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of France, none had contributed more with the nations of Europe in the cause largely to produce that disastrous effect, of Europe, to our own cause, to ourselves than the facility with which those states alone we must look. Accustomed as we admitted
violation of the law of na had lately been to witness extraordinary tions, of which the enemy wished to avail events, he could not avoid expressing the himself. We alone had avoided becoming astonishment which he felt to see the emthe victims of the credulity, the irresolu- peror of Russia, the champion of the contion, and the delay, that had overwhelmed tinent, secured by his situation from the all other countries. God forbid that we fate which had overtaken other countries, should ever degenerate into an imitation voluntarily put the last hand to the degraof them ! . He trusted that at such a crisis, dation of the powers of Europe ; to see him encompassed as we were by external pe- descend from the proud eminence on which rils, we should never be cursed with the he had been placed, for the purpose of greatest of all evils, a timid and feeble violating his engagements, and of crouchgovernment. High as the spirit, and ex- ing under the throne of that usurper
whom tensive as the resources of the country he had so recently insulted and defied. were, its danger would indeed be immi- That such should have been the conduct nent, were the administration of its affairs pursued by the emperor Alexander, must placed in the hands of men who, with be deeply lamented. Unsatisfactory intheir eyes open to the designs of the ene- deed, was the consolation, that the time my, would be content to reply to his acts would soon come, when he would have by arguments, or hesitate to act them infinitely more reason to repent that conselves from the apprehension of respon- duct, than we had now to lament it. The sibility. Too long, indeed, had that ene- contrast which the firmness and magnamy been permitted to proceed in his nimity of the king of Sweden displayed, career of violence to neutral powers for commanded equally our admiration and the aggrandizement of his own. That the our support; and he was sure that the expedition to Copenhagen was. most im- house would gladly enable his majesty, portant and most critical, every one must not only to fulfil his engagements with have felt when its termination was in that gallant prince, but also to show the suspense; every one must now feel that it world that it was not by the quantum of was most wise. Its criterion was its suc immediate interest that we measured our
With respect to the evils by which national faith and friendship. Of the it was accompanied, every effort had been many important subjects of consideration made to avert, and subsequently, to miti- suggested by his majesty's speech, none gate them. He challenged the annals of were more important than the principles Europe to produce an instance of a war- adopted, and the steps taken by our golike enterprise, in which so much entreaty vernment, to frustrate the enemy's dehad been resorted to before success, and signs against our commerce. So imporso much forbearance manifested after it. tant and so complicated were these subWhat his majesty's ministers had planned jects, that he felt he should presume too with decision, they carried into effect far, if he troubled the house with an opiwith a force which could leave the Danes nion upon them of such little weight as no hope of triumphing in a contest; his own. As far, however, as regarded and he confessed, he could no more con the principle of the measures adopted by sider the Danish government as justified his majesty's ministers he might, perhaps, in sacrificing the lives of so many gal- be allowed to avow his sentiments. It was lant men in a hopeless resistance, than the broad principle of retaliation and he could admire the heroism of the self-defence. The conduct of France had prince, who, himself escaping from the annihilated every thing in the world like dangers by which he was environed, neutrality. There existed but two powers coolly devoted his capital to destruction, the enemy's and our own—fortunately, and its inhabitants to slaughter --The these powers were too unequal to alarm conduct of the Russian government was us for the consequences ;
even should another proof, that on ourselves we must America be added to the number of our depend for our security, and even for our foes ; an event which could in no wise be
This last lesson that we had attributed to misconduct or precipitation received, 'was, surely, the last lesson we on the part of his majesty's government. could require to prove to us, that how. In a moment of frenzy France had issued ever ready we might be to co-operate edicts levelled at our commerce. Had
the object of these measures been obtain- | to the imposing upon his majesty an inseed; had they even partially crippled our cure and ignominious peace; and that, for means, the consideration that a temporary
it was determined to force distress to ourselves was utter ruin to our into hostilities against his majesty, states opponents, must have induced us to per- which had hitherto been allowed by severe in the contest with tranquillity and France to maintain or to purchase their firmness : but, the very reverse was the neutrality, and to bring to bear against fact. So far from our means having di different parts of his majesty's dominions, minished, although the different branches the whole naval force of Europe, and speof our commerce might vary in extent, cifically the fleets of Portugal and Denthe aggregate of it exceeded that of the mark; and humbly to assure his majesty, most prosperous period of our history; that we concur with his majesty in thinkso much so indeed, that his majesty, in his ing, that, under those circumstances, the most gracious speech, expressed his con- placing of those fleets out of the reach of