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The Haughtiness of the Directory towards different Nations. Particularly
towards the Dutch, whom they consider, not as Confederates, but a con. quered People.-— Moderation of the Republic and preponderating Party in the United Provinces.-Batavian Convention.- Its Proceedings.-Affairs of Geneda.--Meeting of the National Institute of France.-Considered as an auspicious Omen of the Return of Peace and Reign of the Arts. And Liberty of thinking and publishing on all Subjects. The Alliance between the Church and Monarchy of France, in the End, ruinous to both.—The new, or constitutional, Clergy uvow their Assent to the Separation of the Church from the State.-Yet venture to condemn some Things settled, or approved, by the republican Government.--But which they considered as adverse to the Dignity and Interests of the ecclesiastical Order.-The Settlement of ecclesiastical Affairs considered by the Generality of the French as a Matter of great Importance.
THE 'HE irritable temper of the die to the politics of Russia. The court
rectory was experienced by of Sweden gave the directory to un. other governments beside the Ame. derstand, that were he to be refused rican. The court of Stockholm, admission, the French envoy at which had, since the death of the Stockholm would be treated prelate king Gustavus, explicitly re- cisely in the same manner. But the nounced his projects against the directory ordered him, nevertheless, French republic, and manifested fa- to quit Paris; not, however, without vourable dispositions to it, had lately expressing the highest respect for the undergone an evident alteration. Swedish nation, the good-will of Some attributed this to the intrigues which it still sought to retain, noto of Russia ; others to the resentment with standing this variance with its of the Swedish government at the government.
The French envoy at duplicity of the French, who had that court was, at the same time, paid the subsidy they owed' to Swe- directed to leave it; bis residence den, in drafts upon the Dutch re- there being nolonger consistent with public, wbich they were conscious the honour of France, to the interest would not be honoured. Another of whien that court was become motive of dissatisfaction to the die manifestly inimical, by its subserrectory was, the recall of baron viency to Russia, the declared enemy Ståel, the Swedish ambassador, a to the French republic. friend to the republic, and the re- The king of Sardinia's ambassa. placing bim by Mr. Renhausen, a dor had, in like manner, experienced gentleman noted for his attachment the displeasure of the directory, for expressing his regret at the precipi- pression of the stadtboldership, in tation with which his master had which they had been formally proconcluded the treaty of peace with mised the concurrence of the French France ; the terms of which, he republic. They were, for this mo. said, would bave been much less tive, so zealous for the success of its severe, had he waited for the more arms, that, during the campaign of favourable opportunities that fol. 1794, they bad projected an insurreclowed it. For having uttered words tion in the principal tiwns of the of that import, he was ordered to Seven United Provinces, while the quit the territory of the republic. republican armies should advance, The Tuscan envoy was dismissed in with all speed, to their support. the same manner, on account of the Having communicated their designs particular zeal he had testified in to the French government, they behalf of Lewis XVI.'s daughter, doubted not of its readinese to sewhen she was permitted to leave cond them, and prepared accordingFrance.
