« FöregåendeFortsätt »
illustration, and explained by the context, is upon the seas, which had not been claimed possible; but, that any gentleman of the by her in the best times of her history; and, university, has declared, from the pulpit, that, in the next place, I stated the exercise that the nations of the earth are to be consi- of a rigorous maritime sovereignty of the dered as so many wild beasts, and that the seas to be necessary to our defence, as long strongest, when it has the power, has also the as Napoleon should insist upon an absoluta right to destroy the weakest, is what I do controul over all the sea-ports and naval arse. not believe, and what, I am convinced, will pals of the continent of Europe; and added,, not be believed by any one of your readers, that, in proportion as he was disposed to let whose ignorance, or whose sectarian preju- go bis hold of those sea-ports and arsenals, dice and bitterness, do not disquality him wr proportion as he was disposed to grant the the forming an impartial judgment in the former freedem to the land, we ought to be Case. Of me, you say that I have dared to disposed to relax in the exercise of our soveinsult the common feelings and the common reignty upon the waters. Was this a recom sense of mankind, by “ asserting that might mendation to our government to shut up “ constitutes right." This, in the nared the channels of the sea, against all other naway in which you state the assertion, is ano- tions, merely l'ecause ile were alle to do it? ther falshood. I asserted, and still assert, Equally gross is your misconstruction of the that there is no law, to which nations im- meaning of that passage, in the king's declaplicitly bow; that there is no rule by which ration against Russia, wherein he says, that they are bound; that there is no common or it was time that the effects of that dread, tribunal amongst them; that there is no .- which France has inspired into the na. where any judge to decide between them « tions of the world, should be counteractand no where any power to enforce obedience “ ed by an exertion of the power of Great to any decision; and that, iberefore, it is, " Britain." “ Thus,” say you,“ after after all, amongsi nations, might which con- having poured out accusations against the stitutes right, and must constitute right in policy of Buonaparte, we are, at lengih, all cases, where the sword is the judge. But, " become converts to it, and confess it to is this a general and sweeping assertion, that “ lie right.” Is there, Sir, in the declara“ might constitutes right?" And is it moral tion, which you have quoted, any such conright ihat is here spoken of? You must cer- Jession ? On the contrary, is not the mercio tainly know better. I use the word right, less policy of Buonaparié complained of, in in the sense, in which you use it, when you that declaration? The meaning of the words tell your readers, that Hanover was ceded to quoted is this : “ that France having, by the Prussia by France, “who possessed it by the * dread which she has inspired, caused na“ right of conquest." That is to say, by the « tion after nation to become the enemies right of force; that is to say by might; and, “ of England, whose lenity towards such wheir you are speaking of the rights of “ nations had only tended to induce others France, dear barmless France, you seem to “ to follow their example in yielding to bave no objection to the application of this " France wiihout resistance, it was time to doctrine, though it wouid, perhaps, be very put a stop to this, it was time to counterhard to imagine any case, wherein right has act the effects of a dread of France, by been more completely founded upon mere showing to such nations that they had migbt than in that of Hanover. But you something to dread from the exertion of proceed to complain of me for saying, that, “ the power of England." And this you “ with the maritime power, which this call a confession that the tyranny of Buona“ country now possesses, not a ship belong- | parté was right. My neighbour, who is my
ing to any other nation should be suffered enemy, has, by divers acts of sererity, in
to pass the seas, but upon conditions pre- spired such a dread amongst the cottagers of "scribed by us." You are, Sir, without the manor, that they are induced, one afier exception, the most flagrant misquoter, the another, to assist him in his projects for my most barefaced garbler, that ever 'appeared total ruin. I perceive, and say, that his conin print. Just as if I had founded the pro- duct towards them is unjust, and wicked 10 posal of exercising this rigour at sea npon the last degree; and I myself, though I the sole circumstance of our having the powo have the power, refrain from using it against or to exercise it. Just as if I had said: them; 'rill, at last, their accumulated hosti. “ Now, my boys, it luckily happens, that lity threatens even my existence. There is
we are able to oppress and insult all the one, who lives just close by me, who has “ world, therefore, let us do it." But, my more power to imure me than any of the readers will remember, that, in the first othbrs, who has, upon every advantageous place, I claimed for my country no rights occasion, shown a hostile disposition towards
me, who has very recently apologized for his remonstrate against his aggressions, were hostility by alledging that he was unable to we still to adhere to the law. When we saw resist the commands of a neighbour less hini respect no law, either of neutrality or strong than my chief enemy (and who is of war; when we saw almost every nation now leagued with my chief enemy); to in Europe, and the American States too, this cottager, now, quite exposed to the bow to his will; when all that had been power of my chief enemy, who having called public law was, in fact, at an end, long set all law at defiance, openly threatens were we alone to be bound by it, merely that he will make bim use bis axes and bill- because we began the war for its support? hooks and scythies for my destruction; to If a general be ordered to quell a rebellion, this cottager I go, and deniand the surrend- is he to be bound down to the letter of the er of these instruments of mischief, ac- settled law of the land, while bis opponent companied with a promise to return them sets ir at defiance? But, as if you were to bim, as soon as I have settled matters afraid of leaving it to be supposed, that you with my principal enemy. He refuses ; attributed criminality to Napoleon, you talks of his independence, which he has hasten to let us know (or, rather, perhaps, before shown to be nothing; talks of the to let him know), that, though you have, Jaw, which he knows to be a dead letter.
