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powers of France, where they might in
dulge their hostile dispositions against their
country: nor did she expect such a conduct from M. Marcoff, the minister of Russia, who was the real cause of the disunion and coolness existing between the two powers. During his residence in Paris, he constantly encouraged every kind of intrigue that could disturb the public tranquility; and he even went so far as, by his official notes, to place under the protection of the law of nations, French emigrants, and other agents, in the pay of England.—France did not expect that Russia would purposely send on a mission to Paris, those officers who had excited strong complaints against them, as was well known to that governinent. Strange conduct, when it is considered what is the duty of all governments; but still more so, when reference is made to the article already cited.—Lasily, was the mourning which the Court of Russia assumed for a man, whom the tribunals of France had condemned for having plotted against the safety of the French government, such a conduct as was conformable to the letter or the spirit of this article?— The French government demands the execution of the 9th article of the secret convention, in which it is stated, “ that the two contracting parties ackowledge and guarantee the independence and the constitution of the Republic of the Seven United Islands, formerly belonging to Venice; and that it be agreed, that there shall be no foreign troops in those islands;” an article evidently violated by Russia, as she has continued to send troops thither, which she has openly reinforced, and has charged the government of that country, without the consent of France. France also demands the execution of the second article of the same convention, the evident application of which should have been, that instead of manifesting such a partiality for England, and of becoming, perhaps, the first auxiliary of its ambition, Russia should have been united to France, in order to
France can be intimidated by menaces, or that she will acknowledge the superiority of any other power: but the history of the years which preceded the peace made with Russia, plainly demonstrates that that power has no more right than any other to assume a haughty tone towards France. The Emperor of the French wishes for the peace of the Continent. He has made all possible advances to re-establish it with Russia; he has spared nothing to maintain it : but with the assistance of God and his arms, he is not in a situation to fear any one.——The undersigned requests M. le Chargé-d'Affaires of Russia, to accept the assurance of his perfect cousideration.—— C.H. MAUR. Talley R A No.
FOREIGN OFFICIAL PAPER.
PA P Al Allocution.—Allocution deliver. ed by his Holiness the Pole to a Secret Contitory addressed on the 29th of October 1804, Arevious; to his disarture from Rome on his journey to Fraro, in order to assist in the Coronation of the Emorror No. enerable Brethren;–It was from this place that the Concordat was begun by us, his Majesty the Emperor of the French then First Consul; and it is from this place that we have communicated to you that joy with which the God of all comfort has caused our hearts to overflow for the happy change, or conversion to the interest of the Catholic Religion, which has been produced by that Concordat in those vast and populous so gions. From that time the Holy Temples have been again opened and purified from the profanations they had endured allas' were again built, the standard of the health-bearing Cross was again. raised, the true worship of God restored, th: august mysteries of religion freely and publicly celebrated, lawful pastors given to the people who could labour in feedin; flock. The Catholic Religion itself most happily emerged from that obscurity, in which it had been buried, and placed" noon-day splendor in the midst of that renowned nation, so many souls recalled from the paths of error into the boom of eternity, and reconciled to themselves and to their God : these considerations unito", justly filled our hearts with joy and exultation which we poured out to i. Lord.-That great and wonderful task not only then cxcited in our minds the most lively go" tude to that powerful Prince, who in o. blishing the 'Concordat, put forth all ho power and authority to accomplish it; ". the recollection must always incline "" mind whenever the opportunity shallo"
to prove that we are still strongly impressed with those feelings towards him.-And now ille same most powerful Prince, our dearest son in Christ, Napoleon, Emperor of the French, who has deserved so well of the Catholic Religion for what he has done, has signified to us his strong desire to be anointed with the holy unction, and to receive the Imperial Crown from us, to the end that the solemn rights which are to place him in the highest rank, shall be strongly impressed with the character of religion, and call down more powerfully the benediction of JHeaven.——(To be continued.)
