serve for another Letter, and in the mean | dious; to make it out as being perfidious, while, I am, Gentlemen, your sincere it must be shewn that its object was to acfriend,

complish something treacherous against us. WM. COBBETT, If I make a proposition to a rebel to desert Botley, July 27, 1812.

his associates, I am not guilty of perfidy; my proposition is not perfidious, though I

am certainly calling upon him to do that SUMMARY or ranitiGS

which would be perfidious towards those

Turrurety po French OWERTURES FOR PEACE /conli- Napoleon is free even from the inputation nued from puge 110%----Since I wrote the of tempting England to do a perfidious act. article here referred to, there has taken Mr. Sheridan says, that we could not agree place a debate in the House of Commons, to leave Joseph in possession of Spain with. upon the subject of the French avertures. out the “grossest perfidy to our allies, and Mr.Sheridan made, on the 21st of July, a

" the most treacherous violation of all our motion for the production of the correspon- /":nost solemn engagements.” Now, in dence, relating to that subject, which mo- the first place, supposing this to be true, tion-seems to have been made for the pur- was it a reason for our refusing to negociate pose of attacking Napoleon, or, at least, without demanding the giving up of this for that of answering the publications in point as a preliminary? We might have the Moniteur. The debate is of import- negociated, and yet not have yieliled this ance in many respects, and especially as point. We might have offered to give up having preity clearly developed what are some of our own immense acquisitions in the notions of the court upon the subject of Asia, Africa, or America, in order to get peace with France, Mr. Sheridan being Joseph out of Spain. But, really, we seem well known to be now merely a courtier, a to have formed the design of taking all and courtier and nothing else.--I said, in my giving up nothing: -However, this is nolast; that the proposition of France was thing to the question; for what solemn enfair and frank, and, the circumstances con- gagements bave we, wliat engagements can sidered, moderate, Mr.Sheridan has de we have, with Ferdinand, It is for him, scribed it as perfidivus, insidious, and in- observe, and not for the people of Spain, sulling. We see with very different eyes, that we are coutending in this instance ; for then; and, therefore, let the reader judge Ferdinand and his heirs; and, again I ask, between us. To enable him to judge what treaty, what

compact, what

engagerightly, he must first have the proposition ment of any sort, we have, or can have, distinctly before him. . It was this: " that wilh him? Can our goveroment show his " the crown of Spain should be guaranteed nawe signed to any document? Have they

to Joseph, and Spain governed by a na ever had any communication with him?

tional constitution of her Cortes, the Is not his father alive; and does not his " French armies being withdrawn; that father protest against his claim to the " Portugal should be guaranteed to the throne of Spain? In fine, has not he, in 6. House of Braganza, our troops being as solemn a manner as he was able, made " withdrawn; that Sicily should be gua- over to Napoleon all his claims to that “ ranteed to the king, and evacuated by throne? And, with all this before us, and 1 us; and that, with respect to other ob seeing this same Ferdinand living as a sub

jects of discussion, they should be nego-ject in France, shall we continue this war, “ciated upon this basis, that each power which is daily sinking hundreds to the poor66 should retain that of which the other had house, on account of engageinents with not been able to deprive it by war.” Ferdinand ? Shall we call a proposition to

-Such, reader, was the overture made treat for peace perfidious, because it conby France; aud do you see in it any templates the exclusion of this man from thing perfidious, insidious, or insulting ? the ihrone of Spain ? We are told by It is as plain in its meaning as words can Mr. Sheridan that it was insidious as well make it. There is no possibility of misun- as perfidious, because it wanted to ensnare derstanding it; and, therefore, it cannot us into the appearance of doing what it with propriety be called perfidious. Mr. never meant we should do. It was as easy Sheridan says it is perfidious, because it in to assert this as it was to assert any thing vites us to do that which would be a breach else; and as easy to assert any thing else of faith towards our ally; but, if it really as this. When Cardinal Wolsey fell into does this, it cannot for that be called perfi- disgrace, his enemies, not content with

