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newal of hostilities, with infinitely more effect than he can do at present, and from which he will take care that we shall not be abl to dislodge him, without great cost and preparation. If we giv him back his West Indian colonies, he . will have it in his power to send a large force there, under the pretext of reducing the negroes, &c. with which he mpy overrun all our islands, on the sudden breaking out of hostilities. He may endanger our Indian dominions in the same manner, by sending troops to the Isle of France, or to Ceylon, or Pondicherry; and, at all events, he will garrison those settlements so strongly, that it will occupy a great part of our force, for a year or two, to reconquer them, and to replace ourselves in the situation in which we now stand, and in which, by the continuance of the war, we may now maintain ourselves with perfect security.
In the third place, the restoration of peace will enable the enemy to bring home the treasure and the stores which are now locked up in their settlements by our triumphant navy, and to export that great accumulation of commodities which is in a great measure withheld from the market by the same pressure of hostility.
These consequences would follow immediately from a peace, and are disadvantages to which we should be subjected by the cessation of the war for ever so short a period. There are others from which we should have nothing to apprehend, unless the peace was of some continuance; they require but to be named. France might restore her commerce, and, moving without the load of our enormous taxes, might eclipse and supplant us in the great market of the world. She would also revive her navy, and, after she had got trade, could scarcely fail to rival, and even to outmatch us in this most essential particular, with her enormous extent of coast, and tributary maritime states. Lastly, that we may leave out nothing in the enumeration, we may mention the opportunities which a long peace would afford to the enemy to sow disaffection among our people, especially in Ireland, and in our tributary kingdoms in the East.
To meet those dangers and disadvantages of peace, it would, perhaps, be enough to state the deliverance which it would bring from the danger of immediate subjugation, and the opportunity it would afford for completing those preparations by which that fate may be ultimately averted. There is no man, we believe, who deliberately considers the statements we have already copied from the work before us, who will be of opinion, that our present preparations are adequate to the danger with which we are threatened, or even that they can be made so within the period during which the attempt may be expected, if the war is to continue.
B 4 If If we are satisfied that peace must be insecure, and that our enemy will busily employ it in improving his navy, with a view to the renewal of war, it cannot b,e imagined that we should neglect to improve our army during the same interval. We cannot, perhaps, create a military force sufficient for our defence during war, before an invasion is attempted; but we can certainly create Such a force, with ordinary exertion, before the enemy can have created a navy sufficient for our destruction. To make a navy, it is necessary, first of all, to establish an extensive foreign commerce ;—to make an army, nothing more is requisite, than to train the population alreadv at our disposal. In this point of view alone, therefore, we trunk peace would be infinitely more valuable to England than to France; and that, if properly and judiciously improved, it might place us in a situation to defy the menaces of our enemy on a renewal of hostility, and to deliver us for ever from the hazards to which it cannot well be denied that we are now liable.
When we mention the name of Ireland, however, we use an argument for peace, which admits, we conceive, of no reply. How vulnerable that country js, and how essential its preservation is to the very existence of our empire, all men who are capable of judging, are now, we believe, agreed. The measures by which alone it can be secured (now, alas! once more thwarted and delayed), must necessarily be gradual in their operation. No system of management, perhaps, would render Ireland secure, if it were to be invaded by a strong force, within a year or two after this time. A very few years, however, of wise administration, would render it even more invulnerable than the rest of the British territory. Such an interval of peace, therefore, is beyond all value "with regard to that vital portion of our land, and would give us an incalculable advantage, even if the contest were then to be renewed in every other respect upon a more unfavourable footing, . It would be like a truce obtained, while Orlando was recovering from his insanity; or a parley prolonged, till Jupiter could be aroused from his amorous slumbers.
It is needless to suggest, that, by the restoration of peace, we should be relieved from an oppressive and almost intolerable load of taxation —that our industry, disburdened of this grievous pressure, would be quickened into new forms of prosperous enierprize; and that our trade would then rush like a golden deluge over all those regions into which it is now forced to insinuate itself by circuitous'and diminished channels. A few years of peace would so recruit and restore our resources, as to render us equal to any exertion in case of a renewal of war. The commercial rivalry of our enemies, we think, is but little to be dreaded. If
we we undersell all the world at this moment, when our taxes are so enormous, and our access to the market so variously impeded, we should have little to fear from the free competition of France, although all its cannon were melted down into steam-engines, and all its swords beaten out into axles.
By making peace, too, even with the intention of renewing the war at a convenient opportunity, France will eventually be feduced into pacific habits, and lofe many of thctfe advantages which fhe now enjoys as a belligerent. To improve her commerce, as the rival of ours, and the basis of her fut ure navy, muft be the firft great object of her ruler; but a comi nercial people, and, above all, a people juft beginning the tempting career of commercial profperity, muft naturally be averfe to war; and, moft of all, to war with the .greateft maritime power in the world. The war and the confeription, we are credibly informed, are very far from being popular in France at this moment; but if the war were once terminated by an honourable peace, and ithe people begun to be occupied in peaceful purfuits, it would not be eafy to make them fubmit to this returning plague, nor very fafe, perhaps, for their ruler to compel them.