IN CA PACITY OF HENRY THE SIXTH.
S1 R, Glorying with just pride, as from the days of Sir John Fortescue *, we publicly have gloried, in the superiority of our own constitution; cherishing with enlightened affection that form of a national council, by which we are happily distinguished, and which grew up here, by fortune as much as by wisdom, out of the assemblies of the Three Estates, common to us, and to many 9f the neighbouring governments; and, looking up with veneration to the usages of that body, as the most sacred of our laws, and the surest pledge for our enjoyment of all the rest ; it seems almost unaccountable, that till the middle of the last century, we did not possess a single history, which ever attempted to give a regular narrative of the proceedings in Parliament. The work then published under the title of a Parliamentary History of England, promises much; yet in fruth, it contains little to commend, except the design. In the earlier times, including the reign of which I am writing, it affects to be derived wholly “ from the records, the “ Parliament-rolls, and the most reputable ‘‘ of our ancient writers;” and much praise is bestowed on the gentlemen who carefully examined those rolls for the purpose. Of all the merits, however, which are attributed 1o them, I can only subscribe to that of modesty in the concealment of their names; unless you should rather be disposed to consider that as a solitary proof of good judginent. For, whoever dips but cursorily into the book, will presently be convinced, that they generally contented themselves with
* See his treatise de laudibus Legum Anghar, in a dialogue with his pupil, Prince Edward, son to Henry the VIth, and that, on “the difference between an absolute and “limited monarchy,” intended for the instruction of Edward the IVth, in the set. tlement of the kingdom after the civil war.
reading the rolls in Sir Robert Cotton's abridgment, which they copied with all its omissions, misapprehensions, and confusions, notwithstanding the # honest caution of the indefatigable and faithful Prynne, in his preface to that publication. As to the contemporary authors, with whose accounts all is asserted to have been compared, they have in reality been neglected, for succeeding chroniclers and modern historians; and the connecting matter is heaped together without much discrimination in the selection, subjected to no test of critical scrutiny, in various parts irreconcileable to itself, and still. more 'irreconcileable to the authentic facts, which it professes to explain and illustrate. “ The several hands," who are said to have compiled it, appear to have wanted one presiding mind. The whole work demands, and deserves to be revised and re-modelled by some person equal to the task. In the mean time, however, such as we have it. it is the only one, to which they who desire parliamentary information of ready access, will naturally have recourse. For this reason I have thought it expedient to say thus much here, by way of general exception against its authority hereafter : but, my present business is merely with two observations taken from other works. The one charges a disgraceful inconsistency; the other seems to ascribe, though with expressions of approbation, rather too prudent a complaisance to Parliament, at the very period, to which our inquiries are directed. In relating the impeachment of the Duke of Suffolk, Speed had called it a most vile thing in the House of Commons, that they should charge “that as a crime now, which “ they themselves had in a former Parlia“ ment consented unto and ratified " A. Parliamentary History might have been expected to have exposed the futility of the censure. But it is repeated, without being adopted indeed, yet also without being confuted. The antithetical point is left to penetrate as it may, unblunted and unabated. And the remark seems in some degree, to have caught the candid and judicious Dr. Henry, who has a reflection very similar, though a little softened, where he mentions
