Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

companions of licentiousness, and the assassins of freedom? Have not factions at all times been intolerant, daring, unjust and incorrigible? To judge by the scandalous scenes in the British Islands, which an indignant continent has lamented of late, little hope remains that the factions there would desist from their nefarious deeds, were even France (as she might do) to produce damning evidence, for centuries past up to this very time, of every chief of factions; of every usurper of the name of patriot; and of every candidate for popularity in Great Britain, having either fixed his price to, or intrigued with, the enemies of his country; either accepted bribes, or received instructions, from rival or inimical cabinets. Though the majority might be convinced, a desperate minority would command. In England as has been the case in France, factions can never be mended: they must be extirpated. Some few persons, ambitious or bankrupt in characters and fortunes, will always, under the existence of the actual constitution of a Royal democracy, find opportunities to mislead the ignorant and to head the needy and the disaffected, in committing excesses dangerous to the peace of Europe, by contagious examples.-It belongs to history, to recapitulate the many recent acts of the daring spirit of British factions, and of their influence on the internal and external politics of Great Britain-of their crimes towards humanity-of their com mon ferocity and barbarity. But had they not power, after trampling under their feet a Prince of the royal blood to extol the exploits of a General, who deliberated when he ought to have acted, who advanced when he should have retreated, and whose retreat was a disorderly flight before a handful of pursuers; while they force another General to resign, though victorious, because the climate, the elements, and other unforeseen occurrences, prevent him from succeeding to the whole extent of extravagant expectations? Have they not forced their king to leave unpunished a political agent, who deserved to be impeached for want of ability or of integrity, in disobeying and disregarding his instructions? Have they not forced their King to leave unrewarded another political agentt, whose firmness, and whose obedience to the orders of his Sovereign, exposed him to public insult and

*

think of the beads or hearts of sworn royal counsellors, who dare not save the bosom of their prince from torture and the character of his child from unjust ignominy though they must know that the tormentors are the most profligate of villains, and the most unprincipled of conspirators? What must be the standard of the honour of a nobility, that not only not interferes between the infamous assailants of a prince of the blood, but suffers some of its own members to act as accomplices in the assault? Can those representatives of the people make any pretence to liberty, loyalty, or patriotism, who do not expel or punish the factions among them that try to stab monarchy by bespattering the son of their monarch? What freedom or what loyalty must these pretended friends of the throne possess, who, to shew their attachment to the royal family, purchase openly their future silence about one of the sons of their king, whom it was hardly possible any new slander could degrade, more than unnaturally to involve another son of the King in the disgrace of his brother? Can any decency or any loyalty be supposed to exist among the citizens of the first city of the British empire, who not only join the wild fiends of their sovereign every where, but encourage the senseless pratings of insolent and ignorant shopkeepers; never opening their mouths but to babble impertinence but to bawl out treason? Did a single county interpose in the shamefully and cruelly audacious hunt of the Royal victim? Did not, on the contrary, every county emulate in this race of infamy, which should be foremost to wound the feeling of a venerable king, and to recompense the outrageous perpetrations of the bitter enemies of his domestic peace as much as his royal supremacy? Is it not evident, even to the most superficial observer, that either sound morality or rational liberty must be wanting in the British nation? If it would be uncharitable to suppose the former, it would also be ridiculous not to see the total absence of the latter.-In Great Britain faction meddles with every thing and every body even the king is factious, in self-defence, for self-preservation. Have not however, both in ancient and modern times; both in Greece and France; both in Rome and in England; have not factions always been the most oppressive of despots? Have not factions always and every where, been the

* Erskine.

+ Jackson,

personal dangers? Have they not forced their King to swallow, without daring to resent, these and other provocations, though offered by the most weak and contemplible of governments? But in all the branches of the constitutional establishments of Great Britain, factions sway an anarchical iron sceptre, confounding, deranging, and invading all order. Has not a captain in the British fleet, cruising in Europe, dragged his admiral before a court-martial? Though the latter has been honourably acquitted, have not factions shielded the accuser from punishment? Have not officers serving in the British army in India seduced the soldiers to mutiny? Have they not, backed by faction, added rebellion to insubordination, and held out the most dastardly and perjurous proceeding as meritorious acts of patriotism and of retaliating justice? Is not the licentiousness of the British press such, that, protected and patronized by factions, a convicted libeller, §.published from his prison the most inflammatory of essays, defying the laws, and exciting civil discords: insulting equally the Judge who condemned him, and the Government that carried their sentence into execution? Has not a Chief of Faction, who is also a Member of Parliament, honestly told his assembly, that the nation was not represented by its Representatives, and that their country was not worth defending Were they not instantly all on fire,-those very factions that shortly before, with such admirable and philosophical patience, heard the son of their King nost unmercifully ill-used? Did not these friends of liberty immediately decree a mandate of arrest against the declaimer of this disagreeable truth, of this bold frankness? Now, British anarchy exhibited itself in all its dreadful glory. Faction combats faction. Numbers of lives are lost in the very streets of the capital, where a civil war rages with all its fury. But, mark; when, at last, the humanity of the King orders his guards to prevent farther bloodshed, a factious Jury pronounces them murderous, because they did their duty, and did not submit to be murdered themselves by the hands of the rebellious faction !!!-The proprietors of a theatre in London augment a trifle the prices of admittance. Englishmen, like the Romans of sanguinary memory, do not miss such a propitious opportunity