It is likewife deferving of confideration, that the longer we can protract the period of peace, the more we get over, in fafety, of the life of that extraordinary individual, with whom, it is extremely probable, that mucri of the rancour, and much of the power by which we are endangered, will die. But it is of ftill more confequence to obferve, that the longer we can poftpone the crifis of our conteft, the weaker and the lefs provided we fhall find our adverfary for the encounter; and this not merely from the difufe and diftafte for war which the experience of p'tace will produce, but from the rapid decay of thofe advantages which fhe now poffefles as a new government. Already the throne of Bonaparte begins to be furrounded by court-favourites,, and princes and dignitaries of all defcriptions; and the accefs of merit to his imperial patronage, will probably foon be as difficult as it is to other thrones. The eminent perfons who forced thiemfelves into notice in the tumultuary times of the revolution, muflt difappear in no long period; and the genius and form of the exi fting government, is by no means calculated to fupply their place:, except, perhaps, during the opportunities and cafualties of an. actual campaign. If a more liberal and patriotic fyftem, therefore, be adopted in England, while a more jealous and exclmfive policy Is daily gaining ground in France, it is not difficult to conjecture what the refult will be, nor in how fhort a time t he fituation of the combatants may be in this refpect entirely reverfed. There are many other confequences of peace w hich might be '• anticipated anticipated with nearly equal probability. Thofe in particular that relate to the revival and recruiting of the other Continental powers ; the probable difunion of the tributary fovereigns by which France has now furrounded herfelf; and the difmemberment of many parts of her overgrown and difcordant dominions. All thefe events at leaft, it is eafy to fee, are rendered much.more improbable by the continued preffure of war; and though moft likely, and indeed almoft certain in themfelves, can fcarcely be expected to occur till peace have reftored to the fyftem, its natural;• fprings of development. We have no longer room, however, to enlarge upon thefe, or any other confederations; and fhall conclude with one general remark.
Peace is in ltfelf fo great a good, and war fo great an evil, that whenever we are not able to forefee exactly all the conferences of either, we may fafely prefume, that all that are unknown of the one will be good, and all that are unknown of the other will be evil. In moil human affairs, however, the confe^ quences which are not forefeen are more important than thofe that can be predicted. Hiftory and experience illuftrate this fufficiently as to the prefent parallel, and fhow that the moft fuccefsful war. is ufually prodmStive of lofs and difafter, even to the victorious party, while peace fcarcely ever fails to, fupply a thoufand advantages that had not been calculated upon, and to repair, with incredible celerity, the wounds which hoftility had. infliCted. Among the chief bleffings of peace, we think, is its tendency to generate a fpirit of peace; a fpirit which cannot b? generated, we believe, in any other way, and which, in an advanced ftate of fociety, and after a long experience of the mifi> ries of contention, may perhaps prolong into habitual amity thofq hoftile truces and breathing-times, to which nations have lately limited their intervals of war.
Without indulging in fuch anticipations, however, we may be permitted to fay, that Europe now ftands in need of refrefhment find repofe; that the experiment of war has been carried quite far enough to fhow that its further profecution would be ruinous; and that with regard to this country in particular, whofe only remaining objedt of war muft be fecurity, that objeCt will be rendered infinitely more attainable by a peace, even of temporary endurance, than by an obftinate perfeverance in meafures of hoftility. We exprefs thefe opinions with the lefs hefitation, becaufe it rather appears that they concur with thofe which our enemy has formed on the fubjeCt. If peace were to do fo much good to him, and fuch injury to us, as is alleged by the advocates for war, it is Angular that he fhould have appeared fo much mors reluCtant than any administration of ours has yet been to enter into
terms terms of pacification. It is a ftrong ground for believing that peace would be advantageous to us, that our wily and perfevering enemy has uniformly refufed to confent to it. This is an evij to which we muft fubmit, and againft which we mull ftruggle as valiantly as we can: but it is painful to think how many there are among ourfelves who fecond thefe purpofes of the enemy, from mifguided zeal and miftaken patriotifm, and labour to perpetuate that hofttlity from which he alone has hitherto derived any advantage. "We cannot obtain peace, to be fure, by wifhing for it, or even by offering it-, but it is fomething to be prepared to receive it, if the offer fhould be made to us; and, at all events, it is ot confequence that the grounds of our eleftion fhould be fully and generally confidered, before the time calls on us for an immediate determination.
Art. II. Remarks on the Husbandry and internal Commerce if Bengal. 8vo. Blacks & Parry. 1806.
A Treatise on the hufbandry and commerce of Bengal, was printed at Calcutta about ten years ago. The prefent work is a republication of the firft portion of that treatife, and was written by Mr Colebrooke in i704, though corrected for this edition in i803. The remainder of the original publication was chiefly compofed by the late Mr Lambert, and related to the manufactures and external commerce of Bengal, whilft the obfervations of Mr Colebrooke are confined to the internal traffic. We have already remarked, that this work was not unknown to Dr Tennant, for whom plagiarifm has fometimes furnifhed an Indian recreation.
We ftiould have thought the whole treatife eminently calculated to excite and to reward the public attention; but fince we are obliged to content ourfelves with a portion of thofe interefting fpeculations, we have no hefitation in giving the preference to that with which we are here prefented. Mr Lambert was a highly refpectable merchant of Calcutta •, a man endowed with un? common fagacity, and bred up in mercantile habits. 'MerT chants,' fays Dr Smith, * during their whole lives engaged in plans and projects, have frequently more acutenefs of underftanding than the greater part of country gentlemen. As their thoughts, however, are commonly exercifed rather about the intereft of their own particular branch of bufinefs, than about that of die fociety, their judgments, even when given with the greateft candejur, is much more to be depended upon, with refpeft to the