BY J. BRAND, CL. M. A. &c. &c.






WHEN we saw a member of the Whig club made the-first magistrate of the capital, it was easy to predict by what spirit the nominal acts of the city for the year would be directed: notwithstand­ing it appears by the tables of the prices of wheat, [...] by Dr. Adam Smith, that when the price [...] to advance, war strongly retards that [...]; and in every other case greatly [...] its rate; and that the increase of prices in y [...]rs of scarcity is always greatest in peace*: yet many persons, having never examined this irresistible body of evidence, hold the contrary, [Page 2] and among the advantages of peace number the cheapness of bread. The opportunity of an un­precedented dearth was too precious for the engi­neers of the cabal to fling away: they conjoined the continuance of war and the price of bread together; affirming the first, as they had done on a former occasion, to be the cause of the second. We may admit a part of those who disclaim the inten­tion of exciting commotion hereby, to have done it bonâ fide: but it cannot be doubted to be the object of others; and that there are men among them of extensive and curious information, whom the real fact has not escaped, although it may not have been noted by all.

Nothing could be more opportune to these re­publican disciples of the Florentine, than the French proposition for a general peace; [...] apparent eagerness, with which the [...] rhetoric of Buonaparte, specifying [...] seemed to court it. A common hall was [...] and peace petitioned for by exciting the [...] expectation stated above. The error was very general; it was calculated that it would operate generally; and that the example of the capital would be followed, and distract the whole country with riot and petitioning. The dexterity of the Corsican in this measure has been undoubtedly great: all those who before him have possessed themselves of the seat of power for sixteen or [Page 3] eighteen months, have obtained acquiescence, long enough to give such consolidation to it's heteroge­neous foundation as it was capable of, barely by professing their readiness to hear propositions of peace.—The crafty consul colours the mask higher: he puts on the appearance of zealously soliciting it: to which he adds, in the eyes of those of his new sub­jects whom he can deceive, and the last hope of preservation will deceive even wisdom itself, the semblance of resigning the high expectation he may from his talents be reputed to form, of the additions to his great military reputation which the continuance of war may procure to him; and which may carry him that one step higher, which it still remains for him to ascend.—In so well studied a mode has he played over again the customary arti­f [...]e, [...] obtain the necessary lease of a few months [...] over his old masters*. And as to the [...] with whom he is at war, the chance must [...] for something, that his overtures may [...] their preparations for the field; whereby with a rapidity which he certainly possesses, he may steal a victory to give brilliancy to his consular inauguration: and then with some better para­doxical epigram in prose, than we can make on this side of the water; Syeyes shall urge it as a [Page 4] proof of the sincerity of his desire to give peace to France and a bleeding world, that he has sought for it in the way which is both the shortest and most certain; the path of glory.

But the Syeyes' of this country, into whose hands this fusilader of municipalities*, playing his own game at home, plays also the cards so well; do not think him blind enough to imagine, that a general peace can take place with security to his power, and consequently to his life. They know the example of the Romans has been aped and prated about many years, by every republican of France: and that this alien consul and his political Mentor, have extracted the whole spirit of the history of that republic for his use.

They know he argues thus: In the Roman republic the reign of purity of private manners was universal, even in the turbulent times [...] Gracchi. For Cicero speaking of the [...] morals says, no one dissolute man was to [...] in those most exemplary times . At that period it appears, that the only moral quality from which these republicans derived personal honour, as ex­celling [Page 5] each other, was frugality*. And when this virtue, primarily useful to the individual, was a source of honourable and popular distinction, how prevalent must it have been, together with its consequences, moderate passions, the general case of individuals, and contentment in their situa­tions? yet with all these preservatives of the wholesome state of the public mind, it was cor­rupted by too strong a portion of the leaven of political equality; whereby the constitution of the republic was kept in such a constant intestine motion and fermentation, that war abroad was the sole means of securing any peace at home.

Yet if ever the spirit of universal political equa­lity could subsist, without external war, or the annihilation of government; Rome must have held out an example of this possibility. Its effects seem there to have been so mitigated as to divest it of danger, to the utmost degree of which we can form a [...]ption, by the exact spirit and habits of sub­ordination. The plebeians who had shaken the [Page 6] basis of the state, to obtain the capacity of being elected to certain high offices, for their whole body; as soon as it was acquired, refused to raise the most eminent individuals of it to those digni­ties. ‘When the elections came on, the most active declaimers and agitators of the tribunicial party solicited the votes of the people in vain. They were animated with one sentiment while liberty and dignity were at stake; but with another, when the cessation of the struggle made way for the operation of uncorrupted judgment—all the military tribunes were created from the patricians—they were content that a plebeian could be legitimately nominated: where shall we find now, (says the historian) that mo­desty, that equity, that elevation of mind in a single individual; which was then the character of the whole people*?’ And the populace and their leaders seemed willing enough, for different reasons, to let their acquisition drop into ob [...]vion, so early as the year after it was obtained: for the fathers desired the consulship, to which they only were eligible, to be restored; ‘and they carried their point—the people had lost the inclination of contending to which of the two honours they should elect patricians: while the leading ple­beians rather chose those elections to take place, [Page 7] in which they could not become candidates, than those in which they were rejected as un­worthy of choice*.’ It was at the interval of thirty-nine years after, and on the occasion of the gross misconduct of two of the patrician military tribunes, that the plebeians chose one of their own class, in the whole number of those officers, which was seven, "as an exercise of their right."

While this spirit of practical subordination subsisted; which was probably generated, as its duration was protracted, by the legal relation of patron and client; which in Rome strongly cemented the plebeian to the patrician order; such an exem­plary and general power of morals, industry and frugality, was an insufficient counterpoise to the pernicious effects of one disorganizing principle. What therefore is to be expected of a nation, whose morals having been long much relaxed, has now been systematically taught to hold morality itself in contempt, as hostile in many respects to the laws of nature, clearly announcing themselves in the voice of morbid passion and appetite? The mass of the people there are not rendered easy and con­tented in their private situations, by their frugality and industry: on the contrary, dissoluteness daily leads an unexampled proportion of them to ruin; [Page 8] and has left them nothing but the keen wants of habitual and extreme excess, and the inward irri­tation and shame of guilty poverty, goading them to whatever unprincipled resolution, subtlety, and despair can suggest. If foreign war was necessary to provide an outlet for the internal distempered spirit of the one state, to preserve any authority to those at the head of it; must not that necessity be indefinitely increased in the other? and must not a short interval of peace destroy the present form of rule in France, together with its rulers?

Of the perpetual necessity of external war to the Roman republic, no one can entertain a doubt: and the greater necessity of it to France is equally clear. But its government has always laboured under a compulsion to avoid a general peace, of a more imperative nature, caused by the impossibility of maintaining the armies on their return home.

How fully the Directory were sensible of this in the year 1797, will appear by what passed [...]t a conference of its members with the committee of finance. They had represented to the latter, that if they would suffer 100 millions of livres to be put into their disposition, they could obtain a peace: the requisition was granted. Gibert, a leading mem­ber of the committee and author of its reports says, the pretext was false: and gives the following account of what passed at a second conference of the same parties. When the directory was obliged [Page 9] to go into the reasons, which had obstructed a peace taking place; "They appeared," he affirm­ed, ‘to dread it, and to fear the return of the army into the interior.’ The committee then said, ‘Do you dread our defenders? What then do you hope? Have you determined that they shall perish in the enemies country?’ The reply was; ‘We have no such thought: we wish to see them again and to embrace them: but who will maintain them *.’

The best informed undertakers for the sincerity of Buonaparte's pacific propositions in this coun­try; perfectly know that his situation in this re­spect, is not at all superior to that of the directory; whom self-preservation compelled, never to be without a foreign war. And it is as manifest to them as to himself, that he has fettered himself down to this, by a much more rigid necessity, arising out of a special act of his own.

When the first usurpers bribed their armies, fluc­tuating and almost hostile to them, to support them in the war, by the promise of that immense donative of a milliard of livres, 41,666,666£. sterling, to be paid on its termination: in the state to which France was then reduced, they made the con­clusion of a peace impossible to themselves. The [Page 10] promise could not be accomplished; and they would have paid with their lives for the violation of it. However the scythe which has cut down almost annually, every thing that is rooted and flourishes in the soil of that violent revolution, had swept them all away: and their successors seemed in much less danger, of having the performance of a promise, to which they were not parties, exacted on pain of death.

But the consul has placed himself in the situa­tion of the first set of rulers. In the commotions preceding the revolution of Fructidor, he was the first commander, who engaged his army to declare against the party of the two directors, and the majority of the councils. The generals of the others followed his example: and in the mani­festoes of one of them, his particular creature, transmitted to the government then existing in the name of his soldiers; we find the following inter­rogation put to it: ‘Where now is the milliard, promised to us with so much emphasis, when our services were wanted*?’

Thus Buonaparte rendered himself instrumental to the revival of this expectation, when he wanted to trample underfoot a party, which had shown a disposition to call him to account: and to obtain effect to that expectation, the armies by force pro­tected [Page 11] him from an inquiry into his conduct; the ground of which, I shall hereafter find necessary to state; and drove his opponents into exile. Hence he is conscious that he dares not act contrary to the promise thus chargeable upon him, and that it will be impossible for him to fulfil it. For the original decree was a sentence, by which France was condemned to pay a penalty of forty-two mil­lions sterling, on the return of peace; to an inex­orable claimant who will hear nothing of abatement or delay. A sum not now to be found unburied in that country; from which emigration and non-productive necessity, has carried out money every year, faster than requisition and plunder has brought it in. And for this payment the consul has thus given bond, under his hand and seal.

If a tumultuous, debauched, irresistible soldiery could be brought to hear reason, he cannot alledge to them, as the expelled powers might have done, that the expectation was not given by us, or our friends on our behalf, but by our enemies; who have most of them perished, by your aid, in our proscriptions: therefore we cannot carry into effect one of their engagements, the most destructive to the country in present oppression, and future ex­ample. And the plenitude of power with which the last revolution has invested the grand consul, robs him of the excuse that was apparently well founded, in the impotence of the ill-constructed [Page 12] system last superseded: the armies will demand that with the power they have conferred oh him, that he will work this impossibility in their behalf.

