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they will bring peace, law, liberty, &c. &c. There | fear or addressed to it are, I well know, of doubtis not the least hint that they consider those whom ful appearance. To be sure, hope is in general the they call persons assuming to be masters,” to incitement to action. Alarm some men-you do be the lawful government of their country, or not drive them to provide for their security; you persons to be treated with the least management put them to a stand; you induce them, not to or respect. They regard them as usurpers and take measures to prevent the approach of danger, enslavers of the people. If I do not mistake but to remove so unpleasant an idea from their they are described by the name of tyrants in Con- minds; you persuade them to remain as they are, dorcet's first draft. I am sure they are so in Bris- from a new fear that their activity may bring on sot's speech, ordered by the Assembly to be printed the apprehended mischief before its time. I conat the same time and for the same purposes. The fess freely that this evil sometimes happens from an whole is in the same strain, full of false philosophy overdone precaution ; but it is when the measures and false rhetorick, both however calculated to are rash, ill chosen, or ill combined, and the effects captivate and influence the vulgar mind, and to rather of blind terrour than of enlightened foreexcite sedition in the countries in which it is or- sight. But the few to whom I wish to submit my dered to be circulated. Indeed it is such, that if thoughts are of a character which will enable them any of the lawful, acknowledged sovereigns of to se langer without astonishment, and to provide Europe had publickly ordered such a manifesto to against it without perplexity. be circulated in the dominions of another, the am- To what lengths this method of circulating mubassador of that power would instantly be ordered tinous manifestoes, and of keeping emissaries of to quit every court without an audience.
sedition in every court under the name of ambasEffect of fear
The powers of Europe have a pre- sadors, to propagate the same principles and
text for concealing their fears, by say- to follow the practices, will go, and how soon reign powers.
ing that this language is not used by they will operate, it is hard to say—but go on it the king; though they well know that there is in will—more or less rapidly, according to events, effect no such person, that the Assembly is in re- and to the humour of the time. The princes meality, and by that king is acknowledged to be, the naced with the revolt of their subjects, at the same master; that what he does is but matter of forma- time that they have obsequiously obeyed the sovelity, and that he can neither cause nor hinder, ac-reign mandate of the new Roman senate, have celerate nor retard, any measure whatsoever, nor received with distinction, in a publick character, add to nor soften the manifesto which the As- ambassadors from those who in the same act had sembly has directed to be published, with the de- circulated the manifesto of sedition in their doclared purpose of exciting mutiny and rebellion minions. This was the only thing wanting to the in the several countries governed by these powers. degradation and disgrace of the Germanick body. By the generality also of the menaces contained in The ambassadors from the rights of man, and this paper (though infinitely aggravating the out their admission into the diplomatick system, I hold rage) they hope to remove from each power sepa- to be a new æra in this business. It will be the rately the idea of a distinct affront. The persons most important step yet taken to affect the existfirst pointed at by the menace are certainly the ence of sovereigns, and the higher classes of life princes of Germany, who harbour the persecuted - I do not mean to exclude its effects upon all house of Bourbon and the nobility of France; classes—but the first blow is aimed at the more the declaration, however, is general, and goes prominent parts in the ancient order of things. to every state with which they may have a cause What is to be done? of quarrel. But the terrour of France has fallen It would be presumption in me to do more than upon all nations. A few months since all sove- to make a case. Many things occur. But as they, reigns seemed disposed to unite against her; at like all political measures, depend on dispositions, present they all seem to combine in her favour. tempers, means, and external circumstances, for At no period has the power of France ever ap- all their effect, not being well assured of these, I peared with so formidable an aspect. In parti- do not know how to let loose any speculations of cular the liberties of the empire can have nothing mine on the subject. The evil is stated, in my more than an existence the most tottering and opinion, as it exists. The remedy must be where precarious, whilst France exists with a great power power, wisdom, and information, I hope, are more of fomenting rebellion, and the greatest in the united with good intentions than they can be with weakest ; but with neither power nor disposition me. I have done with this subject, I believe, for
I I to support the smaller states in their independ- ever. It has given me many anxious moments ence against the attempts of the more powerful. for the two last years. If a great change is to be
I wind up all in a full conviction within my made in human 'affairs, the minds of men will be own breast, and the substance of which I must re- fitted to it, the general opinions and feelings will peat over and over again, that the state of France draw that way. Every fear, every hope, will foris the first consideration in the politicks of Europe, ward it; and then they, who persist in opposing and of each state, externally as well as internally this mighty current in human affairs, will appear considered.
rather to resist the decrees of Providence itself, Most of the topicks I have used are drawn from than the mere designs of men. They will not be fear and apprehension. Topicks derived from resolute and firm, but perverse and obstinate.
