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placed. It was impossible, therefore, whelming torrent of malignity, of prethey could be correct either as to his mo- judice, of malice, and of misrepresentatives of action or the consequences likely tion. I denied that Napoleon had ever to result from the step which he took. It been defeated in the field. He, no doubt, is pretty certain also that the abdication found it necessary to retreat after the batof Napoleon was an event which his ene. tle of Leipsic. But this, confessedly, was mies little expected. They could not occasioned by the defection of his Allies, conceive how a man that had been so long who went over to the Confederates in the accustomed to dispose of crowns at plea- heat of the engagement. Even the treasure, could so far become the master of son which led to this disaster did not prehimself; could so readily subdue, what vent Napoleon carrying off the greater they called, his inordinate ambition; could part of his faithful troops, a circumstance bring his inind so easily to abandon the which could not have happened had he splendour, the dignity, the glory that is suffered a defeat. During the six weeks supposed, by its votaries, to accompany he resisted, with a handíul of men, the royalty. They had no conception, no whole combined forces of Europe, in their idea that Napoleon, the haughty, the des- attempts to reach Paris, he was on all ocpotic Napoleon, the slave of every vile casions successful when he could bring and despicable passion, was capable of his opponents to face him in battle. The conquering himself, and of voluntarily 're- astonishing skill, and undaunted bravery linquishing empire over a nation so pow. which he displayed in that campaign, with erful and so celebrated as that of France. so fearful an odds against him, would have Therefore these vile detractors of his been sufficient to immortalize his name as fame, confounded at the unexpected event, a warrior, had he done nothing else to inbad 'determined never to give him credit sure the suffrages of posterity. It was in for any one act of his life; those hired ca- this light I viewed him at the time. It lumniators resolved, the moment they had was in language similar to this that I conin some measure recovered from their stu- veyed my ideas of his astonishing exploits; por, to give Napoleon no quarter. He and when at last he was forced to give up was a coward, a paltroon, a contemptible the contest, I hesitated not to attribute fellow.-A thousand anecdotes were in this to treason, to foul and premeditated vented, to shew that he had resigned his treason, on the part of those in whom he crown merely to insure his personal safety; had placed implicit confidence. Still it that he had preferred a secure retreat to was in his power, I remarked, to prolong the welfare of his old and faithful ad- hostilities, even after the Allies, got posherents; and that, when the means of session of the capital. lle had, I stated, a .wiping off the disgrace, which this shame-considerable force under his immediate ful conduct entailed upon him ; when he command, which, with the troops occupy• was urged by his nearest and dearesting the garrisons, and acting in other parts friends to imitate the example of the an- of France, would have formed an army, cient Roman heroes, and to close his ca- wholly attached to his person, sufficiently reer by what they ironically denominated, formidable to make head against the ina deed worthy of his great name, he cow. vaders. With this force, I observed, it ardly rejected the proposal, shrunk from was in his power to render a contest for the appearance of death, which he had so the government of the country a matter at often braved in a thousand forms, and least of considerable doubt, had he not .sought a hiding place, from the scrutiny preferred the tranquillity and the prosand contempt of honourable minds, on a perity of France to his own individual barren and inaccessible rock in the Ocean. rights. The Allied Powers had declared
-Thus it was that the haters of Napo- that they would not enter upon terms with leon explained his motives of action; thus Napoleon, or any of his family. This it was that they scrutinized his conduct.-was making it a personal quarrel, which The reader who was accustomed at that would have led immediately to a civil war period to attend to the remarks which I in France. To avoid this, I said, Napooffered on this subject, will not fail to re- leon readily abandoned all his pretentions collect that I ventured, notwithstanding to the crown, agreed to accept a pension the almost universally prevailing clamour for himself and house, and to become an against Napoleon, to oppose this over.exilc, in order to give the nation an oppor
tunity of choosing another roler. I also | Napoleon in the light of a defeated or 2 remarked, that the conditions of the treaty degraded Monarch, with whom no chances of Fontainbleau was such, as clearly of recovery remained. On the contrary, showed that the Allies still considered it is plainly admitted, that the advantagehim a formidable personage, whom it was ous terms which he obtained, were the desirable to get rid of almost upon any consequence of his being then too formidaterms; that, instead of having been dictated ble to temporize with, and too much the to, Napoleon had proposed the articles idol of the army to think of prescribing of the treaty, which the Allies considered any other conditions to him than what, in it prudent to accept, rather than risk a re- the circumstances, were honourable and newal of the contest with a man who had just. The particular acts of treason, so often made them feel the fatal effects of which paralized the efforts of Napoleon, opposing his measures. In fact, had not have also been distinctly admitted by those Napoleon obtained a victory over himself; who formerly denied them. All this, I had he not preferred the happiness of am aware, lias not resulted from a desire France to his own immediate interest, a to do justice to that great character. lle struggle for authority might have com- never would, I am satisfied, have been able menced, more fatal to the country than all to draw from his enemies an acknowledgshe had endured in the course of the revo- ment of the truth, had they not found this lution. With these views it might have acknowledgment necessary to their own been easy for me to have predicted the re- justification. But in whatever way the turn of Napoleon, had it been safe in the truth has