ページの画像
PDF
ePub

and so 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 nos intercepted or cut oss by any hostile power. Compactness of dominion is determined not always, or only, by geographical situation, but by other circumstances, that secure the ro-operntion os all its different members. The resources ofBritifh power art of such a nature.that, though remote from each other.ro point oslocal situation, they are approximated by facility os communication. The ocean, which divides the territories of the British empire, unites its different nerves in one cord ofstrength. The Cape of Good Hope is cur half-way house to India. The redaction 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 peninssla. Even the immense army that we are obliged to keep on soot 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 Britiffi youth, a military spirit: while mercantile habits, and the acquisition of sudden wealth, tend to enervation; the necessity os maintaining the grand spring of our commerce, by force os arms, breeds up a race of soldiers-. Nor, io complete the felicity of our relative situation to India, do our friends remain their for hTe, ,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 fitftation of oar affairs, to

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 os the whole will He, 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 political economy, to every thing that 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 foil, and raised to the poflesfion os 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 (he power os France, from its present prepondcrancy 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 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 timonlrolable tide os affairs, but to the. superior penetration and providence os the British government.

[graphic][graphic]
[graphic][graphic]

There were others, again, who, on tire subject os the present stale os affairs, indulged an opposite train os reflection. The continental powers, it was snid, had Britain stood aloof, would have made such arrangements; among themselves, as might seem adequate to the control />sthc French republic. Their confederacy would have been the more solid and sincere that it would hue appeared the more nccetlarv. When they sound l'"ngland so zealous in thecaufe, thev read ity devolve don her the labouring oar, because thev judged that she was the ablest to wield it. Had not Great Britain interfered, the whole continent of Europe would have been involved in war: Britain alone would have been at peace. By a-conduct the. most extraordinary, and a destiny the most fantastic, Britain alone is likelly to be at war with France, and all the other nations lo be al peacei "Ffawe, bounded by the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Rhine, and the Ocearl5 in friendship with Spain, and overawing the Italian states, will he mistress of a maritime coast, from the-seaosMHrmora totheTexel. With sach internal resources, such an extent os coast, the Scheldt, Khine, and other rivers, as well as canals for circulating hercommerec, it is to he feared that flic will overtop not only Great Britain, but give law to. a.11 Europe. But all tins is tiie result os thole precipi

tate counsels which drove, (lie French to become a military .re-, public, and g ive them power by the necessity of exerting it. Our commerce, flourishing, indeed, for the present, beyond all example, yet cannot be lading, beting sounded, 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 ll'.c French al land. The trade of the East and West Tndies, the most valuable in the world, and the great stimulant to all commerce, is, at present, in onr 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 r 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 flic (hall have made peace with the continent, encouraged by the universal discontent, jealousy, and resentment, at the conduct ps Great Britain, fall on some means to sap the foundations of her naval power, pride, and tyranny .' Have we not to expect Inch a combination against us, as was formerly excited, bv jealousy, envy, and cupidity, against Venice? may not an armed neutrality at sea be yet formed, more general and more firm, in proportion to the growing tyranny thai 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 (omi shape, and some time or other, effect fcff it too, os inviting il into its old channels through Persia, Arabia, and Egypt ?', Th • route to India, bv the Cape os Good Hope, being loll to all'mi!ion< but England, is it not to be expected that those .nations wjll either combine for the purpose os recovering a parli.cipa-, hon in that advantage, or attempt to open new, or rather re-open old channels oscomnrjn-ealinn wiih the East; for them solves? That they Invq adopted the general principle of opposing our power at lea, by tlicir power at hind, they have already discovered, by their efforts to esciideour merchandize sroni Am-, fo.'dam, Venice, Genoa, Leghorn, and oilier ports. It is but an exfen/ion of tire fame principle to force back the India-trade into its. ancient channels. In order to evade the effects ot' such measures, a plain road lies before us. Let us entrench ourselves, as it were, in moral and /acred ground, and make head against the ambitious views ofrranee, by railing up the standard o! justice:, by (hewing a readiness (ogive up all conquests, Dulcli as well as French, without reser.ve, as the price of a peace, founded on similar principles of justice. Can any thing be more insolently absurd than to stand forern )1: in a'conf'ederacy, again si a system of ambition on the Continent os, Europe, while we

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

oitrtelves K'oiv in ruling the waves * wtrh ahsijlut,e sway? Jet us respect neutral flags, encourage umverlal freedom of trade, and avow a just cdhyiciion, that all nations have but one general interest: the inviolabilityif private property and public

credit, of the rights.of men, nnd the right* ot nations; and tree ports be opened in every part of the British dominions.' We maythen find some success in rouzibgEurope against oppression, when «c ourselves have given the example of moderation and justice.

Such were the ontiiues of'the two oppoiite parties, which appear* ed at this time in Great Britain, on the subject os peace or w.tr, and free ur forced commerce. In re-> cording public opinions, as well a» actions, we do not confine ourselves merely, on every lubject, to the de4 bates in parliament, but pav due respect to liLeral and enlightened minds,, whether ex prolled in public speeches, productions ot the prels, or in private converlalion. (- '/

The loss of ihe armament, on which the Batavian republic had expended large sums was aggrnvated by the sca,ndabus;ne,^lect of the French government, to trtniifli ihi-in with that naval alliliance winch Itad been stipulated ai|d dnlv >pa;d tuvi. Tins behaviour of an ally, for whom they,had made iuch taorislces, greatly abated the fervour pldieiraUflch-ment, and excited many complaints. Ihroughont the (even provinces.. The acceptance of the- money, fordefraying the charges of equipment/' and the divcrtiwg it U> th.'ir own uses, was a breach of feilb,-that • disgraced them .much more than they were benefited by the sums thus diverted. It lo-much weakened the confidence of their Dutch allies, that, ever since, thele have constantly testified a mistrust of their molt solemn assurances, tliat, lias

* The popular song of Bf\<mt\it rait the wovaU equally un}ust and Impolitic. How Cm. foreigner* join in such symphonies? What mult be thoir teelingif and what the effect of these, described on their return to their own countrie*?