HEADS FOR CONSIDERATION
PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS.
WRITTEN IN NOVEMBER, 1792.
That France by its mere geographical posi- seems to me, even if it went no further, truly tion, independently of every other circumstance, serious. must affect every state of Europe; some of them Circumstances have enabled France to do all immediately, all of them through mediums not this by land. On the other element she has begun very remote.
to exert herself; and she must succeed in her deThat the standing policy of this kingdom ever signs, if enemies very different from those she has has been to watch over the external proceedings hitherto had to encounter do not resist her. of France, (whatever form the interiour government She has fitted out a naval force, now actually at of that kingdom might take,) and to prevent the sea, by which she is enabled to give law to the extension of its dominion, or its ruling influence, whole Mediterranean. It is known as a fact (and over other states.
if not so known, it is in the nature of things highly That there is nothing in the present internal probable) that she proposes the ravage of the Ecstate of things in France, which alters the national clesiastical state, and the pillage of Rome, as her policy with regard to the exteriour relations of that first object; that next she means to bombard country.
Naples; to awe, to humble, and thus to command, That there are, on the contrary, many things in all Italy—to force it to a nominal neutrality, but to the internal circumstances of France, (and perhaps a real dependence—to compel the Italian princes of this country too,) which tend to fortify the and republicks to admit the free entrance of the principles of that fundamental policy; and which French commerce, an open intercourse, and, the render the active assertion of those principles more sure concomitant of that intercourse, the affiliated pressing at this than at any former time.
societies, in a manner similar to those she has That, by a change effected in about three weeks, established at Avignon, the Comtat, Chamberry, France has been able to penetrate into the heart of London, Manchester, &c. &c. which are so many Germany; to make an absolute conquest of Savoy; colonies planted in all these countries, for extendto menace an immediate invasion of the Nether- ing the influence, and securing the dominion, of lands; and to awe and overbear the whole Hel- the French republick. vetick body, which is in a most perilous situation. That there never has been hitherto a period in The great aristocratick cantons having, perhaps, which this kingdom would have suffered a French as much or more to dread from their own people feet to domineer in the Mediterranean, and to whom they arm, but do not choose or dare to em-force Italy to submit to such terms as France ploy, as from the foreign enemy, which against all would think fit to impose--to say nothing of what publick faith_has butchered their troops, serving has been done upon land in support of the same by treaty in France. To this picture it is hardly system. The great object for which we preserved necessary to add the means by which France has Minorca, whilst we could keep it, and for which been enabled to effect all this, namely, the appa- we still retain Gibraltar, both at a great expence, rently entire destruction of one of the largest, and was, and is, to prevent the predominance of France certainly the highest disciplined and best appoint-over the Mediterranean. ed, army ever seen, headed by the first military Thus far as to the certain and immediate effect sovereign in Europe, with a captain under him of of that armament upon the Italian states. The the greatest renown; and that without a blow probable effect which that armament, and the other given or received on any side. This state of things armaments preparing at Toulon, and other ports,
may have upon Spain, on the side of the Mediter- In the present state of things, we have nothing ranean, is worthy of the serious attention of the at all to dread from the power of Spain by sea, or British councils.
by land, or from any rivalry in commerce. That it is most probable, we may say, in a man- That we have much to dread from the connexions ner certain, that if there should be a rupture be- into which Spain may be forced. tween France and Spain, France will not confine From the circumstances of her territorial possesher offensive piratical operations against Spain to sions, of her resources, and the whole of her civil her efforts in the Mediterranean; on which side, and political state, we may be authorized safely, however, she may grievously affect Spain, especially and with undoubted confidence, to affirm, that if she excites Morocco and Algiers, which undoubt- Spain is not a substantive power : edly she will, to fall
That she must lean on France, or on England. That she will fit out armaments upon
That it is as much for the interest of Great by which the flota itself may be intercepted, and Britain to prevent the predominancy of a French thus the treasures of all Europe, as well as the interest in that kingdom, as if Spain were a prolargest and surest resources of the Spanish mo- vince of the Crown of Great Britain, or a state narchy, may be conveyed into France, and be actually dependent on it; full as much so as ever come powerful instruments for the annoyance of Portugal was reputed to be. This is a dependency all her neighbours.
