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ON WAR.

Sir,

significant, if not a plain answer, to a plain should have ever thought of attacking one question. It was, therefore, a convenient another, if ıhey had not been guided to it by expedient to make the minister of another a natural propensity: and yet, it seems department, write a demi-official letter stranger, nay, even more unnatural, that which you justly observe, says nothing to they should have ever thought of respective. the main point, thus leaving both parties ly arming two bodies of their own species, at liberty to avail themselves of the subter- for the express purpose of murdering each fuge :--the Americans by saying that De other, as it is called, in cold blood. To con. crés's letter served them as an exemption, sider these acts according to the doctrine, the French by maintaining that no such that I have previously maintained, that men exemption bad been granted by any compe- are led to fight from the desire of possessing tent authority. The latter it is clear by ihe certain objects; it will be necessary to exdecree from Milan of the 11th December amine into the nature of such objects, in last is the French understanding of the mat- order that we may be enabled to determine ter, nor has the contrary been maintained. upon the third article of my arrangement, It has never been said that the French ac- viz. the good or evil resulting from a tenden: knowledged having exempted the Ameri- cy to war, or, the operation of its effects upcans, (Regnier in his report states the direct on society at large.--In the first formation sontrary) only that the latter chose to con- of society, a disposition to war must have strue Decrés's letter into an exemption : been far more general than it is at this with what reason or justice I bave already time: every man, in fact, became a sort of told you.. An ENGLISHMAN. London warrior from absolute necessity; in as fat 28th March 1808.

as, without engaging in pursuits of a sanguinary and warlike nature, it was impossible

for him to provide the necessaries of life, and I perceive that you have inserted to defend himself from beasts of prey. At in your Register of the 12th instant, a paper length, from slaying certain animals to satisof mine, dated February the 15th, written in fy his hunger, and from sacrificing others to consequence of some observations made by render him more secure; his hands were you, in your first letter to Mr. Roscoe, upon continually imbrued in blood, and his mind the general- question of war; which were was habitually accustomed to the most disintended by you as an ethical explanation of gusting scenes of slaughter and barbarity: the subject, preparatory to subsequent re- the natural ferocity of his temper was inmarks more immediately connected with the creased: his imagination,-from associating politics of the present day. In that paper, the ideas of slaying and of food, the last of with a view of giving as clear a statement of which could only be procured through the my ideas as I thought was adapted to the im- medium of the first; from anticipating, I portance of the question, I divided the ar- say, the enjoyment of the food, not only begument into four di:iinct parts: two of came reconciled 10 the slaughter, but took a which were employed to prove that a ten- pleasure in contemplating the act, as propa. dency to war, is not, as you have stated, na- ratory to the gratification of his appetite. In turally implanted in the mind; but, that it this state, it is not to be supposed that soproceeds from a desire of acquiring some ciety entertained much sense of right or object supposed to be capable of affording | wrong: their calls were all of theni essen. gratification to the party engaged in the tial, and all of them of the same nature. Is mean of action; which object is to be at- it to be wondered at then, that,-seeing tained by this mean only, or is, perhaps, their usual occupation, seeing their disposimore readily to be attained by it, in prefer- / tions infected with a love of blood, and, ence to any other. The third and fourth moreover, reflecting upon the difficulties topics, that remain to be considered, and on they must have encountered to obtain these wbich, you will observe, you and I are less accommodations, wretched as they were ; at variance than on the former ; apply equal they should be urged to the destruction of ly to the question originally introduced by one another, provided, by this step, they you, and are, probably, objects more likely were likely to gratify their wants with greal. to meet with general attention: I shall, er ease, or in greater plenty! From this

, it therefore, resume the discussion in the order

must appear that the objects, for which manI set out with.-III. Now, Sir, as I have kind originally fought, were sensual: of admitted that a tendency to war exists, but which, indeed, a most striking example is have endeavoured to prove that this tenden- presented to us by Garcilasso de la Vega, cy is not instinctive; it may, perhaps, appear who makes mention of a nation in South strange that mankind, in its early state, America that went to war with other tribes,

