Page images

your own imagination, and to that of your
hearers, in monstrous caricature. There
is also a marvellous coincidence in the oc
casions which excited in Mr. Burke a
frantic fear of liberty, and that which seems
to be producing a similar aborration in
you. Here I trust the parallel will fail.
The influence of his name and of a mind
still powerful, had no small share in giv-
ing real existence to the horrors of his dis-
ordered fancy; and the prophecies for
which he obtained so much credit, were
greatly accessary to their own fulfilment.
It is the recollection of that epoch which I
hope may yet preserve us. Then we had
no such example for
no such example for our instruction.
Europe is yet at peace, and you, Sir, are
doing your part to rekindle a war, of
which the dreadful experience of the last
twenty-three years enables us, before-
hand, to estimate the character. This is
a subject for severe deliberation and not
for a display of rhetoric. "Peace with-

means sure of success by the way of arms. | you are describing present themselves to.
There was, then, no magnanimity here,
even if we could forget how the crowned al-
lies had been treated by Napoleon when he
really had them in his power. The allies
had been accused of magnanimity at Fon-
tainbleau; the nation were bellowing very
loudly about it; they began to be very
much out of humour that Napoleon had
not been put out of the way completely;
when your Lordship, in justice to the al-
lies, stepped forward and very clearly
showed, that they had by no means been
guilty of any thing like magnanimity;
that they had made the best bargain that
they were able to make for themselves;
and, that the English nation might be sa-
tisfied, that the allies would have dealt
harder by Napoleon if they had been in a
situation to do it without danger to them-
selves. Mr. Grattan seems very bitterly
provoked, that Napoleon should have pre-
pared 60,000 men for the invasion of Eng-
land. But, does not this gentleman al-
low, that the French have as great a right" out security and war without allies."
to invade England, as the English have to
invade France? We made landings at
Toulon, at Quiberon, and we even now
are, if the public papers speak truth, send-
ing all sorts of implements for killing
men; for enabling the people to shed each
others blood, in the West of France. I
hope that this is not true; but, while our
newspapers are boasting of this, it is
likely, that we shall excite much shame in
the French nation for their having been led
to make preparations for the invasion of

The other topics I reserve for my next.
-I am, &c.

This Antithesis, we are told, drew forth the applause of the honorable assembly to whom you addressed your first philippic! But did you attempt to inform them, how many campaigns it may require to replace Frauce in a situation capable of holding out the security which she now offers? Her limits determined and acknowledged: men of tried integrity, the friends of peace and moderation, at the head of her councils: her people, and even her army, unless indeed the late excitements have stimulated it to fury, languishing for repose. And as to our wanting allies at a future period, did you stop to say that we purchase them now, and that we shall specdily fail in the means of purchasing? That TO THE RIGHT Hox. II. GRATTAN. to obtain such allies, subsides alone are SIR-From the parliamentary debates, needed; and that to continue even this as given in the Morning Chronicle of the miserable traffic in accomplices, peace is 26th inst. it appears that you have chosen indispensible? The Government of France this critical juncture to commence a course is, you say, a stratocracy: did you explain of oratory in opposition to those princi- how it became such? and why she adopted ples in the support of which you have ac- that system of subjugation you censure so quired a celebrity, which, I fear, will give bitterly? She had to fight with Europe undue importance to your new character.single handed: she conquered alliances Like your countryman, and predecessor in the same course, you have adopted a style in which Antithesis holds the place of argument, and metaphor of facts; a style of which deception is the essence, which aggravates on the one hand, and extenuates on the other, until the objects

whilst we purchased them. The General
who led her to victory became, mis
chievously, I allow, but most naturally,
her ruler.
her ruler. At length the tide of victory
turned; the conquered allies proved faith-
less, as though they had been purchased;
and this very General was given up, that

the people of France might escape from a state of war, of which they had good cause to be weary. We, however, gave them a king with old notions, and with the old nobility and priesthood at his heels: these proved still less tolerable than war, and they recalled their Emperor. He remembered their sacrifice of himself for peace, and knew that the promise of peace would be the pledge of their attachment. He, therefore, abjured his schemes of conquest, and submitted himself to moderate councils. Yet you would again urge, nay compel, to war that nation, headed by the same General, and with the same

of his silent departure, you talk of the
beneficence of his reign; and the Consti-
tution, agreed to, but not observed, was
only not too good for these poor French-
men!--The one descends from the throne
unnoticed; the other is received with
acclamation. Yet in our Senate it is
declared, and more wonderful, is be
lieved, that the former was the choice, and
the latter is the abhorrence of his subjects!
I am, Sir, &c. &c.

