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by the opposers, that, if a satisfactory in-
sonant, with reasons, they was the decision
in his old one;" the king's age having, according to your ideas of the constitution," very much to do with the matter. We, who imputed the Answer, given to the City of London; we who imputed this answer to the ministers, have no scruple to say, that due
inquiry" has not been made; that the im plied promise, advised by the ministers, has not been kept and fulfilled; we say, and you' cannot deny, that the report, that the result is not satisfactory; and, therefore, if all our small remains of spirit and of national feel ing have not evaporated, we shall now put your sincerity to the test.— Will you now oppose a petition, not upon the ground that you are satisfied, but that the matter has been taken up by; and ought to be left in the hands of, the king? Why, this argue ment, if admitted here, would be good against almost every petition, which, upon any occasion, could be drawn up, or of which an idea could be formed. It would have been full as good against the City of
When an impeachment has been before the House of Commons; when the House has
London, before any promise of inquiry had been made; for, was not the matter already in the hands of the king? Suppose a pro-proceeded upon it; when it is in the course clamation to be issued for the cutting off of all our ears, would you not petition against it, because the matter was in the hands of the king? Would you quietly have your ears cut off, rather than trouble the king interference"? I know you
yes," if the pulling out of a
tooth or two were added, provided jour sinecures and contracts were left untouched; but, that can never be the general taste.To suppose it to be an insult to the king to request him to do that which he has power to do, and does not do, is of the very essence of slavery. It is, at once, to give up, to censure, to stigmatize, the vital principies of the constitution of England. Every man, be he who or what he may, has a right to petition the king; that is to say, he has the right, not only to state to the king what he thinks to be a wrong done, or about to be done, to him individually, or to the community, of which he is a member, but also to complain of that wroug, and to ask for redress. The wrong, (real or imaginary no matter about that) if of a public nature, must necessarily proceed from some person, or persons, having his or their authority from the king, with the king it rests to reprove, or punish, those who abuse the trust with which he invests them; so that, if it be to insult the king; if to ask him to use his power in this way; if this be to insult him by imputing to him a Want of discernment or of justice; if this be to "insult our good king, in his old age," why, then, there is, at once, an end to the right of petition, guaranteed to the subject by so many acts of parliament, established by so many hundreds of legal precedents; this boasted right, this last resout of the suffering subjects, is become a farce, and a farce not at all the less despicable on account of its solemnity.We often see petitions presented to the parliament against bills pending before it. The people, or a part of them, think that what they learn is about to be passed into a law will be injurious to them; and, they pray the parliament, that the same may not become a law. But, do we ever hear one of these petitions called an "insult" to the parlia ment? Do we hear it imputed to the petitioners, that they question the discernment, or the justice, of either of the Houses Yet, the parliament have taken the mat. "ter up"; the thing is in their hands
aad quite as completely as the affair of the Conventions is now in the hands of the king.
of proceeding further, or when it has stayed its proceedings: in these cases, under these circumstances, the people present petitions to the House, praying it to go on, and to do this, or that, in the affair, according to the views and opinions of the petitioners. This is a case exactly in point; yet, we have never heard the petitioners, in such a case, accused of insulting the House, and of casting upon it insinuations of a want of knowledge or of integrity. - Whence, then, this new doctrine about insulting the king, because we humbly pray him to do that which appears to us to be for the public good, and which it is not denied that he has the power to do?The fact is, that this doctrine is a mere pretence, invented for the sole purpose of screening ministers, or their favourites and supporters, and, to.... tally void of feeling of respect for, or attachment to, the person, or the office of the king, whose name is thus abused, whose dig nity is thus vilified, and the hearts of whose subjects must, if this doctrine were to succeed, be thus completely alienated. Establish this doctrine, and you, at once, cut off all valuable. and esteemed communication between king and people; as flatterers, as slaves, they may still approach him; but, never for that. purpose, that sole purpose, the answering of, which can make them value the kingly of fice; never for the purpose of obtaining re dress for the past, or security for the future, can they again address him, and the loyal sentiment of the poet, I flee from petty
