Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

The errors of the British minister, in the negotiation with the Court of Spain 1790

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0223477.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0223477-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0223477-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0223477-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0223477-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0223477-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0223477-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 '"-■■ 0=S >"
X    £».   W  THE
OF       THE
IN     THE
M.DCC.XC.  [ m i
INCE thefe Papers were begun in ffife
Gazetteer, a material change has taken
place in the circumftances of the country.
Events, however, cannot alter principles.
There are other mifchiefs befides War, in
which an ill-managed Negotiation may
terminate. While thofe who conduct it
are bufied in getting rid of the difficulty,
which feems, for the moment, to threaten
moft, infenfibly there will arife a multitude
of others, never dreamt of in their wifHom,
that, overleaping the limits of a petty, local intereft, extend to the whole fyftem of
our complicated Empire. It is then that
we muft ftrike the balance between the
good they boaft of having gained, and the
faults committed in the purfuit of it. There
m A 2 is [   iv   ] I
is ever fomething queftionable in the benefits of error, and the fuccefs of incapacity,
The profpecl: of war, indeed, is removed
for the prefent, and foon the public curio-
fity will feek another channel. But we
mull ufe it while it lafts, in order that if
we find caufe for cenfure any where, we
may fix that cenfure where it deferves to
No. L
September 9, 1790.
NEVER was the feeblenefs of human
forcfight more fingularly exemplified
than in the prefent fituation of this country!
The calamities of Europe, as well as the apparent fuperiority of her own flrength, feemed to
fecure her in the enjoyment of a permanent and
happy peace. A period moll propitious to its
prefervation had fucceeded the American war.
That proud monarchy, whofe dangerous preponderance in Europe had fo often compelled
us to appear in arms, had been gradually lofing
her afcendancy, and difcovered no anxiety to
regain it. She found that her encouragement
of American refiftance had been pufhed a ftep
too far 5 and that, while (he probably meant no
B more (
more than the ruin of a rival, fhe had introduced the feeds of difcontent within her owa
bofom, and juftified the fpirit of revolution.
A domeftjc danger, threatening even the (lability of the Royal power, fufpended the progrefs
of her foreign intrigues^ The Auftiian alliance,
by which fhe promifed herfelf the fupreme fway
in continental affairs, had by no means anfwered
fuch expectations. Each of thofe mighty empires, jealous even in their union, had continually
thwarted the other's operations. Holland and
Sweden were difmembered from the Bourbon
confederacy; and Ruffia had waited to be driven
into it by the fatal improvidence of Britifh
counfels. In a word, the deplorable condition
of her finances, the general diflrefs and poverty,
her navy neglected, and her army altogether
without difcipline, rendered the kingdom of
France, confidering her as difpofed to offenfive
meafures, an object of no immediate terror to
Great Britain.
Relieved from pur ufuaj apprehenfions on thip
fide, the tranquillity of our empire was menaced
with interruption from no other. The Mini-
fter himfelf was not backward in adding tfe
fanction pf his authority to the general opinion :—
when fuddenly the fcene fhifts, and within a few;
months after he had renewed bis aflurances in
a man- I   •    |. ;<P I If
a manner mote than ordinarily foletnn, wei find
that he has incurred an expence of about four
millions" for hdftife preparations, that the greater
part of our naval force is in commifiion, the
army augmenting by new levies; and three battalions of Guards in daily expectation of embark^
ing upon foreign fefvfcfc. We enquire the caufe,*
and are told thefe facts: $^
That fince the Minifter's pacific affurances,
he has informed the country of an outrageous
infult offered to the Britifh flag by Spain.
That Spain had agreed to make atonement
for that infult.
That the Minifter had accepted it, and declared himfelf fatisfied.
That neverthelefs he had redoubled his preparations for war.    And
That, in tins fecond flage of the difpute, the
reft of the maritime powers had come forward^
aftferhaving arijufted their differences with each
other, and were arming every fhip in their re-
fpective navies with the greateft expedition.
;>dfc.'t this place we are naturally led to enquire
what new object of difpute can have arifen between Spain and us which can juftify the hazard
of a war—what condition we are in to enforce
that object—how the maritime powers are dif-
pofed in cafe of a rupture—and whether it is
B 2 probable probable that they could have appeared tn foeh
force as to make fcherr active co-operatjdndeci-
five of ids event, if this new difficulty had
not arifen ?
In the rational anfwer to thefe fuggeftions I
can fee no caufe for exultation to my country.
But a few months, and the empire -of the feas
was our's without difpute \ Now, if the Minifter
is anxious that k fhduld exift eren in opinion,
I feat* he mull not rifque the (experiment. Undoubtedly, in a moment which demands ourut*
mod firmnefs to meet every melancholy poflibi-
lity, it were mofl difheartening to conclude that
the fuperiorit^ of the Britifh power, fo excitingly vaunted, and fo willingly believed, did in
fact depend upon the continuance of peace: but
the point of moll importance to afcertain, because it's determination muft decide upon our
hopes for the public fafcty, is, whether the
rafhnefs and mifconduct tf the Brittih Mintfter
has not raifed up and united againfl his country a
formidable league, that dares to prefcribe limits to her power, and reduce tbe glory of her
name ?
It is not wonderful that all ranks of men
fhould look forward with an anxious impatience
to the moment that muft refulve this doubt.
The meeting of Parliament, therefore, on the
m a5&* "    'f    • C   5   )   '
25th, deferves id be confidered as an event of
no common intereft.    We cannot fuppofe that
an Aflembly, fo recently fprttng from the mafi
of their fellow-citizens* will commence the- fcx-
ercife of their trull by the impofitkm of new
burthens, before they fatisfy themfelves very
minutely with regard to the exigency of the
public femce, and the general ftate of our af*
fairs.   In my mind there is fomething very au*
fpicious to the public good in the circumflances
which,  it is well known, has occafioned their
meeting before Chriftmas.    The granting of
money to a Minifter has become fo much a
matter of couHe, that it begins to be confidered
rather as the discharge of a duty than the exer*
eife of one o£ the deareft privileges of the
Lower Houfe.    As long as Parliament is not.
deafed its particular franchifes and diftinctibtis^
as long as it's members are permitted the plea*
fares of debating,   and   dividing,  and enjoy
every flattering folemnity   of  the   legiflative
character, no further enquiries are made;—the
ends of the conftitution feem to be fufficietitly
anfwered.    Any occurrence, therefore, which
can roufe them to a confeioufnefs of their own
importances which can force upon their under*
ftandihgs a direct and operative proof chat Go*
vcrnmeat,   after all its proclamation,  muft
come (    6   )
cbme at laft to Parliament for effectual fiipport£
is no longer a matter of indifference to the remaining friends of that ancient inftitutiom
Had they, indeed, been called together in the
expected feafbn, when the Minifter had expended the firft million, and found that other
millions were neceffary, all he afked would
probably have been granted him with little
hefitation or enquiry. They would have felt
nothing in the demand to diftingujlh them-
from the bell or the worft of their predecefforsi-
But it is the defperate meafure of plunging the
country into a war, without giving them the
remoteft information as to it's motives, the darling attempt to hurry the operations of the executive power beyond the reach of their controul-
ing.voice, and the partial failure in that attempt,
by the want of nerves in his coadjutors, (I mean
the Directors of the Bank of England) that
conftitutes the efleritial difference, and vifibly
denotes the novelty of a fituation of which we
cannot doubt but that they Will ferioufly benefit.
To the wifdom and integrity of our Repre-
fentatives, therefore, we muft truft for relief
from the irkfome fufpence of the prefent hour.
In the mean time, as far as we have lights to
guide our refearches, we fhall not find them un-
profitably profitably thrown away in a retrofpective view
of the conduct of Minifters on this bufinefs.
Purfuing it with candour and precilion, we fhall
arrive at the difcovery of many latent paradoxes
which have bafHed for a long time the utmoft
ingenuity of fpeculation ;—we fhall gain fome
determinate knowledge of the real value of a
character, an appeal to which was ufed to charm
the fierceft debate, and fuipend the operation of
human reafon. By inveftigating the means
which have been taken to involve us in this unhappy quarrel, we fhall judge of the probability
of our efcaping from it with fuccefs. They
who feed the confumption of war with the hard
earnings of a patient and deluded induftry, muft
naturally wifh toc-|}e made acquainted with the
pretentions of him that is to conduct it.
Motives of no perfonal nature will direct our
fleps: his young companions might exhauft the
jjfforts pf an* heedlefs partiality, unmoiefted, in
his fervice; or he might enjoy—if that could
pleafe him—-the praife of thofe experienced pa-
negyrifts who feldom find any thing to blame in
the conduct of a Firft Lord of the Treafury: for
whether he can fupport the title of a wife negotiator, a fpirited affertor of the rights and dignity
pf the Britifh empire, is a matter of little mo-
jnent, otherwife than as it may become a fanc-
tion I 8 ) I".-
lion for meafures eventually die moft calamitous
that can be purfued in the prefent pofture of our
affairs. To that invidious, untafteful, and detracting fyftem, whole only purpofe is the foli-
tary cenfure of an individual, I am perfuaded
that no man, however violent his animofities,
however decided his preference of particular per*
fens, can, in the prefent fituation of parties,
have the remoteft temptation. Leaft of all would
it be of fervice to the Oppofltion. Their exile
from fituations to which from talents, from
public fervkes, from hardy comlfteney of principle, they have feme pretentions, depends on
circumftances which have very little to do
with the characters of their opponents. Before they can hope for favour, they muft either
" ceafe to be,** or content themfelves to be ** on
*f fhts fide nothing." They muft renounce the
avowal of all fixed principle of pubHc conduct;
—they muft banifh union from their objects,
and friendfhip from their political habits.
For one I can anfwer, that a better motive
has produced the following fpeculations: and if
decifion be the purpofe of enquiry—if the afier-
tkm of what we believe to be juft, fhall be taken
$6 involve (as I am apt to think k docs) much of
the active duty of a citizen, as well as his undoubted right—I can deem no apology necef-
fary (   9   )
lary for exprefling with all decent freedom rnjf
ientiments on the fubject of Mr. Pitt's firft negotiation with the Court of Spain: for condemning it, as difgraced by the moft clumfy
errors, directed by a pitiable want of capacity^
and difreputably fluctuating between the extremes of anger and timidity; as totally failing
in its promifed object, as calculated to provoke
an extenftve war, new in it's principle, and unknown to the policy of Great Britain; as derogatory to the King's honour, and detrimental to
the intercfts of his people.
- ,'  . -   ■     No. II. / .        ' '**
September 10, 1720.
1N the commencement of this difpute the line
of conduct to be adopted by Great Britain was
obvious, fimple, and indifpenfable. The fub-
jects of Spain having been guilty of various outrages againft thofe of England in time of profound peace, it was the duty of him to whom
the defence of our national rights is entrufted,
to obtain from his Catholic Majefty the only
fuitable reparation for thofe outrages, namely, a
difavowal of the acts in the face of Europe, and
indemnification to the individuals injured by
C To
ii (     IO     )
To carry this into effect, which feemed to be the
object of his Majefty's meffage to Parliament on
the 5th of May, the refources of this great country
were called forth) the abfoiute and uncontrouled
difpofal of them put into the Minifter's hands,
without one invidious comment from any part
of the Houfe on the t ran fact ion itfelf, and with
the ftatement of only one circumflance that could
be deemed hoftile to him, namely, that having
been in pofTefiion of the principal facts relative
to the Spanifh claims fo early as the 10th of
February, by a meffage from the Spanifh Am*
baffador, he did not act juftly towards the country, by hotctilig torth to it the profpect of uninterrupted peace on tie 19th of April, the day
on which he opened the Budget.
With the immenfe power that he was enabled
to exert, in what method did he proceed?
Inftead of infilling upon |a difavowal of the
acts in plain terms, he began a complicated negotiation, diftinguifhing between the infult and
the right to commit it* and thus precluded him*
felf, in the outfet, from obtaining a difavowal,
which was an effential part of the only poflible
atonement the Court of Spam could oner to the
kifulted dignity of the Britifh flag.
For his Catholic Majefty could not have dif-
avowed the outrages committed by his fubjects,
bearing ( II )
bearing his commiflion, without acknowledging
that they would have no pretence to commit
fitch acts hereafter. If the difplay of the Britifh
power was neceflary to compel him into any
apology, I maintain that we mould have infilled upon an ufeful apology; thus, while we
had the power in our hands, and were clearly
acting on the defenflve, to have put a flop to
the fource of future indignities. Inftead of
which, we have no longer an equal degree of
power in our hands, and the ground of the difpute being changed fince Mr. Pitt's acceptance
ef a fuppofed apology from the Court of Spain,
our hoftile preparations are no longer for defen-
five purpofes.
All this proceeds from an attempt to feparate
two queftions which are in themfelves infepara-
ble, and to maintain a fanciful, academical distinction between the honour and the rights of a
nation. While Mr. Pkt was indulging himfelf
in eftabHfhing this point, Spain was claiming the
ftipulations of the Family Compact, Spain was
feeking ether alliances throughout Europe *, Spain
was negotiating a peace between Ruffia and
* Vide the memorial prefented to Monf. de Montmorin,
at Paris, by the Spanifh AmbafTador, and afterwards laid
before the National Affembly.
C % No, III. ( V. )
No. III.
September u, 1790.
THE original error of dividing the point of
honour from the right, pervades and betrays^-
felf throughout the whole negotiation.
As a neceffary confequence of his own principles, the Minifter is compelled one day to declare
himfelf fatisfied with what he has obtained from
the Court of Spain -, while the dread of exhibiting himfelf tp the ridicule and contempt of
Europe obliges him to prove, the next, that he
does not confider it as anfwering the object of
his mighty armaments.
His conduct in this refpect is not to be mif-
underfloocj. The point of honour adjufted, as
he acknowledges it to be, to the complete fatis-
faction of his Britannic Majefty, what object of
hofiile preparation would remain I
Whatever that object, in fact, may be, whether a further atonement, or a commercial treaty,
or the diflblution of the political treaties- of
Spain with other nations, or (to fpeak ingenu-
oufly) plain, honeft plunder, there yet remains, in
Mr. Pitt's conception, a fufficient one to demand
the utmoft refources of his exhaufled country,
and to juftify the rifque of provoking one of
the moft bloody wars, as it will be found fhoulcj
it (   13   )
k ever: break out, that ever defolated the hurnaif^
The Minifter's conduct proves further, that,
previous to his acceptance of the Spanifh Declaration, he never intended to be fatisfied with it,
but that he was determined to infift on more.:
With this refolution, how could he let pafs the
fair and proper moment of demanding a difavowal, which, whether fufficient or not, muft
be acknowledged a neceffary; and indifpenfable
part of the fatisfaction ?   If it be faid he could
not infift on a difavowal without involving in
fome degree the queflion of right, which he
meant to keep diftinct from that of fatisfaction,
I anfwer, that he is now contending for the quef-
tion of right, and not negotiating it; and that
the juftice and expediency of contending for it
being once admitted, it was very unlike a ftatef-
man in him firft to create two contefts inllead
of one,  and fecondly to finifh and put wholly
out of the queflion that in which he was moft
evidently right, on every principle which governs the law of nations, for the fake of clearing
his way to the other, which is of a very different
complexion  indeed,  when  confidered   on the
principles of immutable juftice, or on thofe of a
wife and confiderate policy.
3ut a difavowal muft come at fome period or
other, (   14   )
other, or eife the fatisfaction is incomplete. If
it is to be delayed until the queflion of right is
decideaV fo far from having fueceeded in the
favourite object of eftablifhing his diftinction,
Mr. Pitt has involved the two que (lions moft
inextricably, by making the completion of the
fatisfaction depend upon the event of the prefent
Every flep he takes not only evinces, his error, but his confcioufnefs of it. He tells the
world that he is fatisfied, and his armaments
continue with increafed activity. To be confident with the principle laid down by himfelf,
he was obliged to acknowledge fatisfaction with
an atonement which his conduct every hour
avows to be incomplete.'
No. IV. .
September 13, 1790.
IN whatever manner the prefent difference
with Spain may terminate, two things are certain ; the firft, that nothing further is expected
from her on the ground of fatisfaction for the
fetfolts fhe has offered to the BrMfh flag $-*-th*
fecond (an object of remoter enquify), that her
political union with the new kingdom of France
is rwnted and confirmed for ever.
That That no further fat^sfacttori is expected, is
evident from the declarations exchanged between
fhe two countries. Mr. Pitt has clofed the
queflion. He has fuffered the moment to elapfe,
in which he could have demanded a completfc
fatisfaction with juftice, and obtained it with
confiderably lefs difficulty than he will meet
wkh at prefect.
I fay, " than he will meet with at pifcfentj*
becaufe, foch is the abfurd confequence of hfe
diftinction between honour and right, that he Is
now* to all intents and purpofes, ftroggUng for
the effential parts of the fatisfaction, and for
a point which, connected with the acknowledgment he has obtained, would have rendered
it, as far as k went, complete. Common fenfe,
had he condefcended to follow ks dB&ates,
would have pointed out to htm the ne5ceffity of
making this point a part of the fatisfaction indif-
penftbly wvolved in the queflion of honour.
As it ftands at prefent, the ietolemeUE of the
" queflion of right, whenever produced, can only
extend its operation to the fource of future indignities. It can have -no retrofpective reference*, and the ftain on the Britifh flag muft
continue to difcolour it for ever.
To have avoided itfiefe perplexities, Which rife
up on every fide to thwart his progrefs, nothing
HI more (   16   ) |
more was neceffary than to havi held a plain
and proper language in the outfet. To have faid
to the Court of Spain—" You have made your
pretended right a ground for various acts of
violence and injuftice againft Great Britain,
contrary to the laws of nations, and the common
privileges of man. You compel us, therefore*,
to bring the right fo claimed, and abufed by you,
if it be your's, into ferious inveftigation j and
we will not be fatisfied for the outrages you have
already committed againft us, until we have ascertained of what nature that right can be whicfi
is thus alledged in defence of fuch unprecedented violence." This had been the language
of juftice •, and if the confequence had been immediate hoftility, the calamities of war had been
on the head of him who provoked it, by obfti-
nately afferting the contrary principles. The
war on the part of Spain would have been confi-
dered as offenfive, not only againft Great Britain,
but againft human nature itfelf.
• , No. V. -
September 14, 1790.
