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at once novel and important; but the were making regular and rapid strides honourable baronet instantly descend. towards the subjugation of the penined to his ordinary strain of reproach sula ; that all these evils originated in and accusation. He admitted, indeed, the departure of this country from the that the exertions of the Spaniards wiser system of former days; that the against the common enemy, had been policy of England had anciently been distinguished by bravery and perse- directed to the preservation of liberty verance; and he confessed also, that throughout the world, but had of the British army had sustained its late been degraded by a feeble and ancient reputation. “ But where is base attempt to support the decrethe freedom," said he, “to which the pid tyrannies of the continent; and superior prowess of Englishmen has that the progress of France was upbeen ascribed in the better days of our on the whole more favourable to the history?" He maintained, that for liberty of nations, than the success the last eighteen years, the distresses of her rival. The honourable ba. of the country had been increasing; ronet proceeded to make an attack that he might even go farther back, upon the House of Commons, which and declare, that, since the commence he described as consisting of “ the ment of the present reign-since the supposed representatives of the people beginning of the American war, every of England;" but the admonition of year had brought an increase of ca- the Speaker quickly brought him to lamity; and he concluded of course, a recollection of the decency which he " that there was something in our had outraged. He complained of the system radically wrong ;” that the restrictions which had been imposed effects of the American war were still upon the Prince Regent, by which dis. felt in the war in which Great Brie trust was indicated of his royal hightain was engaged; that the present con- ness, and professed to look forward test was begun on the very principles with triumph to the expiration of these of that unhappy war ; that a detesta. restrictions, as the era when an enlara tion of French libertyfirst produced the ged and liberal system of policy would rupture, and that, on the same princi- restore the ancient glory of the coun. ples, the war was still continued ; that try. Various systems
government, no one could' say what England was he said, had been approved of at differnow contending for ; that liberty had ent periods of society; but an oligar. no share in the contest; since what. chy, and, in particular, “an oligarchy ever might be done by England for the of rotten burgh-mongers," has found rights of the sovereign of Spain (who no advocates out of England. The conhad resigned his whole pretensions in sequences of this system, according to to the hands of Buonaparte) nothing his view of matters, was, that abroad had been done for the Spanish people; we had been uniformly unsuccessful ; that even if the cause of Spain had that the despotisms which we had enbeen honourably undertaken by the deavoured to support had fallen pros. British government, it had now become trate before our enemy, and that at perfectly hopeless ; that the victories home the country had been overwhelmwon by our arms were altogether bare ed with the most signal calamities; ren; that although there had been many that a system of taxation had been brilliant achievements, such as that un created which ruined
ope der General Hill, by which the French pressed all; that the lower orders had had suffered severely, still the invaders been reduced to a state of pauperism ;
that fiscal tyranny had now been car When these gentlemen had finishried to its height, and that an Emp- ed, Lord Jocelyn rose to move the som and Dudley were to be found in usual address to the throne, in the every shire of the kingdom ; that the shape of an amendment to that which desperate resistance which such tyran. had been proposed by Sir F. Burny was calculated to create, had been dett. There was no disposition in the kept down by the terrors of a military house to support Sir Francis į no force; depots, and barracks, and forti. member, with the exception of Lord fications, had been established in all Cochrane, had thought fit to countequarters; and mercenaries and foreign- nance him in his proceedings ; and ers, who had been unable to defend even Messrs Ponsonby and Whitbread, their own countries, had been brought the champions of the opposition, exover to protect the native land of cou. pressed their disapprobation of his conrage and patriotism.-All these things duct. Yet did Sir Francis divide the were uttered with becoming solemni. house upon the question, when there ty; but before concluding, the honour. appeared one solitary member to vote able baronet did not scruple to descend for the address proposed by him. The to a vein of humour. He became very amendment of Lord Jocelyn was then facetious about the appearance and put, and carried without a division. dress of British soldiers, and followed Although the regular opponents of up such jokes by the usual tirade, about ministers did not press an amendment “a flogged nation,” as he is pleased to in either house of parliament, they call England. He concluded, by des- spoke in terms which sufficiently procanting at some length upon the ty- ved that their opinions on public affairs ranny of the Attorney General, the had undergone no change in conseabuse of ex officio informations, the quence of the events which had lately scandalous invasions of the liberty of occurred. They still protested against the press, and the severe punishments the whole system of policy, by which with which some libellers had been vi. the affairs of the country had been consited by the courts of justice. He ducted; they repeated their declarathen moved an address, in which the tions about the necessity of husbanding above topics were recapitulated. This the national resources; and although address was seconded by Lord Coch. Portugal had been saved, and Spain rane, who made some general reflec- supported, they still persevered in tions on the impolicy of the war, the their former opinions as to continenimpossibility of defending Portugal so tal affairs. Scarcely one tribute of apsoon as the French should make them- plause for the exploits which had alselves masters of Spain, the tyranny ready so much signalized the British of the Portuguese and Sicilian govern- arms, and not one word of hope as to ments which the English were abet- the future, was allowed to escape their ting with so much zeal, and the im. lips. They rose at the opening of the proper direction of the naval means of session merely to intimate their entire Great Britain, by which, if employed, disapprobation of the measures of goaccording to Lord Cochrane's views, vernment, and their firm conviction, in enterprises against the coast of that by perseverance in the same sysFrance, the military force of the ene tem, the ruin of the country would be my, stupendous as it had become, speedily accomplished. Such were the might have been wholly occupied in sentiments which they avowed at a his own defence.
