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and to co-operate with external enemies; so, on the other, the resources of power, though separate, and at a great distance from each other, may be of such a nature as to be easily united, and not intercepted or cut off by any hostile power. Compactness of dominion is determined not always, or only, by geographical situation, but by other circumstances, that secure the co-operation of all its different mem-litical economy, to every thing that

wards the east, our successes in the West Indies, our commercial treaty and alliance with North America, and our new settlements on the south and west continent of America: and the result of the whole will be, that our commercial zone encircles the globe; that to the whole world we may bid defiance, and force the trade into our own channel. It is possible, by a due attention to po

bers. The resources of British power are of such a nature, that, though remote from each other, in point of local situation, they are approximated by facility of communication. The ocean, which divides the territories of the British empire, unites its different nerves in one cord of strength. The Cape of Good Hope is our half-way house to India. The reduction of Ceylon, again completes the chain of connection between the British dominion in Europe and that in India, which now happily embraces the best part of that peninsula. Even the immense army that we are obliged to keep on foot in India is a fortunate circumstance; if we have regard, as we ought, not only to gain, but to the stability of empire. It nourishes, in the British youth, a military spirit: while mercantile habits, and the acquisition of sudden wealth, tend to enervation; the necessity of maintaining the grand spring of our commerce, by force of arms, breeds up a race of soldiers. Nor, to complete the felicity of our relative situation to India, do our friends remain there for life, or plant colonies, in the process of time, to be estranged from the parent country, but return with their fortunes to the places of their nativity. Add to this prosperous situation of our affairs, to

may encourage navigation and trade, to manufactures, to agriculture, which is the basis of all, and to the state of the labouring poor, to whom the possibility and hope may, and, no doubt, will be extended, of becoming, through industry and other good habits, independent cultivators of the soil, and raised to the possession of farms on their own account. It is possible, by due attention to these things, and to all that falls within the progress of political economy, to maintain our power and rank in the scale of nations; not only until the vicissitude of human affairs shall reduce the power of France, from its present preponderancy on the continent, to a state less formidable, but for a long series of future ages. The small republic of the island of Rhodes made head and stood out against the Romans, long after great kingdoms on the European continent had owned their sway: after Spain, Gaul, and part of Germany, had bowed under their yoke. Great Britain will maintain a more successful contest with France than Rhodes did with Rome, in proportion to its greater extent and happier situation. The war, which had been unavoidable in its origin, had been well conducted, and successful on the part of Great Britain, whose [O 2]


naval power was never so great, nor commerce so flourishing and extensive, nor revenue so high, as at the present moment. And all this prosperity was not ascribed to the uncontrollable tide of affairs, but to the superior penetration and providence of the British govern


There were others, again, who, on the subject of the present state of affairs, indulged an opposite train of reflection. The continental powers, it was said, had Britain stood aloof, would have made such arrangements, among themselves, as might seem adequate to the control of the French republic. Their confederacy would have been the more solid and sincere that it would have appeared the more necessary. When they found England so zealous in the cause, they readily devolved on her the labouring oar, because they judged that she was the ablest to wield it. Had not Great Britain interfered, the whole continent of Europe would have been involved Britain alone would have

in war:
been at peace.
By a conduct the
most extraordinary, and a destiny
the most fantastic, Britain alone
is likely to be at war with France,
and all the other nations to be at
peace. France, bounded by the
Alps, the Pyrenees, the Rhine, and
the Ocean; in friendship with Spain,
and overawing the Italian states,
will be mistress of a maritime coast,
from the sea of Marmora to the Texel.
With such internal resources, such
an extent of coast, the Scheldt,
Rhine and other rivers, as well as
canals for circulating her commerce,
it is to be feared that she will over-
top not only Great Britain, but
give law to all Europe.. But all
this is the result of those precipi