‡ United States. § Cobbett. | Burdett.

to create new factions. The most disgusting scenes, the effects of the most shameful licentiousness, transform the theatre into a field of battle for boxers and bruisers, for strumpets and pickpockets, Among a people that talk so much of respect for property, the property of individuals is openly invaded, and obliged to submit to the ruinous maximum of dictatorial factions. Ought it not to be apprehended, that prosperous anarchy will not stop at the door or in the pit of a theatre, but sooner or later force an entrance into banks, offices, and magazines: there, also, to affix its maximum-to inflict its requisitions?-Since the wisdom of his imperial and royal Majesty has instructed the Continent with regard to its true interest, continental warriors are no longer tributary to insular pedlars; and Englishmen, who, in exchange for their dearly sold superfluities, received from foreigners those necessaries almost for nothing, began to dread a famine. To lessen the consumption for grain, government looked for some substitute for the distilleries. Their warehouses weighing down with perishable colonial produce; sugar naturally presented itself, and was proposed. The owners of lands took instant alarm; they formed an opposition; and during months, the grain and the sugar factions; with the theatrical and reforming factions; with the naval and the military factions; with the jacobin, the city, and the parliamentary factions; continued to engage the whole attention of a truly factious, divided, and licentious people. This is not the only instance when the interior of London forms a striking resemblance with the interior of Constantinople, at the period the Mussulmen were at its walls, and with their scy. metars soon settled the disputes of the contending sects and parties.-Every foreign invader of the British Islands has become conqueror. Bankruptcy may dismantle, mutiny may disperse, storms inay destroy, and victory may capture fleets, hitherto the sole protectors of Great Britain against the just wrath of his imperial and royal Majesty. Submission alone can prevent Britons from being, like the Batavians, erased from the list of independent nations. Resistance may retard in making more terrible the catastrophe, but it cannot alter their destiny. They have no choice left between obedience or conquest. The reigning House never produced a hero; and the domestic virtues of a Prince, ruling this turbulent and factious people,

are weak pledges that the repose of conti- | take place, and no one has seen O'Rouan nental nations will not still be disturbed or again.-From the same letter may be seen invaded. It remains, however, to be de- the confusion which reigned at headcided, whether a change of dynasty will quarters, where the Marquis of Campobe necessary, or a change of constitution verde believed that a division of 4,000 will be thought sufficient. Long ago, the English had arrived in the place, and the mere assent of his imperial and royal Ma- English Commandant assured me that he jesty might have produced a general over- had only 1,000 men, who had left Cadiz throw. Long ago have different factions on the 9th of June. The Marquis also caused to be laid before his imperial and wished that the troops which he demanded royal Majesty, both requests for receiving of me should be embarked the same night, support, and plans for effecting revolu- and he could not but know that this was tions. But these are not times to encourage impossible, for I had no other means but subjects to undermine established thrones. those which the English lent me, and the Monarchs alone shall hereafter be the latter had then none that were disposable. judges of monarchs; and woe to the Prince who resorts to an appeal to his people against the sentence of his equals !!! He has ceased to reign.

(Signed) Duke of CADORE. Fountainbleau, Oct. 30, 1810. To his Excellency(Most Confidential.)

OFFICIAL PAPERS. SPAIN. TARRAGONA. - Paris, 25th July, 1811.-Literal Translation of a Report of the Siege of Tarragona, which GENERAL CONTRERAS, Ex-Governor of that place, addressed to the Council of Regency.

(Concluded from p. 160.)

AMERICAN STATES and ENGLAND. - Letter of Commodore JOHN ROGERS to the Secretary of the Navy of the United State's, relative to a rencontre with the English Ship, LITTLE BELT.-Dated, on board the United States Frigate, the PRESIDENT, off Sandy Hook, 23rd May, 1811.