ly to execute the plans which they The court of Rome, when com- had formed in virtue of that expelled by the victories of Buona- pectation. But the uninterrupted parte to solicit a suspension of arms, career of victory, that had given so had sent commissioners to Paris, to decided a superiority to the French negociate a peace : but, in hope over all their enemics, had also that the numerous reinforcements, elated them in such a manner, that, which were coming from Germany looking upon the co-operation of to the Imperial army, would enable their party, in Holland, as no longer it to recover its losses, and expel the of that importance which it bad French from Italy, they studiously hitherto appeared to be, they now protracted the negociation, on pre- received its applications with & tence that they were not furnished coldness, which plainly indicated with sufficient powers to conclude a that they considered the Dutch as a definitive treaty:
It was not till people that must submit to their own the successes of the French had put terms, and whom they now proan end to these hopes, that they posed to treat rather as being subappeared desirous, as well as em- dued by the arms of the French, powered, to come to a conclusion. than as confederated in the same But the directory, for answer, signi- cause. fied their inmediate dismission. Such were the dispositions of the
Notwithstanding the resolute and French towards the Dutch, when decisive conduct adopted by the di- they entered the United Provinces. rectory, they found it necessary to The arbitrary manner, in which abate of their peremptoriness with they imposed a multiplicity of heavy the Dutch; who, though strongly contributions upon the Dutch, was determined to remain united in in- bighly exasperating to the nation: terest with France, were not the less but they were too prudent to exas, resolved to retain their national in- perate men, who were determined dependence. The party that favour- to act as conquerors, and whom it ed and had called in the French, was impossible to resist. They subhad done it solely with the view of mitted, therefore, with that phlegsecuring their assistance for the sup- matic patience, which characierizes
them in difficulties, and usually ena Several preferred the antecedent bles them to surmount the greatest, one, that had subsisted from the deby giving way to the storm while it mise of William III. king of Great lasts, and reserving themselves for Britain, and stadtholder, with such those auspicious opportunities of re. alteration as might secure it effectutrieving heir affairs, that so seldom ally from a re-establishment of that fail the vigilant and undesponding. office, and render it more democrà
In the mean time, lhe republican tical: others recommended an im. party, in Holland, resolved to con. mediate adoption of the precedents, duét itself with so much temper to which the French had fixed on ås the adherents of that party, which it the most popular. These different had opposed with so much firmness parties contended with great warmth and perseverance, that they should for the superior excellence of their bare no cause to complain of its various plans. But the necessity of having made an improper use of the settling some form of government, power it had newly acquired. The brought them, at last, aiter long and efect of this moderation were high- violent dispute, to the determination ly beneficial to both parties. It of calling a national convention. softened ibe grief of those who had The provinces of Zealand and Frizebeen deprived of the government land, the two most considerable in of their country, and induced them the Dutch republic, next to thatof to be less hostile to those who had Holland, made a long and obstinate taken their places : and it procured opposition to this proposal. But for these a readiness in the generality they were,
at length, prevailed of people 10 consider ihem as actu- upon tv concur with the others on ated by patriotic motives, and in no its expediency. W15 by private animosity towards The year 1795 was consumed in their antagonists.
altercations of this nature. This conduct was the more re- soon as the national convention met, markable, that the inhabitants of the which was on the first of March, provinces, though a large majority, 1796, all parties agreed on a resoluwas desirous of a change of govern. tion io declare war againsi Great ment, differed materially in their Britain, which they considered as opinions concerning that which was having chiefly occasioned the many to succeed it. The party favouring calamities that had befallen the the stadtholder was ihe least consi- United Provinces for a course of derable. It consisted of the titled, years. Through its influence over or noble families, still remaining in the stadtholder, the strength of the the United Provinces, and chiefly de- siate had been perfidiously withheld pended upon the interior classes, and from acting in defence of the trade the great number of foreigners, for and shipping of the republic, and the most part Germans, in the Dutch its interests wholly sacriticed to those service. The mercantile and middle of England. During the whole classes, and generally the people of duration of the American war, this opulence and property, were in. had been done in despite and conclined to a republican system : but tempt of continual remonstrances herein they differed among them- . and solicitations from the most reselves as to the plan to be adopted. spectable citizens in the commonVOL. XXXVIII.
