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tile to Mr. Madison; that commotions were actually in existence; that the States. were upon the eve of dividing; that the President was about to be impeached; and, that we ought not to make peace, till he was deposed and punished. They now tell us of divisions and commotions in France. This is now the lure to entice us into an approbation of war.
descending to posterity together; a consideration which cannot, of course, fail to encourage me in a continuance of the correspondence. The TIMES recommends to you and your colleagues to put a stop, by the strong hand of power, to writings like mine, in order to prevent their being transfused into the French language; and, it does this in the same breath, in which it calls upon this burdened nation to make war upon France, because (as it falsely asserts) she has a tyrant at the head of her government. Such are the writers, who call for war against the French people: such, if you plunge us into war, will be your friends and supporters. I have been told, that, amongst other means, that have been made use of to impede the circulation of the Register, it has been forbidden to be taken in at Army Mess-Rooms and in Ward-Rooms on board of Ships of War. I have never complained of this. But, my Lord, it is very hard, if I am to be permitted to have readers neither abroad nor at home. And, what a cause must that be, which thus wishes to silence by the strong hand of power, all its opponents!
But, my Lord, the very same papers are compelled to confess, that some of the Belgian troops have been actually killed, and others wounded in an effort to go over to the French; that, at Liege, some of the Saxon (now Prussian) soldiers have mutinied, refused to march, and have even attempted acts of violence on the dear old Blucher," whose whiskers the nasty wretches in London, calling themselves "Ladies," were beastly. enough to slob
But the subject on which I am now about to address your Lordship, is of a more serious nature. The partisans of war, always blind to the past, appear to be very busily engaged, at this time, in providing for themselves, in advance, every species of disappointment and mortification. They have, as in the case of America, spoken with so much confidence of success; with so much contempt of the adversary; and with so much insolence have they treated him and the whole of the French nation, that, were they not noto-ber. Nay, we are told, and that, too, in a riously dead to all sense of shame, they proclamation under his own hand, that must, in case of failure, commit upon he has escaped assassination." We read, themselves that act, which they would in proclamations of the King of Prussia, richly merit from the hands of a personage that to speak in favour of Napoleon is to who is about upon their own level in point be punished with the utmost severity. And of occupation. They have now started yet, we are not to be permitted to doubt, new game; they have now discovered new that all the nations on the Continent are ground of hope. They now tell us that very hearty in the cause against France; France is in a state of commotion, and al- while the most insignificant riot in France most of rebellion, against Napoleon; and, we are to look upon as the certain sign of that when once the allied armies begin to national hostility to the present govern move into France, the whole nation will ment. de clare for the King.
My Lord, you know this to be false; but, it is no more than merely the second chapter of the delusions practised with regard to America. These same writers told us, that the people of America were hos
And, my Lord, to what do these commotions amount? That there are discontented persons in France; that the Bourbons have partisans amongst ex-nobles and ex-priests, who had begun again to scent the sweets of feudal and ecclesiasticaltyranny, is so natural, that it would be miraculous indeed, if there were not troubles in the interior of France. But to what do they amount,? We hear of breaches of the peace, we hear of political squabbling ; we hear of angry and violent disputes; but where, since the surrender of the Duke of Angouleme, do we hear of any thing like a powerful opposition to the present order of things? We are told, by the TIMES newspaper, that, in one particular instance, cannon has been brought to de fend the barracks against the people.
If, my Lord, the same criterion were applied to ourselves, what should we say? We have seen, and, I believe, we now see, more than one county in Ireland proclaimed to be in a state of disturbance ; we saw, not long ago, counties in England
in a similar state; we have, within these few years, seen a Prime Minister shot in the lobby of the House of Commons, and we saw great numbers of troops brought to London and stationed at no great distance from the place of Mr. Bellingham's execution. The newspapers informed us, that, in the disturbed counties in England, the Judges were guarded by troops of the line. Mr. Bankes is reported, in our newspapers, to have said, not long since, in the House of Commons, that the military were sometimes called in to assist in collecting the taxes in your country, Ireland. The newspapers have recently told us of two instances, at Norwich and at Lynn, in England, where the German troops were employed to keep the people from committing violences. And, how long, how many weeks is it since troops of the line were brought to prevent your own kouse from being demolished, as those of the Lord Chancellor and the Chief Judge's had been? Nay, were not troops of the line brought to defend the Parliament We are told, that the measures of police, Ilouse and its Members against the peo- which have been adopted in France, prove ple; and that, too, only about nine weeks, that Napoleon and his government feel or ten weeks ago? Is there any thing themselves in danger. But, my Lord, let going on in France equal to these occur. us bear in mind, that, during the war rences? And, yet, does any one pretend, against the French Republic, the Habeas that this government is, or has been, likely Corpus Act was suspended in England for to be overthrown? It is said, from the seven years, and that the King and council German papers, that Napoleon takes pre-imprisoned, without trial, for any length cautions against assassination; and, sure- of time, any man whom they thought it ly, my Lord, after all that has been pro- right to imprison; and, that, in Ireland, mulgated, and even attempted, such pre-martial law was in existence at severat cautions cannot be thought wholly un-periods, and for a great length of time. necessary. But, does this argue, that the Yet, did any one ever presume to say, nation hate him? Our gracious and be- that the King and his government were loved King went to the Parliament House, hated by the nation? and to the Play, of late years, in a bulletproof coach; but, did that fact argue, that he was hated by his people?
