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loans will go on augmenting the debt, and the interest of the debt must continue to be paid after the war is over, let who will live to see that day. Of course, prices will still keep, on an average, rising; the difference between prices in England and in France will be greater than it is now; people will be still more disposed to migrate than at present; and, thus will war have augmented the evil instead of removing it. The war-faction make quite sure of success against Napoleon. They do not allow him above three months to exist. They say he was brought back by the army; that the army were so attached to him that they never could endure the good king Louis; that the army bore down twenty-five, or thirty, millions of good Frenchmen; that the whole nation was nothing, and the army every thing. Yet, in the next breath, they say that he has no army; that the army, what there is of it, is good for little, and that the
troops, so far from liking him, are daily.
deserting to the good king at Ghent. trange fellows this army, or no army, must be composed of ! Not a soul of them would lift a hand for the good king while he was in France ; but, he having run away Qt of France, they desert from Napoleon to join the king! On the other hand, the war-faction represent the High Allies as being wondrous strong. They have 800,000 men marching towards the Rhine. They have an abundance of cannon, horses, provisions, &c. They are, too, so beloved by all their people. All the people in Belgium, in Holland, in the new kingdom of Hanover, in Prussia, Saxony, Germany, Aus
tria, Italy, Sicily, and Spain are so fond,
so exceedingly fond, of their good Sove
reigns, and detest Napoleon so much, that,
the contest cannot be either doubtful, or long. Now, if this be so, why are they &fraid of Napoleon or his French people : Why need they be alarmed : If all their people are so free and so happy and so fond of their Sovereigns, and such haters of Napoleon and of the French, why not leave Napoleon and the Freuch to this hatred : "Why not leave them to their misery : And, why are we to be involved in a new war for the purpose of putting down a second time a man whom no people in the world care a straw about : However, the fact is, I believe, not what
the war-faction tells us, in this respect. Their own contradictions and alarms prove very clearly, that they think the French nation and their chief formidable. The same faction vowed eternal war against MR. MAdiso N, whose name they now never mention. There is no doubt that they were, in this latter case, reduced to reason by the battles on the Lakes, on the Ocean, and on the land of America. It was the szcord, which brought them to their senses; and, is there not reason to believe, that such will be the case again : Let us first hear of one or two great battles, and then we shall be able to judge of the relative means of the opposing parties. And, if the war-faction should be disappointed; if war should carry the French arms again into IIolland and to Vienna; if this coalition, too, should be dissolved, and England again left to make war or peace single-handed; if this should be the case, what will then be our situation ? If migration be an evil now, what would it be at the end of such a war, which would have added another hundred million or two to the national debt, and, in proportion, to our permanent taxes: If we cannot live in peace with France now ; if her abundance and her political example are now objects of terror to the war-faction, what will they be then : It is a curious thing to observe, that, while, at this time, all the ports of France are open to England, and while the mail comes more frequently than ever from that country, there is no mail permitted to go from England to France. Napoleon' seems not to wish to disguise any thing. He has no law, no regulation, to prevent us from seeing what he is about. Any one may write to us a full account of his He aims at no secrecy. He suffers any one to go, or come. This argues any thing but fear. Ten thousand assassins may enter France, if they can be found. This does not seem as if he were in any terror. And yet, there are persons constantly endeavouring to persuade us, that he lives amidst the most dreadful alarms. It is with a view of guarding you, my friends of Nottingham, against the falsehoods and misrepresentations of the warfaction that I have offered to you these remarks. Neither you nor I can prevent. war, if it be to take place; but it is in our power to reject falsehood, to think rightly upon this important subject, to endeavour to enlighten others whom we see in error, and thus to deserve no part of that reproach which will justly fall upon those who shall have been instrumental in the utter ruin of our country.
You will please to observe, that I am very far from thinking, that we can live in peace with France, unless we change our system. With taxes to the amount of Sixty millions a year, while France is in her present state, we never can live in peace with her and retain our greatness. People, who are able to remove, never will long continue to walk on foot on this side of the water, if they can ride in coaches on the other. Where the rich are, thither will go those arts which the rich support. I am well aware of all this; but, it is not by war that I would endeayour to keep Englishmen at home. By peace, by occonomy, by reducing the military establishment, by conciliatory laws, and especially by a constitutional Reform in the Commons' House of Parliament, I would make Englishmen feel; I would not tell them, but I would make them feel, that there was nothing for them to envy, or to seek after, in France, in America, or in any other country upon earth.
