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lxxviii

Russia, Sweden and Denmark.

nine-tenths of the wars which have plagued and ravaged the world might have been avoided, we are not prepared to defend the conduct of either Russia or Denmark in compelling Sweden to take a part in the present war. At the same time it must be acknowledged the complaints of Denmark against her neighbour, are more just than those. we have been accustomed to hear alleged by hostile powers as the ground of their proceedings. Sweden by her frequent rash, and hostile language against France, and above all by the shameful avowal of her approbation of the atrocities committed against Denmark on the part of Britain, has assigned better reasons to justify the conduct of her enemies, than they had been able to assign themselves. It is well if Sweden does not bitterly repent of having avowed such sentiments. Success attended her arms, in some trifling degree, at the outset; but the tide is turning. FINLAND is already conquered; and nnless the forces so tardily sent by our ministers to the succour of their ally, should arrive in time, there is reason to apprehend that his Swedish Majesty, and his dominions, will shortly be at the mercy of France, Russia, and Denmark. ? In the capitulation of SWEABORGH we perceive an article by which the restoration of the Swedish flotilla in the state in which it surrendered, is promised at the conclusion of the war,“ provided « 'the fleet of Denmark shall be in a similar manner restored by “ Great Britain," an article which we earnestly hope will be fulfilled. The wanton aggression, the violent outrages comipitted against a neutral and peaceable state, and the consequent plunder, ought to be atoned for, as far as possible, by this country. . .

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REVIEW OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS. Seizure of Danish Merchant Vessels.--In the house of Lords on the -17th Inst. Lord SIDMOUTH introduced this subject, by inforining the house, that between three and four hundred Danish vessels, had been detained in our ports, or captured on the seas, the major part of which were deemed by their owners, captains, &c, in a state of “ perfect security, and reposing confidence.” Several of these vessels had indeed been previously detained, but were adjudged by the court of Admiralty to be restored, and were only prevented by accidental circumstances from sailing to their destined ports. It farther appears that when reports were spread abroad that the arma'ment fitting out in the Downs was intended to proceed to Copeyhagen, many of the Danish Captains of the merchant vessels in our ports being somewhat alarmed, made applicatiou to government, and received in return assurances of the most friendly intentions towards Denmark. They likewise, for their inore complete satişfaction, “ made subsequent applications to their own government.

Review of Parliamentary Proceedings.. si lxxit * through the medium of Mr. Rist then consul at the British court, “ and they received for answer from the college of commerce át “ Copenhagen, which was composed of some of the first and most $enlightened characters of that country, that they had no know“ ledge of any such proceeding on the part of this country, and "s begging that these captains would contradict it." These answers perfectly satisfied the Danish Captains; and thus property to the amount of several millions was seized, which the owners trusting to 'the faith of government, deemed in full security. Lord SIDMOUTH, after enlarging on the flagrant injustice of such proceedings, moved various resolutions, the tendency of which was to declare, that it was essential to the vindication of the honour, dignity, and justice of the nation, that the proceeds of these vessels, and particularly those which had previously been ordered to be restored, should not be subjeèt to the ordinary law of confiscation; and likewise declaratory of the propriety of appropriating a part of the fund arising from the condemned vessels, to the indemnification of the British merchants, whose effects in consequence of the proceedings of ministers, had been sequestrated. To resolutions so just and reasonable Lord HAWKESBURY replied as follows:-" That by the common " law of England, the Danish ships seized after the commencement; “ of hostilities, belonged to the crown de jure, and that parliament “ought not to interpose, under the illusive presumption, that his “ Majesty,” (that is, his ministers] “ would not act as justice and “ liberality required ..... that with respect to the condemnation : of Danish property, the same had been done which had been “ practised on former occasions, and very recently with respect to “ Spain, Holland, &c..... and that this was not the tinie when "we should abandon the resources which the laws of war required, “ but should rather collect with avidity all the means which the “ situation of things required to carry on the contest in which "We were engaged!" These replies were, we must acknowledge, perfectly consistent with the principles (if it be not a prostitution of language to dignify certain opinions with such an appellation) of one of the contrivers, approvers, and defenders of the Danish expedition, but Lord STANHOPE's reply, renders any further remarks of ours on this subject, superfluous. .