moment, supposed iniquity” in Well, say I, if you will not surrender with him, in order to impute iniquity to us in out force, I must and will force you, for following his “s example," you yourself are my very existence depends upon these your by no means satisfied, that he has ever done arms being kept out of the power of my any thing wrong, with regard to neutral great enemy. I lament the necessity, but nations. The passage I allude to is curious : this I must do, or I perish. Now, is this "Conquerors, in open war, have, indeed, to follow " the example of my enemy?” “ been cruel and unsparing to their ene, Is this to confess that his conduct towards
“ mięs ; governments which have displayed the other cottagers was right ?" We are
an open hostility to more powerful states, now, you say,
apostatos to the cause of or which, after repealed remonstrances, “ virtue, independence, and integrity, “ have persevered in maintaining alliances or which we pretend to have so long sup- " supposed to be injurious to a belligerent
ported, and openly acknowledge, that “ und successful power have been changeil, “ it cannot contend with that of iniquity or extinguished; but.....
.;" and, then “ and oppression." If a man attack me follows
your assertion that the affair of Cowith a knife, and I, for the purpose of penhagen is infinitely worse than any thing preventing him from destroying me, have of this scrt. That you allude here to Buorecourse to my knife also, I thereby certain naparté and his remonstrances there can be ly acknowledge, that my naked hands are no doubi, and that, by the “ persevering" gco unable to contend with a knife; but, am I, vernment you mean particularly that of Porfor that, to be called an apostate to the tugal there can be as little doubt. Not a principles of fair boxing? The difference word of disapprobation escapes you. You between us is, that he, by choice, resorts do not justify Buonaparté in bis seizure to his knife, and I to mine from necessity; upon Portugal and his extinguishing of the he for the purpose of destroying me, and I government, merely because that governfor the purpose of preserving myself. You ment would not obey his orders in confishave, here the argument of my lord of cating English property; in words you do Clackmannan' (wliose son is our Envoy in not justify this act; but, your tone and America), that is to say, that we began the manner are justificatory. You wanted the war with revolutionary France upon the courage to say, that which your unnatural ground of her having set the law of nations partiality could not refrain from insinuating; at defiance, and that, therefore, we should, He made “ repeated remonstrances" did by no means, have acted in violation of he, Sir, against the alliance between Portuthose laws. But, Sir, in the course of this gal and England ? What alliance” was war, we have seen the several nations of the there? None. A treaty of peace and continent quietly submit to this violation of commerce, but no treaty of alliance whatlaw on the part of France; we upheld what ever. Nay, the Portuguese were willing to was called the law, as long as we found any shut their ports against English ships. This nation willing to uphold it too; but, when even was not enough ; and the government we saw them all submit to its violation by was extinguished, the country seized our enemy, and even join their forces to
upon, because the
government would that enemy against us, or, at least, refuse not consent to conimit an act of fraud to join u6 against that enemy, or even to upon England. This you term “ persele
This was very
“ring, after repeated remonstrances, in alli- his acts of violence, you always put the “ances supposed to be injurious to a bellige- assertion into the mouth of somebody else. "rent and successful power." Well, but,
He" is accused" of so and so; it" is prethere was just the same sort of " alliance" ex. " tended" That he has done this and that i isting between Denmark and France as be- we impute" such and such motives to tween Portugal and England, We remon- him; " the supposed" views and conduct strated with Denmark repeatedly, as will be of Buonaparté. But, from the beginning seen by a reference to the dispatches; but, to the end, not one bad act or bad motive we could not prevail on her to break with do you impute to him. Leaving you, howFrance. At last we see her completely at ever, to hug yourself in the imaginary safethe mercy of France and our new enemy ty which conduct like this will provide for Russia. And what do we ask her to do? you, in case the worst should happen, let Not to confiscate French and Russian pro- me ask you, Sir, where you have been able perty ; not to give us a farthing; but to to discover those neutrals, whom, " place in our hands, until the end of the war, porting them," Buonaparte has "converted that fleet, whieh, as she had before assert- "o into allies?" And where have you found ed, she was obliged to employ against us, out those allies, so converted, whom he has wben Russia alone commanded her so to do. « raised to importance ?" Have you
