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sion to which, on the part of France, would induce his majesty to persevere in a system of neutrality.
Fourthly, That it does not appear that the tranquillity of Europe, and the rights of independent nations, which have been stated as grounds of war against France, have been attended to by his majesty's ministers in the case of Poland, iri the invasion of which unhappy country, both in the last year and more recently, the most open contempt of the law of nations, and the most unjustifiable spirit of aggrandisement, have been manifested, without having produced, so far as appears to this house, any remonstrancé from his majesty's ministers.
Fifthly, That it is the duty of his majesty's ministers, in the present crisis, to advise his majesty against entering into engagements which may prevent Great Britain from making a separate peace whenever the interests of his majesty and his people may render such a measure advisable, or which may countenance an opinion in Europe that his majesty is acting in concert with other powers, for the unjustifiable purpose of compelling the people of France to submit to a form of government not approved by that nation.
A debate not less vehement than the former took place ; and, upon a division, the members appeared to be 270 who voted for the previous question, against 44 who supported the motion.
On the 21st of February, Mr. Grey moved an address to the throne, containing a masterly and comprehensive view of the whole subject matter of difpute. It concluded with stating the striking truth, That the calamities of such a war as was now commenced—a war of vengeance, and not of necessity-must be aggravated, in the estimation of every rational mind, by reflecting on the peculiar advantages of that fortunate situation we had so unwisely abandoned.
Mr. Pitt, in a few words, declaring that this subject required no further difcuffion, the motion Mr. Grey was immediately negatived without a diviĝon.
Unbounded obloquy having been thrown on the views and characters of those who had opposed the measures of adminiftration, Mr. Sheridan, on the 4th of March, moved, That the House should resolve itself into a committee to conlider of the feditious practices, &c. referred to in his majesty's speech; declaring, at the same time, openly and freely, that his intention was to institute 'a rigorous inquiry into the truth of the reports so insidiously circulated. The motion of Mr. Sheridan was negatived without'a division; but it had the first sensible effect on the public mind, in exonerating the opposition from the calumnies to which they had been fó long exposed, and in weakening the belief of many respectable persons in the reality of those pretended secret machinations against the government which ministers, as Mr. Sheridan declared himself confident, had denounced for no other purpose than to divert the attention of the public from the actual state of things, and to betray them blindly and with greater facility into a war.
On the 15th of the same month, the attorney-general, lir John Scott, introduced his famous « Traitorous Corre. spondence Bill,” by which it was not only, according to the precedent of former bills passed at the commencement of former wars, declared to be high-treason to supply the existing government of France with military stores, &c. but also to purchase lands of inheritance in France, to invest money in any of the French funds, and many other novel and arbitrary regulations. This bill met with much
oppofition, and several of the clauses of it were modified and mitigated in its passage through the two houses.
At this period of the session, also, Mr. Pitt brought forward his annual statement of finance; and scarcely had the war commenced, when a debt of six millions was incurred and funded,--the temporary taxes imposed for defraying the expense of the Spanish armament being now made permanent. Soon after which, tlie two houses adjourned for the Lafter recess.
During this interval, it may be proper to transfer our attention to the state of affairs on the Continent.
In the course of the winter, general Dumouriez had, proposed to the Executive Council to take possession of Maestricht, without which he alleged neither the passage of the Meuse nor the territory of Liege could be defended.; engaging, by manifesto, to restore it to the Dutch at the end of the war. That important city being then wholly. unprepared for defence, the attempt was no doubt extremely feasible ; but the government of France, with a firmness which showed their reluctance to break with the maritime powers, resisted this great temptation, and expressly commanded the general to preserve the strictest neutrality towards the United Provinces. No sooner was war decided upon than general Dumouriez hastened to put into execution the plan he had formed, to advance with a body of troops posted at the Moerdyke, and, malking Breda and Gertruy. denburg on the right, and Bergen-op-zoom, Klundert, and Williamstadt, on the left, to effect a passage over an arm of the sea to Dordt, and thus penetrate at once into the heart of Holland. In the mean time general Miranda had orders, leaving general Valence before Maestricht, to march with all expedition to Nimeguen, in order to oppose the expected invasion of the Pruflians on that side.