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with a view of violating the female captives dice arising from a supposition that if such that might be taken, whom they, after- bodies were not instituted, mankind would wards, confined until the delivery of their live in peace. That this, however, would offspring, which (shocking to relate) were not be the case, it is humbly presumed, the fattened, torn from their mothers, barba- preceding remarks have shewn : for, if the rously murdered and eaten by their inhuman practice (which is itself one of the refinefathers! Such an instance of unnatural de- ments of civilization). were abolished; all pravity is scarcely credible: the mind sick- other improvements would decline : science, ens at the thought of it, and is appalled at trade, and arts, no longer would be protectthe profligacy of ihe race !---But, without ed; and the country, wherein the abolition going to these extreme cases, it is easy to took place, would be reduced to a state of shew that, as mankind advanced in civiliza- abject slavery to another power, by which it tion, the objects, for which they fought, had not been carried into effect : or, in the were more rational : their wars, by being event of its being universally adopted, manconducted by persons regularly embodied, kind would gradually revert to its original si* were less bloody, less brutal, and less fre- fuation of uncultivated ferocity. In aid of quent. Heretofore, in this country, when, this, it need only be observed that civilizain feudal times, one lord made war upon tion results, by degrees, from a spirit of waranother; the objects, they had in view, fare continually kept alive: I say continualwere mostly selfish, and the lives of their ly, because, if the acquirement of the first respective vassals were sacrificed to gratify object (for new objects will arise in order one some private passion of envy, jealousy, or after the other) be sufficient to subdne that revenge; to all of which, by our present spirit for a time; the nation which is so samode of warfare, men engaged in battle are tisfied will never make any considerable superior: and if, as is generally the case, the progress: it is liable to relapse, in the intermotives, that induce them to engage, are not im, to its former state of barbarity, from so disinterested as they are frequently sup- which, each successive spirt would only be posed to be ; yet, when they are once in ac- sufficient to recover it to the situation, it tion, the motives are forgotten, magnanimi. | had, in the first instance arrived at; whence, ty is displayed, every noble feeling is sum. it would again declive, and so, al emately, moned on the occasion, and, instead of being flow and ebb, without advancing one jot beegged on, as in former times, by personal yond the poiot, it had originally gained. If malice and ill-will, each party strives to gain the Americans before alluded to bad kept its end in a manner as little destructive to the alive their spirit, instead of kindling it every other, as it can. Hence, we see that modern now and then to gratify their appetites; they warfare has the advantage of that anciently would, in the first place, have been better in use: it is better calculated not only to re- employed, and, in the next, have been made press the gross passions of mankind, but to sensible of the criminality of their conduct. substitute noble virtues in their room. This By way of example, take into consideration is greatly to be attributed to the objects be- the practice of the Romans; who, in the ining of a different description; but, more es- fancy of their establishment, actuated by repecially, to what is sometimes inconsiderate- venge, had recourse to a measure in a very ly condemned as a proceeding repugnant to slight degree similar, with a view, principalevery principle of justice: I mean the fight- ly, of resenting an affront, they had received: ing, as it were by proxy, in the person of an after having accommodated their differences army. Surely, Mr. Cobbett, if war be ne. with the Sabines, a war with whom, their cessáry, and, from the experience history conduct naturally produced ; they did not, affords us, it is unavoidable) it is better that however, rest at home, in indolent possession it should be carried on by men who are ca- of the objects they had acquired; they did pable of exercising discretion, of discrimina

not give themselves up to, 'what might then ting with judgment, and of acting with mo- be called, luxnry and ease; but preserved deration ; than by others, who blinded by their spirit of military enterprise, and, in the their passion, think of nothing but gratifying reign of their sixth king, found themselves their will, and, having lost their reason, in a condition to send ont an army of 90,000 scend to a state of intemperate brutality. men. As they advanced in civilization, By a little farther consideration, it must ap- their military strength increased; so much pear still more evident that our present sys- 'so, that, in the time of the commonwealth tem of warfare is superior ; and the notions (not long before Hannibal appeared) 'they of injustice, cruelty, and immorality attach- were able, comprehending the neighbouring ed to raising standing armies, whose business states in alliance with them, to muster, in it is occasionally to fight, is a vulgar preju. the invasion made upon them by the Gauls,

