Imágenes de página
PDF
[ocr errors]

these means endeavoured to effect our “utter destruction. He deluded the Empe“ror of Russia into a treaty with him, by “which he put an end to all commercial “relations between Russia and longland: “ and because the Emperor of that vast “empire did not adhere to the prohibi“tions which he (Bonaparte) was conti“nually dictating, he would if he could, “have driven him and his people into the “frozen ocean. After having received “ the most signal favours from the King “ of Prussia, he avowed the intention of “ putting him out of the list of crowned “heads; and after all those acts of feroci“ous enmity and malignant hostility, the “ Allies when they arrived at the gates of

.* Paris, did an act which reflected on

“ them the highest honour—an act which “ posterity should never forget—the Al“ lies had magnanimously given to France “liberty; and to Bonaparte life antl the “Island of Elba.”—He had made his brother King of Holland; Well? and what was that more than making his brother-in-law King of Sweden, or, at least, heir apparent to the Crown 2 And, Mr. Grattan ought to bear in mind, that we have confirmed that act by a solemn treaty.—I do not know that he banished the Prince Regent of Portugal, or that he imprisoned the King of Spain; but, I know very well, that he had as great right to both, as Charles V. had to imprison Francis I.-And, what if he did intend to take England, and capture the King of England: Did not a King of England once do that in France? If he did not, our his

torians are shocking liars.-But, my Lord,

mind, Mr. Grattan says, that, if there had been no water between, Napoleon would have had our king in prison. I know, that the French used to say this; but, I always used to believe, that England could have Jefended itself without the aid of the water. However, since this second Burke tells us the contrary, we must not hesitate any longer. Napoleon “contrived” to place us between two fires; he contrived to bring the Americans upon us; he deluded the Emperor of Russia into a treaty hostile to our commerce, and then, because the Emperor would not galhere to the prohibitions which Napoleon was dictating, he went

to war with the Emperor and his polite

people.—But, my Lord, is it true, that an Emperor, our ally, can be deluded; and, more especially into a treaty; and, a

treaty, too, hostile to English commerce 2 I am very anxious upon this point, my Lord; because, if an Emperor really has been deluded into one treaty, it is possible that he may be deluded into another. Besides, if I mistake not, our maguanimousally had had, at the time alluded to, ample opportunity of knowing Napoleon's views as well as character. It was in 1808, f believe, when Napoleon’s army was in Spain and when his brother was on the throne of the country. If I do not mistake, too, the Emperor, at that time, recognized as valid what had been done in Spain. Grant

that this was delusion, however, it is very

perilous to have to do with such a man; a man, who was able to delude the two Kings of Spain to abdicate in his favour; to delude the Pope to marry him to a second wife while the first was alive; to delude the Emperor of Austria to give him his daughter in marriage; to delude Russia, Austria, Prussia, Spain, and Holland, to declare war against England; to delude Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, to join him in a war to invade Russia. Really, this is delusion upon a grand scale indeed! But, if he did so delude all these powers before, and even contrived to bring America upon us, is there not a possibility, at any rate, that he may be successful in his delusive acts again?—Mr. Grattan's reporter tells us, that Napoleon, after having “received the most signal favours from the King of Prussia, he avowed his intention “ of putting him out of the list of crowned heads.” I never heard of these favours before. I knew, that, on the other side, Napoleon was twice in possession of Berlin; that the Royal Family twice fled; and that, to the infinite mortification of the Republicans all over the world, Napoleon replaced the King of Prussia in his dominions and authority. I knew, too, that a Prussian army marched with Napoleon against Rnssia; and that. the King of Prussia issued a proclamation, severely condemning D’Yorck for his going over and leaving Napoleon. But, really, I never heard of any favours, received by Napoleon from the King of Prussia.-The allies, Mr. Grattan says, magnanimously gave Napoleon life and the island of Elba. You have denied this, several times, in the most positive terms. You have asserted, that the treaty of Fontainbleau was a treaty of policy; you have asserted, that the allies were by ro means sure of success by the way of arms. There was, then, no magnanimity here, even if we could forget how the crowned allies had been treated by Napoleon when he really had them in his power. The allies had been accused of magnanimity at Fontainbleau; the nation were bellowing very loudly about it; they began to be very much out of humour that Napoleon had not been put out of the way completely; when your Lordship, in justice to the al, lies, stepped forward and very clearly showed, that they had by no fireans been guilty of any thing like magnanimity; that they had made the best bargain that they were able to make for themselves;

