« AnteriorContinuar »
different manufacturing towns, upon the the national safety; and secondly, whemodel of the Jacobin societies in France, ther the laws authorized such a measure. where the utmost art and industry had. In the circumstances which he had stated, been employed to inflame the passions any one insurrection whatever rendered and mislead the judgment of the lower this measure legal. Other motives not only classes, and where the doctrines inculcated justified it, but rendered it highly prudent. might be supposed to be attended with An insurrection, though not immediately the worst effect. These societies carried directed against government, might give on correspondence with the societies and to the seditious an opportunity of striking councils of France, and received from the blow which they meditated. An inthem assurances of support. In addition surrection which called out the military to all this, we have seen a code of laws (who during the time of peace were not adopted in France hostile to every more than sufficient for ordinary purother government, a system of anar- poses), laid the country at the mercy of chy and ambition, setting at defiance the seditious, and deprived it of all means all regular authority, and treating as of protection. Such was the general unlawful every thing which has been view of the state of affairs, combined with sanctioned by the laws of other coun- which there was a necessity of taking tries. They had witnessed the ef. some measure against that influx of fofects of this anarchy in the country in reigners which had poured into the counwhich it had taken place : they had seen try. While nearly all that House, and the progress of that ambition extending all the country agreed with respect to the same anarchy to other countries. the existence of danger, there were ten Their new law of nations went to esta.
or fifteen in the House, who completely blish their government wherever they denied it ; but even these could not agree should carry their arms. As their ambi- with regard to the degree of its non-extion was unbounded, so the anarchy istence. In this respect, they were inconwhich they hoped to establish was uni- sistent with one another, and in some inversal. From the conduct which they stances, inconsistent with themselves. had already exhibited, a judgment might The right hon. gentleman who spoke last, be formed of the future course which they though he disapproved of the principles would pursue. Under the specious pre- upon which the French acted, and was text of promoting the cause of freedom, afraid of the progress of their arms, was they had shown no scruple to annex the not afraid of the progress of their opiterritories of their neighbours to their nions in this country. On this score he own dominions, and to force upon the in- apprehended nothing, though it was partihabitants of the countries which they had cularly the interest, and had always been entered, that freedom, which they were the policy of the French to sow divisions unwilling to receive, and of which cer- in those countries ; against which they tainly the state of their own country did entertained views of hostility-a policy not afford a very flattering specimen. which, in the present instance, could not Their own declarations had shown that be better answered, than by propagating their views were not confined to particular their sentiments. Opinions, that right countries; that their object was every hon. gentleman had stated, were not to where to propagate their own system, by be opposed by force; they were to be all the means which art, industry, or force, resisted, first by neglect and contempt, could supply. When there were men in the mode of which he seemed most to this country connected with a people ac- 'approve; secondly, by argument and tuated by such principles, and pursuing reasoning; and lastly, by prosecution, such a system, it surely became a matter which, however, he did not greatly comof the most serious consideration. Such mend. He would only ask, what sort of being the state of circumstances, he put opinions were those to which the right it to the hearts, consciences, judgments hon. gentleman had alluded ? Serious and understandings of gentlemen present, and conscientious opinions, founded upon whether there was not serious ground of sober and dispassionate reasoning, ought alarm ? He had been told, that the mea- always to be treated with deference; but sure of calling out the militia had excited surely, with regard to wild and violent this alarm. With respect to this, there notions, assuming the name of opinions, were two questions ; first, whether the but tending to overturn every established measure was prudent, and expedient for government, and to introduce anarchy
and confusion, a different mode of con- | the 19th of November. By this decree, duct was to be observed. Those opinions the French engaged to assist all people which the French entertained were of the in procuring their freedom-such a freemost dangerous nature ; they were opi- dom, he supposed, as they themselves nions professed by interest, inflamed by enjoyed. We had seen French freedom passion, propagated by delusion, which in definition; we had seen it in illustratheir successes had carried to the utmost tion; and we had now an opportunity of excess, and had contributed to render comparing the theory with the practice. still more dangerous. For, would the Their conduct in Flanders afforded a spe. right hon. gentleman tell him that the cimen of the nature of their freedom. French opinions received no additional They had there endeavoured to propagate weight from the success of their armies? their doctrines, but finding the inhabi. Was it possible to separate between the tants not disposed to give them so faprogress of their opinions and the success vourable a reception as they could have of their arms? It was evident that the wished, they had taken the method of inone must influence the other, and that culcating opinions of freedom by force. the diffusion of their principles must keep Their general had issued a proclamation, pace with the extent of their victories. that whoever should not embrace the tree He was not afraid of the progress of of liberty, should be cut off as a wretch French principles in this country, unless unfit to live. The noble earl had talked of the defence of the country should previ- | their having given an explanation with ously be undermined by the introduction respect to this decree. What sort of exof these principles