of much greater value: and its destruction, or its That she makes no secret of her designs. being carried to any other dependency, of much
That, if the inward and outward bound flota more serious misfortune. should escape, still France has more and better One of these two things must happen : Either means of dissevering many of the provinces in the Spain must submit to circumstances, and take West and East Indies from the state of Spain, than such conditions as France will impose; or she Holland had when she succeeded in the same at- must engage in hostilities along with the emperour tempt. The French marine resembles not a little and the king of Sardinia. the old armaments of the Flibustiers, which about If Spain should be forced or awed into a treaty a century back, in conjunction with pirates of our with the republick of France, she must open her nation, brought such calamities upon the Spanish ports and her commerce, as well as the land comcolonies. They differ only in this, that the present munication for the French labourers, who were piratical force is, out of all measure and compari- accustomed annually to gather in the harvest in son, greater; one hundred and fifty ships of the line, Spain. Indeed she must grant a free communiand frigates, being ready built, most of them in a cation for travellers and traders through her manner new, and all applicable in different ways to whole country. In that case it is not conjectural, that service. Privateers and Moorish corsaires it is certain, the clubs will give law in the propossess not the best seamanship, and very little vinces ; Bourgoing, or some such miscreant, will discipline, and indeed can make no figure in regu- give law at Madrid. lar service, but in desperate adventures, and ani- In this England may acquiesce if she pleases ; mated with a lust of plunder, they are truly for- and France will conclude a triumphant peace with midable.
Spain under her absolute dependence, with a broad That the land forces of France are well adapted highway into that, and into every state of Europe. to concur with their marine in conjunct expedi- She actually invites Great Britain to divide with her tions of this nature. In such expeditions, enter the spoils of the new world, and to make a partiprise supplies the want of discipline, and perhaps tion of the Spanish monarchy. Clearly it is better more than supplies it. Both for this, and for other to do so, than to suffer France to possess these service, (however contemptible their military is in spoils and that territory alone; which, without other respects,) one arm is extremely good, the en- doubt, unresisted by us, she is altogether as able, gineering and artillery branch. The old officer as she is willing, to do. corps in both being composed for the greater part This plan is proposed by the French, in the way of those who were not gentlemen, or gentlemen in which they propose all their plans; and in the newly such, few have abandoned the service, and only way in which indeed they can propose them, the men are veterans well enough disciplined, and where there is no regular communication between very expert. In this piratical way they must make His Majesty and their Republick. war with good advantage. They must do so, What they propose is a plan. It is a plan also even on the side of Flanders, either offensively to resist their predatory project. To remain quiet, or defensively. This shews the difference between and to suffer them to make their own use of a naval the policy of Louis the XIVth, who built a wall power before our face, so as to awe and bully of brass about his kingdom; and that of Joseph Spain into a submissive peace, or to drive them into the Second, who premeditately uncovered his a ruinous war, without any measure on our part, whole frontier.
