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•bjligation of a large portion of its most considerable estates. Prussia found herself still more nearly threatened by that danger which she had vainly hoped to avert by so many sacrifices. She had therefore, at length, been compelled to adopt the resolution of openly resisting this unremitted system of aggraudizement and conquest. But neither this determination, nor the succeed, ing measures were previously concerted with his majesty: nor had any disposition been shewn to offer adequate satisfaction for those aggressions which had placed the two countries in a state of mutual hostility. Yet in this situation his majesty did eot hesitate to adopt without delay, such measures as were, best calculated to unite their councils and interests, against the common enemy. The rapid course of the calamities which ensued, opposed insurmountably difficulties to the execution of this purpose. In the midst of these disastrous events, and under the most trying circumstances, the good faith of his majesty's allies had remained unshaken. Theconduct of the king of Sweden had been distinguished by the most honourable firmness. Between his majesty and the emperor of Russia, the happiest amity subsisted.' It had been cemented by reciprocal proofs of good faith and confidence. The speech proceeded to declare, the necessity of public burthens; to recommend as great economy as was consistent with those efforts which it was necessary to make against the formidable and increasing power of the enemy; to de. clare his majesty's satisfaction, in witnessing an increasing energy and firmness, on the part of his people;
in the unconquerable valour anel discipline of his fleets, and armies; the unimpaired sources of our prosperity and strength ; and the unity in sentiment and action of the British nation. The conclusion of the whole was, " with these advantages, and with an humble reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, his majesty is prepared to meet the exigencies of this great crisis; assured of receiving the fullcstsupport from the wiwlom of your deliberations, and from the tried affection, loyalty, and public spirit, of his brave people.
An address, in answer to the speech from the throne, was moved in the house of peers, by the earl of Jersey. It was the first time of his addressing their lordships. In adverting to the topics of his majesty's speech, the first to be noticed was, the negotiation between this country and France. As the papers respecting this subject, would shortly be laid on their lordship's table, it would not now be necessary to enter into any detailed discussion respecting the progress and result of the negotiation. It must bowever be evident to their lordships, from what had transpired, that it had been broken off in consequence of the imperious conduct and exorbitant demands of France. If the French government would not consent to treat on equal terms, the fault was theirs. We had deeply to lament the heavy calamities which J.ad fallen upoa Prussia. But at the same time, it was no small satisfaction to us, that the councils of Prussia had not been precipitated into rash measures, by the instigation, or advice of (his country. It was scarcely possible to find in all
history, eiiiory, an instance of a great power so totally overthrown, we might almost say annihilated, fh the course of a few days. Prussia, which had made sacrifice after sacrifice to France, apparently with a view of aterting war, at length rushed precipitately into hostilities, and met with an unexampled fate: an awful lesson to other states. It was, however, a source of great satis, faction that this country, when Prussia actually made an effort against the common enemy, did not hesitate, immediately to step forward, to afford her every assistance that circumstanee would admit. The king of Sweden had displayed a firmness and energy, which con. ferred the hiehest honour on that monarch. Tha contemplation of the conduct of our faithful ally, Russia, and particularly her refusal to ratify the rash and inconsiderate act of her ministers at Paris, had also afforded the utmost satisfaction. It was true we had, in the course of a twelvemonth, lost two men of pre-eminent talents. But there was still ability left, amply sufficient to direct the energies of the country. The Talour which had continued to be displayed by his majesty's fleets and armies, was an undoubted pledge of our superiority. With all these advantages, and with the great sourees of our prosperity and strength unimpaired, we might look forward with confidence to the result. Relying upon ourselves, and united in sentiment and in action, we might set our enemy at defiance, and finally, he trusted, bring this great contest to a successful and glorious ivsue. The noble earl con. eluded with moving, " that an humble address be presented to his majesty. "This address, as usual, was an echo of his majesty's speech. Vol. XJJX.
The address was lord Somers, exactly in the same train of observation, and strain of sentiment, re-echoing i'l■ s<r.>f' .g, and confirming, what had been advanced in the speech from the throne.
