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make peace, which, as all the world our merchandise from the continent of Euknows, requires a greater reliance upon rope, if in those bales of merchandise were one's sell, than is required to make war. not packed up our politics, and our in· There is nothing which so decidedly trigues against him. These are what he proves the superiority of the enemy, as this dislikes ; these are annoying to him, and fact of our not daring to make peace with of these he appears resolved to prevent the him, leaving both parties in possession of importation into his dominions, and into their present power and dominion. . We all the dominions over which he has any are like a gamester, that is to say, if Mr. influence. This is a matter well worthy of Canning's assertion be true, who has been the serious consideration of all those who long at play, and who is ruined if he quits are deeply interested in the success of conthe table. We have lost the game; our mercial concerns. Mr. Canning labours adversary has triumphed over us; it is true hard to persuade you, that the enmity of that we still play on, but if we quit where Napoleon is to your commerce. " Left," we are, we are done for;, and the only says he, “ with all his powers to apply to chance we have, is that of getting back “one object, our commerce must fall."'. some part of what we have losi. In short, And, therefore, he tells you, that you must we have, according to Mr. Canning, no keep on the war, till you have reduced the remedy but the desperate one of contending powers of Napoleon. He thus appeals to for a reduction of the power of Buonaparte, your self-interest, and, perhaps, with too for a diminution of that power which he has much success. The same sort of efforts won from us and from all the sovereigns of have been continually made, from the beEurope united.
ginning of the war. But, the deceit is And do you, People of Manchester, be manifest. It is against the politics of Eng. lieve that the power of Napoleon is to be land upon the Continent that Napoleon is reduced by the Cannings, the Castlereaghs, at war, and not against her cloths, her the Wellesleys, and the Jenkinsons? Have shawls, her calicoes and her candlesticks. you ever seen any thing in their measures, I am of opinion, on the contrary, that he or have you ever heard any thing from would encourage a state of things in which their lips, calculated to excite such a England should be the workshop of Europe, belief: 'Do you believe that those who are provided he could, by a peace, made by unable to drive his arinies out of Spain, frank and honourable men, obtain what he while he himself, at a distance of thousands would deem a security against the introducof miles from France, is subduing an Em- tion of English influence, leading to coalipire containing, perhaps, forty millions of tions and wars. Commerce is a thing consouls, are likely to wrench from his grasp stituted of reciprocal advantages, and why. any portion of the power that he already should it be at all embroiled with politics? possesses ? If you do, you are in more Why should not we exchange our wool, than Egyptian blindness, and to remove our tin, our copper, our steel, and our the film from your eyes, were a task as dif- coals, of all which we have a superabun. Sicult as that of bleaching the Ethiopian's dance, for the oil, and wine, and corn, and skin.
hemp, and other things of which we have But, is it true, what Mr.Canning tells you none, or an insufficient quantity, and of about the necessity of our regaining our in- which France and other parts of the Contifluence upon the Continent, in order to open nent have a superabundance? The truth a permanent field for our commerce ? In is, that there can be no reason why this sort my opinion, nothing can be more falla of exchange should not be continually going cious. He tells you, that it is useless for on, and should not be as free as the air, you to have peace; that peace will do no- except that governments have an interest, thing for your commerce, because Buona- or, at least, think that they have an inteparté may revive all his decrees the next
rest separate from that of the people. We day. You will observe, that Buonaparte at Botley, for instance, have more wool has offered to treat with us upon the basis and more hoops than we can consume; but of actual possession ; that is to say, of we have no claret, or Burgundy, or sallad leaving each power in possession of all the oil ; while the cultivators in France may territory that it now holds. This being the have not half a sufficiency of wool and of case, there would, of course, be terms; hoops, and want a demand for their wine there would be a mitigation of the great and their oil. Yet if we were at peace toprinciple of the treaty. Besides, it would morrow we could not enter upon an exnot be the ir rest of Buonaparté to exclude change of these commodities, though so manifestly advantageous to us on both sides there any truth in this representation ? Has of the water. Our articles would go to America any influence or power upon the them, and their's would come to us, so Continent ? Yet she has carried on, and loaded with taxes, that by the time that still carries on, an immense trade with the the wine reached our lips it would be too Continent of Europe. America, it is well dear to be drunk, except by persons of large known, has never had any share of influfortunes. Can there be any reason for this ? ence or power in England ; but we welt There certainly cannot, and I hope to live know how great has been her trade with to see the day when the happiness of nations, England, how enormously great the comwill not be thus obstructed. Our govern- mercial transactions of the two countries ment has always proceeded upon a system with each other. of commercial monopoly. It has been It is, therefore, a gross delusion, that aiming at grasping the commerce of the political influence on the Continent of world, not considering, that in the end it Europe is necessary to us for the purposes must thereby raise up a world of enemies. of commerce; and, indeed, this is merely Every war appears to have had the mono- a pretence for the carrying on of the war; poly of commerce in view, and at the same the real object of which war is, on the part time the commerce seems to have been in- of men like Mr. Canning, the support of tended chiefly as the means of prosecuting corruption and the augmentation of its war. We are the first nation that I have wages. Mr. Canning introduced the disever read of, who attempted to carry on pute with America upon this occasion, and commerce sword in hand, to fight nations said that “ his opponents had expected, by in order to compel them to be our custom- " the clamour they made about the imporers. Nothing surely can be more unnatu. "tance of their measures, to have effected ral, and like every other unnatural thing, " a triumph. They had prophesied peace it cannot be of long duration. We have " with America, because we had made con. heretofore succeeded in compelling nations " cessions to them. The Orders in Coynto purchase our goods and to yield to our “cil were repealed to make the experiment. politics : we have sent out our bales and ". The experiment has failed. They had our ambassadors under the same flag. It 6 hoped to apply the success of the measure appears to me that we shall never be able " adopted towards America, to their arguto do this again. The world, both old “ments in favour of France; but they and new seems to be in a humour no longer have found, and the nation is convinced, to submit to our system of enforcing com
" that concession and humiliation are of no merce, and I am of opinion that that system is not at all necessary either to our in- Whether Mr. Canning's opponents at dependence or our happiness, nor would I Liverpool had prophesied that the repeal of carry on the war a single hour for the pur- the Orders in Council would effect peace pose of maintaining that system.
with America, is more than I can say. If Far otherwise thinks the Clerk of the they did so prophesy; it only proves that Hanaper. He tells you that you must, be they understood less of the matter than I
obtain by war the did; for I said from the beginning, that means of enforcing a commerce with the the repeal of the Orders in Council could. Continent, which, were it nothing else, is not reasonably be expected to have such an a most impolitic declaration, seeing that it effect. This opinion I maintained by is impossible that Buonaparté should not, arguments which I will not repeat, but by such declaration, be induced to make which, as they were never answered, the greater 'exertions in order to prevent us
attempted to be answered, except from accomplishing such an object. I wish by personal abuse against myself, I conyou, above all things, to bear in mind, cluded, and still conclude, so have been that it is our politics, and not our goods, unanswerable. But, what ignorance, or that Napoleon wishes to shut out of the what,impudence must that man have, who Continent of Europe; and, that our govern- talks of concessions, and humiliating conment views the goods as nothing without cessions too, made by us to America ? All the politics, is evident from the speech of the world knows, and we ourselves have Mr. Canning, who says that we must con- many times acknowledged, that our Orders tend for 56 our share of the influence and in Council were a violation of public law,
power of the Continent.” This he re- though, as we asserted, they had been ime, presents as necessary to the carrying on of posed on us as a measure of self-defence commerce with the Continent. But, is against the no less unlawful decrees of
France. We had declared repeatedly our object of the war, was a real and no very sorrow for being driven to the adoption of small concession offered by him to us. such violent measures, and professed the How, then, does the case of America apply anxious wish of our king to have an oppor- to that of France ? And what ought we to tunity of imitating France in the doing think of the man who could resort to away of regulations so injurious to America such sophistry for the purposes of decep and so directly in the teeth of the public tion ? law of nations. Well! France repeals her To sum up the whole of Mr. Canning's decrees, and we do not follow her example doctrines as to war and peace, the amount until, at the end of a year and a half, it is is this, that we must keep on the war tilt proved at the bar of the Houses of Parlia- we have diminished the power, and of ment, and proclaimed to the whole world, course, till we have contracted the geograthat the not repealing of our Orders in phical limits of the sway of Napoleon. This, Council is producing infinite misery in our people of Manchester, is the opinion of own Country. Then, and not till then, Mr. Camuing; this is the maxim of the set we repeal decrees which we had a hundred of politicians with whom he acts; this is the times over acknowledged to be a violation denunciation, I had almost said the curse, of the rights of America; and it is this re. which he has uttered against this suffering peal, this tardy measure, adopted under country. I have shown, I think, that Nai such circumstances, and notoriously for the poleon may be left in possession of all his sake of our own convenience; it is this present power and dominions without any measure, embracing only a part of the in- danger to us, provided the proper reforms juries complained of by America ; it is this are made at home. But, be chis as it may, measure that Mr. Canning calls a humili- what prospect have we of obtaining a aling concession to America; Upon a si greater degree of security by reducing the milar principle he would, I suppose, power of Buonaparté ? Those who believe esteem it a great favour done to this in the statements in the hired news-papers, sulied nation, if he, for any purpose of his will, of course, think that the prospect is own, were to cease receiving the salary at. very fair. Nay, they must think that his tached to his sinecure place.