The royalty of France when the country abounded in wealth, was swallowed up in the gulph of a de­ficit: this greater gulph must swallow up and destroy any semblance of government, and set of governors, which succeeds it, Provisional, Directorial or Con­sular, which shall make peace with all its enemies. But if it could be filled up, will not the soldiery, grown insolent in sharing so rich a prey, set up other pretensions to spoil their native country? especially any that can be pleaded with the colour of equity? The donative, they will say, is an ad­dition to our just wages as soldiers; not a discharge of arrears due both for pay, and for provision which we have been compelled to purchase, or to procure at the hazard of our lives, by modes forming no part of the duty of a soldier. A de­mand for these arrears they certainly will not pass over: for in the manifesto before me, they urge the justice of the claim ‘of ten thousand officers, to an adequate provision, who have received no other price of their services than their wounds; who are now languishing in the inner country, with­out support or help*.’ Yet, this provision is an object with them far second to their own ar­rears, [Page 13] and certainly occurring to them much later.

When acting under the influence of Buonaparte, they have been taught to press such pretensions, on what they held to be the sovereign power of their country; will they not assail him with the same, whom they look upon to be their creature, as holding his power in effect entirely from them? He cannot expect any thing else, than when the occasion occurs, to be attacked by the same com­bination of armies, and to hear the same menaces denounced against him, which he thus taught them to employ against others, who wished to set their claim to the donative aside; and that they will be carried into full execution. He dares not to conclude a general peace, without money in the treasury to pay the immense arrears of the army; and this donative of nearly forty-two mil­lions. The seal to the decrees of the milliard is iron and infrangible: and the inscription ingraved round it, is the unalterable destiny of the republic, meurs, ou tue *.

Hence the consul knows, that the conclusion of a general peace must be followed by his fall from his elevation; and that his tenure of life and of power must terminate together. He offers, therefore, what it is impossible for him to be deter­mined [Page 14] to carry into effect, in case that offer were accepted.

It is thus this vice of rulers, this cut-purse of an empire reasons: and thus it is well known, by many at least of those, who maintain the sincerity of his desire for peace with the greatest perverted ability, that he of necessity must reason. He has not hitherto succeeded any where in his overtures: and those who second him here, have prevailed no farther, than to obtain a declaration from the capital. In their expectation that it would be a general example to the country, they have notori­ously failed.

But the remoteness of harvest; and the alarm­ing prospect even of a still higher price of food, before we can be relieved by it, is such; that many months of danger remain for us, and of expectation for them; in which they flatter them­selves petitions will be heaped on petitions. The promoters of them are divided into two parties: one which knows it can have at no future time any access to power but by strange means; in the present singular calamity hopes to obtain it, from an effective although not nominal coercion of an excellent parliament: while the other to which the first always affords a solicitous protection, flatters itself with a general insurrection, in consequence of the expected firm­ness of that assembly, and by the cry of peace [Page 15] bread, to involve us in sanguinary civil wars, and desolation.

The friends of their country then are to look forward, that every possible attempt will be made by the two parties in conjunction, by propagating fallacies more or less artful, to convert the consti­tutional franchise of petitioning, to the one or the other of those purposes. I here give an abstract of the other leading topics which will be employed by them on this occasion, previous to the demon­stration of their fallacy.

‘The sole purpose of the continuation of the war on our parts, (these demagogues will con­tend) is the restoration of the monarchy of France. For this the blood and treasure of this kingdom is to be still further exhausted; a sacri­fice which we are called to make by no obliga­tion: for which no British interest can be pre­tended. For what interest of ours can be served, by restoring to power a family, whose inveterate, and we may call it perfidious hostility to these kingdoms, has involved us in all the wars of the last century, and the burthens they have brought upon us.’

‘This calamitous struggle has already been too long protracted by the most futile of all preten­sions; that the rulers of France have been always incapable of maintaining the relations of amity with other nations: a position refuted by [Page 16] the real friends of their country, the friends of her peace and prosperity, as often as it has been advanced. There may have indeed been a period when the indignation of over-weening prosperity might have made that people, daily insulted with this language, repulse overtures which they had done better to have attended to: but if any suspicion of extraordinary infidelity to their engagement might then have been enter­tained, nothing of that kind can attach to the repeated propositions of Buonaparte: nothing hostile or faithless can be supposed to be covered under them. He knows the mode of succeed­ing against the most formidable enemies with what is called glory; and is even supposed too much attached to it. He cannot therefore prefer attaining the same end, by means which must cover him with infamy.’

The leading propositions I shall take in the order I have placed them. The first is, that this kingdom is neither interested in the restoration of the house of Bourbon; or under any obligation to assist therein by war.

Those who are reduced to give up the second part of the proposition, will not all of them after­wards offer such an insult to the national morality, as to make any stand upon the first. This will induce me to be most particular in my observa­tions upon it.

[Page 17]The moralists tell us that there is the same moral relation between one people and another, as between man and man: that it is a national crime to plead interest against an express specific national compact, when the casus foederis takes place: and that the crime is much aggravated, when the article of the compact is matter of special moral obligation, antecedent to the formal agreement. As for instance, when one nation having received a high benefit from another, binds itself by a written compact, in case of necessity, to return that benefit. And it is by such an obligation that we were bound, at the commencement of the war, to assist by arms in the restoration of the house of Bourbon; no extreme necessity, moral or physical, restraining us.

Nothing can be more clear than that we are under an express obligation of this kind: this I will first show; and afterward, that it is of the higher or moral nature described.

By the second article of the last definitive treaty with France, dated September 3, 1783; ‘the triple alliance of the Hague of 1717; and the quadruple alliance of London 1718,’ (with other treaties therein specified) ‘are declared to serve as the basis of that treaty: and for this purpose, they were both renewed and confirmed in the best form *.’

[Page 18]These treaties therefore, were in full force when the unfortunate Louis XVI was formally deposed. The Protestant succession to the throne of Great Britain, and that of France in the descendants of the French branch of the house of Bourbon, had been recognised by the sovereigns of the two king­doms mutually, at the treaty of Utrecht: but by the seventh article of the triple alliance of 1717, it is stipulated, that ‘if the kingdoms (of France or England) be disturbed by intestine quarrels, or by rebellions on account of the said successions, or under any other pretence whatever, the ally thus in trouble shall have full right to demand the succours therein abovementioned,’ that is to say, France or England was to furnish 8000 foot and 2000 horse, each to the other, on such de­mand. And by the fourth article of the quadruple alliance, signed in 1718, to which England, France, Holland, and THE EMPEROR were parties; England and the two other powers promise to guarantee and defend the right of succession to the kingdom of France* against all persons whatsoever, who may presume to disturb the order of the said suc­cession.’

[Page 19]Thus at the last treaty of peace with a king of France, and subsisting at the time of his deposi­tion; we ‘renewed and confirmed in the best form,’ a specific engagement to succour him on demand, with a force of 10,000 men against all "rebellions;" excited ‘under any pretence whatsoever.’ A right to which aid, by our act, remained in him as long as the treaty subsisted. And his helpless situation, cut off from the possibi­bility of appealing to the faith then given him, was the most solemn of demands. But I now proceed to the second point; and shall show that without special compact, this aid was a debt from this coun­try to that unfortunate monarch: and therefore not having been discharged, remains exigible by his heir, whenever it can be effectively paid to him.

In order to this, I must state some important transactions which took place, in an early part of the long reign of the immediate predecessor of Louis XVI; on which this moral obligation was founded. At the accession of the house of Ha­nover, the eyes of a great party of the kingdom were not opened to the brilliant fortune, it was des­tined to under the new dynasty. They did not foresee the future progress of our power, opulence and commerce; the uninterrupted and exclusive reign of law, and the stability it would give to our con­stitution of government; which during the whole of the preceding age, had been repeatedly and alter­nately, in the hazard of being lost in arbitrary mo­narchy, [Page 20] or an anarchial democracy. The partizans of an illegal claimant were so numerous as to en­danger the Hanoverian succession: and the vigorous interposition of a foreign power might have turned the balance in their favour, established a foreign interest in our councils, and annexed a foreign de­pendence to the crown.

Louis XIV, from political and other motives, was deeply engaged in the interests of the Pre­tender. By his death, which soon followed that of Queen Anne, the regency, during the mino­rity of his successor, devolved on his brother the Duke of Orleans: ‘who adopted a new system of politics, and had already entered into engage­ments with the king of Great Britain.’ Before the breaking out of the rebellion in 1715, he ap­pears indeed for a time, to have concealed the short turn he had caused the system of the French cabinet to take; and ‘instead of assisting the pretender, he amused his agents with vague de­clarations, calculated to frustrate the expedi­tion* preparing at the king's death.

After its failure there were many, who other­wise wished well to the Stuart line, yet were averse to its being placed on the throne by a power of the Romish religion, but who would with great alacrity have acted in its favour, if they had seen it's cause supported in the kingdom by [Page 21] an army of foreign Protestants conducted by a good leader. George the first had incurred the implacable resentments of Charles the 12th, the greatest and most enterprising general of his age; he had also incensed Peter the Great: they sacri­ficed their rivality to dethrone him. And by the assistance of Peter, Charles was to have attempted this, at the head of a formidable Protestant force.

His minister, the Baron Goertz, who had brought about this singular reconciliation, and associated Cardinal Alberoni in the conspiracy; went to the Hague to further its progress. And Gyllenburgh, the Swedish embassador at London, carried on the plot with the disaffected here. Every thing seemed to promise a successful issue to it, when it was discovered by the regent of France*: who sent such intelligence of it to our court, as occasioned the arrest of Gyllenburgh here, and of Goertz in Holland. The latter on his libe­ration in 1717, strengthened the resentments and connection of Charles and the Czar against this country. By the aid of the regent the first design had been baffled, but the danger still remaining was formidable. Against this France further concurred in guarding us, by entering into the treaty called the triple alliance; wherein was stipulated, with [Page 22] what force the kings of England and France should aid each other, in case of a rebellion in the dominion of either. By the terms of the treaty, the advantage to each seems mutual: but the circumstances of the period considered, when no danger menaced the throne of France, and that of the Hanoverian family in England was assailed by a strong domestic faction, and the coalition of the two most able sovereigns who have reigned in Europe in the present century; the benefit of this mutual guarantee was intirely on our side.

The quadruple alliance, binding us to the sup­port of the king of France in case of rebellion, was signed in the following year 1718; in which the connection between Charles and Peter had been further strengthened, by the conferences at Ahland.