planation had they given? They had A noble earl had said, that if a war stated that it was not their intention to should take place, the blame of that war assist a few individuals, but only to intermust entirely belong to ministers. He fere in cases where a great majority of would here beg leave to refer to the con- the people should be disposed to shake duct France. She had first denied the off their government; so that, in fact, it obligation of a treaty, which, though was their intention to promote rebellion sometimes called absolute, had been con- in other countries, and to declare war sidered as the corner-stone of the balance against all established governments. of Europe, and repeatedly renewed ; This sort of war was a war against all lewhich had been coeval with the establish- gitimate power, and which was only to ment of Dutch freedom, and was in fact terminate in its extinction. Formerly, necessary to the existence of the inde- the splendour of conquest had in some pendence of Holland -a treaty in which measure been pursued by the respect France could have no concern, except in which had been paid to the government fulfilment of its own stipulation, to guard and rights of the conquered. The Roit against infringement: and which could mans were careful to preserve the go. only be matter of question between the vernment, the habits, and customs of sovereign of the Dutch republic, and the those nations which they had vanquished, sovereign of the Austrian Netherlands. considering that as the best security for France could only have one of two mo- their conquests. For the present age tives for interference-either as assuming had been reserved the idea of a war of to act as sovereign of the Netherlands, or extirpation—a war which should tend to because she has proclaimed a new code annihilate whatever had been held most of the law of nations, by which she pre- dear and valuable. This was a sort of sumes to dictate to every country and to war which had. never been carried on model every government by her own even by despots, and which was only exstandard.
Could we then, in this coun- emplified in the conduct of those modern try, without abandoning the faith due to republicans who held out a system of an ally, submit to so insolent and unjust what they called freedom and happiness. a claim as that of opening the Scheldt on An hon. major had declared, that the the part of the French. But they af. whole of the danger which had been held fected,
present system, to des- out, and the consequent alarm which had pise all treaties, and to regard the one in been excited in this country, was a mere question as extorted by avarice, and con- delusion, effected by the artifices of misented to through despotism. The se- nisters. That hon. gentleman had at the cond circumstance to which he should same time stated, that the uniform mise call their attention was, their decree of conduct of ministers, since they came into
power, was sufficient to have occasioned, till lately the situation of affairs had ocall the mischiefs which had been des- curred, productive of so much alarm to cribed, and to bring any country into a our allies, and which rendered indispenstate bf the greatest calamity. If this sable that some active measures should was the case, he, for one, could not but be adopted. If the retreat of the duke rejoice, that all these mischiefs and all of Brunswick was sudden, and contrary this calamity amounted to nothing more to every view which was then entertained, than delusion. And while the hon. gen. no less so had been the events by which tleman had deprecated all the evils it had been followed. The progress of brought on the country by the miscon- French arms, and the enlargement of their duct of ministers, and particularly the views of ambition in proportion to the danger of a war, to which it might be extent of their conquests, the effects of exposed, he had represented the present their new doctrine of the law of nations, state of prosperity to be so great as to had all succeeded one another so quickly render ii improper to go into this war. as to afford no time for precaution. The He should not attempt to reply to these danger had made an alarming progress arguments until they were a little more before any means could be taken to consistent. A noble marquis had accused prevent it. It was not till lately that ministers with want of care, in not hav- the opening of the Scheldt had ocing sooner prosecuted those seditious curred; an infringement of the stipupublications which had occasioned so lations of treaties, and an invasion of inuch alarm. He should only say, that the rights of our allies, the Dutch, which ministers had been charged by other hon. rendered it absolutely necessary for this gentlemen with having gone too far in country to interfere, more especially as it the way of prosecution. He trusted it seemed to open the way for farther viowould appear, that there had been no lations of treaty, and more extended acwant of vigilance on the part of ministers. quisitions of conquest. It was not till Within the two or three last years, many the 19th of November that the decree seditious writings had been published, had passed, which menaced hostility to but it was not till last year that they hadas- every government. As soon as the dansumed so much importance, as to render ger could be ascertained, measures had them fit objects of the attention of mi. been taken to meet it, and there had been nisters. The proclamation had then been no want of vigilance on the part of miissued, a measure which the noble mar. nisters. He trusted that they would all quis and others of his friends approved, concur to meet the present envergence in which they had engaged to co-operate; by suitable measures, to obviate the dan. and, had it appeared to them that there ger by the most effectual means which were any seditious publications which could be devised, and unite their strength had escaped attention, and ought to have for the safety of the country, and in supbeen punished, it was their duty to have part of the constitution. fulfilled their pledge of concurring in the The report of the bill was then agreed measures of the proclamation, by bring. to; after which the bill was read a third ing these forward to notice. The noble time and passed. marquis had likewise accused ministers with having occasioned the present dan- The King's Message relative to the Corger, by their neglect, which they might respondence between M. Chauvelin and have obviated by earlier preparation, and Lord Grenville- And for an Augmentation a more speedy interference. He would of the Forces.] Jan. 28. Mr. Secretary only remark, that it was not till lately Dundas presented the following Message that the danger had been brought near from his Majesty: to this country and its allies. It was “ GEORGE R. only the retreat of the duke of Bruns- “ His Majesty has given directions for wick, and the success of the French arms, laying before the House of Commons, with the consequences that had followed, copies of several Papers which have been events so rapid and unexpected, which it received from Mr. Chauvelin, late miniswas impossible to foresee, and which de- ter plenipotentiary from the Most Chrisfied even the smallest conjecture, which tian king, by his Majesty's secretary of rendered the danger so imminent, and state for foreign affairs, and of the Anthe necessity of preparations so urgent swers returned thereto; and likewise on the part of this country. It was not copy of an Order made by his Majesty
in council, and transmitted by his Ma-1 has given herself, he cannot but deeply feel jesty's commands to the said Mr. Chauve- all the attacks designed against that constitulin, in consequence of the accounts of the tion; and his probity alone would have inatrocious act recently perpetrated at
duced him to prevent and combat them.
