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Dispute with America.—Petitions for Peace. It to their senses, and put an end to their system of commercial de struction.
Lord GRENVILLE in the debate on the address stated “ that “ America had received the most satisfactory assurance from the “ French government, that its blockading decree would not be " acted upon against American shipping : that the whole founda« tion therefore upon which our orders of council professed to rest “ is done away; and yet ministers by their indiscreet precipitancy “ have put unnecessary fetters upon our own commerce, and most “ unjust restrictions or rather a total prohibition upon the com“ merce of America."-It appears that at the time the embargo was ordered, the Americans were not in possession of the above intelligence: should it prove to be correct, the most painful consequences to this country may be apprehended : it is well if the injustice and folly of our ministers do not prove the means of adding America to the already formidable list of the enemies of Britain, and the allies of France.
PETITIONS FOR PEACE. Our readers will find under the head of " Domestic Intelligence," an interesting account of the general meeting of the Yorkshire clotheirs, mannfacturers, &c. at the Cloth-ball at Leeds. The plain good sense which pervades the speeches made at the meeting, the fair and orderly proceedings, the firm and moderate language of the resolutions, and the declaration that should ministers advise his Majesty to reject their petition, they will not be discouraged from petitioning in future,—these circumstances render the conduct of the Yorkshire clothiers an example which we lrope will be followed generally throughout the kingdom. It must now be evident that our ministers are firmly resolved not to negociate with France, under the present circumstances. They are determined to trust to the chapter of accidents, which they hope may produce a new coalition against France, or till the difficulties and distresses of the people shall be augmented to such a degree, as to disable the country from persevering in the contest. To give the war an air of popularity, they are stirring up those corrupt corporations more immediately under their influence, to present addresses in its support. To counteract the effect of these paltry maneuvres, the people ought to' assemble in respectable bodies. Our countrymen may rest assured, that until ininisters are fully convinced that the preservation of their places depends on the restoration of peace, no rational hope can exist of our possessing that blessing.
That Lord Milton, after having exerted himself to prevent the meeting from taking place, should represent his constituents to whom he is under such great obligations for the warmth with which they engaged in his election, as men “idly clamouring for peace,"
Petitions for Peace.--Fast-Day..
affords too evident proof that gratitude is not his lordship’s favour
- FAST DAY. We are again called upon to offer up that annual insult to the Almighty, a service of pretended humiliation on account of our national sins. One would imagine that after the recent acknowledgment of our rulers “ that “ we had refused to make peace with France on account of Russian in“ terests;" after their atrocious attack on Copenhagen; after their haughty rejection of all overtures for uegociation, that none but Atheists or Infidels, with hearts full of bypocrisy, and “ hands full of blood,” would dare to repeat in the face of heaven that the war is “ just and necessary," and to offer up'tlieir prayers for success in its prosecution : but there are probably no prayers, that may be made for the established clergy, in any country, which they will have any objection to repeat. Protestant Dissenters, however, will be careful how they offer up “ an abomination to the Lord.". If their ministers choose to meet on that day, let them confess honestly, before God our national sins. In our following pages they will find an example which - they would do well to follow. If they feel they are-deficient in christian courage necessary for the purpose, let them be silent, Our countrymen in general, cannot, we are persuaded, employ an hour better on the Fast-day, than in reading certain portions of the prophetic writings, particularly the xxvi, xxvii, and xxviii, of Ezekiel, and the i, and lviii, of Isaiah. In the description of TYRE they may behold a just representation of the pride of that nation which boasts of the “ sovereign* ty of the oceau :" in the history of the Jews they will find a description of a corrupt, bloody, liypocritical people; and in which they may behold the character of BRITAIN “as in a glass :" but we hope after seriously conteniplating it, they will not “ go their way, and straightway forget what description of people they are !": Hurlow, Jun. 29, 1808.
** It was our intention to have inserted in our present number, our usual Review of Books, a Monthly list of Political Publications, and A brief Obituary of distinguished persons; but the interesting documents and discussions relative to recent public events, which appear in our following pages, oblige us to consider other articles as of minor importance.
I HE most interesting of the debates in Parliament which have hitherto taken place are those relative to the Danish expedition ; and a more interesting object, in the discussion of which not only the character of the British nation, but the essential and eternal principles of justice, humanity, and christianity are concerned, never yet, and we may venture to affirm never will engage the attention of either the British parliament, or of any civilised assembly on the face of the globe. Some of our ministerial editors, and in particular the unprincipled birelings in the Morning Post, who openly ridicule all those principles of morality which have hitherto been professed at least, by all civilized nations, whether heathen or christian, terming all such principles “ Political Methodism," complain that the subject is grown "stale." We; however, most earnestly hope that the subject will never be lost sight of either by the British senate, the British nation, yea, we will add by all Europe, until that complete satisfaction most justly demanded by Denmark, and by other powers on her behalf be granted; that is, so far as she can receive satisfaction; for it is out of the power of Britain to atone for the complicated miseries unnecessarily and wantonly inflicted on the inhabitants of Copenhagen; to restore parents to their children, and children to their parents; to raise from the dead her murdered citizens. May the Almighty Avenger of the oppressed compel this country to render Denmark all the justice in her power, is our fervent prayer! .
