« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
The Haughtiness of the Directory towards different Nations.-— Particularly towards the Dutch, whom they confider, not as Confederates, but a conquered People.- Moderation of the Republic and prepondering Party in the United Provinces.- Batavian Convention.-Its Proceedings.-- Affairs of Geneva. --Meeting of the National Inftitute of France.-Confidered as an auspicious Omen of the Return of Peuce und Reign of the Arts.--And Liberty of Thinking and Publishing on all Subje&s.-The Alliance between the Church and Monarchy of France, in the End, ruinous to both.—The nele', or confiitutional, Clergy avow their Afjent to the Separation of the Church from the State.— Yet venture to condemn fome Things setiled, or approred, by the republican Government. But which they considered as adverse to the Dignili and Interests of the ecclefiafiical Order.-The Settlement of ecclefapical Affairs confidered by the Generality of the French as a Matter of great Importance.
HE irritable temper of the di- Jitics of Russia. The court of Swe.
rectory was experienced by den gave the directory to underftand, other governments belide the Ainé- that were he to be refused admisrican. The court of Stockholm, fion, the French envoy at Stockholm, which had, since the death of the would be treated precisely in the same late king Guftavus, explicitly re
But the direciory ordered nounced his projects against the him, nevertheless, to quit Paris; not, French republic, and manifested fa- however, without expresting the vourable dispositions to it, had lately highest respect for the Swedish 13undergone an evident alteration. tion, the good-will of which it ftill Some attributed this to the intrigues fought to retain, notwithstanding of Rullia; others to the resentment this variance with its government. of the Swedili government at the The French cnvoy at that court duplicity of the French, who had was, at the same time, directed to paid the subsidy they owed to Swe- leave it; his residence there being den, in drafts upon the Dutch re- no longer consistent with the honour public, which they were conscious of France, to the interest of wnich would not be honoured. Another that court was become manifestly motive of dissatisfaction to the di- inimical, by its subserviency to Rulrectory was, the recall of baron Stäel, sia, the declared enemy to the French the Swedith ambaffador, a friend to republic. the republic, and the replacing him The king of Sardinia's ambaslaby Mr. Renhausen, a gentleman dor had, in like manner, experinced noted for his attachment to the po- the displealure of the directory, for
expressing his regret at the precipi- pression of the siadtholdership, in tation with which bis mafior had which they had been formally pro concluded the treaty of peace with miled the concurrence of the French France; the terms of which, he republic. They were, for this mo. said, would have been much less tive, lo zealous for the success of its severe, had he waited for the more arms, that, during the campaign of favourable opportunities that fol- 1794, they had projected an insurreclowed it. For having uttered words tion in the principal towns of the of that import, he was ordered to Seven United Provinces, while the quit the territory of the republic. republican armies should advance, The Tuscan envoy was diluised in with all speed, to their support
. the same manner, on account of the Having communicated their designs particular zeal he had teftified in to the French government; they behalf of Lewis XVI.'s daughter, doubted not of its readiness to fewhen she was permitted to leave cond them, and prepared accordingFrance.