Lord STANHOPE observed, that he had once said, that it would be bis province, to teach our bishops religion, and our judges law." «Wbat he had thus said in jest, he had seriously verified with regard to

the former, and he believed he should now be equally fortunate with re* spect to the latter. With reference to what the noble baron (HAWKÉS3* BURY) had asserted, he should with the utmost care lay him as flat as a Les founder on his back Nothing could be more inconsistent with human and

94 divine laws, than such principles ; THE WHOLE AFFAIR WAS A COMPLETE 1. SYSTEM OF CHOUSING AND RASCALITY, and un insult to the common sense of

" mankind! He held in his hand the Magna Charta of British rights, and be should probably astonish the noble lord by furnishing hinu with some in “ formation, which from his speech, he should suppose he had never be& fore heard of. In the 30th, chapter of that sacred document, the privi • leges of merchant-strangers were contemplated; and, under every event « of war or peace, their immunities were protected by all the wisdom and

liberality which could be applied to the intercourse of the natives of in“ dependent states. By the conduct of this country, with regard to the " Danish merchants, this law had been violated ; and the confidence with "s which they had reposed under its shelter had been abused. The law of “ England with respect to debt was this, that when the debt was due, ar " action might be commenced; but if the action were resorted to before “ the debt was due, the plaintiff could not succeed; but our conduct tóc * wards the Danes was as if the law were the reverse: their ships and “ cargoes were seized before hostilities began, and were no lawful prize; 6 but while they were detained under this illegal violence, hostilities took .« place, and then they were condemned. Both in the one case and the “ other, the first act being illegal, all the subsequent proceedings were vi“ tiated ; and consistently with what he had affirmed, was every maxim, -** doctrine, and practice of the law of this kingdom."

It is scarcely necessary to add, that additional approbation was stamped by the House of Lords on our new code of ministerial morality, and thai Lord SIDMOUTH's resolutions were negatived.

The Irish Catholics.-Three debates in the House of Commons, and one in the House of Lords, have recently occurred, the design and tendency of which must be to convince the Roman catholics of Ireland, who it will be recollected constitute a large majority of the people of that kingdom, of the determination of ministers not to accede to claims, the justice and equity of which the majority of those very ministers have repeatedly acknowledged, and have pledged themselves to promote. The catholics must likewise be sensible that the same ministers seem equally determined not to lose any opportunity of adding insult to injustice. The first of the debates was respceting the grant to Maynooth college, a catholic seminary, which has always received pecuniary support from government; and it is but just that the mass of the people who pay by far the major part of the taxes and tythes, should derive some benefit therefrom. Sir JOHN NEWPORT stated, that in one diocese in the county of Cork, there were upwards of 73,000 Roman catholics, and only 1,830 protestants. The hon. gentleman appealed to the house, “ whether it .could in common sense be supposed, that the same number of o clergy could perform the religious duty that was necessary to each * of these bodies of the people: but the fact was, that a gentleman * who entered into the catholic church, adventured in a lottery that ** was almost all blanks, whilst those who united themselves with the s protestant church, as its ministers, had before them a lottery in to which were many great and capital prizes: the established and, le

The Irish Catholics.