tyrants to the throne," becomes a ranting and senseless exclamation.-The Report of the Court of Inquiry has, in no wise, changed: my opinion as to the nature of the Armistice: and Convention; and, I think, that so it. is with the public in general. It still appears, that Sir Arthur Wellesley says he could have, pursued and shut up Junot with only 13,000 men; that Junot had only 14,000 men in the field when he made his attack and was repulsed; that, as to the rest of Junot's army, they were not soldiers fit for batus,. but mere Buckram men, who must have: been a burthen to him; that ourarmy was in no real want, or in any danger of being. in want of provisions; that it consisted of 35,000 men before the Convention was sign ed, and, that, therefore, the Convention was injurious and disgraceful, and the Armistice still more injurious and disgraceful. The fatal consequences of these acts are now evident.. It is impossible to believe, that if we bad captured the whole of Janoi's army, the im
pression in Spain would not have been very different from what it has been; and that, as to Portugal, we should not, in that case, have been upon quite another footing than what we now are. It is clear, that, since the signing of the Convention, the Portuguese have disliked our army; that they have harboured suspicions injurious to it; they have wished it away; in short, that they have been very little better than open enemies. How different would all this have been; how different would the impression have been in all Europe, and particularly in Ireland, if we had brought Junot and his army prisoners to England; which no one denies that we could have done, all the dispute being about the pitiful circumstance of time; three weeks sooner, or three weeks later. That army, which we have carried to France, and there put down, ready equipped for battle; that army, which is now actually in Spain, and which may, possibly assist in capturing the very men, before whom they fled at Vimeira; that army, it is now evident to every one, might have been safely lodged in the prisons of England, while the Russian fleet was brought prizes and their crews prisoners to Spithead, instead of the latter being carried, at our expence, to fight against our ally in the Baltic; all this, it is now evident, might have been done, without, in the smallest degree, retarding any assistance that we had to give to the Spaniards. And yet, we are told, by this Court of Inquiry, that nothing beyond their unmeaning, and, in part, contradictory Report, is necessary to give us satisfaction; while, on the other hand, with lungs of Stentor and with front of brass, the hireling writers of the day are calling upon us for new and greater sacrifices in support of this just and necessary war." Cavalry and artillery! Good God! As if we did not pay for enough! An army that cost for the Jast year, upwards of twenty millions of pounds sterling, out of which above four millions went for ordnance; such endless trains of horses and waggons and equipage of all sorts; a country full of barracks and magazines and laboratories; every town full of soldiers and horses; the drum and the trumpets stunning us, and the country shaded with clouds of military dust from April to October: and, with all these means, with all this warlike parade and bustle and clutter and expense before our eyes, are we, in good earnest, to be quieted, by being told, that our army of 35,000 men failed to capture 14,000 Frenchmen for the want of horse and artillery, and that, too, in a country where, it is notorious, all the people were our friends, and all the ene
mies of the French? If so; if we really are thus to be quieted, it matters very little who are our commanders, who are our rulers, or what either of them do. Tell us not that the horses were at Chichester or at Cork, and that the cannon were at Woolwich. What is that to us? They should have been where they were wanted. It was the business of some of you to see that they were there. You had a thousand ships of war at your command; the transports for the year will cost us two millions of pounds sterling; you might have shipped off one half of the whole nation in the ships at your command; and now you tell us a whining story about a want of horse and artillery. What are your bickerings to us? What is it to us, who amongst you are to blame? It is some of you. You have an army, be it what it may, that costs us 23 millions a year; and, after all, where is this army? If Spain was to be defended, why was not this army in Spain, time enough to meet Buonaparte? What is this army for? For what do we pay all this money; this sum, at the contemplation of which the brain turns? Where is it wanted but where the enemy is to be met and fought? -These, and the like, are the proper questions for the people of England to put. It is not for us to be amused with tales of wants; a want of this, or a want of that. Where 23 millions a year is paid for the support of an army, that army should want nothing, especially in the day of battle. It is quite beneath us; it is to assist in abusing and cheating ourselves, to enter at all into the squabbles between ministers and generals. It signifies not a straw to us who is to blame. The blame, where there is any, is amongst them; and we have a right to com: plain, and to expect redress.This is my view of the matter. The petition that I would present to the king, should express, or be built upon, sentiments like these. I would complain to him, that, after all our sacrifices for the support of such an immense military establishment, I saw little attempted against the enemy, and less ef fected; that, whenever the army was concerned, there generally appeared some deficiency in those things for which we pay so dearly; that the time for action seemed, in almost every instance, to have passed by before we began to act; that the armies of the conqueror of Europe were distinguished by a conduct exactly the contrary; that to oppose him with effect it seemed requisite for us to adopt a new line of conduct; and that, before all other things, it appeared necessary to cause a further and more efficient inquiry to be made into the causes of the