THE advantage which our Minifter's principle of negotiating has given to the Spanifh
Cabinet, is of a double nature.   The firft relates
to X   *7   )
*6 the gtounds on which the war (if ft*$i fltould
fee the melancholy event of his mifconduct) will
be maintained; the fecond relates to the in-
creafed ability of Spam to carry it on, compared
to the fituation fhe was in two months earlier.
Having accepted with fo much eagernefs the
fort of apology.which Spain thought it expedient to offer, the Britifh Minifter unequivocally
acknowledges thus much—that whatever caufe
of difference may continue to fubfift between the
two countries, Great Britain has no further
cause of complaint againft Spain.
* Many wars have happened, in which it has
been difficult to ftate which country was the
original aggreffor; but if there be one method
of clearing up fuch a difficulty more eafy than
another, or indeed of obviating the exiflence ©f
it, Mr. Pitt has taken that method in the prefent
difpute ; for the effential point of all, in determining the aggreffion^ is unqueflionabry the degree of juft complaint which may be found to
exift between the two nations. Caufes of complaint are various. That ftated againft Spain
was the commiffion of certain acts of violence
againft Britifh fubjects. Not the right (he has
claimed to the exclufive Settlement of Nootka
Sound, but the afts by which fhe afierted it.
The complaint, therefore, being dotte away by
D the the acceptance of the Spanifh Monarch's declaration, the ground of the difpute is confequently
changed : the principle on which it began is inverted; and from that inftant we came to the
great queflion, unencumbered with any collateral matters, either in regard to the neceffity
of upholding the honour of the Britifh flag, or
any caufe of complaint on the part of this country againft Spain—whether, in the prefent fltua-
tion of Great Britain, it is a wife meafure to go
to war with half. Europe for the fur trade of
Nootka Sound ?
If the appeal be now made to the fword, it
will be no longer a neceffary appeal on the part
of Great Britain, becaufe it is no longer defen-
five. He muft be a very convenient interpreter
of the laws of nations that can ftate a cafe of de-
fenfive war, in which the country that pretends
to be defending^ attacks another, againft which
fhe has folemnly acknowledged that there exifts
710 caufe of complaint; that fuch has been atoned
for by fatisfaction and fubmiffion.
. ■.      No. vi.    t .a : .
September 15, 1790*
THE fecond advantage which has been given
to Spain by Mr. Pitt's fyftem of negotiating, is
that (   i9   1        .§. .   .
that which arifes from her increafed power to
carry on a war, whenever it fhall fuit her Cabinet
to drive Mr. Pitt into a declaration of it. How
much better prepared is fhe for fuch a fituation
at this moment, than fhe was two months earlier ? .f  jg, • ■     v.... ... ■ fM
I take the period of two months rather than
any other for this reafon—>Spain having had a
confiderable naval force ready for fea, either before Mr. Pitt knew it, or before he knew what
to think of it, we muft in fairnefs allow that
fome time was neceffary to put Great Britain
into a poflure of defence. The wifh and the
duty of Adminiftration pointed out to them the
neceflity of immediately affembling a force fuffi-
cient to oppofe to that which Spain had in rea-
dinefs to fupport her pretenfions and her outrages. Thirty fail of line of battle fhips was
the utmoft force whichr that country could fend
upon the feas the latter end of July. Tfnrty\
fail oQjnJL.sf battle fhips, fuppofed by minifte-
rial ftatements to be better manned, better appointed, and in all refpects fitter for actual Service, were then ready to fail from the ports of
Britain. If I am indulging a too fanguine expectation in taking it for granted,. that, had the
two fleets met, a blow muft have been given to
the Spanifh marine, by which her immediate
D 2 exertions A 20 J       I
exertions would have been crippled, and her re*-
covering, for a long period, extremely doubtful,
I muft blame the Minifter and his friends for
having held out fitch hopes to me in common
with the reft of my countrymen.
The blow was not ftruck. Mr. Pitt was engaged kk a deep difquifition on the different
fhades that diflinguifh the honour from the rights
and the right from the inter eft of nations. The
leader of the Britifh Cabinet was fubtilizing on
the fubdeties of Count de Florida Btencai and
the leader of the Britifh fleet was puzzling the^
heads of his Captains with a new code of meta-
phyfical Signals! Confolatory profpect tp thofe
Hfho confider the after-reckoning fpr an idle parade of filling tbe Seas with fhips of war, and the
Gazettes with contracts and bankruptcies!
But Spain was ef^pioyed ia the purSuit of great
and effectual objects. Very early in the conteft
fiie had preSented a requisition to the French
Minifters, claiming the Succours ftipulated by
her alliance with that country. The hesitation
of France, in the firfl inftance, produced the
final demand of the Spanifh Ambaffador to
Mpnfieur de Montmorin, prefented to that Minifter fo early as the 16th of June, and kept
back from the National Affembly until the 1 ft
pf A uguft.    Why it was kept back until that
time,. '"wifeiSS
(     21      )
time, the addrefs of the French Cabinet in So
doing, and the confequences, together with the
curious manner in which they have made Mr.
I^tt their dupe, will amply reward us for the
trouble of a fhort digreflion.
-    ■■ M,/ / .   No. VII.
September 16, 1790*
IT is neceflary to premife one cireumftance
peculiar to this negotiation. From the accidental ikuarion of France,, the Salutary terror of her
Minifters on the ground of refponfibility, and
the determination of the fubfifting Legiflature to
watch over every transaction ithat may endanger
the eftablifhment of their conilkution, a number
of very important ftate papers have been voluntarily made public by thofe entrufted with the
direction of affairs in that country. Thefe papers are published in the Proces Verbal, which
anfwers to our Journals of Parliament, and is of
equal authenticity.
I now proceed to the detail of the manoeuvres
at Paris which led to the Declaration of the Spa-
aifh Court, Signed by the Count de Florida-
Elanca the 24th of July.
parly in the month of May, the King s$
France addreffed a letter to the National Affenv
bly, Stating i the dilute between England and
Spain, (      22
Spain, the refpecUve armaments of the two
countries/^md the orders that he had given to
equip a Squadron of fourteen Sail of the line, and
to have them in readinefs in the ports of the
Ocean and the Mediterranean." He further
lays, ct that thefefieps are merely for the fake of
prudence and precaution, that he is confident the
peace between France and Great Britain cannot be
difturbed, becaufe his Ambaffador at the Court of
London has been told that the only objscl of thefe
preparations is the difference between that Court
and Spain: and that his Britannic Majefty de-
fires to preferve the good underftanding which
fubfifls fo happily between the two Courts."
Alarmed at the contents of this meffage, but
(till more at the proSpect of being ultimately
drawn into a war with England without the
Smalleft grounds of immediate difpute with her,
the Affembly, previous to making any provifion
for the expences of this armament, refolve that
the Right of declaring War shall not
belong to the executive power.
**$£he remonftrances and requifitions from the
Spanifh Ambaffador,- who clearly faw the object
of this decree, were inceffant from'that time forward ; at length he afks—" What France can
do in the actual circumftances of the country, to
aflfft Spain ?"—He flates " that the circumftances (     23     )
fiances of Spain demand a moft immediate determination ; that the conduct of France muft
be fo active, fo clear, and fo unequivocal, as to
avoid the Smalleft ground Sor miftruft. That
otherwiSe Spain muft fearch for other alliances
among the other European powers, without excepting any one of thofe powers with which, in cafe
of neceffity, fhe can form them. That in Such an
event, his Mafter will pay every attention that
circumftances will permit him to do, to the reciprocal
interefts of the two countries."
This firm and intelligible demand is made on
the 18th of June 5 about three weeks after the
National Affembly of France had paffed the decree by which they rendered a compliance with
it impoffible. But the French Minifter was too
much a friend to Spain to prefent fuch a requi-
fition at fuch a moment 5 he knew, as every
body who knew France at that period might
eafily have perceived, that an immediate diffolu-
tion of the Family Compact muft be the confe-
quence, if thisr afh demand were infilled upon,
before the queflion between England and Spain
lhould have affumed a very different form, and
before it Should be made clear that Spain was
requiring no more than a compliance with the
defenfive claufes of the treaty. In the difcuf-
fion, therefore, between the French Cabinet and
Spanifh . I    «4    J I
^Janifh Minifter at ]&tris, which followed thi$
ultimate requisition, it was made a point, that
the captured veffels fhould be firft reftored \ that
the injured parties fhould be indemnified, arid
that fome Sort oS an apology fhduld be made to
the King oS England, Sor the infult offered to
Ms flag: the precife points which Mr. Pitt tbfoks
he has obtained, So much to the credit of his*
own incredible exertions, matchlefs ability, and
dextrous negotiation!
It muft be obServed, that this is the official
language of Monfieur de Montmorin, Speaking
to a corltrouling Affembly to which he was Severely reSponSible for his conduct-, that he,
therefore, is obliged to give a colour to his Official communications with the Spanifh Ambaffa-
dor, to afltct a fincere defire Sor peace, and a
regard for juftice, which few men will be fimple
enough to believe, was obferved in their confidential conferences.
In purfuance of this wife fyftem, for the praife
of wifdom and dexterity belong to thofe who
conducted the effectual negotiation at Paris,
MonS. de Montmorin delays, as I have obferved,
the atifwer to this requration for Succours; concerts with th£ Spanifh Ambaffador a plaufible
ftory to tett the- National Aflerttbiy and Mr.
Pitt; gets Mr. Pitt to declare1 himSelf moft per-
\P§-   . fediy (     25     )
fectly Satisfied, and not only Satisfied, but pleafed
with it; carries this declaration to the National
Affembly in one hand, and the Spanifh Ambaf-
Sador's requisition in the other, having firft
placed Spain On the defenfive in all Suture diS-
cuflions with England by perfuading. Mr. Pitt
to give up his complaint; makes the people of
Paris believe, from Mr. Pitfs own words, that all
hoftility is at an end;, and then accomplishes
his grand object of bringing the National Affembly to a refolution, which they vote to all appearance in the abftract, of adhering to the
:   NO.   VIII.       ,    \
[iffj September 17, 1790,
SUCH was the manoeuvre by which France,
notwithftanding her prefent Situation,, and her
friendly difpofitions towards Great Britain, is
compelled once more to -appear in arms againft
her: by which the Britifh Minifter, while he was
gaping for difpatches from Madrid, was entrap*
ped by the efforts of fuperior talents, and ma-
tur'er artifice at Paris. Nor has MonS. de
Montmorin wholly deceived his country, or led
her into impolitic meafures.    The conduct of
E France (   i6   ) I
France is the reSult of a neceffity impofed upon
her by the actual circumftances of the negotiation ; by Mr. Pitt's divifion of the two questions, and his making them -objects of diftinct
arrangement; by his concluding the one before
he commenced the other ; by his declaring him-
SelS Satisfied, and proving that he was not.
Determining,  however,  as  he did, on this
line, it was his bufineSs to Sollow the Suggeftions
of a more vigorous policy.    Confcious that he
meant to contend for  both thefe points, he
fhould have contended for them at one and the
fame time: and if the appeal to force had at
laft become inevkable, in what a fupejior fitu-
ation would he have flood!   Spain would not
then have founded with impunity the cry of
union againft Great Britain, in every quarter
of Europe.    What power could have declared
in her favour, fupporting, fingle and unaffifted
as fhe then would have been, a war of rapine
and violence againft mankind ?  Ruffia was fuffi-
ciently engaged with Sweden.    The neutrality
of Denmark, at that time, fecured in regard to
Northern politics, in which fhe has an immediate intereft, was not likely to give way to the
remote one of a Spanifh connection.   Portugal
cannot ftir, except in concert with all the naval
powers of the South.   Where then could Spain
have (   V   ) • M.
have found an ally, had fhe fearched throughout
Europe for one; after having failed to aroufe the
tardy vigilance and deSponding generofity of the
French nation ?—Or if France had declared
openly for her in the early period of this difpute, when her Weft-India iflands were equally
without defence againft a foreign enemy, and
againft themfelves, exhibiting one general fcene
of maffacre and revolt—what—I may fairly
afk—muft have been the Situation of thoSe
poffeffions at this moment ?
No. IX.
3l| September i8> 1790.
IT is not merely to the HouSe oS Bourbon that
Mr. Pitt was enabled to Speak the language of
firmnefs and of juftice. The deftructi ve principle
aflerted during the laft war by theNaval Powers of
the North, namely, that neutral bottoms fhall in
all cafes make free goods, muft have perifhed in
the conflicting interefts of thofe who had confederated to maintain it. In the midft of a war
between the two moft confiderable of thofe
Powers; not a war of commerce, but of mutual and deadly animofity, we might have fairly
demanded, from Sweden, while our alliance was
E 2       11 ufeful (     28     ) '
ufeful to her, a formal dereliction of the neu*
tral principle. What right have we to demand
it from her now ? And what one Solitary advantage is Great Britain to expect as a compenfa-*
tion Sor having Sacrificed for ever the valuable
alliance of Ruflia ? Our unhappy Statefman has
Suffered Spain to negociate a peace between theSe
kingdoms, which reftores that formidable league
to its firft conSiftency !
Is this the man who holds the balance wkh a
firm hand, and calls himSelf the arbiter of Europe, while every part of it is filled with negotiations which he does not know, and alliances
ftart up every where againft his country ? Does
he fend the Britifh lion to roar at Reichenbach,
while her protecting genius on the ocean hides her
head beneath its waves, and drops the trident
from her grafp ? He menaced loudly on the
borders of Bohemia, where the real and folid in-
terefts of Great Britain never could come in
queflion ; he talked with decifion on the Surrender of Belgrade, and reaSoned with niceneSs and
perspicacity of the claims of the Imperial allies
to Choczim and Oczakow,' of the fortrefs of Wid-
din, of the limits of Wdllachia, of the Calmuch
and the Coffacks, of the Danube, the Dnieper, and
the Dmefter—names equally foreign to Britifh
ears and Britifh interefts, he pledged his country ,        ' (   29    )
try to his land ally the King of Pruffia, that Leo-
pold fhould not gain a foot of territory on the Side
oftheAluta; but his cheek grew pale at the found
of a French armament at Breft, which his firm-
nefs might have prevented, and his imbecility
has Since provoked.
The aSpect of affairs is indeed materially changed. The firft Shot that is fired agatnft Spain,
is equally fo againft France; and poffibly againft
the fame Northern confederacy which, during
the laft war, was So formidable and fatal to
Great Britain. The firft mot that had bee'nj-
fired in June, July, or the beginning of AuguftA
muft have torn afunder the ties of the Family j
Compact, and, if not wholly annihilated the
Northern union, fufpended its operation during
the courfe of the war. France would have been
then compelled to anfwer the requisition of
Spain, not only before the country was ready to
adopt her caufe, but while hoftilities were actually going forward: her* declaration of Support
would then have been a declaration of war, in
which fhe could not have mixed without calling
down an inftantaneous mifchief upon her head ;
now, fhe has the hopes that her powerful mediation may prevent a war; now, her declaration of Support is not Such an act of hoftility as
can juftify an act of immediate retribution on
the (   2°   )
the part of this country; now fhe is pledged to
the performance of engagements moft folemnly
entered into by her for the defence of. Spain, at a
period in which the queflion came before her di-
vefted of thofe circumftances, as well of in-
juftice on the part of Spain, as of immediate
danger to herlelf.
No, X. ■ .    .
September 20> 1790.
THE preceding papers, I truft, have made it
fufficiently evident, not only that Spain is ready to meet the conteft, if fuch muft be the refult
of our negotiations, with an infinitely more formidable force than fhe could by any means have
oppofed to us in the beginning of this difpute,
but that her being fo is folely imputable to the
multiplied mistakes, and the fcarcely credible incapacity of Mr. Pitt. Such, indeed; is the ftrength
of the confederacy, at the head of which, even
if the difpute were immediately to finifh, Spain
will Stand, that I much doubt whether any pof-
fible Settlement we can come to in regard to the
fur trade of Nootka Sound, including even the
reimburfement of our expences, can produce
political advantages fufficient to balance it,
I fhall i' ' .  ■•■    ( 3I m ■ ■ '      ''
I fhall now proceed to that point which it
feems is, after all, to conftitute the Minister's
principal defence.    The honour of the Britifh
flag is abandoned ;—he difcovers, at the very
found, that he has not wholly forgot to blufh.
The  policy  of   fighting for the cat-fkins  of
Nootka, the juftice of precipitating his taxed
country  into a war,   the character  of which
throughout Europe would be a war of pirates  to  protect   smugglers,   is  wholly
abandoned alfo.    Profound and extenfive views,
far beyond the vulgar Simplicity oS other Mini-
fters, are aScribed to the enlightened mind of
Mr* Pitt:—the  Southern  whale - fifhery, that
fource of inexhaustible prosperity to the commerce and navigation of Great Britain, is now
affirmed to be the material point in the difpute,
and the true j unification for our immenfe and
profitleSs exertions.
It comes not within the plan of difcuflion
which I have propoSed to my Self, to argue from
any premifes but from fuch as are eftablifhed,
evident, and in the full poffeffion of the public.
What I have to obferve, therefore, in regard to
the Southern whale fifhery, fhall be confined
fimply to certain facts which have long been
known; and which indeed their notoriety would
render it unnecessary to revert to, if there was
any (      32      )
thing like fenfe or confiftency in the reafoning
that would exculpate the Minifter on thisground.
On any other than theSe facts, I fhall wholly
avoid to comment ; as it is but fair to fay, in
the prefent State of the pending negotiation,
that, confidered by itSelf, it may deferve much
praife or much blame ; while of the negotiation
$iat is concluded, and now before the public, I
repeat the opinion—already impreffed, I am
perfuaded, on the minds of all thinking men—
namely, that from the beginning to the end it is
^a bad firft effay of a youthful negotiator, whofe
talents, however dazzling in their kind, are not
thofe which qualify him for the arduous walk of
foreign politics, and who is obliged to learn bu-
SineSs by experiments of which the deareft inte-
refts of his country are alternately the fubject
and the fport.
■   -|l    .        No. XI.
September 22, 2790.
I SHALL now ftate my reafons for thinking
the Southern whale fifhery, on the renunciation of which, as an exclufive claim, Mr. Pitt
is cunningly laying a foundation for much triumph, to be by no means the leading difficulty
in j   33   )
m the negotiation now pending with the Court
of Spain.
It is an admitted fact, in the firft place, that
the fubjects of Great Britain have never been interrupted, or menaced with interruption, in the
exercife of this employment.
In the next, the manner in which the claim is
advanced, on the part of Spain, fhews evidently that it is thrown in as a mere make weight to
the reft of her complaint.   Important as it is,
Spain certainly does not think her pretenfions fo
clear as to bear the being put forward alone, and
without the afliftance of other matters,    Juft as
any individual, when called upon to  ftate  his
caufes of grievance againft another, would not
only ftate all he knew, but probably Something
more than he knew.    His Majefty's Meffage to
Parliament on the 5th of May, will llluftrate
this observation.   " The capture of one of thefe
" veffels had before been notified by the Am-
" baffador of his Catholic Majefty, by order of
" his Court;"    [We Since have  obtained  the
date of this notification, viz. the 10th of February.]    I who at the fame time defired that
** meafures might be taken for preventing his
*c Majefty's   Subjects   from   frequenting   thofe
" coafts, which  were  alledged to  have   been
" p/evioufly occupied and frequented by the fub-
f ?     ' 1 ejects c
"jects of Spain. Complaints were alfo made of
" the Fifheries carried on by his Majefty's fob-
"je5fs in the feas adjoining to the Spanifh conti-
" nent, as being contrary to the Rights of the Crown
| of Spain." This is all his Majefty's Meffage
contains upon the Subject, and the opinion his
Majefty's Ministers entertained of the degree
of obftinacy with which Spain intended to con-
teft the point with us, and adhere to the exclu-
five claim of fiftiery, is beft evinced by their taking no Surther notice of it in any other part of
the Mefiage; .the purport of which is to complain of the acls of violence, and to defire that Parliament would enable his Majefty to take Such
meaSures as might be eventually neceffary to
Support the honour oS his Crown. The Southern
whale fifhery, however important in kSelS, forms
but a very inferior part of the difpute then fub-
fifting between the two Courts. The principle
too, on which it Sorms any part of it, admits of
accommodation more eafily than any other, be-
caufe the feizure of the fhips at Nootka is
grounded on an affertion of prior occupancy (a
principle contended for on our part), whereas
the complaint in regard to the fifherfes, flightly
as it is urged, is diminifhed to a ftill lefs considerable point of difference, when the nature of
fuch a right, and the Species of poffeffion and
-£     occupancy C   35   )
occupancy of which it is capable, come to be
confidered. The meafures, which may eventually
become neceffary, relate therefore to the point of
full and adequate fatisfaftion, which his Majefty
fays, in his Meffage, he has directed his Minifter
at Madrid to demand.
No.  XII.
, t
September 24, 1790.
IN confirmation of my former reafoning, I
fhall beg to repeat, and infift upon the circum-
ftance, that this fiihery, ftated by Mr. Pitt in
his Budget to be the Source of Such infinite importance to the commercial and maritime interests of the country, never experienced any hof-
tile interruption on the part of Spain ; difpofed,
as from recent examples it appears that fht was,
not very quietly to put up with any direct inva-
fion of her rights. Compare her conduct in
this inftance with the line fhe purfued at Nooika.
In the feas adjoining the Spanifh continent fhe has
Suffered a fifheryto be eftablifhed by Britifh. Subjects, and gradually to increaSe in a proportion
So formidable, as in a few years to become a part
of the permanent wealth of the1 country. At Nootka
F 2 fhe (   36   )
She Seized and confiscated the property, and im*
prifoned the Settlers, the very firft moment fhe
found any there. What ftronger evidence can
exift of the opinion entertained by Spain in re-
fpect to the validity of her pretenfions, and
which of the two fhe deemed indefenfibk ?
But if any thing further were wanting to render this reafoning conclufive, we may look for
it in Mr. Pitt's own words the day of the de-
bate on his Majefty's Meffage : words, not ca-
fually and unguardedly thrown out,extorted from
him in the acrimony of debate, but earnestly
pronounced at the moment of his utmoft need,
relied on by him as his fole defence againft the
attack which he had provoked, by haying dated
the probability of peace, on the Budget-day,
when he was fuppoled to have known that hoi*
tile claims had been advanced, and hoftile acts
" The Right Hon. Gentleman," faid he,
(Speaking of Mr. Fox) 4< is miftaken in his
" Statement of the circumstances to which he
% refers. TheRightHon. Gentleman Says, Wb
cc knew every thing when the Budget was opened that
% we know now. The cafe is directly the re-
<c verfe. We knew nothing of the facts in quef-
44 tion, except what we knew.from the Com-
which (    37    )
u which was extremely vague, and related only
" to the capture of one of the veffels, and thai
" without the particulars."
Was it the knowledge of the(cparticulars that
made the mighty difference ?—Did the communication of the Spanifh Ambaffador inform Mr. Pitt
of nothing cKe that was likely to produce a
war ? Admitting the facts (which, except for
the fake of argument, I am by no means dif-
poSed to do), namely, that until the arrival of
Captain Mears's Memorial, he knew not of
thoSe acts of outrage and injuftice which compelled him Since to Seek reparation at the point
of the fword, he knew positively the claim of
Spain, fuch as it was, to the .Southern whale
fifhery. That we have from the King's Meffage.
But was the fort of claim then advanced, and
the manner in which it is Spoken of in the Communication of the Span;fh Ambaffador fo very Serious, as to make Mr. Pitt believe it likely that
Spain would go to war about it? He himfelf, if
one can credit afingle Syllable of what he fays, tells
us No, and relies upon this negative for his defence againft one of the moft ferious charges
ever produced in Parliament againft a Minifter.
Demonstration itSelf can throw no new light upon
the Subject; and I advert to it in an early period, becauSe I know the tricks of this Mini*
fter. (    3«    )
fter, and that his whole conduct in every political
concern oS his life is nothing but a trap for popularity. To cover the poverty of his meafures,
he will arrogate immenSe credit to himSelf, at
the end of the negotiation, for having fecured
to Great Britain what never was ferioufly difpu-
ted with her; he will boaft of having ftrength-
ened the finews of Britifh commerce and navigation by the addition of the Southern whale fifh-
ery, with a fcarcely better right to boaft of it,
than if the Newfoundland fifheries had been acknowledged to belong to us. When he comes
to Parliament, as he very poffibly may, with a
Convention from Spain in one hand, and his accounts of four millions expended in the Other,
he will think it a fair anfwer to every poffible objection, to fay—" Look at my Convention, ac-
<c knowledgtng your right to fifli in the Spanifh
c6 feas : look at the 3 per cents, at 81."—Upon
fome fuch empty, fhaliow title, we fhall fee pa-
negyrick exhausted, extravagance itfelf outftrip-
ped, and new terms of adulation invented for the
glorious Minifter who will have done all this !—»
Have done what ? Who will have obtained a
point which he acknowledges not to have been
fuch an object of conteft as to make him apprehend the leaft chance of a rupture with Spain
when it was Stated by her.
No. XIII. 39
September 28, 1796,.
THAT the Family Compact would not have
been affirmed ; that the Northern Confederacy
could not have been renewed, if Mr. Pitt had
finifhed his difpute with Spain when he  might
have done it, from the fituation in which fhe
Stood,, both in point of right and in point of
preparation,   are facts of which thofe who attend to political occurrences cannot entertain a
doubt.    That there is  no juft reafon to think
Spain would have continued the difpute, in a
ftate of hostility, on the Subject of the fisheries,
muft be equally clear to thoSe who have attended to the proceedings of Ministers in this country.    If, by fair Statements from authentic documents, I have proved him the egregious dupe
of a private negotiation at  Paris,  I hope the
public will give me credit*for having detailed
that fact, more with a view to the mifchief the
country will fuffer by his being (oy than with
any defign injurious to his Same,  or painful to
his vanity.
What could have induced him to purSue a
conduct which involves him, of neceffity, in fuch
a labyrinth of embarraffments, were otherwife a
Speculation t   40   ) J
Speculation of more curiofity than importance*
The true and only line Seemed to obtrude itfelf
upon the understanding, and required a Species
of addreSs to mifjs, rather than to diScover it.
His Majefty of Pruffia could have given him
fome excellent advice on this head. " Never
" think, he would have faid, of P giving up yotif
" caufe of complaint!—Nurfe the inSult you have
cc received, encourage the continuance of it while
4C you have any matters to fettle with the Court
" of Spain. What did I do, in a Similar fitua-
** tion ? My ambition and my Minifters told
P me, in the year 1787, that I ought to take ad-
" vantage of the diffracted ftate of the Dutch
46 Republic, and, by one bold and decifive
*' Stroke, Secure my own influence in it Sor ever.
" The advice was good, but the execution of it
P difficult. A forcible interference in the do-
*c meftic politics of an independent .State would
*c have alarmed Europe. I fearched for a pre-
*< tence, and found one at laft, though it was but
P Shallow.—I caufed my fitter to undertake a
" clandestine expedition to the Hague, in the
" execution of which I knew fhe would be in-
" terrupted. All Succeeded to my wifhes. Her
" perSon was Seized. I pretended to demand fa-
4C tisfaction as her brother, while in reality I de-
<c manded the government of the republic, as its
1 " mafter. *«
( 4* )
mafterA Apologies were offered me, hut I
would accept none that did not involve the
re-inftatement of the Stadtholder in all his
rights and dignities. I did not timidly iepa*
rate the queflion of fttfisfacHon for the infult
from the real object of my interference in his
affairs, but marched my troops to Amsterdam,
before France could have time to declare her*
felf. You affifted my views, and fhould
know better how to deal with the Court of
No. XIV.
September 29, 179b*
SENTIMENTS Such as theSe decided the
Conduct of Frederick William, and infilled his
SucceSs. I am far from applauding the crafty
policy of a tyrant at the head of an hundred
thoufand men, eager for his prey, and fearqhing
only the pretext to feize it: I am far from pro-
pofing the manner in which he courted an in?*
fult to the perfon of his lifter, to the imitation of
the Britifh Minifter; but when the Court of
Spain had actually, and without juft provoca*
tion, committed an outrageous infult towards
G this (    4*    )
this-country*, I affirm that k was an unwife conduct in him, and exemplifies Something more
faulty than a confuSed head, to divide this infult,
in his negotiations, from the right afferted by
Spain to act in the Same manner whenever the
occafion may Suit her, and acknowledge himfelf
perfeSfy fatisfied before he had obtained any fe-
curity againft the recommifiion of it.
I But it is not for the illumined mind of Mr.
Pitt to bend either to the examples of illuftrious
men, or the fuccefsful practice of his predecef-
fors.    Hitherto, where a Sovereign,  the guardian of his people, has been compelled to demand reparation for an infult offered to his honour and rights, the firft Step to Such reparation
has been a formal difavowal, on the part of the
adverfe Sovereign,  of any authority from  him
to commit the acts complained of.    Such was
obtained from Spain in the affair of Falkland's
Iflands.    Her difavowal was explicit, complete,
* and, as far as it went, Satisfactory :   Whether it
embraced all the points of complaint then existing between the two Courts,  is foreign to the
purpofe.    It was the more mortifying to Spanifh
/   arrogance, as the Seizure of the fettlement, and
difpoSTeflion of the Britifh inhabitants, was done
in a regular hoftile manner, under all the forms
Of open war in whi$h inferior' force fubmits,
without <   43    )
without difhonour, to its Superior. There, the
diSavowal contained no oppofite Stipulations Sor
the right—no equivocal explanation oS general
orders—no protecting falvo Sor the honour of
the Spanifh Monarch. The atonement came in
the very Seat of the affrojit. A particular expedition fitted out in the face of Europe, failing
from a Spanifh port, commanded by a commif-
fioned Officer, was Stigmatized in the Sace of
Europe with the names of piracy and plunder
by its author; and Spain was humbled by the
furrender of her hational claim, and of her national veracity.
I fhall expofe the degrading contraft in a few
remarks on the Declaration and Counter-Declaration, Signed by Mr. Fitzherbert and the
Count de Florida Blanca.
;   ' No. xv..;.       '-. -.  v
O&ober fa * 79°«
MANY observations which apply to the insufficiency of the Spanifh declaration, confidered
merely as an apology for the infult, have neceffa-
rily been anticipated in the courSe of thefe papers,   I the lefs regret my having but a Sew
G 2 more %   44   ) |
more to prefs upon the public attention, becaufe
the general opinion of impartial men is already
formed upon the Subject, and almoft as much to
Mr. Pitt's o if ad vantage as his improvident conduct can defer ve.
Thofe who examine the political life of this
Minifter muft have remarked, that whenever he
has a point to carry, or is engaged in any important tranfaction, his meaSures are ufually preceded by the diligent circulation of fome popular and lofty fentiment, which, while it captivates tbe public eir, Serves afc a phrafe of union%
a fort of watch-wordy to thoSe who have the
talk of defending and admiring him. Of this
Sort is the childifh, unmeaning cry, echoed by
his partiSans In the HouSe of Commons, and reechoed with a ridiculous induftry to the people,
I of satisfaction previous to discussion :—-
) one of thofe obScure combinations of Sound
• which Mr. Pitt never underftood himfelf, and
never meant fhould be underftood by others.
For the preSent, however, let us meet him on
his own ground: let us examine how he has
conducted himSelf, aSter eftablimiHg the principle Srom which he meant to deduce all Subsequent proceedings with the Court of Spain. Li-
beral in our admiffions, we will agree, firft, that
his principle was intelligible; Secondly, that it
was (   45   )
was corftifi : that the queflion of honour allowed itfdf to "be Separated Srom the rights and that
fatisfaction for the firft was indifpenfable before
the commencement of any encjuiry into the fe*
It will, I imagine, hardly be difputed with
me, that the ifeparatton ought, mall its poiftis,
to have been complete: tfoe ideas on which it was
.fotiiftded, daftinct: the coidbquences, Mended in
no way one with the other. As l&tie w^ll it be
denied that the fpecfes of (foftisSaction to be re-
iquired by like Britifh Coufct ought to have been
equally clear, definite, and unmixed. Poffeffing
fuch requisites, it became one of thefe questions,
So rarely occurring in politics, which admit of
no iaegc*»aric*n : effectually Steering clear of thofe
undedtffeve d$bihct&ons under which one ultimatum
(as it *s called") lingers after the odher, and mutt
inevitably continue to do fo, unlefs the Minister
departs materially from his firft ground, and
quickens the dreaming conferences of Mr. jkz-
tafoert i>y refolutions at home, renouncing that
inactiveiyietn to which he bound himfelf when
•he accepted the declaration I am examining.
!$uch were Mr. Pittas ideas, and fuch were his
jpromifes. The affront once eftablifhed, the ne-
ceffity for immediate reparation followed. %t is
with him, therefore, to account to hiscountrf,
why . (   46   )
why he admitted this necefiky to be demurred to
for three months by the Court of Spain ? If, du*
ling that period, an investigation of facts and of
right had been going on, with a view to determine whether any infult had been committed or
not, I fhould be Satisfied. But Mr. Pitt denies
me this. <c Not one word of the right," fays he,
% previous to the apology !" Captain Mears's
Memorial, the document on which the complaint
of Great Britain for tbe infult offered to her flag is
founded, was in Mr. Pitt's poflefiion the 13th
ofApril. That complaint, according to Mm*
Pitt, was fimple; flood entirely on its own
ground; and was capable of immediate atonement on the one hand, or of a pofitjve denial on
the other. How is it then, that no fuch atonement, or any apology for an atonement (Mr.
Pitt is fond of distinctions^, was offered until the
end of July ? I have already Stated the true rea-
fon in the Seventh number of theSe dilcuffions;
and that it was at laft conceded by Spain at the
instigation of the French Ministry, with a view
to procure the adhefion of the National Aflem-
bly of France to the defenfrve claufes of the Family Compact. But under what pretence did
Mr. Titt allow the Spanifh Minifter fo much
time to deceive him in ?—Was he ignorant what
to demand by way of fatisfaction ?  He will not
acknow- (    4?    )
acknowledge it if he was. Did he fairly grant
the Court of Spain So. much time to deliberate ?
Scarcely So weak as to grant it them in terms,
although their conduct demonstrates that they
took it. Did he vary in the objects of his demand, and leave it to his Ambaffador to make
them out as well as he could ? The plain truth
is, that this delicate matter, any negotiation
about which, according to Mr. Pitt, could not
be Suffered without a frefh wound to the dignity
of the Britifh nation, was after all fettled by a
very long negotiation. Had it been otherwife,
the return of his firft MeSTenger would have been
To be commonly confiftent with himSelf, it
was his bufinefs to have admitted but of one negotiation, namely, that which was to follow his
point of honour. But he departs from his plan,
and his promife; and how many more negotia-
tions we are now to be indulged with, depends
no longer upon him. 5jt
I fhould not have condemned his recantation
from principles which I think erroneous, if he
had done the next beft thing, and, consenting to negotiate the affront, had negotiated the
right at the fame time. The State of affairs at
this moment will Sufficiently evince the degree of
i error (    4*
error and abfurdity in which the Separating theSe
questions has involved him.
No. 3LVI.
October 4, 1790.
IN Mr. Pitt's firft fpeecth, explanatory of his
Majefty's Meffage to Parliament, he declared,
" that he fhould confider no fatisfaction ade-
** quatc, which did not include the prevention
P of future infults from the Spaniards." From
this principle it appears that he thought it expedient to recede j and Mr. Fitzherbert's counter
declaration announces the direct reverfe.
For after all that can be Said in favour of thefe
wife men, when we come to plain facts, their
conduct will appear precifely the fame as I originally ftated it. The language of the high contracting parties is (imply this:—
Mr. Pitt.
" I fhall confider no fatisfaction adequate that
** does not preclude future difputes."
King of Spain.
" I am ready to reftore your fhips, but afiert
" my right to capture as many more as I pleafe."
Mr. u
I    49    >
Mr. Pitt.
u We will talk of that afterwards;  at prefent I declare myfelf Satisfied with your pro-
Here we Shall obferve that the Satisfaction
which Mr. Pitt propofed to obtain for us, never
could in its nature be Complete ; and for the following plain reafons:—
Firft—That Srom the inftant he eftabliihed
two distinct principles for his negotiations, and
two diftinct periods for commencing and concluding them, he precluded himfeif from obtaining SromSpain a public difavowal of the conduct
of her officers ; that point being, according to
•better opinions, infeparably connected with that
of the right to the poffeffion of the Settlement, or
territory in.diSpute.