With that respect to which your good sense and public spirit entitle you from all your countrymen,
- I remain your friend,
Botley, May 2, 1815.
WAR AGAINST FRANCE.
MR. Cobbett, You have already, and most ably shewn, that there exists, at this eriod, a striking similarity between the invasion of France in 1792, and that which is again threatened in 1815.-lm nothing is the resemblance more obvious than in the pacific and moderate language now used by Napoleon, and that employed by the National Assembly when it met to determine this great question, whether the right of making war and peace belonged to the king or to the nation ? Having decided in favour of the exclusive right of the people, they decreed, “ that the French na“tion formally disclaims all wars from “motives of ambitign, or yiews of con* quest; and engages never to employ “her forces against the liberty of any other “people.”—Even when the conduct of
Austria first compelled France to unsheath the sword, the same Assembly declared, “ that the French people, faithful to the “principles of its constitution, which for“bid it every kind of conquest, and from “arming against the liberty of any people, “is now arming only for its own freedom, “ its .. and its sovereign“ty.”—It is true, these principles were afterwards departed from ; but this was not the spontaneous act of the French government. It was not with them a matter of choice when they proclaimed “peace “to the cottage and war to the palace.” We must look to the Duke of Brunswick's Manifesto for the cause of this.-Here indeed we shall find enough to palliate, if not to justify, all the subsequent hostile proceedings of France against her external enemies, and all the dreadful convulsions with which she was so long agitated internally.—“The inhabitants of cities, towns, “ or villages, who shall dare to defend “ themselves against the troops of their “Imperial and Royal Majesties, and fire “ upon them either in the open country, “ or from the windows, doors, or other “openings of their houses, shall be pu“nished on the spot with all the rigour of “martial law, and their houses shall be “pulled down or burnt.”—“The city of “Paris and all its inhabitants without dis
“ tinction shall be bound without the
“smallest delay, to submit to the king, to “ set him at full and perfect liberty, and “secure to him, as also to all the royal “persons of his family, the inviolability “ and respect which, according to the “ laws of nature and of nations, are due “from subjects to their sovereigns; their “Imperial and Royal Majesties declaring, “ that all the members of the National As“sembly, of the departments, districts, “municipalities, national guards, justices “ of the peace, and all other persons what“soever, shall be answerable with their “lives and fortunes for all events; tried “ by martial law, and punished without “ hopes of pardon: their said Majesties “further declaring, upon the faith and “word of an emperor and of a king, “That if the palace of the Thuilleries “shall be forced or insulted, if the least “ violence, the least outrage shall be of: “fered to their Majesties the King and “Queen, or the Royal Family; if provi“sion shall not be made immediately for “ their safety, their preservation, and their “liberty, they will take a signal and me* morable vengeance, by delivering up the “city of Paris to military execution and * complete subversion: and the revolters, “ who shall have given occasion for such * vengeance, to the just punishment of “ their crimes.’” Such are the 7th and 8th articles of that humane Manifesto, which served as a signal to rouse, and to render furious the minds of almost the whole population of France, and which, instead of tending to preserve the life of the unfortunate monarch, hastened his conveyance to the scaffold. newspaper asserts, that “it is not histori“cally true that the Duke of Brunswick's “Manifesto occasioned the failure of the “first invasion of France.”—Critically speaking, it may be that the mere publication of this document had not that effect; but it is also true that the measures pursued by the Allies, which were exactly in the spirit of the Manifesto, were the cause of their armies being driven from the soil of France, and of the war being afterwards carried into the bosom of their own territory. The object of the Times writer was to make it be believed, that the Declaration of the Allies against Napoleon, would not occasion any new disaster, in case they should again enter France. The disgraceful termination of the campaign which followed the Duke of Brunswick’s Manifesto, is sufficiently conclusive as to its effects; and although the new fulmination against the “rebel and his adherents,” is not so bloody in its aspect, though equally sanguinary, its consequences must be, indeed already have been, to unite all the energies of the French nation in support of Napoleon.—“ It is not justice “ (says the Gazette de France), which “arms the Sovereigns of Europe, but pas“sion and anger. Let them beware: all “ the coalitions directed against France “for twenty years were unsuccessful, “whilst they presented only a confedera“tion of Princes, and not a league of na“tions, and whilst France remained coa“centrated in herself, and was united by ** a national will. Let them not then re“vive in France the frenzy of 1793. The * same violation of her territory, the least ** insult to the moral character of the na“tion, would produce the same enthu“siasm, the same exasperation, and the “same vengeance. Soon all the provinces, * which, during twenty years, were united
