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that happens they break up the the debates of the house of Commons, ground, &c. &c.” But the most as given in the National Intelligencer, curious trait in this most curious pa- February 29, &c. which I beg leave per, is perhaps the following. to contrast with the foregoing ex
" It would be unfair to say, that tracts from the Monthly Magazine. such scenes are approved of by all “Mr. Whitbread explained, and officers in the French army; the adverted to a shocking instance of the truth is, they cannot prevent them, conduct of some of the British solbut I their own rooms, and even there diers at Copenhagen. not without difficulty. Some of the “ Sir A. Wellesley said, that the French officers told the narrator, orders of Lord Cathcart had been that in order to keep off depredation unfortunately such, as did not authofrom the rooms inhabited by them- rize him to punish the soldiers alluded selves, some of their number were to. obliged to stand before them all night, " Mr. Whitbread said, they had with their swords drawn ! !”
been guilty of rapes, robbery, and murShould any of the readers of the der, yet they had not been punished." Political Review not be satisfied From these charges (the truth of with these extracts, I would recom- which cannot be questioned) I trust mend them to peruse the whole it will appear to J. $. that the paper in the Monthly Magazine, French are not the only soldiers, and whatever degree of credit they that are guilty of atrocious conduct; may be inclined to attach to it, they and as a sort of amende honorable, cannot fail to be much amused. for attempting to mislead your rea. But I appeal to the plain sense of ders and keep alive prejudices (for any man, who is not totally blinded his remarks evidently tend to encouby party prejudices, whether it is rage the opinion, that the French at all probable that such practices armies only, comparatively speaking, as the above can be prevalent among are accustomed to plunder, &c.) the officers and soldiers of those ar. I hope he will inform us, in some mies that have conquered or hum- future communication, whether he bled the whole continent of Europe? prefers the violent, atrocious, and And I also ask, what opinion can wicked conduct of certain British be entertained of that man's insor soldiers at Copenhagen, (to say nomation and judgment, w.bo refers to thing of their conduct in South such a document in a serious argu- America, &c.) to the scientific, and ment? J. S. who dates from New- systematic plundering of the French castle, may never have conjectured, in the North of Germany. that the paper in question, might This country has suffered, and is have been written by one who has still suffering, so many evils, on never travelled, in his life, beyond account of the unfair, and I will Haokney or Hampton court! Had say, unmanly, accusations, indushe resided long in this far-famed triously circulated against the French metropolis, he would most likely' nation, and which are evidently have heard something of the tricks intended, to engender " perpetual and contrivances of certain news. hate,” that I think it is the duty of paper and other editors, that would every well wisher to his country, to have prevented his being imposed use bis endeavours, how feeble upon by a narrative so glaringly ab- soever they may be, to stem tho surd and inconsistent. .
torrent of this base and wicked pracIf it will not be trespassing too tice. I remain, &c. · much upon the limits of your work, London, Marck 19. I will make a short extract from
REMARKS ON THE WAR,MR. even for a year or two, his utmost BURDON, &c.
endeavours would be employed, to
accomplish the ruin of this nation. Nullum enim est tempus, quod justitia A short period of peace, say they, dacare debeat.
would enable him to build and inan Cicero De OFFICII. LIB. 1.
IB. 1. a fleei, equal, if not superior to I took the liberty, some months
to the British navy. This sentiment ago of addressing you a few lines on
appears to prevail in proportion to the change which appears to have its absurdity. There is no man of taken place in the moral character
common information, who does not of the nation :*_ say nation, be- know, that Bonaparte is much cause I was, and still am of opinion, better able to achieve this mighty that the doctrines which warranted
project during a time of war, than this conclusion, though necessarily he would be in a time of peace. confined, in practice to the ministry. Would it be possible, in the poris or government; were applauded by of France, to make any warlike a majority of the people. The bulk
preparations during a state of tranof the nation, not being disposed
quiility, without the knowledge of to think for themselves, have been
this country? so successfully duped into an eternal
I have been led to make these rehatred of the French, and the direful
fiections by reading in the last numbelief, that perpetual war is prefer- ber of your Political Review, a able to any peace we can ever ob
paper in defence of the war by W. tain of Bonaparte, that they are dis
BURDON; who seems resolved not posed to justify any measures, how
to be behind hand with any doughty ever repugnant to honour, justice, champion in fighting Bonaparte with or religion, that are the least likely
the pen. I regard this writer as a to injure the common enemy. This coadjuter of Mr. Cobbett, and condisposition is so contrary to what sequently one of those who are lahas ever existed in any previous war, bouring to lead astray the multitude, that it cannot be accounted for upon for the infamous purpose of contithe usual motives of huinan action. nuing the war. A friend of the Being the offspring of delusion, it
war, he supports, with consistency, has risen to a species of madness ; the Danish expedition ; and is also and those who labour under this
quite in character, as the justifier fatal malady, finding at last that the of any means (I use his own words) war is become a losing concern, but this nation may resort to either of unwilling to acknowledge that Bona attack or defence! With regard to parte is getting every day more the Danish expedition, which has powerful, and consequently this
reflected so much odium upon the nation proportionably weaker, their
character of the English nation, he only recource is to 'revile, call
adopts his usual positive style, withnaines, look big, and talk of perpe
out offering to advance one single jual war. Alas ! how much real
argument in support of his asserdistress and misery are concealed
tions. Indeed argument with him under this false colouring!
