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Political and Financial





THE YEAR 1816;


YEARS 1814 AND 1815.





January 1, 1816.

ON the annual return of this day, it is customary to offer to our friends and to our acquaintances the periodical repetition of what are commonly called the compliments of the season-our congratulations on any favourable events which may have occurred in the course of the preceding year; and our best wishes for the continuance of their fortunate career through the chequered journey of life.

To you, my Lord, my congratulations on the prosperous situation of the country, whose affairs you have been chosen to administer, will assume a higher tone and more commanding energy of language than the minor considerations of private life, and the little interesting events of humbler stations. I shall have to offer to you my most sincere and heartfelt acknowledgments of the well directed talent, and the promptly exercised vigour which have enabled you to ef fect, in so short a period of time, such a complete fulfilment of the predictions in my last addresses to your Lordship on the subject of the "Bis domitum civile nefas."


Amongst the numerous events, which, in this capricious and unstable world of ours, appearing to promise much pri ma facie evil, have yet been ultimately productive of great

See Letters, 9 and 10. dated 31st March, and 9th April 1814Pamphleteer, No. 10, p. 499, &c.

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“Mais on fait bien des chutes avant d'attraper la raison.” The throne of France was too feebly supported to enable its lawful owner to exercise a due discrimination in the punishment of guilt, and the reward of fidelity; the abettors of rebellion walked abroad in all the unblushing assurance of personal security, and held aloft their undiminished heads in contemptuous defiance of their legal Sovereign; the miscreant Ney, and the treacherous Labedoyere were yet unexecuted, and the rest of the faithless crew remained undenounced and unimpeached. Indeed, partly moved by overbearing and imperious circumstances, and partly, perhaps, induced by a too gentle and indulgent disposition, the French monarch seemed to have thrown himself and his most secret councils into the hands of those who were most able and most disposed to betray both; and the wily instiC gator of Napoleon's nefarious plans of universal conquest, 2 the unprincipled Bishop of Autun; and the relentless sprinkler of human blood during the many-shifting scenes of the revolutionary tragedy, the sanguinary Fouche, were, to the astonishment of the world, chosen to act in concert with the illustrious and unimpeachable Ministers of the ancient thrones of Europe.

But above all, my Lord, the great and leading error seems to have taken place in the mistaken treatment of the arch Rebel himself. Every principle both of justice and expedience, required that the disturber of the world, the invader of Europe, the usurper of his master's throne, the

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permanent good, I know not where to select a more prominent or forcible instance than the second irruption of the Corsican into the Gallic territory.

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There were many things to be regretted in the state of Europe at the conclusion of the war in 1814, there were some to which no mind of sound political judgment could yield its entire and perfect approbation;

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vile unprincipled and sanguinary murderer of D'Enghien, Wright, Palm, and Hoffer, should be brought to public trial, and exemplary punishment-instead of permitting him to retire with his ill got spoils to the mock Majesty of an European sovereignty, though only over "a petty for tress, and a barren strand," in the little islet of Elba.


And even our own beloved country, high as she stood, at that time, in the scale of nations, as the unceasing opposer and check of the all-aspiring Tyrant-unconquered and unconquerable, as she was even then-unshaken by all his efforts, and laughing to scorn his impotent attacks on her fleets, her armies, and her commerce:-yet even Britain, my Lord, though now the redeemer of the political world on the plains of Waterloo, the watchful preserver of the peace of Paris on the heights of Montmartre; the guardian of continental tranquillity at Cambrai, and the secure and incorruptible keeper of the Corsican Savage in his den at Saint Helena-to what a loftier and more unrivalled height has she soared in the regions of fame since the commencement of the last campaign; and to what halcyon days of peace and prosperity may she not now look forward, with more rational anticipation of undisturbed enjoyment.

Independently of the great principle of duty to society at large, nothing could have contributed more immediately to the vital interests of this country, than the prompt and vi gorous exertions which were crowned with such complete success during the last year. Had the councils of those. who deprecated interference been followed, what must have been the consequence? In the first instance, perhaps, an insidious, hollow, armed truce, under the name of peace with Buonaparte; but equally as expensive, as a defensive for who would have dared to disarm this country under such a predicament? and even this soon followed by unremitted, unrelenting hostilities against our military and commercial greatness. For, with all his faults and all his


follies, we must give the Corsican credit for knowing where the chief strength of his adversaries was situated-in the opulence and in the fortitude of Britain. And great as has been our expenditure, during the short but sharp struggle which took place in the last campaign-what is it, weighed in all its consequences, to the cost and burthen, the inconvenience of a long-protracted state of lingering defensive warfare?

The exertions of the British Empire, so well directed, and so speedily put in execution, were above all praise; nor is it possible, my Lord, for words to express the satisfaction which I, in common with every real friend to England, feel on the wise, the firm, the mild yet energetic measures of diplomacy, which your truly able colleague, the Noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs, has carried through, both at Vienna and at Paris; his conduct is far beyond the power of my feeble admiration to add a single ray of lustre to its radiance.-All Europe has witnessed, and has recorded the brilliancy of his abilities; and as the organ of the British Cabinet, he shares the praise with those Ministers who contributed to the originating of his propositions.

Unable to censure the principle on which the war was recommenced, or to find fault with the mode of conducting it when resumed, the oracles of Opposition have rested their attack on the failure of your finances, and the inability of the nation to support the increased burthen which the additions necessarily made to the annual charge of the national debt must impose on the people. But here, as in every thing else, their data have been equally void of truth, as their conclusions have been destitute of reason. A morning paper, famous' for the collection and publishing of false intelligence, and the wilful misrepresentation of that which was originally correct, has had the hardihood, very recently, to inform its readers (a great part of whom are to be found in Has not our correspondent forgot to prefix the letters in to this


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