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on her shores, she need not tremble. They would but serve to illustrate the invincible vigour of her free constitution, and the irresistible energy of her spirit.—With a wise system of policy and with confidence in her means, her security is perfeet.—Bonaparte hopes more from her self-trust and her arrogance towards the nations of this hemisphere, than from the result of his own efforts for her destruction, or the insufficiency of her resources of defence.—VVe trust and believe, that she will soon learn, how far the arts of conciliation, with respect to ourselves, and to the inhabitants of South America, are necessary to her interests;—and that she will be, in every respect, true to her own unrivalled grandeur both of moral character and physical strength.
Under all circumstances, the United States have a plain path to pursue.—To them the despotism of France, stripped as it is of all its visors, can appear in no other light than as an implacable enemy, essentially and passionately hostile to their institutions and prosperity; to be softened or propitiated by no concessions, and to be then most dreaded, when most prodigal of its declarations of friendship.—Obvious considerations, which we have more than once pressed upon the public, founded on facts, on reason, and on analogy, conduct them irresistibly to this conclusion.—To suffer themselves neither to be influenced by mere theories respecting the speedy overthrow of the French power, nor to be panic-struck by the prospect of its further and permanent aggrandizement, is therefore a part of their true policy, as is also the determination to be prepared for the worst, by collecting and organizing without delay, the means of self-defence.—To be incessantly on the watch against the wiles and intrigues of France,—to contribute in no way to the augmentation of her strength, or to the promotion of her schemes,—to cultivate industriously in the minds of the whole American population, the most lively feelings of hate and jealousy towards this deadly foe of the human race,—feelings which are in themselves powerful safeguards,—to seek the friendship of the country which now shields them, and can, as long as it stands firm, continue to shield them, from the perils and calamities of French invasion, —these would appear to be sacred duties which they owe, not merely to themselves, with a view to self-preservation,but likewise, to the world at large; to the cause of freedom, of civilization, of virtue, and of knowledge, in which they are so deeply concerned, and which, under a moral code no less obligatory upon nations than upon individuals, they are bound to maintain, in preference to all other interests.
If England should perish in the awful contest in which she is engaged, Americans know well, that although they should have zealously and efficaciously co-operated in her ruin, they would not be the less obnoxious to the immediate and furious hostilities of the conqueror. They might escape subjugation by their energy, and local advantages;—they might be the Parthians to the new Romans;—but, driven back to the fastnesses of their mountains, or constantly involved in a sanguinary war on their coasts, they would probably soon resemble these barbarians in more respects than one.—England however is not destined to fall,—whatever may be the fate of the continent. By maintaining a good understanding with her, we may bid defiance to her antagonist. If our national independence cannot be said to depend necessarily upon her preservation, all besides that is estimable does.—On the other hand, her prosperity is in part bottomed on the friendship of this country, and of the other parts of the world whom she can protect from the " ravening eagles" of France.
Every motive of expediency, as well as of honour and of duty, points to a reconciliation with England. Whether in alliance, or at war with the French Emperor, as respects the United States, trade with the continent is equally out of the question.—His intentions on this head, have been too unequivocally manifested, to leave a glimmering of hope, even to the most sanguine.—If he were disposed to tolerate it as the price of our enlistment under his banners, his condescension would be of little avail, while the British remained the masters of the seas.—They would banish our flag from the ocean.
Engage in hostilities with them, and you bid adieu to every shred and remnant of commerce:—you involve yourselves in a long and dismal train of domestic calamities.—You will soon preserve throughout the world, but one nominal ally, and that a power more inveterately hostile than the one whom you would be combating; more unsafe in its alliance, than the other in its enmity.—Grant that you accelerate or insure by your efforts, the downfal of the latter; you enjoy then as your sole reward, the consciousness of having contributed to the total eclipse of freedom in the other hemisphere, as well as to the certain disorganization of the whole frame of your own political society, if not to the immediate loss of your independence, and of your intellectual dignity.—You achieve no one object for which war can be justifiably or prudently undertaken.—If however England should triumph, notwithstanding your co-operation with her antagonist;—if the latter should be foiled,—humbled or overthrown, what will then be your situI
ation? You will indeed have gained a chance of safety, arising from the very circumstance of the prostration of your ally;— you may,after innumerable losses and sufferings, breathe again, and hope to be reinstated in the career of prosperity;—only, however, because you have failed of your original and malignant purpose, and because your intended victim may not have the inclination, and must know it to be incompatible with her true interests, to consummate your ruin, or even to obstruct the progress of your national convalescence.—But the prospect of an existence, accompanied by the ignominy and mortification incident to one of this nature, is scarcely less dreadful, than that of being crushed in the gripe of French despotism.
Such is the language in which we would now address the people of the United States, on the supposition, that they can remain at peace with England, without a sacrifice of their national honour. We cannot admit or believe that she is disposed to extort this sacrifice, or to pursue a system of measures with regard to the United States, not exacted by her safety, or her own honour, and yet injurious to their rights. If this were the case, we would despair of her cause, of which justice may now emphatically be said to be the main pillar.— Let her dispositions, however, be tested in a manner stilt untried on the part of our rulers—manfully and ingenuously—in a spirit of liberality and sympathy adapted to the embarrassments of her situation, and to the mighty interests which both nations have at stake, and which, at this crisis, leave no room for the discussion of minor points.—If braggart, artificial politics, and casuistical, diplomatic homilies be discarded on one side,—false pretences and wanton vexations may be relinquished on the other.—An obstinate adherence of both parlies to their present doctrines and measures, would seem, in our eyes, a sure indication, that the Almighty Providence had, in his wrath, resolved upon the speedy recurrence of such another era of Gothic darkness and universal slavery as that, during which, according to the faithful description of the poet,
"Oblivious ages passed: while earth, forsook