General Dumouriez, assembling his army in the neighbourhood of Antwerp, entered the Dutch territory on the 17th of February. On the 24th Breda surrendered, through the cowardice or treachery of its governor, count Byland, almost on the first summons. The fort of Klundert was taken, after a brave defence, on the 26th. Within nine days afterwards, Gertruydenburg followed the example of Breda ; but Williamstadt made an obstinate resistance ; and while the French troops were still engaged in the fiege of this small, but strong, fortress, intelligence arrived from the eastern frontier of the Netherlands which materially şhanged the face of the war. On the ist of March, general
Clairfait, having suddenly passed the Roer in the night, attacked the French posts on that side, and compelled them to retreat as far as Alderhaven, with the loss of 2000 men. The following day the archduke, brother to the reigning emperor, carried several batteries, and took nine pieces of
On the 3d, the prince of Saxe Cobourg; who had highly distinguished himself in the war with the Turks, obtained a signal advantage over general Valence and his army, driving them from Aix-la-Chapelle to the vicinity of Liege, with the loss of more than 5000 men and twenty pieces of cannon. The siege of Maestricht was immediately raised ; and at midnight, on the 4th, general Miranda gave orders for a general retreat to Tongres, whence the French armies were again compelled to fall back to St. Tron, where Miranda was joined by general Valence, who had by this time evacuated Liege and its territory; and on the 8th they moved towards Tirlemont.
General Dumouriez himself now arrived to take the command in person, leaving the conduct of affairs on the northern frontier to the care of general de Flers. But the army waz wholly dispirited by the departure of their general. The Pruffians advanced by way of Bois-le-duc. A corps of 12,000 Hanoverians, reinforced by several thousand British troops, with the duke of York at their head, arrived nearly at the same time in Holland; and the liege of Williamstadt was raised. Instead of proceeding to Dordt, De Flers was compelled to throw himself into Breda, the main body of the army retiring precipitately to Antwerp.
The troops under Miranda and Valence felt all their confidence revive on seeing their former victorious commander at their head; but the caprice of fortune disappointed their hopes. On the 18th of March a general engagement took place on the plains of Neerwinden, which continued with unremitted obstinacy from morning till evening, when the French were totally routed, with very considerable loss. Miranda was, upon this occasion, charged by Dumouriez with
causing, by his misconduct, the loss of the battle ; but that officer retorted with great spirit on his commander in chief, vindicating himself with great ability, and plainly intimating his suspicions of treachery on the part of Dumouriez. He declared that Dumouriez, who had never before failed to consult him upon every occasion, did not even mention the arrangements for the battle of Neerwinden to him ; and that the position of the enemy had not been previously reconnoitred.
The French continued retreating ; and, on the 21st, general Dumouriez took post near Louvain. Here a sort of tacit suspension of hoftilities took place, and the French army was allowed to march back to their own frontier without any serious molestation, on condition of evacuating Bruffels, and all the other towns of Brabant, &c. still in their possession. On the 27th, general Dumouriez held a conference with an Auftrian officer of high distinction, colonel Mack, from whom he did not, as he tells us, conceal his design of marching against Paris, with a view of reestablishing the constitutional monarchy of 1791 ; and it was agreed that the Imperialists should act as auxiliaries merely in the accomplishment of this plan; not advancing, except in case of necessity, beyond the frontier of France : and that the troops to be eventually furnished by the prince of Cobourg should ad entirely under the direction of general Dumouriez.
The designs of Dumouriez did not, however, pass unsuspected at Paris. Three commissioners from the executive power had therefore been dispatched to Flanders, under the pretence of conferring with the general concerning the affairs of Belgium. In this interview Dumouriez expressed himself with great violence against the jacobins. “ They would ruin France,” said he ; “ but I will save it, though they should call me a Cæsar, a Cromwell, or a Monk.” He ftyled the Convention, “ an horde of ruffians ;” and declared, “ that this assembly would not exist three weeks