Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

scourge of a guilty world! On all other nations he tramples-he holds them in contempt-England alone he hates ; he would, but he cannot despise her fear cannot despise. And shall we disparage our ancestors ?- shall we bastardize ourselves by placing them even below the brigands of St. Domingo? with whom Mr. Adams had negociated a sort of treaty, for which he ought to have been and would have been impeached, if the people had 'not previously passed sentence of disqualification for their service upon him. This antipathy to all that is English must be French.

Continuation of Mr. Randolph's Speech on the second

resolution, reported by the committee of foreign relations.

THE outrages and injuries of England-Bred up in the principles of the revolution, I can never palliate, much less defend them. I well remember flying with my mother and her new born child, from Arnold and Philips and they had been driven by Tarleton and other British pandours from pillar to post, while her husband was fighting the battles of his country. The impression is indelible on my memory and yet (like my worthy old neighbor, who added seven buck shot to every cartridge at the battle of Guildford and drew a fine sight at his man) I must be content to be called a tory by a patriot of the last importation. Let us not get rid of one evil (supposing it possible) at the expense of a greater-mutatiomuttandis, suppose France in possession of the British naval power and to her the trident must pass should Eng. land be unable to wield it-what would be your condi. tion? What would be the situation of your sea ports and their seafaring inhabitants ? Ask Hamburg-Lubec?Ask Savannah | What! sir, when their privateers are pent up in our harhours by the British bull-dogs, when they receive at our hands every rite of hospitality, from which their enemy is excluded

when they capture within our own waters, interdicted to British armed ships, American vessels; when such is their deportment to

it! you

wards you, under such circumstances, what could you expect if they were the uncontroled lords of the ocean? Had those privateers at Savannah borne British commissions or had your shipments of cotton, tobacco, ashes, and what not, to London and Liverpool, been confiscated, and the process poured into the English exchequer -My life upon

would never have listened to any miserable wire-drawn distinctions between “ orders and decrees affecting our neutral rights,” and “ municipal decrees,” confiscating in mass your whole property. You would have had instant war! The whole land would have blazed out in war.

And shall republicans become the instruments of him .who had effaced the title of Attila to the “SCOURGE OF GOD!" Yet even Attila, in the falling fortunes of civili. zation, had no doubt, his advocates, his tools, his minions, his parasites in the very countries that he over-ran -sons of that soil whereon his horse had trod; where grass could never after grow. If perfectly fresh, (instead of being as I am-my memory clouded, my intellect stupified, my strength and spirits exhausted, I could not give utterance to that strong detestation which I feel towards (above all other works of the creation) such characters as Zingis, Tamerlane, Kouli-Kan, or Bonaparte. My instincts involuntarily revolt at their bare idea-Malefactors of the human race, who ground down man to a mere machine of their impious and bloody ambition. Yet under all the accumulated wrongs and insults, and robberies of the last of these chieftains, are we now in point of fact about to become a party to his views, a parener in his wars?

But before this miserable force of 10,000 men are raised to take Canada, I beg you to look at the state of defence at home-to count the cost of the enterprize before it is set on foot, not when it may be too late when the best blood of the country shall be spilt, and nought but empty coffers left to pay the cost. Are the bounty lands to be given in Canada ? It might lessen my repug'nance to that part of the system, to granting these lands, not to these miserable wretches who sell themselves to slavery for a few dollars and a glass of gin, but in fact to the clerks in our offices, some of whom, with an income of 1500 or 2000 dollars, live at the rate of 4 or 5000, and yet grow rich-who perhaps at that moment are making out blank assignments for these land rights.

I would beseech the house, before they run their heads against this post Quebec, to count the cost. My word for it, Virginia planters will not be taxed to support such a war-a war which must aggravate their present distresses; in which they have not the remotest interest. Where is the Montgomery, or even the Arnold, or the Burr, who is to march to the Point Levi?

I call upon those professing to be republicans to make good the promises held out by their republican predecessors when they came into power-promises which for years afterwards they had honestly, faithfully fulfilled. We have vaunted of paying off the national debt, of retrenching useless establishments; and yet have now become as infatuated with standing armies, loans, taxes, navies and war, as ever were the Essex Junto. What republicanism is this?

