« VorigeDoorgaan »
troyertible that the 'cessation would by condition to be performed before the the term of the letter, take place on the first of November. It is worthy of reappointed day, whether any of the events mark, as introductory to another view disjunctively specified had intervened or of this subject, that even they who connot.
clude that the repeal of the French deThe first step towards the revival of crees has failed, are not backward to the non-intercourse against England ascribe to the French declaration a purwould be the proclamation of the Presi- pose utterly inconsistent with that condent, that France had so revoked or mo- clusion. They suppose the purpose to dified her edicts, that they ceased to have been to affect the existing relations violate the neutral commerce of the between America and England, by the United States. But the letter of Mons. only means which the declaration states Champagny left the decrees as it found the act of non-intercourse. And it is thein up to the 1st of November; and, certain, that unless England should abanconsequently, up to that day it could don particular parts of her system, this not, for any thing coutained in that letter was the result avowedly in view, and be said that the rights of American com- meant to be accomplished.--But there merce were no longer infringed by them. could be no hope of such a result withA prospective proclamation, that they out a previous effectual relinquishment would cease to violate those rights, might of the French decrees. A case could perhaps be issued; but it could scarcely not otherwise be made to exist (as the have any substantial operation, either in Duke of Cadore was aware) for such an favour of France, or to the prejudice of operation of the American law. To pass England, until the epoch to which it had the law before the revocation of the looked bad arrived. --Let it be admitted, edicts were impossible. With the law in however, that all physical and legal ob- his hands, it would have been miraculous stacles to the issuing, before the first of ignorance not to know that it was the November, of a proclamation, to take exact reverse of this which his paper effect immediately, were out of the way. must propose. He would derive this How would such a proceeding fulfil of knowledge not from that particular law itself the expectation that the United ouly but from the whole tenour and spie States would, before the 1st of Novem- rit of American proceedings, in that painber, « cause their rights to be respected ful anomalous dilemma, in which Great by the English," in the mode pointed Britain and France, agreeing in nothing out by the letter, namely, by the en- else, had recently combined to place forcement of the non-intercourse law? the maritime interests of America. He The proclamation would work no direct would collect from these proceedings, or immediate consequence against Eng- that, while those conflicting powers conland. Three months from its date must tinued to rival each other in their age pass away before the non-intercourse gression on neutral rights, the governlaw could revive against her; and when ment of the United States would oppose it did so, the revival would not be the itself impartially to both. The French effect of the proclamation, but of the declaration, then, had either no meaning continued adherence of England to her at all, or it meant to announce to Gen. obnoxious system. Thus, even if a pro- Armstrong a positive revocation of the clamation, effectual from its date, had French edicts. . been issued by the President on the day I should only fatigue your lordship by when the French declaration of repeal pursuing farther a point so plain and came to the hands of the American mi- simple. I shall, therefore, merely add nister at Paris, the intercourse between to what I have already said on this the United States and Great Britain branch of the subject, that the Strong would, on the 1st of November, have and unqualified communication from remained in the same condition in which General Armstrong to me, mentioned it was found in August. As all this was in the conimencement of this letter, and well understood by the goverament of corroborated by subsequent communicaFrance, the conclusion is, that its mi- tions, (one of which I now lay before nister, professing too to have the Ame- you) may, perhaps, without any great rican law before him, and tu expect only effort of courtesy, be allowed to contain what was conformable with that law, did “that authentic intelligence" which your not intend to require the revival of the lordship is in search of. He could non-intercourse against England as a scarcely bave been free from doubt, if
the occasion was calculated to suggest them a character not to be mistaken. it, and, if he had actually doubted, would In their original plan they comprehended hardly have spoken to me with the con- not only France and such allied or des fidence of conviction.
