ePub 版

week, pending its discussion in both Houses of Parliament. Amongst other papers, I laid before them the admirable speech of the Master of the Rolls, which carried irresistible conviction in every paragraph against the policy of that measure. But this was not all ;-- I proved, from authentic vouchers then, and still in my possession, which were submitted to Mr. Pitt's administration, and were about to be carried into execution at the moment when the will of heaven deprived his admiring country of his unrivalled talents, that the British possessions in America, under the fostering care and encouragement of a wise administration, were fully competent to supply the necessities of our West Indian colonies, and that many years ago, when the American war had completely cut off all intercourse between the revolted continent and the West Indies, our remaining possessions in America actually supplied all the wants of our islands—at a time, too, when the resources, population, and improved state of agriculture of the former, by no means corresponded with the vast progress which they have since made. Besides these documents, I inserted every important paper which had been published by the society of ship-owners, and amongst others, the returns from the different ship-owners in every port of the kingdom, in answer to the circular letter of Nathaniel Atcheson, esq. the secretary of the society in London. By those returns, written and signed by the principal ship-owners throughout the kingdom, and which returns, the petitioning ship-owners offered to substantiate before the House of Commons, the public and parliament were presented with a more gloomy and distressing picture of the declining condition of the shipping interest of this country than had ever before been exhibited to the nation. In defiance of these glaring facts, that House of Commons refused to enter into the least investigation of the merits of the ship-owners' petition, and even treated their complaints with comtempt. -Oh, House of Commons!

From the above statement, it is evident, either that the report of the speeches of lord Howick, andlord Henry Petty must be incorrect, or that these noblemen have viewed the subject merely through the jaundiced eye of party; for it cannot be sustained for a moment, that the petitions and memorials of the ship-owners were built on misrepresentations, when it is notorious, first, that they were grounded upon substantial evidence, which they offered, in the body of their petitions to the House, to adduce, if they should be allowed so to do ; and secondly, that they were the productions, not of a small part, but of the great body of ship-owners throughout the king, dom,

I have already observed, that nothing can be gained by Mr. Eden's motion—because the operations of the American Intercourse bill are but in their infancy, and, consequently, its baleful effects cannot be distinctly proved. But, if public, and not personal motives, should influence an inquiry of this nature, I would recommend to the attention of our legislators, to compare the ratio of increase in Anerican shipping, with the ratio of decrease in British shipping, engaged in the colonial trade for the last seven years only; it will then appear, that the shipping interest of this country has been shamefully neglected ;--and that the principle of the American Intercourse bill must necessarily tend to augment the shipping interest of the United States, at the expense of those maritime rights, and national interests, which have been hitherto the productive sources of our naval superiority and commercial opulence,

Tre HERO OF MAIDA. An annuity of 1000l. per ann, has been granted by para liament to sir John Stuart, for the term of his natural life, as a testimony of approbation of his conduct in the brilliant, and glorious action fought on the plains of Maida. It is really a pity, that the late administration did not advise his Majesty to recommend this measure to parliament before their expulsion from office ; 'because they would have done thereby one popular act in the course of their active ministry: The victory of Maida is, in my opinion, the most glorious event which our land forées have achieved for the last hundred years ; it has stamped a character upon the British troops, which never can be effaced, while such men as general Stuart shall be placed at the head of our armies. Let us never forget the period at which this tran.. scendant exploit was performed, or the circumstances that attended it. The modern Gotir had succeeded, by fraudulent stratagems and skilful tactics, in discomfiting the veteran troops of our European allies; and an universal panic had seized the minds et all the continental powers, who had begun to think that the arms of France were

irresistible. But, the achievement upon the plains of Maida proved, that there existed a people who not only defied the revolutionary tactics of the French, but who feared not to attack them in an advantageous and commanding position, though they were greatly superior to them in number. We gained the victory, as we shall always gain victories over the French, by rushing upon them with resolved intrepidity, and with fixed bayonets. Hence we have derived two important rosults from this action ; first, that a British army, under an able general, will beat double its pumber, when brought to measure bayonets with them; and, secondly, that a precedent has been established, or rather an example given, from which we ought never to depart. The battle was fought against the best troops of France, led on by one of their best generals ; they were nearly double the number of our army, and they were flushed with triumphs over the Continental forces. As an example, therefore, at this time, the victory of Maida ought to be considered as a most important transaction, inasmuch as it proves, what may be effected against experienced troops, dexterously posted, by the native courage of Britons. Considered in this light, especially when the contest is now become essentially and exclusively British, the victory gained at Maida is one of the proudest events in the history of this war ; and if the affairs of the Continent had not terminated so unfortunately as they have done, the influence of the gallant conduct of general Stuart and his troops, would naturally have wrought prodigious effects upon the rest of our army, and encouraged the zeal and devotion of our volunteers. Why then, did not the late ministers make a suitable acknowledgement to this excellent officer for his public services? The answer is too obvious to be doubted. They were too much occupied in providing for the fanished cormorants, whose importunities assailed them on every side; they were too busily engaged in securing their personal authority, and in placing their political adherents, to think of making a public acknowledgement of the public services of a man, by wlipse prowess the public honour was upholded with unrivalled lustre. Besides, the general is strongly suspected of disaffection. This is a serious, imputation, reader! against a patriotic and victorious general : but, be not alarmed. In loyalty to his king, devotion to his country, and zeal for her honour and independence, general Stuart is not surpassed by any man living. But, it is possible for an honest man to possess all these good qualities, and yet to be disaffected. Disaffection is a relative term; and when we say that any one is disaffected, we naturally recur to our grammatical institutes, and ask the question to whom or to what? In this sense then, must general Stuart's disaffection be explained. Ask the question to whom or to what, and you will discover the general's crime in an instant.'