Secondly—That by confining his ideas of
tc adequate SatisSaction" to the preclufion of future difputes, he abandoned all his claims to reparation for the paft. For that if the right was
ours at any time, it clearly was fo at the commission of the outrages complained of. If,
therefore, the fet dement of this point, fo as only
to prevent future indignities, was to be put off
to a Second negotiation^and fatisfaction acknowledged on our part previous to the commencement, even, of that fecond negotiation, no pro-
H vifi'on (   5°   )
vifion could be made for the affront under which
we have been aching ever ftnce the ioth of February. A difavowal, indeed, would have cured
this; but under the prefent circumstances there
muft ever exift a chafm in the proceedings which
no future arrangement can fopply. The narrow
ground taken at firft by Mr. Pitt was contracted
ftill more by the neceffity under which he placed
himfelf of accepting a Satisfaction, inadequate,
according to him Self.
But under every admiffion I can make him,
the neceffity of a difavowal will appear indiSpenS-
able. Let it be fuppofed that the right to form«
exclusive Settlements in Nootka Sound belongs
to Spain, and that this point ascertained, a rea-
foning man fhould affirm that we had Suftained
no inSult.—What would Mr. Pitt Say to thiaf—*
U No inSult! Are not the circumftances of ag-
*c gravation infults ? Is not the imprifonment of
M Britifh fubjects, and the cruelty exercifed up-
" on their perfons, an outrage which it becomes
** their countrymen to refent ? I felt it as fuch,
.** and fo did Parliament; and fo completely in-
*c dependent of the right did I feel it, that I will
*' have fatisfaction for it, whether the right is in
P me or not."—What would be the anfwer according to the dictates of common fenfe, and the
practice of nations ?   " Wherever there is an in-
W ? fult> (   5*    )
" fult, there muft be a difavowal on the part of
" the Sovereign under whofe authority it appears
" to have been committed." I fhould be glad
to fee this principle controverted.
The neceffity of a difavowal, therefore, applies to both cafes; with this fimple difference,
that if it were the refult of a negotiation conducted upon the principles of a well-underftood
policy, extenfive in its views, and fpirited in the
affertion of them, it would go to the extent of
acknowledging a right in Great Britain to that
particular fettlement in Nootka Sound, in the
pofleffiOn of which they were disturbed ; and if
it wer£ the refult of a negotiation conducted upon the more narrow principles eftablifhed by
Mr. P^tt, a difavowal would be the firft flep to
reparation, and part of a neceffary apology
from the King of Spain for thofe indignities
which, under no poffible circumstances, his
Subjects can have a right to offer to the Britifh
Oftober 6, 1790.
IF the circumstances oS the times, and the
transactions which have led to them, were not of
H 2 an I    5*   )
an importance equal to whatever can happen to
us within the compafs of polirical events, I
fhould deem it incumbent upon me to apologize
to the Public for renewing any demand upon
their indulgence on points fo clear, that to be
proved they require but to be difcriminated.
Lefs, however, than a continued, undiffipated attention to the method in which Mr. Pitt has
conducted his negotiation, will not avail, if we
mean fairly to try him on the principles we contend to be correct, as well as on thofe which he
has eftablifhed for himSelf. It is not the investigation of an hour that can detect the latent intricacies of a confufed and contradictory fyftem of
conducting the national affairs. The man who
limits his observations to the general fallacy and
inexpediency of fuch a fyftem, has a tafk infinitely leSs difficult, and leSs painful, than he who
purfues the mifchief from its fource, through the
detail of its perplexities, arid the difgufting fo-
phiftry of its perverfions. But in this period of
a difpute, pregnant, as I fear, with every calamity which can befal a country, the clofenefs
of fuch an inquiry appears to me indifpenfable.
The day approaches in which a Minifter, who has
hitherto had no one ferious difficulty to encounter,
will find that his fitu^tion is not fo totally exempt
from \
JL-. ( 53 )
from them, but that the good, eafy people of this
country, ever ready almoft to give popularity to
power, will exact, when they begin to feel, a
Severe reSponfibility Sor the uSe oS it. On theSe
grounds, while the author of important meafures
can be produced before he is difguifed; before
the country forgets, in its misfortunes, the true
caufe which has led to them ; before that caufe
is fheltered under an all-abSorbing INFLUENCE, which has baffled every popular exertion, and nearly extirpated all popular principle,
to point out, and afcertain him, becomes one of
the moft neceffary acts of public duty. Little
accuftomed to defpair of the natural energy of
my country, I fhall foon See awakened among
us the Same generous ardour that unites for the
common good, and the fame active, inquifiiive,
perSevering fpirit, that ever proves fatal to weak
and wicked ministers.
The complicated errors of Mr. Pitt have
placed us in a fituation fo truly alarming, that 1
muft profefs myfelf too much in earneft to relax
from the developement of thofe falfe and fatal
principles in which they originate; or to defift
from expofing Still further the trifling inanity of
a meafure that betrays at the fame time the in-
correctnefs of a ftatefman's mind without his genius (    54
nius, and the minuteneSs of a lawyer's without
his method.
Such is the negotiation, the character of which
we are to look for in the Gazette Extraordinary
of Auguft.—This is the document that contains
the extent, the quality, the all in fhort, of the
fatisfaction obtained, of at any time to be obtained, for the infults and injuries Sustained by
the King oS Great Britain and his Subjects.
On the fide of that infulted and injured Monarch, his Minifter declares himfelf content with
the restoration of the captured fhips 5 and with
thefe words, the meaning of which 1 fhall fhortly
have occafion to examine,—** His Catholic Ma-
jefty is willing to give fatisfaction for the injury
of which he has complained, fully perfuaded
his Britannic Majefty would act in the Same
manner towards the King [of Spain] under fimi-
lar circumstances."
On the fide of that Monarch, who is the author of a grofs and outrageous infult, defcribed
by Mr. Pitt himfelf in terms of the moft marked
atrocity, his Minister declares him content to acknowledge that he is in the wrong, Subject to the
decifion of his afferted right, which nothing in
his declaration, he Says, fhall prejudice. He is
ready alfo to reftore the captured Britifh fhips,
and (   55   )
and to indemniSy thei parties Sor their loSs, as
fbon as they can afcertain the amount of it.
O&ober 8, 1790.
WHAT, therefore, has the King of Spain conceded to Great Britain ? Examine his Declaration under the three heads of—
1. Atonement to the King for the affront
which he has received.
2. Reftoration of the captured veffels.
3. Indemnification to the fufferers for their
On the firft of thefe points it will appear, that
the reservation of right on the part of his Catholic Majefty completely vitiates the apologizing
part of his Declaration, and renders it, as fuch,
totally null and nugatory, ab initio. It is a conventional fatisfaction for a formal, deliberate, and
avowed infult. Mr, Pitt's very laboured Separation between that which constitutes a national infult, and that which amounts only to a Simple
injury, has not been overlooked by the King of
Spain. Accordingly he has adapted his offer of
fatisfaction precifely to " the injury of which his
Britannic Majefty has complained."
What 1
What was the exaft and fpecMc wrong ftated
by him we are not informed by any authentic in-
ftrument of his Minifters -,—we muft colleft it,
therefore, as we have an undoubted right to do,
from the paper under confideratidn. In this we
caftnot err ; for if the matter of complaint be not
faithfully referred to in the inftrument which
profeffes to be a fatisfa&ion for fuch complaint,
then is there a radical obje&ion to the whole of
its contents confidered under any poflible point
of view.
But if it be faithfully referred to in the King
of Spain's Declaration, the injury complained of
l^ill be found to relate (imply to <c the capture of
certain vejfels belonging to his (Britannic Majeftfs}
JhbjeSls in the fort of Nootka*" l|
&hoidd it be faid that his Catholic Majefty
thinks otherwife,' and that his promife to reftore
the Ships and indemnify the parties, as a further
fatisfadlioh, neceflarily fuppofes another fpecies
of atonement, I anfwer, that from the very terms
in which he makes the promife, the performance
of it is impofiible. Were it promifed for the
infult fo loudly refounded, then it might be a
queftion, what further atonement would be requisite ? But promifed as it is, for the injury of
^hith the King has complained, which injury is
fpecifically referred to, and defcribed to be 1 the
capture Capture of certain vejfels belonging to his fubjeffs in
ithe port of Nootka," the King of Spain precludes
us from advancing any claim independent of
that which naturally connects itfelf with the injury, and which will refolve itfelf at laft into a
fatisfadlion absolutely pecuniary.
I confefs, that thefe diftin&ions are nice, and
new in the hiftory of negotiations. But who is
the author of them?, A ftatefman who has forgotten every thing but that he was once a pleader
—who has involved the great interefts of nations
in the fubtleties, and the delay of a fuit in Equity—fplitting cafes with the Count de Florida
Blanca while he was, lofing one alliance, rendering another precarious, and railing up on all
fides a formidable maritime confederacy, againft
which Great Britain can be fuccefsful in no war
Ihe ever undertakes.
■   -\ f;    no. xix.    '   . ;**■   :
October n, 1790.
THAT the fatisfadlion offered by Spain is
conditional on her part, will appear from thofe
remarkable words in the Declaration, which Mr.
Fitzherbert admits without any referve, any explanatory fentence, or even any notice, " per-
fuaded that his Britannic Majefty would aft in the
I     I fame (    S«    )
•JS^IS*''* ^& &%V
fame manner towards the King under Jimilar cir-
cumftances." What is meant by " Similar cir-
cum.ftances ?" Clearly, under a Similar invafion
of the rights of Spain. Now, as Spain has reserved her claim to this very right, the fup-
pofed invafion of which conftjtutes the offence for
which an apology^as been dernanded from her,
and as Great Britain has confented to enter into
the difcuffion of this claim, and abide by the determination of it, if the facj fhould eventually
turn out to be that the fettlement in difpute is to
all intents and purpoSes the property of Spain on
the principle of prior occupancy, I afk whether,
under this adrnkjted refervation coupled with the
words extracted.from the Declaration, the Spanifh Monarch* will not have good reafon to expect
an apology from his Britannic Majefty for disturbing him in his rightful.poffeffions ?—That I
am warranted in this concTufion will appear flill
Surther by the addition of an extract from a document which the Ministers will Scarcely undervalue. We know very well that on Some occa-
fions they are not above a communication with
newipapers. Perhaps no kt of men that ever
held official Situations have made a more direct
uSe of thoSe channels^ of intelligence, whenever
they have had particular purpoSes to anSwerby
it.   Very Soon aSter the Gazette Extraordinary
made (    59   )
made its appearance, two papers, purporting to
contain the grounds on whieh the firft negotiation  was concluded, and the Spanifh apology
was  promiSed,    were  laid   before  the   Public
through the medium  of thofe chofen prints m
which the triumphs of the Minifter commonly
keep pace with "his wifhes :   thence they were
tranfpofed into others, and are now in universal circulation.    TheSe curious documents—on
which I regret my not being able to beftow the
particular attention  they So richly   merit—are
Signed,   the one   W Alleyne FfTZHERBERT,"
Slid the other " De  Florida Blanc a."    Of
their authenticity there is no diSpute.    The laft
of them contains the three explanatory propo-
fitions, under either of which tne King of Spain
is content to offer fatisfacton for the injury done
to  the King  of Great   Britain.     From  Mr.
Fitzherbert's difpatches it appears that he chofe
the third, which deferves the more to be transcribed, as it will diSplay in their true colours
Mr. Pitt's boldnefs, confiftency, and regard Sor the
tnfutteihonour oS his country.
ad.    ** The !&}& Satisfaction will be given,
tc provided it fnall not be underftood to follow
*c as a confequence thai: Spain has renounced
^ any of her'rights in this bufineSs, any more
j* man the right which fhe has to require a Sattfif-
I 2 Saction c«
,      j ( 60 )
!l faction equal or equivalent, if it were proved
<c in an amicable negotiation that the King is
<c entitled to demand it for the real and actual
aggreffion and injury of an ufurpation of Spanifh
territory in contravention of Treaties."
Under this explanation of the Count de Florida
Blanca, the apology was accepted •, an apology
which, when Mr. Pitt meets the Parliament, he
will no doubt maintain not only to be complete^
fatisfaftory, and diftiucl from the queflion of
right, but to have been extorted from the hum-:
bled Spaniard previous to any fort of difcuffwn
No.  XX.
Oftober 13, 1790.
WILL it after this be credited by men of
fenfe, that Mr. Pitt ever did, in fact, commit
himfelf to fuch an hazardous Declaration?—
that he ever ferioufly had reiblved to confider all
fatisfaclion inadequate which fhould not preclude
future difputes ? One univerfal murmur on all
fides feems to rife, as if by common confent, in
utter .   "I (   61    )
Utter denial of its poffibility. Even thofe who
are in the habit oS opposing the general Syftem of
his Adminiftration, from a liberal difference of
political opinion, will perfuade themfelves with
difficulty that a word fo loofe could ever have
pafied his lips. They will call upon me to
pardon the defective vigilance of human reafon ;
-—to allow for the uncertainty of human memory :—while I fhall incur the cenfure of his
friends for uncandidly fuppreffing the explanation, which, without a doubt, he muft have
given* No fuch thing! In the fentence I have
quoted there is no captious diftortion of his
words—^no partial remembrance of half an argument for the convenience of prefent crimination.
Hundreds, as well as myfelf, heard the unpropi-
tious avowal. No hypothetical provifo—no
lurking, oracular ambiguity, fhaded beneath
the myfterious construction of a fentence, will
open to him a retreat from it:—not the laft hope
of friendlefs and forlorn duplicity—the wonder
working IF—whofe more than magic characters
can invert the order of moral things, and change
the very nature of truth itfelf. The difingenu-
ous phrafe has but one fenfe, and incontradi<5rJ4>&
to that fenfe Mr. Pitt has acted.
Npr would the doubt be lefs of his having po-
fitively infifted on " fatisfaction previous to difcuf- (     62      )
<c jft?#." But I have many grave authj|rities Sor
the truth of this,, ^nd in the fpremoft rank of
them Stands our moft infulted Monarch himfelf,
jQ^aJcmg by his Minifter's advice.
4t In jconfejg^nce of this line pf communication, (viz. the Spanifh fyfinifter's Memorial
of the ioth of February), a demand was
inftantly made, by hJ^Majejty's order, for adequate fatisfaction^ and for reflitution pf the
veff^U previous to any qfjoer difcufjjon"
In the Second, ftancjs a ftatefman " leffer than
Macbeth, au^greater"—The growing hopes
of that celebrated faction, the rnembers of which
decently diftinjjuifh then^felvejS by the name of
fang's Friends, in oppofition to the reft of the
King's fubjefts—I mean Mr. William Wyndham
GrenvilU; a Minifter who, in the art of writing
letters to Lord Mayors, has in no wife degene-
rated from tbefSagaeity and Secrecy of his prede-
ceffor: the .matter of whofe communications
forms fo;admirable a relief to the brilliancyiof
his Style, that I imagine, however vain prefomp-
tion might have onceJnpked forward to the moment in which it fhoulcl emulate Lord Sydney
witfe Sucgffs, allr|uch ijdle profpects muft be now
funk in eternal night under the aScending Star of
the prefent; Home Secretary of State.
From him the Firft Magistrate of the firft com-
*   mercial •(   63   ) $'
mercial city in the world, and its anxious merchants, are informed, with an exemplary Impatience, proportioned to Ifihe importance of ra
fufpenfe, which, with much mifchief to^heir interests, had fluctuated for^hearly fix mon$is,t5e-
^veen their'hopes*ind their alarms, that the Ministers of the two Courts were juft going to begin
<c the difcuffton of the matters depending between
<c them" And in the fulnefs of hs heart he
tells the Lord Mayor " that a Gazette Extraordi"
'* nary is to be publijhed, and that his Lordfhip
* fhall have it asfoon as it is printed."
What am I believe under thefe authorities,
but that,   previous to the   Declarations,   no
Courts had been difcuffed or entered upon ?
that inftead of interchanging meffengers by dozens with the Court of Spain between the ioth
of February and the 5th of Auguft, one refolute
demand, fimple, intelligible, unmixed with other
_matters, had been made for tnftant fatisfaction?
That inftead of writing bad letters to the Count
de Florida Blanca, Mr. Fitzherbert from his arrival at Madrid had maintained the Silent referve
of a manly and offended dignity, avoidingeveaa
fecond communication with the Court of that
Monarch, who had dealt a difhoneft blow to his
Mafter ? Coupled with Mr. Pitt's declaration of
what (    64   )
what he meant by <c adequate Satisfaction,9* what
am I to think of his illustrious coufin, who tells
me that fatisfaction being acknowledged, the Ministers of the refpective Courts were " thereupon*
proceeding to difcufs the disputed matters with
a view to the arrangement which was in future
to preclude them ?
, No. XXI. T
O&ober 15, 1790.
SHALL it now be objected to me, in extenuation of this criminal delay, that to limit the time
within which fatisfaction ought to have been acknowledged, is preffingMinifters too hard—that
fome difficulties muft have occurred before the
nature of the propofed farisfa£tion could be
agreed upon, and that for this reafon it was im-
poffible to come at once to a decifive iffue ? I
wave all other anfwer (although many occur to
me) but that which I am enabled to give Srom
Mr. Fitzherbert's correspondence.