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700,000 foot, and 70,000 horse;" and 'of solution being substituted in their stead." themselves, including onty Rome and Cam- | Hence it is that less real devastation is compania, they could bring into the field, mitted in those nation's mostly living in a 250,000 foot, and 23,000 horse ! At state of peace, than in others more frequentthese times, it is reported, Rome was in a ly engaged in war; but, it is to be obseryed, higher state of civilization, thian at any | that, in the former, attempts are often made other respectively preceding them; and in lo sacrifice human life to become possessed proportion as its military establishment in. of certain objects ; the only difference becreased, so did the virtue of its people: tween them being, that, in the latter, open whick

proves that a tendency to war, instead measures are employed (if'any are employed of generating immoral actions, and promo- at all) to effect the same purposes, i hich ting vicious habits, elevates the mind, puri- gives the party that is attacked an opportu. fies human nature, and divests it of its sen- | niry of exerting himself in his defence; sualities. From which, however, is not to while, in the others insidious operations are be interred that a nation, to be prosperous, directed against him, which, in the end, must always be at war: the objects, for prove equally destructive, bat are projected which its spirit should be kept alive, are not and carried into execution without endanso much the extension of its dominion, as gering the ageressot. T'hat a disposition to sessed of: if' vigilance be employed in the moment, he disputed; and that cowardice proper direction of a tendency to war, tew is the niother of cruelty," is a position as objects will stimulate more powerfully than generally admitted. Of these two facts, we jealousy of encroachment; either upon the have a prominent instapce in the Chinese territory itself or upon the privileges of its nation ; which has been noticed by you, Mr. constitution; and a good government will Cobbett

, as an example of the effects of a always be jealnus of the movements of its people living in an almost perpetual state of neighbours, whereby, (without being petu- peace. So mean and dastardły are their lant or bickering for trifles) circunstances spirits, that, it is recorded by modern histowill occur sufficiently often to give an oppor- rians, the very act of laying hand upon the tunity of combining practice with the theory. hilt of a sword is sufficient to make them In short, for a nation to be secure in the tremble from head to font; and he must be maintenance of its dignity, and to have the a man, the nerves of whose system are of a power of prosecuting those measures that more firm and teuse nature thau is ordinawill give perinanency to its existence; it is rily the case, who can support himself from absolutely necessary that it should be pre- | fainting at an exhibition of the blade! Aud pared to resist encroachment, and possess yet, Sir, this is the nation' whose refinement the means of correcting insolence; without io cruelty, is such, as to display, in its code resorting, upon every occasion, to the efforts of penal laws, punishments far more excruof its people indiscriminately amassed toge- ciating than are adopted, or even known, in ther; by which, the economy of its admi- other countries where a disposition to war nistration would be deranged, and its pro- exists : in addition to breaking upon the gress in refinement unavoidably retarded.- rack, they bave recourse to hain-stringing, iv. To determine upon the fourth and last burning out the eye-sight with unslaked point that reniains to be considered, viz. the lime, and many other tortures that are neiadvantages or disadvantagesofa tendency to ther fit sor necessary to be spoken of. Bat, war, when compared with a disposition to in no instance, is the abominable inhumanity peace; it is material to inquire if mankind, of this people more 'conspicuous, shan in in a state of peace, is less averse to the de- f the unnatural sin of infanticide, which is struction of one another, than in time of carried to such an extent, that, in the streets open war ? In resolving this inquiry, it will of Pekin alone, it is estimated, from two to be found that the grosser passions (ro gratify three thousand babes are annually exposed, which, it bas beeo presumed, the spirit of to fall a prey, both alive and dead, to the warfare took its rise) are more readily dogs and swine that roam aboat in search of wrought upon and less easily satisfied in food-! The very few times they have been peace t than in open war: the absence of the engaged in war, the same cowardice'has disnobler virtues, such as courage, fortitude played itself, and has urged them to extremes and perseverance, giving in this instance, as ridiculous as they were pusillarimods in upon the same principle as in the tast; 24 an account of the invasion of Yecunan, Yone greater latitude to the will; thoagh, at the of their provinces,) it is reported, the inhasame time, preventing its being exercised to bitarits were so terrified, that; in order to the full extent, by fear, weakness, and litre avoid the enemy, they absolutely franged and drowned themselves for fear ! But it is and necessary measure." It is irrational, needless to dwell any longer upon this des- then, to inveigh 'indiscriminately, against picable race : let

