Слике страница


their request.--Should he persist in his design, they solemnly protested against all usurpation of the smallest part of the territories of the republic, and their willingness to sacrifice their lives in defence of their liberty and integrity. And they closed their protest with a pathetic address to the empress of Russia, in the character of their protectress : “ we expect, " above all, that the august sovereign in whom we have placed all our « confidence, and who, in the face of Europe, has vowed to us good-will, s will not suffer the splendour of her renown to be obscured, and will “ rather think it becoming the magnanimity of her soul to add to the mul« titude of her memorable acts which have immortalized her, one no less -“ glorious, that of stretching out, at this critical period, the hand of assistance s to a free nation, worthy in every respect to excite the general interest."e

In what manner her imperial majesty was disposed to testify her friendship for the Poles was soon evinced in a manifesto conveyed to them by the hands of her general. +--After displaying her motives to interference, in words which, like those of Frederic William, only served to aggravate injustice by a mockery of the injured nation, ascribing to some persons among them the propagation of democratic principles, and adverting to her unsuccessful endeavours, during thirty years, to maintain peace and quiet among them, “ from these considerations,” says her warlike minister, • my most gracious mistress, as well to indemnify herself for her many “ losses, as for the future safety of her empire and the Polish dominions, " and for the cutting off at once all future disturbances and frequent 6 changes of government, has been pleased now to take under her sway, “ and unite for ever to her empire, the following tracts of land, with all " their inhabitants.”—The line of demarcation is then described, and the inhabitants of all ranks are formally declared to be henceforth under the sceptre of the Russian empire.

This manifesto was accompanied with an act of the same nature from his Prussian majesty, in which he more particularly declares the motives of his conduct, and describes the districts which he meant to appropriater “ We have therefore, in conjunction with her majesty, the empress of “ Russia, and with the assent of his majesty the Roman emperor, acknow

". ledged

+ March 27. + State Papers in Ann. Regist. 1793. 221.


“ ledged, that the safety of our states did require to set the republic of " Poland such boundaries as are more compatible with her interior strength " and situation, and to facilitate to her the means of procuring without pre“ judice to her liberty, a well ordained, solid, and active form of governs ment, of maintaining herself in the undisturbed enjoyment of the same,

and preventing by these means the disturbances which have so often - shaken her own tranquillity, and endangered the safety of her neighbours. In order to attain this end, and to preserve the republic of Poland " from the dreadful consequences which must be the result of her internal “ divisions, and to rescue her from utter ruin, but chiefly to withdraw her « inhabitants from the horrors of the destructive doctrines which they are “ bent to follow, there is, according to our thorough persuasion, to which “ her majesty, the empress of all the Russias, accedes in perfect congruity “ with our intentions and principles, no other means but the incorporating

her frontier provinces into our states. Wherefore we have resolved, so with the assent of her Russian majesty, to take possession of the above ~ mentioned districts of Poland, and also of the cities of Dantzic and “ Thorn, to the end of incorporating them to our state.”—His majesty, having thus declared his resolution, expresses his hope that the Polish nation will call a diet for the purpose of ratifying these proceedings; he exhorts the inhabitants of the districts and towns not to oppose his troops, but tractably to submit to his government; and he denounces the punishments usual in such cases on such as shall be disobedient to his will."

Thus did these monarchs display their genius in devising new methods of remedying political evils. The desperate resource of amputation is sometimes necessarily resorted to in diseases of the body natural;

[blocks in formation]

But it was reserved for the illustrious Catharine and her worthy coadjutor.
in this business of salutary reform to apply this practice to the body politic,
and to enjoy the reward of their ingenuity and address.
These proceedings were strenuously opposed by the confederates of

Targowitz. d State Papers in Ann. Regist, 1793. 299.





Targowitz. And when notes were presented to the diet from the courts

of Berlin and Petersburg, demanding the appointment of a deputation to · sanction the division of the country, a violent altercation ensued; and it was determined by a considerable majority of dietines, I to claim the mediation of foreign courts with those of Berlin and Petersburg, to withdraw their troops from the territories of the republic. The purpose of this reso

vas, however, frustrated by the debates which ensued, and a subsequent adjournment of the diet.

