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flimsy pretext of a Treaty of Alliance between His Majesty and Ferdinand the Seventh, when, in truth, no such treaty is in existence, we cannot but deeply lament, not only the loss of an opportunity to treat for Peace, more favourable than, in all probability, will again occur, but also to see in that rejection the determination of the Oligarchy to engage the nation in interminable war; and that at a moment when, not only by rejection of all offers, Russia was exposed to danger, but this country itself was on the eve of a war with America, which not only threatens to leave your manufacturers out of employment, but also to deprive this country of its only resource of relief, in case of an unfavourable harvest; and at a time when the augmentation of taxes, in the space of the last twenty years only, has swelled a burden of fifteen to a burden of seventy millions a year; and during the same period has so added to the public debt and the paper money, as to leave not the smallest hope of redeeming the one or of credit of the other. grants of public money have been given the sanction of any public service; money voted out of the pockets of the people by those who did not represent them. The galling effects of the system are seen in the harshness, the insolence, the partiality, and tyranny of Tax Commissioners, Commissioners of Excise, and their inferior agents, whose almost diurnal visitations
restoring the Sinecure offices and amount — without
to an enormous
place the purse of every man in a constant state of requisition; unhinging property, dissipating the resources, and exhausting the patience of a loyal and suffering nation. As a melancholy accompaniment of those evils, we behold a rapid increase of paupers, of misery, and of crimes; and in addition, we have the pain of observing a systematic practice in the Court of King's Bench of construing law in a manner hostile to the freedom of the subject; an evi
dent decline in the independence of the Bar, and an unconstitutional use of succedaneum for the hateful Court of Star Chamber, Ex-officio . Informations with Special Juries; and, finally, as the means of securing non-resistance from an oppressed people, we are shocked at the establishment of inland fortresses throughout the land, under the name of Barracks, and in the introduction and progressive increase of foreign mercenary troops; by the employment of Foreigners in offices of trust, civil and military, in defiance of the Act of Settlement, the rights of Englishmen, and the Common Law of the Land. In all these things, and in many others, which we forbear to name, we see manifested the influence of that rapacious and insolent Oligarchy, who while they scruple not to enrich themselves with the spoils of the people, invariably speak of them with contempt and opprobrium. We beg leave, therefore, humbly to represent to your Royal Highness our firm conviction, that it is only by promoting a Constitutional Reform, in the Commons' House of Parliament, and thereby obtaining the cordial support of the Nation, against those who are now usurping the Prerogatives of the Crown, by means of the power which they have purloined from the People, that your Royal Highness will be able to form a strong and efficient Government, equal to the periious state of affairs, or to adopt and put inforce such measures as can effectually secure internal tranquillity, National Independence, and, finally, obtain a safe and permanent peace. Amongst the many missortunes both from within and without, which the Nation has experienced, we account it not amongst the least, that after the odious Borough Oligarchy had for three months actually suspended the Kingly part of the Constitution, and then imposed on your Royal Highness restrictions on the Royal Prerogative as insulting, as unconstitutional and unnecessary, they took care to have the nation exposed to similar danger, to the same unsettled, hazardous condition, in the event of the demise of your Royal Highness (whom God long preserve); that so in such event they might have a pretence for renewing their factious usurpations, for fabricating new restrictions, and keeping the Crown in a state of pupilage, which ought to be independent. This we esteem peculiarly offensive, when, in the person of the Princess Charlotte, your Royal Highness's daughter and only child, being now of legal age, a Regency might, according to former precedent, with evident propriety, be established, so as to ensure the nation against the uncertainties and dangers to which it is otherwise exposed. We beg leave humbly to represent to your Royal Highness, that those only deceive you who pretend that this country can be restored to safety and content except by redressing the grievances of the people, by strictly applying the public money to public services alone, by extending the benefits of the Constitution to persons of all religious persuasions, without distinction, above all, by restoring to the people their undoubted rights, “claimed, demanded, and insisted on,” but unfortunately not established, at the revolution; amongst which the chief and paramount is, the free choice of their representatives in the Commons' House of Parliament; on the restoration of which, we are firmly persuaded, mainly depend the stability of the Throne, the independence of the country, and the liberty of the
FRANce, and Russia. Correspondence relative to the Dispute of 1812.
