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breaking the treaties they had sworn to preserve with France 2 To wage war against prospective ambition is proclaiming interminable hostilities. All Sovereigns are more or less ambitious, and circumstances will ever occur to bring this passion into action.—Bonaparte is not of royal origin, and it appears that adversity has taught him moderation. His enemies, on the contrary, have profited nothing from their former reverses; they have completely disappointed the raised expectations of Europe; and viewed as the promoters of assassination, have forfeited all claims on the respect of their people. Let us, however, by all means dictate to the French nation and appoint them a ruler, but at the same time let us be prepared for a national Bankruptcy as the reward of our interference. Yours, &c. W. R. H.
THE CATS IN Counci L.
MR. Cobb ETT, It happened once upon a time, that there lived in the French country, a great Rat, which soon became the terror of almost all the world. Whereupon all the Tom Cats of Europe met together in grand council, and resolved, to spend their last drop of blood in a war against the great Rat of France. It so fell out, however, that the great Rat was too powerful for the Allied Powers, during several years, till at length the great Rat himself, having been burnt out of his hole in the city of Moscow, was conquered in his turn, and condemned to become an exile in the Island of Elba. The High Allied Cats now mewed most gloriously, and resolved once again to assemble, in order, for the last time, to settle the affairs of Europe, and to restore liberty and happiness to a long-afflicted world. All the Mice in Europe were to be divided into exact numbers, and the extent of territories was to be marked out by pencil and compasses. The like to this never before entered into the imagination even of man 1 So much wisdom and justice were never before exhibited . One would have thought it was an assembly of Gods ! Each of their High Mightinesses moved forth in a most pathetic manner, how much he had at heart whatever tended to the public weal! But, alas! how soon the glory of this world fadeth away ! Sad to relate, when all things were nearly brought
to a most happy conclusion, and when the great balance of Europe was about to be adjusted to the nicety of a hair; behold out crept the great Rat from his rock in the ocean, and twirling his tail about, it unluckily struck against one of the evenpoized scales of the great balance that hung over Europe; which scale then kicked the beam, and in a moment overturned the beautiful “order of things so “happily established for the tranquillity of “nations.” And now, how shall I venture to describe the astonishment of the august assembly It requires a master's hand, and the poet's fire. Each illustrious member of the grand council, with lightning in his eyes, reared up his angry tail in the affrighted air, and swore by all the gods at once, that he would never pare lis claws, nor ever shear his whiskers, until the best blood of the great Rat had copiously slowed, and he was for ever “in“capacitated from doing further mis“chief.” Ever since this memorable event, loud cries, and tremendous catcalls, have been heard from the cold regions of the North to the warm shores of the Mediterranean. What will be the result, let no one presume to imagine. It is sufficient for my ambition that I have lived to be the simple Historian of these extraordinary facts.-Yours, &c. - A MoUse. May 2, 1815.
CATs, RATs, AND other WERMINE.
MR. Cobb.ETT, As you are sometimes very minute in your observations, you will not (I hope) be offended with me for the remark I have to make on the debate of Monday. An Honourable Member is reported to have broken out into a very sewere censure upon the charge for cats in the Navy estimates, deeming it “mon“strous extravagance.”—Now if a man out of the Honourable House may be allowed to pass his opinion upon this article, I for one, do not think it a monstrous charge by any means; very much the contrary, for I know that the rats are very plenty in some of the Dock-yards. I hope no one will be of. fended with me for saying so, because it is the truth; and if two guineas' worth of Cats will be a means of clearing them, I am sure the public need not grumble at the expense. Bu the Honourable Secretary
of the Admiralty is reported to have explained the matter very intelligibly, so as to shut out all further difficulty upon it : he informed us that the Cats were in one yard, the Rats in another.—Your papers, Sir, are so full of importance, that I am thankful to you for the least possible space to promulgate my opinions; but I hope you will indulge me with one other remark. —I observe you frequently calling the warfaction prints, especially the Times, to account for their most immoderate abuse of the present Ruler of France as they style him, and I must allow that their abuse is most low, disgusting, and disgraceful to the country by which they are permitted, or perhaps prompted, to deal it out. You call them the miscreant hirelings of the press.-Now, whether they are really so or not, I do not take upon me to say; but this I am sure of, that if they were hired by the Emperor himself, they could not take more effectual means to unite and support his influence over the whole people of France ; and the strong hold these hirelings have given him, is to him worth any premium he could bestow upon them.— If the war, which they so strenuously call for, should take place, they have fortified him, beyond all other possible means, to withstand it. From what motives they do all this, I shall not inquire, but I am positive as to the effect.—Yours truly, May 1, 1815. PHILo.
