled in the last feffion of the last terpreted into acquiescence in this parliament, he entered his most fo. part of the address. The whole

fyftem

Miten of the war had been a faulty could not presume to fatter our lykem; the system of domefiic felves that the Austrians were like. politics had been equally faulty ; ly to recover all they had lot in the whatever the result of the negotia present campaign, much less what tions might be, it was the duty of they had lost in all the campaigns the bouse to reconsider the general that were pait. The achievements filica of politics adopred of late of our navy had been brilliant and years, and whether it were posible glorious; at no former period had to go on if that system should be they displayed greater gallantry, purfaed. Peace was certainly the and never perha is equal ikill; yet great object; but whether peace after all this, the peace we were would be effectual if there were no desirous to obtain ; and the utmost change in domestic politics, was we could expect was, that it should matter of doubt : that it would be be folid, and of per nanent dura. beneficial, whatever system was tion. Then what must be the fort pursued, he was ready to assert. of conflict in which we were enIf it continued to be a bad one, gaged, when, after a four years' sucpeace would diminish the calami. ceisfol exertion of all the skill and ties of it; if it were amended, it all the valour of our navy, all our would augment the benefits; at all efforts could not produce a peace events it was defirable; in one either brilliant or glorious, but we cale it would be a palliative, in the must content ourselves with hoping other, a remedy ; and in both it it may be folid and permanent? could not but be good, and there. Might we not suppose that there fors Hould have his warmelt fup- was something in our cause radi. port.

cally detective, which palsied ourefWhat were likely to be the terms forts, and disappointed our strength? of peace, he would not even con- something which demanded from jecture; but he would not hefitate the common sense and prudence to say, we ought to negotiate in of Englishmen a ttri&t and rigorous the spirit of great moderation. With investigation, that we might dir. regard to the Austrian victories, cover what this something was, not which made a topic of animated merely to retrieve the prefent caexultation in his majesty's speech, lamity, but guard our offspring 'it might be right to rejoice in the against the error in future. No gallantry they had displayed, and great length of time would elapse the laurels they had recently ac. before he should think it his duty quired; no man admired their great to bring this matter before the military exertions more than he house; for it was of the most er. did; but let it be remembered that sential importance to the wellwe were called to rejoice on their being of the country, and to the having recovered only a part of true Tupport of the crown, that an what was lost in this campaign, enquiry thould be made into all and that it was not because they the causes which had brought the had reaped successes calculated to nation into its present itate, and obtain what ministers had flated to produced the evils of the prebe the obje&t of the war, but be- fent war, for the purpose of adcause they had faved the house vising his majefty to make a fundaof Austria from the destruction mental change in the system upon with which it was threatened, We which we had lately acted, both

with regard to foreign and domestic at least be able to put to the proof policy. He found it neceffary to the fincerity of the pledge which say so much, that he might not had that day been given – that, if preclude himself from the discus. the enemy were not disposed to con of these topics at some future accede to peace on just and reasonday; and, with this reserve, he did able terms, the war would be fupHot oppose the address.

ported by the unanimous voice, Mr. chancellor Pitt said, that and the collected force, of the na: be considered it as matter of just tion. If the unanimity were not pride and honest satisfaction, that founded merely on the pleasing at so critical a conjuncture there found of peace, the captivating thould be no difference of senti- charm of renewed tranquillity, and ment in the house upon the only the prospect of the termination of great and substantial question on those scenes of horror with which which the address expressed an opi- war is always attended ; if it were nion. Such a circumstance ex- the result of rational reflection, bibited the most decided proof founded on a careful confideration that the steps which his majesty of the fituation of the country, had taken for negotiation, and and prepared to meet every conthe clear and explicit declara- juncture, it could not be too highly tion he had made, were in them. prized. We ought not to put out felves so unexceptionable, and so of view those means of exertion well calculated for the end in view, which we yet possessed: we ought that they must command assent to compare our state with that of from any man who retained the the enemy; and the amount of our smallest care for the interest and own acquisitions with the losses of honour of his country.