(Continued from page 158./
departure, would, on the contrary, as appears to me, render it more necessary. In circumstances so urgent, what advantage could result from written communications, , when eight days would be scarcely sufficient for receiving an answer, and which, from their nature, even do not afford any means
of correction in sufficient time to avoid the lamentable consequences, all the errors, all the misunderstandings, which may be committed on either side, and which are even nearly inevitable. The principal object, the maintenance of peace, would never be attained. It is because the Emperor, my master, was thoroughly sensible how injurious delays are on occasions so critical, that he commanded me to proceed to the Emperor Alexander, and your Excellency, in order to clear up all the doubts, and to remove all the difficulties upon important points, with respect to which explanations are not practicable, except in this way, if the hope be to be cherished of an arrangement which has been invariably the object of his wishes. In the new situation in which your Excellency's letter places me, it remains only for me to take the orders of my Court as to my ulterior conduct. I dispatch a courier to solicit instructions. As to myself in particular, Count, I cannot conceal from your Excellency, that I am deeply affected at a refusal, which I cannot but consider as personal to myself, inasmuch as any person than myself directly sent by my Master, whether a General or an Aid-de-Camp, would, without doubt, have obtained a favour which has been refused to me. Not having any intelligence direct on the subject of the communications, which your Excellency assures me are suspended between Russia and soreign countries, I cannot reply to that paragraph of your letter. I have the honour, &c. Count DE LAURIstos.
Copy of a Letter from the Minister for Foreign Relations to Count Lauriston.— Thorn, June 12, 1812.
You have seen, Count, by the letter which I had the honour to write to you on the 20th of last month, that the declaration made by Prince Kurakin, on the 30th of April, and the repeated demand of his passports, had appeared to his Majesty such proceedings, so strong, so decisive in the existing circumstances, so contrary to the language which this Ambassador had held till then, that his Majesty found it difficult to believe that he had not taken too much upon him. We have since learned, that the Russian Government had communicated to different Governments, the condition insisted upon from his Majesty, of the evacuation of the Prussian territory as a precedent stipulation, indispensable to any negociation. The letter which you have done me the honour to write to me, of the 22d of May, informs me, that this declaration is known at St. Petersburg, and I find it mentioned at the same time in the English Papers, as you can perceive by reading the accompanying sheet. No doubt, then, can be longer entertained, Count, but that Prince Kurakin has fully comprehended his instructions, and conformed to them in his declaration of the 30th of April, and when he made and renewed the demand of his passports. The conduct of Prince Kurakin had determined His Majesty to set out from Paris; the publicity which has been given these transactions, has made him sensible of the necessity of quitting Dresden, and of drawing nearer to his army. He had hoped, until the last moment, that conferences might still take place; but this hope vanished when he saw that the propositions which were really to be submitted to him, were incompatible with his honour. At Austerlitz, when the Russian army was destroyed; when the Emperor Alexander saw even the safety of his own person endangered; at Tilsit, when there no longer remained to him any means by which to support that struggle in which all the forces of his empire had fallen, His Majesty did not propose to him any condition which would offend his honour. It is now too certain, Count, that the Govern-ment is resolved on war, for which reason it might be convenient that you should remain still longer at St. Petersburg. His Majesty enjoins you to demand your passports, and to repass the frontier. You will make this demand by addressing a note, a minute of which is subjoined to Count Soltikoff. I have the honour, &c. &c. The Duke of BAss ANo.
Copy of a Wote of Count Lauriston to Count Soltikoff. Prince Kurakin, after having made the communications which had been brought to him by the last Courier, which he received from Russia, having demanded his 'passports, and three times repeated that demand, His Majesty directed that they should be given to him. He commands me to demand mine, my mission being finished, since the demand which Prince Kurakin made of his passports decided the rupture, and since His Majesty the Emperor and King considers himself from this moment in a state of war with Russia.
