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This is the mode, in which French philosophers reason ; such their argument, and such their proof. In a word, these enlighteners of the human race, either know every thing ; or, whatever they are ignorant of-(and they are ignorant of an infinite number of inestimable acquisitions)—is not worth knowing. To these men, we may, but too justly, apply the indignant language of Demosthenes, when he says,
« Αντι τα αποδεναι, σοφισματα ευρισκεσι, και παραγραφας, και προφασεις, πονηροτατοι ανθρωπων και αδικωτατοι.”
And as the language of Demosthenes is not very intelligible to the generality of our American youth, we will interpret the same for their edification.
“ Instead of giving a plain, direct, and open avowal of their sentiments, they make use of sophisms, and glosses, and exceptions, and pretences, and fraudulent declarations. Such is the character of these, (French philosophers ;)-the most wicked, vile, injurious, and unjust, of men.”
(To be continued.)
An INQUIRY INTO OUR FOREIGN RELATIONS, &C.
(Continued from Vol. 2. No. 3. page 165.)
is pourtrayed with the Author's usual spirit and force ; his concluding words upon this subject, are,
“ The very war, which is now raging between England and France, is a war of independence, and indignant freedom against an ambition, that strives to oppress and humble. Give to France the possession of England, or what is the same, in effect, a naval superiority and the liberty of America is, that moment, a tale. Realize the idea, of the veterans, who destroyed, by military magic, on the plains of Austerlitz, a coalition great and powerful, added to the legions, embodied and disciplined in France, shipped, with all their terrible machinery, on board myriads of transports, and covered and assisted by the floating thunders of British battle-ships ; and the conquest of America, of India, of all that is worth the labor of conquest, on the globe, must find its greatest opposition in the turbulence of winds, and the restlessness of the ocean."
He, then, adverts to the “strutting and bullying language,” used by our administration, concerning British aggressions, which, it cannot be denied, have been both many and grievous ;--its tame submission to the repeated insults of Spain ;and the miserable movements of congress, which engendered the non-importation act ;-which last political maneuvre has reduced us, he says, "to the alternative, either to go to war with her-i. e. Britain)—for which, to be sure, we are in a fine situation; or else, to repeal what has been done in the mad moments of Congress, and talk in a tone, in every respect, different from that, which our administration have made it their constant practice to hold. The first must involve us in ruin,--and the last gives us a new propulsion into the mire of political infamy. This is presidential state-logic; he, that frames the metaphysical finery, creates a dilemma, and hangs us and himself upon the horns of it, for the world to point at with the finger of scorn.”
The author, then, declares in a tone and manner, worthy of a native American, who feels the glow of patriotism, wildthrobbing at his heart, that, if Britain shews a determined inclination to injure this country, she will find our citizens bold and alert to support their national independence.
The instructions of our Secretary of State, the ingenious Mr. Madison, to Mr. Monroe, the minister of the court of St. James, dated April 12th, 1805-are, most clearly, and satisfactorily proved to contain false principles, and incorrect statements, as to the indisputable rights of neuteral nátions. This subject is treated, at some length, and with great force and ingenuity; the author plainly shows, that Mr. Madison's assertions are disproved by-First-the sentiments of the Jurists,-Secondly—the uniform decisions of the British prizecourts ;-and-Thirdly,—in addition to the sentiments of Grotius, Vattel, Puffendorf, &c.-the authority of Mr. Jefferson himself, who, in his letter to M. Genet, dated July 24th, 1793.-says,
“I believe, it cannot be doubted, but that, by the general law of nations, the goods of a friend, found in the vessels of an enemy, are free, and the gonds of an enemy found in the vessels of a friend are lawful prize.”—“Further down”—“therefore, we have nothing to oppose to their-(the British)-acting according to the general
law of nations, that enemy's goods are lawful prize, though found in the bottoms of a friend."
The question of neutral rights, about which our administration has talked so much, is examined very fully, and with great acuteness, and the result is thus concisely summed up in a note.
« The advocates for neutral rights, pushed as far as interest can carry them, do not seem to be aw.re of the inconsistency of their arguments. As long as peace lasts, there is none of all this neutral colonial trade : but when war begins, it is thrown open. France suffers it, only, when her necessities drive her to it.-She does it, in order to save her colonies. Therefore, necessity is the ground of right, thus far, for neutrals. If Great-Britain considers this neutral trade as ruinous to her, and resolves to prohibit it, because of her necessities driving her to such conduct.-If she says, that, in acting thus, she prohibits from necessity, what France grants from the same cause, the whole neutral world is in a flame.French necessity leads to right, British necessity leads to wrong: We hold to that, and denounce this, because we make money in the one case, and do not in the other."
