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ing above eighty line of battle ships, and a proportionate number of frigates, the greater part of which, together with a considerable number built · in the course of that war, were, at the commencement of the present, either manned by British seamen in the service of their country, or safely moored in our ports.
But, to obviate every doubt, we may form a perfect judgment of this disparity at the two periods under review, from the events which immediately followed the breaking out of the late and present wars. In the former instance, our commerce was cruelly exposed to the cruizers of the enemy; our merchant vessels were captured by wholesale, within the sight of our own coast; the complaints of our ship owners and commercial men were loud, numberless, and continued. In the latter, the security of our mercantile navigation has been so astonishingly great, that the rate of insurance is low beyond precedent; while our cruizers made such a prodigious number of captures that our harbours were literally choaked with their prizes. Another and very serious consequence resulting from this contrast, is, that in the first case, while our fleets were deprived of able bodied and experienced seamen, the fruits of our industry were carried into the ports of tbe enemy; in the latter the French have been deprived not only of their best seamen, but all their mercantile speculations, the fruits of their savings, resources which would have contributed towards the support of this war, have been poured into our harbours, and served to enrich the national stores, as well as individuals. '' . The effect of this culpable want of vigour was long felt after the beginning of the late war; nor was it in any degree removed until the memorable battle of the 1st of June, wherein, by the improvident folly of the French government in forcing the crews of their privateers on board their fleets, the prime seamen of the republic were transferred to English prisons.'
Sir, if this fact be not of itself sufficient to prove that the country was not in a more perilous state at the outset of the late war, than at the beginning of the present, permit me to advert to the moral state of the Empire, the poisoned condition of the public mind on that occasion. Mr. Burke was much below the mark when he estimat ed the disaffected in this country at eighty thousand men. But, taking the number, even at this ratio, I hesitate not to affirm, that they were enemies of a more dangerous description than treble that number of foreign invaders., They were acquainted with the state of our strength, means,
and resources; every part of the country was familiar and open to them; they knew where its treasures lay; they were not ignorant of its vulnerable points; the weapons of hostility, there. fore, were within their reach. Hence, the unguarded position in which the country was placed at that period, will ever arraign the policy of the late ministers. If moderation be a fault in the present administration, negligence was a crime in their predecessors.
In addition to these solemn truths, I maintain that the composition of the Gallic legions in 1793, was of a more terrible nature than that of the present hordes on the opposite coast. The former were filled with the ebullition of new things, and with the confidence which the belief of recovered freedom gives to the spirit of enterprize. They had some morality left; they had not been enured to waste what they had acquired by injustice; some scintillations of the social ties yet sparkled in their breasts; and, above all, they were taught to believe, and they did believe, that the majority of the British population were friendly to their cause, and waited only the arrival of “ the fifty thousand red caps to strike the blow which was to reverberate from the heart of Asia.” Thus, they were armed with principles as well as with military ardour ; and therefore, they were the greater objects of dread, inasmuch as organized fanaticism is ever more terrible and difficult to be resisted than disciplined valour. But now, after having seized and squandered the property of the continent; after having drank the life-blood of almost every country of Europe, for the sake of their mis-shapen idol; they find, at last, that it has vanished from their grasp like the shadow that fleets away beneath a clouded heaven. Grown wild with disappointment; abandoned to every crime that revolts human nature; without shame, and bereft of every hope of subsistence, but what arises from plunder and devastation ; they are led in chains to the camp of the Corsican, to fight the battles of tyranny, under the lure of booty. Many of the de. voted victims are, doubtless, bouyed up by fallacious promises, and ardently burn to slake their unquenchable thirst of blood on the fields of Britain. But thousands, ere now, have learnt, and feel that the wiles of perfidy cannot open their route to our capital, as they have too fatally done in other countries; they know that they cannot expect to derive any assistance from a people by whom they and their fradulent maxims are alike detested; that steel will oppose every footstep of their progress; that the clangour of War has sounded like music here; and that to hope for victory, they must succeed in forcing the ranks of an armed nation, who prefer to perish to a man rather than to suffer their island to be polluted by remorseless robbers and murderers, threatening to inflict upon them poverty, slavery, or extermina. tion. While such sentiments must predominate in the minds of that wretched crew, we have obtained tenfold security from the spirit of union and public zeal, which, under the providence of God, has exalted this nation beyond any comparison with those states most famed for their national public spirit. .
Having shewn that every thing has been done which prudence and sound policy required; and that nothing has been omitted, which might have been done conformably to those principles, in the employment of the means within our power; we have a right to ask for some legitimate reason of your opposition to the men þy whom all this good has been effected? With such evidence staring them in the face, the people will not endure to be told by a groupe of ambitious, individuals, that their government is unworthy of their confidence; and that none can save us but those who have too long rioted on our misfortunes. · What have we to do with these self-named saviours of the country,