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enlightened men in Spain, cannot be doubted. Our Miscellany for the present month affords an instance well worthy the attention of our readers; but all exceptions of the latter description, seem to be only drops of water in the ocean of ignorance, bigotry, stupidity, and indifference !*
Our limits will only allow to glance at the state of the continent. In answer to all the confident expectations of success expressed in the speech of ministers, we cannot help seriously.
* Just as we had penned the above remarks, we perceived the following letter, written by à person on the theatre of action. We copy it from the Star of Feb. 20; a print tolerably impartial, but which rather leans to the ministerial side.
Extract of a Letter, dated Lisbon, Feb. 3. “ The ardour of the Spaniards, on which so much has been built in the hopes of England, is nearly exhausted. We still indeed hear reports of exertions, but the exertions are no where to be found. During this mighty struggle, scarcely one Spaniard of sufficient weight has appeared to embody the powers inherent in Spain against the common foe. This was expected by many as the natural consequence of a worn-out monarchy, a weak nobility, and people full of prejudices, with a religious antipathy to the assistance of foreigners under protestant commanders.-More would have. been done in Spain, had we sent only arms, money, and ammunition, One man indeed made a splendid, but solitary exception, the Marquis de Romana. His death is deeply felt by us. He was loyal to his country, and friendly to the English.
« In Catalonia, Valentia, and Granada the sparks of hatred to the French are alive, but they never will be lighted up into a fláme of resistance. Blake has been defeated by a very inferior force under Sebastiani. His army is dispersed, and is retreating to Cadiz, against which the preparations are increasing every day.--Lord Wellington has made every exertion in his power.
Whether his conduct has been according to the rules of mili-, tary science is doubted by many; but, in my opinion, new circumstances require new modes of warfare.
Our retreats after victories give the foe a handle to boust of success.' We gain the honour, they gain the country. We are not in want of provisions. We are well supplied, both in this city and in the army.--Should they attack us in our formidable lines, they can expect no success, unless they determine to make an immense sacrifice. The motto of Massena is— A throne or a grave.' If we are defeated, the blow is fatal; if he is repulsed, his retreat is open through a strong country, and he would be sure of reinforcements. His plan of subjugating Portugal would not then be abandoned.-Mortier, with about 12,000 men from the Soutli, is in Spanish Estramadura. A part of his force surrounded 4000 Spaniards in Oliviera, a neglected fortress in the Guadiana, below Badajes. The place surrendered at discretion, it is said for want of provisions. You must not be surprised to hear that the same fate has attended Badajos. Thus we are straitened every day. It is scarcely to be conceived that the enemy should bring such a force into Portugal, without a single diversion made by the Spaniards. We have one consolation : the fault is not ours.”
'urging our countrymen to review she additions made to the dominions and power of France during the last campaign. Not only the ministerial, but some of the opposition leaders, (the hon. Mr. LAMBE in particular,) encourage us to persevere in the war, and seriously hint that the war has “lagged on the part of France;" and yet during the last campaign, HOLLAND, those important conimercial depots termed the HANS TOWNs, and the whole territory, situated between the Ems, and the ELBE have been formally annexed to France, and our ministers have formally denounced the inhabitants of these countries as enemies : SWEDEN lias elected a French general for the heir to the throne : the conquest of SPAIN and PORTUGAL is nearly completed! What rational prospect can any impartial, thinking man entertain of the affairs of the continent being ameliorated, by sacrificing an additional army of 30, or 40,000 men, and squandering another fifty millions of money? Negociation for peace is our first, our most imperious duty, equally demanded by our safety and our interest, yes, and by our honour too; for as the close of every campaign has placed France on higher ground than the close of the preceding, so, if we are not much mistaken, the ensuing campaign will terminate in a manner equally unfortunate. The state of our commerce, of our paper circulation, our increasingly oppressive taxation, the state of IRELAND,-all loudly demand PEACE; and the experience of the last campaign affords an additional illustration of the melancholy truth we have so repeatedly urged on the attention of our countrymen,--That all attempts on the part of this country to abridge by force of arms the power and the influence of France on the continent, will most assuredly end in their increase !—To this repeated assertion, we now beg leave to add our firm persuasion, that, however, loudly our war-loving statesmen may talk of our national honour and interest, both of which they have during the past thirty years so repeatedly sacrificed, it is possible, if not probable, that we may now, be able to make peace on better terins than at the close of another campaign. The experiment at all events ought to be tried : if unsuccessful, it might have this happy result:-The odium of persevering in an unjust war, and of refusing to attend to reasonable terms of peace, would be shifted from the shoulders of our rulers to those of NAPOLEON.
