failed in the preservation of her allies, she was ever ready to share in their plunder. Care then was to be taken not to suffer the imputation of a blot of that kind in the war for Spain; and against such a suspicion ministers had most cautiously guarded the honour of their country. It certainly had been possible for us, at the commencement of the Spanish war, to have remained neutral, and said to ourselves, we are glad to see discord springing up between France and her allies. But the heart and voice of the British nation declared loudly and vehemently against such a course. We had chosen the higher line, and were bound to adhere to it with the more vigourand perseverance. In thesecnlightened days," he pursued, " the imposition of a foreign dynasty is not regarded with so much abhorrence, as it is considered what useful internal regulations the usurpers may introduce! So detestable a mode of reasoning is confined to only a few political speculators; the general sense and feeling of mankind revolted at the idea. There is an irresistible impulse which binds men to their native soil; which makes them cherish their independence; which unites them to their legitimate princes ; and which fires them with enthusiastic indignation against the imposition of a foreign yoke. No benefit to be received from a conqueror can atone for the loss of national independence. Let us then do homage to the Spanish nation for their attachment to their native soil; an attachment which in its origin is divine ;—and do not let us taunt them with being a century behind us in civilization or in knowledge, or adhering to prejudices in religion, in politics, or in arts, which we have happily surmounted." He then moved an address to the King, pledg

ing the Commons to support him in the maintenance of the war, and approving the conduct of ministers on the late overtures from France and Russia.

Mr Whitbread rose in reply,—not absolutely to justify Buonaparte,— even Mr Whitbread does not venture upon that,—but to defend him by the yet viler method of recrimination; to apologize for all his crimes, by affirming that England has perpetrated crimes as great; to accuse his country, and to disarm it, as far as was in his power, of its moral strength, and its hope in God and in a righteous cause. "He was ready to admit," he said, " that ncgociation was out of the question, after the answer of the French government; but the Right Honourable Secretary had provoked that answer by his ill-placed taunts, and by a wanton and unjustifiable arrogance in replying to a fair overture. It was an error too prevalent with individuals in office, to assume, in their communications with a hostile power, every virtue to themselves, and to charge their opponents with every vice. But to hear such observations from one who last year had scouted in that house those principles of morality and justice which it was once the pride and character of civilized nations to revere and perpetuate ; to hear him who committed an act which exceeded the most atrocious occurrences in our history, (the attack on Copenhagen,) complain against France,that its usurpation of Spain was unparalleled, was, to say the least of it, not very consistent. The aggressions of human governments were not, unfortunately, cither new or unfrequent.-Great Britain was not to suppose that Providence, in its wise dispensations, had confined justice withm geographical limits. It was somewhat extraordiorr, tbrrefore,that the right honour, sk g^tleman should have presumed !o call the conduct of Buonaparte towards Spain an * usurpation, which hd oo parallel in the history of the •wld.* It really carried an air of along with it to Buonaparte, «ot less, however, than did another anrrrnn carry of insult to the Emperor of Russia. What must he have thought when the denunciations were pentsed by him against the violator if the Spanish throne; he who must kapc remembered well how Catherine, eaitj the Great, and Frederick, called lie Great, and the Emperor of Aatra, dismembered Poland, and driroted the king ? Why should we talk of atrocity? Why should we Maffcemously call on our God; we, the raragers of India; we, who, in tW m j last session, voted the solemn tSukt of the house to the despoilers cf^hat unhappy, persecuted country? Oil 1 • When we say that we have no as. we deceive ourselves, and the truth i« not in as.' It was not true that Buonaparte required of us, in his first i liMiTmintinn. the abandonment of Spain as a preliminary; for it was sated by him after he had received the reply from our government. The fint communication which came from the enemy was, in his opinion, perfectly unexceptionable in its manner wmA *tyle. He could not conceive 9tf thing more respectful than the ■ate of Count Romanzoff. The ■Jpt honourable gentleman had no *^kl then to treat the Emperor of nm with that severity which he ■■i done in his answer. If the Emfenr of Russia was in a degraded si(■w, the right honourable gentle*» ihould hare considered what rot the causes which had brought km to that state of degradation:— iktAtaiaud disastrous coalition 0f