drove the tate counsels which French to become a military republic, and gave them power by the Our comnecessity of exerting it. merce, flourishing, indeed, for the present, beyond all example, yet cannot be lasting, being founded, in a great measure, on principles of injustice. The dominion which is arrogated by the British flag at sea, cannot possibly fail to be as odious to the European nations, as the ambition of the French at land. The trade of the East and West Indies, the most valuable in the world, and the great stimulant to all commerce, is, at present, in our hands: true. If, however, this be a great good to us, which in the eye of sound and moral policy it is not, it is a great evil to other nations; to whom, as well as to us, the productions of the tropical and other distant climates, have, through use, become articles of the first necessity. Is it to be supposed, that the inventive genius of France will not, after she shall have made peace with the continent, encou raged by the universal discontent, jealousy, and resentment, at the conduct of Great Britain, fall on some means to sap the foundations of her naval power, pride, and tyranny? Have we not expected such a combination against us, as was formerly excited, by jealousy, envy, and cupidity, against Venice? may not an armed neutrality at sea be yet formed, more genéral and more firm, in proportion to the growing tyranny that prompts it? May not the French, and the other nations on the Mediterranean, excluded from the great India-trade, by the way of the Cape of Good Hope, entertain the project, and in some shape, and some time or other, ef


credit, of the rights of men, and the rights of nations; and free ports be opened in every part of the British dominions. We may then find some success in rouzing Europe against

Such were the outlines of the two opposite parties, which appeared at this time in Great Britain, on the subject of peace or war, and free or forced commerce. In recording public opinions, as well as actions, we do not confine ourselves merely, on every subject, to the debates in parliament, but pay due respect to liberal and enlightened minds, whether expressed in public speeches, productions of the press, or in pri

vate conversation.

fect it too, of inviting it into its old channels, through Persia, Arabia, and Egypt? The route to India, by the Cape of Good Hope, being lost to all nations but England, is it not to be expected that those na-oppression, when we ourselves have tions will either combine for the given the example of moderation purpose of recovering a participa- and justice. tion in that advantage, or attempt to open new, or rather re-open old channels of communication with the East for themselves? That they have adopted the general principle of opposing our power at sea, by their power at land, they have already discovered, by their efforts to exclude our merchandize from Amsterdam, Venice, Genoa, Leghorn, and other ports. It is but an extension of the same principle to force back the India-trade into its ancient channels. In order to evade the effects of such measures, a plain read lies before us. Let us en trench ourselves, as it were, in moral and sacred ground, and make head against the ambitious views of France, by raising up the standard of justice by shewing a readiness to give up all conquests, Dutch as well as French, without reserve, as the price of a peace, founded on similar principles of justice. Can any thing be more insolently absurd than to stand foremost in a confederacy, against a system of ambition on the continent of Europe, while we ourselves glory in ruling the waves * with absolute sway? let us respect neutral flags, encourage universal freedom of trade, and avow a just conviction, that all nations have but one general interest: the inviolability of private property and public

The loss of the armament, on which the Batavian republic had expended large sums, was aggravated by the scandalous neglect of the French government, to furnish them with that naval assistance which had been stipulated and duly paid for. This behaviour of an ally, for whom they had made such sacrifices, greatly abated the fervour of their attachment, and excited many complaints throughout the seven provinces. The acceptance of the money, for defraying the charges of equipment, and the diverting it to their own uses, was a breach of faith, that disgraced them much more than they were benefited by the sums thus diverted. It so much weakened the confidence of their Dutch allies, that, ever since, these have constantly testified a mistrust of their most solemn assurances, that has

The popular song of Britannia rule the waves is equally unjust and impolitic. How can foreigners join in such symphonies? What must be their feelings? and what the effect of these, described on their return to their own countries?

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more than once proved highly detrimental to the interest of France. It was imagined, at the time, that this retention of the Dutch money proceeded from a motive by which the directory doubted not to justify it. This was the great project of invading Ireland, that had long been meditated, and which they were now preparing to carry into execution. The importance of that noble island to Great Britain was well known. The number and bravery of its inhabitants, the fertility of the soil, abounding in all the necessaries of life, pointed it out as an acquisition to France, that would set it above all difficulties, and put an end to the war at once, by depriving England of those supplies of men and provisions, indispensibly wanted for its armies and navies.

