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newspapers, stating, that there was a SECRE'i Al-TICLE in the TREATY of PAris, stipulating, that none of the parties, Russia, Prussia, Austria, and France, should interfere in our war against America. This news was given as copied from the Vienna Gazette. The Vienna Gazette is under the immediate controul of the government there. The Americans paid great and deserved attention to this; and, must they not have lamented to see France reduced to such a state? They afterwards saw, that there was no safety for their ships of war or their prizes in the ports of France. They saw, in short, that the Bourbons, holding their power almost at the mercy of England, afforded not the smallest hope of any support against so formidable a power as England. Then it was, that many Americans blamed Mr. MAD1son, not for resisting the exercise of our alledged right of impressment; but, on the contrary, for not having sooner made war against us in alliance with France. They told him, that he was, at last, in a state to be able to appreciate the wisdom of keeping aloof from France on account of the title of her ruler. They laughed at him for his scruples to make common cause with an Emperor, while he saw England having allies in the Turk, the Pope, the Algerines, and the Indians; and they laughed at him the more, when they recollected, that America had won her independence while in an alliance offensive and defensive with a Bourbon King of France. However, many of the causes which kept America aloof from France are now removed. The principles of 1793 are again adopted in France; the system of reforming by means of conquest is abandoned; Napoleon will have learnt how to respect the rights and to value the character of America. Eaperience has taught the Americans what they have to expect under certain circumstances. The latter are in no danger from France; they never can be in danger from France; and, Frenchtown and Alexandria will remind them what danger they are in from England. It is said, by some persons in America, that, though it might have been wise to seek permanent security in 1793, by entering into the war on the side of the Republic of France, it would not be wise now, seeing that America has become so
much more able to defend herself than she was in 1793, a proof of which she has given in her recent war against the undivided force of England. On the other hand, it is contended, that, though Ame. rica be so much more powerful than she was in 1793, England, loaded as she is with debts and taxes, is more formidable than she would have been in 1793, even if she had then subdued France; for, though the people of England suffer, the government has more force at its command; and, what is more for its advantage, the country is brought into that sort of state which makes war almost necessary. If her paupers have increased three-fold, her armed men and her means of destruction have increased five-fold. She is become a nation of fighters. She possesses all the means of destroying. And, say these reasoners, it is not only subjugation against which America ought to guard: it is her duty to guard herself asso against devastation and plunder. Besides, say they, England has now less powerful motives to the exercise of forbearance towards America. While the latter was without manufactures; while England had almost a monopoly in the supplying of America; the former saw in the prosperity of the latter the means of augmenting her own riches and power. But now the case is different; England sees in America even a manufacturing rival; and, what is still more provoking, she sees in America a rival in naval power and renown. Therefore, say they, she must and she will desire our destruction; whether she will attempt it again will depend upon her and our means of attack and resistance. It must be confessed, that our infamous newspapers have given but too much reason to the Americans upon this head. For, they have published lists of the American navy and accounts of the American shipping and manufactures; and, having dwelt upon their magnitude and on their rapid increase, they have called upon your Lordship and your colleagues to prosecute the war for the purpose of destroying these evidences of rising power and wealth, They have contended, that it was just to carry on war against America to destroy her navy; to destroy her shipping and manufactures; and to obtain, at least, a stipulation from her, not to build ships of: war beyond a certain number and a certain
size. They have contended that such a
war would be just ; that we should have a right to impose such conditions; and that our safely demanded that we should. If I am told, that these are the sayings of a set of foolish writers in newspapers, my answer is, that I have seldom seen any of these people promulgate any political 40pinion without its being, in the sequel, very clear to me, that it was not in their own foolish heads that the sentiment had been, hatched. These men are, in fact, nothing of themselves ; they have no principles, no opinions; they care nothing about the matter. They are the mere tools of these who speak through them, whom they not unfrequently despise, but from whom, and through the means of whom, they live comfortably and sometimes get rich. . Upon the whole, therefore, my Lord, it is not to be apprehended, that, if we make war upon France for the avowed purpose of deposing Napoleon, the people of America will feel a strong disposition to take part with France in that war 2 And, if they were so to do, have we not great cause to fear, that the war would be extremely injurious to us by sea as well as by land The