1805, which, by its ill-concerted projects, prostrated the strength and resources of the continental powers. He should have remembered also that act of the present government against Denmark, which had given the most just and serious grounds of offence to Russia. There had been two instances before, when, unfortunately, direct proposals of peace, made by Buonaparte to the King, had been made in vain. Every body remembered, and almost every body now deeply regretted, the manner in which the first overture of that nature had been rejected. However highly he respected the noble lord (Grenville) who was then the secretary for foreign affairs, his opinion of that transaction remained the same now as it was at that time. Experience and the evidence of facts were then the burden of the song. Heavy, indeed, was the song; and he feared it was a kneU which sounded the doom of the country. It was stated, that * the king had uniformly declared his readiness and desire to enter into negociations for a general peace.' This sentiment was often expressed in the language ministers thought proper to put into the mouth of his Majesty; but he could have wished to have seen conduct corresponding to those professions; and in that case, he believed that the country would have had a secure peace a long time ago. Upon the failure of two attempts to negociate with republican France, it had been formerly stated in that house, by a minister, (Lord Melville,) that 4 the country had had a lucky escape from a peace.' He firmly believed that there hardly ever was a time when the gentlemen on the other side of the House had any sincere wish for peace. He did not pretend to say that the overture of Erfurth could have been received in any manner that could immediately have led to peace; but still the negociation might have been so managed as not to increase the hostility or rancour between the two governments.—As to the second paragraph in the note of the right honourable gentleman, that his Majesty could • not be expected to see, with unqualified regret, that the system devised for the destruction of the commerce of his subjects had recoiled upon its authors or its instruments,'—this was a sentiment which appeared to him altogether improper to put into the mouth of a benevolent king, nor was it a language fit for a Christian country to hold to the Christian world. It appeared to him to be indecorous and improper in every point of view. If it was meant as a retort, the retort was unsupported. France was not humbled. Buonaparte was progressively advancing in his career to the subjugation of Europe: his power was by no means diminished; and so far from the insurrections which were predicted in the south of France, there did not appear to be either insurrection or murmur throughout the whole of his universal empire. It was not till after his first communication had been answered in an insulting tone, that the French Emperor used insulting expressions. He thought it was always wrong to use insulting language towards Buonaparte; for, after all, if ever we wished for peace, it was probably with this man that we must make it; and the price of peace would be at least for us to use somethinglikedecorouslanguage to a power, which was, perhaps, the greatest that ever did exist on the face of the world. As to pledging ourselves to any point as a sine qua non, he could Bot avoid remembering how many of


those sine qua nons the British government had been obliged to abandon since the first commencement of the war. With respect to the last note of the French Emperor, it was certainly unjustifiable; but however unjnstifiable it was, it could not, he was sorry to say, be said to be unprovoked :—language, arrogant and tmconciliating, had brought down an answer in a correspondent tone. The address went to applaud ministers for their mode of bringing the late overtures to a conclusion. He knew he was in a small minority, both in that house and the country; but he lamented that the offer for negoeiatios was so abruptly put an end to: For what could be the use of commencing a negociation in terms of sarcastic recrimination, unless it was with a view to put a stop to it as soon as possible: and even in breaking with France, it was better to break with her in a spirit of as little acrimony as possible; for, let gentlemen say what they would, we must ultimately treat with France —* to this complexion we must come at last.' He repeated it, we must finally treat with France. The conduct of this country, m rejecting so often, on good terms, what it must finally take on inferior terms, brought to his mind the memorable incident recorded in ancient history, when, ia the earliest age of Rome, the sybil came with her nine books, and proffered them for a price which was refused. She afterwards tendered six of the nine for the same price, which, being refused also, it was at last thought advisable to purchase the three remaining volumes at the price for which the first nine had been originally tendered. He hoped this story would be no illustration of our future destinies. France had accused us of selfitihnejs—he feared with too

Tjck justice. W'e had entered into se war originally for Holland, had icriiken hex, and benefited ourselves u lie staring of her spoils. It would nt be easy to say when we might calculate upon even as good terms as in the late orerture we had been offered. We knew not what the next am from Portugal might bring us: periapi, before this, Portugal was re

nicred- The bubble with respect e re-capture of Madrid by the Spaniards had already burst. Buoupatc was hastening to fulfil all his ;rsporcies :—If he had not already crowned his brother at Madrid, he m bad the power of crowning him: htbxi certainly—however gloriously for ue British arms—he had yet, in text, obliged us to evacuate Spain, ad perhaps was now on his way to alart his eagles on the towers of Lisbon. With respect to Spain, the ropes he once had were nearly gone; led the various reports from different Quarters, from some, of the want of wadoai on the part of the government; from others, of the want of earrgy on the part of the people of that country, were not calculated to irrive them. Whether it was want eithusiasm in the original, as some said, or, as others more plausibly said, tin that enthusiasm had subsided, he bad no very sanguine hopes of the sacces of Spain."