“ to France, would again become French, “ and the triumphant eagles would again “carry beyond the Rhine, the Alps, and “the Pyrenees, the independence and the “emancipation of nations. But if the “nation is respected, if her rights are not “contemned, all her energy will subside “into the only wish which she forms— “ that of a free Constitution. Then all “France may proudly repeat what Pliny “ said to Trajan, “If we have a Prince, it “is to preserve us from having a master.’” It is much to be regretted, that there are so few who are capable of justly appreciating the causes of the war of 1793, or of that with which we are now threatened. The ignorance generally prevailing on this subject, seems to arise from the implicit reliance that is placed in the statements of our newspaper press, the sole object of which is to obscure truth, to paralyze the mind, and to excite the ferocious passions of cannibals, who delight in war because it satiates their thirst for human blood.— How few are there, of the present day that have any recollection of that “enthusiasm” which animated Frenchmen, when the soil of France was first invaded; how comparatively few are to be found, that are any way acquainted with those individual traits of valour and attachment to liberty, which a former violation of her territory called forth amongst that brave and gallant people. France was then fighting for freedom, for independence, and for sovereignty. She is now arming in the same sacred cause. It was the efforts of her citizens that then insured her the victory. Why may not similar efforts again crown her with new triumphs —The satellites of corruption tell us, that Napoleon has no regular army, and that he is destitute of every thing necessary to fit one out. Be it so. It was not by regular armies that France vanquished her enemies in 1793; it was not by Swiss guards, nor by mercenary troops, that she carried terror into the ranks of her invaders. It was the energies of an undisciplined, an almost unarmed population, animated by the enthusiasm of liberty, indignant at the haughty threat of punishing the defenders of their country, and resolved to revenge the insults offered to the national honour, that delivered France from the terrible state of degradation with which she was then threatened. A departure from first principles, subsequently placed her, in some measure, at the mercy of her invaders; but although she was believed to be overcome, the spirit of independence was not subdued. It was only in appearance she yielded for a moment, that she might derive new life, new vigour, to resist her assailants. Of what consequence is it, then, whether France has regular armies or not; whether her forces are trained to battle; whether they wear red coats, yellow coats, or green? The whole population are resolved, like the Americans in the late war, “to defend their country, “or to perish in the contest.” The spirit which enabled these patriots to combat so successfully for liberty, and to triumph over those who threatened their independence, now animates all Frenchmen. Nor has Napoleon neglected to take advantage of this noble feeling, to which he has given a direction similar to that which, even in this country, is said to have, at one period, baffled his designs against us, and to have saved us from a foreign domination. Independent of the National Guards, estimated at two millions of men, corps of volunteers are every where forming in France, who are not, as with us, to wear gaudy uniforms, and, in all cases, are to. serve without pay. If this species of military defence was regarded of such vast importance here; if to the Volunteers of Great Britain we are now indebted for the possession of our invaluable Constitution, of the whole of that “Social System,” those ancient, those sacred, those venera. ble institutions, in which our fathers so much delighted, and which they took so much pains to hand down unimpaired to us. If to these ardent and patriotic supporters of church and state we owe so many blessings, is it not reasonable to expect that France will feel equal benefit from the exertions of her volunteers? If we confided our all to them; if it be true
nerable to all attacks that could be made against her?—I admit that the Volunteers of France will have no dominant church, no overgrown nobility, to fight for, because every religion in that country is alike protected, and because the division of property is more equalized than before the Revolution. But they will have much more powerful stimulants, They will have equality of rights to contend for; they will have that admirable code of laws which Napoleon consolidated, those benevolent institutions which he established, those unrivalled specimens of the fine arts which he collected, those extensive national improvements which he created and patronized. All this, and the integrity of that delightful country which produces so many comforts for the use of man, the Volunteers of France will have to protect, to defend, and to succour in the hour of danger. They will also have to guard against the return of that system which formerly rendered existence almost into1°rable in France, and tended only to increase the luxuries of an insolent nobility, and to augment the power of a contempti. ble race of monarchs. But above all, these brave defenders of their country will
have to protect it against the encroach.
