Imágenes de página
PDF

after having understood, during a year, in the Island of Elba, as in a tomb, every thing which truth as well as hatred, has told in Europe, respecting his first reign and his first life.—In fine, my Prince, France has given herself a new Constifntion, which will not be a vain charter. st is no longer possible to use subtilty and deceit. The force of things will neces*arily bring order and justice into social life. — Our Constitution constitutes two Chambers. The sittings in both will be public. Thus France and Europe will understand every thing which will be said on peace and war; and every war, which shall not be one of justice and evident necessity, shall paralyse with terror the man who would kindle it in Europe, already bleeding from so many wars.—The

coalesced Powers plume themselves on the

Ammense number of men which they can collect. But, perhaps they may have carculated erroneously — they may be deceived. If it were true, as they give out, that they have 900,000 men, fit for action,

France, who has already 500,000, will ||

soon have a million. I seek not to exaggerate the exultation which, in a similar war, will fix all the senses, and the enthu

siasm with which their souls will be trans

[ocr errors]

ported: " Every man in France will besome a soldier; every article of iron will Joe fabricated into a sabre, a bayonet, or a

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

other means than the consent of the people, conditionally granted. Infatuated by success, he forgot that he owed it to the energies of a nation struggling for freedom; and, mixing, himself with kings, he became a foe to that liberty from which he derived his greatness. , He now acknowledges his error, and, if it be in good faith, it is an instance of magna

nimity new to the page of history.

The acts of his government have hitherto corresponded with these fair professions; and, as a pledge of their sincerity, he has received into his councils men of sound principles, and whose integrity he had himself exposed to the severest proof. This consummation of the late glorious contest, though far more glorious than any which its most sanguine supporters have even imagined, is not entirely to the satisfaction of the old governments. They had rather see Bonaparte at the head of his army than surrounded by wise and just counsellors; and they are right. He is, in his present attitude, more formidable to the “social system,” as exemplified in the late Congress at Vienna, than when he was thundering at the gates of that capital. But why the people should be disturbed at the view of Napoleon in his present attitude, I dont understand, unless, indeed, their comforts depend on the security of two or three thrones, and the insecurity of the rest, according to the principles established at the said Congress. Yours, &c. - MoRRIs BIRKBEck.

THE ENDYMIon AND PRESIDENT, - FRIGATEs. ----------

When the news of the capture of the latter of these vessels reached this country, it was given out by our corrupt press, that she had surrendered to the former, with whom she had fought single-handed, and that no other of our ships of war had fired a shot at the President. This was trumpeted abroad by the Times and the Courier, and never to this hour has any of these venal prints retracted the assertion. On the contrary, they repeated it, again and again, and gravely assured their readers, that the result of the conflict 'betwixt the President and the Endymion, had redeemed all the naval glory which this country had lost during the previous •eontest at sea with the Americans ! I was “satisfied, on the first blush of the trans* aetion, that the President had been en*gaged with more of our frigates than tone, and, instead of the enemy losing any of *the renown he had acquired, that this battle, when the partieulars came fully to be known, would-increase the splendour of his achievements. I said to those with whom I conversed on the subject, that I was willing to abide by the account of the battle, as given by Captain Hope of

was the ground for exultation ?

the Endymion, which, no one ever doubted, would be published in the Gazette. The Gazette appeared; but it contained no particulars from Captain Hope as to the actual engagement, or any detail by which it could be ascertained whether he fought the President single handed or not,

or whether that ship surrendered to the

Endymion or to another vessel belonging to our squadron. But from other accounts in the same Gazette, and particularly from the American official account, it turned out, as I had supposed, that more than one of our frigates was engaged; that the Pomone also had fought with the enemy; that it was to this ship the President actually struck; and that at the very moment this happened, a ship of the line, another frigate, and a sloop of war, belonging to us, were fast bearing down to attack her. It was plain, therefore, that the President had not surrendered to the Endymion, but that she surrendered to a British squadron, consisting of one sail of the line, three frigates and a sloop of war! It was also clear, that had the President and the Endymion fought single handed, the latter must have fallen into the hands of the former. Where then - Where the proof, that the capture of the President “redeemed all the naval glory “which this country had lost during the “previous contest at sea with the Ameri“cans?" I see, by files of papers which I have received from Philadelphia, that the conductors of newspapers at Bermuda, had imitated the example of our vile press, and had, like them, endeavoured to detract from the character of Commodore Decatur, by representing that he had surrendered the President to a single British frigate. To expose the fallacy of this statement, the American Commodore addressed a letter to the Secretary of the

[blocks in formation]

disabled in of action, and would, it is more than probable, have become a prize to the President, had not the rest of our squadron come to her relief.

W Ash INGTox, March 14.

