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measures of ministers, and he should be supposed to identify himself with their plans. The speech lately read by the Lord Chancellor, in the name of the Regent, is much in the usual strain of those speeches wbich the nation has been doomed to read for these fifty years past, and more especially since its most tremendous curse lighted upon it, the administration of William Pitt. From the language of the speech recently delivered ; and from the observations of ministers on the usual motion for an address, it is evident, that the general system which has hitherto been so long and so fatally pursued, is to be persevered in, and that all ideas of peace and reform have vanished from the two houses. It is currently reported that the Regent did not entirely approve of the speech made for him, and we sincerely hope the report is true.
In the debate on the address being brought up, Sir T. TURTON expressed his concern that nothing was said in the speech on the subject of peace, which, as he most justly observed ---" Is the only “ legitimate end of all war.” Mr. WHITBREAD expressed his wish that " when the efforts for the support of the war were touched “upon, something had been put into the mouth of the Regent, " expressive of his ardent desire that these exertions might ter“minate in a safe and honourable peace. On that point the
speech had been entirely silent, and so of course had been the “ address; and thus we are left to the prospect of interminable, " and for this country in the end annihilating warfare; the seconder “ of the address (the hon. Mr. Wellesley), sanguine in youth, had “ told us, that no peace could be concluded till we had reduced " the power of Bonaparte, and forced him to abate in his preten
sions! What a prospect does the hon. gentleman hold out ? “ A prospect of interminable war--of such a war as we cannot " endure upon our present extensive scale ..... An experience of “ four years must have convinced the right. hon. gentlemen that “ with a view to an endless war, upon the present system of expen“ diture, instead of being all powerful, we are all feebleness. “ Great as our resources may be, with the lavish profusion that " has so long, prevailed, we cannot go on, beyond a certain extent." To these sober and forcible reasonings, Mr. PERCEVAL replied by asking the house_“ If it would be proper that any notice should “ be taken of the expectation of peace in the address? With what “ propriety could it be stated that peace at the present moment
was possible to be obtained ? No men,” he added, " would be more ready than ministers if any opportunity should occur when
peace could with safety be made, to avail themselves of that op“portunity; but they would merely mislead the country, were they “to hold out to them that any thing like such an opportunity had " yet occurred" ... ... The pretensions of the ruler of France,
"-were nothing less than the ruin of this country, and till be abate, “ from these pretensions bow can peace be obtained ?”
In direct opposition to these hardy assertions of the premier, we beg leave to affirm, that the Emperor of France never set up the “pretensions” he is here charged with: he never avowed his determination to overthrow the established form of government of these kingdoms, nor does it appear that he ever intrigued for the accomplishment of so base a purpose : he has never vilified the executive authority of our government, nor, exploring for any of the family, which our ancestors expelled from the kingdom, termed our sovereign “an usurper, a tyrant, a monster, &c. &c. &c." His only attack against what we term " our right,” is on that which almost every power of Europe, bas at different times deemed an usurpation; and the very phraseology.we use to describe it, the SOVEREIGNTY OF THE SEAS, affords some colour at least for their conduct.* Al-, though lie set up this pretension, during a state of warfare, yet, as soon as the British ministers afforded any proof of their sincerity in their negociations for peace, he withdrew even that pretension.. Whatever may be the criines of the French Emperor, the renewal of the war with Britain is not amongst the number. He did not violate his faith with this country, nor did he break the treaty of Amiens. It was not his fault that we had not, in the year 1806, the blessing of peace restored to us on safe and bonourable terms. This was acknowledged by some of those who were employed as negociators, and the force of truth compelled even Lord GREY himself to confess, although by the confession he condemned his own conduct, " that had it not been for the death of his right hon. friend Mr. “ Fox, he was firmly of opinion the negociation would bave termi“ nated favourably.” It is not the fault of the French Emperor that negociations for peace have not been renewed. Whether the various overtures made by France and her allies, or by neutral powers, since the above mentioned period, were sincere or otherwise, we pretend not to determine: indeed, it is almost impossible to judge of the sincerity of such overtures, except by the disposition and conduct of the parties after those overtures have been accepted, and by the progress and termination of the negociation. What right, therefore, have our ministers to charge the Emperor of France with “ determining on our ruin, and with setting up preten“sions which unless be withdraws it is impossible for us even to of“ fer terms of peace ?" It is true he is endeavouring to ruin our
* One of our ministerial daily prints, has the following motto, as insulting to the world, as it is impious to its maker.