I fear is no plan at all. That Spain, from the actual and unexpected However, if the plan of co-operation which prevalence of French power, is in a most perilous France desires, and which her affiliated societies situation ; perfectly dependent on the mercy of here ardently wish and are constantly writing up, that republick. If Austria is broken, or even hum-should not be adopted, and the war between the bled, she will not dare to dispute its mandates. emperour and France should continue, I think it not at all likely that Spain should not be drawn the present misfortunes; not for the sake of criinto the quarrel. In that case, the neutrality of ticism, military or political, or from the common England will be a thing absolutely impossible. motives of blaming persons and counsels which The time only is the subject of deliberation. have not been successful; but in order, if we can,
Then the question will be, whether we are to to administer some remedy to these disasters, by defer putting ourselves into a posture for the com- the adoption of plans more bottomed in principle, mon defence, either by armament, or negociation, and built on with more discretion. Mistakes may or both, until Spain is actually attacked; that is, be lessons. whether our court will take a decided part for There seem indeed to have been several mistakes Spain, whilst Spain, on her side, is yet in a condi- in the political principles on which the war was tion to act with whatever degree of vigour she may entered into, as well as in the plans upon which it have ; whilst that vigour is yet unexhausted ; or was conducted; some of them very fundamental, whether we shall connect ourselves with her and not only visibly, but, I may say, palpably, broken fortunes; after she shall have received erroneous; and I think him to have less than the material blows, and when we shall have the whole discernment of a very ordinary statesman, who slow length of that always unwieldy, and ill con- could not foresee, from the very beginning, unstructed, and then wounded and crippled body, pleasant consequences from those plans, though to drag after us, rather than to aid us. Whilst not the unparalleled disgraces and disasters which our disposition is uncertain, Spain will not dare really did attend them : for they were, both printo put herself in such a state of defence as will ciples and measures, wholly new and out of the make her hostility formidable, or her neutrality common course, without any thing apparently respectable.
very grand in the conception, to justify this total If the decision is such as the solution of this departure from all rule. question (I take it to be the true question) con- For, in the first place, the united sovereigns ducts to—no time is to be lost. But the measures, very much injured their cause by admitting, that though prompt, ought not to be rash and indigested. they had nothing to do with the interiour arThey ought to be well chosen, well combined, and rangements of France; in contradiction to the well pursued. The system must be general; but whole tenour of the publick law of Europe, and it must be executed, not successively, or with in- to the correspondent practice of all its states, from terruption, but all together uno flatu, in one melt the time we have any history of them. In this ing, and one mould.
particular, the two German courts seem to have For this purpose, we must put Europe before as little consulted the publicists of Germany, as us, which plainly is, just now, in all its parts, in their own true interests, and those of all the soa state of dismay, derangement, and confusion ; vereigns of Germany and Europe. This admisand, very possibly amongst all its sovereigns, full sion of a false principle in the law of nations of secret heart-burning, distrust, and mutual accu- brought them into an apparent contradiction, when sation. Perhaps it may labour under worse evils. they insisted on the re-establishment of the royal There is no vigour any where, except the distem authority in France. But this confused and conpered vigour and energy of France. That coun- tradictory proceeding gave rise to a practical try has but too much life in it, when every thing errour of worse consequence. It was derived around is so disposed to tameness and languor. from one and the same root; namely, that the The
very vices of the French system at home tend person of the monarch of France was every thing ; to give force to foreign exertions. The generals and the monarchy, and the intermediate orders of must join the armies. They must lead them to the state, by which the monarchy was upheld, enterprise, or they are likely to perish by their were nothing. So that if the united potentates hands. Thus, without law or government of her had succeeded so far, as to re-establish the authoown, France gives law to all the governments in rity of that king, and that he should be so illEurope.
advised as to confirm all the confiscations, and to This great mass of political matter must have recognise as a lawful body, and to class himself been always under the views of thinkers for the with that rabble of murderers, (and there wanted publick, whether they act in officeor not. Amongst not persons who would so have advised him,) there events, even the late calamitous events were in was nothing in the principle or in the proceedthe book of contingency. Of course, they must ing of the united powers, to prevent such an arhave been in design, at least, provided for. A plan, rangement. which takes in as many as possible of the states An expedition to free a brother sovereign from concerned, will rather tend to facilitate and simplify prison was undoubtedly a generous and chivala rational scheme for preserving Spain, (if that were rous undertaking. But the spirit and generosity our sole, as I think it ought to be our principal, would not have been less, if the policy had been object,) than to delay and perplex it.
more profound, and more comprehensive; that is, If we should think that a provident policy if it had taken in those considerations, and those (perhaps now more than provident, urgent and persons, by whom, and, in some measure, for necessary) should lead us to act, we cannot take whom, monarchy exists. This would become a measures as if nothing had been done. We must bottom for a system of solid and permanent policy, see the faults, if any, which have conducted to and of operations conformable to that system.