Sir; I regret extremely being under the necessity of representing to you an event that occurred on the night of the 16th instant, between the ship under my command, and his Britannic Majesty's ship of war, the Little Belt, commanded by Captain Bingham, the result of which has given me much pain, as well on account of the injury she sustained, as that I should have been compelled to the measure that produced it, by a vessel of her inferior force. The circumstances are as follow: on the 16th instant, at twentyfive minutes past meridian, in 17 fathoms water, Cape Henry bearing S. W. distant fourteen or fifteen leagues, a sail was dis

...... Before the fall of the place, I wrote and declared openly, that, upon the system on which operations were carried on, or rather, to speak more properly, meditated, the fortress, the garrison, and the army, would infallibly be lost. The Superior Junta of the principality can inform you of this, because I always took care to acquaint them with what was pass-covered from our mast head in the east, ing; on their side, they did all that they could, in order that the operation of raising the siege might be attempted, the only operation which it was necessary to be employed about and to execute without delay, and in concert with me, whatever were the numbers and nature of the enemy's force which we had to combat; but it was all in vain, and every day all this was less thought of at head-quarters, as will appear from the letter of General Campoverde, in which he orders me to send him 3,000 of the best troops of the garrison, who were to be embarked in the night of the 27th, under the orders of Colonel O'Rouan, who came to me for that purpose at eleven at night. I gave orders that he should embark with the regiment of Almeria; but this arrangement did not

standing towards us under a press of sail. At half past one the symmetry of her upper sails (which were at this time distinguishable from our deck) and her making signals, shewed her to be a man of war. At 45 minutes past one, P. M. hoisted our ensign and pendant; when, finding her signals not answered, she wore and stood to the southward. Being desirous of speaking her, and of ascertaining what she was, I now made sail in chase; and by half-past three, P. M. found we were coming up with her, as by this time the upper part of her stern began to shew itself above the horizon. The wind now began, and continued gradually to decrease, so as to prevent my being able to approach her sufficiently before sun-set, to discover her actual force, (which the

position she preserved during the chace was calculated to conceal) or to judge even to what nation she belonged, as she appeared studiously to decline shewing her colours. At fifteen or twenty minutes past seven, P. M. the chace took in her studding sails, and soon after hauled up her courses, and hauled by the wind on the starboard tack; she at the same time hoisted an ensign or flag at her mizen peak, but it was too dark for me to discover what nation it represented; now, for the first time, her broadside was presented to our view; but night had so far progressed, that although her appearance indicated she was a frigate, I was unable to determine her actual force.-At fifteen minutes before eight, P. M. being about a mile and a half from her, the wind at the time very light, I directed Capt. Ludlow to take a position to windward of her, and on the same tack, within shore speaking distance. This, however, the commander of the chace appeared from his mancuvres to be anxious to prevent, as he wore and hauled by the wind on different tacks four times successively between this period and the time of our arriving at the position, which I had ordered to be taken. At 15 or 20 minutes past eight, being a little forward of her weather beam, and distant from 70 to 100 yards, I hailed "what ship is that?" To this inquiry no answer was given, but I was hailed by her Commander and asked "what ship is that?"-Having asked the first question, I of course considered myself entitled by the common rules of politeness to the first answer; after a pause of 15 or 20 seconds, I reiterated my first inquiry of "What ship is that?" and before I had time to take the trumpet from my mouth, was answered by a shot, that cut off one of our maintop-mast breast back stays, and , went into our main-mast. At this instant Captain Caldwell (of Marines) who was standing very near to me on the gangway, having observed “ Sir, she has fired at us," caused me to pause for a moment; just as I was in the act of giving an order to fire a shot in return, and before I had time to resume the repetition of the intended order, a shot was actually fired from the second division of this ship, and was scarcely out of the gun before it was answered from our assumed enemy by three others in quick succession, and soon

after the rest of his broadside and musketry. When the first shot was fired, being under an impression that it might possibly have proceeded from accident and without the orders of the Commander, I had determined at the moment to fire only a single shot in return; but the immediate repetition of the previous unprovoked outrage induced me to believe that the insult was premeditated, and that from our adversary being at the time as ignorant of our real force as I was of his, he thought this, perhaps, a favourable opportunity of acquiring promotion, although at the expence of violating our neutrality and insulting our flag; I accordingly with that degree of repugnance incident to feeling equally determined neither to be the aggressor, or to suffer the flag of my country to be insulted with impunity, gave a general order to fire; the effect of which, in from four to six minutes, as near as I can judge, having produced a partial silence of his guns, I gave orders to cease firing, discovering by the feeble opposition that it must be a ship of very inferior force to what I had supposed, or that some untoward accident had happened to her.My orders in this instance however, although they proceeded alone from motives of humanity and a determination not to spill a drop of blood unnecessarily, I had in less than four minutes some reason to regret, as he renewed his fire, of which two 32-pound shot cut off one of our fore shrouds and injured our foremast. It was now that I found myself under the painful necessity of giving orders for a repetition of our fire against a force which my forbearance alone had enabled to do us any injury of moment; our fire was accordingly renewed and continued from three to five minutes longer, when perceiving our opponent's gaff and colours down, his maintop-sail yard upon the cap, and his fire silenced, although it was so dark that I could not discern any other particular injury we had done, or how far he was in a situation to do us farther harm,