time when England stood in a com.
manding attitude ; when, with one of the ruler was advanced as a reason hand, she had destroyed the navıl and for denying peace to the people of a colonial
power of the enemy, and ex- country; he saw no reason for not macluded him from three quarters of the king peace with him, in whose hands globe ; while, with the other, she of the destinies of France were placed at fered protection to all who claimed present, any more than with the Bourit ; when, in fine, she had raised her bons when they presided : and the military reputation to an equality with contrary opinion was always to be her naval glory.
discountenanced, as it must lead to An opportunity soon occurred for eternal war; or rather to a war which a more full display of the sentiments could only end in the extinction of of opposition. When Lord Jocelyn either pover. It might, he thought, brought up the report of the com- be foreseen, which must fall, in a conmittee on the address, Mr Whitbread test of that description, when it was rose, and avowed his dissent from considered that the greatness of one the opinions expressed in the speech nation was artificial, while the greatfrom the throne. He thought that ness of the other, such as it was, was every thing which this country could natural; but things need not come to do for Spain had already been done ; that pass; they would not ; and, as that although the first general of the the present ruler of the destinies of age, and the bravest troops in the France was likely to live long upon world, had been sent to her support, the earth, we must negociate with him nothing had been accomplished; the whenever an opportunity presented itFrench had obtained repeated suc- self. He should now conclude with cesses ; Saguntum and Badajos had saying, in answer to the declaration of fallen; the attempt on Ciudad Rodri- the noble lord, that Bonaparte had
had proved abortive ; Valentia was been baffled in his maritime speculanot likely to struggle long ; Lord tions, would to God that France had Wellington himself, after pursuing ships, and commerce, and colonies, for Massena to the frontier, had been ob- then we should have peace ; but unliged to fall back; and, in short, the til then the probabilities were against enemy was in military possession of it." Spain. In speaking of the conduct of The Chancellor of the Exchequer government towards America, he de- (Mr Perceval) made an excellent reclared, that “ instead of a spirit of ply. “ He confessed, that the concluconciliation,” the measures of our mi- ding sentence of the honourable gentle. nisters appeared to have been concei- man's speech had furnished him with ved in, what he termed, “ the spirit a clue to his objections against the of commercial subjugation.” In re- system pursued by his majesty's goference to the subject of peace, Mr vernment ; for if he was indeed anWhitbread concluded with the fol. xious that Bonaparte should have lowing reflections. “ He understood ships ; if he was indeed anxious that the noble lord (Jocelyn) to have sta- he should have colonies and commerce, ted, that it was impossible to make it could hardly be expected that he peace with France in consequence of should approve of the system upon the personal character of her emperor. which his majesty's government had He (Mr Whitbread) did not recol- acted, or of those endeavours which lect, in all the details of history, one were intended and calculated to de. instance in which the private character prive him of all. But as he (the Chan
cellor of the Exchequer) would wish Portugal ; but, instead cof these boasts to follow the honourable gentleman's being accomplished, or the gloomy speech through the series of topics apprehensions of the honourable genwhich it contained with as much re. tleman realized, we had not only re. gularity as possible, he should leavescued Portugal from the enemy, but the conclusion for the present, and maintained her in security against his begin -by noticing the notions of the utmost efforts. Since this had been honourable gentleman with regard to achieved, indeed, a new light had been the affairs of Spain and Portugal, and discovered, and it was found that it the characters of hopelessness and would not have been the right course desperation in which he had described for the French to drive us into the the war. And here he would wish to sea, but that they should first con. bring back to the recollection of the quer Spain, and leave us to be swalhouse, the state in which the war stood lowed up at the last after we had been at the beginning of the last session : permitted to waste our strength! he would wish to bring back to their Would any man believe this ? Would recollection the opinions and fears and any man believe, that if it had been prophecies of the honourable gentle in the power of the enemy, he would man, and to entreat them to contrast not have driven us from Portugal ? the prospect he then drew with the Those who held the opinion, that reality of the present scene ; they Buonaparte was irresistible, and that would find, on such a comparison, it was in vain to oppose his designs, that his fears were unfounded, that his wondered that he did not at once expectations were falsified, that his crush this