and, that the English nation might be sa

tisfied, that the allies would have dealt harder by Napoleon if they had been in a situation to do it without danger to themselves.—Mr. Grattan seems very bitterly provoked, that Napoleon should have prepared 60,000 men for the invasion of EngTand. But, does not this gentleman allow, that the French have as great a right to invade England, as the English have to invade France? We made landings at Toulon, at Quileron, and we even now are, if the public papers speak truth, sending all sorts of implements for killing men; for enabling the people to shed each others blood, in the West of France. I hope that this is not true; but, while our - newspapers are boasting of this, it is likely, that we shall excite much shame in the French nation for their having been led to make preparations for the invasion of JEngland 2 The other topics I reserve for my next. —I am, &c. WM. Cop BETT.

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

you are describing present themselves to your own imagination, and to that of your hearers, in monstrous caricature. There is also a marvellous coincidence in the occasions which excited in Mr. Burke a frantic fear of liberty, and that which seems to be producing a similar aborration in you. Here I trust the parallel will fail. The influence of his name and of a mind still powerful, had no small share in giving real existence to the horrors of his disordered fancy; and the prophecies for which he obtained so much credit, were greatly accessary to their own fulfilment. It is the recollection of that epoch which { hope may yet preserve us. Then we had no such example for our instruction. Europe is yet at peace, and you, Sir, are doing your part to rekindle a war, of which the dreadful experience of the last twenty-three years enables us, before. hand, to estimate the character. This is a subject for severe deliberation and not for a display of rhetoric. “Peace with“out security and war without allies." This Antithesis, we are told, drew forth the applause of the honorable assembly to whom you addressed your first philippic! But did you attempt to inform them, how

many campaigns it may require to replace

France in a situation capable of holding out the security which she now offers ? Her limits determined and acknowledged: men of tried integrity, the friends of peace

and moderation, at the head of her coun

cils: her people, and even her army, unless indeed the late excitements have stimulated it to fury, languishing for repose. And as to our wanting allies at a future period, did you stop to say that we purchase them now, and that we shall speedily fail in the means of purchasing: 'That to obtain such allies, subsides alone are needed ; and that to continue even this

miserable traffic in accomplices, peace is.

indispensible? The Government of France is, you say, a stratocracy: did you explain how it became such and why she adopted that system of subjugation you censure so bitterly 2 She had to fight with Europe single handed: she conquered alliances

whilst we purchased them. The General

who led her to victory became, misehievously, I allow, but most naturally, her ruler. At length the tide of victory turnca ; the conquered allies proved faithless, as though they had been purchased; and this very General was given up, that the people of France might escape from a state of war, of which they had good **use to be weary. We, however, gave them a king with old notions, and with the old nobility and priesthood at his heels: these proved still less tolerable than war, and they recalled their Emperor. He remembered their sacrifice of himself for Peace, and knew that the promise of peace Would be the pledge of their attachment. He, therefore, abjured his schemes of conquest, and submitted himself to moderate councils. , Yet you would again urge, may compel, to war that nation, headed by the same General, and with the same breath in which you detail his triumphs' He made his brother King of holland: he called his son King of Rome; and it is Alexander King of Poland, Frederick William King of Sarony, and the immaculate Cabinet of Great Britain (which apPointed the King of Belgium by an armed force,) together with his father-in-law, the equally legitimate sovereign of half Italy; these are the pure and honourable arém. Śors of political morality and the faith of treaties ' ' ' ' The most unpardonable offence of Napoleon was quitting. Elba, just before those righteous obServers of treaties had fixed on the place of , his final seclusion. “, Voila He congrés dessous” are words that can over be forgiven by the confederacy of