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take another view at the war, without examining into the objects, for Romans, who, by means of a tendency to which it is carried on; it is folly to stigmawar, raised themselves from a petty tribe of tize it with the cant phrases of modern phiplundering shepherds to a great and wealthy losophy, without looking into the principle, people, who were,' at once, the awe, the upon which it is conducted." Let the object wouder, aod yet the adiniration of their co- be proved defective; show its error, and temporarks; and are, even in these days. point out a remedy; and it, after this (no bolden up as an example of fortitude, digni- matter whether the issue of the contest turn ty and valour worthy of imitation. By suf- out favourable or not) war be prosecuted and fering their military spirit to decline, bom human life sacrificed; then' máy it, with ever by giving themselves up to the luxu- great propriety, be called a wanton waste of ries of peace; and by relinquishing pursuits blood, and a pure, unadulterated evil. That of a warlike nature (nost likely, for want of this, very often, is the case, no person can oljects sufficiently attractive ; for they had deny; but then, it is not a sufficient reason arrived at their ne plus ultra, in point of why the proceeding should altogether be dominion): this nation, this terror of the condemned: there are few measures, howworld, this

ș conquering race of heroes was re- ever excellent in their nature, but are subject duced to the extremity of employing bireling to being misapplied, and it not unfrequently troops to fight its batiles, which, as may be happens, that this very excellence in their naturally expected, led to a total overthrow nature, renders them the more liable to perof the empire. The Greeks (another nation version. I am, therefore, Sir, inclined to equally renowned, in history) shared the agree with you perfectly in opinion, that same fate, by suffering their warlike tenden- wai, generally speaking, is" a good; though, cy to decline; so that, when attacked, in like the greater part of other good things, the fifteenth century, by the Tarks, they not unmixed with evil.!" I remain, Sir, were under the necessity of leaving their des yours, &C.-W. S. L. -Holborn, March 19, fence to mercenar; soldiers, it being impos-, 1808. sible to prevail upon a single native to take up arms on the occasion; in consequence of

OFFICIAL PAPERS. *} which, they, also, fell an easy prey to the , RUSSIA.

Russia.----Memorial presented to Count ambition of their enemies.- In short, Sir, Romanzoff, the Russian Minister for Folet it be considered in which way you please, reign Affairs, by the English Merchants a tendency to war, under proper restrictions, resident at St. Petersburgh, the result of is not only preferable to a tendency to peace; which was the notification by the Count but is essentially important to the interests that the Passports required would be granto of a nation. Even in private society, with ed.Feb. 28, 1808. the best intentions in the world, it is almost We, the English Merchants who had impossible to go through life without crea- the honour of waiting on your excellency on ting enemies; and it must not therefore be Saturday morning, take the liberty of stating expected, that a nation, which is an object of to your excellency in writing certain points universal observation, can long exist in per- of our conversation, to which we are most fect harmony and peace. War, when con particularly desirous of drawing the attention sidered by itself, is, like most other measures of your excellency Your excellency was that cause the shedding of human blood, good enough to assure us, that our detention hurtful to the mind and repugnant to the here was only a measure of precaution, feelings; but, as I observed particularly in adopted untik information should be received my first letter, it is not the medium, but the of the manner in which Russian merchants object, that is to be looked at: and, more should be treated in England. On this subover, in support of what I then said, respect-ject, permitius most positively to assure your ing ihe connexion between virtue and publie excellency, that all our advices from Eng. happiness, it is worthy of remark, that, al land agree in stating, that neither the prothough jhe objects, which operate individual perty nor the persons of Russiad merchants ly upon the respective inclinations of some are in any way molested ; and it is with the men, are such as induce them to engage in utmost deference that we presume tö'stiggeste? war from

principle of self interest, yet to your excellency, that had such steps been": the common object to be attained by the resorted to in England, the sufferers wúuld 3+1 joint influence of Their exertions, can never long since bave made known ikeit ease' US be inconsistent with the principles of virtue, their friends here, and that it must have if that warabe, strictly speaking," a just been cominunicated to your exeelléney? Ali 30%