wealth. It was through the inter. opportunity of doing all the damage ference of England, leagued with in its power to the people of the Prussia, that the stadtholder, who Unised Provinces ; who had, therehad been expelled from the United fore, the clearest right to consider it Provinces, was restored in defiance as their most mveterate enemy. On of the manifest will of the Dutch. these considerations, which were obThus a governor was imposed upon vious to all impartial minds, the nathem, whom they could compare to tional convention ought to call forth no other than a lord-lieutenant of the whole strength of the nation, Ireland, or a stadtholder of some and use every effort to recover what Prussian district. He was the mere England had so unjustly taken from agent of those two powers by it, rather by surprise than real whose impulse he was guided, and prowess. by whose power he was upheld in Such was the language of the rehis authority, which he exercised publican party, in Holland, which, entirely according to their directions. confiding in iis strengih, and on the Through their fatal inftuence, Hol. support of the French, was deter. Jand had been precipitated into the mined to improve to the utmost the present coniest with France, against opportunity that now offered, of the well-known wishes of all the extinguishing radically, all the hopes provinces, and upon pretexts quite and pretensions of the Orange faforeign 10 their interest. While this mily. In ibis determination, ibis influence lasted, Hilland could be party met with every encourageviewed in 110 other light than as a ment from the directory, which anx. dependence of England and Prussia, jously stimulated it to form a con. It was, therefore; incumbent on the stitution explicirly ésclusive of a national convenrion, loput an end to sladtholder. this slavish and ruinous connection The Dutch convention itself was with those two powers, but especie sufficiently averse to the re-estaally with England; which had, on blishment of this office, which, the pretence of espousing the cause new-modelled as it had been, by of the stadtholder, torn from the England and Prussia, was become, republic almost the whole of its in fact, a sovereignty. But however possessions in the Indies and in unanimous on this point, they varied America. What was still more in- on several others. The former in. sulting, the English ministry treated dependence of the Seven Provinces him avowedly as the sovereign of on each oiher, and their separate the Seven Provinces, though they and unconnected authority over must know that he was consti- their respective territories and pectutionally no more than the captain- ple, bad so long subsisted without general of their armies, and the ad- impairing the general union, that it miral in chief of their fiets. What appeared to many unnecessary, if was this bul tyranny and usurpation not dangerous, to make allera. in the extreme? The preiensions of tion in this matter, as it would afiect Prussia were at an end by the treaty the mode of Jevying taxes, and burit bad concluded with France :' but then one province with the exthose of England were in full vi. pences of another. To this it was gour, and it eagerly seized every replied, tbat a firm and indissoluble
union, which was the object prin- open and ostensible exercise of avo cipally required, could not be effect- thority over this meeting. This ed, wbile such a separation of inter- would have invalidated their proests was suffered to exist. It would ceedings, and infringed the liberty open a door to perpetual variances, which France boasted of having rewhich might eventually endanger stored to the Dutch, in too glaring a the very existence of ihe govern. manner, not to have excited their ment they were about to establish, murmurs and resentment. For by breaking the principal bond of these reasons the directory affected unity on which it was to be found. every sentiment of respect for this ed. After a multiplicity of debates national convention of the United upon this subject, the importance of Provinces, and treated it with every a solid union of all the provinces, outward mark of their considering it into one common state, appeared as the representatives of an indeso indispensible, that it was unani. pendent nation. mously agreed to on the first day of But the regard shewn, by France, December, 1796. To remove the to the republic of Holland, was objection that had principally stood measured solely by the consideration in the way of this decision, a com- of its weight in the political scale, mission of the most respectable mem- which, however depressed by circumbers of the convention was appoint. stances, might still recover the level ed to examine and state the former of its former importance. The didebts of the respective provinces, rectory did not extend the same deand to consider of the most equita- ference to those whom it deemed ble and satisfactory manner of liqui. more subjected to its power. This dating them, by providing for their was remarkably evinced in its conextinction, and preserving, at the duct towards Geneva. This little same time, uninjured, the rights and republic had invariably remained interests of all the parties concerned attached to the interests of the revoin this liquidation.
lution in France, ever since its first In all these transactions, the mem.. breaking out; and had gone hand in bers of the Dutch convention were hand with it through 'all its variaremarkably cautious in permitting tions. Relying on these proofs of no visible interference in their deli: its fidelity, it now requested the dia, berations on the part of the French rectory to confirm its independence, government. Its secret influence by making it a clause in the treaties was well known; but the preservation between France and other powers. of every form and external indi. But this request did not coincide cation of freedom, was judged indis, with the views of the directory, pensible,in order to maintain the ap- wbich bad, it seems, in contemplaparent dignity of the state, and, what tion the annexation of Geneva to was of more consequence in the eye the dominion of France. Iy purof the discerning, to prevent the suance of this project, anintimation French themselves, at future pe- was given to the Genevans, that riod, from pleading a right of intero- their interest would be better confering, from any acknowledged pre- sulted, and their freedom secured, cedent. The directory was also by becoming a part of the French very careful in abstaining from all republic. This intimation was highly