Ixxxi "neficed clergy were often without duties to perform; and the ca. “ tholic people were often without clergymen to administer the rites “ of religion to them. Thus there were pastors without flocks, and “ flocks without pastors.” The grant proposed by ministers was 9,2001. The larger grant contended for as necessary, was 13,0001. Mr. PERCEVAL remarked, and he never said a more true word in his life,-that he did not object to the larger sum from any principle of economy, but added, that his Majesty's ministers deemed the smaller sum sufficient. Sir J. NEWPORT told the house the following curious tale on this occasion. “ He had heard that ministers “ had at first agreed to the proposition for granting the larger sum of “ 13,0001. proposed to be voted in support of this institution; but that some of them went up to St. James's, were some time closeted " with a royal duke (of Cumberland), and after that, they changed their opinions! That royal duke was chancellor of the university “ of Dublin, and from his being the head of a protestant university, “ he might perhaps wish to keep the catholics in ignorance. But “ the house, he was convinced, would unite with him in opinion, “ that it was highly unconstitutional in ministers to suffer themselves " to be so advised, and the country at large he trusted, would “ clearly see the inexpediency, as well as the illiberality of acting “ upon such narrow principles towards any class of our fellow sub“ jects." Mr. PERCEVAL in reply observed, “ that he had not “ before heard this statement, and he was not inclined to credit it « as he did not think ANY ONE of his Majesty's ministers acted under royal influence !" Resolving however to thwart the wishes of the catholics, the motion for the larger sum, trifling as was the difference from the smaller sum, was rejected!

An insult of a nature much more gross, than the refusal of the pitiful suin for Maynooth college, is that recently offered to the Irish catholics in the appointment of Dr. PATRICK DUIGENAN to - the office of one of his Majesty's most honorable privy council for

Ireland. The furious bigotry of the Doctor against the catholics is .. well known, and indeed flamed forth in the debate already noticed,

in which he represented the whole catholic body as “ hostile to the s state," an assertion at which Mr. BARHAM “ expressed bis ab." horrence, declaring that never words were uttered, so dangerous, .. abominable and false, or so likely to separate the kingdom and

deluge it in blood.” It is remarkable that on the motion “ that "there be laid before the house copies of the correspondence be*tween the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and the secretary of state, * relative to the appointment of Dr. DUIGENAN, &c.” his Majesty's ministers remained, as Mr. WHITBREAD observed, “ in dumb despair:" The only rearon given by one or two gentlemen . M

VOL, III.

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for the appointment was _" That the Doctor's advice might be
useful in ecclesiastical affairs.". Mr. WINDHAM very justly re-
marked,-" That ministers by their present measure, (so soon fol-
“ lowing the appointment of another obnoxious person to office, Mr.
“ GIFFARD, and the circumstances atsending the discussion of the
“ Maynooth grant,) by the preferment of a man whose whole fame
“ was built on his known hostility to the catholics, his Majesty's
“ ministers had, as it were, hoisted the red flag, and declared that
henceforward they would show no quarter to that large and re-
spectable body of the subjects of the empire."— The motion for the
correspondence was rejected by a majority of 67.

The grand question on the catholic petitions for a complete toleration, was brought forward on Wednesday last in the house of Commons by Mr. GRATTAN; and in the house of Lords on Friday last, by Lord GRENVILLE. The motion in both houses was—That the “ petitions be referred to a committee of the whole * house to consider of the same.” After long debates, the numbers on a division, in the Commons were--Ayes 128, Noes 281, Majority 153. In the Lords--Contents 74,—Non-contents 161;-Majority 87. In a former Review* we entered largely on this subject, and proved to our readers the justice and policy of COMPLETE TOLERATION : at the same time we exposed the effrontery, and the hypocrisy of those whose religious or rather irreligious intolerance, had prevented the restoration of the just riglits of dissenters of all classes. The subject may be considered as nearly exhausted, and we read little new in the debates on this question in either house. There was, however, one fact related by Mr. PONSONBY, which deserves particular notice. The hon. member observed that “ The great “ charge formerly brought against the catholics was, that their “ clergy were appointed by the Pope, and that by means of that “ appointment, principles hostile to Great Britain, and favourable " to France, were inculcated into the minds of the catholics. What “ has since, however, happened? Instead of leaving that appoint“ ment to the Pope, have not the catholic clergy offered to leave the nomination of their bishops to the king? They offer, when “ a bishop dies, to choose three persons, of whom the crown is to “ appoint onc. Should the crown disapprove of all the three, they “ proceed to chuse three others, and so on, until their choice is " such as to meet the approbation of his Majesty. What more is “ it possible for them to do, in proof of their loyalty and attach“ ment to the crown !"

Leaving the nomination of bishops to the King, may be a proof of catholic loyalty to an earthly sovereign, but at the same time, we

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