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sion of our independence, by our conversion into a province or department of his empire. The author thinks the last most probable; as our insular situation, maritime habits and untractable character, might otherwise give us a chance for recovering our freedom, and converting a nominal into a real independence. In either event, he rightly concludes, that our free constitution would be annihilated. It is this freedom, more than our commercial prosperity or our national influence, which excites the alarm and jealousy of our enemy: it exhales a vapour unhealthful to the constitution of despotism; and while England is free, the master of France must be uneasy. We might still have Parliaments, however, and mock elections; but we may guess at the measure of power which would be left to those assemblies, from that which we have seen entrusted to the senates of France or of Holland.
The consequences of conquest, however, would first come home to individuals, in the destruction of our laws and personal privileges. No one can be extravagant enough to imagine that a French government would allow a habeas corpus, a jury, or a gaol-delivery to its English subjects. We cannot hope for more than it indulges to its own people. The liberty of the press in France, too, may safely be taken as the measure of what it would be in England; and in comparison with the tyranny now exercised there, in this respect, the policy of the Inquisition, the Sorbonne, and the Bourbons, was perfect freedom. Their interference was restrictive or prohibitory merely; but the present governor of France compels its journalists to publish, as well as to suppress, whatever he pleases. He has personal quarrels, too, with the English press; which we are afraid could not be settled by mere prospective regulations. There are more than Peltier who might meet with the fate of Palm.
The next thing we should lose, would be the security of personal liberty. This consequence of conquest we shall give in the words of our author. It is a favourable specimen of his most popular manner.
We muft lay afide alfo that proud fenfe of perfonal inviolability, which we now cherish fo fondly; and, what is juftly prized ftill more, the civil fanctity of our homes. The Englishman's house must be his caftle no more.
• Inftead of our humble watchmen to wifh us refpectfully good night, when returning to our abodes in the evening, we fhall be challenged at every turning by military patroles, and fhall be fortunate, if we meet no pert boy in commiffion, or ill-natured trooper, to rebuke us with the back of his fword, or with a lodging in the guard-house, for a heedlefs or tardy reply. Perhaps, after all, when we arrive at our homes, inftead of that quiet fire-fide at which we expected to fit in
domeftic privacy with our wives and children, and relieve our burthened hearts by fighing with them over the forrows of our country, we shall find fome ruffian familiars of the police on a domiciliary vifit; or fome infolent young officers, who have stepped in unasked to relieve their tedium while on guard, by the converfation of our wives and daughters. It would be dangerous, however, to offend fuch unwelcome guests, or even not to treat them with all the respect due to brave warriors who have ferved under Napoleon the Great.
But, fhould we efcape fuch intruders for the evening, ftill we muft lye down, uncertain whether our dwellings will be left unviolated till the morning. A tremendous noise will often at midnight rouse the father of a family from his fleep, and he will hear a harsh voice commanding to open the gate, through which its haplefs mafter will foon pass to
The most disastrous consequence of conquest, would be the annihilation of national and individual opulence. The mere destruction of the funds would beggar an incredible multitude; but the trade and the riches of England would infallibly perish with its security for property-its equal laws-its colonies and commanding navy. It is only necessary indeed to consider, how much greater and more powerful we are at this moment than our population or extent of territory should naturally have made us, to see how much more we should lose, in losing our independence, than any other people. We should fall like Tyre or Carthage, if the foundations of our commercial greatness were once withdrawn. The quantity of domestic misery which would be produced, in such a population as ours, by this vast and general impoverishment, surpasses all calculation. The author is very long upon it; and gives a number of pictures and details, which we recommend to the consideration of all those who think that industry is secure of its reward in every civilized society, and that it is mere romance for people in the middling conditions of life to fight for political privileges, or for the choice of their
The rigours of a suspicious provincial military government, would be displayed in full force over the politicians of conquered England. Our mobs and our clubs, and even our coffee-house conversations, would be effectually broken up by the sabre and the bayonet. Sanguinary punishments would repress the new invented crimes of suspected disaffection and sedition; and the happy invention of military conscription, would take off the turbulent part of our youth, to recruit the legions of their master, and to extend his conquests in another quarter of the globe.
The author next foresees the destruction of our religious liberty, and the compulsory restitution of Popery, among the immediate consequences of our subjugation. We hesitate more
about this, than any of his preceding anticipations; though it is no doubt true, that the universality of that faith would be very convenient for an Emperor who keeps the Pope at his disposal, and that there is something in the constitution and doctrine of many of the Protestant churches which would be likely enough to give offence to an absolute sovereign.
The last evil to which the author directs the attention of his countrymen, is the general dissoluteness of manners which would result, partly from the debasement uniformly produced by loss of liberty, but chiefly from the contagion of that profligate and licentious soldiery which would be quartered over all the land, and would naturally take the lead in every thing in which their example could be seducing or pernicious.
Such are the obvious and tremendous evils which this author very fairly and clearly deduces from the supposition of our yielding to the fate which has already fallen on the greater part of Europe, and being subjugated by the arms of France. There is no fancy, unfortunately, and no exaggeration in the statement; every article of it is supported by precedents; every tint is coloured from the life. It is even a softened delineation; for no allowance is made for the peculiar rancour and hostility with which the enemy has always avowed himself to be actuated towards us, more than any other of his opponents.
In the second part of his work, the author proposes to point out a remedy for these evils. But, in this more comfortable and pleasing task, we are concerned to say that he is by no means equally successful. His prescription for averting the present crisis, consists of three ingredients. 1. We are not to make peace till matters look better on the Continent; 2. We are to improve our military system, chiefly by filling our ranks with very young men; 3. and finally, We are to deserve the favour of Heaven. by reforming our lives, and by forthwith abolishing the slavetrade. Upwards of seventy pages are devoted to pious declamations against this abominable traffic, and reasonings and citations. from the Revelations, to show that the successes of Bonaparte have been permitted as a chastisement and admonition to its supporters. All this may be very well meant; but the reasoning, we suspect, would scarcely go down in a sermon. The subject, however, requires a more deliberate consideration.