found She refuses, and we seize the fieet, making them in Holland, in Prussia, at Hamburgh, war upon her for the purpose. But, we ata in Switzerland, at Genca, at Naples, in tempt not w change or to extinguish the Portugal, in Spain? Good God! What government, as France did in the case of an impudent assertion, and that, too, Portugal, though, in this case, we might from a person, who quotes Scripture as take to ourselves the title of conqueror” | glibly as a methodist preacher, and who, and “ successful belligerent" with full as therefore, ought to have remembered, that much propriety as you have applied those lying lips are an abomination to the titles to Napoleon. Add to this, that we " Lord.” Austria you tell us, was so inare notoriously in a state of great peril from dignant at our proceedings against Denthe combination formed against us, and that mark, that” she is said to have declared France is in no peril as all; that we act from war against England.". necessity and she from choice; that we unfortunately chosen as one of the conseseek for safety, and that she openly declares quences of the expedition, seeing the fact her intention to destroy lis.
is now notoriously false, though you might not one word in disapprobation of ber not be apprized of it. The correspondence seizure upon Portugal, you allude lo that between Prince Siahremberg and Mr. Canact in a tone apologetic; while you ransack ning fully proves, that the Emperor of Ausyour poetical vocabulary for terms of re- tria (poor man!) did not only not declare proach wherewith to describe our seizure of war on account of the Danish expedition ; the Danish fleet. After this, nothing that but that he has, since that event, been made comes froın your pen, need surprize us, and the miserable instrument, in the hands of we naturally look for passages such as the France, to propose au opening of a negociafollowing." That, if Denmark was weak, tion for peace between us and the butter " we should have supported her.” But, power, in order to save that power the morshe would not let us support her. Read the tification of having made the proposition dispatch of Lord Howick, and you will find, itself. Our minister's treated that proposithat she would, upon no account, suffer us tion in the manner that it deserved. They to send to her assistance, which we repeat- did not sneak into a n.. ociation under begedly offered to do. “ Thus we should, at the garly pretences of “ attaciment," either to
same moment, have converted a neutral Napoleon or Mr. Talleyrand. They ex“ into an ally, and raised that ally lo impor- | pressed their readiness to treat, but they
tance, a part of the policy of Buona- would correspond upon the subiect with no
parté, which it would be much beiter for one but the enemy; and despised the trick " this country to have imitated, tban to of an invented assassin., - You, however, “ have contended with him in that course of are so fond of this invention, that, in wind. " conduct, by which he is stated to have ing up your attack upon the Danish expe“ inspired so much dread into the nations. diiion, you once more bring the assassin " of the world." Why do you say
on board, and that, too, in a manner, ( slated ?! Is it not so, my good attorney? which is worthy of particular notice. Ilava Or, are you afraid, that he will take the 1ing spoken of the principle, upon which Jaw of you!.. I observe, that, all through the ministers, in their declaration, justified your pamphlet, when you have to speak of the Danish expedition, you proceed thus :
Yet, you say
" he is
“ The assertion of such a principle is the having expressed his disapprobation of this
more unpardonable, in the British minis- / phrase is to be considered as a proof, that he try, as they had before them the recent and his colleagues would, if the occasion
example of one of their predecessors, were to offer, hire an assassin to take the “ who, in rejecting the proposition made to life of the Emperor of France. Here you « him to assassinate the ruler of France, has are excessively bold; here there is no marks
placed this important subject in the most of the meek, unoffending philanthropist. “ striking point of view. It was, indeed, You are timid and tender hearted ovly to
but too apparent, from the observations wards Napoleon and his allies. The poor 66 to which this circumstance gave rise in king of Prussia you abuse without mercy ; " the House of Commons, on the part of the Prince Recent of Portugal you repre.
