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AT the prefent awful crifis, fuch a work as this muft be found of great public utility, efpecially among the lower, and even among the middling clafles. For from the following body of fafts, collefted with great care and fidelity, two very important truths will appear; namely, that if we continue united, no luccelsful invafiou ean take place; and that were we to be difunited, and invite orallow a great landing of the French, we would render ourfelves fubjei3 to every cruelty and ehpreflim that can make life a burden, inftead of being a bleffing to each loyal and free Briton.
In the firft part of this work, containing a narrative of all the invafionf, and attemps at invafion, from the time of Julius Caefar till the late futile attempt on Wales, it will be feen that whenever any invafions were fuccefsful, it was owing either to ^treacherous faftion in the country; or to a fuppofed right, as in the cafe of William of Normandy; or to a plundering fpirir, as in the cafe of the wandering Danes and Norwegians'; or to the impolicy of calling in the aid of foreigners, as in the cafe of the Saxons. Tiie latter was owing to the great want of all military fkill and even fpirit, which the Britons were deprived of by the Romans, who always fent the flower of their youth to recruit their foreign legions, while they ftriftly prohibited the reft of the natives from the life of arms.
In treating of the hiftorical part of invafions, which we fliall do briefjv, but diftinftly, a truth of very material confequence will be unfolded ; that Great Britain could never difplay one third of the naval difciplined ftrength that can be done at this moment; and that France had never lefs power to fuccecd in a conqueft of the Britifli empire, 'from an almoft total want of warlike fliipping, to cover a 2,reat defcent, than now. For the French navy, notwithftanding its seing aided by Holland, Venice, and even Spain, is in a much woife Sate in the year 1798, than it was even in the year 1758 and 1759, fhen it it was certainly fo reduced that it could neither face the Englifli Jtfea, nor furniQi proper convoys for her own commerce. Yet at that 'ime,like now, they menaced Great Britain with an invafion, by afler'iing troops on the coaft; by collefting tranfports; by building bottomed boats; and by equipping, feveral fliips of war for th
tended expedition. But this was little more than a fcheme to diftrefs the adminiftration, tp intimidate the people, to depreciate the national credit, and, if poffible, to excite difcontent at home, flattering themfelves that it would foon again terminate in another rebellion.
Invafion being very properly the topic of general converfation at the prefent moment, it becomes th< duty of every citizen ferioufly to confider what advantages or difadvantages would accrue to Great Britain, were the French Republic to obtain the conqueft, or even the political afcendanty over this country. To enquire minutely, and decide properly, we'moft nicely andjuftly weigh the benefits we receive under our prefent form of government, with thofe that we would receive, by joining the French, on their landing, and aidingthem in the overthrow of our conftitution.
Nothing is more natural or more laudable in man, than an endeavour Jo better his condition. It is very properly the prevailing prinple of all human actions, and of all human wifhes. Conftantly in fearch of the temple of happinefs, by every avenue, no wonder he fo often miftakes his road, and dies at length in his vain purfuit: yet, although he never arrives at that temple, which is always in hi* view; if he be prudent in picking out his fteps, he will difcover many pleafant refting-places on the road, which will afford him much fatisfaction. The purfmts of the foeial body being fimilar to thofe of the individual, namely, in a conftant fearch after wealth, eafe, freedom, and fecurity, the former are as often bewildered in their choice of the true road as the latter; efpecially if they begin to defpife the fafe and beaten path of their forefathers, and prefer the bewitching labyrinth of an infane guide, to the old and fafe thoroughfare of their wife and provident anceftors.