EXCLUSION OP STRANGERS FROM THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. “I am quite ashamed of myself for not having broken through my plan of arrangement respecting parliamentary proceedings, in order to defend the conduct of a gentleman, whom every one in and out of parliament, bas censured for putting in force a standing order of the House, for which, in my opinion, he deserves the thanks of his country. However, the subject shall not pass unnoticed, although the gentleman himself has since expressed something like regret for what he had done.

It will be recoilected by my readers, that in one of the earliest numbers after the commencement of this Review, I addressed a letter " to that member of the House of Commons, who understands his country's interests, and has courage enough to pursue them at the expense of popularity." The object of that letter was, to point out the incalculable injury which the public interests sustained from the publicity ofthe discussions of certain topics in parliament. My argument went to prove, that nothing ought to be reported in the newspapers, which it might be useful to the enemy to be made acquainted with; and upon the strength of this principle, I deprecated the publication of all debates in either House of Parliament concerning our naval or milia tary arrangements, or our general views of foreign policy. Having at the outset of my undertaking seriously pressed this subject upon the public attention, it cannot be

* I cannot here undertake to say, that this is the exact title of the address, as I write from the sea-coast, and have no opportunity of referring, even to my own writings; but the above is the substance of the title, I am confident.

[ocr errors]

supposed that I shall swerve from my opinion, unless I should be better informed, although the sentiments of ministerialists and anti-ministerialists be against me. I repeat therefore, the proposition with increased zeal, because Mr. Dennis Browne is the only gentleman who has had the courage and patriotism, upon this occasion, to risk his popularity for the good of his country; and because, I was the only man who suggested the propriety of the measure, and who had the inexpressible satisfaction of being abused for it by the editors of some of the newspapers.

On the 6th instant, Mr. Whitbread rose pursuant to a notice which he had before given, to make his promised motion upon the state of the nation. That gentleman seemed resolved to usher in his speech with the greatest possible pomp, and accordingly, he took care, like some of our dramatic writers, who strive to excite the expectation of the audience by a clap of thunder, the striking of a bell, or the flourish of trumpets, to announce on the third instant, that " in consequence of some rumours having gone abroad, that his motion respecting the state of the nation had been postponed, he thought it necessary to state, that it would certainly be brought forward on Monday.” Instantly, all the journals in the interest of the opposition began to ring a clamourous peal, and the highest expectations were raised as to the result of the motion. Upon what ground Mr. Whitbread was led to believe, that some rumours had gone abroad respecting the postponement of his motion, I cannot explain, as I have for some time been at a great distance from the metropolis; but the daily papers reach me, and I have not discovered in them the slightest indication of the sort. The notice, therefore, must be considered as the ringing of the bell before the curtain draws up, to awaken the attention of the audience. It certainly had this effect; for the House and the galleries were crowded at an early hour, When Mr. Whitbread had arrived at that part of his exordium, which treated of the gravity of debate, of getting rid of the spirit of re-crimination which had too long prevailed in the House, (he forgot for the moment, the spirit of crimination) and of retrieving the FALLING FORTUNEs of this mighty empire, Mr. D. Browne, member for Mayo, moved the standing order of the House, and the gallery was instantly cleared. The effect produced upon the orator was much the same, as Kenble would feel, if the whole audience, at Covent Garden, were to quit the theatre, just at the moment when his sepulchral voice moaned out-a that his head aitched-a. Mr. Whitbread's eloquence was thus nipped, as it was on the eve of flowering, and the public enemy has been disappointed of the hopes he had entertained of becoming acquainted with the circumstances of our country,

This is the history of the case. Now the question is, whether Mr. D. Browne acted wisely or not? I insist upon it, that he rendered a most essential service to his country, and if he will brave the clamour of the rabble-rout; if he possess the hardihood to persevere in this noble career, while danger is suspended over us; and if he will enforce the standing order of the House, whenever any discussion takes place upon subjects connected with the state of the nation, either in relation to its naval or military arrangements, or to its general views of policy, as far as they are connected with our means of defence, or rather of our means of CONQUERING the brutal and infernal tyrant with whom we are at war, he will do a greater service to his country, than the general who may win a battle in our favour.