“ The capture of the isles of Bourbon, and of Amboyna,” announced in the speech, and to which have been since added, the capture of the isle of France, may be urged by a few state simple. tons, as arguments for our perseverance in the war That these conquests may be attended with certain temporary advantages, we are by no means disposed to deny ; but the principal use a wise statesman would make of them would be to throw them as weighits in the scale of negociation, and by this means procure better terms of peace, than we could otherwise expect: but of what use are these conquests towards effecting the grand object of the war, THE DELIVERANCE OF EUROPE? Let the framers of the treaty of Amiens answer the question : almost the whole of our foreign conquests were given up, as the price of peace; every object for the attainment of which so much blood had been shed, and so much treasure lavished was relinquished; our allies were ruined, and the enemy left iu possession of his enormously extended dominious. As that sage, pure, Pittițe statesman, Lord LIVERPOOL observed, when apologising for the treaty ;- That it was for the interest of Britain to restore to France her colonies," we doubt not but the same argument will be repeated, should his lordship be employed as one of the manufacturers of the next treaty. Is it possible therefore that our countrymen can be deluded to carry on the war for the sake of foreign colonies? If this were uvhappily to prove the case, and those we have obtained, should be the means of prolonging the war for one twelvemonth, we should have no scruple in terming all such conquests, ---pot a blessing, but a curse !
ADDRESS OF THE CITY OF LONDON TO THE PRINCE REGENT,
The admirable address of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council of the City of LONDON presented to the Prince Regent, may be considered as a sort of model for addresses on this occasion. If there is any omission it is on the subject of the war ; we earnestly wish, for the reasons we have already stated, that our countrymen were duly impressed with a sense of the danger of persevering in a worse than fruitless contest ; and that all petitions for reform, and a redress of grievances were enforced by allusions to the war, and by urging the absolute necessity of proposing negociations for peace. The city petition has conveyed truths of the first importance to the ear of the Prince Regent; and has indeed described, in concise, but energetic terms, the character of the present ministers. May our countrymen throughout the kingdom follow the example of the citizens of London : to borrow their language :-“ Duty to our sovereign; duty to our country: the ex. “ample of our forefathers; justice to posterity; the fame and “ safety of the kingdom; all with voice imperious, forbid us to " disguise our thoughts and smother our feelings. ... It is of ge“ neral grievances, grievances sorely felt in all ranks of life; of ac“cumulated and ever accumulating taxation, rendered doubly grie
vous by the oppressive mode of exaction; of the increased and “ increasing distress and misery therefrom arising; of the improvi" dent expenditure of the immense sums thus wrung from industry " and labour; of the waste of life, and of treasure in ill contrived “and ill conducted expeditions; of the attempts, which for many
years past, and especially within the last three years, have been
made, and, with but too much suceess to crush public liberty in “ all its branches, and especially the liberty of freely discussing the “ conduct of public men, and the nature and tendency of public “ measures.”—The “ CRIMINAL DECEPTION upon the parliament " and the people, respecting his Majesty's incapacity,” as carried on a few years since, is most properly reprobated ; and that “ great "grievance—so prominent in the odiousness of its nature, as well " as in the magnitude of its mischievous consequences--the present " representation in the common's house of parliament,” is marked as a “particular object of complaint, and of his royal highness's “ virtuous abhorrence !" the reform of which is represented as absolutely necessary “ for the safety of the crown, the happiness “ of the people, and the peace and independence of the country.”
