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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 the subject on which I am now about to address your Lordship, is of a But, my Lord, the very same papers more serious nature. The partisans of are compelled to confess, that some of the war, always blind to the past, appear to Belgian troops have been actually killed, be very busily engaged, at this time, in and others wounded in an effort to go over providing for themselves, in advance, every to the French; that, at Liege, some of species of disappointment and mortifica- the Saxon (now Prussian) soldiers have tion. They have, as in the case of Ame-mutinied, refused to march, and have even rica, spoken with so much confidence of attempted acts of violence on the dear success; with so much contempt of the old Blucher," whose whiskers the nasty adversary; and with so much insolence wretches in London, calling themselves have they treated him and the whole of the "Ladies," were beastly. enough to slob 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 must, in case of failure, commit upon themselves that act, which they would richly merit from the hands of a personage who is about upon their own level in point of occupation. They have now started new game; they have now discovered new ground of hope. They now tell us that France is in a state of commotion, and almost of rebellion, against Napoleon; and, that when once the allied armies begin to move into France, the whole nation will de clare for the King.
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 tel: us of divisions and commotions in France. This is now the lure to entice us into an approbation of war.
And, my Lord, to what do these commotions amount? That there are discon tented persons in France; that the Bour bons have partisans amongst ex-nobles and ex-priests, who had begun again to scent the sweets of feudal and ecclesiastical ty ranny, 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 defend the barracks against the people.
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
proclamation under his own hand, that
If, my Lord, the same criterion were
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; whose departure 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 command, could not, though he offered immense 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?
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 fee! 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 several 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 fiends, 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 ca-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 be told hourly to expect to hear of of boats in Bologne harbour ready to sail for England, and had no defence but a land
his total destruction.
Fishermen of Newfoundland giving “the
defence, what price do you think our funds | has been called, except in the town of Plywould be at? Yet, the French see many mouth, whose address for war is consihundreds of thousands of men armed dered in the same light as the próstestant 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 greatér fall. What have we seen in England? Why, we saw the Bank stop payment in 1797, not upon an 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 than 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?
I think it is clear, then, that we have no good reason to rely for assistance in war, if war should be finally resolved on, on the dislike of the people of France to their government. We must rely, I think solely rupou 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?
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.
On the other hand, how do the people From the out-set of the wars against of England feel as to this expected war? the Republic of France, you contended, There have been petitions, or remonstran- that the result would be injurious to Engces, against it in London, Westminster, land. I will, for the present, leave aside Nottingham, and others are preparing the reul motives of the wars, and will But, where have we seen a meeting to up-merely consider their effects, as they have prove 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
hitherto developed themselves. You con tended, 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,
sound policy, bade our government remain | land could not be reduced without leaving at peace. The politics of PITT first, and the government to make loans in time of afterwards of LORDS GRENVILLE and GREY, peace. The war had, to outward appearof PERCIVAL and LORD CASTLEREAGH, ance, been crowned with success. The were directly opposed to yours. They Bourbons, the Pope, the Inquisition had were for car, and (leaving justice out of been restored, and "French principles" the question), they said it was necessary, had been extinguished. But, in the ob in order to prevent the contagion of French taining of this success, the nation had inprinciples. They said, that they were aware curred an additional debt, the interest of that great sacrifices would be necessary; which demanded 31 millions of pounds but, that it was better to sacrifice a part sterling to be raised in taxes every year than the whole of our property and our for ever, which, with the 9 millions of religion into the bargain. They asserted, taxes annually required before 1793, made that France was in the gulph of bunk-40 millions a year for ever to be raised in ruptcy; and, that if we expended much, she would be totally ruined.
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.
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 establish ments. A law was passed to keep out French produce, in order to enable the land in England to pay its taxes. The people cried aloud against such a measure, at a moment when they expected cheapness to return, and when trade, commerce, and manufactures were visibly on the decline. A shock was felt from one end of the kingdom to the other. All was now manifestly out of joint; and the govern
This was the day of triumph with the system of Pitt! Now it was, that you were tauntingly reminded of your long opposition to the war. Now it was, that you were called upon to confess your error, and to go and perform an act of penitence at the foot of the statue of Pitt." You were better employed. You were fox-hunting, I believe. In the mean while the nation was drunk with joy. Bonfires, bell ringing, roasting oxen, il-ment appeared to be more embarrassed Juminations, sham-fights, temples of victory, triumphal arches. The country resounded with the boast of our having gloriously triumphed at last; of our long perseverance having been rewarded by a glorious result.
than at any period of the war, not except ing even that when the Bank stopped pay ing its notes in money.
This was the situation of England when Napoleon returned to France. There fore, in estimating the Pitt system, I have But, it did not require the return of no need, unless I choose, to take into view Napoleon to make the nation feel, that all this wonderful event; for, it seems to me, this boasting was without reason, and that, that that system would have produced all while the recent events had afforded the evils that you foreboded, if this event ground for transient exultation, the per- had never taken place. This system had, severance in the war had loaded us with indeed, replaced the Bourbons on the lasting calamities. It did not require the throne, contrary to your expectations and return of Napoleon to convince us of this. your hopes; but, it had, in doing that, The people had been buoyed up with the destroyed the prosperity and happiness of hope, that PEACE would bring them ease England. It had, it was supposed, exfrom the burdens which they had so long tingaished "French principles;" but, in been compelled to bear. But, they soon order to do that, it had made paupers of, discovered, that, even with the Bourbons perhaps, a million of our people; and it on the throne of France, the taxes in Eng-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.
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 fructification in its own bosom. The French 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."
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 undimimished taxes would have fallen wholly
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 sound policy, having in view solely the prosperity and power of England.
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 rezolution. 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