The same fruitful errour was the cause why | pal in the design; and in order to avoid all risks nothing was done to impress the people of France to that great object, (the object of other ages than (so far as we can at all consider the inhabitants the present, and of other countries than that of of France as a people) with an idea that the go- France,) they would of course avoid proceeding vernment was ever to be really French, or indeed with more haste, or in a different manner than what any thing else than the nominal government of a the nature of such an object required. monarch, a monarch absolute as over them, but Adopting this, the only rational system, the rawhose sole support was to arise from foreign poten- tional mode of proceeding upon it, was to comtates, and who was to be kept on his throne by mence with an effective siege of Lisle, which the German forces; in short, that the king of France French generals must have seen taken before their was to be a viceroy to the emperour and the king faces, or be forced to fight. A plentiful country of Prussia.
of friends, from whence to draw supplies, would It was the first time that foreign powers, inter- have been behind them; a plentiful country of fering in the concerns of a nation divided into enemies, from whence to force supplies, would parties, have thought proper to thrust wholly out have been before them. Good towns were always of their councils, to postpone, to discountenance, within reach to deposit their hospitals and magato reject, and, in a manner, to disgrace, the party zines. The march from Lisle to Paris is through whom these powers came to support. The single a less defensible country, and the distance is hardly person of a king cannot be a party. Woe to the so great as from Longwy to Paris. king who is himself his party! The royal party If the old politick and military ideas had gowith the king or his representatives at its head verned, the advanced guard would have been is the royal cause. Foreign powers have hitherto formed of those who best knew the country, chosen to give to such wars as this the appearance and had some interest in it, supported by some of a civil contest, and not that of a hostile in- of the best light troops and light artillery, whilst vasion. When the Spaniards in the sixteenth the grand solid body of an army disciplined to century, sent aids to the chiefs of the league, they perfection, proceeded leisurely, and in close conappeared as allies to that league, and to the im- nexion with all its stores, provisions, and heavy prisor:ad king (the cardinal de Bourbon) which that cannon, to support the expedite body in case league had set up. When the Germans came to of misadventure, or to improve and complete its the aid of the protestant princes, in the same series of civil wars, they came as allies. When the The direct contrary of all this was put in pracEnglish came to the aid of Henry the Fourth, tice. In consequence of the original sin of this they appeared as allies to that prince. So did the project, the army of the French princes was every French always when they intermeddled in the where thrown into the rear, and no part of it affairs of Germany. They came to aid a party brought forward to the last moment, the time of there. When the English and Dutch intermeddled the commencement of the secret negociation. This in the succession of Spain, they appeared as allies naturally made an ill impression on the people, and to the emperour Charles the Sixth. In short, the furnished an occasion for the rebels at Paris to policy has been as uniform as its principles were give out that the faithful subjects of the king were obvious to an ordinary eye.
distrusted, despised, and abhorred by his allies. According to all the old principles of law and The march was directed through a skirt of Lorpolicy, a regency ought to have been appointed by raine, and thence into a part of Champagne, the the French princes of the blood, nobles, and par- Duke of Brunswick leaving all the strongest places liaments, and then recognised by the combined behind him; leaving also behind him the strength powers. Fundamental law and ancient usage, as of his artillery; and by this means giving a supewell as the clear reason of the thing, have always riority to the French, in the only way in which ordained it during an imprisonment of the king of the present France is able to oppose a German France; as in the case of John, and of Francis the force. First. A monarchy ought not to be left a moment In consequence of the adoption of those false without a representative, having an interest in politicks, which turned every thing on the king's the succession. The orders of the state ought sole and single person, the whole plan of the war also to have been recognised in those amongst was reduced to nothing but a coup de main, in order whom alone they existed in freedom, that is, in the to set that prince at liberty. If that failed every emigrants.
thing was to be given up. Thus, laying down a firm foundation on the The scheme of a coup de main might (under recognition of the authorities of the kingdom of favourable circumstances) be very fit for a partisan France, according to nature and to its funda- at the head of a light corps, by whose failure mental laws, and not according to the novel and nothing material would be deranged. But for a inconsiderate principles of the usurpation which royal army of eighty thousand men, headed by the united powers were come to extirpate, the a king in person, who was to march an hundred king of Prussia and the emperour, as allies of the and fifty miles through an enemy's country-surely ancient kingdom of France, would have pro- this was a plan unheard of. ceeded with dignity, first, to free the monarch, if Although this plan was not well chosen, and possible; if not, to secure the monarchy as princi- | proceeded upon principles altogether ill judged