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though an embargo was laid on Russian HOLLAND.Decree issued by the King of shipping, in consequence of the detention of Holland, dated Jan. 24, 1808, relative to British ships in this country, yet the lenient the abrogation of the Kniphausen flag.. measures adopted on that occasion by his Louis Napoleon, by the Grace of God Imperial Majesty's government were not and the constitution of the kingdom, King without their effect on ours. We have now of Holland, and Constable of France, Purcertain information, by letters of 22d Dec. suant to the actual ratification of the treaty (N. S.) that ihe embargo has not only been concluded at Fontainbleau, on the 11th of taken off, but an Order of Council has been Nov. 1807, by which the Lordships of issued, permitting the cargoes of all vessels Kniphausen and Varel, are united to this which

may have sailed from the ports of kingdom, in like manner as the territories Russia before the 1st of January to be deli- wbich are consprised in the possessions of the vered to the consignees, and after receiving princes, constituting a part of the confederatheir freights, &c. allowing the ships them- cy of the Rhine, we have decreed and do selves, as in time of peace, to return. We hereby decree as follows:--Art. I. The trust your excellency will not consider the Kniplausen Aag being abrogated in conseadoption of hostile steps by the English go-quence of the union of that territory with vernment against ships of war and their this kingdoin, shall be no longer recognized, crews (the obvious and almost necessary or valid. The cousuls and other agents of consequence of the unfortunate misunder- Count Bentinck, as Lord of Varel and Knipstanding betwixt the two countries), as just hausen, shall be no longer recognized in the cause for detaining the persons of merchants, said capacities.-II. All inhabitants of the or other private individuals: and it ought Kniphausen and Varel territories shall be at still less to affect us, who, during a long re- liberty to carry Dutch colours. They are sidence in Russia, have endeavoured by loy charged to change the antient colours, which alty and good conduct, to merit a conti- they may have belonging to their vessels, the nuance of that generous protection which same being utterly cancelled.—III. All rewe have hitherto enjoyed. "We further beg quests made to Count Bentinck, for leave to leave to add, that we have discharged every sail under the ancient flag, shall immediately debt, and that in the event of our departure, be sent to our Minister of Finance.-IV. no inconsiderable property will remain under Our Ministers of Finance, of the interior, of sequestration. Most of our relatives have Justice and Police, and of Marine, are charged ceased to write to us, under the pleasing ex- with the execution of the present decree, pectation of soon seeing us, whence our fa- which shall be inade public in all places mily affairs, which now demand our whole where it may be deemed necessary. attention, as the sole means of future subsistence, suffer not a little, whilst the absence FRANCE -A Senalus Consullum, of the of all occupation renders us doubly sensible 19th Feb. 1809, published by order of the to the painful uncertainty of our situations. French Government, contains the following

Under these impressions we once more dispositions. beg to' recommend our cause to your excel- Art. 1. Such foreigners as shall render, lency's protection; and from the favourable or have rendered eminent services to the manner in which your excellency was pleased state, or who possessed particular talents, to express your sentiments on the subject, shall settle in France, and introduce there we ventured to persuade ourselves that your any

useful invention or branch of industry, excellency will represent our case in such a shall, afier twelve months residence, enjoy point of view to the higher powers, as to all the rights of French citizens.--2. This produce the removal of those obstacles which privilege shall be comferred to them by our have so long interposed to prevent our de special decree, bylortue of the report of a parture. --According to your exceilency's minister, after th council of state shall have permission, we inclose a list of the names of been heard.-- copy of the said decree the young men (élèves) in the different shall be deliver so the foreigners so natucounting-houses, to whose peculiar situation ralized, signed beerand judge, minister we claimed your excellency's attention, and of justice.—4. Whtis copy be shall prein whose behalf you so kindiy promised your sent himself before the municipality of the interference. We answer for their never place where he means to reside, and take the having been engaged in commerce, either di- oath of obedience to the constitution of the recuy or indirectly.

empire, and of allegiance to the Emperor.

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