Page images

the establishment of a republic un- rise in their demands, and prolong der France would exclude our trade this miserable and unavailing conin that country; and unless the king test, they should be considered as of Naples came boldly forward to evils of the first magnitude; they resist the enemy, the whole of the would be felt as such, not only by north of Italy would be inaccessible the people of the present day, but to our manufactures. By commerce by their posterity for a length of our nation had flourished; what then time to come. There was one part was to be our situation when every of the address which he could port into which our commodities not pass without a coinment; that had flowed, was to be shut against the tranquillity of the kingdom us? We might treat with the had remained undisturbed, and French directory, but what traffic anarchy had been repressed by the could our merchants maintain with wisdom and energy of the laws. individuals destitute of property, It was with pleasure, his lordship or possessing it without secu- said, that he could bear his tescia rity? The loss of Spain too was mony to this truth, that the trannow certain; by whatever name it quillity of the kingdom had rewas distinguished (whether a mo- mained undisturbed; he believed narchy or a republic, was now of lit- it was owing to the love the people tle consequence) it was the tributary bore to the laws of their country; of France. Having thus reminded but if, by the wisdom and energy them of the principles on which the of the laws, an allusion was intendwar was undertaken, his lordshiped to be made to the two extraormoved, as an amendinent, “that dinary bills passed in the last parliathe house, inipressed with the justice ment, it would be indeed unfoundand necessity of the present war, ed. Those bills were held in would continue to give his majesty abhorrence by the people, who at a vigorous support in asserting the the same time held in the highest general cause of his majesty and his respect the known constitutional allies, and in preserving the dignity common law of the land. The of the crown.”

noble earl concluded with his supThe earl of Guildford expressed port of the present address, conmuch satisfaction that a measure ceiving, he said, peace to be the which might lead to the restoration greatest blessing the country could of general tranquillity, had been wish; but he did not mean, by so considered as the leading feature of doing, to preclude himself from his the address.

right to inquire at any future period It was the same in his estimation, into the causes of the present and, he believed, in that of every calamitous contest, and the conduct well-wisher to his country in this of those who had plunged us into kingdom.

it. If the achievements of the arch- Lord Grenville, after compliduke should operate, as he hoped menting his noble friend who movthey would, as means of rational ed the address, totally differed from negotiation, they ought to be re- lord Guildford, who had asserted, garded as omens of happiness to us this was a miserable and unavailing and our ally; if, on the contrary, struggle: it was a struggle, he would they should revive hopes formerly maintain, that had already availed entertained, and cause the parties to us; and though prospects of peace might be cut off, it would still of maintaining this determination be of the utmost avail to this country. was the best pledge for our obtainWith regard to bills, he differed ing honourable conditions. from him also entirely, and was

The earl of Abington spoke convinced they had contributed against the address, and also against very greatly to preserve our internal the bills passed in the last session of tranquillity. Another noble earl parliament. There were rights of had stated it as inconsistent with the people which neither came from our principles to treat with any kings, lords, nor commons; and government in France but that of they could not take them away. a monarchy. That the existence The motion passed in the affir. of a republic was an insuperable mative; but a most singular protest bar to negotiation, and that mo- was entered on the journals by earl narchy was indispensable, was a Fitzwilliam, the substance of which calumny which ministers had every was as follows: session found it necessary to contra

Dissentient. First. Because, by dict. They had believed, indeed, this address, unamended as it stands, that the best issue to the contest the sanction of the lords is given to would be the re-establishment of measures as ill juded with regard monarchy in France, but they had to their object as they are deroganever pledged themselves to an tory from the dignity of the crown. opinion so extravagant, that with- Solicitations for peace must increase out this object no peace could be the arrogance and ferocity of the obtained. It was strange the no- enemy of all nations; they must ble earl should infer from the open- fortify and fix the authority of an ing of the negotiation that the odious government over an enslaved worst terms would be concluded; people; they must impair the confithey certainly were not prepared to dence of other powers in the maga admit in the enemy any power nanimity of the British councils, and to dictate to our internal regula- inevitably tend to break the spring tions, or the overthrow of the con- of that energy which in former times stitution; neither surely was it a has characterized this bigh-minded consequence that our allies were to nation. be abandoned; it certainly would