It is proper to add here, that the solemn adop­tion of the whole of both the treaties in that sub­sisting with the unfortunate Louis, strictly obliged us at the time of his deposition and imprisonment, to have concurred with the stipulated force in any attempt for his preservation and restoration; or placing his successor upon the throne, after he was murdered. And as far forth as the object convention of Pilnitz, was to maintain the gua­rantee of the house of Austria, entered into in 1718, and to protect the person and family of the sove­reign in France from danger then adequately ma­nifest, [Page 23] so far forth we, by the spirit of those arti­cles, were obliged to have concurred openly in its object, if unrestricted by a necessity which shall be afterwards spoken of.

And on that treaty itself it is to be remarked; that the faction which finally deposed the king, had attained considerable strength at the time it was made; and its objects were not indistinctly foreseen. Hence the emperor, being by the quad­ruple alliance obliged to take arms to succour the king on an actual attack; the spirit of his obliga­tion, called upon him to keep his preparations in the same state of forwardness, as those of the conspi­rators. He was also in full right to form alliances for that purpose: as was the king of Prussia to enter into a league with him, to enable him to fulfil any moral obligation: and the execution of every initially just treaty is such.

These treaties were in terms equal; as preserv­ing to each sovereign the honourable appearance of being seated with an equal stability on his throne. In effect they bound France to the sup­port of the Hanoverian family; at first certainly not firmly established here, and at that particular juncture in much additional hazard: and Britain to the support of the crown of France; seem­ingly in the firmest security. This obligation, as undertaken spontaneously, was almost a nudum pactum and conventional only upon the latter: [Page 24] whereas on the side of Britain, it is conventional and moral. And this nation thereby came under a moral obligation, to give to the prince reigning in France, the same support the king of Great Bri­tain had received, the circumstances being the same: that is to aid him against all rebels, during the time of peace. For it is dormant from its na­ture in every war, and revives on its termination*. It was therefore in force in the year 1792, when Louis was deposed: and not having been dis­charged to him, is yet due to his heirs.

But the affirmation of a moral obligation exist­ing in this case, will be met by an objection, de­rived from the support that unfortunate prince was induced to give, in the time of full peace, to the revolted colonies; and his commencing a war for that purpose. Here it will be urged, that by giving aid to a rebellion against the family on the throne, he, by his own act, cancelled that obliga­tion as to himself. The objection might at first fight be thought to have it's convenience, to those who have contended for a declaration from this country, against all future aid to the restoration of the French monarchy: but unfortunately for them, [Page 25] their most avowed principles preclude them from the use of it. They maintain the resistance of America to have been justifiable; and therefore no rebellion; which is always, as the term imports, an unjustifi­able resistance: and where no rebellion took place, none was supported. Hence they must ad­mit, that if such obligation existed before the French interposition, it is not in the least invalidated since. To the Whig club therefore, and its factious sup­porters, I present the following alternative for their choice. Was the resistance in America a rebel­lion, or justifiable? If you say a rebellion, then your principles, by your own confession, lead to re­bellion and civil war. If you say it was justifiable, or no rebellion, then it remained matter of moral obligation to have given aid to the late king of France, after he had given his assent to a con­stitution which you have declared to be ‘the most stupendous and glorious edifice of liberty which had been erected on the foundation of human integrity, in any time or country*.’ For you must admit that it was a rebellion which drove him from the throne this constitution had erected and placed him upon, into a prison, and then bu­ried the throne itself beneath the ruins of this "most stupendous and glorious edifice of liberty;" [Page 26] or you must deny the possibility of committing the crime of rebellion.

The great body of those who affirm the resist­ance of the Colonies to Britain to have been a rebellion, are in fact adverse to a declaration on our parts, against all future aid to the restoration. However it may be proper to inquire, how far the point here maintained is affected, by admitting their affirmation. And here the quality of the in­terposition of France in favour of the insurgents is to be examined; as it must be granted to have modified, although not annihilated, the moral ob­ligation, arising from the assistance of France to the House of Hanover, in the most difficult times. The object of this rebellion, was not to take a throne from an august family on which the House of Bourbon had been very serviceable in establish­ing it; but to cut off from its dominions a remote and ill-connected province: of great magnitude indeed, but the Goitre of the empire; from which, with a true Alpine absurdity, we boasted that it derived both ornament and strength—an error common to our rivals also. Our prior obli­gation, as it was exclusively founded on those friendly acts stated above, was to defend the king of France against a rebellion in the time of peace, the object of which was either to deprive him of his crown; or such a one as should be set on foot to wrest a single province from him: the latter he [Page 27] cancelled by his act, whether he was influenced or uninfluenced in it, the case is the same: that part of the obligation he did away: but the former, to de­fend him against all rebellions to depose him, re­mained.

But the treaties with France, furnish us with further matter of comment, not to be passed over. The principle that we are not bound to assist the House of Bourbon, has been here examined and refuted, because it is a topic to which recourse is had to obtain petitions of a dangerous tendency. It also strictly applies to the ultimate object of this letter, to show from those treaties, that the com­mon end of one party who will actively push for petitions, the bringing of Mr. Fox and his attached phalanx into power, is in a high degree dangerous and dishonourable to this kingdom, as he maintains that this country ought to have made no efforts to restore the king and the monarchy of France; and concurs with those who move us to declare, that we ought to disavow all intention of continuing the war a day for that purpose.

The articles of no treaty ever underwent a more thorough parliamentary examination than that of 1783; and this position is substantiated by the part he took therein. The question on the preli­minaries was a trial of strength between two great parties, for the possession of the whole govern­ment, which it was expected would prove decisive. [Page 28] I am not disposed to defend them as either ade­quate or honourable. Their defects were examined with the greatest attention.

The declarations of the Rockingham party, when the vote of censure was passed by the commons on the articles, are to be regarded as those of Mr. Fox; leaving what their new allies spoke on the subject out of the question: because, by the interposition of Mr. Burke, he was become the leader of that party there: and every greater ground of objec­tion brought forward against them, was of course selected by him, or by others who consulted with him. Yet no exception was then taken, as appears by the account of the debate I have before me, against the article renewing the former obli­gation of Great Britain to assist the king of France against all rebellion, now effectively proposed to be renounced: it was not even mentioned in the debate on the preliminaries. The censure of them was brought forward by Lord John Cavendish in five resolutions; which before they were offered to the house, had been certainly approved by that party, of which Mr. F. was the head. By the first of these, which was adopted without contest, it was declared, ‘that in consideration of public faith, which ought to be preserved inviolable, his faithful commons will support his majesty, in rendering firm and permanent the peace to be concluded definitively, in consequence of the [Page 29] preliminary articles*.’ A resolution which passed without a dissenting voice; and Mr. Fox spoke in favour of all of them collectively. When the previous address of thanks to his majesty was debated, on the preliminaries being first laid be­fore the commons; Lord John C. had also moved them to declare, that ‘whatever the senti­ments of the commons might be on the terms of pacification, they beg leave to assure his majesty, of their firm and unalterable resolu­tion, to adhere inviolably to the several articles for which the public faith is pledged.’ And Mr. Fox, and most of those who now with him contend, that we never ought to have endeavoured to fulfil the obligations of the second article, gave an unqualified support to these declarations.

We read in Grotius that ‘treaties being made by the supreme power,’ (in that behalf law­fully acknowledged by the people) ‘the infraction of their articles exposes a nation to the divine wrath.’ Our constitution places that power in an hereditary king; and his engagement alone would, in any supposable case, bind us to every article of a treaty, even if parliament be silent. I may ask Mr. Fox and the elder members of the phalanx, whether the added promise of the people, [Page 30] which their recommendations contributed so far to procure to be given, by those who alone can law­fully and bindingly speak for them, their repre­sentatives, annihilates the obligation which would arise out of their very silence? Does the com­pletest declaration of a great nation's taking upon itself an obligation, that it is in its nature able to make, cancel its articles?

These declarations of the party, of which Mr. Fox was the head, might be very well regarded as his own, had we not a specific avowal of assent to the substance of them, from himself, when he laid the definitive treaty before the commons; con­ceived even in stronger terms. He contended in his speech on that occasion, that there were consi­derable improvements made in the preliminaries; and in proof of this entered into his own exceptions against them. Here we find no reprobation of the article, renewing the obligation of each country to aid with a certain force the king of the other, in case of a rebellion "on any pretence whatever." He came likewise into the examination of the deme­rits of the treaty apparently better prepared than any of the leaders even of his own party, except Mr. Sheridan. For Mr. F. himself had drawn up an ori­ginal project, and transmitted it to Mr. Grenville, the first time he was in the cabinet; as appears by the joint declarations of both*: and it is to be [Page 31] supposed that his project itself, according to every precedent of a treaty in the last seventy years, con­tained this compact: for as there was nothing appa­rently unequal in it, so there was nothing disho­nourable to this country; and perhaps according to appearances, the balance of its probable expedience must have seemed to Mr. Fox to be on his and our side. For when he was in power, he was hardly without his apprehensions of a principle he had brought forward in parliament in 1781; that it is ‘not only legal but laudable, for the people of this country to appoint delegates, to reside in the metropolis to watch the conduct of their representatives *:’ that is, to appoint a permanent convention: this right also, was de­clared to include necessarily the right of establish­ing ‘associations, and committees of correspond­ence , throughout the kingdom at large.’ And the stability of the throne of France, was not then menaced by the society naming themselves ‘the friends of the constitution;’ which since, from their place of meeting at Paris, the convent of the Jacobins, have had a different name given them. Who also at first incorporated themselves ‘to watch over the general interests of liberty’ [Page 32] only; not over the whole conduct of their repre­sentatives, the more extensive object of Mr. F.'s delegates: these copyists ‘also established similar associations, and a regular correspondence with them, all over France*.’

Thus we see no hostility on the part of Mr. Fox, or of those who then acted and still continue to act with him, to the reciprocal guarantee of the succession of the two crowns. On the con­trary there arises a strong presumption, that it was entered into with his total approbation; from his apprehension of the effect this fourth power (which he had been desirous of wedging into the very summit of the arch of the constitution,) might have on those of the crown; the perpetual admi­nistration of which he is supposed soon after to have grasped at, by strange means well coloured over. In power he wished to guard himself against the discharge and battery of his own engine: and was willing to provide himself beforehand with aid, from any quarter whence it might be obtained.

