« PreviousContinue »
ascend the throne of France ? Has the is disputed, or an opposite principle reformer sway of that House proved so bene cognised, the nation admit it is already ficial to England? Are we compensated enslaved, and has nothing to expect bus for the immense expenditure of treasure, cppression, 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 recodimencing hostilithe Bourbons? Is the interest of a single ties agaivst France ? Shall we look back foreigu 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 chemies 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 pumber of lives lost, the in. Napoleon ? 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 frarful 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 hare placed in his hands ? Because Judging from past conduct, we seem to of his former momentary humiliation, a imagine war a necessury good, rather than humiliation 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 e'aution. 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 flatafter 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 comrious nations, have returned to France. mencement of the former war; yet it conNearly the whole, it may fairly be pre- tinurd for a quarter of a centory. Is sumed, will gladly rejoin their old idolized | England now in equal condition to supCaptai . He has also possession of all the ply the Allies with money. The wealth well fortified places throughout the Empire. of Eogland 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 voca! proof exhibited to the world. The expences never to be æconomized? Or imanimity of the French people, is the must we run the desperate hazard of uni. best 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
I am, &c. 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.
Printed and Published by G. Houston, No. 192, Strand; where all Communications addressed to
the Editor, are requested to be forwarded..
then, I again ask, are the pretences for
war? MERCILANTS OF ENGLAND,
The opinion you have been induced to One the projected Iar 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
will still be a conqueror; that he will GENTLEMEN,
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 now, 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 llamburgh, but, though, 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 af. making one efort, 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 erery reasonable rupt faction in the supporting of a system man must be convinced, that the changes, injorious and degrading to your couutry which have taken place in France, necesa at large, and to so 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 Napoleon has not the means of cause is there for such war: France has contending against the Allies; that the not 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 be 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. avows 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 been 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 dever let pass an occasion of restoring regular way, to renew and preserve with peace to Europe, from the date of his me. us all the relationships of peace. What, morable Letter to our King in 1799 to the
present hour. A conqueror, indeed, he / and of the United Kingdom is not held by has been, and he has endeavoured to place descent. The family'now upon the throne his family on half the thrones of Europe ; can put forward no such claim. They are but, still, his conquests were the fruits of not the descendants as the elder branch of his-victories, and have invariably been fol- the Stuarts; but, and it is singular enou, lowed by demonstrations of a desire to re-Louis le Desiré is! Our king holds his
The Allies have declared crown in virtue of an act of Parliament, him out of the pule of civil relations.". and solely in such virtue; and a very good It was not thus that he'acted, when in pos- holding it is, because it is really legitisession of the capitals of Austria and Prus. matc. Ours, therefore, is a legitimate sia, and when the Sovereigus of those sovereign; but, the Capets were never the countries owed their crowns to his cle- legitimate sovereigns of France. A title mency. He did, indeed, extend widely may be, and thousands of titles are, at his dominions, but the extent was far with orice hereditary and legitimate, as in the in the coinpass of his power. In this last case of private estates; but, then, there is, scene of the grand drama how does he ap- luto in support of the herelitary claim; pear? The Allies put him, as far as they and this is precisely the case with the are able, out of the pale of the law; the claim of our kings: but, in the case of the Bourbons set a price upon his hearl. lle Capets, there is no law, there rever was a suffers the Bourbons to depart unmolest. law, in support of their hereditary claim. ed; those of them whom he takes in arms Then, as to the sort of government, which against him he pardon's; and, in answer to existed in France under the Bourbons, the outrageous declaration of the Allies, you have forgotten what it was, or, I am levelled against his fame and his life, he very sure, that you must hold the recol. Writes to each of the allied Sorereigns, lection of it in abhorrence. It is strange, tendering him the olive branch, and invi- that, in the long line of their ancestors, ting him to a rivalship in the arts of peace, they dare never appeal to the memory of and in the science of making the people but two : Suint Louis and Henry the happy and free.
