« EdellinenJatka »
VOL. XX. No. 11.] LONDON, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1811. [Price 1s.
Towards the end of last week a Council having been held, and an Order relative to American commerce having been agreed upon, it was, by these who merely knew that some order of this kind was about to come forth, taken for granted, that it contained a prohibition against future imports from the American States into this country, by way of retaliation for the American non-importation act. There needed no more. The busy slaves of the press, who endeavour even to anticipate the acts of government, be they what they may, with their approbation, lost not a moment. This "measure of "retaliation," as they called it, was then an instance of perfect wisdom in your Royal Highness's ministers: it was a measure become absolutely necessary to our safety as well as our honour; and, indeed, if it had not been adopted, we are told, that the ministers would have been highly criminal. Alas! It was all a mistake: there was no such measure adopted: and, oh! most scandalous to relate! These same writers discovered, all in a moment, that it would have been premature to adopt such a measure at present!
I have mentioned this fact with a view of putting your Royal Highness upon your guard against the parasites of the press, who (though it may be a bold assertion to make) are the worst of para sites, even in England. "Hang them Scurvy jades, they would have done no "less if Cæsar had murdered their mo"thers," said Casca of the strumpets of Rome, who affected to weep, when Cæsar fainted, and who shouted when be came
to again. And, be your Royal Highness well assured, that these same writers would have applauded your ministers, if, instead of an Order in Council to prohibit the importation of American produce, they had issued an order to strip the skin over the ears of the Roman Catholics, or to do any other thing, however tyrannical, however monstrous, it might have been.
Suffer yourself not, then, Sir, to be persuaded to act, in any case, from what is presented to you in the writings of these parasites. Reflect, Sir, upon the past. During the whole of the last twenty years, these same writers have praised all the measures of the government. All these measures were, according to them, the fruit of consummate wisdom. Yet, these measures have, at last, produced a state of things exactly the contrary of what was wished for and expected. All the measures which have led to the victories and conquests of France, that have led to her exaltation, that have produced all that we now behold in our own situation, the paper-money not excepted; all these measures have received, in their turn, the unqualified approbation of the parasites of the press. To know and bear in mind this fact, will be, I am certain, sufficient to guard your Royal Highness against forming your opinion of measures from what may be said of them by this tribe of time-serving writers, who have been one of the principal causes of that state of things in Europe, which is, even with themselves, the burden of incessant and unavailing lamentation. Buonaparté! "The Corsican Tyrant"! The "towering "despot," Buonaparté! Alas! Sir, the fault is none of his, and all the abuse bestowed upon him should go in another direction. The fault is in those, who contrived and who encouraged the war against the Republicans of France; and, amongst them, there are in all the world none to equal the parasites of the English press.
In returning, now, to the affair of the American frigate and the Little Belt, the first thing would be to ascertain, which vessel fired the first shot. The Commanders M
on both sides deny having fired first; | in such a cause. Your Royal Highness and, if their words are thus at variance, the decisions of Courts of Inquiry will do little in the way of settling the point. This fact, therefore, appears to me not capable of being decided. There is no court wherein to try it. We do not acknowledge a court in America, and the Americans do not acknowledge a court here. Each government believes its own officer, or its own courts of inquiry; and, if the belief of the American government is opposed to what ours believe, there is no decision but by an appeal to arms. But, there is a much better way of settling the matter; and that is to say no more about it, which may be done without any stain upon the honour of either party. And this is the more desirable, if the supposed attack upon the Little Belt can possibly be made, in some general settlement of disputes, to form a sett-off against the affair of the Chesapeake.
sees, I am fully persuaded, but one side of the question, with regard to America. The venal prints present you with publications made by the enemies of the men at present in power in America; that is to say, by the opposition of that country. But, the fact is, that all parties agree in their complaints against our seizure of their seamen, with instances of which their public prints abound. This is a thing so completely without a parallel, that one can hardly bring oneself to look upon it as a reality. For an American vessel to meet a packet between Cork and Bristol and take out some of her sailors and carry them away to the East or West Indies to die or be killed, is something so monstrous that one cannot bring ourself to feel as if it were real. Yet, this is no more than what the Americans complain of; and, if there be good ground, or only slight ground; if there be any ground at all, for such complaint, the affair between the American Frigate and the Little Belt is by no means a matter to be wondered at. I beg your Royal Highness to consider how many families in the American States have been made unhappy by the impressment of American seamen; how many parents have been thus deprived of their sons, wives of their husbands, and children of their fathers; and, when you have so considered, you will not, I am sure, be surprized at the exultation that appears to have been felt in America at the result of the affair with the Little Belt.
