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birth day, and at Mr. Canning's dinner in the evening, were such as I should have had reason to be perfectly satisfied with at any time. It has been mentioned to me, however, by a friend on whom I have great reliance, that Mr. Perceval in a late conversation observed, that although they did not wish, and would not seek, a war with the United States, yet that if we made such a war necessary, they would not, perhaps, much regret it, as a check to our maritime growth was becoming indispensibie.

"The late Orders of Council will be assailed in Parliament as unconstitutional, as well as impolitic and unjust; and a strong protest will be entered on the journals of the Lords. I dined yesterday at Lord Erskine's with most of the distinguished members of the opposition; as I found them agreeing in such a view of this subject as British statesmen ought to adopt. The company consisted of the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Grenville, Earl Grey, Lord Chief Justice Ellenborough, Lord Lauderdale, Lord Holland, Lord H. Petty, Mr. Thomas Grenville, Mr. Tierney, Sir A. Pigot, Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr. Adam, Mr. Morris, (Lord Erskine's son-in-law) and myself. The utmost good will towards the United States was shown by them all. The Duke of Norfolk having compelled me to go first to dinner, said, as he followed me, that he was happy to have an opportunity of showing his respect, not only for my station, but for the government and country I represented.

"This little compliment (in answer to the usual disqualifying observation on my part) which I would not repeat if it had been personal, may be thought to derive a value from circumstances, and from the conspicuous worth, and high rank and influence of the Duke of Norfolk, and those by whom he was surrounded, which otherwise it certainly would not have.

"I have thought it proper to discourage, by the only prudent means in my power, the unnecessary stay of American vessels in British ports, or indeed in Europe; but there are, notwithstanding, a considerable number here. To urge their departure openly would have been too strong a step; but every other expedient has been tried. I have no immediate fears for their safety, but they would be better at home.

"Prince Stahremberg left England last week upon very short notice. It is said that the French government demanded his departure before the meeting of Parliament, and menaced Austria with war, if this demand were not complied with! He appears to have been more earnest in pressing the mediation of his court than was pleasing to this government; and it is known that he went away much dissatisfied. Mr. Alopeus has received his French passport, and will leave us soon. Jacobi has not yet received his.

"Sir George Prevost goes out immediately to Halifax as Governor and Commander-in-Chief. It is believed to be certain that five thousand troops will be sent at the same time. A friend (whose intelligence is from a good source, but who may have made some mistake) has assured me that a very large additional force is in preparation for the British Northern colonies. I suspect he has misunderstood the conversation which he reports to me; but he speaks with confidence on the subject.

"I believe I have omitted in my former letters to mention that I was told at Downing-street, some time since, that instructions had been sent to Mr. Erskine by the packet, upon the subject of the Orders of Council. What was the precise nature of the explanations with which these instructions have charged him, I did not inquire; but from what was stated to me, I presume that they could not be satisfactory.

"I ought to mention that some of the opposition entertain hopes of producing a change of Ministry. This is not a topic, however, upon which I can now enlarge.

"P. S. January 25th. I add to the parcel of newspapers, the Morning Chronicle and Times of this day, in which you will find another decree of the French government, enforcing with new sanctions and precautions, the decrees of the 23d of November and 17th of December last. Spain has echoed the last mentioned decree. The state of the world is full of embarrassments for us; but this consideration should only serve to augment our patriotism and our firmness. Nothing can better illustrate the impolicy of the British orders than these measures of France and Spain, for which they have furnished a pretext."

In a letter to the same, of February 6th, 1808,

he says:

"You will observe that Mr. Perceval's speech in the House of Commons, is studiously respectful to us, while he justifies, and avows their determination to support their new system. As a defence of that system, his speech is nothing. It is more happy in recrimination than in argument; and having the former recommendation, the latter is absolutely unnecessary. I have always suspected that the late administration were entrapped, in an unguarded hour, into the order of the 7th January, 1807, by the then opposition, who now use it as a triumphant answer to all that can be said in Parliament against their own orders. It was, indeed, a most injudicious measure. It was liable to the reproach of being at once violent and feeble, unjust and disingenuous. It asserted a pretension most alarming to neutral nations, which had no rightful foundation; and then was affected to be referred to another which could not cover what was done. Without losing the character of an usurpation, it had the air of artifice and contrivance. It violated the unquestionable rights of neutral commerce, while it professed the utmost tenderness for them; and, while its actual provisions wore the appearance of inhibiting only the coasting trade of their enemies, (although, in fact, they did much more,) the preamble put forth such high claims for future use, as were in the end to leave no law upon the seas but force. It is probable, however, that this pernicious order was resorted too merely because it was believed to be necessary to do something bearing upon the French decree-that ministers wished its actual effects to be as small as possible—that the real extent of its interference with neutral rights was little understood, except by those who formed it-that the preamble contained all that ministers valued in the measure-and that they valued the preamble only as it was supposed to be calculated, without doing harm, to satisfy the public expectation of the day, and to silence the clamours of their opponents! Be this as it may, the order is, as I have reason to know, sincerely repented of.

"The sweeping blockade notified by the same ministers in

May, 1806, (from the Elbe to Brest inclusive,) was another of their sins, which tended to countenance, not only the British orders of the 11th of November last, but the French decree of November, 1806, according to its widest import. Besides, that the principle and object of that blockade would, if admitted, go to sanction almost any conceivable obstructions to the trade of neutrals, no adequate stationary force is believed to have been assigned to the maintaining of it in its details. It was, therefore, constructive in a very great degree, and must, indeed, from its nature and extent, have been so. Few men in this country of any party will suffer themselves to look back to this and similar abuses, as forming any apology or pretext for the subsequent declaration of France, but the actual ministers will not fail to derive from them what aid they can, (without, however, admitting them to be abuses,) in favour of their own measures. You will find these measures (however they may be rested upon an asserted right of war) assuming every day more and more of the genuine appearances of trading expedients. The new system will naturally and necessarily be (as their vast blockades, the creatures of modern times, have invariably been) made subservient, as far as it can, by licenses and regulations, to their own manufacturing, colonial, and commercial views, without any other regard to its professed object than such as will oppress us, by excluding our cotton, &c. from the continent. Even thus executed, it will be a desperate game, which, if persisted in, can only end

in ruin.

"I mentioned to you, some time ago, that this government knew nothing of Regnier's letter of the 18th of September last, when the Orders of Council were issued. It is now certain that they knew nothing of it, until they received from America the National Intelligencer, in which it was published with the President's late message.

"I am in daily expectation of hearing from you. My situation will, I fear, become a little embarrassing, if you forbear much longer to send my credentials, or some precise instructions. I will make the best of it however, It is apparent that we gain ground here. The tone is altered. The Embargo has done much, although its motives are variously understood. Some

view it with doubt and suspicion. The government appears to put a favourable construction upon it; and all agree that it is highly honourable to the sagacity and firmness of our councils. Events which you could only conjecture when the measure was adopted, have already made out its justification beyond the reach of cavil. We shall, I trust, in the progress, be as faithful to our duty, as in the commencement of the crisis which has come upon us."


LONDON, February 22d, 1808. "DEAR SIR,—I have the honour to enclose a copy of Mr. Percival's bill for carrying the late Orders of Council into effect. It is intended, as I am told, to alter it in some respects. The clause which imposes an export duty on the cargoes of neutral vessels changing their destination is to be omitted. The cotton of the British colonies is to be placed in the same predicament, whatever that may be, with American cotton, and instead of a prohibitory duty upon the export of that article, it is, I believe, determined, in consequence of the pressing advice of those who affect to understand the subject, aided by the late discussions in Parliament, to prohibit directly the exportation of cotton; with a proviso, however, in favour of a licensing power in the King in Council, (of which I do not yet know the intended use,) and probably with an option to the neutral owner to export this commodity upon payment of the duty heretofore contemplated. The change will be attributed to, and is declared to proceed from, a respect for our feelings; but, unfortunately, the other parts of their system make this supposed respect of no value. This change in their plan has, indeed, been recently mentioned to me by Mr. Canning; but I declined (as I had before done, upon a similar proposal, as already explained to you) to make myself in any degree a party to it.

"You will find in the Resolutions, of which I have already sent you two copies (and which, after undergoing some alterations, are to form the table, A. B. and C. of the bill,) an export duty of 2s 6d. stg. per bushel on foreign salt. The effect of this duty must be, and is intended to be, that the United States can no longer obtain their usual supply of that article (I think

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