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Europe, and that Turkey, thus Christianised, should be raised to an independent power, under the united guardianship of the great powers of Europe ; an ultimate scheme to which Europe will yet, probably, have to come. Fox, however, upbraided the government with their folly and inconsistency, if such were their fears of Russia, in having, till recently, encouraged her in her plan of aggressions in that direction. He reminded them that, twenty years ago, this country, on war breaking out betwixt Russia and the Porte, had aided Catherine in sending a fleet to the Mediterranean, and in thus enabling her to acquire a maritime force in the Black Sea. The truth, however, was, that it was not the present ministry who had committed this folly, but a whig ministry, of whom Fox was one. He confessed to this, and also to the fact that in 1782, when Catherine seized more completely on the Crimea and Kuban Tartary, France and Spain had urged us to unite with them in preventing this, but that we had declined, and these countries had become permanently united to Russia.
Now all this was, in truth, a simple confession of the incapacity of the whigs, and of Fox himself included, for, seeing the dangerous tendency of the Russian policy, and the only circumstances on which he could justly condemn the ministry of Pitt, was, for not strenuously supporting Turkey and Sweden, the ally of Turkey against Russia, when they did see this tendency. By a mean and parsimonious conduct,
they had allowed Sweden to be driven out of her territories COSTUME OF RUSSIAN SLEDGE DRIVER.
on the eastern shore of the Baltic by Russia, when, had they
given her but moderate support, that power would have power in Europe. Catherine replied, haughtily, that she become a permanent check on the aggressive spirit of Russia. did not recognise the right of England to interfere, and that The motion of Pitt was carried by a large majority. she should keep possession of Oczakoff, and all her conquests A few days after, Mr. Grey-afterwards lord Howickbetwixt the Bog and the Dniester. On the 28th of March Pitt communicated this answer to the house, in a message from his majesty, and that he had deemed it necessary to come to an understanding with his allies, Prussia and Austria, on the subject, and to maintain the fleet in its augmented condition. He moved, the next day, an address to his majesty, thanking him for his care in these respects. The whigs, almost to a man, condemned this policy. Coke of Norfolk, afterwards earl of Leicester, lord Wycombe, Mr. Lambton, afterwards earl of Durham, and others, stoutly opposed it. Fox treated the idea of Russia having become a power formidable to the peace of Europe, as ludicrous. Both he and Burke either entertained ideas on this subject which did no credit to their political sagacity, or they professed such out of mere party opposition. They contended that there was nothing in the aggressions of Russia to occasion any alarm; that Turkey was a decaying nation, which it was useless to attempt to support; and that to bolster it up, was only to maintain a barbarous people in domination over Christian populations. These latter statements had much truth in them, but they did not remove the formidable fact, that, if Russia was allowed to drive out the Turks and take their place at Constantinople, we should have a semi-abrbarous power stretching from north to east of Europe, capable, ere long, of giving laws to it. It would have been much more statesmanlike for these distinguished men to have recommended the colonisation oi Turkey with Christian emigrants from all parts of
COSTUME OF RUSSIAN PEASANTS.
renewed the subject by a series of eight resolutions, con- committee; but when it was reported, then came a scene of lemning all interference on behalf of Turkey, and contend- violent contention, arising not so much from the bill itsell, a ing that Russia was only weakening instead of strengthen- from the state of parties, and the making a peg of this ing herself by extending her dominions. But Pitt, in reply, question on which to hang the conflicting opinions of showed the very obvious facts that the retention of Oczakoff different members on a very different question—that of the opened the way to Constantinople, and that the possession | French revolution. Not only had Fox, and Burke, and of Constantinople prepared the way for the seizure of Egypt, Sheridan broken up their old friendship on this question, and the supremacy of the Mediterranean, with the most Sheridan being as enthusiastic about the revolution as Fan, formidable consequences to our commerce. The resolutions but it had split up the whole whig party. Burke hed of Grey were negatived; but twice again during the session published his able and eloquent “Reflections on the Revoluthe wbigs returned to the charge on the 15th of April and tion," and subsequently, in February of this year, a "Letter in the 25th of May—but with no better success. The to a Member of the National Assembly," in which he had armament was maintained, and Catherine was compelled to repeated and extended his decided opinions upon it. The surrender Oczakoff, which it had cost her so much money and duke of Portland and Mr. Wyndham took Burke's view of 80 many thousand men to obtain.