That glory now, thou hast resign'd, Deaf to thy People's voice, to sad experience blind.
Could not thy hapless Brother's fate
Didst thou believe their humbled state
That they would, tamely, bear the yoke
Their Fathers had so nobly broke,
If to such weakness thou didst trust,
The world, thyself, must own, thy punishment is just.
Hadst thou but kept thy plighted word, To France but Freedom given ; Napoleon ne'er had been preferr'd, His cause had never thriven : An Exile now in Peace remain; Nor seek the dang'rous height again, Doom'd, by the will of Heav'n, Thy kingly honours to resign, No more to be possess'd by thy degen'rate line.
Buckinghamshire. VOX POPULI.
PETITIon of THE LIVERY of LoNDoN.
The petition of this numerous and respectable body against the threatened war with France, was read at length in the House of Commons on the night of its rejection; but I do not find that it has been published in any of our newspapers. I observe that the Courier did not even publish the resolutions passed at the Common Hall, though all the other hireling papers did. Is this to be held a proof of the superiority of our liberty of the press over that of France, of which the Courier is constantly vaunting? Is it in suppressing the reasons against the war, and in publishing those for the war, that this boasted liberty consists? The Editor of the Moniteur has given notice, that he will publish every declaration of foreign powers, however hostile to France, or to the Emperor, whenever they please to transmit them. This looks something like liberty of the press; but with our base and corrupted newspapers, nothing must be admitted into their columns that savours in the least of censure of public measures; while a place is always readily given to every thing, no matter how false and contemptible, that may any way detract from
the character of the people and government of France. Whenever an exception from this rule occurs, it is interest alone that causes the insertion. The suppression of the Petition of the Livery of London, is not, however, in the present case, so much to be regretted, because in the resolutions of the Common Hall we have essentially the substance of what it may be supposed to have been. These resolutions I have given below; with a report of the speeches, which I have taken from the Morning Herald; not because I consider this the best report that might have been given; but because it is the fullest of any that has appeared. I have likewise subjoined a list of the minoritics in the House of Commons who voted for receiving the Petition, and also in support of Mr. Whitbread's motion for peace with Napoleon. Of all the critical periods during the two and twenty years’ struggle with France, none of them was so pregnant with consequences so favourable, or so prejudicial, to the cause of general freedom, as the period in which we now live. It is of the utmost consequence, therefore, that those who have hitherto borne the weight of carrying on the war, and must again bear the burden of the new contest, should not only have their eyes opened to the true state of matters, but that they should be acquainted with the names of those Members of Parliament, who have endeavoured to stem the torrent which threatens to overwhelm Europe. The Common Hall was held on Thursday the 27th ult. The Lord Mayor, after the requisition had been read, addressed the Livery, and intimated, that as far as his authority would go, he should endeavour to procure each speaker silence and rrderly attention. Mr. Waithman then stood forward, and said, he had never appeared before the Livery on a more important subject than that he had to propose to them. He did not appear for the purpose of discussing any particular form of government, or the rights of individuals, but it was to recognize the great basis of the Constitution. Twenty years ago, he said, he addressed them on the same question, namely, on the principle of engaging in war without just cause of war. Whatever might be said in other quarters, he could venture to say, the citizens of London did not see the cause of war. The Principle he should endeavour to inculcate
was, that all interference with the domestic affairs of any other country ought to be disclaimed, because it was on that principle the British Constitution, proceeding from the glorious revolution, was established. Mr. Waithman then adverted to the treaty of Vienna, and expressed his concern on finding the name of a British Minister affixed to it—all interference with the affairs of France could not be too much deprecated. When this country thought proper to drive King James from the throne, and to establish the present family, what would Englishmen have said had foreign nations interfered? The present family was established by the revolution, and what foreigner dared interfere with our form of government. It was curious to see among the Powers signing the treaty, the Ministers of Austria, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Sweden. Some of these had not only restored the Inquisition, but had sanctioned the separation of Norway from Denmark, Genoa from its ancient constitution, and Saxony from its legitimate monarch. Such persons were unfit to reform other States; they wanted reformation at home. Mr. Waithman reminded the Livery that they had petitioned against the Property Tax and the Corn Bill; and though their prayers had not . been heard, it was most essential they should petition Parliament against the war. He condemned the conduct of the Allies in putting Bonaparte out of the pale of the law. They had no right, he said, too proscribe any individual; such a power belonged j, to the Supreme Being. [Here a most violent clamour ensued; a great number of persons hissed and interrupted Mr. Waithman, exclaiming— Off, off! No friends of Bonaparte' &c.] The JLord Mayor then came forward, and silence being obtained, said the Livery would recollect that he was sworn to preserve the peace and public tranquillity, and he was determined to maintain it. As the meeting had been called for a quiet discussion of the subject, they would doubtless give the Speakers on both sides the question an equal chance of being heard. If they did not observe order he should be under the necessity of putting an end to the Common Hall. Mr. Waithman then resumed his arguments against the war, and having condemned the renewal of the Property Tax, and all the
war arrangements, concluded amidst loud uproar and interruption, by moving the following resolutions, which embodied nearly the whole of his speech.
