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treat at last upon a footing of equal, French, is incontestible, from the ity with that one, which, while it various publications of the time, remained unvanquished, would als and no less from that remarkable ways prove an effectual obstacle to anxiety with which their rulers that plan of universal influence over canvassed every subject relating to all the governments of Europe, England. How to compass its dewhich France had, since the unexs pression was the chief object of their pected fuccess of its arms, kept con- councils; and every fortunate event tantly in view.
that befel them, in their numerous However the French might exult enterprizes, employed their consin the triumphant career of their deration in what manner to convert arınies, it plainly appeared, by the it to the detriment of England. fentiments repeatedly exprefled by Among the various means of obthe principal speakers of the conven- taining that important end, the an. tio7, and in the councils, and upon noyance of the English maritime ali public occafions, to be their inti- commerce, had long been tried, cermate perfuafion, however averse to tainly not without some degree of arow it, that while England stood success : but in no degree fufficient its ground, they would never tolally to weaken the naval power of Engaccomplich those mighty schemes of land, which continued to rule the conquest and influencé. To exe- seas in every quarter of the globe, cute them partially, would only in- with irresistible sway. It was involve them in perpetual quarrels deed from this very circumstance, with those powers whose interest that France derived a multiplicity required their depreslion, and whole of arguments in its manifetios and caule England would never fail to exhortations, both to its own people, lapport. Thus it was clear, that and to the other nations of Europe. unless the strength of this ancient Their tendency was to prove, that rival were effectually broken, and it England was the tyrant of the sea, were reduced to sue for peace on
and that all the European powers luch terms as France should dictate, were interested in repreiling that the propoled effect of so many vic- tyranny. To effect this, they ought tories would be frustrated, as the to unite cordially with France, and humiliation of all its other enemies second its endeavours to refiore the would not secure to the republic freedom of the seas, by abridging, those objects at which it avowedly through every means in their power,
The prolongation of the the commercial resources of Eng. war, in order to attain thele, might land. The actual firength of its be attended with fuch vicillitudes of navy was so great, that it could not fortune, as would entirely change at present be opposed with much the circumstances of afáirs, and hope of success : but other methods oblige the republic, in its turn, to might be ured not less effectual in abate of its high pretensions, and their ultimate iflue, and these were cien to compound for its existence, in the option of every state. That and the preservation of ihe ancient the power which commanded the limits of France
leas, commanded also the shores, That these ideas frequently oc- and that naval power was of more curred to the most fagacious of the importance than dominion at land,
had passed into a kind of political power at sea : to raise the naval maxim for ages. It was, in fact, power of France, and to undera superiority of naval power that mine that of England, by exclusubverted the Roman empire. The ding her trade from the great inlets irruptions of the Gauls, the Cimbri, of Europe. This would give Eng. and Teutones, by land, were re- land a blow, from which it would pelled, and might have been re- not easily recover.
It could not pelled had they been repeated. fail to produce an immediate alteraThe necessity of subsistence drove tion in its commercial circumstances; them quickly to the necessity of the depression of which, would incommitting their fortune to the issue fallibly create a discouragement of a battle, in which the invaded and despondency in the Englisi goderived an advantage over the in- vernment, that must induce it at vaders from the poteffion, and from once, to remit of the haughtiness the knowledge of the country. But with which it exercised its naval when the barbarians began to com- superiority over other nations, bine their military operations with Such was the purport of the vanaval expeditions; when stores, as rious publications iffued hy authowell as troops, were poured upon rity, or proceeding from the many the Roman frontier, from the Baltic, individuals, who búfied themselves the Dwina, the Elbe, the Danube, with