Yet, may it please your Royal Highness, there is a view of this matter which it is very necessary for you to take, and which will never be taken by any of the political parasites in this country. We are accustomed to speak of this supposed attack upon the Little Belt, as if it had taken place out at sea, and as if there had been no alledged provocation ever given to the American ships of war. But, Sir, the Americans alledge, that the Little Belt was found in their waters; that she was one of a squadron that formed a sort of blockade of their coast; that this squadron stopped, rummaged, and insulted their merchantmen; and, that in many cases, it seized and carried away their own people out of their own ships within sight of their own shores. The way for us to judge of the feelings that such acts were calculated to inspire in the bosoms of the Americans, is, to make the case our own for a moment; to suppose an American squadron off our coast, stopping, rummag-barque ing and insulting our colliers, and, in many cases, taking away their sailors to serve them; to be exposed to the loss of life in that service; and, at the very least, to be taken from their calling and their families and friends.
Your Royal Highness would, I trust, risk even your life rather than suffer this with impunity; and you would, I am sure, look upon your people as unworthy of existence, if they were not ready to bleed
As a specimen of the complaints of individuals upon this score, I here insert a letter from an unfortunate impressed American, which letter I take from the New York Public Advertiser of the 31st of July,
"Port Royal, Jamaica, 30 June, 1811. -Mr. Snowden, I hope you will be so good as to publish these few lines.—I, "Edwin Bouldin, was impressed out of the Columbus,. of Elizabeth City, Captain Traftor, and carried on board "his Britannic majesty's brig Rhodian, in " Montego Bay, commanded by capt.
Mobary-He told me my protection "was of no consequence, he would have "me whether or not. I was born in Bal"timore and served my time with Messrs. "Smith and Buchanan. I hope my "friends will do something for me to get my clearance, for I do not like to serve
any other country but my own, which I "am willing to serve. I am now captain
"of the forecastle and stationed captain of "a gun in the waist.-I am treated very "ill because I will not enter.-They re"quest of me to go on board my coun"try's ships to list men, which I refused "to do, and was threatened to be punished "for it. I remain a true citizen of the "United States of America, EDWIN BOUL" DIN."―This, may it please your Royal Highness, is merely a specimen. The public prints in America abound with documents of a similar description; and thus the resentment of the whole nation is kept alive, and wound up to a pitch hardly to be described.
The disposition of the American people towards England and towards France is a matter of the greatest importance, and should, therefore, be rightly understood by your Royal Highness, who has it in your power to restore between America and England that harmony, which has so long been disturbed, and which is so necessary to save the remains of freedom in the world. I here present to you, Sir, some remarks of a recent date (25 July,) published in an American print, called the "BALTIMORE AMERICA." You will see, Sir, that the writer deprecates a war with England; he does not deceive himself or his readers as to its dangers; he makes a just estimate of the relative means of the two nations; and, I think your Royal Highness will allow, that he is not ignorant of the real situation of England. I cannot help being earnest in my wishes that your Royal Highness would be pleas
to bestow some attention upon these remarks. They are, as a composition, not unworthy of the honour; but, what renders them valuable is, that they do really express the sentiments of all the moderate part of the people in America; they express the sentiments which predominate in the community, and upon which your Royal Highness may be assured the American government will act :
Astonishment is expressed, by some persons, in this country, that the Americans appear to like the Emperor Napoleon better than our government; but, if it be considered, that the Emperor Napoleon does not give rise to complaints such as those just quoted, this astonish-ed ment will cease. Men dislike those who do them injury, and they dislike those most who do them most injury. In settling the point, which is most the friend of real freedom, Napoleon or our Government, there might, however, be some difference of opinion in America, where the people are free to speak and write as well as to think, and where there are no persons whose trade it is to publish falshoods. But, whatever error any persons might be led into upon this subject, the consequence to us would be trifling, were it not for the real solid grounds of complaint that are incessantly staring the American people in the face. There may be a very harsh despotism in France for any thing that they know to the contrary; though they are not a people to be carried away by mere names. They are a people likely to sit down coolly and compare the present state of France with its state under the Bourbons; likely to compare the present situation of the great mass of the people with their former situation; and extremely likely not to think any the worse of Napoleon for his having sprung from parents as humble as those of their Jefferson or Madison. But, if they should, make up their minds to a settled conviction of there being a military despotism in France, they will, though they regret its existence, dislike it less than they will any other system, from which they receive more annoyance; and in this they do no more than follow the dictates of human nature, which, in spite of all the wishes of man, will still continue the same.
