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concerned in conducting the active operations of the war, be much weakened.
He would now, he said, proceed briefly to take a view of the different stages in which the question of the war had been debated. At the conclusion of last session, he had placed its termination upon two circumstances; first, the being able to procure a peace upon terms likely to render it secure and permanent; and, secondly, an indemnity suitable to the expense which the nation should have incurred in carrying on the war. He had tlærefore, in the debate at the conclusion of last session, held out as a means, not only of annoying the enemy, but of securing those desirable ends, the propriety of an interference in the internal government of France. Not that he had absolutely insisted upon an entire subversion of that government; he had always asserted that if a peace could be made upon terms of security to this country, no consideration of the detestable characters of the ruling men in France, or of the crimes and horrors with which they were sullied, ought to influence this country to reject such terms.
The honourable gentleman had at that time admitted this principle to be right, both in point of expediency and morality. And here he must advert to an unfair mode of argument which had been employed by the honourable gentleman. He had endeavoured to give a different turn to sentiments, by confounding the periods at which they were brought forward.-- When the strict neutrality observed by this country, with respect to France, had been mentioned in His Majesty's speech, no injury had then been received from France. When circumstances al. tered, the same sentiments could no longer apply. If a foreign country, divided into two parties, discovered hostile intentions with respect to a nation, it would surely be perfectly fair in that nation to endeavour to oppose those parties to one another ; more especially if the continuance of a system was the ground of that enmity, an interference to destroy that system was particularly justifiable. Such was the precise state of the case between France and this country. Last year this interference had been avowed and admitted as a ground of action, and its propriety could not surely be now denied. Since last year, a new scene had presented itself, more eventful and extraordinary even than those which had formerly been exhibited. However the horrors and crimes which had taken place in former periods of the revolution might have exceeded all expectation, and transcended even the utmost strength of imagination, they now arpeared only to have paved the way for fresh horrors and accumulated crimes, beyond whatever fancy could have feigned, or fear conceived. Things had now come to such a crisis, that he had no difficulty to declare, that, while that system continued, peace was less desirable to him than a war, under any circumstances of disaster which he could possibly imagine. Not that he would contend that the mere abhorrence of crimes, that the mere detestation of character, except directly bearing upon our own safety, could constitute any reasons why we should engage. in a war: but, in the present instance, the reasoning of his noble friend directly applied. That reasoning had gone - first, to shew the horror and enormity of the system which now prevailed in France: secondly, the danger of the extension of that system, if not speedily and effectually resisted: thirdly, the measures which were employed for the purpose of extending that system : fourthly, the prospects of success which we derived from the very nature of those measures, in our attempts to crush the progress of that system: and fifthly, that the success of those attempts depended upon the vigorous continuance of our warlike efforts; and that the circumstances of the case were such, as, in the present moment, entirely precluded all negotiation. The speech of his noble friend had been styled declamatory; upon what principle he knew not, except that every effort of eloquence, in which the most forcible reasoning was adorned and supported by all the powers of language, was to be branded with the epithet of declamation. The propositions which he had brought forward, had been urged, not in a vague and general way - they had been supported by strong facts.
own mouths, from records written under their inspection, and decrees sanctioned by their authority. From the nature of their government, there could be no dependence on the characters of whom it was composed. The shifting of persons took place like the shifting of scenes ; but this change of persons produced no alteration in the conduct of the drama, the principles and proceedings still continued the same, or were distinguished in their progress orly by increasing gradations of enormity. On the 21st of May, a new government, more dreadful in its character, and more fatal in its effects, than any which preceded it, had taken place - This was the revolutionary government.