Lord Hawkesbury, while he dis. claimed all party.s irit, and heartily concurred in every general sen'i. ment expressed in theadiiress, could not let it pass without offering some observations on the speech which had occasioned it. The first point on which he should observe, was one not openly mentioned in the speech, but only alluded to, namely, the dissolution of parliament. He admitted the king's power to dissolve parliament*, in its fullest extent and plenitude. If it were .possible that parliament could acquire legal permanence for ever so short a time, independent of the crown, there would be no security for the monarchy. But this, like every other part of the prerogative, should be exercised with a sound and wholesome discretion. What was therein the state of the country, to have justified the late unexpected, and premature dissolution of parliament? of a parliament which had sat only four sessions, and had nearly three to run? From the passing of the Septennial act in 1715, there was no instance of a pailiament being dissolved under six sessions, except in the precedent of 1784, which was unavoidable. At that lime a mis. understanding subsisted between the crown and the house of commons,
with respect to the government
The opponents of ministry were supposed to be more earnest than his majesty's government, for the prosecution of the war. If the rupture of the negotiation overwhelmed ministers, with any apprehension of D difficulty
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.ficulty, the fair mode would have jeen, not to dissolve parliament, but to have submitted to the existing parliament, the whole grounds of the negotiation. Mr. Wind, ham, who was the last person in the world he should suppose capable of deceit, in an address which was published, told (he county of Norfolic, that as far as he knew, there was no intention of dissolving parliament ; arrd a proclamation appeared, in which a day was fixed fori the meeting of parliament for the dispatch of businefj: and yet, notwithstanding theso repeated assurances, a dissolution was announced, to the surprise and astonishment of tho whole kingdon. He would not accuse ministers of any intention to deceive the country, but the dissolution certainly had the effect of surprising it.
With respect to the disasters of Prussia, lord Hawkesbury admitted, with the noble lords who had moved and seconded the motion for the ad. dress, that they had risen wholly from the narrow policy within which she had encircled herself. Mad his Prussian majesty, or those who advised him, consulted history, they would have discovered, (hat they who lent their aid to have others devour. «d, would be at last devoured them, selves. lie approved of the proceedings which had been adopted towards Prussia, in consequence of bcr unjust aggression of Hanover, and the measures to which she submitted ag rinst tho commerce of this country. Ho approved also of the manru;r in which we suspended our particular quarrel when she was on
the point of being involved in aeontest with France, although he could not account for the delay which took plscc in communicating with her. It was not until the beginning of October, when hostilities ware ou the eve of commencing, that mini, sters had endeavoured to open a communication with Prussia. But, by this time, events had occurred which prevented the noble lord Morpeth from fulfilling his important mission. They had afterward* sent out a military Mission, at the head of which, was a noble lord, Hutchinson, a member of that house. Hut this was not till three weeks after the return of his pre. decessor, at a time when it was uncertain whether this expensive military mission would be able to dis. cover the Prussian head-quarters, or, even a port to land in. Lord Hawkesbury in the course of his speech, introduced some strictures on> the military measures of ministry, to which replies were made by'lord Grcnville. But, as these became afterwards subjects of formal discussions, it would be improper to notice them in this part of our narrative,—which aims not to give an account of all that was said in parliament, which would swell this article altogether beyond bounds, by which it should be limited in tho history of Europe;* but to relate the principal proceedings in parliament, and state the grounds on which these were founded.—Lord Hawkesbury, in conclusion, assented to the address, because it did not pledge their lordships to any of (hose points which might posiibly
* Even the most succinct account of oHr most important liobntes in parliament thatciij be given, nmy Jit firstihint appenrto take op moretlinu a ju*t portion in tuch K history. But let it be recollected, thnt this it rlie only council that discusses with freedom ttiogreatarL-rs; the only uiirror ikatrstLcti with any tu!nrublcdegre« «if truth t!i8 trails«tftivi>» »t' Kurop*.
become the (objects of future In. qoiry.
It was on this ground that lord Grenvilte asked their lordship's support to the address. As to the question whether his majesty had been well or ill advised in dissolving tbf last parliament, sacred as he held every prerogative of the crown, he considered his majesty's servants as answerable for the advice which they give his majesty for the exercise, or abstaining from the exercise, of every one of them. In no case cid he conceive the exercise of this undoubted prerogative to have been more wise, more sanitary, or more attentive, on ihe part of his majesty, to the feelings of his people than the dissolution which had lately taken place. When a negotiation, by which his majesty's en.
noble example of the Tigonr of a people who understand the blessings of independence, and who are resol. red to maintain it.
