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cabinet. He united nations, the most discordant in their interests, by availing himself of their predominant passions. These pahions were, in England as well as in Holland, a spirit of independence in property, religion, and government. He alarmed the european states for their general safety, and, in order to repress the ambition of France, taught them the system of the balance of power,
Marlborough and Eugene did more. The first hy manners the most conciliatory and seducing, and a temper superiour to all irritation, gained every foreign power with whom he treated : the latter cooperated with him in all his views : both were agreed upon a system, which might be faid, in some measure, to control the accidents of war by general principles. They united the financial credit of England, and of Holland, with the military force of the german empire.
It required, nevertheless, the capacity and perseverance of William, fuftained by the utmost efforts of those generals, effectually to resist the ambition of Lewis xiv, and repress the impulse, which he had given to the pride and spirit of the french people. That monarch, great and venerable in the eyes of his subjects, even in the midst of his greatest distresses, had taught them to consider his glory, and the very reverses of his fortune, as their own. But, the succeeding reigns of the regent and Lewis xv added nothing either to the glory or the folidity of the french monarchy. The magnificence and diffipation of the court, though they served to amuse the nation, yet left it, in reality, only the empty distinction of presiding over the fashions of Europe ; while rival and inferiour states acquired wealth, importance, and fame.
The revolution in America, which the french court had imprudently favoured, by reaction struck the crown from the head of Lewis xvi. A thousand causes conspired to cverthrow the monarchy. The doctrine of representation and taxation became tashionable in France. After the ineffectual convocation of the states general, the constituent and legislațive assemblies followed. The aflignats were struck, and the throne was, at once, divested of the two great powers, that had sustained it for ages : the right of coining, collecting, and disposing of the money of the ftate; and the faculty, which the court poffeffed, of directing, through the medium of the fashion, and tone the national character. These respective prerogatives constitute the reins, by which every government is able to rule or restrain the people. If these curbs are broken, or put into other hands, a revolution neceffarily follows. In France, more than in any other country of Europe, it may be afferted, that public opinion has always supported, and, in some measure, conitituted the very ellence of government. Even in articles of decoration and taste, fathion ailumes the character of rage, and almost of madness. When this rage, converted into a new channel by the diffusion of commerce and knowledge, had seized the whole body of the people in pursuit of liberty, it's violence knew no bounds, and it became literally madness. To such at: tacks of moral and political phrenzy, their greateit historians have remarked, that the french have been subject, in different periods of time*.
* See particularly the history of France, by Mr. Wraxall, which relates the great political events in the order of cause and effect, and delineates, throughout, the genius, spirit, and character of the french nation. This work, to which we readily acknowledg“ great obligations, is replete with inftruction, at all times curious anu important; but in the present peculiarly interesting and seasonable.
There was one restraint capable of moderating it's fury: bat that retrais had been surrendered or usurped, when the constituent assembly created paper money hypothecated on plunder, instead of conftitutional taxation. The convulsions, which succeeded to this event in France, were, in fact, only the violence of one faction labouring to updermine another, it order to gain the command of the new treasury, the public patronage, and the state.
The leaders of the revolution being thus in poffeffion of the public mind, supported by the whole source of public resource, the national character burft forth in all it's impetuofity, and could no longer be reftrained within any sober limits. The people of Switzerland, of Holland, of England, and America, who had fucceffively emancipated them felves from the yoke of their respective governments, were fatisfied with the acquisition of independence for themfelves. The french demanded it for the world; and, in their enthusiasm, called out for a conftitution more free than that of England, more pure, and bearing a nearer refemblance to that of ancient Rome. This idea, originating in national vanity, and encouraged by deep and designing men, opened the way to the subsequent conquests of the revolution. There was only one fyften, by which the revolution could have been moderated, and reftrained. Unfortunately, the reverse of that fyftem was followed by the french ariftocracy, and their allies among foreign nations.