We are told also to look at the French funds, and to conclude from their price, that the nation are disaffected towards the Every trifle, the words, or pretended government. I have shewn; I have words, of any individual, hostile to Napo-proved, in my last number, that the French leon, is greedily caught at and carefully funds are very nearly as high in price as retailed out, by the writers in London. ours are. I have demonstrated this: but, If the press of Paris were to pursue this is there no other cause for low price of mode with regard to our government, public funds in France besides that of the what would it make of the pithy precepts disaffection of the people? The wonder and sentiments, written on the walls in and is, that when a million of men are preabout London, where any one may ea- paring to invade France, the funds sell sily find words in pruise of Napoleon, for any thing at all. Their being at 60, but I will not say what is to be found under such circumstances, proves the great with regard to others. Why, if the walls confidence of the nation. If we were upon of Paris were written over in such a way the point of being actually invaded; if as to Napoleon and his government, we we saw only 100 thousand men on board should he told hourly to expect to hear of of boats in Bologne harbour ready to sail his total destruction. for England, and had no defence but a land
What reason have we, then, to suppose that he is not liked by the people of France? How came he at Paris? What but the good wishes, the anxious desires, of the people, took him thither? What! are we to be made believe, that he, who went, not only without an army, but al most without companions of any sort, 500 miles through cities and towns fortified, and arrived in the capital without having seen a single hand raised against him; are we to believe, that he is now hated by the people of France? And, are we to believe, that Louis, who found not a single man to defend his throne; whosedeparture was as quiet as if he had been a traveller, lodged at an hotel; who, with all the armies, all the civil authorities, all the treasures of the country, at his commaad, could not, though he offered im-mense rewards, obtain the support of any dozen of persons: are we to believe, that the whole of the French nation are now for this king?
would be at? Yet, the French see many hundreds of thousands of men armed against them; they know that they have to depend only on their arms for defence; they have no sea to protect them; they know that their country is liable to be invaded every hour: still their funds are nearly at as good a price as ours. What reason, therefore, have we to conclude from the price of the funds, that the French nation are disaffected towards their government? But suppose the funds were to experience in France a greater fall. What have we seen in England? Why, we saw the Bank stop payment in 1797, not upon au actual invasion by an army, but merely upon the report of an invasion being intended, though we had the whole country armed, and though we had a fleet to defend us of more tiran 500 ships of war! It was then that the Bank obtained an act of parliament to enable it to refuse to pay its own notes in money. From that time it has not paid in money, except in a trifling degree. Since that, laws have been passed to make Bank notes a legal tender, and to proh.bit the sale of guineas. Yet, no one has presumed to say that the nation hated the king, and that the people would not fight to defend the country against foreign invasion. Why, therefore, are we to -conclude that the French nation hate Napoleon, because the French funds are at a low price?
defence, what price do you think our funds | has been called, except in the town of Plymouth, whose address for war is considered in the same light as the prostestant Fishermen of Newfoundland giving "the Pope" as a standing toast. The truth is, that, from one end of the country to the other, the feeling of the people is against war. There is not one man, or woman, out of ten, who dees not condemn the presumptuous notice of making war upon France to compel her to change her Chief Magistrate. The case is so plain, that afl men understand it. They all say, that we have no business to intermeddle. The questien admits of no disguise. For this time even the craft of the prostituted newspapers cannot succeed in deceiving the people. Therefore, if you still resolve to enter upon this war, you find no voluntary contributions; you will find very little zeal on the part of the mass of the people; and, if events should compel you to make peace, you will find yourselves in such a situation as no English Ministry were ever before it. You will then feel the real effect of that system of politics begun by Pitt, which system has been pursued from 1792 'till the present hour. I am, &c. &c. WM. COBBETT. Botley, 23d Mag, 1815.