is quite out of place on this subject; The majority of the nation, then, fo
then, for he says, that necessity is the only labouring under this delusion, the
on the plea that can be advanced by the enemies of peace (many of whomdur
om advocates of this expedition. But profit by the war) find it extremely he
mely he seems quite to have forgotten, easy to persuade them, that it Bona- that the same plea may be as fairly parte were allowed to be at peace, urged by Bonaparte, in justification
* Pob. Rev. Vol. II. p. 367. 1 of the most violent measures of which he has been guilty; and in " talents I entertain the UTMOST the opinion of all impartial men, the “. POSSIBLE esteem!"* Emperor of France, will be as law. Now I venture to assert, without fully acquitted as the ministers of fear of contradiction, that in these Great Britain.'
passages, the writer has most egreWere the generality of persons giously committed himself. On the well informed, and had they leisure subjects of war, commerce, education, and ability to think for themselves, and population, Mr. Cobbett is stated no harm could result from the lucu- not to be simply but wilfully ignobrations of such writers as Mr. Bur: rant: he is stigmatized as posscadon : it would be impossible to im- sing a depraved and illiberal mind; pose upon their understandings by and in a part of Mr. Burdon's paper, mere assertions, however dogmati. he is said alsu to have a cold and cally advanced : the reverse of this, hardened heart ; and yet the same however is the case, and the igno- man who has drawn this character, rance of the people, is the wand of prosesses the utmost possible esteem political jugglers. It is the duty, for the general talents of Mr. Cobthen, of every honest man, to com- bett !! Can a writer, so ignorant bat error whenever it lies in his of subjects that include alınost the power, and to expose the weakness whole system of political economy, of those, who either wilfully, or possess talents to challenge our utignorantly fatter the passions and in ost esteem? Can a man, who prejudices of their fellow citizens; joined to so much ignorance, poswho publish sentiments injurious to sesses a depraved mind, and a cold, the welfare of society. That Mr. hardened heart, be a fit instructor Burdon is a weak man, and conse- in politics and national morals ? quently unfit to instruct others, I Why, Mr. Editor, you have no will now endeavour to prove. In where drawn a more hideous chathe paper already alluded to, he racter of Cobbett, than his friend has made a violent attack upon the and admirer, Mr. Burdon has, .. Editor of the “ Political Review,” undoubtedly without intending it. for his reflections upon certain ra- I could not possibly conjecture what vings of Mr. Cohbett; and behold! the writer meant by general talents, in the same breath, as it were, he till I stumbled upon another senthus pourtrays the talents and cha- tence, where the perspicacity, huracter of his favourite herri. . mour, and happy talent for irony,
“For the character and sentiments displayed by Cobbett, are duly " of Mr. Cobbett Tentertain no very panegyrised. Now it is well known " violent respect : and his public in- to all the readers of the - Political " consistencies I never can reconcile to Register," that many of the num" my ideas of right and wrong." .bers are little better that a sink of
" The sentiments of Mr Cobbett filth and indecency; - filled with son population, commerce and clas- the grossest ribaldry: and are we “ sical learning, I hold in the greatest from the above extract to infer, that " contempt, as the result of WILFUL it is this humourous vein of Cobbett, ** IGNORANCE !
with which Mr. Burdon is so inuch " His opinions on the slave trade, taken; for on many of the most im" on war, and on the education of portant topics, connected with the " the poor, I detest and abominate, well being of a state, he has pro" as the effusion of a depraved and claimed him to be entirely ignorant. « illiberal mind; but for his general Mr. Cobbett adapts his language as
well as his opinions to the taste of his * Pol. Rev. for March, p. 164,1953 readers ; it is his interest to do so ; ;
and it is generally understood, that you exclaim-How do you recon, he is well rewarded by an unexam- cile this to your approbation of the pled circulation of his paper. ---Otem- present ministry? I approve of the pora, O mores!
present ministry! — God forbid I It was my intention to advert to should ever approve of them but as one or two other subjects glanced at the antagonists of Bonaparte; as one in Mr. Burdon's letter, but having fiend contending with devils; and as already exceeded the limits which I such I pay them no great compliproposed to myself, I shall conclude ment. Though I detest the hellish with expressing a hope, “ that the maxims which the arch fiend on " reign of delusion will soon pass a- earth has acted upon in his progress “ way, and the public again learn of devastation through the kingdoms " to distinguish between its true in- of civilised Europe, I applaud those * terests and deceptive chiméras."* maxims when they are used to repel Yours respectfully,
W. his direful march, and preserve ibis London, April 6, 1808. island from the deadly influence of
his exterminating policy.