Wanborough, May 29, 1815.



Conference of the 12th May, 1815.
The Committee appointed on 9th instant, and

charged to examine, whether, after the events
which have passed since the return of Napoleon
Bonaparte to France, and in consequence of the
documents published at Paris on the Declaration
which the Powers issued against him on the 13th
of March last, it would be necessary to proceed
to a new Declaration, presented at the sitting of
this day the following Report:→


breath in which you detail his triumphs! EXTRACT FROM MINUTES OF CONFERENCES OF lle made his brother King of Holland; he called his son King of Rome: and it is Alexander King of Poland, Frederick William King of Saxony, and the immaculate cabinet of Great Britain (which appointed the King of Belgium by an armed force,) together with his father-in-law, the equally legitimate sovereign of half Italy; these are the pure and honourable avengers of political morality and the faith of treaties!!! The most unpardonable offence of Napoleon was quitting Elba, just before those righteous observers of treaties had fixed on the place of his final seclusion. "Voila le congrés dessous" are words that can never be forgiven by the confederacy of Monarchs. "Imperial Europe" sickened at the sound; but it was music to the people; to thousands in this island who would not yield, in real attachment to the Constitution, to your former professions. Napoleon takes possession of an offered throne:-This, upon your new scale, is gigantic wickedness."-Assumption by force, of the government of an unwilling people, is vice in moderation," and "has displeased you." He intended to take possession of England: he intends to take possession of Belgium: he intends to enslave Europe: on these presumptions Great Britain must be taxed to destruc

[ocr errors]

The Declaration published on the 15th of March last against Napoleon Bonaparte and his adherents, by the Powers who signed the treaty of Paris, having, since his return to Paris, beea discussed in various shapes by those whom he has employed for that purpose; these discussions having acquired great publicity, and a letter addressed by him to all the Sovereigns, as well as a note addressed by the Duke of Vicenza to the heads of the Cabinets of Europe, having been also published by him with the manifest intention of influencing and misleading public opinion, the Committee appointed in the sitting of the 9th inst. was charged to present a report on these topics; and considering that in the above-mentioned publications, it has been attempted to invalidate the Declaration of the 13th of March, by laying it down,-1. That that Declaration, directed against Bonaparte, at the period of his tion; the wretched subjects of Russia, landing on the coast of France, was without apAustria, and Prussia, must be led to plication now that he had laid hold of the reins of slaughter;-France must be laid waste by government without open resistance, and that this fire and sword! If no intelligence had fact sufficiently proving the wishes of the nation, reached us, you could not have believed he had not only re-entered into possession of his that Louis the Desired, having adminis-old rights in regard to France, but that the questered with wisdom an excellent constitution, should not have collected even a small band of faithful adherents to grace his exit. And now that we have heard

tion even of the legitimacy of his government had ceased to be within the jurisdiction of the powers;-2. That by offering to ratify the Treaty of Paris, he removed every ground of war against