I think it is clear, then, that we have no good reason to rely for assistance in war, if war should be finally resolved ou, on the dislike of the people of France to their government. We must rely, I think solely rapon the force of our arms and those of our Allies; and, if all the people of France are heartily opposed to us, what prospect have we of ultimate success?
On the other hand, how do the people of England feel as to this expected war? There have been petitions, or remonstrances, against it in London, Westminster, Nottingham, and others are preparing. But, where have we seen a meeting to upprove of the war? For the war of 1793 there were Meetings in abundance. Not one in favour of this war. › It is not to be -doubted, that the Noblesse and the Clergy and other persons would call Meetings in favour of war, if the public feeling was at all for war. Yet not one such Meeting
SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, BART. On the Pitt System of war against France. Botley, 24th May, 1815. SIR, Your speech, delivered at the Westminister Meeting, last week, has led to a train of reflections in my mind, which.. I cannot refrain from laying before the public, and, in order that they may have a better chance of possessing some little merit in the eyes of my readers, I address them immediately to you.
From the out-set of the wars against the Republic of France, you contended, that the result would be injurious to England. I will, for the present, leave aside the reul motives of the wars, and will merely consider their effects, as they have hitherto developed themselves. You contended, that we ought to have left the French nation to itself; that, justice and morality and freedom out of the question, the English nation would, in the end, greatly suffer in consequence of war against France. That, therefore, wisdom,
at peace. The politics of PITT first, and afterwards of LORDSGRENVILLE and GREY, of PERCIVAL and LORD CASTLEREAGH, were directly opposed to yours. They were for war, and (leaving justice out of the question), they said it was necessary, in order to prevent the contagion of French principles. They said, that they were aware that great sacrifices would be necessary; but, that it was better to sacrifice a part than the whole of our property and our religion into the bargain. They asserted, that France was in the gulph of bunkruptcy; and, that if we expended much, she would be totally ruined.
sound policy, bade our government remain | land could not be reduced without leaving the government to make loans in time of peace. The war had, to outward appearance, been crowned with success. The Bourbons, the Pope, the Inquisition had been restored, and "French principles" had been extinguished. But, in the ob taining of this success, the nation had incurred an additional debt, the interest of which demanded 31 millions of pounds sterling to be raised in taxes every year for ever, which, with the 9 millions of taxes annually required before 1793, made 40 millions a year for ever to be raised in taxes. It was soon discovered, that the reward which long perseverance in the war was to receive, was never to be received. The nation, no longer amused and buoyed up by the events of war, and the hopes of its final success, began to cry out for relief from its burdens. Those who were able to escape from their share of these burdens, sought relief by going to live in France. The land became unable to pay the taxes, necessary to discharge the interest of the debt and to keep up the army, navy, and other establishThis was the day of triumph with the ments. A law was passed to keep out system of Pitt! Now it was, that you French produce, in order to enable the were tauntingly reminded of your long op- land in England to pay its taxes. The position to the war. Now it was, that people cried aloud against such a measure, you were called upon to confess your at a moment when they expected cheaperror, and to go and perform " an act of ness to return, and when trade, commerce, penitence at the foot of the statue of Pitt." and manufactures were visibly on the deYou were better employed. You were cline. A shock was felt from one end of fox-hunting, I believe. In the mean the kingdom to the other. All was now while the nation was drunk with joy. manifestly out of joint; and the govern Bonfires, bell ringing, roasting oxen, il-ment appeared to be more embarrassed Juminations, sham-fights, temples of vic- than at any period of the war, not except tory, triumphal arches. The country re- ing even that when the Bank stopped pay. sounded with the boast of our having ing its notes in money. gloriously triumphed at last; of our long perseverance having been rewarded by a glorious result.
The war began. France, instead of being conquered, became a conqueror. France, in the year 1797, had got rid of .almost the whole of her debt, and her currency was gold, while, in that same year, the Bank of England obtained an Act of Parliament to enable it to refuse to pay its bills in money. Still the war raged, till, at last, in 1814, we saw the Bourbons actually replaced upon the throne of France.