the addresses of the two Houses requesting that some reward might be bestowed on the minister for his negotiation of the King's marriage, and a truce with the French. ** How different,” exclaims he, “in a few “ years after, were the sentiments of Parlia“ment on these subjects!" It might be sufficient to answer, that after three dissolutions and renovations, neither the body itself, nor indeed, the individual members who composed it, can be considered as the same t. In fact, of those who had agreed, or who had objected to the address approving the minister's conduct, there was but a very small proportion in that House which afterwards impeached him. If every man of them voted in his favour, their numbers would detract but little from the authority of the accusation. But, what was there, which ought to have prevented all from concurring in the articles which were sent to the Lords? The general principle is of the greatest moment. There is no wiser doctrine of our constitution, none more deserving of being steadily maintained, than the right of every Parliament to exercise its own honest judgment, unfettered by any declara. tions, however direct, explicit, and strong they may be ; and still less by any tacit obli: gation to be deduced from the actions of any preceding Parliament. They who by surprise, by flattery, by extensive influence of whatever kind, by their own inexperience, their want of information, or their unsuspi. cious candour of mind, have been misled to repose a confidence which from the result they have discovered not to have been merited, are doubly bound in such a case, to vindicate both their country and themselves. It is the greatest aggravation of their original fault, in having suffered themselves to be made the instruments of evil, if they refuse the only reparation in their power, from a false shame of being taxed with private inconsistency. In the present instance, however, the managers of the popular party behaved with exemplary prudence and discretion. The impeachment was drawn up with
f There is not a single return to the Parliament of 23d H. VI. now extant, either in Prynne's Lists, or in Browne Willis's Notitia Parliamentaria. Put, if the names in the returns of 25th H. VI. be compared with those in the lists of 28th H. VI, it will be found, that not above a fifth part of the countymembers, and a still smaller proportion of the Borough-members were the same. It must be presumed, that the differences must have. been greater between the Parliaments of 23d and 284 is fi, V.I.
care, so as not to involve the House even in a seeming contradiction. There was no point in it, which at all touched any thing contained in the former address of approba. tion. Here I should dismiss this topic; but, I must do the parliamentary historians one piece of comparative justice. They might have afforded some useful information of times and places, to Sir John Fenn, who, in a paper of observations on the murder of the HDuke of Suffolk, premises what he calls, “a “ short sketch of the proceedings in Parlia. “ment.” Unfortunately, however, prefer. ring his own sagacious conjectures, I presume, and the genuine delectable black-letter of Stowe, to the patch-work English of all ages tacked together by our compilers, and sull more to the bad French, and barbarous Latin of the original rolls, that learned editor has woven for us a pretty slight tissue of his own, in which there is not a single fact figured with tolerable accuracy. A sort / of felicity in error, that surpasses common' calculation, runs through all the few stiltences of his account. Yet, H should probably, have passed this over in silence, had wo not rather ostentatiously been told, that it was licensed by the Antiquarian Society, at one of whose meetings the paper was read, entered on their books, and thanks returned for the communication. Pope would not allow a dictionary-maker to be a judge of two words put together; and, we certainly have seen in more cases than one, that the most ingenious unriddlers of a device, and spellers of a legend on a tradesman's token, the nicest tasters of the precious rust on 4 Roman shield, or an old brass sconce, and ablest expounders of a well-corroded inscrip" tion about Hardyknute, cannot take into to field of their microscopes more than an inch at a time of the general history of their coun" try; and even that is all mist and confusion. I come now, Sir, to the second chos!" against our ancient Parliaments; and that as I have intimated, is borrowed from.” friend, and designed for praise. It is to remark of Rapin on the conduct of our po liaments during the latter years of Henryth" Vith, that they never attempted to wo from the wholesome principle of declaring for the strongest. This certainly is but an ano biguous kind of eulogy, which in the co"
* Parl. His. Vol. II. p. 314, note from Rapin's History of Eagland. Fol. edit, p. 597, relative to the first Parliament of Ed. ward IV. There is a similar quotation *. fore in p. 307, from Rapin, p. 385, relat” to the last Parliament of Hen. VI.