Resolved,—That this Common Hall, having recently witnessed the marked disregard shewn to the Petitions from this city, and those of the nation at large, are the more strongly confirmed in the conviction of the corrupt state of the representation, and the total want of sympathy in opinion and feeling between the House of Commons and the people. That these considerations would, under circumstances of less importance, have deterred us from the exercise of a right which appears to have been rendered nugatory; but hopeless as we fear it is again to address that Hon. House, yet, at a crisis so momentous—when a determination appears to have been so strongly manifested by the Ministers of the Crown again to plunge this devoted country into the horrors of war—we feel it to be an imperious duty to our country, ourselves, and posterity, to use every constitutional means towards averting from the nation the overwhelming calamities with which it is menaced. That the Livery of London, have, seen, with feelings of abhorrence, the Declarations and Treaties of the Allied Powers, and to which are af. fixed the names of British Ministers, wherein are avowed aud promulgated the monstrous and unheard-of principles, that the breach of a Convention by a Sovereign “destroys the only legal “ title on which his existence depended—places “him without the pale of civil and social relations “ —reuders him liable to public vengeance”—and that, consequently, “there can be neither peace * nor truce with him;”—principles revolting to the feelings of civilized society—repugnant to the rights, liberties, and security of all States—and evincing a combination, or rather a conspiracy, which, if once sanctioned, would lead to consequences the most dreadful and alarming, and for which there is no parallel in the history of the world.
That, recollecting the noble struggles which
our ancestors have made for re-establishing and preserving their liberties—recollecting the frequent reformations they have made in the Government—that they have always maintained and exercised this right—and that the august family now upon the throne, derived the right to the Crown, not by hereditary claims, but upon the le
gitimate foundation of all authority, the choice of .
the people—and indignantly disclaiming, as our ancestors have done, all right in Foreign Powers
to interfere in orir internal concerns, we cannot but consider any attempt to dictate to France, or to any other country, the form or mode of its Government—the person who shall or shall not be at the head of such Government, or in any way to interfere in its internal policy and regulations, as highly in politic, and manifestly anjust, and deprecate all attempts to involve this country in a war for such an object—a war against those principles, which this uation has ever maintained and acted upon.
Torn by the miseries and calamities of the late
devastating war; still tasting the bitter fruits of that protracted conflict; and no means having been adopted to lessen our national burthens, by those necessary retrenchments in the national expenditure so earnestly and so repeatedly called for by the people; but, on the contrary, an Act has been passed, restricting the importation of corn, by which a tax is virtually imposed of several millions per annum upon food, and entailing upon us in times of peace one of the greatest evils produced by the war. Before, therefore, we are plunged into another war, and in support of such principles, we might ask what has been gained by the immense sacrifices we have already made 2 and, contemplating the disastrous consequences of a failure in this new coutest, the people have a right to demand wirat advantages are proposed even in the event of its sticcess, or at least to be satisfied that hostilities are unavoidable, and that every means of fair and honourable negociation have been exerted, and had proved ineffectual. That to enter into such a contest in the present state of the country, with all our national funds mortgaged to their utmost bearing, and that without an effort at negociation: or to refuse to conclade a treaty with any power, under the presumption that such treaty may, at some remote period, be broken, appears to us an act of insanity—putting to hazard not only the property and happiness of families, but the very existence of the British Empire, and tending to exclude for ever from the world the blessings of peace. Were the impolicy of a new war upon such principles, and under such circumstances, at all doubtful, or were Government at all to be benefited by the result of experience, we need but recal to recollection the memorable Manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick at the commencement of the late contest—a Manifesto which had the effect of arousing and uniting all the energies of the French nation, and gave that victorious impulse to her arms which endangered the liberties of Europe; we need but call to recollection, that during the progress of that war, notwithstanding Resolved—That the said Petition be fairly transcribed, and signed, by the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, two Aldermen, and twelve Liverymen, and presented to the Honourable House of Commons, by the Representatives of this City in Parliament.