Extract of a letter from Com. Stephen Decatur to the Secretary of the Navy, dated New York, March 6th, 1815. “In my official letter of the 18th January, I omitted to state, that a consis derable number of my Koianá wounded was from the fire of the Pomone ; and that the Endymion had on board, in addition to her own crew, one liteutenant, one Master's mate, and 50 men belonging to the Saturn, and when the action ceased, was left motionless and unmanagable until she bent new sails, rove new rigging and fished her spars, nor did she rejoin the squadron for six hours after the action, and three hours after the surrender of the President. My sword was delivered to Capt. Hays, of the Majestic, the senior officer of the squadron, on his quarterdeck, which he with great politeness immediately returned. I have the honor to enclose you my parole, by which you will perceive that the British admit that the President was captured by the squadron. * should have deemed it necessary to have orawn your attention to this document, had not the fact been stated differently by the Bermuda Gazette on our arrival there, which statement, however, the editor was compelled to retract through the interference of the governor and some of the British officers of the squadron.”

After the disastrous retreat of the Brilish army at New Orleans, General Jackson, the American commander, published an animated and spirited Address to his army. The following passages will shew with what ardour and unanimity the soldiers of Liberty will always combat, when their rights and independence are in tlanger:— *

“Citizens and Fellow Soldiers, The enemy has retreated and your General has now time to proclaim to the world what he has noticed with admiration and pride—your undaunted courage, your patriotism, and patience under hardships

and fatigues. Natives of different states acting together for the first time in this camp ; differing in habits and in language, instead of viewing in these circumstances the germ of distrust and division, you have made them the source of an honourable emulation, and from the seeds of discord itself have reaped the fruits of an honourable union.—This day completes the fourth week since fifteen hundred of you attacked treble your number of men who boasted of their discipline, and their services under a celebrated

leader in a long and eventful war—at

tacked them in their camp the moment they had profaned the soil of freedom with their hostile trade, and inflicted a blow which was a prelude to the final result of their attempt to conquer, or their poor contrivances to divide us.-A few hours was sufficient to unite the gallant band; at the moment they received the welcome order to march they were separated many leagues in different directions from the city. The gay rapidity of the march, the cheerful countenances of the officers and men, would have induced a belief that some festive entertainment, not the strife of battle, was the object to which they hastened with so much eagerness and hilarity. In the conflict that ensued, the same spirit was supported, and my communications to the executive of the United States, have testified the sense I entertained of the corps and officers that were engaged. Resting on the field of battle, they retired in perfect order on the next morning to these lines, destined to become the scene of future victories, which they were to share with the rest of you, may brave companions in arms.--Reasoning always from false principles the enemy expected little opposition from men whose officers even were not in uniform; who were ignorant of the rules of dress, and who had never been camed into discipline—Fatal mistake a fire incessantly kept up, directed with calmness and with unerring aim, strewed the field with the brave officers and men of the column which slowly advanced, according to the most approved rules of European tactics,

[ocr errors]

and was cut down by the untutored age

of American militia.

Printed and Published by G. Houston, No. 192, Strand; where all Communicatious addressed to the Editor, are requested to be forwarded,

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

TO THE FUND-HOLDERS, On the supposed approaching war against France.

Of all the classes of people in this country you appear to me to have been,

and still to be, the most misguided, as to

all questions of politics, and especially as to the important question of peace or war. I will now do my best to enable you to judge correctly upon this subject, as far, at least, as your interests are more immediately connected with it. Your great characteristic is anxiety ..for the safety of your property; but, though self-preservation. is the first of nature's laws, and though, in general, men who are alive to little else, are extremely alive, and even very skilful, in cases where their own interests are at stake, you do not appear to me to perceive how your interests have been, or how they will be, effected by war. You entertain a sort of vague apprehension, that, unless Napoleon be destroyed, you shall have your property taken away. , You look up to the government, that is, in your sense of the word, to the Minister for the time being, as the guardian of your property. Hence you are always found on their side on the question of war, or peace. If they say war, you are for war: if they say peace, you are for peace. - On the subject of the Corn Bill, you were against the Ministers; because that was a question, as you thought, involving no danger to your property. But, in fact, you were more interested in the passing of the Corn Bill than any other class of the community; and, in explaining this seeming paradox to you, I shall, in the easiest way, introduce the remarks which I propose to make with regard to the effect, which war has upon the quality of your property, and upon your chances of security, or insecurity. What you most desire is, to '.ave the interest of your stock regularly paid in full, and to prevent any insecurity to your capital. Your interest is paid almost wholly, and, indeed, entirely, by the land.