46 For the reft," he fays—<c as to the nature of
" the Satisfaction which the Court of London rc-
*m H.65 )
quires on this occafion, and on which your Excellency appeared to defire fome explanation, I
have been authorifed to affure you that if hist
Catholic Majefty confented to caufe a Declaration to be given, expreffing in fubftance that
his Majefty was rcSolved to offer to his Britannic Majefty a juft and adequate fatisfaction for
the injury done to the honour of his Rag, fuch
an offer joined to a promife of restitution of
the veffels captured, &c. tec—will be regarded
by his Britannic Majefty as conftituting in itfelf
the fatisfadkn demanded"
On what other testimony would it be believed,
that any Set of men, who ever pretended to
conduct public bufineSs, had Suffered themSelves
to be So laughed at by thoSe with whom they
were negotiating,   as to admit the demand of an
explanation on Such a proposition as this r or,
with Such a cauSe as ours then was, to acquieSce
in the raifing oS So poor a difficulty, and in a
Syftem of" Such undifguiSed prevarication ? With
the Britifh Minifter, in this instance, there could
be none.    He—modeft negotiator—-engages to
be Satisfied with a little.    Projecit ampullae etfef-
quipedalia verba—PromiSe that you are ready to
give Satisfaction,   and that fhall constitute Satisfaction—is the unoffending language of Mr. Pitf
to the Spanifh Monarch—to that dark and in-
w    K human (    66
human tyrant who had trampled under his fctt
the deareft rights of which an Englifhman can
boaft—who had robbed Britifh Subjects of their
property—who had cruelly confined and tortured
their perSons—acts which, iS their own Monarch had dared to do, who
did not wait to be afked for a diSavowal Of the
deed, but infultingly preffed forward by his
Ambaffador at the Britifh Court to acknowledge
and to juftify it.—Yet this bold and decifive
Miiiifter this deSceddant of the illuftrious
CHATHAM—at a feafon'of life in which
every generous Sentiment, in other minds, is
animated and enterprising.—this vigorous and
Spirited protector of his Sovereign's honour and
his fellow Subjects unalienable rights, allows
fuch an enemy to hold off from February to
Auguft before he fubfcribes even to the innocent condition of declaring that he is ready to
make Satisfaction.
Aftoniftied almoft to Stupefaction at fuch an
inftance of unexampled imbecility, I muft here
fufpend the progrefs of thefe remarks, to afk,
upon what degraded representation of the Britifh
character Mr. Pitt can indulge the profpect of a
moment's applaufe ? Does he believe that a
general political depravity, the peculiar vice of
his domeftic administration, has extended its influence (   6;   )
fiuence to the feelings as well as to the opinions
of men ?—Has it been whifpered to him, " The
blow you Struck to the importance of Parliament has involved a very natural change in the
manners of the people. New principles, Suitable to the Scenes of which we were then wit-
neffes, have grown up with us Srom that period,
and prepare us for the approbation of any measures you may purfue. |f<Many of thofe who
really loved the Constitution Saw nothing, after
it, that could intereft their regard. An accommodating defertion of a pott too difficult for
their virtue, fecured the moderate men. They
fhrunk back from another ten years trial; from
a life of perfeverance unfuftained by hope, and
oS honour that was likely to remain its own reward. The fixed and unalterable enemies to
liberty were active in the mean time. A popular delufion had Sanctioned Some of their principles. Poffeffed of power, they made the reft
follow. Violation of the firft principles of
election—discouragement of the popular trial
by Jury—the freedom of the prefs undermined
by restrictions multiplied almoft every feSTions—
new and arbitrary revenue laws copied from the
cafiVpff defpotiSm of French finance—the ex-
tenfion of the excife—the army eftablifhment
augmented regularly in- time of peace, and its
K 2 force ( 68  ;
force concentred Still more in the executive
power—the public money Squandered on fortifi.
cations exprefsly againft a vote of Parliament
—the prerogative of creating Peers moft indecently bartered with the marketable power of
creating Members of the Houfe of Commons,
and the benches of the Lords filled with your
college friends, or your college tutors—thefe
are fome of the leading meafures which will im*
mortalize the fix firft years of your Adminiftra-
tion. For us, indeed, we complained but little j
for the old, fturdy F.nglifh energy, which, fome
years earlier, would have made the authors of
Such deeds a memorable example to pofterity,
perifhed with the dignity of its representing
body. That lofty popular fpirit which was
ufed to circulate from the head to tl>e members,
to pervade, animate, and vivify the whole frame,
is become torpid. Difabled from refiftance at
firft, we are at length refigned. From indo^
lent we are changed to patient. There is a
fafhion even in politics; and while you have
been fucceffively deftroying the vital principles
of our conftitution, while the evidence of every
day discovers fome new impofi|ipn which had
been maffeed under the boafted purity of your
name, you have not the lefs eftablifhed a maxim
which muft fuftain you in this eventful hour, that
M POPU-* ( % )
Oftober 18, 1790.
YET even were we thus fallen from the an-
tient dignity of our public character, fome argument,  fome excufe for fuch a conduct would
ftill be requisite.    Men retain their habits long
after they are loft to principle ;   and I much
doubt, even under the laft of their difgraces,
whether the people of England could be eafily
perSuaded that they have no bufinefs with the
folly   or wickedneSs of  their Ministers,   An
infulting filence would  not fail to  revive in
them the dear and dangerous memory of their
former importance.    No cautious Minifter will
rifque it.    What he cannot deny, he muft explain 5 what he cannot juftify, he muft extenuate.    The darling appeal  to his character is
urged in vain. Driven from one intrenchment to
the other,   he will at laft refolve the whole into
State-Secrecy :   However anxious, he may
deScribe himfelf, Sor his private fame, he will
refer us to the Superior neceffity of his pufcUc
duty.    But if Mr. Pitt poffefied twenty times
the capacity I am ready to allow him, on the
Subject (   7°   )
■ ■ri?
fubjed of State-Secrecy he could advance nothing new, nothing that, in the phrafe of a
man he much refembles, « the meaneft of his
predecefors" has not worn out in the cause
before him.
He has not, however, a friend more ready to
applaud the ufeful fecrecy of his meafpres than
I am. Independent of the propriety of putting
a check to the deftru&ive fpeculations of monied
men, in times of difficulty and alarm I know of
how much importance it is to the energy of the
executive government, that its defigns, as well
as its deliberations, Should be feduloufly veiled
from the public eye. But good policy demands
that even this claim Should have its limits.
Stretched beyond what reafon will bear, it will
fail of its beft purpofe. In the fame degree
that the human mind yields a ready obedience to
a rational fyftem of faith, it turns away with
difgfrft from bigotry and impofture. Politicks,
as well as religion, produce us men who muft
fubfift upon the mifguided paffions of the vulgar. State-craft, as well as prieft-craft—the
mountebank and the monk—even to this day,
have fpread the mantle of myftery and fuper-
ftition over mankind. The agents of the one,
and the miffionaries of the other, work with
the fanfte tools, fucceed by the fame frauds, build
-  •■• :   ;   * '      v" y-r v '<*   '     upon ( 71
upon the fame credulous  ignorance, and  are
alike the ridicul? and contempt of an enlightened
philofophy,   Enveloped in impenetrable clouds,
their conduct is kept from the public eye, after,
as well as before, the end of it is anfwered.
Fot they argue, and not unwifely, that if t&e
fandluary were once profaned, if the materials
of a fingle miracle were difcovered, not one miracle of them all would efcape the derifion, and
perhaps the fury of the multitude.
, But fuch charafters cannot for long be mif-
taken.    There are infallible tokens, which at all
times diftinguifti and betray them. Whenever, therefore, we find a man, born with every
dazzling qualification for officiating as the high-
prjf ft to fome wooden god whofe temple no
mortal muft invade, but who, from the accidents of his fate, is elevated into political life
and becomes a Minifter,  we fhall not fail to fee
him guard all accefe to publick information with
a jealQUs and unremitting vigilance.    In office,
he will pledge himfelf to no fet of meafures; he
will conneft himfelf with no fet of men.    In his
parliamentary fpeeches, we Shall trace no definite
meaning •, in his foreign negotiations, he will be
irrefolute and falfe.    A Statefman of tl%ftamp
will fucceed in quiet times.    Where no external
mifchief preffes, he can play off the machinery
■                                                      ■ ,   of {   7*   1 , A     ,
of government without interruption ; and af the
laft moment, when foreign danger threatens, and
the alarm is Sounded at the threfhold, he wilt
Snatch the fecrets of the prifim-hwfe from dif-
covery, and kindle the pile with his own hand
which muft conSume at once his miracles, his
divinity, and himfelf.
4   *
Ottober 20, 1790.
IT is not, therefore, difficult to forefee* that
State fecreSy, State neeeflity, and implicit Confidence, wHl be the topics of exculpatory defence
for Mr. Pitt from all the inconsistencies of Ms
meafores. But Something more is due to the
gravity of constitutional enquiry. We, who are
not uSed to confider a concluded negotiation as
a matter So wonderfully Sacred, or to annex
ideas of profound and fpeculative doubt to what
kin itfelf fo fimple; who, free from the tyranny
d#opinion, can approach the red box of a Secretary of State without any fentiments of reverential awe, and who receive not the myfteries of
Dijplomatie revelation like the articles of a religious creed, or the orthodox communications of
a Divine wift ferioufly fhall demand to know,
Why,   in the impofing Situation in which his
country !
|      in)   .   • .
country then flood, Mr. Pitt Suffered himfelf to
be amufed into a Surrender of his Sovereign's
honour, and of the rights and deareft interefts
of the people ? Or why the man, who pretended
to think that honour So nice a point as not to
hear of a negotiation about it, contents himfelf
at laft with a conditional Satisfaction for the injury it has Suftained, and even that amounting
to no more than a readineSs to make Satisfaction,
cxpreffed by the King of Spain ?
I have but a few more observations to add
upon the remaining heads—
II. The King o$ Spain agrees to reftore the
. Britifh vefiels.
No principle is afferted here. The restoration
of the captured veffels was a voluntary act of
the King of Spain, always under the refervatiort
of his right. That the mere act of restoring
them includes no Satisfaction, I affume from his
Majefty's meffage, in which the distinction is.
exprefel^ made.
III. The King of Spain agrees to indemnify
the Sufferers Sor the loffes they fhall prove
<hemltlvesto have Suftamed in their property
What they will be able to prove—what is to
be the nature of the proof which may be agreed
upon between Commiflioners appointed by the re-
P*t L fpective (    74   )
SpectiJUMbnafchs—or whether any difficulties car*
poffiblj^ariSe on this point, are queftibns which I
ftoop not to examine. A\hobjections are loft in
His difgracefulabandonment of that which ought
to Stand Soremoft in the exacted reparation 5 in
his Scandalous fubmifiion to the moil biting and
corroftye pact oS the inSilt we have Sustained—I
mean—rA corporal- punishment inflicted-
upon British subjects.
What ? is the glorious Minister fatisfied when
he knows that his Sellow Subjects have been condemned to a lingering Slavery ?   Are the, owners
gftheSe yeffels to be paid a compensation Sor the
Stripes and imprisonment oS innocent men, who
own allegiance to an Englifb King ? If this, however, is to be avjowed, how fhall the damage be
appreciated•? Let him retire to his calculations,
and tell}-jus at how much .per hour he values an
Englifhjjpan's liberty ?   The principle is in his
own ExciSe law$;, and he can reSort to it without trouble and without regret.    In th# mean
time I wifl tell him—(and unleSs I much miS-
take he will hear of this again)-—that if at the
£ime he accepted theSpanifh Mincer's Declaration, jhe was not in poffelfion of full and^rf-
ficient evidence  that  every  individual  Britifh
Object captured at the Port of Nootka was re»r
yM leafed (   75   )
leafed from the Spanifh dungeons, fie is guilty
of an impeachable offence for having neglected to make their releafe the Subject of an
exprefs Stipulation.
Here I fhall cloSe my remarks upon the Spa-
^ifh Declaration. An instrument which thofe who
have attended to the preceding arguments will
not wonder I fhould arraign as the moft nugatory
in its matter, the moft infolent in its humility,
that ever paffed from one independent Monarch
to another, purporting to be an atonement for an
What remain for me to ftate, in further elucidation of the reafoning by which I fupport my
Charge againft the Minister, are thofe Clear, fixed,
and immutable principles of public right, and the
practice of nations, which In political difputes
never are denied but by that Power notorioufly in
a condition to prefcribe the law to its antagonist.
Firft, That in the cafe of an affront offered to
the flag of an independent State, the act itfelf
muft be unconditionally difavbwed ;—a point fuf-
ficiently argued already.
Secondly, That where the affront is accompanied with acts of outrage to individuals, thofe
acts fhall be atoned for not only by the moft ample indemnification in point of property, but by
L 2 the the punifhment of the officer  who committed
the outrage.
Thirdly, That if a denial, or improper delay
of juft fatisfaction, compels a nation to arm with
a view of vindicating its honour and afferting its
undoubted rights, the nation, whoSeobftinacy and
pertinacity alone is the caufe of Such armament,
fhall pay the expences of it.
October 22, 1790.
WITH regard to the firft of thefe principles,
it will not be fufficient that, after a long negotiation, the aggreffor confent to difavow his. act by
a Simple declaration. It muft be done, not only
effectively in itfelf, but with all the folemnity of
apology. In thefe cafes the procefs is fimple,
and the practice is eftablifhed. The injured Sovereign expofes the nature of his complaint by
his Ambaffador, and fhould wait a reafonable
time for an anfwer. If in that anfwer no Satisfaction be offered, but expedients, delavs, and
Sophistry be Substituted in the room of it, his
dignity forbids him to enter into the difcuffion of
.fuch matters \ it becomes his duty to renew his
firft ■'.\ n  >
firft demand, and in a peremptory tQne. to infift,
on compliance with it within a limited period.
After fchis, he cap go no Surther in negotiation :,
he muft Submit his caufe to the law of arras*
But if the offending party confent to make atonement, the law^jpf national honour.require^that
every honourable formality be obferved in the
execution of this engagement; and that an Am-
baffador Extraordinary befenr, for that purpofe
alone, to the Court of the offended Monarch*
with** Specific and direct apology to him foe the.
inSults of which he has complained.
The Second principle is derived from the fame
Source, Applied to this country, an exemplary
punifhment muft be indicted on the commander of
any veffel, or expedition, or the perpetr,ajtQT|
whoever he may be, of any wanton barharity upe,n<
the perfon of a Britifh Subject. The right of. re^
venging fuch an act, which if his own arm conn,
tained fufffcjgnt Strength, is in him by the law. of
nature, from tyf accidental incapacity to do f&
devolves immediately upon his country; and
with his country, that right becomes a duty. Or
tyjiat would he the ufe of apologies and difavow-y
als? What effectual benefit would be derived
to Britifh commerce, what fecurity would b$
gajned for tjtue perfons of the merchants and f$a*s
men who carry it on, if thofe who pillage, and
torture "t ( 78 )
torture them are permitted to mock their Sufferings, and repeat the fame acts with impunity,
while the two Courts are aroufing each other
with metapfiyfical diSquifitions ? Years, I may
almoft add, centuries of experience,^ muft convince us oS the neceffity of in fitting upon this
principle in all our disputes with Spain. The
law of retaliation alone, executed with prompt-
nefs and fe verity, can ever operate as an effectual
check to the barbarous treatment our feamen
have ever fuffered when captured in thofe latitudes in which Spain claims the privelege of
exclufive navigation. Nor does the right of
Great Britain to act thus depend merely on the
general principles of juftice; it is directly acknowledged by the 17th Article of the Treaty
of Utrecht, which is as follows :-—-
Art. 17.—% But if it happen through inad-
** vertency, imprudence, or any other caufe, that
- <c any fubjecl of either of their aforefaid Royal
** Majefties do or commit any thing, by land,
** fea, or on frefh waters, in any part of tbe
** world, whereby this prefent treaty be not ob-
p ferved, or whereby any particular article of
<€ the Same hath not its effect, this peace and
good correspondence, between the King of
Great Britain and the Catholic King, fhall not
" therefore be interrupted or broken, but fhall
P remain
cc (   79   ) |:
c* remain in its Sormer ftrength, force, and v|£
*6 gour; and that Subject only fhall be anfwerable
"for his own ad, and fuffer fuch punijhment as is
Ki inflicled by law, and according to the preferiptions
" of the law of nations.".
An Englifhman's fhip is hi$ cattle. No power
but the law, can enter without his cpnfent.; Shall
then a Spanifh plunderer be Suffered to invade
it, and plead his matter's will in justification ?
Whether Don Martinez is amenable to an En-
glifh tribunal, to take .his trial for an offence
committed againit Britifh Subjects on the high
Seas, is a queitionwhicj^ i am not competent to
decide. As a lawyer, Mr. -fijtt ought to be better acquainted with this, and, if it be fo, to
have infifted that Don Martinez fhould be delivered up.N In the other cafe, he fhould have fti-
pulated for the infliction.of a fevere punifhment
on him for the acts ofrapacity and cruelty of
which he has been guilty.
Europe has long admjred[ the efficacjl of a
juftice that could reacb^he remotest fhores, gladden the oppreffed^^abitants of a^de4§lated empire,, and,-.^* twice bleffed" in$j£fej& jflied^ks benignant influence over cheerlefe^-and inhofpkable
region^ Let her now contemplate tfye^Jgd-re-
verSe, wnqn^ ft ripped of ;^ajrenging-Sword, the
juftice I       ..
jufticeof Great Britain is too feeble to pftJle$-
the Suffering Subjects oS its own ifland !
As little can the third principle be denied. A
Security againft pillage and inhuman treatment is
to be required Srom the commanders of Spanifh
veffels, namely, reSpomilimty Sor their conduct.
A Similar fecufity is not feffc to be mfifted upon
from the Spanifh nation, againft the poffible renewal of the Same contumacy and infolerice
which have Compel&d4ls to iiiCur a very heavy
ex pence Sor preparations of de&nfive hoftiiitjv
I conft&, however, thfct this will not apply to
Hfe expences we have incurYfed fince Mr. Pitt**
acceptance of the Spanifli Declaration
No, XXV\
Odtober 25, 1790.
THE pofiftions I have here advanced are not
only correct in themfelves, but, if there muft
bk a di vifion between the queflion of honour and
the queflion of right, the eftablifhment of them
belongs indisputably to the firft, and ought to
have beeri provided for under the head of fatisfaction. That circumstances may exift, under
which it would be the wifer meafure to wave
thefe MO
thefe points, I am not prepared to deny; but
in that caSe it is a reaSon, and a conclufive ori£J
for putting up with an affront, and not mooting
them at* ML For as (to apply the principle) a
juftcaufe oS quarrel between this country and
any other European power can Scarcely be found,
except in a violence done to its honour, fo nothing can fo much degrade us as to complain
loudly of indignities offered to that honour, and
aftetwards to afferf it by halves, and reft Satisfied
with a paltry, pecuniary fatisfaction.—The ho-
npurW a country is the firft and Salient principle of its prosperity. A dignified affertion oS it
is always a juft caufe for war; commerce and
territory, never.	
—*« Rightly to be great,
Is not to ftir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a ftraw
When honour's at the (lake."
If we could not have proudly maintained fchis
honour, we fhould have been cautious'of com- .
^fittingrfc>urfelves to ;ariy huajj&fing ooational
complaints that acknowledged an offence to.4t in
the fidft#nilance. The aulimptiont^ot a lofty
tone of imperioas haughtinels and ange£?*£ould
only ferve to excite the contempt of our adver-
iarids, and the pity of Europj»v
M Whether (    82    )        J.
Whether the nation was in Such unhappy circumstances as [to make it inexpedient Sor her to
infift on a proper Satisfaction, is beft known to
the King's Ministers. From Mr. Fitzherbert's
letter, I fhould be apt to conclude the affirmative, and to think that the high language afcrib-
ed to Mr. Pitt has, in point oS fact, been confined to his own country, and to the defcription
of his own atchievements;—that the Count de
Florida Blanca will vouch for his humility at
But wiien I look to the ftate of Europe at
that period, I muft think otherwife. Great Britain feems then to have been in a condition, and
to have remafned fo, until the Signing, of the
Counter-declaration, to exact ample and complete fatisfaction for the infult offered to her Stag,
and the injury done to her merchants. Founded on all thefe arguments, my charge againft
the Britifh Minifter is unanfwerable. By neglecting to provide for the objects detailed under
thefe three heads, he has proved himfelf incompetent to the duties of his office, and miferably
ignorant of the principles of public law ; and,
by accepting the Declaration, he has loft the only moment at which he could have obtained the
fetdement of them, when by the feafonable in-
terpofition of a vigorous demand he might have
. prevented C  «3   ) :    :  g    ;
prevented a war, or, if a war had been produced by it, have obliged Spain to ftand alone
againft the Britifh power.
It may be remembered, that in an early period of this difcuffion, I touched upon the two
principal matters which render our Situation at
prefent fo effentially different from that in which
we Stood at the beginning of the difpute. The
firft, relating to the object and character of the
impending con tell. This I Stated to have become wholly changed from a neceffary defenfive
war to a very questionable offenfive one, from
the moment Mr. Pitt committed the fatal mif-
take of acknowledging fatisfaction ; and, consequently, that having brought, as he imagined,
his caufe oS complaint to an iffuable point (I borrow one of his own phrafes), and.declared himfelf Satisfied with the manner in which that
point was fettled, all his hoftile preparations
muft neceffarily have had an object connected,
in no manner whatsoever, with the neceffary vindication of the national honour.
I Stated, in the Second instance, that Spain
had Seized the lucky moment in which this
change oS the original ground was announced to
Europe,, to fill every Court with her intrigues,
to detach our maritime alliances, to confirm her
M 2 m own. (   84    ) f
own, and to revive the dormant confederacy of
die neutral powers againft Great Britain.
To a more ample consideration of this laft J
now proceed, fincerely regretting that the neceffary detection of his errors as a negotiator has.
fb long detained me from the review of that part
of his conduct which is infinitely more century*
bie, and betrays (till more his want of capa^tvL.
when looked upon as the leading Minifter of an
extenfive empire.
O&ober 22, L790,
SINCE tne exchange of the Declarations,
Europe has witnefled a more Sudden, a more ex-
tenfive, and, in many mftances, a more unexpected revolution in the afpect of politics, ifhan
ever has been experienced witftm the fame given-
time-, and in none will it"§e more fe!t Ihifo in
its effect:up6n the naval Superiority oS this
country, as w"ell as upon the immediate fM^
cfe'Ss df our claims agiSnft Spain, unlefs $*e
^frBkrice Be teV^thated without having *ecoui*fe
to war,
I cannot, (.   8S    ) j
I carmbt, however, with any propriety, admit the degree oS unlimited pre-eminence, which
it has been So much the fafhion of fanguine politicians to attribute to Great Britain and her
allies. The fyftem of continental alliances pur-
Sued by Mr. Pitt is, in my dpinion—-and I may-
venture to fay, in the opinion of thofe whofe
names would give authority to doubts infinitely
lefs warrantable—^very ill calculated to give us
that pre-emm'&ice. It has the fundamental error of being grounded upon adventitj6us principles, and of depending for its Stability Upon the
accidental weakneilr of thofe powers ^ho muft
unite themSel^ of courfein an oppose c<jrn§§d%£
racy. But un# a common catife, and a reasonable poinVM unfon fhould be given them, it is
fair to fay} tfhW^S&at H^am* Pruffia, and thofe
of the Germanic body who could be deluded
upon, formfcd a connection of mo$e efficient and
active ftrength #fan befogged to any other European power whofe offenflve defigns could be directed againft tUSe Interests of this country^ It
weife iieeclIeSs to S{|y riiore. The tefiVof Mr.
Pitt's coritineflfOT^ftem will be the moment in
whldh he dHxps the Sword againft a power
whoSe aggrandisement in Europe never can be
looked u^onT with 2ny seslfdfiable jealaofy by
Great Britain.
It (   86   ) I    I
It is not, therefore, yet the moment to^jiifcufs
this extenfive queflion.   We are now to confider
in what manner he has preServcd the actual ex-
ifting force of  this kingdom, a part of which
its alliances  are to be deemed.    For although
the badnefs of our alliances may be a ftrong rea-
fon againft entering into a war, it muft be allowed that the moment of impending hoflilitjL
is not very favourable to a change in them. Bad
alliances, if we muft go to war, are preferable
to none.    It wouteh have been enough, if Mr.
Pitt, where he had.ardefenfive alliaj$cf,Gwith a
power not at war, had fecured the performance
of its Stimulations, f If, where he had allied himfelf to a power actually at war with another lively to become his enemy, he had presented the
fudden conclufion  of peace between then} and
tneHfubfequent conjunction of both in a confederacy againft Great Britain ; and, above all, if,
where he had a fecurity for the neutrality, of our.
wortt enemv, he had kept her in that humour
by reprefentatioiis which his fituation enabled
him to make, and which, enforced with a due
mixture of moderation and firmn^Jf^ would apply with equal fuccefs to her interetts^and her
fears. scj|
Tfius re ft rained from contending any preliminary objections, I am compelled to go further.
I muft I muft admit, that his alliances had in view the
old Englifh defenfive Syftem oS preventing the
exorbitant aggrancMement of the Houfe of Bourbon ; that, as the means of fo doing, he had
good reafon to prefer Pruffia to Auttria ; that,
of the two, .he confidered the kingdom of Pruffia as poffeffed of more fubftantial Strength,
taking even into the Scale the. never-ending enmity of the Court of Peterfburgh to that of
Berlin, which, in the event of a war with the
Court of Vienna, would be fure to league with
the latter. I muft fuppofe this, and not that his
choice of Pruffia was dictated by a neceffity im-
pofed upon him by the Strict connexion between
the Courts of Vienna and Verfailles, becaufe,
it is well known, that the formidable alliance
of 1756, called the Treaty of Verfailles, never
was of any efficient offenfive ftrength (an J there*
fore ufelefs to the Bourbon, fyftem), never was
liked by the people of either countries, that the
moment of its dissolution was eagerly looked
for at Verfailles, and its existence, even at
Vienna, only prolonged from day to day, with
the influence of Prince Kaunitz, by whom, in
concert with the Cardinal de Bernis, it had been
originally planned. As, during the life of Frederic the Second, this league had failed of its
oQenfiye purpoSe, I muft conclude, Srom Mr.
Pitt's ( w )    "I
Pitt's Syftem, that he considers it eqpaiijrvliabletd
figure when its ftrength is-exerted for an object
purely defenfiVe; and that when Praffia, in nef
turn, fhall aim at dictating the law to Europe,
the acquieScence of the allied Courts will be
equally fecure, as their confederated enmity was
ineffectual, when they fought to deprive his uncle of his dominions.
November I, 1790.
THE Pruulan alliance, therefore, and the
Jupfidiary treaties negotiated with other Princes
of the German empire, muft be confidered, until fome other object appears, as intended to
balance the power of the Houfe of Bourbon oh
tne Continent. But now let us fuppofe the cafe
pf this country engaged in a war altogether
naval, the object of which is not the eftablim*-
mettt of any balance of power, but the exten-
lloft of its commerce and navigation at the ex-
pence of others—How would a wife Minifter
act towards France ?—Either he would oppofe
her poffible interference with a formidable naval
alliance, againft wWch her exertions would be
inefficient, or he would endeavour, by every
means MO
Cleans within his reach, to gain her neutrality.
This were obvioufly the better method of the
two, as the neutrality of France, fecured at
this moment of our difpute with Spain, muft
have inevitably diffolved that formidable union
of the two kingdoms, which, while it exists,
is an invincible impediment to the decided fupe-
riority of Great Britain.
In the front rank, therefore, of the Britifh
Minister's political faults, I place his conduct with
regard to France. Confidered in a general point
of view, it has been uniformly mistaken and
impolitic fince his appointment to the head of
affairs. In the year 1786, he negotiated a treaty
of commerce with her, of which it was juftly
predicted, that in cafe the ambition of the Houfe
of Bourbon fhould be tempted to renew her old1
defigns againft the general tranquillity, Great
Britain muft ceaSe to oppoSe her, left fhe Should
loSe the benefits of an advantageous commerce :
that a war with France would not only be, like
other wars, oppreffive and ruinous in general,
but that it would involve her in a calamity peculiar to itSelS, and be manifest in the bankruptcy
of all thofe who had embarked their fortunes in
the French trade. It was argued, therefore,
that the profits of a trade with France would
operate as a direct bribe upon the merchants and
N manufacturers (   go   >
manufacturers of this countiy, to prevent, as
far as in them lay, its interference in continental affairs, whenever France fhoujd renew
her fchemes of aggrandifement and deSpotiSm
in Europe.
Tlj%s reaSoning wa% fer from beigg oppoSed by
the Minister. His friends went further; they
denied the juftice of thofe jealoufif^w^ch our
anceftors had ever nourifhed agajnft the ambition of France: they denied the exjje$ency of
our oppofing any of her continental plan$. It
was Stated, &y one of his moft intimate affociir,
ates, with much ability and eloquence, that the
poor oppreffed peaSant, when he was calledjUpon
to pay the taxes for his dajj-lighk his candles,
and his fire, would think it an infult to his,
mifery, to be told, that he had p$id them for
the balance of power in Europe. Now, mark
the fingular contradiction of the politics of this
day ! When the old fyftem of the French monarchy was, to every rational appearance, in its,
vigour, Mr. Pitt was courting her alliance, and
binding our merchants to her by the Strictest
obligations of a, reciprocal ancj^ndifjoluble iftt*
tereft, r Now^ that a comprehensive and complete revolution has totally Stopped the Source of
her foreign intrigues, as well as of her domeftic
mjfchiefs-—when fl$e hol4s out the olive branch.
wkh i 91 )
with a Sincerity, atlfing not from the edthufiafm
of the moment, not Srom.a r*fh repentance and
mconfiderate reco^MblSbf her errors, but from
the univerfal prevalence of a difpofition completely adverfe from fuch jJurSuirs, and ofdn-
terefts wholly incompatible with them, he rejects her frieficffhip With a contempt equally un-
wife and unbecoming: he Scatter between two
countries, rivals no longer for dominion, the
feeds of an t#extihgttiihable cKfcord $ he renovates, afcd perpetuates to after ages, the Spirit
of hereditary-liatred, and the principle of con-
teft and defblatioifi   ^$si
^    Ho. xxviii. m
November 2, 1790.
IT devolves not upo^fn&to juffiffy or condemn trie* FreWch Revolution in either extremH
Tire ract, and th^pnroabnfty of its peri&dnericy,
Saft mya^gumOTtreqinres1; and ev^n this in no
greater "degree tr?afi as conceding fcV me, that
fiow^ver maAe^ fha^ Sift wMi ttfem, a return
fo1 thVola ^ftem~'!s impracticable^ D^Bliniri^;
fterefdre, a miritfte enc^uffy into i'tsfT?fiffits, I
muft yff decPar2rmyfelf pSffladed, that if th<|
N 2 contem- ■     .   (   9»   )    . i ■
contemplation of its progrefs muft extort from
us, on many accounts, fentiments of regret and
abhorrence, it will juftify not the lefs a due
mixture of exultation, when we confider its probable effect upon the peace of mankind. At
this point we may fairly paufe. Humanity
grants a tear to the melancholy Scenes which it
has witneffed ; and while the heart of an Eng-
lifhman readily expands itfelf to whatever is
beautiful in the fpontaneous efforts of infant liberty—to whatever is animating in the example
of a generous people, whom the whips, the
fcorns, and tyranny of their fellow creatures have
goaded into refittance, it were exerting a dominion over his reafon Scarcely leSs defensible to
tell him, that, as a confequence of his Sympathy, he muft thence-forward approve all the disorders to which their re Si Stance may lead, or all
the hafty, intemperate decisions which may refult from the eftablifhment of a new order of
things. But, on the other fide, muft he necef*
farily hope for a revival of the original miSchief ?
Who is there that ferioufly wifhes to France a
return of the fyftem from which fhe has delivered herfelf ? To fuch a man, if fuch a man could
be found, I would fay, jj the niUdnefs of the
laws under which you live has enervated your
philosophy—«—Qo to. the houfe pf mourning \
:» DeScend with me into the dungeons of the BaS-
tile: and while you tread over heaps of bones
and carcaSes to read the tales of miSery that
wretches have inScribed upon its walls, remember theSe were the victims of a fierce and un*
hearing deSpotiSm, that nourifhed itSelf with the
tears of its Subjects; intercepted the beneficence
of Heaven in its way to man; tore from the
peafant's lip the Scanty morSel of unprofitable
labour, and held out to the world this impious
principle—that the gratification of private revenge is the end of public punifhment!"
An itttereft, however, much nearer than the
fettlement of any Speculative doctrines on this
event, demands the vigilance of an Englifh Minifter. Stained by the fouleft murders, buried
in the darkeft ignorance, and governed by a rabble oS tyrants ; iS Such were a juft representation
oS the ftate of France^ her friendfhip muft ever
be ufeful, her enmity terrible: Grant me but
the fair inference, that the revolution of her
monarchy muft operate a change in her foreign
politics—I might indeed maintain, with little
hazard, that the period was arrived, in which
an alliance with Britain was practicable; but not
wanting fo much for my argument, I fhall content myfelf with advancing this pofition—that
her neutrality in the preSent conteft, and all the
endleSs i; 94 )
endleSs advantages arifing from her disunion
with Spain, was within our reach, if the Minister's capacity had been on a level with bis
Situation, and with the commanding afcendancy
of the circumltances in which his country
*g November 4, 1790.
TITAT fh&i vice iri the French government,
this inSatiable ambition for conquefl and aggrandisement, which h^fdeluged So of (fen the world
wkh blood, 1$ radically SJfltifpatedbyftfie ReV6*
lution, depends not fmgly tfpon tHfr teftmirony
*6# general renunciations entered iftt#&y indr#$*
dual*, or by arty bodies of ttfe'h whatever.
Reafbtt and phiioSophy declare iit. Thef^fllvlfe
to* fer diSereht purSuits:—to the diffufifefc df
fctfduftry, the encouragement of colikrititik and
population, the improvement of Science and
#fte laws;—to^the culw^itin of tfiibfe~lbt3tfl:arid
tfclftf firtues, by which peace, prWpewfcjf and
abundance are imparted to the fturriaft Species.
Ifc is hence tfirfg I regard the reSoIutittiii1 oT the
-Uftfrional Affembly or^^is^ttfbjfect, not asfead-
ing'the opinions of the people, bttt as therrifefvHk
growing ||- ' . C 95 |    if"
growing out of aa eftablj&ment, whoSe object
and end avows itfelf to be the fecuring thefe
bleffings to all.    fo tbi& point of view, the evU
dencc of the decrees themfctves is not flights
The National Afiembly have,, L&them, formally*
renounced al& plaasi for the extenfion of then?
dominions at the expence of other nations/ They
have, confirmed their? counceoul ojvsr the executive power, and deprived* ill- of the means of infringing the fpkk of this decree, by declaring
the right qf determining war and peace toirefide
in the nation.    Miftruftful of thernfel&es, and
not of their monarch alone, in their review? oft
the treaties exifting between France and other
powers, .they have expneisly exoepted from conn
firmation, all decrees, the object, of which are
rjot' merely defenfive or commercial.    Such is
the magnanimous .repentance !    Thefe are the
peaperofferings oS France to mankind !—The
asra of their liberty they deemed aufpkrious to?
the fa&rificejc  The4rj profpects. were as_, compire*
henfive. aSibienevolence itfelf, and their* arms were
open to this country.
Peace, Intake upon me to afiert, was the ge?.
neral object, and friendfbjip towards England,
the uiaj.verjj*ljfeeling of the: French nation, froftt*
Dunkirk to Marseilles, .when our ow fatal diftj
ference. a^ofe with Spain*.
Prevalent ■".■■(   96   )
Prevalent, however, as thefe fentiments we|§
at the time, they were far from meeting with the
concurrence of all. Under the mafk of an acquielfr'
cence which they are compelled to put on, there
ftill rankles among many an incurable averfion
to the new eftablifhment. The fudden and afflicting vicjiflitudes of their fate, the remembrance
of their darling honours, the ruin of their fortunes, the difmemberment of their iiluftrious families, added to what they Suffer from the un-
reftrained licentiouSnefs of bad men, to whofe
growth the convulfions of a State are but too
propitious, contribute, one with another, to
make them ardently wifh for meafures which
may feed their hopes of change, as any change
to them muft be for the better.
This Strong, and Still powerful confederacy,
to which the Monarch himfelf is fuppofed not to
be adverfe, look towards England with a lefs
affectionate prejudice. They attribute, with
what reafon I know not, a considerable fhare of
the popular discontents in France, and their con-
fequent misfortunes, to the encouragement and
fecret machinations of their ancient rival.
Regarding the royal ftate as Stripped of every
valuable prerogative under its prefent reftrictions,
they unite in looking forward to a war as to the
only poffible chance of preventing the total anni-^
i hilation (   97   )
hilation of its remaining confequence r By war
ffcey hope to ficken the fpkit of daring innova*
tk>n *, that invents new methods every day to
confine and cripple the Sovereign. The decreet
having yet left him at the head of the rnifiiary
and naval forces, a wife or a dazzling exertion
oS them might recover their affections; Where
corruption can Succeed, much good might arife
from a judicious application of that enormous
influence ever at the difpofal of the executive
power in time of war—much from a revival of
the national ardour, which, becoming embodied for the public caufe, Submits to discipline,
Separates itSelf from the common mafs, and
learns at laft to trull and to love the valour that
leads it on to victory, Or to glory. The nation
itfelf would participate in the Monarch's triumph, and be afhamed to crufh his laurels under a barren crown.