fidence, that no material increase to the such a confederacy, became an object of burdens of his people would be necessary. essential and indispensable necessity for - The noble lord trusted, that we might the security of his majesty's dominions :look forward with as much hope and sa That while we feel perfectly convinced, tisfaction as we could look back with con from the knowledge we have of the natutent and gratitude. There was one sub- ral generosity of his majesty's mind, that ject from the contemplation of which, in it must have been with the greatest relucevery point of view, unalloyed pleasure tance that his majesty, in pursuing this immust be derived; it was the rescue from portant object, so far as related to the Dathe power of France, of one of the oldest nish Fleet, felt himself compelled (when and most faithful of our allies, transferred his majesty's endeavours to open a Negofrom a country weak and indefensible, to tiation with the court of Denmark had one secure and powerful ; an occurrence failed), to order his commanders to resort which afforded a field for brilliant anti to the extremity of force ; we at the same cipations on our part, into which he would time most heartily congratulate his manot enter, as he felt that they were of an jesty upon the success which attended the extent and importance beyond his powers execution of this most painful but necesof description, holding out commercial sary service :—That we learn, with great and political advantages in the highest satisfaction, that the object which his madegree encouraging to us. He was afraid jesty had to accomplish, with respect to that he had trespassed too long on the at the Fleet of Portugal, was happily attaintention of the house, and should therefore able in a manner more congenial to his only add, that under the impression of the majesty's feelings; and that the timely feelings which he experienced, he should an unreserved communication, by the move,
court of Lisbon, of the demands and de« That an humble address be presented signs of France, confirming to his majesto his majesty, to return his majesty the ty the authenticity of the advices which thanks of this house, for the gracious Speech his majesty is graciously pleased to state which he has directed to be delivered by
that he had received from other quarters, the lords commissioners :- To assure his naturally entitled that court to an entire majesty, that, in this important conjunc- confidence on the part of his majesty, in the ture of affairs, he will find in us the same sincerity of the assurances by which that determination with which his majesty him communication was accompanied, as well self is animated, to support the honour of as to every degree of forbearance compahis crown, and the just rights and interests tible with the ultimate and indispensable of his people; and humbly to thank his object of security to his majesty's domimajesty, for having been graciously pleas- nions :—And to offer to his majesty our ed to inform us that as soon as the result most hearty congratulations, that this confiof the Negotiation at Tilsit had confirmed dence and forbearance of his majesty have the influence and controul of France over been justified by the event; and that the powers of the continent, his majesty the fleet which had been destined as the was apprized that it was the intention of instrument of vengeance against Great the enemy to combine those powers in one Britain has been preserved from the grasp general confederacy; that such confede- of France, and is now employed in conracy was to be directed either to the intire veying to its American possessions the subjugation of his majesty's kingdom, or hopes and fortunes of the Portuguese mo
narchy; joining with his majesty in im- , alliance with Great Britain ; and to convey ploring the blessings of Divine Provi- to his "majesty our assurance, feel dence upon that great enterprise, and with him the sacredness of the duty which rejoicing in the preservation of a power the firmness and fidelity of his Swedish so long the ally of Great Britain, and in majesty impose upon Great Britain ; and the prospect of its establishment in the that we will cheerfully enable his majesty new world in augmented strength and to discharge it in a manner worthy of this splendour :--To lament, in common with country:- To thank his majesty for inhis majesty, that the determination, on forming us, that the Treaty of Commerce, the part of the enemy, to excite hostili- Amity, and Navigation, between his maties between his majesty and his late al- jesty and the United States of America, lies, the
emperors of Russia and of Austria, which had been signed by commissioners and the king of Prussia, have proved so duly authorized for that purpose, has not successful; and to concur with his majesty taken effect, in consequence of the refusal in the propriety of his not having accepted of the President of the United States to the proffered mediation of the emperor of ratify that instrument:--To acknowledge Russia, until his majesty might have been with great satisfaction, his majesty's justice able to ascertain that Russia was in a con- in oftering spontaneous reparation for an dition to mediate impartially, and until unauthorized act of force committed against the principles and the basis on which an American ship of war, and to lament France was ready to negotiate were made that an attempt has been made on the part known to his majesty ; and whilst we see of the American government to blend the with regret the course pursued by the em question arising out of this act, with preperor of Austria and the king of Prussia, tensions inconsistent with the Maritime to assure his majesty, that we are happy Rights of Great Britain; and, while we in hearing that his majesty has given concur with his majesty in earnestly them no ground of complaint, and that hoping that the American government they have not even at the moment when may still