Copy of a Letter from the Minister for
30th of April you have declared that an
arrangement between our two Courts was impossible, unless His Majesty the Emperor and King should preliminarily accede to the peremptory demand of the entire evacuation of the Prussian States. When. your Excellency first made known to me verbally this proceeding, I did not disguise from you all the consequences of it. After the battle of Austerlitz, when the Russian army was surrounded; after the battle of Friedland, in which it had been defeated, His Majesty showed his esteem for the valour of this army, for the greatness of the Russian nation, and for the character of the Emperor Alexander, in not requiring any thing from him contrary to honour. It was not impossible to suppose that in the existing circumstances of Europe, your Sovereign, who, without doubt, contemned neither the character of . the Emperor, nor that of the French nation, so faithful to honour, would have been disposed to dishonour France. His Majesty, the Emperor and King, could not contemplate in the condition of the evacuation of Prussia, as preliminary to any negociation, any thing but a positive refusal to negociate. You have confirmed this opinion, Mr. Ambassador, by the demand which you have made of your passports on the 7th May, and which you have repeated on the 11th and 24th. I have, nevertheless, deferred replying to your Excellency, because His Majesty was still willing to believe that you had exceeded your instructions in giving such a note—in establishing that as a formal condition which might be the result of a negociation, and in cutting short all discussion by demanding your passports. But since the receipt of Count Lauriston's dispatches, reports, which arrive by different channels, and even the publications in the English News-papers, apprize us that your Government has informed its capital and all Europe of the resolution which it has taken not to enter into any negociation until the French troops shall have retired to the Elbe. I have acknowledged, Mr. Ambassador, that I was mistaken, and I ought to render justice to your experience and intelligence, which should have prevented you from resorting to a course so extreme, if your Government had not made it our positive duty. His Majesty being no longer able to doubt the intentions of your Court, has commanded me to send you your passports, the repetition of the deinand for which he considers as a declaration of war. I have the honour to be, &c. THE Duke of Bass ANo.
As illustrated in the Prosecution and Punishment of
IN order that my countrymen and that the world may not be deceived, duped, and cheated upon this subject, I, WILLIAM COBBETT, of Botley, in Hampshire, put upon record the following facts; to wit: That, on the 24th June, 1809, the following article was published in a London news-paper, called the Counier :—“The Mutiny amongst the LO“CAL MILITIA, which broke out at Elv, was “fortunately suppressed on Wednesday by the “arrival of four squadrons of the GERMAN “LEG1ON CAVALRY from Bury, under the “command of General Auckland. Five of the “ringleaders were tried by a Court-Martial, and “sentenced to receive 500 lashes each, part of which “punishment they received on Wednesday, and “a part was remitted. A stoppage for their knup“sacks was the ground of the complaint that ex“cited this mutinous spirit, which occasioned “ the men to surround their officers, and demand “what they deemed their arrears. The first “ division of the German Legion halted yesterday “ at Newmarket on their return to Bury.” That, on the 1st July, 1809, I published, in the Political Register, an article censuring, in the strongest terms, these proceedings; that, for so doing, the Attorney General prosecuted, as seditious libellers, and by Ex-Officio Information, me, and also my printer, my publisher, and one of the principal retailers of the Political Register; that I was brought to trial on the 15th June, 1810, and was, by a Special Jury, that is to say, by 12 men out of 48 appointed by the Master of the Crown Office, found guilty; that, on the 20th of the same month, I was compelled to give bail for my appearance to receive judgment; and that, as I came up from Botley (to which place I had returned to my family and my farm on the evening of the 15th), a Tipstaff went down from London in order to seize me, personally ; that, on the 9th of July, 1810, I, together with my printer, publisher, and the newsman, were brought into the Court of King's Bench to receive judgment; that the three former were sentenced to be imprisoned for some months in the King's Bench prison; that I was sentenced to be imprisoned for two years in Newgate, the great receptacle for malefactors, and the front of which is the scene of numerous hangings in the course of every year; that the part of the prison in which I was sentenced to be confined is sometimes inhabited by felons, that felons were actually in it at the time I entered it; that one man was taken out of it to be transported in about 48 hours after I was put into the same yard with him; and that it is the place of confinement for men guilty of unnatural crimes, of whom there are four in it at this time; that, besides this imprisonment, I was sentenced to pay a thousand pounds TO THE KING, and to give security for my good behaviour for seven years, myself in the sum of 3,000 pounds, and
