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views hostile to the established order of things in this country. It is proper for me to state, that I have had no act or part in the publication; that it was bogun before I heard of the intention; and, further, it may not be unnecessary for me to say, that I left London before the close of the election, that I have not been there since, except on a mere journey thither and back again, and that I have not, from the beginning of the contest to this hour, conversed with any person of either party, except in one single instance, when I heard that several deserters from the army of reserve were going to vote for Sir Francis Burdett, and when I referre my informant to Colonel Robinson, as a person likely to afford him the means of detection, if his suspicions should prove well funded. My opinion upon the subject has been formed upon a deliberate, calm, and impartial consideration of all the facts and circumstances, as they have come before me in the public prints. . I thought I saw a sinister and most mischievous attempt again to split us into hostile divisions; to force men into clubs and combinations; and, I Hatter myself that my endeavours to prevent such a dreadful evil will have met with general approbation. The conduct of those who have directed the publication, of which I have been speaking, is such as I cannot but approve of; and whoever has read the whole of the passages that they have selected, will, I am certain admire their candour. This publication is, in fact, a pledge of their loy. alty to the king and of their firin attachment to the established order of things. Dispute with SPA 1 N.——The follow. ing curious article, on which I have at present no room for remark, appeared in a demi official paper of the 24th instant. The reader may depend upon it that it came from Downing street. It is only there where you find that race of men, who can write a newspaper column full without saying any thing. “His Catholic Majesty, by “ furnishing to our enemy, as has been done “ by a public treaty, the very sinews of war, “ has undoubtedly committed an offence “ against the laws of neutrality, perfectly “ sufficient to justify a declaration of war on our part. As an injury to our National “ honour, nothing but the feelings of pity, “ or our considering the Spanish govern“ ment as not master of its own actions, “ could justify our originally passing over its “ conduct without public and exemplary “ notice, But this observation applies only
Printed by Cox and Ravlis, No. 73, Great Queen Street, and published by R. Bagshaw, Bow Street, Cotto
* to the question, if we suppose that the “late niinisters were not tacity consenting “ to the procedings of his Catholic Ma“jesty.—A national injury may be increased “ or diminished; it has a relative impor“tance, and may be made ground of war, or not, as other circumstances direct; but “ a national insult must be promptly aloned “ for, or promptly avenged. We know “ that this principle has not always been “ acted upon, and we suspect that the tem“ porising conduct of his predecessor may “ have led the present minister into a difficulty with respect to the point of honour. * B, it it is not in speculations like these that we wish to indulge ; we wish merely to "place upon the proper shoulders the re“ sponsibility that may attach to our conduct in respect to Spain, and to place the “ question (as far as can be done) in its true “light.—Whether it be to be argued as a “ question of necessity (and such we will “ beg leave to call the vindication of our honour), or only as a question of policy, “ the facts before the public do not enable us to determine. But in considering the “ latter we should not forget, as the editor “ of the Morning Chronicle seems to have “ done, that Spain has a novy. Every ar“ gum-nt founded on our supposed inabi: st fity to carry on offensive operations on “ land, makes it more necessary for us to “ preserve our preponderancy at sea; in “ this respect we should make assurance “ double sure. . We throw out these hints to counterac the attempts that have been made to prejudge a questio of great nitional importance, up n w ich our rea“ ders have not, and cannot have, the ma" “terials to form a decisive opinion."—The object seems to be to prepare the public mind for some West India or Galleon war, and to throw the blame of the past upon Mr. Addington. But, let us wait, at any rate, and hear, without prejudice, what is to be brought to light upon the subject. Premature discussions are always mischievous.
Garden, where former Numbers snay be had ; spid also by J. Budd, Crown and Mitte, Pall-Mall.
vol. vi. No. 14, LoNDoN, satunday, october 6, isol.
“As for eternal enmity, I detest the idea; and, if I have an eternal e inity, it is
* against the partisans of a principle so detestable."——Load Gaesville's Letter to
the Marquis of Wellesley. 313]
to THE RT. Hon. will I AM PITT,
ON THE CAUSES OF THE DECLINE OF - GREAT BRITAIN.
INTRoduct to N (concluded from p. 460).