charges for which there were grounds, in- | Mr. Sheridan, was really addressed to vented others for which there were none; Russia and not to us; it was not, he says, and, ridiculous as was the charge of the meant for us at all. It was a mere sham Cardinal's having endangered the life of overture. It was a proposition to England the king by whispering in his ear when the nominally for the purpose of having someformer had the venereal disease, it was not thing to show to the Czar, in order to inmore ridiculous than is this charge against duce him to believe that France was ready, the Emperor Napoleon. Where is Mr. if he did not come to her terms, to make Sheridan's prons. where are his arguments, “ great and many sacrifices to England;"* 10 show, that the French wished us to ap- and yet, this same proposition is, in almost pear to do that which they never meant we the same breath, called too grossly insultshould do? He observes, that Napoleon ing to be entertained for a single moment ! was engaged in a negociation with Russia, -Mr. Sheridan, who is what is called and finding her unbending, he sends his an Old Stager, ought to have perceived the proposition to us on the 17th of April; dilemma, which he was framing for himand, on the 25th of the same month, he self in his eagerness to accumulate accusacommunicates it to the Russian government, tions on the head of Napoleon. Either the before he could get our answer, which he proposition was insulting to us, or it was did not send to the Russian government, not: if it was not, it has not been truly and which he did not intend to send. described ; if it was, then it was not calHence Mr. Sheridan concludes, that the culated to make the Russians believe that proposition to England was a mere trick to France was ready to make sacrifices to us. induce Russia to give way by making her in one of the two respects Mr. Sheridan's believe, that England would certainly ac- assertions cannot be true. If it really cept of the proposed terms, and leave was the intention of France to use the proRussia to shift for herself.---This, in position merely as the means of scaring the part, might be the object as to the time of Russian Czar into her terms, she would, as making the offer to us; but, it could hardly I before observed, have set no-bounds to her be the sole object of the proposition; be- liberality towards us, it being as easy to recause, if it had, the proposition would have tract much as little; but, indeed, the whole been such as it would have been impossible of the proposition seeins to me to carry in it for even our ministers to reject.-Mark, an air of sincerity; and, I am very sure, however, the contradiction here : it is, on that nothing has been advanced by Mr. the one hand, asserted, that the proposition Sheridan, or by any one else, in this dewas a mere trick for the purpose of fright- bate, to prove the contrary. I can see ening Russia ; that it was solely intended for powerful reasons for a desire for peace on the purpose of making her believe, that the part of Napoleon. He has established France was upon the eve of peace with his empire ; he can wish little in the way England; that, in sending a copy of the of territory and nothing in the way of glory proposition to the Russian minister, to give as a soldier. He has now to complete his him " a list of all the great and many sa. renown by giving peace, and plenty, and crifices France was willing to make to in- happiness to his vast dominions. There " duce England to a peace,” the object was are divers circumstances that must now into induce him to come to the terms of cline him to peace; and all his acts show, France. This is possible ; but, it is strange that he has set his heart upon doing for his indeed, and almost impossible, that the empire that wliich he cannot do for it in proposition to us should, at the same time, war. ---He is not, and need not be, afraid be insulting;" for, if it were insulting, of peace. He is not afraid of a depopulahow can any man believe that it was sent to tion of his empire on account of the pressure the Russian minister with a view of terri- of taxation; he is not afraid of any sudden fying him at the prospect of a separate attack on the part of any enemy; he would peace between France and England ? Both not, in peace, be compelled to support imqualities the proposition could not contain: mense establishments. Indeed, I can see it could not be, at one and the same time, many solid reasons for his now wishing for grossly insulting to England, and calculated peace, and very few, if any, for his wishfor the purpose of making Russia believe ing to continue the war; and, not one word that Napoleon was ready to make "great was said, during the debate, in the way of " and many sacrificeslo oblain peace with proof of the contrary.---The reasons for England. Either by itself might be true; his having made his overture at this time but both could not. The proposition, says have, as Mr. Sheridan told the House,


been stated by himself in these words : 1 " we irere ripe for slavery ; but it was im