be actuated, in the discussion their ministers respectively demanded their now pending between the two countries, passports, alledged any pretence to jus- by the same desire to maintain peace and tify, or any distinct cause to account for friendship on which his majesty has unithat proceeding :-To return his majesty formly acted, at the same time to offer our humble thanks for having been gra- our humble and hearty acknowledgments ciously pleased to direct, that Copies of to his majesty for the determination which the Official Notes which passed between he has been graciously pleased to express, his majesty's ambassador and the minis to maintain unimpaired the Maritime ters for foreign affairs of his imperial ma- Rights of Great Britain :—Humbly to jesty the emperor of Russia, pending the thank his majesty, for having been graNegotiations at Tilsit, as well as of the ciously pleased to order that Copies of Official Note of the Russian minister at the Orders should be laid before us, which this court, which contained the offer of his majesty has issued with the advice of his Imperial majesty's mediation, and of his privy council, in consequence of the the Answer returned to that Note by his Decrees of the enemy, which declared his majesty's command; and also, Copies of majesty's dominions to be in a state of the Official Notes of the Austrian minister blockade, and subjected to seizure and at this court, and of the Answers which confiscation the produce and manufachis majesty commanded to be returned to tures of this kingdom, and to assure his them, should be laid before us.—That we majesty, that we will not fail to take these hear with concern that his majesty's ear Orders into our early consideration : nest endeavours to terminate the war with To return his majesty our humble thanks the Ottoman Porte have been defeated for having ordered the Estimates of the by the machinations of France, not less current year to be laid before us; and to the enemy of the Porte than of Great assure his majesty, that he may confidently Britain :- That we rejoice to find, that rely upon our readiness to make such prowhile the influence of France has unfortu vision for the public service as the urgency nately proved too successful in exciting of affairs may require :—That we hear new wars, and preventing the termination with great satisfaction, that notwithstanding of existing hostilities against this country, the difficulties which the enemy has enthe king of Sweden has resisted every at deavoured to impose upon the Commerce tempt to prevail upon him to abandon his of his majesty's subjects, and upon their
intercourse with other nations, the re- | this intimation, it perhaps could not be laid sources of the country have continued in on the table of the house, nor perhaps the last year to be so abundant, as to have ought to be so.
If ministers were in posproduced, both from the temporary and session in July of the information alone, permanent revenue, receipts considerably which has since been publickly disclosed, arger than that of the preceding year; they would have failed in their duty had and that our satisfaction, arising from this they not acted as they had done. He proof of the solidity of these resources, hoped that no greater difference of opinion will be greatly increased, if, according to would exist on this subject in the house, the hope which his majesty has been gra- than what existed throughout the country cously pleased to express, we shall be at large. If, however, his majesty's mienabled io raise the necessary supplies for nisters should be attacked upon it, they the present year, without any material would be well able to defend themselves. additions to the public burdens :- To as Of this he was convinced, and he was wil. sure his majesty, that we feel the firmest ling to admit it, that had the gentlemen conviction, that if ever there was a just and opposite remained in power, they would national war, it is that which his majesty have done no such thing. A similar atis now compelled to prosecute : that this tempt had been made by France on Portuwar in its principle is purely defensive ; gal, but the frankness of the court of Lisbon, and that much as we should rejoice, in and its determination neither to lend its common with his majesty, at the attain- aid to the confederacy against Great Briment of a peace which would secure to us tain, nor to abandon British persons and the safety and blessings which belong to property to the possession of the French, peace, yet that we are firmly persuaded, entitled it to the confidence of his majesty's that such a peace can only be negotiated government, and justified that government on a footing of perfect equality : and that in pursuing a different line of conduct if we display, as it is our fixed determi- from that adopted in the case of Denmark. nation to do, in this crisis of the fate of the Adverting to the Russian Declaration, country, the characteristic spirit of the the hon. gent. contended, that a character British nation, and face unappalled the very foreign from that of Russia marked unnatural combination which is gathered the composition, not only in the sort of around us, the struggle, under the blessing arguments adduced, but in the peculiarities of Divine Providence, will prove successful of the style, which, if not French manuand glorious to Great Britain:-And finally facture, was the most happy imitation of it to assure his majesty, that in this awful that he had ever seen. Had the Russian and momentous contest, we confidently manifesto appeared without a title, no one rely upon the firmness of his majesty, who could have hesitated to ascribe it to the has no cause but that of his people ; and same pen as that by which the defence of that his majesty may reciprocally rely on it in the Moniteur had been produced.the constancy and the affectionate support The relative situation of this country, and of his faithful commons.'