pendent powers as had adopted the It only remains to speak of the prac edict of Berlin, but such other nations tical effect of the French repeal. And as had merely excluded from their ports here your lordship must suffer me to re- the commercial flag of England. This mind you, that the orders of England prodigious expansion of the system was of 1807 did not wait for the practical ef- far beyond any intelligible standard of fect of the Berlin decree, nor linger till retaliation; but it soon appeared that the obscurity in which the meaning of neutrals might be permitted to traffic, that decree was supposed to be involved, under certain restrictions, with all these should be cleared away by time or ex- different nations, provided they would planation. They came promptly after submit, with a dependence truly colothe decree itself, while it was not only mial, to carry on their trade through Briambiguous but inoperative, and raised tish ports, and to pay such duties as the upon an idle prohibition, and a yet more British governinent should think fit to idle declaration, which France had not impose, and such charges as British attempted to enforce, and was notori- agents and other British subjects might' ously incapable of enforcing, a vast be content to make. The United States scheme of oppression upon the seas, abstained from this traffic, in which more destructiue of all the acknowledged they could not embark without dishorights of peaceful states than history nour; and in 1809 the system shrunk can parallel. This retaliation, as it was to narrower dimensions, and took the called, was so rapid, that it was felt appearance of an absolute prohibition of before the injury which was said to have all commercial intercourse with France, provoked it; and yet that injury, such Holland, and the kingdom of Italy. as it was, was preceded by the practical The probubition was absolute in apassertion on the part of Great Britain, pearance, but not in fact. It had lost of new and alarming principles of public something of former exuberance, but law, in the notification of the blockade nothing of former pliancy; and in the of May, 1806, and in the judicial deci- event was soon to yield to the demands sions of the year before. To uphold the of one trade, while it prevented every retaliatory orders, every thing was pre- other-controuled aud relaxed and mansumed with a surprising facility. Notonly gled by licenses, it did not, after a brief was an impotent, unexecuted, and equi, exbibition of impartial sternness, affect vocal menace presumed to be an active to “ distress the enemy" by the occlu-. scourge of the commerce of neutral na, sion of his ports, when the commerce of tions, but the acquiescense of those na England could advantageously find its tions was presurned against the plainest way to them--at length, however, this evidence of facts. The alacrity with convenience seems to be enjoyed no which all tbis was done can never be re- longer; and the orders in council may membered without regret and astonish- apparently be now considered (if indeed ment; but our regret and astonishment they ought not always to have been conmust encrease, if after some years have sidered) as affecting England with a loss been given to the pernicious innovation as heavy as that which they inflict on which these presumptions were to intro- those whose rights they violated. In duce and support, something like the such circumstances, if it be too much to same alacrity should not be displayed expect the credulity of 1807, it may yet on seizing an honourable opportunity of be hoped that the evidence of the pracdischarging it for ever. It is not unna- tical effect of the French repeal need tural to imagine that it will be discharged not be very strong to be satisfactory. It with pleasure when it is considered, that is, however, as strong as the nature of having never been effectual as an instru- such a case will admit; as a few obsermnent of hostility, it cannot now lay vations will shew.On such an occasion claim to those other recommendations it is no paradox to say, that the want of for which it may have heretofore been evidence is itself evidence. That cerprized. The orders in council of No. tain decrees are not in torce is proved vember) have passed through some im- by the absence of such facts as would portant changes; but they have been appear if they were in force. Every steady, as long as it was possible, to motive which can be conjectured to have the purpose which first impressed upon led to the repeal of the edicts, invites us
to the full execution of that repeal; and government of France to be repealed; no motive can be imagined for a diffe- they were ineffectual, as a material prerent course_these considerations are judice to England, before the declaraalone conclusive.
ration, and must be ineffectual since. But further, it is known that Ameri- There is, therefore, nothing of sabstance can vessels, bound confessedly to En- in this dilatory inquiry, which if once gland, have, before the 1st of Novem- begun, may be protracted without end, ber, been visited by French privateers, or at least till the hour for just and pruand suffered to pass, upon the founda- dent decision has passed. But, if there tion of the prospective repeal of the de- were room to apprehend that the recree of Berlin, and the proximity of the pealed decress might have some operaday when it would become an actualtion in case the orders in council were one. If there are not even stronger vithdrawn, still, as there is no sudden facts to shew that the decree of Milan and formidable peril to which Great is also withdrawn, your lordship can be Britain could be exposed by that operaat no loss for the reason. It cannot be tion, there can be no reason for deproved that an American vessel is prac- clining to act at once upon the declaratically held by France not to be dena- tion of France, and to leave it to the tionalised by British violation, because future to try its sincerity, if that sinceyour cruisers visit only to capture, and rity be suspected. compel the vessel visited to terminate I have thus disclosed to your lordship her voyage, not in France, but in En- with that frankness which the times de gland. You will not ask for the issue of mand, my views of a subject deeply inan experiment which yourselves inter- teresting to our respective countries. cept, nor complain that you have not The part which Great Britain may act received evidence, which is not obtained on this occasion cannot fail to have inbecause you have rendered it impossible. portant and lasting consequences, and I The vessel which formed the subject of can only wish that they may be good. my note of the 8th instant, and another, By giving up her orders in council, and more recently seized as a prize, would, the blockades to which my letter of the if they had been suffered, as they ought, 21st of September relates, she has noto resume their voyages after having thing to lose in character or strength. been stopped and examined by English By adhering to them she will not only cruizers, have furnished on that point be unjust to others, but unjust to herself. unanswerable proof; and I have reason I have the honour to be, with the to know, that precise offers have been highest consideration, my Lord, your made to the British government to put Lordship's most oberlient humble sera practical test to the disposition of vant,
WM. PINCKNEY. France in this respect, and that those The Most Noble the Marquis offers have been refused! Your cruizers, Wellesley, fc. however, have not been able to visit all American vessels bound to France; and
IRISH CATHOLICS. it is understood that such as have are The letters from Dublin state that narived have been received with friendship. merous aggregate protestant and catho
I cannot quit this last question with lic meetings are held on the catholic out entering my protest against the pre- claims. “We sce,” (say these supplitension of the British government to cants) “ with a mixed feeling of shame postpone the justice which it owes to and sorrow, the political unity of a great my government and country, for the people hazarded. We see Ireland, the tardy investigation of consequences. I most essential bulwark of the British am not able to comprehend upon what name and glory, paralyzed in her exerthe pretension rests, nor to what limits tions, degraded in her character, her the investigation can be subjected. If valour checked by unworthy suspicions, it were even adınitted that France was ber emulation depressed by servile and more einphatically bound to repeal her unwarrantable distinctions, her people almost nominal decrees than Great Bri- divided without meaning, and her strength tain to repeal her substantial orders and integrity depreciated by imputations (which will not be admitted), what more that at once she disclaims and detests.” can reasonably he required by the latter --Ten thousand signatures were made to than has been done by the former? The the petitions in one Sunday at two cadecrees are officially declared by the tholic chapels.
[B. Flywer, Printer, Harlow..
Lord Sidmouth and the Protestant Dissenters. - The long threatened attack of Lord Viscount SIDMOUTH on the religious rights of the different denominations of Protestant Dissenters has at last been made, and his lordship has met with the complete defeat he so justly merited; the motion for deferring for six months the second reading of the bill for violating the principles of the Toleration Act, and the act passed in the 191h year of the reign of his present Maa jesty, that is for rejecting the bill, having been agreed to by the Lords without a division. The circumstances attending this evens will form a distinguished page in the British annals, aud will be read with pleasure by every friend to the most sacred rights of inan, of whatever church or sect he may profess himself a member.
Lord Sidmouth has for these three years past, been sounding his “ note of preparation,” and session after session, motions, and amended motions have been put and carried for the purpose of acquiring information respecting the alarming increase of sectaries, and sectarian places of worship; his lordship has it is evident alarmed himself somewhat more than the occasion required; as he imagined every new licence was for a new place of worship, whereas considerable nambers of licences were merely for rooms or dwelling houses, which were no further used for the purpose of public worship after the congregations were provided with buildings inore suitable and appropriate.
Those of our readers who have the former volumes of the Political Review in their possession, will perceive we have not been linmindful of the various intimations of Lord Sidmouth on tbis subject. Firmly persuaded that the cause of religious liberty, is the cause of God, and of truth, we have on these different occasions examined the reasons or rather the pretences assigned for the proposed measure,* and have uniformly reprobated every attempt, or
threatened attempt to infringe even in the smallest degree, on the rights of a numerous and respectable body of his Majesty's subjects, whosé devotion to the genuine constitution of their country, and whose loyal and peaceable demeanour have long demanded treatment of a very different nature, such an enlargement of their liberties as may place them in civil society on a footing with their brethren of ihe establishment, and restore to them what they have long been most unjustly deprived of,—the complete rights of citizenship, the full benefits of the constitution.
The conduct of Lord Sidinouth in various instances, it must be confessed, served to show he was not altogether unqualified for the task he had undertaken. The uniform advocate of the Slave irade, or if his lordship prefers the term, the gradual abolitionist, who at the commencement of the glorious combat, proposed that the trade should be abolished in about ten years, and who at the expiration of that period, wished to defer the abolition a few years longer ;-the decided opponent of the catholic claims, and the declared enemy of parliamentary reform, has not underservedly been setected by some statesman, perhaps, behind the curtain, to feel the public pulse on the subject of an abridged toleration. Lord Redesdale, one of the most distinguished opponents of the catholic rights, in a conversation on Lord Sidmouth's bill informed the house, that he had, about five years since, drawn up a bill of a nature somewhat similar, but for reasons which he could not now explain, had not presented it to the house. It is a pity his lordship did not inform us what those reasons were. The result proved that he left the arduous,-as it has happily proved, the too arduous task of infringiog the toleration acts, to his more courageous friend, Lord Sidmouth.
As the bill is now lost,-lost we trust for ever, it is not necessary to enter minutely into its enactments. In the resolutions drawn up by the different bodies of dissenters, assembled on the important business, amongst whom were to be found on so honourable an occasion several members of the friends of toleration in the established church, (which resolutions appear in our present number) the obnoxious provisions are more particularly pointed out, and concisely but plainly proved to be utterly inconsistent with the principles of the Toleration Act, and the acknowledged rights of The dissenters. We shall therefore only in general remark-That the rejected bill, would in various cases have disqualified those who are now qualified by law; that it would in others have been atterided with much trouble, and expence; that it would have de. prived many of the dissenting ministers of the privilege they now enjoy of exemption from civil offices, and from serving in the old, and in the local militia, and of course subject them to military disci