armies in Spain and Russia will soon be Yet, upon the fact of this measure not annihilated. To reason with such persons having produced peace with América, has would be useless; for, if they were to hear Mr. Canning the assurance to ground the of the entrance of the French army into conclusion, that it is hopeless to attempt Petersburgh, and of the re-entrance of King making peace with France! What impu- Joseph into Madrid, they would turn for dence? What a contempt must be have consolation to some new falsehood invented had for his hearers and for the public ! for the purpose of deceiving them. I shall, But, the truth is, that the bare circum- therefore, only add, upon this part of the stance of his having been invited to a pub- subject, that it is my opinion, that, if wę lic dinner, was quite sufficient to justify expend as many hundreds of millions as we the belief, that he might, at Manchester, have already expended in this war, we safely sét decency and sense at defiance. shall only thereby add to that power and to
What similarity is there in the two thuse dominions, which it is the bope. of cases ? Admitting for argument's sake that politicians like Mr. Canning to be able to we have made concessions to America, who diminish; and, that after having swelled is there that has ever asked the government to an unbearable bulk the mass of our preto make concessions to France ? Nay, the sent miseries, we shall be compelled to Emperor of France himself has asked for make peace upon terms far worse than no concessions at our hands. He has sur. those which have been recently offered mounted any objection that he might have to us. to treat even with such men as Castlereagh I now come to the part of Mr. Canning's and Perceval; he has shown that his mind speech, which relates to the state of the is great enough to subdue his pride; he representation in parliament, and in which has been the first to offer peace, founded he touched upon the subject of parliamenupon a basis in which nothing like conces- tary neform. This passage I shall extract síon could be found; nay, so far from at full length, in order that those who apdemanding concessions at our hands, his plauded its sentiments may have no room proposition implied the leaving us in pos to complain of a want of fairness in my Session of Malia, which, as the possession mode of proceeding. On an occasion, of Malta on our part was the ostensible " said he,, like the present, it would be expected that he should say something | 1. It is a falsehood to say, that the Re" on the nature of our Constitution. He formers (for it is us whom he manifestly has « knew that many well intentioned, and in view) argue, that there are defects in the < well informed men too, argued that there constitution. We say the reverse; we " are great defects in our Constitution. He say, that the constitution is what we want; 6 did not think so. He thought it needed no and we say that the constitution gives us " alteration. In addressing the largest un- what we now have not.—2ndly, It is a false
represented town in the united kingdom, hood to say, that we look upon all power " he should have hazarded the expression as being legitimately lodged in the House
of this sentiment with fear and trembling, of Commons. We say, on the contrary,
if he had not been aware, that he was that the House of Commons ought by no " addressing men of sense and liberality, means to arrogate to itself many of the 66 who knew the value of being CITIZENS powers that it now exercises; and we stre" OF REPRESENTED ENGLAND.
nuously contend against its encroachments " (Loud applause.]-The evils, which upon the Royal Prerogative. 3dly, It is " are so loudly complained of, by some a falsehood to say, that we aim at making « men, he said, do not exist. Some men bolh Houses, and even the Crown cleclive ; " think that all power is lodged in the it is a sheer, an impudent, an unqualifi" House of Commons, he must confess he able falsehood; and he might as well have **** did not think so. It was the national said, that we aimed at placing the Lords « guardian, to watch the ministers of the and the King to exercise legislative and “ crown ; it was the organ of popular opi- executive powers in the moon. "To nion; it was to watch the interests of the There was, in the speech, one attempt “community; to act as if delegated by the at deception. The speaker resorted to the of whole nation ; and not as if composed of old trick of representing the members of " Delegales from Independent Stales.the House of Commons as the REPRE« (LOUD APPLAUSE.) The House of SENTATIVES OF ALL ENGLAND, " Commons, as now formed, he conti- a trick which seems to have received great "nued, cannot be altered without changing applause. Let us, therefore, examine this
the very nature, and destroying the ba- a little... is lance of the Constitution of the Country. He told you, that it was unconstitutional “They who contend for universal repre- to consider the members as delegates from “sentation, virtually say, that the crown independent slales. Well, and what then? * itself should be elective. They would Who has ever contended that they ought i rednce the Constitution at once to a to be so considered ? But, what has this “ crowned republic. Such innovations he to do with the question at issue? We do '" did hope and trust, would be resisted at not say, that the members ought to be Hi all times by the House of Commons, considered delegates from separate ** with a voice of thunder that should be states ; we never amuse ourselves with any * imperative. He was not prepared, he such idle fancies. We say, according to " said, to say, that some little amendment the dictates of honesty and common sense,
might not be adopted with propriety in that they ought to represent the people of " the mode of chusing the representatives England and Scotland and Ireland, who " of the Commons in Parliament; yet it pay taxes, because they have the power of
ought never to be forgot for a single mo- voting away those taxes ; and, accordingly, “ment, that England has flourished under we say, that they ought to be chosen by " the present constitution, with her re- this description of persons, and that it is a “presentatives so elected, in such a way, base and outrageous insult to our under" that she has become the envy of all the standings to tell us that we are represented "nalions of the earth, for her singular su- by those in the choosing of whom we have “periority, and for the many blessings she had nothing to do, We know, that, after « exclusively enjoys."