But, it did not require the return of Napoleon to make the nation feel, that all this boasting was without reason, and that, while the recent events had afforded ground for transient exultation, the perseverance in the war had loaded us with lasting calamities. It did not require the return of Napoleon to convince us of this. The people had been buoyed up with the hope, that PEACE would bring them ease from the burdens which they had so long been compelled to bear. But, they soon discovered, that, even with the Bourbons on the throne of France, the taxes in Eng
This was the situation of England when Napoleon returned to France. There fore, in estimating the Pitt system, I have no need, unless I choose, to take into view this wonderful event; for, it seems to me, that that system would have produced all the evils that you foreboded, if this event had never taken place. This system had, indeed, replaced the Bourbons on the throne, contrary to your expectations and your hopes; but, it had, in doing that, destroyed the prosperity and happiness of England. It had, it was supposed, extingaished "French principles;" but, in order to do that, it had made paupers of, perhaps, a million of our people; and it had laid its hands on a great part of the
property and the earnings of the rest of the community. It had closed the contest by making it the interest of English people of fortune to go and live upon that fortune in France, in order to be more at their ease, and to enjoy greater happiness than they could, with the same means, enjoy at Home. These were the permanent effects which the Pitt system had produced, before the return of Napoleon; and, I believe, that few men of any knowledge as to these, matters, will be found to say, that we should have been able, without some very great change at home, to have gone on for any length of time in peace. It is notorious, that the distresses of the country were never so great as during the last twelve months. That the merchant, the manufacturer, the shop-keeper, the artisan, never experienced so great a degree of distress; and, we have recently heard it declared in the House of Commons, that the County Jails are now crowded with the Cultivators of the Land. This is what was never before known in England. It is a new, and the most conclusive proof, of national distress.
upon those persons who remained, and whose means of paying taxes would have been diminished daily; that the demand for labour, in all branches, would have decreased; that the nation would have become more and more languid and feeble; and this, too, while the means of France, from the migration of English of all sorts, not excepting the ablest of manufacturers, would have increased in a like proportion; and while America, our war with whom was the natural consequences of, and, indeed, made a part of, the Pitt system, had established manufactories to a great extent, and was coming forth, fresh, vigorous, elated, full of reputation, of hope, and of means, to enter upon a rivalship with us, not only in maritime commerce, but also in naval power.
Such was the result; such were the effects of the Pitt system, even as things stood previous to Napoleon's departure from Elba. Such were the effects, upon the supposition that "French principles" had really been extinguished in Europe. If any one deny the facts which I have stated, he will, of course, reject the conclusion at which I have been aiming; but if no one can deny these facts, no one can deny, that the Pitt system has been the most fatal that England ever saw; and that, even while the Bourbons were on the throne of France, you were justified in maintaining, that your opposition to the war had been, by the result, proved to have been founded in wisdom: not only in justice and a love of freedom, but in
While England was in this state, France afforded to all who went thither, proofs of great internal prosperity. Her agriculture was pouring its super-abundance upon us, and was producing that cheapness which our people wanted, which the necessities of the government could not allow it to permit them to have. The land in France, comparatively, little burdened, was sending forth its products to cause cheapness here, and to carry back the means of fruc-sound policy, having in view solely the tification in its own bosom. The French prosperity and power of England. loaf was driving our own out of the market, and compelling our government either to exclude it from our country, or to abstain from taking from the land in England the means of paying the interest of the debt, occasioned by that war, which had terminated in re-placing the Bourbons on the throne of France, and, as was thought, in extinguishing "French principles."
But it may be said, and by some persons it will be said, that though the fact be incontestibly proved, that England has lost greatly by the war against. France; though it be proved, that even with the Bourbons on the throne, har prosperity was sapped, her force greatly impaired, her people plunged in distress, and her financial overthrow clearly approaching: though all this be proved, she had by war avoided a revolution. If by revolution is meant a reform in Parliament, I agree to the assertion. But I will not, at present, contend upon this head. Granted, that we must have had a revolution, in the Pitt sense of the word, if we had not had war. And what then? Why, if we had had a revolution, we should, at any rate, not have been worse off than the people of
It was manifest to all men, capable of reasoning upon such subjects, that the result, if peace had continued, even with the Bourbons in France, would have been the most deplorable distress in England. It was manifest, that a large part of the rents of land, and of the dividends on stock, would have been drawn from England and expended in France; that the undiminished taxes would have fallen wholly