come out, it is now before the then state of Europe to hint at such an public, and ought to have the effect, at event. But whatever danger there might least, of undeceiving them, of opening have been in avowing this opinion, I knew their eyes to the villainous efforts which that there was none in being persuaded in are every day making, by a base and cormy own mind that he would be recalled rupted press, to involve us in a new war by the people of France. I never once with France. All that these hirelings doubted this, though, I confess, it hap- said as to the causes of Napoleon's abdicapened at a period when I least looked for tion; all the lies they invented to make it it, and has been attended with conse. be believed, that he was deserted by his quences more favorable to liberty than my army, and hited by the people; all and most sanguine expectations had led me to every one of these falsehoods and calumexpect. But while the fact of Napoleon's nies have now been exposed and refuted, restoration, proves the correctness of my and that by the publication of documents former views as to that particular, it has also which cannot be controverted, and which brought to light a mass of evidence as to always command the highest assent. But the real causes of his abdication, and the sincerely as I wish these facts to produce highly favorable terms he obtained from a corresponding effect, I am much afraid the Allies, which completely lays open that the attempts again making to mislead the falsehoods of his traducers, and gives the public mind, will counteract every ento my original speculations on these topics deavour of mine to dispose them to peacean importance which I scarcely calculated able pursuits. How, indeed, can it be they ever would receive. I had no means otherwise, when the mass of the people are of discovering the motives which in tlu so fickle and inconsistent. They cry for enced the Allies, or any part of their deli- war; nothing will satisfy them but interberations; but, from what Kas been re- minnble war; yet, with the same breath, peatedly stated by Ministers, in both they grumble and fret against the taxes, houses of Parliament,-from official papers without which it is impossible for any set laid on the table of the House of Com- of men to carry on war. They would mons--and from the important French have Napoleon destroyed; they would documents inserted above, it is perfectly have France degraded and partitioned; obvious that my remarks at the time of but although they know that these things Napoleon's abdication, were as correct as cannot even be attempted without money, if I had been fully acquainted with the that new and large loans must be resorted discussions which led to the treaty of Fon- to, that the assessed taxes must be greatly tainbleau. In fact, it now appears that increased to pay the interest of these, and the Allied Sovereigns neither considered that the Income Tax, that tax which
has already been denominated a “high-While hope remains, put forth your manly wayman's tar” by the supporters of strength ; unite firmness with moderation; the “ Social System,” is to be renewed convincing argument with eloquence; and with all its terrors. Although they have continue to demonstrate to the divided already felt, and must again feel the per- world, that Peace is better than War.nicious effects of these measures, even No period, in the annals of history, affords should the country continue in a state of to the contemplative mind a collection of peace, they still bawl out for war, for the events so great in magnitude, so extensive punishment of the 5 rebels” in France, in their interests, or so awful in their confor the overthrow of those institutions sequences, as those which at this moment which have exalted France to so lofty a agitate Europe. It is not the concern of a pinnacle, and for the destruction of that single nation, or the interest of this geneman who has endeared himself to the ration only, but the prosperity and happiwhole nation, by uniformly protecting ness of nations unborn, of ages yet to these institutions. All this the enemies of come, that are involved in the doubtful France, and of liberty, demand at the determination of a few individuals.- What hands of ministers, and yet they are so heart, possessed of a single spark of huunreasonable as to complain because they manity, does not sicken when he views the are called upon to contribute the means sanguinary Proclamation issued at Vienby which alone their wishes are to be ac- na? Are our principles and dispositions complished. If we are to have war with to be guided by the hostile spirit it France, I am satisfied that neither ten nor breathes? --- Are we to draw our rules of fifteen per cent. on income will be sufli morality and justice from thence ?-Does cient to support it for any length of time. the happiness of society and the world deAccording to present appearances, France pend on doing evil that good may come? will not be very speedily reduced. It will-If ever a public declaration merited take twenty per cent. at least to accom-universal censure, surely this of all others plish this, if ever it is accomplished. Let demands it. Are these the specimens of those then, who cry for war, who cant in moderation proceeding from the “ Delia cessantly about the establishment of the verers of Europe 2"- What awful conse“Social System,” and the preservation of quences may we not expect, if the same our “ holy religion,” look to this.---'They spirit is to pervade our councils, and goare, at this moment, more likely than ever vern our national divisions ?-It appears to see the flames of war rekindled in Eu- to me, Sir, that this is the momentous perope ; but while they fcel so much gratifi- riod, when the inhabitants of the country cation in this, let them at least be should step forward to implore and petithankful to those who have been the cause tion Parliament, to avert the melancholy of it. Let those who are active in endea- calamities a new war would inevitably provouring to bring on a war, have all the duce. I admit that recent circumstances money they desire. It is by money only do not give us much encouragement to bethat the means of prosecuting the war can lieve the voice of the people would be efbe procured. How senseless, how stupid, fectually regarded; yet the late unsuccesshow inconsistent it is in us to expect war, ful attempt is not without important ad. and not expect that we will be called on vantages, in as much as it has, in my opito pay for it.