Monarchs. “Imperial Europe” sickened at the sound ; but it was music to the People –to thousands in this island who would not yield, in real attachment to the Constitution, to your former professions. Napoleon takes possession of an offered throne ‘This, upon your new scale, is

gigantic, wickedness.”—Assumption by force of the government of an unwilling People, is “ vice in moderation,” and “has displeased you.” He intended to take possession of England: he intends to take Possession of Belgium ; he intends to enslave Europe: on these presumptions Great Britain must be taxed to destruc. tion; the wretched subjects of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, must be led to slaughter;—France must be laid waste by fire and sword –If no intelligence had reached us, you could not have believed that Louis the Desired, having administered with wisdom an excellent constitution, should not have collected even a inall band of faithful adherents to grace his exit. And now that we have heard

[ocr errors]

of his silent departure, you talk of the beneficence of his reign ; and the Constitution, agreed to, but not observed, was only not too good for these poor Frenchmen —The one descends from the throne unnoticed ; the other is received with acclamation. Yet in our Senate it is. declared, and more wonderful, is believed, that the former was the choice, and the latter is the abhorrence of his subjects!

I am, Sir, &c. &c.

M. BIRKroeck. Wanborough, May 29, 1815.

CONGRESS OF VIENNA. ExTRACT FROM Mii Nutes of conferen CES OF T H E Powers who signed The TREATY of PARIs. z Conference of the 12th May, 1815. The Committee appointed on 9th instant, and charged to examine, whether, after the events which have passed since the return of Napoleon Bonaparte to Franee, and in consequence of the documents published at Paris on the Declaration which the Powers issued against him on the 13th of March last, it would be necessary to proceed to a new 1}eclaration, presented at the sitting of this day the following Report:REPORT OF THE COMMITTFE, The Declaration published on the 13th of March last against Napoleon Bonaparte and his adherents, by the Powers who signed the treaty of Paris, having, since his return to Paris, been discussed in various shapes by those whom he has employed for that purpose; these discussions having acquired great publicity, and a letter addressed by him to all the Sovereigns, as well as a mote addressed by the Duke of Vicenza to the heads of the Cabinets of Europe, having been also published by him with the manifest intention of influencing and misleading public opinion, the Committee appointed in the sitting of the 9th inst, was charged to present a report on these topics; and considering that in the above-meutioned pitblications, it has been attempted to invalidate the Declaration of the 13th of March,

by laying it down, 1. That that Declaration,

directed against Bonaparte, at the period of his landing on the coast of Frauce, was without application now that he had laid hold of the reins of government without open resistance, and that this fact sufficiently proving the wishes of the nation, he had not only re-entered into possession of his old rights in regard to France, but that the question even of the legitimacy of his government had ceased to be within the jurisdiction of the powers;–2. That by offering to ratify the Treaty

of Paris, he removed every ground of war against

him;--The Committee has been especially charged to take into consideration—1. Whether the position of Bonaparte in regard to the Powers of Europe has changed by the fact of his arrival at Paris, and by the circumstances that accompanied the first success of his attempt on the throne of France;—Whether the offer to sanction the Treaty of Paris, of the 31st of May, 1814, can determine the Powers to adopt a system different from that which they announced in the Declaration of the 13th of March;-3. Whether it be necessary or proper to publish a new declaration to confirm or modify that of the 13th of March? The Committee having maturely examined these questions, submits to the assembly of Plenipotentiaries the following account of the result of its deliberations:-FIRST QUESTI on.

Is the position of Bonaparte in regard to the Powers of Europe altered by the first success of his enterprise, or by the events which hare passed since his arrival in Paris.