I place not here in too strong a light, the danger of those distempered times, before Mr. Fox's com­ing into the cabinet; when the worst schemes re­ceived his most decided patronage. And in proof of this, I will give you some traits of the descrip­tion of them, transmitted to us by one who lived [Page 33] and acted a great part in that period; and was in much confidence even with the principal agita­tors: a great statesman, always temperately wise in his measures; and who, in a life of active ser­vice to his country, which bloated blundering arrogance joined with impotent malignity drove him to write the apology of, boasted of his being able to prevent this cloud bursting out into a hur­ricane, as one of his best services to the state. I mean the late Mr. Burke.

He describes this time as ‘one of the most critical periods in our annals: there was a dread­ful fermentation. Wild and savage insurrection quitted the woods, and prowled about our streets in the name of Reform. Other projects ex­actly coincident with this, struck at the very existence of the kingdom under any constitution. There are who remember the blind fury of some, and the lamentable helplessness of others. At the same time a sort of national convention sat with a kind of superintendance over parliament, and little less than dictated to it. And had the por­tentous comet of the rights of man, then crossed upon us in that internal state of England, no­thing could have prevented our being irresistibly hurried (like a planet) out of the highway of heaven, into all the vices, crimes, horrors, and miseries of the French revolution*.’

[Page 34]Mr. Fox, when he was in power, probably enter­tained serious apprehensions, from the explosion of these prepared inflammable materials, to the accu­mulation of which he had contributed so much; and thence came to wish for the reciprocal gua­rantee. Thinking that after the court of France had effected one democratic revolution, on the other side of the Atlantic; which had made a considerable impression on the minds of its sub­jects at home; that power would willingly concur with her real aid, to prevent the greater danger which might assail her, from the example of a second breaking out at her own door.

Let us now grant that he condemned the mu­tual guarantee: that he even went so far, as to use en­deavours to have it omitted in the definitive treaty, and that he failed therein; although he was able, in many other articles, to improve on the preli­minaries: yet neither he, nor any of his present maniple of a phalanx then acting with him, can pretend that it was not of intire obligation (and by his act in which they cordially joined) after the rebellion of the tenth of August. For he declared, and with much justice, when the defi­nitive treaty came under debate; on a comparison of the articles we had been engaged to, with our resources and those of our late enemies: that the faith of the nation was now taken against the state of the country. And this in his appre­hension [Page 35] was a consideration of so much weight, that now the business was concluded he would not hesitate to say, that, committed as the pub­lic faith had been by the preliminary articles, he would have concluded the definitive treaty upon the basis of them; if the ministers of the other belligerent powers, had thought proper to adhere to their letter*.’

What will be said of the character of that na­tion, where positions contrary to the faith of trea­ties and moral obligation, are not only supported in senates, but senates come to decree upon them? Are the articles of those compacts which sheath the sword of war, and end the calamities of three quarters of the habitable globe, of no obligation? Or is that of the obnoxious article, the reciprocal guarantee, cancelled, because if it could have been acted upon with effect in time past, it would have prevented the most atrocious scene of crimes, and the most dreadful calamities that in latter ages have visited the world? Or if in future we may be able so to act upon it, because it presents the best hope of that recovery from these afflictions a future ge­neration may rejoice in, but we shall never see?

Grant that the violation of treaties is common: that is, has been so frequent as to have been one of the most terrible scourges to human kind: does Mr. Fox contend that there should be one more added to the number? In the mouth of any man, the [Page 36] scorn of that important part of the code of mo­rals, which binds nation to nation, would have co­vered him with disgrace; but such a man's offence will not nearly approach the rankness of his; it exhibits a contempt of honest political reputation, of which there are few parallels indeed in the his­tory of this kingdom.

For the reciprocal guarantee being now consi­dered as one of the articles which he regarded as disadvantageous at the signature of the treaty; it must be further asked did he not come for­ward and tell the body of the nation, through their representatives, that there were bad arti­cles in the treaty, but that the public faith was pledged upon them; and if worse had been insisted on, that faith was so committed, it must have been definitively given even to those? But Mr. Fox was in office when the definitive treaty was concluded: he is therefore pledged personally, to endeavour to the utmost, that its letter and spirit should be car­ried into effect: and he was not only in office, but he tells us it was concluded by himself *. It was then BY HIS COUNCIL that the faith and signature of his sovereign were given to it: and now he seeks, and has all along sought, to make use of the force of parliament as an engine to offer violence to the conscience of his king, rightly or wrongly impli­cated by his own advice. Representing also the preliminaries as disadvantageous, he caused the whole nation by a singular resolution to engage its [Page 37] faith to the performance of them even as such, by their representatives: and now he calls upon us in the same mode, gratuitously * to declare, we will break that very faith he recommended us to engage, and which the history of the day informs us was unanimously given. Did he know or did he not know the guarantee he brought the nation into, by renewing the triple and quadruple alli­ances? If he was informed of it, was there ever a more frontless dereliction of principle, and of a principle he himself has talked so highly of, than is contained in his recent declarations, and those he has been making ever since the war? If he really was ignorant of it, was there ever a more criminal neglect of public care and duty in a minister? In neither case can such a man be ele­vated to power again, without extreme danger and dishonour to the kingdom. And this elevation is the declared object of his party, for exciting the movements which at this distempered time agitate the nation.

That he should maintain our most solemn na­tional engagements to foreign powers, to bind us no longer than it is our interest to adhere to them; is perfectly consonant as to its spirit, to what he [Page 38] has laid down in parliament; that individuals may enter into engagements respecting the public, in­jurious to its interest, to avoid pecuniary losses: and consequently for pecuniary gain.

He has before been charged with this by some writers, but as it is wanted in proof here, the heads of the evidence shall be repeated. In the debate on the associations entered into in 1792, for the prosecu­tion of seditious libels, ‘he expressed his doubts of their legality:’ but the purposes to which they were employed, he represented as execrable; he affirmed that they ‘were then made the instru­ments of tyranny over men's minds, almost as bad as the clubs in France*;’ and ‘compared them to the riotous assemblies of Lord George Gordon in 1780.’ With respect to these asso­ciations, in his belief, equivocal in principle, and which he asserted to be execrable in object, what council did he give? how did he act? he ‘de­clared in the house, that he advised his friends in Westminster to sign them, whether they agreed to them or not; in order to avoid’ two evils, the latter of which was, "a desertion of their shops. This exhortation to a general avowed and [Page 39] prostitute falsehood in public engagements, was de­servedly and indignantly reprobated by Mr. Dundas. ‘Men (he said on that occasion) who signed pa­pers of which they disapproved, might soon learn to swear what they did not believe; and the signature of traitors might appear among those of good citizens.’ But Mr. Fox, to show that he was not ashamed to act as he had advised, ‘on the morning after this debate with several of his particular and most intimate friends, inhabitants of St. George's parish, attended and signed an association*,’ of particular passages of which, the following is an extract. ‘We hold ourselves bound by duty, and we now think ourselves par­ticularly called upon by the times to declare; that we will each of us, in our respective sta­tions, individually contribute every assistance in our power, to discountenance all illegal meet­ings, and all seditious and inflammatory writ­ings,’ &c. A full parallel of the coincidence of his prior and subsequent declarations and acts, with these parts of his engagement; would form a tract of no little prolixity.

[Page 40]One of the motives alledged by Mr. Fox, to induce his friends to subscribe these declarations; which, following him, they must have reputed to be instruments to promote the worst ends, is omitted above; ‘to avoid the destruction of their per­sons and their houses*.’ It was certainly expe­dient for Mr. Fox, to feign the existence of some more cogent necessity to give colour to his criminal advice, than considerations of profit in trade could furnish him with. If the danger alledged had been true, the principle his advice rests upon is im­moral: but the allegation was as defective in truth, as the principle in morality. I shall proceed to show it was a calumnious imputation on the friends of regular government, which he pressed into the service of the minute: and that they were the persons whose apprehensions were great; and who sought in those associations, security only.

I rest this on the authority of what Mr. Chalmers has said, in the dedication of the last edition of that capital work, his Estimate, to Jasper Wilson, the Astur of political arithmetic and oeconomy, and the perfect representative of the Ligurian faith, and foppery of that hero of Virgil. "History," says this well-informed observer, ‘will record the month of November 1792 as a memorable epoch in our annals. It was peculiarly unfortu­nate [Page 41] to our traders. Yet it was a month pro­pitious to the constitution. I was not inatten­tive as you may suppose to the passages of that month. I knew that the violence of the repub­licans, and levellers, had by its action and re­action, spread terror far and wide. I was acquainted with persons who feared the loss of their lands from the tumults of the Jacobins at Shef­field. I was acquainted with persons, who sold their stock in the British funds, in order to invest it where they supposed it would be more safe. I was acquainted with those, who disposed at an under value of moveable property, which they ima­gined was most likely to be destroyed by innovation and tumult *.’

It might very well be expected, that this agi­tated state of the public mind, should be attended with dangerous effects to commercial credit: that such effects followed it, is indicated sufficiently in the bankruptcies of that very month. In the pre­ceding ten months their number had been 476, or 48 monthly: in that, November, it suddenly rose to 105. The greatest number stated in Mr. Chalmers's table for any month, in any preceding year, is 83: that of no other exceeded 70. In the month of December, in which Mr. Fox affirmed the solidest property to have been endangered, and consequently mutual credit at its lowest depression, the bankruptcies were reduced again to 47, the ave­rage [Page 42] of the first ten months of the year, and less than that of the preceding. Mr. Chalmers's ob­servation immediately annexed to the passage be­fore cited is, ‘Whether these apprehensions pro­duced any of the numerous bankruptcies of November 1792, I pretend not to know:’ that is from positive and particular information, as he knew the other effects of the national fears: on this fact he tacitly refers to the evidence of his table. He goes on to say, ‘I believe that all terrors disappeared, when the parliament was called, the militia were embodied, and, ABOVE all, when the nation with an overpowering voice, avowed her attachment to the constitution, and promised her support of the laws*.’ That support was engaged for, by the national accession to that association, which was set on foot on the 20th of this month of November by Mr. REEVES. It was, as Mr. Fox alledges, the commencement of these very associations, which caused the terror of assassination and plunder mentioned by him: as if such a terror could have existed, when in the very month in the middle of which he made his declara­tion, the bankruptcies were reduced suddenly, and nearly enough in the proportion of five to two.