nion, done more to convince the bulk of mankind of the absolute necessity of Par
liamentary Reform than any single event Peace or War.
during a long period of time.- A few more
such refusals against the public will, might Mr. COBBETT,-If ever there was a excite a spirit and an energy in the nation time when the interests of mankind im- which would command attention.-If the periously called on the advocates of peace public feeling is not moved, on the present to exert their influence, the present is that occasion, to express its disapprobation at time. You, Sir, have raised your power-threatened hostilities, the administration ful voice in her defence, in a manner truly of the country will be more excusable by honourable to your character, and worthy resolving on prosecuting a war.
Of what the approbation of every friend to hu- real advantage will it be to this nation wanity. Be not wcary in well doing that the Bourbon family should again re- · ascend the throne of France ? Has the is disputed, or an opposite principle re• former sway of that flouse proved so bene- cognised, the nation admit it is already ficial to England? Are we compensated enslaved, and has nothing to expect but for the immense expenditure of treasure, oppression, taxation, and cruelty. Let and the waste of lives it has cost Great the question be dispassionately asked: Britain, in fruitless attempts to re-establish Shall we gain by recommencing hostilithe Bourbons? Is the interest of a single ties against France? Shall we look back foreign family to rise paramount to the in- to the last twenty-five years, and, by this terest of a whole Empire? What can so retrospect, fortify our minds and stimufar infatuate the minds of the enemies of late our desires to a fresh combat? Will peace? Is it the genuine love they bear the millions of money expended, the into Louis, or the real hatred they feel to calculable number of lives lost, the inNapoleon ? Are these causes sufficient creased paupers throughout every city, why the blood of England should again town, village, or hamlet; will these excite flow in torrents? Is the war faction so with ardour the mind to renewed acts of sure of success as to leave no fearful doubts desolating slaughter ? Will the moral of accomplishing their wishes? Is Bona sense be improved, and the best feelings of parte a novice in the art of war, or so humanity advanced ? Will our character feeble a politician as to be unable to guide as a nation professing christianity exemthe immense power which 25 millions of plify the charities of that religion we boast? people have placed in his hands ? Because Judging from past conduct, we seem to of his former momentary humiliation, a imagine war a necessary good, rather than bumiliation ascribed to one rash enter the greatest evil that can afflict a nation. prise, are we to calculate on a repetition Are we desirous for the revisitation of the of such fortuitous events? Experience, Income Tax, the loss of commerce, and the the best instructor, will correct his impe- depression of public spirit ? Such consetuous judgment, and influence him to more quences are inseparable with a state of caution. His situation at this moment, is warfare.-If the contest once begins, who far different to that in which he stood can say where it will end ? We may flat. after his return from Russia. Not less ter ourselves it will be of short duration. than 200,000 soldiers, prisoners from va- - This delusive hope existed in the com. rious nations, have returned to France. 'mencement of the former war; yet it conNearly the whole, it may fairly be pre- tinued for a quarter of a century. sumed, will gladly rejoin their old idolized England now in equal condition to supCaptaiii. He has also possession of all the ply the Allies with money. The wealth well fortified places throughout the Empire. of England must flow, otherwise the comThe wonderful enterprize, from Elba to bat will be of short continuance. But why Paris, without the slightest opposition, should England provide for the expences must inspire a military ardour through of other nations? Has she a deeper inevery rank in the army, and diffuse a mar. terest at stake then they have? Or does tial glory over the whole nation.--If any she entertain a greater hate to the power act can give a just title to a crown, it must of France ? Is not our former useless be the voice of the people. This voice has prodigality, by which our national debt is been plainly manifested throughout all so enormously increased, sufficient to France.- Never was there a more unequi- check further subsidies ? Are our public vocal proof exhibited to the world. The expences never to be æconomized ? Or unanimity of the French people, is the must we run the desperate hazard of unibest pledge of Buonaparte's strength, and versal ruin, which, in my humble opinion, ultimate success. The same principle may be awfully demonstrated in the prothat gave to the House of Brunswick the secution of another war with France ? throne of England, justifies Napoleon's claim to the throne of France. The So.