As this is the mode with fome inconfiderate Britons, who imagine that the French are now more free and happy than we are, let us briefly examine in what this fuperior freedom cpnfifts. Is it in the fecurity of their property? No property is fo infecure as in France, where every one is liable to the daily confifcations of their government, as well as the nightly plunder of individuals, without any hopes ofredrefs! Is it in the freedom of their perfons? In no defpotic government on earth, was there ever lefs perfonal liberty than in France, where every man is liable to be fent to the armies, or to a prifon, or to a French Botany Bay, in South America, called^ Guayana, at the mere will of the Directory! Then in what does theifuperior freedom confift? In only having the power to butchr.and plunder one another, with an almoft certainty of impunity; and\ to commit every immoral act which does not militate againfV the 'inBereft of the Directory! But, what a beautiful contraft to this li
ntious freedom does Great Britain exhibit! Here, where the pro
rty of all, and where the perfons of all, are facred; and where
neither robbery, aflaffination, or oppreffion can take place, without the criminal being ftrictly punifhed by a jury of his fellow-citizens.
Indeed as it mufj appear to every reflecting" mind, that the benefits we enjoy under the Britifh monarchy, greatly over-balance thofe enjoyed by every other government on the face of the earth; there is not one perfon poftefled of common fenfe,' and the leaft pretenfions to patriotifm and virtue, who would wifh to fubftitute a worfe government in place of a better; much lefs Inch a bloody and unprincipled government as that of poor enflaved France, in place of the rich and free government of Great Britain 1
It has been faid, that the French took their ideas of liberty from the governments .in America: but, if they really did fo, they have proved themfelves- moft wretched imitators. America is governed by the various proprietors of its lands. France, on the contrary, is governed by the plunderers' and murderers of its landed proprietors. Indeed we cannot give a better defcription of the three clafles of thefe plunderers and murderers, that now give law to France, and who wifh to give law to all the world; than quoting Mr. Harper, the American's curious, pleafant, and, at the fame time, juft picture of -them all. Thefe three forts of human monrlers, that are neceflary to effect a revolution upon French principles, he fays, are Philofophers, Jacobins, and Sans Culottes, whom he mafteiiy defcribes as follows:
"Philofo/ihers are the pioneers of Revolution. They advance always in front, and prepare the way, by preaching Infidelity, and weakening the refpeA of the people for ancient inftitutions They are, for the moft part, fanatics of virtuous lives, and not unfrequently of fpecious talents. They have always, according to the expreilion of an ancient writer, "Satis eloquentite parum fapientiie;" eloquence enough, but very little fenfe. They dtciaim with warmth on the miferies ol mankind, the abufes of government, and the vices of rulers, all of which they engage to remove, provided their theories fhould be once adopted. They talk of the perfectibility of man, of the dignity of his nature; and, entirely forgetting ivhat he is, declaim perpetu-lly about •what l;ejhould be. Thus they allure and i'educe the vifionary, the fuperfitial, and the unthinking part of mankind. They are, for the moft part honeft, always zealous, and always plaufible; whereby they become exceedingly formidable. Of the three clafles employed in the work of revolution, they are infinitely the moft to be dreaded; for, until they have fhaken the foundation ot order, and infufed a fpirit of difi ontent and innovation into the community, neither the Jacobins nor the Sans-culottes, can produce any confiderable efte6t. The army cannot find entrance until thefe fore-runners have cor- . rupted.the garrifon, to open the gates. Of thefe men, we, in tH« country, have enough, and more than enough.
"Of Jacobins we alfo have plenty. They follow clofe in the train of the Philofophers, and profit by all their labours. This clafs is compofed of that daring, ambitious, and unprincipled fet of men, who, pofleflmg much courage, confiderable talents, but no character, are unable to obtain power, the object of all their defigns, by regular means, and therefore perpetually attempt to feize it by violence. Tyrants when in power, and demagogues when out, they lay in wait for every opportunity of feizing on the government per fas aut nefas, and, for this purpofe, ufe all implements which come to their hands, and neglect no means which promife fuccefs. Unable to enter at the door of the fheep-fold, they climb in at the windows, and devour the .flock. Although they ufe the affiftartce of the philofophers in gaining entrance, they dread their honefty, their zeal, and their influence with the public; and, accordingly, the firft ufe they make of power, when they can obtain it, is to deftroy the Philofophers themfelves.