compofitions of this nature. and the Euxine seas, then, and not The impression, which they made till then, they began to be wholly upon the generality of European irresistible. It was the maritime, states, was very fechle. None, iuhabits, and the naval power of the deed, appeared to pay them much Scandinavians, under the appella- attention, but those on which France tion of Normans, Danes, Picks, and possessed the forcible means of in. other names, that enabled them, for fluence. The others were conthe space of fix hundred years, to vinced, that the motives of the harrass, over-run, and rule the French, in these warm addresles to greater part of the sea coasts of Eu- the continental powers, were dicrope. The trade of a pirate became tated hy selfith views, and that, an honourable profession. The fons were they to succeed in over-throw. of kings, at the head of pirates, ing the maritime power of England, fought and obtained at once settle- they would doubilefs transfer it to ments and renown. Since the re- themselves, and employ it in the vival of letters, the modern im- fame ends to which they had lo sinprovements in arts and sciences, and toriously converted the superiority the vast extension of commerce, the they had acquired at land. fuperior importance of naval power It was doubtless incontinent, on seemed to he farther illustrated, and the ground of' morality in the Enige more certainly establimed.. lith nation, to arraign the an
It was not among the least stri- bition and tyranny of the French, king instances of that fertility of while they themfelves, pursued imagination which supported the schemes of tyranny and ambition French under all difficulties, that on the main ocean, and in every they found means, as they con- quarter of the globe. If the French ceived, to oppose power at land to were plunderers at land, the Eng. lifh were plunderers on too many the advantages resulting from a occasions, and dicators at lea. Still, commerce with England, had grahowever, they had done no more duall; luperfeded the fear of oflendin the prelent war, than what had ing againit this probibition; and it been authorized by long established was little attended to at this time. custom ; and under every restraint, s weighty motive for not enforcing a commercial correspondence with it was, the necessity of giving vent England, had been experimentally to the cargoes of the Englih vel. found extremely profitable. If their fels captured by the French privaindustry enabled them to derive bc- teers. But after the government nefit from other nations, these also in Holland had come to tlie deterreceived no less profit from them. mination of forbidding the entry of An exclufion of their trade wonld English goods, it thought ittell the redound therefore, equally to the better entitled to require the adopdetriment of both parties.
tion of the like measure in France, Foiled in their endeavours to mut as Holland, in adopting it, bad comall the European ports against the plied with the requisition of the English, the French determined, French government. This appeared however, to exclude them from so unaniwerable a mode of reasonthose of which they had the com- ing, that the directory, however, mand. A proclamation had been disinclined to compliance, found itillued by the English government, self under the necesity of giving permitting the exportation of mer- satisfaction to the Dutch confedia chandise to Flanders and Holland. rates, who were so determiner as to But the Dutch convention was di- admit of co denial, tliat they threatrected to publi! a counter procla- ened to refciid their resolutions, mation, probibiting the importation unless the faine were taken by the of goods from England, under fe- French government. vere penalties; and enjoining the The regulatinis proposed on this people of the united provinces to occation were very fevere; they renounce all commerce with a na- not only prohibited the importation that had treated them to in;- tion of English: merchandize in fue mically, and whole intentions were ture, but o clained the re-exportato deprive the Dutch republic of its tion of what had been imported. trade, afier depriving it of its an- Harth methods were, at the same cient freedom, by the forcible elia- tionc, adopted to lecure the obferblishment of a stadtholder. Having vance of thefe regulations; and expelled a fovereign impofed upon though they were unacceptable to them against their consent, they multitudes, lo intent was the legi. were bound in duty and honour to blature on diminishing the resources refuse all connections with those of England, that the probibitory who were endeavouring to subject decree, together with the heavy them again to his yoke.