Sip ,—Though the doctrine of never-end. ing adherence would be, as far as relates to his own case, very agreeable to every man who has once been the object of support or of praise; though there is not a country in the world, and scarcely a rank of life in any one country, where men would not, almost without exception, anxiously desire to retain the suffrage which they have, at any time, been able to acquire; though this doctrine would necessarily be of catholic convenience, few will deny, that to you it would be far more convenient than to any other person in this kingdom, and, perhaps, than to any other person in the whole world. To all those, who have ever divided the voices of any portion of the people; to all those, who have ever been the object of contendi g. voters, from the lowest to the highest, from a Chairman of Sir Brook's committees to a member of parliament, it must be of some importance to have a claim to a perpetuity of all the support they have heretofore received: how valuable then, or, rather how far beyond all valuation, must this claim be to you i Po you, who have been time minister for twenty years; who have ad, during that time, pass through your hands seven hundred millions of money; who have had a majority in the parliament *ver since the year 178; and, who, owing to the peculiar naturé of the times and the alaria which prevailed for the safety of the throne, have, first or last, had the support of nineteen twentieths of the people! Only o, this claim, therefore, and you are every assailant upon earth, except Bubna, a rté: let your measures be what they may, nothing internal can ever shake Your power; and, if we could be prevailed . to subscribe to the doctrine which is : o de scribed, and which our partisans Poly oach, you and your noble associate might (Huonapartés good pleasure being
obtainedy rule over us to the end of your na-.
tural lives; and might, for aught I can see to the contrary, bequeath us at your death, upon the principle that those who had already so chearfully submitted to your delegate, could have no reasonable objection to submit to your legatee. But, Sir, to this doctrine I do not subscribe. At a period not far removed, a great majority of your former supporters will, I trust, be found to reject it with disdain; and, acting upon those public principles, which I am now proceeding further to develope, I feel confident, that they will cease to boast of the honour of being your partisans, the lifeless pageants in a political show, at the mome it that their country is on the verge of destruction. - Having, in the preceding letter, proved, that, in ceasing to adhere to you, I departed from no principle that I had ever entertained, or professed to entertain; that, to the cause of which I had regarded you as the champion, I remained firmly attached after you had totally forsaken it, together with all your openly and solemnly declared objects and determinations relative thereunto; that, it is you who are, in this respect, chargeable with defection, and that, to borrow an illustration from your newly and miraculously acquired science, it was not. in this case, the soldier that deserted his general, but the general that deserted his army, or, all that part of it, at least, which was not composed of mere mercenaries, and which could not be inveigle to follow him after he had abandoned the cause it had taken up arms to maintain: having, and in a manner which I cannot help believing to be incontrove tible, established this point, it is my intention, next to examine into the chargé of going over, as it is clied, to join with Mr. Fox; first unequivocally avowing, that, as far as a person like me can with propriety be said to join with a great political leader, I have joined with Mr. Fox, insomuch as he, together with Lords Fitzwilliam, Spencer, Grenville, Mr. Windham, and the other distinguished persons that are co-operating with him in parliament, are acting upon those principles that I have always professed, and are endeavouring, if I correctly judge of their views, to procure the adoption of those 515] measures, relating as well to our internal as our external policy, without which I am, for the reasons I have heretofore given and in these letters propose more elaborately to give, sincerely convinced that England will, at no sar-distant day, become a colony. of imperial France. . . In those political regions, where it is the
established custom. to consider every ques:
tion merely in a personal light; where all political writers are regarded as bondsmen to one master or another; where the abject votaries cry, “away with the measures and give us the men;" in those regions of servility, obduracy, and wilful blindness, so far am I from expecting to produce conviction, that I do not even hope to be understood.— But, amongst those who retain a due respect for principles;, those who claim a right to think for themselves, and acknowledge the same right in others; those, who, to use a very strong, though, in this case, not inapplicable phrase, still “ dare say that their “souls are their own;” amongst such pertons it will, in order to come at a just notion as to my going over to Mr. Fox, be thought not unnecessary to inquire, whence . I have gone and whither; that is to say, from what cause or what principle I have , departed, and to what cause or what principle I have gone; in what cause or on what principle it was that I was opposed to Mr. , Fox, and in what cause or on, what principle it is that I now have joined with him. - My career as a writer began with the French Revolution and the subjects closely connected therewith. Mr. Fox's political life naturally divides itself, for con
sideration, under five principal heads, cor
responding with five great events of the country; to wit ; the American war, the India Bill, the regency, the war against the French Republic, and the Present War. . As to the first of these, in which you, treading in the steps of your father, cooperated with Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke, and, I believe, Mr. Windham, I, with the knowledge, which peculiar though accidental advantages, have enabled me to acquire, have no hesitation in saying that I should have differed from you all. The India Bill I never read: I confess myself almost totally ignorant of the question in dispute; but, unless Mr. Fox's bill would have made a job of India, and rendered an extensive and valuable colony a mill-stone round the neck of England; unless it would have cre. ated in Leadenhall-street a set of sovereigns the rivals of the House of Brunswick; unless it would have powerfully assisted in impoverishing the landholders in England
PoliticAL REGISTER.—Letter to Mr. Piu.