When no free state was seen to interpose its kind offices to save the Poles from absolute subjugation and a most unjustifiable dismemberment of their dominions, when the dietines had opposed in vain the mandates of the Prussian and Russian courts, when their houses and estates were threatened with military execution should they persist in their resistance, when the Russian ambassador had ordered a body of troops, with three pieces of artillery, to be drawn round the house of assembly, to awe the dietines, when he had laid four of the most active opponents of the confederate courts under an arrest, the diet was, at last, reluctantly constrained to consent to, or, more properly speaking, to desist from their resistance to, the treaty by which the two monarchs were to be gratified in their requisitions. By their mournful silence they testified their inward dissent. And, that they might not incur disgrace with their countrymen, and with posterity, as promoters of the transaction, they accompanied their assent with a solemn protest, declaring the circumstances under which they acted: “ unable,” said they, “ to prevent, even with the risk of our lives, the “ effects of the oppressive force, we leave to our posterity, happier, per“ haps, than ourselves, those means of saving our dear country, whereof we “ are, at present, bereft: and thus the project sent to us by the Russian “ ambassador, though contrary to our laws, wishes, and opinions, forced by “ the above means to accept, we do accept.”|| This appeal, together with an account of the preceding transactions, were transmitted to all the foreign ministers, as a vindication of the conduct of the diet.

After this, no resistance was made by the government to the measures of the confederate powers; active exertions in defence of their rights and

independency # June 26. | September 24. e Hist, of Poland. 449. Annual Register.

f State Papers. Annual Register, 240.




jew C

independency giving place to fruitless' murmurs and expressions of indignant rage against their oppressors. A new constitution, digested agreeably to their instructions, experienced the same compulsive acceptance: and some decrees relative to the revenue were passed. After which this memorable diet was closed.ts







In the prosecution of his plans relative to the civil government, lord Cornwallis availed himself of the acquisitions made by the British arms to forward the interests of the company, at the same time that he promoted the happiness of their new subjects. --Some years since, Mr. Grant, then in the company's service at Calcutta, had discovered an authentic copy of the original revenue accounts, as they had been established by the emperor Ackbar; shewing the financial system, as it was before lord Clive received the duannee.—This being announced to the company by the government of Bengal in 1785, the expediency of re-establishing the ancient system became a subject of debate

When the company took possession of the districts ceded by Tippoo Sultan on the north-western frontiers of the Carnatic, it was found that the revenue was assessed and collected in them upon similar principles.Desirous to conciliate the good-will of the natives whilst he attended to the welfare of the company, lord Cornwallis embraced the opportunity to make trial of this system; and employed two persons who were conversant with the language and manners of the people, to superintend the collection of the revenue in these districts. And the result, it is said, has been, that, at the same time that the pecuniary interests of the company have been greatly promoted, “ the agency of intermediate oppression has been “ superseded; and the cultivator, in paying his exact assessment, according to the original record of the land, is secured against unjust and extraor“ dinary assessments from the deputies of government." a

The · + November 24. 6 History of Poland. 462.

Annual Register. 1792. 224. 1793

The governor's attention was again called to the department of war by the intelligence now received at Calcutta, that France had declared war against Great Britain and Holland.—He then immediately adopted correspondent measures. And the superiority of our force in these parts, and our excellent state of preparation, gave him success equal to his most sanguine expectations. The small factories belonging to the French, and the shipping in the ports, were all instantly seized, and, whilst lord Cornwallis was preparing to take the field in person, colonel Braithwaite, with a body of troops, made himself master of Pondicherry. This being the only place of great strength belonging to the French government, the reduction of it afforded perfect security to the British settlements and factories in India.



When monsieur Galbaud, a military man of respectable character, arrived at St. Domingo, † to take the government in the room of Desparbes, some hopes were entertained by the white people that they might be relieved from the oppression of the commissioners. And they were confirmed in these by the conduct of Galbaud, and his declaration that he should not. consider himself as dependent on the commissioners, or bound to execute their proclamations. --Such a declaration, which portended embarrassment to the schemes of oppression and peculation which the commissioners were carrying on, could not but be highly offensive to them. A violent altercation ensued between them. The commissioners insisted that Galbaud was disqualified for his appointment, according to a decree of the national assembly, by his being possessed of a plantation in the island, and ordered him to return to France.

The governor being determined to maintain the validity of his commission, the contest was referred to the sword.—After repeated conflicts between the partisans on each side, the negroes came to the support of the

commissioners; + May 7. b Annual Register. 1793.271.

* Edwards. 114 VOL. III.

3 D .

« ПретходнаНастави »