My noble friend began, continued Mr. Pitt, by stating, that one of the leading features of this government was the abolition of religion. It will scarcely be maintained that this step could tend only to affect opinions, and have no influence upon the conduct of a nation. The extinction of religious sentiment was only intended to pave the way for the introduction of fresh crimes, and entirely to break asander those bands of society which had been already loosened. It was intended only to familiarise the mind with guilt, and, by removing the obstacle of fear, to relieve it from the restraints of conscience. Infidelity, as my noble friend remarked, was only meant to go hand in hand with insurrection. A second ineasure of this revolutionary government was the destruction of property, a precedent which tended not less to destroy all ideas of justice, than the former to extinguish all sentiments of piety. Not less detestable was their conduct in their mode of inflicting punishments - a mode which took away from the accused all privilege of defence, and from their trials even the appearance of legal forms. All these crimes, however, they contrived to convert into sources of revenue. From the pillage of the churches — from the destruction of property – from the confiscation of the effects of those who were condemned - they derived the means for conducting their military operations. They pushed every resource to its utmost extent; as, for instance, the unbounded circulation of assignats, and the imposition of a forced loan. What can be expected
from a system of acting upon such principles, and supported by such resources? Resources so desperate afford in themselves the most certain symptoms and indications of the approaching decay of that system with which they are connected. If, then, such be the system, if such the means of its support; and if France in consequence has, during these few months, experienced a degree of distress; the greatest, perhaps, ever known in that country during the same space of time ; what prospect can there be of either stability or permanence to the present order of things? Can it be supposed to rest on that something approaching to instinct that spirit of enthusiasm which has been so highly extolled by the gentlemen on the other side? What can we think of the probability of the duration of a system which has sent as many suspected persons to the prison or scaffold, as it has sent recruits to the field ?
But it has been urged, that the French have distinguished themselves in the field ; nor will it be denied, that, independently of any other circumstance, the spirit of a people called forth by the impulse which acts so strongly in such a situation, may have the effect to make them brave in the moment of action. But their efforts are merely the result of a system of restraint and oppression, the most terrible and gigantic that has, perhaps, ever existed. They are compelled into the field by the terror of the guillotine -- they are supported there only by those resources which their desperate situation affords ; and, in these circumstances, what can be the dependence on the steadiness of their operations, or what rational prospect can there be of the permanence of their exertions ? On this ground, the more mon. strous and terrible the system has become, the greater is the probability that it will be speedily overthrown. From the nature of the mind of man, and the necessary progress of human affairs, it is impossible that such a system can be of long duration ; and surely no event can be looked for more desirable than a destruction of that system which at present exists, to the misery of France and the terror of Europe. As to the question of the honourable gentleman, whether I am never to make peace with the jacobins, it is extremely difficult to answer, and it would be neither prudent nor rational in me to give him any definitive reply in the present moment. It is a question, the solution of which must depend upon a combination of events. As circumstances may vary, a different line of conduct must necessarily be pursued; nor would it be proper to bind up my discretion to act with a regard to those contingencies that may arise, by pledging myself at present to one set of measures. In the present circumstances, I have no hesitation to declare, that I would rather choose to persevere in the war, even amidst the worst disasters, and should deem such a conduct much more safe and honourable, than to conclude a peace with the ruling powers in France on their present system. The question of pursuing the war must, in every instance, depend upon the convenience with which it can be carried on to ourselves ; and of that you must be best qualified to judge. On this great and interesting crisis, I have no hesitation to state, that I should think myself deficient in point of candour, if I did not most unequivocally declare, that the moment will never come, when I shall not think any alternative preferable to that of making peace with France, upon the system of its present rulers.
The question I do not now mean to argue at large, both from the very advanced hour, and from the full discussion which it has already received. I shall only touch on one or two points which have been brought forward by the honourable gentleman in the course of his argument. His motion is certainly couched in very general terms, and such as might take in every thing that I have contended for. Ít recommends to His Majesty to conclude a peace whenever it can be done upon safe and advantageous terms, without any reference to the nature and form of government which may exist in France. I likewise am of opinion, that a safe and advantageous peace ought to be concluded; but that the security and benefits of that peace must depend upon the establishment of a government essentially different from the present. Though the motion, however, from the general terms in which it is expressed, is calculated to