We cannot much wonder to see that the states­man who can teach individuals, that they may for [Page 43] the continuance of their private profit enter into solemn engagements, in face of their country, contrary to their principles; should not hesitate to propose the breach pf those which one country enters into with another, even although they be his own acts; when its interest, well or ill under­stood, may seem to require it; or, what with such a statesman is the same thing, when his own inte­rest, well or ill understood, seems to require it. And that there are cases, in which a statesman may ut­terly mistake his own interest, is very evident: for if Mr. Fox had not contended for the infrac­tion of the guarantee, primarily his own ministerial act; it is undeniably certain that he would at this instant have been high in power; or at least that he would before this time, have been recalled to an eminent station; which he would have enjoyed for the whole term his infatuated impetuosity ordinarily gives him leave.

The infusing of these principles, relating to the engagements they give to the public, into the minds of the people at large; is great crime in a states­man, and affects the total of his character as such. It is long since that the fact has been charged upon Mr. Fox with full evidence, by Mr. Burke, and no defence set up in his behalf. Those there­fore of his partizans who since continue to main­tain, that his public character is excellent and immaculate, are morally become accessaries after [Page 44] the fact: but if they shall say that they never deigned to examine the charges of Mr. Burke against him; then the probability of that declara­tion must be enquired into; and if the inquiry turn out in their favour, it follows from the de­fence established, and the great name, the moral character, and the honour of the accuser; that their bigotted belief of the impeccability of Mr. Fox, robs what they say in his praise of every pretence to more belief, than bigotry voluntarily blinding itself, can claim to its declarations to its foolish creed, from the authority due to the clearness of its views. And from this unfortunate position, they can extricate themselves only by proving the falsehood of their own plea so set up.

It is not the question of peace or war which is examined in this part of my letter; it is not the prayer of the petitions past and future; and the ostensible pretence by which commotion is soli­cited: it is the danger of the real object of one of the parties which promotes the petitions, that of the superior class of agitators; namely, to have Mr. Fox called into power: the first end with all, and with many the last; although they openly call for it only as the necessary means to obtain the prayer of such petitions. This is the object here contended against, and it is this which makes his character as a statesman, clearly shown in his public acts and declarations, an essential inquiry at this juncture. The right to go into which, re­straining [Page 45] my condemnation of Mr. Fox to what arises from his public acts, he has fully admitted himself; in the debate on postponing the recom­mitment of the Quebec bill in 1791: when he declared, that ‘the public has a right to the opinions of public men on public measures*;’ meaning to include his own. A right which would be totally nugatory, if individuals had not beside a co-existing and subsidiary right, to lay their com­ments on such opinions before that public: and he will not say, he meant to admit hereby a nugatory or non-effective right only to be vested in it.

I have long anticipated a question you may have formed in your own mind on the subject of the guarantee. You will ask how has it happened, that in all the debates in which the restoration of the house of Bourbon has been considered, this article has never been brought forward, by those whose principles and arguments it would so de­cidedly have supported? The existence of the guarantee having been proved, I am in full right to say, that whether an answer to this be or be not given, it can neither reinforce nor diminish the obligation arising out of it; and such an an­swer I am not of necessity obliged to attempt to give: I shall however revert to the question after­ward; here it would be a mere scholium. The bringing home the guarantee to Mr. Fox, and the deduction of its consequences, although necessarily [Page 46] connected with the measures pursued to compel a present negociation with France, in the manner shown above, yet has retarded the progress of the considera­tion of the former for no short time; and I decline entering into another branch of the subject, which will lead to a second discussion lengthening that in­convenience. I therefore postpone the answer to this inquiry, noting only, that it terminates in a new proof of the danger and dishonour of ever, at any future period, intrusting Mr. Fox with power.

It is only a few observations that I have to add, on the guarantee and its formal renunciation. It will be said, that the effective execution of it is evidently now impossible, and that our obligation terminates with the possibility. But political pos­sibilities are subject to die and revive, alternately, at least to all appearance. A few months continu­ance has not yet, in any case, given stability to those who have usurped power in France: and if there be some circumstances which seem to promise it to the present usurpation, which were wanted to the former, they are more than overbalanced by the consul being an effective alien. The spirit of revolution often seems dormant, when it is secretly exerting itself with great efficacy; and may be really dormant, but not dead. Revolution in France, resembles a certain insect, which the researches of modern naturalists have discovered, and which from its incessant gyration or rotatory motion, has obtained with us the name of the Wheel animalculum. [Page 47] It follows from what Dr. Pulteney, in his view of the writings of Linnaeus, tells us, that this great legis­lator of natural history includes this species among the Chaotic animalcula; which immediately follow the Furiae *. When dried it will remain as dust for long periods of time, but revives in full vigour by barely putting a single drop of water upon it, and instantly resumes its revolutionary movements. Now according to the average duration of a French constitution, the present consular government seems already to have survived almost a third of its term: the time may be a little more or a little less, for without a diligent inquiry, which I have not time to enter upon, an error may be easily fallen into, in reckoning the periods of power enjoyed by their several sets of rulers, before they have been sent to Cayenne or the guillotine. But I have a descriptive catalogue lying before me, drawn up by one of ‘the curious’ in revolutions, which makes the num­ber of those taking place in our civil wars to have amounted to seventeen in nineteen years. However it evidently includes some provisional and constituent councils, which cannot be called governments: and we are not to reckon more than seven dis­tinct forms, constituted in that term; although [Page 48] two or three of them were violently or otherwise set aside, and afterward restored again. Whence the mean duration of an experimental constitution in England comes out to be 2 5/7 years, or two years, eight months, seventeen days, and a small fraction: and if we admit the mutability of the French character to be to that of the English, in the exact ratio of two to one; then will the pro­bable length of the consular revolution be sixteen months, and a few odd days; but considerably less than a fortnight.

Indeed the example of Harrington should serve as a warning to those, who at this time maintain the impossibility of a regal counter-revolution in France. Hume somewhere in his essays tells us, that he had predicted, that the constitution of this kingdom would permanently remain republican; a consequence which he had deduced from some abstract political principle: I think it was, that no change could take place in the form of a state, after the center of power and the center of pro­perty were brought into coincidence. The last sheets of his work were not dry from the press, when Monk was on his march from St. Alban's to London. France therefore is not arrived to the period which the lawyers would name, that after the possibility of counter-revolution, extinct. But in a word, nothing can procure universal peace, but removing from those who wield the force of repub­licanized [Page 49] France, the necessity of continuing war to preserve themselves from the vengeance of their armies; whose hopes of the immense donative must be frustrated on its conclusion. A separate peace, leaving a war on the continent, whereby the other powers, especially SPAIN, Portugal, and the smaller German and Italian states, may one by one be swallowed all in the vortex of the republic, or rendered dependent on it, ought not to be made; and a universal peace cannot. Therefore a declared dereliction of the guarantee contained in the last treaty, can effect nothing; or is neither necessary or honourable, if renouncing engagements to which the body of the nation has in a singular manner pledged itself, and for no motive or foreseen effect at all, be both nugatory and dishonourable.

‘But the ambition of the princes of the house of Bourbon, and their insidious policy, which ex­perience has shown, to have formerly been almost perpetually employed against this island; is an argument, it will be urged, furnishing the clearest demonstration, that the interest of Great Bri­tain can never be promoted by their restoration to the monarchy of France.’ This charge against them I shall leave, without attempting to detract any thing from that strength with which it may be supported; and courteously suffer even some present overcharged exaggerations of it to pass. It will be here sufficient to say, that as frail as the se­curity of the faith of those princes may have been, it [Page 50] must be acknowledged, that stronger reliance might at all times have justly been placed upon it, than on that of the republic under the first constitution; on which there was more dependence than on the faith of the second: and that the engagements of the latter, were intitled to a greater confidence, than that which can be given to any treaty to be concluded with Buonaparte.

The proof of this will be evident enough, from the consideration I am now going to enter upon, of the further arguments of the present Gallomanistes; and of some ci-devant Gallomanistes, whose mea­sures and declarations still continue, in different modes, to give the most effective support here to the views of the great consul. ‘They urge that our calamitous struggle with France has been too long protracted, and by the most futile of all pretensions; that the rulers of the republic have been constantly incapable of maintaining the relations of amity with other states: a position refuted by the real friends of their country, as often as it has been advanced.’

To show the fallacy of this sturdy assertion little remains for me to do, but to make extracts from some curious documents, brought together to my hand, in an excellent pamphlet published in the beginning of the present year*: and to inquire as [Page 51] a consequence deducible from them, how far the credit of those who advanced it, and continue to repeat it, is at this juncture affected thereby, on questions relating to the proposed negociation.

The friends of their country had not failed to study with accuracy, the general spirit and detail of the semi-organised anarchy called the constitu­tion, during the tyranny of Roberspierre: and one result of their scrutiny was, that thereby the party in power was unable to maintain the relation of amity with foreign states: or, in the language of Vatel, that by the fundamental laws no power was constituted, able to contract with validity. This charge against the new system was refuted here in­deed, as far as a positive declaration against it could go: but the party maintaining such power to have been any where vested by it, omitted one mode to confirm their affirmation, which the laws of reasoning, as they stood before the revolution, obliged them to follow; namely to produce the title and section of the constitution, in which this power was to be found.

After the fall of Roberspierre, a committee was appointed to draw up the plan of a new constitu­tion. They turned their views to the old one, and among other objects, to see what it established on the head of compacts with foreign states. The result of their search we are made acquainted with, by the speech of Boissy d'Anglas to the national [Page 52] assembly, in the name of that committee. After enumerating many defects of the system to be re­pealed, "what must we think," says he, ‘of a constitution, in which no principle of relation to foreign powers is to be found*?’ It is highly worthy of remark here, that while he adopts the charge advanced against the constitution before existing in France, and so resolutely denied by our opposition, he at the same time adopts the very language in which it had been here expressed.

The system which originated from the labours of this committee was called the Constitutional; as that which it superseded, had been named the Revolutionary government. So lately as the month of November last, Boulay de la Meurthe con­firmed the declaration of Boissy d'Anglas, quoted above, relating to the former: ‘It is well known’ (he affirmed) ‘that peace could not be con­cluded, before the establishment of the consti­tutional government; for there then existed a government which called itself revolutionary, and which afforded no certain guarantee either to things or persons.’