I must once more ask you this REFLECTIONS ON THE WAR, &c. question, to which I have a right,
or at least a claim, to expect an an
o swer:-Do you, or do you pot, beHartford, near Morpeth, April 9.
* lieve that Bonaparte has ever consiMr. Whitbread may be a very ho- dered the ruin of this nation, essen: nest and a very independent man, tial to further his scheme of univernotwithstanding his behaviour to Sir sal empire! You know my opivion F. Burdett, but he is certainly not on the subject, and it is on that opia very deep politician if he believes nion, that I rest the necessity of the in the sincerity of of all Bonaparte's present war, and not on the posses, professions, and gives him credit for sion of a paltry island, which from all that he pretends; I must there
my heart I believe was only a prefore add him to the list of those un- tence, as a pretence there must alfortunate dupes who have not yet ways be when one nation goes to found him out. I once gave him war with another. That no war is credit for sincerity, but the moment justifiable on the principles of chrishe asked the consulship for life, I tianity I will readily allow; I theresaw his cloven foot appear, and have fore heartily join with you in renever since found cause to repent of probating the duplicity and inconthe discovery: he is, a tissue of am- sistency of those men who profess to bition, cruelty, perfidy, meanness, be the disciples of Jesus Christ, and and tyranny, unequalled in antient yet act in direct opposition to his or modern times; and though as far commands :--but this is another as relates to him you have forgotten proof, if any other proof were wants your generous feelings of indignation ing, that christianity is not a system against all tyrants, out of your ha- calculated either to reforın, or to tred to the present ministry, I must direct the world : it is too pure and Jay claim to greater consistency in spiritual for the turbulent nature of attributing my approbation of the man; and though it may possibly present war to that aversion which do him some good, it can never i have ever felt to all tyranny, from wholly root out those passions which the yillage tyrant, to the would be are so strongly in opposition to its tyrant of the world. I think I hear leading precepts. The subject of the
war is I trust exhausted, I at least, * Monthly Review for March 1808. have nothing more to say in its de
fence, than that war with Bona- greatest victories a source of inparte, however long it may last, is Auence to the crown, to destroy the preferable to such a peace as he will balance of the constitution, so that make with us at present,
all we gain by them on one hand is The conduct of ministers on the lost on the other; in the prepondereversion bill is of a piece with every rance of the ministerial and aristor other part of their internal adınini- cratic authority, hereditary honours stration : --pitiful, deceitful, short should be sparingly bestowed. . sighted, tyrannical, and insulting to The present war is a war of unthe distresses of the people; who usual ferocity and violence, but I can have no hope from them of the have yet humanity sufficient left in most gentle reform, so long as they me, not withstanding all you may blindly conceive it is their interest think, not to wish any act of cruel. to retain the present abuses, but as ty committed which is not positivetime brings all things to an end, and ly requisite for our own immediate reformation when long resisted ends or ultimate safety: and in this light in revolution, nothing in my opinion I certainly cannot consider the incan avert the ruin of the country famous Bark bill; it is an impolitic, when pressed with such an enemy as well as a mean, malicious ineafrom without, if we neglect those sure; it will produce no effect but means of reformation within, which that of exasperating the French are consistent with the forms of the more violently against us, and in constitution, and loudly called for that case they may revenge it on by the necessities of ihe people; our innocent soldiers and sailors, and however the ministry may plume and thus increase the unavoidable themselves on the support of the na- horrors and miseries of war:-it tion in the prosecution of the war, may perhaps deprive twenty or thirwhich almost all ranks consider ese ty thousand people for a while of sential 10 our salvation, they will the use of a salucary medicine, but not much longer continue their con- it can never materially affect the fidence in a set of men whom they French nation, so as to make any see resolved to exempt themselves impression on the mind of Bonaand the higher ranks of society from parte:--it is in every light weak, pie that pressure which in times of ge- tiful, and wicked. heral calamity ought to be equally To the sentiinents of tho amiable borne by all, from the prince to the Lord Melville I think you bave not peasant. The pension to Lord Lake, shewni sufficient aversion: it is inis of a piece with that improvident deed almost impossible for any one system of expence, which lavishes who has a l'espect for human na. the hard earnings of the people, and ture, to be sufficiently indignant at insults their distresses with thought the man who seems to rejoice in the less prodigality; it is also to be vices and depravity of his species, considered in another light, as it merely to make them instruments of affects the constitution, by creating his rapacity or ambition. His lord, a pensioned nobility, dependent sole- ship and his friends, the present mi. ly on the crown for its support. nisters, seem to shew an exclusivo No man ought to be created a peer love of vice and profligacy in tho who has not at the time of his crea- army; for by the scheme they hayo tion a fortune sufficient to maintain adopted, or revived, they tell us his dignity with independence; and that none but profligates will enlist;
on this account the iniquity of the whereas by the opposite method, - Pitt system can never be sufficient that of enlisting for a term of years,
dy reprobated, as it makes even our there is some chance that young