American privateers, though without a port to take shelter in on this side of the Atlantic, did great mischief to our commerce even in the Channel. What, then, would they do if all the ports of France were open to them and shut against us? If, in short, America were in alliance with France, what English ship unarmed could hope to escape capture ? And, is it to be hoped, that, in such a case, the skill, the discipline, and undaunted bravery of the American navy would not be communicated to that of France 2 Emulation might do a great deal towards sending forth fleets able, in a short time, to cope with those of England. Really, if we wish to keep these two nations asunder, it appears to me, that we have no way of accomplishing the wish but that of keeping at peace. If America were to join France in the war, we should, doubtless, tell her, that she was acting a very base part ; that she had received from us no provocation ; that we had not meddled with her ; that we had expressed our anxious desire to live" at peace with her. But, my Lord, might she not answer —very true; and you have received no provocation from France;
has expressed her anxious desire to live at peace with you : and yet, you have gone to war against France: if, therefore, it be base on my part to make war upon you, after you have begun war upon France, where is your justification for having begun that war 2 Besides, have jou no ally 2 You boast of having all Europe on your side. And shall France have no ally 2 Shall you have twenty allies against the old ally of America, and shall it be deemed base in America to become the only ally of France? You say, that yours is a war of precaution : so is mine. You fear that Napoleon may, one day or other, get to London ; and you have been at Washington, at Frenchtown and at Alexandria. It is a favourite saying, or it used to be, in America, that it was her true policy to keep aloof from European politics and wars. General Washington several times expressed this seatiment. But can she do it If General Washington had seen the Congress House in flames, the other day, and had seen our people so busy in packing up goods at Alexandria, he would, I imagine, have begun to think, that it was not so easy a matter to keep aloof foom European wars ; and, if he had lived to be made acquainted with the famous Captain HENRY’s exploits, I think he would have had his doubts as to the possibility of keeping aloof from European politics. £ven we, in England, say, that America should keep at peace, though we ourselves are always at war in some part or other of the world; though there is no war, in which we have not a hand. The truth is, that America must take a part in the wars and politics of Europe. Here are powers in Europe who can reach her, who have colonies in her neighbourhood, who have an interest, or think they have an interest, in injuring her. They combine and cooperate with one another; and she must . form alliances too ; or, she canuot be many years an independent nation. It was impudently asserted, üot long ago, that America had acted a foul part towards us, in the war; and she was called an assassin, who had attacked us in the dark. I was pleased to hear, from such a quarter, a sentiment of abliorrence against assassins; but, I was displeased to hear such an act attributed to America ; because no charge was ever more false. It effort, and made every sacrifice short of a surrender of her independence, to maintain peace with England ; and, that, so far from attacking us in the dark, she gave us notice, for years before-hand, that she would repel by force our seizure of her seamen, unless we ceased that practice. What, then, could be meant by this charge of assassin-like conduct Really, we seem to have taken into our heads, like the cock on the dunghill, that all the world was made for us ; that no nation is to form an alliance, nor even to think of defending itself by its own arms, if we disapprove of it. When our interest, real or imaginary, is in question, the interest of no other nation is to be thought of. The question with America, according to this presumptuous whim, was to be, not whether she suffered injury; but merely whether it was conducive to our interest to impress her sailors. If it was useful to us to do this, she was to deserve annihilation if she did not quietly submit to it, and to all its cruel and degrading consequences. We proceed upon the same notion with regardio alliances amongst foreign powers. What America make alliances with any power but us! Dreadful presumption Presumption which merits all the weight of our vengeance . What America seek safety, when we think it best to keep her in continual danger America make an alliance for the purpose of defending herself against us, whose public writers, at least, devoted her chief magistrate to the gibbet, and herself to a return under the mild protection of “the PARENT state '' Nor are there wanting writers in America to hold the same language; but they are met by men, who are able to contend against them. . There the press is free, really free ; and, there truth will prevail. A good specimen of this insolent way of talking was given by Sir John Cox II:presley, who at a late county-meeting in Somersetshire, said, that the Americans, or at least, their President and the majority of the Congress, were the slaves of the /ate tyrant of France, a proof of which they had given in their late war against us. So, because America, in defence of herself, went to war with us, while we were at war against Napoleoh, she was to be deemed the slave of Napoleon, who had loo power to hurt her, and who had never called on her to go to war in his behalf.