the pernicious nature of the French principles. But it is On the opening of the session, the king called the atten- not merely in parliament; throughout the country opinions tion of parliament to the state of Canada. That colony were divided on the subject. Societies were formed had flourished greatly since it had come into the possession recommend the introduction of French revolutionary of England, and especially since the passing of the bill of principles into this country, and many eminent men, 1774, which had given freedom to the catholic church there, especially amongst the dissenters, took the lead in thean, as the church of the French inhabitants. But one part of the we shall presently see. The tendency to despotic government colony was still inhabited by the descendants of the French, in this country, and a spreading conviction that parliament and another by those of the English and Americans. It was not truly elected by the people, rendered large numbers was, therefore, found desirable to put an end to the compe- favourable to these views. In parliament, however, the tition which still existed, from differences of faith and of great shock of battle took place betwixt the so-long united national sentiments and customs, betwixt the two races, by friends and fellow-labourers in reform, Fox and Burke, and dividing the colony into two provinces, the one inhabited because the Canada bill affected a French people, it was by the French to be called Lower Canada, and the other, thought a proper occasion by these statesmen to indulge in a inhabited by the English, to be called Upper Canada. On long and violent discussion of their clashing views, in which the 25th of February the king sent a message to parliament, the proper question before parliament, the Quebec bill, tas proposing to carry out this division; and, on the 4th of soon lost sight of. March, Pitt moved to bring in a bill for that purpose, and | On the motion for taking this bill into further considera stated the intended plan of arrangement. Besides an tion, on the 8th of April, Mr. Hussey presented various elective assembly, each province was to have a council, the petitions from merchants regarding the measure, and more members of which were to be appointed for life, with that the bill required recommittal. He was seconded by hereditary succession to the descendants of such as should Fox, who now, though approving of the main principles d be honoured with hereditary titles, which titles were to the bill, took occasion to contend for the development of the confer on an inhabitant of either province the dignity of a advanced doctrines of political liberty inculcated by the member of the council. Landed property was to be held French revolutionists, and to urge the insertion of classes according to English law, in soccage tenure; the habeas the bill, in accordance with them. He complained that the corpus to be established in both provinces. An allotment number of members in the assemblies was too small; the of lands was to be made for the protestant clergy; but, as from sixteen to thirty persons could not fully represent the the majority of the inhabitants in the lower provinces would amount of Canadian population. He called for man be catholic, the council and assembly were empowered to instead of septennial elections, and for a franchise founded allot lands also to their clergy, which allotment, on sanction on a forty shillings freehold, and not on one of five pows, of the crown, was to be valid without intervention of as proposed. He condemned the introduction of herafitary parliament. No taxes were to be imposed by the British distinctions, which might be tolerated in England, when government except such as were necessary for the regulation there were so many ancient associations with a noble; of commerce, and these were to be levied by the provincial but that in a new state, it was much better to avoid legislature to prevent any heart-burnings like those which artificial and invidious ranks; that it was pecalarly had occurred in the American states.
absurd to introduce them amongst the French of Canada, This bill made it obvious that a great light had broken on when, in their mother country, they were abolishing to; the English government from the American revolution; it and equally mischievous to introduce them in a country was discovered that the best way to govern and retain our contiguous to the United States, where titles stunk in the colonies, was to allow them to govern themselves. This nostrils of the inhabitants. He condemned tbe setting knowledge was worth all the loss and annoyance of the apart so large a portion of the public lands for the ebarek, American revolution. Fox expressed his approbation of the foreseeing great inconvenience from it; and, in this risal principle, and all appeared favourable to the passing of the time has proved the correctness of his fears. He around measure. It was allowed to proceed, without opposition, that the constitution of the United States vu letter through its first and second reading, and through the adapted to the benefit of the public than any other in the
ancient or the modern world, and that it was exceedingly Taylor, moreover, complained of the irregular manner in unwise to leave the Canadas any cause to envy the advan- which the constitutions of other countries had been introtages of their neighbours. Burke was not present, and duced, and declared his intention of calling any one to order Pitt replied, " that he was not called upon to discuss which who thus transgressed again. Fox admitted that he had, in might be the best constitution for France, America, or any the course of the session, taken various opportunities of other country; nor did he choose to comment on those referring to the French revolution, and had expressed his superior advantages said to be introduced by France, in admiration of it, perhaps, too often ; that he had uttered consequence of the alleged progress of learning and light: one levity, perhaps silly enough, regarding the extinction he believed the British constitution was much better for us of nobility in France, and its introduction into Canada; but than any founded on republican principles."
that he had never uttered any republican opinions as it On the 15th of April, when the question of the Russian regarded this country; that, though he should deeply armament was before the house, Fox again introduced the regret differing from friends whom he greatly respected, yet, topic of the French revolution, as arising out of the question when the question was next discussed, he should boldly of the balance of power. He declared that the balance of maintain his opinions. Mr. Powys wished that Mr. Fox power had formerly been of great importance, for then would imitate Mr. Burke, and publish his opinions on France was an intriguing, restless nation; but that now these subjects, instead of uttering them in parliament. France had promulgated different principles. It abjured all Burke rose, and, with much emotion, declared how greatly aggressions against its neighbours, and advocated that every it affected and depressed him to have to meet his friend as people should enjoy the utmost freedom without molestation. an adversary. He paid the highest compliments to Fox's Those who detested the principles of the French revolution eloquence and abilities; but said that, however dear was had reason to rejoice in its effects. The new government that gentleman's friendship, there was something yet dearer aimed at making its subjects happy, and at seeing the same to him—the discharge of his duty, and the love of his generous ideas diffused throughout the world. He knew that country. He treated the menace of Michael Angelo Taylor different opinions were entertained by different men on the with contempt, and declared that the irregularity complained changes introduced in France, but that, for his part, he of had not originated with him; that though, in the preluoked upon the new French constitution as “the most ceeding session, he had been compelled to allude to the foreign stupendous and glorious edifice of liberty which had been subject, in this he had carefully, and under all provocation, erected on the foundation of human integrity in any time or abstained from it. But the time had come when he must, country.”
| after what had taken place, speak out. This was so decided a challenge to Burke, and so com- Accordingly, on the 6th of May, when the chairman of pletely did Fox endeavour to confute Burke's avowed the committee put the question, that the Quebec Bill be æntiments on the French revolution, that it was impossible read paragraph by paragraph, Burke rose, and determined for Burke to remain silent. The hour was late; Pitt, Wynd- to have a fair hearing on the question of the French revolubam, and others, had spoken on the Russian armament, and tion. He introduced the subject very adroitly by remarkBarke had also discussed that question, without a single ing that they were about to appoint a legislature for a allusion to the French revolution, reserving the answer to distant people, and thus to affirm a legal authority for the Fox for the next debate on the Canada bill, but he felt now exercise of this high power. The first question was, did compelled to rise and reply to what appeared so unfair an they possess such power? A body of rights, called the introduction of the subject. But cries of " Question!” were Rights of Man, imported from a neighbouring country, had raised, and the adherents of Fox prevented his being heard. been maintained by some in this kingdom as paramount to No doubt could now be entertained that there must be a all other rights. A principal article of this new code was, final breach betwixt these old political friends--a breach utter " That all men are by nature free, are equal in respect of and irreconcilable. Burke published an appeal from the all rights, and continue so in society." If that doctrine new whigs to the old, and he applied to some friends of the were admitted, then the house had nothing to do but to ministry, entreating their protection against any attempts to recommend to the Canadians to choose a constitution for drown his voice by mere clamour.