ly to execute the plans which they The court of Rome, when com- had formed in virtue of that expelled by the victories of Buona- pectation. But the uninterrupted parte to folicit a fuspension of arms, career of victory, that had given to had sent commiflioners to Paris, to decided a superiority to the French negociate a peace: bnt, in hope over all their enemies, had also that the numerous reinforcements, elated them in such a manner, that, which were coming from Germany looking upon the co-operation of to the Imperial army, would enable their party, in Holland, as no longer it to recover its losses, and expel the of that importance which it had French from Italy, they studioully hitherto appeared to be, they now protracted the negociation, on pre- received its applications with a tence that thev were not furnished coldness, which plainly indicated with sufficient powers to conclude a that they considered the Dutch as a definitive treaty. It was not till people that must submit to their own the successes of the French had put terms; and whom they now proan end to these hopes, that they pofed to treat rather as being fubappeared detirous, as well as em- dued by the arms of the French, powered, to come to a conclufion. than as confederated in the fame But the directory, for answer, figni- cauf. fied their immediate di million. Such were the dispositions of the
Notwithstanding the refolate and French towards the Dutch, when decilive conduct adopted by the di- they enterred the United Provinces rectory, they found it necetary to The arbitrary manner, in which abate of their peremptoriness with they impofed a multiplicity of heavy... the Durch; who, though ftrongly contributions upon the Dutch, wag determined to remain united in in- highly exasperating to the nation : terest with France, were not the less but they were too prudent to exala in reiolved to retain their national in- perate men, who were determined depenylence. The party that favour- io act as conquerors, and whom it .. ed and had called in the French, was impoflible to refiit. They fuba.. had done it folely with the view of mitte 1, therefore, with that phlegms: securing their atlifance for the up- atic patience, which characterizes: *
them in difficulties, and usually ena. Several preferred the antecedent bles them to surmount the greatest, one, that had sublisted from the deby giving way to the storm while it mife of William III. king of Great lasis, and reserving themselves for Britain and stadtholder, with such thofe auspicious opportunities of re. alteration as might secure it effectutrieving their affairs, that fo feldom ally from a re-establishment of that fail the vigilant and undefponding. office, and render it more democra
In the mean time, the republican tical: others recommended an imparty, in Holland, resolved to con- mediate adoption of the precedents, dućt itself with so much temper to which the French had fixed on as the adherents of that party, which it the most popular. These different had opposed with so much firmness parties contended with great warmth and perseverance, that they should for the superior excellence of their have no caule to complain of its various plans. But the necesity of leaving nade an improper use of the settling some form of government, power it had newly acquired. The brought them, at last, after long and etfects of this inoderation were higli- violent dispute, to the determination ly beneficial to both parties. It of calling a national convention. foftened the grief of those who had The provinces of Zealand and Frizebeen deprived of the government land, the two most considerable in of their country, and induced them the Dutch republic, next to that of to be less hostile to thole who had Holland, made a long and obstinate taken their places: and it procured opposition to this proposal. But for these a readiness in the generality they were, at length, prevailed upof people to consider them as actu- on to concur with the others on its ated by patriotic motives, and in no expediency. wife by private animosity towards The year 1795 was consumed in their antagonists.
altercations of this nature. But as This conduct was the more re- foon as the national convention met, markable, that the inliabitants of the which was on the first of March, provinces, though a large majority, 1796, all parties agreed on a resolıwas delirous of a change of govern- tion to declare war against Great ment, differed materially in their Britain, which they confidered as opinions concerning that which was having chiefly occasioned the many to facteed it. The party favouring calamities that had befallen the the stadtholder was the least confi- United Provinces for a course of derable. It confified of the titled, years. Through its influence over or noble families, ftill remaining in the stadtholder, the strength of the the United Provinces, and chiefly de- state had been perfidioully withheld pended upon the inferior classes, and from acting in defence of the trade the great number of foreigners; for the and shipping of the republic, and its molt part Germans, in the Dutch ser interests wholly Sacrificed to those vice.' The mercantile and middle of England. During the whole claffes, and generally the people of duration of the American war, this opulence and property, were in- had been done in despite and condined to a republican Tystem: buttempt of continual remonftrances herein they differed among them and solicitations from the most reselves as to the plan to be adopted. spectable citizens in the common. Vol. XXXVIII.