Fourth. The former, a tool in the hands You call him an Usurper and Louis the of the priests, exhausted the treasure and legitimate sovereign. Vords have great blood of his people in mad crusades against power, and these words have had great the Turks. The latter began his reign by power; but the assertions are not true. abjuring the Protestant religion, in the An Usurper is one who seizes on autho support of which he had led hundreds of rity unlufully: a legitimate sovereign is thousands of Frenchmen to slaughter. Ile one who holds his authority by law. Now, called together the States of his lingdom, Napoleon was by law made Emperor of and, laying his hand upon his sword, told France, an office which never was by law them to remember that in their deliberataken from him. Louis has no' Irgal, ortions. Not content with the terrible laws legitimate, title to the throne of France. already in force to provide for the enjoy. He is descended, in a right line, if you ment of Iris favourite sport, he decreed, please, from Ilugh Capet, who made him that every man, found lurking near the self king of France by force, who put the preserves of game, should be stripped and real heir to the throne to death, and who flogged round a bush 'till the blood ran never was legally made king of France, down his back. This was in no renote any more than William the Norman was times. This was in no barbarous age, made king of England. The Bourbons, It was at the time, when Elizabeth reigned yhose real name is Capet, held the throne with so much glory in England, when Engby descent merely, and their descent was lund relied for its defence on the arms of from an Usurper. At no time was any its people, when the sovereign prided her. law passed to make any of their ancestors self in being guarded only by the citizens, kings of France; no law was now made in when England extended her arm to the behalf of the authority of Louis, who took Continent, not to support ancient despots, to the crown as descending to him from not to extinguish the bursting flame of roa Hugh Capet, and not as legally placed on litical and religious liberty, but to establish his head by the people of France. What, both these in aiding the Dutch against their then, becomes of all this talk about legiti- cruel oppressors, mațe sovereigns ? The throne of England! The llousc of Bourbon, beginning with
llenry the Fourth, has furnished France No:
: you cannot tell them this. · For with five kings. Of the first we have what, then, are you prepared to spend spoken. The second, Louis XIII. was your money ? For what, then, would you i oppressor and persecutor of his people have war? You are afraid of Napoleon. from the beginning to the end of his reign. Afraid that he will do what to you? You The third, Louis XIV. besides his wars of are not afraid that he will send his armies aggression and of conquest; besides his to England. How, then, is he to hurt attempts to create civil war in England you? The truth is, that you are told, that and to dethrone the Protestant family you have cause to fear, and you believe it, settled here by law; besiiles his thousands without any inquiry into the fact. You of acts of oppression on his people in ge- see, that his return to power suddenly neral, signalized his reign by the most turns Exchanges against you; that it atrocious religious persecution. He caused lowers the value of funded property; that thousands of his subjects to suffer the it deranges commercial affairs; that it cruellest tortures on account of their re- produces distress and suin. And why? ligion, and finally he drove forth hundreds Not because he has done any thing to pro. of thousands into foreign lands, whither duce such effects; but because his prethey carried their arts, sciences, industry sence is an object of terror to those, whom' and virtue. The fourth, Louis XV. en you are willing to aid in the renewal of dearonred to excite civil war in this coun- It is you, therefore, and not he, try and to dethrone our lawful sovereign. who have been the real cause of those evils He delegated his tyranny to his mistresses, on account of which you bear him such who sold Letters de Cachet to the highest , implacable resentment. bidders, and who filled the prisons, in all To a similar cause; that is, to delusion, parts of France, with the victims of state to credulity, to unfounded fears, to preju-, suspicion, or of private envy, jealousy, or dice deeply implanted by the never-ceasing revenge. The fifth, Louis XVI. who has falshoods of a press; free only as the organ been so much eulogized, abolished no of a crafty and corrupt faction, and which cruel law, diminished no profligate ex- has long closed up the eyes and ears of pence, removed no odious badge, took off reason, of candoar, and of justice. To no oppressive burden, and, even after the this cause is also to be ascribed your hosmeeting of the States General, objected for tility to those, who are labouring to obtain a long while, to the abolition of Letters a Reform in the Common's House of Par. de Cachet. But, as to what the govern- liament, and amongst whom, if you saw ment of the Bourbons was, even under your real interests, you would be the most Louis - XVI. rely not upon my word; take zealous and persevering. This is a subthe Account of Mr. Arthur Young, ject, which will now force itself upon pubSecretary to the Board of Agriculture, who lic attention. It must be discussed; in a spent three successive summers in France few years it must be brought to issue; and, in collecting his facts, who wrote down his if it come upon you unawares and is imobservations upon the spot, who visited perfectly understood, the fault shall not be every part of France, who had free access mine. to the best sources of information, and who It has long been a fashion amongst you, Was, perhaps, for