It was evident to thofe who had studied the character of the french nation, that their ardour in the pursuit of freedom would far exceed that of any people, who had preceded them in the fame career. But, there was litewife mixed with much violence, a generous fenfibility, which might have been easily awakened to fome portion of their ancient segard to their monarchs, their nobles, and even their clergy. Had the revolution, therefore, been left to it's first explofion, the enormities of it's authors would have shocked the people; the rights of property would have re-assumed their influence; the general protection afforded by a limited monarchy would have dictated the establishment of that form of government, in preference to any other; and the crown would have rested on the sureft basis: the affection and confidence of she nation, But it's weak or infatuated adherents, undertook to restore it, indepen. dently of public spirit : independently of the rights, will, or prejudices of the people. In the prosecution of these attempts, the aristocracy and their foreign allies gave every advantage to the jacobins. The royalifts would listen to no reason, to no compromise. They first abandoned the king and the kingdom, at the moment when they should have remained at home, in order to form an union for resifting or managing the storm; and they next called in to their aid, foreign invasion; which Eurned the whole tide of affairs in favour of their adverfaries.
The european powers, who coalesced for their support, fell, if poffible, into ftill greater errours. By planning the dismemberment of France, they extended her limits. By projects to farve the french people, they improved the general cultivation of the land; by proclaiming and infulting her state of bankruptcy, they forced her to find finance : till, at lengtli, less by the abilities of her rulers, than from the errours of her opponents, France arose into a victorious republic, the terrour of Germany and of Italy; no longer content with her ancient limits, and affuming, for boundaries, the Alps and the Rhine. The policy which had actuated the directors of the revolution, previously to what is de
nominated the third year of the republic, was various, and sometimes contradictory. But, in no moment did it forget to adapt itself to the predominant difpofition, or paffion of the people. Their first object, after persuading the mass of the french nation, that they were henceforch to enjoy the fow reignty, was, carefully to demolish every link, every title, and every trace of the former sovereignty. They next? contrived to effect, through the new finance of the assignats, a complete transmutation of the property of the state. It was made the interest of the inferiour orders, to exclude, for ever, the court, the charch, and the nobility, from their ancient poffeffions. All the lands were parcelled out and fold for asignats, on these having been fabricated and ilsued to thousands of individuals, who previously poffelled not any property; but who, as soldiers, or as labourers, could easily acquire that kind of money.
The great body of the people were induced, without difficulty, to become the cultivators of their own ground, or to bear arms in the field for their country. Until the ruling factions at Paris began alternately to massacre each other, the nation beheld the tumult of that metropolis with indifference, while they fted faltly pursued the two great objects of personal property and public preeminence: thus the genius, the disposition, and the energy of the french nation, were on the whole, engaged in support of the revolution. If any thing could have opened the eyes of the emigrants and the combined powers, who ftill fondly hoped, that the general voice would welcome an invasion, and favour a counter-revolution, it was the circumstance, that all the separate projects of the revolutionary leaders were always turned against themselves, when they attempted to convert Sthe general spirit to their own personal or political purposes. The revolution, once begun, became stronger than either it's authors or it's leaders, both of whom were successively carried on by it's im.. pulse, and could no longer obftruct it's career. Neither the foldiers who had been successful in battle, nor the citizens who participated in the multiplied adminiftrations, could be feduced in a body from their new attachments. It was therefore absurd to expec either that the revolution could be suddenly reversed, or that the monarchy could be restored to it's antient state by any schemes of counter-revolution, ance all the materials of which it had been composed were either dispersed or consumed.