Seeing himself thus constrained to aban possible! He referred to his Honour“ don every hope from Russia, his Majesty," able Friend, who had spoke but the lan“ before he should commence this contest guage of every man in the country, when 66 in which so much blood was to be shed, " he said that he should rather see the em« felt it to be his duty to address himself pire fall in the contest, perish in honour“ to the English Government; the distress " able ruin-than sink into a miserable felt by England, the agitations to which" existence, after having survived her ho" she is a prey, and the changes which

by signing - ingrading haare. “ have taken place in her Government, de- Now, reader, is this an answer to the rea« cided his Majesty to take this course.” sons of Napoleon? Do you find any thing

And what could be more natural ? | here to convince you that the proposition was What could be more reasonable? What insidious ? Does Napoleon (supposing the more frank than this statement of reasons ? words to be his) talk about his "beloved. Really men must have their minds most “ England ?" And, is it not very true, that monstrously perverted before they look we are suffering very greatly from the war? upon language like this as insidious. What Napoleon does not talk of his sympathy for us , is the answer of Mr. Sheridan to this ? he does not pretend that he is animated by What does he say to prove that this is false any feeling of that sort towards us; but, and hypocritical? Nothing at all. He he says, and very reasonably says, that he comes out with a set of clap-trap phrases, was in hopes, that our sufferings would such as he has often made use of, but such induce our government to listen to the as are, I am persuaded, not so likely to suc- voice of peace; and, did Mr. Sheridan ceed as formerly. “ So,” says he, “ the imagine, that this was to be answered by “ Buonaparté's imperial sympathies for the a poor dull jest?--As to the people of “6 distress of his beloved England, his con this country being well aware of the wild “ trite pity for the agitations to which she ambition to which the war and their suf.

was a prey, were the moving impulses ferings on account of it are to be traced, I " that finally swayed his gentle spirit to so believe that the far greater part of the “ licit peace. À laugh!)-But this was people of England think that they are to be 6 too much too much even for the cha- traced to the want of a disposition in our “ ritable credulity of his Hon. Friend. own government to treat for peace; and, “ And so far was he (Mr. Sheridan) from if this be their opinion, I am quite sure, 6 admitting thosc agitations to exist in this that Mr. Sheridan has said nothing to re

country, either to the extent or in the spi-move it. “ Put them,” says he, “ to the “ rit so insidiously implied in the passage “ alternative of privation or being conquer“ just read, that he believed that if ever "ed.". No, but put to them the alterna" there was a period since the commence tive of privalion or a peace on moderate 66 ment the war, in which we might and lerms ; or, at least, a peace on the basis " ought to inake one bold struggle, it was now offered by France. Why put to the " the present; because, however severe the people the other alternative ?' What rea

pressure of the times wight have been son is there for it? Does Napoleon pro“ felt, the people of this country were well pose to conquer England; or does he proof aware of the wild ambition to which they pose the surrender of its independence ?

were lo be traced, and the implacable Does he talk of any such thing ? No: but, “ hostility by which that ambition was in on the contrary, he proposes to treat upon “ furiated.Hear, hear!)-Put to them the basis, that all that we have conquered " the alternative of privation or conquest, we shall consider as our own for ever, and, “ and would a second thought stay the in the reader well knows how great have been “ dignant decision of one freeman through our boastings as to those conquests. He " out the empire?-( Heur, hear!)-In- says, “ keep all that you have conquered;"' deed, were it possible for him to regret and Mr. Sheridan construes bim to say to " the repeal thai had lately taken place, us, “ give up England itself to me." And 6( le would regret it if it had the effect of then he tells us, that we are ripe for ci so libelling the national character as to slavery if we can balance between tempo-,

induce a belief that that repeal had been rary privations and loss of independence. 6i conceded, in order to make men willing This is the sort of statement and of " to resist a foreign yoke.-(Hear')--- If reasoning (if it be worthy of the name), by " temporary privations were to make us which England has been led' on, step by is indifferent to conquest, or independence, step, to her present state.