[ocr errors]

You will start and swell here, and ask whether commerce and manufactures, and trades and professions, pay nothing? Yes, they do ; but, they pay precisely in proportion to the prosperity of agriculture. That is to say, in proportion to the height of prices. If the land, out of which all the great receive their increase, and all the farmers and all the labourers receive their profits and their wages, yield little, little can all these pay to tradesmen and manufacturers, little will be the profits of commerce and of professions. When wheat was 20s. a bushel, the landlord and the

farmer had three times as much money to

lay out as they have now. Hence the present universal out-cry about the dulness of trade; hence the numerous bankruptcies; hence the stagnation of commerce and manufactures. Though, therefore, I agreed most cordially with you in your opposition to the Corn Bill, the grounds of our opposition were very different indeed. I knew, that a Corn Bill was necessary to enable the land to pay the sum of taxes, demanded by the government; but I wished the sum of tares to be diminished. You wished to have Corn Cheap, aud the sum of taxes not to be diminished. These two together were impossible. They could not, and they cannot, co-exist. If you are asked, at any time, what security you have for your property, do you not always answer, that your security is on the land of the nation 2 Do you not, say, that the estates of all the land-owners are mortgaged to you ? This is a great mistake; for, it is only the revenues which are mortgaged to you; but, to obviate all difficulty upon this score, take it for granted that you have a bona fide mortgage upon all the land in England. Can it, then, be your interest, that the land should be unable to pay you your annual demands : The land, upon your own principle is partly yours. Can you, then, be gainers by its produce being depreciated : A certain farm, for instance, pays a hundred pounds a year towards your annual demands. If produce fall so low as to disable this farm from

paying you more than fifty pounds a year, how are you to be paid your dividends in full Hence, it is clear, that the Corn Bill was more for your protection than for the protection of the farmers, who really eats and drinks of his own produce. Your expences of living would keep pace with the price of the produce of the land. In the end, the thing might be the same; but, if one half of your dividends was deducted, on account of the fall in the price of produce, you would soon discover, that a Corn Bill, or any other such measure, was more for your security than for that of the farmer. But, what is it, which has rendered high prices necessary to your security? WAR. War, which has augmented the taxes on the land, and which land, to be able to pay those taxes, must now have a high price for its produce. War, therefore, has been your great enemy, and not the landlords and farmers, as you have been taught to suppose. To go no further, therefore, you, above all people, ought to regret the renewal of war. You cry out against those who

are opposed to war; you accuse them of

seditious, and almost, of treasonable motives. You call them enemies of law and of social order. And for what ? Because you look upon war against Napoleon as necessary to the security of your property ; when the fact is, as I will now proceed to show, that war has been, and must be, ruinous to that property, which, though no part has been violently seised on ; which, though you have still continued to receive your dividends to the full nominal amount, has imperceptibly passed away from you to the amount of more than one half of what you really possessed in the year 1792. Your property

has passed from your possession in two

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

peace, previous to the first war against the

Republicans of France, and of the subsep 2

quent peace prices.

. In 1792, before the war against France, the

etcady peace price of the Three per Cents. was e = * * * > . . . . . . . . . . * * * * - - - - - - - - - - - During the Peace of Amiens in 1802, it was After the Peace of Paris, in ió14, it was . .

95 77 G6

This statement exhibits the fall in the value of the capital; the fall in the value of any estate in the funds. That which was worth 95 pounds, in 1792, was worth only 77 pounds in 1802, and only 66-pounds in 1814. But, far is this view of the matter short of the real mark; for the currency, in which funds are bought and sold has also fallen in as great a proportion. A guinea is risen to 28 shillings; and, therefore, in real money, a hundred three per cents, at 66, as they were during the peace of Paris, last year, were worth only 49 pounds; and, at this moment, they are worth only about 44 pounds. lu the year 1792, the currency in which the dividends were paid, and in which funds were bought and sold, was equal in value to real money. So that,

- - Guineas. Shillings.

In 1792, you could have sold a hundred Three per Cents.

for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 19 In May, 1815, you cannot sell them for more than . . . . . . . . 40. 19

Is there any one of you, who can deny these facts: And, if you cannot, do you still look upon those as the enemies of your property, who wish for peace : T Can you deny, that it is war, which has had this alarming effect upon your property 2 And, yet, do you blame those, who are against more war 2 That vile and prostituted news-paper, the TIMEs, which you all read, sometimes, in drawing a comparison between the situation of France and England, talks about the comparative price of the funds in the two countries ; and takes this as a criterion of national prosperity, and of the solidity of the government. Nothing can be more false than this principle; but, suppose it to be true. There is no such great difference in the price of the funds in the two countries at this moment. The French funds are five per cents. Our five per cents are at 88 in paper; in real money, they are worth 67 pounds. And, we see, that the French five per cents are worth, even now, 62 pounds in real money; for, in France, it is gold, with which funds are purchased. So that, if you are to weigh public opinion, popular considence, and the solidity of governments in this scale, we have, on our side of the water, but little to boast of in the comparison, though France is, at this moment, surrounded by hostile armies, though she is menaced with an

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »