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Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia.
and contempt which our enemies are busied in leaping upon the British government, would recoil with redoubled force upon their own heads*. We should then prove to the world, that having often conquered our foes, merely, as it were, to raise them up, we can, when provoked, subdue them again, and maintain our conquests.
With respect to the public hostile measures of France and Russia, to ex. clude the political influence of Great Britain from the continent of Europe and Africa, is their first declared oluject; to interrupe her commercial intercourse with the rest of the world, and deprive us of our foreign possessions, is their second.
To effectuate the first, we are told, that when the consulate has sufficiently disarmed Great Britain, and fully garrisoned the posts and settlements of the republic and her dependents, at home and abroad, we shall tben see stationed in hostile array, and in the following order, viz.
Between North Bergeu and Cuxhaven, including the sound and the Categate, 30 sail of Russian men of war, from 60 to 120 guns; 20 sail of Swedish ditin, from 40 to 74 guns ; 24 sail of Danish ditto, from 60 to 80 guns; 400 sail of Russian gallies and gun vessels; 200 sail of Swedish ditto; 50 sail of Danish gallies and floating batteriest.
The passages of the Belts, and into the Baltic, to Gottenburg and the Elbe, will be defended by double and triple lines of naval horn-works, sunk upon fiat bottomed vessels, that may be moved from place to place, and taken up at pleasurer.
* To undermine the British government, the consulate employ the same arms which the French eacyclopedists were blamed for having used against the Christian religion; that is, under the pretext of exposing the principles, doctrine, and personal prejudices of the late ministry to ridicule, they bold up thc public measures of the present to universal contempt. Biskop Talleyrand knows, that as the primitive purity of the Christian church would have confounded all the soplistical subtility of bimself and colleagues, so av energetic government ia Great Britain, could get make the Jacobin heroes of the republic, bide their polluted leads amongst the rubbish from whence they rose.
+ Russia has upwards of 700 gallies, gun-boats, and other small armed vessels, and Sweden bas the easy means of increasing her flotillas to a much greater number than we have stated. Dennark had remaining, after the battle of Copenhagen, 21 sail of the line in a state for scrvice, and the Prince Rogal intends to raise the fieet to so sail of substantial well equipped line of battle ships.
* These Daval horá-works are made of large liinber beams from 16 to 30 feet long, shod with iron, and put logether like what the military call cheraui de frise. They are then fixed upon fat vessels, and sunk so as to be hidden 6, 10, or 12 feet under the surface of the water. In the Belts and other passages, where there is neither tide, current, nor motion in the water, they are easily laiu down and taken up., l'he Suedes were the first who made use of these works; they will now very soon surround Cronstadt, cover Copenhagen, and all the other important harbours in the Baltic. To lay triple lines across the navigable channels of the Great Belt, will require about 200 such vessels. The Danish government keeps in constant pay 6000 sailors employed in the royal VOL. YI. No. 22.
Estimates of the Strength y frame and Russia This naval chain may be attended by any number of military, as circumstances may point out*.
Between the Ems and Cadiz (as we have before stated) the consulate itself informis us, that the government of the republic intends to raise and distribute a navy of 160 sail of line of battle slips, with from 1500 to 2000 armed light vessels.
The prineipal stations of the light flotillas of this navy will be at St. Va., lery, and in the Scheldt; where their depóts will be rendered invulnerable to any attack that can be made from the sea. So that should the consulate be allowed time to raise and equip the quota assigned for the republic, the coast of continental Europe will be covered with ?34 sail of line of battle ships, and between 2150 and 2650 gallies, gun vessels, and other arned craftt, attended, we will suppose, by 100,000 Russians, 50,000 Swedes and Danes, and 150,000 French, Dutch, Swiss, and other dependents. To this force, the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland will' of course be exposed. The enemy therefore calculates, that he will be able to confine all our naval and military force to Europe, while he carries into etfeet his long projected plan of depri. ving us of our settlements abroadt.
dock-yards ; 18,000 with 500,000 tons of shipping are employed in the merchant service; 20,000 able seamen may, at any time, he drawn from amongst the pilots and fishermen along the coasts of Denmark and Norway.
The Swedish government keeps in pay, 7500 sailors employed in the king's service, and 15,000 sailors are enrolled for the nuvy, besides 20,001) seamen that may be likewise drawn froin amongst the pilots and fishernien on the immence coast of Sweden and Finland. # The Danishi
in Denmark and Holstein, amounts to 24,000 regular troops, and, 12,000 regular milui. In Norway to 27,000 m, regular troops and militia. The fencibles are so organized, that they may be raised to any number, at a few days notice.
The Swedish army amounts to 1.4,000 regular infantry, 2000 regular cavalry, 25,000 militia infantry, and 12,000 national cavalry.
+ To pretend that we have destroyed the navies of our enemies, is to pretend, that a man whose coat i: torn in a fray, must remain in rags, although by the scufid, he gets off with ten bales of broad cloth! The destruction of a few ships, ot of an enemy's squa. dron, makes a pompous gazette for the day; but the acquisition of Brasil, Surinam, or St. Domingo (or had we only enabled that last colony to change masters) would have been, to Great Britain more solid and glorious than the annihilation of all the ships tbat. ever were built in France, Holland, and Spain. Ships are only the wooden, and perishable parts of a navy; Brasil and St. Domingo are naval souls, and whoever possess thein, will have a preponderate body in the commercial and political world. It is easy to conceive that we do not here mean to say, that Portugal will ever make a member in the political world: that deservedly forlorn government can only be considered as a contemptible member of the body of the French republic.
The Chief Consul knows, that in subsidizing toreign powers, courting alliances on the continent, and maintaining Gibraltar, the British government could have no other national object in view, than merely to check, or 0. Vy the forces of France at home, while we might employ ours abroad. He has seen in the archives of Versailles, that,
ti stimu es of the Strength of France and Russia. Although this line extends from Bergen to Cadiz, to cover our coasts, and bid defiance to its menaces, and oblige those hostile squadrons to remain inactive in their own ports, on the east coast of the island, we have only to
aided by this policy, Great Britain has, during the last century, had it frequently in her power to consolidate her political rank and maritime empire, independent of any continental connexion whatever. That we may never have such an opportunity again, (lest we should make
a better use of it) Buonaparte has not only removed the checks we used to set on the frontiers of France, but he has placed them in more formidable attitudes around our own. We say in more formidable attitudes, because, since the peace of Utrecht, the continental powers have never looked upon alliances with Great Britain as beneficial to themselves. We tiave offered them neither advantage for co-operating with us, nor security when they assumed gestures of enmity to France. Their connexions with the consulate are built upon another basis, and better cemented. For the alliance of Russia and the United States, France holds up empires, kingdoms, provinces, and sugar-islands; to the lesser powers she shews her sabre, and the wrecks of England; and to all powers she offers an opportunity to retaliate real and presumed injuries.
Although it be an unpleasant reflection, it is a positive fact, that every government, and all the nations of Europe, Asia, and America believe, that they have injuries to retaliate upon Great Britain. It is pitiful to hear proclaimed in the British parliament, md echoed through the nation, that England is considered on the continent as the saviour of Europe! What country have we saved? Is not Europe completely subdued, ad under the yoke of France and Russia? When or where have we either protracted, or even modified the ruin of any kingdom, state, or nation? Have we not, for this last century, been one of the principal instruments in breaking down the barriers of the liber. ties of Europe, and in paving the way to the aggrandizement of the two powers, of whose Kctatorial anibition we now complain? In 1670 we made a monstrous alliance with Louis XIV. against Holland: prior to the peace of Utrecht, we entered into a disgraceful conspiracy with that same monarch, against both Holland, Austria, and Spain, or against the guardians of the liberties of Europe. When it was again possible to have snatched the Spanish monarchy from the dominion of France, we acceded to an unna. tural league with the Duke of Orleans, and destroyed the Spanish navy, to secure the subjugation of that kingdom. We destroyed the navies of Holland, ruined her commerce, divided the Dutch republic into factions, and ibon left hier a prey to her rapaciour enemies. We will not, for shame, speak of the House of Orange! In the nortli, from 1714, to the infamous peace of Nystad, our political connexions and negociations at Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Petersburgh, and the base part we then acted in the scandalous partition of the Swedish nonarchy, do certainly not entitle us to expect much gratiture from the secondary powers in that quarter. After an impartial review of the foregoing transactions, it miglit be useful to cast a glance at the following, and then to sum up the whole together, viz. Our conduce towards Turkey, from 1769 to 1774; our negociations at Petersburgh, from 1779 to 1782 ;, the part we took in that fabric of trea. chery, and diplomatic ignorance which shackled the House of Austria, and sapped the indep 11 ce of Germany and Italy, we mean, the German convention of 1785 The part we took for Turkey, for Sweden, and for Poland in 1788-89 and 1790, with our ne. gotiations and compromise at Petersburgh in 1791. This period of our political and diplomatic history analyzed and fairly' explained, would show whether or not, continen. tal Europe may be expected to consider Great Britain as her saviour. Have we, during the revolution, acquired a right to that distinguished appellation? Doth the state of
Estimates of the Strength of France und Russia. makeYarmouth-roads a safe naval slation, and another between Flaiboroughhead and the Coquet island, and one north of Fifeness, if it could be done at Buchanness so much the better. But such stations must be made at the head-lands, or where there iş sea-room; and it is absolutely necessary to have one north of the Edinburgh frith. Forty sail of British line of battle ships, distributed from the downs to Buchanness, with safe anchorages at proper stations, would most completely block in all the wavies and Avuillas that ever could be mustered between Boulogne and Bergen-bay.
security in which we have lately left the kingdoms of Portugal, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, the order and island of Malta, Switzerland, &c. and the salvation we worked out for Denmark on the ed of April last, entitle us to rely upon the good will of these states? Or is it the pleasure we seem to take, in seeing our allies, the Turks, butcher one ano. ther under our standard in Egypt, that should recommend us as mediators between Europe and Buonaparte? Of all the traits of English policy that arè on record, we reculiect none less honourable to the nation than our conduct in Egypt, since the peace! Our predecessor in the government of that country, although we do not know that au honest, generous, or noble sentiment ever isso?: d from his soul, would most assuredly not have suffered those who had once submilted to his sabre, to cut one anotier's throats, in his presence ; at least not except he had some end to serve, or yengeance to glut by their blood. Nor is it likely, that in our situation, he would see the massacres of St. Domingo with indifference! I'he miraculous conquest of Egypt, snatched the reputation of the British army from the brink of oblivion: should laurels so dearly won, be poisoned by the sight of civil carnage; be suffered to fade by a sense of generous shame, and left to wither in the breath of noble indignatiou?
When a government sports with the feelings of the wation, when the nation believe its blood is wasted, and when public ineasures make honesty blush, these are ominous presages of a falling state!
To abuse the nation, either with groundless fcars, or with fallacious hopes, is unfair at any time; but at this momentous crisis, on the very eve of a warfare, which must either end in our destruction, or in the consolidation of a real British empire, to lull the public into illusive security, is nore than unfair. The nation should be candidly told, in what relationship we stand with other powers, and the strength of our enemies should be publicly explained; if then, it be found that we have occasion for extraordinary exertions, the government will soon be enabled to realize the necessary means. We know to a certainty, that the world is inimical to Great Britain; and we likewise know, that is efficacious measures are not timely adopted, to destroy the hopes of the domineering powers, or if soine unfureseen event doth not intervene, and confound their plans, we shall have to combat the enmity of Europe and America, in open hostility, before it be long.
* But if we do not prepare for our ships, other shelter than the mouths of the Thames, and the Humber, Leith-roads, and Cromarty-bay, were the navies of England stationed in the North sea, the country may be invaded on any point, to which the enemy chuses to direct bis course.
A noble admiral, whose name will stand high on the annals of his country, as long as a sense of merit, or a spark of gratitude warms a Briton's breast, can corroborate this assertion, for in 1796 he had the mortification to know, that a Aret af 17 sail of enemies men of war came out of the Texel in the month of February, and paraded the narth sca
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia. In the Mediterranean the consulate intevds to keep up a navy of 65 sail of line of battle ships; to which will no doubt be added, a considerable number of smaller vessels. With this navy the coasts of the Turkish dominions, and of the Barbary states will be sufficiently covered to secure the dependence and obedience of those governments to the will of the consulate. And when the period to deprive Great Britain of her foreign possessions shall come, this feet will cover the rear of any transport of men from France and Italy, which may be thought necessary to employ against our interests, either in Sicily, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, or Persia; or against our settlements in Indostan.
To maintain the liberty of the Mediterranean, to cover our possessions in India from any attack from the side of Europe by land; to secure the friendship of Russia, and to prevent France from fixing herself in Sicily, Candia, and on the coast of Africa; or in short to prevent our expulsion from the trade of the Mediterranean, from Asia and Africa, we have only to maintain the isand of Malta, or other such invulnerable naval stations between Toulon and the Dardanelles*.
In America the hostility of the republic will, we presume, be principally carried on by flotillas, or light squadrons; and it will be directed, more imniediately, towards the security of the Spanish settlements, and the acquisition of Brasil, than to the conquest of any of the few rocks we now possess there.
To secure our possessions in America, as well as in other quarters of the world, we must forth with, without loss of time, acquire as many more as shall maintain an army abroad, sufficient lo defend them; and as may likewise enable us to keep up a marine, superior to that of France and her des
along the British coast, for three weeks together, and all human exertion could not carry the British feet then under his command, to sea.
To block in port, a fleet whose commander wishes to go to sea, is likewise extremely difficult, and very seldom succeeds; but to block in the hostile line that is now preparing . to act against us, would, by cruizing on the enemy's coast, be impossible; the attempt would be one of our usual measures, from which the French would endeavour to derive some advantage, for they believe that the closer we keep on their coast, the more we expose our own. But our pavy on our own coasts, so stationed, as to be able to move with all sorts of winds, were every French sailor and soldier a Jean Bart, and every Russian a Czar Peter, our British dames might sleep at ease.
* To guarantee by treaty the neutrality of Malta and the Cape, or such military posts, whose proprietors cannot guarantee them by force, is an idea, we think, too absurd for the most besotted statesman, of even this infatuated age. Would a hostile fleet, going out either to save, or to conquer our empire of India, spare its antagonist in False, or Table bay? Or wonld the noble Brouti at the head of a British fleet, quietly pass Buonaparte with another wing of the army of Englund under bis command, on the shores of Sicily or Malta? Were such treason possible, we believe there would, in the world, be only one opinion on its merits.