France has not meddled with you; France is notorious, that America used every.
She was to stop till our war with him was at an end, before she sought to defend herself... It was baseness in her to assert her ow in rights, at the end of many years of complaints, because we were at war with Napoleon.
This insolent language, my Lord, is little calculated to heal the wounds of America. She will, in spite of all we can say, reflect on her past danger, and she must have lost her usual wisdom in profiting from experience, if she does not now seek the means of security betimes. That, with all her natural reluctance to war, she will be disposed to do this I am certain ; and, it will, I imagine, require but a slight provocation to induce her to act npon that disposition. It has been announced to us, that Switzerland has been informed, that there are to be no neutrals in this war against Napoleon. Hamburgh, Tuscany, Genoa, and several other states felt the effects of such a principle during the first war against Republican France. Denmark felt those effects during the last war. America will consider of, and judge from the past; and, your Lordship may be assured, that she will not want the means of doing what her permanent safety shall manifestly demand.
I have thus, my Lord, stated to you what I think will be the view that the people of America will take of the present scene; what I think will be their feelings; and I have pointed out the consequences, which I apprehend from those feelings, if we enter upon the war against France on the ground which is at present set forth. The Americans, I repeat, are prone to peace, as every uncorrupted nation is; but as it was said; the other evening, that it was better to go to war now with a strong alliance on our side, than be compelled to go to war at the end of an exhausting armed peace without allies ; as this was deemed triumphant reasoning, in England, in behalf of offensive war, you must not be surprised if it be imitated, in America, in behalf of a war of defence. - - I am, &c., &c.,
- WM. Cobb Err.
Botley, May 6, 1815.
example of a race of men that could have been so criminally abject as to recommend so iniquitous, so servile a piece of treason against the social rights of man. The monstrous injustice of such execrable practice sickens every sense of virtue, and renders life itself almost insufferable. The natural feelings of the human mind, uninfluenced by the immorality, public and private, that has been engendered by the prosligacy of the age, must revolt at the spoliating proceedings of modern times. Individual robbery is visited by the penal infliction of the law; but an authority setting itself above all law, will despoil whole nations, will dissolve all ties and obligations on which the moral and sociol character of man essentially depends, and is not held amenable to any tribunal ; nay, is even applauded by the corrupt tools of licentious power as having conducted itself stagnanimously ' It would be easy to prove that no individual living can assume to himself, in his own right, as all despots avowedly do, the sovereign power. This authority is inberent in the people that may be incorporated into a nation, and cqually emanates from every individual in that social assemblage. For the benefit of the whole, the aggregate of this individual power may be conferred on any person that may be the object of preference, to carry the high authority thus confided into effect for the advantage of the nation. The person exercising this sovereign power is a sovereign legitimately delegated, and may act as such with all she consideration that may be due to the people whose suffrages he represents. Where, but in France, and America are to be found heads of governments of this rightful stamp and authority? The French people in the ardor and gratitude of their love and attachment to Bonaparte have conferred on him an imperial throne : a throne the first in intrinsic worth on the face of the globe, and one, which a generous and high minded nation of thirty millions of people, it may be fairly hoped, will cause to be duly respected. A throne, that may be truly regarded as the edifice Alf the peoplc's own creation, must be
the darling object of their care and protection : a throne like that which exalts and adorns the person of Napoleon, is indeed truly enviable; it stands alone in sterling value; it is a precious unique in these enstaving and enslaved times; it is the throne of a free nation emanating from the sovereignty of the people, and intrusted to the revered and beloved Napoleon as the faithful guardian of civic rights, as the tried and approved repository of the inestimable charge. What will the French profit by this Imperial Constitution of National liberty : Why, instead of being governed by schemes of ancient but execrated vassalage, it will be ruled by the indefeasible axioms of the rights of man; the legislative authority will originate from the majority of the nation, where alone it legitimately exists. No unequal privileges can be claimed; the rights of the individual are those of the multitude; no distinction can arise in the administration of the laws; the Emperor is the first servant or magistrate of the people, and holds that high office no longer than he shall faithfully fulfil its inseparable duties. This is a scheme novel it must be