rinon course of things is more likely to be cłeserved by the worst, than by the best, Parliaments. If such prodence be once generally received as a just theme of commendation, there is some danger, that servility may become fashionable. Little incitement is wanted to make men shrink from a contention with power. They are ready enough to yield, whenever they are not prevented by shame or by principle. They do not find conviction, but an excuse, in grave maxims of prudence, and eloquent declamations on “ existing circumstances." The great difficulty is to keep thern steady to the faithful discharge of duties, which are attended with ril. The truth is, however, that whether the character be praise or censure, it faila a little in iustness of application. Pariiaments called after a victory in a civil war, when they cordially co-operate with the power to which they owe their existence, do not declare for the strongest: they are necessarily composed of those who form a part of that strength : they can only so speak and act consistently with their own sincere opinions, and as true representatives of their constituents; for the leaders of the vanquished party, obliged to fly and to conceal themselves for safety, must leave to their adversaries the uncontroled domination in the elections. But, as the Duke of York, till the last Parliament of Henry the Vlth, brought forward no claim to the crown; as from his natural disposition, from his unfeigned tenderness towards the King's person, from his constant hope of accomplishing whatever were his views, by gentle and peaceable means, and from the uniform course of his policy, which aimed to establish his reign in the hearts of the people, whoever might occupy the throne, be only professed to take up aroms in self-defence against the intrigues and violence of bad ministers, who sought his destruction, was the first in the very moment of success to proclaim his allegiance, and studied, by his subsequent moderation, to etiace the remembrance of the force which he had employed; that Prince never pushed his triumphs in the field to those decisive consequences in the state, which afterwards marked the fluctuations of fortune in every battle. Parliament at which he assisted, which was summoned after the signal overthrow of the royal army near Northampton; and, in which his interest must have been of necessity largely predominant, he suffered his claim to the crown to be debated three whoe days, with the most perfect freedom of discussion. As to the former Parliaments, which more concern our present investiga
Even in the last
tion, we have the most conclusive testimony, which historians should have consulted in preference to their own imaginations. Yet, I do not remember, that it has ever been noticed. It is the recorded declaration of the Parliament at Coventry, which has been truly described, as “wholly * made up of “ those who were staunch friends of the “ House of Lancaster ;” and, it is contained in the + pteamble to the bill of attainder then passed against Richard and all his adherents. They accuse him, as might be expected, of labouring craftily in several Parliaments for the diminution of the royal power and authority, but (continue they, addressing the King) “God put as well in “ the hearts of your Lords, as of your true “Commons, according to their duties, to ‘ hinder by all means anything contrary to “ your prosperity and weal, so that his ma‘ licious and traiterous purpose was not “ achieved.” Hume himself cannot help. confessing here, that “it is impossible not to observe in “ those transactions visible marks of a higher “ regard to the law, and of a more fixed au“ thority enjoyed by Parliament, than has * appeared in any former period of English history." It is superfluous, I am sure, after this to add another word on this point. I am only afraid, that I may seem to have dwelt upon it much more at length than was necessary. But, some years since, when a claim was made on the public by His Royal Highness the 'rince of Wales, for the revenues of the | Dutchy of Cornwal during his minority, and some precedent or other was cited from the Parliament-rolls of that period, I recollect to have read, that it was treated by a sad man of the law, and one of very high authority too, as nothing short of a faction, sedition, and misprision of treason at least, if not absolute treason itself, to have taken even a peep of curiosity into such abominable transactions. I wished, therefore, to establish
* Parl. Hist. Vol. H. p. 292. What is quoted above, is said indeed, with reference to the list of Lords, but below in the same page follows what is rightly called, “A “ strange act in favour of the Prerogative.” It is “ that all such knights f any croy, as “ overe returned to this Parliament by v, two of “ the King's letters, without any other election, ** should be valid.”
# This preamble is a long narrative which would have prevented many blunders in our historians, had it been consulted ; but, it | never has been. It must be real with allowance for the colouring of Party.
