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Estimates of the Strength of France and Russin. may yet be permitted to go on board of a Russian or Danish vessel at sea, loaded with timber or stockfish, made up the whole amount of our negociations with the court of Petersburgh. So that our political relationship with the northern states, stands now (in January 1803) nearly upon the same footing as it did in January 1801*. During this period, however, the connexions between Russia and France were strongly cemented.
The Chief Consul negociates with foreign states on more liberal principles than we do. Where he can command by force, friends, or foes, he does it without reserve; and when conditions are necessary, his propositions are regulated by circumstances. Instead of asking Russia to fight his battles for a pa try subsidy, hè offers her an empire 10 remain at peace; in place of menacing her with visionary dangers from abroad, he asks the support of the zar, for the republic; and rather than wrangle about port charges, sugar and muslin duties, Puonaparte will stipulate with the senate of Petersburgh, that the Russian flag shall have open and free intercourse with the Havanna, Rio Janeiro; the Gangest and Japan. Such propositions as
enemies, yet, should our dearest interests depend upon the possessicn of them, our mag. nanimity disdains to retain them! Worthy John Bull! We sincerely wish, that your magnanimity, so tempered as it frequently is, with other heary ingredients, may not one day meet with such a reward as will make you stare and say, who could have thought it!
* With that difference, however, which the change of leading characters may have produced; and, that in 1801 our naval and military posture commanded the respect and admiration of our enemies, and our national means were sufficient to have secured the lasting friendship of the world: whereas a general belief that our powers are reduced, and our nationel means absorbed or given away, makes the world now'seek cause of enmity against us.
The power of a state no longer formidable, and when more may be gained by its ruin thay cau be acquired by its friendship, it is the direct interest of its neighbours la become its enemies.
+ The British parliament might perhaps be as well employed in providing efficacious means to preserve Indostan, as in quibbling about the legality of our sovereignty over that country.
To insingaie that the safety of our possessions in India can be in any wise affected by the growing powers of our enemies, we know, will be sneered at in England, and we are sorry for it: we have already noticed the facility of marching a Russian army througlı Persia, &c. And as the cousulate may now muster a French army in the plains of Syria, Egypt, and Asiatic Turkey, with the same facility and safety as in Italy or Sicily, to tell Buonaparte that such an army could not reach the frontiers of Indostan, be might sneer likewise.
But then say the folks in Leadenhall-street, our European army, with the native troops, tributary princes, and dependent allies in India, will repel any force that Russia and France can ever march, ar carry out against them. We wish this may prove to be the case, for we have little doubt but a trial will soon be made. We must acknowledge our ignorance of the state of our army in India, as well as of the disposition and means of our allies there. It should not be forgotten, however, that in these times, we see that generals like to be kings, soldiers to become legislators; and that, to bare faithful allies, we must make them obedient subjects.
Esrimates of the Strength of France and Russiu. these are national considerations; they will therefore be heard where oor commissary and chupman overtures will be deservedly spurned at. Nor is there any thing extraordinary or unnatural in the present connexion and co-operation which subsist between the courts of Russia and St. Cloud. These two powers in accord with one another, have Europe and Asia at their disposal; and if personal jealousies, pride, or ignorance do not intervene, they will, in all likelihood, pass on in conjunction from the partition of Europe, direct to that of Asia.
Is the foregoing sketches, we have been so far from exaggerating the sources and power of France, that since our statements were sent to the
press, we are officially informed, by the Chief Consul himself, that the public reve. nue of the tenth year, independent of colonies and foreign trade, aniounted to the enormous sum of 1160 millions of French livres; or, in sterling, 10 £48,000,000. And that the peace establishment of the army of the republic in Europe, exclusive of les conscripts for the year, is to be kept up at 500,000 men,
The revenues of the Russian government are undetermined; but the sources of the empire are infinite. Russia is yet a new country, but few of its natural treasures are explored, and none of them exhausted. A sovereign, possessing energy and talents, may raise the produce of that nation, and the income of the state to any amount*. Besides, the militury operations of
Since the time of Peter I. Russia cannot be said to have been governed by national rigour and conspicuous talents combined. The brilliant reign of Catherine II was a series of splendid 'victories, pompous intrigue, and licentious luxury; should the present tutn out a reign of domestic improvement, and be invigorated by military pursuits of a national nature, Alexander may make Russia the universul monarchy which bis great progenitor predicted she should be.
