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was a heavy blow on that fangui- both, it appeared not improbable nary faction, which had ruled by that, if the latter could be satisfied terror. It loft thereby a multitude of an earnest determination in the of its agents, whofe crimes now ren- ruling powers to put an end to op dered them ineligible to public em-preffive measures, the little profpect ployments, and many were, on the fame account, obliged to vacate those which they poffeffed.

The difcerning part of the public looked upon this event, as a fpecies of revolution, and formed the strongest hope that it would promote a reconciliation between the friends to a republican government, and thofe to a limited monarchy. Liberty being equally the aim of

that now remained of fubverting the established government, would induce them to fubmit to it, rather than renew thofe attempts to restore their own fyftem, which had fo repeatedly failed, not more through the rafhnefs or incapacity of those who had conducted them, than the general repugnance of the nation to join them upon those occafions,

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Effects expected in France from a growing Spirit of Moderation.-The Chief Object in the Councils of France, how to Break or to Weaken the Power of


England. Plan of the French for that End.-Means for Reforing the Pecuniary Credit of the French Republic.-A Rupture threatened betwcen the French Councils and Executive Directory.—Prevented by the neceffity of their acting in Concert.-The Legislature Invade the Province of the Directory, by the Appointment of a Committee for judging in Cajes of Appeals from Emigrants.-Loftiness of the Directory.-Humbled by the Wife Economy and Firmness of the United States of America.-Jealoufies and Difputes between the French and Americans.-And an open Rupture.

THE fpirit of lenity that feemed

to have arifen, and been nourished by the new conftitution, began to operate powerfully in its favour, and to gain it daily freth adherents. The people in France appeared in general extremely willing to fupport it, hoping that the period of internal confufions would thereby be accelerated, and that the European powers leagued against them, when they found that unanimity was re-established among the French, would ceafe to profecute the war for the reftoration of the houfe of Bourbon to the throne of France, against the manifeft will of the nation.

The heads of the republic were now deeply occupied in the concerting of means to counteract the measures of that power, on the indefatigable efforts of which all the others depended for the fupport of their own. It was with unfeigned mortification that France beheld

that power unfhaken and undimi

nifhed in the midft of the difafters that had befallen the other parts of the coalition. That invincible spirit, which had fo many ages accompanied the councils and the arms of England, and enabled it to maintain fo many contefts with France, had, in the prefent, difplayed greater energy than ever, and imprefled feveral of the foundeft politicians with an idea, that however the French republic might for a while diffufe the terror of its arms among the neighbouring ftates, the perfevering courage of the English, aided by their immenfe opulence, would finally weary out the endeavours of the French to retain the acquifitions they had made; and, that notwithstanding the republic itfelf might remain, it would, on the iffue of the terrible trial it had ftood, be compelled to remit of the pretenfions it had formed to prefcribe terms of peace to all its numerous enemies, and to


treat at laft upon a footing of equality with that one, which, while it remained unvanquished, would always prove an effectual obftacle to that plan of universal influence over all the governments of Europe, which France had, fince the unexpected fuccefs of its arms, kept conflantly in view.

However the French might exult in the triumphant career of their armies, it plainly appeared, by the fentiments repeatedly expreffed by the principal fpeakers of the convention, and in the councils, and upon all public occafions, to be their intimate perfuafion, however averfe to avow it, that while England stood its ground, they would never totally accomplish thofe mighty fchemes of conqueft and influence. To execute them partially, would only in-, volve them in perpetual quarrels with thofe powers whofe intereft required their depreffion, and whofe caufe England would never fail to fupport. Thus it was clear, that unless the strength of this ancient rival were effectually broken, and it were reduced to fue for peace on fuch terms as France should dictate, the propofed effect of fo many victories would be fruftrated, as the humiliation of all its other enemies would not fecure to the republic those objects at which it avowedly aimed. The prolongation of the war, in order to attain thefe, might be attended with fuch viciffitudes of fortune, as would entirely change the circumftances of affairs, and oblige the republic, in its turn, to abate of its high pretenfions, and even to compound for its exiftence, and the prefervation of the ancient limits of France.

That these ideas frequently occurred to the most fagacious of the

French, is inconteftible, from the various publications of the time, and no lefs from that remarkable anxiety with which their rulers canvaffed every fubject relating to England. How to compass its depreffion was the chief object of their councils; and every fortunate event that befel them, in their numerous enterprizes, employed their confideration in what manner to convert it to the detriment of England.

Among the various means of obtaining that important end, the annoyance of the English maritime commerce, had long been tried, certainly not without fome degree of fuccefs: but in no degree fufficient to weaken the naval power of England, which continued to rule the feas in every quarter of the globe, with irrefiftible fway. It was indeed from this very circumftance, that France derived a multiplicity of arguments in its manifeftos and exhortations, both to its own people, and to the other nations of Europe. Their tendency was to prove, that England was the tyrant of the fea, and that all the European powers were interested in repreffing that tyranny. To effect this, they ought to unite cordially with France, and fecond its endeavours to restore the freedom of the feas, by abridging, through every means in their power, the commercial refources of England. The actual strength of its navy was fo great, that it could not at prefent be oppofed with much hope of fuccefs: but other methods might be used not lefs effectual in their ultimate iffue, and these were in the option of every ftate. That the power which commanded the feas, commanded alfo the fhores, and that naval power was of more importance than dominion at land, [ M 3 ]_