The views of the moderate Aristocrates go
not beyond this. Too wife ever to imagine a return to the old go^drament practicable, their
hopes go no further than to retrieve a portion of
the regal power Sufficient to give dignity^ to the
Monarch and protection to themfelves. Vifiori-
ary theories of a counter-revolution are invent-
* Non me us hie fer mo*
ed, (   98   )
ed, it is true, every day, but belong to no rational party in France. It will be evident that
the hoftile appearance of affairs between Great
Britain and Spain, came admirably in aid of their
wifhes. Events confirm the fpeculation. They
feized, with eagernefs, the moment of an authenticated difclofure of the ftate of affairs, to
prefs for a fpeedy armament, and as the negotiation developed itfelf, to enforce the claims of
Spain for the fuccours Stipulated by the Family
Compact, on every principle of juftice, of good
faith, and of good policy.
No. XXX.
H1 November 6, 1790.
THE fituation of France, however, at the
time to which I allude, took from the Ariftocrates
all hopes of fucceeding in fuch views by their
own influence. They refted upon their arms therefore, and waited in filence the gradual operation
of events. Thefe had hitherto been Singularly favourable to Great Britain.
The whole efficient power lay with the National Affembly, Supported by the people. With
them V,
(   99   )
them the name of Englifhman, in Spite of certain rafh declarations of Mr. Pitt, to which I
fhall again have occafion to advert, began to be
dear, from its SuppoSed relation to liberty and a
free government.    It was not a mere difinclina-
tion to war, refuking from the general principles
I have ftated before, that difpoSed them to Savour the Englifh caufe:—it was a Settled averfion
to the particular Species of war, in which they
might be called bpon to interfere, founded upon
old habits of diflike to Spam, which already began to opprate in their new fyftem—upon feri-
ous doubtS'ih regard to the juftice of her caufe—
Upon confiderations of the abfolute neceffity of
peace  to the fettlement of their constitution:
and finally, upon the Strongest fufpicions of the
motives of thofe who fought to involve them in
the quarrel.    Hence all the precautions I have
had occafion to remark.   Hence the fuddennefs
of their refolutions, which, however agreed to
in the abstract, vifibly were  intended to have
their immediate and particular effect.    Hence,
when they^voted the armament of fourteen fail
of the line, in May, it was accompanied with
fuch pofitive reftfS&ions in point of orders, with
the denunciation of fuch a terrible refponfibility
t>n thoSe to whom the command of this force was
$ntrqfted, that, however at firft the opinion may
O 2 feem (       IO0      )
Seem a paradox, Spain, and not Gneat Britain,
was, in effect, the country which had moft rea-
fofi to be diffatisfied at its equipment. It wall
hence that they deprived the Crown oSthe power
of making war.—SuSpecting too, that MonS.
de Vauguyon had Secretly ftimulated the Court
of Spain to this conteft, tbty fuperfeded that
moft able Minister in his embaffy, and compel*
led him to give an account of the part he took
in the negotiation. No war with England ! our
brothers in liberty! the friends of the rights of
men!—was the general cry. Spain, inftigated
by French counSels, they deemed the aggreflbr,
and in their debates, their decrees, their writings *
in fhort, by every method by which the public
opinion is capable of distinct expreffion, ft was
raifed as w%h one voice, not only for peace ge*
nerally, b«t for a total difruption from all political ties with Spain.
Such were the chTpofitions of the two parties^
previous to the exchange of the Declarations between the Spanifh Court and our's, Difpofitions
more hoftiie, more incongruous, or more highly
umarg^d with the Spirit of a bitter, perSeverjng,
perSonal rancour, never, pd^taps, were knowia
to exift, fince political antmofities have divided
mankind. It muft have been a fingularly happy
talent in the Britifh Minifter, that could difco*
ver -4   (     ioi     ) lr._
yer the meJUjtt of reconciling theSe two oppofites
againft himSelf, and bringing them to a cordial
coaiefcence on the very queflion, which had the
moft tendency of itfelf to drive them into every
extremity of difunion.
In this poflure of affairs, if ever a caufe apt
peared defperate, it furely was that of Spain at
Paris. Her fituation, iadeed, became evegy day
more critical. Harafied by the demands of
England, whofe ability to enforce a compliance
with them was now apparent—menaced with defection by her allyw:if©r whom fhe had twice fa-
crificed her navy—the reft of Europe occupied
with their own quarrels, fhe found herfelf driven
at laft to the neceffity of meeting the National
Aflembly with a bold face, and provoking a de-
cifion upon the queft^om of the Family Compact.
With this intention a Memorial was prefented
to the Minifters of the Court of France by the
Spanifh Ambaflfydor, on the 16th of June.
Spain, however, had yet to learn what a
powerful auxiliary fhe had in the. Britifh Minifies Some confidence, indeed, fhe nsight have
reafonably placed in him when fhe underftood
his plan for the conduct of this negotiation—
when fhe found he would be content with any
thing he could get by way of apology, no matter how qualified, how explained, or how nugatory. (     102 J)
tory. But that he would fuffer her to hefitate*—
that, twelve days after her principal Minifter at
Madrid had delivered, to the Ambaffadorsrbf all
foreign Courts *, a circumftantiil, digefted,. and
detailed Specification of thofe points to which
fhe was determined to adMiere, if any majritime
power in Europe would efpoufe her quarrel, the
Britifh Minister would have Suffered her with
impunity to deliver a formal requisition to the
Court of France, claiming an immediate compliance with the terms of the Family Compact—
a claim of no lefs import than the junction of
France wHk her whole force—that he would
have Suffered more than two months to elapfe
before any anSwer was given to this requisition^
which time was employed under his very eyes, in
diSpofing the minds oS thoSe who governed the
country to favour the principles on which it
was made—that he would have quietly witnefled
her progrefs in other parts of Europe, and the
fuccefs of her intrigues from Lifbon to the Bal-
tick—were hopes certainly not in reafon, and
Scarcely to be trufted even by the Sanguine credulity of fuperftition itfelf.
* Memorial of the Catholic King, prefcntcd the 4^
of June.
m xxxi. (   103
November 9, 1790.
WHAT method, therefore, did Spain purfue
to avail herfelf of this difpofition, at once haughty and ^accommodating, at once violent and ir-
reSolute, oS the Britifh Minister ? PreciSely the
method he had chalked out for his own conduct:
With this difference, that in regard to time and
circumstances She Suited her own convenience.
A question had ariSen oS infinitely more conSe-
quence to her, that whether fhe fhould make a
conditional conceffion to the Britifh Court, or
whether fhe fhould pay the value of the cargo of
a Britifh fmuggler ? Swayed by the wife counfels
of the French Cabinet, who had previoufly
founded the temper oS that Aflembly in whofe
breaft the mutual hopes of the two Courts were
depofited, aware of the neceffity the Britifh Minifter had impofed upon himfelf of giving up all
pretence to hostility before fhe fhould be neceffi-
tated to give up the Smalleft of her rights, Spain
was Soon convinced of the part it became her
prudence to adopt. Not to be difturbed in the
choice of her time was now the only point of importance.    The great queflion which engrofled
all (    104   )
all her cares was not yet ripe Sor the dedfion fhe
had been obliged to provoke. Precipitation in
the leaft degree would have loft it irrecoverably;
while, on the other hand, an abfolute Senfe of
fafety compelled her, in urging her demands
upon the French nation, to keep pace with the
urgency of thofe advanced by the Britifh Cabinet
upon her. Peremptory language from hence
muft have forced hef into peremptory language,
and hazardous remonstrances, with her ally. The
dilemma was diftreSfing; but in the moment of
decifion the Britifh Minifter deliberated, and
faved her.
When Spain was ready, and had diSpofed aff
matters Sor this experiment by a judicious management of the time of which fhe had been left
the miftrefs, fhe came forward with her concef-
fions, fuch as they were, and offered immediately
to difarm. But here the Britifh Minifter could
not follow her. He was in the embarraffing predicament of having obtained from his adverfaries
all that he had demanded ; and yet on the main
point, namely the preclufion of future dilutes,
of remaining exactly in the fame fpot from whence
he had fet out. He could not therefore difarm
without acknowledging that he might as well
not have armed at all; while he was compelled
to continue armed upon an inverted principle,
and \¥  {   i°5   )   •     .  |||   "_
and for an object which, however neceffary to
his own perfonal vindication, ceafed to be defensive the moment it was diftinguifhed from the
acts of outrage and hostility offered to his Sovereign's flag.
Mark, therefore, the natural and eafy inversion of opinion and of action produced in the
kingdom of France by this obvious change of
That Mr. Pitt was an enemy to their Revolution had been long known to them.    He had
proclaimed it himfelf upon an occafion well remembered, and which reflects a new light upon
the ingenuous fimplicity of his moral character.
The opportunity which, according to his way
of judging of mankind, then prefented itfelf of
extending a divifion of fentiment (certainly a
very material divifion of fentiment) between two
leading members' of Oppofition into an open,
eternal rupture, and of prolonging into anger,
ftubborn  and implacable, the generous vehemence  with which fuch men when they differ
will always debate their  differences,   was not
to be miffed.    A litrie dexterity on his part, he
thought,  would difun'ite them for ever upon all
points.    He  grafped at the occafion with an
eagerneSs little leSs than extravagant.   Utterly
forgetting his public ftation, utterly unmindful
P of '(   ictf   )
of the effect fuch declarations ^muft have m
other quarts, anjjtous alone fo create difunion
among friends, and to fix arid confirm, if He5
could, what in their diffentions might be rfi#-
mentary or doubtful, he came forward as the
Minifter of the Crown of Great Britain, with
ii& Sentiments on the internal proceedings oS a
State, wkh which he had fMmSelf connected M»
country by Solemn treaties; of a State, whofe
nearer friendfhip it had become his intdfeft to
cultivate for that very caufey and on thofe
very grounds whfch he had felected for breaking all meafures with her, and originating an
entirely new Spirit of national inveteracy and
,At this time, however, there exlfted no probability of a rupture with England; and the effect of his precipitate and unbidden declaration
on the minds of men in Prance was limited to
©pinions merely peribjflal to himfelf. They faw
nothing in his principles either to awaken their
fears, or impede their progrefs. They Waited
until he fhould be difpofed to give them effect
and prevalence. Even the dispute with Spain
©ccafioned at firft but a partial alarm. Whatever meaturesof precaution they found it'neceffary to purfue, it was precaution without hostility. -^Eoo much enthuffafts for Suspicion, too
Speculative f       i lo7 > ;
fpecu^tive to comprehend thafy.a nation whicjb
glories in its freedom can wifti to preclude others
from the enjoyment of its blejpngs, they fcorned
to implicate the country which had taught them
its firft leffons, vin the guilt of its Mkufter.
They clung fo the la$ hope that held out to
tjiem a poffibilit^" of frie$$fhip and union with
England. gp
But not long were they fuffered to remain in
a fentiment wh^ch a Salutary policy might have
improved to fuch infinite advantage! The Britifh Minifter was committed on the iffue of his
negotiation with Spain : he was to recover, at any
rifque, the pernicious error with which he had
originally commenced it. He looked no longer
to foreign affairs. The precipating his country
into a general war with the maritime powers
ihrujn^ in his mind into nothing when flaked
againft the popularity he had rifqued. That very
war, the profpect of which but a few days before had feared and terrified him—ghat-very
war, to avoid which h§ had receded from his
two. original prppofitions, permitting^ in the firft
place, a difcuffion of five months on the queflion
of fatisfaction, although he had begun with declaring that he would have fatisfaction previous
to any difcuffion—and affenting in the next to
the adequacy of that fatisfaction, although it
P 2 pre- (    io8   )
precluded no future difputes—that very war, I
repeat, he now found himfelf obliged, not for
his country but himfelS, to provoke and accelerate under every additional   circumftance of
disadvantage.   His armaments accordinglj^were
redoubled aSter the exchange oS the Declarations.    It Was then that he began to preSs his
other points with a degree of pertinacity perfectly inconfiftent wkh his former forbearance.
In this extremity France could no longelr remain
neuter.   The eyes of the Naftonal Affembly, as
well as of the country at large, began to open
upon thfe conduct. They faw, or imagined they
faw,—and never Surely did the behaviour of an
Englifh Mtirifter fo much warrant the conclufion,
—purpofes very different,  and infinitely more
extenfive, gradually develope themfelves in his
proceedings. They remembered, but gloried in
remembering, their own conduct in regard to
America, and fancied #e moment of their diS-
tractions preSented an opportunity to retaliate,
which  thoSe who guided the Britifh counfefcr*
would Scarcely mifs :   that the attack meditated
againft Spain, was but the commencement of a
plan, the object of which was the commerce, the
colonies, and the maritime power of their own
country: that when Spain had fallen, as fall fhe
muft, if Angle and unfupported in fuch a con-
^ teft, (    *°9    It'     '   -    Il
teft, their turn would come next. The encreafe
of his armament, after he had declared that, in
the way of redrefs for injuries, he had nothing
further to expect from Spain, confirmed their
reafoning; and as far as paffions and refent-
ments could operate, thefe were fufficiently roufed
by the ungenerous attempt, as they deemed it,
to plunder them of their poffeffions in fuch a
moment, and to thwart the fettlement of their
; . ;x; .;", No. xxxn.   ;^
November II, 1790.
WHEN once the tone was given—when fuf-
picion and miftruft had once begun to work
upon the vivacity of the French character, it
is not to be told how rapidly thefe impreffions
were received in every circle. The profpect
of peace, which had been raifed by the exchange
of the Declarations, foon vanifhed^ In the interval of its continuance, however, the National
Afiembiy had pledged themfefves to maintain
the Family Compact under certain limitations,
A SenSe of common danger taught  them its
value .    {   Ho   )
value more and more. What one day was a
principle oSgood faith, became the next a principle of Self-prefervation. By degrees, the moft
opppfite and jarring factions began to co-ope^
rate. Even the people, for this once were fatif-
fied witji their Minifters; and the man, who but
a few weeks^ before would have beei\ exhibited
upon a lamp-pott for hazarding a proportion
the moft remotely favourable to Spain, w,as now
extolled to the fkies, as pofleffing every quality
that can diftinguifh the Patriot and the Statesman, Sor his fhare in the renovation of the
Thus, at the moment in which this formidable confederacy was at the point of difiolution
from caufes peculiar to itfelf, when the whole
circle of political events could offer but one to
Save feftf t. Pitt condefcendingly brought {that
event to the door of his adverfaries ; namely,
the necefgty of a mutual union to the individual
Safety of each country. Actuated by a wife and
comprehenfive forefight, and not by a Spirit of
«jjfputa|ious and wrangling Sop^ftry, had he
preferved, and kept together, all the points for
which he was cojolending, jp as to drive Spain
at once into an explicit avowal of thofe to which
fhe mgant fo adhere—Had Mr. Fitzherbert
been inftructed to menace her with his return to
England England on the rejectidh of his propoMs, duflhjg
the time that fhe was remonstrating and meri?cV
rialHhig the French Ministers, orie of thefe two
things muft ha¥e followed :—Either he would
have obtained his cdffvention at a much Iefe
expence to ihe country, and a mue'h leSs tfetrfc
ment to its commerce, and the Family Compact would have been ftifl left open to Subsequent
^pfews; or if Spain had determined upon war,
that queflion muft rhave been prefftd on to its
decifibn at a time when the National Affembly
would have infallibly rejected it in toto. A wife
Minifter for England would have given no
room for the management by which it was Secured. Thte1 requisitions of Spain Sor affiftance,
and more particularly the fafl, preSented on the
16th of June, was tantamount to a declaratirjh
of war; and as fuch, would have been considered, under all the advantages Great Britain
then pofieffed, by a Minifter juftly refolute,
and whoSe Spirit 5and decifion had Some better
fou^BaKon than the heavy panegyric of a newspaper. When a nation demands Succours from
her allies, and upon hesitation renews the demand with a menace that, unleSs it be immediately complied with, me will renounce her
alliance and Seek others, is it a time Sor diScuS-
fion, distinctions, and a timid, temporising nego-
i v tiation ? < f"1 II2" 5 1
tiation i It was, indeed, if ever, the moment
for vigour, and a rapid decifion; and for founding upon the difunion of our enemies, inftead of
expiring from their fears, a new sera of prosperity and  Splendour Sor this counjry.    For
France, as we have Seen, difliking any Sort of
war, and protesting againft an offenfive one, was
ready to * renounce a treaty of which fhe then
confidered   nothing   but   the obligation that
would have involved her in it; and Spain, dif-
gufted, as fhe would have had reaSon to be, with
the want of faith in her ally, muft have conceded
every  thing we could afk in any way.    The
circumstances of Europe were little favourable
to her fearch of other allies (with which fhe had
menaced the Court of France), if her object
had been refiftance to our demands.    What
muft   have    followed ?   By   temperate    and
healing counfels, the neceffity which had driven
Spain to   Submiffion,  might have  Soon  been
Softened into preSerence, and a Sriendfhip, infinitely beneficial to both countries, have arifen
from  it.    The object was  Seafible :   it  was
nothing  new.    Political  and commercial  ties
with Spain would have had but to Seek their old
channel, whence the SucceSsSul arms of France,
when France poffefied all her energies, and her
ftill more fucceSsful negotiations, from the treaty
of (    "3    )
of thedPyrennees to the Family Compact, had
diverted themr Thai compact at an end,
one branch- of whkh we know is commercial,
and the balance of its advantages wholly ag^kift
Spain, and ended, as it would have been, under
circumstances at once galling to the pride, and
often five to the honourable gallantry of the
Spanifh nation, it was not Ruffia, it Was not
Sweden, or any other of the neutral Poweis that
fhe was tofeek ; it was Great Britain that Stood
next in her view, as the country to which it-.
would be moft her interest to attach herSelf.