wealth. It was through the inter- opportunity of doing all the damage ference of England, leagued with in its power to the people of the Prussia, that the stactholder, who United Provinces; who had, therehad been expelled from the United fore, the clearest right to consider it Provinces, was restored in defiance as their most inveterate enemy. On of the manifest will of the Dutch. these considerations, which were obThus a governor was imposed upon vious to all impartial minds, the nathem, whom they could compare to tional convention ought to call forth no other than a lord-lieutenant of the whole strength of the nation, Ireland, or a stadtholder of some and use every effort to recover what Prussian district. He was the mere England had so unjustly taken from agent of those two powers, by it, rather by surprize than real pra whose impulse he was guided, and wess. by whose power he was upheld in Such was the language of the rehis authority, which he exercised publican party, in Holland, which, entirely according to their directions. confiding in its strength, and on the Through their fatal influence, Hol- support of the French, was deterland had been precipitated into the mined to improve to the utmost the present contest with France, against opportunity that now offered, of the well-known wishes of all the extinguishing, radically, all the hopes provinces, and upon pretexts quite and pretensions of the Orange faforeign to their interest
. While this mily. In this determination, this influence lasted, Holland could be party met with every encourageviewed in no other light than as a ment from the directory, which anxdependence of England and Prusia, iously stimulated it to form a constiIt was, therefore, incumbent on the tution explicitly exclusive of a stadt. national convention, to put an end holder. to this (lavish and ruinous conneclion The Dutch convention itself was with those two powers, but especi- fufficiently averse to the re-estaally with England; which had, on blishment of this office, which, the pretence of espousing the cause new-modelled as it had been, by of the stadtholder, torn from the England and Prussia, was become, in republic almost the whole of its fac, a fovereignity. But however possessions in the Indies and in Ame- unanimous on this point, they varied rica. What was still more insulto on several others. The former iting, the English ministry treated him dependence of the Seven Provinces avowedly as the fovereign of the on each other, and their feparate Seven Provinces, though they and unconnected authority over must know that he was constitu- their respective territories and peotionally no more than the captain- ple, bad so long sublisted without general of their armies, and the ad- impairing the general union, that it miral-in-chief of their fleets. What appeared to many unnecessary, if was this but tyranny and usurpation not dangerous, to make any alterain the extreme? The pretentions of tion in this matter, as it would affect Prussia were at end, by the treaty it the mode of levying taxes, and burhad concluded with France: but then one province with the exthole of England were in full-vic pences of another. To this it was gour, and it eagerly seized every replied, that a firm and indilloluble union, which was the object princi- open and oftenible exercise of aupally required, could not be effect- thority over this meeting. This ed, while such a separation of inte- would have invalidated their prorefts was suffered to exist. It would ceedings, and infringed the liberty open a door to perpetual variances, which France boafted, of having rewhich might eventually endanger ftored to the Dutch, in too glaring a the very existence of the govern-' manner, not to have excited their ment they were about to eltablish, murmurs and resentment. For by breaking the principal bond of these reasons the directory affected unity on which it was to be found- every sentiment of respect for this ed. After a inultiplicity of debates national convention of the United upon this subject, the importance of Provinces, and treated it with every a solid union of all the provinces, outward mark of their considering into one common state, appeared it as the representative of an indeto indispensible, that it was unani- pendent nation. moufy agreed to, on the first day of But the regard Mewn, by France, December, 1796. To remove the to the republic of Holland, was objection that had principally stood measured folely by the consideration in the way of this decision, a com- of its weight in the political scale, mission of the most respectable mem- which, however depressed by circumbers of the convention was appoint- stances, might ftill recover the level ed to examine and state the former of its former importance. The didebts of the respective provinces, rectory did not extend the lame deand to consider of the inoft equita- ference to those whom it deemed ble and satisfactory manner of liqui- more subjected to its power. This dating them, by providing for their was remarkably evinced in its conextinction, and preserving, at the duct towards Geneva. This litile fame time, uninjured, the rights and republic had invariably remained interests of all the parties concerned attached to the interests of the revoin this liquidation.
lution in France, ever since its first In all these transactions, the mem- breaking ont; and had gone hand in bers of the Dutch convention were hand with it through all its variaremarkably cautions in permitting tions. Relying on these proofs of no difible interference in their deli- its fidelity, it now requeited the diberations on the part of the French rectory to confirm its independence, government. Its secret influence by making it a clause in the treaties was well known; but the preserva- between France and other powers. tion of every form and external indi. But this request did not coincide cation of freedom, was judged indif- with the views of the directory, penGble, in order to maintain the ap- which had, it seems, in contemplaparent dignity of the state and, what. tion the annexation of Gene: a to was of more consequence in the eve the domin'on of France. of the discerning, to prevent the luance of this project, an intimation French themselves, at any future pe was given to the Genevans, that riod, from pleading a right of inter- their interest would be better conflitfering, from any acknowledged pre- ed, and their freecom lecured, by be. cedent. The directory was also coming a part of the French republic. very careful in abstaining from all this intimation was highly dilguit