our allies : we ought to estimate the The honourable gentleman had extent of those facrifices, 'which, juftly stated, that what hitherto under all these circumstances, it had been done only amounted to may be fitting for us to make, to an overture for peace; it was in- effe&t the restoration of peace. The deed impossible to state what would right honourable gentleman had ina be the result, what would be the timated, that we ought to change disposition of the enemy, or wbat the whole system of our interior circumstances would occur to in- policy, considering it as inconlistAuence the fate of the negotiation. ent with the constitution of our We ought to look fairly to our country, yet profefling himself so own situation; it held out to us well fatisäed with the conftitutioni a chance of peace if the enemy as to ascribe to it that internal and were disposed to accede to it on undisturbed order and tranquillity just and reasonable terms; but, if which for some time past had been not, --if they were actuated by am- enjoyed; at the same time reprobitious projects, we should gain bating the laws which were parted another object by the course we in the lait parliament, and refusing had pursued : we fould unmask to subscribe to any construction of them in the eyes of Europe; we that part of the speech which inshould expose the injustice of their cluded these amongst the means policy, and their insatiable thirst which had secured tranquillity. He, for aggrandisement; and if no other on the contrary, was of opinion advantage were gained, we should that, exclusive of the influence of

thele

these laws, the peace of the coun- adopting those measures, which, if try could not have been maintain- we had listened to him, might have ed; nor could he suffer reproach been adopted long ago. But did it to fall on the last parliament, who follow, that the ineasure was righe displayed their wisdom and energy then, because it was so now? Might in providing a remedy suited to the not a period of four years have alarming crisis. If there should be produced many events to justify a any ambiguity in the address re-- material change of policy, and to specting them, it was, because they render mçasures wise and expedient were fo confiftent with the spirit which at another time would not of the constitution, fo blended have been so As to the question with the system of jurisprudence, of our resources, they furnished, in fo congenial to the practice of a moment like the present, a subformer times, and so conformable ject of well.grounded confidence. even to the letter of former acts, If the revenue, after a four years' that it was impossible to make any war, which might have been ex«. discrimination; they had been pari- pected to have injured it so maed in a moment of alarm and tur. terially in so many branches; after bulence, and they had been found the additional burthens which had admirably calculated to meet the been imposed, still kept up at the emergency of the time.

rate at which it was stated last year;. There were some other points, if the commerce, notwithstanding upon which the right honourable the embarrassments which it had to gentleman had touched : he had encounter, had attaimed, and confeemed to think that endeavours tinued to enjoy, a pitch of unex. had only been made of late to pro- ampled prosperity; if such had cure peace ; he, for his own part, been the state of things during a was confident, that no endeavours period when the country had to had been wanting for that purpose contend for every thing dear to it; on the side of his majesty's mini. if, notwithftanding the obstacles Iters; but what might be admitted which had clogged the machinery, as an endeavour depended on a va- the spring had retained so much riety of circumstances, and would force and vigour, we might prebe differently appreciated by indi- fume, that, if by the obstinacy and viduals of opposite sentiments : it ambition of the enemy we should depended on the relative state of be called to fill greater exertions, parties, on the number of allies our resources yet remained unwith whom we might be engaged to touched; we might presume, that act, on the attention which we paid we should be able to bring them to their interests, and on the con- into action with a degree of concert we wilhed to preserve with cert and effect worthy of the British them. Taking all thefe confidera- nation. tions into view, he pledged himself These resources (he observed) that it would be found on enquiry, had nothing in them hollow or de that ministers had neglected no op- lufive; they were the result of an portunity which could have been accumulated capital, of encreasing improved, for accelerating peace. commerce, of high and established

The right honourable gentleman credit; they were the fruits of aflerted, that we were at last come fair exertion, of laudable ingenuity, to the period which he at first had of successful industry; they had pointed out, and were only now been produced under a system of

order

« AnteriorContinuar »