America might afford ample room for Mr. Charles Ellis rose to second the ad- remark, but the subject was of such a dress. Seldom, he said, had so many im- delicate nature that he should abstain from portant events been crowded together in enlarging upon it at present. The magnasach a short space of time, as that which nimity of his majesty in offering reparation bad intervened since the close of the last for injury, was most praise worthy. He session. These had been stated so com trusted that the Americans would see that prehensively in the speech from the throne, it was not their true policy to unite themthat it was unnecessary for him to enter selves to France. The exception made into any enumeration of them. The vigi- in their favour in the British Orders of lance with which his majesty's ministers Council would, he hoped, be felt by them; had watched the projects of the enemy, an exception, of the propriety of which and the energy with which they had de- he somewhat doubted, disposed as he was feated those projects, had been amply ma to bestow on those orders his general and nifested. With respect to the design en decided approbation. The project of extertained by France, of compelling Den- cluding us from the continent was now mark to join the confederacy against Great trying; the trial would require on our part Britain, his majesty had declared, that he great constancy, great exertions, and great had previous intimation ; which subsequent sacrifices. Of the result
, there could be events corroborated. As to the nature of no apprehension. They had enjoyed the
In our navy
satisfaction of hearing from the throne of might proceed. No such assurances had the stability of the resources, and the flou- been given. On the contrary, his majesty's rishing state of the commerce of the coun- speech breathed a warlike spirit, declaring try. In the moral character of our go- that we were ready to act with hostility vernment and of our people, in the wisdom not only against France but against the and
energy of the one, in the bravery and whole world. A great deal had been said unanimity of the other, we possessed com on the attack of Copenhagen. It had plete assurance of success in the contest in been asserted, that the house and the which we
were engaged. If he dwelt country must give full credit to his mamore on the necessity of war, than on the jesty's ministers for the motives by which more popular topic of the possibility of they had been actuated. He would say, peace, it was not because he estimated that to attack a neutral country as we too lightly the blessings of peace, but attacked Copenhagen was, prima facie, unbecause he dreaded the effects of a hasty justifiable. "It might be justifiable ; but and premature one. We had ample he repeated that, prima facie, it was not means of carrying on war.
For his part, he could not see the we had not only the most efficient probability that Denmark would have defence, but a greater power of active hos-sided with France had we not attacked her. tility than perhaps we were yet ourselves It seemed to him more likely that she aware of. By exerting our naval force in would have resisted France. The summer every possible direction, we might show had been an eventful one.
We had gone the enemy that a predominant navy gives to war with Denmark; we had gone to a power scarcely inferior to that of a con war with Russia ; Austria had recalled quering army; we might controul the her ambassador ; the Orders of Council haughty mind of the ruler of France, and and other transactions would probably inspire him with that respect for this coun- produce a rupture with America ; and try, which alone would insure permanent yet, under such circumstances, the house tranquillity.
were to be amused with fine declamations Lord Milton did not rise to oppose the on the extent of our resources, and on the address, but to express his regret that progressive encrease of our commerce. when Russia offered her good offices as a Undoubtedly, after the necessary papers mediator, his majesty's ministers had not had been laid on the table would be the thought fit to accept them. He could not
more proper time for discussing these subbe suspected of any disposition at this mo- jects; but he could not refrain from thus ment to encourage a division of opinion publicly recording his regret, that his maon the subject of peace or war, after recent jesty's speech contained no assurances of a occurrences of considerable publicity, in disposition to restore peace, at a time when which he had taken a decided part. To the whole body of the manufacturers of the opinion which he then expressed, he the kingdom wereexperiencing such severe still adhered. He conceived it much calamities. better to repress any clamour on the sub Mr. George Ponsonby observed, that his ject until it should be ascertained what majesty's speech contained such a variety steps had been taken by his majesty's mi of topics, that it was difficult to express an nisters for the restoration of peace. At opinion upon it. Had the usual course the same time, when he heard flourishing prevailed in this instance; had the subdescriptions of the state of the country and stance of the speech been known to the of its commerce, he could not avoid remark- public for two or three days before the ing, that had the persons who made those delivery of it, this difficulty would have assertions attended more to the subject, been much lessened. Not only did the they would have abstained from them. speech embrace a great, variety of topics, Locked up as we were from the continent, but it was the longest speech, he believed, closed as every market was to our manu that was ever read from the chair. It refactures, how was it possible that our com- quired, therefore, the utmost circumspecmerce could thrive or be in a flourishing tion in speaking of it, to prevent the excondition ? He owned that he had hoped pression of ideas not exactly conceived. to have heard some assurance from his The first object of the speech as it conmajesty's ministers, that they were anxious cerned this country, related to peace or for the restoration of peace; and that they war with France, and the other powers of were ready to embrace an opportunity of the continent. It was impossible for him negociation, from whatever quarter it to give a direct opinion of the negotiation