The people

were told, in 1793, that they had to inay be assured, that there are now left choose between temporary privatious and very few persons indeed, who will not atheism and bloodshed. They were made laugh at your rant about " rather seeing to believe, that they would all kill one “the empire perish in honourable ruin, another, if they did not go to war with the “ than sink into a miserable existence.' French'infidels and republicans. George Sir, those who, by such Rolla-like rant, Rose told them, a few years later, that were induced to burn Tom Paine in effigy; they were a sensible people; for that they those who subscribed their spoons and teabaruar perty rather than be deprived of the blessed comforts of religion ;" those who * blessed comforts of religion;" and, now, were made to believe, that the people of wlien the French are become royalists again, England would cut each other's ihroats if and go to mass as regularly as ever, we Messrs. Tooke and Hardy and their assoare told that we have to choose between ciates were not hanged for endeavouring to want of food and the loss of independence, destroy rotten boroughs ; even those perthough, at the very same time, the Emo sons, Sir, are not now to be made believe, peror of France, so far from proposing to that the country is to be sunk into " a miencroach upon our independence, is willing " serable existence" by peace, on a basis to leave us in full possession of all the many that will leave her in possession of the and extensive and populous islands and avowed object of the war, together with all countries that we have conquered during the conquests which she has made during the war; and, over and above all these, that war, and the bare expense of the illus that island of Malta, for the possession of minations and of the firing of the Park and which this war was avowedly undertaken. Tower guns, on account of which conquests He is ready to yield even the plume ; even would go no small way in feeding the fathe point of honour. He is ready to give mishing manufacturers. No, Sir ; even up that for which the contest began ; he, those persons are not to be inade believe, with all the charges of mad ambition and that such a peace would sink their country pride and haughtiness and insolence, which into a state of " miserable existence.". our ministers and their adherents are con- Equally inapplicable to the occasion was all stantly preferring against him; mad, am- Mr. Sheridan's bombast about our maritime bitious, proud, haughty, and insolent as · rights." By war," said he, “ Buonahe is, he is ready to yield up the prize for ! " parte never, thank God, can deprive us which he has been so long contending ra " of those rights; and I trust in God, that ther than not have peace. And, in an 66 he never will by negociation (hear!. swer to such a proposition what do we "hear!). He complains of our zeal in hear ? : Why, new charges of ambition “ behalf of those rights ; of our zeal to and of insolence ; and, we are asked, whe preserve inviolable the inheritance left us ther we prefer being conquered to "lempo-" by our brave ancestors, and to transınit

rary privation. No, Mr. Sheridan, “it unimpaired to our posterity. Let hiin we do not prefer being conquered to v show to us any other country possessed of temporary privation; no, we do not “ the same rights and privileges as England, prefer this; but, we do preser, or, I, at “ and exercising them with the same modeleast, prefer, a peace that would leave “ ration / hear!). I should be glad to see (net England in possession of all she holds, “ that it could be matter of much gratificaand put Portugal and Sicily into the hands “ tion either) but if this temperate conof their sovereigns ; I prefer a peace like 6 queror were to be invested with similar this, with the usual accompaniments of " rights and privileges, I should be cupeace, to the continuation of a war which 6 rious to see the practical rebuke inflicted has produced that state of things which is on English rapacity, by the characternow in existence in England. I prefer a " istic self-denial, and moderation of the peace that would leave us in possession of French ruler. (Hear! hear! hear!) all our conquests and that would make no “ England might challenge him to say, 'he stipulations about our maritime rights, to 16 could have done what she had on similar a war that may yet reduce hundreds of " circumstances. He could be what she thousands 10 beggary and despair, and " was Esne Qualis eram? But rather than may, eventually, leave us neither conquests

66 concede what it would be dishonour to nor security. This, Mr. Sheridan, is the " yield; rather than stoop that flag that way to state the alternative, and not the " had waved high for England in every way in which you have stated it; and, you quarter of the world, I would scuttle the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I ain