VOTE OF THANKS TO THE OFFICERS EMPLOYED
OFF COPENHAGEN.' in . The effrontery of ministers las permitted them, as was justly observed by Sir FRANCIS BURDETT and other members, to prostitute the thanks of the two houses on this occasion. After a vote of thanks for services which consisted of nothing more than burning the capital, and stealing the fleet and arsenals of a people confiding in our honour, and unprepared for defence, we need not
- VOL. III,
xviii Vote of Thanks to the Officers employed off Copenhagen. wonder at the little estimation in which similar votes may be held in future. Some of our senators in both houses, as if they seemed almost ashamed of assenting to the vote, observed that the commanders on such occasions had nothing to do with the nature of the service in which they were employed; they had only to obey the orders of their sovereign, or more correctly speaking, of his ministers. Are then British officers Slaves, mere machines to be moved at the will of a cabinet of whatever materials it may be composed ? For the honour of our army and navy, it ought not to be forgotten, that there have been instances in which officers have shewn themselves to be FREEMEN, and have accordingly spurned at what they deemed an inglorious service. Had this been the case with the commanders of the Danish expedition, instead of being disgraced by titles which their virtuous descendants, recollecting the manner in which they were acquired, must blush to own, their names and their memories would have shone with peculiar lustre in the anpals of history to the end of time.
We are sorry that no member in either house applied for informajion respecting the authenticity of a letter addressed by Lord' CATHCART to General PEYMAN, which although it has never appeared in our official accounts, was published in the Copenbagen gazette. In that letter his lordsbip declared to the defenceless inhabitants of Copenhagen, “ that if they determined to abide by the horrors of “ a siege, they should be annoyed by every possible means of de“ vastation!”* Such a proclamatiou was never equalled except by the famous proclamation of the Duke of Brunswick who threatened the inhabitants of Paris with “ military execution, and that “the “ city should not have one stone left upon another !” If Lord CATHCART really issued such a proclamation, he needed neither titles nor votes of thanks to render his memory inmortal. This șingle action will, he may rest assured be fully sufficient to “ damn “ him to everlasting fame!”.
Mr. PERCEVAL assigned as a reason for the vote of thanks, “ the inoderation and humanity shewn by the commanders through“out the whole of their proceedings." The moderation and humanity of those who threatened the inhabitants of Copenhagen “ with every species of devastation,” and who so well executed their threat, may be better conceived than expressed. When the right hon. gentleman added, by way of further encomium, “ that “ the service in which the noble commanders were employed, was to “ them a painful and heart-breaking business," he rather described what it ought to have been, than wliat it was. We confess, should the consciences of those who have been the principal agents in this scene of complicated wickedness ever be awakened; the consciences
* Pol. Rev. Vol. II. p. 205.
of the evangelical admirals GAMBIER and STANHOPE, more especially;-should they in their dying hour “ set forth a deep repen“ tance," and with broken hearts implore the forgiveness of the nao' tion they have injured, and of their country, and their GOD, that horror which we feel at the mention of their names will be somewhat diminished, and we shall indeed acknowledge that “ nothing “ in their life, became them like the leaving it."*
INQUIRY RESPECTING THE DANISH EXPEDITION. After perusing the official dispatches of our commanders, and the declaration of our ministers, termed by them “a frank exposition “ of the motives which dictated the expedition to the Baltic," we never entertained a doubt of the atrocity of the proceeding, and were firmly persuaded that no satisfactory justification could possibly be offered on the principles of common honour, honesty or justice. We are not therefore disappointed that the more our ministers have altempted to palliate their conduct, the more conspicuous have they rendered their own injustice, hypocrisy, and falsehood!
The conduct of the opposition in the two houses, on this subject has been honourable to themselves, and becoming the dignified character of British senators. Although as individuals they might have made up their minds, it was right that for the honour of our pational character, an appeal should be made to the senate of the nation, that our rulers should be called upon for the evidence on which they had proceeded, that such evidence should be calmly attended to, and thoroughly examined, before the legislature should pronounce its solemn decision. This appeal has been made, and surely, except with the eminently weak, or the eminently depraved, there can be but one opinion respecting the equivocations and falsehoods which have been so unblushingly uttered in the British senate, and to all Europe, on this most awful occasion. Indeed Mr. COBBETT, with other miserable apologists for the Danish expedition, appear sensible of the folly of ministers in appealing to the various sources of information they pretend to have received, and in attempting to vindicate their conduct on any other ground than the mere apparent necessity of the case. But ministers, notwithstanding all their effrontery, could not look the different courts of Europe, nor their own country in the face, without making some attempts to prove the existence of such necessity. These various atteinpts can never be too often recapitulated : the more they are examined the more apparent is their futility.
The first pretence assigned by ministers for their conduct was contained in the proclamation of our commanders immediately