Second. Because no peace can be unbecoming in him to answer be bad with the usurped power now the questions that had been pro- exercising authority in France: the posed. But what security could we methods by which they obtained it, bave against an interference similar the policy by which they hold it, to that which had been practised in and the maxims they have adopted, Sardinia?

openly professed, and uniformly The king of Sardinia was com- acted on, towards the destruction of pelled to accept unworthy terms of all governments not formed on their peace; the difference of our situa. model, and subservient to their dotion, by exempting us from the mination. necessity of the one, secured us Third. Because the idea that from the ignominy of the other. If this kingdom is competent to de. just and honourableterms were refus fend itself, after the subjugation ed by the enemy, we were preparing of all Europe, is presumptuous in' to repel any other; and the power the extreme, and contrary to the

policy. both of state and commerce Eighth. Because our eagerness in by which Great Britain hitherto has suing for peace may induce the flourished.

enemy to believe we are unable to Fourth. Because while the com- continue the war; which, in the mon enemy exercises his power event of an actual peace, will tempt over the several states in the man- them to renew that conduct which ner we have seen, it is impossible brought on the present war; neither long to preserve our trade or our shall we have the usual securinaval power; this hostile system ties for peace: they do not acseizes on the keys of the dominions knowledge the obligation of law; of these powers, forces them, with they have not the same interest out any particular quarrel, into di- of sentiment in the conservation of rect hostility with this kingdom, in- peace which have hitberto influsomuch that there is no harbour enced other governments ; nor shall which we can enter without his we be better able to resist their permission, either in a commercial hostile attempts after a peace than or naval character.

at the present hour. If we remain Fifth. Because no security can armed, we cannot reap the ordibe hoped for in our colonies and nary advantages of it in economy ; plantations whilst this usurped pow. if we disarm, we shall be subject to er should continue thus disposed and be driven into new wars, under thus constituted. The new system every circumstance of disadvanleaves our colonies equally endan- ' tage. gered in peace as in war; it is Ninth. Because they frankly tell therefore that all ancient establish. us, that it is not our interest to ments are essentially at war for the make peace, for they regard it only sake of self preservation.

as an opportunity of preparing fresh Sixth. Because it has been de- means for the annibilation of our clared from the throne, and adopted naval power. They do not conceal by parliament, that there was no that it will be their object to wrest way to obtain peace but through the from us our maritime prepondeancient government long established rancy, to re-establish what they call in France. That government has the freedom of the seas, and to been solemnly recognized, and as- carry to the highest degree of pros. sistance and protection as solemoly perity those nations which they state promised to those Frenchmen who to be our rivals, which they charge should exert themselves in its resto- us with unjustly attacking when we ration.

can no longer dupe, and which they Seventh. Because the example contemplate as furnishing resources of the great change in the moral for our future humiliation and deand political world, made by the struction : they falsely assert, that usurpation, is, by the present pro- the English nation supports with cedure, confirmed in all its force. impatience the continuance of the It is the first successful example in war, and has extorted his majesty's history of the subversion of the go- overtures for peace by complaints vernment of a great country, by and reproaches: they studiously the corruption of mercenary ar. disjoin tbe English nation from its mies, to the destruction of the sovereign. whole proprietory body of the na. Tenth. Because having acted tion,

throughout the course of this mo

mentous however,

mentous contest upon the principles double our efforts for the prosecuherein expressed, and having fully tion of war. He observed, that considered, examined, and weighed our resources were adeqnate for the arguments offered to induce a this purpose; our exports for the dereliction of them, conscientiously last year bad exceeded by two adhering to, and firmly abiding by millions sterling the amount of them, I thus record them in justifi- the last, and commercial pros , cation of my own conduct, and in perity had risen to a high degree discharge of the duty I owe to my during a period of war: be con. king, my country, and the general cluded by moving an address, to interests of civil society.