late Conventions in Portugal.- -Who is there that does not entertain these sentiments Not a man in the whole kingdom, who can be said to entertain any sentiments at all upon the subject; and, I verily believe, that there are none, (except a few wretched parasites) who, in private conversation, will affect to entertain different sentiments thereon. But, when it comes to speaking out; when it comes to voting, or even holding up hands; then you perceive, at once, the effect of that chain of dependence, which the Whigs of the Revolution first forged by means of the funding and taxing system, and which has been, in subsequent, and especially in recent times, so strengthened, and so lengthened, as to embrace and hold fast, or to shackle, at least, almost every soul in society. Were it not for this, is it possible, that we should see the torpor that now prevails? Is there any instance, in any part of our history, no matter under whatrace of kings, of the people's appearing so insensible to their situation as they appear at this moment? Were there ever before found Englishmen so base as to defend acts such as are now openly defended? How this will and must end, and that, too, at no very distant day, unless a salutary constitutional reform speedily take place, it is much easier to foresee than it is safe to describe.- -Whether the people should now petition the king, or the parliament, may be a question with some; though, for my own part, I should certainly be for the former, as well as for the latter. But, that those who petitioned before are bound to do it now, I think, nobody will attempt to deny. All the former motives still exist, with the addition of those which naturally arise out of what has since taken place, in relation to the subject, both at home and abroad. By bringing the matter before parliament, we shall see who, in that body, will stand up in defence of the Conventions; and, what is of far greater importance, we shall ascertain in what degree the House of Commons, the people's House of Parliament, participate in the feelings of the people, it being in.possible for the most impudent man in existence to deny, that, upon the subject of the Portugal Conventions, the people of England were, and are, unanimous in a feeling of indignation.
SPANISH REVOLUTION.One of the newspapers has observed, that the intelligence from Spain is of a "mixed nature;
a good deal chequered." I must confess, that I can, after a pretty attentive perusal of all the public, and of some private, intelligence, perceive none of this chequer
work. It all appears to me very plain; and much too plain to give me any portion of that "sincere satisfaction," which an editor of last evening appears to have felt, or, that he has, at least, dore his best to make his readers feel.-In ROMANA's powers and proclamation I see much of dread and of despair, but not a glimpse of confidence or of hope; and, I see still less of either in the oath" not to surrender Cadiz and the fleet. I remember the oath of Potsdam, and, remembering it, I must beg to be excused, if I entertain a strong suspicion of the efficacy of oaths as opposed to the arms of Buonaparté.--The stories, indeed, from Spain are of a "mixed nature;” for those which come from Corunna widely differ from those which come from other ports not in the hands of the enemy. But, why should we deceive ourselves? This is the foolishest of all things; and I am utterly astonished, that such prints as the Times and the Morning Chronicle, for instance, should publish as intelligence, unaccompanied with suitable comment, statements of facts, which their editors must know to be false, the effect of which must be to aggravate the public disappointment.The news from Obrunna talks of a desperate defence of Madrid, and gives us the detail, with all the coolness imaginable, just about a week after we have received the account of Madrid's having surrendered at discretion. "Oh!" says the loyal man, what, you "believe the Corsican's bulletins, do you ?" Yes. I do believe them; and you shall have my reason for it, in a few words. I have read these bulletins during three wars; not three campaigns; but three distinct wars, each of them ending in the conquest of kingdoms, or principalities; and, though, as to little matters of detail, they have sometimes been incorrect, or false, if you like that word better, they have uniformly proved substantially true, to the woeful experience of those, who, as well as ourselves, have affected to treat them as lies. Loyalty, as was observed a week or two ago; your true modern loyalty, consists, in part, of a little fingering in the public purse; but another essential ingredient of it is, a total disbelief in any of the victories of Buona parte, till, like a thunder clap, they break over our heads, after having been kept off as long as possible by means, such as those used by Messrs. Ward and Huskisson previous to that terrific clap, the battle of Austerlitz.