some of those who now direct the attairs sent as persevering" in his attachments “ of this country, that the conduct of Mr. hostile to France, in spite of all remon" Fox on that occasion was beyond their sirances;" the editors of the English “ comprehension, and consequently not press yon call “ interested and unprir.cipled
likely to be the object of their imitation." * individuals;" and the ministers you clear.. Why, no. The sham assassin had not suc- ly accuse of a disposition to employ assassins ceeded in imposing upon any person of com. to take off their enemies. It is not, theo, mon sense, and, therefore, it was not like your want of the faculty of abuse ; it is ly that the trick would be imitated. But, nothing of miidness and moderation in your you, Sir, whc anticipate complaints against nature that disqualified you for joining in you upon the score of partiality towards “ recrimination against the French pcople France, because you have used no harsh so and their ruler;" bæt, the cause is to be language towards her or her ruler ; you, sought for in your partiality for that people who beg to be excused from joining in the and their ruler, of which, indeed, you ap. abuse of Napoleon ; you, mild and modest pear to have been conscious, when you gentleman, scruple not to accuse your poli- were protesting, by anticipation, against tical opponents of a disposition to employ such a charge. And, Sir, if it be glaringly assassins, if the occasion were to other it- inconsistent " in those who have been uniself, though those opponents are the persous formly hostile to the cause of rational lito whose hands the affairs of the country berty, and the constitutional rights of the have been committed by the king, for whose subject in this country, now to abuse the person and authority you protess so much despotism of France," is it not equally respect. ! It was but too apparent, that inconsistent in you, who bave been so loud
they would not have imitated Mr. Fox." in your professions in favour of liberty here, That is to say, that it was but too apparent, and who, with such unbounded joy, bailed that they would have accepted of, and re- the dawn of liberty in France, now to dis- warded, the services of the assassin. Now, cover so decided a partiality for the despotism what were the circumstances that made this established there?, You do not say, indeed, so very apparent? Why, Mr. Perceval that you love that despotism ; but ii is quite blamed the word “ aitachment,” which impossible that you can bave any great averMr. Fox made use of in his letter to Talley- sion to it, otherwise you could not discoveľ rand. That was all that was said about the such cautious tenderness towards the personi, assassin part of the correspondence; and, as who is known to be its founder. Not only no one, whose heart is not made of the
do you discover a tenderness towards him ; very basest materials, can, in my opinion, but you miss no opportunity of bestowing entertain any sincere “ attachment" towards your praises on bim; and, though all that Talleyrand, I must, of course, believe that you have said of bim were true, instead of Mr. Fox was not sincere in his use of the being, for the 10t part, false; or, supword; and, so believing, I also blanie him posing you to think it true, şiill, had you for using the word. I am not speaking of been a hater of despotisny, at ibe bottom of personal affection. That was out of the your beart, you would have been more question between Mr. Fox and Talleyrand. sparing of those praises. We are often It must, if existing at all, have been an attach- struck with admiration at the bravery and ment froin a similarity of thinking; an at- hardihood of higlowaymen. There were tachment founded upon Talleyrand's charac- few persons who were not so stricken, upter or conduct; and, if Mr. Fox did enter- on reading the account of the man lately tain such attachment, I am sure he was un- killed in the woods in Sussex, who had fit to be entrusted with the confidence of lived in those woods, in the dead of winter, either the king or the people of England. many days and nights with scarcely any ccm And yet, according to you, Mr. Perceval's vering upon any part of his body, who,
when kard pursued, and, at last, closely “ ment than a pen." The writer of this beset by a troop of horsemen, sank him- “ has heard, that a king's messenger, a self under the water, all but his head and “ chief, or favourite, and well informed one hand, there remaining, for several hours, person, did say, soon after the publication keeping bis tire-arms ready to discharge up- " of the Negociation Papers of Mr. Fox on his pursuers, and who, when finally " with France for peace, about a year ago, overpowered by numbers, rejected the offer " that no one ever could discover, that there to spare his life, and was killed in the act of
was any such person as the one described defending himself to the very last extremity. “ by Mr, Fox; that he, the messenger, had There were few persons who could read this “ inquired of all the other messengers, and account without feelings of admiration; or that they had made every inquiry, but that but, I will venture to say, that, in the 110 one could find that such a person had thousands of conversations, to which it give “ been in custody, and they were all perrise, there was not one, wherein detestation “ suaded that po such person ever appeared of the robber and the murderer was not al- rs before Mr. Fox. Neither at the Alien ofmost the only feeling that was expressed. “ fice could any account be found of such a You, however, a philanthropist by trade, person. It would, indeed, have been seem to be of a ditterent taste.