The Powers, informed of the landing of Bonaparte in France, conlø see in him only a man who, by advancing on the French territory, with force and arms, and with the avowed project of overturning the established Government, by exciting the people and the army to revolt against their lawful Sovereign, and by usurping the title of Emperor of the French, (1) had incurred the penalties which all legislations pronounce against such outrages, a man who, by abusing the good fälth of the •oreign, had broken a solemn treaty, a many in fine, who, by recalling upon France, happy and tranquil, all the scourges of internal and external war, and upon Europe, at a moment when the blessings of peace must have consoled her for her long sufferings, the sad necessity of a new general armament, was justly regarded as the implacable enemy of public welfare. Such was the origin, such were the grounds of the Declaration of the 13th of March;--a Declaration of which the justice and necessity have been universally acknowledged, and which ge. neral opinion has sanctioned. The events which

(1) The 1st Article of the Convention of the 11th of April, 1814, is as follows; “The Em-peror Napoleon renounces for himself, his successors, and descendants, as well as for all the members of his family, all rights of sovereignty and of power, not only over the French empire and the Kingdom of Italy, but also over every other country.” Notwithstanding this formal re. nunciation, Bonaparte in his different proclamations from the Gulf of Juan, from Gap, Grenoble and, Lyons, entiled himself “ by the Grace of to all the constitutions of the empire Emperor of the "rench, &c. &c. &c. See Monitour of March 21, 1815.

conducted Bonaparte to Paris, and restored to him for the moment the exercise of supreme power, have, donbtless, in fact, altered the position in which he was at the period of his entering France; but these events, brought on by criminal collnsion, by military conspiraties, by revolting treasons, can create no right; they are absolutely null in a legal point of view; and in order to the position of Honaparte being essentially and legitimately altered, it would be necessary that. the steps which he has taken to establish himself on the ruins of the government overturned by him, should have been cousirmed by some legal title. Bonaparte lays it down in his publications, that the wishes of the French nation ifi. favour of his re-establishment on the throne suffice to constitute this legal title. The question for the powers to examine may be stated as follows:—Can the consent, real or fictitious, explicit or tacit, of the French nation to the re-establishment of Bonaparte's power, operate a legal" change in the position of the latter in regard to foreign powers, and form a title obligatory on these powers?—The Committee are of opinion that such cannot by any means be the effect of such consent; and the following are their reasons:—The Powers know too well the principles which ought to guide them in their relations with. an independent country, to attempt (as it is endeavoured to accuse them) “ to impose upon it laws, to interfere in its internal affairs, to prescribe to it a form of government, to give it masters according to the interests or passions of its neighbours (2). But they also know that the liberty of a nation to change its system of government must have its just limits, and that if foreign Powers have not the right to prescribe to it the exercise which it shall inake of that liberty, they have at least indubitably the right of protesting against the abuse which it may make of it at their expense. Impressed with this principle, the Powers do not deem themselves authorised to

impose a government on France; but they will

never renounce the right of preventing the establishment in France of a focus of disorders and of subversions to other States, under the title of a Government. They will respect the liberty of France in every way in which it shall not be incompatible with their own security and the ge- . neral tranquillity of Europe. In the existing case, the right of the Allied Sovereigus to interfere in the question of the internal government of France, is the more incontestible, inasmuch as the abolition of the power which now claims to

[merged small][ocr errors]