In 1714 Peter I. with 16 sail of the line and 180 gallies, defeated the Swedish feet near the island of Aland, in the mouth of the gulph of Bothnia; when he returned to Petersburgh he was, by his Vice Czar Romanodowski, promoted to the rank of vice admiral; upon which occasion he gave a fête to his brother officers, and harangued them as follows: “ Brother sailors, la journée d'Aland is the most glorious day in the life of Ls Vainqueur de Pultowa ; we have, in the work of our own hands, (mcaning his feet) not only conquered the ancient masters of the Baltic, but we have by that conquest made the Baltic ours. It is the finest bay on the globe, and we will make it the most useful to mankind. Fellow soldiers ! history placed the original seat of heroism, legislation, and science, in Greece, then in Italy, from whence they were disse ruinated in certain portions through the several parts of Europe; it is now our turn, and if you will continue to second my designs,and to act upon the principles which I have laid down, legislation, and science, or the great schools of human happiness, shall, by out valour, establish their empire under the sceptre of Russia; through us their influence shall again warm their native soil, and the re-action shall be felt in the remotest corners of tlre globe. Nature has made but one Russia, and she must have no rival.” This discourse, we believe, may be considered as the political directory, or gaide of the Russian government.
Estimases of the Strength of Frunce and Russia,
Russia depend but little on financial calculations; her armies always find magazines before them. Possessing twenty millions of taxable male peasants employed in agriculture, her military force may be easily calculated; as we have already said, her peace establishment consists of 700,000 enrolled sol. diers, and 50,000 nilitary servants to attend the staff of the army.
All the powerful states of which political Europe was formerly composed being either entirely subdued, or become dependent upon two mighty empires, France and Russia, and these governed by two absolute chiefs, Great Britain, insulated and alone, and still daring to keep up pretensions of independency, must consider herself as the object against which the intrigues and hostile preparations of these two governments are now most immediately directed
The intrigues of the courts of St. Peterburgh and St. Cloud are universal; they are to be met with in the cabinet of every state, in the closet of every statesman, in the tent of every officer, from the corporal to the general, and in the apartment of every chamber-maid. However, when honesty, candour, spirit, and talents are charged with the aduinistration of the public affairs, the effects of contemptible intrigue cannot be formidable to the British nationt. · The public measures of those two powers, and our own means of defence, are what we have to look after. We cannot know the particulars of their arrangements with one another, nor can we see their plans of operation in detail; that is, we cannot know what they intend to do to morrow, or on any determined future day; but as we know their powers, and our own strength, we ought to know, to a fraction, what they can do. When our enemies' force is known, three-fourths of our line of defence may be said to be completed. But the remainder should be added with all possible speed; and the whole kept in constant repair.
The intrigues of our enemies are, we know, exercising; and will, while they have any hope of success, continue to act upon the following speculations, to wit. 1. To form amongst the native princes of India a hostile combination against the British government there; they will promise those princes support from their neighbours on the Indus, from Persia, Arabia, Aracan,
• While Russia and France continue in political connection with one another, we bave the most unquestionable certainty, that they will continue conjointly at enmiy with the British government. 1. They believe themselves oor superiors in power. 2. We are a wealthy nation, and have yet valuable possessions. 3. We have not acknowledged our nullity in the political world, nor the right assumed by the Consul and the Czar to govern it. No declaration of war ever advanced more valid allegations to justify hostilities.
+ The statesman who can be imposed upon by intrigue, address, or the bad faith of others, is more criminal than he who sells Jamaica for a bribe, for he may lose the em pire, en bonne foi. Ignorance in public functionaries is treason against the state. The country has a right to call apon every man for his service, but no man is justifiable who accepts an office that he is not qualified to fill.
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia. Tartary, from France and Russia; they will create discontent, and prepare insurrection in the British army in Indostan.
It might defeat these machinations, were we to subdue the princes of Indostan, by military authority, to legal obedience; to organize that empire under one rational, vigorous, and just government; admit of no settlements nor factories from other nations; and lay the trade open by land and sea, to the whole world.
2. To prevent our receiving supplies of corn from abroad; they having all the ports of Europe and Africa under their command, and America under their influence.
If we will but cultivate our own waste lands; improve those that are in culture; look after that shamefully neglected country, Canada; gire neither premium nor bounty for the crportation, nor importation of corn, nor any other sort of provisions, we shall have no occasion for foreign supplies*.