which not only actprophecies were erroneous ; and yet ed in every point to the frustration of the honourable gentleman was prepa. his designs, but remained in opposired, upon the same grounds of appre- tion to him on the peninsula, to his hension, namely, the boasts of Buona. disappointment, to his vexation, and parte, to repeat his prophecies to his confusion. Would he, if he
could have prevented it, even by di. " Destroy the web of prophecy in vain, The creature's at his dirty work again.” recting against it solely and entirely
the whole of his force, have suffered After such failures, one would have this? No man could think so. He thought the honourable gentleman would have left every thing else to would have hesitated in his course, accomplish our expulsion ; but his and not have continued to hold, that power was not equal to his desire : every thing the enemy vaunted he and the country he ruled could not would do, must be accomplished, or furnish him with the means necessary that it was impracticable to put any to effect his most anxious purpose. stop to the career of “ this spoilt But though this was his opinion, he child of fortune.” At the period al. would not, therefore, with that preluded to, as at the present, the ho- sumption with which he charged the nourable gentleman had only re-echo. enemy, say, that though heretofore ed the language held by the ene. bafiled and defeated, he might not at my; but there was no saying that he some future period accomplish that might not again be disappointed. At object, in attempting which he had the commencement of last session, we been so severely foiled; but he thought were to be iven into the sea, and it might fairly be argued from a rewere not to have a foot of ground in trospective view, that we might con
tinue to maintain ourselves in the pe- nuary, 1812, were laid before parlianinsula, not only to defeat his plans ment ; and both houses appointed of ambition, but as a standing con. committees to examine his majesty's trast to the basest villainy ever exhi- physicians, and to report. The result bited in the world. Yes, he maintain- of these enquiries established the imed, that on all of these points there probability of the king's complete and never was a more striking contrast final restoration to health, although than that which appeared in the con- the physicians, with one exception, duct of the French and British go. concurred in declaring that they did vernments upon the peninsula ; and if not entirely despair. Some slight imthe man who caused it had any view provement had taken place since the to character or ambition, it must be second week in the preceding Decemhis most earnest care and business, by ber; but it was not of such a kind or every method and invention, to keep degree as to encourage any strong hope it not only from the eye of the penina of his majesty's ultimate recovery.sula, but of the world.” In alluding The history of this most afflicting case to the affairs of this country with was altogether very singular. DuAmerica, the sentiments expressed by ring the earlier stages of his majesty's Mr Perceval were at once dignified illness, the most sanguine hopes were and forbearing. He declared, that cherished ; the king was visited by his as discussions were depending with family; he took exercise out of doors ; the American government, he would the bulletins were discontinued, and not make disclosures which might his subjects, with that feeling of loyalhave a tendency to irritate, but would ty which his numerous virtues inspirather allow his enemies to triumph red, rejoiced in the prospect which for a season in their misconceptions. these favourable circumstances appear. That a war with America would be a
ed to present. A marked change, source of great evil to England, he however, took place about the beginreadily admitted ; but if it should ning of July 1811, and although, even prove hurtful to England, it would from that period downwards, his maprove ruinous to America. He had jesty had been able at intervals to con. no wish to see America impoverished, verse with his medical attendants, yet reduced, or subdued ; “ but sure he the symptoms of his illness gradually was, that no one could construe those became more discouraging, until, in conciliatory dispositions of England the beginning of the present year, into fear; conscious of her own dig. they had assumed such an aspect as to nity, she could bear more from Ame- induce his physicians to give the report, rica, for peace's sake, than from any of which the substance has already been other power on earth.”!--After some stated. Oneof the physicians, however, military criticisms from General Tarle- declared, that he had known instances ton on the conduct of Lord Welling, in which patients of the same age, and ton, the report was brought up and similarly a Micted with his majesty, agreed to.
had been restored to health ; so that The state of the king's health was the legislature, although called upon, the first object which engaged the at- when the restrictions on the Prince tention of parliament. Two declara. Regent should expire, to make a more tions by the queen's council, on this permanent provision for the exercise melancholy subject, the first dated 5th of the royal functions than had been October, 1811, and the second 5th Ja. thought expedient last year, when