the nature of his pursuits, which you have had the complaisance to from his stock of general knowledge, and adopt at the instigation of a corrupt press, from the extent of his talents, as well qua- to call every friend of reform, every friend lified for the task as any man living. Take of freedom, a Jacobin, and to accuse him the account of Mr. Young; gather (any of French principles. For my part, one of you) your family around you ; read though I wish the French people great to them this account of the degradation prosperity and happiness, and wish to see and sufferings of the people under the in- them receive all the praise due to their sults and cruelties of the Bourbon govern- matchless deeds in arms and to their proment; and, then, when your daughters gress in the sciences and arts, I am Ėnghave listened with streaming eyes and your lishman enough to deny them any share in sons with boiling indignation, then tell the honour of baving a claim to the Prin. them, if you can, that you will chéarfully ciples, to which I allude, and which you so spend a part of their fortunes in another incessantly censure. What are these attempt to re-establish the Bourbons, principles ?-That governments were made for the people, and not the people for go- f in their exile by the derision and the cavernments.—That sovereigns reigu legally lumnies of men more interested than themonly by virtue of the people's choice.- selves in the success of their endeavours. That birth without merit ought not to And what are these endeavours? Whar command merit without birth.—That all are their objects? We are accused of ens men ought to be equal in the eye of the deavouring to create confusion in the coun. law.—That no man ought to be taxed or try. Is the abolishing af scenes of drunkpunished by any law to which he has not enness and riot; the putting an end 10 given his assent by himself or by his repre- bribery, corruption, the basest venality, sentative.-That taxation and represen- and the most barefaced perjury; the pretation ought to go hand in hand.-That vention of the sale and barter of seats; the every man ought to be judged by his peers, insuring of the return to parliament of or equals.— That the press ought to be men in whom the people have confidence; free.
the making of those men wholly indepenNow, I should be glad to know, how dent of the Crown and its ministers; the these came to be French principles. It is opening of the House to all men in exact sometimes said, that the French learnt proportion to their merit, their talents, them, or, as the expression is, “ imbibed" and their natural weight in society: are them in America. The Americans, to be these likely to create confusion ? Would sure, have most wisely and virtuously acted the nation be plunged into confusion by upon these principles; but, the principles, thirty or forty of you being placed in the are the growth of England. Ten tlou. House instead of an equal number of those sand times as much has been written on men who borrow their qualifications? Do the subject in England as in all the rest of you think, that you are not as capable of the world put together. Our books are deciding upon laws as the present reprea. full of these principles. You can read sentatives of the Boroughs are? Do you nothing: law, history, poetry, divinity, think, can you think, that the places and romance ; nothing, without meeting with pensions enjoyed by these men, add to these principles. There is not a single your safety and prosperity? Do you think, political principle which you denominate that the sinecures of the late Marquis of French, which has not been sanctioned by Buckingham, of Lord Camden, of Lord the struggles of ten generations of Eug- Arden, of Lord Grenville, of the Roses, lishmen, the names of many of whom you and of hundreds of others, are necessary repeat with veneration, because, appa- to the protection of your property? Do rently, you forget the grounds of their you think, that the enormous charges of fame. To Tooke, Burdett, Cartwright, the Civil List, rising in amount cvery and a whole host of patriots of England, year, are vecessary to the security of the Scotland and Ireland, imprisoned or ba- funds ? Do you think it an honour to you nished, during the administration of Pitt, to be obliged to yield part of the fortunes you can give the name of Jacobios, and of your own children to support whole faaccuse them of French principles. Yet, milies of the penny-less children of the not one principle have they ever attempted | Aristocracy, which latter, after all, look to maintain that Hampden and Sydney did upon your children as their inferiors ? Do not seal with their blood.
you think, that if this drain upon the fruit When that victim of a tyrannical court of your industry were stopped, such stopand a corrupt and bloody Judge, the gal- page would have a tendency to create conlant Sydney, was brought to the place of fusion? execution, the cheeks of the crowd were The truth is, that you see all these evils as bathed in tears, and sobs and cries were plainly as I do. You wish them removed; heard in all directions; “ Yet,” exclaims but you have a sort of vague dread, that any the indignant historian, “not a hand was change in the system would endanger your “ raised to save him, or to carry a dagger property. Your support of the system is 6 to the heart of his murderers!” If this the consequence of that timidity, which is historian had lived 'till our day, he would natural to, and almost inseparable from, not only have seen the champions in the wealth. This is, however, a motive of cause of freedom suffer without support action, which you are ashamed to acknową and without compassion, but would have ledge; and, therefore, putting a good face seen them followed to their dungeons or upon the matter, you join in the cry against