"God forbid that we should have war "with England, or any other nation, if "we can avoid it. For I am not of the "temper of that furious federalist, who "would have unfurled the American co"lours long ago against a less offender. "I had rather see her starry flag floating "in the serenity of a calm atmosphere "than agitated and obscured in the clouds, "the smoke and flashes of war. But if "Britain's unchangeable jealousy of the
prosperity of others, her obdurate pride "and enmity to us, should proceed upon "pretence of retaliating upon what she "has forced, to more violent and avowed "attacks, I trust that your older and "younger Americans will meet her with
equal spirit, and give her blow for blow. "I have never expected her to abstain "from injury while our merchants had a
ship or our country a seaman upon the "ocean, by any sense of justice-but have "trusted only to the adverse circum"stances of her state, to restrain her vio"lence and continue our peace. Heaven grant that it may be preserved, and if "possible without the distress of her own M 2
"finances sinking under irrecoverable "debts; her gold and silver gone, her "paper depreciating; her credit failing"depending upon other countries for "food, for materials of manufacture, for "supplies for her navy; her.wants in
"partly innocent people. But if her "instructed officers to become the basis of "crimes will not allow it; if urged by "larger armies-a number of ships of war, "the malignant passions she has long in- "with men and officers trained and pre"dulged, and now heightened by revenge, "pared for naval enterprize-a people "she throws off all restraint, and loosens "ready in the spirit of independence, to "war in all its rage upon us, then, as she "rush against the enemy that wrongs and "has shed blood like water, give her blood "challenges them-a government formed, "to drink in righteous judgment.-I know" established, operating all round, with "too well, that we must suffer with her." every material for intelligence, direc"Dreadful necessity only justifies the "tion and power-revenues, credit, confi" contest. I call you not, young Ameri- "dence-good will at home and abroad"cans, to false glory, to spoil and triumph. "justice and necessity obliging, and "You must lay down your lives, endure "Heaven, I hope, approving.-It is a "defeat, loss and captivity, as the varying "common opinion that our enemies are "fate of war ordains. But this must not "stronger; but this appears an illusion, "appal you. Prepare for it, with unsub- "from the fleets of other nations having "mitting spirit, renew the combat, till "been vanquished one by one, and left "your great enemy, like the whale of the "the ocean. Her strength has not in"deep, weakened with many wounds, "creased in proportion. She indeed posyields himself up a prey to smaller foes" sesses a thousand ships of war, but no "on his own element. This, by the order "increase of people. Her commerce is "of Providence, has been the case before." distressed, her manufactures pining, her "When they possessed the sea in full se"curity, our sailors issued out in a few "small barks, mounted with the pieces dug from the rubbish of years, and "scanty stores of ammunition, seized their "trade, and baffled their power. From "such beginnings grew a numerous ship- creasing; her means lessening. Every "ping, that fearlessly braved them on "island and port she takes demands more "their own coasts, and on every sea; "from her, divides her force, increases "that brought plenty into the land, and "her expence, adds to her cares, and mul"at once armed and enriched it. What "tiplies her dangers. Her government is "shall prevent this again? Have our ene- "embarrassed, her people distracted, her "mies grown stronger, or we become seamen unhappy and ready to leave her "weaker? Or has Heaven dropped its every moment. The American com"sceptre, and rules no more by justice "merce has been a staff of support, but "and mercy? We are now three times as "will now become a sword to wound many as in 1775, when we engaged "her. Instead of supplying, we shall "them before. Our territory is greatly "take her colonies. Her West India pos"enlarged, and teems with new and useful" sessions will be able to contribute no" products. Cotton, formerly known only" thing; their labour's turned to raise "to the domestic uses of a part of the "bread. Their trade stopped as it passes "people in two or three States, is now in" our coast; obliged to make a further "sutficiency to supply clothing to all "division of her forces, her European ene"America, and from its lightness can be "mies will seize the opportunity to break "easily conveyed by land to every quarter. upon her there. Ireland is in a ferment "Wool, flax and hemp are furnished in" and must be watched. The East Indies "increasing quantities every day.-Ma-"bode a hurricane. She is exposed to in"chines for every work, manufactories for "" every useful article, are invented and es"tablishing continually. Large supplies "of salt, sugar and spirits are provided for "in the western countries, and can never "be wanting on the sea coast. Lead, " iron, powder and arms we have in abun"dance-parks of artillery for the field "and fortifications-magazines and arse"nals ready formed and increasing-a "sufficient force of disciplined troops and