Boissy d'Anglas, having been at the head of the committee to draw up the plan of the constitu­tional government, it was to be expected that [Page 53] a power would have been somewhere vested in it, "to contract with validity" with foreign states. The mode in which De la Meurthe has lately ex­pressed himself on that head, seems however to cast a doubt even on this; yet it does not amount to an ab­solute negation of it, and it is known to have been true on other authorities. But there may exist in a state other incapacities to treat or be treated with, equal to the former in effect: for certain persons, by a constitution of government, may have legal powers to conclude a formal treaty, to which that government itself is unable to give either force or continuance.

It is from Boulay de la Meurthe we are officially informed, that this was the case of the republic, under the system which was called the Constitu­tional government. ‘It should seem (says that great statesman of the new school) that this per­manence and guarantee ought to have existed, from the establishment, and by the operations of the constitutional system; and yet there were not more, but perhaps less of them than before. And by way of conclusion, he adds: ‘Thus if we form an opinion according to well known facts, the French government cannot be considered as possessing any permanence, either with respect to men or things’‘it is found difficult to stipulate con­ditions of peace, and still more difficult to pre­serve them.’

[Page 54]Thus the first constitution afforded no certain guarantee either to persons or things, and the se­cond was found more defective than the first. ‘Treaties of peace were quickly broken;’ and became the source of a new war, still more despe­rate and bloody than the former. ‘And the directory terrified all Europe; and destroyed, according to its caprice, several governments.’

But this iniquity and caprice very inadequately accounts for the conduct of the directory: the motive to which, as it must continue to act and produce the same effects in every form the republic may assume, the speaker, who was the "mouth piece" of its new rulers, was obliged to keep out of sight. For none can doubt the iniquity of the old directors to have been interested and systema­tical; and nothing could have been of less power than caprice to determine in what acts it should manifest itself: in this its members were guided by policy: and if general peace had been consistent with their personal safety, the best policy would have dictated that measure to them. The impos­sibility of discharging the donative to the army forced them to continue war; but a war that would maintain itself, and perhaps afford some slight temporary aids to their exhausted treasury. They were driven to support their armies as a Tartar feeds his herds: where there is but little plunder to be acquired in the one case, and the [Page 55] herbage is almost eaten off in the other; the herd and the army are led, perhaps to very remote distances, to devour and fatten upon a fresh coun­try. Hence we have seen their wars ceasing in one quarter, and breaking out suddenly and unex­pectedly in another: Germany began to threaten the republicans to be equally barren of triumphs and of plunder: a kind of treaty was suddenly patched up with the Emperor; and the French armies were immediately sent to invade the friendly territories of Egypt and Switzerland. It is the fear of the return of their armies home, that is the motive of their wars abroad: they arise from the inability of the state to pay the debt to them at the return of peace. It depends neither on the nominal powers of the executive govern­ment, nor the personal character of its members; it is not in the nature of a pentarchy, or a consular or a dictatorial government, to create the funds to discharge this immense debt: although in the in­augural oration of the consular government, it was incumbent on Boulay de la Meurthe roundly to affirm the first, and suppress every idea of the second.

I have before endeavoured to prove to you, that the consul is compelled to maintain a perpetual war by a stronger degree of necessity, than that by which the directors were fettered. Boulay de la Meurthe indeed tacitly denies this necessity, by [Page 56] ascribing all their infractions of the laws of nations to their violences and the caprice of iniquity; and many argue so here. Let us therefore now suppose with him and them, that the continuation of the war and all these violations of the rights of foreign states; arose solely from a bad system of govern­ment, and the bad character of those who possessed the executive power, and not from that necessity hitherto insisted on; and proceed to examine what the consequence of this admission will be, on the question whether we ought to have entered into a negociation, on the late invitation of Buonaparte.

As the infidelity of France to her compacts which took place under the second constitution, was effectively greater than that under the first; the sole motives to our treating with her rulers now, must be either the greatest necessity; or the expectation that the last revolution has introduced some amelioration to this evil. The fallacy of this shall therefore be shown, and moreover that there is a probability of great magnitude, that its effect must be of a directly contrary nature.

The consular constitution has given to Buona­parte, an authority much greater than that of the deposed directory. The plenitude of dominion or the intire sovereignty, is nominally divided be­tween the chief consul and his three senates; as before between the directory and the two councils. But fetters have been forged for the latter, of so complicated a contrivance, that the check upon his [Page 57] acts is a name only. The measures therefore which will be pursued by the republic with respect to other nations, will be more fully impressed with his character, than those carried into execution un­der the constitutional system, at any particular time, with the character of the directors then in authority. Hence the fidelity of the consul to his own public declarations and acts, becomes not only a proper but a necessary object of diligent inquiry: the character of the state having now become iden­tified with his, there being no adequate balance to his power to direct its measures.

But while that constitution subsisted, the violation of the laws of nations by treachery and force solely imputable to him, exceeded, in degree, the crimes of the same kind, great and many as they were, with which those ephemeral tyrants were deservedly charged. And the atrocity of those committed by him, were likewise further heightened by this cir­cumstance; that if the enterprises to be considered had been politically just, if undertaken by legitimate authority; yet in him they were high civil crimes; having been usurpations of the right of the sove­reign power he acknowledged, in its high capacity of making peace and war. Therefore, admitting as we must do here, the authority from which he received his military appointment; these vio­lations of the law of nations were aggravated by a crime, his principals could not in the nature of [Page 58] things possibly commit: they could not usurp on their own sovereignty in matters of peace and war.

These acts were the subversion of the republics of Venice and Genoa. "It was on their ruins," says Mr. Mallet du Pan, ‘that Buonaparte drew up the sentence of the neutral states*.’ And the criminality of these acts of "duplicity, rapine," and frontless infraction of the law of nations, was heightened by ‘his ingratitude to these two re­publics; which from the day of his passing the Po, had loaded him and his army with gratifi­cations.’ This intelligent writer apparently brings forward these two usurpations, as the worst in principle to be found even in the annals of the French revolution. And in effect, if the peculiar circumstances attending them be examined in the proper point of view, they will so be found to have been. For let it here for a moment be granted, that the law of nations is to give way, according to the new principles, to the repub­licanizing of Europe, in every case where they come in competition; the destruction of a republic, neutral in name, but in effect a dependent and obedient ally; is in one act, a subversion of the new and the old principles together. This re­mark on the character of these usurpations it is [Page 59] not unnecessary to give, although, it is not to be imagined that any one, be his political system ever so hostile to that Mr. Mallet du Pan was known to hold, will imagine him not minutely acquainted with the crimes of the French against other na­tions; or, that when his subject required him to bring forward the most atrocious, that he would err in the examples he selected.

But in the subversion of these friendly republics, Buonaparte clearly appears to have acted without orders or instructions from France. For when the contests between the councils and the majority of the directory, which terminated in what is called the revolution of Fructidor, were approaching to a crisis, Dumolard made a motion, that the directory should give an account of the revolutions of Venice and Genoa; effected apparently without previous or­der*.’ Although the terms in which this de­mand was couched were general, it was levelled at Buonaparte. And Mr. Mallet du Pan, speak­ing of the subversion of the two republics says, that ‘these excesses of Buonaparte, excited rather a desire than a determination to bring him to justice. But the first plaint of the council against him cost that assembly its existence.’

[Page 60]The directory seized with eagerness this oppor­tunity afforded to them by their adversaries, of attaching Buonaparte to their interests. ‘They made no other answer to the demand, than dis­patching to him an ostensible letter; in which they declared to him that they gave their full ap­probation to his conduct, both POLITICAL and mili­tary, namely, with respect to Venice and Genoa *.’

It will not fail to strike you, that if he had acted in consequence of their instructions, such an ap­probation and ratification of his acts would have been not only totally nugatory, but even prejudicial to him: as it would have left him exposed to the charge of having acted without orders, in a mat­ter which the more respectable and popular party in France and in the councils, actually then treated as highly criminal. It is to be noted also, that a con­siderable period was suffered to elapse, between these transactions of Buonaparte and the date of the approbation of the directory. There is there­fore a strong probability, that they wished to pre­serve these charges of his acting without authority in matters of the very highest consequence, outstanding against him; in order to be produced at a proper time to annihilate the power he was acquiring, which began to overshadow all others in the state: or at least by the apprehension of them, to reduce [Page 61] him from an almost independent agent to a sub­ordinate instrument of their purposes*. But the councils on this occasion commenced the process of Buonaparte: the stronger party in the direc­tory [Page 62] was weak in those assemblies; and the po­pular cry was against them: their whole depend­ance was on the military force. The use also of this accusation as an instrument to restrain the power of the general, was taken out of their hands. There remained to them therefore only to pro­mote the intended proceedings against him, rather with disgrace than advantage to themselves; as having for purposes not ostensible, long tolerated gross crimes; while by concurring in the charge, they likewise were reduced to multiply their ene­mies, and take from themselves the last hope of support: or they were constrained to meet his ac­cusers in his defence, with a ratification of his acts; and by voluntarily making a common cause with him, to attempt to ensure his strong support.

I am sensible that the invasion of Switzerland, which happened after the destruction of the sister republics of Venice and Genoa, was followed by more sanguinary scenes: the plan of the first is ascribed to the directory; the latter were the acts of Buonaparte: and the determination upon [Page 63] them will be found the most flagitious and faith­less. It is the degrees of infidelity shown in the acts of the directory and the Corsican that are to be compared; not the misery which in different countries, as a natural consequence, has followed that of each. The two Italian states had granted if not anticipated every wish that Buonaparte could form from them: each had been subservient to his requisitions, and furnished him with great loans for the support of his army. But Switzerland, although desirous to preserve peace with this tyran­nical power, had furnished to it no such assistance: on the contrary, the republic had sent 25,000 men to the defence of Geneva when it was first attacked by France; and forced her, for that time, to relinquish her prey. When the French were plundering Suabia, they armed to protect their own borders from their rapines: and if during their calamitous retreat, they suffered a division of the army to re­turn to their native country through a part of their territories, they compelled them to pass through them disarmed. The invasion of Switzerland, as a violation of national faith, was no more so than the conquest of Venice and Genoa, and was not at the same time a violation of national gratitude; at least in a sense any thing so high as in the latter case: and it is to be considered, that the moral criminality of doing an evil to a benefactor, is double to that of the same injury to an indifferent person. [Page 64] Hence these infractions of the laws binding nation to nation, by Buonaparte; show a more frontless defiance of the principles of their moral rights, than any act of the late directory*.