him;-The Committee has been especially charged conducted Bonaparte to Paris, and restored to to take into consideration-1. Whether the po-him for the moment the exercise of supreme sition of Bonaparte in regard to the Powers of power, have, doubtless, in fact, altered the posi Europe has changed by the fact of his arrival at ❘tion in which he was at the period of his entering Paris, and by the circumstances that accompanied France; but these events, brought on by criminal the first success of his attempt on the throne of collusion, by military conspiracies, by revolting France;-Whether the offer to sanction the treasous, can create no right; they are absolutely Treaty of Paris, of the 51st of May, 1814 can null in a legal point of view; and in order to the determine the Powers to adopt a system different position of Bonaparte being essentially aud from that which they announced in the Declara legitimately altered, it would be necessary that tion of the 13th of March; -3. Whether it be the steps which he has taken to establish himself necessary or proper to publish a new declaration on the ruins of the government overturned by to confirm or modify that of the 13th of March? him, should have been confirmed by some legał The Committee having maturely examined these title. Bonaparte lays it down in his publicaquestions, subraits to the assembly of Plenipo- tions, that the wishes of the French nation in tentiaries the following account of the result of favour of his re-establishment on the throne its deliberations :-suffice to constitute this legal title. The question for the powers to examine may be stated as fol lows:-Can the consent, real or fictitious, expli cit or tacit, of the French nation to the re-esta blishment of Bonaparte's power, operate a legal change in the position of the latter in regard to


Is the position of Bonaparte in regard to the Powers of Europe altered by the first success of his enterprise, or by the events which have passed since his arrival in Paris.

these powers?-The Committee are of opinion that such cannot by any means be the effect of such consent; and the following are their rea Sons:--The Powers know too well the principles which ought to guide them in their relations with an independent country, to attempt (as it is endeavoured to accuse them) " to impose upon it laws, to interfere in its internal affairs, to pre

The Powers, informed of the landing of Bo-foreign powers, and form a title obligatory on Raparte in France, could see in him only a man who, by advancing on the French territory, with force and arms, and with the avowed project of overturning the established Government, by ex. citing the people and the army to revolt against their lawful Sovereign, and by usurping the title of Emperor of the French, (1) had incurred the penalties which all legislations pronounce against such outrages,—a man who, by abusing the good faith of the sovereigns, had broken a solemu treaty, a man, in fine, who, by recalling upon France, happy and tranquil, all the scourges of internal and external war, and upon Europe, at a moment when the blessings of peace must have consoled her for her long sufferings, the sad necessity of a new general armament, was justly re. garded as the implacable enemy of public welfare. Such was the origin, such were the grounds of the Declaration of the 13th of March;;--a Decla

scribe to it a form of government, to give it mas ters according to the interests or passions of its neighbours (2). But they also know that the liberty of a nation to change its system of govern ment must have its just limits, and that if foreign

Powers have not the right to prescribe to it the exercise which it shall make of that liberty, they have at least indubitably the right of protesting against the abuse which it may make of it at their expense. Impressed with this principle, the

Powers do not deem themselves authorised to

ration of which the justice and necessity have impose a government on France; but they will been universally acknowledged, and which ge-blishment in France of a focus of disorders and of never renounce the right of preventing the esta ueral opinion has sanctioned. The events which

(1) The 1st Article of the Convention of the 11th of April, 1814, is as follows; The Emperor Napolcon renounces for himself, his successors, and descendants, as well as for all the members of his family, all rights of sovereignty and of power, not only over the French empire and the Kingdom of Italy, but also over every other country." Notwithstanding this formal renunciation, Bonaparte in his different proclamations from the Gulf of Juan, from Gap, Grenoble and Lyons, entiled himself "by the Grace of God and the constitutions of the empire Emperor of the French, &c. &c. &c. See Moniteur of March

21, 1015.

subversions to other States, under the title of a Government. They will respect the liberty of France in every way in which it shall not be ins compatible with their own security and the ge neral tranquillity of Europe. In the existing case, the right of the Allied Sovereigns to interfere in the question of the internal government of France, is the more incontestible, inasmuch as the abolition of the power which now claims to

(2) It is thus that Bonaparte's Council of State express themselves in their Report on the inten tions of the Powers. See Moniteur of the 13th of April.'