nevertheless embraced the earliest moment to stop our fire and prevent the further effusion of blood. Here a pause of half a minute or more took place, at the end of which, our adversary not shewing a further disposition to fire, I hailed, and again asked " I what ship is that?" (To be continued.)

Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent Garden :-Sold also by J. BUDD, Pall-Mall,

LONDON:-Printed by T. C. Hansard, Peterborough-Court, Fleet-Street.

[ocr errors]

[Price I's.

VOL. XX. No. 7.]

LONDON, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 1811.

"I shall be told, that, at the end of the year, the Re-trictions expire. Yes; so they do; but a year is a long while; many things happen in a year; and, if all other matters hold together till next "February, Mr. Perceval must be a very lame man indeed, if he be not then much more powerful than "he now is, and if the Prince have not much stronger reasons for keeping him than he had for "choosing him."-Political Register, 6th Feb. 1811, page 311, Vol. XIX.

193]

SUMMARY OF POLITICS. IRISH CATHOLICS.By referring to another part of this Number the reader will see an account, the best that I have been able to collect, of what has recently passed, and is now passing in what is sometimes tenderly called "our Sister "Kingdom," relative to the Catholics and their petition.The object of this petition has been so often discussed, and has been so fully explained, that it is hardly possible that any one who can read Eng. lish should want any further particulars of information upon that head. Suffice it to say here, just for the sake of giving shape to the statement of the case, that the Catholics of Ireland have long complained of the existence of certain penal laws levelled against them as Catholics, and by which laws they are excluded from certain benefits which they think they ought to enjoy in common with the rest of their fellow-subjects. To obtain, therefore, a repeal of these laws, they have repeatedly petitioned the two Houses of Parliament, and their petition has been as repeatedly rejected by majorities of those Houses. It is well known, that it was for espousing the cause of the Irish Catholics that Pitt was, as it was then thought, turned out of place in 1801; though it afterwards became manifest to every one who was capable of close observation, that this was a mere pretence, and that, in fact, he went out of place to avoid the shame of the measures then become absolutely necessary as to the war and the finances; for, we saw him return to place again without stipulating for any thing in favour of the Catholics, and, what is more, we saw him, now become minister again, oppose, aye oppose, and successfully oppose too, a petition for that very measure, which because he was not permitted to adopt himself he had, as he pretended, before quitted his place. These transactions will be well remembered; and, the reader will also bear in mind, that it was the same cause,

[194 to all appearance, that turned out the Whigs. They had pledged themselves to the Catholics of Ireland; or, at least, they had taken that part with respect to them, that they could not refuse to do something. That something they attempted; and that attempt was made the pretence to turn them out of place, as men who wished to restore the authority of the Pope in England as well as in Ireland, and to rekindle the fires in Smithfield. Still, however, the Irish Catholics have continued to complain and to petition; and this brings us to our subject; for, it is as to the mode of obtaining a concurrence of the Catholics in the petition, that the dispute, which now agitates Ireland, has arisen.The mode pursued or pursuing by the Catholics was this: the Catholics of each county, or other district, were to meet, and some had met, to choose Delegates to speak and act for them, and in their name, in a general meeting, called a Committee, to be held thereafter at such place as should be agreed upon, and which Committee was, besides, to be composed of the Catholic Peers and Baronets. The Delegates, thus assembled in Committee, were, of course, to discuss all matters relating to the object in view, that is to say, to the success of the petition intended next to be presented. The government, alarmed at the progress of the cause, did not say to the Catholics that they should not petition; it did not forbid them to petition; that would have been taking from them the right which even Paine says was left us freeborn Englishmen by the Whigs at the Revolution: no, it did not say, that the Irish Catholics should not enjoy any longer the right of petitioning, that is to say the right of praying, and of humbly praying too: it did not forbid the Irish Catholics to enjoy this invaluable blessing of a 66 glorious constitution;" but, it forbade the Irish Catholics to choose Delegates for purposes connected with their petition; it forbade them to have representatives in this work of petitioning; it H

« EdellinenJatka »