Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Great Britain. Short Retrospect of political Transactions from the Commence

ment of the War. Humiliating Proposals of the French Republic to appease the. Refentment of the British Cabinet. Offer on the Part of the Republic to Telinquish ker Colonies to Great Britain, as the Price of Neutrality. State of Afairs at the Conclufion of 1795. Meetings of the Corresponding Society; Outrages offered to the King in his Way to and from the House of Lords

. Examination of Witnesses at the Bar of the House. Proclamation for apprehending the Offenders. Proclamation againt Seditious Meetings. Lord Grenvilles Motion in the Lords for a Bill for the Preservation of his

Majesty's Person and Government. Debate on that Morion. Bill read a second Time. Mr. Pitt's Motion in the House of Commons for a Bill to prevent Seditious Meelings and Assemblies. Warm Debate on that Bill. Mr. Fox's Motion for a Call of the House

. Mr. Dundas's Declaration that the two Bills had been in Contemplation before the Outrage against the King. Debates in the Lords on ihe Commitment of Lord Grenville's Bill

. Amendments proposed by the Duke of Leeds and Earl of Lauderdale. Lord Grenville's Bin palled in the House of Lords. Public Meetings in Opposition to the two Bills

. Lord Grenville's Bill read a first Time in the House of Co:nmons.

Mr. Sheridan's Motion for an Inquiry concerning Sediticus Meetings. Further Debates in the Commons on Lord Grenville's Bill

. Debates in Mr. Pitt's Billin the House of Commons--in the House of Lords. Reflections on these Bills. Never yet acied upon by Ministry. T O maintain an even temper a duty which the passions and infir

and an unperverted mind'a mities of our nature render difficult midst the agitations of faction; to of accomplishment; a duty against mark with keenness, and record which prejudice too commonly with precision, the errors of all revolts, and which interest fomeparties, without imbibing the fpi- times will even prompt men to be. rit or violence of any; luch is the tray. The difficulties which the duty, and ought to be the character, annalist of his own times has to enof those who undertake to digest a

counter, do not all, however, ori. narrative of recent events. But it is ginate with himself, nor are they

always

to

always within the limits of his least that can be accorded is a pa, controul. If he writes as a man, tient hearing. it must not be forgotten that he It is now nearly eighteen years also writes to men. "If he has pas. since we first engaged in the service fions and failings, it must not be of the public. When we look back supposed that his readers are ex- upon our past labours, we find them empt from their share. That cav- comprise some of the most eventdour which they expect from him, ful periods of modern history; and they are not always prepared to with pride we can reflect, that we concede in their turn; nor, while have never fanctioned with our apthey are ready to detect his errors, probation any measure that provare they always conscions of the ed afterwards injurious to our counprejudices which exist within their try. We have seen the British naown bosoms. With these disad- tion and the British power depressed vantages, while it is the indispen- and enfeebled by the calamitous Afable duty of the writer to adhere merican war; we have seen the enerinflexibly to fact, by that criterion gies and industry of the people rise let him also be judged. Facts, if superior to this temporary embarmisrepresented, will not escape de- rassment. We have seen them again tection; and reflections or obser- plungea into a contest morefruitless, vations which do not flow naturally more inexcusable, more hopeless from the events as they are record than the former. We have feen the ed, and which are not supported by expences of the ruinous American their evidence, can never make a contest diminish almost to a cypher permanent impression.

in comparison with the prodigality We have ever protested against of modern times. We have seen the pernicious doctrine, that the new taxes levied in the course of faithful historian is bound in duty one year, greatly exceeding the whole to 1peak in terms of lenity of poli. charge created by the first fix years tical vices, or of flagrant miscon- of the American war; we have duet. General panegyric is not seen impositions laid upon the peoimpartiality; and the writer who ple of this country, in a single day, adopts the maxim that where blame nearly equal to the whole charge of is incurred it is not to be noticed, lord Chatham's glorious war, which is not nierely useless-heis vicious. endured for seven years, and in If he wrongfully accuses, he is which the British arms were triumthen deserving of censure. If his phant in every quarter of the inferences are unsupported by his globe; nay, we have seen the documents, if his allegations should charges incurred by an expendiprove to be founded only on the ture of only four years exceed the uncertain bafis of conjecture, he is total charge of the whole national worthy of contempt. But if liis debt antecedent to 1782. information is corroborated by au. We call our countrymen and our thentic teftimony, if his predictions readers to witness, that, at the risk are confirmed by subsequent expe- of some unpopularity, we were the rience, he evinces then that he has first to raise our voices against the not been inattentive to his duty; present war. We proved, from and however his remarks may out- unquestionable documents, that it rage our prejudices, he is still de- might have been avoided with hoferving of some credit, and the nour and with safety by the Britisha

ministry.

ministry. We deprecated its ca- rance and effrontery pretended, to lamities, and we predicted them preserve us from doinestic contests: with an accuracy, which, had our It is the first time, we believe, that sentiments not been before the pub- peace and prosperity were ever conlic long antecedent to the events, lidered as favourable to rebellion, might have drawn upon them the and war, taxes, and misery, as the suspicion of forgery or delusion. sovereign antidotes for faction. The We are now beyond the period of whole nation had risen as one man prophecy : we shall cease to warn, on the alarm of innovation, and and only continue to record. had folemnly associated to protect

Yet to that crisis, which was the the constitution, even with its ab. fatal origin of all our present cala- uses, rather than subject a particle mities, it is necessary once more to of it to experiment or change. recur, fince by that it is that poste. Was it to anticipate the hostile de. rity must form their verdict on the signs of the enemy. Even prejuconduct of the present rulers of this dice must confess that it was the incountry. At that crisis the prospe- terest of France, and particularly rity of Britain was unexampled; of the Girondists, who were then her commerce was extended over predominant, to preserve the friendthe whole face of the ocean ; the ship of Great Britain ; and who-trade of the universe was in her ever peruses with attention the corgrasp. Her manufactures pervaded respondence of M. Chauvelin with every country; and if there was a the British fecretary of ftate, must complaint, it was for a lack of perceive thai the French republic hands to conduct them with suffin threw itself at the feet and at the cient dispatch. By following the mercy of the British cabinet, but suggestions of that excellent patriot, that the fupplicating envoy was and incomparable financier, the late spurned away, with a degree of inDr. Price, the minister (though, of folence and rathness which invothree plans presented, he adopted luntarily reminds us of the fantastithe worst) had, according to his cal glassman in the oriental savie. own calculations, liquidated nearly Was it to obtain an accellion of twenty millions of the national colonial poflesions? We have hintdebt. In this state of things, whated it before, and we now aflert it fatal insanity, what inexplicable in-. for a fact, that M. Chauvelin was fatuation eould engage a ministry to authorised, and M. Maret èxprefsly involve the nation again in the dispatched, to offer to the Britiih caruinous vortex of continental war- binet their choice of the French poí. fare? The motives are yet unex- sefiions in the East or West Indies, plained; and perhaps it is not for as the price of neutrality *; and a the credit of the authors of the certain secretary of tatc replied, measure, that they fould be laid “ That we had already colories before the public.

enough, and that we did not want Was it, as some with equal igno. to be burthened with any more."

What

* The propofition was firfi made when MM. Tuldeyrand and Chaurelin were din (patched by the unfortunate Louis, with a letter in his own banil-writing, to cntreat that the king of England would act the part cf an umpire and mediator, and compose the diferences which then fubtied between the reach nation and it c heads of lise Germanic empire. Had this propofal been acccded 10, in Chanchey would yui have, in all probis

winsiy,

1

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »