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system of mutual benefit, as in time to have become highly necessary to the comfort of both countries, and to such a degree interwoven with the interests and the habits of the people, as to have made it extremely difficult for statesmen less wise than himself, to have urged at any subsequent period two such nations to the cutting of each others throats. And Mr. Pitt does know, that a trade with an opulent and near neighbour, is the best of all trades.
A philosophic statesman would have foreseen to his country more peace and security from France, while & newly-limited prince and his people were balancing their powers, than from France, driven to the exercise of her military energies, under circumstances naturally producing military government; from Franee, occupied in the softening arts of commerce, and the peaceful tendencies of wealth, than from France, braced by war and poverty into national hardihood and a reliance on arms. A truly wise and provident minister would have seen the high degree of probability of greatly moderating at home the naval and military establishments, which are so burthensome to his country, by honourable and secure stipulations, in which there cannot possibly be a doubt but that Spain would have gladly joined. And seeing the solid advantages that would result to England, and the benefit to the whole civilized world, from a well adjusted alliance with France, on terms calculated far permanency and mutual honour, such, doubtless, would have been an object of Mr. Pittas solicitude, had it not been for the motives arising out of the capitulation with the faction behind the throne, of which we have spoken.
Is it, my Lord, too much to believe that, by such a conduct towards France in her distress, and by the influence it would have given to the advice of such a friend, she might have been taught political moderation, and instructed in the best means of reconciling her liberty with,the continuance of royalty; and the prudence even of restoring a limited nobility as the accompaniment of her limited throne, by selecting from the families of best pretensions for antiquity and public virtue, an hereditary nobility, for exercising the powers of a distinct branch in her legislature? It was not an invincible objection to nobles merely as such, that made their exclusion from power an act of deliberate choice; but it was tibe tear inspired by the immense number of the noblesse, and their collective wealth, which on that occasion made their exclusion an act of necessity ; for otherwise to have brought them under the restraints of a good government, would have been a less hazardous experiment than that which was made; besides which, it required but a slight knowledge of human nature, and of the French character, to have known that the new republicanism which then sprung up, was from seed sown in stony ground, suddenly shooting forth, but soon to wither and scorch away as the sun of a good constitution more suited to their habits and temper should shine forth.
JL HERE is likewise another and a grand reason why the English minister should have strained every nerve for a complete restoration of our constitutional liberties, and why he should have seized on so fortunate a moment for a strict alliance with France, on the basis offree governments. The union and co-operation of two such nations, on such a basis, must have had the happiest influence in awing the great potentates into a preservation of peace, towards meliorating the condition of mankind, north of the Mediterranean, and in the true sense of the phrase, effecting "the deliverance of Europe." The very example alone of two such potent and free governments in friendly alliance, and the happiness thence resulting to their people, would gradually
have put out of countenance all European despotism. Strangers of all nations would have returned home from such countries improved in political knowledge; and even sovereigns would have felt the obligation of preventing comparisons to their own disadvantage. In all other branches of science (those of civil government and divinity only excepted) we already see all nations vying with each other, and all governments affording mutual aid and encouragement, to studies and pursuits beneficial to mankind, even in time of war; of which we recently have had, in particular, noble examples, in what relates to voyages of discovery and to vaccination. ]f then, at the period we speak of, England had completely renovated her own constitution; if she had protected France in establishing her own freedom ; and if those two had excited the admiration of all other European nations for the excellency of their governments, and for encouraging a study of the two sciences of all others the most important, the genial influence of their example must have been powerfully felt throughout Europe.
Civil government being the science first in rank amongst those which statesmen and sovereigns profess, the master-art which it is the occupation of their lives to learn and to practise, and to legislate and to rule for the good of mankind being their duty, and constituting their true glory and happiness; had the governments of two such nations as England and France, establishing complete political liberty, and consequently ceasing to discourage a free discussion of that science, its diffusion over the other European states must have gradually softened down to mildness and benignity, the stern visage of arbitrary power; and by degrees, perhaps imperceptible but yet certain, have meliorated the condition of mankind, and excited among their rulers a rivalship in legislation,and an emulation in beneficence; even beyond, it is to be hoped, what was so evidently excited among all sovereigns by the Prussian Frederick, in the science of war and the discipline of armies.
But let me return after this short digression, if it be a digression, to the option really presented to the piesiding minister of England, when her mediation was humbly sought by France, for preventing the bloody war we have witnessed; an option which placed in the hands of that minister, the fountains of good and evil to his country. Awful consideration! Surely no earthly minister had ever such an option before! Nor any statesman an equal opportunity of benefiting his country! Reflect, 1 beseech you, my Lord, on the nature of the case, on the extent of its consequences, and on the responsibility attending it. Contemplate, I entreat you, the contrast between what Mr. Pitt actually rejected, and what he actually chose; between the benefactor he might have been to his sovereign's wide dominions, to Europe, and to the civilized world, and the dreadful scourge to them he has proved ; between the lustre he might have shed around our beloved England, and the melancholy gloom into which his pernicious counsels have plunged her ; and mark in this comparison the true image of the soul of that man, who, instead of desiring to shine the benevolent guardian, feeling for mankind, the reforming patriot, the accomplished legislator, the advocate of rational discussion, the friend of-freedom, and the exalter of the human character; made the shocking election of figuring as the firebrand of war, the stimulator of carnage, an opostate from patriot virtue, and a ferocious enemy to free writing, free speech, free action; a very goth, attempting by persecutions, chains, and dungeons, to establish a reign of terror, darkness and brutality; a poisoner of English society by a system of unexampled scoundrelism, and a debaser of the character of our nation! Tis not, thapk Qod ! my reproach, to have submitted unresistingly to the tyrant, or to have witnessed in silence my country's degradation!
I know not, my Lord, how it is, but in the mixed contemplation of that man's immeasurable depravity, and the wide lange of its calamitous consequences, there is a something which for a time even suspends my indignation, and causes my resentments to die within me; for when I think upon the nations he has afflicted, and the diversity of evils he has brought upon my own particular country, commiseration- for so much human misery, and shame for so much dishonour, fill my whole mind, and absorb all its capacities of feeling.
On the circumstances which led to the present war, and on points arising therefrom, perhaps we have said enough: on those therefore attending its commencement we come now to speak.
X5y the American war England had increased her debt above one hundredand twenty millions; but in losing that federal union into which as 1 have said her old connection with America might have been improved, she had not only, as before noticed, received a deep naval wound—but she had likewise lost that decided peacecommanding ascendant among the nations which the exercise on her part of justice and wisdom would have conferred upon her. Instead therefore of again seeking War, she ought to have guarded with the utmost forethought and prudence against its renewal; and taught by that recent stroke which had impaired the stamina of her real power and dominion, equally ought she to have strengthened and fortified herself, by removing every obstruction to the existence, and to the exercise of her own native energies, civil and military.
In place of the strength which in America had been lost, England's strength at home ought to have been improved. The representation of her people in parliament was gone to extreme decay; and, as for her true, genuine, proper, constitutional militia, known in the antient books, by the title of Posse Comitatus, it might be said, notwithstanding an Essay upon it, from the pen of the immortal Jones published in 1780, to have