owned, in these degenerate times. America only furnishes its counter-part. England has some pretension to its general principle in the provisions of Magna Charta, but the machinations, abuses, and sophistications incident to all social institutions have, through lapse of time, approximated its present government too much to the prevailing systems of Europe, (in which the sovereignty of the people is ridicused rather than acknowledged and revered) to admit of being any longer likened to the sage and enlightened views of legislation, recognised and adopted in the French and American schemes of government. Napoleon, the author of this enviable amelioration in the French government, and Madison, his American co-partner in political wisdom, have been objects of unceasing aspersions and vilifications. They have been severally denounced and menaced with utter destruction. After the one was overthrown, by the influence of plots and treasons, the other was held to stand in the way of “social order, and “ the blessed comforts of religion,” and even the British government was called on to wield her power against the pestiferous evils of American liberty. The warlike preparations that are at prescnt making,
have most evidently for their object the destruction of French liberty, overwhelming as that liberty must be, under the able direction of Bonaparte, to countries pining and sinking under the pitiless scourge of what is cousidered as here.litary and legitimate slavery. French liberty has a quality in it, with reference to surrounding nations eminently contiguous; its influence must spread. Like the electric fluid, it will diffuse itself. Some nations, indeed, to continue the electric simile, may be more ready conductors of it than others, according to natural and acquired capabilities; but none can permanently continue in a state of non-conductors of the sacred principle. JUSTITIA.
consequence of this must be, that the poor devil's politics will serve as the measure of the bounty he is to receive. The original design of this fund must be totally overlooked. That design, I believe, was to i-revent authers—from selling their pens ; whereas now, I should suppose, the principal design to be to purchase the pens of authors, or to keep alive poor slaves whose works are well-meant towards their patrons, but destitute of the talent necessary to make them sell,—I observe, that the “Founder's" health was drunk, but, that the “ Founder,” Mr. DAvid W LLIAMs, was not named.—Mr. David Williams wrote some excellent political tracts in support of the principles of freedom; he also translated some of the works of Voltaire on the subject of religion. . Never did he expect that his institution would tumble into such hands as have now got hold of it. The truth is, that the scheme was a very good one. Its object, , and its tendency, was to encourage literary merit, and to make authors honest and independent; but it has now manifestly been converted into a sort of poor
POLITICAL REGISTER.—Literary Fund, &c.
list for decayed literary hacks. They tel the world, that they do not publish the names of the parties who receive charity. They are very wise in this, for the public would soon see what the real object of the Fund was, if they could see the names of the persons relieved. In short, this, like almost every other “Charity,” as they are called, is neither more nor less than an adjunct of the government, or, rather of the System. What Jacobin, or Jacobin's wife (unless she first betrayed her husband) was ever relieved by any of these societies? They are kept up for the purpose of keeping the needy in good humour, or of rewarding faithful decayed slaves. Here the man who has paid a fortune in taxes often comes, cap in hand, and receives back the means of getting a dinner. It is curious to observe, that the Aristocratic faction in America have resorted to a trick of this sort. They set up, some few years ago, a society, which they called the “ is 'ashington Benevolent Society,” which, it appears, has branched out all over the country. The object of this trick was to collect little groupes of the most needy and mean-spirited part of the people, and, by the means of donations in money, clothes, books, or medical aid, to attach them to the aspiring rich, and thus to found a sort of affiliation against the Republican government. The name of Washington was taken for the purpose of deception, and as a party-word, opposed to the name of Jefferson or Madison, who were thus to be held up as having deviated from the principles of the man, to whom American gratitude has given what, perhaps, American wisdom and justice would have given largely, but certainly with a less prodigal hand. Availing themselves of this amiable weakness, these crafty enemies of their country's freedom have been working up the people here and there, by the means of these societies, to an opposition to the government. They hold their stated meetings, as our “charitics” do. They make speeches, compliinent one another, extol the virtues of Washington, who, though one of the first of patriots, never was fool enough to bestow his money in the making of paupers. Shut out of the Legislative Assemblies by the people's voice, they harrangue at these meetings, and thus continue to keep themselves in wind. Silly as the thing is, however, in itself; I would have the Ameri