be re-established there, was the fundamental con- | Europe and the happiness of France. Never, in dition of a treaty of peace, on which rested all treating with Bonaparte, would they have conthe relations which, up to the return of Bona-sented to the conditions which they granted to parte to Paris, subsisted between France and a government, which, while offering to Europe the rest of Europe. On the day of their entrance a pledge of security and stability, relieved them into Paris, the Sovereigns declared that they from requiring from France the guarantees which would never treat of peace with Bonaparte (3). they had demanded under its former govern This declaration, loudly applauded by Francement."(5) This clause is inseparable from the and by Europe, produced the abdication of Na- treaty of Paris; to abelish it, is to break this poleon and the convention of the 11th of April; treaty. The formal consent of the French pa it formed the principal basis of the negociation; tion to the return of Bonaparte to the throne it was explicitly pronounced in the preamble of would be equivalent to a declaration of war the treaty of Paris. The French nation, even against Europe: for the state of peace did not supposing it perfectly free and united, cannot exist between Europe and France, except by the withdraw itself from this fundamental condition treaty of Paris, and the treaty of Paris is incomwithout abrogating the treaty of Paris and all its patible with the power of Bonaparte. If this existing relations with the European system. reasoning had need of further support, it might The allied Powers, on the other hand, by insist-be found in the very offer of Bonaparte to ratify ing on this very condition, only exercise a right the treaty of Paris. This treaty had been scru which it is impossible to contest to them, unless pulously observed and executed: the transactions it be maintained that the most sacred compacts of the Congress of Vienna were only its supplecan be perverted as suits the convenience of either ments and developments; and without the new of the contracting parties. It hence follows, that attempt of Bonaparte, it would have been for a the will of the people of France is by no means long series of years one of the bases of the public sufficient to re-establish, in a legal sense, a Go- right of Europe: but this order of things has vernment proscribed by solemn engagements, given place to a new revolution; and the agents which that very people entered into with all the of this revolution, although they proclaim inces Powers of Europe; and that they cannot, under santly "that (6) nothing has been changed," conany pretext, give validity as against these Powersceive and feel themselves that all is changed to the right of recalling to the throne, him, whose exclusion was a condition preliminary to every pacific arrangement with France: the wish of the French people, even if it were fully ascertained, would not be the less null and of no effect in regard to Europe towards re-establishing a power, against which all Europe has been in a state of permanent protest from the 31st of March, 1814, up to the 13th of March, 1815; and in this view, the position of Bonaparte is precisely at this day what it was at these last mentioned periods.


Should the offer to sanction the Treaty of Paris

change the dispositions of the Powers? France has had no reason to complain of the Treaty of Paris. This Treaty reconciled France with Europe; it satisfied all her true interests, secured all her real advantages, all the elements of prosperity and glory, which a people called to one of the first places in the European system could reasonably desire, and only took from her that which was to her, under the deceitful exterior of great national eclat, an inexhaustible source of sufferings, of ruin, and of misery. This Treaty was even an immense benefit for a conntry, reduced by the madness of its chief to the most disastrous situation (4). The Allied Powers would have betrayed their interests and their duties, if, as the price of so much moderation and generosity, they had not, on signing the treaty, obtained some solid advantage; but the sole object of their ambition was the peace of

(3) Declaration of the 31st of March, 1814. (4) The Emperor, convinced of the critical situation in which he has placed France, and of the impossibility of saving it himself, appeared to resign himself and consent to an entire and unconditional abdication.-Letter of Marshal Ney to the Prince of Benevent.

around them. The question is no longer the mamtenance of the treaty of Paris, but the making of it afresh. The Powers find themselves, with respect to France, in the condition in which they were on the 31st of March, 1814. It is not to prevent war, for France has in fact rekindled it, it is to terminate it that there now offers itself to Europe a state of things essentially different from that on which the peace of 1814 was founded. The question, then, has ceased to be a ques tion of right: it is no more than a question of political calculation and foresight, in which the powers have only to consult the real interests of The Committee thinks it may dispense with entheir people and the common interest of Europe. tering here into an exposition of the considerations which, under this last view, have directed the measures of the governments. It will be suf ficient to recall to notice, that the man, who, in now offering to sanction the treaty of Paris, pie. tends to substitute his guarantee for that of a Sovereign, whose loyalty was without stain, and benevolence without measure, is the same who during 15 years ravaged and laid waste the earth, to find means of satisfying his ambition, who sacrificed millions of victims, and the happiness of an entire generation, to a system of conquests, whom truces, little worthy of the name of peace, have only rendered more oppressive and more odious; (7) who, after having by mad enterprizes

(5) Preamble of the Treaty of Paris.