Extract of a Speech in Congress, by Mr. Clay, on raising

a military force, for the invasion of Canada. IT has been inquired what will be gained by the contemplated war? I ask, in turn, what will you not lose by your mongrel state of peace with G. Britain ? Do you expect to gain any thing in a pecuniary view? No,sir. Look at your treasury reports. You now receive only six millions of revenue annually; and this amount must be diminished in the same proportion as the rigorous execution of the orders in council shall increase. Before these orders existed, you received sixteen millions. You lose then to the amount of ten millions of revenue per annum by your present peace. A war would probably produce the repeal of the orders in council; and your revenue would be restored; your commerce would flourish : your wealth and prosperity would advance. But certain gentlemen tell us to repeal the non-importation, and then we shall have commerce and revenue. Admit that we could be guilty of so gross an act of perfidy, after we have volun

[ocr errors]

tarily pledged our faith to that power which should revoke its hostile edicts, to enforce against its enemy this non-importation ; admit this ; repeal your law; and what will be the consequence? You will present the strange phenomenon of an import without an export trade. You will become bankrupt, if you should thus carry on a trade. Where would your produce find vent? Under the British orders, you cannot send it to the markets of continental Europe. Will Great Britain take your exports ? She has no market for them ; her people can find use for only a small portion of them. By a continuance of this peace, then, we should lose our commerce, our character, and a nation's best attribute, our honour. war would give us commerce and character; and we Bhould enjoy the proud consciousness of having discharged our highest duty to our country.

But England it seems is fighting the battles of mankind ; and we are asked, shall we weaken her magnanimous efforts ? For argument's sake, let us concede the fact, that the French emperor is aiming at universal empire; can Great Britain challenge our sympathies, when, instead of putting forth her arms to protect the world, she has converted the war into a mean of self-aggrandizement; when, under pretence of defending them, she has destroyed the commerce and trampled on the rights of every nation ; when she has attempted to annihilate every vestige of the public maritime code of which she professed to be the champion? Shall we bear the cuffs and scoffs of British arrogance, because we may entertain chimerical fears of French subjugation? Shall we swallow the portion of British poison, lest we may be presented with the imperial dose? Are we called upon to bow to the mandates of royal insolence, as a preparation to contend against Gallic usurpation? Whoever learned in the school of base submission, the lessons of noble freedom, and courage, and independence ? Look at Spain. Did she secure her independence by submitting, in the first instance, to the dictates of imperial usurpations ? No. If she had resisted the first intrusions into her councils, her monarch would not at this time be a miserable victim to the dungeons of Marseilles. We cannot secure our independence on one power, .by a dastardly submission to

[ocr errors]

the will of another. But look at our own history. Our ancestors of the revolution resisted the first encroachments of British tyranny. They foresaw that by submitting to pay an illegal tax, contemptible as that tax was in itself, their liberties would ultimately be subverted. - Consider the progress of the present disputes with England. For what were you contending the other day? For the indirect colonial carrying trade. That has vanished. For .what are you now deliberating ? For the direct export and import trade; the trade in your own cotton, and to bacco, and fish. Give this up, and to-morrow you must take up arms for your right to pass from New-York to New-Orleans ; from the upper country on James River to Richmond. Sir, when did submission to one wrong induce an adversary to cease his encroachments on the party submitting? But you are told that you ought only to go to war when your territory is invaded. How much better than invasion is the blocking up of your very ports and harbours; insulting your towns; plundering your merchants, and scouring your coasts ? If your fields are surrounded, are they in a better condition than if invaded ? When the murderer is

your

door, will you meanly skulk to your cells? Or will you boldly oppose him at his entrance ?

I could wish the past were buried in oblivion. But we cannot shut our eyes.

The other day, the pretence for the orders in council was retaliation for the French edicts. The existence of these edicts was made the ground by sir William Scott, of the condemnation of the Fox and others. It will be recollected that sir William had delayed his sentence in that celebrated case, that proof of the repeal of the French decrees might be produced. It was produced. Nevertheless the condemnations took place. But the plea of retaliation had given way to other pretexts and other claims. To the astonishment of all mankind, the British envoy had demanded as a preliminary to the revocation of the orders in council, that the United States shall cause the continental ports to be opened for the admission of British manu. factures! You are required to compel France to repeal her municipal code itself! Sir, these are none of the mo. tives of the British hostility towards your commerce,

at

« ПредишнаНапред »