beating round through all the distinctions Mr. Canning is, perhaps, the most im- and definitions respecting goveraments, we pudent man, and he has, perhaps, more find this position unquestionably true, of what is called brass, than any other namely, that the only infallible mark of man, that ever addressed a public meet- distinction between freemon and slaves, is ing; yet, he' never did, that I remember, this, that the former cannot have any por utter before any thing so impudent, so tion of their property taken from them insulting to the public, as this. Let us without their own consent ; whereas the begin with the downright falsehoods.property of the latter is subject to the ar. bitrary will of others, who rule under the "enry" has been made apparent. It is a name of monarchy, aristocracy, &c. Ac- falsehood; an old battered falsehood ; ? cordingly, all the eulogists of our constitu- falsehood as gross as any of the frauds and tion of government, all those who have rogueries of priests (before the reforwritten about our freedom, have said, that mation, of course, ) and it is intended for no Englishman is taxed without his own much about the same purpose, namely, consent. This is the great principle of the that of plundering the people.
Envy of constitution of England. But, if what all the nations of the earth," indeed! Mr. Canning says be true, this maxim is a And what nation has ever said that she enmockery. In what way is it pretended vied us? For what do they envy us; that we give our consent to the taxes laid “ For our singular superiorily, and for vpon us ? Why, to be sure, by the mouths the many blessings we exclusively enjoy." of the members of the House of Commons; This prating gentleman did not think probut, how can those of us give our consent per to be particular in the statement of in this way, who are not permitted to vole these blessings; and I believe it woului for any of those members? “ REPRE- have puzzled him to have named one. “ SENTED ENGLAND,” indeed! Ci- But England has flourished, it seems, tizens of represented England! So! This under this mode of electing members of political empiric would persuade you, that Parliament. And where are the marks of you are represented by the members, elect- her flourishing condition? In the present ed at Gation, St. Maws, and Old Sarum; state of the paper-money ; in the two milthat you are represented by men returned lions of paupers which are languishing in to Parliament in the same way that QUIN- England and Wales alone; in the endless TIN DICK was returned in Parliament ! number of seizures made on account of deBut, this is too impudent to speak of with fault of the payment of the King's taxes; any share of patience.
in the enormous burdens which the people If the people of England are represented have to bear; in the lists of Bankrupts by men whom they do not choose ; is the which swell the Gazette ; in the twenty Town of Manchester, for instance, who years' war, which, after having destroyed submitted to the insults of Mr. Canning all our allies, has made our enemy so forand his associates ; if it be sufficient for the midable to us, that, even according to Mr. Town of Manchester to be represented by Canning's own declaration, though we are persons chosen without any participation on suffering by the war, we dare not make the part of the Town of Manchester, why peace ? But, it is to insult your undershould there be any elections at all ; why standings to dwell longer upon assertions so should any town or any county have any notoriously false; I, therefore, conclude, thing to say in the Election of Members of with expressing my hope, that the Town Parliament; why might not the electors of of Manchester may never again suffer itself Old Sarum as well elect all the members to be disg ced by listening to a similar haat once; or rather, why might not the mi- rangue; but, whether it does or not, I am nister of the day appoint the members of quite certain, that the day is not far disParliament; in short, why should there. tant, when its industrious inhabitants will, be any Parliament at all ? This is so with voice unanimous, execrate the day that glaring that it is unworthy of further com- gave birth to the faction whose principles ment; it is so impudent and profligate that were, with so much effroniery, inculcated it never could have been uttered but in the upon this occasion. presence of men well known to be steeped
WM. COBBETT. in corruption to their very lips.
Bolley, Thursday, 12th Nov. 1812. Mr. Canning concludes with the old assertion, that, whatever may be the defects in the representation, England has flourish
PARLIAMENTARY REFORM. ed under it ; and that she has become the :cnvy of all the nations in the world. A thousand times, at least, in the course of
MR. FAWKES TO LORD MILTON. every year, I should suppose, this asser
My LORD, tion is made by the hired authors of news- The
decided opinions upon the sub.papers, magazines, reviews, and other ject of Parliamentary Reform, which your
publications, but I defy any one of these Lordship is reported to have lately deliverhirelings to point out a single instance; ed in various addresses to your Constituents, aye, one single instance, wherein this have been to me the source of much sur