The directory, sensible of these facts, in proportion as their power became consolidated, adopted a policy more fystematic and profound. Then it was, that the new government of France unveiled the policy of the roman commonwealth, and resolved, as a fixed principle, 10 secure their power, by an invariable endeavour to effect it's increase. The strength of the roman republic had arisen from the original purity and gradual improvement of it's political institutions. It's power was constantly increased even by reverses of for. tune: nor can it be said to have been wholly overthrown till several ages after it had subdued or overrun the world. The power of the french republic, on the contrary, arose from the abuses, or the weakness of the government that had preceded it; spread with the corrup. tions of the age in which it originated; and acquired strength from the general fituation of affairs, and the mistaken policy of furround
ing nations. But at the same time it is not to be denied, that whatever the contrast between the most ancient romans and modern french, the revolution had compelled the latter to exercise the virtues that flow from a state of poverty and war: at the same time that they derived from the destruction of all property, and all per. fonal distinctions, certain advantages over their more opulent neighbours. The great body of the people had become soldiers, cultivators of the soil, or magistrates: but while they acted alternately in each of these capacities, and the surest road to either fortune or fame was that of military distinction, great and various talents were brought into the public service. Hence the revolutionary war of France has produced fo many diftinguished generals, and an army so highly disciplined, and in all respects so much superiour to those formed on the ancient tactics. It is by the application of a national force so conftituted, that the directory have resolved to seek through new paths the fortune and the renown of ancient Rome. With the fame view they have arrogated the title of the great nation; the sovereign republic, one and indivisible,' and declared it treason to treat with any power, that should propose a restoration of any country or pofleffion once integrated with the republic. Having conftituted a revolutionary power, they next formed the project of encircling France with new and dependent commonwealths: meaning thereby, not only to secure the authority they have already acquired, but by fully occupying the turbulent genius of the nation, to establish universal dominion on universal revolution. Let the cabinets of Europe beware how they consider these projects as impracticable! Let them reflect on that policy, which has produced, and organized, and now governs the dependent republics of Holland, of Switzerland, and Italy. Plans for effecting a similar revolution in Ireland are happily laid open. Embryo republics of the Elbe, of Poland, of Hungary, of Greece, and of Gallicia, are darkly and secretly in machination. That this political machinery of the directory is, in every respect, similar to that of ancient Rome, every one knows who has either read the Roman History, or the political and philosophical comments thereon, of Machiavel, Montesquieu, or Ferguson. "They! took care never to have more than one enemy on their hand, at a time. They began their operations with learning the characters of the chiefs, and the state of parties, and fomenting divisions. They excited diflensions and distractions in the nation they meant to invade, and espoused the cause of one party, in whose name they exercised themselves the sovereign power, much in the same manner that our East India company have acquired and supported their government in India. The directory, like the romans, make war, not as enemies, but as friends and protectors. Like the romans they affect to govern diftant countries by influence and management, without seizing on them immediately and openly as possessions. Like the senate, too, the directory and the councils avow
and eternal war against one rival, while they affect to offer peace and amity to other nations. They have marked out their Carthage, the destruction of which they affirm to be necessary for the freedom of the ocean, and the peace of the world. Even in spite of their reçent disasters, in their late
MESSAGE OF THE FIFTH OF SEPTEMBER TO THE COUNCIL OF
FIVE HUNDRED, They declare, that the powers to whom they are offering peace will find, if they reject it, that they exist only by the condescension of the directory. They do not even affect to conceal, that the great object of these generous offers of partial peace to other nations is, decidedly, • to strike at the cabinet of London, by sea, in India, and in the very heart of their island.' The message, in which this infolent language was held, demanded an augmentation of the supplies of the year, and a new levy of troops: and 200,000 men, and 125 millions were immediately voted. So much for the rise and progress of the enormous power and ambition of the present rulers of France. In our next number we Mall offer some confiderations on the vanity and folly of the attempts, that have hitherto been made, in order to reduce that power, and moderate that ambition; and a brief inquiry into the means that may yet remain for composing the passions of the french nation, by turning their natural genius and disposition into the happiest, as well as noblest channels, and restoring peace and concord to France and to Europe.
We have just seen the effects of our naval victories on the french government. The nation at large, however, are known to figh for peace ;, and it remains to be proved by time, whether the wishes and the interests of the french people will ultimately prevail over the ambition and selfith views of the directory and public functionaries, or whether that ambition and these views will be able still to command the resources and direct the force of the nation. We have no: yet been informed of the effects of admiral Nelson's victory on
The latter kingdom will, no doubt, be confirmed in her open, and the former in her secret attachment to Great Britain.
ITALY. The court of Naples, in habits of intimacy, as well as the bonds of consanguinity, with that of Vienna, shows the most decided and open joy and congratulation, on the success and predominancy of the english power in the Mediterrancan; the joy of the other italian ftates, though concealed, will, probably, be little less sincere.
The victory at Alexandria has produced some happy effects, and will, probably, produce more on the council at Rastadt.
Though we participate in the general joy at the success of our arms, and the check that has been given to the ambitious career of our enemies, we acknowledge a degree of sympathy and concern for the personal situation of BUONAPARTE, certainly a sublime genius; and who has given repeated indications of a spirit of moderation, jultice, and political wisdom, that seemed to destine him for the leader and chief of the french nation, against the continued usurpations of