With regard to what had fallen from lord llaukeshury respecting Prussia, loid Grentille assured him, that lie was very ir.uch misinformed, if he supposed that previously to the mission of lord Morpeth, there existed any means of communication between that and this country. From the moment of his majesty's declaration against Prussia until lord Morpeth proceeded to the continent, '.heredid not remain for his majesty's government any means of communicating, or of acting in con. cert wiih Prussia. At the same time, had there been any disposition in the court of Berlin to communicate with this country, means were not want.
deavours to restore the blessings of ing for that purpose, on their part.
peace, not merely to the people of Great Britain, but to the nations of Europe, had failed of success, it was surely a wi<e measure in his majesty, lo ayipeal to the sense of his people, to refer to them the conduct of his servants, and thereby to call upon them to pronounce, ia the eyes of the world, their sense as to the farther prosecution of the contest. From the exet-cise of the royal prerogative in calling a new parliament on the late occasion, the empire had gained this great tad important advantage, that the degree of unanimity which bad been aunifested by the people from one end of the united kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland to the other, on the subject of the war, on tie necessity of vigorous exertions, and the determination to persevere in the struggle, had given strength, confidence, and spirit to the govern. mint, and exhibited to the world a
The Prussian minister having beeu encouraged to stay milH the end of August, was recalled by his court, pur. posely (hat there mij>ht not be, through him, anj furthercommunica* tion. The plain fact was, that Prussia had gone on from year to year, from month to month, and at last from week to week, under the same illusion ns to her safety from France, and still pursuing the same sellish policy, until she found that she was placed in a situation of the most imminent dai gcr. Then she dis. played Hs much precipitancy as she had before evinced of indifference to the fall of Kurope, and acted with that want of caution and foresight that had brought on all her disasters* If lord Grenville stated all this respecting Prussia, it was not for the purpose of reproaching that power, nor for drawing a parallel between her conduct and that of other countries, liut, as observations had been D 2 ssada
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ade on this subject for the purpose •it withdrawing the confidence of the people of this country from his majesty's ministers, it became a duty lie owed to his own character, and that of those with whom he acted, to throw off all disguise, and to avoid those imputations which concealment only could sanction. At the first moment when there ap. pcared any serious disposition in Prussia to co-operate with Russia against the common enemy, his majesty's ministers thought it their duty to shew that this country would not be wanting in fidelity to its ally, or in any efforts that might advantagcouylybe made for the safety of Furopc.
It had been asked, ' why lord Morpeth was not sent on his mission until October : or, if it was right not to send him until that time, why did he not remain? Why did he return in November? Why he was not sent until October, he had already sufficiently explained. And as to the reason of his return, he asked ■why he ought to have remained? The king of Prussia did not remain: his army did not remain. Was it thought that lord Morpeth ought, merely for the glory of the affair, to hare remained on the field of bat. tie 'The fact, however, was, that not only before the battle of Jena, but even after it, lord Morpeth found it impossible to get any satisfactory answer from the king of Prussia, or his ministers, on the subject of his mission.
Lord Hawkcsbury begged leaveto observe, that not a word had fallen from him in the least disrespectful to lord Morpeth, of whose merits he entertained the highest opinion.
The question being put on the motion for an address, it was carried nem, diss, and a committee was
appointed to prepare and bring in the same; which was accordingly done. On the same day an address, in consequence of the speech from the throne, was moved for"in the house of commons by the honourable William Lamb, son of lord -viscount Melbourne, who after prefatory observations on the awfulncss of the present period, the importance of the present meeting of parliament, and the qualities which ought, and, he trusted, would distinguish its deliberations, remarked that in his n'ajesty's most gracious speech, which had just been read from the oliair, their attention was principally drawn to two topics. The first was, the fruitless negotiation with France. Nothing could be farther from his intention than to revive political differences, now almost lost in the disasters in which wc were so nearly interested. But he thought, that without any hazard of such a revival, he might say, whether llic pacific system so strongly recommended during the last war was practicable or not, that when the advocates for that system eame info power, it was at a time when their hopes of carrying it into effect, must have been considerably diminished. Although at an earlier period France might have been successfully resisted by the pursuance of a pacific system, yet the case became far different when so many rivals lay at her mercy j when their resources were exhausted; when their territories were dismembered; when their armies were overcome; and when their spirits were abashed and dismayed before the overwhelming superiority of France. Under these inauspicious circumstances, so little calculated to pro. duce a pacific disposition on the