I am satisfied, that we are the most credulous nation, particularly the Cockney part of us, of any at this day existing in the
world. The Spanish peasants, it is true, believe that the Dolls, stuck up in their village chapels, work miracles in the cure of tooth-ache, rheumatism, incontinence, sterility, and other cases; but, then, those Dolls are made in Holland; whereas we swallow the byrefaced lies, which are fabridated here at home, and fabricated too, in so slovenly a manner as not to cover any part of the hook, Fish in the river St. John are so eager for the bait, that, after the first time, they will bite at, and swallow, the naked wire; but, we, still more eager, want no bait at all. We take in, with great self-complacency, lie after lie during the whole of a campaign; and when, at last, by a long series of defeats and disgraces, Buonaparte has conquered another kingdom, we talk about the result with just as little suprize as if it had come gra. doally upon us through the channel of truth. Now, what sense is there in this? A great deal of modern loyalty there, doubtless, is; but; what sense is there in it?To give any opinion as to what will be the result of the engagement or engagements, towards which, apparently, our army, in Spain, was, when the last intelligence came away, fast approaching, would be foolish; because, in fact, we know just nothing at all about either the relative strength, or relative position of the hostile armies. All that I can decidedly express upon the subject is a wish, and that wish is, that whenever and wherever and against whomsoever English. men fight they may be victorious; but, I must confess, that this wish is accompanied, in the present instance, with most serious apprehensions. The movements of our troops have hitherto, if our intelligence be correct, been quite unaccountable; and, as to Sir David Baird's Proclamation of the 1st of December, I trust it will prove to be a forgery; for, if true, it will require more than a whole life of glory to wipe it away. There are, perhaps, few persons who have stronger reasons than I have to be anxious about the safe return of the individuals composing that part of our army; but, much rather than hear of their sneaking out of Spain without daring to look the French in the face, I would hear of their being, to The lust man, 'cat to pieces upon the plain. "No tears are so sweet as those which be
dew the unburied head of the soldier;" and no stain so foul as that of military cowardice. To draw off, leaving the Spanish peasants, whom we had encouraged to takerop arms; to skulk away, at the appoch of the French, sill encouraging those por exeatures to expose themselves to the
sabres of which we were afraid, and, to do this, too, under a false pretence ! Oh, God! it would have been an act of infamy, the very thought of bearing a share of which would turn one wild. I hope, nay, I trust I may say, that I am sure, that there is not one single native of this kingdom, who does not contemplate such an act with inexpressible horror. Every other evil, when compared with this, is a blessing. Therefore, let what will happen else, slaughter, capture, total destruction; any thing is consoling in exchange for this. The country may lose the flower of its army, and individuals amongst us may lose brothers and sons and fathers and friends; but, neither the dead nor the living will be stained with that dishonour, which, to a mind rightly constructed, would have rendered life insupportable. The very worst of all our acts, during the last war, was the abandonment of the French Emigrants at Guadaloupe. I trust we shall never see the like repeated. I know not their philosophy at the Horse Guards, or at the Military Col lege; but, I know that it ought to teach, that one part of the duty, which a soldier owes his country, is, to die, and that, too, at any time when his death will be more serviceable than his life, which is always the case when the choice lies between death and the chance of dishonour. If a man cannot sit down, by the side of his wife surrounded with his children, and coolly screw his mind up to this pitch, his money, intended for the purchase of commissions, he would, do well to apply to the purchase of " consols," or of sugar and plumbs, to be sold by retail.I hope, there will come some circumstance to explain; satisfactorily to explain, the cause of Sir David Baird's Pro clamation, if it should prove to be authen-' tic; but, I must confess, that it is with ex, treme reluctance, that I admit even the possibility of its being genuine. If our army should gain a battle, though against only a comparative small part of the French, force, it may have a wonderful effect upon, the Spaniards, and may lead to important results; but, unless the people be completely let loose; unless the war assume & revolutionary turn, still, in my opinion, Buonaparte will prevail. It appears to me to be morally impossible, that he should be, beaten by any other means. The only ar ticle of really cheering news that I can col lect out of all that I have lately read about the operations in Spain, is contained in one of Buonaparte's bulletins. It is that in which he says, that all the respectable, or genteel, people are for him, and none but