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thing to which it is intended to be applied ? Was it the 'word Requisition, which we detested in the rigours and and exac: ons practised in France ? In its simple signification, there is little to quarrel with. If it were not for the odium which it has recently incurred by the abuse of it, these Gentlemen might repeat it as often as they please. The power of requiring the Subjects of every state to contribute, in a due proportion, a part of their Personal Exertions, or of their property, for the Public Defence, is in itself what no Government need attempt to disclaim; for without it no Government could exist. But the occasion on which this Power is exerted, the extent to which it is carried, the object to which it is applied, and the manner in which it is enforced ; these are what constitute the difference between the arbitrary and wanton exactions of Despotism, for the purposes of Ambition, and the just but necessary demand of a prudent and vigourous Government for the National Safety and Defence. This simple distinction is the only answer which we need oppose to the false cry which is so impudently attempted to be imposed on the Public. If the effort we are called upon to make, comes within the latter description, we shall not be deterred from it because the enormities practised in France are a striking instance of the former.'
What is now attempted to be called Requisition in England, is a Call on a Willing and Loyal People to sacrifice a moderate proportion of their Income in Defence of their whole Property, and in support of their ancient Religion, Laws, and Liberties. In France, this name was applied to a System of Universal Plunder and Confiscation, which dissipated the whole Capital Wealth of the Country, in support of a new and intolerable Ty.
EXAMINER. 91 ranny at home, and of unbounded Ambition abroad. If we bear this distinction in mind, we shall only have to thank these new Enemies of French Principles, for reminding us against what it is that we are called upon to contend against the real and genuine spirit of Jacobinism, ai d all the consequences which result from it against the principles and the practice of ROBESPIERRE, which the present Rulers of France are more than ever attempting to revive and to extend over the rest of Europe. We shall judge for ourselves, whether the temporary sacrifice required from us, is too great for the objects we have at stake. We shall not be more on our guard against the open attacks of our Enemy, than against the detected artifices of their Tools and Emissaries, who would persuade us to relinquish our best and most effectual means of resistence. They will as little succeed in this new attempt to promote the cause of Jacobinism, under the pretence of censuring and attacking it, as they have done hitherto in the Projects so long pursued, and now suddenly exploded, of recommending it to our applause and imitation.
MEETING OF THE FRIENDS OF FREEDOM.
The curiosity, and even anxiety, which several of our Readers have
expressed respecting the final Declaration expected from the Party,
The celebration of this great Epoch of the French Revolution had excited a general enthusiasın. The Din
ner Room was crowded at an early heur, and part of the Company, among which was the Duke of NORFOLK, overflowed into the Tap-room. At about sixteen minutes after five, Mr. Fox entered the room, and walked up to the end of the Table arnidst the universal plaudits of the Company. The general appearance of his health was perfectly satisfactory-- it appeared indeed to have been improved by his residence in the Country; his hair was, as usual, without powder.
After dinner, when a few appropriate Toasts had been given, Mr. Fox arose upon his health being drank, and began by stating – That he felt peculiar satisfaction in considering that the character and object of this Mecting were perfectly congenial to his feelings, and to those principles he had uniformly professed. What was the conclusion which the event which they were now celebrating naturally suggested to every thinking mind? It was this -- that the example of one or more Revolutions did not always prevent the necessity of another. There was likewise another conclusion which he trusted it would impress very forcibly on the minds of all who heard him - they would learn, he hoped, from the example of all that had passed in France, that vigourous measures were no less requisite for the support of Freedom than for its original establishment; and that when these measures were once determined upon, it was mere affectation to be scrupulous or fastidious in the choice of means. Mr. Fox appealed to the whole tenor of his public lifehe had acted with very different Men, and upon a great variety of Political Principles; and if in the course of all his experience, he had acquired any knowledge of his own character, he could declare with confidence, that a
squeamishness or hesitation in the choice of means, was a weakness of all others the most alien to his nature.
How did the case stand between the majority of the Directory (the Triumvirate, as some persons in this Country had thought proper to style them) and that ma ' jority of the Nation who were accused (and in his conscience he believed they were justly accused) of a wish to terminate the Revolution ? The majority of the Nation seemed to have acted pretty much in the style and temper of the Minister of this Country; proceeding to their ultimate object with infinite art and subtlety, they had entrenched themselves within the forms of the Constitution on the one hand, while with the other they were sapping the vitals of Liberty, and poisoning its very foundations. As for the Directory, the scene was fairly open before them. - On the one hand, they saw a termination to the Revolution, on the other, there were certain rights to be invaded, and certain Principles to be infringed. Placed between these two alternatives, they were not long in forming their Resolution, and a manly and vigorous Resolution it was; -- they determined to break through every obstacle of form, and to save their Country in spite of precedent. The seditious Journalists, with the refractory Members of the Two Councils, and of the Directorial Body itself, were seized and imprisoned, or otherwise disposed of. – The vacancies thus made were supplied by other persons, appointed by the Directorial Majority, upon their own personal knowledge and good opinion. He was aware, Mr. Fox said, that an cbjection might be raised to this species of nomination, but for his part, he conceived that the Directory had acted well and wisely - they were convinced that the majority of the Nation were infected with the new prin
ciples of pretended order and moderation - they were aware that in this disorder of the public mind, they had nothing to expect from the re-elections — they saw the necessity, and they acquiesced in it. They inverted that order which prevails in those Countries where Liberty has been established by a more tedious process — they abrogated the instructions of the Constituent to his Representative, and they addressed their own instructions to the Constituent Body. In all this there was nothing but what was perfectly just and natural ; nothing inconsistent with the Principles of Freedom, nor with those Principles which he himself had professed in the outset of his political life.” (Mr. Fox here alluded to his well-known opinion on the Middlesex Election. *) . With regard to the absolute abstract inviolability of the Press, Mr. Fox declared - that he considered himself as particularly fortunate, in having had a very early opportunity of asserting his opinions upon that subject also ; it was pretty well known, that the first ground of difference between himself and a Noble Lord (with whom he had originally acted, whom he had afterwards opposed, but with whom he had ultimately united, and of whom he
• Commons' Debates, vol. xxv. page 28-Mr. C. Fox said, " We “ had not lost the confidence of the People by the Middlesex Election, “ as was foolishly said, but by suffering with tameness the many in" sults which had been offered to the Sovereign and that House-that " had he his will, those Aldermen and others who presented a Remon“ strance to the Throne, should be taken into custody; - that a few “ years back they sent two Aldermen to the Tower, but suffered a “ paltry Printer to hold them in contempt : that it was by these means “ we lost the good will of our Constituents."'-Lord North's Motion was for sending the Printer to the Gate-house-Mr. Fox insisted upon · Newgate,