themselves. But what constitution should they choose When the day for the debate on the Quebec bill arrived, the British, the American, or the French? A part of the Fox called on Burke, though he had not done so for some Canadians were of French origin ; should they, therefore, time, and, in the presence of a mutual friend, entered into recommend the French constitution to them ?-a constitusome explanations which appeared satisfactory. Fox then tion avowedly founded on the Rights of Man. They had proposed that the answer of Burke should not take place on better first examine what were the results of this constituthe discussion of the Quebec bill, though this was the bill on tion, as already introduced into the new world, into the which this topic had been introduced. Burke refused to West Indian colonies of France herself. These colonies, comply ; but the two old friends walked to the house notwithstanding these disastrous wars, were most happy together, displaying the last show of friendship which was to and flourishing, until they heard of the Rights of Man. take place between them. When they entered the house, This Pandora's box, replete with every mortal evil, seemed they found that many members were absent, as it was the to fly open, hell itself to yawn, and every demon of mischief day preceding the Easter recess, and that Sheridan had to overspread the face of the earth. Blacks ran against proposed that the question should be postponed, on the plea whites, and against each other, in murderous hostiliiy; that the papers were not printed. Mr. Michael Angelo / subordination was destroyed, the bonds of society were torn
asunder, and every man seemed to thirst for the blood of commanded him to stop, while one of his grenadiers, be his neighbour:
longing to his faithful and brave body-guard, presented ; “Black spirits and white,
bayonet to the breast of the fore horse.
Then there were loud cries of " Order!" and "Question!
and Mr. Baker declared that the argument of Mr. Burk. All was toil and trouble, blood and discord, from the moment was calculated to involve the house in innecessary alterca this doctrine was promulgated; and he verily believed that, tion, and perhaps with the government of another Datina. wherever the Rights of Man were preached, such ever had Fox said his right honourable friend could scarcely be said been, and ever would be, the consequence. Troops were sent to be out of order, for it seemed to be a day of privilege, out; but, strongly imbued with the system of the Rights when any gentleman might stand up, and take any topic, of Man, they had made themselves parties in the rebellion, and abuse any government, whether it had reference to the Ought this example to induce us to send to our colonies, as point in question or not; that not a word had been said had lately been recommended in that house, a cargo of the of the French revolution, yet he had risen and abused it. Rights of Man? Much better had they send them a cargo He might just as well have abused that of China or of infected cotton from Marseilles.
He then drew a frightful picture of the effects of the This taunt came with a very ill grace from Fox, who hai revolution in France itself as a scene to be contemplated, himself introduced this extraneous topic into the debatesc not with approbation, but with horror, as involving every this very bill, and seized that very occasion to attack principle to be detested, and pregnant with every conse- Burke's opinions in his absence. Burke replied with great quence to be dreaded and abominated. Notwithstanding indignation, and said that nothing could so much resemble the boastful pretensions of the framers of the new constitu- the national assembly as that house; for M. Cazales cell tion, after sitting nearly two years, he said, they had done never utter a single sentence without a roar. Here Michal nothing; but had contented themselves with enjoying the Angelo Taylor again called Burke to order, declaring the democratic satisfaction of heaping every disgrace on fallen this was a debate on the Quebec Bin, and not on the royalty. They had a king such as they wished—a king who English or French constitution. Burke again attempted t was no king-over whom the marquis De la Fayette, chief speak, but was again called to order by Mr. St. John, gaoler of Paris, mounted guard. The royal prisoner, wilder cries of “Question!” and “Chair!" Burke having wished to taste the freshness of the country air, had plained of the injustice of hearing arguments against his obtained a day rule to take a journey about five miles from and not allowing him a reply; but lord Sheffield moned that Paris. But scarcely had he left the city, before his sus- dissertations or transactions in France are not regalo picious governors, recollecting that a temporary release from orderly on the question before the house. Pitt observal confinement might afford him the means of escape, sent a that though he himself had abstained from all alone tumultuous rabble after him, who, surrounding his carriage, the constitution of France, he could not consider it out