Nearly to this length fbc went in her declaration
to Monfieur de Montmorim Gueat Britain is
not to be excepted from the fair meaning of the
following words, when Spain threatened France
with other treaties and " different". alliances—
u The ties of blood and perfonal friendfhip
which unite our'two Sovereigns, and the reciprocal interest of two nations, united by nature,
fhall be refpecled iri" all new.arrangements* as Sar
as circumftanees willpermit."'—Let this be coupled
with what we know relative to the Commercial
Treaty, which Mr. Eden was to have negotiated
with Spain in the year 1787, and whieh failed,
as it is generally admitted, only Srom its injurious tendency to the interefts of France ; it is
obvious, that when France had let her at liberty
Q^ m from (    »5   7
from thofe engagements, every impediment to
a connection at once the moft profitable, the
moft honourable, and the moft ratronal, of any
that Europe could offer to us, was wholly done
away ; and a new world thrown open to Britifh
enterprize, not upon the precarious fecurity of
extorted and unintelligible conventions; but
upon the fanction of reciprocal interefts, of
a policy well underftood, and of a national
fidelity grounded upon mutual confidence and
Such had been the benefits of a diffolution of
the Family Compact: benefits attainable, as all
circumftances convince me, without having re-
courfe to war; and evidently more worth the
rifque of it than all the conceifions of this ftrange
Convention, enumerated an hundred fold. I
have heard of Mr. Pitt's fortune—Certainly if
he were endowed with a capacity to draw the fair;
profit from opportunities which Fortune has la-
vifhed before him with open hands, the period
of his adminiftrarion would be evidently conSpi-
cuous in the page of history. But never, furely,
did a Minifter fo abufe her indulgence as he
has done, in his late proceedings with the Court
of Spain! The mifchief of the Family Compact*, in its full malignity, has not yet been felt
by this country. Perhaps the day of experiment (    "5   )|
merit i* not very diftant. Until then fand long
may be the interval!) we can but Speculate upon
the extent and conferences of a fault, than
which, in the eye of a Statefman, one more cen-
furable never was committed in politics.
November 16, 1790.
HAVING thus reftored to Spain her principal
ajlly, juft as he was going to war with her, it
were next to be»confidered, whether he had been
equally provident for his, country in fecuring the
co-operation of her own. I am aware, however,
that independent of the many difficulties of this
Subject, the temporary fufpenfion of our differ
rences (for that this Convention is a final fettle-
ment of them, no man in his fenfes believes),
will confiderably diminifh its immediate interest,
When peace appears eftabli/hed, Sew men will be
diSpoSed to Speculate upon the doubt whether,
in the event of war, we were likely to have derived much effectual affiftance from Holland?
There are, however, fome general confiderations
which may not be wholly undeferving our atten-
$jpn. I am one of thofe, whofe expectations from-
Q2 a Dutch (   u6   )
a Dutch alliance have ever been of tile moft
Sanguine; but, I am confident that, to give us
ks due benefits, a judicious management of the
habits and difpofitions of men, the appearance
of moderation in our views, and the profpeot of
Some ultimate advantage to the Republic, are
highly effential. It is a nation that will not be
inconfiderately driven into the meaSures of any
foreign power whatever. It is true, that the Sudden exerciSe of a mighty force delivered Holland
from the influence of France ; but I much doubt
whether, under the circumftances of either
country, the continuance, or the appearance of
coercive mearares, is the right method of keeping her ftcady in the oppofite Scale. Fear is, at
all times, but a bad incitement to active friend-
fhip. In our connections with Holland, I am
fure it is wholly a new ingredient. The ufe of
terror, as an irrftrument of political views, i?
jtrnply that of prevention. In the cafe of Holland, it has nothing to act upon: the French
faction is no more ; there is no trace of it; but
certainly there are very ferious difcontents. Its
effects, therefore, muft be doubly prejudicial.
Men muft have fome principle to unite upon.
If any thing could re-afifetnble the difpeHed
members of that faction, and give them a
Common catrfe, it eertatnly would be the betray*
ing ( n7 ) '  j
wig a fcheme of governing Holland by a Pruffian
This principle will be found to apply very
ftrongly to Mr Pkt's fyftem in regard to thai
country. With Pruffia at his back, he counted
upon her not daring torefufe fulfilling the Stipule
tlons of the treaty of {787. But it may be worth
considering, whether if Holland had joined him
with her fhips under thefe impreffions, fhe would
have joined him with that without which her
fhips are ufelefs hulks upon the ocean ; I mean
the Spirit of her men, and the zealous indefa~
tigable perSeverance of her national character.
This, however, is by no means the only defect
of fuch a fyftem. To govern Holland through
Pruffia, an Englifh Minifter muft neceffarily Subject himfelf to two evils. The operative influence of a land army being more direct and
leSs doubtful than that of a naval force, he muft,
in the firft place, Submit to appear in a fubordi-
nate character at the Hague. He muft quietly
Suffer his land ally to purSue every means of in-
creafing his authority over their counfels. In
the next, he muft connect himSelf with the Court
of Berlin on principles which the natural interefts
of his country will Scarcely warrant. I profefs
mySelS a Sriend to that ancient fyftem of continental connections which had for its object refinance
■PHMMH (    n8    )
fiftance to die inordinate aggrandifement of thr
HouSe of Bourbon. But when the head of that
Houfe prefents to mankind the Spectacle oS awful humiliation which it does, at prefent, I muft
own that I fee nothing but madneSs in the coun-
iels which condemn this impoverifhed country,
to follow the King, of Pruffia to Reichenbach
and Breflau, and to Support his idle menaces at
the Court of Peterfburgh. Involving, in thi$
manner, our kilerefts with his, although indeecj
k were fjsir from an eafy tafk to fhew in what
one advantage of his fuccefs we fhould participate, we involve our honour too. We are
fledged to fhare his fortune; and, fuch is the
fatality !—have in one inftance borne more than
our Share of his difgraccs. This Monarch did
once fancy himfelf at the head of Europe, and
appeared indeed to act as if he was. He has
ended, however, in much charity with fome of
his enemies, To the Emperor he has made a
prefent of his revolted provinces >in Brabant; he
has enabled him to fupprefs a fpirit of dangerous infurrection in others. To put his injuries
pn a footing with his benefits, he has done this,
and given him his vote in the Electoral College
fceudes, as the reward for his neutrality (moft
falutary neutrality to that Monarch) in the Turk-
Jib war.   With regard to Poland, he has nearly
ruinecj ruined his influence in that quarter, by acting
upon a miftaken view of the politics of Europe,
which had perfuaded him that he had then an
opportunity of fucceeding in his defigns upon
fome of the remaining dominions of that Republic.   On the fide of Ruffia,  both he and his
ally of Great Britain have met with the moft
mortifying contempt. To this point,  therefore^
my obfervation fairly applies.   It is a fact which
I call upon the Minister's friends to deny, that
the King of Pruffia, upon receiving the dignified
anSwer of Catherine to his haughty propofals,
namely, that fhe would decide upon peace or war9
under the circumftances which fhould make either
appear advifeable to herfelf, without a/king the per-
mijjion of any foreign power, did actually, in vehement indignation, apply to the Britifh Court for
a fleet of men of war to be fent, forthwith, to the
Baltick ; and that, to obviate the objection with
regard to the latenefs of the feafon (of his right
to demand the fhips he had no doubt), he pro-
pofed the Angular expedient of wintering them
at DantMck, in order that they fhould be ready
for early operations in the enfuing SeaSon.   The
Britifh Minifter has not been quite ill-judging
enough to comply with this wild demand ; and,
if report fpeaks true, has diffatisfied his ally not
a little by demurring, to it.   The fufpenfien of*
his (     120     )
his difpute with Spain happens fortunately enough
for him in this reSpect, as it is but fair to infer
that his refufal to comply with the reqoifitkm of
the King of Pruffia would have prevented that
Monarch from co-operating very cordially
with him at the Hague, in forwarding the equipment of any armament he might demand under the Imputations of the defensive Treaty.
November 20, 1790.
IF the policy of the Britifh Minifter, however, towards Holland is extremely questionable, that wkh refpect to Sweden is moft mif»
chievous, weak, and difreputable, whether con-
fidered with a view to the principle of his engagements with her, the circumftances under
which he broke them, or the manner in which
his adverfary has profited from his faults.
Had he been called upon, either by fome
preffing national neceffity, or tempted by any
plaufible profpect of national interest, Mr. Pitt
would fcarcely have Scrupled to proceed in the
regular way, by negotiating a treaty with the
King 121
King of Sweden to Secure his object upon Some
permanent principle of reciprocity : he would
afterwards either have laid that treaty before
Parliament„or have informed Parliament fimply
of the fact, and Stated reaSons of State for withholding the production of its articles. With a
different purpofe to anfwer, he has followed a
very different courfe. Not content with involving himfelf deeply in the continental fchemes of
the King of Pruffia by a treaty which is to fur-
nifh that monarch with Englifh money, or Eng-
lifh foldiers, at his option, Mr. Pitt contrives
an ingenious method of granting him, circuit-
oufly (wonderfully fond is this Minifter of coming at his point by thefe means), the difpofal of
a very considerable part of the jEnglifh naval
forces. Directly to promife him that when he
fhould attack the EmpreSs of Ruffia by land,
Great Britain would fend a fleet to the Baltick to
afiift his operations, would have been too much.
The country would not have borne fuch a profligate engagement, by which her blood and her
treaSures would be lavifhed, to gratify the little
paffions of a foreign defpot. They concert a
better plan. The King of Pruffia, with the af-
fiftance of Subsidies, firft a clofe connection with Sweden. Great Britain keeps in the
back ground; does not accede to this treaty, or
R. admit (      122      )
admit the'accefiion of Sweden to her own treaties
with Holland, or with Pruffia, but Stipulates Secretly with the latter, that under certain circum-
ftances fhe will affift his confederate, the King
of Sweden, with a powerful fleet. The effect of
this curious fcheme will foon appear. Its end is
obvious; its principle cannot be fufficiently reprobated. Whether, under any circumftances,
it were expedient to enter into defenfive engagements with Sweden, is furely a very ferious quef-
tion oS general politics; but When a Minifter
takes upon himfelf to decide that queflion in the
affirmative, the extent and purpoSe oS Such engagements Surely becomes a consideration oS Sufficient form a folemn national com-
pact by itfelf, inftead of being Snuggled under
a fecret article in another treaty, the avowed
object of which is wholly different. Such a proceeding deferves no better character than that of
a direct, palpable, unqualified fraud upon Parliament and the country.
Next, as to the breach of them. Still avoiding to come forward in perfon, during the life of
Jofeph II. the King of Pruffia, acting by his
fubfidies to Sweden, excites that monarch to
break the peace with the EmpreSs, and to attack
her with a considerable land army, and the whole
of his maritime force.   The correfponding part
■ ef this manoeuvre is played off by the Britifh
Minifter at Copenhagen, who menaces the Court
of Denmark with hostilities if fhe aflitts Ruffia,
as fhe is bound to do by treaties.—The war begins : it were needlefs to go into the detail of
it. The commonest obferver is in poffeffion of
the principal events in the naval campaigns of
the King of Sweden ; of the various proofs of
his undaunted refolution; of bis alternate mif-
fortunes and fuccefs; until a courage, rafh and
defperate, as it has been deemed, but rafh and
defperate alone in trusting to the promifes of the
Britifh Minifter, involved him in.a Situation of
extreme perSonal peril, from which nothing but
a Providence, as wonderful as his genius, could
have faved him. In that fearful moment, he call
a long look for the Succours which had been
promiSed him, to whet the ardour of his enter-
prize, and to tempt his hopes of revenge as well
as glory. Not a frigate did we arm in his caufe 1
Thus deferted on all fides, and left to the re-
fources of his own mind alone, he put his fate to
the hazard of one bold exertion, and opened a
way through his enemies to his capital, where
he arrived with fcarcely any thing left him but
his fword.
That great monarch is not Silent as to the cauSe
of his misfortunes.    He makes no fcruple to
R 2 declare, (     124     )
declare, that Great Britain had promifed fo join
him early in the feafon, with a force that would
have given him the decided superiority in the
Baltick ; that otherwife he never would have entered the Gulf of Wybours;.
Having prefumed for fo long on the public
attention, I am now anxious to comprefs the remainder of what I have to offer within limits
that may juftify its indulgence. Much important matter, therefore, muft neceffary eScape me ;
among others, the enquiry, generally, into the
policy of defenfive engagements with the Court
of Stockholm. But, to ftate fhortly the refult of
what I have been able to obServe on that Subject,
I am clear, that in one point of view, and only
one, is there common fenfe in forming fuch a
connection ; alfo that the mode of it fhould have
been by a treaty with mutual Stipulations, under
which we might have availed ourfelves of the
principle of reciprocity. We had an object of
much importance to gain, and much to offer
for that object, A wife Minifter would have
made our alliance the price of a renunciation, on
the part of Sweden, of the celebrated northern
confederacy, under the effects of which we
Smarted Severely during the laft, and fhall Smart
Still more Severely, perhaps, in any Suture war.
Independent of the weight of his own friend*
fhip, M       « I25 }      -
fhip, the Britifh Minifter did not come empty
handed to Sweden.    Whatever difguft may have
Subfifted between the Courts of Peterfburg and
London, the connection had never been wholly
broken off.—While we had entered into no engagements pofitively hostile to her, the wiSe and
politic Princefs who governs, and will continue
to govern the North, Saw, through the perplexities oS our foreign System, Some glimmering rays
of light by which Great Britain, in better times,
might find her way to thofe old habits and old
friends, under the aufpices of which her prosperity and pre-eminence in Europe had been firft
obtained.    For thofe times fhe had reServed her-
felf.    Deciding, therefore, upon a facrifice of
So much importance to Sweden, the Britifh Minifter might have demanded with reafon a Similar pledge of her fidelity.    But it is eaSy to perceive that fuch an engagement would have favoured the views of Pruffia  but in a collateral
degree ; and Pruffia was to be first confulted.
Bound hand and  foot, and delivered over to
Frederick William, the Englifh nation was compelled to follow  his  Standard unconditionally,
without the proSpect df any one folitary benefit
to herfelf, whether of power, of commerce, or
pf navigation.
But SI ( i26 )
But whatever doubts, to fay no more, we may
entertain of thofe engagements with Sweden in
point of policy, there can be none on the conduct it behoved us to follow, when once the public faith was pledged for their performance.
They who Seek to diftinguifh between the honour and the interests of a nation, and who
would oppofe the captious interpretations of political expediency to the Simplicity of good faith,
treat of a Subject they are incapable of comprehending. They know neither the value of the
honour they are fo ready to forfeit, nor of the
benefits they propofe to themfelves by its fur-
render. Still worfe is that Minifter who provokes the alternative, and impofes upon his
country the hard neceffity of a choice in which
She can neither adopt the one without lofs, nor
the other without difgrace.
One point alone was wanting to complete that
difgrace ! Abandoned by the Britifh Minifter in
the moment of his distress, it remained with
the King of Sweden to fhew his fenfe of this
conduct by fome mark of contempt, which
fhould embrace the opinions of Europe, and
conciliate the Suffrages of posterity. He did
fo. He made his peace without imparting one
Syllable oS his intentions to Pruffia who Subsidized him, or to the Britifh Cabinet who had
Sacrificed ■ ( ^7 )  ■ e ._ '
Sacrifized Ruffia to him. But, to point the indignity more directly to Great Britain, of all the
powers in Europe, which did he choofe for his
mediator ? Spain. Do we afk of what description were the belligerent powers, that Spain
fhould manifest fuch an interest in their reconciliation ? One we fhall find to be, in effect, the
ally of Great Britain, and the other likely to become its enemy in the event of hostilities with
Spain. Thus, whether we follow him to Madrid,
or to Paris, or to Stockholm, we fhall find the Britifh Minifter baffled or infulted in every quarter.
F'lattery finds out a Soothing balm for every mind.
But a Minister's character in foreign Courts,
where men have nothing either to gain or to lofe
by their opinions, is known by his effect with
them. I try him at Madrid, by his Counter-
Declaration ; at Paris, by the Family Compact 5
in the North, by the peace between Sweden and
Ruffia, made without his confent or his knowledge, directly againft his interests, and negotiated under the Sanction of his avowed adverSary,
who had given him notice that fhe meant to
Search Europe for alliances to oppofe him. It is
there that I read with fhame the degree to which
my country is degraded, when fhe fuffered an
ally to be literally forced out of her hands at
the only moment in which he began to  be
Serviceable, (      128      )
Serviceable, by that very power against whofe
intrigues and machinations his affiftance would
have been chiefly required.
To Sum up, therefore, in one fhort point of
view, the Situation in which we Stand in Europe,
as reSulting from our recent differences with the
Court of Spain.—The great branches of the
Houfe of Bourbon are united. Ruffia is decidedly our enemy ; and is fecure at all times of
Sweden and Denmark, if not for an immediate
alliance with the Houfe of Bourbon, certainly
for the re-union of the neutral confederacy, the
effects of which we muft feel infinitely more
when the head of that confederacy connects it-
Self directly with an adverfe power. With a
force thus confolidated againft us, we want but
enemies may avail themfelves when it fuits their
convenience. This the glorious Minifter presents to his country under the name of *c A
CONVENTION for terminating all past differences, and for Stopping up the Source of all disputes in future :" I fuppofe on the fame principle that certain atrocious acts of Parliament,
paffed at a period when Kings were more profligate than their Ministers, were ufually named in
their feveral preambles—cc Acls for quieting the
confciences and fecuring the liberties of the Subject."
But I
It/ I |I29      ) H;
But here I refign him to other hands. My plan
for theSe diScuffions extends no further than his
Negotiations; in them I have unanfwerably proved, that the BrUifh Minifter, prefuming upon
abilities which belong not to his meafure of
mind, and entangling himfelf with an experienced StateSman, who managed him as he pleated
from February to July, failed moft lamentably
in the firft great object of his armament, namely,
the obtaining an adequate fatisfaction for the inSult offered to the Britifh flag. How he has Succeeded in his Second, in the definitive arrangement by which all difputes with Spain are to be
for ever precluded, may poffibly be the Subject
of a future fpeculation. For the prefent, I deliver him up to the Severer fcrtftiny oS Parliament, where he muft produce his negotiations,
his offensive and defensive treaties, and all thofe
documents offtate which ferve to afcertain what
it is more than ever neceffary for us to know,
the relative Situation of Great Britain with regard
to foreign powers. I leave him, with this general opinion of his Convention, which I would
pledge myfelf, if the pledge were of any
weight, to make appear;—that, never fince
Conventions were in ufe, was there onesfram-
S or '■""    .    (   PI  \
F    1   N    I   M    fY - - -


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items