Mr Whitbread concluded by mo<»g an amendment to the address, «rmg," that though we should have wsnesied with the deepest regret any inclination on the part of his Majesty to consent to the abandonBent of the cause of Spain, it did »«t appear to the House that any ■sen disgraceful concession was refund by the other belligerent powers as a preliminary to negociation. TWitipuJatien, therefore, en our part,

that the Spaniards should be admitted as a party, was unwise and impolitic; unnecessary to the maintenance of the great cause of Spanish independence, and obviously calculated to prevent all farther intercourse on the subject of peace. It appeared therefore to the House, that an overture made in terms respectful to his Majesty, ought to have been answered inlanguagemorc moderate and conciliatory [ and that immediate and decisive steps ought to have been taken for entering into negociation, on the terms proposed in that overture." The amendment concluded by requesting his Majesty," that he would be graciously pleased to avail himself of any opportunity which might offer, of acceding to, or commencing, a negociation for the restoration of the blessings of peace, on such tcrmg as the circumstances of the war in which we were engaged may render compatible with the true interests of the empire, and the honour of his Majesty's crown."

A speech so favourable to Buonaparte, and so suited to the furtherance of his purposes, was not overlooked by him. A very few omissions qualified it completely for the meridian of Paris: it was translated into French, inserted in the provincial papers, as well as those of the capital, and circulated through the remotest part3 of France. What, indeed, could be more agreeable to Buonaparte and his basest minions, than to tell his subjects, while they were groaning under the conscription, and cursing in their hearts the Corsican, for whose family aggrandizement they were to suffer and to bleed, that an English orator,—one of the most eminent of the whig party,—of the old advocates of liberty,—a leading member of the House of Commons,—had declared, in that House, that the overtures of peace made by France were unexceptionable, and had been unwisely, impoliticly, and unnecessarilyansweredwith insult: that Buonaparte, wielding the greatest power that had ever existed, was hastening to fulfil all his prophecies: that England must be reduced to treat with him at last; and therefore tiiat the King of England ought to be advised to commence a negociation as soon as possible.—The speech provoked a severe reply from Mr Croker, who pointed out Mr Whitbread's strange misrepresentations and his inconsistency; —for in his letter to Lord Holland he had recommended that " the complete evacuation of Spain by the trench armies, the abstinence from all interference in her internal arrangements, and the ireedom of the royal family, should be the conditions of the negociation."—"He has set out," said Mr Croker," by doing Buonaparte the favour of trying to find a parallel for his late attack upon Spain, and he boasts of having found many; but in the register of British discussion—in the recollections of British feeling, I defy the honourable gentleman to find a parallel for his own speech,—a speech calculated only to advocate the cause of the enemy. I do not mean to represent him as the intentional advocate of the enemy; but I will assert, that, whether intentionally or not, he has taken that course, by his elaborate researches for examples which might keep the French government in countenance. Whoever produces gratuitously, in the discussion of one crime, examples and instances of greater ones, extenuates undoubtedly the atrocity of that one, by a comparison with others. But even

if he were not so deeply {o blame For this comparison,—supposing that this course was necessary to his argument, even here he had been in error. He had produced no parallel instance ; the history of the world did not furnish one; and he had fruitlessly gone out of his path, to weaken the cause of his country."

Many of the members of the opposition were far from according with Mr Whitbread on this occasion. Mr Ponsonby said, that ministers had pursued a proper course, in demanding a quick explanation with respect to the admission of Spain as a party to the treaty; and if this demand had not been made in the first instance, we should have abandoned Spain in the face of the world. The same opinion was maintained by Lord Henry Petty. "It was by arms," he said, "and not by negociation, that the fate of that country was to be decided. Our character with Spain was still to be gained ; and if we wished to inspire her with a belief that wc meant to make an exertion in her favour, our conduct should be in unison with our declaration, and not calculated to raise any doubt in the minds of the Spanish people as to our sincerity, or that we meant to bring the cause of Spain into our market."

Mr Whitbread's was not the only remarkable speech made in the course of this debate. He had spoken of Buonaparte's insulting intimation relative to the Irish catholics. "Instead of making this a text," said Mr Croker, " to preach upon as containing a good political lessen, I expected that the honourable gentleman would have mentioned it only with reprobation. To have ventured such language was the highest insult which Buonaparte had offered to this coun

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