3. To mislead our sailors and soldiers, and create mutiny and insurrection in the navy and army, at home as well as abroad, and amongst our manufacturers, they will expend millious upon millions. Give the sailors and soldiers employment in peace, as well as in war; the first in the British fisheries, to be carried on upon a national scale, and the latter in national improvements on shore. When they are in the royal navy, and on military service, let them be commanded with firmness, intelligence, and humanity, and have sound provisions ; pay for their service to the state, as it would be paid for by individuals, and provide amply for those who suffer in the defence of their country, and in protecting the property of their more fortunate country. ment. Allow the officers, both naval and military, such subsistence as their ranks in society reyuire, and such as their bravery and generous spirits de.
When corn is exorbitantly dear, to grant bounties to import from abroad, raises the price still higher. When a bounty on importation of corn is voted in England, the markets in foreign countries rise in proportion; so that the inoney granted in premiums, is in reality given to foreigners, to enable them to enhance, and keep up the price of graja above its natural level. When corn is cheap in Great Britain and Ireland, to sell and export it, to be laid up in magazines abroad, a year or two, until scarcity shall again raise the price in England, is an economy on which we shall not here pronounce an opinion. But we hope that its baneful effects will be seen into, and that measures a ill be taken to prevent the continuance of a practice, which is no less inconsiderate on the part of tlie legislature, than it is pernicious to the state. When the necessaries of life are almost beyond the reach of the produce of common lahour, and the annual im. posts already begin to benumb the arms of industry, the super-drawback on exported sugars, by which foreigners are enabled to sweeten their tea and coffee five per cent. cheaper than the English themselves, seems the counter-part of the above national economy, and clearly illustrates our system of bountcous liberality in commercial intercourse with foreign states.
. It is a well known fact, that the inferior quality of provisions, especially of bread, and the unfair distribution of bounty-money, were amongst the leading grievances that Estimates of the Strength of Finnce and Russia. şerve*. To maintain the public spirit of the navy and the army, the fruits of their conquests and blood should be secured to the nation; and they will long continue the bulwarks of our empire, the terror of var enemies, and the adıniration of the world.
4. To einbarrass our finances, by manæuvres; senatns-consultus, and by making their dependents and allies insult and quarrel with the British government direct, or with the governments of our settlements abroad; and when we have been at the expence of equipping fleets, and recruiting armies, the consul will interpose, and as an indemnification to us; he will desire his vassal to make an apology.
It is easy to render abortive these sorts of speculation: as one of the principal members in tbe great political society of the civilized world, we hate a right to insist, that every project, measure, or transaction, which in any wise tends to affect the public peace of that society in general, or the interests of any one of its members in particular, no matter where such originates, shall be communicated to us, and fairly explained to our satisfaction, before any attempt be made to carry it into execution. To conceal transactions that concern public affairs, can only proceed from iniinical designs; we must therefore consider every demarche, or movement, whether niilitary or diplo“ matic,.that wears an appearance, be it ever so slight, of equivocation, as acts of open hostility. We should then neither remonstrate nor receive explanation; the British public is the only power to whom the government ought to appeal. Were a bold and manly system of measures adopted, the supplies raised upon the produce of the property of the empire, and all such pestiferous taxes wbich vex the public, and sap their morals, abolished, the people would feel a lively interest in the independence of their country. And if we could assure our seamen and soldiers that they shall not again conquer in vaint, the nation would soon proudly soar above the feeble efforts of fo reign machinatious, our finances would easily be maintained, and the ridicule
produced the mutiny in our navy. It can scarcely be expected, that an able seamani, who has for years fought the battles of his king and country, on the scanty pay of a man of war, could with pleasure, or even with indifference, see vagabonds of all descriptions, receiving thirty, forty, or fifty guineas to come and mess amongst valiant honest tars. Such inconsequent measures are highly gratifying to our enemies; and what is of infnitely greater importance, they tend to justify disobedience and insurrection in the opinion of the public!,
* To see Britislı officers, grown grey in the service of their country, obliged to leave it, and to languish out the remainder of their days in exile abroad, for trifling debts, contracted perhaps for a necessary subsistence, which their scanty pay refused, is extremely distressing to a liberal British mind!
1 Czar Peter I. said, that to fight for glory was in individuals a recommendable vistue, although they might bave no determined object in view; “ but we sovereigas,'* said he, " are not at liberty to gratify our own personal vanities, our arms are runde af the fiesb and blood of our subjects, they must bever be wielded in vain,"