The king has seen a great conspiracy Paris. “ In the present situation of affairs, his league concealing, under an insulting pity for
formed against France, the agents of this Majesty thinks it indispensably necessary him, the preparations of their designs; and to make a further Augmentation of his his majesty has had the grief to count among Forces by sea and land; and relies on them Frenchmen, whose fidelity appeared to the known affection and zeal of the House be guaranteed by so many powerful motives of Commons to enable his Majesty to take and private ties. the most effectual measures, in the pre
The king has not been sparing of the sent important conjuncture, for maintain means of persuasion to bring theni back to ing the security and rights of his own
their duty, and to break this threatening
league, which supported and strengthened dominions ; for supporting his allies; and their guilty hopes. But the emperor Leopold, for opposing views of aggrandizement the promoter and declared leader of this great and ambition on the part of France, which conspiracy, and after his decease Francis, would be at all times dangerous to the king of Hungary and Bohemia, have never general interests of Europe, but are pe- sincerely answered any of the candid and culiarly so, when connected with the
reiterated demands of the king. pagation of principles which lead to the After being, wearied by delays and vague violation of the most sacred duties, and answers, the impatience of the French in. are utterly subversive of the peace and princes have successively avowed the coalition
creasing daily by new provocations, those order of all civil society. G. R."
of the powers against France. They never The Message was ordered to be taken justified themselves for the part they had into consideration on the 31st. instant. taken in it, or for that they were still taking.
Far from showing themselves disposed to
dissolve it by their influence, they have Correspondence between M. Chauvelin sought to connect it with facts, which in the and Lord Grenville.] Mr. Secretary first place were foreign to it, and upon which Dundas presented to the House, by his France has never refused doing justice to the Majesty's command, the following interested parties. And, as if the king of
Hungary were desirous of consecrating the COPIES CORRESPONDENCE
BE- perpetuity of the attack he makes on the TWEEN M. CHAUVELIN AND LORD declared that this coalition, equally injurious
sovereignty of the French empire, he has GRENVILLE.
to the king and to the nation, could not cease
until Frunce should remove the serious causes No. I.— Note delivered by M. Chauvelin which had given rise to it, that is to say, so to lord Grenville, May 12th, 1792.