"jury in a thousand places, and has no "strength equal to the extension. She "may inflict some wounds on us, but they "cannot go deep; while every blow she "receives in such a crisis may go to her "vitals. She will encounter us in despair;
we shall meet her with hope and alacrity. The first occasion that has "presented, proved this fact; though the "sottishness of her Federal Republican
attempted to prevent the volunteer of
Such, Sir, are the sentiments of the people of America. Great pains are taken by our venal writers to cause it to be believed, that the people are divided, and that Mr. Madison is in great disrepute. This, as I had the honour to observe to you before, is no more than a continuation of the series of deceptions practised upon this nation for the last twenty years with such complete and such fatal success. If, in deed, the Americans were to say as much of Ireland, there night be some justification for the assertion; but, there is no fact to justify the assertion as applied to America, in the whole extent of which we hear not of a single instance of any person acting in defiance of the law: no proclamations to prevent the people from meeting; no calling out of troops to disperse the people; no barracks built in any part of the country; no force to protect the government but simply that of the law, and none to defend the country but a population of proprietors voluntarily bearing arms. There can be no division in America for any length of time; for, the moment there is a serious division, the government must give way: those who rule, rule solely by the will of the people: they have no power which they do not derive immediately from that source; and, therefore, when the government of that country declares against us, the people declare against us in the same voice.
The infinite pains which have been taken, in this country, to create a belief, that the American President has been rendered unpopular by the publications of Mr. SMITH, whom he had displaced, can hardly have failed to produce some effect upon the mind of your Royal Highness, especially as it is to be presumed, that the same movers have been at work in all the ways at their command. I subjoin, for the perusal of your Royal Highness, an address to this Mr. Smith; and, from it, you will perceive, that, by some of his countrymen at least, he is held in that contempt, which his meanness and his impotent malice so richly merit. And, Sir, I am persuaded, that his perfily will meet with commendation in nountry
upon earth but this, and in this only amongst those, who have always been ready to receive with open arms, any one guilty of treason against his country, be his character or conduct, in other respects, what it might. This person appears to have received no injury but what arose from the loss of a place which he was found unfit to fill, and from which he seems to have been removed in the gentlest possible manner. Yet, in revenge for this, he assaults the character of the President, he discloses every thing upon which he can force a misconstruction; and, after all, after having said all be is able to say of the conduct of the President, whose confidence he seems to have possessed for nearly eight years, he brings forth nothing worthy of blame, except it be the indiscretion in reposing that very confidence. The publication of Mr. Smith is calculated to raise Mr. Madison and the American government in the eyes of the world; for, how pure, how free from all fault must the government be, if a Secretary of State, who thus throws open an eight years' history of the cabinet, can tell nothing more than this man, animated by malice exceeding that of a cast-off coquet, has been able to tell!
The praises, which have, in our public prints, been bestowed upon the attempted mischief of this Mr. Smith, are by no means calculated to promote harmony with America, where both the government and the people will judge of our wishes by these praises. This man is notoriously the enemy of the American government, and, therefore, he is praised here. This is not the way to prove to the American government, that we are its friends, and that it does wrong to prefer Napoleon to us. That we ought to prefer the safety and honour of England to all other things is certain; and, if the American government aimed any blow at these, it would become our duty to destroy that government if we could. But, Sir, I suspect, that there are some persons in this country, who hate the American government because it suffers America to be the habitation of freedom. For this cause, I am satisfied, they would gladly, if they could, annihilate both government and people; and, in my mind there is not the smallest doubt, that they hate Napoleon beyond all description less than they hate Mr. Jefferson or Mr. Madison. This description of persons are hostile to the existence of