had paffed into a kind of political
maxim for ages.
It was, in fact,
a fuperiority of naval power that
fubverted the Roman empire. The
irruptions of the Gauls, the Cimbri,
and Teutones, by land, were re-
pelled, and might have been re-
pelled had they been repeated.
The neceffity of fubfiftence drove
them quickly to the receffity of
committing their fortune to the iffue
of a battle, in which the invaded
derived an advantage over the in-
vaders from the poffeffion, and from
the knowledge of the country. But
when the barbarians began to com-
bine their military operations with
naval expeditions; when ftores, as
well as troops, were poured upon
the Roman frontier, from the Baltic,
the Dwina, the Elbe, the Danube,
and the Euxine feas, then, and not
till then, they began to be wholly
irresistible. It was the maritime
habits, and the naval power of the
Scandinavians, under the appella-
tion of Normans, Danes, Picks, and
other names, that enabled them, for
the fpace of fix hundred years, to
harrals, over-run, and rule the
greater part of the fea coafts of Eu-
rope. The trade of a pirate became
an honourable profeffion. The fons
of kings, at the head of pirates,
fought and obtained at once fettle-
ments and renown. Since the re-
vival of letters, the modern im-
provements in arts and sciences, and
the vast extenfion of commerce, the
fuperior importance of naval power
feemed to be farther illuftrated, and
more certainly established.

It was not among the leaft ftriking inftances of that fertility of imagination which fupported the French under all difficulties, that they found means, as they conceived, to oppofe power at land to

power at fea to raise the naval power of France, and to undermine that of England, by excluding her trade from the great inlets of Europe. This would give England a blow, from which it would not eafily recover. It could not fail to produce an immediate alteration in its commercial circumstances; the depreffion of which, would infallibly create a difcouragement and defpondency in the English government, that muft induce it at once, to remit of the haughtinefs with which it exercifed its naval fuperiority over other nations.

Such was the purport of the various publications iffued by authority, or proceeding from the many individuals, who bufied themselves with compofitions of this nature. The impreffion, which they made upon the generality of European ftates, was very feeble. None, indeed, appeared to pay them much attention, but those on which France poffeffed the forcible means of influence. The others were con vinced, that the motives of the French, in these warm addresses to the continental powers, were dictated by felfifh views, and that, were they to fucceed in over-throwing the maritime power of England, they would doubtlefs transfer it to themselves, and employ it to the fame ends to which they had fo notorioufly converted the fuperiority they had acquired at land.

It was doubtless inconfiftent, on the ground of morality in the Englith nation, to arraign the ambition and tyranny of the French, while they themselves, purfued fchemes of tyranny and ambition on the main ocean, and in every quarter of the globe. If the French were plunderers at land, the Eng

lith were plunderers on too many occasions, and dictators at fea. Still, however, they had done no more in the prefent war, than what had been authorized by long established cuftom; and under every restraint, a commercial correfpondence with England, had been experimentally found extremely profitable. If their industry enabled them to derive benefit from other nations, these alfo received no lefs profit from them. An exclufion of their trade would redound therefore, equally to the detriment of both parties.

Foiled in their endeavours to fhut all the European ports against the English, the French determined, however, to exclude them from thofe of which they had the command. A proclamation had been iffued by the English government, permitting the exportation of merchandise to Flanders and Holland. But the Dutch convention was directed to publish a counter proclamation, prohibiting the importation of goods from England, under fevere penalties; and enjoining the people of the united provinces to renounce all commerce with a nation that had treated them fo inimically, and whofe intentions were to deprive the Dutch republic of its trade, after depriving it of its ancient freedom, by the forcible eftablishment of a ftadtholder. Having expelled a fovereign impofed upon them against their confent, they were bound in duty and honour to refufe all connections with thofe, who were endeavouring to fubject them again to his yoke.

A fimilar prohibition of English manufactures had taken place in France, during the administration of Roberspierre, and had for fome time been ftrickly enforced. But

the advantages refulting from a commerce with England, had gradually fuperfeded the fear of offending against this prohibition; and it was little attended to at this time. A weighty motive for not enforcing it was, the neceffity of giving vent to the cargoes of the Englith veffels captured by the French privateers. But after the government in Holland had come to the determination of forbidding the entry of English goods, it thought itself the better entitled to require the adoption of the like meafure in France, as Holland, in adopting it, had complied with the requifition of the French government. This appeared fo unanswerable a mode of reasoning, that the directory, however, difinclined to compliance, found itfelf under the neceflity of giving fatisfaction to the Dutch confederates, who were so determined as to admit of no denial, that they threatened to refcind their refolutions, unlefs the fame were taken by the French government.

The regulations proposed on this occafion were very fevere; they not only prohibited the importation of English merchandize in future, but ordained the re-exportation of what had been imported. Harth methods were, at the fame time, adopted to fecure the obfervance of thefe regulations; and though they were unacceptable to multitudes, fo intent was the legiflature on diminishing the resources of England, that the prohibitory decree, together with the heavy penalties annexed to its infringement, was carried by a large majority.

Great were the expectations of the enemies to England, that this exclufion of its merchandize and [ M 4] manufactures

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