[Page 65]If the grand consul, when acting by commission from a superior power; thus trampled under foot the law of nations; brought utter ruin without the very shadow of a pretext upon two feeble unof­fending states his benefactors; trampling under foot, by the same crime, the authority he acted under; being now freed even from the appear­ance of restraint, and armed with powers trusted to none of his predecessors, will he shrink at a repetition of these crimes? or the commission of others, possible to the utmost abuse of unprinci­pled, unrestricted force?— ‘Quid domini faciant, audent cum talia fures?’ What will grand consuls of France do, when French generals dare so much? Or what human principle is there to induce him to observe his compacts better with his most determined enemies, [Page 66] than with the beneficent, submissive friends of his necessities, as well as his prosperity?

France tells us, and by the partisans of that re­volution which placed this power in his hands, that the former sets of men who held the reins of her executive government were perfidious—power under less controul is now fallen into the hands of one more perfidious: shall we now give that faith to him which France assures us we justly and wisely refused to them?

Yet if this conclusion be erroneous, every one must foresee the calamities in which, if it should be generally embraced, it must involve all Eu­rope. It is necessary therefore to consider every thing bearing the form of an argument, which may be advanced against it. None has occurred to me deserving consideration, except the follow­ing: which although in some instances it might have weight, in this case, such are the particular circumstances with which it is attended, it may be clearly showed to be intitled to none.

Some, it will be said, who have waded through crimes to empire, have displayed in the possession of it, qualities which with a juster original title, would have ensured to their names a pre-eminent place among the best of sovereigns. And is not Buonaparte daily making fair advances in that ex­piatory career? His accession to power has not been clouded over by the exile or death of his pre­decessors: [Page 67] his attention to decorum of manners has made him discountenance, as far as he is yet able, some of that depraved licentiousness which has spread over the country like a moral pestilence; or at least he has checked the outward marks of it: he has lightened the restraints, and removed the severe oppressions of the professors of a reli­gion, the great body of whom he may regard as his most powerful and irreconcileable enemies: all practicable indulgence he has extended to the emi­grants; of many he has permitted and even in­vited the return; and his justice and liberality has softened the miseries of others. And are such returns to what is liberal and virtuous, to be taxed as void of all reality?

I answer that these appearances are still to con­tinue to be so reputed, granting all that is here said; formed of consequences drawn, some from ac­counts of dubious or little authority; and others from such as more probably lead to different con­clusions, or which are evidently carried too far. For I say, of no bad quality of the character of the consul, are the lines more full and dark, than of hypocrisy.

For he can counterfeit a faith in what (if he believe in a God) he knows to be a superstition injurious to a due reverence to him; and therefore to the obedience due to him; for an end as cruel as the means are impious; to lead ignorant and credulous nations into the deepest human calami­ties, [Page 68] those which have afflicted his own. This he has done, in his proclamation addressed to the in­habitants of Egypt. Speaking of his countrymen, and certainly meaning to be understood first of himself, solemnly invoking ‘the name of God gracious and merciful,’ he declares, ‘the French honour the prophet and his holy koran:—the French are true Mussulmen*.’ As a divine, it may be thought by some, that I have censured this crime with an interested rigour: to show I have not described it too strongly, I shall cite a text confirming what I have said, from the canonical writings of one of the princes of the apostles of infidelity: he is considering indeed an act of apos­tacy, differing in some circumstances from this: that of a man making a professed change of reli­gion to save his own life and that of another: where although the mean is impious the end is lawful. These are his words:

C'est trahir à la fois, sous une masque hypocrite,
Et le Dieu qu'on préfère, et le Dieu que l'on quitte:
C'est mentir au ciel meme, à l'universe, à soi.
The wretch, betrays,
Mask'd in hypocrisy, in one vile act,
The God he bows to, and the God he quits:
He lies to heaven, the universe; himself.

If we compare the ends for which such an unhappy criminal puts on this mask of hypo­crisy, [Page 69] with those of the French general; we must judge the latter to be the more atrocious and unprin­cipled hypocrite of the two: the crime of the one is committed on extreme compulsion, of the other in the plenitude of power.

And if in Egypt Buonaparte had found that the hypocritical assumption of some virtues, the fine playing off of something like redress of griev­ances; would have probably attached to him a confidence, which would have enabled him to carry his sanguinary schemes of rapacity into effect; would he with more reluctance have assumed this other mask? Or is it contended, that to obtain the means of carrying his execrable designs into exe­cution, he would have rather chosen to have com­mitted one of the most impious crimes, than to have embraced a few measures, which would have been of temporary benefit to some not undeserving objects? Now if it be certain, that he would have put on this specious appearance of moderation in Egypt; shall we believe he will not do the same in Europe? Among blind and ignorant barbarians, it may be said, whose praise or reprobation could be of little honour or discredit to him, he cared as little about the character of his measures: but there is no effrontery, which does not stand in more awe of the just and indignant condemnation of wise and enlightened nations. The admission this contains that his acts are under the influence of [Page 70] no moral principle may be passed by.—But ask at Venice and at Genoa, with what awe he regards the judgment and execration of this part of the world?

After the proclamation of Buonaparte in Egypt, it would seem to be the extreme of folly, from the evident farce of the confessor at Dijon, to think him in real persuasion a member of the Romish church: but certainly no man with any pretension to wisdom, or any state governed by wise councils, can conceive that the wound he gave in that coun­try to the faith of his public instruments, is in the smallest degree closed thereby; or take any im­portant measure in consequence of that belief. Is he who can falsely, and with solemn appeals to God, set up a religious pretence for the purpose of slaugh­tering and pillaging a people at peace with him, worthy of credit a second time, be his second re­ligious professions ever so solemn? or may a true or a false religion be so sported with? Even po­litical infidelity, which has not lost sight of mo­ral sentiment and political wisdom, would at all times have execrated such a conduct; and at this juncture will view it with a stronger execration than ever. And to those who continue to con­tend, that the hypocrisy of Buonaparte has not been such, as to deprive his declarations of all faith, it may be fairly urged; that he either be­lieves or disbelieves the creed of the Romish Church: then they may be desired to make their [Page 71] election of either of the alternatives, the position holds out to them: If they say he disbelieves it— what is his act, in taking a confessor, and appointing him apartments at Dijon? It will not be affirmed it was a piece of the old etiquette of the revolu­tionary chiefs of the republic, which it was impo­litic to lay aside, for fear of affronting the princi­ples of his partisans: and which we have the guarantee of their influence over him, to expect something from. And in this case, the language of the poet*, who when he chose it wrote morally, is perfectly applicable to him; such hypocrisy is a lie to God and to man. Now let his retainers take the opposite side of the alternative, and say that he holds the creed of that church: judging him then by his own private conscience and belief, as stated by them­selves; could there be in him a more profane and public act of apostacy, than the first words of his manifesto in Egypt? ‘In the name of God gracious and merciful—there is no god but God;—he has no son—no associate in his kingdom.’ Will he who solemnly denies the Redeemer whom in his heart he adores, be incapable of writing a few inflated phrases to deceive you? or setting his hand to a treaty which he is predetermined on certain events to break, in expectation that he can [Page 72] use it as the most probable means to bring them to maturity?

I proceed in the next place to show, that the favourable sentiments now attempted to be propa­gated, of the moderation of his principles, on the foundation of some of his late acts, are refuted by proofs of his hypocrisy, even superior in validity, to those brought above. Against the Romish church, of which he pretends to be a member, he has declared in words; against the system of mo­deration which he pretends to embrace, he has de­clared in words, and in the strongest acts.

Every one knows, that during that part of the tempestuous night of the revolutionary tyranny, when Barthelemi was in the direction, and be­fore the violence of Thermidor; something like a dawn of moderation, like the beginning of the reign of a milder oppression began to appear. The system brought into action was the same, from which at this time the partisans of the consul draw their inferences, in favour of the principles of his future internal administration of the country. Immediately before that crisis, the councils and the directory were di­vided into two hostile parties: either of them at first would gladly have availed itself, of the protection the general's ascendency over the armies would have given it; and in return, he might have com­manded any terms from either, of which he could avow his desire: it was for a long time perfectly [Page 73] open to him to chuse his party, to establish its power, and reap great rewards from his act.

From the measures then embraced by the general against moderate party we may judge, from what sincerity of principle his late assumed moderation flows; a quality to which at that time, he gave the fatal name of royalism. It was to crush its partisans, that he ‘demanded of his legions, whe­ther they were not ready, if it were necessary, to pass with the rapidity of the eagle, the moun­tains which separated them from France*:’ and their reply was an eager declaration of hosti­lity against the majority of the councils; ‘that it was only a step from the Adige, to the Rhine and the Seine.’ And the army of Augereau, to whom Buonaparte caused the execution of his intended violence to be committed, told the same party in their manifesto, something less metaphori­cally, that ‘the price of their iniquities was at the point of their bayonets.’ They passed the [Page 74] magic circle, which the constitution had traced round the seat of legislation and government: and the majority of the directory, aided by Buona­parte's agent Augereau, who was appointed by him for that purpose, sent the defenders of that moderation he now is said to assume, to a death almost certain, in the pestilential morasses of Cayenne. The disposition the most open to con­fidence, must see in his assumption of the appear­ances of moderation, nothing at present, but a new act of political hypocrisy; and that instead of adding faith to the most specious propositions, it diminishes the minute probability of sincerity, which they might otherwise have carried.

His sudden display of reverence for a religion he has solemnly abjured, and of an attachment to political virtues he has persecuted with proscription and death, carry such evident marks of being the meer sacrifices of hypocrisy to a temporary expe­dience, that no absurdity can surpass that of the endeavour to extract an argument from them, to prove that he, who, when his authority was limited, regardless of those limits, trampled with greater per­fidy on the law of nations, than the directory them­selves, who left all other criminals recorded in the history of Europe far behind them; will now, armed with great and independent powers, fulfil the contracts he may enter into with foreign states, with the customary degree of fidelity with which [Page 75] they are in fact observed between nation and na­tion; however short that may fall, of the sanctity with which they ought to be adhered to.