the immense sacrifices of British blood, and wanton waste of British treasure, lavished in subsidizing Allies to fight in their own cause, we have not unfrequently seen those powers, who entered into the contest in alliance with this country, abandon that alliance, and joined in league with France, endeavouring to exclude us from the Continent of Europe. That, after all our sacrifices, and all our exertions, in the common cause, we failed to procure from one Sovereign that tribute to Humanity— the Abolition of the Slave Trade; and beheld another Monarch commence his career by re-establishing the Inquisition, persecuting the best patriots of the country, and even prohibiting the introduction of British manufactures into his dominions. That the Livery of London have ever been, and now are, ready to support the honour, the character, and the interests of the British Empire, and to resist every act of aggression; but, seeing all the consequences of the late war, looking at the depressed state of the country, the burthens and privations of the people, the financial difficulties, the uncertainty and hazards of war, seeing likewise that France has disclaimed all intention of interfering in the concerns of other nations, that she has declared her determination to adhere to the Treaty of Paris, that she has made pacific overtures to the different Allied Powers, has already abolished the Slave Trade, and given other indications of returning to principles of equity and moderation; and holding, as we do, all wars to be unjust, unless the injury sustained is clearly defined, and redress by negociation cannot be obtained; and more particularly holding in abhorrence all attempts to dictate to, or interfere with, other nations in their internal concerns, we cannot but protest against the renewal of hostilities, as neither founded in justice nor necessity. That it is with feelings of indignation we perceive his Majesty's Ministers have proposed the renewal of that most galling, oppressive, and hateful Inquisition, the Tax upon Income, an Inquisition which had, in consequence of the universal execration it excited, been recently and reluctantly abandoned, and which we had hoped could never have been again renewed, at least during the existence of that generation who remembered its oppressions. That a Petition be presented to the House of Commons, praying them to interpose their authority to stop a weak, rash, and infatuated Administration in their mad and frightful career, and to adopt such measures as may best preserve the peace and promote the prosperity of the uation.
Resolved Unanimously—That the thanks of this Meeting be given to the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, for his readiness in calling this Common Hall, and for his strict impartiality in presiding over the debates of this day.
Resolved—That the thanks of this Common Hall be given to Mr. Robert Waithmali and Mr. Samuel Favel, for their zeal and ability shewn upon all occasions conducive to the public welfare, and so conspicuously manifested this day.
Mr. Favel condemned the Declaration of the Allies, the Property Tax, the Corn Bill, and the policy on which the war was to be renewed.—Mr. Perring professed himself unable to comprehend the nature of resolutions which seemed to him to wander far from the object in view; the language, however, of the requisition was intelligible, and to that he would confine himself. If he understood the question, it was to decide whether the country should or not, under the present circumstances, enter on a war against the Government of France. He was not prepared to afford any sanction to such a war. Although he cordially agreed with a Right Hon. Gentleman, whom he considered not only the most eloquent, but one of the soundest statesmen (Mr. Plunkett,) that we should be justified in such a war so far as the right went; it by no means followed that it would be expedient to exercise such a right. He entertained great doubts of such expediency. He distrusted the elements of which the proposed alliance was composed:—let it not be imagined, that although it consisted of the same nations, that only twelve months since drove France within nearly her,ancient limits, it was therefore formed of the same materials; he feared that the Congress at Vienna had effected a lamentable change in its composition (applause). The league against France had been irresistible, because the people felt the cause their own, and every heart beat in unison with the Government. Would the people of this country feel that they had now such an interest in the contest, as to induce them to submit with chearfulness to the sacrifices it would require : That our