ments of the priesthood, who, more than any other set of men, , have desolated France, and subjected the sovereign as well as the people to the most degrading and abject slavery. These are objects worthy the attention of every people. Without these, life is not worth having. To defend them to the last extremity, is what constitutes real patriotism; and when a nation is once convinced, as it appears to me the French nation now is, that the war threatened against her is for the purpose of depriving her of so many advantages, it can scarcely be a matter of doubt that she will ultimately triumph over all her enemies.—But if this conclusion is fairly drawn on the supposition that France has no regular army, and must rely upon her Volunteers and her National Guards, how much greater must the probability of her success be, when it is recollected that Napoleou has at this very moment under his command, an army of veteran soldiers, amounting to little short of 300,000 men, and that they are known to be well equipped, and amply supplied with every necessary for carrying on active operations. Supposing it true, that the Allies will be able to bring forward double this number; supposing that so large a body of Russians, Austrians, Prussians, Saxons, Bavarians, Belgians, English, Swedes, Danes, and the Lord knows what; supposing that so heterogeneous a mass could be brought into the field, to co-operate cordially with each other; that a general could be found capable of giving so vast an accumulation of discordant inaterials a proper direction; that he was in no risk of being counteracted in his schemes by the jealousy of other generals, of equal rank and talents, over whom he might be placed. Supposing all this likely to happen, we find that Napoleon is sufficiently prepared for it.—“If “ the enemies of France,” says he, “bring “600,000 men against her, she will meet “ them with two millions.”—Laying out of view, therefore, the probability that Belgium, that Italy, that Swisserland, that Saxony, that Poland, and that Denmark, are friendly to France, and may be preparing to assist her. Making no account of this, or of the military operations, already begun, of Murat king of Naples, France has, in my opinion, the means within herself of maintaining her independence; and directed, as these means will be, by the only man in the world possessing talents for so great an exertion, France must ultimately triumph.-Yours, &c. May 2, 1815. ARISTIDEs.
THE EMPERoR NApoleoN.
MR. Cobb ETT, I was in France last summer nearly ten weeks, and as far as my observations extended, I can bear testimony to the truth of Mr. Birkbeck's statements respecting the condition of her easantry and the cultivation of her soil. t is, therefore, with much pleasure I find this interesting publication is now in its third edition, and that you have enriched your Register by such copious extracts from it. Mr. A. Young's account of the state of France under Louis the 16th, and Mr. B's book, ought to be read by every person in Great Britain, since a want of sufficient information on this subject, coupled with the ceaseless attempts of a lying press to blacken the character of Napoleon, have the unfortunate effect of reconciling the people to a renewal of the war against that celebrated character. It is impossible that Napoleon should not be popular with the present race of Frenchmen, for a
thousand reasons which might be given. He was the upholder of those laws to which they looked for security and happiness in the undisturbed enjoyment of those advantages which the Revolution had given them. The majority were strangers to the Bourbons, and had grown up with Napoleon, whose brilliant exploits against the enemies of France reflecting its lustre on his subjects, completely identified this susceptible people with their Emperor, whose successes and misfortunes they felt to be their own. But to shew why Bonaparte is popular in France would be only to repeat, what you, Sir, so clearly proved must be the case, in your letter addressed to Louis the 18th. Every where, and among all classes, I found admirers of Napoleon. At Paris, I was told by a Merchant, at whose house I visited, (an assertion which was confirmed by many of his guests,) that an immense number of young men in that city applied for arms to defend it against the Allies, but that none could be obtained. Their number was stated at 100,000. In several companies, where I afterwards mentioned this circumstance, the answers were, “Oui, Monsieur, c’est “bien vrai.” At Fontainbleau, their exiled Emperor was the subject of the most unqualified panegyric. “Ah, Monsieur! c'est “un grand Homme. La France est bien “malheureuse de l’avoir perdu,” was the universal answer to any questions concerning him. At a Table d'Hote in that town, I frequently met an elderly Captain who had made the campaign of Russia with Napoleon; he had narrowly escaped with life, and was covered with wounds. The enthusiasm of this veteran soldier for his master, it is impossible to do justice to ; but as his popularity with the military has been never called in question, it is needless to retail the words of the Captain.-Why should we not make peace with Bonaparte 2–But he is a violator of treaties, and no confidence can be safely reposed in him. This only appears clear to those who have never read the French side of the question. How does it appear that he broke the peace of Amiens, which we concluded with him : Was it not the refusal of the English to give up Malta, after that Island had been conceded to France, which occasioned the renewal of the war —Aided by English, money, were not the continental powers continu
ally leaguing against their conqueror, and