Singlement to No. 23, Wol. J.T.-Price 10d
beyond dispute, that ignorance of our his. tory is not indispensable to the character of loyalty.; and that the most devoted courtier of the present day would have found himself in very good company in the least courtly Houses of Commons under Henry the VIth. My case now, I trust, is so far satissactorily made out. I am ready to leave it, as it stands, to the sole decision of the very highest authority; that of Lord Ellenborough himself I am, Sir, &c. &c. &c. T. M. Middle Temple, Nov. 28, 1804. P. S. Permit me to remark, that, in my last letter, there is one considerable error of the press. The word “sim/ile" in p. 805, line 8, should have been printed “am/le." My materials, are indeed, in one sense “simple;” they are such as were not difficult of access; but a very great portion of them have not yet been used. That they are “am/le,” even beyond what I may have occasion here to detail, my succeeding letters will probably indicate. TO THE ED1TO 14. SIR, From my attachment to the county to which I belong, I feel myself obliged to your correspondent T. M. of the Middle Temple. In his last letter on the Incapacity of Henry the VIth, he has very satisfactorily in my opinion, vindicated the public spirit of our ancestors here in Norfolk, from some hasty reflexions of Sir John Fenn, who ought not to have bewrayed his own nest. There is, however, in the correspondence of the Paston family, some further evidence relating to the election of 1455, of which your correspondent does not seem to have been aware. I shall, therefore, take the liberty of pointing it out. In the third volume are to be found two, if not three, letters, which plainly relate to the same election; though the editor, even in his chronological table, has placed them at a great distance asunder. I allude to the lxth and xcwth letters, which are dated in June, within very few days of each other from the same place, and the latter is palpably the sequel of the former. Both are from a lawyer of the name of Jenny, then a candidate, though unsuccessful, for Norwich; and, he relates a conversation which he had in London with the Duke of Norfolk respecting the county election. He reported his canvass. The freeholders, he said, to whom he had spoken, were willing to vote for Sir Roger Chamberlayn, but not for Howard, and the reason which they assign. ed was, that he had not any # estate in the
* His father Sir Robert was then living, I fancy, and settled at Stoke Nayland in Suf
county, nor intercourse and acquaintance with it. Now, could anything more strongly speak a spirit of independence than such an objection ? Do you thisk, Sir, that every county in every part of this island would as nobly vindicate their own freedom of hoice at this day 2 In the second letter there is a passage still more striking, and which clearly proves that such influence in the elections of Norfolk had not been customary After telling Mr. Paston, that when the Duke gave him up, “Howard was as mad as a wild “ bullock;" the writer adds his own reflex. ions which do him much honour, “It is “ an evil precedent" (says he) “ for the “ shire, that a stranger should be chosen, “ and no worship to my Lord of York, nor “ my Lord of Norfolk to write for him; for “ if the gentlemen of the shire will suffer “ such inconvenience, in good faith the shire “ shall not be called of such worship as it “ hath been.” Nor, is this all. There is another circumstance worthy of notice. When the Duke gave way, he is represented as earnestly insisting, that at least, Sir Tho. mas Todenham should not be the member, nor any one who had inclined to the Duke of Suffolk. Yet, from the whole of this part of the correspondence we learn, that Heydon who was returned, was most intimately connected with the politics of Sir Thomas To. denham, and next to him was the principal leader on that side; and, from + one pas’ sage it seems, that Calthorp also, the obts
member, favoured the same party, though
with less violence and activity. He knew,
therefore, not only that the Dukes of York
and Norfolk failed, but, that persons of the
description, which they were most anxio
to exclude, succeeded against their uino
influence: and this was immediately after
the battle of St. Albans. I am, Sir, your
constant reader and admirer.—A Norful"
FREE holder. Thetford, Nov. 27.
- CATH op. 1 C cla 1 MS. Addressed to the Right Hon. IWm. Pitt, Sir –The subject on which 1 underto to address you is, perhaps, as important.” any that ever occupied the attention of Briton. To a man, who has an unseig love for his country, it is painful to feel." still more painful to declare, that its powo, its consequence, and its greatness appear."
folk; a younger brother of Sir Robo having had the Norfolk estates given to h"
+ See Paston. Papers, Vol. III. P. o. compared with the former part of the k!” especially in p. 119, describing the Poo" who attended then at Walsingham.