In a word, from the very commencement of his political and military career, Buonaparte seems to have been attached to no religious or moral prin­ciples but those of Dicaearchus, of which Polybius has transmitted to us the following account.

‘When the last Philip of Macedon, contrary to the faith of treaties, determined to attack the Cyclades; he had the command of the enter­prise. Placed at the head of an expedition ap­parently so impious, he stopped not at the simple commission of a great crime; but carried his insolence so far, as to determine to astonish gods and men. Therefore on his arrival in port, he erected two altars; consecrating one to Impiety, and the other to Injustice; and offered sacrifices upon each*.’ Curious as the monuments of ancient Greece are, this marble must be one of the most singular, even among them: the Buccaneer nation in its universal robberies, has professedly seized with particular avidity, on all the fine or sin­gular remains of Grecian art: if it should have fallen into their hands, and now decorates their ostentatious and crammed repository of stolen goods; that altar might well suit the Corsican to [Page 76] swear to the future treaty, and offer the federative sacrifice upon, with the orthodox rites established at its consecration by its pious founder. But we ought to put little confidence in such rites, or the per­manency of the compacts we enter into with the votary of such divinities. No party I suppose among us will controvert this conclusion, hardly an individual; except there should be found one, who having officially advised, that we should become bound to the aid of the exiled family of the Bour­bons, may in his parliamentary capacity, persist to urge for a declaration of the nation by its representa­tives, that it will in no wise, in any future instant of the present war, endeavour to perform the obli­gation we have laid ourselves under. But when the great consul shall so ratify that peace, which is to join together the conflicting nations in bands of perpetual amity, happily of a firmer texture than the former weak ligaments the same in name only, but liable four or five times in every century, to be untwisted by perfidy, or cut through by the sword of ambition; we must intirely agree with his par­tizans— such a statesman, and such a one only, will be worthy to receive on our parts, that high and solemn ratification.

There are other points of view of high import­ance, on which the fallacy of the pretension of those, who contend that we ought to have entered into negociations on the late proposition from France, and renounced immediately the guarantee [Page 77] of that monarchy, might be shown; and which even reduce those who maintain them to the most indefensible situations. But I shall not now or pro­bably in future, enter upon them: inclined here to quit the argument, and not stopping to add any farther matter, even to anticipate one or two fri­volous objections to what I have written above; which may or may not occur, to the open or hy­pocritical enemies of the real peace and happiness of the nations of Europe.

But although I refrain from considering any fur­ther objections to the matter I have written; I shall state and consider one which will be made to its manner.

Against that it will be zealously urged, that na­tions with whom we are in a state of hostility, or the rulers of such nations, should never be attacked with the strong and indignant language of crimina­tion: for even where its justice cannot be disputed, it operates on their minds as insult, provoking added injuries on their parts; and no good purpose can be answered by exasperating representations. That the lines of such pictures, when drawn by the pencil of a professed enemy, are seldom truly drawn: and if they obtain not general credit, will be estimated as the imbecillity of virulence; but if unfortunately they become the popular belief, they may put off the return of a peace, until long after the term a nation, so deluded, may have [Page 78] felt that it becomes necessary: and the possibility that term may arrive, no one can deny.

To what is said of necessity, it is readily an­swered, that in this case, the necessity admitted has certain qualities by which it may be described: it must be such a one as can be acted upon; but this it cannot be, when the public enemy is under a necessity of continuing the war. We must look also to its origin; the difficulty and danger of con­tinuing the war: but against this is to be stated, the danger emergent upon the peace: that after we shall have disarmed, a perfidious enemy will certainly watch his opportunity to renew the war, at a crisis most convenient to himself, and threat­ening to be most fatal to us: and here the balance of danger and difficulty seems on the other side. And this necessity is moreover required to be of that urgency, which gives to a nation a real dispen­sation from a moral obligation, such as the guarantee is; for public treaties constitute such an obligation.

Nor can such charges, in any possible though improbable case, be attended with the irritating effect supposed, on those against whom they are brought. The facts on which they are grounded, are all transcribed literally, from authorities of the most extensive circulation: and the censure would be very singular on any one, that he recalls from oblivion, what is of a nature never to be forgotten. There remains only therefore one circumstance in [Page 79] which this letter can have the tendency censured: that these facts are considered here somewhat in a new point of view, and applied to in a new way to the question. But here I am sensible that those who take up all the rest of the objection against me, will be among the first to deny the charge on my behalf. And however desirous I may be, to enter on a defence against it myself, I rely with much more confidence on the zeal and ability with which they will do it for me: I leave it to them therefore intirely, without suggesting a single hint, which they might apply on the subject.

But until the virtuous sentiments of moral in­dignation*, ‘the strong antipathy of good to bad,’ shall be eradicated by the reformers of our nature (for even the moral constitution of our nature ordained by Providence has its set of re­formers). Men will continue to think, that on the highest crimes the strongest reprobation ought to be inflicted; and include those mentioned above among them.

And if they be not duly present to general re­collection at certain seasons, it will become even of the highest necessity to state them afresh with all their consequences; and particularly it becomes a duty, when forbearance tends strongly to expose [Page 80] new victims to the repetition of former crimes. Where they have been fatal to individuals only, the truth of this has never been contested: but a po­litical party now contends, that this does not hold equally true of such as may involve states and na­tions in utter desolation; and their native country as well as any other; the misery arising from which, must be perpetuated to many generations. But those who shall venture to censure the indig­nant statement of crimes that are the scourges of the world in awful periods like the present, must rank under one of the three following descriptions: either of partisans of the criminals and promoters of the success of their meditated enormities; or of factionaries, who for a chance of obtaining gain or power, determinately involve their country in the hazard of destruction; or men of that duped and devoted blindness, whom the calamities of others, will never teach wisdom for themselves.

It is therefore not only defensible but necessary and right, to call the friends of their country to look with solicitous apprehension, to the events which must follow a peace, signed by the same hand which guaranteed the states of Venice and Genoa, and almost before the ink of the subscrip­tion was dry, subscribed the instruments of their annihilation. They may justly suppose the motives of the grand consul the same in any future treaty with us, as in his two latter compacts with them; to lay asleep the vigilance of the state, the destruc­tion [Page 81] of which he is plotting: expecting that if after the peace we continue powerfully armed, the ex­pense will foster the spirit of discontent until it be matured into insurrection among us, without his appearing at first to cast any fuel upon the fire. And in case we disarm, the correspondence of the two countries being re-opened, his plan will be to employ every machination, to inflame and propa­gate the spirit of anarchy and rebellion in every class, by the aid of which he will renew his hostile attack upon us with better hope of success. If we be thus forced into a second contest, in victory we shall have much to fear, in consequence of the burthen of another war almost immediately suc­ceeding the present; from the inflammable state and perverted disposition of the populace, and the criminal ambition of their greater and less leaders; educated and disciplined in the arts of attacking and subverting civil government, by the experience of more than ten years here, and the example of the more successful divisions of their fraternity abroad, embarked in the same warfare, and acting with the utmost dexterity, and frequently with success in the same and almost every other variety of circum­stances.

But it is time to put an end to this very long letter, with assurances that I am, &c.


I HAD promised in my letter a particular ac­count of the silence observed on the subject of the guarantee, by the leaders of both parties. As it had already run to a great length I could not there enter fully into the complicated detail it would lead to: I shall therefore add here as a Postscript an analysis of what, in such an account, I should have insisted on. This I had designed to have done in a second letter, an intention some reasons have in­duced me to lay aside.

The motives of the silence of opposition in both houses, may be dispatched in a single sen­tence. To have brought the guarantee forward, would have been an appeal to the national faith and honour against the measures they recom­mended; involving the personal condemnation of their two leaders.

That of administration is to be accounted for in a different manner: it may be shown that the guarantee has been by them fulfilled in act; and there has occurred only two periods in which cir­cumstances seemed to call upon them to declare its existence; in either of which, the declaration would have greatly tended to defeat the execution of it.

[Page 83]The first, was when the king of France was put under restraint: the second, when war was proclaimed against us.

It could not be declared at the first period: false conceptions had been taken up, artificially height­ened, and long supported concerning the nature of the revolution; its popularity was then hardly upon the wane. Administration had equipped three armaments in a few years of peace; in con­sequence of which they were taxed with eagerness to plunge the nation into a war, to display their abilities in the conduct of it. The last they were compelled by clamour to lay aside; its object had been to establish the emancipation of Poland from the yoke of Russia, and its new soberly free con­stitution; and to restrain the increase of that over­grown power in another quarter: But although it seemed to fall in with the current of popular opi­nion, then setting strongly in favour of liberty, it was defeated with a high hand. To have declared for the guarantee at the first period, would have been construed as a confirmation of the charge of eagerness for war; it must have been opposed by the force of that current; and would have been con­demned as an effective accession to the treaty of Pilnitz, always unpopular although arising out of the quadruple alliance formed by a Whig ministry here, when the house of Hanover was in its greatest danger; and the guarantee of its succes­sion, [Page 84] which has the broadest and most definite basis.

The existence and obligation of the guarantee to the house of Bourbon, could not be declared at the second period, or when France proclaimed war against us; without the danger of sacrificing the object to the formality. For the war was sup­ported in both houses and in the nation at large by a coalition of parties: the one hostile to the ruling powers in France, on account of the revolution (at least in the shape it had taken) the invasion of Holland and their other usurpations; and the other party for the second reason only. And a declaration for the guarantee at that time probably would have dissolved this junction again: a hazard, which even for the interest of the unfortunate fa­mily of Bourbon, it would have been impolitic to have run; because the latter division of this coali­tion, always readily sup [...]ed the aids from time to time given to the royalists; as a customary mode of carrying on hostilities, against a power with which we were at war.

Thus the effect of the guarantee has been se­cured without the declaration, which might have been endangered by its having been made when cir­cumstances seemed to call for it: and it may very well so go on in execution. Thus the formal de­claration, at the commencement of the last war with France, having been omitted at the custo­mary [Page 85] period, it was not declared afterwards: and as at that time, the armaments against France were an affirmation in act by administration, of the ex­istence of a war, and of their full knowledge and admission of that fact; the armaments in favour of the royalists, and other aids given them, amount on the part of the present administration to the same affirmation in act, of the existence of the guarantee, without the formality of a declar [...]n of it.

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