MERCATOR. vereign will of the people is the only fountain of legitimate authority. If this right ) Birmingham, 12th April.
I am, &c.
Printed and Published by G. Houston, No. 192, Strand; where all Communications addressed te
the Editor, are requested to be forwarded.
Vol. XXVII. No. 17.] LONDON, SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 1815. [Price 16.
[511 TO THE
then, I again ask, are the pretences for
war? MERCIANTS OF ENGLAND,
The opinion you have been induced to On the projected War against France, entertain is this : that Napoleon will al
and on the subject of Parliamentary ways seek occasions for using the forces of Reform.
France against foreign nations; that he GENTLEMEN,
will still be a conqueror; that he will
again force us to go to war. Admit this Amongst all the classes of the commu- to be true. I let you beg the question; nity there is not one, I believe, with the and, even then, what is your meaning? exception, perhaps, of the Borough-faction Why, that you will force him into war and their dependants, who are so eager noro, lest he should force us into war here. for war against France, and who are so after! But, what is all this talk about his hostile to Parliamentary Reform, as the ambitious projects; about his conquests; Merchants, by which word I mean, rich about his restless disposition? Suppose all men in Trade of all kinds. To argue with you say to be true. Suppose him again to the Borough-faction would be useless ; extend his sway from Cadiz to Hamburgh, but, thougủ, I must confess, I have little from the Scheldt to the Po, why should hope of succeeding, I cannot refrain from you be alarmed ? His power would not afmaking one effort, upon this particular oc- fect us. It would not endanger our safe. casion, to convince you that you are de- ty. These Islands would benefit, if any ceived, and that, in spite of all your un- thing, from such a change in the political derstanding, you long have been, and still power of Europe. are, used as the tools.of a crafty and cor- But, the truth is, that every reasonable rupt faction in the supporting of a system man must be convinced, that the changes, injurious and degrading to your country which have taken place in France, necesat large, and to no part of the people more sarily tend to the preservation of peace. than to yourselves.
Nay, it is acknowledged, or, rather, ostenAs to the projected war with France, tatiously asserted, by the advocates for on what ground can it be justified? What war, that Napoléon has not the means of cause is there for sych war? France has contending against the Allies; that the pot injured us. Our Regent explicitly, in people of France are opposed to his col. an official way, I mean in his declaration lecting a large army. Now, either this is suhjoined to the Treaty of Vienna of the true, or, it is false. If true, where is the 25th March, disavows all intention, as he danger to be apprehended from his restless might have disavowed all right, to inter- disposition? If false, where is the hope of fere in the domestic affairs of France. that speedy success against him which is so What, then, can be the cause of war? confidently talked of? France has not injured us. France dis. It is as a disturber of the peace of Eu. a vows all designs of foreign conquest. rope that the Borough-faction exclaim France declares her readiness, and, in- against him. I state as a fact, that, in deed, her resolution to abide by the treaty every war with every nation, with whom of Paris ; yes, even that treaty which we the French have been at war, since the and our allies, backed by enormous ar- year 1791, the aggression has ucen on the mies, wrung from the Bourbons. The part of the enemies of France. I pledge Emperor Napoleon, since his return to myself to maintain this proposition against power, has neglected nothing to convince any one, at any time. But, at present, to the world of his anxious desire to remain speak of Napoleon's conduct; he has at peace. He has made overtures, in a never let pass an occasion of restoring regular way, to renew and preserve with peace to Europe, from the date of his meus all the relationships of peace. What, morable Letter to our King in 1799 to the