person had offered lavish in your praises of the valour, the skill, “ himself to Mr. Fox, after the notoriety of and the wisdom of Napoleon ; upon all Mr. Fox's abuse of those, whom he, by a these topics you speak for yourself ; but, " strained construction, pretended had exwhen you have to speak of any of his mis. ar cite assassination.- -Mr. Fox, I am deeds, though the fact be notorious, you persuaded, fabricated the story, in order take care to put the words into the mouth of to commence a correspondence with the somebody else ; and, in all cases, where it is “ French goveronient for a negociation for possible to make an Old-Bailey-like defence peace;. and bad he succeeded in making for him, that defence is made by you, with peace, and the fact been known, he would as much apparent earnestness and zeal, as “ have been praised for his ingenuity, as he if, at the several paragraphs of your pamph- now, by Mr. Roscoe, for his humanity. let, you had received a refreshing fee. I
the trick was to tell to his do not mean to insinuate, thai you have rem advantage -Mr. Fox was sworn Seceived, or that you expect, any fee at all ; cretary of State, Feb. 7, 1800, and gazetbut, I think, the public will agree with uri ted the sth. On the 201h, he wrote the me, that this conduct of yours is a pretty " letter to Talleyrand about the assassin, good proof, that you have no very deeply
a few days ago” the assassin rooled hatred to despotism, and that all your came, &c. &c. Mr. Fox could not have cry about liberty musi be regarded as, mere- “ been a week in office when the assassin ly poetical.
“ addressed him; and it is singular, that I should here bave proceeded to the con- during the halt year he afterwards lived, cluding a'd most important subject treated " though his conduct to this assassin was a of in your pamphlet, the main object of " profounıl secret, no other assassin offered which might be dismissed in a few pages ; “ his services. But, pray look at the letter! but, there are so many misrepresentations " The assassin came to his house, not to the and talsehoods to expose, as I proceed, that office, and was with Mr. Foä alone in his another letter will be necessary for the pur- s closet. He wonld not be in custody of a pose. In the mean while, I remain, police officer, but a king's messenger, as. Yours, &c.
aitis such the Alien office employ,How
WM, COBPETT. “ far did Mr. Fox, by this step, reflect on Botley, 23d Feb. 1808.
“ the general character of the English go. Post SCRIPT. . The following letter, Sir, "vernment? And what becomes now, of it appears to me to be your duty to answer; " Mr. Roscoe's half dozen pages on Mr. for, again I beg you to believe, that iris leto Fox's humanity and morality? I repeat ter expfesses the opinions of the public in my belief, Sir, that the whole story was a, general.--"" Sir, in your last, you lmve some
if it was not so, the “ pertinent remarks, respecting the assassin contrar.y not only admits of proof; but of « who offered to Mr. Fox to put Buonaparté easy proof, unattended with
circum“ to death. On this point both Mr. Fox “ stance that can possibly be injurious to. " and Mr. Roscoe attacked you, as instiga- any one upon earth, not excepting the as« ting the assassination of Buonaparté, in “ sassin himself, wbo, seeing that he was so.
saying, that, " if you were a Frenchman, very lucky in escaping from, Irance to as you would attack him by another instru- England and from the justics which he