in order to carry on wars for the enriching of upstarts to come and thrust them from their fields and their mansions ; unless its tendency was to expose us to the cruel mottification of beholding “The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam, “ Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves athome;" unless these were the consequences, to which Mr. Fox's India system inevitably tended, I think it would, at this time, be very hard to shew, that it could have been so injurious to the kingdom as that which was adopted in its stead. On the Regency question I also confess my ign rance, and I hope it is one upon which no circumstances will ever arise so pressing as to induce me to submit my crude notions to the public: though, I cannot help thinking, that, the present is, of all others, the season for men of learning and of talents to bring forward, through the means of the press, some principles, that may, if the necessity should come, prepare our minds for the discussion; and, thereby prevent the adoption of any hasty, unadvised measure, any measure of “existing circumstances,” any hazardous “experiment,” any popular innovation, that would tend to efface from the minds of the people the remnant of that reverential awe, which they once entertained for the kingly office, and which, though less amiable, perhaps, than personal attachment to the sovereign, is assuredly not less conducive to the permanent security of the throne. Upon neither of these subject, especially as connected with the public character or conduct of yourself or of Mr. Fox, did I ever attempt to enter, so far, at least, as to express any thing bearing the marks of a deliberate opinion. The French Revolution, then, or, to render the object more definite, the last war waged by England against France was the cause, and the only cause, in which I stood opposed to Mr. Fox; he maintaining that the war was neither just nor necessary, a I endeavouring to maintain that it was both necessary and just. And here, Sir, I might, if I chose, revoke my opinion upon a plea much more satisfactory than any which you have brought forward, or can bring for ward, for the revoking of your opinion wi respect to Mr. Addington and Lord St.Vin: cent, particularly the former, with whom, previous to your recommendation of him * the parliament, you had lived in habits of intimacy even from your childhood. Mo utter ifiexperience and my youth woul form no feeble apology for adopting * pursuing an error, especially if that “to evidently arose from a laudable feeling; ... and, though, Fo speaking, twentyeight years of age is not very young, yet a person of that age must be regarded as a young politician, if he be only then begin. ning to read, and even to talk, as well as to write upon politics, which was literally the case with respect to me. But, this plea, as well as that which might fairly be founded upon the circumstances connected with my local situation, which exposed me constantly to hear the expression of wishes hostile to the war-like efforts of my country, and which, therefore, naturally wedded me more closely to the cause in which she was at war, and, of course, led me to defend and applaud the man by whom the measures of that war were principally directed; all these grounds of apology, I explicitly forego and disclaim; distinctly declaring, that, with regard to the French revolution itself, as well as with regard to the justice and necessity of the last war with France, I still retain all those principles, as to which I was, both during and since the war, opposed to Mr. Fox. The peace came: the war was no more: and why did not my opposition to Mr. Fox cease, when the cause of that opposition ceased to exist? In the first place, if men continue to act at all, they must oppose, or, co-operate; and, after an opposition, espe cially of long duration and of great warmth, there must, amongst men not blessed with 1he singularly happy disposition of the Hawkesbury's and the Castlereaghs, be both time and circumstance to produce cooperation, In the next place, the cause of opposition had not ceased. Considered as to political principles and opinions, a peace always inust be inseparable from the war that it has put an end to ; because the terms of the peace are the result, though, as is proved, I think, by the present case, not always the natural result of the war. I continued opposed to Mr. Fox, because Mr Fox continued to oppose the principles upon which I had so long been acting; because he approved of the peace upon the very ground that he had always disapprovcd of the war; because he maintained that the peace was absolutely necessary to the country, and was a necessary consequence of the war; while I was fully persuaded, and most earnestly endeavoured to prove, that it was not. With respect to you, Mr. Fox was completely triumphant. He had * constantly told you, that the necessary consequences of the war would be, an extenision of the dominion and an increase of the power of France, confirmed by a disgraceful
peace on the part of Great Britain.—And, Sir, that either the peace of Amiens was not necessary, or that Mr. Fox's predictions were fulfilled to the letter, is, I think, a proposition, which will never admit of dispute. The ostensible ministers; those persons in whose behalf you demanded “ the most “grateful thanks of the country" for the peace they had made; those persons did, indecd, in words, “ disclaim the plea of “ necessity :" yet, your immediate successor, the once “able” but now “imbecile" (I use your own epithets) Mr. Addington, declared that “peace was necessary in or“ der to husband our resources against ano“ ther day of trial;” while his worthy and now your worthy colleague Lord Hawkesbury, in most mansally denying that it was “a peace of necessity," did," with not less discrimination than candour, acknowledge that it was “a necessary peace;” while Lord Levison Gower, declaring the peace to be “a capitulation for safety,” gave it his cordial support; and, while you, in the same breath that you “thanked God that “we were yet fl. very far indeed, from “ the end of our pecuniary resources,” did, nevertheless think it advisable “to keep “ those resources for the purposes