[03] more

[graphic][graphic][graphic]

more than once proved highly de- French service, Moreau and Buona'trimental to the interest of France. parte himself scarcely excepted.

* It was imagined, at the time, that Through several anforeseen accithis retention of the Dutch money dents this armament was not ready for proceeded from a motive by which failing till the eighteenth of Decemthe directory doubted not to justify ber. On going out of Breft, fome of it. This was the great project of the largest ships ftruck upon the invading Ireland, that had long been rocks, at the mouth of the harbour, meditated, and which they were and feveral were loft, and others rennow preparing to carry into execu- dered unfit for prefent service. The tion. The importance of that no Day after its departure, a violent ble island to Great Britain was well form arose, which dispersed the known. The number and bravery fleet, and damaged many of the of its inhabitants, the fertility of the ships. This tempestuous weather foil, abounding in all the necessaries lasted during the whole time of the of life, pointed it out as an acquifi- expedition. On the twenty-fourth, tion to France, that would let it admiral Bouvet, commander-in-chief above all difficulties, and put an end of the French feet, anchored with to the war at once, by depriving seven 'fhips of the line, and ten England of thole supplies of men others, in Bantry-Bay. In order and provifions, indispensibly wanted to reconnoitre the country, a boat for its armies and navies.

was dispatched towards {nore; but In this vast undertaking, the it was immediately captured, and French principally relied on the co- multitudes appeared on the beach operation of the Irish themselves. in readiness to oppose a landing. They were thoroughly acquainted After lying some days in this bay, with the situation of the country, the storminels of the weather inand the difcontents of the people, creared to such a degree, that, on by means of the secret correspond- receiving no intelligence of general ence between the French govern- Hoche and the principal officers, ment and the heads of the malcon- who were in a frigate that parted tents, who regularly informed it from the flect, in the gale of wind of the measures that were taking, that scattered it on putting to sea, on their part, to excite a general the French admiral determined to insurrection.

quit his pofition, and make the best The armament, designed for this of his way to France.' The land great expedition, had been prepa- officers, on board, objected to this, ring, at Brest, during the whole fum- and insisted on landing the troops ; mer. It consisted of twenty-five but, as general Hoche, who alone fbips of the line, including the se, pofleft the plan of the expedition, ven that compofed the squadron of was abfent, he refused to comply admiral Richery, who was to join it with their representations, and let with all (peed, fifteen stout frigates, fail for Breft, where he safely arbeside sloops and transports for an rived, on the laft day of December. army of twenty-five thousand men, The other divisions of bis fleet had to be commanded by general Hoche, also the good fortune to reach that whose military abilities were esteem- harbour, with the lols, however, of ed equal to those of any officer in the five thips;' two of the line, and

tbree three frigates: one of the latter land. Indulging still in her ambiwas captured by the English, and tion of conquest; inflamed, not fatwo foundered at sea, with one of tiated, by so much success, she fought the former. The other, after a ftill to extend her dominion, wheredefperate engagement, with foine ever it was bounded only by that thips of the British squadron, off of a neighbour, not by the hand Brest, ran ashore to prevent the of nature. She contrived to stretch being taken.

forth, as it were, both her arms, The fate of this fleet proved, even the one in Europe, the other in to sense, what needed no proof in Afia; but contrarily to what had the eve of reason, that a superior been usually experienced, both by naval force is not, in all cases, a cer- herself and predeceffors, while the tain fecurity against invasion. Ire- made a conquest of no small imland, notwithstanding the superio, portance in the north of Europe, rity of the English feet, was fixteen ime was vigorously repelled from days at the mercy of the enemy, the softer climate of Asia. By caand laved from attack only by the resses and intrigues she induced the elements.

inhabitants of Livonia to inhit on Such was the issue of this famous the fulllment of an ancient convenexpedition: the real object of which tion, whereby the Courlanders were had long kept Europe in fufpence. obliged to bring all their merchanSome thought it Portugal, others dizes to Riga; though they had, on the English outward-bound fleets. their own coasts, excellent harbours, Few imagined it was so hazardous happily situated. A quarrel, which an enterprize as the invation of had naturally arisen on this subject, Ireland. The strength of the Pro- between the Livonians and Cour. teftants there alone was deemed landers, was not yet terminaled, fully fufficient to repel such an at- when the emprefs' fent engineers tempt, and the Roman Catholics into Cowland, to mark out a canal had so many reasons to be satisfied for facilitating the merchandize of with the conduct of government, that country into Livonia. The that no fufpicions were entertained Courlanders, seeing this, and fear, of any desire, on their part, to ex- ing left they Noul ! be foon forced change their connection with Eng. to make use of this canal, thought land for one with France, whose it better for them to be protected, trealment of thote who were be- than oppressed, by the empress, and coine its dependants, under the to be her subjects rather than her name of allies, afforded, certainly, neighbours. no encouragement to follow their Catharine, informed of these dir

; ; positions, called to her the duke of The clofe 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 Ruffia. 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 policv, or her arms, the Crimea, the of the throne of the Autocrairix Caban, with a part of the frontier of of the north, than the states of CourTurkey, and almost one half of Po- land held an allembly. The nobi

[04]

lity

.

example,

« 前へ次へ »