We cannot bring ourselves to enlarge upon the actual hazard in which we stand, of invasion and possible defeat, though it is here that the prejudices which tie up our hands from exertion. are most fatally prevalent. After all we have seen of the unalterable hostility, the daringness and perseverance of our enemy, it is not a little alarming to think how general the persuasion still
is, that nothing in the shape of a formidable invasion will be attempted. Even on the supposition of such an attempt, the greater part of our countrymen have never allowed themselves to imagine any thing beyond a battle at sea. A few of the more resolute have perhaps looked forward to a momentary and unambiguous conflict on the beach with those who had escaped from our maritime vengeance but we cannot discover that the idea of a protracted contest in the interior has ever been admitted, or that any preparations have been made in contemplation of such a possibility. What the consequences may be of such neglect, we have just been attempting to point out. For some of the facts which imperiously call upon us to take security against them, we refer our readers to the following passages of the work now before us.
Though his threats of invation have been fufpended, not fo his naval preparations. He has not difcontinued the building of that great number of ships of the line, the keels of which were long fince laid at Antwerp, at Breft, and in various other ports of his dominions; and the dock-yards of Venice, are now fully employed, as well as thofe of Spain and Holland, in preparing for him a regular marine. Meantime, the Boulogne flotilla has been carefully maintained upon that extenfive fcale, and in that fitnefs for immediate fervice, to which he had raised it before his march for the Rhine. It is, if public and general report may be credited, capable of tranfporting, by a fingle embarkation, 150,000 men to our fhores. Nor is that flotilla to be defpifed, as an inftrument of invafion, when in the hands of a man prodigal of the lives of his troops, and inexorably bent on the accomplishment of his purpose: more especially now, when he has gained renown enough, and ftrength enough, both at home and abroad, to be in no danger, from the difcontent that might be excited by the lofs of an army.
• We had fome fecurity perhaps, till now, from the dilemma in which Napoleon was placed, by the neceffity of either rifking his own perfon in the paffage, or refigning to another commander the glory of the expedition, in the event of its fuccefs. But now, he can afford to fpare, to Murat, to Malena, Davouft, or fome other diftinguifhed general, the renown of conquering Great Britain; nor feel any apprehenfion that fuch a delegate will ufe the large force to be committed to him, either at Boulogne, or on this fide the channel, fo as to triumph with fafety, and avoid the fate of Moreau. The Ufurper will therefore moft probably not expofe himself to the inconvenience of leading the army of England, nor rafhly re-engage himself to do fo; but will yield to the prayers of his anxiously affectionate fubjects, and devolve on fome favourite chief, that hazardous command.
But the Boulogne flotilla will not be relied upon, as the only mean of invafion. In other ports of the channel, in the German Ocean, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Adriatic, regular and powerful armaments will be prepared, fo as to diftract our attention, and divide our naval force; nor would it be poffible for us to blockade them all,
through every feafon, and with fleets and fquadrons fufficiently ftrong, if our navy were three times as large and potent as it actually is. It would be prepofterous therefore to fuppofe, that from no part of his immenfe maritime regions, will the enemy be able to fend expeditions to fea; and not lefs fo, to rely that his fleets and transports will all be met with by British fquadrons, before they can land troops on our fhores. Even the vigilance and energy of Nelfon, could not prevent the powerful invafion of Egypt; and if, prior to 1805, any man believed that it is impoffible for the hoftile fleets to fteal from their harbours, to perform voyages, and to land forces in diftant parts, without being arrefted by British fleets in their way, he must now be quite cured of that mistake. We have learnt, by reiterated experience within the last two years, that all this may be done, without the difcovery even of the point of deftination, till it is too late to fruftrate the plan.
It would not be quite fo eafy, I admit, to collect and send to fea, with equal fecrecy, a fleet large enough to waft over an army adequate to the invafion of England; but fuppofing fuch fleets to be collected at more ports than one, even this might very probably be effected. It muft not, however, be concluded, that the enemy will certainly be driven to the neceffity of embarking by stealth. A much more likely, and feasible expedient would be, the bringing together, by combined and well concerted movements, a large part of his naval force, at the deftined point of embarkation, and then failing openly for our coaft, under the protection of a fleet fuch as we could not immediately collect fhips enough to intercept and defeat.
It has been computed by fea-officers of reputation and judgment, that 150,000 men might be embarked at Boulogne in a fingle day; for the veffels now collected there, are fo conftructed as to take the ground without damage; and when anchored at high-water mark, on a long fandy beach which is impregnably fortified for their protection, they are left dry for hours by the ebb tide; fo that the troops may march on board by means of planks, as quickly almoft as they could file off into their barracks; and at the return of high water, be ready to put to fea. If fo, the command of the channel for eight and forty hours, might, fuffice for the moft formidable invafion. p. 109-112.
After all, have we effective foldiers, regular or irregular, fufficient, in point of numbers, to make the country perfectly fafe against a powerful invafion?
The volunteers, much more than the regulars, are difperfed in every part of the island; and no great proportion of them could be convened at any given point, foon enough to ftop the progrefs of an enemy, who might land on our eastern or fouthern coaft, before he could become matter of London. Befides, the defects which I have juft been stating, would be found peculiarly fatal, if fuch troops were to be marched from diftant parts of the island, immediately prior to their being brought
Of the volunteers now enrolled throughout the kingdom, a great