The decided personal hatred of our present administration towards Britain is, indignantly, exposed and reprobated-nor is the non-importation act treated with less severity. The violence and folly of Senator Smith, relating to this subject, are thus forcibly lashed.
“ This is the plenary dullness of political heresy ; brought to life on the muds of the Patapsco, and sublimed into unblushing hardihood, amidst custom-house bonds, debentures, and all the other trick-trackery of pseudo-neutral merchants. I hope it is no disparagement to this gentlemen, to put his assertions in company with the authority of Vattel—who is quoted, in order to show, that Mr. Senator Smith, and, indeed, all the non-importation statesman, had not, to borrow a phrase from Mr. Randolph, passed the hornbook of politics."
He, then, treats, with sovereign contempt all the bravadoes of the Jacobins, in this country, as to the injury, which they can inflict upon Britain, in the event of going to war with her; and particularly, reprobates that base and fraudulent measure, the confiscation of British property ;-he, then, shows the inevitable consequences to America, resulting from a war with Britain, who—"may lay under contribution every town in
the United States, that is accessible by water, or, if she is wrought up to a bloody vengeance, she may blow them from their foundations."
The defenceless state of America is, now, adverted to; and it is shewn, that we have no navy, no seamen, no fortifications, nothing prepared to meet the enemy, thus—"administration are consistent in their æconemy, to the last.—They always work, whether it be for defence, or for glory, in the cheapest way possible, selling reputation and durable good, for the savings of that miserable parsimony that first degrades, and, then, ruins, a nation.”
The author, then, examines the effects likely to be produced on Britain by the non-importation act;-he says,“I will not make any extracts from the English Gazettes to come at the knowledge of the sentiments of the people ; for these gazettes are apt to speak of us with an ignorant asperity.”
We deem-it incumbent upon us, since we declare, what we have, ourselves, seen and heard, and what we know to be true, to remark,—that all ranks of people in Britain, from the prince down to the peasant, appear to be, most profoundly ignorant of our situation, both individually and collectively.--Not, even, the British statesmen form ought bearing the least resemblance to a correct notion of our actual condition.
The Americans are, generally, considered by the British, and, indeed, by all foreigners, as divided into two main bodies,-one, the British party,—and the other, the French faction ;-as if, we were, merely, an excrescence of France and of Britain.-But the truth is,--that, by far, the great majority of the American people are adherents, neither to the French faction, nor to the British party ;-but are, purely American, glowing with all that patriotic ardour and enthusiasm, for the maintenance of the safety and the honour of their own country, which, alone, renders men worthy to live in their native land. And the apparent leaning of these men, either to Britain, or to France, under certain circumstances, is not owing to any influence, of British or of French interests, over American councils; but, because, under those circumstances, it happens, that the best interests of America coincide with those of Britain, or of France.
It was, from the purest and the most profound views of patriotism and policy, watching over and providing for the national benefit of America, that the Washington Cabinet issued the proclamation of American neutrality, at the commencement of the bloody conflict between Britain and France, towards the close of the last century. As it happened, this declaration of neutrality was as serviceable to Britain as it was to America ; but if the existing circumstances had produced a quite different event, and thrown the benefit into the French scale, the Washington Cabinet, as true patriots, ought to have, and would have issued their proclamation of American neutrality; because it is the sacred duty of every American statesman, first, to consult for the benefit of his own country ;-and to consider the advantages of any other nation, as only secondary, and subordinate to the interests of his own native land.
But to return, the author quotes the words of a pamphlet entitled-Observations on Randolph's speech, by the author of—“War in disguise."-.e. Mr. Stephens, the brother-inlaw of Mr. Wilberforce, -as is, generally, understood on the other side of the Atlantic,--in order to point out the effect produced on Britain by the non-importation act.
« In the former case,' (i. e. if the non-importation bill be past) " I hesitate not to say, that it makes your compliance, consistently with any regard to the dignity and honour of this great nation, absolutely impossible.
« What! is a rod to be put into the hands of a foreign minister, to whip us into submission ; and are we broadly and coarsely to sell our maritime rights, for the sake of passing off a little haberdashery along with them !!!
“ Are we to make a lumping pennyworth to the buyers of our leather wares, our felt and tin wares, and the other commodities enumerated in this insolent bill, by tossing our honour, our justice, and our courage, also, into the parcel!!! I would not consent to disparage even the quality of our manufactures, much less, of our public-inorals, by so shameful a bargain."
That we have, however, just causes of complaint against Britain, for the injuries, which she has inflicted upon us, the author contends for, with great strength and spirit. The chief of these outrages are --First --impressing our seamen.