be re-established there, was the fundamental condition of a treaty of peace, on which rested all the relations which, up to the return of Bonaparte to Paris, subsisted between France and the rest of Europe. On the day of their entrance into Paris, the Sovereigns declared that they would never treat of peace with Bonaparte (3). This declaration, loudly applauded by France and by Europe, produced the abdication of Napoleon and the convention of the 11th of April; it formed the principal basis of the negociation; it was explicitly pronounced in the preamble of the treaty of Paris. The French nation, even supposing it perfectly free and united, cannot withdraw itself from this fundamental condition without abrogating the treaty of Paris and all its existing relations with the European system. The allied Powers, on the other hand, by insisting on this very condition, only exercise a right which it is impossible to contest to them, unless it be maintained that the most sacred compacts can be perverted as suits the convenience of either of the contracting parties. It hence follows, that the will of the people of France is by no means sufficient to re-establish, in a legal sense, a Government proscribed by solemn engagements, which that very people entered into with all the Powers of Europe; and that they cannot, under any pretext, give validity as against these Powers to the right of recalling to the throne, him, whose exclusion was a condition preliminary to every pacific arrangement with France: the wish of the French people, even' if it were fully ascertained, would not be the less null and of no effect in regard to Europe towards re-establishing a power, against which all Europe has been in a state of permanent protest from the 31st of March, 1814, up to the 13th of March, 1815; and in this view, the position of Bonaparte is precisely at this day what it was at these last mentioned periods. - w SEC0ND QUESTION. Should the offer to sanction the Treaty of Paris , change the dispositions of the Powers? France has had no reason to complain of the Treaty of Paris. This Treaty reconciled France with Europe; it satisfied all her true interests, secured all her real advantages, all the elements of prosperity and glory, which a people called to one of the first places in the European system could reasonably desire, and only took from her that which was to her, under the deceitful exterior of great national eclat, an inexhaustible source of sufferings, of ruin, and of misery. This Treaty was even an immense benefit for a country, reduced by the madness of its chief to the most disastrous situation(4). The Allied Powers would have betrayed their interests and their duties, if, as the price of so much moderation and generosity, they had not, on signing the treaty, obtained some solid advantage; but the sole object of their ambition was the peace of

(3) Declaration of the 31st of March, 1814.

(4) The Emperor, convinced of the critical situation in which he has placed France, and of the impossibility of saving it himself, appeared to resign himself and cousent to an entire and unconditional abdication.—Letter of Marshal Ney to the Prince of Benevent. .

patible with the power of Bonaparte.

Europe and the happiness of France. Never, in treating with Bonaparte, would they have consented to the conditious which they granted to a government, which, “while offering to Europe a pledge of security and stability, relieved them frem requiring from France the guarantees which they had demanded under its former government.” (5) This clause is inseparable from the treaty of Paris; to abolish it, is to break this treaty. The formal consent of the French nation to the return of Bonaparte to the throne would be equivalent to a declaration of war against Europe: for the state of peace did not exist between Europe and France, except by the treaty of Paris, and the treaty of Paris is incomIf this reasoning had need of further stipport, it might. be found in the very offer of Bonaparte to ratify the treaty of Paris. This treaty had been scrupulously observed and executed : the transactions of the Congress of Vienna were only its supplements and developments; and without the new attempt of Bonaparte, it would have been for a long series of years one of the bases of the public right of Europe: but this order of things has

given place to a new revolution; and the agents of this revolution, although they proclaim incessantly “that (6) nothing has been changed,” conceive and feel themselves that all is clunged around them. The question is no longer the maintenance, of the treaty of Paris, but the making of it afresh. The Powers find themselves, with respect to France, in the condition in which they were on the 31st of March, 1814. . It is not to prevent war, for France has in fact rekindled

it, it is to terminate it that there now offers itself to Europe a state of things essentially different

from that on which the peace of 1814 was founded. The question, then, has ceased to be a ques. tion of right: it is no more than a question of political calculation and foresight, in which the powers have only to consult the real interests of their people and the common interest of Europe. The Committee thinks it may dispense with entering here into an exposition of the considerations which, under this last view, have directed the measures of the governments. It will be suf. ficient to recall to notice, that the man, who, in now offering to sanction the treaty of Paris, pretends to substitute his guarantee for that of a Sovereign, whose loyalty was without stain, and benevolence without measure, is the same who during 15 years ravaged and laid waste the earth, to find means of satisfying his ambition, who sacrificed millions of victims, and the happiness of an entire generation, to a system of conquests, whom truces, little worthy of the name of peace, have only rendered more oppressive and more odious; (7) who, after having by mad enterprizes

[merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »