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sity, and directed to the objects stated by his majesty and his ministers. He did not refer to the crusade of chastisement and vengeance, which the zeal of some gentlemen recommended, and the clamour of the House seemed so ready to adopt. He never would consent that one English guinea should be spent, or one drop of English blood be shed to restore the ancient despotism of France, that bitterest foe which England ever knew. Sooner than support such objects, or such a project, he would rather violate the proud feelings which he shared in common with the House, and petition for peace with any concession, and almost by any sacrifice. He then declared, that, from the commencement of the revolution, he had been of opinion, that, if there had been a statesmanlike administration, they would have considered the post of minister at Paris, as the situation which demanded the first and ablest talents in the country; and highly as he valued his right hon. friend, unparalleled as he thought his talents were, he should not hesitate to declare, that, as minister in Paris, there was scope and interest for the greatest mind that ever warmed the human bosom. The French had been uniformly partial, and even prejudiced in favour of the English. What manly sense, what generous feeling, communicating with them might have done, and, above all, what plain dealing might have effected, he believed was not easy to calculate; but the withholding all these from that nation in our hollow neutrality, he was sure, was an error, which would be for ever lamented.

cumstance of Lord Gower's quitting Paris after the horrors of the tenth of August, as a measure which was connected not only with the dignity but the interest of Great Britain; and as for the motion before the House, he was willing to put it upon this issue.-If under the former government of France, while we had an ambassador in France, and France an ambassador here, the French government had received persons from this country complaining of the constitution, and proposing an alliance to subvert it, and given a favourable answer to such persons, what would have been the duty of his majesty's ministers? Would it not have been to recal our ambassador, and order the French ambassador to quit this country? How then could we now send an ambassador to France, when the present French government had openly and vauntingly pursued the same conduct.

Mr. Fox said, that the chief point maintained by him in making this motion, was, not that the people are always to be consulted on the expediency of going to war, but that on all occasions they ought to be truly informed what the subject of the war is. Whenever you do treat, added he, and that you must treat some time or other, nobody can deny, you must treat with the existing powers; and if you refuse to do that now, which you know must be done at some time or other, you give away the opportunity of saving Holland from a war, of preserving to her the monopoly of the Scheldt without a war, and of obtaining the revocation of that resolution of the executive council, of which I perhaps

Mr. Dundas considered the cir- think as ill as you do.


The motion was negatived without a division.

At this time his majesty's ministers appear to have been in a situation as unexpected, as it is without example. It was occasioned by the disunion of the opposition party, respecting their political opinions, so that the division of the phalanx, which adhered to its old principles, declared their reprobation of ministers for employing artifices to conjure up false alarms among the people, to serve their own purposes; while the seceding part accused them of an actual neglect of duty, and a shameful want of vigilance, in a season of such apparent danger. Which of these branches of the opposition were well founded in their respective opinions, may be discovered, by referring to the situation and conduct of France at this period, and the effects of them both on our own country. France had not only denied the obligation of a treaty which had been considered as the corner stone of the balance of Europe, and repeatedly renewed; which had been coeval with the establishment of Dutch freedom, and was in fact essentially necessary to the independence of Holland; a treaty in which France could have no concern, except in fulfilling its own stipulation, to guard it against infringement; and which could only be a matter of contest between the sovereign of the Dutch republic, and the sovereign of the Austrian Netherlands. France could have intefered only from one or other of the following motives: As assuming to act as sovereign of the Netherlands; or because she proclaimed a new code of the law of nations, by which she presumed to

dictate to every country, and to model every government by her own standard. Could we then, without resigning the spirit of independent Britons, and the faith due to an ancient ally, submit to such an insolent and unjust claim as that of opening the Scheldt on the part of the French. But they affected, upon their present system, to despise all treaties, and to regard that which we are now considering as extorted by avarice, or compelled by despotism.

By the decree of the nineteenth of November, the French engaged to assist the people of every country in procuring freedom, by which they may be supposed to mean the same that they enjoy themselves. We have, however, seen French freedom in definition; we have seen it in illustration, and have now an opportunity to compare the theory with the practice. Flanders offered a curious specimen of the nature of their freedom. They had there endeavoured to propagate their doctrines; but, finding that the inhabitants were not disposed to give them such a favourable reception as they expected, they employed the method of inculcating their opinions of freedom by force. Their general had issued a proclamation, that whoever should refuse to embrace the tree of liberty, should be considered and treated as a wretch who did not deserve to live. But it has been said, that they gave an explanation with respect to this decree. But what was the explanation which they had given? They had stated, as their justification, that it was not their intention to assist a few individuals, but only to interfere where a great majority should be disposed to shake off their govern


But be this as it may, nothing can be more apparent than their intention to promote rebellion in other countries, and to declare war against all established authorities. This kind of war was, in fact, an inexpiable war against all legitimate power, and was designed to terminate in its extinction. The splendour of conquest had, in former times, been considered in the respect which had been shewn to the government and rights of the conquered. The Romans, with an invariable policy and scrupulous justice, never failed to preserve the government, the habits and the customs of those nations whom they had vanquished. This mode of proceeding they considered as the best security for their conquests. For the present age, alas! had been reserved the idea of a war of extirpation; a war which tends to annihilate whatever has been held most dear, and found most valuable among mankind. This was a species of war which had never been carried on even by the most cruel despots, and is only to be exemplified in the conduct of these modern republicans, the founders of a system of what they call freedom and happiness. But this is not all. The French are also endeavouring to propagate throughout Europe principles, as inconsistrnt with all established governments, as they are with the general happiness of mankind. But, however wild and extravagant their doctrines may be, they have certainly made proselytes in this country, who are active in their mischievous purposes, deeply enraged against all establishments, harbouring the most dangerous designs, and confident


of foreign aid. The proclamation which was made by his majesty's command, in the month of May, had produced the most beneficial effects. Men, who had been loud in their commendations of the measures of France, became more moderate and reserved; and, in proportion as the success of the combined armies against France became more probable, they sunk into discouragement and silence. After the horrid massacres of the tenth of August, their partizans seemed almost entirely to have abandoned them; but, as a melancholy proof how much, in the eyes of mankind, success constitutes the justice, and misfortune the guilt of any measure: no sooner did the tide of war turn in favour of the French, than their former supporters flung their dejected spirit from them, and resumed their courage. Sedition again broke out with aug mented force: clubs and societies, established for the purpose of spreading jacobine doctrines, were formed in various parts of the kingdom, and a mode of regular communication established between them. Embassies were even sent from them to France, to congratulate the national assembly of that country on their success and to encourage the hopes they expressed of a speedy revolution in this kingdom.

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As to the associations which had been formed at the Crown and Anchor, and other places in London, as well as in different parts of the kingdom, by the friends of the constitution, they did not take place, till clubs and societies had multiplied, for the dangerous purposes of increasing sedition, creating anarchy, disseminating libels, and bringing into contempt the jurisprudence of the country. These associations were formed upon those genuine principles of the constitution, by which all men are bound to assist in putting the law in force, and in aiding and assisting the magistracy, in the performance of their important duty. They had no other object but to strengthen the hands of goverment, and, by keeping all good subjects on their guard, to prevent the insidious designs of their enemies. They were consituted for the preservation, and not for the destruction of civil and religious liberty.

That this was a period to send an ambassador to negotiate with the ruling powers, whoever or whatever they might be, with a view to prevent an impending war, is an opinion which, though supported by great talents and eloquence, met with a cold reception in parliament, and found no partizans among the people at large. It had all the ap

pearance of a mere party question, was very generally considered, in the progress of its hasty agitation, as an impracticable and disgraceful measure, and that sentiment was soon confirmed by a circumstance which must settle all opinions upon that subject for ever. On the very same day, when Mr. Fox made his motion, to address his Majesty to send a minister to France, to treat with the executive government there, the convention published a decree, in which it takes upon itself to legislate for the human race, and in which, according to the eleventh article, the French nation declare, "That it will treat as enemies the people who, refusing or renouncing liberty and equality, are desirous of preserving their prince and privileged casts, or of entering into an accommodation with them. The nation promises and engages not to lay down its arms untill the sovereignty and liberty of the people, on whose territories the French armies shall have entered, shall be established; and not to consent to any arrangement or treaty with the princes, and privileged persons, so dispossessed, with whom the republic is at war." We shall in vain, says a sagacious commentator on his decree, search the annals of the world, for an edict of such rapacious, ruinous, and insulting despotism.



General Remarks. Debate on the Alien Bill in the House of Lords. Marquis of Lansdowne's Motion to send a Minister to France. Mr. Pitt's Motion to address his Majesty to communicate the Orders received by Lord Gower when he quitted Paris. Those Orders brought up by Mr. Dundas. Parliamentary Conversation thereon. Debates on the Alien Bill in the House of Commons. Assignment Bill. Bill for prohibiting Naval Stores, Arms, &c. The Corn Indemnity Bill. Messages from his Majesty relative to the Correspondence between Lord Grenville and Mr. Chauvelin. The same taken into Consideration by both Houies of Parliament. Addresses to his Majesty thereon. A Message from his Majesty to the Commons, announcing a public Declaration of War by the French against his Majesty and the United Provinces. The same taken into Consideration and an Address. His Majesty's Answer. The same Message to the Lords and an Address. Mr. Fox moves Resolutions against the War. Resolutions moved by Mr. Grey on the same Subject. Petition from the Town of Nottingham praying a Reform in Parliament. Mr. T. Grenville moves Resolutions relative to contested Elections. Motion of M. A. Taylor against the Erection of Barracks. Mr. Dundas offers to the House of Commons a Statement of the Situation of Affairs in India. Debates in both Houses of Parliament on the Slave Trade. Mr. Sheridan's Motion, relative to the Existence of Seditious Practices in this Country. General Observations.


S the number of foreigners and aliens which were at this time in Great-Britain was very considerable, and as many of them had conducted themselves in such a manner as to justify a suspicion of their evil intentions towards this nation; it was thought a necessary measure, by his majesty's ministers, to apply to parliament, to provide for the public tranquillity, by subjecting the resort and residence of aliens to certain regulations. Accordingly, lord Grenville, on the 19th of December, brought a bill into the House of Lords for that purpose.

It must indeed be acknowledged that this bill was an extraordinary measure; but was not the country in a situation to render extraordi

nary measures necessary? and cases might be found in history, which, though not exactly the same, bear some affinity to it. The period which appears to have produced circumstances the most similar to the present was the reign of queen Elizabeth. At that time the great and overgrown power of Philip II. agitated and alarmed every surrounding nation. Actuated not only by ambition, but by a religious fanaticism intent on the propagation of its own doctrines, its most powerful efforts were exerted against this island. Money and seditious writings, as well as forces and secret emissaries, were employed to excite plots in England, insurrections in Ireland, and attacks from Scotland against the queen; [D 2]


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