two sureties in the sum of 1,000 pounds each; that the whole of this sentence has been executed upon me, that I have been imprisoned the two years, have paid the thousand pounds TO THE KING, and have given the bail, Timothy Brown and Peter Walker, Esqrs. being my sureties; that the Attorney General was Sir Vicary Gibbs, the Judge who sat at the trial Lord Ellenborough, the four Judges who sat at passing sentence Ellen. borough, Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey; and that the jurors were, Thomas Rhodes of Hampstead Road, John Davis of Southampton Place, James Ellis of Tottenham Court Road, John Richards of Bayswater, Thomas Marsham of Baker Street, Robert Heathcote of High Street Marylebone, John Maud of York Place Marylebone, George Baxter of Church Terrace Pancras, Thomas Taylor of Red Lion Square, David Deane of St. John Street, William Palmer of Upper Street Islington, Henry Favre of Pall Mall; that the Prime Ministers during the time were Spencer Perceval, until he was shot by John Bellingham, and after that Robert B. Jenkinson, Earl of Li. verpool; that the prosecution and sentence took place in the reign of King George the Third, and that, he having become insane during my impri. sonnient, the 1,000 pounds was paid to his son, the Prince Regent, in his behalf; that, during my imprisonment, I wrote and published’so Essays and Letters upon political subjects; that, during the same time, I was visited by persons from 197 cities and towns, many of them as a sort of deputies from Societies or Clubs; that, at the expiration of my imprisonment, on the jd, of July, 1812, a great dinner was given in London for the pur. pose of receiving me, at which dinner upwards of 600 persons were present, and at which Sir Francis Burdett presided; that dinners and other parties were held on the same occasion in many other places in England; that, on my way home, I was received at Alton, the first town in Hampshire, with the ringing of the Church bells; that a respectable company met me and gave me a dinner at Winchester; that I was drawn from more than the distance of a mile into Botley by the people; that, upon my arrival in the village, I found all the people assembled to receive me; that I concluded the day by explaining to them the cause of my imprisonment, and by giving them clear notions respecting the flogging of the Local Militia-men at Ely, and respecting the em. ployment of German Troops; and, finally, which is more than a compensation for my losses and all my sufferings, I am in perfect health and strength, and, though I must, for the sake of six children, feel the diminution that has been made in my property (thinking it right in me to decline the offer of a subscription), I have the consolation to see growing up three sons, upon whose hearts, I trust, all these facts will be engraven. WM. COBBETT.
Botley, July 23, 1812.
vol.xxii. No. 7..] LONDON, SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 1812. [Price is.
TO THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORS - OF BRISTOL.
Before I resume the subject, upon which I addressed you in my last, give me leave to explain to you what I mean by an independent elector. I do not mean a man who has money or land enough to make him independent; sor, I well know, that money and land have no such effect; as we see, every day of our lives, very rich men, and men of what is called family too, amongst the meanest and most dirty dependants of the ministry or the court. Independence is in the mind; and I call independent that man, who is, at all times, ready to sacrifice a part, at least, of what he has, and to brave the anger and resentment of those from whom he derives his living, rather than act, in his public capacity, contrary to the dictates of his own mind. This is what I meau by an independent mau. The journeyman who carries all his fortune in a silk handkerchies is as likely to be an independent man as is a Lord or a 'Squire; and, indeed, we find him much oftener worthy of the name.
It is to men of this description that I address myself upon the present occasion, and to their attention I now beg leave to recall some of the circumstances of the late election at Bristol, or, rather, the late contest; for, according to my notion of the law, there can be no election where soldiers are present during any portion of the time from the beginning to the end of the poll.
Of the two candidates, generally, I have spoken before; but, I now wish to draw Your attention more particularly to the pledges icndered you, and given you, by Mr. Hunt. He promised and vowed three things: 1st. That he never would, as long as he lived, either directly or indirectiv pocket a single farthing of the public money. This, Gentlemen, is, with me, and so, I trust, it is with you, a capital point. Indeed, it always appears to me necessary to the safety of the electors, as far as the fidelity of their inember goes. If the man
elected can take the public money, is not the temptation too great for most men? In short, what can be more absurd, what can be more revolting to reason, what more shocking to common sense, than the idea of a man's being a guardian of the public purse, while, at the same time, he votes, in that capacity, part of the people's money into his own pocket? In all the other situations of life we see the payer and the receiver a check upon each other; but, in the case of a member of parliament who receives part of the public money, there is no such check. We are often asked, whether we would wish gentlemen of great talents to serve the country as Secretaries of State, Chancellors of the Exchequer, &c. &c. without any pay,? To which I, for mysels, answer no. I would not only have them paid, but well paid ; but I would not have them sit in parliament while they received the pay. If we are told, that this is impracticable, we point to the experience in its support; for, in the United States of America, there are no paid officers in the Legislature. No man can be a member of either House who is in the receipt of a sixpence of the public money under the Executive; and, what is more, he cannot receive any of the public money, in the shape of salary, during the time for which he has been elected, if the office from which the salary is derived has been created or its income increased since his election. This is the case in America. There are no chancellors of the exchequer, no secretaries of state, or of war, or of the admiralty, in either House of Congress; there is no Treasury Bench; there are no ministers and none of those other things of the same kind, and which I will not here name. Yet is America now exceedingly well governed; the people are happy and free; there are about eight millions of them, and