In this vast undertaking, the French principally relied on the cooperation of the Irish themselves. They were thoroughly acquainted with the situation of the country, and the discontents of the people, by means of the secret correspond ence between the French government and the heads of the malcontents, who regularly informed it of the measures that were taking, on their part, to excite a general in


The armament, designed for this great expedition, had been preparing, at Brest, during the whole summer. It consisted of twenty-five ships of the line, including the seven that composed the squadron of admiral Richery, who was to join it with all speed, fifteen stout frigates, beside sloops and transports for an army of twenty-five thousand men, to be commanded by general Hoche, whose military abilities were esteem ed equal to those of any officer in the

French service, Moreau and Buonaparte himself scarcely excepted.

Through several unforeseen accidents, this armament was not ready for sailing till the eighteenth of December. On going out of Brest, some of the largest ships struck upon the rocks, at the mouth of the harbour, and several were lost, and others rendered unfit for present service. The Day after its departure, a violent storm arose, which dispersed the fleet, and damaged many of the ships. This tempestuous weather lasted during the whole time of the expedition. On the twenty-fourth, admiral Bouvet,commander-in-chief of the French fleet, anchored with seven ships of the line, and ten others, in Bantry-Bay. In order to reconnoitre the country, a boat was dispatched towards shore; but it was immediately captured, and multitudes appeared on the beach in readiness to oppose a landing. After lying some days in this bay, the storminess of the weather increased to such a degree, that, on receiving no intelligence of general Hoche and the principal officers, who were in a frigate that parted from the fleet, in the gale of wind that scattered it on putting to sea, the French admiral determined to quit his position, and make the best of his way to France. The land officers, on board, objected to this, and insisted on landing the troops; but as general Hoche, who alone possessed the plan of the expedition was absent, he refused to comply with their representations, and set sail for Brest, where he safely arrived, on the last day of December. The other divisions of his fleet had also the good fortune to reach that harbour, with the loss, however, of five ships: two of the line, and


three frigates: one of the latter was captured by the English, and two foundered at sea, with one of the former. The other, after a desperate engagement, with some ships of the British squadron, off Brest, ran ashore to prevent the being taken.

The fate of this fleet proved, even to sense, what needed no proof in the eye of reason, that a superior naval force is not, in all cases, a certain security against invasion. Ireland, notwithstanding the superiority of the English fleet, was sixteen days at the mercy of the enemy, and saved from attack only by the elements.

Such was the issue of this famous expedition: the real object of which had long kept Europe in suspense. Some thought it Portugal, others the English outward-bound fleets. Few imagined it was so hazardous an enterprize as the invasion of Ireland. The strength of the Protestants there alone was deemed fully sufficient to repel such an attempt, and the Roman Catholics had so many reasons to be satisfied with the conduct of government, that no suspicions were entertained of any desire, on their part, to exchange their connection with Eng land for one with France, whose treatment of those who were become its dependants, under the name of allies, afforded, certainly, no encouragement to follow their example.

land. Indulging still in her ambition of conquest; inflamed, not satiated, by so much success, she sought still to extend her dominion, whereever it was bounded only by that of a neighbour, not by the hand of nature. She contrived to stretch forth, as it were, both her arms, the one in Europe, the other in Asia; but contrarily to what had been usually experienced, both by herself and predecessors, while she made a conquest of no small importance in the north of Europe, she was vigorously repelled from the softer climate of Asia. By caresses and intrigues she induced the inhabitants of Livonia to insist on the fulfilment of an ancient convention, whereby the Courlanders were obliged to bring all their merchandizes to Riga; though they had, on their own coasts, excellent harbours, happily situated. A quarrel, which had naturally arisen on this subject, between the Livonians and Courlanders, was not yet terminated, when the empress sent engineers into Courland, to mark out a canal for facilitating the merchandize of that country into Livonia. The Courlanders, seeing this, and fearing lest they should be soon forced to make use of this canal, thought it better for them to be protected, than oppressed, by the empress, and to be her subjects rather than her neighbours.

Catharine, informed of these dispositions, called to her the duke of The close of 1796 was marked Courland, the feeble son of the faby the death of Catharine II. em- mous Biren, under the pretext of press of Russia. Catharine, as we having occasion to confer with him have seen in the preceding volumes on matters of importance. But no of this work, had subdued by her sooner was that prince at the foot policy, or her arms, the Crimea, the of the throne of the Autocratrix Cuban, with a part of the frontier of of the north, than the states of Cour Turkey, and almost one half of Poland held an assembly. The nobi

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