We earnestly hope that the citizens of London are correct in their statement of “ his royal highness's abhorrence of the present " corrupt state of our representation;" but we wish they had received an answer somewhat more satisfactory. To talk of the “ state of unrivalled prosperity and happiness,” which the people of this country now enjoy, and referring to the “ disposition, and " the example of his royal father, corresponding with his own dis
position to listen to the complaints of those who may think them. “ selves aggrieved,” is holding out but slender hopes of redress. If we are in possession of “ unrivalled prosperity and happiness," we have scarcely a right to complain of grievances. We know little of the “ disposition of the Regent's royal father" on this important subject; what the people have a right to judge of is, “ the “ disposition of his servants ;” and if “ their example" is to be held up for imitation, all we can say is—that so far from having “shewn the least disposition to listen to the complaints of those " who may think themselves aggrieved," the whole course of their administration proves the truth of the statements in the address, that our grievances have by them been accumulated in a mauner. scarcely to be endured by a suffering, an oppressed, but a loyal people. We must therefore consider the answer of the Prince Regent, as conveying the sentiments of ministers rather than his own. This awkward situation of our national affairs cannot well last much longer. If the bulletins issued for nearly a month past by the royal physicians are not deeeptions, the period of his Majesty's restoration to his usual health, cannot be far distant. Every day we are assured “ his Majesty is in a state of amendment, going
on very favourably.” The Prince Regent therefore may deem it advisable not to encourage, bopes which he probably will not be able to realize ; but we beg leave to observe, that such a confused state of affairs cannot be patiently endured. Every other consideration must at length give way, and be swallowed up in that of the last importance, the salvation of the British empire, which cannot be effected but by an entire change of system, aud a radical reform in the departments of government in general, and in the representative branch in particular.
REPORTED CHANGE OF MINISTERS. During the late discussions on the Regency, reports were very, prevalent respecting a change of ministers; and it appears by the Prince Regent's letter to Mr. Perceval, that such reports were not witļout foundation, and that it was the idea of his Majesty's recovery shortly taking place which alone determined his royal highness not to remove the present cabinet. There were two noblemen talked of as the head and representative of two administrations, whose opinions are somewhat of a different description-Lord HOLLAND and Lord GRENVILLE. The friends of PEACE and REFORM had some hopes of the nation, when they heard that Mr. WHITBREAD was to be associated with the former; and the very report gave alarm, more particularly to the secretary of the admiralty, Mr. CROKER, as that gentleman acknowledged in a late debate, as well as to the friends of war and abuses in general. Mr. Whitbread on account of his virtuous independence, constitutional opinions, firmness and consistency in the cause of civil and religious liberty, bis pacific sentiments, and bis zeal for reform, has Dot hitherto been deemed a very proper associate for any administration: his ample fortune has rendered him superior to those temptations which prove rather too powerful for the virtue and independence of certain hon. gentlemen who by the description they give of theinselves, may be considered as a species of needy adventurers.*
* In a debate in the house of Commons, on Mr. Curwen's bill, respecting the sale of seats in parliament, Lord PORCHESTER in defending Sir F. Burdett, made some reinarks “ on the suspicious conduct of leading $" men on different sides of the house." These remarks called up Mr. TIERNEY, who observed—“ That he believed from his soul, that it was the ! wish of the hon. baronet and his friends not to have many supporters in " that house, lest their designs should fuil, and the public begin to think “ too favourably of the house !” After pouring forth a torrent of abuse against the friends to a reform of parliament, who had lately assembled at the Crown and Anehor, declaring amongst other falsehoods--" That it was " their plan to raise a cry by wbich the infatuated people might be hurried “ to their ruin, by hinting.at corruptions which never had existence, and “ raising expectations which never could be gratified,” he proceeded to charge the hon. baronet with “ calumniating his character," and offered an apology