assure his majesty, that they reflect. We have imerted 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 tranusual practice, not only because of quillity, on the happy effects of the ability with which it is drawn the wisdom and energy of our laws up, but because ic contains a close in repressing anarchy, and that he and well-digested summary of the might at all times rely on his comarguments for the continuation of mons for such supplies as might be the present war. Notwithstanding necessary for the service of the the singularity of its contents, it is year, and on the support of his undoubtedly a very able state pae 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 supposed by some to

Sir W. Lowther, in a short speech, have been the production of an seconded the address. eminent literary character lately de- Mr. Fox, declining to give a siceased.

lent vote, lest 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 to opinions might have been respect- advise his majesty's ministers to do ing the origin of the war, it must

the last three years, namely, to give the gentlemen of that house open a negotiation. But however satisfaction to concur in a motion he night lament that this measure which had for its end an honour. had not been taken before a hunable peace; they must rejoice that dred millions were spent, and thouthe period was arrived in which a sands of lives lost, in this cruel connegotiation might be entered into; test, yet it had his warm approbation that there now existed in France now that it had been adopted: that a government which might be safely he could not recollect, much less treated with, and that a passport had retaliate, the personal invectives been obtained for a minister from against himself, the insinuations this country to proceed to Paris. that an attempt to negotiate with He hoped the negotiation would such a people was a degradation terminale favourably; but he also to the dignity of Great Britain; hoped we should show, whilst we that it was to sue for peace, and were desirous of peace, that we lay his majesty's crown at their were in a state to continue the con- feet. test, and could, if necessary, re

There were some expressions, however, of which he should take protest against the whole of the notice: and first, that every en- assertion. He never had been condeavour had been used to open a


vinced that there had been any pernegotiation. Now, unless these sons in this country worth attention, words alluded to the endeavours desirous of anarchy and confusion; made since the close of the last nor could laws, which were calculat. year, he should animadvert upon ed to excite terror and abhorrence, the ministers for their former want produce tranquillity. Such laws of endeavours to bring it about. might produce a false quiet, which He much approved of their having he considered as a real alarm: could left out in the speech the words to we rejoice in such tranquillity which they were so bigoted before, where discussion was to be stifled, of the war being undertaken for and men were to brood in secret the cause of humanity and religion: over the grievances which they --neither had they come forward felt? No: such a tranquillity alarmwith their constant and unfounded ed him more than tumult; it was phrase that it was necessary; they a tranquillity which every man who had acted wisely in abstaining from loved freedom ought to see with intemperate language, when they pain, every man who loved order, were to negotiate for peace. But with terror. there were other parts of the speech To the constitution no man could which demanded explanation : such feel a stronger attachment than himas the flourishing state of our trade self: but be would not sport with and commerce, by which our re- the word; he 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 ander he must hesitate in giving credit to which he was born, under which he an assertion so little supported by was bred; not to that of the last the public appearance of things; parliament, wbich did more to maim when he looked at the price of the and disfigure the ancient constitufunds of the country, the state of tion of England than any former the transferable securities of go parliament which ever sat within vernment, the monstrous discount those walls. To the protection of on the enormous quantities of paper the ancient constitution alone he which they have issued, with ascribed that tranquillity which the schemes to relieve the pecuniary the country enjoyed. He would embarrassments of trade, he was not join in this insinuation of praise led to think our resources were upon those abominable laws, nor in a less favourable situation than attribute to them effects which the ministers had chosen to repre- he believed inapplicable; and, much sent them; nor could he with-hold as he wished for general approsome remarks upon the tranquillity bation of the endeavours to proof the country in which we are made cure peace to this country, he should to rejoice: a sentiment, indeed, in think it purchased at too dear a which he concurred, for tranquillity rate if coupled with approbation of was at all times desirable; but when these abhorrent laws. It was his he heard it ascribed to the wisdom duty, he thought, to say so much, and energy of the laws passed in that his vote might not be misinthe last session of the last parlia- terpreted into acquiescence in this ment, he entered his most solemn part of the address. The whole


« PreviousContinue »