"As the Philofophers are the pioneers, thefe men are the Generals of the Army of Revolution; but both Pioneers and Generals are ufelefs without an army; and, fortunately, the army does not exi/l in thiscountry (America.) •'
"This army is compofed of the Sans-culottes; that clafs of idle, indigent, and proffigate perfons, who fo greatly abound in the populous countries of Europe, efpecially the large towns; and, being deftitute of every thing, having no home, no families, no regular means of fubfiftence, feel no attachment to the eftabliihed order, which they are always ready to join in fubvertihg, when they find any onei to pay them for their affiftance. Thefe were the men who,, in the pay of a wealthy Jacobin, and under the guidance of fanatic Philofophers, overturned all order and government in France, and ivill overturn it in every other country where they exift in great numbers, and are not oppofed with great force and unceafing vigilance. But, fortunately for America, there are few Sans-culottes among her inhabitants, very few indeed. Except fome fmall portions of rabble jn a few towns, the character is unknown among us, and hence our fafety.
"We have Jacobins in plenty, and PUlofnpliers not a few; but while we are free from Sans-culottes,, and it is probable that the nature of our government, and the abundance of untilled land in our country, will fecure us from them for ages, we need not apprehend great danger. We ought, no doubt, to watch and withftand the enterprizes of the pioneers and generals; but while they remain without troops, they are not much to be dreaded."
Although, in America, owing to its immenfe quantity of imcultivated lauds, which enables almoft every one to become a fmall pro( xiii );
prietor of the. foil, the fans-culotte is therenn no dangerous proportion; yet, as in Britain, we have not only the pioneering Philofopher and the Jacobin-general, but the .Sans-culotte troops in great numbers, it is certain, that if the proprietors of land, who employ all the populace, will be but careful and eager in inftructing the lower orders, of their duty to their God, to their King, to their Country, and xo themfelves; there is a natural humanity, integrity, fagatity, and feudable induflry belonging to the poor of this country, as will continue them in the true road to happinefs, by the proper exertions of their various talents; inftead of preaching up Revolutions, and permitting them to be organized, as the plunderers and murderers of their fellow-creatures.
As to Revolutions, rf ever revolution is unfortunately indifpeufible; every revolution which is not chiefly managed by the landholders of the'country, muft ultimately' be deflrutftive to the rights and liberties of the people. The Britifh Revolution of 1688, was entirely the work of the proprietors of the land. So was the late revolution in America. And had the landed proprietors of France adhered clofely to their true intereft, and not have be;n fo criminally inconfiderate as to have allowed men of neither property nor character to have been elected deputies to the States-general, France would have been at this period, a beautiful limittd monarchy, and the proprietor/ and people happy and free. But* owing to the proudindolence of the great landholders, and the dignified clergy,. in not endeavouring ferioufly to procure their elections, which, at that nme, they might Jiave moft eafily, and even popularily effectied, perfons were reprcfented by a great majority, while the reprefentatives ofyiropertjt were but few indeed! The fad confequence was, that the proprietor was either plundered, exiled, or murdered; while the perfon of no property, alT'umiug to himfelf the right over all property, difpofed of property, liberty, and even life, as it fuited his intereft, or his caprice! This is, unhappily, ftill the ftate of France! and flie muft remain liable to tlie fame misfortunes, and to the fame viciffittides, fo long as men of no real property poflefs both the throne and the foil. For each new faction of ufurpers will conftan;!y guillotine, or banifh, the old faction. And there will be neither peace nor fecurity there, until the old proprietory is in fome meafure reftored; or until the ufurping proprietory is firmly eftablifhed by a fort of prefcriptive right, founded on many years of undifturbed poffeffion. But as neither the one nor the other can poffibly take place foon; a politic commixture of both, with a forgiving but firm King, and a temperate, not a retaliating ariftocracy, can only reftore comfort and fecurity to unhappy France! As for thofe Macheaths of the day, the Buonapartes, the Kilmainest the Syeyes, the Taliens,