of de“fence and security, and not lavish them “away in a further continuation of the “ contest, with the certainty of enormous ex“ pense, with the hazard of making our rela“ tive situation worse, and without obtain“ing so great a digree of security.” Not to appeal, therefore, to the scores, the hundreds, of pamphlets, essays, and speeches, which were written, or delivered, in defence of the peace, and in all of which, whether coming from your friends or from the old opposition, the plea of necessity was, in some guise or other, strenuously urged; not to appeal to any of those, suffer me to ask you, Sir, what sort of compact that peace must have been, which would have given us a less degree of security than we have enjoyed since the peace of Amiens; the peace that merited the “most grateful “ thanks of the country?" And, it even your imagination can conceive no state of greater insecurity; if merely to provide for our defence became, in ten months after the peace was concluded, an object “quite suf* ficient to occupy the whole of every man's “ mind;" if such be our present situation; such the immediate consequences ; the clearly foreseen and repeatedly, foretold consequences, of the peace which you se
• Speech of 3d November 1891, See Register, Vol. II. p. 1143. - -
cretly made, or, at least, openly defended and extolled, what butnecessity, what but the last necessity, what but an absolute inability to continue the war another month, can possibly be pleaded in justification of your conduct? . Here, then, Sir, is a dilemma, from which there is no getting loose: Lord Belgrave may again pour forth his soul in expressions of gratitude, “ upon casting his eyes on the vessel of “state, having weathered the storm, and “ riding in triumph and security in her na“tive port;"4 Mr. Canning may again treat the stock-jobbers and contractors (amongst whom, upon the occasion alluded to, too many persons of high rank and reputation had, as I observed at the time, the weakness to mix) with a versification of his lordship's halcyon ideas; + and, the younger George Rose, with a degree of piety and delicacy truly worthy of the stock whence he sprang, may again call upon the congregation to “Hallow the day that gave you birth;"; still, in spite of the dignified attachment of those who become partizans merely because it is awkward to be nothing; in spite of that generous gratitude, which, though inspired merely by personal favours, is so powerful as to extend, in its operation, to the public conduct of the private friend, even if that conduct be in direct hostility to the principles professed by the grateful § ty; in spite of that hardy adulation, which nobly pushes on to its object, amidst the unanimous hisses and scorn of mankind; in spite of all these, Sir, this grand dilemma will for ever remain : either the peace of Amiens, a peace in which every one of your avowed objects of the war; in which the balance of Europe, the independence of its states, and the tranquillity and security of Great-Britain, were all abandoned; either such a peace as this was made without any necessity for it, or all Mr. Fox's predictions relative to the result of the war were completely fulfilled. To prove that this notion has not arisen from a revised consideration of the subject; to prove that no recent change as to parties has produced its promulgation, I have only to quote the words, which I published more than two years ago, and, of course, immediately after the conclusion of the peace. “ It must be allowed, that, if either the * existence, or the conduct, of the war did “really render such a peace necessary; if “ the situation of the country was (which I deny) such as, “ upon the whole and
to render the peace of Amiens adviseable; then, it must be allowed, that those who opposed, in all its stages, the prosecution of the war, were, by far, the wisest politicians."* Thus it was, then, that you and Mr. Fox appeared in my sight at the conclusion of the peace. He still as widely as ever differing from me as to the war, and differing from me also as to the necessity of the peace ; but, being, at the same time, perfectly consistent with himself: while you differed from me full as widely as Mr. Fox did, and while this difference arose from your having turned your back upon those principles, and having flatly falsified those promises, which had before induced me to agree with you. Mr Fox triumphed over the cause that I had espoused ; a triumph which few persons felt more severely than I did. To be disgracefully beaten, at the end of seven years of such exertions as I had made, was well calculated to increase my hostility to the chief of the Opposition ; but, by him I had not been deserted; by Thim the cause had not been abandoned; him I could not accuse of inconsistency; and, in short, whether the peace was a measure of necessity, or whether it was not, it was impossible not to perceive that it stamped him your superior as a statesman : if the former, greatly your superior in discernment, if the latter, not less your superior in political integrity. Shall I be told, that my disappointment, and, of course, my anger against you, in consequence of the peace, was owing to my own folly; to my over-sanguine disposition; for that your promises must, of course, have been made with an implied reservation as to the effect of subsequent events In your defence of the peace you had an eye to these promises, “ There were times," said you, “ during the war, in which government “ hoped to be able to drive France within “ her ancient limits, and even to make “ barriers against her further incursions; “ but, in this we were disappointed; it be: “ came, then, necessary, with the change “ of circumstances, to change our objects; “ for I do not know a more fatal error, than “ to look only at one object, and obstiuately “ to pursue it, when the hope of accom: “ plishing it no longer remains." This was delightfully received by every weak and mean man in the country. It was the ves language of that “ prudent young, m*. Lord Hawkesbury, and was echoed from. . alley to alley, from counter to onto, through every department of the 'Cho?” and the Bank. But, Sir, was not this?" * Political Register, Vol. i. p. 7”