« island, and let in the ocean to overwhelm | Letters,” which you, in the name of your "them and it, sooner than consent to a respective Meetings, have been requested « surrender of that charter to which nature to write to me, be pleased to accept of my had set her seal, and which seemed to best thanks ; and of my assurance, that “ have been secured by the guarantee of these marks of your approbation, coming, " PROVIDENCE itself!" Pious as they do, accompanied with such indu6 to the last!This is such fustian as bitable testimonials of your wisdom and tamight extort cheers from a dozen or two lents, will not fail to operate as a great enhalf drunken sailors in a booli al ron.

and down fair, where there are hundreds of that, as to those " effusions of ENVY,' them at this moment under the diverting by which you perceive me to be assailed influence of showmen and mountebanks of from so many quarters, and which you all degrees of skill and of all prices; but, I seem to look upon as calculated to excite must regard it as a pretended and not a real disgust, I assure you, that they have with speech of Mr. Sheridan, as far as relates to me a precisely contrary effect, as, indeed, this passage. If we could regard it in any they ought ; for "effusions of ENVY" other light, what must we think of all this were never yet called forth without a toletalk about the fag " waving high for Eng-rable share of merit in the object; and, if " land, and about scuttling the island," I am sensible, that I am envied beyond my what must we think of this Jack Tar-like merit, I ought to be the more anxious to slang; what must we think of all this in make myself worthy of the honour that is the

way of answer to a proposition, which thus involuntarily conferred upon me. said not one single word about our flag, or I thank you most sincerely for your kind our navy, or our maritime rights ? Not wishes as to my family and domestic cononly did the Emperor of France propose cerns; and I hope that not a man of you, nothing hostile to our maritime rights, but and that no one belonging to you, will ever he expressly proposed to leave us in pos krow distress, though that is, alas ! too session of all those conquests, which our much to hope with the prospect that we navy had enabled us to gain, and the conti- now have before us. nued possession of which necessarily im


faithful friend, plied a naval superiority in every part of

WM. COBBETT. the world. Why, then, does this hireling news-writer (for the thing must be his) at- Bolley, July 29, 1812. tempt to make the people believe, that Napoleon has proposed to deprive us of our maritime rights ? The reason is, that

PUBLIC PAPERS. he sees the government has rejected the ENGLAND and France.

Overtures for overture of France ; and, it is his business Peace by the Emperor Napoleon. to justify that rejection.. -I shall return to the subject in my next; and, in the

Continued from page 128.) mean while, I think, I can rest satisfied, French and King of Italy, with respect to a that the people of England do, or will very system of Licenses to be introduced into soon, see the matter in its true light ; and Russia, in the same manner as in France; will not be long at a loss to discover the it being always understood, that it cannot real cause of the rejection of an overture so be admitted till it has been ascertained that manifestly fair, and to England so honour- it is not calculated to augment the deterioable and advantageous.

ration already experienced by the trade of WM. COBBETT.

Russia.--His Majesty the Emperor of all Bolley, July 28, 1812.

the Russias will engage also by this Con

vention, to treat, by a particular arrangeTo Messrs. Wm. Barry, Preses, and Mr. ment, for certain modifications, such as may

John M Naught, Secretary to the Meel- be desired by France for the advantage of ing held at Puisley, at the Salutation her trade in the Custom duties imposed by Inn, on the 9th of July, 1812, lo cele- Russia, in 1810.--Finally, his Majesty brate the terminalion of my imprison. will also consent to bind himself to conclude ment; and also to Mr. John Williams, a treaty of exchange, of the Duchy of Ol. one of a company of tradesmen mel on denburgh for a suitable equivalent, which

the same day, and for the same purpose, shall be proposed by his Majesty the Em. : al Oxford.

peror and King, and in which his Imperial Gentlemen,

Majesty will declare the protest withdrawn In answer to the “ Congratulatory which he was about to publish, to support

« ForrigeFortsett »