penalties annexed to its infringeA fimilar prohibition of Englishment, was carried by a large mamanufactures had taken place in jority. France, during the adminiftration Great were the expectations of of Roberspierre, and had for fome the enemies to England, that this time been strickly enforced. But exclusion of its merchandize and
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manufactures manufactures would, in a short time, which, while it continued open, reduce it to fuch distress, as to dif- would always prove an inlet for able it from carrying on the war, English goods to all parts of Gerand oblige it to submit to any con- many: and the princes and states of ditions, for the sake of recovering the empire were no ways disposed to its trade. It cannot be denied gratify the French with an exclusion that appearances militated strongly of the English from that only mediin favour of these consequences. um of commercial communication Spain and Italy, two capital marts between Germany and the other for the fale of English commodities, trading countries in Europe. especially the firit, were now al- The disappointment of the French molt entirely but to their admission. government, in the fanguine hope Genoa and Leghorn, the two prin- it had entertained of destroying the cipal seats of the trade between commerce, and through it the finanEngland and Italy, were under the ces of England, was farther aggraimmediate controul of France; the vated by the disorder of its own. former was compelled, through the Notwithstanding the indefatigable terror of its arms, to esclude Eng- efforts used to place them on a footland from its ports, by a formal ing of stability, temporary expeditreaty to that purpose ; and the lat- ents were fiill the only props of goter was in the polleflion of a French vernment, which had no fixed profgarrison. Corfica was, at the same pect of supporting itlelf by other time, no longer in the hands of the than precariousand uncertain means. English: but Naples and the papal But as these could not again be reterritories still remained open to sorted to, the state still reverted to them in Italy; and Portugal af- the dangerous fituation it had just forded an ample channel for the in- escaped, and was liable to experiIroduction of every article of com- ence ftill greater difficulties, from merce from England, not only into this successive abridgement of its that kingdom, but also into Spain, remaining resources. ils adjoinining neighbour, with In this alarming situation the diwhich its immediate communication rectory refolved to call a meeting of would always procure either an
great bankers and merchants, to open or clandestine entrance for confult with them on the means of Englibh merchandize of all kinds. restoring the pecuniary credit of the
Thus, on a confiderate examina- nation, and circular letters were diltion of the consequences relulting patched to them for that purpose. from this famous decree, they did not On the tenth of December a melmeet the expectations of those who fage of a most presting nature was framed it. It was found thatas power sent to the council of five hundreil. thut (we door against commerce luxu- It was serioully urged, by the diry opened another. Little was the recory, to come without delay to diminution of the English trade to the aslistance of the state, the wants the southern parts of Europe, wliilein of which were such that if not imthe north it remained uninterrupted. mcdiately relieved, it would be exFrom this quarter it was that Eng- posed to certain ruin. The only reland drew the most effential articles medy that could be proposed, in this it wanted. Hamburgh was a port, extremily,.was, to authorize the di
OF EUROPE, (169 rectory lo receive the last instalment speedily healed, by the discretion of due on the sale of the national do- both parties, might be productive mains, amounting to eighty millions, of the most serious evils. The neand which, being payable in specie, ceflity of acting in concert premight be appropriated with effect vented farther altercation: but the to the extinction of the debts that council of five hundred became exlay most heavy on government, and tremely watchful of the motions of the liquidation of which appeared the directory, and resolved to conthe most indispenfible.
fine it with the utmost strictness, to This message was communicated the powers afligned to it by the conto a secret committee of the coun- ftitution. cil of five hundred: but contrary to During the cruel administration 1'e expectations of the directory, it of Roberspierre, multitudes had fled was treated with light, and as un- to foreign countries, or concealed deserving of attention. Equally themselves in various parts of astonished and offended at this re- France, in order to escape the fale reption of a mediage, from which far that would otherwise have attended diferent effects had been hoped, them. The revolutionary commitibe directorypublished this tranf- tees of the districts to which they action upon the following day, as an belonged, actuated by the barbarous appeal to the public on the conduct spirit of the times, had entered the of the council. But this step was names of these unhappy perious on judged to have been too hastily the list of cmigrants, by which they taken. It seemed intended to bring were subjecied to the punishments the council into disgrace, as enacted by the law, against indifuling to concur with the directory viduals of this description. After in a necesarv micasure, and it evi- the overthrow of this sanguinary dently tended to occafion a variance system, feveral decrees had been between these two branches of go. palied, to rescue those who had sufvernment, an evil that ought of all fered unjufily, through its tyranny, others to be the most studioully from the wretched condition to avoided in the present circumstances which they had been reduced. of the nation.
Those who had expatriated themThe committee, thus brought for- felves fince the last of May, 1793, ward hefore the public, exculpated when this dreadful fylte'n comitself for the rejection of this mel- nienced, were permitted to return fage, by allerting that it represented to their country, and those who had the state in a much more alarming been falsely entered on the litt fituation than consisted with reality. of cmigrants, were cleared from the Through care and economy all dif- penalties annexed to emigration. ficulties might be removedl, and the But, in the numbers that appealed directory had been no less faulty in to the laws enacted to reittiate in exaggerating the diiliculties of the their rights those who has been unnation, than imprudent in making julily deprived of them, there were them known to the world.
many who came itricily under the It was with much concern that the denomination of emigrants, but public beheld a rupture between who found means, through partiality the legislature and the executive de- or bribery, to procure testimonials partment, which, unless it were of their not having icit France be