“ The winds and seas are BRITAIN's wide domain,
commerce, and for this plain and natural reason; our nisisters have rejected his overtures for negociation, and neglected to offer any in return; he is therefore determined, if possible, to bring down our pride and obstinacy, and attack us in the most vulnerable part, onr commerce, We have uniformly endeavonred to deprive bim of his dominion on the continent, and to overthrow his government'; out statesmen, with the most ridiculous affectation, refuse to 'address him by his lawful titles, and at the same time are outrageous against him for attacking us in the only way which promises him success, But what if the Emperor of France should retort the language of ministers on themselves, and should say~" You have for these eighteen years past, almost uniformly aimed at the overthrow of the French government; you have more than once during that period invaded her doinnions; one of your colleagues (Lord Liverpool) proposed marching an army to her capital; you sanctioned a measure, THË FORGERY OF HER NATIONAL PAPER, which, when a similar one was proposed to the French government in its worst state, under the dominion of ROBESPIERRE, was rejected with abhiorrence; you fornied and paid coalition after coalition to accomplish your designs ;-after these coalitious were blasted, and you found it in vain to continue the contest, and were compelled to give up every object for which you had so repeatedly declared the war just and necessary, by signing the treaty of Amiens;-you renewed the war under a false pretence (thie increased naval preparations in the ports of Holland), a pretence which your own supporters in parliament afterwards ridiculed ;-you ordered the British ambassador to leave - France, becanse the French government would not consent to the violatiou of that treaty to which you had in the preceding year solemnly agreed :-you have since rejected terms of peace, which, by the acknowledgement of several of your own senators, and of those who were employed in the negociation, were sincerely offered on the part of France, and were safe and honourable to Britain ;- you have with haughtiness and arroyance unparalleled, refused even to attend to various overtures from France, and from other powers, and refused to negociate unless you dictated the very place as well as the conditions of such negociation.* -Until, therefore, you abate your pretensions, and cease to attempt the ruin of my government, I will never consent to make peace.”—Should the French Emperor therefore, unfortunately follow the example of weakness and depravity combined in the persons of our ministers, WÅR, ETERNAL WAR, or war of RUIN and
Mr. Canning, when secretary for foreign affairs, stated, in reply to an overture then made, that his Majesty's ministers would not consent to open any negociation at Paris!
EXTERMINATION to one of the parties, and of most serious injury to the other must be the unavoidable result,
We pass over on this subject the criminations and re-criminations which may be too justly made by the governments on both sides respecting the treatment of foreign powers ; if for no other than the following cogent reason—the HONOUR of our country. This consideration prevents us from entering on the subject. Until the records of a certain expedition fitted out in the time of profound peace with a neighbouring nation, and who had preserved a strict neutrality, which was rewarded by the firing of her capital, the murder of her inhabitants, the piracy of her fleet, and the robbery of her arsenals :-until the records of an expedition which thus combined the essence of every species of national SCOUNDRELISM, the apology for which the lord chief justice of the Court of King's Bench, Lord ELLENBOROUGH, declared in his place in the house of Lords, " was only becoming crimiuals at the bar of the "Old Bailey”-until these most disgraceful records are blotted from the British annals, we should tremble at the task of entering on an examination of the question-On which side turns the scale of guilt,on that of France or Britain ?-We have dwelt the longer on this important subject, because we fear our countrymen in general have not duly considered its importance. Our ministers it is plain, have not the least idea of peace; as long as they entertain the opinions they have recently expressed, it is impossible that blessing should be restored; and whilst the people are silent on the subject, we have nothing but eternal war, and etervally increasing taxation in prospect; or to speak with greater precision, war and taxation will be persevered in, till we can go on no longer, and national ruin must be the unavoidable result.
As the speech does not afford us even the most distant prospect
peace, neither does it afford us any hope of attaining a single professed object of the war. We are indeed informed of “ the con“summate skill, prudence and perseverance of Lord Wellington, “ conspicuously displayed throughout the whole of the campaign." We are no jadges of “ consummate military skill, prudence, and “perseverance;" but this we kuow, that his lordship with forces, including those of our Portuguese ally, which bis lordship has informed us, were qualified to fight in British ranks, far superior in number to the enemy, has during the last campaign, retreated from Spain, to the frontiers of Portugal, upwards of 500 miles; that immediately after his boasted victory at Buzaco, as has been cus tomary with his lordship after his victories, he commenced a tolerably nimble retreat; that his army at the present moment is almost in a state of siege, and in a sickly condition; that our expectations are now confined to his being enabled to retain a strong
defensive position and this after boasting in his dispatches to government of his victories, and representing the enemy as possessing no part of the country, but the ground covered by his armies, and in the most wretched state, destitute of provisions &c. Why this second Marlborough did not with his superior forces and advantages, attack and defeat the enemy instead of constantly retreating, and reducing himself and his armies to the very state in which he so lately described that enemy," possessing no part of the "country but the ground they cover," is a question which will demand the most serious investigation. Whether the “ consummate skill,” or the “consummate” veracity of the noble general, be most conspicuous, we must leave those who are the best qualified to determine. Our countrymen have now, however, the evidence of a third campaign to convince them, if not their rulers, that a great majority of the people in both Spain and Portugal, behold the contest with indifference. In short, after wasting ariny after army, and lavishing fifty or sixty millions sterling for the preservation of SPAIN and PORTUGAL, the state of those couutries docs not appear to be materially different from what it was when that brave and able officer, Sir John Moore, gave the following account, a short time previous to the termination of his unfortunate campaign. " I cannot disguise my opinion, that the only good result to be
expected in our operations, is the preserving unsullied the honour *** of our arms. Spain in my opinion is conquered, nor is it worth
saving. Such apathy, such ignorance, such pusillanimity, seldom “ before existed.”—To this it may now be added, that the weakness of all the different governments of Spain during the revolution, the little patriotism discovered in the various Juntas, Regencies, and in the Cortez ; their low, wretched, and partial ideas of civil liberty, and that midnight darkness which invelopes all parties on the subject of religious liberty; their bigoted attachment to a churclı which in its present state of domination, luxury, superstition and vice, must prevent any effectual reformation taking place, civil or ecclesiastical ;-these circumstances too evidently prove that neither the people nor their leaders, although there may be a few exceptions to the general rule, have any objects in view, sufficient to animate a nation to assert their liberty, and to secure their independence. Judging from what passes in the Cortez, (although there is little which the public prints think worth detailing, some of the exceptions to the general rule are priests, and others who under all the old, corrupt, despotic governments, are the decided enemies of all innovation, that is of all reformation, and who, let the state of affairs be what they may, constantly enforce the neces. sity of " keeping things as they are !” That there are a few