(6) This idea recurs perpetually in the report of the Council of State of Bonaparte, published in the Moniteur. April 13, 1815.

(7) The Committee here think it right to add the important observation, that the greater part of the invasions, and forced unions, of which Bonaparte formed successively what he called the Great Empire, took place during those perfi dious intervals of peace, more destructive to


account alter the disposition of the Allies.Therefore, the Committee is of opinion that it would be useless to publish a fresh declaration.

The Plenipotentiaries of the Powers who signed the Treaty of Paris, and who as such are responsible for its execution with regard to the acceding Powers, having taken into consideration, and sanctioned by their approbation the preceding report, have resolved, that there shall be made to the Plenipotentiaries of the other Royal Courts a communication of the minutes of this day. They have further ordered that an extract of the said minntes shall be made public.— Here follow the signatures in the alphabetical order of the Courts :AUSTRIA.-Prince METTERNICH,

tired fortune, armed all Europe against him, and none of the sophistries by which it is pretended exhausted all the means of France, was forced to to be attacked can at all affect it. That abandon his projects, and abdicated power to these reasons remain in all their force, and that save some relics of existence; who, at the mo the changes which have in fact occurred since the iment when the nations of Europe were giving Declaration of the 13th of March, have produced themselves up to the hope of a durable tranquil no alteration in the position of Bonaparte and of lity, meditated new catastrophes, and by a double France with regard to the Allies.-3. That the perfidy, towards the powers who had too gener.offer to ratify the Treaty of Paris' cannot on any ously spared him, and towards a government which he could not attack without the blackest treason, usurped a throne which he had renouuced, and which he never occupied except for the misery of France and the world. This man has no other guarantee to propose to Europe than his word. After the cruel experience of 15 years, who would have the courage to accept this gnarantee? and if the French nation has really embraced his cause, who could any longer respect the security which it could offer? Peace with a government placed in such hands, and composed of schelements, would only prove a perpetual state of uncertainty, anxiety, and danger. No power could really disarm : nations would not only enjoy any of the advantages of a true pacification; they would be crushed by charges of all kinds; as confidence would no where revive, industry and commerce would every where languish; there would be no stability in political relations ; gloomy discontent would sit brooding on every country, and at a day's notice, alarmed Europe GREAT BRITAIN.—CLANCARTY, would expect fresh explosions, The Sovereigns have certainly not mistaken the interests of their subjects, when they have thought that open war, with all its inconveniences, and all its sacrifices. preferable to such a state; and the measures which they have adopted, have met with general approbation. The opinion of Europe on this great oceasion is pronounced in a manner very positive and very solemn; never could the real sentiments of nations have been more accnrately known and more faithfully interpreted than at a moment when the representatives of all the Powers were assembled to consolidate the peace of the world. THIRD QUESTION.

Is it necessary to publish a new Declaration?
The observations which the Committee have

just presented, furnish the answer to the last ques-
tion which remains to be examined. It considers,
-1. That the Declaration of the 13th of March
was dictated to the Powers by reasons of such
evident justice and such decisive weight, that

Europe than even the wars with which it was tormented. It was thus that he took possession of Piedmont, Parma, Genoa, Lucca, or the States of Rome, of Holland, of the countries composing the 32d Military Division. It was thus at a period of peace (at least with all the continent), that he struck the first blow against Portugal and Spain, and he thought to have finished the conquest of those countries by cumming and audacity, when the patriotism and energy of the people of the Peninsula drew him into a sanguinary war, the commencement of, his own downfall, and of the salvation of Europe.


Duke of DALBERG,



PRUSSIA.-Prince Hardenberg,


The undersigned Plenipotentiaries, approving the whole of the principles contained in the present extract from the minutes, have affixed to it their signatures.

Vienna, May 12, 1815.
BAVARIA..--Count Rechberg.

Count HARDenburgh.
SARDINIA.-The Marquis de ST. MARSAN.
Count Rossi.
TWO SICILIES.-The Commander Ruffo.

Printed and Published by G. HOUSTON, No. 192, Strand; where all Communications addressed to the Editor, are requested to be forwarded,

« PreviousContinue »