long as France, jealous of her independence,
would not give up the smallest point of her The undersigned minister plenipotentiary new constitution. of his majesty the king of the French, is Such an answer, preceded and supported by ordered by his court to transmit to his excel preparations most evidently hostile, and by lency lord Grenville, secretary of state to his an ill-concealed protection of the rebels, must Britannic majesty for the department of fo- have appeared to the National Assembly, to reign affairs, the following Note:
the king, and to all France, as a manifest The king of the French, in sending a mi- aggression; for it is commencing war to annister plenipotentiary to London, has espe nounce that troops are assembled and called cially charged him to commence his mission in all quarters, in order to constrain the inby inanifesting to the British government habitants of a country to alter the form of the powerful reasons which have determined government wh they have freely chosen, France to a war with the king of Hungary and sworn to defend. and Bohemia. He has thought that he owes Such is the sense and, as it were, the subthis manifestation to the purity of the inten- stance, of all the evasive answers of the tions which animate him, as well as to the emperor and king of Ilungary's ministers, to laws of good neighbourhood, and to the value the simple and candid explanations which the which he attaches to every thing which may king required of them. maintain confidence and friendship between Thus the king saw himself forced into a two empires, who have at this moment, more war, which was already declared against him; than ever, reasons for drawing near each but, religiously faithful to the principles of the other, and uniting themselves together. constitution, whatever may finally be the fate
Having become king of a free nation, after of arms in this war, France rejects all ideas of having sworn to support the constitution it aggrandizement. She will preserve her limits,
her liberty, her constitution, her inalienable on his part respecting all the stipulations of right of reforming herself, whenever she may this treaty. think proper: she will never consent thai, The minister plenipotentiary of France, under any relation, foreign powers should
CHAUVELIN. attempt to dictate, or even dare to nourish a London, 12 May 1792, hope of dictating laws to her. But this very 4th year of French Liberty. pride, so natural and so just, is a sure pledge No. II.-Note from Lord Grenville, to M. to all the powers, from whom she shall have received no provocation, not only of her con
Chauvelin, dated Whitehall, May 24th,
1792. stantly pacific dispositions, but also of the respect which the French will know how to The undersigned secretary of state to the show, at all times, for the laws, the customs, king has had the honour of laying before his and all the forms of government of different majesty the oficial note which M. Chauvelin nations.
transmitted to him the 15th instant. He has The king, indeed, wishes it to be known, orders to testify to that minister bow truly that he would publicly and severely disavow sensible his majesty ever is to the proofs of all those of his agents at foreign courts in friendship and confidence which he receives peace with France, who should dare to depart on the part of his most Christian majesty, an instant from that respect, either by foment- and with how much sincerity he returns them ing or favouring insurrections against the by sentiments perfectly reciprocal. established order, or by interfering in any His majesty could not learn without the manner whatever in the interior policy of deepest regret that a war has broken out such states, under pretence of a proselytism, between his most Christian majesty and his which, exercised in the dominions of friendly majesty the king of Hungary and Bohemia. powers, would be a real violation of the law This sentiment is equally inspired by his love of nations.
for humanity, by the interest' he takes in the The king hopes that the British govern- maintaining the tranquillity of Europe, and ment will sce in this exposition the incontro by his sincere wishes for the personal happivertible justice, and the necessity of the war, ness of their most Christian and apostolic which the French nation maintains against majesties, and for the prosperity of their the king of Hungary and Bohemia; and that dominions. In the present circumstances he he will moreover find in it that common prin- thinks it right to abstain from entering into ciple of liberty and independence, of which a discussion of the motives and the steps on they ought not to be less jealous than France. each side which have brought on a rupture so For England is free likewise, because she afflicting to a sovereign, the neighbour and determined to be so; and assuredly she did friend of the two belligerent parties not suffer other powers to attempt to compel Confining himself, therefore, to expressions her to alter the constitution she had adopted, of the wishes he will never cease to form for to lend the smallest assistance to rebellious the speedy and permanent re-establishment subjects, or to pretend to interfere, under any of peace, he does not hesitate, however, to pretence, in her interior disputes.
give to his most Christian majesty the direct Persuaded that his Britannic majesty is not and positive assurance of his readiness to fulfil, less ardently desirous than himself of seeing in the most exact manner, the stipulations of the good understanding and union between the treaty of navigation and commerce of the two countries consolidated and strength. which his most Christian majesty requires the ened, the king demands, that, conformably to execution. the 4th article of the treaty of navigation and Faithful to all his engagements, his majesty commerce of the 26th September 1786, his will pay the strictest attention to the preserBritannic majesty shall remind all his subjects , vation of the good understanding, which so of Great Britain and Ireland, and publish happily subsists between him and his most it in the accustomed manner, in those two Christian majesty; expecting with confidence, kingdoms, and in the islands and countries that, animated with the same sentiments, his dependent upon them, an express prohibition most Christian majesty will not fail to contrito exercise agaiest France, or against the ships bute to the same end, by causing, on his part, of France, any hostility, by cruizing on the the rights of his majesty and his allies to be seas, or to take out any patent, commission, respected, and by rigorously forbidding any or letters of reprisals, from the different step which might affect the friendship which princes or states who are or shall be at war his majesty has ever desired to consolidate with France; or to make use, in any manner, and perpetuate for the happiness of the two of such patents or commissions.
empires. The king requires besides, that all the arti
(Signed) GRENVILLE. cles of the sturesaid treaty, which relate to No. III.-Note from M. Chauvelin to Lord the case vi one of the contracting powers being at war, and especially the 3d, 16th, 24th,
Grenville, May 24th, 1792. 39th, 40th, and 41st articles, shall be punc- The under-signed minister plenipotentiary tually observed and executed, in the same from the king of the French to his Britannic manner as his majesty is determined to act Majesty, has the honour to state to his excel. (VOL. XXX,