6 Whatever reliance you may formerly have had upon the gratitude, friendship, or

fidelity of the neighbouring princes, has long since been at an end. By the establishment, secured under the late peace, to the French on this coast, and by the

force they possess, and seem determined to maintain here, it is past a doubt, that *your first and principal stand against that nation, in case of a rupture, must be

made in the Carnatic. What then have you to trust to? To nothing but youre selves having the adminstration and direction of the revenues of the country which is to be defended."" Lord Macartney to the Company, January 24, 1784.



" Fn the Carnatic it may be with some reluctance, that the nabob submits to your in• fluence. His successors may be disposed to resist it entirely; at all events. its

extent must ever be Auctuating, and its existence precarious. No double govern

ment, such as subsists in the Carnatic, can be durable, uniform, or prosperous." · Lord Macartney to the chairman, Sep. 28, 1781.

“I have repeatedly, my lord, and gentlemen, and in the most expressive terms, ..warned you of the ruin, which, in the midst of all our exertions, may be brought • Urun the national interests by the duplicity and iniquity of the nabob's govern.

ment" Sir Eyre Coote, Now. 8, 1781, to the government of Madras. .

In the present article, I intend to review the principles whereupon the arrange. ments in the Carnatic were founded, and to lay before my readers as concise a narrative of that transaction as the nature of the subject will admit of. The declaration of the British government upon the occasion, which will be found annexed as a state paper to this article, contains so upanswerable a developement of the whole case, that I request my readers will bestow the greatest attention to it; and, in order to make the subject of this discussion intelligible to every reader, I shall begin with stating the genealogy of the family of Arcot.

The founder of this family, and the first governor of Arcot, was an adventurer of the name of Anwour oo Deen. He was succeeded by his son Mahommed Ali, whose power was established by the English, and recognised by the treaty of Paris, 1762. This Mahommed Ali left two sons; Omdut ul Omrah, the late nabob, and Ameer ul Omralı. Omdut ul Omrah acknowledged Ali Hussein, the offspring of a dancing. girl, to be his son : but he was set aside ; and the present nabob is Azeem oo Dowlah, the sou of Ameer ul Omrah by marriage.

Oudut ul Omrah, the late nabob of the Carnatic, succeeded his father Mahom.' med Ali, on the 16th of October, 1797, under the conditions of the treaty concluded between his father and the Marquis Cornwallis in 1792. He is specifically Hamed in the preamble of that treaty, as the successor and eldest son of the nabob, Aiahommed Ali Khaun; and, under that designation, he was made a party in the engagement. It was soon found, however, both by the administration at home, and the government abroad, that the treaty of 1792 produced but few of the salutary effects which were expected from it. When Jord Hobart was appointed governor of Fort St. George, in 1794, he was instructed by the court of directors to endeavour to negociate a modification of lord Cornwallis's treaty, upon principles that were caleulated to secure the interests of the Company, to improve the condition of the inhabitants of the Carpatic, and to put an end to those vexations and disputes, which, from the perverse characters of the nabob and his principal servants, attended the fulfilment of several of the most important stipulations of the treaty of 1792. These principles were, a commutation of the money payments of the nabob for a territorial cession; the Company agreeing to incur all losses which might arise from defalcations in the revenue, and to give the nabob all the excess of the territorial revenue above the stipulated subsidy. The obstinate and intemperate resistance, which the nabob, who had succeeded his father soon after the arrival of lord Hobart, opposed to all his lordship's endeavours to negociate à modification of the treaty of 1792, appeared at the moment inexplicable; and the influence attributed to several low, venal, and interested individuals, whose characters and exploits in India, Hhave recorded in the former numbers of my defence of the adminstration of lord Wellesley, seemed to be insufficient to account for the nabob's stubborn refusal to listen to an arrangement which was so earnestly pressed upon his acceptance by his majesty's ministers, by the court of directors, and by the goverment of Fort St. George; and which could not under any construction, be deemed injurious either to his personal interests or his power, as long as he stood in the relation he then bore to the Company.

When the marquis Wellesley arrived at Madras, in 1798, he employed, in obedience to the orders of the court of directors, the few days which he passed at that presidency, previous to his embarkation for Calcutta, in fruitless attempts to effectuate this proposed modification of the treaty of 1792.

During the war against Tippoo Sultaun, in 1799, the nabob behaved more like an . enemy than a friend of the Company. The conduct of his officers amounted nearly tv

« 上一頁繼續 »